Meet the Heat – Lexxie Couper
I had the very special privilege of meeting Lexxie Couper back in April at the Romantic Times convention in Columbus, Ohio. Lexxie had flown all the way from Australia and my first impression of her was waking her up the first morning of the conference by knocking on her door. To say the poor gal was jetlagged would be an understatement. She opened the door half asleep in her Australia jammies–a tank top and panties. We hugged and talked for at least ten minutes before she woke up enough to realize she was in her underwear! Oh, we laughed at that. She’s a beautiful woman inside and out and I’m really pleased to be able to call her my International Heat sister! The picture is of Lexxie just before the Vampire Ball. She made one scary, yet lovely queen of darkness!
Lexxie excels at scary as you will see from this excerpt from her Ellora’s Cave book, Timeless Wrath.
Beatrice “Ricki” Sullivan is every man’s fantasy. Drop-dead gorgeous, she exudes a sensuality none can ignore. More than just a stunning face and body, she’s intelligent, kind, gentle…and madly, inexplicably in love with Evron, a man she’s known mere hours.
Evron McKenzie is troubled, struggling with undeniable anger that scorches through his veins. And the irrational feeling he is someone else, something more. Someone rich, powerful…someone to fear. But in Ricki’s arms, Evron may have finally found his place in the world. At last he is at peace.
So who is the seductive redhead who invades Evron’s dreams? Why does she urge him to touch a mysterious sculpture—a sculpture that seems to radiate death and sin? How can she make him hornier than he’s ever been in his life with just a look, and at the same time turn his anger into bloody, murderous rage? And, more frighteningly, why can’t he resist her?
Reader Advisory: Sex and violence abound in this terrifically intense tale; big-girl pants definitely required.
Smashing his fist against the cop’s windshield was, Evron McKenzie had to admit, not a smart thing to do.
The bars separating him from the rest of Kings Cross were cold, gray and slimy. What made them slimy, Evron wasn’t sure, but the substance smearing the steel lengths had a very familiar texture. He hadn’t been brave enough to smell the slightly opaque gunk yet, and God knows he sure as hell wasn’t going to taste it. If it was what he suspected, tasting would serve no purpose anyway. He’d never tasted cum before and, after getting a look at his recently released, personal-hygiene-deficient cellmate, he wasn’t about to start now.
He stood in the far corner of the small enclosure, fists shoved deep into the front pockets of his jeans. Fury licked through his veins. Fury at his ex-boss; fury at the taxi driver who hadn’t known how to get from one end of Pitt Street to the other—for fuck’s sake, it was Sydney’s main bloody street! It was a straight fucking line! How in the hell could they end up in Kings Cross? Fury at the dumb broad in the café who had called the cops when he’d lost his temper and pulled the dumb-fuck taxi driver out of the car at the fifth wrong turn. And fury at getting caught.
Most of all, however, fury at himself for losing his temper. Again.
He’d struggled his whole life with anger. A red beast of rage lurking in his veins, seething even when there was nothing to be angry about. The sigh that flared his nostrils was bitter.
He had no one to call to help him out this time. Being found in a dumpster as an infant and thrown from one foster home to another as he grew hadn’t helped his solitary situation either. Who wanted to raise a kid who seemed permanently pissed off? For five years he’d been called Evil Evron by one of his foster-dads, which only made his anger worse. Especially when Evron broke the hilarious son-of-a-bitch’s nose. His anger had landed him in all sorts of trouble. The last time he’d been thrown into the slammer he’d called Nick, but as of this afternoon his ex-boss wasn’t talking to him.
Evron sighed again. He couldn’t blame the bloke, really. They may be best mates, but Nick only had so much tolerance. Calling him a “no-talent hack” had pushed that tolerance too far.
Evron dropped his head and stared blankly at the toes of his runners. “You have to control your temper, Evron. This is getting beyond a joke.” All Nick had done was question his use of colour in an ad layout. Nothing to get ticked-off about.
Yes it was, a dark voice whispered in Evron’s head, low, seductive and supremely arrogant. You’re better than him. You’re more than this. And the time is approaching when—
The gruff voice jerked Evron’s head up and he ground his teeth. On the other side of the bars stood a scowling police officer. The very same officer whose patrol car now sported a shattered windshield, thanks to Evron’s fist. Disgusted mud-brown eyes flicked over Evron, sparking another wave of simmering anger. It bubbled up like lava, eager to consume him. Just who do you think you—
Evron took a deep breath, wrenching back control. Just. He met the cop’s contempt with a steady look. “That’s me,” he said.
The cop pulled a key ring from his belt and unlocked the door. “You’ve got a fairy godmother.”
Evron frowned. “A fairy godmother?”
A drawn-out sigh left the cop, condescending and contemptuous. “Someone’s posted your bail. You’re outta here.”
Evron’s frown deepened. “Who?” He’d called no one. Shit, he had no one to call.
“How the fuck should I know? Some guy called Balionel or somethin’.”
“Balionel? Who the hell’s Balionel?”
“You think I know?” the cop snarled before sliding open the door and stepping back, right hand on the butt of his pistol. “Lookin’ at you, I’d say one of your bum-chums.”
Molars grinding together, Evron stared at the cop. “I’m not gay.”
The cop gave a sharp snort. “I don’t give a flying fuck, mate. Just get outta my face before I kick yours in.”
Evron left. Before he did something he’d regret.
* * * * *
Standing outside the Kings Cross police station, Evron let out a long breath, dragging his hands through the scruffy brown mop that was his hair. Whoever this Balionel was, he’d taken off, leaving no number or message. Not even a Post-It with a smiley face. How the hell was Evron to buy the bloke a beer if he’d buggered off?
Anger stirred in his gut. Red and inviting.
Sucking in a deep breath, Evron counted to ten.
The slow count calmed him down. Just. It would do no good to lose his temper again tonight. He’d fucked up his life enough for one day.
A hooker strutted past, headed toward the Cross’ main drag. Tall, slim, with an ass encased in skin-tight black leather and a wild mane of spun-gold hair tumbling over straight shoulders, she turned every man’s head on the footpath. Including his.
Evron’s cock twitched. Damn, she was hot. Hot and entirely edible. His mouth actually coated with saliva just at the sight of her. Something about her looked wrong though. Like she didn’t—
A low black Porsche skidded into the gutter beside the hooker, powerful engine purring as the passenger window lowered. The blonde leaned into the window, her magnificent ass stuck in the air, long legs growing even longer as her mini-skirt rode up high, partially revealing ass cheeks firm and toned and made for grabbing.
Scowling, Evron turned away. What was going on in his head if he thought a hooker didn’t belong in the Cross? It was the country’s home of sex and sin. You couldn’t take ten steps without being propositioned by a hooker. Storming down the path, he headed toward the nearest pub. If he went home now, he’d only end up kicking the cat.
Okay, he didn’t have a cat, but he had a nosy neighbour who did—an overfed Persian called Prince. Kicking Prince definitely fell into the “just plain stupid and mindlessly cruel” category. Besides, there was nothing waiting for him at home except some second-hand furniture and an empty fish bowl.
“Oi!” A balled fist thumped against his shoulder.
Evron turned, his scowl returning. A weedy strip-club hawker barred his path, leering at him with bloodshot eyes. “Wanna see the hottest girls in town?”
He shook his head, raising a deflective hand. “No thanks, mate. I’m right.”
“Whatayagay?” The hawker curled his lip, giving Evron’s shoulder a sharp shove.
Red. Everything went red.
Blood pounding in his ears, Evron stepped forward, the crowded street around him fading away. “Touch me again, mate,” he growled at the offensive hawker, “and I’ll break your fucking nose.”
“Oh yeah?” The weedy, smelly man poked a bony finger against Evron’s chest, puffing up his own. “You and whose army?”
Deep within Evron’s veins, the red beast of anger roared.
Even deeper, however, came a sense of destiny met. It was Evron’s right to destroy a usurper. His right and role as king.
Evron blinked, a chill shooting up his spine. King? What the hell—
“Oi!” the hawker shouted, shoving at his shoulder again. “Are ya listenin’ to me, poof?”
A cold smile stretched Evron’s mouth. “I don’t need an army, mate.” His fists curled. “All I need is—”
“Honey!” A female’s voice, low and husky with a soft American accent, cut across Evron’s rage. “I’m here, babe.”
Long fingers curled around Evron’s left wrist before slipping down to force their way into his clenched fist. He turned his head, staring into the bluest eyes he’d ever seen.
In a heartbeat, every muscle and sinew in his body relaxed.
Calm. He felt calm. And—
“I’m sorry, hon.” The woman’s inexplicable apology took him by surprise, a slight frown creating a little line between honey-gold brows that were straight and serious. “I didn’t mean to keep you waiting.” She raised his hand to her mouth, pressing full lips against his flesh with gentle contact. Ribbons of bliss unfurled through his body, from hand to heart to groin. Evron gazed at the woman in silent rapture, struck dumb. Those amazing blue eyes made contact with his and a jolt of squirming anticipation shot straight to his cock. He pulled in a quick breath. Wow.
“Come on, babe,” she murmured with a small, promising smile. “Let’s go.”
She took a step backward and, almost of its own accord, Evron’s gaze dropped to her body. He sucked in another sharp breath.
The hooker. It was the blonde hooker he’d seen earlier. Holding his hand. Smiling at him.
“Honey?” With a gentle pressure, she tugged on his hand. “You coming?”
Without thought or deliberation, Evron followed, stepping away from the blustering hawker. The anger in his chest roared in indignation, robbed of its sustenance. Yet the sound, usually so dominant in Evron’s life, was weak.
In just thirty seconds of contact, the mysterious woman had achieved something Evron thought unobtainable. She’d extinguished his burning anger.
Heart twisting, he followed her out of the ignitable situation.
Totally in love.