Cover Art: Reese Dante
Cover Art: Reese Dante
Available Now to read for FREE in KindleUnlimited:
Available Now to read for FREE in KindleUnlimited:
A love story will be rewritten in this heartfelt romance from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst.
Ophelia Bishop was a lovestruck teenage girl when she and Kyle Kimpton chased their dreams to Hollywood. Kyle’s dreams came true. Ophelia’s did not. When Kyle chose his career over their relationship, Ophelia returned home to rural New York to run the family’s B & B—wiser, and more guarded against foolish fantasies. Now Kyle has come crashing back into her life, and all her defenses are down.
Kyle can’t think of a better place to write his latest screenplay than his hometown. After all, that was where he met the heart of his inspiration—his first love. He knows the damage he’s caused Ophelia, and he wants a chance to mend their relationship. If anyone can prove to Ophelia that happy ever afters aren’t only for the movies, it should be him.
As much as Ophelia’s changed, she still has feelings for Kyle. But her heart has been broken before, and she knows that Kyle could run back to Hollywood at any time. She gave up her dreams once, but maybe she can dare to change her own love story…one last time.
“You don’t have to clean up,” she said. “I got it.”
“No, you’ve done enough this morning. Let me.”
With his tight ass cupped in jeans and a soapy sponge in his hand doing dishes, the scene was total porn. Her knees grew a bit weak. “Thanks. Who are you having dinner with tonight?” she asked.
“No one. Just not her.”
Pleasure shot through her. “Not interested, huh?”
He gave her a stunned look. “Are you kidding me? Definitely not my type.”
“Oh yeah? What is your type?”
He gave a low laugh, moving the sponge in perfect circles. “Not someone with perfectly manicured fingernails. I like a woman who knows how to get dirty and messy.”
Laughter bubbled inside. She glanced at her own hands, which hadn’t seen polish in years. “Hmm, interesting. What else?”
“Let’s see . . . a woman who doesn’t agree with everything I say. That gets old. I prefer a challenge.”
“Does a woman who calls you a controlling asshole count as a challenge?”
“Definitely. That just turns me on.”
She cocked her hip and pursed her lips. “You are definitely an odd man. Anything else?”
“I do have a fetish not many can satisfy.”
“Hmm. Fetish, huh? I hope it’s not feet. That’s just wrong.”
“Nope. Freckles. I love freckles scattered across pale skin. They’re like a Picasso painting I can’t stop staring at.”
Pleasure flushed her cheeks. “More like paint-by-number, but I won’t judge.”
“Then there’s sex.”
She stilled. Her heart beat madly in her chest. “Sex?”
“I have certain needs that many would find difficult to satisfy.”
An image floated past her vision. His body pressed over hers, his tongue diving deep into her mouth with a tender fierceness that shook her to the core. He’d always had an insatiable appetite in the bedroom. Their sex life had never been an issue—it had, in fact, kept the fragments of their relationship together longer than she imagined possible.
“Kinky stuff?” she asked.
“More like particular. I need a woman who’s able to handle me.”
Her gaze dropped. “Cocky much?”
“I need the scent of lavender and honey in my nostrils, and the sweet taste of her essence sticky on my lips. I need to look into blistering blue eyes and know I belong to her.”
Her vision misted over. She swayed on her feet. He turned off the sink, dried his hands with slow, deliberate motions, and faced her. “I need to slide into her sweet body and be welcomed home. Touch her body and make her moan. I need a woman strong enough to let me fall apart in her arms, then put me back together. Do you understand, Ophelia?”
She tried to speak, but nothing came out. Her entire body was on fire, nerves on edge, ready to explode. His raw words stroked her ears—and between her legs.
“Ophelia? Do you understand?”
“Good. Then you know why I’m not interested in Devon.” He gave her a naughty wink and spun on his heel. “Gotta get to work on that saggy middle of the book. Catch you later.”
He left her flushed, off-kilter, and practically throbbing with need.
Damn, she was crazy about him.
Jennifer Probst – Bio:
Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.
She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.
She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon’s Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at http://www.jenniferprobst.com.
An unconventional woman. A brutal murder. To solve the case, one woman will look for help from beyond the grave…
Cici Gurule wants to pretend her dream is nothing more than a meaningless nightmare. But the bruised and bloodied woman looked alarmingly like her. When a baby turns up on her porch–a baby who was reported missing days before–evidence points to a connection with the woman in Cici’s dream, and she can no longer ignore the nighttime vision. Cici and Detective Sam Chastain struggle to follow the garbled evidence, but the killer scores his victim first. Worse, a message pinned to the victim’s blouse states, “You’re next.”
Now, it’s a race against the clock to keep the baby safe and find the murderer before his trail goes cold. Cici’s only chance to solve this mystery, before she becomes the next victim, means choosing between her faith and believing a message left by her ghostly twin.
A Heritage of Death is the second novel in a compelling female sleuth mystery series for fans of Ruth Ware and Gilly MacMillan. If you like convention-shattering heroines, vivid Southwest settings, and a touch of the paranormal, then you’ll love Alexa Padgett’s twisty mystery.
Buy A Heritage of Death and hold on tight for a white-knuckle thrill ride today!
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“I get you’re pissed at me and at the system,” Sam said, his voice hardened with resolve. “That you think it’s unfair to separate the two of them. But I don’t know what to think yet. I’m heading up to Taos,” Sam said. “I’ll talk to Grace. That’s top priority.” Sam muttered to himself, like he was making a list. “I’ll need to talk to my counterparts, check into the family’s background, find friends to interview.”
“Which means you don’t believe what I told you. Not really.”
Sam blinked at her but didn’t answer, giving Cici the response that set her belly full of fire.
“You know what, do what you gotta do. But in the meantime, can we make sure Isabel’s with someone good over at CYFD?” Cici pleaded, understanding she wasn’t going to get more from Sam concerning Henry’s plight. “I just . . . she’s been through a lot and so has Henry.”
Sam dipped his head. “She’ll go to emergency foster. Unless they don’t have one, then it may be a staff member. They’ve all had their background checks.”
“Not good enough. I want someone watching her that cares about her, Sam. Already. Who has a stake.”
Sam clenched his jaw but he asked, “Who do you want me to talk to?”
Cici recognized this as an olive branch, and she appreciated the effort Sam chose to make with her. “Becky Gutierrez,” Cici said. “She’s always been on top of her work there.”
No, her reason for asking for Becky was much more personal: Cici didn’t think Sam would find her and this was her way to prove the point.
Sam tugged on his lip but he nodded. “You know I can’t do that. Becky knows Grace. Henry said so.”
Cici rolled her eyes as she exhaled. There were moments, like this, when being in a small city made everyone’s life harder. “But I asked you to find her. She’ll be able to help navigate the system and get Isabel into the best hands . . . after her father’s.”
“Cici—” Sam said, his voice dipping in warning.
Cici crossed her arms over her chest and glared up at Sam. “Isabel’s been through trauma, and whether you like hearing so or not, your stupid protocol is going to increase it.”
“I’ll see what I can do,” Sam muttered, his expression unhappy. “But you have to understand—again, this is for the child’s safety. If Becky and Grace are related, Becky won’t be able to oversee this case.” Sam raised his hand as if to ward off Cici’s next words. “Still, I’ll call her to give her a heads up. That’ll help establish a paper trail for Isabel. And, maybe, if Becky is as close to Grace Bruin as Henry said, we can get some insight into what happened last week.”
Cici unclenched her fists, but her anger didn’t abate. “If you find Becky.”
Sam opened his mouth, but Cici held up her hand. “Go investigate. Do your thing. I’ll do mine. But I want it on the record right now that I thoroughly and deeply oppose this decision.”
“All right. Just . . . be careful.” He raised his hand, palm out. He hesitated a moment, then said, “Call me when you leave here. I want to know where you go today.”
Cici tamped down her irritation with a struggle. “Why?”
Sam stepped away, pulling out his notebook. He would focus on the case and do what needed doing to ensure justice.
“Because I want you to be safe,” he muttered.
“Funny,” Cici snapped, arms crossed over her chest. “I want the same thing for that baby in there—the one whose safety you’re putting at risk.”
Sam grimaced. Cici rarely picked a fight and she felt bad taking out her spiking anger on him. Still, in this, he was wrong.
“I’m off to Taos to find out why Grace Bruin won’t return our calls.” He spun on his heel and strode down the corridor.
But Cici already knew—and so did Sam, the stubborn goat.
“Remember what the note said,” Cici called.
He glanced back and something lit in his eyes. “I’ll be careful. And I promise not to trust anyone.”
Cici frowned, wondering if he meant her.
When Cici discovers a body in the forest, she’s shocked to realize the victim’s wounds are identical to the ones that killed her sister a year ago. Now she’s embroiled in the takedown of a massive criminal operation, and the stakes couldn’t be higher…
“A wholly absorbing gumshoe tale elevated by an extraordinary detective” (Kirkus Reviews starred review).
Someone murdered her sister. And shot her dog. The killer won’t stop until she’s dead, too.
Cici finds a dead body while hiking in the Santa Fe National Forest. The situation deteriorates when she discovers the victim bears similar stab wounds to those that ended her twin sister’s life a year ago.
Then, her identical twin sister infiltrates her dreams.
All of a sudden, Cici and her dogs must dodge arrows, bullets, and even a demon truck—all while she grapples with the knowledge that her sister was on the trail of a deep-rooted criminal operation. Worse, her twin’s death was much more sinister than a random act of violence.
Now, as she follows the clues her sister drops in her dreams, the criminals want Cici out of the way. Permanently.
A Pilgrimage to Death is a high-octane thriller. Fans of Ruth Ware, J.D. Robb, and Angela Marsons will love Alexa’s Padgett’s new edge-of-your-seat novel.
Add A PILGRIMAGE OF DEATH to your Goodreads list here!
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With a degree in international marketing and a varied career path that includes content management for a web firm, marketing direction for a high-profile sports agency, and a two-year stint with a renowned literary agency, award-winning author Alexa Padgett has returned to her first love: writing fiction.
Alexa spent a good part of her youth traveling. From Budapest to Belize, Calgary to Coober Pedy, she soaked in the myriad smells, sounds, and feels of these gorgeous places, wishing she could live in them all—at least for a while. And she does in her books.
She lives in New Mexico with her husband, children, and walk-loving Great Pyrenees pup, Ash. When not writing, schlepping, or volunteering, she can be found in her tiny kitchen, channeling her inner Barefoot Contessa.
Title: Kill Switch
Series: Devil’s Night Series
Genre: Erotic Suspense
Author: Penelope Douglas
Release Date: February 11, 2019
WINTERSending him to prison was the worst thing I could’ve done. It didn’t matter that he did the crime or that I wished he was dead. Perhaps I thought I’d have time to disappear before he got out or he’d cool off in jail and be anything but the horror he was.
But I was wrong. Three years came and went too fast, and now he’s anything but calm. Prison only gave him time to plan.
And while I anticipated his vengeance, I didn’t expect this.
He doesn’t want to make me hurt. He wants to make everything hurt.
DAMONFirst thing’s first. Get rid of her daddy. He told them I forced her. He told them his little girl was a victim, but I was a kid, too, and she wanted it just as much as I did.
Step two… Give her, her sister, and her mother nowhere to run and no fuel to escape. The Ashby women are alone now and desperate for a knight in shining armor.
But that’s not what’s coming.
No, it’s time I listened to my father and took control of my future. It’s time I showed them all—my family, her family, my friends—that I will never change and that I have no other ambition than to be the nightmare of their lives.
Starting with her.
She’ll be so scared, she won’t even be safe in her own head by the time I’m done with her. And the best part is I won’t have to break into her home to do it.
As the new man of the house I have all the keys.
Buy Corrupt, Book 1
Buy Hideaway, Book 2
About The Author:
Penelope Douglas is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her books have been translated into thirteen languages and include The Fall Away Series, The Devil’s Night Series, and the standalones, Misconduct, Punk 57, and Birthday Girl. Please look for Kill Switch (Devil’s Night #3), coming soon.
She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and their daughter.
Follow Her Here:
To enter the giveaway, just click HERE! It will be pinned to the top of the page.
“Brooke?” A slow grin spreads over that sexy mouth, and I have to take a minute to just soak him in. He’s grown a couple more inches, making him ridiculously tall. His dark hair is cut short around his ears, and a little longer on top, stylishly messy.
He’s in cargo shorts and a polo shirt, due to it being the hottest day of the year so far out there.
“Hi, Brody,” I reply and swallow hard. “Thanks for meeting with me.”
“Hi, Brody,” Maisey says with a smile. “Welcome back.”
He blinks and nods, then tosses her a friendly smile. “Thanks. Good to see you.” He turns back to me as he tucks his sunglasses in his pocket. “I thought, since the space next door is empty, we could walk over there.”
I nod and tuck a piece of my hair behind my ear. “That works. Maisey, do you and Micah have this?”
“Of course. Take your time.”
I send her a look that says thanks, but if I’m not back in an hour, come get me.
Brody leads the way and unlocks the glass door, then holds it open for me and waits for me to go ahead of him. He locks the door back up and follows me in.
The room is empty, aside from a glass countertop that used to display knick knacks. Brody walks behind it and leans on it casually, crosses his arms over his chest, and takes a moment to look me up and down, from my toes to my head.
“You still look sixteen,” he says quietly. Just like that, his voice does things to me. It’s deeper now, and his brown eyes aren’t the eyes of a boy anymore. He’s 100% pure sexy man, and I’m suddenly wishing I’d asked Maisey to attend this meeting with me.
“I don’t feel sixteen,” I reply with a small laugh and rest my hands on the countertop across from him. I’m only five-feet-two, so I have to look way up to meet his gaze. His eyes are guarded, but happy. I look at his left hand, and notice that he isn’t wearing a ring.
“You’re not wearing one either,” he says quietly.
He nods once. “I’m assuming you wanted to meet about the letter.”
“I do, yes. Brody, I need you to reconsider.”
His eyebrows climb in surprise. “Excuse me?”
“You heard me. I’d like you to reconsider selling the building. If you sell, and I have to relocate, I could very well go out of business, and this business is important, Brody.”
“To this community.”
As a long-time fan of author Kristen Proby, it would be hard for me to find fault with anything that she writes, because I find that she really just hits the mark every time. Part of the appeal for me is that she writes series that revolve around the same group of people, allowing readers to get to know all of the different characters and their stories. TEMPTING BROOKE, the latest addition to Kristen’s Big Sky series, checks all of the contemporary romance boxes for me. A beautiful small town setting, a second-chance romance of sorts, with a bit of the taboo of best friends thrown in, and chemistry that sizzles and delights.
Although I’m not a fan of insta-love, I can give Brooke and Brody a pass, because they’ve known each other for such a long time, and it’s actually very nice to see them slip pretty effortlessly back into their relationship, and to take it to another level. Their passion is built on familiarity and being comfortable with each other, and the fact that there is something there to build on makes their relationship more believable.
TEMPTING BROOKE is a novella, so it’s a little bit shorter than the rest of the books in the series. My only disappointment is that I would have liked to see more of these two, to spend more time getting to know them, but knowing that they’ll likely make an appearance in future books gives me something to look forward to. This is a sweet and easy read, and definitely one that fans of the Big Sky series will want to add this one to their collection.
Kristen Proby’s TEMPTING BROOKE – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule
All Things Dark & Dirty – Excerpt
Book Freak – Review
East Coast Book Chicks – Review
Kim’s Reading Nook – Review
Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt
Romance as a first language – Review & Excerpt
Book Starlets – Review & Excerpt
Mick Loves Books – Review & Excerpt
Nightbird Novels – Excerpt
Reviews by Tammy and Kim (Rachel and Jay) – Review & Excerpt
The Book Hammock – Review & Excerpt
Booked All Night – Review & Excerpt
Escaping Into Books – Review
I Love Romance – Review & Excerpt
Melena’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt
The Butterfly Reads – Review & Excerpt
Tome Tender – Review & Excerpt
Author Groupies – Review
Book Angel Booktopia – Review & Excerpt
Greyland Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Kari’s Book Reviews and Revelations – Review & Excerpt
Roxy’s Reviews – Review
TLBC’s Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Book Bitches Blog – Review
Carolina Chic’s Read – Review
Novel Addiction – Review
Southern Babes Book Blog – Excerpt
The Geekery Book Review – Review & Excerpt
Two Book Pushers – Review & Excerpt
3 degrees of fiction – Excerpt
Cup Of Tea Book Blog – Review
Ebook Indulgence – Review & Excerpt
Obsessive Reading Disorder – Review
Reviews from the Heart – Review & Excerpt
Bookishly Yours – Review & Excerpt
Once Upon a Book Blog – Excerpt
Read-Love-Blog – Excerpt
Shannon’s Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Smut Book Junkie Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
The Red Hatter Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Becca the Bibliophile – Review & Excerpt
Ginreads – Review & Excerpt
Love & lavender book review – Review
Naturally Nerdy Books – Excerpt
Ripe For Reader – Review & Excerpt
Smutty Book Friends – Review & Excerpt
Books 4 Girls – Excerpt
Gi’s Spot Reviews – Review & Excerpt
K’s Secret Books – Review
MI Bookshelf – Review & Excerpt
Shh Moms Reading – Review & Excerpt
Waves of Fiction – Review & Excerpt
Jax’s Book Magic – Excerpt
Naughty and Nice Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Rachel Loren’s Love of Reading – Review & Excerpt
Sunny Shelly Reads – Review
Wicked Reads – Review & Excerpt
About Kristen Proby:
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Kristen Proby is the author of the bestselling With Me In Seattle and Love Under the Big Sky series. She has a passion for a good love story and strong, humorous characters with a strong sense of loyalty and family. Her men are the alpha type; fiercely protective and a bit bossy, and her ladies are fun, strong, and not afraid to stand up for themselves.
Kristen lives in Montana, where she enjoys coffee, chocolate and sunshine. And naps.
About Lauren Blakely:
A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than 100 times, and she’s sold more than 2.5 million books. In December she’ll release UNZIPPED, a brilliantly funny, scorchingly sexy new romantic comedy. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter
Passion burns hot in Dragonfire, the next Dark Kings novel from New York Times bestseller Donna Grant.
It was a soul-deep longing, one that got into his bones and settled there, sending whispers of desire through him. The need, the hunger, grew tenfold with every breath. . . .
As a Dragon King, Roman is sworn to protect all mortals—even though they no longer believe in dragons. But deep in the Carpathian Mountains, he discovers a beautiful and mysterious gypsy who possesses the power to see into his very soul. To reignite the fire in his heart. And to help him find the long-lost sword that could save the dragons forever…
Sabina remembers the stories her grandmother told her. Legends of dragons and kings, fire and ice. And she’s never forgotten the dark prophecy that filled her ancestors with fear—a fate they tried to prevent by stealing a Dragon King’s sword. Sabina knows that helping Roman is dangerous. He is a dragon betrayed, and more powerful than any man. He could destroy her in a single fiery embrace. But how can she resist the longing in his eyes—or the feelings in her heart—when their destinies are bound by desire?
Add DRAGONFIRE to your Goodreads TBR here!
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. Her latest acclaimed series, Dark Kings, features a thrilling combination of dragons, Fae, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children and an assortment of animals in Texas.
You know those little girls who dress up as Disney princesses in the bright, shimmery costumes and dream about their prince rescuing them?
That was never me.
In this story, it’s the witch who saves the prince.
Ever since I joined the Wicked Society, my tarot readings are always about sacrifice for the greater good and martyrdom. In other words, any day now I’m going to lose something or someone I love. Evidently, my spirit guides are the ride or die types.
For years, I’ve asked the cards the same question about my crush. Will Tate Winthrop fall in love with me? The answer is always someday.
As in someday Tate will love me back.
Someday there won’t be a group of witches using dark magic to destroy our coven.
Someday I’ll stop having the same dream about a handsome prince with long blond dreadlocks kissing a woman wearing a sparkly, poofy, ball gown.
Someday my witch will come.
This is book two in the Wicked Society series of interconnected lighthearted paranormal romances with a cozy mystery twist.
Four Witches and a Funeral by Daisy Prescott
Wicked Society #3 – Coming November 29th
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Do you love to laugh out loud while reading your favorite paranormal romances? Look no further than Love Spells. Each series featured here is written by some of today’s bestselling paranormal romance authors and comes with the promise of humor to go with your happily-ever-afters. So get ready to giggle your way through your next romance featuring all your favorite paranormal beings. Witches, shifters, and vampires, oh my!
Check out the release schedule: https://lovespellsromance.com
Daisy Prescott is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic comedies, including Modern Love Stories, the Wingmen series, and the Love with Altitude series, as well as the Bewitched series of magical shorts, and Tinfoil Heart, a romantic comedy standalone set in Roswell, New Mexico.
Daisy currently lives in a real life Stars Hollow in the Boston suburbs with her husband, their rescue dog Mulder, and an indeterminate number of imaginary house goats. When not writing, she can be found in the garden, traveling to satiate her wanderlust, lost in a good book, or on social media, usually talking about books, bearded men, and sloths.
My love for Damien fills me, and the intensity of our bond brings me to my knees. There is no burden I wouldn’t bear for him, no decadent punishment to which I won’t submit.
The dark days seemingly behind us, we have carved a life out of adversity, chiseling away pain to reveal strength and beauty. Now, all I want is to laugh with our children in the sunlight, then surrender myself to Damien’s embrace in the dark.
But lingering secrets and hidden menace threaten our family. Now, Damien and I must forge a new strength from our shared passion and hope the fire between us will burn away the darkness and protect everything we hold most dear.
This sexy, emotionally charged romance continues the story of Damien Stark, the powerful billionaire who’s never had to take “no” for an answer, and his beloved wife Nikki Fairchild Stark.
Download your copy today!
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His name dies on my lips, but I hear it all the same in my head. Damien. My voice breathy. Full of need.
He eases me back so that my body is flush against his, and I close my eyes, losing myself in the way his touch makes me feel even while fighting the urge to step away. To tell him to stop. That we’re in public, and we can’t do this.
But I don’t. I stay, and as I close my eyes in acceptance of my own desires, I hear his low, soft moan of satisfaction and feel the swell of his erection against my lower back, his arousal growing with my acquiescence.
Because while I may not want to be the kind of woman who gets turned on by her lover’s touch in a public gallery, I can’t deny the heat building between my thighs any more than I can deny the basic truth that where Damien is concerned, there are no limits. Not because I have none, but because he knows how to take me right to the edge. To make me breathless and needy and desperate. But never to push too far.
I’d changed before meeting Jamie for lunch, and now I’m wearing a knit tank that hugs my body and a wrap style skirt that fastens with a single button at my hip. His hands are pressed against the curve of my waist, the heat of contact burning through the black knit of my top. I make a small move as if to turn around, but he tightens his grip, his utterance of noso soft that I may have only imagined it.
But I know I’m not imagining the motion of his hands as he slowly eases them up my body, making my heart beat faster with each millimeter of progress higher and higher. My breath is shallow, and I whisper his name, “Damien,” not certain if I’m acknowledging the moment, pleading with him to stop, or begging him to continue.
His hands curve under my breasts, his palms lifting them as he presses his thumbs down until my nipples are pinched tight between his thumbs and forefingers. He increases the pressure, and I suck in air, squeezing my legs together, my clit throbbing as I bite my lower lip and fight the urge to surrender to the heat that is building inside me.
“You’re wondering if it’s pleasure she’s feeling,” he says, and my mind has traveled so far from these walls that it takes me a moment to realize that he’s referring to the woman in Blaine’s painting. “Pleasure or embarrassment,” he adds as his right hand eases lower, his fingers finding the flap of material where the ends of the skirt overlap.
He slips his hand in, his palm sliding over the brushed cotton, his fingers slowly tugging the interior layer toward him. It bunches within his hand, and I bite back a gasp when his fingertips graze the bare skin of my thigh. “Was she turned on by the knowledge that so many would see her portrait?”
His fingers slowly ease higher, closer and closer to my bare sex. I bite my lower lip and close my eyes, my entire body aching with need, craving his touch. I can imagine his hand cupping my sex, his fingers sliding inside as his lips brush my ear while he whispers to me, his sensual words making my imagination soar as my body quivers and tightens and explodes around him, and taste blood from biting down so hard to keep from crying out.
I imagine all of that. Craving it. Desperate for it.
And at the same time terrified of it.
“Not here,” I murmur, resting my hand over my skirt. Over his hand. “Not now.”
His fingers still, but he inches closer, his heat burning into my body, the beat of his heart reverberating through me.
“I got your note. And your present.” His whisper rumbles through me, his words making me even more aware that I’m bare beneath this skirt. “I missed you by just ten minutes.”
“How did you find me?”
“I have my ways. And I’m willing to use all my resources to get what I want.”
There’s a tease in his voice, and I smile in realization and amusement. Because it didn’t actually take too many resources. Just the app that’s installed on both our phones as well as our cars—and Bree’s, of course, in case we need to find her and the kids.
He would have checked his phone, seen that I’d parked in Beverly Hills, and remembered that I was going to check on the girls’ cakes today. Presumably he was following my route and saw me step in here.
“Do you really think I need a tracking device to find you?” he counters, after I tell him all that. “Don’t you know that you’re always in my heart, and how can I lose track of that?”
I smile and sigh happily, his words delighting me. And, who knows. Maybe it’s true. My husband is a remarkable man.
“I wanted to see you.” There’s a tone of finality in his voice. As if the details simply don’t matter. As if his will alone is enough to find me.
Maybe it is.
“To touch you.” The fingers of his hand that still cup my breast tighten on my nipple, sending a new shock of desire running down to my core.
“I wanted to know if you’re still bare, or if you’ve put on a fresh pair of panties.” His hand stays perfectly still, but, damn me, I relax the pressure of my own hand that’s been keeping his in check.
“We can’t.” It’s a public gallery. Anyone could come in. But even as I think that, my eyes roam the room. The section we’re in has no windows. And the gallery is empty and echoey, with a bell over the door. We’re alone, except for Emily. And if she came this way her heels will undoubtedly click on the floor, giving us plenty of warning.
The thought—the fantasy—makes my body tighten. “We can’t,” I repeat, as much to underscore the point as to remind myself of that very basic truth.
“No?” His mouth brushes my ear, his breath disturbing my hair and sending shivers down my spine. “What if I told you that Emily was busy at her computer. That she’s locked the door for lunch. That I’m certain we won’t be seen.”
I swallow and say nothing, afraid that if I speak, my desire will betray my common sense.
“She won’t want to disturb us. Not when we might be contemplating a purchase. Destroy the moment, and she could lose a sale. She knows that. Knows that a client needs to get lost in the art. In the moment.”
His thumb has been making small circles on my breast, and my heart is beating so hard now that I’m surprised Emily can’t hear its echo on the far side of the gallery. On my legs, his fingers move subtly. Not rising, but neither are they still. Instead, his fingertips brush my bare flesh in sensual movements designed to entice and tease.
“What do you want, Nikki?” His words are as tender against my flesh as his fingers. “Do you want me to move higher, millimeter by millimeter, up your wet thighs as you hold your breath in anticipation? Would you cry out if I stroked your clit, unable to hold back the explosion?
“Or maybe I shouldn’t stroke you there at all. Maybe I should slide my fingers deep inside you. Feel how slick you are, the way your body will clench around me, drawing me in as I use my thumb to tease around your clit. Never quite touching, but drawing you up and up, until you can’t take it anymore.”
I can’t take it right now, and I’m certain he knows it. I want to tell him to stop—except I don’t want him to stop.
And so all I do is whisper his name. A plea. A prayer.
“That’s right, baby.” I hear heat in his low, melodic voice, a passion now equal to my own. “Would you scream my name when you explode? Or would you be so quiet as you tremble in my arms, that I’d be the only one who knows the force of your orgasm rocking through you?
I’m trembling now, so close to the explosion he’s describing that my skin seems to sizzle. The thin whisper of air from the ducts above does nothing to cool my heated flesh. I want the release, crave it, and yet I can’t quite let myself go. Not here. Not like this.
Damien knows that, of course. His real purpose isn’t to make me come—it’s to take me to the precipice. Pleasure, yes, but underscored by frustration. By need. And, ultimately by anticipation.
About J. Kenner
Kenner (aka Julie Kenner) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and #1 International bestselling author of over one hundred novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.
Though known primarily for her award-winning and international bestselling erotic romances (including the Stark and Most Wanted series) that have reached as high as #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, JK has been writing full time for over a decade in a variety of genres including paranormal and contemporary romance, “chicklit” suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal mommy lit.
JK has been praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations” and by RT Bookclub for having “cornered the market on sinfully attractive, dominant antiheroes and the women who swoon for them.” A six time finalist for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award, JK took home the first RITA trophy awarded in the category of erotic romance in 2014 for her novel, Claim Me (book 2 of her Stark Trilogy) and in 2017 for Wicked Dirty in the same category. Her Demon Hunting Soccer Mom series (as Julie Kenner) is currently in development as a television show.
Her books have sold over three million copies and are published in over twenty languages.
In her previous career as an attorney, JK worked as a clerk on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and practiced primarily civil, entertainment and First Amendment litigation in Los Angeles and Irvine, California, as well as in Austin, Texas. She currently lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and two rather spastic cats.
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