“The Universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” – Muriel Rukeyser
Sometimes as an author, you encounter a secondary character who won’t stay in the background. Who doesn’t play by the rules by taking on the supporting role. These characters tend to take over in the author’s mind even though it’s NOT their book! They want a bigger part and they become a distraction as their story starts to overshadow the one that’s being told. I’ve encountered this a few times in my writing. Riley in the Wild Irish series is a great example. That woman was slated for book six right from the get-go, but my God, I couldn’t get her to sit still and wait her turn. As such, she kept popping up in all the other books and stealing a bit of the limelight. In order to silence her, I actually started writing her book out of order. When she started screaming in my head, I’d close the current story and write another scene in Saturday Night Special. It was insanity, but it was the only way I could control her.
Travis started out as a supporting character in Black Jack, which I’d intended to be a standalone book. After all, that story was just me…satisfying a dare from my friends. But Travis wouldn’t stay in his little corner, wouldn’t stand idly by. He actually started taking over the story. So…I promised him his own happy ending. He’s still a big part of Black Jack, but as soon as he knew he’d have his own book, he calmed down a bit. And heaven knows Travis needed a HEA. He was such a sad, tortured soul. I cried several times as Travis and Shea came to life on the page. Travis owns a big piece of my heart and White Knight is probably one of my favorite books (as is Saturday Night Special). Apparently, I like the loud-mouth secondary characters!
Like Black Jack, White Knight is two stories in one as it alternates between a tortured lord who’s recently returned from battle and Travis, who’s fighting his own personal demons in the fetish club.
Shea Landon knows this is a bad idea. But when you’re broke, tired and homeless, you do crazy things. She decides to crash in her new place of employment, a fetish club, borrowing the big, comfy bed that’s used as a stage prop. She doesn’t realize she’s not alone…
Travis Knight knows this is a bad idea. As he views his new waitress sneaking around the club after hours, he realizes he should fire her, call the police. Instead, captivated, he watches her on the same security monitors that separate him from the world. Until watching isn’t nearly enough…
Two people—one desperate, one broken, both hopelessly alone. Two people assuaging their needs through spanking and sex games, bondage and taboo fantasy. It’s enough. It has to be—when the biggest secret between them might be a tragedy neither can overcome.
Shea Landon finished clearing up the last of the dirty glasses after the fetish show. She glanced toward the stage, remembering exactly what she’d witnessed there only a few hours earlier. She felt her face—and her body—flush, a purely ridiculous reaction given her upbringing. Still, there was something about the show that had sparked a definite thread of arousal.
Her new boss, Emma, had been the night’s star, performing with her incredibly handsome fiancé, Jack. When she’d interviewed for the waitress job at the club, Shea never could have imagined the no-nonsense, all-business woman who ran Scoundrels in the provocative schoolgirl outfit, bent over a desk getting her ass spanked. It was shocking to see Emma in that light. However, the whole act, while not a personal fetish for Shea, had been hot.
“So how was your first night?”
Shea found Emma smiling at her, back in business mode and attire. “Fine,” Shea said, wishing she weren’t blushing.
“I wanted to tell you that you did a great job tonight. You saved me, Shea.” Emma grinned at her. “So, what did you think of the show?”
“Well, it was,” she paused, trying to find the right word, “erotic.”
Her new boss nodded. “I should have warned you I’d be one of the performers but it completely slipped my mind. After the whole Bethany drama and hiring you so quickly, I’m afraid I’d almost forgotten it was my night to star in the show.”
Shea knew Emma was annoyed with her previous waitress for deciding to elope with her boyfriend and move to San Diego. Ordinarily losing one waitress wouldn’t have been so detrimental, but her defection had coincided with the absences of two more waitresses. Emma had been left with no one to call in and forced to hire someone on short notice.
Lucky for Shea. Her money had officially run out yesterday. Landing the job at Scoundrels was the answer to a prayer.
“Can I ask a favor?”
Shea nodded. At this point, there wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do for the woman standing between her and starvation. “Of course.”
“How are your hospital corners?” Emma asked.
Emma gestured toward the stage. “Bethany always changed the sheets after each night’s performance. She may have been flighty and impulsive, but she made one hell of a bed.”
“It just so happens I was a hotel maid in a former life. Where are the clean sheets?”
After spanking his naughty student, Jack had swept Emma to a bed positioned on the opposite side of the stage, where the two pretended to have sex. Shea decided—with a fair amount of depression—that their fake sex was hotter than any real sex she had ever had.
Emma led her backstage, showing her the hutch where the linens were stored. She also pointed out the laundry bin where the dirty sheets could be tossed. Along the way, Emma gave her a quick tour, something there hadn’t been time for after her whirlwind hiring and training session this afternoon.
Emma nodded to the mirrored glass above the stage. “And that’s the lion’s den. Only venture there under extreme caution.”
Emma winked good-naturedly. “I’m kidding. Travis Knight owns the club. His office is behind that glass.”
“Oh.” Shea lowered her voice. “Is he mean or something?”
Emma laughed. “God no. His bark is worse than his bite. Although lately he’s been taking some nips. Not sure what’s gotten in to him.”
“Does he come to the club often?” She worried that the owner would take exception to her super-fast hiring.
Emma shook her head. “No. I can’t tell you the last time I’ve actually seen him down here on the floor. He stays locked up in his office most of the day, taking off right after the show.”
Shea sighed a breath of relief. An absent owner was fine with her.
“Well, as soon as you change the sheets you’re free to go. I’ve finished all my chores, so I’m about to take off. Bill the bartender is always the last one out. He’ll lock up. Did you drive?”
Shea shook her head. She couldn’t afford to take the bus, let alone own a car. “No, I walked.”
“Oh, do you want a ride home then?”
Shea panicked. She was currently homeless, but she didn’t want Emma to find out. If she’d earned enough tips, she could get a room in the shitty hotel she’d stayed in upon arriving in L.A. last week. “No, I’m very close. Another reason why I was so excited to get this job.”
Emma nodded. “Sounds like the whole deal is a win-win for both of us. You get a job close to home and I get a wonderful waitress.”
“Thanks, Emma. For everything.”
“I’m the one who should be thanking you.” Emma sighed, sounding very tired. “Mercifully, tomorrow is Saturday.”
“Don’t we still have to work on Saturdays?”
“Oh yeah, but I don’t keep office hours on the weekend.”
“Office hours?” Shea asked.
“Jack swears I have the schedule of a vampire. The club is open until two a.m. Tuesday through Saturday. During the week, I come in at noon to deal with paperwork and stuff like that. Saturdays I don’t do that. Give myself a few extra hours to relax.”
“So your weekend is really Sunday and Monday.”
“Exactly. Same will hold true for you too. Hope you’re not in love with Saturday.”
Shea reached into the hutch, pulling out fresh sheets. “No. Not at all.”
“The chef and I will show up around three tomorrow, but I don’t need you here until four. We open for dinner at five and the performance takes place at ten, followed by the dance-’til-you-drop routine.” Emma reached into her pocket. “This is my cell phone number in case you need to get in touch with me for some reason.”
Shea took the business card and tucked it in her pocket.
Emma stifled a yawn and Shea struggled not to mimic the action. She was dead on her feet, but she refused to let Emma see how tired she was.
“Damn. I’m beat. I’ll see you tomorrow, Shea.”
Shea walked to the stage and slowly stripped the sheets from the bed. As she flipped out the new ones, tucking the fitted sheet around the mattress, she resisted the urge to lie down and close her eyes. She tried to batten down the anxiety that had been eating at her all night. She had nowhere to go. It had taken her longer to find a job than she’d anticipated and she’d used up the lousy few hundred dollars she’d traveled to L.A. with.
Once the bed was made, she sat down on the edge of it, sinking into the mattress and almost groaning. She’d never felt a softer, more comfortable bed in her life.
Pulling out her tips for the night, Shea counted the money. She had a little over two hundred dollars. She sighed with relief, so happy to have money in her hands. It was enough for a room at the fleabag motel—as she liked to call the crummy place she’d been staying—and some food. Unfortunately it was two a.m. and she didn’t like the idea of venturing into East Hollywood so late. While she was desperate for a roof over her head, especially after spending last night dozing in a Laundromat chair, she wasn’t stupid enough to put herself in danger.
She rubbed her eyes wearily, too tired to think. She couldn’t keep trying to exist from day to day. When she’d come to L.A., she’d had a plan, a goal. She looked one last time at the comfortable bed, wishing she could lay her head on the pristine white pillow. Then she stood up and headed back to the bar.
“How you doin’, kid?” Bill asked.
Shea had instantly liked the bartender. He was a gruff-looking man—ex-Marine, according to Emma—in his mid-forties. He was quick to laugh and just as quick to eviscerate rude drunks. As long as patrons behaved at his bar, all was well.
“Fine. I finished cleaning in the theater.”
“Great. The other gals took care of the dance floor area and the bar. I’m just about to finish a few things. You mind checking the bathrooms for me one last time? Make sure there aren’t any drunks curled up in the corner and the lights are off.”
She grinned. “I don’t mind. I’ll do it before I head out.” The back door to the club led to a parking lot. Shea recalled seeing an all-night diner across the street from the lot. Maybe she could have a cup of coffee there, caffeine up and try to figure out her next move. If she could remain awake until daybreak, she could hit the subway with the commuters and head back to the cheap motel to catch a few hours of sleep on the lumpy mattress.
“Oh hey. Here’s your bag.”
She’d asked Bill to stow her duffel behind the bar. She was ashamed to say everything she owned in the world was in that bag. He’d remarked on the size of it when she’d come to work, but mercifully hadn’t questioned her. “See you tomorrow, Shea.”
She took the bag and hitched it onto her arm. “Good night, Bill.”
Walking down the hallway, she heard Bill humming as he worked. She opened the door to the men’s room, peering inside. The place was empty. Switching the lights off, she crossed the hall to the women’s bathroom. It was also deserted.
She recalled the bed on stage…the clean sheets, the soft mattress.
An idea formed. A terribly stupid idea.
Glancing back toward the bar, she noticed Bill had gone to the kitchen. She took a deep breath for courage—then walked into the bathroom and turned off the lights.
The room was plunged into darkness and her heart began to race. Her earlier exhaustion gave way to nervousness and fear. What the hell was she doing?
Feeling her way across the room, she let herself into the stall farthest from the door. Sitting down on the toilet, she waited in silence. Too many minutes later, she heard the sound she’d been dreading and anticipating. She lifted her feet and sat frozen. The back door opened then closed. She heard a lock being thrown into place.
Shea remained where she was for fifteen minutes longer then lowered her feet and stood.
She’d done it. She was locked in the club. Christ, she was insane. She’d just gotten the job and with one foolish, rash act, she’d probably jeopardized it.
Reaching into her bag, she pulled out her mini-flashlight. Switching it on, she pulled off the white blouse and black mini Emma had supplied her with earlier. She didn’t want to wrinkle the material since she’d have to wear it again tomorrow and she certainly didn’t have an iron.
She pulled on a t-shirt and loose sleep shorts, brushed her teeth then left the bathroom, walking toward the stage, grabbing a blanket from the hutch along the way. If she was going to lose her job, she’d at least make it worth her while. When she reached the bed, she slipped off her shoes and lay down. She covered herself with the simple blanket but didn’t dare crawl between the sheets, already feeling guilty for taking advantage of Emma’s kindness. She took out her small travel alarm clock and set it for eleven. She prayed no one found her. Maybe after a good night’s sleep, she’d be smarter, be able to figure out what the hell she should do next. For tonight, she was too tired and the bed was too soft.
Travis watched his new waitress curl up on the bed and fall asleep. He had watched her all night as she’d worked. Emma had stopped by after the show to tell him how impressed she was with the new girl’s waitressing abilities.
He didn’t give a damn about her drink-slinging talents. Travis had been fascinated by her face. She was pretty, but it was the look of determination and—for lack of a better word—hunger that caught his eye. He recognized the exhaustion, the desperation and fear written there. He’d come to know those emotions well. He also felt a definite attraction. That would come as a surprise to Emma, who often accused him of taking the California-girls dream too far. He typically surrounded himself with tall, slim, suntanned blondes. Shea, with her dark hair, pale complexion and curvaceous body, didn’t fit that bill.
He’d watched her walk into the women’s room on one of the security monitors and been surprised when she didn’t come back out. After Bill locked up, he’d waited patiently. She didn’t disappoint him. Travis watched her sneak out with flashlight in hand. He picked up his phone, ready to call the police. However, her attire confused him and he paused. She appeared to be dressed in pajamas.
When she walked to the stage and lay down on the bed, he rose, watching her through the two-way glass. That was when he realized her goal wasn’t robbery, it was rest.
He stood watching her for nearly half an hour. Once he decided the exhausted girl was deeply asleep, he quietly crept down the stairs at the back of the stage. Shedding his shoes at the foot of the staircase, he padded across the stage until he stood next to her. Dim lighting from his open office door illuminated her face.
Shea Landon. Emma had told Travis her name. While he was typically absent from the main parts of the club, there was very little that happened in the place he didn’t know about.
He was curious about the petite woman. Reaching down, he picked up her duffel bag, retrieving the mini-flashlight she’d used earlier. He didn’t feel guilty about searching her stuff. After all, the woman was squatting in his club. Best to make sure she didn’t have a weapon.
Her bag didn’t answer his questions. If anything, it added more. There were several changes of clothing, some toiletries, a wallet and four books—all of them reminding him of the romance novels he’d been reading lately. Who the hell was this woman?
He replaced her things and put the duffel back on the floor. Shea rolled over and curled into a ball, nearly losing her blanket in the process. Travis slowly and carefully pulled the blanket up until it once more covered his sleeping waitress.
He was losing his mind. If he had half a brain, he’d wake her and fire her ass. Shea mumbled something incoherent and he grinned.
“You’re going to be trouble, aren’t you?” he whispered.
She sighed, but didn’t stir.
Fuck it. He wasn’t going to fire her. Where was the fun in that?
He climbed the stairs to his office, shutting the door. Usually he headed to his apartment but he didn’t want to leave Shea alone. Grabbing a blanket from the chair, he lay down on the couch. For the first time in a long time, he actually felt sleepy, his usual insomnia remaining at bay. His last thought before he drifted to sleep was of Shea. He didn’t know who she was, but she’d done something no one had done in a very long time.
The waves crashing on the shore pulled him from his restless slumber. Lord Travis Knight had been home nearly six months and the sea still tormented him. The sounds that had comforted him throughout his childhood were now threatening, reminding him too much of the terror he’d barely escaped when the war with Napoleon finally ended, the cursed emperor at last exiled to Elba. May he rot in hell there.
Travis had never feared the ocean before, but now the thunderous roar reminded him of the sound of a thousand horses’ hooves, hammering out a deadly beat as they approached. Death following behind with her arm raised, sword in hand, recklessly taking lives without thought, without care.
He stroked the long scar on his left cheek, recalling how closely Death had come to claiming him. Sometimes in the midst of a cold, dark night, he quietly prayed to her, begging her to finish the job.
A loud banging at the door disturbed the perpetual silence that permeated every crack and crevice of his home. He’d lost his parents to a fever while at war. They’d left him to wear an ancient, unwanted title, alone in this musty old mausoleum.
The knocking at the door continued. Finnegan would answer it and send the usurper on his way. Travis lay back on his bed and sighed heavily as he faced the beginning of yet another endless day.
Travis glanced toward the door as Finnegan opened it and entered. The man had served under Travis’ command in the regiment. It was Finnegan who had saved his life on the battlefield, delivering him home and tending to his wounds. After Travis recovered, Finny stayed on, taking on the role of butler, valet and jack-of-all-trades.
“What?” Travis let his annoyance show.
“You have a visitor, sir.”
Travis raised his eyebrow, equal parts anger and surprise. “I don’t see callers. You know that. Send whoever it is on their way.”
When Finny didn’t leave the room, Travis stared, frowning at the unflappable old warhorse as he fidgeted, ill at ease.
Finny cleared his throat uncomfortably. “I tole her you don’t see no one, but—”
“Lady Landon, from the estate next door.”
Travis groaned. It seemed his reprieve was over. The only reason he’d been spared so long was because Shea had been in London for the season when he returned home. She’d stayed in the city longer after her mother had taken ill and needed care. It appeared the elder Lady Landon had recovered well enough to make the trip home at last.
Travis dressed quickly, not bothering to check his appearance in the mirror. Shea was certain to find fault with it regardless.
Finny directed him to the parlor where she was waiting.
Travis paused at the door, mentally preparing himself. Shea Landon was his oldest friend in the world, the two of them having grown up together. She was also a bluestocking, far too outspoken and opinionated for his peace of mind.
Conversations with Shea often left him off guard. She knew him too well and he feared she’d make him a project if she saw how far he’d fallen. He was content to wallow in misery and he didn’t need Shea trying to change that state.
Shea glanced up at his entrance. It had been years since he’d seen her, but somehow he didn’t recall her looking quite so…beautiful before. She crossed the room, hugging him tightly.
Her scent was familiar, reminding him of far happier times.
She pulled away to look at him and shook her head. “You look dreadful.”
He nodded, not offended by her observation. He and Shea didn’t mince words and they didn’t lie to one another. “And you look lovely.”
She smiled but he sensed a sadness in her eyes he’d never seen before.
She raised her hand, lightly tracing his scar with her fingertips. “I was terribly worried about you.”
Travis grasped her wrist and gently pulled it away from his face. “As you can see, I am well.”
She nodded. “Yes. I see.”
Her tone told him just how much she saw. He needed to distract her. “You’re home to stay, I assume?”
“Yes, Mother is feeling much better.”
He crossed the room, sitting behind his large desk. He felt the overpowering need to place some distance between them. “I’m glad to hear that. I appreciate the social call, Shea, but I’m afraid I have a great deal to—”
“Oh, this isn’t a social visit. I’m here to offer you a business proposition.”
Travis reared back in his chair, surprised. “Business?”
Shea nodded. “I’ve endured my fifth season in London. I think it’s safe to say I am officially on the shelf.”
“I don’t agree.” There was a new radiance about her he’d never seen before. Surely other gentlemen of the ton must see it.
She gave him an appreciative smile that said she didn’t believe him. “It’s neither here nor there. I have no desire to enter the parson’s mousetrap with any of those fops. Unfortunately, there are rules in society associated with unwed women. I’m feeling constrained by them.”
“Constrained by what rules?” He was a fool for asking the question. Shea was the only person in the world who could surprise him and she did it on a regular basis. Her mind worked in ways he couldn’t begin to fathom or understand. All he knew was she had a plan and he was in trouble.
“I want to learn about pleasures of the flesh. Sex. And I want you to teach me.”
Travis sighed. Trouble indeed.
I recently had the rights to two older stories returned to me. What does that mean? Well, for Black Jack and White Knight, it means shiny new covers and a lower price. The stories haven’t changed at all so if you already own them with the old covers…thank you very much for buying them!
However, if you haven’t checked out this duo of stories yet, I hope you’ll take a look as they’re a bit different from my typically straight contemporary romances. I’ve always been a HUGE fan of Regency Romance. That’s actually how I discovered romance novels. I devoured several Regencies a week as I plowed through every book Stephanie Laurens, Iris Johannsen, Celeste Bradley, Julia Quinn, and countless others wrote. I was a weekly visitor to our local Borders and I never left with fewer than 5 or 6 of those draped-in-purple, clinch-covered books in my hands.
When I first started writing, my hope was to actually be an author of historical romance (perhaps you’ve read my first attempts — the June Girls). Dukes, pirates, Vikings, Scottish warriors (I’m looking at you, Jamie Fraser), and rakes! You name it–those gentlemen of old were my ultimate alpha hero.
Black Jack came about from a dare. I was chatting with several reader friends about my Regency love and they issued a challenge. Write a book about a captive woman who slaps a pirate. That was it. All the direction I was given. And somehow…from that…I ended up with a two-fold story. A pirate captain named Black Jack and his modern-day counterpart. The story alternates between Jack, the pirate and his fiery captive and Jack, the man doing his best friend, Emma, a favor by performing in her fetish fantasy show.
Jack has a secret. One he’s kept hidden from his best friend Emma…
When she calls in a favor, asking Jack to perform in a pirate fetish fantasy at the nightclub she manages, Emma inadvertently opens Pandora’s box—for both of them. As portraying a dominant pirate forces more of Jack’s secret desires to light, Emma finds herself enmeshed in sensual explorations of BDSM, wax play, bondage and sex in public that leave her questioning her vanilla existence.
When a second heated interlude on the stage finds her submitting to Jack, Emma suspects she’ll never find her way back to her simple missionary lifestyle. But with Jack in control…she’s not sure she wants to.
Thought I’d share Chapter One so you can see how that works. It’s a racy one! Enjoy.
“Let go of me!”
“Take it easy, lass. Come peacefully and no one will be hurt.”
“No one will be hurt because I’m not going anywhere with you.”
Black Jack Carlysle tightened his grip on the young woman’s arm. He wasn’t accustomed to backtalk from any of his subordinates and he sure as hell wasn’t going to listen to it from a mere female.
“I don’t think you fully understand your position here. My men and I have taken over your ship. Now we’re seizing our reward.”
“Stealing is more like it. You haven’t earned anything on our ship. You’re a thief and a heathen and— Ouch! You’re hurting my arm!”
“I may be all you say and more, my dear, but the fact remains, I am the captain of this ship and you are part of the spoils of war.”
The haughty woman slapped him. Hard. “We’ll see about that.”
Jack was shocked momentarily. He heard a sharp gasp behind him and knew his men had witnessed her assault. He’d intended to take her below deck and lock her in the room next to his. He knew who she was. As daughter of the territorial governor, she’d fetch a fair price in ransom.
Her blow and fiery rage ignited his temper and his final destination changed as he pushed her toward the ladder that would take them to his cabin.
“You will pay for that, my lady. In my bedroom.”
His threat pulled her up short and her struggling ceasing. “You can’t be serious. Do you know who I am?”
He chuckled mirthlessly. “I think the question that should be asked is, do you know who I am?”
Her gaze narrowed, drawing his attention to light blue eyes surrounded by thick, long black lashes. Her cheeks were flushed a lovely pink due to anger and exertion. Her breathing had accelerated, each hastily inhaled breath thrusting her full breasts forward. She’d fill his hands nicely.
No, Jack thought. It wouldn’t be a hardship bringing this hellion to heel.
“I know exactly who you are, Black Jack. And if you think I’ll quiver at the mere mention of your dreaded name like the rest of the fools on my father’s ship, then I fear you’re destined for disappointment.”
He grinned, pushing her harder than necessary toward the ladder. She stumbled slightly before catching herself. She was provoking him, daring the devil inside to come out to play. She’d struck him in front of his men. At that point, she’d lost the right to be treated with courtesy. Now he needed to make an example of her. Regardless of how much that idea rubbed against the grain.
He liked to consider himself a gentleman—usually beyond kind with the terrified women they’d kidnapped in the past. More than a few times, he’d had to gently convince the captive ladies to return home once their ransoms had been paid.
Clearly that wouldn’t be a problem this time.
She turned to face him once more, but before she could speak, he raised his finger. “Silence, woman!”
He didn’t intend to wage this battle in front of his men. It was high time she realized who she was dealing with.
“How dare you speak to me—”
Jack growled. Bending forward, he put his shoulder to the lady’s middle and lifted until her upper body hung upside down along his back.
“I’ve warned you more than once, my lady. Now you’re going to pay the piper.”
“Awesome,” Emma Potter said, wiggling loose from Jack’s hold. “That was perfect.”
Jack pulled the bandana off his head and stuffed it in the pocket of his jeans. “I feel like an ass.”
Emma laughed. “I owe you a big one for this, Smacker.”
Jack ignored her use of the annoying nickname. After years of friendship, she still persisted in calling him by the silly name. She’d given it to him after they’d gotten more than a bit tipsy at a bar the night Emma turned twenty-one. She’d tripped and spilled her strawberry daiquiri down the front of his shirt. He’d spent the evening smelling like a little girl’s tube of Bonne Bell lip gloss. Emma had teased him the entire night, calling him Lip Smacker. Sadly, fourteen years later, the shortened version of the name still stuck.
“I don’t think there’s a favor big enough in the world to repay me for this.” Jack leaned against the railing of the fake ship, looking out at the empty tables and chairs of the nightclub as he considered the fact they’d soon be filled with clubgoers, all watching his weak attempt at piracy.
“True that,” Emma conceded. “You’re a lifesaver, Jack. Really. I was at my wit’s end this morning. I bet I made at least fifty phone calls.”
“Glad to know I’m so high on your list,” he said sardonically, chuckling.
“Believe me, that call list isn’t one you want to be on top of.”
He looked around and shook his head. “Still find it hard to believe that you plan fetish fantasy shows for a nightclub. I’ve got to admit, when you were making your valedictory speech in high school, this wasn’t exactly where I pictured you ending up.”
“Maybe not, but I bet you knew I’d be organizing awesome parties attended by all the biggest names, right?”
Emma had been the queen of the social scene in high school. Jack thought it had probably surprised more than a few of their peers to discover she had such good grades, given her love of partying. Begrudgingly, he had to admit she was one of the most naturally intelligent people he’d ever met. She had a razor-sharp mind with a quick wit to match. Her photographic memory didn’t hurt either. Quite frankly, it had taken very little work for Emma to maintain her position at the top of their class. Not that it had been a very large class.
They’d both enrolled in USC and moved to Los Angeles from Bumfuck, North Dakota, determined to escape their small town. The third in their small gang of friends, Travis, had come along for the ride as well, mainly because he thought living in L.A. would be a lark. Little did Jack and Emma know their unmotivated, antisocial best friend would find his niche in the City of Angels.
“Yeah, I knew you’d plan awesome parties.” Jack reached up to rub his cheek. “Hey, did you have to slap me so hard?”
She rolled her eyes. “You big baby. It wasn’t that hard. Besides, the sound has to carry through the room to make it authentic.”
Jack crossed his arms. “I hope your actress doesn’t have your right hook or I’m likely to suffer a concussion.”
“Not my fault. If you’ll recall, it was you and Travis who taught me how to fight.”
“You were supposed to use those moves on the frat-boy assholes at college. Not me.”
Emma shrugged. “Looks like I got a bonus from my lessons.”
“Yeah, well, you try to lay another one of those bonuses on my face and I’m gonna return the smack. Only I won’t be aiming at the cheek on your face.”
Jack tried to ignore the way his cock twitched at her taunt. They weren’t strangers to sexy innuendos, but he’d been friends with her long enough to know they’d never follow through on the teasing.
“Speaking of actresses, where the hell is Jennifer?” Emma glanced at her watch for the twelfth time in an hour. “She’s not usually late.”
Jack and Emma looked up toward the landing that overlooked the stage, where Travis kept his private offices. Jack had teased him more than once about the mafia-style two-way mirror that allowed Travis to watch the show and the audience without being seen.
“What?” Emma yelled.
Jack shook his head and marveled at the fact his friends were running L.A.’s number-one hotspot and not killing each other in the process. The only reason he could surmise for Em and Trav’s somewhat peaceful coexistence was that they had a shared goal. Emma had always been annoyed by Travis’ lack of ambition, while Travis envied Emma’s ability to fit into any social circle. Not that Jack had ever noticed Travis attempting to change his solitary existence. His friend seemed to prefer his safe sanctuary above the club, away from people, taking care of the business end of things from behind his magic mirror. He was more than happy to leave the managing of the club itself to Emma.
“Jen just called. She’s got that same damn stomach virus as Marshall. Looks like you’re out both leads tonight.”
“Fuck!” Emma cursed, turning to kick the mast of the fake ship.
“Hey, take it easy on the props,” Travis hollered. “Took me ages to find a carpenter who could build that thing well enough to please you.”
Emma threw Travis a dirty look, but didn’t reply.
Jack tried to calm the storm—a role he was accustomed to playing with his friends. “So we’ll just find someone else. How about we split that phone list of yours? Start at the top and work our way down. Bet we could knock it out in under an hour.”
She shook her head. “Too late for that now. We’ll never find anyone who can learn the part and get ready in just a few short hours.”
“It’s not like there are scripted lines, Em. Isn’t that what you told me? The woman would just have to fight the kidnapping pirate and allow herself to be ravished onstage in front of a horny audience.” Jack wiggled his eyebrows suggestively and ran his hand along his half-erect, jeans-clad cock. “Hell, you can’t give up now. You promised me a hot captive.”
She snorted. Jack enjoyed the familiar sound. “Christ, Carlysle. It’s not a fucking porno. All you have to do is pretend you’re doing it. Mimic the motions.”
Travis interrupted their conversation. “Doesn’t matter if Jack plays the part or not. Without an actress, we may as well cancel the show.”
Emma scowled. “It’s sold out. Do you know how much money we’d lose?”
Travis rubbed his chin irritably, indicating he knew exactly what they were facing. “Yeah, Em. I think even with my limited math skills, I can work out the equation on that.”
She sighed sadly. “I wasn’t insinuating that—”
“I know,” Travis interjected. His business acumen had taken both Jack and Emma by surprise. The guy was born to run a club—except for the lack of social skills. For that, he had Emma.
“Why don’t you do it?” Jack suggested. The words popped out before he could think better of them. He’d enjoyed practicing his role with Emma and he hadn’t exactly been looking forward to sharing the stage with a stranger.
Travis burst out laughing. “Holy shit. Now I’d pay to see that, and it’s my fucking club.”
Emma scowled at Travis. “Go back into your hole, little worm. Crunch numbers, think up all those grand schemes you’ll make me execute. I’ll deal with tonight’s show.”
Communicating through insults was standard operating procedure for all of them. Travis grinned. “Let me know if you decide to play the damsel in distress. I wanna make sure my video camera’s charged to get the footage.”
“No cameras allowed at Scoundrels,” Emma said.
Travis shrugged. “That’s the beauty of this mirror. You don’t have a clue what I’m doing behind it.”
“Eww. Gross,” Emma called out as Travis headed back into his office and closed the door behind him, leaving them alone once more. “What the hell is wrong with you?”
Jack scowled. “Meaning?”
“Meaning there’s no way I’m going to dress up like some damn fool and scream my head off while you have your wicked pirate way with me.”
“I see. But it’s okay for me to make an ass of myself in front of God and everybody.”
Emma sighed. “That’s not what I’m saying. You don’t work here. You may come and have a drink occasionally and take in a show, but you don’t have to see these people day in and day out.”
“So you’re embarrassed about acting in front of the employees? The regulars?” Jack didn’t buy it. Emma had played the lead role in the school’s musical during their senior year. She’d been a natural. In fact, for a while, Jack suspected her decision to move to L.A. had been based on a secret desire to be an actress.
“I’m the manager here. Next to Travis, I’m the boss. I don’t think it would do my reputation any good if I got up onstage and pretended to be a submissive captive.”
Jack struggled not to laugh. “Emma, I really don’t think you have anything to worry about. Regardless of what you do on this stage, I find it hard to believe it will change the way your employees view you. You’re a force to be reckoned with and no one’s in danger of forgetting that.”
“Ha ha. You know, I’m not that hard to work for.”
She was a perfectionist with high standards and a work ethic that wouldn’t quit, both things that Jack respected. She also expected that same level of commitment in others, which he suspected was another reason the club was so successful. Those who could toe Emma’s line were driven, energetic, kindred spirits. Those who couldn’t hack it got out. As a result, Scoundrels had a staff most nightclubs would kill for.
“What’s the real reason you don’t want to do it, Em? I’m not buying this losing face line.”
She sighed. “I’m not sure I can pull off the role. You must admit, submissive isn’t very high on my list of personality traits.”
This time Jack did laugh. Loud and long. “Jesus, Em. It’s not on the list at all.”
She narrowed her eyes in annoyance.
“It’s called acting. You’re familiar with the premise. You managed to play Maria from The Sound of Music. Let’s face it. You aren’t exactly nun material either, but you pulled that off.”
“Fine. You want me to spell it out for you, Mr. Clueless? Then I will. We would have to imitate having sex onstage. You and me. Us,” she said, pointing at him and then herself for effect.
“No shit. Isn’t that sort of the point of the whole little fantasy scenario?”
She rolled her eyes. “You don’t think that would be a little awkward? No, strike that. You don’t think it would be a lot awkward?”
He shook his head. The question didn’t require a moment of thought. “No. I don’t.”
His confident answer took her aback and, if he wasn’t mistaken, seemed to hurt her feelings. “Oh.”
What the fuck was going on inside her head? “We’re friends, Em. We have been forever. I’d feel more comfortable acting out a fantasy onstage with you than with a stranger.”
She nodded, but he got a sense his words weren’t helping much. It was clear she was upset. However, this was Emma Potter. Nothing held her down for long. He watched her shake off whatever was bothering her in an instant. “Right. Well…”
She fell silent for a moment and he remained quiet. Emma was a thinker and nothing he could say or do at this point would change the fact she’d make the decision to participate—or not—on her own.
That didn’t stop him from hoping she’d agree. Even though they’d only played out a small part of the fantasy, he wasn’t going to pretend he didn’t like the idea of dominating Emma…a lot.
“Fine. I’ll do it. It’s a sold-out performance and there are going to be some big-name stars in the crowd. Canceling isn’t really an option I want to consider.”
Her love of the club won out. Jack knew it was foolish to be irritated that she was only participating for work. They were friends. Nothing more. Still…
“Great. Then I think we need to finish the rehearsal.” He was itching to get her beneath him.
She gave him a rueful grin. “You sure you don’t want to improvise? Might come across as fresh and realistic if we aren’t too rehearsed.”
He raised an eyebrow. “You aren’t seriously telling me you let your actors go onstage without running through the act. I know you too well.”
She shrugged, her silence giving her away.
“We’re practicing and that’s all there is to it.”
“Whatever. Let’s get this over with. I have a gazillion things to do before showtime.”
He smiled. “You can’t rush art.”
Emma snorted. “This isn’t art. It’s soft porn.”
“Thought you just said it wasn’t a porno?”
She shrugged. “You know what I mean.”
Jack took Emma by the hand and led her to the ladder. The fake ship was two levels with a narrow balcony that served as the deck. Climbing down the ladder put them on the main stage, which, in this instance, was the pirate captain’s private quarters. There was a large bed positioned sideways at center stage—making it the most important prop and providing the entire audience a perfect view.
Emma and Travis had worked hard on this particular set. Jack remembered stopping by many afternoons to lend his own advice and to watch as the ship was constructed. Typically, each fantasy shows at Scoundrels ran for one month. Because it was unscripted, the show was never the same, featuring different actors each weekend for four weeks, who changed up the lines and actions to keep returning audience members entertained. The actors were given the bare-bones synopsis and told to interpret it however they wanted. So far, it seemed to be an award-winning combination, mainly because Emma only hired truly talented actors with strong improvisational abilities.
This was the last week of the pirate fantasy and Jack knew Emma and Travis had spent a small fortune on marketing, as well as saving their best actors for last. Marshall and Jennifer had a huge fan following and their performance nights never failed to sell out.
Jack gestured for Emma to climb down the ladder. He followed her. When they reached the main stage, he looked at the bed and felt the arousal he’d been holding at bay reappear. No point in trying to hide his emerging erection. She was going to feel it when he pressed against her. Not that he’d apologize for it. After all, the whole purpose of the show was to prompt sexual excitement. “Go lie on the bed.”
Emma gave him a strange look. “What the hell for?”
“I think we should practice the phony sex thing.”
“What about the rest of the show? My heroine is supposed to fight tooth and nail. She’s not going to just hop in the bed and say ‘have at it’.”
He laughed. Emma had more in common with the spunky heroine than she realized. They were both headstrong, stubborn women who wouldn’t bend to any man’s will. Jack’s cock thickened even more. Those attributes were hotter than hell.
“I know you’re going to fight. I can handle that part. The tricky part is going to be the simulated sex. We have to make it look real.”
“The lighting helps with that,” Emma said matter-of-factly. “We’ve got it set up so that certain areas of the bed are in shadow at the beginning. Once you start moving, there are a lot of flashing, colored lights that help enhance the scene until the climax.”
Jack grinned and wiggled his eyebrows.
She smirked and slapped him on the arm, well aware of the dual meaning of her words. “I mean the climax of the story, you dork.”
“Get on the bed,” he repeated. He was pleased when she obeyed without kicking up a fuss. She really was determined to play this role.
She was wearing a short skirt with a soft cotton T-shirt. Emma was beautiful in a simple, unassuming way. Her clothing was never ostentatious or flamboyant. The best word he could think of to describe her was classic. She had light brown hair with natural blonde highlights thanks to the California sun, big blue eyes and the slightest smattering of freckles on her nose.
Tonight her outfit would consist of a blouse and long skirt. She’d shown him the costumes earlier. He was looking forward to ripping some of that clothing off her.
He felt certain Emma never would have dialed his number if she’d realized exactly how much he wanted to do this. Last month, he and Travis had finally had a heart-to-heart and come clean about their unusual sexual desires. While they’d been best friends forever, the subject of what they liked in the bedroom—and who they’d like in their bed—had never come up. After consuming a bottle of Jim Beam while watching the fetish show from Travis’ lofty tower office, Jack had confessed why he’d sent his latest love interest walking.
While it was little mystery to his friend that he was a serious dominant in the bedroom, there was one aspect of his nature he’d never shared with Travis. If he hadn’t been three sheets to the wind, he never would have revealed his penchant for sex with a twist at all. The truth was he’d harbored the secret desire to perform before an audience for a long time, but not as an actor. While Emma shone in the spotlight back at school, he’d been content to work in the wings. No, his need wasn’t to be yet another wannabe actor roaming Hollywood Boulevard.
Jack liked sex in public. Not all the time, but more than he realized most women were comfortable with.
Growing up, he’d felt like there was something wrong with him. In North Dakota, his desires would have gotten him drawn and quartered at dawn or committed to a mental hospital. However, in a city of sinners, he no longer felt it was wrong to experiment with that particular fetish and he’d indulged more than a few times with women who’d shared his interest—mainly actresses who thrived on attention. The problem was he’d yet to find a woman who could hold his attention outside the bedroom, unless he counted Emma. He’d never seriously pursued her sexually, though they’d flirted for years. There was a part of him that suspected she’d balk at his fetish. Besides, he valued their friendship too much to risk it.
As far as Jack was concerned, performing onstage at Scandals was an acceptable form of sex in public, even if it was simulated. Nearly perfect. Nearly as exciting.
Travis had understood and confided his own twisted fantasy. While Jack longed for the sexual spotlight, Travis liked to watch. He’d built his office and the club simply to fulfill his need for visual stimulation. Unfortunately, Travis hadn’t found anyone to share his peeping Tom pleasures with. Jack worried Travis would never find a companion. God knew he wouldn’t as long as he continued hiding behind the glass.
Travis had given him shit for hiding his feelings for Emma, calling him to task for wasting so much time. Truth was Jack had taken special care to hide his true nature from her. His deception wasn’t based on shame or anything like that. It was simply something he’d never felt comfortable telling her. Emma was as straight as they came, which made her agreement to participate in this show all the more surprising.
Emma climbed onto the bed, sitting in the center of the large mattress. Jack shook his head. “Lay down, Em. On your back.”
She narrowed her eyes and he knew she was irritated at being commanded to do anything. “This is pointless.”
“Not at all.” He walked to the bed and crawled on. He sensed Emma’s surprise when he continued moving, pushing her until she was caged beneath him. Once he had her where he wanted her, he froze, giving himself time to take stock of her response to his close proximity. Her breathing accelerated slightly and he could see the tiny pulse at her neck racing. Her nipples made an appearance, poking against the material of her T-shirt.
“I’ve watched the fetish shows before,” he said. “And you’re right. The lighting and sound effects are deceptive. Always made me wonder how much was real and how much was make-believe.”
She nodded and licked her lips. A nervous reaction? Or an invitation?
Jack decided he didn’t give a shit. He’d waited a lifetime to kiss her. He bent down and placed his lips on hers.
For a split second, Emma remained motionless. Then she responded. Reaching up, she wrapped her arms around his neck, accepting his kisses and his tongue as he invaded her mouth. He lowered until his forearms supported his upper body on the mattress. The switch in position pressed his body closer to hers, her breasts crushed against his chest.
Jack deepened the kiss, unwilling to break the spell. He’d never consciously let himself imagine kissing Emma, knowing he’d want it too bad. Now that his lips were on hers, he kicked himself for being a fool. Suddenly, all the years they’d spent floundering in mere friendship seemed like a huge waste of time.
Her tongue brushed his and he groaned. Lowering his waist, he ground his erection against Emma, letting her feel his arousal, his need.
Her response shook him to his core.
Reaching down, she lifted her skirt so she could raise her legs to wrap them around his waist. He pressed his cock against her panty-covered pussy, the heat he found there undeniable even through the denim of his jeans.
He shifted slightly, humping against her until she was panting. Jack wondered if he could bring her to orgasm with the simple motion and increased his speed. He wanted to see her come more than he wanted his next breath.
A slight shuffling sound from the landing above momentarily caught his attention but Jack blocked it out, not caring if Travis watched. The idea that his friend might be on the landing ramped up his efforts. He lifted his lips from Emma’s and moved away slightly. Her face was flushed, her eyes hungry. She blinked rapidly, confused by his sudden departure.
“I want to watch you come.”
She shook her head, no doubt trying to regain her wits. He refused to let her overanalyze his request.
“I need to know what it looks like.”
He reached down and shoved the thin material of her panties aside. Before Emma could protest, he pushed two fingers into her wet heat. Emma lurched beneath him and he figured out exactly how close she was to climaxing. Her pussy walls contracted around his fingers and, for the first time, he realized he was in danger of blowing too. Christ, he hadn’t come in his pants from simple foreplay since he was a teenager. Right now that reaction seemed like a foregone conclusion.
“God,” Emma cried. “Jack, please.”
He increased the speed and pressure of his thrusting fingers, relishing the tightness of Emma’s sheath. She was trembling as her hips writhed beneath him. She appeared to be oblivious to everything except his fingers in her body, driving her higher, harder.
“Goddamn it, Em. Come, baby. Let me feel your pretty pussy squeeze my fingers. Then think about what it’s going to feel like when I fill you with my hard cock.”
His words were the final nail in the coffin. Emma screamed her release. Jack gritted his teeth against the desire to join her in that bliss, but the idea of spending the rest of the afternoon in sticky jeans held him back—just barely.
As Emma’s climax subsided, he lay still. He hadn’t removed his fingers from her body. He wouldn’t do that—couldn’t. Not yet. He wanted to retain possession of her sweet cunt while they had the conversation that seemed imminent.
After several moments, Emma’s closed eyes began to open slowly. When she saw Jack hovering above her, she winced and shut them once more.
“Closing your eyes isn’t going to change anything.”
“Sure it will,” Emma said, her eyes pressed shut. “I can pretend you’re someone else and we didn’t just make the biggest fucking mistake ever.”
“I’d hardly call what happened a mistake.” He wiggled his fingers inside her cunt and she gasped.
“Jesus. Get out of there,” she demanded.
He laughed. “No. I like it. It’s warm.”
Emma’s gaze rose to meet his, though her eyes remained narrowed, piercing him with a laser stare. He was glad to see his indomitable friend return. “We’re supposed to pretend to have sex. Not actually have it. You pull that shit tonight and we’re likely to lose our business license.”
“I know exactly what my role is, Em. You don’t need to worry about that.”
“Apparently I do. Dammit, Jack. What were you thinking? What was I thinking?”
He shrugged. “Sometimes it’s good to be spontaneous. Seems to me you think too fucking much.”
“And you don’t think enough.”
He brushed her clit with his thumb, enjoying her shocked intake of breath. “I think I like watching you come. I think I like the way your body feels under mine and I think I’m going to fuck you until we both pass out tonight after the show.”
She scowled. “Oh yeah? Well, think again.”
She reached down and gripped his wrist in an attempt to pull his fingers from her pussy.
Jack didn’t budge. “Stop trying to move my hand.”
“Then take it out,” she demanded.
He shook his head. “No. Now let go of my wrist and put your hands above your head.”
She wanted to deny him. Every particle of her being was itching to fight him. He could see it in the stiff set of her shoulders and the tenseness in her jaw.
“Do it now, Emma, or I’m going to flip you over onto your stomach and spank your ass until it glows bright red.”
Her face flushed a deeper pink and her breathing stuttered for a second. She recovered quickly from his threat. But not quickly enough…
He’d made a discovery about his friend—one that was shaking him to the core and sending even more blood pulsing to his already throbbing cock.
Emma was a closet submissive.
His powerhouse, take-no-prisoners pal was hiding a sexual skeleton in her own closet.
“You try to spank me and I think you’ll find yourself minus a body part or two by the time I’m finished with you.”
He grinned. “Idle threat. You and I both know it.”
His easygoing reply to her heated response threw her. He hadn’t pretended to be less than his dominant self with Emma. For years she’d seen that side of him, listened to his sex tales and teased him about his caveman antics in the bedroom. However, while she’d heard about it, she’d never been the recipient. Jack had foolishly marked her off the list, claiming the friendship was too important to risk on a roll in the hay. In all honesty, he’d never thought they’d be compatible in the bedroom despite the underlying attraction that had always simmered between them.
He’d been wrong.
Tomorrow, I’ll share an excerpt from White Knight, Travis’s story!
Joni’s had better birthdays. Catching her boyfriend at a fancy restaurant with some bimbo certainly wasn’t what she’d wished for when she blew out the candles. Newly unattached, she’s ready to embrace singlehood by going wild, being reckless, maybe even indulging in some meaningless sex.
Depressed with his shallow love life, Eric Bryant is commiserating with his friend, Alex Dare, over a meal at his favorite restaurant. He vows to marry the next woman he sleeps with—just before a firecracker confronts her cheating boyfriend at the next table. Intrigued, Eric offers to buy her a beer. Joni agrees on two conditions: She wants tequila, and complete honesty. Eric promises nothing but the truth.
After one daring night, what happens when two people with such similar hungers want such different futures?
You can find One Daring Night at Amazon.
As Carly Phillips’ “Dare” world is licensed to Amazon, the books are available on Amazon only. If you aren’t a Kindle user, no worries! You can still read the stories on the FREE Kindle APP that you can download on your computer, smart phone or tablet. DOWNLOAD HERE.
Enjoy this excerpt from One Daring Night.
“I heard what happened back there in the restaurant.” He hastened to explain before she put the car in gear and pealed tires in her attempt to escape. “That guy—”
“My ex,” she interjected.
“The asshole,” he corrected. She nodded her head in a silent touché. “He did a really crappy thing. I admire the way you stood up to him. The way you walked into that place and called him out for it. That took guts. And I thought I’d like to buy you a beer.”
Her smile grew as he spoke before the tiniest bit of disbelief entered her pretty brown eyes. “You really thought that?”
“Yeah. I did.”
Joni turned, looking at the restaurant she’d just left, giving him the chance to study her profile. She was quite beautiful. And even more appealing was the fact she appeared to have no idea how attractive she was. He’d spent way too many days…and nights…with gorgeous women who used their looks to further their agendas—whether it involved getting into his bed or his bank account. Joni didn’t fit that mold, didn’t feel like someone whose motives he’d constantly have to question.
The silence grew uncomfortable and Eric feared he was losing her. That she was going to leave. “Come on,” he prodded. “Take a chance. For one night, be daring. You already started in the restaurant. Keep going.”
She sighed, then looked at him again, and he sensed she’d come to a decision. He was surprised to feel his chest tighten, his heart stutter a bit as he waited to see if she’d give him a chance.
“I’ll take you up on that drink invitation on two conditions.”
He heard himself say, “Anything,” before he could even think through his reply. Then he realized the response would be the same regardless. He’d do anything to spend the evening with her.
“First of all, I don’t want beer. I want tequila.”
He tried not to wince as he recalled what tequila had done to him last night. It didn’t matter. Alcohol wasn’t going to make any decisions for him tonight. He’d already made them. “You got it. And the second?”
He frowned. “What?”
She gestured to the restaurant. “I just spent the last three years of my life with a lying, cheating son of a bitch. I’ve been fed so much bullshit lately, I’m choking on it. If we go out for a drink, I want one night of no games, no deception, no playboy pick-up lines. Just you and me. No pretense and no attempts to impress each other with stuff that isn’t real. You up for that?”
He never missed a beat. “Absolutely.”
Don’t miss these amazing new books…also part of Carly Phillips’ Dare World.
Sometimes there’s no escaping Destiny…
When Miami Thunder star receiver Jax Elliot fell in love with Destiny Duncan, it felt right. He didn’t care that she was a trainer from the Thunder’s biggest rivals. Didn’t care about this boss or hers, didn’t care what the fans or the media thought. Destiny was the best thing to ever happen to him—until he started dropping the ball. Literally. And he was forced to make a choice. The woman he loved. Or the game he loved.
He chose poorly.
Months later, in need of a trainer he can trust, Jax turns to the woman he still wants above all others. Things quickly turn physical—the sex between them more explosive than ever—and the physical quickly becomes emotional. One thing hasn’t changed: Jax and Des are still deeply in love. But something else remains the same as well. He still can’t catch a damn ball with Destiny in his head.
It’ll take a Dare—or three—to help Jax understand it’s not about catching every ball…it’s about knowing the woman he loves will always be there to catch him.
Publicist Abby Lehman likes her job—until she finds herself working as a glorified babysitter for cocky-as-the-devil NFL star Sam Cormack. Sam is unpredictable, unruly, impossible—and also impossibly sexy. It has taken all Abby’s willpower to keep from throwing herself at him like one of his groupies. When her boss insists she accompany Sam to a black tie restaurant opening, things heat up even further. And when she finds out Sam has also been lusting after her she throws caution to the wind and indulges in a hot tryst with him that threatens her career as well as her heart.
Sam knows he screwed up with Abby and curses his impulsive nature. Making love to her was something he’d wanted for a long time, but he should have taken things slower with her, made sure they got to know each other. Now she thinks he only wants her for sex, just when Sam’s realizing she’s the first woman to make her want the real deal in a long time.
Can he make her believe he’s ready to put his playboy days behind him and start something real with his Miss Right?
There’s something familiar about the gorgeous woman across the crowded club. When he “accidentally” bumps into her, Alex Dean is shocked to discover what it is: The tall, leggy blonde is none other than Sadie Emerson, his college math tutor—and the subject of more fantasies than he could count. Years later, she’s looking better than ever. He has to have her. Tonight. Immediately.
Does it really matter that she thinks she’s going home with his buddy, Alex Dare?
Apparently it does. Because she sneaks away the morning after. Twice. First, when she discovers her mistake, then when she decides her upcoming more to New York makes them a two-day stand at best. But the sex is off-the-charts combustible, and Alex is already seeing stars, hearing bells…envisioning houses and picket fences and other things he’d never considered.
Now all he has to do is convince Sadie his feelings are real. His shy wallflower might consider him a daring mistake—but Alex has never been more certain.
A blind date from hell turns into a dare that changes everything.
Jewelry designer Presley Warren is sick of spending every single night alone. The crushing weight of running her family’s business leaves little time for the designing she loves. It’s no surprise that dating is last on her to-do list. In a moment of weakness she agrees to let her best friend set her up.
In a funk, millionaire Vance O’Neal is dragged to the first home game of the season for the Miami Thunder. He literally runs into a gorgeous blond as soon as he walks into the stadium. She’s light and laughter and the first woman to pull at him in years. One problem—she’s already taken. In a twist of fate, he’s seated next to Presley at the game. Her date shows his true colors as a rude, self-involved jerk so Vance can’t help himself when the Halftime Kiss Cam pans onto them. He dares her to kiss him—in fact, he double dares her to take a chance on a stranger.
He’s convinced her to start with one night—now he wants a shot at forever.
He’ll help her speed right past her limits…if she dares.
Pop princess Peyton Pryor wants just one night to break out of the mold she’s been stuck in for way too long. Successful beyond her wildest dreams, she can’t help wanting more—to write her own music, to head into edgier territory, to have some fun. Particularly the naughty kind that doesn’t match her pristine, sanitized image.
An illicit joyride in a borrowed Porsche leads her straight to ex-Detective and current romantic suspense author Noah Keaton, who has been feeling itchy about his own mold lately. After turning his back on being a cop, he’s been on the straight and narrow for far too long. If Peyton’s hungry for experience, he’s just the man for the job. Because he’s hungry for her.
Maybe this time, one dare will become so much more…
And…if you’re on Facebook, I hope you’ll take some time to come to our Release Day party today (starting at 1 p.m. EST). All the authors will be there and there are some amazing prizes, including a pink Kindle Fire. Stop by!
Don’t live in the US, but want the books? There are 2 ways to do this, one if you have a U.S. kindle address and one if you don’t.
If you have a US Kindle address you should be able to buy from the US Kindle store.
If you don’t– you can manually switch your Kindle association from the country of registration to the U.S., buy the book you want and then switch back to the original country.
Go to settings. In the middle you can see what country you are associated with. Then just a bit above there is a section that tells you what country you can change associations –>> follow that link –>> change to the country of your choice) –>> choose the American site. You’ll be transferred, and able to buy the books in the Dare Kindle World! Then do the same process in reverse to get back to the original site for your country.
“What makes you different or weird, that’s your strength.” – Meryl Streep
“A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman.” – Melinda Gates
My story, Rough Draft, is part of the set.
Bestselling crime novelist Jett Lewis is stumbling over a wicked case of writer’s block, his fast-flowing words having run dry. His publisher’s screaming “deadline”, the fans are ready to riot, and Jett just wants to disappear. His friend Carissa suggests he get away, clear his head…get laid. And she has just the ticket. Literally. Two passes to Eden, an exclusive island paradise.
The Bad Boys of Eden Box Set is out now for the special price of $0.99!
Enter now for a chance to win an iPad Mini!
Last year I had the opportunity to be a part of a very fun, exciting project called Invitation to Eden. The premise was simple. Each author took characters from another series they were writing and sent them to paradise! I chose to send Jett, from the Big Easy series, to Eden Island. While there he found a cure to writer’s block, a murderer and true love in a story called Rough Draft. Many members of the Lewis clan had cameos, including Mama Lewis and Justin, from Full Position. Rough Draft also paves the way to the next book in the series, Triple Beat, which will release on June 1.
Now…for a limited time only, you can pick up 14 of the Invitation to Eden stories (including Rough Draft) for just .99 cents. It’s a great way to find a new series/new author!
The INVITATION TO EDEN series was hailed by book bloggers as “sexy as hell”! Grab this set of 14 EDEN stories in one single volume and at one amazing price.
Do you want to totally to fall in love, get naughty, and be good at being bad with a bad boy? If so, get whisked away to an exotic island where anything and everything is possible with THE BAD BOYS OF EDEN mega romance bundle. We’ve packed the box with the best in new adult, erotic romance, sweet contemporary, and wicked paranormal all set in the mysterious, dangerous, and romantic world of Invitation to Eden.
INTRODUCTION by Lauren Hawkeye
MASTER OF THE ISLAND by Lauren Hawkeye
WILD RIDE by Opal Carew
BREAKING FREE by Cathryn Fox
ROUGH DRAFT by Mari Carr
ESCAPE FROM REALITY by Adriana Hunter
SECOND GLANCES by Elena Aitken
BLURRING THE LINES by Roni Loren
IVY IN BLOOM by Tawny Stokes
DELICIOUS AND DEADLY by CC MacKenzie
YOURS TRULY, TADDY by Avery Aster
HOW TO TEMPT A TYCOON by Daire St. Denis
HOLD ME CLOSE by Eliza Gayle
SWEET RETURN by Steena Holmes
FIGHT FOR ME by Sharon Page
BUY LINKS (I will add other vendors as they become available):
“Maybe you’re not meant to fit in. Maybe you’re supposed to stand out.” – Taylor Swift
“If I was going to be a princess, I would be a warrior princess.” -Emma Watson