Category Archives: Other Authors
Rhythm guitarist, Spook Mortensen doesn’t want a second chance with sound engineer, Allegra Hutton– not over a table, in a limo or in bed.
Spook Mortensen has one rule when it comes to relationships: just say no. He has his reasons. Good reasons. His policy of total abstinence has kept him out of trouble for years. Sex ought to be the last thing on his mind, but whenever go-getting sound engineer Allegra Hutton shows up, she doesn’t just hijack his libido, she downright screws with it. The only way to deal with her is to tie her up.
Alle realizes she’s upsetting Spook’s rhythm, but she’s under no illusion that he’s the right top to warm her bottom.
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“Let’s go into the party suite.”
It was only a few short steps across the hall. Spook tried the door handle, then ushered her inside. The huge room was all decked out for when the auditorium emptied. Tables and chairs set out around the edges, canapés on the bar, and row upon row of filled crystal glasses waiting to be served.
Spook grabbed a glass off the nearest tray and downed it in one long gulp before reaching for another.
“In need of Dutch courage?” she asked.
“Guess so.” Second drained, he went for a third. “Course it’d help if it was something stronger than pissing sherry.” He slammed the glass back down against the tablecloth, then looked a little sheepish, possibly over how much force he’d used, though equally it could have been over his treatment of her. Perhaps indicative of its quality, the glass remained intact.
“OK!” He paused to drag both hands through the front of his hair, which left the blond strands sticking up. “Yeah. I’m sorry, I —”
“I’ve driven you to drink,” she remarked, casting a glance at the row of empties.
“Demented,” he corrected her. “You’ve driven me demented, as if the band didn’t do that already.”
“Pretty impressive of me, given we haven’t spoken for months.”
He took a deep breath and sighed, but faced her straight on. “I thought about you. A lot.
Maybe too much. Definitely too much.”
“Nice things?” she asked. Yes, she was fishing for compliments, but hey, five minutes ago she didn’t think they’d ever be having this conversation.
“Depends on your definition of nice.”
“Naughty,” she replied. “As in things that turned you on, and maybe got you sweating a little, and hard.” She flicked her gaze down to his loins and back.
Spook gave a groan. “I’d be lying if I said otherwise.”
“So, why didn’t you call?”
His hand shot out to seize another drink. Alle curled her fingers around his outstretched arm, making him pause. Slowly, he released the stem of the glass and steadied his gaze upon her face again. “Because this can’t be.”
“Why not? Is there someone else?”
“No — hell, no!” His brow furrowed. “There’s nobody.”
“Then you’re making no sense. What’s wrong with us enjoying some adult fun?” She sought his hand to link their fingers together.
Spook’s frown only deepened at the sight of their palms pressed together so tightly, but, she noticed, he didn’t pull away. “Alle, I can’t be who you want me to be.”
The ludicrousness of the remark surprised a smile out of her. “You are who I want you to be.”
“No.” He freed his fingers from her grip and used them to cover her mouth. ‘I’m not. I know you think you’ve found the person who’ll give you what you’re craving, but I’m not that man. I can’t… I’m sorry.’
‘Did I imagine you tanning my arse?’
‘Am I supposed to believe you’re not interested in doing it again?’
‘Of course not.
“Then what? Why? If you want it and I want it… Spook, we want the same thing, don’t we?
Why are you so dead against exploring that?”
He clammed up, lips pursed, deep, ocean-blue eyes downcast as he turned his hand to cup her cheek and chase a tear of frustration that tracked down her face.
“It was good between us, Spook.”
“Yes, it was. Better than good.”
She blinked, trying to clear her eyes, and not crumple into a blubbering heap. She was stronger than that. She didn’t cry, not with four brothers who’d mocked her mercilessly for it.
Tears had never got her what she wanted, quite the opposite. At home, her tears were what had marked her as a girl and had stopped her from getting her the same deal as the rest of her siblings. She couldn’t wipe the salt tracks from her skin though, without knocking Spook’s hand out of the way, and no matter what, she wouldn’t break that contact.
“I’m not worth crying over.”
“I’m not crying.”
He caught another tear on his fingertips and brought it to the tip of his tongue. Mesmerized, she watched him taste it, and felt her panties get wet. Sweet mercy! She could see him doing that after he’d pushed her to the limits of her endurance and she was just a breath away from numbness, sunk deep into a sort of sub-space of stretched nerves, surrender, and bliss. Her gasp left her lips gently parted and the remainder of her breath caught in the top of her lungs.
Spook’s gaze fixed upon her breasts, then lifted slowly back to her mouth.
She was going to kiss him.
She didn’t care if he pushed her away.
She was going to kiss him.
Kiss him now.
Mastered 2 Box Set Author Spotlight Series, Day 5: One Night With My Billionaire Master by Cynthia Sax
Happy Saturday! We’ve had plenty of exciting nights with the deliciously naughty characters of the Mastered 2 BDSM box set. Now, we get to spend a night in the lap of luxury with Cynthia Sax’s “One Night With My Billionaire Master”!
Arianna asks herself if one night with billionaire financier Logan Ross will be enough.
Arianna, the daughter of a media mogul, is secretly lusting after Logan Ross, her father’s number one enemy. Yes, this isn’t a good situation. She wants him, craves his touch, but she knows if she’s caught indulging her desires, her father will disown her. She’ll be cut off from the family, losing her emotional support system, her job and her wealth.
Logan Ross, our billionaire financier, wants two things—Arianna and total control of her father’s company. He scares the shaving cream out of hardened CEOs. Men jump to do his bidding. Now he seeks to have his nemesis’s daughter kneeling at his feet.
Arianna has resisted their attraction thus far. But every time they meet, every time Logan not-so-innocently brushes against her, her resolve weakens. Her billionaire pursuer has been persistent yet patience, content to slowly, steadily wear her down. The sexual tension between them spirals higher and higher.
Arianna finally breaks and sends him a two-sentence text—One Night. No one must know.
The all-new Mastered 2 Box Set is available now for the special price of $0.99!
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“You would never hurt me.” I know this in my soul.
“I won’t allow anyone to hurt you,” Logan makes one of his infamous vows, promises he’s been known to bend laws to keep. “You won’t regret your decision.”
We stand in the middle of the ballroom, surrounded by people. I see only him, entranced by the emotion in his brown eyes, his passion, his need, and something more, something I don’t dare believe in.
“Was this my decision?” I muse. “Did I have a choice?” Or was this inevitable, our fate, our destiny?
“No, you didn’t have a choice.” Logan’s lips lift into one of his rare smiles.
“Dance with me.” This is a command, not a request. He leads me onto the floor. “It’s expected.” He swings me into position, his maneuvering graceful and sure.
It is expected. In the past, he has arrived at events, sought me out for a dance, and then departed immediately after our exchange.
His focus on me means nothing. If I say this statement enough times, I might believe it. I bend my left arm, layering my limb over his. Logan clasps my right hand tightly. Our bodies come together and we move as one.
This isn’t the rigid proper waltz I learned at ballroom dance class. It is rolling and sensuous, like the undulation of muscle under skin. One, two, three. One, two, three.
There’s no thinking, no talking, only feeling, reacting. Logan steps forward. I step back.
He turns. I follow.
Our hips brush together, my skirt swirling around his black pants. I gaze at his sharp chin, firm lips, feeling delicate, womanly, trusting him to guide me, to keep me safe.
Logan dips me and I fall back, confident he’ll catch me. “You’re exquisite.” His eyes gleam and he draws me upright, twirls me across the floor. If dancing is a sign of companionship, we’re ideally suited. I’ve never had a partner know me like he does, reading my abilities, fulfilling my wishes.
The music fades and he sweeps me toward the edge of the dance floor. Before the song ends, he’s concealed us in the crowd. “Escort me from the room.” He covers my hand with his. “As you’ve been instructed.”
My gaze darts upward. How does he know I’ve been given that order? “I can’t climb into the limousine with you,” I murmur, aware that we’re being watched. “People will gossip.”
“People already gossip.” Logan leans into me. “They see how we dance, speculate that we fuck as passionately.” His crudeness stimulates, rather than shocks me. “They suspect your sweet pussy is filled with my cum, that my love bites decorate the curve of your ass and my scent is on your skin,” he breathes into my hair and I warm, all over.
“Everyone here knows you’re mine.”
I stare at him, my thoughts obliterated by his words.
“Looking at me with your fuck-me face won’t stop the gossip.” He chuckles softly.
Happy Friday Readers! I hope the Mastered 2 box set has kept you bound & pleased throughout the week, and that you’re eager to try out some new tricks this weekend! 😛 Today we’ll be looking at T.J. Michael’s delicious new story, Luscious!
MacKenzie Ivers is a strong personality who submits to one man — her husband, Landon.
After ten years of marriage, a nasty divorce, followed by a sweet reconciliation, Mac wants nothing more than for her husband to stop punishing himself for his part in the former “crazy”. It’s going to require some conniving and some rope…miles and miles of rope. Luckily, Twilight Teahouse has everything she needs to get this particular rigger back in the saddle.
The all-new Mastered 2 Box Set is available now for the special price of $0.99!
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Luscious by T.J. Michaels
Mac was an alpha to the bone. In her case, alpha didn’t mean bitch…well, unless some bitchiness was required at the moment. It was simply her personality and style, and allowed her to successfully run a thriving business in a field dominated by men, and deal with emergencies with ease.
On the flip side of that coin, this man, her husband, brought out the submissive in her like literally no one else could. And when her man crossed his legs and let his vivid green gaze roam boldly from her head to her feet and back again, Mac felt sexy as hell. Blushing, she automatically bowed before him.
“Today, it’s you, me and some rope. Do you consent to this, MacKenzie Chalice Daniels-Ivers?”
Oh dear lord, he called her by her whole name! That was typically reserved for when she was in trouble, or when he planned something intense. Butterflies in her gut were a thing of the past as they morphed into pterodactyls. A shiver went through her whole body and settled down between the joints in her knees. A deep breath did nothing to calm her at all. But one thing was for sure–her nerves skipped around from sheer anticipation of some serious delight.
“Well?” he asked.
“Yes, of course I consent.”
“Good. Go to your play bag and get all of the red bamboo rope.”
How did he know she had that in there? Before she could ask, he said, “I put it in there two nights past in place of that rough jute stuff you had bundled up inside.”
One brow winged its way up her forehead as his words truly registered. And then her man gave her one of the most deliciously promising grins she’d seen on his face lately.
She smiled in return, shaking her head at herself, as understanding dawned. Landon had obviously planned this well in advance. Sure she’d seen the rope when she’d inspected her bag not fifteen minutes ago, but she always had some in there just in case. Easy knots for easy play was something she could handle. But all the ins and outs and its intricate uses were Landon’s domain. And it was a domain he ruled, completely.
Once she was across the room and standing over her bag, another command came.
“Put your locs up into a bun, high on top of your head. Then remove your clothes and leave them folded neatly where you stand. You may keep those sexy ass panties on that you were sashaying around the house in this morning.”
“Sashay?” she gawked.
“Absolutely. And it was a beautiful sight. Have a problem with the word, sashay?” he asked. He lowered his head and watched her through thick coal-black lashes. A smart ass comment was on the edge of her lips when he gave her the look and raised an imperious brow.
Mac blurted, “Nope. No problem at all.”
Tags: 99cents, Alpha, alpha male, anthology, Author, bad boy, BDSM, Bestseller, bikers, billionaire, books, business partners, dominance, domination, erotic, erotica romance, Mastered, menage, Opal Carew, romance, sexual fantasies, short story, submission
Hello again Edenettes! Are you ready to play with some of the bad boys of Eden? Today we have something very special for you! Go on a sexy INTERACTIVE adventure in Daire St. Denis’, “How to Tempt a Tycoon”.
Tessa Savage has traveled all over the world but she has never been to Eden. So when she receives a personalized invitation to this enigmatic island location, there’s no way she can refuse. She’s been told that Eden will fulfill her every fantasy but instead Tessa is faced with the choice of overcoming one of her two greatest fears; total vulnerability or total submission. To Tessa there is very little difference between these two things…except that the choice means she must make a decision between two very special men from her past. Help Tessa decide what to do in this smokin’ hot and emotionally charged interactive tale.
The Bad Boys of Eden Box Set is available now for the special price of $0.99!
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Bathed in the filtered red light of our section, Christophe’s eyes are black. Not blue. Coal black. Wanton. Seductive. Those sin filled eyes sweep my nearly naked body, penetrating and smug. “I’ll give you a choice, and it’s the last one you’ll have tonight.”
“What?” I ask, shoulders back, arms crossed.
“You can take those panties off here or at the club.”
He points, to the far wall. There’s a sign on a door I hadn’t noticed that reads, Club Sin, all done in red neon with devil horns on the C and N. “I’ve booked a room.”
“At the BDSM club?”
He touches my cheek, in that way I’m becoming much too accustomed to, and says quietly,
“You wanted to know what I was like before. Tonight is your chance to meet the old me.” His expression turns serious. “Are you sure that’s what you want?”
I nod, but not all the way. I think it’s what I want, but how can I know for sure until I meet him.
In a flash, his whole persona changes. His face becomes grim, his eyes darken and his chest expands. “Then we will fuck the way I like it. Do you understand?”
He’s always given off a dominant air, but right now? My God, it’s like a switch flicked and
Christophe is a completely different man. He’s the arrogant playboy I pictured him to be when I first met him in Monte Carlo. He’s the entitled billionaire who gets everything he wants. Yes, we’re playing a game but he’s so damn good, it doesn’t feel like play.
This isn’t what I had planned. I was going to seduce him, not submit to him.
So that’s what I tell him. “I’m not going to submit to you, if that’s what you think.”
“Yes, you are.” He steps closer, forcing me to look up at him.
I shake my head even though my body is already willing and ready to do whatever this man suggests. “I’ll give you what you want, only when I want it.” I insist.
He does the same thing he did in Monte Carlo, fitting his trousered leg between mine, but this time he moves it, grinding up between my thighs, which feels fucking marvelous by the way.
Taking hold of my wrists, he pulls my arms from my breasts. “I know what you want better than you do.”
“No you don’t.”
“I do.” He pulls me closer. “Your pupils are dilated.” He fingers my wrist. “Your pulse is erratic and there’s heat emanating off your skin.” He leans close to my face. “Your breath is coming fast, like you find it hard to breathe.” He leans down as if to kiss me but he doesn’t. He drops his head lower and inhales deeply. “And, I can smell your pussy.” Standing straight, he looks down at me, his words clipped and calculated. “You’re wet for me. Your clit is throbbing.
You’re hoping I’ll slide my hand up your thigh and brush my fingers against you.”
I jerk out of his grasp. “That’s not true.” I lie because his all-knowing commentary is maddening not only because of his superior tone but because of how accurate it is.
He very lightly trails a finger down my arm. I don’t know how something so gentle can light such a blazing fire beneath my skin.
“This is what you want, Tessa. You like being dominated. You’re so in control of your life.
You long to give it up. Even if only for a short time.”
Who is this Christophe? I can’t decide if I like him or not. Right now, I’m thinking not so much…or maybe too much.
“You want to be dominated by me and you’re going to let me because I know exactly what you need.” His hand moves to my lower back.
“You barely know me.” Are we playing a game or is this real? I can’t tell anymore.
“I know you much better than you think.”
It’s the game. Surely. He’s just really good at playing the part of the dominant male. Well, maybe he’s come across plenty of women who were willing to please him in the past. That’s not me. I lift my chin. “I’m not a possession.”
“Good. I don’t need any more possessions.”
I swallow, having no answer to that.
“Now, do as you’re told. Remove your panties here or there.” He motions toward the door.
“It’s up to you.”
Something wicked this way comes! Eden is a fantastic getaway and even murderers need a vacation once in a while! C.C. MacKenzie gives us an glimpse of how even the most eccentric of individuals can kick back, relax, and let Eden work its magic for them. It’s… “Delicious and Deadly”.
Emma Ludlow’s temperature is rising and it’s not because of the sweltering Florida sun. Her lucrative business is bloodshed and slaughter. All she wants is peace and quiet in Eden to plot her latest murder. However, a much-adored celebrity chef is in Eden, too. The man is insufferable with an overblown ego she’s dying to kill. His slow smile may be ‘Delicious’, but she won’t taste it, not again. Being famous and wealthy isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. Oscar Zamani learned that life lesson the hard way when he let the seductively mysterious Emma slip through his fingers. Now an Invitation To Eden has given him another chance to show her that this time he can be trusted. But little does Oscar know that Emma has a dark secret. A secret that might be ‘Deadly’ to his heart.
The Bad Boys of Eden Box Set is available now for the special price of $0.99!
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The head chef stood in the castle of Eden’s state-of-the-art kitchen, long legs spread, muscled arms folded, a stony stare pinning Mika to the spot.
It was eight-thirty in the evening and the young waiter felt as if he was about to pass out.
A trickle of cold sweat slid down Mika’s back.
His heartbeat hammered too fast against his ribs.
On the whole being part of the service crew and working for Oscar Zamani was a pretty good gig. Chef might be one big scary bastard with hands the size of a dinner plate, but he was a cool guy, usually. Chef was also passionate about food reaching dining tables and rooms piping hot. Customer satisfaction was key. So how the hell was Mika going to explain the return of not just one, but two trays, untouched, from a suite in the tower?
“Just to be clear, Mika. You are telling me that the trays were simply left in the hallway?” Oscar wanted to know, his deep voice no more than a growl. His inflection was pregnant with disbelief, as if Mika had left a newborn unattended among a pride of lions. The tone had Mika’s knees knocking.
“Chef, the… the note on the door said, ‘Please knock. Leave the tray in the hall.’ So I did. Twice.”
“Note?” Mika jumped as Oscar barked the word, held out his hand.
Thanking sweet baby Jesus that he’d had the bright idea to bring the note with him as proof, Mika dug his hand into his vest pocket. Placed the folded piece of paper onto Oscar’s huge palm.
Eyes never leaving Mika’s, Oscar opened the paper, flicked his eyes down to read.
With great care he folded the note and tucked it nice and safe in the top pocket of his crisp white chef jacket.
Dark eyes rose and pinned Mika to the spot.
“Name?” Oscar asked in a soft voice.
Because his black bow tie felt too tight, Mika cleared his throat.
The name rang a very distant bell.
“No idea, sir. Never seen him.”
Oscar turned to survey the staff manning a kitchen gone too quiet, all that could be heard was the steady drip, drip, drip of a tap.
He raised his brows in silent query.
Everyone shook their head.
Oscar moved over to a tray, lifted a heavy lid of solid silver. He’s never… never had an untouched plate returned to his kitchen. With a righteous fury burning his gut, he surveyed the congealed mess on a delicate plate of white china. His teeth ran over his top lip at the thought of how much planning and effort had gone into making sure the rack of melt-in-the-mouth lamb had been seared to a light pink… perfection. How the broccoli spears had been steamed to al dente… perfection. How the delicate reduction, using the finest claret from Eden’s vast cellars and black currants flown in at great expense from the mainland, had excited the palate… perfection. The bowl of now limp green salad seriously annoyed him, too. But it was the mini baked Alaska, meringue made with handmade marshmallow scented with distilled rose water, that lay in a gooey mess of melted double cream ice-cream, which pressed his hot button.
Under the wide-eyes of a staff holding their collective breath, Oscar untied his pristine white apron, folded it carefully, placed it on an immaculate stainless steel worktop.
He removed his chef’s hat.
Placed it on top of the apron.
Turning on his heel, Oscar marched out.
“Omigod,” Mika whispered.
The sous chef crossed himself.
A distant drumbeat boomed out, like thunder, and then echoed from far, far away.
The struggle to open heavy lids made her groan out loud as Emma tried to kick-start her foggy brain. It sounded as if the heavy door to her suite was vibrating in its frame.
Emma stood, swaying on her bare feet.
Stumbling just a little, she shoved her hair from her face.
A mix of irritation and worry began to simmer in her stomach.
She tripped over a pair of abandoned flip flops and nearly fell flat on her face.
Sheer temper had her kick one out the way as she stalked through the disaster zone that was the sitting room.
She yanked opened the door.
“What the hell?” she yelled.
The clenched fist in her face had her body react, arms lifting in defence, before her brain could compute. The trembling started in her feet, by the time it reached her knees, her legs couldn’t hold her weight. The only warning she got was the roaring in her ears before Oscar was moving into her.
The world went black.
Happy Thursday, Edenettes! Just past hump day and so close to the weekend, yet so far. Perhaps it’s the best day to escape in a good book, just before you can escape the responsibilities of life and work for real! Adrianna Hunter has just the ticket with her Bad Boys of Eden story, “Breaking Free”!
When curvy single and struggling romance author Leila Connors receives a mysterious invitation to spend an all-expense paid week on a tropical island, it simply seems too good to be true. Who is responsible for sending the invitation? Why does the envelope smell of dominant male possession? And most importantly, why her? With a string of failed relationships and a career on the down-slide, Leila feels she has nothing to lose and agrees to the trip. But when she arrives at her destination, far away from everything she knows, she can’t help but wonder if she made a mistake. That is until she comes face to face with the incredibly handsome Sebastian Phillips, a tortured stranger with dark secrets, and a man who will take without asking. With just one touch he awakens a desperate need within her. Before too long Leila finds herself caught up in a game of irresistible obsession, where truths are exposed, and the dangerously blurred line between fantasy and reality threaten to drive her to the point of no return.
The Bad Boys of Eden Box Set is available now for the special price of $0.99!
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He bent his head, his lips moving along her collarbone, dipping lower, sliding along the edge of her gown for a moment, then kissing the valley between her breasts. His hand rose, cupping one breast, kneading her flesh with firm fingers. Leila gasped with pleasure as he slid his thumb across her nipple. The exquisite sensation as it drew up hard changed her gasp to a low moan. There seemed to be a direct line between his circling thumb and a very specific spot deep between her hips.
She made a small noise as his thumb stopped its erotic circle around her hardened nipple and she heard an answering chuckle, low and deep. His lips moved from her skin, his breath hot through the satin.
Leila cried out as he slowly licked her nipple and she clutched the sheets, not out of tension, but in ecstasy. At the touch of his wet tongue over the satin, the friction of the material against her sensitive skin, she arched against him, her hips rising from the bed.
The wet satin molded to her as he repeatedly licked her nipple, occasionally nuzzling his cheek against her breast. Her body moved on its own, hips undulating from side to side, her back arching against his mouth. When he slowly pulled the wet satin aside and blew across her damp skin, she cried out, her nipple puckering even more, a wash of goose bumps prickling her skin.
He pulled her breast into his mouth, sucking hard, almost greedily. Leila felt his body moving in time with hers, the hip resting against hers pressing against her as she rose.
His hand moved to her other breast, pulling back the gown, fondling her briefly before he moved to suck that breast.
Leila’s body was suffused with a liquid heat, coursing through her, pooling deep inside her. Her fingers found their way back to his hair, winding through the thick strands.
Finally he looked up at her, his eyes meeting hers. He sat up, took her hands, and pulled her upright.
“This comes off.” His voice was rough with passion and he tugged impatiently on the gown. Leila rose to her knees and he helped her slide the gown over her head. Before she could lie back, he wrapped his arms around her, burying his face between her breasts, turning his head, kissing her softly. He held her and she held his head gently to her body.
After a moment, he let her go and she sat back, hands reaching for his shirt.
He watched her in the dim light as she undid the buttons with trembling fingers. As she reached the last button, her hand brushed across his lap, across the bulge of his erection. Leila hesitated, resting her hand on him, feeling the heat and hardness his jeans concealed. He drew in a sharp breath, grabbing her hand.
“Lie back.” He stood, removing his shirt, dropping it to the floor as she lay back on the sheets.
His eyes never left hers as he undid the button and zipper on his jeans. Leila tried to hold his gaze, but her eyes slid over his chest, past the flat stomach and taut navel, then lower as he began tugging his jeans over his narrow hips. This was exactly what she’d described in her assignment, every detail—almost every detail. He was perfect.
As his jeans slid lower, the dark line of hair she’d written about appeared, the line that extended below his navel, growing thicker as he lowered his jeans. Leila’s breathing was shallow and fast, practically panting, eyes widening in anticipation. He tugged the jeans a fraction of an inch lower and Leila’s breath stopped. Slowly, he leaned over Leila, rested a hand beside her, and blew out the candle.
For a fraction of an instant, there was silence and then Leila cried out in frustration.
He laughed from somewhere nearby, and she heard the sound of his jeans hitting the floor. The mattress dipped with his weight and she felt the heat of his body a moment before his hand slid across her stomach. He leaned close and she drew in his scent, rich and spicy, deeply masculine.
There was no moonlight, and for an instant Leila cursed the darkness. But the hand on her stomach moved lower and she forgot about what he looked like, only able to focus on where his hand was going.
Fingers slid between her legs as his mouth found hers. He claimed her again with a powerful kiss, and she instinctively wound her arms around his neck, holding him close.
Her legs moved on their own accord, hips rising, thighs falling open at his touch.
And then his touch moved lower, further, feather-light strokes deepening as his kiss deepened, fingers probing deeper as his tongue took possession of her mouth. Her moans were muffled against his lips, his throaty growl against hers.
He shifted his weight, one long leg moving over the top of hers. His hip pressed against her body and she felt his erection, hard and hot, rubbing against her skin. But that wasn’t enough contact. She craved more, much more. Wiggling beneath him, she pulled and guided him until he rested between her legs, his hips pinning her to the mattress.
Lifting his head, he broke their kiss. She felt his breath against her cheek, his open mouth brushing against her neck. He shifted his weight again and she drew her legs up his body, over the hard muscles of his thighs.
He brushed against her, hotter than she could have imagined, and his hips shifted slightly, the muscles of his thighs tensing beneath her legs as he braced himself. Leila moved her legs further up his body, bringing her hips up to meet him, opening herself to him.
There was a long moment where he held himself, poised, just touching her, moving slowly, lightly, teasing her with a hint of what was to come. She bit her lip, aching to feel him inside her, the anticipation almost overwhelming. With one movement, she knew, he’d be there, filling her completely, totally. All she needed to do was wait. Waiting was agony, but a delicious agony nonetheless.
He lifted his head and she wished for light, to see the look on his face, the passion in his eyes, the passion that matched what raced through her own body. His hips flexed as he pulled back slowly, just a little, enough to let her know he was ready. And she was more than ready for him.
Then he was there, thrusting into her, slowly, seemingly forever. Leila let out a long, low moan as he drove himself forward, her hips rolling upward, her body accepting everything he had to give her.
Finally he stopped, exhaling against her neck, holding himself inside her for a moment. Raising his head, he braced his forearms on either side of her, his fingers playing over her face, finally coming to rest in her hair, tangling themselves in the long strands. His breath moved across her forehead, and then his lips pressed against her skin.
Her hands skated over the hot skin of his back, playing over broad shoulders, down the ridge of his spine, lower, to the small of his back, and then up the sharp slope of his buttocks. She dug her fingers into firm flesh and as if spurred on by her touch, she felt the muscles beneath her hands clench, his hips driving forward even further, as impossible as that seemed.
And then he was moving, hard and fast, Leila matching him stroke for stroke, as if all the anticipation and pent up longing had been released. He buried his face in her neck, his breath rasping harshly against her skin.
Leila tipped her head back, sounds she never realized she could make coming from her parted lips as every thrust drove her toward some unimagined plane of pleasure.
Every inch of her body was alive like it had never been before. The core of her, where he lay claim to her, where they were joined, felt like a molten pool.
She lost track of time, focusing only on the movements of their bodies. At some point he slid a hand beneath her ass, fingers digging into her flesh, lifting her, his body flexing and twisting, as if there were some way he could consume more of her, or she more of him.
His sounds had deepened, moans becoming growls, growing louder, more urgent.
Leila’s arms were flung wide now, fingers twisting in the sheets, her body speeding toward what could only be oblivion.
He drew back from her, his chest rising from hers, and her body instantly arched upward, taking on a life of its own as his hips drove into her at a relentless pace.
Something deep and powerful welled up inside her and she writhed beneath him, head thrashing from side to side. The world went soundless for a moment and then she heard herself, from a distance, then louder, clear, cry after cry as her body shuddered and twisted in his grasp. Finally the tremors slowed and she drew a shaky breath.
His arms were still wrapped around her, holding her loosely, and he thrust slowly, but not as deeply. She relaxed in his arms, letting his momentum carry her for a moment.
Gradually his thrusts became shaper, harder, more aggressive, each one accompanied by a deep grunt. Leila drew her legs higher along his body, wrapping them around his waist. Her movements triggered something in him and his arms tightened around her again, his body wrapping around hers.
With a sudden powerful thrust, he sank himself deeply, completely, holding himself still inside her. Every muscle in his body was taut, his arms like iron bands around her.
She held her breath, not wanting to break his concentration, waiting for him, for what she felt certain would be his climax.
Then beneath her hands he began to move, his hips pumping hard and fast into her, each thrust accompanied by a noise so primal it sent a shiver through Leila’s body.
She was unprepared for the intensity of his climax, for the power of his thrusts, the animalistic noises.
Leila was swept up in his passion, in his release, her body responding to his, a fresh cascade of sensations sweeping through her. She found herself answering his cries with her own, her body alive again with ecstasy.
They held each other for a moment, arms and legs relaxing, slowly moving apart.
He rolled onto his back next to her and she curled against him, hand on his chest as his arm encircled her. The soft breeze from the window played across her skin, a delicious counterpoint to the heat that spread across her body.
Leila had never felt so complete. Not just happy, but as if for the first time, something clicked inside, some connection had been made. It went beyond the physical sensations in her body. Granted, he’d saved her life, but it went deeper than that. She’d had sex before, had even had what she’d considered making love, but there had never been this connection with those men, even men she thought she’d been in love with. And yet this man was a stranger.
Leila was content, drifting into sleep, her head on his shoulder. Almost asleep, she roused herself to ask the one question she had of the man beside her.
“You never told me your name.”
He shifted on the bed, his arm pulling her close, lips brushing across her forehead.
“I can’t, Leila. You haven’t given me one yet.”
Eden is a magnificent place. Indeed, all your sensual fantasies can come true on these faraway shores, but how is this possible? Certainly some of it is at the hand of the island’s enigmatic Master, but there’s something else to the island. Whether this power its real or not does not matter, so long as it gives you want you want, what you need. Sometimes its best to blur the lines a little, and that’s just what Roni Loren gives in her Bad Boys of Eden story, “Blurring the Lines”.
A year has passed since Gretchen lost her fiancé, but she still can’t sleep. Or paint. And her new home in New Orleans is either haunted or she’s finally going crazy.
Her bet is on the latter.
So when her best friend, Burke, offers to sweep her away to a private luxury island for a break, she can’t say no. Maybe if she can be someone else for a few days, the ghosts of the past will quiet. At least for a little while.
Burke knows what she’s going through. She lost her fiancé, but he lost family. He gets her in a way no else can. But lately she’s noticing things she shouldn’t about her former fiancé’s younger brother—his sexy smirk, that spicy Cajun accent, and the way he looks at her when he thinks she’s not paying attention. A week alone with him? Dangerous. If she blurs the lines between them, she could ruin the only friendship that means anything to her. She could ruin it all.
But the island of Eden has its own agenda. The island knows what you need. That’s what the invitation says. She just never imagines it will grant her the one wish that could destroy them both.
The Bad Boys of Eden Box Set is available now for the special price of $0.99!
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Burke’s gaze lifted to mine, and he set down his fork. “What are you thinking about, cher? You have a serious look on your face.”
I forced a half smile. “Nothing really.”
“Don’t give me that. You’re a loud thinker.”
I twirled my noodles around my fork, watching them go round and round. “You ever wonder if he can see us? You know, like whatever the after may be, if the dead can somehow observe the living?”
He sniffed. “No. Can’t say I believe in any of that. I think when we’re gone, we’re gone.”
I peered at him, but he wasn’t looking my way anymore. His stubbled jaw was set and he was taking small jabs at his plate of lo mein. “Okay. Good to know.”
He let out a breath and set his fork down. “Look, I’m not trying to be a dick.
Everyone’s beliefs and faith are their own business. If believing there’s something after gives you comfort, that’s great. But, for me, I don’t buy it. I think this is the only chance we’ve got—win, lose, or draw. This is it. So you better grab the most you can out of this life.” He shrugged. “And honestly, the thought of any of my dead family members watching me gives me the creeps. No, thanks.”
My neck prickled, the sounds of last night haunting me. “I know what you mean about that part.”
He frowned, his attention on me again. “Wait. Is that what’s keeping you awake at night? You think Harris is creeping around or something? You think he’s watching now?”
It sounded completely crazy when he said it like that. “Not exactly.”
His gaze didn’t leave mine. “You weren’t joking about searching for ghosts, were you?”
I cringed. This was not a conversation I wanted to have with Burke. Or anyone for that matter. “It’s not that. I just—I don’t know.”
“You don’t know what?” He shifted his body so he could fully face me. “Tell me what’s going on.”
I shook my head and poked at my chicken.
“Gretch, don’t do that, don’t ignore me.”
“Fine.” I nudged my plate away. “Sometimes I feel like he’s here, okay? I know it’s stupid.”
Burke gaped at me for a long moment and then slid off his stool, his expression morphing into what I’d come to recognize as his game face.
“What are you doing?” I asked, tracking his progress.
He stepped around the counter and put out a hand to me. “Stand up.”
I eyed his offered hand. Wary.
“Come on. I can disprove your theory right here.”
I took his hand and stood.
He tilted his face toward the ceiling. “Bro, if you’re hovering around here somewhere, feel free to kick my ass for this.”
Before I could put together what his words meant, Burke dragged me to him, cupped my face, and lowered his mouth to mine. Lips on lips. Warmth on warmth. Boom! Crash!
The kiss shocked me into a stupor. All I could process was his mouth against mine, hands gripping me, and the sound he made in his chest at the contact. But then he brushed the tip of his tongue along my lips, and all at once, my senses kicked into full, pumping awareness. The scent of the Gain detergent he used, the salty taste of soy, and the forbidden feel of his mouth. My lips parted and invited a deeper kiss without me consciously willing them to do so. His tongue slid gently into my mouth, and I groaned.
My hands found his waist and gripped his T-shirt like I’d fall if I didn’t keep hold of something.
It was so different from the one kiss we’d shared so long ago. That had been two awkward kids figuring things out. This was not that. This was a man who knew how to take a woman down with one sensual sweep of his mouth. This was the Burke I’d heard about. The one who got any woman he wanted. The one who told me those sordid stories.
That was when reality kicked in the door to my lust-filled brain. I was kissing my dead fiancé’s brother. I was kissing my best friend. I pushed back with a panted gasp.
His eyes were heavy-lidded, the look on his face all danger and erotic promise. But he didn’t move forward. Instead, he licked his lips and held out his hands, his smile soft when he spoke again. “See, cher, nothing. No breaking dishes. No slamming cabinets.
You and I both know my brother well enough to know that he wouldn’t let me do that to you without a fight. If Harris’s ghost is around here, he would’ve done something about it.”
I blinked, still suspended in that stunned state for a few seconds more. Then, not knowing how else to channel everything that was coursing through me, I got pissed. The anger rushed straight up my spine and out to my limbs. I shoved him hard in the chest.
“What the hell is wrong with you?”
He frowned as he rocked back a step, though he didn’t seem fazed by me yelling at him or pushing him. “I’m sorry, Gretch. But you needed to see that there’s no one watching.”
“You didn’t have to kiss me to show me that!” My heart was beating too fast, and my voice came out too shrill.
He shrugged. “You didn’t have to kiss me back.”
I gaped at him, slack jawed, then grabbed a handful of fortune cookies and threw them.
He raised his hands to fend off the attack, laughing. “Hey, not the cookies. Those could hold the key to our future.” He caught one of the cellophane-wrapped cookies mid-air. “And it was just a kiss. It’s not like we’ve never done it before.”
“When we were kids.”
“Yes, you’re much improved.”
“Ugh!” I stepped forward and shoved him again. “You need to warn a girl before you maul her.”
He lifted a brow and grabbed my wrist, his eyes holding a wicked gleam. “Fine, cher.
Next time I’ll warn you.”
“That’s not what I—” I pulled my arm free. “Never mind.”
Somehow all this arguing was making my blood heat as much as the damn kiss. I needed him to stop touching me and looking at me like he wanted to kiss me again.
Ah, Eden! The tropical island resort where all your sensual fantasies can come true. You can find love under any umbrella, and unbridled passions behind every door. Welcome to the beginning of our author spotlight series exploring all the sins and seductions in the new Bad Boys of Eden box set. This box set celebrates some of the hottest releases from the Invitation to Eden series, a series hailed by reviewers as “Sexy as Hell”– and for good reason!
Today we’ll also be looking at Avery Aster’s “Yours Truly, Taddy.”
Broke but determined, Taddy accepts a job as a fashion model to pay for her college tuition.
Jetting to Martinique for a modeling assignment with three of Europe’s hottest magazine photographers—Gustave, Fabian, and Leon—should’ve been easy, breezy beautiful. Never did I expect to look up and see a hole in the ceiling of our plane that was bigger in size than my Birkin bag.
Shit! We’re nose-diving toward Eden Island. I pictured how my New York Times obituary might read when I’m gone, “Taddy Brill, Manhattanite, dethroned descendant of the Austrian House of Brillford royalty, dies at age eighteen, penniless, unloved, and a virgin.” I swear this crap only happens to me. Suddenly, Leon pulls me with Fabian and Gustave. Adrenaline racing through me, our bodies clung as one. We prepared to…crash.The Undergrad Years is a New Adult contemporary miniseries about first loves, independence, and everlasting friendships.
The Bad Boys of Eden Box Set is available now for the special price of $0.99!
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set-up: plane has crashed at sea
My mind raced faster than my body could swim. I tried a few times to zone out and paddle forward. You know, get in that cardio trance where your breasts are jiggling, hair flying, and work the flip out.
Ugh. I counted every second. One, kicking my legs, two, lifting my right arm up, three, stroke, followed by left arm up, stroke.
No matter how hard I swam, my fears worsened. The water overwhelmed me. I could almost make out a thin sliver of land, way ahead of us, but it seemed far. I gotta ask. “Leon…”
He stopped and turned around to face me.
“Will we make Eden before dark?”
“What are we gonna do?”
“The moonlight can guide us,” Leon replied in all seriousness. However to me, he sounded almost romantic. I had to put my mind into some state of fantasy. Otherwise I’d go nuts with the reality of what we were doing: swimming for our life. “Need a break?”
“Please.” I wasn’t as tired as I thought I’d be. If anything, my fears supercharged me.
He swam over, put his arms around me, and asked, “Thirsty?”
“Ah-huh, and hungry.” Let’s not forget horny.
“Me too.” Leon brushed up me. I could’ve sworn I felt— “Sorry,” he muttered in a low voice.
“You’re fine.” Heck, you’re more than fine. Take me. Right here. Right now.
His nose touched mine. Intent and close, we stared at each other as if we each only had one eye. I wrapped my arms, and then my legs, around him. His erection pressed up against me. Lowering my right hand, I glided my thumb against the head of his dick. Ever so slowly, with each trace of my finger over his cock, Leon’s devilish smile widened.
“Your body is tight. If you loosen your limbs, you might kick better.”
Trembling, I slipped a finger into the well of my cunt. I couldn’t help myself, Leon was right, every muscle in my body tensed. Not from the swim, but from being in his arms. He made me nervous and excited. Until meeting Leon this week, I’d never felt these urges as strongly as I did now. I held on to his shoulders, kissing him all over again.
“Maybe this will help you relax.” His hands, controlled and focused, found mine.
“Leon,” I whispered under my breath, unsure if we should.
“Let me touch you.” Kissing me, he pressed his fingers up against my g-spot. He knew exactly where to go. Even in the water, Leon hit it like a switch. Jesus!
Lip-to-lip, I whimpered into his mouth, moaning, calling out to him, “I want you.” A tingly sensation overcame the lower part of my body. “Oh, I’m going to—”
“Come for me, Mon chére.”He spoke as if in my daydream.
Just a little, right there, in the water, I came. Pulling him into me, I wasn’t going to stop. We didn’t have any condoms and I didn’t care. “Fuck me. I want you inside of me.” I needed him. I tightened my legs around his torso.
Forget the fact that we weren’t an item, let alone floating in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, I never thought my first time would be casual.
Regardless of the formalities, being with Leon Lartique, right this very second, sharing my body with him, suddenly felt like the most meaningful thing I’d ever done. The importance of this meant more to me than graduating from Avon Porter, getting into college, or making my own money. This, right here, what we were sharing, was the truest expression of oneself.
My brain had been awake for years, in recent times so had my heart, but not until today had I thought much about my soul, about life and death. Leon touched my soul.
Today could be my last day alive. I refused to go with regrets.
“Mon chére, I’ve never…had unsafe sex before.”
“Ha! I’ve never had any kind of sex before. So skin-to-skin will be new for me too.”
The tip of his dick slid inside me. Welcoming him, I took more. My muscles contracted tight around him. “Ahhh,” I moaned, watching his face.
He found his groove in the water.
“Am I hurting you?” He pulled out, almost all the way.
“Amazing—keep going.” To show my comfort, I fell back, floating in the water.
Weightlessness surrounded us.
In long, slow strokes, he fucked me. The sunset cast shadows across his face. His skin was illuminated with amber hues of paradise. Leon spoke to me in French, caressing my breasts, saying beautiful things to me that sounded lyrical and poetic.
For a minute, I closed my eyes, taking all of this in. Hypnotic! My senses felt intoxicated in a newfound euphoria. My hair floated around me as if petals in the wind.
The water’s level rose up past my ears, over my eyelashes. Hands at my sides, they seemed unattached to the rest of me.
Leon’s grip at my torso tightened. His penetration taught. Hips pulsating faster, he was going to come. So was I. Again.
Inhaling deeply through my nose, he impaled me. Just a small oval of air at the surface circled over my face. It felt cool. The rest of me was submerged into the sea with ecstasy.
Welcome back! Today we’ve got a scorcher of a story to share with you. This alpha bad boy is a Navy SEAL who lets nothing stand in his way and does everything he can to protect the ones he loves. Here comes Cash McCoy in… “Flash Fire”, by bestselling author, Elle Kennedy!
Giving up control has never been so hard…
Navy SEAL Cash McCoy knows all about danger—he lives and breathes it on a daily basis. When it comes to the love of his life, though, this alpha soldier does everything in his power to keep Jen Scott happy and safe. But when the tables are turned and Jen places herself in harm’s way for her job, their relationship is put to the test. Now Cash must learn to trust the woman he loves…or lose her forever.
Dangerous Passions eBook box set releases March 3rd for the special price of $0.99! Preorder today!!
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Would it be wrong to hit the man you loved?
Besides, Jen didn’t really want to hit him. Maybe kick him in the shin, though. Or throw something at him. Because…had he really just told her she couldn’t go?
As in, he was attempting to dictate what she could or couldn’t do in her own life?
“Okay, just to be clear,” she said tightly. “You’re telling me I can’t go?”
“That’s exactly what I’m telling you,” Cash shot back.
Anger and disbelief twisted in her belly, making it difficult to keep the hostility out of her voice. “So you make decisions for me now?”
“About this? Hell yes.” He grabbed his jeans and yanked them on, his sculpted shoulders rigid with tension. “You think I’m going to let my girlfriend happily stroll into a war zone? No way.”
“First of all, it’s not a warzone. And second, even if it was, how is me going any different from what you do?” she challenged. “You put your life at risk on a daily basis!”
“That’s what I trained for, Jen! I went through years and years of training that taught me how to handle myself in dangerous situations.”
“And I can’t handle myself?” she demanded, her skin prickling with offense.
“No, you can’t,” he said bluntly. “You’re trained in self-defense, not in urban warfare.
Central America is too unstable right now. It’s too fucking dangerous, especially for a woman traveling alone.”
“I won’t be alone,” she insisted. “I already told you, the magazine is arranging for a military transport. And there’s a whole unit of US Marines down there training the local military.”
“That doesn’t mean shit if you’re in a town that’s overrun with gangs and they open fire on you, or kidnap you, or kill you.”
“We won’t be going into areas like that.”
“The whole country is areas like that!”
Cash snatched his shirt off the floor and threw it on, radiating waves of white-hot anger.
But his response had left her equally infuriated. It would’ve been one thing if he’d calmly suggested they talk it over, but to flat-out say she couldn’t go? With no discussion? Without even hearing the details?
She didn’t mind a caveman in bed, but this was ridiculous.
“I’ll be taking every precaution. And you know I’ve visited poverty-stricken areas before. I only do boring portraits for Today’s World, but I used to travel on my own, remember?”
“The other places you’ve gone haven’t involved drug cartels and—” He stopped and shook his head. “I don’t know why we’re even still talking about this. You’re not going.”
Every muscle in her body seized to the point of paralysis. Jen could barely take a breath she was so furious. She stared at Cash’s inflexible expression as she struggled to control her temper.
“You have no say in this,” she said stiffly. “If I choose to go, then you can’t stop me.”
She stuck out her chin. “And I choose to go.”
Astonished blue eyes stared back at her. “You’re fucking kidding me.”
“Does it look like I’m kidding?”
“You’d really put your own neck on the line just so your pictures can be featured in a lead story?”
The harsh words stung. “It’s what I signed up for when I got into photography,” she snapped. “I never wanted to be a bubblegum photographer who takes portraits of cats and babies and frickin’ fruit baskets! I want to shed light on real issues and make a difference.” She glared at him accusingly. “You know that. And you always said you supported it.”
“I do support it.” He glared right back. “But not when there’s a risk to your life.”
“There’s a risk to your life every time you go wheels-up. Every time you’re deployed for months on end.” Frustration clawed up her throat. “I have to live with that every fucking day. The worry and the panic and the fear that I’ll never see you again—”
“Well, it’s your turn to live with it. I’m going, Cash.”
“Jen…” A warning note crept in.
“I’m going,” she repeated. “And as much as I would love your support about this, I don’t need it in order to accept this assignment. Nor do I need your approval.”
Cash didn’t answer. A noticeable vein appeared in his forehead, his mouth set in a tight, angry line. He looked ready to explode, but Jen didn’t care. His high-handed, domineering reaction to this whole situation had seriously pissed her off.
“By the way,” she said curtly. “I leave tomorrow.”
A Marine whose soul is tortured by his mystical abilities puts his life—and heart—on the line to rescue a Plain Jane school teacher and her students from an archaeological field trip gone horribly wrong.
Sarah McCormick had one last shot at adventure. Resigned to the life of a spinster, the prim school teacher planned to lead five teenage girls to the shadowy isle of Tenebrosa. There, in a tropical paradise, they would study an ancient people and perhaps learn something about themselves. But a mountain of a man upset her plans–a handsome Indian who claimed she and her students would be in peril. And when the virile ex-Marine swore to protect them, Sarah wondered what’s in jeopardy–her body or her heart?
Hawk had to admit that he longed to be enlightened by the brainy beauty. He’d seen the shy schoolmarm cut a man to ribbons with her sharp tongue, and he was haunted by visions of schooling her lush, surprisingly soft lips in passion. He’d touched her only as a protector, but in those moments he’d discovered how delicate and decidedly feminine her long, lithe body was. Now, threatened by an evil as old as Tenebrosa itself, Hawk knew that her kiss could stave off the shadows and their love could light the way to paradise.
Dangerous Passions eBook box set releases March 3rd for the special price of $0.99! Preorder today!!
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“You shouldn’t be out here alone.” His voice vibrated across the distance, a bare whisper in the encroaching night.
” Are you following me?” He advanced on her, and Sarah involuntarily backed away as he quickly closed the distance with his long strides.
She jumped back from his hoarse command. The flashlight clattered to the ground, and her hair snagged on something behind her. She reached back to free her braid from its entanglement, and Hawk lunged forward.
He grabbed her wrist and yanked her toward him. At the same instant, he reached into a pocket of his vest and pulled out a knife. Not a knife. A sword! A wicked, twelve-inch killing thing that glinted in the twilight.
He raised it above his head and swung it down with deadly force. Sarah screamed. She jerked her shoulder away from the sure blow and rammed into the brick wall of his chest. His arm trapped her there like a steel vise and lifted her clear off the ground. She pounded with her fists and kicked with her legs, pummeling for all she was worth, frantic with the knowledge that he would attack her, desperately frightened to realize how much bigger and stronger and unyielding he was than she.
“Sarah! It’s over now. It’s okay.” Her feet touched the ground and his shoulders curved over her, blocking out the rest of the night.
His chest muffled her screams. Through her daze of panic she heard low-pitched reassurances crooning in her ear. The arm that had cinched her to him still held her just as tightly but he splayed his fingers and stroked up and down the side of her rib cage, soothing her like a frightened animal.
As the hazy grip of panic began to clear, she realized that she felt no pain. He hadn’t stabbed her after all.
“What?” She gasped, gathering her composure as much as her breath. “Why?”
Her senses returned and she remembered the knife. The big knife. She angled her head back because she could move no further and slapped at his shoulder. “What are you doing with a weapon like that here? It’s stupid and dangerous—”
“That’s better. I’d rather see you spitting mad than afraid.” She wanted to stay angry with him. She wanted to vent her frustrations, but his unexpected teasing undid her. She stopped her tirade and noticed his mouth, mere inches from hers.
She caught her breath at the sheer masculine beauty of it. Straight white teeth framed by firm, thin lips. They were close enough that she could feel his warm breath fanning across her face. She inhaled the soapy, clean, masculine scent of him, tinged by the faint pungency of the insect salve he, too, wore.
Sarah’s stomach flip-flopped. An unusual heat sparked there and curled lower as a whole new set of sensations vibrated through her, every bit as powerful as her anger, but much more pleasurable. His chest was so hard, his hold unbreakable yet so gentle, his mouth so tempting.
She stared at that temptation and discovered she couldn’t speak. Her throat tightened with a customary clench of shyness. She damned her cursed inability to voice her desires. She wanted to savor the rush of adrenaline coursing through her. She wanted to channel it in a way a woman and man could share together. She wanted him to kiss her. She wanted him to want to kiss her. And yet she knew he wouldn’t. All she could do was lecture him. All he could do was put up with her.
“You were backing into a web.” As if sensing her clouded ability to speak, Hawk took over the duties for her. Grateful for the change of topic that doused both her desire and her embarrassment, she relaxed and followed the inclination of his head. He twisted his right wrist and lifted his knife to eye level. Skewered at the end was a brown, hairy spider the size of two Ping-Pong balls stuck together.
“Spider! Big spider!” she shrieked.
She spun and buried her face in his shoulder. As hard as she had hit him before, she now clutched him tightly, clinging to fistfuls of his shirt and vest. She felt his arm flinch as he flicked the horrid creature into the jungle and wiped the blade clean on his pant leg.
He shifted his stance and wrapped both arms around her, catching her more fully in his embrace. He tugged at her braid, picking out the sticky white residue that had caught her hair. He bent his head and cooed into her ear, calming her with whispers in a language she didn’t understand. The ups and downs of the day caught up with her and she sagged against him, weary with emotional fatigue, grateful for his gentle, steadying strength.
“That’s it, honey. You’re gonna be all right. You’ll beat this like you beat those bureaucrats back home.”