This May, The Romance Studio is pleased to support Penguin Group (USA)’s Read Humane® 2013 campaign to fight animal cruelty. We would like to welcome spokesperson and bestselling author Jill Shalvis to our blog today, where she is sharing with us her family’s animal rescue story discusses her Animal Magnetism series with a piece entitled “Why Dogs Make Great Sidekicks!”
Read Humane® is an initiative created by Penguin Group (USA) in 2012 to support our furry friends in honor of National Pet Month (May). As part of the Read Humane® 2013 campaign, six special edition, animal-themed mass market paperbacks have been reissued featuring the official Read Humane® seal. Penguin supports the fight against animal cruelty with a $25,000 donation, regardless of sales, to The Humane Society of the United States’ Animal Rescue Team.
And remember to join the conversation on Twitter with @BerkleyRomance and @HSUS throughout May by using the hashtag #readHumane. Followers are encouraged to Tweet about Penguin’s animal friendly books, share their own rescue stories, and join in other pet themed conversations.
Jill Shalvis is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over four dozen romance novels, including her fun contemporary Animal Magnetism series, which promotes animal rescue dogs. Jill is a 3-time National Readers Choice winner, and lover of animals! More information about Jill and her collection of fabulous romance titles can be found at www.JillShalvis.com.
My Rescue Story, by Jill Shalvis…
At any point, on any day in the Shalvis abode, there are animals. All of them rescued, always. It’s become somewhat of a family tradition, rescuing animals in need, and we’ve found that not only is it a nice thing to do, we get a really great pet out of the deal.
A couple of years ago, our house was fairly full. Okay, so it was straining at the wall joints. We had Ashes — our rescue Border Collie/Australian Blue Heeler. Sadie – our cat who thinks she’s a dog. Micky – a field mouse rescued from the high school science lab. And four teenage girls.
Actually, it wasn’t a house. It was a zoo.
But a year before we’d lost Izzie, our beloved brown lab. And we missed having two dogs. Yes, we’re crazy. Anyway, on that fated day I’m about to tell you about, Alpha Man (my husband) had heard about a yellow lab puppy who needed rescue.
No. No way. I was adamant. I had enough on my plate. But Alpha Man just wanted to go make sure the lab was okay.
So we left the mountain…
We were following the sketch directions from a guy who knew a guy who had told us about a woman who lived out in the middle of nowhere, and I mean NOWHERE, and she rescues animals.
The landscape was like something out of a Criminal Minds episode, so we were wary at first. We had no idea what we were going to find. A box of puppies, or a meth lab … nothing would have surprised me. I was a little worried because the kids were with us, but it turned out the place was fifty acres of love.
Any animal in need is welcome.
Even the funny looking ones…
The woman had goats, horses, turtles, geese, snakes, angry chickens … you name it and she had it. She was rehabbing it, doctoring it, loving it … whatever the animal needed.
We’d gone because of the rumor of the puppies, the yellow labs. And she did have two puppies. She’d rescued them out of a horrible situation.
But the yellow lab wasn’t the one who stole our hearts. Nope, it was her little baby brother. The runt.
He was filthy and living in a hovel. And the minute he saw us, he came alive. Wriggling, happy, loving. All you had to do was touch him and he writhed in joy and dropped to the floor for a belly rub.
And once he was picked up by the teenagers and loved up by them, he didn’t want to get down. I tried. I tried hard. But the thing had wriggled his way right into my heart. I remember looking at Alpha Man, laughing and crying at the same time.
“You didn’t want another dog,” he reminded me.
I told him to zip it. We were taking this dog and that was that. Besides, there was the little matter of him being in my arms and refusing to be put down.
So we never put him down again. Meet Frat Boy…
Why Dogs Make Great Sidekicks, by Jill Shalvis…
Now that you know a little bit about my rescue story, I want to share with you some of the inspiration for my Animal Magnetism series. One of the fun things about writing this series is developing complex and lovable characters… that just happen to be adorable dogs! Here’s why dogs make great sidekicks…
1. Because when you’re on the mountain trail and you come across an angry mama bear and her baby cubs, your dog will run like hell. This will warn you to run like hell as well. Just be careful because if your dog is like my dog, he will throw you under the bus (or in this case bear) to get home before you do.
2. Because when all the cookies are gone you can totally blame your cookie loving dog. No one has to know that you ate all the cookies yourself. And your dog can give you dirty looks for blaming him but he can’t actually talk and dispute your story. Solid alibi.
3. Because if you’ve eaten in a way that disagrees with your stomach, there are never any worries. Your dog will always, ALWAYS, out stink you. And if he doesn’t, you can still point the finger at him. Again, he can’t talk and dispute your story.
4. Dogs are not just great sidekicks but they also make great a really great wingman. If you’re single, you can totally put your dog to work at charming the person you’re interested in. Just make sure that person likes dog drool and dog hair all over everything first.
5. There is never a need for a pillow or extra blanket because your dog will always be willing to get into bed with you and share body heat. Always. Just be forewarned. Being a great sidekick is not the same thing as a good bed partner. They have a habit of being a total bed hog.
Thank you so much, Jill for sharing your stories with us! If you have enjoyed Jill’s stories please feel free to show your support in our comments section below and by visiting the other participating websites/blogs…
Read Humane® Blog Tour 2013!
For more information on Read Humane® please visit Penguin Group (USA). To view more special features from spokesperson Jill Shalvis, please visit the following websites/blogs; each website/blog will feature a unique perspective on Read Humane, so be sure to stop by each for a new and exciting experience!
4/29/2013 USA Today’s Happy Ever After Special Feature!
4/29/2013 Fresh Fiction Spotlight
4/30/2013 RT Book Reviews Online Special Feature!
5/1/2013 Happily Ever After Reads Spotlight
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Delighting In Your Company – A Paranormal Romance Rich in the History of the Caribbean – Win a Copy!
Delighting In Your Company by Blair McDowell
“Usually it’s either the ghost story or the time-travel story. This time it’s both, and it SO works. Amalie has to meet the ghost of Jonathan in order to know she’s supposed to go back and fix things. And yes, it might be a little arrogant to think she’s the one who has to fix the past, but who else? The story works on a lot of levels, the love story because Amalie knows it can’t last, but does it anyway. She’s always trying to make things right for Jonathan, aware that it’s a sacrifice for the greater good. But it only works when she builds trust with people in both the present and the past, especially her past self. That was fascinating. The time travel angle works because Amalie goes back to herself. She’s not trying to create a new role, she’s already there. She works with what is. The historic mystery has its roots in the Triangle Trade, and the money to be made there. Not just the slave trade itself, but also the sales of the cash crop from the Caribbean that the slaves produced.”
ReadingReality.net – Escape Rating ‘A’
Win an e-copy of Delighting In Your Company!
Answer the following questions either by Email to email@example.com, or by posting the answer(s) in the Comment box:
- Who was waiting for Amalie at the museum? Hint can be found at ‘Delighting In Your Company’ web page
- What tune did Jonathan always whistle? Hint can be found at ‘Delighting In Your Company’ web page
In Caribbean folklore, the ‘Jumbie’ are ghosts described as ‘the dead who walk’. When Amalie Ansett travels to the small Caribbean island of St. Clements to visit her aunt, she scoffs at this local myth. She has just left a disastrous marriage and is ready to swear off men forever when she meets local plantation owner, Jonathan Evans. Tall, handsome, intelligent and sexy – everything a girl could want. When she discovers that ‘Jonathan Evans’ died 200 years ago under mysterious circumstances, her life is thrown into turmoil. How could this be?
Then Jonathan asks her to return with him to his past so they can be together. If she helps him to solve the mystery surrounding his death, she will lose him forever. If she doesn’t, she will live out her life with a ghost, who she loves more than life itself. This is an impossible decision for Amalie, but one that she must make, and time is running out.
Purchase Delighting In Your Company today at http://www.blairmcdowell.com/Delighting_In_Your_Compa.html
“I just love a good romance. I am so happy that I was given the chance to review The Memory of Roses. It would fall into that category of a great romance. The story line was so wonderful, the setting was gorgeous, and the characters were so amazing. Brit was wonderful to read about. She has lost faith in love and trust, and watching her find it again was something I loved most about this book. I love when a character grows during a story, and Brit truly did. Blair McDowell did such a perfect job of telling Brit’s story.”
‘Melissa Haggerty’ on Readingitall.blogspot.com
Win an e-copy of The Memory of Roses!!
Answer the following questions either by Email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by posting the answer(s) in the Comment box:
- What dinner item brought Ian and Maria together? Hint can be found at ‘The Memory of Roses’ web page
- What locations are mentioned in the book trailer video at ‘The Memory of Roses’ web page
A villa on a Greek Isle…
When Renowned Archaeologist Ian McQuaid dies, he leaves his daughter, Brit, a villa on the Greek Island of Corfu. The only thing he asks is that Brit should deliver a package to a woman he once loved there. The problem is that Brit knew nothing about either the villa or the love affair. She thought her parents had been happily married all those years.
A disastrous love affair…
After a disastrous love affair of her own, Brit finally admits to herself that she’s desperately unhappy. At thirty two, left with more questions about life than answers, Brit has a dawning sense that to live her own life free of shadows, she must trace the path of her father’s past.
A long hidden secret…
Brit’s Journey takes her from San Francisco to Athens, to the villa on Corfu, and finally to Venice, where she discovers a truth long hidden that holds the power to destroy lives.
And a sizzling Greek Archaeologist.
During the course of her odyssey, Brit meets Andreas Leandros, a young Greek archaeologist. And while uncovering the secrets of her father’s past, she discovers her own future.
Purchase The Memory of Roses today from the retailer of your choice at ‘The Memory of Roses’ web page .
In the excerpt below we find Ian McQuaid eating a lonely meal in a Greek Taverna when Maria Calbrese enters…..
It was on June eleventh that he met her. He had gone to Adriatika for his evening meal. It was a week night and he had lingered over his late afternoon swim. By the time he arrived, the few other diners were well into their meals.
“What have you for me tonight, my friend?” he asked.
“Ah! You are in luck. We have Rabbit Steffado and I’ve kept a portion back for you.”
Ian settled into his chair at his regular table and opened his book. He’d long had the habit of reading in restaurants until his food arrived. It kept him from feeling lonely. He heard a commotion at the door and glanced up from his book to see a stunning young woman in conversation with Yiannis.
“Of course you are not too late, Signorina,” Yiannis was saying as he showed her to a table. “We always look forward to your return in June. Did you have a pleasant journey from Venice?”
“Pleasant enough, Yiannis. I hope you have some of your Rabbit Steffado for me tonight. I’ve been looking forward to it for months.”
“Alas, I am afraid the last portion was just ordered by someone else,” he said, nodding in the general direction of Ian’s table. “But I have a very nice fish if you’re interested.”
“Hmm. I’ll think about it. Meanwhile, if you could bring me a pitcher of your good house wine…”
Ian went back to reading his book. Suddenly he sensed that he wasn’t alone. He looked up to see the woman who’d just entered the restaurant standing at his table, a brimming pitcher of wine in her hand. She was tall and full breasted, her long ebony hair swung loosely to her shoulders and her eyes were dark and lively. Her face could have come from a Botticelli painting, beautifully oval, classically Italian. She wore a low necked blouse that seemed to fall off one shoulder and a full skirt that emphasized her small waist. He realized with a shock that she was speaking to him in English and that he hadn’t heard a word she had said.
“I beg your pardon?”
“I said I assume you speak English since you’re reading a book in that language. If you’d rather, we could speak in Italian. My Greek is a bit primitive.”
Confused, Ian managed to stutter, “English will be fine.”
“Good. I have a proposition for you.” She smiled. Ian thought whatever it is the answer is yes. He merely nodded.
“You,” she resumed accusingly, “you have ordered the last portion of Rabbit Steffado. I’ve been looking forward to Rabbit Steffado for months. I propose that we should enjoy that rabbit together. There is always enough for two in Yiannis’ portions. Meanwhile we can order some of Catarina’s eggplant and a salad to start and,” here she held up the pitcher, “I already have the wine.”
She waited expectantly. Ian threw back his head and laughed for the first time in months. “Please,” he said, getting up quickly and pulling out a chair for her, “Be my guest. I’m Ian McQuaid.”
Over the eggplant she told him she was from Venice and that her name was Maria. “I always spend six weeks here at this time of the year. And this is my favorite restaurant on Corfu. I always came here on my first night back.”
They worked their way through the appetizers laughing and chatting about their experiences on Corfu as if they were old friends. The rabbit arrived at the table, steaming and aromatic in its rich sauce. Maria ladled it on to their plates.
“So what brings you to Corfu?”
Ian somehow didn’t want to admit his recent illness to this young woman who was the picture of health and vitality. “I was working on Crete and I decided to take some time off. A friend suggested Corfu.”
“What do you do on Crete?”
“I’m an archaeologist. My special area is Bronze-Age societies, the Minoans in particular. Knossos, on Crete, is one of the best preserved Minoan sites in the world. I’ve been working there off and on for some years.”
“You’re an American aren’t you? Your accent isn’t British.”
“Yes. I’m a professor at Stanford University in California. But I spend half of every year in Greece.”
They continued to chat and laugh their way through the rest of meal. Ian could hardly take his eyes off of her. She was so utterly alive. Her mobile face telegraphed her every thought and mood. When she laughed at his stories her whole face lit up. When she was serious, her eyes held the reflective calm of a mountain lake. He found her utterly entrancing. By the time they’d finished dessert he was wondering how he could prolong the evening, how he could arrange to see her again. Then he reminded himself that he was still married, that he’d no right to become involved with this young vibrant creature sitting at his table. And that surely she would have no interest in him, a middle-aged man graying at the temples and many years her senior.
Regretfully, when Catarina began closing the shutters, he moved to pay the bill. “Please allow me,” he said. “You’ve given me so much pleasure tonight.”
She nodded and rose to leave. Outside the restaurant, she paused confused, and looked around. “Where’s your car?”
“Actually, I don’t have one. I haven’t found much need for one here. I walk everyplace. The house I’m renting is just up the hill a mile or so.”
“Please let me drive you home,” she said. “I insist. It is small payment for that lovely dinner.”
Ten minutes longer with her, Ian thought. Ten minutes more of her lovely voice and beautiful face. “Of course,” he responded.
She drove efficiently and competently. He watched the shadows and light fall on her face as she navigated the curves of the narrow, winding country road.
“Turn here,” he instructed as they reached the open gates to the property. She came to a stop at the circle in front of the villa. The fountain was splashing, its dolphins alive in the moonlight.
“What a beautiful spot.” She said.
They sat in silence for a moment, neither quite willing to end the evening. “You could come in for a brandy,” he suggested.
They got as far as the front door. Later they could neither of them remember who moved first. They were in each other’s arms, tearing at their clothing, stumbling up the steps toward the bedroom. Frustrated with their slow progress Ian swept her up into his arms and carried her to his bed, covering her with his body. They made love wordlessly, frantically, as if their very lives depended on their being together in this way at this moment.
When the storm had passed, Ian tried to speak. “I had no right to do this,” he said. “I’m married.”
“Of course you are,” she replied. “No man as attractive as you could be single. Not at your age. I came to you willingly, I asked for no commitment. We have here and now. We have tonight. Let’s not ask for more.”
He buried his face in her fragrant hair.
My name is Blair McDowell , and my books are set in places I know and love and are peopled with characters drawn from my experiences of those places. The Memory of Roses takes readers to the Greek Island of Corfu, where a young woman finds her future while searching for her father’s past. My upcoming book Delighting in Your Company which will be released in April 2012, transports the reader to a small island in the Caribbean, with a heroine who finds herself in the unenviable position of falling in love with a ghost. Due for release in the fall of 2012, the setting for Sonata is the city of Vancouver, with its vibrant multicultural population and its rich musical life, and my heroine is a musician who finds herself in unexpected danger.
I hope you will enjoy reading these books as much as I have enjoyed writing them.
Night Owl Romance
Win an e-copy of Sonata!
Answer the following questions either by Email to email@example.com, or by posting the answer(s) in the Comment box:
- What is the name of Michael’s dog? Hint can be found at ‘Sonata’ web page
- What does ‘R.A.A.’ stand for? Hint can be found at ‘Sonata’ web page
A jewel heist…
When renowned concert artist, Sayuri McAllister, returns to the west coast of Canada after an absence of five years, she discovers her family home has been a broken into and jewelry worth two million dollars is missing. Michael Donovan, Sayuri’s old high school flame, now a detective with the Vancouver Police Department, is the officer in charge of the case.
What chance can he have…
Michael takes one look at Sayuri and falls in love with her all over again. But they parted in anger years ago and Sayuri is no longer the innocent girl he once knew. What chance can there be for a Vancouver cop with someone as famous as Sayuri McAllister? Especially when that cop is investigating her family and friends?
An unexpected marriage…
Then Sayuri’s widowed father, Sean, marries Alyssa James, a woman Sayuri has never even met. The three live uneasily together in the Point Grey mansion until the unexpected arrival of Alyssa’s brother, Hugh James, a devastatingly handsome, charming Irishman who immediately begins a campaign to bed and wed the delicious and wealthy Sayuri.
Things take a dangerous turn…
Accidents begin to happen. Or are they accidents? Nothing is as it seems. Michael distrusts Hugh James and fears that Sayuri’s life may be in danger.
To Purchase this book by Blair McDowell: http://www.blairmcdowell.com/Sonata.html
Congrats to Sydney!
She’s the winner of my AnaBanana $25 Gift card (from the Stay at Home Party!) Hope you enjoy the yummy stuff!
Nell Whitby is starting over in New Orleans, meeting with a publisher for her children’s book, sketching tourists in the French Quarter, and leaving the tragic death of her parents behind. When a handsome detective asks her for a date, her fresh start seems perfect…until a dangerous family secret bubbles up from the past and puts her life in jeopardy.
The oldest of thirteen children, detective Alex Baker has two goals in life: solve murders and avoid anyone under the age of ten. That is, until the day the quirky children’s book author foils a carjacking, becomes a target for the mob, and makes his libido sit up and reconsider the whole no-kids thing. If he doesn’t protect her, she’ll be the next body to turn up in his homicide investigation.
As bullets start to fly, Nell can’t resist her sexy bodyguard or ignore her past, and Alex must protect the irresistible kid-magnet who has them both in the crosshairs.
Available at all online outlets. Releasing in print and audio this summer!
Hello everyone! Thank you for spending your day with me at the Release Party at The Romance Studio! And thank you to TRS for hosting these wonderful parties!
If you haven’t already entered the giveaway, be sure to click on the giveaway link (upper left-hand side on main page) for your chance to WIN a fabulous Alien Adoration swag package, and prizes from other great authors. Plus, don’t for get the Alien Adoration blog tour begins tomorrow. Click here for more details on how you can WIN a $25 Amazon gift certificate.
And, next month, I have two more stories releasing. Another Night, Another Planet is an erotic science fiction romance releasing from Decadent Publishing, that is part of both the 1Night Stand and Elatia lines. Never Gonna Desert You is my other upcoming release. It is a FF sci-fi/dystopian romance that is the second book in The Underground series. For those of you who remember Melina and Brook from Never Gonna Let You Go, this is their story.
Jessica Subject is the author of contemporary and science fiction romance, ranging from sweet to erotica. In her stories, you could meet clones, or a sexy alien or two. You may even be transported to another planet for a romantic rendezvous.
When Jessica isn’t reading, writing, or doing dreaded housework, she likes to get out and walk. Fast. But she just may slow down if there is a waterfall nearby.
Want Some Sexy Sizzle?
How about some X-rated love scenes to close out the party?
The cornflower blue of her t-shirt highlighted the blue flecks embedded in her green eyes, making them appear aquamarine. “I’m afraid, Dylan.”
He set the cup on the table and wrapped his arms around her. She clung to him, pressing every soft curve against him. Fear and worry pulled the skin taut over her forehead. Hunger blazed to life in the depths of her eyes.
Just step away before you make a huge mistake. She didn’t let him retreat. Charli ran the tips of her fingers along his stubbly jaw and down his chest between them. He swallowed as the lingering touch slammed into his groin.
“Stay with me for a little while.” Her voice was warm as good Southern whiskey and just as intoxicating. “I don’t want to fight this thing between us anymore. I don’t want to be alone.”
“Me either.” Slowly, he slid his hands over the soft cotton covering her back. She shivered and her lips parted.
He lowered his mouth to hers, and she opened to accept the full thrust of his tongue. She tugged on his t-shirt, and skimmed her hands over the skin under the hem. He groaned deep in his chest as she raked her nails over the small of his back, jolting his already excited erection.
When he tried to retreat from the battle of dueling tongues, she sucked on his, wrenching a long, deep moan from him. His hands held the curve of her behind, but it wasn’t enough. He wanted to touch her flesh.
She broke the kiss long enough to pull his t-shirt over his head. Before he knew what she was doing, her hands were on his belt. He caught her by the wrists and stripped her of her shirt and bra. She tugged off her boots and shimmied out of her jeans between gut-twisting kisses.
She stood before him wearing only a diamond studded belly button ring and a pair of stretch lace, pink panties. Freckles, millions of them, speckled the creamy porcelain of her skin. Like springs caught in a blacksmith’s fire, her red-gold hair fell around her face and shoulders and down her back to her waist. The sexy pout puckering her lips and the heavy-lidded eyes caught and held his.
He knew she wasn’t innocent, but something about the way she looked made him think she was far more experienced than he’d initially thought.
“Are you sure we should do this?” His voice came through as a low rumble.
Charli flashed him a wicked grin. She skimmed her right hand over the Special Forces tat and the puckered nipple on the left side of his chest. He shuddered when she leaned in and flicked her hot tongue over the point and ran her hands down his body to the fly of his jeans. She’d already opened the belt. She lowered the zipper and purred against his skin. “Don’t you dare get all noble on me now.”
“I wouldn’t think of it.” He toed off his boots and shucked his jeans.
“If you don’t have a condom, we can–”
“I have one.” He pulled his wallet from the pocket of his jeans and removed a crinkled packet.
“How long have you been carrying that thing around?”
“For a while.” He looked down at the battered foil paper. He didn’t want to think about the night Brenda remarried, when he’d put it in his wallet. The night he’d almost slept with Julie Larson. Thank God, in the end, he couldn’t do it. He’d forgotten about the condom until the kiss in the bathroom.
“I guess we have everything we need.” When she squeezed his hard-on, he groaned and the only thing he could think about was burying himself inside her soft heat. Charli ran her lips up his neck, along his jaw. She licked the shell of his ear. Her warm breath on his damp sensitive skin caused him to shiver again as she whispered, “Right or wrong, good or bad, I want to have sex with you right here and right now.”
Then she stroked the length of his erection.
He sucked in a hissing breath and tugged at her panties. They fell to her ankles, where she stepped out of them. Thinking beyond the primitive need pounding through his veins was impossible. He lifted her onto the edge of the table.
“Dylan.” She moaned, arching into him, when he nibbled first one taut nipple and then the other. Her fingers flexed in his hair, holding him close to her.
Under his hand, the skin of her inner thighs was buttery soft. He stroked her hot, slick sex. She arched into his hand and called his name again when the first quakes of orgasm shattered her. He let her ride out the waves until his erection pulsed with painful need.
With unsteady hands, he sheathed himself in the condom. While he kissed her long and deep, she wrapped her legs around his hips. He thrust forward the same time she pulled him to her. They both groaned at the connection, breaking the kiss. He moved within her fast, hard and deep.
Her head fell back, and she gazed at him through heavy-lidded eyes. The erotic beauty of her lips parting on a moan, the long auburn lashes over passion-darkened eyes, and the hungry flush of her freckled cheeks made his knees weak. Fire boiled in his low belly. She flexed her fingernails into his shoulders, and her muscles tightened around him, drawing him deeper.
He caught one of her rosy nipples between his lips again, pulling the hard raspberry into his mouth. She clutched at his shoulders, let out a high keening sound, and shuddered around him as he pounded deep inside.
She was slick and so hot that he thought he might burn up before the end. Combined with the contractions of her inner muscles, the sensations wrenched a release out of him that curled his toes. He cursed and trembled as he emptied himself into her. Struggling to fill his lungs with air, he rested his forehead on her shoulder, afraid he’d slide to the floor in a boneless heap.
She turned her face and placed a kiss next to his ear. “Wow. That was amazing.”
“You feel so good. I want you again.” He kissed her.
She held him close and sucked on his tongue. When she moved on him, she felt too good.
He pulled away and stared down into her eyes. “Damn. Please tell me you’re on some kind of birth control?”
“I wish I was. I want you again, too.”
“That isn’t what I meant.” He pulled out of her.
A slow pucker troubled her brow when she looked down at his softening erection.
His hands moved up her arms and down her back. He pulled her against him. His eyes brightened, and he bent his head toward her. She
breathed in his wonderful scent no cologne could ever duplicate—sweet and spicy like ginger and honey mixed with cloves and aged leather.
“Do you really want me to stay?”
She drowned in his gaze and found it hard to breathe. “What’s my heart telling you?”
A sexy grin tilted his lips. “That I should kiss you.”
The kiss started out tender, but passion ignited a fire in both of them that couldn’t be denied. She met his tongue with every thrust. With a groan, he buried his hand into her hair and slid the other down her back to her behind. He pulled her against the hardness of his body. Her knees weakened and her insides turned to hot liquid.
The kiss went on and on, passionate and tender, demanding and giving, promising and forgiving. At last, with a growl from Ian and a whimper from Grace, they breathlessly separated.
They came together again, and more passion poured into the joining of lips and tongues. Her hands moved between them and pushed the leather trench coat from his shoulders, and he shrugged it off. Next, she unbuttoned his shirt.
As he shucked the shirt, Ian rained kisses along her jaw to her ear. His breath caused a sweet shudder in her. He sucked on her earlobe and moved his hands to her hips. He lifted her, and she wrapped her legs around his waist. The thick steel of his erection pressed into her aching center, and they both groaned with blaring need.
Grace brushed her fingers over his shoulders. With her mind linked with his, she felt every tingle, every spark she created in him. She’d never experienced anything so intimate, so sexy. She broke the kiss and rained kisses down his jaw and neck to place a kiss over his pulse.
A low hiss escaped him from the erotic pleasure of her nipping. “Grace,” he gasped, “I love you. I need you more than anything.”
Shivering at the sound of his husky voice, and at what his low passion-laced words promised, she helped him yank her sweater over her head. She reached around her back and unhooked her bra.
Before she had it off, he captured a hard nipple in his mouth. She arched into him, groaning his name. As he laved, nipped and then suckled first one breast and then the other, she slid to her feet. If he hadn’t been cupping her ass, she would have slipped onto the floor. Her legs were limp as week old lettuce leaves, and Grace bit her bottom lip against the sensations.
She raked her fingernails down his chest and abdomen, and his rock hard belly quivered at her touch. She unbuckled his belt and opened his pants.
When she touched his erection, a shock skittered through her more intense than an electric charge.
She called out his name and felt her own body climb and reach for release with every stroke.
With a growl, he let go of her breast and his head lolled back. She kissed down his chest, tasting the sweetness of his skin. Chocolate had nothing over Ian. She wanted to eat him up. When she paused at the points of his nipples, she gave them similar attention as she’d gotten from him.
His hands gripped her shoulders, and she thought he was going to set her away from him. She smiled up at him as she lightly sucked then nibbled. As much as she craved for his pleasuring of her, she wanted to do the same to him. She went down on him, kissed every one of those sinew-banded abs and relished the kinky flutter the action caused in her own.
When she knelt before him, his eyes blazed a white-hot blue. She leaned forward and kissed the throbbing head of his penis as she continued to stroke him.
His hands fisted at his sides. They didn’t need words, connected as they were. Grace enjoyed this bit of foreplay as much as he did. And she knew he was desperately close to letting go.
Grace licked up the underside of him to the tip and down again. She squirmed in her jeans at the hot coil twisting in her core as if he were doing the same things to her.
His chest expanded with a breath as she kissed the tip of his erection again.
When she took him full into her mouth, Ian buried his hands into her hair and roared with his release. Grace, unprepared for the barrage of sensations, cried out as she exploded with her own orgasm.
He caught her before she landed on the carpet, pulling her up against him. They held on for a moment, and he then met her gaze.
She swallowed and gasped for breath. “That was freakin’ amazing.”
Ian picked her up and chuckled low in his chest. “I wasn’t exactly prepared for it myself. Now, it’s your turn.”
He lowered her onto the couch. She moved her hands over his chest, tracing the light dusting of black curls that stood in stark contrast to the paleness of his skin. An aftershock of the shared orgasm quaked through her—and him. “I think I already had it.”
Ian grinned lopsidedly. “That, my angel, was just the beginning.”
She gasped when he possessed her lips. His tongue ravaged her mouth, mating with hers and stealing her breath away. He broke off the kiss, and a moment later, attacked her breasts. Lightheaded from their combined pleasure and desire, she moaned his name and arched her back to get closer to him. His free hand moved down her belly, caressing a line of molten fire to the belt buckle at the waistband of her jeans.
His mouth followed that same trail. She growled and fisted her hands into the couch cushions. He pulled away to reposition himself between her legs, spreading them with his knee. She opened her eyes, and he smiled brazenly at her.
“How…” She didn’t know when or how, but he’d gotten rid of his pants and turned out the lights, leaving only the fireplace glow.
“I’m a vampire. Speed is just one of my many tricks.”
GQ models would have envied Ian his body. Wide shoulders gave way to muscular arms and a broad chest with a fine dusting of black curls leading over a washboard abdomen. Grace licked her lips at the way his skin glowed in the soft light of the fireplace. Her gaze fell upon his long, thick erection. He was hard and ready.
“Let me guess stamina is another.” She bit her lip and ached with the need to have him inside. “Ian, I need you now.”
“All in due time. I plan to do this to you all night.”
Grace had a feeling he was as good as his word. She held her breath as he removed her boots and jeans. All that remained were her black panties. He lifted her foot to his sensual mouth and placed nipping kisses to the arch of her foot and up her calf to her thigh. She whimpered when he hooked his thumbs under the elastic of her panties and removed them with torturous slowness.
Ian rained feathery kisses up her thigh to her weeping core. When he took her into his mouth, nibbling, sucking and licking, he growled and she screamed his name. She writhed as he took her spiraling over the edge into the bliss of another orgasm.
After bringing her down, Ian lifted his head, and she opened her eyes to stare at him. His wicked smile promised exquisite pleasure, and he moved to take her other foot into his skillful hands. He repeated the sensory trek over the other foot, ankle and leg, all the while, never taking his penetrating gaze from hers. Mesmerized, she sucked in her breath and forgot to exhale.
He smiled devastatingly as he leaned over her, and whispered above her trembling lips, “Breathe.”
She gasped, and her lungs filled with his honeyed ginger scent before his lips claimed hers again filling her totally with his sweetness.
At long last, he pulled away from her, leaving her burning and trembling as his eyes leisurely looked over her body. He growled with lust that echoed through her. When Ian covered her, she wrapped her legs around his and encircled his shoulders with her arms.
“I love you, Grace. My beautiful angel. I love you.” Then he reclaimed her lips with tender passion. Entwined in each other, he joined their bodies. He broke the kiss and groaned long and low in his throat.
Instantly, the flames within the pit of her belly raged into an out of control fire with the combined assault of her sensations and his as he pounded into her.
“Oh, God, Ian!” The other orgasms had been amazing, but comparing them was like the difference between a ripple and a tsunami. She arched her back off the couch, meeting his thrusts.
She tried to hold on as her nails bit into his shoulders. When the dual explosion shattered them, they called out to each other and hung on as their world flew apart in the wake of blinding white ecstasy.
Abby didn’t remember much of the drive home. Like a man possessed, Seth pulled into her drive and skidded to a stop on the loose gravel of the driveway.
He unfastened his seatbelt and leaned over at the same time she knelt in the leather seat facing him. Her arms went around his neck. His went around her waist and pulled her as close as the center console would allow.
Their lips clashed together, and he slid his hungry tongue into her mouth. She tasted the spicy passion sizzling between them, tangled her fingers into the strands of his hair, pulling him even closer. One of his hands slid up her side to cover her breast; the other slipped under her skirt and stroked the skin of her thigh, then slipped under the edge of her panties. When he stroked her, she shivered at the sensation of his rough hand so intimately touching her.
“Damn, you’re so wet.” He moaned as she sucked on his lower lip and nibbled on the captured flesh.
“Don’t stop.” She shivered again and her breathing went ragged. She was too close to the edge to not fall over it. When he slipped a finger inside her, it was too much. She clung to him as the shudders of her orgasm raked over her.
When she finally opened her eyes to meet his, he groaned as he pulled his hand away. His eyes were dark in the fickle light of the moon and porch shining through the windshield, but they burned with need.
“Let’s go inside,” she whispered against his lips.
He rushed around the SUV and yanked the door open. She went into his arms, wrapping her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck. He stopped and his breath hissed out of him, breaking the kiss.
He untangled her legs from around his waist and shifted her into a bridal carry. “Trust me this way is safer. Or I’ll strip you right here.”
“At this point I don’t care,” she murmured and pulled his mouth back to hers. “I want you inside me.”
He carried her to the front door. She fumbled with her key, while he suckled the soft skin behind her ear, making it damned hard to concentrate. When she finally got the door open, they didn’t bother with the light; he went straight through the house to the master bedroom.
He set her on her feet and buried his fingers in her hair as he kissed her. She pulled his shirt out of his jeans and yanked open the pearl snaps. His chest quivered under her touch. He broke the kiss as she explored the hard muscle and contrasting textures of the curls and smooth skin.
She undid the clasp and tie, then he shucked the shirt. She bit her bottom lip as the dim moonlight from the windows limned his wide chest and muscular shoulders. She ached for him and couldn’t wait much longer. As she reached for his belt, he reached around her and unzipped the dress.
He took possession of her mouth, his tongue plunging deep, imitating what they both wanted. Before his jeans slipped down his toned legs, he pulled a condom from his back pocket and placed it on the bedside table. He pushed the dress from her shoulders and it fell to the floor, followed by her bra and panties, then he lifted her against him again and laid her on the bed.
Moaning his name deep in her throat, she arched against him as he brushed his thumb over a puckered nipple. She reached between them and found his heavy erection. He broke the kiss with a hiss and caught her hands.
“You’ve got to slow down, baby.” He pulled her arms over her head.
“I don’t want slow.” She arched her body into him again. “I want you inside now.”
He growled and nuzzled her neck. “Jesus, I think you’re gonna kill me.”
“No, you’re killing me.” Was that breathy voice hers?
He shuddered then pulled back. “How can I want you this much?” he asked in a gravelly rumble that stilled her heart. “How did I survive without having you before now?”
For a long moment, she searched his gaze. What did he mean by that? “I swore this wouldn’t happen. But I want you so much I can’t breathe.”
Trailing openmouthed kisses down her throat, he stopped to nibble on the skin over her racing pulse. His facial hair tickled her oversensitive skin as he placed soft kisses over her breasts and suckled on the hard points of her nipples.
He took the condom and quickly sheathed himself. Her heart pounded so fast and hard against her ribs she feared it would crash out of her chest. He was so big and it had been so long since she’d had sex. She hoped she could take him.
When he lay over her, he captured her lips with his. Legs wound around his hips, and arms clasped his shoulders, she held on to him, afraid to let go.
When his erection touched her, he closed his eyes and groaned deep in his chest. She moved against him, and he entered in a single thrust.
“Oh, God, Abby…you feel so good.” His head went back; his jaw clenched taut. His shoulders and chest tensed. He was so beautiful, her soul wept.
He met her gaze with one heavy with desire as he moved over her and within her, finding the perfect rhythm.
Her nails bit into his shoulders as she urged him to move faster. Her body pulsed around him, taking him deeper. He consumed her, and she wanted to consume him. He dove into her over and over again, rushing them both to completion.
He gripped her hips, lifted her, angling her pelvis. She cried out at the jolt of pleasure flowing through her. A rattling groan came from his chest as she tightened around him, drawing him deep into her. His biceps bulged, and his face contorted with strained control.
Had she ever felt like this?
She screamed when the orgasm hit. Wave after wave of ecstasy washed over her heated flesh, and light burst behind her eyes. Calling out his name, she held on to him and rode out the storm.
He plunged into her one last time, and his sweat-slicked body stilled over hers, the muscles under her hands becoming as firm as granite. Growling her name into her neck, he followed her to fulfillment.
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“Baby, unless you’re completely sure about this, we have to stop,” he said in a raspy whisper.
She smoothed her hands over his chest and shoulders to thread her fingers into his hair. “I’m completely sure. Make love to me, Austin.”
He kissed her—hot, wild and primal.
With a growl, he pulled back and carried her up the spiral stairs to the master bedroom. She took one look at the light blue comforter on the big four-poster bed.
She’d been unconscious for a week and a half. Austin must have bathed her, but she still hadn’t taken a shower since… Before he could lay her down, she set her feet on the floor and pushed against his bare chest.
His eyes flashed with confusion and sudden vulnerability. She leaned up and kissed him softly on the lips. Before he could deepen the kiss, she pulled back. “I want you, but I need a shower first.”
The heat was instantly back in the swirling hazel of his eyes. A slow grin played on his lips as he reached for the bottom of the western shirt she wore. He pulled it over her head and took his time caressing her body with a gaze as hot as the flames of the fire.
“You are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met.”
She shuddered and smiled. “I’m not a woman.”
The low rumble of his laugh vibrated through her, and his gruff voice danced over her senses. “You’re right. You’re an angel.”
She shook her head and smiled. “Come on, iubita mea. What’s the saying? You wash my back, and I’ll wash yours?”
“Hot damn.” He swept her up in his arms and carried her into the bathroom.
They didn’t bother with the lights. While Austin turned on the water, she stood behind him, reached around him to undo the fly of his jeans, and pushed them over his slender hips. He turned and kicked the denim away from his bare feet.
She took her time looking at him. There had been a lot of beautiful men who’d passed through her long life.
Governor Georg had been probably the most handsome, but even the Transylvanian governor paled in comparison to Austin.
He pulled her to him and covered her mouth with his in another searing kiss. When they came breathlessly apart, they stepped under the spray in the extra-large shower. The water was perfect. Brigit lifted her face into the stream. She sensed him watching her again and opened her eyes as she pushed back her wet hair.
She picked up the bar of soap and lathered her hands. His skin was slick as she ran her soapy hands over his arms, shoulders, and chest. She traced each of the hard bands of muscle making up his six-pack down over his hips. Their gazes locked as she knelt before him. She caressed up his thighs to his thick, long, heavy erection.
He threw back his head when she touched him and a loud groan echoed off the tile and glass of the shower.
She closed her hand tightly around him and used her thumb to caress the tender underside.
“Dear God,” he breathed and grasped her shoulders to pull her up to him.
He plundered her mouth while his hands washed all over her. Her breasts, back, belly, hips, behind, wiping away any resistance she still held. When he found the hot, wet place between her legs, she cried out and broke the frantic mating of their tongues.
With a chuckle, he hoarsely said, “All’s fair in love and war, baby.”
She held his gaze as steamy water trickled over them. “Baby?” He grinned and shrugged. She outlined his lips with her index finger, enjoyed the shudder that echoed through him. “How old are you?”
His eyes danced with hot amusement as he caught her hand and kissed her fingers. “Thirty-three… Thirty-two I guess is where I stopped aging.” She raised a brow, but before she could speak, he asked, “How old are you—physically?”
“All Lykan change to wolves when we turn thirteen, but physically stop aging when we hit twenty… I turned twenty years old in 1667.” She lightly feathered her fingertips over his high cheekbone and along his jaw line. “Are we going to discuss our crazy age differences, or are we going to make love?”
He caught her mouth again and stroked down her body, pausing to pay special attention to her breasts and causing all kinds of tingles and shivers. He pushed her against the wall of the shower and kissed her to a feverish pitch as he parted her legs to stroke her. The hot coil of pleasure twisted in her low belly to an almost unbearable intensity.
They were both heaving for breath when they broke the kiss. He met her gaze again before turning her around and putting her hands against the wall of the shower. He stroked her wet hair to her shoulders as she looked back at him.
“Do you trust me?” he huskily asked.
She nodded and swallowed. “Yes.”
His sexy grin reassured her, and he pressed lightly on her shoulders. “Good. Bend over.”
A delicious shiver of anticipation ran through her.
He caressed down her back to her behind. She tossed her wet hair from her face and met his gaze over her shoulder. His eyes took on a soft glow as he touched her with the tip of his erection.
She expected him to take her fast and furiously, but she couldn’t have been more wrong. He entered her one incredible inch at time until he filled her completely.
She cried out, and he groaned. He gripped her hips and set a sweet rhythm meant to torture as much as it was to pleasure.
She tried moving faster, but he held her hips and controlled the pace. “Austin, more…” she moaned and fisted her hands against the tile.
Damn, he was going to make her beg.
But she didn’t have to. He growled her name and kicked things up. The coil spiraled faster and tighter in her low belly, but it wasn’t only her pleasure she felt.
His pending release echoed along with hers. Light flashed around her and their sensations tumbled over themselves inside her like water over a waterfall.
Austin let out a primitive shout and followed her over the edge.
His chest heaved as he slowly straightened and leaned against the shower wall. She fought to keep her knees from buckling. She swore every bone in her body had liquefied.
He wiped water out of his face and wrapped his arms around her waist. “Damn. That wasn’t sex. That was a religious experience.”
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Drum roll …
Here it is, a sneak peak from book three in The Adventures of Star Lite series. This one is titled Awaken the Fire, so it’s only fitting to start with a hot excerpt. Star and Adam are far apart and are engaging in a little cyber sex. Enjoy, and thank you for joining me at the party today. Good luck to everyone; I hope you win fabulous goodies!
“How are negotiations with the Vigilar coming?” Star asked.
“I have a meeting with them tomorrow. I’m seeing Maurice, the head honcho, and several other members of the council. Wish me luck.”
“You don’t need luck, you’ve got magic, and you’re smart as a whip. I have the utmost confidence in your ability to get what you want. You won’t forget to mention my requests in your meeting, will you?”
“I’ve got them on my list.”
“Tell me what else is on your list.”
“I’d rather you tell me what you’re wearing right now.”
Heat crept along Star’s spine at the husky timbre in his tone. Just like that, the sound of his voice sent her mind spinning to a decadent place, and she felt moisture form between her legs.
“I will, in a minute. You heard Zander, business first.”
“All right. Item one, you are free to come and go as you please. They will be allowed to study you only at times that are convenient for you, and you won’t be held against your will. Now, tell me more about what you’re going to do to me when I’m on the floor.”
“I’m going to straddle you and pin your arms to your sides with my knees. What’s next on your list?” Star squirmed in her chair as an image of Adam struggling beneath her filled her mind.
“If they want to administer drugs, potions or whatnot, or any magic they want to perform, they have to clear it through Tristan first.”
“Tristan?” Star was surprised to hear Adam mention her instructor. Though the three of them had recently joined together in a powerful sexual ménage, Star knew Adam didn’t entirely trust the man.
“He knows his magic and his potions, and he wants what’s best for you. What happens next, after you have me pinned and helpless?”
In addition to lust, Star heard tenderness in his voice. He really did care for her, and was looking out for her best interests. Adam was acquainted with Tristan and knew his intense sexual nature. The fact that Tristan had attempted to seduce Star in a roundabout way did not sit well with Adam, but the three of them had sorted that out and come to an understanding. That he was now willing to work with Tristan was a good sign.
“I take off your shirt and undo your pants.”
“You might have a weapon hidden. Next item on your list.” Her breath was coming faster now. The air in the room seemed heavy and she could almost smell the tantalising musky scent he emitted when he was aroused. She wriggled again, trying to find a comfortable position. Her nipples had tightened almost to the point of pain, and she rubbed her hand across them to relieve the ache.
“They will allow those with magic to practise freely, as long as they don’t call attention to themselves or hurt others. Go on, what happens next?” Adam said, his voice thick with desire.
“I search you for weapons. A very thorough search. I have to check between your legs, in all the crevices, to make sure you don’t have anything concealed. Next item.” Sopping wet now, Star slid one hand down the front of her pants.
“They provide instructors for those coming into their magic. Star, I don’t want to talk about that anymore. I want you to tell me what happens next, with you and me on the ground.”
“I wrap my hand around your cock and squeeze. Hard. You have something I want, and I have to coerce you to give it to me.”
A moan let her know Adam was as hot as she was. She stroked her wet lips and circled her clit with one finger, as she gripped the handset with her other, sweaty hand.
“What do I have that you want?”
“A cock that fits inside me just right,” she breathed, rather surprised at her own boldness.
“You’ve worn down my defences. I can’t hold you off any longer.” Star knew by his voice, he had his own hand holding his shaft and was stroking it. Could he tell where her fingers danced?
“Victory is mine! I mount you and slide your cock inside my wet cunt.”
“It is wet, isn’t it? Put the mouthpiece between your legs and let me hear you playing with yourself.”
Star did as instructed for several moments, then brought the handset back up to her ear.
“I’m ready to come, how about you?” she asked, her voice tight with need.
“You go first. I want to listen and enjoy every second,” Adam said.
“I have to be quiet…” Star moaned and thrust her pelvis forward in the chair, nearly falling off with the force of her orgasm. On the other end of the line, she heard Adam gasp her name, then moan.
They both breathed deeply together for another moment, neither one speaking.
“It’s better when you’re here,” Adam said.
“I know, I…” Static suddenly filled the line, and he was gone. With a sigh, Star closed her eyes and pictured Adam the last time she’d seen him, with a smile on his lips and love shining in his eyes. He’d sent her to this planet to avoid having the Vigilar, a powerful group who monitored magicians, snatch her away to become a lab rat.
She’d discovered she possessed a unique power—
Coming in mid June from Total-E-Bound