Today, I’m thrilled to bring you another excerpt from my April 2010 release, Tease Me, a book that Romantic Times called a “darkly dangerous tale that transports readers into a world of sensual delight. Wolff ramps up the sexual tension and provides a titillating read. The irresistible attraction between the characters is tangible, and well-written sex scenes will not disappoint. A suspenseful plot pulls you in, and the vibrant characters and arousing descriptions keep the pages turning.” They also gave it 4 ½ stars and Top Pick for the month of April, so I’m very, very excited. Plus, yesterday, I got my very first author copy of Tease Me in the mail, so I thought I would use the contest today to give it away. Comment below for a chance to win the very first copy of Tease Me that anyone has laid hands on ….
The “edgy and erotic” (Shannon McKenna, New York Times bestselling author of Tasting Fear) author of Tie Me Down and Full Exposure offers another steamy novel of sex, lies, and sultry games.
Burned once too often, true crime writer Lacey Richards has sworn off love. Instead, she explores her deepest desires through her anonymous- and very provocative-blog. Anonymous, that is, until her dark and ultrasexy neighbor discovers her dirty secret.
Stockbrocker-turned-carpenter Byron Hawthorne gave up life in the fast lane, hoping to start over in a new city. When he learns his alluring neighbor is the one writing the sizzling blog that keeps him up all night, he can’t resist offering to fulfill her fantasies in the flesh. But Byron isn’t the only man provoked by Lacey’s writing. Now Lacey doesn’t know who she can trust-and who she can dare to tease.
“Do you want a drink?”
“Oh, sure, sorry.” He shook his head, made an effort to concentrate. “Do you have a beer?”
“Of course.” She bent to open the small bar fridge, and her yoga pants stretched taut over her sweetly rounded ass. It took all his restraint not to drop to his knees behind her and take her right there. God knew, all the work he’d done in the kitchen to calm himself down had been totally undone in the two minutes since he’d been in the room with her
“I’ve got Purple Haze, Strawberry Harvest and Red Ale.”
He stared at her incredulously, wondering if he’d heard right. “Are those beers or song titles?”
She laughed. “Beers. Whenever I move to a new place, I like to try out the local breweries. These are all from Abita, and they’re really good.”
Figuring it wouldn’t hurt to play along, he tried his damnedest not to look doubtful. One or two sips wasn’t going to kill him, after all. “Okay. Which one is your favorite?”
“I like them all, but I guess it depends what you want. Are you in the mood for raspberries or strawberries?”
He didn’t have to think twice, as a picture of her raspberry-colored nipples flashed before his eyes. “Raspberries.”
“Somehow I knew you were going to say that.” She tossed him a beer with a purple label, and he shook his head while twisting off the top.
“I don’t know about this, Lacey. No self-respecting beer has a purple label.”
“This one does. It used to be available only at Mardi Gras—hence the name and the color—but it got to be so popular that they brew it all year round now.”
He stared at the bottle doubtfully for another minute before taking a swig, and was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly it went down. “It’s actually pretty good.”
“You don’t have to sound so surprised.” She led him over to the couch, then gestured for him to sit. “Are you sure you’d rather stay in tonight?”
He raised an eyebrow. “Is that a trick question?”
She laughed. “Good answer.”
“So, you move around a lot?”
She cocked her head to the side, somehow managing to look like an inquisitive little cat—one he wanted to do nothing more with than to pull her into his lap and pet. But she obviously wanted to call the shots tonight, and he was intrigued enough to follow where she led. For a while anyway.
“Is that what you want to do with the evening?” she asked. “Play 20 Questions?” Her voice was low and inviting and took the sting out of the question.
“Actually, I’ve got a better idea.” God knew, he had a few of them. But tearing her clothes off before the first glass of wine—for the second time in as many days—seemed more than a little rude.
“And that is?” She took a sip of her wine and then shot him a smile that had his cock straining against the zipper of his jeans.
He studied her for a few seconds, running his eyes over her clothes and jewelry. “I call it nine questions.”
“Nine?” She raised an eyebrow. “That’s a fairly random number.”
“Not really. It’s the number of items you’re wearing—if you don’t go commando, I mean. It also”—he glanced down at himself—“happens to be the exact number of items I’m wearing as well.”
“Well, isn’t that convenient?” She pursed her lips into an inviting O.
Had he thought his dick was hard before? As he watched her lick her lips, the blood rushed from his head so fast that for a minute, he was afraid he might pass out.
And wouldn’t that just be a kick in the ass, particularly on what promised to be one of the most erotic nights of his life?
“Am I correct in assuming that there’s a fee for every question asked?”
“You are, indeed. One item per question.”
“Are any subjects off -limits?”
He smiled then. “Let’s cross that bridge when we come to it. If we come to it.”
“Sounds like a plan.”
Lust raked through him with vicious claws, had him clenching his fists and struggling for air as their gazes met—and held. She was so sexy, so interesting, so goddamn perfect for him that he couldn’t help wondering if she’d slip away the second he dropped his guard, or woke up—whichever the case might be.
“So, do we have a deal?” She sat watching him, waiting, an air of expectation around her that he would do anything to uphold.
“We do,” he murmured.
“Excellent.” She held a smooth palm out her him to shake, and he laughed before pulling her into the circle of his arms.
“Sorry, baby. But there’s only one way to cement deals like this.”
“Oh yeah? And what is that?”
“I think you already know.” With that cryptic pronouncement, he swept down and stole a kiss from the woman he had already decided he wanted to make his.
Lacey’s lips were warm and firm, and so tempting that Byron almost decided to forget the whole thing. But he was determined to learn more about his wary lover before he once again tumbled her onto the nearest available surface. The game seemed like the perfect way to do just that and to keep things light, as she demanded.
Lacey lost herself in Byron’s kiss, despite the skitter of unease working its way up her back. Why did he always have to ask questions? Why was he always trying to learn more about her?
A part of her told her to run in the other direction. It would be so much harder to keep Byron at arm’s length—to keep herself from caring about him—if she learned more about him. If she shared herself with him.
But she didn’t want to run, not when being with him was more exciting than anything she could remember. Not when he seemed to want to see the real her, not some figment of his own imagination.
Why she cared so much, she didn’t know. But she did, and it was incredibly stupid all the way around. If all she wanted from Byron was a good time, why did it matter if she knew what his favorite color was? Or what had made him move to New Orleans. Or if he was an only child.
It didn’t matter. Of course it didn’t. And yet—
Byron broke off the kiss with just the right amount of reluctance, and she took a minute to give her spinning head a chance to focus. It was ridiculous, really, how crazy this man made her. Crazy and mixed-up and so aroused that half the time when she was around him, she didn’t know which way was up.
Like now. She’d planned on sending him away, on telling him she couldn’t see him anymore. Instead, she’d invited him in and started playing with him. Teasing him.
Of course, she was the one getting all hot and bothered. If they didn’t get started on his question game pretty soon, she wouldn’t be able to remember her own name, let alone any other pertinent information.
“So, who goes first?” Byron’s voice was warm and his eyes hot as he watched her closely. He looked as out of control as she felt, and for the third time in as many minutes, she thought about just taking him to bed and saying to hell with the rest. But he’d started this thing, and she was determined to see it through—even if it killed her. No way was she chickening out.
“You do—it was your idea, after all.” She settled back on the couch and took a long sip of wine, hoping that it would bring her down a notch. Or three. God knew she needed it.
“All right, then. I’d still like an answer to the question that started this whole thing.” At her blank look, he continued, “You said that you like to check out the local flavor wherever you live. Do you move around a lot?”
“I do. I like to see different parts of the country—and the world. My feet get itchy if I stay in one place too long.”
“Where else have you lived?”
“That’s two questions—and I don’t see the payment for the first yet.”
“I thought this was just a friendly game between friends.” His voice was warm and intimate and had her seeing stars by the second syllable; she was so dazzled that she almost acquiesced. But the small gleam of triumph lurking in the back of his eyes gave him away. He was as competitive as she was—and played just as dirty. The thought shouldn’t be such a turn-on, but it was.
Determined to stay on top, she said sweetly, “Of course it’s friendly. Or it will be as soon as you take off your shoes.”
Lacey nearly laughed at the disgruntled look on his face, but when he sat back on the sofa and slipped off both of his tennis shoes, she knew she was in trouble. She’d never paid much attention to men’s feet one way or the other, but one look at Byron’s feet—still encased in socks—and her heartbeat was already speeding up. Maybe it was the implication that very soon the rest of his clothes would follow. Maybe it was the thought of having him naked for her viewing pleasure. And maybe it was just that she was completely, around-the-bend crazy. Tonight certainly wasn’t the first time she’d had the thought in the past few days.
“Okay,” he murmured, after drawing her attention to his discarded second shoe. “I did my part. What’s the answer to the second question?”
“As an adult, I’ve lived in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Paris, Phoenix, Boston, Milan and now New Orleans.”
His eyes widened at her list, but all he said was, “Which one did you like best?”
“Wow, three questions in one turn. You’re a lot easier than I thought you were going to be.” She raised an eyebrow and gestured to his pants. “What’s coming off next?”
He laughed. “Never mind. I’ll save my questions for something I can’t find out in casual conversation.”
“That might be a good idea.”
“All right, then. It’s your turn.” He leaned against the sofa, arms spread over the back as if he didn’t have a care in the world. Only the sudden wariness that flickered briefly in his eyes told a different tale. It made her want to start out easy when she knew she should be going for the jugular—at least if she wanted to win their little game.
Deciding on a compromise, she asked, “What’s a New York guy like yourself doing living in the Big Easy?”
“How’d you know I was from New York? I don’t have an accent.” He looked more than a little startled.
“It’s the attitude, the way you hold your body. You’ve got New York written all over you. After you live there for a while, it’s easy to recognize the signs.”
“I guess so.” But he still looked surprised, and less than pleased.
The investigator in her knew there was a story there and wanted to dig, but the woman didn’t want to alienate him—or to take the fun out of the game. Not yet anyway. To distract them both, she reached down and pulled off a sock, twirling it above her head for a few second before letting it fly.
She watched as it landed on the potted palm she kept next to the balcony, then turned back to Byron with a grin. Her diversion must have worked, because the disgruntled look had been replaced with amused appreciation.
“Your turn,” she said. “And just to show you what a generous person I am, I won’t charge you for the question you just asked.”
“I didn’t—” He broke off, chagrined. “I didn’t realize ‘How’d you know’ counted.”
“They all count. Rules are rules, after all.”
“So you’re not a rule breaker?”
She paused, considering his question for a minute. “I never used to be.”
“Now I think I’m learning to unbend a little bit. God knows I’m breaking all the rules sitting here with you.”
Remember, leave a comment to be entered to win the very first copy of Tease Me, hot off the presses ;) Happy Wednesday!