Power Play OUT TODAY

Power Play re-releases today. It’s a HOT one. Who needs a fun, dirty read? Come on! Treat yourself! It’s the weekend!

He plays for keeps.

Back on American soil for the first time in nine months, Reed is ready to blow off some steam. The beauty he spots at the local bar not only catches his eye, she snags him by the balls when she announces she’s always fantasized about having sex with a stranger—a fantasy he is more than willing to help come true.

Explosive fireworks over, Francesca rebuffs his invitation to dinner. While the sparks may fly between them physically, she doesn’t believe they could spend more than a few minutes in the same room without arguing. Her suspicions prove correct when Francesca reports for her new position the next morning—and discovers she’s been hired as Reed’s new marketing partner.

When Reed and Francesca immediately begin butting heads about future pitches to prospective clients, Reed proposes a bet. For the next three presentations, they’ll both make a pitch. Whoever wins the campaign also wins a fantasy. The competition is fierce—and hot. And the hotter it gets, the closer they come to the brink of something they never intended…or expected.

Excerpt:

Chapter One

Reed Donovan stared at the flat-screen TV in the corner of the bar, and though his eyes were seeing the baseball game, his mind wasn’t processing a single aspect of it. He leaned back in his chair and tried to shake off the lingering traces of jetlag. Two days earlier, he’d flown back to the States after nine months in London. He only had tonight left to recover from the trip before he returned back to work bright and early the next morning.

He picked up the drink in front of him and took a long, deep swig. His throat was parched and his mouth dry. Clearly the stress of his day job was affecting his mind, messing with his head. He’d gone to London in the early fall to clean up the mess the former manager had left in his company’s branch office.

“Have to admit I didn’t think you had it in you to be quiet for so long.”

Reed looked up and found his cousin, the owner of the bar, looking down at him. He gestured to the chair across from him and watched Carter sit.

Reed lifted his glass. “Trying to drink away some of my damn tiredness. Not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow.”

“Nine months is a damn long time to uproot from your home, Reed. And I know you hate playing the admin role, know you’ve been gritting your teeth every minute of these last few months, wishing you were back doing what you love.”

“Uncle Brian needed my help getting the London branch back under control. The last manager only managed to run the damn thing into the ground. It was my job to clean house, to put the pieces back together.”

Carter leaned back in the chair, put his hands behind his head and studied his face. “So what’s stuck up your ass? You’re home now. Figured you’d be happy and celebrating that little fact.”

Reed rubbed his eyes wearily. His cousin was right, he should be doing fucking flips around the bar. Instead, he felt tired, irritable. “You want me to make a bulleted list for you?”

Carter grinned. “Is this gonna be a long presentation, Mr. Exec?”

Reed leaned forward, not bothering to acknowledge his cousin’s joke. “Number one, I’m pissed as shit about Brian sending me to London. I’ve worked my ass off for that man for years and I don’t appreciate being used as a lackey to do his goddamn dirty work. I’m going into his office tomorrow and letting him know it’s not something I ever intend to do again.”

Carter winced. “Fuck, man. That’s not gonna be a fun conversation.”

“You’re right. It’s not. Number two, while I was off wasting my MBA skills playing office manager, he let my marketing partner lose two prospective clients to The Wilkerson Team. I could have landed those accounts if Brian would have let me do my job.”

“Sounds like your partner sucks.”

“You’re missing the point, Carter. If I’d been there, those companies would be The Donovan Group’s clients.”

Carter waved a waitress over and ordered a whiskey, straight up, before gesturing for Reed to continue. “Anything else you need to get off your chest?”

Reed leaned back. “Frankie Carlyle.”

“Who’s that?”

“The bastard who stole my deals. Some hotshot upstart from The Wilkerson Team.”

“Ah, so you’ve finally got some competition, eh?”

Reed narrowed his eyes. “Hardly.”

“Damn, you’re a sore loser. Always have been.”

Reed wanted to argue, but figured it was pointless. Carter knew him too well. “Lucky for me, I never lose.”

Carter burst out with loud laughter.

Reed scowled. “I’m simply going to tell Brian I’m not cleaning up any more messes. I’m a marketing guy and if he’d let me do that job instead of shipping me off to goddamn London for nearly a year, Frankie Carlyle wouldn’t have two jobs that should have been mine.”

Carter sat up, leaning across the table to slap him on the shoulder in a supportive way. “You and I both know anger doesn’t win an argument with Brian. He had his reasons for sending you away. Whether or not he cares to enlighten you on the whys of it is another matter entirely.”

Reed nodded, but didn’t elaborate on his real concerns regarding Frankie Carlyle. He’d seen print copies of the presentations that landed the deals. They were good. Very good. And there was a small part of Reed that wondered if he could have landed the deals if he’d been around.

He attempted to stretch a tight kink out of his neck. He was stressed out and tired. There were three more big bids looming in The Donovan Group’s immediate future and Reed intended to land every single one of them. Carlyle was about to meet his match.

“Earth to Reed.”

He glanced across the table and realized his cousin had been speaking to him.

Carter gave him a shit-eating grin and shook his head. “Damn, man. Grab yourself a woman and fuck this aggression out of your system. You gotta blow off some steam before you talk to Uncle Brian or you’re bound to get your ass fired.”

Reed snorted and nodded. Carter was probably right. He scanned the bar for the first time since he’d walked in tonight. He hoped to spot Genevieve. Though he didn’t date—his job didn’t allow him much time for romance—he did enjoy the occasional hook up with Vivi. When he spotted her in the corner of the room, he smiled.

Carter caught the direction of his gaze and nodded his approval. “Good call. Vivi will cure what’s ailing you.”

“I think she just might.”

He grinned, about to stand, when a woman seated at the bar turned to retrieve something from her purse and caught his attention. She was clearly a businesswoman. Her expensively tailored suit, the briefcase at her feet, and the Droid she was typing into fast and furiously all proclaimed her role. He could only see her in profile, but he was taken aback by the delicate curve of her face, the single loose tendril of jet black hair that had escaped her stylishly pinned-up French twist. She appeared to be tall, with long legs that just wouldn’t quit. She was slim and, much to his chagrin, the size of her breasts was concealed by her suit jacket. He was a breast man through and through.

As he continued to watch her tap away at the tiny phone screen, he wondered for a moment what it was about her that was holding his attention. She was lovely, yes, but he’d seen more beautiful women. And while her body—what he could see of it—was hot, Vivi was just as shapely, just as sexy.

However, there was something about the way she held herself as she sat at the bar, quietly sipping from her glass of red wine. She simply exuded confidence and the image struck him as vaguely familiar, though he’d bet his entire lifesavings he’d never seen her before. He stared at her for several moments before he realized Carter had turned to see what he was looking at.

“Ah, the fair Francesca,” his cousin said.

“Francesca?”

Carter gestured toward the beautiful woman. “She’s a regular here. Comes in a couple times a week. Sometimes alone, sometimes with friends or colleagues. Trust me when I say you should stick with Vivi.”

“Why?” He wasn’t sure what prompted his question. Until Carter spoke, he’d had no intentions of approaching the woman. Now that his cousin had piqued his curiosity, he wasn’t so sure.

“Because she’s the female version of you, Reed. Powerful, successful, used to being in control. She wouldn’t go for that macho routine of yours. Women like her aren’t into men like us. When she settles down, it will be with a nice, biddable man who doesn’t mind a woman who wears the pants in the relationship. That’s sure as hell not you.”

Reed turned his attention away from the woman’s face and back to his cousin’s. “You seem to know quite a bit about her.”

“We’ve talked, just about shit in general, nothing personal. She’s smart and she’s funny, but she’s also…” Carter paused, and Reed sensed his cousin was searching for a word he couldn’t find, “…dominant.”

“Dominant?”

Carter shrugged. “I don’t mean in a leather-wearing, whip-wielding way, but yeah, she’s, well, hell, she’s you, but with boobs and nothing dangling between her legs.”

Reed laughed. “So you’re warning me away?”

“Honestly? Yes. You’re feeling sort of down right now and you need a pick-me-up, not more complications. Vivi’s made to order, no muss, no fuss. You two can get together, wrinkle the sheets for a little while and come tomorrow morning, your perspective on life will be clearer.”

Reed glanced at Vivi and knew his cousin made a good point. Being with her was easy, relaxing, comfortable. They knew what the other liked in bed and neither of them expected a morning after courtesy call. Simple.

Then, from the corner of his eye, he saw Francesca move, turn her face toward the room. Her gaze met his and held. He leaned forward in his chair. It was the first time she’d acknowledged his presence. He narrowed his eyes, wondering what she was seeing. Was she feeling the same attraction? The same fascination? She studied him for only a fraction of a minute, mere seconds, but in that time, Reed felt as if he’d been shocked by the electrical current flowing between them.

“Should have saved my breath,” Carter said, rising.

“What?”

“I’ve never known you to take the easy way. Good luck, bud. You’re going to need it.” Carter turned and walked to his office, leaving Reed alone.

He looked at Vivi once more. She’d drop everything to spend the evening obeying his every command if he walked over and offered the invitation.

He didn’t.

Instead, he stood and walked toward the bar, toward Francesca.

Claiming the empty seat next to her, he waved the bartender over. “Hi Joe. I’ll have a Guinness, and get another glass of red for Francesca here.”

She’d already been looking at him as he ordered, but when he mentioned her name he noticed the slightest narrowing of her eyes.

“Do I know you?”

He shook his head. “No. My cousin Carter owns this bar. He mentioned your name to me.”

She digested that information as he studied her face. She was gorgeous. Now that they were in closer proximity, he was able to spot the slightest amount of her generous cleavage through her blouse.

“Up here, babe,” she said pointing to her face, when his eyes lingered too far south for a second too long.

He grinned at her joke. Oh yeah. She was everything his cousin described. Trouble in a thirty-four D cup. Good stuff.

“So, your cousin suggested that you buy me a drink?”

“No.” Reed pointed to where Vivi still sat behind her. “He told me to buy her a drink.”

Francesca glanced over her shoulder. “Pretty girl. Did you miss your mark? Need me to draw you a map? Help you get over there?”

“My sense of direction is just fine.”

She rested her chin on her hand and, for the briefest moment, he wondered what the hell was going on in her mind. Then the bartender returned with their drinks and distracted her.

She sighed heavily as she looked at the full glass of wine. “I really shouldn’t drink this. I’ve had two glasses already. I have a big day at work tomorrow and attempting it hungover isn’t a good strategy.”

He grinned. She clearly wasn’t drunk. He wasn’t even sure he’d call her tipsy, but she was definitely enjoying the relaxing effects of the wine.

“You strike me as the type who can handle her alcohol. And anything else that might come her way.” It was an obvious come on, but he didn’t care. There was something about her that screamed sex…and something else. Some elusive something he couldn’t put his finger on.

He took a sip of his Guinness. The alcohol was working on smoothing his rough edges too. His neck wasn’t stiff anymore and he was feeling looser, freer from the stress of work.

She leaned closer, her cheek still resting on her hand. “You know, I’ve always had this fantasy.”

He moved toward her. Her voice was low, husky, sexy as fuck. “Oh yeah?”

“Sex with a stranger.”

Her words hit him like a punch in the stomach and his cock filled the maximum weight recommended for his pants in three seconds flat. There was no way he could adjust them without drawing her attention to his dilemma. Then he grinned and made the adjustment anyway.

Her eyes followed the motion of his fingers.

“Up here, babe,” he teased, mimicking her words.

She laughed. “You’re really Carter’s cousin?”

“Yep, I’m Re—”

She cut him off quickly with a wave of her hand. “No. You tell me your name and we stop being strangers.”

She had a point. And a set of knockers that had him feeling lightheaded.

Taking a deep breath, he decided to go for broke. “Where do you wanna do this?”

“Follow me.”

Amazon

Preorder pretties

I have a couple of preorder pretties I want to share with you all. As you know I’m in the midst of a re-release avalanche, so I thought I’d share things (old and NEW) as they go up. This week’s preorder pretties include February Stars, the next book in the Wilder Irish series. This is a NEW release.

February Stars

“No show, no contest, nothing. Nothing is more important to me than you.”

Ailis Adams couldn’t be more dissimilar from Hunter Morgan. Quiet to his loud, calm to his frantic, bookish to his street smart…they have no common ground. Except for the fact that Ailis’s boyfriend just ran away with Hunter’s fiancée. So no one is more surprised than Ailis when a friendship flourishes. Pat’s Pub’s resident wallflower discovers she actually enjoys spending time with the bar’s gregarious, attention-seeking musician.

When Hunter lands a spot in February Stars, his big shot at breaking into the music scene, who better to guide him than his new bestie? She’s a sharp businesswoman who grew up on her famous parents’ tour bus. Ailis isn’t keen to leave her quiet life in Baltimore, but she knows the ins and outs of the biz, and even she grudgingly admits no one will have Hunter’s back better than a friend.

However, with one impulsive kiss, everything changes. Ailis’s friendly feelings toward Hunter turn to serious lust…and more. But falling for a musician isn’t a good idea. Fame comes with a price, one Ailis isn’t sure she’s willing to pay. She’s already left behind a life on the road once before, in favor of planting roots close to her family and their beloved pub. Though, her family will always be there…and four walls can’t love her back…

So is home really a place? Or is it where her heart resides…with her gorgeous bad boy rock star?

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Nook 

The other preorder is for Power Play. Power Play is an older story with a new look. I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am with the new look because Power Play probably ranks in top five of my favorite books I’ve written of all time. Strong male and female protagonists in a battle of wits…with a sex bet on the line. Witty, sexy, dirty. It’s got it all.

Power Play

He plays for keeps.

Back on American soil for the first time in nine months, Reed is ready to blow off some steam. The beauty he spots at the local bar not only catches his eye, she snags him by the balls when she announces she’s always fantasized about having sex with a stranger—a fantasy he is more than willing to help come true.

Explosive fireworks over, Francesca rebuffs his invitation to dinner. While the sparks may fly between them physically, she doesn’t believe they could spend more than a few minutes in the same room without arguing. Her suspicions prove correct when Francesca reports for her new position the next morning—and discovers she’s been hired as Reed’s new marketing partner.

When Reed and Francesca immediately begin butting heads about future pitches to prospective clients, Reed proposes a bet. For the next three presentations, they’ll both make a pitch. Whoever wins the campaign also wins a fantasy. The competition is fierce—and hot. And the hotter it gets, the closer they come to the brink of something they never intended…or expected.

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Nook | Google

Southern Comfort

Southern Comfort is BACK after a brief hiatus as the Compass Brothers moved not only from Alaska, Texas, NYC and L.A. back to Compton Pass, but as the stories returned from Samhain to me and Jayne! Been a whirlwind few weeks getting these stories ready for re-release. Jayne took charge of making the lovely new covers and formatting the ebooks, while my husband prepared them for print. Because my talents are few, I drank wine and cheered them on as they worked. lol

Southern Comfort is a favorite story of mine. Alpha cowboy who kidnaps the feisty heroine when she gets engaged to the wrong man. There’s humor, romance, hot sex and rope. Lots and lots of rope.

If you missed the Compass Brothers series the first time around, I hope you’ll pick it up now. If you read it many, many moons ago, the stories are still the same. 🙂

Caught between desire and a promise…

Seth Compton has known for years he was falling for his boss’s daughter, Jody Kirkland. Problem is Jody’s too young, too feisty, and too damned independent for his dominating ways. When she graduates from college and returns home with a diploma and a fiancé, Seth figures to hell with the difficulties. He’s in love with her and he’s not gonna rest until he’s captured her heart.

When Jody wakes up the morning after her wild bachelorette party with a hangover, the last place she expects to find herself is tied to a bed with sexy-as-sin Seth Compton lying next to her. Seth is determined to prove that they belong together, but Jody’s been hurt by Seth’s disinterest too many times in the past. If he wants her, he’s going to have to work for it.

Lucky for Seth…and Jody, he has plenty of rope.

Excerpt:

“Welcome home, Jody.” He stepped forward and bent down to give her a hug. Her shoulder-length chestnut-brown hair smelled like honeysuckle. He had to force himself to keep the embrace quick and brotherly. His cock stirred, and he closed his eyes briefly, trying to ignore the usual arousal that accompanied her arrival. She was the boss’s daughter and even at twenty-one, she was too damn young for him.

She’d been a tomboyish twelve-year-old when he first came to work on the ranch and the other hands had given him shit when it became obvious the young girl had a crush on him. Her infatuation hadn’t abated until last Christmas, when he’d foolishly kissed her under the mistletoe and then shoved her away.

Since then, the easy camaraderie and innocent flirting they’d engaged in since her graduation from high school had evaporated. She’d only been home once since Christmas, but he could see in her face she was still angry with him. He was determined now that she was back to stay, he’d make things right again. He’d been thinking about her return a lot lately. Things were about to change between him and the little wildcat. He grinned at the thought.

“Thanks, Seth. Good to be back.”

“Didn’t get the impression you were staying,” Thomas muttered.

“Daddy. Don’t you think you were kind of rude to Paul?”

“Paul?” Seth asked.

“I mean we only just got here and told you our good news.”

Thomas frowned. “Is that what we’re calling it?”

Jody’s eyes narrowed. “Yes, it is. Didn’t you tell me you wanted me to find a nice man and settle down?”

“What the—” Seth crossed his arms over his chest, suddenly worried about the direction of this conversation. “You were pissed as shit when Thomas gave you that advice. Said women these days didn’t need a man to be happy and you didn’t plan to ever get hitched.” The fight she and her father had had at the end of last summer was epic. Seth had tried to stay out of it, mind his own business, but when Jody and Thomas went toe to toe, it was hard not to hear. Neither of them understood the concept of inside voices.

Jody glanced at him and gave him a small smile that seemed too sad to be genuine. “Turns out I was wrong.”

Seth fought to restrain a growl from escaping his chest. She’d brought home a man? Paul? Seth’s fists clenched at the thought. “How so?”

Thomas shrugged, the helpless gesture at odds with his legendary ability to handle anything. Of course, now that Seth thought about it, Jody was the exception to her father’s confident approach to life. Her mother had died when she was five, and Thomas had struggled to understand and raise his daughter since then.

Jody lifted her left hand, flashing a diamond the size of Dallas in his face. “I’m engaged.”

“The hell you are.” The words left Seth’s mouth before he could catch them. While Thomas laughed at his reply, he could see he’d sent Jody’s temper into orbit.

She retracted her hand and studied the ring, sarcasm dripping from her tone. “Really? I’m not engaged? Because I think this ring and the fact Paul got down on one knee and said, ‘Will you marry me?’ sort of proves that I am.”

“Who the fuck is this Paul character?” Seth took two steps toward the main house, ready to confront the asshole who’d dared to propose without even bothering to meet her family first, but Jody stepped in front of him, stopping him.

“Back off, Seth. You know perfectly well who Paul is. He’s been my best friend since freshmen year of college.”

That Paul? What the fuck? I thought he was gay. Hell, he spent his entire last visit here flirting with the ranch hands.”

Jody closed her eyes and took a deep breath. But long before a ten count, she replied, through gritted teeth, “Obviously, he’s not gay.”

“Since when?”

“Since he fucking proposed to me. Why am I even having this conversation? This is none of your damn business.”

He bent down until his face was mere inches from hers. “Is that right? Well, I beg to differ.”

She leaned closer, and he could detect the slight scent of chocolate on her breath. Jody clearly hadn’t lost her sweet tooth, though he was beginning to wonder where she’d misplaced her common sense. “You are not my boyfriend and you are not my brother. Hell, you’re not a part of this freaking family at all. You are my father’s foreman, which means my decision to get married is none of your damn business.”

He struggled to keep his hands on his hips, rather than reach over and prove to Miss Jody Kirkland how very wrong she was. His fingers were itching to take her over his knee and spank some sense into her.

She’d made herself his business the very first day he’d come to work here and she’d climbed atop Coy, her father’s newest addition to the stable. The far-from-tamed horse had taken exception to its rider and bolted across the yard, jumping a fence and sprinting across the lower pasture. Seth had chased her on Charlton for close to a mile before managing to catch up and pull the fool girl off the runaway roan.

He could still recall the way she’d trembled in his arms and looked at him like he’d hung the moon for rescuing her. By the time they’d returned to the stable, they were laughing like old friends and his position at the ranch had been solidified. As he looked into her blue eyes now, he missed the admiration and wished to hell he could get rid of the anger that had crept in instead.

“Jody,” Thomas broke in. “You know full well I consider Seth a part of this family. If he takes exception to your asinine engagement, then perhaps you should listen to why.”

Jody released a furious breath. “You can’t object to a man who’s been my friend for years.”

Seth leaned back a bit. “Don’t you think it’s a little strange that one minute the guy’s gay and the next he’s not?”

“He never said he was gay.”

“That’s not something we needed to be told. It was kind of obvious. Is he bi?” Seth could understand bisexuality. He’d seen glimpses of it in his older brother, Silas, when they were growing up and he suspected now that his brother was back home in Wyoming, Silas would be acting on some of the feelings he had for his best friend, Colby.

Jody sighed loudly. “No. He’s in love with me. Just me.”

Seth knocked his hat against his jeans in frustration. “Never heard you talk about him like he was your boyfriend. You were home for Easter, Jody, and you didn’t say one word about dating him. When did this so-called love affair start?”

“It turned into something more than friendship recently.”

He tried to beat down the twinge of jealousy that accompanied the thought of her being more than friends with any other man. She was right. He had no claim staked on her. But it sure as hell felt like he did. “So why the rush? If you’ve only started dating, I don’t see why—”

“Because I want to. I don’t need any more reason than that.”

“Just like that?” Seth tried to understand what the hell was going on inside her pretty head. The only thing missing from her haughty proclamation was for her to stamp her foot on the ground like a three-year-old. She wasn’t like this. She’d never been a spoiled girl, never been prone to temper tantrums or selfish demands. She’d been a fun-loving tomboy who’d grown into his laughing, easygoing friend. This angry woman was a stranger to him, and he missed the real Jody.

“That’s right. And we’re not waiting. We came home to have the ceremony performed here.”

“When exactly?”

Thomas cleared his throat. Bewilderment crossed his boss’s face. He was sure the same confusion resided on his. There would be no help from that camp. “They plan to bring the justice of the peace out to make it official here at the ranch in two weeks.”

Hell to the no! Seth would see her married to some stranger only over his dead body. He started to say exactly the same thing, but the argument that came out was much different than what he’d intended. “What about love, Jody? Do you love him?”

His softly spoken question seemed to jar her a bit and for just a second, he saw the trace of his old friend before she disappeared again behind the indifferent, cold woman who’d replaced her.

“What kind of question is that?”

Thomas leaned against the horse stall and crossed his arms over his chest. “A pretty valid one, if you ask me.”

Jody turned to look at her father and shook her head. “You two really are a matched set, you know that? Way to gang up on me.”

“Answer me, Jody,” Seth persisted. “Are you in love?”

She studied his face and a glimmer of pain shone in her eyes. Then she nodded, turned on her heel and walked out of the stable.

It wasn’t until she disappeared around the corner that it began to sink in. Seth had missed his chance with her. He’d pushed her away for too long.

“You realize you made a mistake there, right?” Thomas asked.

Seth nodded sadly. Mistake was putting it lightly. He’d fucked up. Big time. “Yeah. I guess I did.”

Thomas studied his face and then chuckled. “Think we’re talking about two different things. Of course, maybe not. She may be in love, son, but she didn’t say with who.”

Amazon | Google | iBooks | Kobo | Nook | Paperback (should be out later today)

Quote of the Day

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates

Rough Cut

 

Rough Cut is OUT NOW.

What happens when the screen fades to black?

Ty Ransome, reigning king of Hollywood, producer, actor, Hottest Man Alive. He has it all—until he reads a book of stories that exposes sexual urges he’s kept hidden from the tabloids. There’s only one way to meet the writer—invite her to work on a script. The moment he sees her, he realizes why her work haunts him. There’s something missing in his life. And it’s her.

Gwen steps off the plane with reservations. For one thing, her darkly sexual stories are hardly movie material. Then there’s Ty’s reputation as a ladies’ man. Yet she’s won over by his charm and agrees to stay on. As the days go by, she discovers there’s far more to Ty than a handsome face.

They eat, drink and breathe the characters in their screenplay, re-enacting scenes that delve into the BDSM realm, setting Ty free to unleash his dominant cravings and exposing Gwen’s submissive needs. Needs she has set free on paper…but not in reality. Until him.

EXCERPT:

“Now this is the way I like to wake up,” a deep voice said beside her.

Gwen opened her eyes, briefly surprised to find her face only inches away from Ty’s. She blinked a few times to make sure she wasn’t dreaming, then their nighttime conversation drifted back through her consciousness.

“You were supposed to stay on your own side.” Her voice was gruff with sleep. As she came fully awake, she became aware of his hand lightly rubbing a bare bit of skin at her waist, beneath her T-shirt.

“So sue me.” He leaned so close to her the only air she could feel was that of his soft breath on her cheek. His hand stopped caressing her waist and instead gripped it, pulling her even closer to him.

“I don’t think this is a good idea,” she whispered, despite the fact her hands were resting, unresisting, on his chest. She’d placed them there to push him away, but instead the traitorous things were exploring the rock-hard definitions of his pecs.

“I think a kiss in the morning is always a good idea.”

“Just a kiss?” She cursed her sudden breathlessness.

“Just a kiss, Gwen.” She was shocked by her disappointment until he added, “for now.”

His lips brushed hers and her body shuddered at the impact. His mouth wasn’t gentle, it wasn’t easy. He took her lips with a roughness that proclaimed his possession. He took everything she offered with her lips and tongue and demanded more. His hands drifted up to her face, engulfing her cheeks in his firm grip, turning her head exactly the way he wanted it. His teeth nipped at her lower lip and she thought for a moment she heard him growl before his tongue plunged into her mouth, tangling with hers. She’d never been kissed like this in her life and the feeling was heady. It made her dizzy, giddy, reckless and she suddenly realized she wanted more. Hell, she wanted all.

She reached up and held his face to hers, twisting her fingers in his hair. He mimicked the action with her own long tresses and she was amazed by her reaction to his rough touch. Each time he pulled her hair, the sensation of pain flowed pleasurably down her body, causing her hips to flex, searching for relief. Her body felt as if he’d set it aflame and she found her reactions shockingly animalistic.

“Harder. Pull harder,” she begged and he responded in turn. His lips trailed along her face, his rough beard scratching her sensitive skin until he reached her ear. He bit her earlobe, pulling her hair at the same time and she cried out, her hips gyrating wildly.

His hard body came over hers as he took control of her wrists, dragging them above her head and holding them firmly in place with one of his hands. She sensed he knew what his actions were doing to her as he pressed his covered cock firmly between her legs, letting her feel the proof of the desire they shared. She wanted to scream at him to take off his pants and give her what she needed, but instinctively she knew he would refuse her.

“Shhh.” He tightened his grip on her wrists while planting soft, sweet kisses on her face. “Calm down, gorgeous.”

She was panting, frustrated, and she foolishly felt as if she were on the verge of tears.

He leaned back at the sound of her soft cry, the look on his face a perfect mixture of shock, awe and naked, red-hot desire.

He smiled as she struggled to regain composure, her body screaming for relief.

“I can see there will be no such thing as innocent kisses with you,” he said.

She blinked rapidly, determined he shouldn’t see the tears threatening to fall. Christ, she was a fool.

“I-I, shit.” She struggled to free her hands. He released her and she pushed him away. He moved over easily and she realized she wouldn’t have been able to budge him if he hadn’t permitted it. She walked away from the bed, pressing her back against the wall for support.

“This is not, I mean, I don’t—” She was gasping for air and her voice and her body betrayed her, shaking uncontrollably.

He sat up slowly and she knew he was deliberately keeping his movements unhurried lest he frighten her. “Gwen, you didn’t do anything wrong.”

She wanted to laugh at the understatement of his words. He’d pulled her hair, held her down and she’d responded like a bitch in heat. He didn’t think that was wrong, weird?

“I told you before, Ty. I want us to keep our relationship professional. Sex muddies the water. You know that.”

“No, I don’t think I do. Gwen, there’s nothing wrong with admitting that we’re attracted to each other sexually. Shit, I can’t think of anything I want more than to tie your lovely body to that bed and bury myself between those hot thighs of yours.”

“Stop it! Stop saying stuff like that. It isn’t going to happen. Ever.”

He scowled at her words and rose from the bed, crossing to where she stood, trembling. “Well, I think you and I are about to have our first disagreement.”

He leaned toward her as she pressed her body flat against the wall. He caged her in, grasping her hands by the wrists once again and pressing them against the flat surface, just above her head. “You and I are most certainly going to have sex, Gwen. Hard, hot, incredibly intense sex and you’re going to love every minute of it.”

“You smug, conceited—”

“Pull your pants down,” he said as he loosened his grip.

She wanted to deny him, wanted to drive her fists against his chest and tell him to get the hell away from her, but his deep voice, his demanding words spoke to the loneliest part of her soul and she felt as if she’d been sunk neck-deep in quicksand.

“Pull them down now,” he repeated, his voice commanding. Clearly he expected her to comply. This was so wrong. God dammit, it was wrong. And yet her body felt alive for the first time ever.

She reached for the waistband of her pajama bottoms and she slowly shimmied the soft cotton over her hips. The material fell to her ankles and she stepped out of it, never taking her gaze off his determined face.

“Good girl,” he murmured and she raised her hand to slap him for his condescending comment. He caught her wrist and pressed it against the wall. “You don’t want to do that.”

She closed her eyes in surrender and he released her hand.

His dominant actions, his powerful words, were truly soothing her weary soul, despite the fact her head was demanding she run away from him. Ty Ransome was the one man who could be her complete and utter downfall, yet rather than escape, she found herself relishing every touch, every word he offered.

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Delicate Ties is out today!

The next book in the bestselling Trinity Masters series by Mari Carr and Lila Dubois releases today! There is power and passion in three. Have you stepped into this world of intrigue and mystery?

A Broadway star. An adventurous architect. And the powerful Dom determined to claim them both.

Christian Rogers Stewart is no stranger to the stage, nor is he a stranger to the ways of the Trinity Masters. A legacy, he’s grown up among brilliant, powerful people and he’s more than ready to contribute to the society’s noble cause when initiated as a member. However, he is blindsided when he’s called to the altar by the Grand Master. First by lust for his arranged partners Charlotte and Vincent. And then by the revelation that the Trinity Masters are under attack, from within, by an insidious faction called the purists.

At their binding ceremony, Christian, Charlotte and Vincent are given two tasks: study the web of tunnels hidden beneath headquarters and investigate a suspected member of the purists, a fellow Dom in Vincent’s clubs. By day Charlotte struggles to make sense of a coded blueprint of the tunnels. By night they investigate the wealthy, powerful Dom, with Vincent guiding his new lovers into the dark and sensual world of BDSM.

Both tasks lead the new trinity to earth-shaking discoveries. Not just about the purists, but about themselves and their own erotic desires.

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Excerpt from Delicate Ties

“Christian Rogers Stewart.”
Well, he thought, here goes everything.
Christian rose and shrugged off the robe, his face—and everything else—plainly revealed to his partners. He stood still, even as he felt their eyes on him from beneath the hoods of their robes. A million thoughts raced through his mind within the span of a single breath.
Did they recognize his name?
Did they find him attractive?
Were they relieved or disappointed or intrigued or disgusted?
“Charlotte Mead.”
Christian didn’t recognize the woman’s name, but as she threw off her own robe, he knew it was one he’d enjoy saying for the rest of his life. Charlotte—brave woman—had opted to bare herself to them as well. She was beautifully made, not super thin, but with round hips and generous breasts. Her hair was a mass of auburn curls that puffed up now that it was no longer contained by the hood. Everything about her spoke of liveliness, energy and, given the slight grin on her face, humor.
He had been right. So much could be revealed about a person without words. His first impression of his soon-to-be wife was that life would never be dull or sad with her.
He returned her smile, which grew wider as he winked at her.
One down.
Both of them turned their attention to the other man as the Grand Master said, “Vincent Clayton.”
Vincent removed his robe slowly and Christian sucked in a deep breath—half horror, half ohmyfuckinggod.
If Christian had ever taken the time to create the perfect man in his mind, it would have been Vincent.
The man was easily six foot five with the build of a New England Patriots linebacker. He possessed thick, muscular arms and six-pack abs that appeared to be chiseled from the same marble used to fashion the statues of the lions that graced the entrance to the Boston Public Library. His dark-chocolate skin looked silky smooth and soft to the touch, something the clearly alpha male probably wouldn’t appreciate hearing.
Like Christian and Charlotte, Vincent had come with nothing to hide. Though Christian tried to keep his southerly glance quick, Vincent had caught him checking out his sizable package. The guy didn’t seem concerned that he was functioning at half-mast. Maybe more than half-mast. Hello, Mr. Well Hung.
Of course, now that Christian had seen his partners, he was experiencing a slight thickening below the waist as well.
He forced himself to look his new husband in the eye. Unlike Charlotte, Vincent was better at hiding his emotions. Christian didn’t have a clue what Vincent was thinking.
And then he saw it. Vincent lifted one eyebrow as if to say “well?”
Christian smiled and Vincent nodded, his dark black eyes softening and one corner of his mouth quirking up.
Sixty seconds in and Christian was feeling like the luckiest man alive.
Christian had almost forgotten the Grand Master was there until she spoke once more.
“You now belong to one another. Stand closer together and hold out your right hands.”
Vincent thrust his right hand forward, followed by Charlotte. Christian completed the union as he placed his on top. He felt, rather than saw, Charlotte shudder slightly. He felt it too. There was something powerful coursing through him as he held their hands.
The Grand Master took a long gold chain from around her neck and wrapped it around their hands, binding them together.
“A trinity marriage isn’t easy, but if you love and trust one another, you will never be alone.”
Though she didn’t say “you may kiss the bride or husband…or other husband,” Christian got a sense from her quietness, she was giving them time to solidify this bond with a gesture.
Vincent moved first, using his left hand to cup the back of Charlotte’s neck as he drew her to him. Their kiss was quick, but powerful. The moment Vincent moved away, Christian leaned closer, anxious to kiss their bride as well. He let it linger, wanting this first kiss to be memorable, to prove to Charlotte that he wouldn’t hold back his affection for her. They may be strangers now, but God willing, they would become best friends, lovers and—hopefully—even parents together.
As their lips parted, Christian hesitated as he glanced in Vincent’s direction. He had a pretty good radar, and everything about Vincent was screaming straight.
Dammit.
So he was surprised—no, he was shocked to the very core—when Vincent used that same masculine grip to tug Christian toward him, treating him to the same intense kiss he’d just offered Charlotte. It was a fast, hot, almost glancing touch, but damn if it didn’t pack a punch.

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Seducing you with a sale…

Seducing the Boss is on sale for .99 cents until March 12. Act fast if you want to take advantage of this super low price.

Kellan James is unwinding at Score when he spots the last person he’d ever expect to find in his favorite bar. Sara Connelly-ER nurse, do-gooder, charitable crusader, and frequent pain in his ass. Both grew up privileged in swanky Southampton, but that’s where the similarities end. Kellan’s made it his mission to seek out life’s pleasures; Sara gains pleasure from lecturing him on his lifestyle. Kellan would never date someone like her. Ever.

But when Kellan discovers Sara’s been stood-up by an online date, something fierce and protective awakens inside of him. Typically, Kellan would enjoy teasing the jilted Sara, but something in her face sends him over to her table with a plan. He encourages her to take a walk on the wild side, one weekend of sin, no holds barred.

She accepts, but it quickly becomes apparent that one night isn’t enough. As the pull between them grows stronger, Kellan discovers it’s a very dangerous thing to say never.

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Screaming O

Today is the re-release of the LAST book in the Cocktales series, Screaming O. And wouldn’t you know it? I’ve saved the best for last. Because FINALLY…Jayne and Elias find each other!

Cocktales, Book Four

Jayne Kent has watched her best friends and business partners fall in love while romance continues to pass her by. When Books and Brew regular Elias Clark offers her a Screaming O, she wishes it was the sexual variety rather than a lousy drink. She’s been lusting after Elias forever and suspects he could bring all her naughty, kinky fantasies to life.

Elias has resisted his attraction to Jayne for years, assuming his dominance in the bedroom would send sweet, romantic Jayne running for the hills. Or would it? Alone in a snowstorm, Elias tests the waters and is blown away by Jayne’s innate submissiveness and eagerness to stretch her boundaries. Ice play? Bondage? Flogging? Bring it on.

Soon it’s no longer a question of whether or not Elias should pursue Jayne, even if she’s not sure she’s brave enough to submit to him forever. She’s made for him, and this determined alpha male will stop at nothing until he’s claimed her—completely.

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Excerpt:

“Come here, Jayne.”

She obeyed without thought. There was something about the tone in his voice that left her weak at the knees. She claimed the comfortable chair next to his.

“I want to ask you a question.”

“Okay,” she said.

“You placed a bid on me at the bachelor auction last summer.”

She flushed. She’d hoped he hadn’t noticed that temporary moment of insanity on her part. She had raised her hand early in the bidding, knowing full well she’d never be able to win. The bids had gone high and raised a great deal of money for the community center Sophie had been hell-bent on saving from closure. She’d told herself she was driving up the price for a good cause, but that wasn’t true. She laughed uneasily. “Just trying to do my part to raise money for charity.”

“You didn’t bid on anyone else.”

She bit her lip. Why did he have to be so observant? And why was he bringing it up now? The auction had taken place last June. It was December. Six months of silence. “I guess I got carried away, caught up in the spirit of the event.”

Elias frowned but didn’t reply right away. Most of the time she found his quiet nature soothing, as it matched her own. Neither of them was overly chatty, and they found true peace and contentment in the still moments. How many nights had she joined him in this chair to discuss a new book they’d both enjoyed or to simply read next to him?

Unfortunately, this silence was unnerving. Anxiety provoked her to fill it. “I meant to ask you about your date with the winner, but it never came up. How did it go?” She hadn’t asked because her previously unrecognized jealous streak didn’t want to know.

“We went to dinner and a movie. Given the less than stimulating conversation over our meal, I’d say it was a good choice. We weren’t forced to make small talk during the movie. Afterward, I took her to her house, said good night at her front door and went home alone.”

She forced her face to remain impassive, tried to hide the smile his words provoked. The date had been a bust. She released a foolish sigh of relief. “Oh. I’m sorry it didn’t go well.”

Her grin gave her away. Laugh lines appeared around Elias’ eyes. “I can see you’re really upset by it.”

She didn’t reply. Instead she looked toward the quiet street. The snow was becoming heavier, muting the sounds from the street. It felt as if she and Elias were the only two people left in the city.

“The date would have been different if you had won the bid.”

Elias’ voice cut through the silence. Her gaze drifted back to his face. “It would have?”

He nodded.

“No dinner and movie for me?” She tried to make her question sound lighthearted, but her curiosity was too strong. She’d wondered for years what a date with Elias would entail. He had fascinated, enthralled and ensnared her since the first night he’d walked through the door of Books and Brew. For nearly three years, she’d waited for his arrival at the store with an impatience that grew stronger with each consecutive visit.

“Would you like to know how our night would have gone?”

Jayne nodded, swallowing heavily. The air around them suddenly seemed thicker, more humid. She found it difficult to capture a deep breath, her lungs seizing before oxygen could penetrate.

Elias leaned back in the chair, his legs crossed at the ankles. He was the picture of relaxation. As he began his description, Jayne felt the strange certainty that he’d considered this date as much as she had. The idea was heady, comforting.

“I would have cooked dinner for you at my home.”

She flipped her hair away from her face, the action a nervous habit she’d tried to break for years. “I’ve never seen your house.”

“I live on the outskirts of town, not far from here. It’s a two-story set in the middle of about an acre of land. It’s fairly private. I like that.”

She didn’t respond. Didn’t need to. Everything about Elias told her he enjoyed a solitary existence.

“You like Chinese food, so I would have made you my world famous stir-fry.”

“World famous?” she teased.

His eyes twinkled. “How are you with chopsticks?”

She shrugged. “I hold my own, I suppose.”

“Doesn’t matter. I would have fed you.”

She didn’t anticipate the response his simple proclamation would have on her. She squeezed her legs together when a tingle grew in her pussy. She tried to ignore it. “I’m perfectly capable of feeding myself.”

His eyes narrowed. “It’s not a question of ability, Jayne. Rather, it’s a matter of desires. I want to feed you.”

The word desire coming from Elias’ lips fired far too many lustful images in her mind. Jayne hoped the darkness of the room hid her blushing. “What about after dinner?”

Elias didn’t answer immediately. Instead, he studied her face intently. “Are you sure you want to know? The answer may disturb you a bit.”

Jayne struggled to respond. Disturb her? She doubted there was anything Elias could do or say that would bother her. “Tell me,” she whispered.

Elias sat up slowly. “Come here.”

She was confused. They were already sitting next to each other, no more than a few feet separating them. “I’m here.”

He patted his lap, his meaning becoming clear.

He wanted her to sit on his lap? She blinked rapidly. Had she understood that correctly?

“Come here, Jayne. I don’t like to repeat myself.”

His words, his tone, sealed her fate. Her resistance melted away. Standing, she took the two steps required then paused again, trying to determine how to proceed.

“Open your legs and straddle my thighs. I want to have this conversation face-to-face. The seat of the chair is wide enough to accommodate the position. It’s one of the reasons I always sit here. It fires the imagination.”

He’d chosen his usual spot because of this? This position? This fantasy? She straddled his lap, easing her knees down to rest outside his upper thighs. Her chest was nearly touching his, their faces so close she could smell the scent of Scotch on his breath.

Elias grasped her ass and pulled her closer, until her pussy touched the obvious erection beneath his dress slacks. She gasped for air, finding none.

“Breathe slower.” He imitated the concept, sucking in a deep breath. She mimicked the inhalations, matching her pace to his until it came easier.

He touched her cheek with one finger. “That’s better.”

“What’s going on?” she muttered, more to herself than to Elias.

His finger drifted to her lower lip, his gaze seemingly mesmerized by the spot. “You know.”

It was a simple assertion. And true. She did know. They’d circled around each other, this moment, for years. “Why now?”

His eyes lifted to capture hers. “It’s time. The excuses have run dry.”

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