Now I Can Finally Tell You!

For a while, I’ve been on romance reader/author platform Book+Main Bites.  It’s a terrific FREE app that lets you read little snippets of romance books from all kinds of genres, some of them authors you know, some that are new to you.  If you like what you see, there’s a purchase link at the bottom of the snippet.

Some time ago, I was invited to submit a First Kiss bite for an anthology, and it’s finally LIVE at your favorite online bookseller.  And it’s FREE!

Here’s what they want me to tell you:

First Kisses: a Book+Main Bites anthology is LIVE
and FREE on ALL platforms!

Embark on thirty-nine scenes of first kisses from favorite romance authors in a multitude of genres.

From Dukes to Highlanders, Shifters to Vampires and a variety of genres in between, binge on these unforgettable first kiss moments, and experience the euphoria that only that first touch of the lips can bring.

Read a Bite from your tried and true favorites, or delve into a new author’s world and become hooked.

This Book+Main Bites anthology is meant to introduce readers to new authors through their words.

Amazon–>http://smarturl.it/FirstKissesBM
iBooks–> http://smarturl.it/FirstKissesIB
Kobo–>http://smarturl.it/FirstKissesKobo
B&N–>http://smarturl.it/FirstKissesBN

Weekend Excerpt–Warrior Mine

WARRIOR MINE, my current WIP, is the fourth book in the Dream Dominant Collection.  It’s also a spin-off from DD Book 2, LOST & BOUND, although it’s still entirely stand-alone.

WARRIOR MINE actually came into being because I had readers who’d loved LOST & BOUND and wanted to know more about Jackie and Scott.  Initially, I thought it might make a good novella.  Now, however, over 100k words in and still not finished, the story has taken on a life of its own.

The story also breaks the mold of the Dream Dominant Collection.  Jackie Walker is the first leading lady who does NOT have red hair.  That’s because when I originally created Jackie as Blake Walker’s sister, I gave her the same dark hair he has.

And Jackie is a different kind of submissive than I’ve written before.  While Shasta/Amy from LOST & BOUND is a baby girl, Jackie is another type altogether.  After turning her over and over in my mind, I realized she’s a warrior princess.  So this has been a very exciting story to write.

I’m still hard at work on this book, and I’m hoping for a late summer release.  Keep watching for the cover reveal!

Here’s a little snippet from WARRIOR MINE.

“It’s a gorgeous day,” Scott commented.

“It really is.  I haven’t been out in the woods like this in a long time.”

Scott watched her appraisingly.  “Are you much of a camper?”

“I can hold my own.”  She lifted her chin, and he saw a glint of challenge in her eye.

“I imagine you can,” he smiled to himself.

He watched her dig the toe of her boot into the soft black earth and push it into a small heap.  “So let’s talk, Jackie.”

She exhaled loudly, and out of the corner of his eye, he saw her grip her hands so tightly together, her knuckles were white.

“This makes you nervous,” he observed.

“Well, yeah!  You’re over here wanting me to agree to be some kind of…I don’t know what…slave, I guess.  That’s so not me.”

“You’re right, it’s not.  I see in you a submissive soul, but a slave is not remotely what I have in mind.  Jackie,” he straddled the log to face her, “you’re a strong, smart, sexy lady.  I admire the hell out of you.”

“So why do you want me to give all that up?”

“I don’t want you to give anything up.  I love all those things about you.”  He laughed softly.  “I love that you challenge me.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Jackie’s expression was dubious.  “I don’t understand what you want from me.  Am I supposed to run and jump into your arms like Amy does Blake?”  She rolled her eyes.

Scott had to laugh.  “You’re not a slave, and you’re definitely not a baby girl like Amy, either.”  He gave her a side-long glance.  “Amy’s a sweet girl, but she’d drive me nuts.  A Daddy Dom I am not.”

“Good, because there’s no way I’m calling you Daddy.”

“Our dynamic would be more King and Princess.  You’d call me Sire.”

He was pleased when he saw her reluctant smile.  “All I want is for you to let go and allow me to lead you, to help you be free to be your true self.  You can depend on me, Jackie.”

Restlessly, Jackie got up and paced back and forth.  “It’s not like it’s just me, Scott.  I’m a mother.  I have two kids to care for, and they have to be my priority.  I can’t decide I’m going to just go off and do whatever I want.  Plus, there’s the business…”

She stopped pacing and faced him.  “I’m a whole ‘package deal’.  You don’t need all that.  You should be out meeting women who aren’t so tied down.”

Scott couldn’t stop the smirk as the image of a nude Jackie tied to the posts of a bed flashed through his mind.  She must have realized it, because she blushed bright red.  “I’ve met my share of women, Jackie.  Women who don’t mind being tied down.”

He chuckled.  “I’ve done the club scene, and I’m tired of casual sex.  When Blake told me he’d found someone, I have to admit, I felt envious.  I took a hard look at my life and I realized it was time to make a change.  I had no idea I’d meet someone so quickly.”

He considered going to her, but changed his mind, allowing her space.  “I’m attracted to you, Jackie, in a way I haven’t been to anyone else.  You have no idea how hard it was for me to resist you that night you came to my room.  Hell, to resist you last night.  You’re beautiful, Jackie, in case no one’s told you in a while.  That one perfect exposed breast?  I’ve had dreams about that.”

Jackie blushed, wrapping her arms around herself.

“Together we have an explosive chemistry.  I know you feel it, too.  I’m dying to take you to the next level.”

Arms still crossed, she shrugged.  “Yeah, we have physical chemistry.  Maybe it’s because it’s been a long time for me, I don’t know.  And I appreciate the things you’ve done, like taking care of things when Emma was sick, and Jesus, you saved Grant’s life.”

She started pacing again.  “And you washed my hair.  I couldn’t believe you did that.    So when you say, Now be my submissive,” she deepened her voice to imitate Scott, “it’s like I owe you.”

“You don’t owe me, Jackie.  I washed your hair because it was what you needed.  That’s what a Dom does.”  He gazed out through the woods and exhaled sharply.  “I think you’ve read too many so-called BDSM books about sadist Dominants.  That’s not what we’re talking about.  We’re talking about safe, sane, and consensual.  Always.”  He looked back to her.  “You can depend on me, Jackie.  I’ve got you.”

She walked to the edge of the clearing, her back to him.  Her voice was small.  “What if I depend on you, and you leave?  I don’t think I could survive that.  Better to be on my own and know what I’m getting.”

“Jackie, I’m not him.  I’m not that guy.”  Scott approached her, tentatively reaching out to touch her shoulder.  “I’m this guy, right here, asking you to let me share your burden, to lighten your load, and set you free.”

She reached up to put her hand on his.  Her voice was small.  “I don’t know if I can do that.”

Leaning down, he kissed her hand.  “Fair enough.”  Ignoring the ache in his heart, he cleared his throat.  “Are you about ready to go?”

Jackie nodded.  Scott returned to the log to retrieve his backpack and together, they headed along where the trail continued beyond the clearing.

Almost immediately, the path led downward, although not as steeply as the way up had done.  Before long, the forest ended at a rocky bluff about thirty feet above the lake.

“Is this where the trail ends?” Jackie asked.

Scott nodded.  “I saw it on the map.  It seemed like a good possibility for some of my more advanced clients, so I wanted to check it out.  I figured we’d rappel down to the lake.”

Jackie’s eyes widened.  “What?”

“Have you done any rappelling?”  Scott already knew the answer, having asked Blake about it earlier.

“No, I haven’t done any rappelling.”  Jackie eased forward and peered over the edge.  “Would you seriously send your students here?”

“Only those with the right kind of experience.”  He set down the backpack and removed a coil of black nylon rope.  Watching Jackie out of the corner of his eye, he uncoiled the rope and loosely wrapped the center of it around the base of a sturdy young spruce not far from the edge of the bluff.  He released the ends over the drop-off.  Peering over the edge, he realized the rope was several feet too short.

“Okay, Princess, it’s not optimal, but we’re going to make this work.  Watch how I do it.”

Scott stepped between the two sides of the rope and wrapped them behind his waist, bringing them forward and stepping through them to create a temporary harness.  He had Jackie practice it, too, until she was able to do it herself.

“I’ll go down first, then it will be your turn.”

scott climbing

Scott rigged himself again and back stepped to the edge.  “Now when you go, just lean back and start walking.”  He leaned back and began letting himself down the bluff.  About twenty feet down, he came to the end of the rope.

He looked up to Jackie who lay on her stomach peering down over the edge.  “The rope’s a little short.  For the last few feet you’re going to have to fall.”  Before Jackie could respond, he released the rope and dropped the final eight feet, landing on his feet.

“Okay, Jackie, it’s your turn.”

“This is crazy.”

“Like I said, it’s not optimal, but it’s not so bad.  Go ahead and get the rope situated.  I’ve got you.”

Jackie worked the rope liked she’d practiced and backed to the cliff’s edge.  “This is crazy,” she repeated.

“You’ve got this, Jackie,” Scott encouraged.

Slowly, Jackie leaned back like she’d seen Scott do, and she took a faltering step backwards.  Her foot slipped, and she banged against the granite.

“It’s okay, just get your footing and keep coming.”

From below, he heard her huff, but she set her feet and leaned back again, taking a step at a time until she was about eight feet above his head.

“Now Jackie, this is where you’ll let go and drop the rest of the way.”

She froze on the cliff face.  “I can’t do it.  I’m going to fall.”

“I’ve got you, don’t worry.”

He watched as she debated with herself.  She finally shook her head.  “I can’t.  I’m terrified.”

“You know, Jackie, sometimes you just have to let go and fall.  But I promise I’ll catch you.”  Watching her carefully, he stood on the shoreline below, arms outstretched.

He heard her huff again.  “You’ll catch me?”

“I promise.  I’m not going anywhere.”

“Okay.  Here goes.”  With that, Jackie released her grip on the ropes and plunged into Scott’s waiting arms.  Automatically, he hugged her tightly as they sank onto a boulder on the shoreline.  He felt her heart pounding.

“Admit it,” he murmured, nuzzling her neck, “it was kind of a rush.”

“Oh, my God, I thought I was going to die.  That’s the scariest thing I’ve ever done.”

“Would you do it again?”

Jackie peered up at him and smiled reluctantly.  “Maybe.”

The cover reveal for WARRIOR MINE will be happening soon, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, if you haven’t read LOST & BOUND, now would be a great time to catch up.

Lost & Bound new cover 2

Weekend Excerpt–RANSOMING REDEMPTION

RANSOMING REDEMPTION is the third and final book of Rannigan’s Redemption, my ‘spicy vanilla’ erotic romance law drama.

Rannigan’s Redemption is the story of hotshot Manhattan criminal defense attorney Michael Rannigan, and his complicated relationship with Maggie Flynn, the smart redhead he hires straight out of law school to join his elite practice.

By the last book, Michael and Maggie have been friends for years.  Although she’s not anything like the vapid, surgically-enhanced blondes he favors, he’s never been able to shake the attraction he feels for her.

Now, though, this inveterate player feels the need to make amends for the ways he’s used people, to find redemption for all the ways he’s failed those around him, Maggie in particular.

So he hatches a plan to make sure that no matter what might happen in the future, Maggie will be happy.  And he’ll do it, too, even if he has to give her a little push.

Here’s a snippet from RANSOMING REDEMPTION.

Standing in the empty parlor three steps down from the entry, Maggie’s gaze traveled from the intricately designed hardwood floors to the crisp white crown molding, halting in amazement on the ornate stone federalist fireplace.  Winnie was giving a running narrative though Maggie only half heard her.  “Now you’ll notice lots of original details throughout this property.”

“When was this house built?” Michael asked.

“Got to be late 1800s,” Maggie murmured thoughtfully.

“1890 to be precise,” said Winnie sounding pleased.  “You know your architecture.  It’s believed that it was originally built to be the home of a gentleman’s mistress.  He set her up in grand style.”

Maggie giggled.  “Ooh, how scandalous!  What an interesting history.”  She walked the perimeter of the room.  “Michael, do you see the wood inlay in the floor all around the edge?” she asked, stooping to lightly caress the design.  “This is just exquisite.”

She turned to Michael suddenly.  “You’re not seriously considering moving?”

He shook his head.  “Nah, this would be an investment.  I wanted your opinion on the place, though.”  Crossing to a bay window that overlooked the sidewalk and street, he sank onto the seat and put his oxygen back in.  “How about you look it over for me and see what you think.”

Winnie nodded.  “If you go on back, you’ll see they’ve upgraded the kitchen while keeping the original style of the place intact.”

Maggie continued down the hallway past a formal dining room and into the kitchen.  As Winnie had said, it was spacious and open, boasting high end stainless steel appliances and stone counter tops, but nothing overpowered the original stone floor and fireplace.  At the end of the room was a space for a breakfast table and beyond that, tall vintage French doors.

“Oh, Michael, there’s a yard back here,” she called, letting herself out into a small gravel courtyard dominated by a huge old oak tree and edged by landscaping beds.  There are probably tulip and daffodil bulbs that pop up in the spring, Maggie mused.  The brick walls of the garden were covered with ivy.

She returned to the parlor.  “Michael, this is absolutely amazing.”

“You like it, then?” he asked, seeming pleased.

“It’s beautiful.  Maybe you should think about moving,” she said.

“You haven’t seen the upstairs yet,” Winnie reminded her.  “This house has four bedrooms and four and a half baths.  The master suite takes up the entire second floor.  Two bedrooms are on the third floor, and there’s a smaller attic bedroom at the top.  Oh, and the basement is finished.  It’s perfect for a home office or a gym.”

Maggie had just started up the stairs when Michael called from the window seat.  “Hey, Mags?  Do you have a couple of dollars?”

“A couple of dollars?”

“Yeah.  I want to buy a newspaper.”

“Michael, I’ll buy you a paper on the way home.”

“There’s a little store on the corner,” he hooked his thumb toward the window, “I just forgot my wallet.  Can you loan me some money?”

Maggie returned to the living room.  “Oh, for fu-,” she glanced at Winnie, “I mean, for Pete’s sake,” she muttered as she dug though her purse.  “Here’s five bucks.  Honestly, I would be happy to get your paper when we’re finished here.”

Michael flashed his best grin.  “Thanks, Mags.  By the way, can you sign as a witness?  I’ve decided to buy the house.”

Maggie frowned at the document in his hand.  “We haven’t even looked at the rest of it yet.”

“I’ve seen the pictures.  And judging by the way you like this floor, I’m thinking this is a good deal.”

She took the document from him, her brow furrowed in thought.

“Maggie, wait until you see the claw foot tubs in the bathrooms,” Winnie said.  “And they’ve maintained the vintage tile on the floors and walls.”  Maggie looked up from the contract.

“Just sign below me, Mags,” Michael said, pointing to the line.  Distractedly, she took the pen from him and quickly signed her name as Winnie continued talking.

“And the master suite has its own original fireplace similar to the one down here.  Let me show you.”

Taking one last look at Michael, Maggie dutifully followed the realtor up the stairs.  Michael smiled smugly to himself.

RANSOMING REDEMPTION, Book 3 of Rannigan’s Redemption,
is available at your favorite online bookseller,
in both digital and paperback formats.
books2read.com/RansomingRedemption

 

But be sure to start at Book 1,
RESISTING RISK:
books2read.com/ResistingRisk

 

And pssst, just between you and me…
I’ve posted RESISTING RISK chapter by chapter on Book+Main.
Or you can read it in its entirety for FREE at Bellesa.co.

 

Weekend Excerpt–LOST & BOUND

Lost & Bound promo new1

My Dream Dominant Collection is a series of stand-alone contemporary erotic romance novels featuring hot Alpha males, strong red-haired women, and light BDSM themes.  LOST & BOUND is the second book in the collection.

In LOST & BOUND, following a brush with the law, actress Shasta Pyke is sent to cool her heels for a few weeks in the wilderness of northern Ontario.  It’s there that she meets ruggedly handsome Blake Walker, an experienced bush pilot who helps run his family’s remote guest lodge on Lake Miranda.

Initially, Blake’s not too impressed with the lodge’s sole VIP guest.  But as he spends time with her, he begins to see the frightened little girl she hides from the world.  Could it be that Shasta Pyke is the baby girl this Daddy Dom has been looking for?

Here’s an excerpt from LOST & BOUND.

Blake had heard the car pull up.  He dawdled, swiping at imaginary smudges on the passenger door of the de Havilland Beaver that rested at the end of the dock.  He had no desire to get caught up in whatever celebrity fanfare accompanied their new guest’s arrival.

The voices faded after everyone went inside and still Blake waited a few minutes longer before making his way back up the dock toward the front of the lodge.  He was surprised to see a young woman standing alone in the clearing in the center of the cabins.  Her back was to him and he took a moment to watch her.

His first impression was that she was sexy as hell.  Her shoulder-length hair was bright red, and expensive-looking sunglasses sat perched on top of her head.  She was wearing a white halter blouse with a very short black skirt.  Her high-heeled shoes were bright pink suede and they wobbled precariously as she marched around holding her mobile phone in front of her like a divining rod.

When he told her about the lack of signal, she whipped around, giving him a glare that would freeze lava.  Fine, lady, have it your way, he thought.

Thankfully, Jackie came out with a smarmy-looking older guy in an expensive Italian suit.  Blake busied himself retrieving a mountain of bags from the trunk of the black Lincoln.  He noticed that the guest of honor grabbed the suit’s arm and pulled him off to the side for a little chat.  He wondered if her tone was any friendlier with him, and he figured that it wasn’t.

He’d just finished loading all the bags into the front of the red aluminum skiff when Pink Shoes came tapping down the dock.  His gaze started at the shoes and slid up shapely legs to the tight skirt and curved hips.  The deep V in the halter top hinted at stellar tits and her lips were a deep red.  She wore too much makeup in his estimation, but there was no denying that Shasta Pyke was hot.

“Are you ready to head over to the island?”

He watched her grip her huge black leather shoulder bag, hiking it higher up on her bare shoulder.  “Um, yes, please.”

Blake wasn’t sure, but she seemed embarrassed by her earlier behavior.  He offered her his hand and she took it, gingerly stepping into the boat.  She sat on the center bench, facing forward, away from him, and clutching her bag like it was a life preserver.

***

               They didn’t speak during the ten-minute ride across the water to the small island in the middle of Lake Miranda.  It would have been difficult over the roar of the small outboard motor, even had she been facing him.

Blake expertly angled the small boat to rest beside the tiny dock and killed the motor, tying off his end before jumping out and tying the front end as well.  Then he again offered his hand, helping Shasta climb out of the boat and onto the dock.

She stood taking in the view as he unloaded her things.  The lodge was visible across the water, seemingly closer than it actually was, judging by the ten-minute ride.  If she hadn’t been in such a foul mood, she would have found the place beautiful.  The only sound she could hear was the wind in the tops of the countless pine trees covering the island.  It would be a short climb up to the crest of the island where a log cabin sat.  She could see a stone-surrounded fire pit flanked by a quartet of dark green wooden Adirondack chairs and further away, stretched between two large pines, was a white canvas hammock.

When all her things were on the dock, Blake turned to her.  “Let me take you to the cabin.  There are a few things I need to show you.”

He took off up the hill and Shasta teetered along behind him, carefully avoiding large rocks that were in the way.  “Are you making it?” he called over his shoulder.

“I’ve got this, don’t worry about me,” she muttered.

Blake turned away and grinned to himself.  He was waiting for her when she finally made it up the hill.  “I hope you brought other shoes.”

Out of breath, Shasta put her hands on her hips and nodded.

He unlocked the door and held it open for her to enter the cabin.  She stepped into an open room featuring a seating area in front of a fireplace immediately to her right.  Further into the room, a kitchen was arranged in the back left quarter of the space with a cast iron stove on the back wall and a kitchen table pushed against the right wall down from the fireplace.  Between the fireplace and the kitchen table was a small desk that held some sort of radio equipment.  Shasta peered into an alcove to her left and saw that it was a tiny bedroom.

“Now,” Blake was saying, “the lights run on propane.  You turn this little lever and you can light them with a lighter.  The fridge and the cooktop also run on propane.  Same thing, you turn the knob and then light it with the lighter.  I already lit the pilot on the fridge and it should be fine.”  He indicated a small metal box beneath the kitchen counter.

Wordlessly, Shasta followed him around the room, trying to take in all his instructions.  “Now if you want to bake, or if you’re just cold, you can build a fire in the stove.”  He showed her where to put the wood.  “And there’s always the fireplace.  Wood is stacked outside against the back of the cabin.  I can always bring you more, too.”

He waved at the few kitchen cabinets.  “We’ve stocked the cabinets and the refrigerator but if you need anything, just let me know.”  He headed for the door.  “Water comes from a spring near the front of the island.”

“Wait.  What?”

“Water.  You know, to drink?”

Desperately, Shasta searched the room, making a beeline to the sink.  Instead of a faucet, there was a green-painted old-fashioned hand pump.  She worked the handle a few times and a spurt of water came out.  She looked back to him, bewildered.

“Well, you can’t drink that.  Not without boiling it for about ten minutes.  It comes straight out of the lake.  Use it for dishes and things.  You can drink the spring water right out of the ground.”

“Wait a second.  Where’s the bathroom?”

“I was just going to show you.  Follow me.”

Blake headed out the door and Shasta followed along behind him.  He turned down the right side of the cabin, following a narrow trail through the trees.  Shortly, the path opened onto a small clearing and to the right of the clearing was a tiny log structure.  “Here’s your bathroom,” he pointed.

She began to shake her head.  “Oh, no, no, no, no, no,” she murmured.  “There must be some mistake.  I don’t do outhouses.  Does Eddie know about this?” she demanded.

“Who’s Eddie?” Blake returned, picturing the smarmy suit guy.

“No.  Absolutely not.  This is completely unacceptable.  Besides,” she breathed deeply, trying to regain her composure, “where is the shower?”

“Well, some guests bathe in the lake.”  He took in her incredulous expression and continued.  “On the other hand, we do have a solar shower.  I’ll show you.”

Shasta followed him down the other side of the cabin, to the place where the tiny bedroom jutting out from the main cabin made a little sheltered corner.  A post was situated in the corner with a pulley rigged to the top.

“This is a solar shower.”  Blake held up a large flat rectangular vinyl pouch that was clear on one side and black on the other.  The clear side had a large round valve and there was a handle on one end.  The other end had clear tubing attached and at the end of the tubing was a tiny shower head.

“You fill this up with water, seal the valve, and lay it out in the sun.  The dock is a good place.”  He watched as Shasta held her forehead with the palm of one hand, gaping at him in disbelief.  “Anyway, when you’re ready for a shower, you hang it up here,” he indicated the pulley, “and just shower away.  The spruce trees right here make for privacy, although you shouldn’t have any folks out on the lake, seeing as how you’ve rented out the whole place.”

Wordlessly, Shasta turned and hobbled back to the front of the cabin, sinking into one of the Adirondack chairs.  Blake followed, hands in his pockets, uncertain whether or not to continue the tour.  She glanced up at him, deciding to change tacks.

“Listen,” she smoothed, “we seem to have gotten off on the wrong foot.”  She pasted on her dazzling Shasta Pyke smile.  “Obviously, there’s been some kind of mistake.”  Standing, she approached him, pushing her glasses back up onto her head and fixing him with soft brown eyes.

“Here’s the thing.”  She reached out to stroke his arm, biting her lower lip provocatively.  “I can’t stay here.  And you don’t want me here, not really.  The place is already paid for.  Just,” she stepped closer, brushing her breasts against his arm, “maybe you could drive me someplace where I can get a cab or an Uber or something, and I’ll be out of your hair.”  She wrinkled her nose and winked.  “What do you say?”

A slow smile spread across Blake’s face.  “What do I say?”  He laughed lightly, shaking head.  “I say, you’re a piece of work, lady.”  With that, he turned.  “I’ll leave you to it, then.”

“Wait!” she shouted after him.  “You can’t just leave me here!”

He waved over his head and didn’t turn around.

“Come back here!  You come back here right now!”

Wordlessly, he cast off from the dock and pushed the boat away from the shallow water.

“What about my bags?  They need to be taken to the cabin!”

“And it will be dark soon.  So you might want to get on that,” Blake chuckled.

Shasta was on the dock by now and she stomped her foot, fists balled at her sides.  “Do you know who I am?” she screamed.

“You look to me like a little brat who needs her ass tanned,” he fired back.

She shrieked unintelligibly and threw a rock at the boat.  She missed by a mile and the rock plonked harmlessly into the water.

Blake laughed again, started the engine, and headed back to the lodge.

LOST & BOUND is available at your favorite online bookseller:
books2read.com/LostandBound

I’m currently hard at work on WARRIOR MINE, Dream Dominant Book 4.  Although it’s a stand-alone novel, it’s a spin-off from LOST & BOUND.

I’m planning on a summer release.  Keep watching for the reveal of the gorgeous cover, designed by the ever-sexy and talented Linzi Basset.

Weekend Excerpt–RUNNING ROGUE

RUNNING ROGUE is Book Two of Rannigan’s Redemption, a ‘spicy vanilla’ three-novel erotic romance law drama.   Rannigan’s Redemption is the story of the complicated relationship between bad boy Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan and Maggie Flynn, the smart redhead he hires to join his prestigious firm.

Michael is a rogue, an inveterate player with a stable of surgically-enhanced bottle-blondes at his beck and call.  Maggie’s smart and capable, maybe even a better lawyer than Michael, if he stops to think about it.  She’s too smart for his sexual tastes, definitely not his type.  So why can’t he get her out of his mind?

Maggie has been in love with him from the beginning.  She knows how he operates, and that the situation is all but hopeless.  But she sees the man he could be.  For now, she’s content to work with him.

If the first book, RESISTING RISK, sets up the story, RUNNING ROGUE is all about change.  Just when you think you know where the story’s going, it all blows up.  In this book, Michael and Maggie are going their separate ways, each making questionable decisions in their personal and professional lives.  Then one day, Michael receives news that shakes him to his core.

Here’s a snippet from RUNNING ROGUE.  **Warning–Spoilers abound.**

Michael?” Maggie asked into the intercom.

“Hey, Mags.”  His voice sounded tinny over the ancient device.  “I know it’s late.  I’m sorry.  But when I saw your light on, I mean…  Can I come up?”

Maggie hesitated, her finger hovering over the button.  “What do you want, Michael?”

“Mags, I just…I just want to talk.”

She shook her head, checking the time again.  What the hell?  And he’s probably drunk.  Standing out there in the rain like he’s got absolutely no sense. 

She pressed the door buzzer.  “Don’t wake my neighbors,” she admonished him.

Maggie pulled the wooly cream colored robe tighter around herself, tying the belt securely and she stalked to the door, opening it to wait for Michael.  She watched him coming up the stairs, his soaked hair matted to his head.  His wet shoes squeaked softly with each footfall.  She started to say something snippy but noticed the haunted look in his eyes, so she simply stepped back and let him into the apartment.  She closed the door behind him and walked to the kitchen counter where she leaned back, crossing her arms, head cocked at him expectantly.

Michael stood just inside the doorway, rainwater pooling all around his feet.  He looked ill at ease and uncertain.

“Well?” she finally said.

He ran his fingers through his wet hair and sighed deeply.

“Oh for God’s sake, Michael!”  She left him standing there and returned with a large blue towel.  “You’re soaked.”

She took his jacket from him and hung it over the back of a kitchen chair.  As he used the towel to dry his face and hair, she couldn’t help herself.  “Are you drunk?”

He frowned and shook his head.  “I’m not drunk.  I had some bourbon.  I might be drunk.  A little.”

Maggie rolled her eyes.  “Sit down.  I’m making you some coffee so we can send you home.  Have you eaten lately?”

“I don’t know.”  Michael sank onto a chair at the kitchen table.  He glanced around as Maggie busied herself putting a kettle of water on the stove and taking a French press from a cupboard.

“I hope I’m not causing a problem with your fiancé.  Husband?  Whatever.”

Maggie paused to look at him, her lips forming a grim line.  “Yeah, well, that didn’t work out so…no worries.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be.”

She worked in silence breaking eggs into a bowl and putting strips of bacon into a skillet as Michael sat at the table and occasionally used the towel to swipe at his face.   On the stove, the bacon began to sizzle as the kettle whistled.  Maggie poured the boiling water into the press and let it stand for a moment as she chopped a small onion and part of a green pepper.

“Did you know Stan Hodges died?” Michael finally asked.

Maggie arched an eyebrow.  “I was at the funeral.  Where were you?”

“I don’t know,” he answered vaguely.  He watched her grate cheddar into the eggs.  Then she pressed the plunger on the coffee and poured some into a cornflower blue mug with a white script ‘M’ on the side.

M for Maggie. Or Michael.  He shook his head to dismiss the inane thought.  Looking around the small apartment, he asked, “Why are you still here?”

Maggie glanced over her shoulder.  “What, I should move uptown into one of your glass and steel monstrosities?”

“I was just thinking that you could afford a bigger place, that’s all.”

“This may be a tiny apartment but this building has soul.  Once upon a time, a family called this place home.  Maybe I can’t afford to own a whole townhouse but at least I can rent a small part of it.”

Michael watched her for a moment.  “You could have bought your own townhouse if you’d stayed with the firm.”

Maggie turned around and leaned against the counter, crossing her arms.  “If I’d stayed, I’d have been out of a job along with everyone else.  You really tanked everyone, you know that, right?”

He looked down at his hands.  “I wouldn’t have pursued the television thing if you’d still been there.”

She snorted, returning to her cutting board.  “Bullshit.  Being on the news every night is exactly your thing.  You can’t put that off on me.”

She set the coffee in front of him.  “What are you doing here, Michael?”

He stalled, sipping the steaming hazelnut blend.  “This isn’t where I meant to be.  I went out and ended up down here in the Village.  I was at the Blue Note until they kicked everybody out.  I got a little lost and then realized I was across the street from your apartment.”

Maggie turned back to her omelet, stirring in the vegetables.  The bacon had quieted down and she turned over the strips, causing them to erupt into loud sizzling once again.  “Why are you here?” she asked again.

“I’m sick,” he said quietly.

“I don’t doubt it.  It’s forty degrees outside and you’re soaked.  It’s a wonder you don’t have pneumonia.”

“It’s cancer.”

Maggie froze mid-stir.  “What?”  Slowly, she turned around.

“Cancer.”

“Shit.”  She crossed to the table and sank onto the chair across from him, gaping at him wide-eyed.

“There was this spot.  And then they found out it was melanoma.”  Michael’s face twisted.  “Mags, you wouldn’t believe the chunk they cut out of my shoulder.”

“Well, they got it then,” she said.  “Good.  That’s good, right?”

“Bacon’s burning,” Michael said quietly.

“Fuck!”  She jumped up and took the pan off the burner.

“I like it that way,” he offered as she set the strips of bacon on a paper towel to drain and poured the omelet into the pan.

“So after they took the hunk out of my arm they did a biopsy.  It was melanoma, just like the doctor said.  Then they had me get a PET scan.  Said they needed to see if it had spread.”

Maggie worked mechanically at the egg mixture in the pan, listening intently as he spoke.  “And?” she asked as she slid the omelet onto a blue ceramic plate.  She placed it in front of him and sat down again.

“And they called this afternoon to say they have the results.  The doctor wouldn’t discuss it over the phone.  He wants me to come in tomorrow.”  He looked down at the plate.  “He said I should have someone with me.”

“Oh my God.  Michael.”

He nodded.  “I started making phone calls.  That’s how I found out about Stan.  Which was after I called Murph and then Jimbo.  They pretty much told me to go fuck myself.”

Maggie watched him grimly.  I imagine they did. 

“I called some of the women I go out with.  I guess everybody has a lot going on.”  He sighed.  “I thought about calling you.  But, I don’t know.  I’ve been an asshole.  Plus I figured you were busy with getting married and stuff.”  He met her eyes.  “I didn’t mean to come here, honest to God.”

She watched him pick at the omelet.  “My agent’s pissed at me because I bailed on some appearances.  Asking her to come with me is out of the question.  She’s probably not in town anyway.”

Michael shook his head.  “I don’t know why they’re insisting that someone comes with me to that appointment tomorrow.  I should just go and find out what the scan shows, figure out where to go from there.  It’s just…”  His voice broke.  “Mags, I’m scared shitless.”  He put down the fork and held his head in his hands.

Maggie could never have imagined a scenario in which S. Michael Rannigan would break down sobbing at her kitchen table.  She felt as though her heart would break.

“Michael,” she said softly, standing beside him, placing her hand on his shoulder.  His body shook as he let loose the emotions that had been building since the day the nightmare had started.  “It’s okay,” she murmured.  “It’s okay, everything’s going to be alright.”  She waited for him to quiet down.  “What time is your appointment?”

Michael sat up, sniffing and using the towel to wipe his face.  “Shit.”  He coughed and took a sip of coffee.  “I have to be there at 1:30.”

Maggie looked over to where her files still sat scattered in the living room.  She knew they probably represented ten hours of work for the following day and sighed heavily.  “Where is the doctor’s office?”

“It’s on E. 80th between 2nd and 3rd.”

She nodded.  “Okay.  I’ll tell Rance that I have to leave at lunch.  I’ll meet you there.”

“I can’t ask you to do that,” Michael said quickly, but he looked at her with such gratitude she felt the sting of tears in her eyes and a huge lump formed in her throat.

She coughed lightly.  “You didn’t ask, although you seem to have asked everyone else in your Contacts, and I’m going to try not to take that personally,” she said.  “I’m offering.  Take it or leave it.”

Michael smiled thinly.  “I’ve missed your smartass.  I’d be so glad to have you with me.”

Maggie nodded.  “Done.  But if for some reason I’m running late, you go on in.  I’ll be there.  I promise.”  She took his plate and warmed it in the microwave before placing it in front of him again.  “Now finish this up.  I’m calling you a cab and sending you on your way.”

Use this link to get your copy of RUNNING ROGUE
at your favorite online bookseller:
books2read.com/RunningRogue

Or start at the beginning with
RESISTING RISK: books2read.com/ResistingRisk

Out Today! HIS DEVIL’S MERCY by Linzi Basset

Linzi Basset1

Great news!  The next installment of Linzi Basset’s Club Devil’s Cove series, Book 4, HIS DEVIL’S MERCY, is out today!

Have you met Maximilian Shaw?

“Horny, baby?”

Horny was putting it mildly. Max was a weakness, her body refused to give up. Her life, for one reason or another always circled back to him.

Sometimes he saved her. Sometimes she saved him.

*********************************************************

“Whatever makes you think I’m done with you, baby?”

Max was also insatiable—a ferocious lover and a devilish Dom. Fantasy material as he was, for a lot of subs at the Club Devil’s Cove, his hungry eyes were squarely on Joanne, who wore kink like she was born for it. She brought out something in him that no one else could. Max wanted to keep her safe from the danger still looming on the horizon. But who would save her . . . from Max?

*********************************************************

“Mercy? When it comes to you and me, there’s no mercy, luv. For neither of us.”

As the dance of passion ensues, Max and Joanne must find the trust and resilience to weather the storm headed their way. The decisions that Max makes now, will decide the difference between life and death. Will he find the strength to deliver them through the vicious spiral of lies and espionage?  Or will their hopes crash and burn?

And ultimately, who will save them . . . from themselves?

Linzi Basset2

Here’s a little teaser…

“Now wasn’t that refreshing, my pet?”

“You’re a fucking asshole,” Joanne managed to say, still gasping.

“If you want to insult me, I expect you to do it at least correctly, sub,” Max warned.

“You, Master Jag, are a fucking asshole,” she snapped.

“You’ve always been a fast learner, my pet.” Max was in his element. He loved the way her eyes lit up with anger at him. The fact that she didn’t try and hide it, excited him to no end. It was the one thing that challenged him as a Dom—a bratty sub. It offered so many satisfying opportunities to exert his dominance.

“Are you ready for your final turn, Violet? I have a craving to hear your throaty cries fill my ears.”

“Just fucking spin the wheel, Sir asshole!”

“You might have been out of the lifestyle for a year, sub, but in here, I won’t tolerate your continued disrespect.” This time there was no mistaking the warning in his voice. Joanne stared at him, realizing just how badly she’d been behaving. She’d become so used to being the one in charge that she was on the edge of acting like a Domme herself.

“Care to try that again, Violet?”

“Please spin the wheel, Sir,” she cooed in a sugar-sweet voice.

“That’s much better,” Max chuckled dangerously and set the wheel turning. By the time it stopped, Joanne was feeling giddy. There was anticipation in the room about what was coming. When Max pulled out a short-tailed flogger from his toy bag, she knew why.

“I see you know what’s coming, luv and I’m delighted that it excites you so much.” He dragged in a deep breath with his nose tilted upward. “Ah, such an enticing aroma. Is your pussy eager to feel the sting of my flogger, my pet?”

Joanne bit her lip. She refused to respond and wished she could press her knees together to contain the lust that throbbed afresh in her loins.

Links for HIS DEVIL’S MERCY:
Amazon: https://buff.ly/2KvvR7k
AmazonUK: https://buff.ly/2rPS8G5
Universal Link: https://buff.ly/2IqGGa1

 

If you haven’t started the series yet, now is the time to click here and catch up before this book is released and remember, it’s available on Amazon Kindle Unlimited.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2HfFKFU
AmazonUK: https://amzn.to/2HcQ5lO

 

Feel free to stalk Linzi Basset:

Website: www.linzibassetauthor.com
Twitter: http://bit.ly/2wjRgc8
On facebook: Friend me on: http://bit.ly/2gJZyYV
Like my Facebook page: http://bit.ly/2wSmpI9
Follow me on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2wS2dpS and UK – http://amzn.to/2ePQlK9
Follow me on MEWE: https://mewe.com/i/linzi.basset
Join Linzi’s Lair on MEWE: https://mewe.com/join/linzis-lair
Follow me on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2vZw6EP
All Author-Page: http://bit.ly/2wUxYxF

Sexy Summer Snippet–JUST ONE NIGHT Anniversary

JON new-updated June 2018

Just in time for the second anniversary of its publication, JUST ONE NIGHT, my naughty little summer novella, has a brand new look!

In the story, teacher Katie Parker is on her annual Girls’ Getaway vacation cruise in the Caribbean with her besties from high school.  This year, she’s determined to find a handsome stranger to help her forget about her latest romantic disaster.  All she wants is a night of anonymous passion.

Mac Coleman, traveling to Mexico for his brother’s wedding, is more than happy to go along with Katie’s plan.  But now, can he convince her that what they’ve found is worth more than just one night?

Here’s a steamy little snippet.

Dressed in fluffy white bathrobes emblazoned with the crest of the cruise line, Mac and Katie took their glasses out onto the veranda.  The full moon was setting on the horizon as a light tropical breeze ruffled their hair.

Mac watched her thoughtfully.  “This is revenge sex, isn’t it?  Somebody did you wrong.”

Katie returned his gaze but said nothing.

“I don’t mean to pry.  I know you said no personal information.  But you don’t strike me as the kind of woman who does this kind of thing all the time.”

She sighed.  “I don’t.  Like I said, this is a ‘one night only’ event.  Besides,” she looked away, “he wouldn’t care anyway.”

“Then he’s a damn fool.”

Katie laughed humorlessly.  “Be that as it may…”

Mac gazed out over the water.  “I haven’t had the best luck myself.  My last relationship ended in a restraining order.”  Katie looked at him sharply.  “I mean, I had to take out a restraining order after I broke up with her and she started stalking me.  I’m moving to get away from her.”

Unable to resist, Katie blurted her question.  “You’re moving to get away from a woman?”

“Well, it’s also a good opportunity.  A promotion and a raise and all.  But mostly, I don’t want to have to deal with her anymore.  A new town, a new job…all waiting for me when I get back.”

Katie sipped her wine thoughtfully.  “I suppose all in all, it worked out for you.

“I suppose.”  They stood in companionable silence, appreciating the soft Caribbean breeze caressing their faces and the quiet rumble of the ship’s engines tickling their feet.

Mac turned to Katie.  “I’m wondering if there’s any chance of us getting together tomorrow night.”

She smiled sadly.  “That would be breaking the rules.  Just one night, remember?”

“You sort of have this school teacher thing about rules, don’t you?”

Again, Katie looked at him sharply and didn’t respond.

Mac reached to grasp a lock of her red hair and twisted it around his finger.  “Well, seeing as how we have just this one night, I’d like very much to take you back to bed and make love to you one more time.”

Back inside the cabin, he gently helped her off with her robe and into bed, before dropping his own and climbing in beside her.  Head propped on one elbow, he gazed down at her, lightly tracing his finger along her body.  “You’re so pretty,” he murmured, leaning down to capture her lips with his own.  Katie responded, wrapping her arms around his broad shoulders, kissing him passionately.

In contrast to their earlier frenzied and frenetic fucking, this time was unhurried and deliberate.  Mac placed himself between her legs, nudging them further apart with his own, and he held himself over her.  Katie gripped his shoulders as he slid himself home, fresh condom in place, and began pumping himself slowly in and out of her battered sex.  The pair kept their eyes locked on each other as once again, their moments built, Katie raising her knees to allow him to penetrate her as deeply as possible.  She shattered as she came this time, crying out unintelligibly and he followed after her, pausing to plant a chaste kiss on her lips before collapsing on the bed beside her.

At only 99¢, JUST ONE NIGHT is the cheapest vacation you ever loved.

Use this link to get your copy: books2read.com/JustOneNight