Sunday, February 28, 2010
Luc Traverson’s entire future is planned out—but there is one very sexy obstacle in his path: Alyssa Devereaux . She’s a former exotic dancer turned strip club owner and restaurateur. Recently, Alyssa and Luc shared one night of wild abandon that left Luc terrified by his loss of self-control—and Alyssa desperate for more.
And that’s just the way she wants it
Fulfilling a promise, Luc is the guest chef for Alyssa’s restaurant debut. The sight of her makes Luc wild, so how can he survive a week without letting loose and ravaging her—especially when she’s begging for it? Luc’s desire for her explodes when he realizes he isn’t the only man desperate to have her. But one of the others is deadly. And that’s not the end of Alyssa’s secrets…which are as dark and mysterious and enticing as her fantasies.
For those of you who read Decadent shortly after release and wondered if there would be a book for Luc, I can say that when I began writing Decadent, I didn’t even if that that book would end with a happily-ever-after for the two or three of them Deke set me straight pretty quickly. I think by chapter 5 or so, I knew where this was going. Then I somewhat panicked. I didn’t have a heroine for Luc. What the devil was I going to do? Make one up, I supposed… But no one came to mind.
Then came chapter 10 in Decadent…
Dark determination stomped across Luc’s dark face. “You’ll give me everything, then give me more. For you, I’m going to be hard all afternoon. All evening. All night. I won’t stay out of you. I won’t leave any part of you untouched.”
“I won’t let you leave any part of me untouched,” she murmured, spreading her legs wider and lifting her hips to Luc.
His thumb raked across her clit slowly, repeatedly. Her nipples stood up, blushed, begged as she tensed, thrashing her head from side to side.
“Luc!” She screamed his name. Her back arched, and she cried out in a long, wrenching climax.
At the sight of her, his cousin lost it—all semblance of normalcy, civility, restraint.
Deke knew exactly where this was headed. Alyssa was about to become real familiar with Luc’s dark side, thanks to one of his marathon sex sessions. She looked more than up to the challenge.
“Take everything,” Alyssa offered with a sultry blue gaze. “I’ll stay wet, keep you hard, give you more than you imagined possible.”
With a growl, Luc tore away Alyssa’s skirt, leaving her totally bare except for those sexy stockings and lacy garters. Luc’s chest heaved as he looked down at her. His cock tented his jeans, and he dived into the zipper, yanking on it viciously, clearly wanting the binding garment off. He pushed the denim down to his thighs, along with his underwear. As his cock sprang free, he grabbed her hips, and prepared to thrust inside her.
Deke reached into his pocket and extracted a condom. “Luc.”
His head snapped up. Wild dark eyes. Feral. Unfocused. Indomitable.
Quickly, Deke handed the little foil square to his cousin. He laid another handful on the table.
Luc gave a shaky nod and ripped into it, racing to get it applied. Alyssa tilted her head back and sent Deke a smoky look. Maybe it was an invitation. Maybe not. He didn’t care.
Instead, Deke stood and wandered to the front door. He paused long enough to see Luc position himself over Alyssa, the bulge of his strong arms pinning her to the buttery sofa as she curled her legs around his hips in welcome and smiled.
He shut the door behind him, in search of the nearest bar, as the first female moans rent the air.
Luc’s reaction to Alyssa was TOTALLY unplanned, their connection organic. I thought he’d have sex with her, which would prove to the reader that Deke was in love with Kimber and deep down Luc wasn’t. I didn’t expect him to go off on Alyssa that night and become obsessed. After that night, he was hooked, and I felt that reluctant fascination just pouring out of him. When I started talking to my publisher about a book for Luc, I knew exactly who he belonged with and why: Luc had to figure out that what he wanted wasn’t what he needed. Who better to help him on that journey but a non-nonsense former lover who wasn’t quite ready to let him go?
When I started writing Delicious last year, I was a bit nervous. Everything that seemed so normal and natural when I penned in Decadent in 2007…would that still be the case 2 years later? Would I still get their chemistry?
Almost immediately, I got this scene in Delicious:
Until Alyssa Devereaux, had he ever gotten stone hard just by looking at a woman from across a room? Luc didn’t like the answer.
He didn’t have to wonder what was under that little skirt; he knew. Sleek thighs surrounded by garters in some color designed to drive a man wild. A lacy thong that would reveal far more of her assets than it concealed. And under that . . . The feel and taste of her slick, swollen folds dive-bombed his memory and revved him up, as if he’d injected rocket fuel in his bloodstream.
And he had to work beside her for a week. Hell. How was he going to prevent a recurrence of the event he wanted to forget—yet couldn’t?
You’re a professional. Cook and keep your hands to yourself. Besides, it wasn’t as if he had nothing else to think about. Negotiations for his cable TV show were nearly at an end. He had a bit of editing to do on his latest cookbook. There wouldn’t be that much downtime this week, but what little there’d be, he would fill.
Clearly, Alyssa had a way to fill her time as well. The huge slab of man at her side whose cheek she’d kissed a moment ago wore a Sexy Sirens T-shirt stretched across his enormous chest. A bartender? A bouncer? Whoever he was, the guy slanted a possessive glance at Alyssa that Luc couldn’t miss, then glared at him.
Tamping down his irrational anger, Luc reminded himself that if Alyssa wanted to fuck her hired help, that was her business.
The violent urge to dismember her employee would pass.
Alyssa took a step toward Luc, then another.
“Mistress Alyssa,” a female called over the speakers in a saucy vamp voice. “Your turn!”
She stopped. Closed her eyes. Sighed. Bracing herself?
Then, as if the hesitation had never been, she flashed him a cool blue gaze, pointed at a chair in front of the stage, then turned away and strode backstage. Luc couldn’t help himself. He watched her walk away, the sway of those curvy hips a siren call. Damn.
If they had been alone, there was no way Luc could have prevented himself from touching her. Period.
Unless he wanted another brush with his uncontrollable wild side, he needed to forget his reckless promise to her and get out of this job. Now.
Reluctantly, Luc sauntered to the front of the stage and sat in the chair Alyssa had indicated. As soon as she finished whatever the hell she was doing and talked to him, he’d tell her all bets were off. Hell, he’d pay her for her inconvenience.
Because if he stayed, his dick would get him into trouble. He’d have her naked and be between her legs in two minutes. Or less. And that would be bad. He was looking for Mrs. Right, someone uncomplicated who wanted children as much as he did and would help him keep his beast at bay. Alyssa Devereaux, stripper divine, was definitely not that woman.
Suddenly, music pounded through the speakers, blaring with a naughty beat, a wicked slide of horn. Every note suggested sex—the hot, sweaty, no-boundaries variety.
The type he’d had with her and wanted again.
Pulling his loose shirt over his lap to cover his erection, Luc watched as Alyssa strutted onto the stage. She’d piled her straight platinum hair into some wild arrangement on top of her head and donned a sequined bolero jacket in red. He was dying to see what she wore underneath. The way she moved was an invitation . . . and a promise.
She planted her stiletto-clad feet in front of him with a decisive step, then swung her hips, making a sensual circle. She flattened her palm across the bare skin of her tanned abdomen—and began lowering it. She reached down . . . so damn slowly. Luc’s breath caught in his chest until, finally, she touched herself. Oh, hell.
Her fingers glided between her legs, and she tossed her head back as if she was in utter ecstasy.
Luc swallowed. And started to sweat.
With a jerk of her head, Alyssa snapped her gaze back to him, her eyes like focused blue lasers jolting him to his toes.
Damn it, his nine weeks of dating church secretaries, interior decorators, and elementary school teachers showed. Not one of them had incited an erection. During that time, he’d awakened in the middle of the night more than once, sweating, his dick in his hand and Alyssa’s name on his lips. Now, after less than five minutes in her presence, he felt ready to explode.
He had to think about the right F words—future and family. Unfortunately, with Alyssa near, the urge to fuck her again kept killing his good intentions.
In the next moment, she released the soft strands of her hair, which hugged her shoulders, clung to her breasts, flirted with her waist. Then she peeled off the little jacket and left it carelessly on the floor, exposing a tiny half top Luc could swear showed the shadows of her areolas. She stepped over the jacket and strutted toward the pole in the center of the stage. When she gripped it with both hands and undulated against it, pressing it to the juncture of her thighs, Luc damn near choked.
And still she continued to stare as if she danced just for him.
The music swelled, wailing with sensuality and suggestion. Alyssa upped her game, sticking a finger into the wet cavern of her mouth and sucking. More blood rushed to Luc’s cock at the memory of her mouth around him, her tongue slick across the head, inciting a sizzle that burned his whole body. Even months later, he could feel the lash of her tongue, the hot silk of her mouth. He shuddered.
With a kittenish smile, Alyssa popped her finger from her mouth and drew the damp fingertip down her cleavage. Then her palm took over, smoothing her right breast with an invitation to pure sin on her gorgeous face.
Dear God, no wonder she’d built herself a little empire here in Lafayette. The woman was a walking wet dream and did her job well. No red-blooded, heterosexual male could withstand such intense teasing and stay sane.
Out of the corner of his eye, Luc saw Alyssa’s employee, the one she’d touched earlier, sidle closer to the stage. With a quick turn of his head, Luc quickly saw that the mountain in the tight black T-shirt was tense, panting, and sporting a bulge that said he wanted to get busy.
Luc wished he could say that didn’t piss him off. But he’d be lying.
Then, as Luc’s stare returned to the stage, he damn near forgot his own name.
Alyssa turned her back on him and bent at the waist, staring at him over one mostly bare shoulder with a fuck-me look that stunned him. Luc gripped the arms of his chair, willing himself to stay in it, not charge up on the stage, lay her flat, and get inside her again this instant.
The spaghetti strap of her little top was falling down her arm. And that indecent skirt . . . With her bent over, the hint of the bare ass cheeks flashed from beneath the black silk. Her garters were a come-hither red. Her thong—he could see only a scrap of it—matched.
Soft fingers teased their way up her shin, her thigh, and disappeared under that little skirt. Her eyes half-closed, her sultry mouth parted on a silent moan of seeming self-pleasure. His entire body tensed.
He had to get the hell out of there.
Her hands swept up her undulating hips, gathering the skirt with them. She tugged at the little black garment, and it fluttered to the floor. The tanned halves of her backside, bisected by a bit of red lace, crashed fresh lust into his chest, making it damn hard to breathe.
Alyssa had a gorgeous ass. But he’d known that. Luc squeezed his eyes shut so the visual temptation of her bare flesh didn’t taunt him. Memories of tunneling into her ass pounded him instead. Her perfect willingness to take him any way he’d wanted. The tightness of her damp, musky body clasping him. The sweat dripping off of them as he’d thrust deep. Her moans.
Christ, the burning lust had to stop—at least long enough to tell her that he wouldn’t be staying.
Praying the torture would end soon, Luc opened his eyes. And sucked in a breath.
Alyssa flashed him a naughty smile of invitation as she ripped her small top right down the front to reveal a red demi bra that barely covered her nipples. Hard nipples. Pink, melt-in-his-mouth nipples he remembered all too well.
Luc squirmed in his chair—and nearly went off like a teenage boy. Beyond aroused, his cock was so sensitive, the feel of denim sliding against the head nearly had him coming.
He had to leave. Forget the polite conversation; he’d send her an e-mail with an explanation. Because if he stayed, he would shove his long-term goals aside and fuck her senseless.
As he stood, Luc mentally reviewed a list of chefs—female ones—he could pay to assist Alyssa this week. A short list, but a few durable names. He’d send idiotproof recipes . . .
The red bra dropped to the ground at Alyssa’s feet.
Her large breasts were as golden as the rest of her body and swayed gracefully with her every undulation, every step. Those nipples he remembered so damn well beckoned, Taste me.
Turn away! he demanded of himself.
His legs didn’t move.
Alyssa danced her way down the stairs, holding her breasts up in offering. She pranced past her aroused employee and shot the man a mirthful smile as she caressed the side of his face. Luc tensed when the beefy guy tried to snatch her up in his arms. But Alyssa was too fast and spun out of his grip, toward Luc.
The damp spot at the front of her thong kicked him in the gut. He clenched his fists as she danced closer, closer . . .
She dropped to her knees before him and looked up. Their gazes locked. She panted. Hard. Despite his jeans, her hot breaths caressed his cock. Release broiled in his balls, and he hadn’t touched her once.
There was no way he could stop himself from reaching out to tangle his fingers into her hair and bringing her mouth closer.
At this point, I realized, um…yeah. The chemistry is still there…but so are the problems between them. Which was exactly how I wanted it.
Delicious was one of those books that poured out of me in a few short weeks. Once I started telling Luc and Alyssa’s story, I couldn’t not tell it. Writing to a deep soundtrack of Hinder tunes, like “Lips of An Angle” and “Use Me,” along with some Nine Inch Nails and Nickleback, this book litereally fell together for me in an oddly cathartic experience. When I was done, my house was a disaster, my family growly and I was totally exhausted but really, really happy. I hope that, when you read it, you’ll be happy too.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Today's author is Dawn McClure, who is giving away an authographed copy of Asmodeus. Comment below for a chance to win, and wish her a Happy Birthday as well!
Being an aspiring witch is daunting business…
When Brianna Claxton accidentally summons a demon, she is forced to face her mistake head-on. That becomes problematic when her mistake comes in the form of ahot, ancient demon named Asmodeus who refuses to go back to the hell from which she summoned him.
Thoughts of revenge have kept him sane…
Asmodeus is leader of the Rebel Watchers, angels who fell from grace out of lust for human women. He had been subjected to the Abyss, tortured in a virtual Hell in Heaven, until the careless mistake of a human witch released him from the fires. Now faced with temptations of the flesh by the sexy witch who summoned him, he tries convincing himself that embarking on a relationship with Brianna would be a mistake of biblical proportions.
Two lives hang in the balance…
Just when things start heating up, four Death Angels give her a mission: Use her powers to kill him…or face the Abyss herself. Gaining his trust is the key—except the closer she gets, the more he reveals the man he is, not the demon she thought him to be.
Brianna sat on her bed and held the spell book to her chest, paralyzed by fear. A bright flash of light had burst through her house only seconds before, accompanied by a sound that had her reciting the Lord’s Prayer. Her light yellow curtains tangled with the rush of wind sweeping through her bedroom, fanning out like wisps of ghosts. Family photos fell from their place on her dresser, and her television made a loud popping noise just before going blank. Gray smoke poured from the top of it, filling her room with an acidic stench.
From now on she was going to listen to her inner voice. The very same voice that had told her not to cast any spell that lay within the leather-bound pages she cradled in her arms.
The power contained in the book had called to her the moment she had touched it. Dark and compelling. That should have been her first indication not to play with the spells contained within. In retrospect, it was more than likely the reason she had purchased it. The rare ancient language sparked an academic interest. Deciphering the language posed a challenge.
A whisper of darkness slid through her, a steadfast warning that hadn’t affected her as it should have.
She ought to have known something like this would happen. She was pushing herself to become a witch, focusing all her energy on spells and her obscure success at casting them. It was safe to say she was out of her league in this ambition. How long would she torment herself with powers she had no hope of mastering?
Now, after years of casting and studying spells, she knew what true darkness felt like. And it was currently in her house.
In the hallway.
Moaning such as she’d never heard nor imagined came from just beyond her opened bedroom door in the darkness that lay outside the circle of light cast by her bedside lamp. The question wasn’t if something was in her house, it was a question of what.
Her psychic abilities were failing her. The only truth she could discern was whatever lay ten feet away wasn’t human, and it certainly wasn’t virtuous. She was unable to control her emotions long enough to concentrate on the entity, another one of her Achilles’ heels. She needed meditation for her psychic visions to come to her. It was safe to say her skills concerning psychic capacity were sorely lacking.
The moaning coming from the hallway slowly gave way to silence. She closed her eyes and prayed the situation wasn’t as bad as she was making it out to be. She hadn’t merely made a blunder with a spell; she’d done something terribly worse. Something she may have no control over.
She listened for movement as her house once again grew silent.
Perhaps whatever she had summoned had died. That thought, though tantalizing, didn’t leave her with a comfortable feeling. Whatever condition this creature was currently in, the simple fact it was in her house remained.
She put the book on her nightstand and crawled out of bed. She couldn’t ignore what had happened, nor could she leave whatever it was in her hallway, possibly dying. This had happened because of a spell she had cast, and now it was her responsibility to rid her house of her mistake.
She grabbed her old, tattered spell book off her dresser and flipped to page forty, to her Oops Spell, as she liked to call it. It was a retraction spell.
Unfortunately she used it quite often.
She tiptoed to her door and summoned the courage to face what she had called forth. The house was so damned quiet she could hear her refrigerator humming in the kitchen. She took a deep breath and forced herself to peek around the corner.
There was a naked man lying on her floor. A rather large, unconscious, naked man sprawled in her hallway.
Had she yanked someone from a different time? A different dimension?
She tiptoed to his side, close enough to poke his leg with her foot. Years of watching horror flicks had her imagining all kinds of things. Him jumping up and snarling at her, brandishing a knife and a mask. His face contorting into a vampiric nightmare, fangs extended, claws tearing at her skin.
“Are you alive?” she whispered. She nudged his side with her bare foot.
She stepped back so fast she tripped over her own feet, fell against her bedroom doorframe and landed in a heap on the carpet.
She scooted against the wall and opened her book to page forty again. Her hands shook so badly it was difficult to turn the delicate pages. To hell with this. Whoever it was had to go back to where he came from.
She fumbled with her spell book, glancing up when the man, a mere silhouette of shadow in the darkness, moved. “Sorry for yanking you from wherever it is you’re from, but I’m sending you back. Don’t worry,” she muttered as she scanned the familiar spell.
There was just enough light coming from her bedroom for her to see the words on the page. It wasn’t as if she needed the spell book. She practically had this spell memorized. Still, she always followed a spell with painstaking accuracy. Even one missing word could cause a terrible disaster. A disaster such as the one lying before her.
Why she’d uttered a spell in a different language, which brought this being into her house, she had no idea. It was a stupid blunder on her part, and far beyond anything she had done before.
She gathered her courage and focused on the energy emanating from the Earth surrounding her. The natural energy provided the fuel she needed for her words to take on a greater power. “Tainted words escaped, a bad mistake, to make it right—”
Her head snapped up at the rough command torn from the man’s throat. She hit the back of her head against the wall.
The man pushed himself up, and if it was at all possible, he seemed larger. His long, blond hair fell around his face, shielding his features. The light from her bedroom danced along the contours of the muscles in his back as he slowly twisted to face her.
“Listen,” she said, running a hand over the back of her head to ease the ache. “I’m sorry I snatched you from wherever you were, but I’ll send you back.”
She took a deep breath and began her spell again. “Tainted words escaped, a bad mista—”
“No,” he growled, rising to snatch the book from her hands. For someone so close to death, he sure could move his ass when provoked. One second he was three feet away, moaning and in obvious pain, the next he was on her like a deranged madman. She yelped, scrambling away from him. He made it quite difficult when he grabbed her by her hair.
He flipped her onto her back and yanked the book from her hands, displaying strength and speed beyond that of a human.
With the book in hand he fell against the same wall she had just launched herself from. His hair was still a tangled mess around his face, reminding her of a wild animal. He was gasping for breath and holding his side.
“No. Going back. No.”
Whispering those few words seemed to tap whatever strength he had left. He began to writhe against the wall, clutching his chest while straining against some unseen force.
She wasn’t in the business of killing people. She crawled to him, her fear of him diminishing in light of her fear for him. She couldn’t let him die. This was her fault. By performing a spell she hadn’t understood, she had created this problem for him. It was her duty to fix it.
She held her hand just out of reach of his body, for the first time realizing how physically perfect he was. Absolutely perfect.
His jaw, barely visible underneath his golden hair, was square and smooth. Full lips pulled back to reveal perfect teeth, white and even. His shoulders were rounded with muscle, arms and chest ripped.
He couldn’t be from too far in the past, because the man obviously liked to get waxed. Other than the hair on his head, and the bit at his, ahem, he was bare and golden, if not a bit flushed. The muscles on his body were taut, perfectly sculpted, not a bulging vein to be seen. He had very few blemishes on his skin. Those she saw looked like blisters.
She slowly reached out, as one would to a stray dog, placing a reluctant hand on his chest. His skin was scalding. She snatched her hand away, forced to withdraw before she burned herself. Leaning forward, she noted the blisters were forming, then in the blink of an eye they were healing.
Oh my God…
Question of the Day: With all these Paranormal/ Sci-fi romances going up these days, it makes me wonder about new and exciting adventures. If you could pick a wild, crazy or exciting adventure to have-- what would it be? I think I'd like to try space travel-- not very original, but still very cool.
Don't forget, today’s prize is a chance to win an autographed copy of Asmodeus, so comment away. And Shayla's signing books today-- including some early copies of Delicious-- at 3pm at the Barnes & Noble in Hurst, TX, near the Northeast Mall.
Happy Saturday everyone!
Friday, February 26, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
And in other news, I just found out that NAL (my Heat publisher) is buying two more dragon books from me-- or at least, from my alter ego, Tessa Adams! Yay! I'm very excited this morning (in case you couldn't tell)!
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Farrah Rochon is a chaptermate and friend of mine, who is a wonderful writer and who always has a smile on her face. She's great fun to be around, and great fun to read. 2010 mark the beginning of her New York Sabers football trilogy with the September release of Huddle with Me Tonight. And as an extra special treat, click on the cover to download Kimani's Hotties Calendar! She's giving away her latest trilogy--Holmes Brothers series (Deliver Me,Release Me, Rescue Me), so make sure to comment below for a chance to win.
All Paige Turner wants is to be taken seriously as a journalist. Theentertainment columnist and blogger extraordinaire gets more notorietythan she planned when her scathing review of NFL superstar TorrianSmallwood's memoir sparks an online confrontation. But that's nothingcompared to the sensual heat that tackles her when she meets tehheart-stoppingly sexy athlete face-to-face...
Torrian can't let Paige derail his dream of a new career as arestaurateur. Even if the sassy, sultry writer is making America'sfavorite wide receiver yearn to be on the receiving end of her desire. Andwith a reality TV cook-off propelling them into the spotlight, Torrian canno longer hide his passonate secret goal--to build a future with the woman who's making an end run around his heart..
Paige rounded the corner of Mancini’s Grocery and spotted the owner in his usual spot, just outside the door, a green apron tied around his waist and a broom in his hand.
“How’s it going, Bruno?”
“Just fine, Ms. Turner,” he answered, giving the sidewalk in front of the store’s entrance a sweep, then extending his hand to help her up the single step. “Got a special treat in the store today: celebrities,” Bruno said.
“Really? You finally got Jerry Seinfeld into your store?”
“Not yet,” Bruno shook his head. “A couple of Sa--“
A large woman with a teased hairdo stomped out of the store. “Bruno Mancini, this artichoke is not fresh,” she barked.
Paige gave Bruno an apologetic shrug as she left him to handle the irate shopper. She unfolded her canvas grocery bag and went straight for the produce section. She wasn’t sure about the artichoke in question, but as far as Paige was concerned Bruno stocked the freshest produce for miles. It was one of the reasons she walked six blocks out of her way to shop here.
Paige squeezed a Roma tomato and placed it in her bag. She heard the slight commotion before she looked up and saw it reflected in the mirrored wall behind the tomato display.
Paige’s eyes widened. “Oh, good God.”
Torrian Smallwood and Theo Stokes. They were there. Right there.
And here she was, looking like a rag doll.
Torrian finished signing an autograph and left his teammate, stepping into the produce section. Paige pulled her Running Princess cap further down until the bill nearly touched her brow. She tucked her canvas bag in close, and tried to surreptitiously walk away.
No such luck.
She ran smack into a solid wall of muscle instead. Her grocery bag fell to the floor.
“Oh, excuse me,” Paige said, glancing up. The sight caused an instant zing to shoot down her spine. He was twelve hundred and eighty times more gorgeous in person than he was on her tiny fifteen-inch television screen. He’d have to get rid of that shirt for her to determine if the real life Torrian could top the picture on the cover of his book, though.
He wore a cap. Pulled low across his forehead.
“Excuse me,” he said, his voice as smooth as butter.
Paige stooped to the floor to retrieve her bag. Torrian crouched beside her. “Let me help you with that.”
“It’s okay, I’ve got it.”
They reached for the tomato at the same time, their fingers touching. Electricity raced through her blood, traveling like lightening to the spot where his slightly rough fingers connected with hers. He looked from their hands to her face and that same electrical current shot across the span of air between them.
Paige pulled her hand away first, but she couldn’t tear her eyes from his. They slowly rose from their crouch together; their twin gazes never wavering.
“Here you go.” Torrian held the tomato out to her. “Wait.” He pulled it back before Paige could grab hold of it. “This one’s a bit bruised.” He picked another tomato from the display. “Here we are. This one’s perfect.”
“Um…thank you,” Paige said, reaching for the tomato.
He pulled it just out of her reach, and extended his right hand instead. “I’m Torrian, by the way.”
“Yeah, I know,” Paige answered, staring at his extended hand. Something in her brain told her not to touch it. Temptation came in so many forms, and six plus feet of decadent chocolate male was definitely temptation at its worst.
“I guess my attempt at going incognito has utterly failed,” he said, the corner of his mouth tipping up in a smile. The affect was devastating to her good sense. Despite her brain’s warning, Paige captured the hand he offered.
“I’m....” The review of his book she’d just posted jumped to the forefront of her mind. He’d find out who she was soon enough.
A different churning started in Paige’s gut. One she wasn’t used to. Regret.
“I’m Olivia,” she said, offering her given name, which she hadn’t gone by in years. Her mother was the only person who still called her Olivia.
“It’s nice to meet you, Olivia,” he said, finally handing her the tomato. “In fact, it may just be the best thing that’s happened to me all day.”
Oh, yeah, he was good. Like many of his New York Sabers teammates, Torrian Smallwood had a reputation of only having to crook his finger to bring ladies flocking to his side. He didn’t have to use a finger, Paige thought. One shot of that smile was enough.
He wouldn’t be smiling if he knew about her review.
“Thanks for helping,” Paige said. She tried to walk passed him, but he caught her elbow. Paige looked down to where he gripped her arm, then back up into his mesmerizing hazel eyes.
He let her go, as if he hadn’t realized he’d been holding onto her. “Can I treat you to a cup of coffee?” he asked. “You know, to make up for running into you.” That grin lit up his eyes again, and Paige knew if she didn’t get away soon she would be lost.
“I’m sorry. I have to go,” she said.
“Hey, Wood, you done?” Theo Stokes called.
“Almost,” Torrian said. He returned his attention to Paige. “Come on, Olivia. Let me be a gentleman and buy you coffee.”
Paige was a hot second from falling under the spell of that sexy voice.
“Really. I have to go,” she said. Tossing the tomato back with the others, she shot out of Mancini’s like a rocket.
So, question of the day to go with this fabulous new book: What, if any, sports do you like to watch? I'm an Olympics junkie, plus I've learned to enjoy watching football with my guys.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
All eyes are on Gabriel Mac Braire the day he makes his first appearance in the Seelie Court, including those of Aislinn Finvarra. Despite deep bitterness over her last failed relationship, Aislinn cannot help but be curious about the half incubus who is known to possess dark magick, both lethal and sexual in nature. Rumors abound of the women who have become enslaved to his irresistible charms.
So when the Summer Queen of the fae orders Aislinn herself to act as his guide in the court, she is understandably on guard. She’s fallen under the spell of far less persuasive men before. In addition, Gabriel might be more than he seems and his true mission is far from innocent.
This time, Aislinn must protect not only her heart, but her very life…
“Sex incarnate,” the women and men around her whispered. “Half incubus.”
Aislinn didn’t know if it was true, but she did know the man was Unseelie in a Seelie Court. That didn’t happen very often, so she stared just like everyone else as he passed down the corridor.
Dressed head to toe in black, wearing Doc Martens, a pair of faded jeans, and a long coat over a thin crewneck sweater that defined his muscular chest, he seemed to possess every inch of the hallway he tread. He walked with such confidence it gave the illusion he took up more space than was physically possible. Seelie nobles shrank in his wake though they tried to stand firm and proud. Not even the most powerful ones were immune. Others postured and drew up straighter, offering challenge to some imaginary threat in their midst. Not even the gold and rose–bedecked Imperial Guard seemed immune from his passing, as if they sensed a marauder in their midst.
And maybe this man was a marauder.
No one knew anything about him other than that the dark magick running through his Unseelie veins was both lethal and sexual in nature. The court buzzed with the news of his arrival and his meeting with the Summer Queen, High Royal of the Seelie Tuatha Dé Danann.
According to gossip, Gabriel Cionaodh Marcus Mac Braire had been welcomed past the threshold of the gleaming rose quartz tower of the Seelie Court because he was petitioning the Summer Queen for permanent residence, a subject that had received a huge amount of attention from Seelie nobles. Predictably, most of the people against it were men.
Gabriel, it was said, held Seelie blood in his veins, but the incubus Unseelie part of him overshadowed it. The rumors went that he was catnip to females and—when his special brand of magick was wielded at full force between the sheets—he possessed the power to enslave a woman. The afflicted female would become addicted to him. She’d stop eating and sleeping, wanting nothing more than his touch, until she finally died from longing and self-neglect.
Just the thought made Aislinn shudder, yet it didn’t seem to deter his female admirers. Maybe that was because no one had ever heard of any woman who’d suffered that fate. If this man could use sex like a deadly weapon, apparently he never did.
Yet some kind of sexual magick did seem to pour from him. Something intangible, subtle, and seductive.
Watching him now, so self-assured and beautiful, Aislinn could see the allure. His long black coat melded with his shoulder-length dark hair until she wasn’t sure where one began and the other ended. A gorgeous fallen angel whose every movement promised a night filled with the darkest, most dangerous erotic pleasure? There was nothing to find uninteresting. Even herself, jaded and pride pricked by “love” as she currently was, could see the attraction.
That attraction, of course, was the stock-in-trade of an incubus and Gabriel was at least half, if court gossip was to be believed. But for all his dark beauty and lethal charm, and despite that odd, subtle magick, he didn’t entice Aislinn. To her, he screamed danger. Perhaps that was because of the very humbling public breakup she’d just endured. All men, especially attractive ones, looked like trouble to her now.
“Wow,” said her friend Carina, coming to stand beside her. “I see what everyone was talking about. He’s really . . .” She trailed off, her eyebrows rising into her ebony hairline.
“He’s really what?” Carina’s husband growled, coming up from behind them to twine his arms around his wife’s waist.
“Really potent,” Carina answered. “That man’s magick is so strong that even standing in his wake a woman feels a little intoxicated, but it’s false.” She turned and embraced Drem. “My attraction to you is completely real.” Her voice, low and honey soft, convinced everyone within hearing range of her honesty.
“Do you think he’s ‘potent,’ Aislinn?” Drem asked, curving his thin lips into a teasing smile.
She watched the man disappear through the ornate gold and rose double doors leading into the throne room at the end of the hallway. The last thing she saw was the trailing edge of his coat. Behind him scurried a cameraman and a slick, well-heeled commentator from Faemous, the annoying human twenty-four-hour “news” coverage of the Seelie Court that the Summer Queen found so amusing. “A woman would have to be dead not to see his virility, but if he’s got any special sex magick, it’s not affecting me.”
Drem shifted his green eyes from her to stare at the end of the hallway where the man had disappeared. “So detached and cool, Aislinn?”
She shrugged. “He doesn’t make me hot.”
“You’re the only one,” Carina muttered. Her husband gave her a playful swat on her butt for punishment. She gasped in surprise and then laughed. “Look over there. He’s the reason no men are making you hot right now.”
Aislinn followed Carina’s gaze to see Kendal in all his glittering blond glory. He stood with a couple of friends—people who used to be her friends—in the meet-and-greet area to socialize outside the court doors.
Kendal locked gazes with her, but Aislinn merely looked away as though she hadn’t noticed him. She’d wasted too much time on him already. She could hardly believe she’d ever thought she’d loved him. Kendal was a social climber, nothing more. He’d used her to further his position at court, for the prestige of dating one of the queen’s favorites, and then tossed her aside. It had worked for him, too. That was the truly galling part.
“I have nothing to say to him,” Aislinn said in the coolest tone she could manage.
Carina stared at him, her jaw set. “Well, I do.” She began to walk across the corridor toward him.
Aislinn caught her hand and squeezed. “No, please, don’t. Thank you for being furious with him on my account, but that’s what he wants. The attention feeds his ego and Kendal doesn’t deserve it.”
“I can tell you what that weasel is deserving of.”
Aislinn laughed. “You’re a good friend, Carina.”
The doors at the end of the corridor opened and a male hobgoblin court attendant stepped out, dressed in the gold and rose livery of the Rose Tower. “The queen requests the presence of Aislinn Christiana Guinevere Finvarra.”
Aislinn frowned and stilled, looking toward the doors at the end of the corridor through which Gabriel Cionaodh Marcus Mac Braire had recently disappeared. Why would the queen wish to see her?
Carina pushed her forward, breaking her momentary paralysis. Aislinn moved down the corridor amid the hush of voices around her. She’d grown used to being the topic of court gossip lately. The Seelie nobles didn’t have much to do besides get into each other’s business. Magick wasn’t a valuable commodity here, practiced and perfected, like it was in the Unseelie Court.
She entered the throne room and the heavy double doors closed behind her with a loud thump. Caoilainn Elspeth Muirgheal, the High Royal of the Seelie Tuatha Dé Danann, sat on her throne. Gabriel stood before her, his back to Aislinn. The Imperial Guard, men and women of less pure Seelie Tuatha Dé blood, lined the room, all standing at attention in their gleaming gold and rose helms and hauberks.
It always gave her shivers to stand in the throne room before the queen. Arched ceilings hand-painted with frescoes of the battle of Cath Maige Tuired, depicting the Sídhe taking over Ireland from the Firbolg, who were humans in their less evolved and more animalistic form, instilled a sense of awe in all who entered. Gold-veined marble floors stretched under her shoes, reaching to rose quartz pillars and walls. It was a cold place despite the warm colors, full of power, designed to intimidate and control.
The Unseelie, Gabriel, seemed utterly unaffected. In fact, the way he stood—feet slightly apart, head held high, and a small, secretive smile playing over his lips—made him seem almost insolent.
The Faemous film crew had been allowed within. They stood near a far wall, the light of the camera trained on the Summer Queen and Gabriel. Though now the camera turned to record Aislinn’s entrance. The silver-haired female commentator—Aislinn thought her name was Holly something—whispered into her mike, describing the goings-on.
Ignoring the film crew, as she always did, she halted near the incubus, yet kept a good distance. The last thing she was going to do was fawn like most women. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw him do a slow upward appraisal of her, the kind men do when they’re clearly wondering what a woman looks like without her clothes. He wasn’t even trying to hide it. Maybe he was so arrogantly presumptuous that he felt he didn’t have to.
Aislinn was seriously beginning to dislike this man.
She curtsied deeply to the queen, difficult in her tight Rock & Republic jeans. If she had known she was going to be called into court, she would have worn something a little looser . . . and a bit more formal. Today she was wearing a gray V-neck sweater and wedge-heeled black boots with her jeans. She’d twisted her hair up and only dashed on makeup. This was not an event she’d planned for.
The queen, as always, was dressed in heavy brocade, silk, and lace. Today her color theme was a rich burgundy and cream, her skirts pooling at her feet like a bloody ocean. The royal’s long pale hair was done up in a series of intricate braids and heavy ruby jewelry glittered at her ears and nestled at the base of her slender, pale throat. She wore no makeup because she didn’t need it. Her beauty was flawless and chilly. Her style, as ever, old-fashioned. It worked for her.
Caoilainn Elspeth Muirgheal gestured with a slim hand, the light catching on her many rings. “Aislinn, please meet Gabriel Mac Braire. He is petitioning the Seelie Court for residency, in case you hadn’t already heard. It seems word has spread through court about it. I am still considering his case. As you know, we don’t often grant such requests.”
Yes, but there were precedents. Take Ronan Quinn, for example. He was a part-blood druid and Unseelie mage. He’d successfully petitioned the Summer Queen for residency in the Rose Tower over thirty years ago because he’d fallen in love with Bella, Aislinn’s best friend. Gabriel, like Ronan, was exceedingly good-looking. That would weigh heavily in his favor. The queen couldn’t resist a virile, highly magicked man.
“He’ll be staying here for the next week and I have decided you shall be his guide and general helpmeet while he’s here.”
“Me?” Aislinn blinked. “Why me?” The question came out of her mouth before she could think it through and she instantly regretted it. One did not question Caoilainn Elspeth Muirgheal; one simply obeyed.
The Summer Queen lifted a pale, perfectly arched brow. “Why not you?”
“With all respect due you, my queen, I think—”
“Do you have a problem with my judgment?”
Oh, this was getting more and more dangerous with every word the queen uttered. The room had chilled a bit, too, a result of the Seelie Royal’s mood affecting her magick. Aislinn shivered. “No, my queen.”
Gabriel glanced over at her with a mocking smile playing on his sensual, luscious lips.
Nope, she didn’t like him one bit even if he did have sensual, luscious lips.
“That’s a good answer, Aislinn. Do you have a problem with Gabriel? Most women would kill to spend time with him.” The queen gestured airily with one hand. “I thought I was doing you a favor after your . . . unfortunate incident with Kendal.”
Oh, sweet lady Danu. Aislinn gritted her teeth before answering. “I don’t have a problem with him, my queen.”
The queen clapped her hands together, making Aislinn jump. “Good, that’s all settled then. You’re both dismissed.”
Aislinn turned immediately and walked out of the throne room, Gabriel following. She didn’t like having him behind her. It made her feel like a gazelle being stalked by a lion. He’d soon find out this gazelle had fight. There was no way she was going to lie down and show him her vulnerable, soft stomach . . . or any other part of her body.
Sweet Danu, what had the queen thrown her into?
Sunday, February 21, 2010
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.
Lacey shivered, despite the heat, her body trembling under her neighbor’s intense scrutiny. Part of her wanted to look away, wanted to pick up her water glass and head indoors. But she couldn’t move, couldn’t think. Could barely breathe as her entire body lit up from the inside.
What was it about this man, with his black eyes and roguish grin that turned her on so much? That held her transfixed on her balcony when she should be doing anything but this? She knew better—had known better since Curtis had used and abused her—and yet she here she was, unable to look away. Worse, she was enjoying every second of watching him watch her. Was reveling in the arousal arcing through her body.
In the distance, lightning flashed. Once, twice, followed quickly by the sharp crack of rumbling thunder. The air around her grew heavier, wetter—as did her body at this sudden advent of the storm. The wind picked up, whipped through her loose hair and down her bare arms. Lifted her skirt and flirted with the soft, damp skin of her upper thighs.
And she let it.
Then watched, fascinated, as—across the courtyard-- her neighbor’s eyes narrowed dangerously. She nearly grinned as he focused on her open thighs—and, she hoped, the small scrap of pink lace that was the only thing separating her from his view.
Desire escalated to need and she felt her breath catch. Sweat bloomed on her skin, ran in rivulets between her breasts and down her back and still she didn’t go inside. Didn’t cover herself. Didn’t so much as move.
Watching him watch her was the most erotic experience she’d ever had.
The breeze felt good as it caressed her thighs, as it slid between her breasts and crept softly down her neck. She imagined it was his hands touching her--that it was his long fingers trailing so languorously over her most private parts-- and nearly whimpered.
Biting her lip to keep the sound from escaping, she watched as his jaw clenched at the tell-tale movement. Watched as his entire body tensed.
He knew exactly how she was feeling, knew exactly how turned on she was. His knowledge was dangerous, disconcerting and would have been completely unbearable—after all knowledge was power when it came to love and war—except for the fact that he was as turned on as she was.
Maybe more—although Lacey wasn’t sure that was possible.
The wind picked up, its caresses growing stronger. If she closed her eyes she could pretend that it was him teasing and tormenting her. That it was him bringing her one step closer to crazy.
But she couldn’t look away, couldn’t let her eyelids fall. His hands, clenched on the iron railing, had the muscles of his forearms standing out in stark relief—a silent testament to the fact that he was burning as she was.
The need was building in her—teasing her, tantalizing her, taking her over with the promise of sensual satisfaction. Suddenly her nipples were so tight that even the light fabric of her tank top chafed them and her lower body ached with the need to be filled. To be taken after so many long months of celibacy.
This time she couldn’t stop the whimper that escaped, any more than she could stop herself from stroking the back of her hand down her neck and over her chest. With a sigh, she moved her hand even lower until she was cupping her left breast—massaging slowly and firmly as her thumb glanced across her nipple. Once, twice. Then again and again as her body spiraled up and nearly out of her control.
And still she watched him. Still she maintained eye contact as his body stiffened and his hands clutched the wrought-iron railing with the desperation of an addict looking for a much-delayed fix.
Setting her water glass down on the table beside her, she brought her right hand to her stomach. Lifted the soft cotton of her camisole so that she could trail her fingers up and down the sensitive skin of her stomach. She shivered at the first touch of cold fingers on hot skin, but the chill didn’t last long. It couldn’t—not when her neighbor stared at her with fiery eyes. Not when her own need was growing more desperate with every second that passed.
As she moved her hand lower, skimming it over the bare skin of her upper thighs, a little voice in the back of her head started clamoring. What was she doing, it asked. Was she insane? She didn’t know this man, didn’t know anything about him. And she was out in the open, where any of her neighbors could see.
Out in the open, where anyone could see.
She tuned the voice out, didn’t listen. Couldn’t listen as her body continued to operate on a frequency her conscious mind no longer reached. She was too far gone, desire and need and the months of self-denial all tied together as her body searched for the release it was desperate for. She’d deal with the consequences later, put up with his knowing looks and sly smiles if she had to. Right now she needed to come and for reasons completely unknown to her, it had to be here.
Had to be in front of his passion-glazed eyes.
Had to be with this man, whose desire was making hers burn hotter and brighter than it ever had before.
With a sigh, she let her head fall back against the lounge, then let the chaise take the weight of her upper body as she skimmed her fingers closer and closer to her inner thighs. Part of her wanted to just do it, to rush for the prize—the sweet release—that was only a few finger strokes away.
But there was something addictive about the power she felt in these moments, about the incredible raptness she was inspiring in her audience of one. His gaze was rapt, intense, his jaw rigid. His muscles so tight that she could see them bunch and ripple even across the courtyard. The knowledge that he was as captivated by her as she was by him, moved through her—right now a bomb could go off and he wouldn’t flinch, wouldn’t move. Hell, he probably wouldn’t even hear it. That’s how intent he was on her.
After months—years—of being the good little girl, it felt good to be wanted. After a lifetime of playing the innocent for men like Curtis—and taking whatever they gave her—it was fabulous to wield total control over her own pleasure.
And over his.
The tension inside of her built at the thought, had her teetering on the edge of a truly unbelievable orgasm before she’d so much as run a finger over her clit. Deciding she’d waited long enough, feeling more powerful—and more aroused—than she could remember, Lacey slipped her index finger beneath her pink lace thong and scooted the material out of the way so that she was totally open, totally bare. So that there was nothing between her most secret flesh and his most enthralled gaze.
And then, when she was sure she had his undivided attention, she began to stroke.
# # #
With the first caress of her finger, the tip of his cock damn near blew right off.
Shit. Fuck. Goddamn, holy hell. Was this really happening?
Was his prim little neighbor about to get herself off in front of him?
Was she really going to let him watch?
Dear God, he certainly hoped so, because otherwise he was going to fucking die from disappointment.
As his little redhead—somewhere in the middle of this he’d definitely begun to think of her as his—slipped a finger between her slick folds, Byron groaned. And nearly came.
Palming his dick through the heavy material of his jeans, he squeezed it tightly and did his best not to blow his whole fucking wad. But it was damn hard—no pun intended—as everything he’d ever wanted was spread before him like a fucking fantasy.
Only this wasn’t a film. It was real, and all the more arousing because of it. As she touched herself, one delicate finger circling her clit again and again, he nearly lost it. Would have except he wasn’t ready for this to end—anymore than he was ready to come in his jeans like an adolescent in the throws of his first real hard-on.
But he couldn’t help imagining what she could feel like, couldn’t help imagining that it was his finger caressing her to orgasm.
She’d feel like silk—wet, soft and so fucking rich that he wouldn’t be able to resist her. He wouldn’t be able to stop himself from burying his face between her thighs and his tongue in her gorgeous, glistening pussy.
The fantasy was so real—the need so alive—that he could almost taste her. Sweet, rich honey flowing over his tongue and down his throat. Thick and warm and delicious.
His cock tightened even more, until it was a miracle he could even stand. Until pain pierced him with every shallow breath he took. And when she slipped a finger inside of herself, and then another-- her hips rocking gently against her hand-- he knew he was done for.
With another groan, he lowered his zipper slowly then shuddered in relief as his dick sprang free from the restraining fabric. Fisting it, he stroked once, twice, then stopped as that simple touch brought him right to the edge of orgasm. Any more and he’d go over, something he flat-out refused to do—at least until she did. They might not be lovers in the traditional sense, but ladies first had been his motto from his very first time—with Jennifer Mason in the backseat of his daddy’s BMW—and he saw no reason to change it now.
Besides, she couldn’t last much longer. Her hips were rocking faster now, harder, and her skin had turned that pretty rose color that told him her orgasm was coming up fast. And it couldn’t get here quickly enough for him—he was dying to see her shatter, desperate to watch her take her pleasure.
Pulling his eyes away from the sweet, sexy flesh between her thighs, he concentrated on her face. On her eyes. And was at once gratified to find her as focused on his cock as he’d been on her pussy.
Her green eyes were dark as emeralds, sexy as all hell. He felt himself start to come, his orgasm beginning at the base of his spine and then blowing down his cock with the force of a fucking canon, and he gritted his teeth in an effort to stop it. Squeezed hard in an effort to make himself last just another minute.
Her lips parted in a moan, and he longed to hear it. Was pathetically grateful when the wind whipped the sound close enough for him to catch the breathy sigh of it.
She came with a strangled scream, her body stiffening as her slight curves arched off the lounger. Her skin flushed pink—the prettiest pink he’d ever seen—while her wet-dream of a mouth formed a perfect O.
Her gaze jerked up to his, clung, as the orgasm rolled through her, and that was all it took to blast his control to hell and back. With a yell of his own, he let the climax rip through him and reveled in the wave after wave of sensation that swamped him. Hard, rough-- nearly brutal in its intensity—the orgasm took him with more force than anything ever had.
His fucking knees actually trembled and for one long moment he was afraid they wouldn’t support him. Was afraid that he’d collapse on the wood boards of his balcony even as his cock continued to spume.
Locking his knees in place, he grabbed the railing with his free hand and let the sensations take him. Let them wash over him, again and again, in the most intense orgasm of his life. And still he didn’t look away from her. Still he kept his eyes locked on the wild jade of hers as the pleasure went on and on and on.
Thunder boomed above them, shaking the building with its force, but he barely noticed. Just as he hardly noticed the rain suddenly lashing against his skin, against hers. But as the weather worsened, as the rain came down with more and more force, it became harder to keep up the eye contact. Harder to see her clearly.
The pleasure finally ebbed and he glanced around for something to clean himself up with. Grabbed a towel he’d left to dry on the balcony after his morning swim and did just that. Then turned back to her, wanting to regain their connection—needing to do so with a desperation that bordered on insanity.
But she wasn’t there, had instead taken his momentary distraction as a chance to slip away.
Cursing viciously, he studied her balcony with narrowed eyes. And told himself that he hadn’t dreamed it. Hadn’t dreamed her. She had been there—and would be again, if he had anything to say about it.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
And since it’s in the thirties outside where I am right now, I thought I’d heat things up with a steamy excerpt from TIE ME DOWN, my last release from NAL as the heroine, Genevieve, makes a cameo appearance in TEASE ME.
Check it out and let me know what you think. Happy Friday!!!!
From the author who “puts the `S’ in steamy and the `E’ in erotic” comes another explosive tale of sex and suspense...
“So, can I buy you a drink?” Her question came out of nowhere, in a no-nonsense tone and a voice that was pure, sugary Georgia peach. Smooth and silky and sweetly delicious, despite the hint of hard-ass he heard just below the surface.
Surprise swept through him, and he wondered if she would taste as good as she sounded. The contrast between her voice and her tone intrigued him, one more example of the numerous contradictions that seemed to make her up.
The lush body covered by that ridiculous suit.
The indolent pose belied by the watchful eyes.
The gorgeous voice with the don’t-fuck-with-me tone.
It made him wonder who the real Genevieve Delacroix was. Made him want to fuck with her—to fuck her—and to hell with the consequences.
As he struggled to regain control—to keep his eye on the prize—the wicked curve of her lips kept interfering with his concentration.
“What are you offering?” He kept his voice low as he angled his body toward hers, savoring the rush of arousal pouring through him. Inconvenient or not, it had been far too long since he’d felt this instantaneous reaction to a woman.
Her barely there smiled turned into a smirk. “That depends what you ask for.”
He nodded to the bartender who had sidled up to the other side of the bar. “A shot of Patrón Silver.”
“Interesting choice.” Genevieve quirked a brow before turning to the bartender. “I’ll take an Absolut and cranberry.”
After the bartender moved away, she leveled a pair of deep blue eyes at him and Cole fought the urge to squirm. Genevieve had cop eyes—world-weary, cynical and more than willing to believe the worst.
For a split second, it was like looking in a mirror, his own tormented emotions of the past few years staring back at him. But then a shutter came down, blocking him from seeing anything but a sardonic amusement that sent shivers up his spine.
“So,” she demanded as she leaned forward until her mouth was only inches from his own. “Do you often drink alone?”
It was his turn to raise a brow. “I’m new in town. I don’t have anyone else to drink with.”
“I’d feel sorry for you, but I get the impression that’s more by choice than necessity.” Her cerulean eyes glowed as they swept over him, and he couldn’t stop his body from clenching in response.
“So what about you?”
She inclined her head. “What about me?” Her peaches-and-cream voice was ripe with approval, and he felt his cock throb. Shifting a little, he tried to adjust himself so his hard-on wasn’t so obvious—or painful. But a quick glance at Genevieve told him that she was more than aware of his dilemma—and that she was enjoying it.
“Do you often drink alone?” He parroted her words back at her, determined to gain control of the conversation.
“Who says I’m alone? I could be waiting for someone.”
She was bluffing—pushing him hard with her fuck-off voice and come-hither body language—and normally he’d be more than happy to go along for the ride. But now wasn’t the time for this, he reminded himself forcibly.
“Should I leave?” He started to stand.
“No!” For just a moment her facade slipped, giving him one more glimpse of the frustrated, tired, too-pissed-off-to-be-alone woman behind the mask.
He sank back into his chair. “I’m Cole, by the way.” He held out a hand.
“Genevieve.” She hesitated before placing her hand against his.
“Afraid?” he asked with a smirk, unable to stop himself.
“Of you?” Her hand met his in a firm, no-nonsense clasp, her eyes narrowing in derision.
“Is there someone else here?” She tried to tug her hand back, but he didn’t let go. Couldn’t let go, any more than he could stop the cocky, shit-eating grin from crossing his face. It was going to be fun as hell testing her, seeing what she was made of.
Seeing just how far he could push before she began to shove back.
It might not be the wisest course of action, but then again, he’d given up being smart when he came to this hellhole of a city, intent on finding a truth that had eluded him for seven long years.
“I don’t know.” She glanced around the bar, let her eyes linger teasingly on some guy near the door. “Is there?”
As the guy straightened up and made a move toward them, Cole scowled fiercely. Then gave a sharp tug on Genevieve’s hand that had her out of her chair and between his legs before she knew what was happening. He wrapped his free hand around her hip and pulled her even closer, so that her thighs rested against his aroused cock.
Those blue eyes sparked with a fury that was cold as ice, and he expected her to struggle—for one brief moment, even wanted her to. His brain was sending all kinds of messages, calling him every name in the book, even as it warned him that he was blowing everything before his plan had a chance to get off the ground.
But for the first time in his life, his body had sole possession of the driver’s seat, his suddenly unruly libido shrugging off the warning signs like they didn’t exist—even as he fought for control.
For one brief, terrifying moment, he thought about forgetting the whole thing, about saying “Fuck it” and just reveling in the moment. About taking this woman any and every way he could have her and letting the chips fall where they may.
How had she gotten him so hot so quickly? In the long years following Samantha’s death, he’d never let anyone get under his skin. Ever.
And this wasn’t how their first meeting was supposed to turn out—with him fantasizing about what she looked like in the throes of one orgasm after another.
He was supposed to be laying the groundwork. Feeling her out. Checking to see if she really was as good as her record said she was. An hour ago her competence—or lack thereof—had been the most important thing on his mind. But now all he could think about was what it would feel like to come in her mouth. In her pussy. In her lush, gorgeous ass.
He tried to tamp down on the arousal, but that was like trying to put out a wildfire with a spray bottle— especially since he could feel the heat and arousal coming off her. Could see her nipples peaking beneath the thin material of her blouse. Could hear the hitch in her breathing as she too struggled for control.
He’d come to New Orleans looking for peace, had sought Genevieve out for just that purpose. But the aroused, out-of-control, gotta-have-her-now feeling that had grabbed him by the balls the second he laid eyes on her was anything but peaceful.
Gritting his teeth, he pulled himself back from the edge. It wasn’t easy when he wanted to be inside of her more than he wanted his next breath. More than he wanted the answers he’d come here to get.
But the look on Genevieve’s face said she’d been pushed—or pulled—as far as she was going to allow. Aroused or not, her next move would be to take a swing at him.
For a minute, he could almost taste the coppery tang of blood in his mouth. It might be worth it.
“You’re going to want to let go of me.” Her voice was low and hot, a warning if he’d ever heard one.
“I’m not so sure about that.”