“Live the Romance, Become the Fantasy…”
** Predators & Editors Best Author 2012 **
** Best-Selling Author of 2011 **
Read a short excerpt…
…The silence lingered for several peaceful minutes, then it was shattered by the roar of gunfire, and the shriek of terrified horses bolting ahead at break-neck speed. McQuade muttered a colorful curse and pushed aside the curtain at the window. Elizabeth was stunned to note that he held his gun in his hand and she hadn’t seen him actually reach for it.
“Stay down, Elizabeth!” Chris ordered sharply. She bit back a scream when he opened the door and took hold of the side of the coach. He hoisted himself upward until he was out of her sight.
McQuade glanced down, saw she’d pulled the door of the lurching coach back into place, then he concentrated on what was happening around them. The driver of the stage had been shot. The reins still dangled loosely in his limp grip. Much as he disliked doing it, Chris reholstered his gun, pushed the man off the bench, and brought the horses under control again. He risked a glance back when a bullet whizzed by the right side of his head. He saw three riders, guns badly aimed for the most part, all with faces hidden behind bandanas.
Slowing the coach a little, Chris drew his gun again and turned, using the seat as a poor shield. He took aim and fired off a single shot. One of the men went down with a howl, his horse veering away the instant the rider was tossed from the saddle. McQuade’s second shot was equally careful, but he didn’t topple the rider this time. The man hung on, though he was definitely out of the game in terms of presenting further danger to Chris and the woman inside the coach. Taking a calculated risk, McQuade brought the horses to a slow halt and set the brake on the coach.
“Stay inside, Elizabeth,” he snarled. “And don’t do or say anything. No matter what you hear. Is that understood?”
He received no answer and he ground his teeth together in annoyance.
“I’ll do as you ask,” she snapped pertly.
He allowed the flicker of a smile to cross his face before he climbed down from the high seat of the coach and walked to the side…
Read what the reviewers are saying…
“4 Stars!…An enjoyable and short western story. Even though it is predictable in its plot line, I completely enjoyed this book. Chris is extreme in his alpha attitude and so is Elizabeth as a strong independent woman. Together these two characters are well developed for a quick story and flow together well. The sex in this story is hot and passionate, with the love quickly developed and announced. The action is gut clenching and exciting! I definitely recommend this story to everyone, especially those who really enjoy historical westerns.”—Vikky Bertling, Just Erotic Romance Reviews
“4 Stars!…An entertaining and sensual historical short story with a few surprises that is sure to delight many readers. Elizabeth is a truly appealing character. She’s wary of Chris but also compelled by his presence. Although she’s beautiful, she has refreshing qualities for a woman of her times in that she’s strong, opinionated and doesn’t mind letting people know. I enjoyed reading about a heroine who is voluptuous and curvaceous and feels confident. Chris is a Marshal to die for; he’s handsome, tough, and prepared to do all in his power to save the woman he loves. His passionate and romantic nature is well hidden beneath the ruthless fa?ade he projects until he meets Elizabeth. From the first both fight a strong attraction that’s simmering between them only to realize they have never felt this way before. This burning desire between Elizabeth and Chris culminates in a very fiery explosion and these two lovers come together in a highly sensual moment, in one of the longest love scenes I’ve read. Elizabeth and Chris were meant for each other. It was great seeing their story unfold and develop.”—Aggie, Just Erotic Romance Reviews
“This quick western will charm readers with the typical Wild West components: outlaws, marshals, and a feisty damsel in distress. But Denyse M. Bridger has written an anything but typical romance. Her vivid writing makes A Safer Haven a delight to read and the love scenes make you wish you were the damsel in distress. I look forward to reading more from the engaging Denyse M. Bridger.”—Tina Burns, The Road to Romance
“5 Angels!…A wonderful, very sensual romance. Although short, the story is fully developed and substantial. Chris and Elizabeth are both likable characters that the reader wants to see happy. The sexual chemistry between them is palpable. Ms. Bridger?s has a talent for writing eloquent, extremely passionate love scenes. She gets the point across without being too explicit. She conveys the emotions beautifully, without graphic language. It?s hard to believe this is Ms. Bridger’s first erotic romance. It?s definitely an impressive start. I hope to see many more just like this one!”—Shelley, Fallen Angel Reviews
“5 Flames!…Ms. Bridger gives the reader a wonderfully vivid setting and fills it with well-rounded, believable characters. Elizabeth is brave and always ready to help out. Chris, strong and capable, accepts her help, which is pleasantly surprising. The love scenes are beautiful and very sensual, but not as graphic as those seen in other erotic romances. This excellent short story is a quick, satisfying read, and I highly recommend it.”—Renee, Sizzling Romances
“4 Ribbons!…A great story you’ll be sure to enjoy in one sitting. Denyse M. Bridger knows how to write an erotic and entertaining short story. If you like historical romance, then A Safer Haven is for you. The characters are a big part of any story, and you will love the hero and heroine in this one. Chris is the kind of hot sexy hero that will leave you breathless, and Elizabeth is a wonderful heroine.”—BJ Deese, Blue Ribbon Reviews
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When Detective Peter King comes into the picture, and accuses Smythe of more than corporate dirty-dealing, Kristy’s life is suddenly a lot more complicated than she wants it to be…
“Your former executive assistant, Robert, did his job well,” she said. “God! That feels good,” she whispered, as tiny shivers of pleasure spread through her body. “The books are in perfect order.”
“That was what I paid him for,” Smythe noted, his tone sardonic.
“I know what you paid him for, sweetheart,” Kristy commented with a low laugh. “I am also perfectly aware that the accounts we’ve been looking at all day are not quite accurate.”
Smythe’s fingers halted in their sensual activity and he waited for her next words.
“They haven’t a clue, John,” she reassured him. “I simply have no illusions about why you hired me, and handed the D.A. a solid case against Robert.”
“And?” he prodded, moving away from her to sit on the edge of the huge conference table.
Acutely conscious of her body’s response to his touch, and objecting to its withdrawal, Kristy rose and stood in front of him. She leaned forward until their eyes were bare inches apart. John shifted his position on the table and spread his legs to allow her fully into his embrace.
“I don’t intend to end up the same way Robert did, darling,” she whispered. Before he could answer, she covered his mouth in a hungry kiss. Her weariness left her as Smythe’s hands answered her overt invitation and began an exploration beneath her jacket. She shuddered as their kiss deepened.
“Am I interrupting something?”
The pleasant, too polite tone put a scowl on Smythe’s face as he released Kristy with deliberate reluctance. Covering her own annoyance at the interruption, she quirked an eyebrow in speculative interest as John stood and gestured for the unexpected visitor to come into the room.
“It’s good to see you again, Detective King,” Smythe said with a forced smile. “I don’t think you’ve met my new executive assistant, Kristy Hawthorne. This is Peter King.” He concluded the introduction as he sank into the large, cushioned chair at the head of the table and waited for King to show his hand.
Peter’s smile was still irritatingly cheerful. He stepped forward and shook Kristy’s hand, brown eyes measuring her as she met the faint challenge in his manner.
“You should keep better company than this after hours,” he commented.
“I’ll bear that in mind, Detective,” she returned, matching his smile and his tone. “Is this a private meeting, or should I remain to referee?”
“You’ve heard of me,” Peter remarked with mock despair. “I’m disappointed. It’s probably all bad.”
“Not all of it,” Kristy replied. “Karen likes you.”
Peter’s grin brightened his features for a second, then faded when he dropped into a seat across from Smythe.
“Is there a point to this intrusion, Detective?” John asked with a faint smile. “Or, were you just in the neighborhood?”
“As a matter of fact,” Peter began, then stopped in mid-sentence. His pleasant manner disappeared and his voice, when he spoke again, had the unmistakable edge of honed steel. “Karen’s in protective custody, Smythe. My custody. If anything happens to her, I promise you, it’ll reflect badly on your health.”
“Is that a threat, Detective?”
“No threat,” Peter answered, his good humor returning as miraculously as it had vanished seconds earlier. “I just thought you might like to be aware of your situation.”
“And what ‘situation’ might that be?”
“She’s to be left alone, Smythe. You may have conned her father and the D.A., but I know better.”
“Of course,” John replied, his tone slipping into condescending amusement. “But, perhaps you should be a little more concerned about your own continuing good health?”
“Is that a threat, Mr. Smythe?”
“No threat. I just thought you might like to be aware of your situation, Detective.”
“This isn’t over,” Peter promised. He stood and headed for the door. John’s voice stopped him.
“A word to the wise, Detective King. Leave it alone. Wheeler Research and Technology is my business, not yours. Remember that, and you just might survive your involvement in my affairs.”
John watched the conflict play itself out on the detective’s expressive features. King wanted to fight, but he also recognized the futility of it. John resisted a satisfied smile when Peter glared at him, grabbed the doorknob, and left the room without a sound.
“He’s not exactly short on nerve, is he?” Kristy said.
“Nor particularly long on brains.”
John watched Kirsty as she went to the door and twisted the lock. She came back to him and slid into a sitting position on the table in front of him, long legs dangling on either side of his. He placed his hands on her knees and slowly moved them upward over the curve of her thighs.
“Where were we?” he murmured, pulling her forward until she straddled him in the chair.
“You were helping me relax, darling,” she said with a laugh, and reached for his tie.
“Would you like to have dinner?” Smythe’s gaze held hers as his fingers opened the buttons on the satin blouse she wore.
“Yes,” she breathed into his mouth. “Right here on the board room table.” If he planned a retort, she prevented it from being voiced when she covered his lips with hers. The kiss was intense, possessive, and arousing. Kristy’s head was already spinning with the need to have John inside her. She broke their kiss and her head fell back. She moaned softly, her body shivering in response to his touch as he kneaded her breasts in firm hands, her nipples pressed tightly against the sheer lace cups of her bra.
Smythe moved suddenly, lifting her onto the smooth conference table. She shed the blouse that hung off her shoulders and his deft fingers tugged the lacy bra cups down to expose the tight, dark buds that crested the ample swells of her breasts. She murmured soft whispers of encouragement when he began licking the sensitive tips. When she couldn’t stand the denial any longer, she flicked the clasp open and let the discarded brassiere fall into the rumpled pile of satin that was her blouse. Then she kissed him and guided his mouth to one of her aching nipples. When his lips closed over the straining tip and he began sucking hard, she squirmed and tried to pull him onto the table with her.
“You’re eager tonight, darling,” John murmured as he drew away and began to drop his own clothes into a nearby chair.
Kristy laughed and shed her skirt, then she tossed him her damp panties and spread her legs wide as she leaned back.
“I see I’m not the only one,” she noted, her voice a low, erotic purr of satisfaction.
“What, precisely, do you want, Kristy?” John taunted, his hand closing around the rigid length of his erection, the smooth stroke of his fingers steady and slow.
“I want that,” she said, pointing to his cock, “right here.” She slipped her finger into the hot, wet folds between her thighs.
“Keep doing that,” he instructed, and she complied, her hand moving in a rapid, thrusting rhythm as she fell back to the surface of the table and her hips flowed into the motion. She was hovering on the edge of orgasm when John pulled her fingers away, and she choked back a scream when his tongue burrowed into her, the hot flicking force of it making her entire body spasm. Her hands found his head and pressed his mouth closer as she pushed her hips upward. When his tongue began to lap at her clitoris in quick, feathery caresses, the world exploded in a tiny shower of sparks behind her eyes and she lost the ability to breathe properly.
A low groan of pain-tinged ecstasy fell from her lips and she rode the waves of pleasure for several seconds before he drew back and stretched out over her. He kissed her eyelids and they fluttered open to stare up at him. She shuddered and her legs rose to lock around his waist when he thrust into her, burying himself in her still quivering heat. For just a moment he was still, and Kristy could almost feel the hammering of his heartbeat when he held her head between his hands, stared into her eyes and began to move inside her. The slow, steady thrust of his hips quickly lost its gentleness and she felt the second wave of euphoria building within her as he pounded into her, his handsome features fiercely beautiful as he gave his body over to its own desperate need for release. Moments later, their voices blurred together in a groan of profound pleasure, and Kristy cradled him to the cushion of her body as they tried to breathe normally again.
“Let actions define the man for the world, while the music of his soul plays for an audience of one.” ~~ M. Frost
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By: Denysé Bridger
The idyllic Pacific island paradise D’Alejandro calls home is the stuff of fantasy, but it isn’t long before reality knocks on the door and shatters their peace. The news is grim. People they loved have been killed, and these two unlikely lovers are forced to face a truth neither of them has been willing to examine too closely—that their passion is more than intense attraction.
A series of killings has the Toronto Police Department in turmoil. The press has labelled the killer a “werewolf” and hysteria is on the rise in the heat of the summer… Detective Damien Knightley is the lead investigator, but he’s got secrets of his own that need guarding in this very public investigation. Knightley is a vampire, and as the case gets more complex, what he discovers has him both baffled and worried.
In the Northern Ontario town of Brighton, a visionary woman finds a stranger outside her door, and because he’s near death she brings him into her home. In the wake of her kindness, dreams and visions expose things that terrify her. The stranger is a wolf, and history is about to repeat itself and explode in violent death if they can’t reach Toronto and capture a renegade on a blood-hunt.
As Damien recalls a love from a century ago, the threads of time are being pulled together, joining the past and the present. The beautiful woman he is falling in love with is bringing back memories he’d rather forget, and when the killer is finally revealed, there are more questions than answers in the identity…
The flames rose, blindingly intense, searing away the last vestiges of reality. Somewhere inside her, Shanna Blackthorne felt a scream of terror begin. Her hands moved, sluggishly, as though through mud, until they reached her face. She wanted to obliterate the inferno that raged before her, but it refused to be extinguished so easily. She gulped air into desperate, struggling lungs, but only the hot, dry fire poured into her body.
The scream escaped.
There was no one to hear it.
Pain exploded within her, but in its wake was clarity. She writhed, whimpered weakly, and shook her head in denial of what unfolded before objecting eyes…
Fog shrouded the night, curling, mist-like tentacles that floated above the street in search of human warmth. Despite the relative earliness of the hour, the normally busy roads were eerily quiet. Only the occasional burst of noise from an opening door gave evidence to the teeming life of the vast city. Outside the noisy pubs, a lone figure prowled the streets.
He watched, and waited. Patience was a familiar imposition, but it ended well, usually.
Tonight would be no different.
He picked one of the oldest dives in the vicinity, a place he knew well. He also knew most of the women who frequented the establishment. He had long ago decided he preferred the sweetness of feminine flesh to males. There was one lady in particular that he had wanted to get close to, but she had always eluded him. It was the eve of a new year tonight, and he decided it would begin with her company.
He didn’t have to wait long, but she emerged from the tavern with another man in tow. Furious, he followed.
He hesitated as he watched the couple from the mouth of a darkened alley. They were less than a block from the Britannia, a public house located at the North corner of Commercial Street and Dorset Street. He’d witnessed the customary exchange of coin, and could clearly hear the sounds of the whore’s business being carried out. The chill of December didn’t reach him as he continued to hover, torn between his anger and the fury of his lust. He could have had his pick tonight, but he had chosen this one. She had always disappointed him, of course. The entire great city was in a drunken Holiday stupor.
The scents of sex and sweat teased his senses and he felt another, stronger pang of hunger deep within him.
He stepped into the alley and approached the couple in complete silence. She knew he was there, he realized a moment later when her liquor-brightened eyes pierced the shadows and found him in the darkness. His heartbeat quickened, he heard his own sharp intake of breath, felt the rapid pulse he’d learned to associate with fear and excitement. Her customer quickly pulled himself together and stumbled off without a backward glance. The passage of time held hunter and prey motionless, clear blue eyes locked with glassy hazel. When she held out her hand to him, he stepped toward her.
“You’re not like the others, are you?” she questioned in a slurred voice.
There was still enough awareness to make him pause. He took her chin in his hand and tilted her head so he could look more closely at her. She was very young, especially for life in Whitechapel. She was not overly pretty. Before long she would be like so many of the women who populated this area, aged by the harshness of a life that meant little to any of them.
“What’s your name?” He pretended not to know as he kept his tone a gentle, compassionate whisper.
“They call me Emma, my lord,” she grinned, the expression exposed rotting teeth and foul breath. He might have been wrong about her age, he realized distantly. She straightened her clothes and inched closer to him. Here was a handsome young lord, and if she played this right, she might be rewarded richly for her trouble.
“Do they?” He smiled, imagined he could hear the shift of her thoughts as she contemplated her chances of successfully robbing him. Still smiling, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a gold coin. Her eyes fastened on the proffered money, greed easily read past the haze of alcohol. When she snatched the coin from his hand, he pressed her back against the cold brick of the building.
Emma’s spurt of laughter was abruptly silenced when her head was yanked to one side. The snap of bones was audible, followed by a groan of pain. Then the only murmur that could be heard in the blackness was the soft maddened laughter of pleasure as his teeth tore her flesh from her bones…
“No… Dear God! Enough… please?”
Shanna wept bitterly, disoriented and horrified by the latest dream/vision. The savage inner conflagration had receded, replaced by the reality of the tiny blaze in the ancient stone fireplace that dominated her small living room. There was little comfort in the awareness that what she had seen was very old. The agony of the killer still twisted around her heart, chilled her despite the heat that emanated from the hearth. This was simply the latest in a long line of dreams that had brought unbearable terror into her life. She’d heard about the others, those that were not ancient deaths, but happening now, and with each murder came the fear that she might have stopped it. The reasonable part of her mind knew better, of course, she never saw a death before it occurred, but that did not make it easier to witness people being destroyed. She cringed, tried to escape the rest of the thought, failed. She could still feel the flesh being torn from fragile bones, muscle and sinew shredding like paper in the hands of a killer that was more monster than man.
She forced herself to her feet, and walked into the lovely, old-fashioned kitchen. As she went through the ritual of making tea, she made herself recall every detail of the murder she had been forced to witness and feel. Within the heart of the killer was a conflict as old as the latest vision itself.
Pain, coupled with deeply repressed fears. The mind of this killer was not mayhem and madness, despite the obvious appearances. She sensed agony, and loneliness, and confusion. Like an empath, she absorbed the emotions, made them part of herself, and cried softly without truly being conscious she did so. Shanna had known isolation and ridicule in her own life, knew what the scorn and contempt of others could drive someone to, if they didn’t learn to draw on inner strengths.
She pulled her lacy shawl closer to her, huddled against its illusory warmth. Long waves of auburn hair fell to her waist, and she swept the heavy fall back in a gesture as natural as breathing. The whistle of the kettle drew her wandering attention back to mundane tasks, and she finished her chore automatically.
A short while later, curled before the fire once again, Shanna shivered. Her gaze flew to the door of her cottage- style home, and the sound of a low, anguished howl wrenched at her soul. Pure, raw agony flooded her body, and with it came a terror stronger than anything she had ever before known.
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In the town of Favola, a prince and a lovely girl imprisoned by her mother’s jealousy find passion and love… but will it be enough to outsmart the machinations and fury that their devotion inspires in the beautiful Bella Venezia? An Italian fairytale is re-told for an adult audience….
Late in the night, Francesco rose from the pallet of straw that was his bed at the inn, and he stared out the window at the tower a short distance away. A dim, golden light filtered from a window high in the tower, and he knew she was there. Drawn, he took his traveling cloak and began to make his through the inn to the tower.
Long minutes later, Francesco stepped into the cool night air and walked toward the tower, sheltered by the darkness, unseen even by the glowing moon. There was a door hidden at the very back of the tower, and he tested it. Locked, naturally. He knocked softly, and was surprised to hear a soft voice from the other side moments later.
“Who is there?”
“I am a guest at the Inn, I would like to speak with you, lovely Capricia.”
“You would be wiser to leave me alone, signore.”
“Wisdom and passion are seldom in agreement, cara mia,” Francesco all but purred, trying to lure her trust with only his voice as enticement.
“I have no key to permit you to enter here,” she told him.
“Where will I find the key?”
“I don’t know, my mother keeps it close to her.”
“I will find it.”
Francesco sat, and leaned against the door. “Let us talk, tesoro, I wish to know you.”
And so his quest began. Each day he tried to charm the hard-hearted Bella, but she no longer trusted his motive. Each night he would slip from the Inn and go to the tower’s door where he would woo Capricia with his words.
Almost a week passed before he found his prize and slipped into the night, the key to the tower clutched in his hand. When he opened the door and raced up the stairs, he found Capricia sitting in front of a fire. Her hands rose to cover her mouth as she stared in shock at his sudden appearance. When she was able to speak, her voice was little more than a hoarse whisper.
“Do you know what you risk by coming to me this way?”
It was hardly the welcome he wanted after a week of sleepless nights. She turned away and he went to sit in the chair that faced the fire.
“You should not have come.”
Francesco glared at her. She was seated before him, and the light of the fire caressed her face, softened the already delicate features to angelic sweetness. She was dressed as she had been in the market, a light cotton skirt and peasant blouse. As she prodded the fire, he could clearly see the enticing roundness of her breasts outlined beneath the white shirt. The ache in his loins, an increasingly familiar discomfort, grew to become real pain.
“I risk nothing! Your mother’s greed is nothing to me,” he finally answered her first question. As he watched her, he did become convinced that his presence was a mistake, but not for the reasons she feared. He had recognized her innocence, and was now fighting with himself, hoped his tone would stop what he himself had started, before he tossed aside his control and simply took what he wanted so badly.
For a moment the challenge hung between them. To his shock, Capricia thought seriously on the casual words. He saw the change in her expression, but was not prepared when she looked up into his eyes and nodded solemnly, her dark eyes bright with yearning.
“She will never allow me to leave here, Francesco,” she whispered in a voice husky with tears. “If she does, it will be to sell me to the highest bidder. If I am ruined by your hands, I will be left alone. I would prefer that to being owned by anyone of her choosing.”
“You would sell yourself to me instead?” He was angry, but couldn’t begin to decipher why. He was further disconcerted when she shook her head and gathered his hands in hers.
“I would give myself to you, Francesco,” she promised.
“Because you make me want you as I’ve never wanted any man,” she confessed. “You have made me love you.”
“You’re a fool, girl!”
“Do you not want me?”
Francesco’s vivid blue eyes glittered ominously in the flickering light of the fire’s bright blaze.
“Do not toy with me, Capricia.” Faced with her, and the power of his own emotions, he was angry, not pleased, trapped in his own seduction.
His surprise turned to astonishment when she rose and he watched in stunned silence as she slowly removed every item of clothing she wore. When she stood before him, naked in the glow of the firelight, he thought he’d go quietly mad if he didn’t possess her. She was as stunning as he’d known she would be, long legs smoothly curved and shaped, the enticing triangle of dark hair dipping between her thighs a promise of heaven. Her hips flared delicately and sloped into a dainty waist. His eyes continued their trek upward, his gaze feasting on the enticing swell of her breasts, and the hard buds at their peaks.
Weariness forgotten, Francesco beckoned her forward and she moved into his arms, cradled his head against the cushion of her breasts. He lifted her off her feet, settled her across his thighs, and drew her mouth to his. Their kiss was tentative at first, but quickly became urgent and demanding. He’d wanted to touch her like this since the first moment he’d caught sight of her, and had fallen under the spell of her innocent beauty. Her tongue entwined with his, and his hands cupped her rounded buttocks, pulled her into more intimate contact with him.
Capricia tossed her gleaming mane of auburn-tinted brown hair to one side, arched her back as his mouth covered one achingly hard nipple. He sucked gently, and each stroke of his tongue sent a new bolt of flame coursing through her veins. She moaned, twisted restlessly as his lips brushed over her flushed skin in leisurely, tormenting kisses. His tongue trailed over the swell of her breast and began caressing the sensitive underside of the responsive globe of flesh. While he suckled and licked her silken skin, his hand moved to the heated folds between her legs. She was slick and swollen when his fingers probed carefully, and her gasp of surprise encouraged him, he plunged a finger deep into her, the sound of moist fire loud between them. His thumb found the nub of her clit and began to caress leisurely, making her moan against his shoulder while her hips pushed into the taunting touch. Finally, she tugged his head away from her, and captured his lips again as she began to pull his shirt free of his breeches.
“Eager, aren’t you, amore mio?” he teased long minutes later. He carefully set her aside, and stood. Her eyes watched every movement he made as he quickly rid himself of his own restricting garments.
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Cover by: Geoff Taylor
Published by: EDGE Science Fiction & Fantasy