Marvelous Monday Reads: Foolin’
Welcome to another edition of Marvelous Monday Reads, darlings! Today I’m featuring Allyson Young and her delicious new Western romance Foolin’, now available from Eevrnight Publishing and other purveyors of fine online romance. Take it away, Allyson!
When Kathleen and Carter meet, it’s intrigue at first sight, and they awaken from emotional exile. A turn of events finds her spontaneously joining him on his working ranch. Despite being really hard work, she’s blissfully happy—and the fringe benefits aren’t too shabby either.
Carter can’t believe his luck. He desperately needed a housekeeper, not that he welcomed this amazing woman into his home for that reason. He can cope with her bond with her daughter, no matter how it forces him to remember his lost young son. And he can’t give her his heart, but what he can give is surely enough.
In love with this amazing man, Kate ignores that Carter withholds, believing he’ll change, and she’s willing to wait. When she inadvertently discovers he was angling for a housekeeper all along, it knocks her blinders off.
She’s done waiting. She deserves more—and so does he.
“I think I’m good. I should probably get to bed,” she said. “What time do you get up?”
“Early. And I head out straight away. You stay in bed until you’re ready to face the day. I’ll leave you my cell number, and you text me. I’ll head back.”
“I’m an early riser too.”
“Five o’clock for me tomorrow, Kathleen.”
“Oh, maybe not. I’ll text you.”
He pulled out his cell. “What’s your number?”
With the exchange complete, he lurked in the doorway. “The bathroom is across the hall. Towels in the cabinet.”
“Great, thanks. I’ve got everything I need.”
Did she? So near and yet so far, she hovered there like a wood sprite. When she stooped to slip the strap off her shoe, then the other and stepped out of the heels, he found he’d closed the gap.
She looked up, having lost a slight difference in height, and her eyes flared green, the pupils dilating. A good night kiss, then. A peck. He reached out and with only tacit permission lowered his mouth over hers.
On a startled gasp, her lips parted, and he took advantage, yet maintained control, alert to any distress. It separated him into distinct parts that soon melded when she pressed into him, her arms wreathing around his neck.
He learned her, her taste and texture, reveling in her response, swallowing her tiny moans. When he pulled away to breathe, resting his forehead against hers, she sagged in his arms and he kept her steady.
His heart pounded in tandem with hers, and he was so hard he hurt. She shivered, and he said, “Do I need to apologize? Because it’ll be difficult.”
In a whisper, she said, “No need. I’m just sorry I’m so out of practice.”
“If you’re out of practice, I hope to kiss you when you’re at your best.”
Tipping her head back, she met his eyes before glancing away. “I don’t do this on a first date. I don’t date. Lord.”
He eased his body away from hers, regretting that he’d encroached on her personal space. She tugged him back. “But I want to. I want you. If that makes me a—”
He stopped her with a hard kiss. “Don’t. Don’t make this a bad thing.”
Her lips twitched in a tremulous smile. “I don’t want to overthink it.”
“I’ll take care of you,” he promised.
He lost his Stetson and shrugged out of his jacket, bemoaning any inability to keep a hand on her as she tugged a zipper hidden in a side seam of her dress and let it slither down the length of her body to pool at her feet.
His fingers froze on the snaps of his shirt as he took in the sight of her in scraps of pink lace and honest-to-God thigh-high stockings. With a dry mouth, he wrenched the placket apart and threw the shirt to one side, gathering her to him, nuzzling the hollow at the base of her neck and then down to the tops of her breasts.
She arched into him, and he fumbled with the clasp and freed those gorgeous mounds that tumbled into his waiting hands. Soft skin tipped with beaded nipples he desperately wanted to get his mouth on. And her sultry scent…
His belt buckle pressed into her belly, and he made one hand abandon its prize and yank open the offending metal, dealing with the button and zipper while he was at it. His cock breathed a sigh of relief—he swore it—as his mouth found its target.
“God, Carter.” She pushed into him, and he sucked harder, gently using his teeth against the tip.
Her hands found his hips and pushed his jeans down, dragging his boxer briefs with them. The sensation of her fingers on his ass made him groan, his pelvis thrusting, his cock against her center. At this rate, he’d disgrace himself.
When she sought him out, he turned with her, hobbled by his own jeans, the ignominy nearly making him smile as he held her against the wall. “Touch me, darlin’, and I’ll lose it all over your sweet hand.”
“Out of practice, too,” she teased, her hair awry and her mouth swollen. “I’m so ready, Carter.”
He worked his hand beneath her panties, staring into her eyes, soaking in the pleasure sparking there when he found her apex, full and wet. “You are.”
Still, he played at her entrance, then feathered over the knot above, making her rise on her toes and whimper. “Please.”
It took some awkward gymnastics to get a hand into his jeans’ pocket and lift his wallet, all while stroking her, but he managed it. Somehow got the condom out and open and smoothed on.
Pushing aside the fabric guarding her pussy, he bent his knees a fraction and set his cock at her opening. With a single thrust, he filled her, freezing in place as they both adjusted. She was wet but so fucking tight. She’d said she didn’t do this, didn’t date. Christ. How long had it been?
“You okay?” he rasped, willing her to open her eyes.
As if on cue, her lashes fluttered open, and he drowned in the depths behind them. Urgent need enticed him, and he responded, easing out and pushing back in. Heated, wet satin sucked at him as he powered toward orgasm, knowing it wouldn’t be long.
But he wasn’t getting there alone. Watching her for any signs, doing his best to ignore the pull at the base of his spine, he found her sweet spot and swiveled his hips to take her there. She responded by working herself against him, her breath increasing in shallow pants as she crested.
With a short cry, she tensed and clamped on him, shuddering, her head grinding against the wall. There was no resisting her, and he followed her over, emptying himself. He set his teeth on the top of her shoulder and muffled his groan, then kissed the spot reverently.
Where to Buy
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Bookstrand | Smashwords | Evernight
About the Author
Allyson Young aka Peri Elizabeth Scott lives in cottage country, Manitoba, Canada where she and her husband pretend to work well together in their seasonal business.
She has always enjoyed the written word, and after reading an erotic romance, quite by mistake, decided to try her hand at penning one. That was followed by a mix of spicy (Ally) and sweet (Peribeth) romances in various genres as well as a post-apocalyptic adventure without a lick of romance by Peribeth.
A bestselling Amazon author, a hybrid, and a coauthor, as of August 2018 she has published seven series and several standalones—all available on Amazon—with others in the works.
Marvelous Monday Reads: My Life to Take
Welcome to another edition of Marvelous Monday Reads, darlings! Today I’m featuring Magali A. Fréchette and her delicious new romance My Life to Take (A Demon’s Love 2), now available from Evernight Publishing and other purveyors of fine online romance. Take it away, Magali!
Everything Celina thought she knew was a lie.
Her husband’s murder, her family’s religion…nothing was what it seemed. The avenging blood on her hands is barely dry, but she’ll do whatever it takes to save this unshakable proof of their love. Even swallow her terror to fulfill the bargain that was sealed on a bed of lies.
But there’s little time for tender reconciliation. Demons are being murdered, their mutilated bodies marked with cryptic threats only Celina can decipher. When visions of the massacres plague her at every turn, Kai sends her back to the human world in the care of the demon she fears most.
Secured in Shiriki’s high rise, she must uncover her own shrouded history. The key to saving the dark realm lies in her past, but an angel with a diabolical mind may lead to their destruction.
She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him closer. “I’m fine.”
“And how are you feeling about us?” he asked quietly.
She took a deep breath. “We have a lot to work on for the next while, but we’ll do it together.”
“We will certainly do many things together,” he said with a lewd grin.
In less than a second, he stood naked, his muscles rippling in the low lighting of the room. She ran her hands against his hard chest, her pulse racing as she stared at his pale skin.
The word resonated inside her mind as she felt him invade her thoughts. He growled as he pressed her body against his, kissing along her neck as she closed her eyes. He felt so good, and he was hers as much as she belonged to him.
“Your body, soul, and life are mine.” His tone darkened. “And although I never had a soul of my own, though my life is endless, you have all of me.”
Before she could respond, he took her mouth, thrusting his tongue inside. She moaned as he cupped her breasts, her nipples hardening under his touch. When he tugged at the hard peaks, their lips parted, and she let out a harsh breath.
“I want you.” The words left her in a whisper, a plea from the need pulsing through her.
He lifted her in his arms and carried her to their bed, sitting her on its edge. Despite his gentleness, an animalistic expression flashed across his face as he stared. He crouched in front of her and glided his hand along her thigh.
Heat filled her, burning so hot she was sure she’d combust. Licking her lips, she parted her legs. Her throbbing increased when his gaze traveled to her sex. He stared with such carnal desire, she was sure she’d orgasm.
“You are so beautiful … and no one else will ever touch you.” He kissed her inner thigh and trailed his tongue across her skin, nipping along the way as she gasped.
Letting herself fall onto the bed, her chest heaved as her stomach fluttered. He licked her swollen lips, and she trembled under the pleasure of his touch. He flicked her clit, and she whimpered. “Please.”
His muffled groans against her wetness had her trembling, and she writhed as he sucked hard on her pink flesh. She grabbed hold of his hands holding her hips, digging her fingernails into his flesh, crying out.
“Your screams are as delicious as you are, dove.”
Running her fingers through his hair, she tugged, so he’d look at her. He growled at being denied, his gaze darting to her sex as he licked his lips.
She panted. “I want you.”
He stood. Feathers flew around him, black as night. Within seconds, the feathers falling around him dissipated into smoke, leaving Kai in his true form. Her demon.
The horns on his head held the same red arcane symbols, glowing brightly. He folded his black wings as he took a step closer, the darkness behind his red irises sending a shiver down her spine. Her chest heaved as she crawled farther onto the bed and reached her hand out to him. She wished she had the words to tell him how much she loved him, but showing him would be better.
He chuckled as he got onto the bed, even kneeling he towered over her like a looming shadow waiting to pounce. “You do not need to use words. I can feel it radiating off you as easily as I smell your lust.”
Where to Buy
About the Author
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | BookBub | YouTube | MeWe | Tumblr
Evernight Publishing | Amazon | Newsletter
Red Robin and the Huntsman is LIVE!
Phoo! Sorry about the radio silence for the last few weeks but I have been nailed to my chair getting Red Robin and the Huntsman ready for release! It’s a second chances holiday novella set in the Two Thrones universe and follows the adventures of Ypresian army captain Duncan Bardahlson (eldest son of Lord Commander Ferdal Bardahlson) and his bickering brothers Ewan and Hamish as they’re dispatched to the tiny province of Wellen right before the winter holiday of Frostfair to apprehend a legendary bandit known as the Redbird. One little problem: Wellen is governed by widowed countess Lady Roberta Busse, who also happens to be Duncan’s long-lost love. Oops.
There’s snark, wine, an overbearing tax collector, an impish priest, a rather large pig, an extremely smart eight-year-old, a LOT of porridge, and a love story that is guaranteed to have you cheering by the last chapter if I do say so myself. Plus it’s available on Kindle Unlimited so you can even read it for free if you have a KU membership!
And now, I clean and put up the Christmas tree — whee!
Marvelous Monday Reads: Second Go-Round
Welcome to another edition of Marvelous Monday Reads, angels! Today I’m featuring Lynn Burke and her smouldering new romance Second Go-Round. Take it away, Lynn!
Christine Gemberling doesn’t enjoy breaking hearts, but she has yet to find a man who knows how to handle the package between his legs well enough to satisfy her needs. No man has held her interest beyond a second date—much less her love. Until one sultry night with an Elite Escort rocks her world like never before.
Professional escort Jarod Zimmerman has a strict code when working with clients—no emotional attachments. But the beer-drinking, football loving Christine and her curves push beyond his control, until the guarded playboy finds himself craving another go-round with the only woman intriguing enough to make him break his own code.
With her defenses stronger than his favorite football team, it will take more than Jarod’s talents in bed to change her stance on relationships. He’ll have to sacrifice his heart when the unexpected circumstance thrown their way threatens to rip them apart forever.
Jarod lowered onto the limo seat beside me and pressed close, his large hand grasping the top of my thigh.
“Where to?” Ricky asked as he settled behind the wheel a moment later.
I spouted off my address quite a ways up Route 1, and with a nod, he shut the window between us, encasing Jarod and I in complete privacy. Soft music came to life, and seconds later, the limo pulled out into Boston’s nighttime traffic.
“For the first go-round, I’m going to fuck you against the front door of your house, but right now,” Jarod said, lowering to his knees in front of me, “I’m going to bury my nose between these thighs and lick your cunt until you squirm.”
“I like the way you think,” I said, my voice breathless, betraying my body’s need.
His hands slid up my thighs, pushing my skirt into a bunch. I wiggled, assisting in his plan, and he yanked me to the seat’s edge.
“Comfy?” he asked, trailing a fingertip against the soaked silk covering me.
Jarod hooked his fingers under the sides of my panties and pulled them down my legs, releasing my heeled feet one at a time. He tossed the panties aside, and grasping my knees, spread me wide.
“Bare.” He stared at the smooth skin between my thighs as he moved close. “I like that.” Palming my ass, he lifted me and buried his face in my pussy as promised, my moan and his groan colliding in the air between us.
My eyelids fluttered shut and head tipped back as he ate me out like a starving man. Tongue, nose, and teeth, he didn’t pussyfoot around, but tortured me with his need to taste every inch, fuck me deep with his long tongue, nibble my swollen lips … flick and suck my throbbing clit.
My fingers found purchase in his hair, and I ground myself against his face, chasing my orgasm. Bastard let off and dipped low to lick my ass and tongue me every time I neared the crest. I tried to force his head back up to my clit, but he held steady, denying me what I wanted.
“Goddamn it, Jarod!” I yanked on his hair as my clit popped from his mouth’s suction again and he roamed southward to my ass.
He snickered and caught my gaze as his tongue rimmed my puckered hole.
My hold tightened on his hair, my heart thundered in my chest. “Please. I need to come.”
Finally—finally—he pressed two fingers deep into my sopping wet core. “Is this what you need, Christine? My fingers fucking your cunt and my mouth on your clit?”
“Oh, fuck.” My head tipped back again as he latched onto my clit. “Don’t stop. Please … Christ, don’t stop!” You’d think I hadn’t climaxed in months the way my orgasm ripped through me.
Jarod’s fingers and tongue drew out every clench of my pussy, every shudder rippling down through me as I gasped for breath. He lapped up every trace of my cum and sucked his fingers clean, the noises in his throat barely reaching through the ringing in my ears.
I sagged into the leather seat, sucking wind. “Holy shit. It’s no wonder you get paid to please a woman.”
To celebrate the release of Second Go-Round, Lynn is hosting a Rafflecopter giveaway! Prizes are a $25 Amazon Gift Card and Author Lynn Burke mug. The contest runs Dec 8th – 22nd, so make sure you enter.
Where to Buy
Evernight Publishing | Amazon.com | Amazon.uk | Smashwords
About the Author
Lynn Burke is a full time mother, voracious gardener, and scribbler of spicy romance stories. A country bumpkin turned Bay Stater, she enjoys her chowdah and Dunkin Donuts when not trying to escape the reality of city life.
Wicked Wednesday Reads: Transcending Fire
Welp, it’s the run-up to Thanksgiving here in the US, which means that those of you running around like headless chickens need something to relax with when you collapse into bed tonight. Never fear, for today I’m here with Casey Moss’s hot new romance Transcending Fire, now available from Evernight Publishing and other purveyors of erotic romance. Take it away, Casey!
Hello! It’s been quite some time since I’ve had a release, and now I can say all that’s changed. A big thank you to my host for allowing me to visit today and share my story Transcending Fire. This erotic, futuristic, dystopian story based around different motorcycle gangs has had quite a journey to get to this point. Perhaps one day I’ll share the two-plus-year jaunt this story went through to find a home. Luckily, it finally has. Even with all the trials it went through, I still love this story. It’s one of my favorites that I’ve written, and one that I didn’t get tired of during the editing process either. Yay!
A man dealing with an Earth in chaos. A woman from an alternate universe hoping to find her destiny. Two motorcycle gangs and a real bad ass who wants to ruin everything. What’s not to like?
Hunter Macario wants one thing—a place to belong. When given an opportunity to solidify his position in the motorcycle club, Devil’s Thunder, he takes it.
Dragon’s Clan member, Safaia King, believes she’s found the man from her people’s legend and her dreams. She has one goal, even if he’s in a rival club—to make Hunter hers and keep him safe so he can fulfill their destiny.
After Hunter makes a huge mistake, he’s sent to where Safaia lives—an alternate universe called The Den. In this new world, sex, battles, and secrets abound. Hunter must survive The Den to right some wrongs or else he could lose everything he’s ever gained, including his home and Safaia’s love.
A wicked glint lit her eyes, and a playful grin spread across her face. She smoothed a hand down his hard chest. “I love the definition of your muscles, Hunter, how they shudder beneath my fingers when I touch you.” Inch by inch, she continued sliding her hand down his torso. She moved her hand between his skivvies and skin. Saf circled his cock and stroked him in time with the motions of his fingers within her. Desire pulsed through his body, setting it aflame. She pressed her face against his chest and playfully bit his pectoral as she rode his hand.
Adrenaline and arousal increased his breathing rate, and a warm buzz raced through him. The pull between them seemed so intense, undeniable, as if they had to be together or perish. He felt like one of the club’s customers addicted to black chip and needing a fix before he went crazy with want. And his drug of choice?
Safaia. Always and forever Safaia.
He wanted to eat her up. “I want to taste you. Lick up your juices and have you squirm beneath my face.” Hunter yanked down her jeans and repositioned her until her ass was at the edge of the boulder.
Sinking to his knees, he placed himself between her legs. Looking forward to tasting her sweetness and feel her softness after facing the harsh realities of his life, he traced a line of gentle kisses along her inner thigh from her knee to her pussy and then fastened his mouth on the sensitive folds between her legs. When he dipped his tongue into her canal, she shifted her butt to allow him better access. He reached up and snaked his rough hands under her shirt, concerned only for a moment whether she enjoyed or loathed the coarse touch of his dry, work-worn skin. She moved the cloth and her bra out of the way.
Seems she doesn’t mind.
Pushing away all his thoughts and focusing on her—his carnal treasure—Hunter kneaded her tits while he teased her clit. He loved the taste and scent of her musky flesh and lapped up her essence as he said he would.
She grasped his head, weaving her fingers in his hair. “Oh, great Universe. This is. This is.” She panted and grappled with his locks as a low, deep moan rolled from her throat. “I think I’m going to come.”
The first night they’d met, their lovemaking had been hot and fast, more wham bam thank you than let’s linger and relish this. This time, though, he wanted to savor her, make her feel all sorts of naughty pleasure as he took his own.
Saf bucked and tried to scooch away, but he grabbed her hips and kept her from moving away from him. Unrelenting, he tongue fucked her. She struggled and wriggled, but he continued his assault, plunging his tongue in and out of her, licking up her wetness, and nipping at her clit. Safaia pressed the back of his head and lifted her ass. Spasms racked her body. She cried out his name.
Bringing her to orgasm thrilled him, but his selfish streak came forward. He wanted to enjoy her and feel his own pleasure, so he rose, stepped back, and removed his jeans.
Where to Buy
Evernight Publishing | Amazon | Bookstrand | Smashwords
About the Author
Casey Moss delves into the darker aspects of life in her writing, sometimes basing the stories on reality, sometimes on myth. No matter the path, her stories will take you on a journey from the light-hearted paranormal to dark things unspeakable. What waits around the corner? Come explore…
Website | Blog | Amazon Author Page | Twitter | Instagram
Lady of Thorns is LIVE!
And the third book in the series that was never supposed to be a series is LIVE, people! A huge thanks goes out to my awesome beta readers L.D. Blakeley, J. Kathleen Cheney (both of whom are awesome writers, so go check them out), Theresa Eastridge, and Peter White, and to everyone who pre-ordered the book. I hope you all LOVE it, and remember, reviews on your preferred site put you in the will!
Love was never supposed to be part of the deal…
Lady Amelie de Clerq’s prickly demeanor has earned her the nickname “Lady of Thorns,” keeping potential suitors at bay and making her the butt of the nobility’s jokes. Determined to attract a husband who will love her for herself rather than her fortune, she decides to embark on a journey of sensual self-discovery.
Alain LaPorte, wily lawyer and toast of the capital’s social set, has been summoned to Lierdhe to oversee business negotiations with a neighboring earl. When Amelie asks Alain to tutor her in the bedroom arts, he agrees to introduce the highborn virgin to pleasure. But lessons in lovemaking soon turn into a matter of the heart, forcing both Amelie and Alain to confront their fears about intimacy, loyalty, and love.
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play | iTunes
Marvelous Monday Reads: Abel’s Obsession
Welcome to another edition of Marvelous Monday Reads, pumpkins! Today I’m featuring Lynn Burke and her hot new romance novel Abel’s Obsession. And now, here’s Lynn to answer some questions!
Abel Beiler’s story came about while visiting my parents in Amish country this past April. While leaving for home early Sunday morning, I pulled up to a stop sign at a four-way intersection as horses labored to pull their Amish owners and families in their buggies to Sunday worship.
One young man in an open buggy sat to my right at the stop sign, unsmiling, leaning forward, elbows on knees and reins slack in his hands. I had this overwhelming urge to smile at him, trying to bring a little sunshine to his miserable countenance.
My plan didn’t work, and even though I was in an SUV with 3 children, the idea of Abel and Dani slammed into my brain, occupying my thoughts the whole way home. I voice-to-text in my phone’s notepad off and on the entire seven hour ride back to Massachusetts as Abel whispered his struggle to find himself in my brain.
Abel’s Obsession is by far the raunchiest story I’ve written to date, and I’m hoping the most eye-opening as well. An oppressed life isn’t a joyful one, and finding the strength to free yourself isn’t always easy. Neither is the choice to take wing and fly.
A young man of religious fervor and self-control, Abel Beiler has every intention of honoring his parents and being baptized into the Amish church. The woman with red curls and flashing green eyes in the back of a convertible, however, makes Abel wonder what life with the English might be like.
He strives to withstand temptation, but the memory of the woman he yearns to dominate, coupled with the explicit images in his cousin’s filthy magazine, threatens his restraint.
Red, his sinful obsession, haunts his shameful dreams and becomes a secret part of his life. When faced with truth beyond faith, Abel must decide where he belongs—with the Amish community, or the woman who owns his heart.
Much later and hoarse from singing for two hours, my curiosity overrode my better sense, and I followed Eli into the hayloft of their barn. While I held the kerosene lamp, he climbed high into the rafters and returned with a magazine clutched in his hand.
“Got this from my new English friend, Toby.” He sat on a bale, opened the magazine, and turned it toward me.
Lust kicked me in the gut, and I couldn’t speak.
A naked woman lay spread eagle and bound by ropes to a bed, a blindfold and some sort of ball gag in her mouth. A man loomed over her, whip in hand. Tear streaks lined the woman’s face. Red slashes marked her thighs. Wetness coated the pink folds of her sex, glistening, and set my mouth to watering.
The image burned into my brain—submission in an entirely different way than the Old Order’s definition of the word. Spirituality is submission, is what had been reiterated in my ears since childhood. Self-surrender. The willingness to give up oneself to the community and Gott’s chosen leaders.
I soaked in the sinful picture, and for the first time in my life wanted power. Wanted control. I wanted a woman’s submission like the man in leather beside her owned. Unable to tear my gaze off the image, I struggled to swallow.
“Didn’t know people actually did this shit.”
Eli’s curse, the first I had heard from him, barely registered past the blood rushing in my ears. My body tensed as longing to be the man standing over that woman, whip in hand raced through me faster than any thoroughbred—or car.
The image of Red flashed in my mind, and suddenly it was her bound to the bed in the picture, breathing heavily, trembling, and begging for me…
Where to Buy
Evernight Publishing | Amazon US | Amazon UK
About the Author
Lynn Burke is a full time mother, voracious gardener, and scribbler of spicy romance stories. A country bumpkin turned Bay Stater, she enjoys her chowdah and Dunkin Donuts when not trying to escape the reality of city life.
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Instagram | Goodreads
Lady of Thorns: Many Happy Returns
For those of you who read yesterday’s Mid Week Tease and wanted to know how the rest of that scene turned out, I live to serve. Enjoy!
“Well, it could have been worse, milady,” Jeanette said judiciously, holding up the stained copper silk and studying it. “At least you didn’t make the entire tree blow up.”
“That’s not nearly as helpful as you think it is,” Amelie muttered, getting the last bit of sticky juice out of her hair. She slid under the water in the tub to rinse, shaking her head from side to side to sluice out the suds, then resurfaced. “You should have seen their faces.”
Her maid made a noncommittal noise. “But the apples ripened.”
“Yes, the apples ripened, which means the Harvest Festival is officially underway. Hopefully that will keep Maman satisfied.” Amelie stood up, accepting a bath sheet and wrapping it around herself. “And I can get back to my real work.”
Jeanette helped her out of the tub and shooed her over to the vanity table. “Excuse me for being blunt, milady, but these will be your duties someday. You can’t stay in your office forever.”
Amelie wished she was still young enough to stamp a foot, absurdly petulant as that would be. Instead she dropped onto the padded chair, allowing the maid to work on her hair with a drying cloth. “Perhaps Maman should have made Sibeal her heir after all. She could have blown up the entire square and everyone would have congratulated her.”
“Mayhap, but Lady Sibeal isn’t a Terra magistra,” Jeanette said mildly, pulling out a comb and running it through Amelie’s damp locks. “You are. And frankly you have the better mind for governing a province.”
“So you say. Maman says I’m too cold and analytical.”
The maid sighed. “Her ladyship has a different view from yours on what makes a good countess. It doesn’t meant that hers is the only correct way.”
“Oh, isn’t it?”
Both of them started, turning guiltily towards the tall woman standing at the bedroom door. With her titian hair coiled into an elegant updo, hazel eyes that changed color depending on what she wore, and a form-fitting maroon gown that highlighted both a heavy strand of emeralds and creamy décolletage over the square cut neckline, Henriette le Clerq looked like the harvest personified. “Do go on, Jeanette,” she suggested.
Blushing, Jeanette dropped into a deep curtsey. “I’m sorry, my lady. I didn’t mean—”
“Of course you did.” Henriette swept closer, holding a piece of rolled-up paper in her slender hands. “And you’re quite right. My daughter’s views are different from my own. When she becomes the Lady, she may rule Lierdhe as she sees fit. In the meantime, however, I am still the Lady of Lierdhe and must do as I deem best for my province and my people, even if that runs counter to my daughter’s views.”
Jeanette bowed her head. “Of course, my lady. I apologize.”
“Mm. You may go.”
The maid bobbed another curtsey and left. “I wish you wouldn’t scold Jeanette, Maman,” Amelie said wearily. “She did nothing to deserve it.”
“Oh, my dear, that wasn’t a scolding,” Henriette said, waving the roll of paper. “That was merely a reminder.” She pursed her lips. “I heard about the little contretemps at the ceremony today. Apple juice everywhere, the mayor said.”
Leave it to her mother to bring that up. Controlling her temper, Amelie picked up the comb Jeanette had dropped and went back to work on her hair. “I was distracted by one of the children. It won’t happen again.”
“Oh, I’m sure,” Henriette said idly. “Practice makes perfect and all that, and it’s not as if I can step down until I know the family line will continue.” Before Amelie could come up with an appropriate reply she continued, “Speaking of that, however, I just received the most wonderful news from your sister.”
“What does Sibeal have to say?”
A beaming smile crossed her mother’s face. “She’s with child. She writes that she should give birth in the spring, and we’re to come to Wolf’s Lair to see the baby.”
For someone who had resisted the match so severely, Amelie thought, her mother certainly seemed happy with it now. It was ironic, considering the chill that had dropped over their own relationship ever since the King of Ypres had ridden to Lierdhe at Amelie’s request to stop the forced wedding of her younger sister Sibeal to Clement Reynard. The wedding had been Henriette’s way of dealing with rising debts from her drought-stricken province; she’d made an arrangement with Gregor Reynard, the Earl of Leuven, for a loan of two million gold soleils to cover seed costs in exchange for one of her daughters marrying the Earl’s heir Clement. When Amelie had broken off the engagement due to Clement’s boorish behavior, the countess had thrust Sibeal into her place, locking Amelie in a mage-warded cell to keep her “out of trouble.”
But King Matthias had put a stop to all that. Now Sibeal was happily married to Duke Tomas Villiers, the man who had ridden at the king’s side to her rescue, and Lierdhe was safe thanks to the earl forgiving half his loan (at sword point, admittedly) and a generous wedding gift of one million soleils from Villiers, the crown, and Prince Marcus of Illium.
Amelie ignored the sharp pang at the thought of Marcus. He’s gone, and that’s all there is to it. “How wonderful. I’ll write to Sibeal tonight.”
“I’ll have the seamstress start on a layette immediately,” Henriette said, pacing now as she tapped the rolled letter against her chin. “White and green, I think, with our sigil worked in silver thread. And some new gowns for Sibeal, of course. And we must have a purse for the child.”
Amelie thought of the ledgers in her office. “Don’t make it too extravagant. This year’s harvest was much better than the last two, but it was hardly a bumper crop.”
Henriette stopped in mid-stride, the doting grandmother-to-be replaced by the shrewd countess. “How bad?”
“Not bad, but the farmers say it won’t be up to the amount we’re used to, either. They estimate we’ve had an eight percent decrease in yield.”
“Drat.” The duchess resumed her pacing, but this time her smile was gone. “I thought the spring rains had taken care of the drought.”
“They eased it, yes, but it will take more than one wet spring to fully heal the land.” Amelie toyed with her comb. “You might want to reconsider my proposal that we send a request to the Aeris chapter house. If we can have a team of their mages generate a steady amount of rain through the winter—”
Henriette shook her head, two delicate curls bouncing with the movement. “The Aeris don’t believe in interfering with natural weather patterns. And even if I could talk them into it, it doesn’t sound as if we have enough money to pay their infernal fees.” Her hazel eyes narrowed in thought. “Besides, we don’t need Aeris help with this. We can install an irrigation system fed directly from the Lier. And our farm workers can create the irrigation channels, with help from us as required.”
Creating a ditch via magic was certainly one of the easier tasks a Terra mage such as her mother or herself could perform. “That would certainly be practical,” Amelie allowed. “But how would we go about planning such a thing, much less installing it?”
“I’ve already contacted the Earl of Bertrix. He’s willing to lend us some engineers for the project.”
Amelie felt her mouth drop open and closed it quickly. “You must be joking. You loathe Stefan Vandenberghe. I’ve heard you call him a dirt-grubbing troglodyte to his face.”
Henriette flicked long fingers. “That was only because he called me a high-handed harridan. But I’ll admit the blasted man is clever when it comes to earthworks. He’s already agreed to help us plan and install an irrigation system for a share in our harvests over the next five years.”
Amelie ran the figures in her head. Much depended on what the earl considered a share, but if Lierdhe’s fields had access to guaranteed water then their house could afford to give up a certain percent of each harvest. And the earl, ruler of a dry and rocky province on the border of Ypres near Munoz, was known for his brilliant aqueducts and other strategies to transfer water across his lands. If anyone could design a functioning irrigation system for the rolling fields of Lierdhe, it was the Earl of Bertrix. “Does that include this harvest as well?”
“No, not until the system has been installed and is working properly. I’ve invited the earl and his entourage to come to the Harvest Ball so that we can discuss terms. You’ll have a full report on this year’s harvest by then, of course.”
The Harvest Ball. Amelie wanted to groan in dismay. In previous years her mother had used the ball to trot potential suitors in front of her like some fairy tale come to stiff, uncomfortable life. She’d been allowed to skip it last year due to her doomed betrothal to Clement, but clearly her mother had the matrimonial bit in her teeth again.
The only boon about that was that Henriette had been forbidden from having any say in Amelie’s future consort, by both royal and magical decree. Lette Melliers, the Terra Grand Magistra of Ypres, was an old friend of her mother’s but hadn’t been happy about Henriette’s actions in the spring. Both King Matthias and Lette had laid down the law; Amelie’s husband would be her choice, and her choice only.
Which meant she would be expected to make an appearance at the ball and view whatever potential suitors could be scrounged up, as well as sit in on the negotiations with Vandenberghe and provide facts and figures as needed. Her head started to hurt at the thought. “I take it we’re lodging Vandenberghe’s people at Ardenhaal?”
Henriette sighed. “Unfortunately. I’ve also asked the king to send that lawyer of his to assist us with the negotiations.”
That came as a surprise. Counselor Alain LaPorte was the lawyer who had advised King Matthias on the unlawfulness of Sibeal’s betrothal agreement. Amelie wondered if her mother was going for some kind of record in personal shocks. “I thought you called him a duplicitous snake.”
“He is. But if I’m to deal with Vandenberghe, I’d prefer to have a duplicitous snake working on my side.” Henriette pointed the rolled-up letter at her. “As you take on more of my duties, you’ll learn that ruling a province isn’t all pretty dresses and balls. You’ll often be called upon to do things that go against your personal preferences.”
Such as marry a rich boor. “Forgive me for not being able to stomach Clement Reynard, Mother,” Amelie said through her teeth. “But if you had gone to the king as I’d begged you—”
Henriette held up a hand. “We don’t need to rehash this, Amelie. The de Clerqs still rule in Lierdhe and Sibeal is happily married with a baby on the way. Things have turned out for the best, which is all I can ask for.”
Which was completely false. Her mother could, and would, ask for the sun and moon on a silver chain if the mood struck her. “If you want me to have the latest figures for the negotiations, I’d best get back to work tomorrow. Was there anything else you wanted to tell me?”
“No, I don’t think so,” Henriette said, attention straying back to the letter in her hand. “I’ll let you get ready for bed. Good night, my dear.”
So much for that. She tried for a polite smile, but her mouth wouldn’t cooperate. “Good night, Maman.”
The countess swept out of the room. After a moment, Jeanette came back in, one hand behind her back. “Is the coast clear?”
Amelie slumped on her chair. “As clear as it’ll ever be. I’m sorry about her scolding.”
The maid shook her head. “It was my own fault, milady. My mother always said my tongue will get me into trouble one of these days. Now, shall I help you get ready for bed?”
After the disasters of the day, all she wanted was to be left alone. “No. I think I can do that much for myself. But thank you.”
With a surprising hesitancy, Jeanette approached the vanity, bringing out what she had hidden behind her back. “Then I’ll give you this, milady.”
She put down a small plate that held an iced almond cake. Amelie stared at the pastry, her throat tightening. Someone had remembered, after all.
“I—thank you,” she stammered. “That was very kind of you, Jeanette.”
“I know it’s not much, but everyone should have a cake on their birthday.” The maid gave her a sympathetic smile. “Many happy returns, milady, and good night.”
With a quick curtsey she was gone. Blinking back tears, Amelie reached out and broke off a bit of the cake, wondering if its sweetness could offset the sour thing that had become her life.
Happy twentieth birthday to me.
Marvelous Monday Reads: Under His Protection
Welcome to another edition of Marvelous Monday Reads, petals! Today I’m here with Doris O’Connor and her smouldering new BDSM romance Under His Protection, now available from Evernight Publishing and other purveyors of fine erotic romance. Take it away, ma’am!
Thank you so much for having me on your blog with my new release Under his Protection. I’m so excited that Lukas and Jacqui’s story is back out there.
This is a previously released title. If you’ve read the anthology Dominant Persuasions, you’ll have met these two. I have added some new material, but it is in essence the same story, so bear that in mind if you’ve read it before.
Either way, I’m stoked that these two get to shine on their own now, and as my editor pointed out…. I may well write the story/stories of the other characters you meet.
Writing this story was great fun, and I hope readers will love these two as much as I do
Jacqui Page is all set to spend her thirty-fifth birthday eating her body weight in chocolate and watching chick flicks—until her best friend drags her off to visit the local BDSM club.
Now, a birthday spanking sounds like a mighty fine idea. Especially if it’s going to be delivered by the one man she’s been secretively lusting after for weeks—her melt your panties in an instant, bad boy neighbor.
Lukas Markz can’t believe his eyes when his shy, goody-two-shoes, next-door neighbor turns up at his club, dressed as every Dom’s wet dream. He doesn’t do commitment, but witnessing her submission brings out his inner caveman. No other man is going to get to mark her soft skin or listen to the sounds of her surrender. This bundle of curves is under his protection, and he will show her what it means to be his.
This is a previously published work. It has been revised and edited for Evernight Publishing.
Going on instinct and the very real need to touch her, Lukas stepped up behind her. Putting his hand over hers on the glass, he grasped her hip with his free hand, and kicking her legs apart with his foot, pulled her flush against him. There was no way on Earth she would miss his raging boner, and, sure enough, another one of those cock hardening groans came from her.
Lukas brought one of his thighs up and between her legs, and it was his turn to groan, as the wet heat of her pussy seared his thigh even through their combined clothing.
“Naughty girl, you’re soaked through.”
He dropped a kiss on the rapidly beating pulse point in her neck, and grazed his teeth along the sensitive flesh. Gooseflesh erupted on Jacqui’s skin, and her hips flexed, as though she was trying to gain purchase on his thigh. When he rubbed that limb up and down her sodden crotch, she gasped, and put her other hand on the glass, too.
Her heartfelt plea only served to make Lukas harder, and grasping her hips with both hands he lifted her up. With her feet dangling off the floor, her whole weight rested on his thigh, and she tensed when he slid her up and down his leg.
Head down, so that her hair obscured her expression, it was still pretty damn obvious that his naughty little dove was fast hurtling toward release, and it was suddenly imperative to Lukas that she did. Never in his wildest dreams would he have thought little Miss Goody Two-shoes would be this responsive, and it was fucking hot to witness. As was watching Jake and Lauren, when he flicked a glance over to the action.
“Head up and watch them, little dove.”
Letting go of her hip for a moment, Lukas fisted his hand in Jacqui’s hair. It effectively forced her to look up and see what was going on.
He grinned at her response, and resuming his slow slide along her cunt, nuzzled into her neck. “Such language from you, girl. Keep that up, and a spanking won’t be the only thing you’ll get from my hands. Maybe that’s what you want though?”
He pulled back just in time to see Jake reach between him and Lauren, and grasp the end of the butt plug decorating his sub’s ass. He thrust that object in and out of Lauren’s clenching hole with one hand, while he continued fucking her pussy, and Jacqui whimpered.
It made Lukas speed up the friction he created between her legs, and his jeans grew damp with his girl’s arousal. The sweet musk of aroused woman filled his nostrils, and he pressed his advantage.
“Is my naughty girl imagining that was her cunt being fucked?”
Another little mewl escaped her, and Jacqui locked her arms better to push back against him.
Lukas bit down on the perspiration-soaked flesh in front of him, and she gave a strangled groan that made his cock twitch in need.
Soothing the red mark away with his tongue, he yanked her head sideways so that he could kiss her. Her gasp of surprise gave him access, and Lukas grunted his own need when she kissed him back. Hesitant at first and then with ever bolder strokes of her tongue, that meant he had to break the kiss, before he took her right here in the corridor, where anyone would come across them.
While that idea had merit, and his cock was all but screaming at him to claim this woman, he forced himself to pull back.
Breaths seesawing in and out, her corset had slipped with the force of her breathing. It now revealed the edge of her areolae. It made Lukas want to lean down and trace his tongue along the pebbled flesh to coax out the tight nipples poking through their restraints.
He did neither however, just drank in the sight of his woman, and dammit, she was his, even if only for tonight. Face flushed, kiss swollen lips parted, she looked breathtakingly beautiful, and his chest tightened with a rush of emotion he didn’t dare quantify.
“Open your eyes, little dove.”
He grimaced at the rough timbre of his voice, and watched in rapt fascination as her eyelids fluttered open. If he had any doubts about how aroused she was, the evidence was there in her hugely dilated pupils. Only a small ring of blue remained around the outer edges, as she tried to focus on him.
He smiled, and pulled her head back round toward the glass.
A soft, needy, sound escaped her. It was so damn fucking hot, as was the action on the other side of that window.
Lauren shook and shivered, her mouth open in a scream they couldn’t hear, as she was reaching her climax, and the rosy flush of her release could be seen all over her body.
“Oh my God.”
Jacqui’s whisper turned into a groan when Lukas resumed his slide along her cunt, and she jerked. Behind the glass, Jake pulled out the butt plug at the same time as he pulled out of Lauren’s wet cunt. Aligning himself with her gaping butt hole, he thrust in deep.
Jacqui stiffened in front of him as Jake set up a ruthless rhythm. One that Lukas mirrored with his thigh, while he continued to whisper to his girl.
“Imagine that’s you, tied for my pleasure. Your butt is still sore from your spanking, and your cunt well used, while I claim your sweet ass. Ever taken a man up the ass, little dove?”
Where to Buy
Evernight | Amazon UK | Amazon US
About the Author
Doris is a writer of sensual, sassy, and sexy tales involving alpha heroes to die for, and heroines who give as good as they get. From contemporary to paranormal, Time Travel, Sci-fi, BDSM, F/F, M/M, and Ménage, haunting love stories are guaranteed.
Happily married for the last twenty-seven years, she lives with her husband and their brood of nine in a far too small house filled with love, laughter, and chaos.
Website | Reader Group | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Evernight Publishing
Amazon | BookStrand | Barnes&Noble
Nicola’s Sunday Shoutout: L.J. Longo #PNR
Today’s Sunday Shoutout goes to L.J. Longo, whose sizzling new paranormal romance Hiring the Tiger is now available from Evernight Publishing and other purveyors of fine erotic romance. And now, here’s L.J.!
Thanks for having me on your site! I’m excited to share Hiring the Tiger because it’s both my first F/M story and also my first series. While Hiring the Tiger is a stand-alone, there will be three other books in the series about the rest of the pack.
A tiger shouldn’t be picking tea-leaves and carrying luggage, but that’s the only job Navarro sees in his future. He’s learned to be humble since he and his friends, a wolf pack, exchanged their former careers as highway robbers for prison.
Then Lady Jasprite Doughton, a merchant with all the grace of the far East and the wealth of the West, whirls through the village on the back of a dragon and reminds Navarro what it means to want something. With her dominating sexual tastes and her powerful personality, Jasprite challenges his body, his lust, his loyalty to his friends, and his own worth.
After all, is gold enough to buy a tiger?
Nav worried she wouldn’t like the look of the bands, too dirty, too bold. Then he scoffed because he didn’t give a damn if she liked the look of them. Then he worried she’d decide he was a frivolous expense.
Fuck the bet, he’d take for her free. Now, he wanted her.
Now she was here.
He smelled her in the hallway, potent and sexual. She walked with quick long strides and opened the door before he could decide if he ought to be found in the balcony or on the bed.
Jasprite locked the door after she entered, then dropped the key into her front vest pocket. She grinned at him, the kind of leer men give the village girls washing their clothing at the river. It made him feel curiously misplaced.
“So, the captain was wrong. The chest was delivered safe and whole. You didn’t even open it.”
“I didn’t have the key.” He’d resisted the desire to pick it. “Ramsay also said you ought to hire a soldier to do this work.”
“A miscreant will do the job more thoroughly.” She pulled off her suit jacket and hung it on a wall hook, never taking her eyes from him. “Though, I’ll be honest, I don’t like animals. Especially, large ones. They don’t take direction well. Your witch said you’re a tiger.”
Nav grinned. “She’s not wrong.”
The lady’s eyebrow raised with annoyance. He wasn’t playing properly. He tried to be timid again. “Did you want proof, Lady Doughton?”
“Never had a tiger for hire.” She grinned at her name then pulled the string of jewels out of her bun, plucked something from the string, and tossed something over to him. He caught a key. “Open the chest.”
He knelt and opened the red chest with a gamely smile.
The smile left quickly. “Holy Hades…”
Under the layers of cotton were shackles, collars, whips. Long thick phallic statues of carved and polished wood, glass, and shining metal molded for a very specific purpose. Gags, hoods, dozens of other toys he’d never seen even in the most wicked books.
She chuckled, not a pleasant sound. “I knew you wouldn’t be ready.”
“Uh…” He looked from the box to her. He wanted her strong thighs, those tempting breasts, her cruel smile. But the box … men were supposed to use toys like that, not women.
“You like my collection?”
“I don’t know, actually.”
She hummed, unimpressed with his answer. She sauntered over and peered with him into her box of deviance. Her thighs were level with his face, and he inhaled the rich fresh wetness between her legs. He wanted her so much.
Nav swallowed, uncomfortable on his knees. He should have been the one staring down at her. She should have been the one to feel small and desired. Instead, she’d made him nothing more than his throbbing cock and his wordless mouth.
“Yes, this is exactly my problem with large animals. Especially ones that belong to other women.” She gripped his chin.
“I don’t belong to Yenna.”
She grinned. “I know who you belong to.”
Nav shivered a little at the ownership in her confidence.
Jasprite let him go. “I do like a pretty face though. So, I’ll make an exception for you, tiger.”
She could still tell him no? He wasn’t sure he had the option himself.
The woman unbuttoned her vest. “Pick out what you’ll let me use on you and I’ll tell you what you’re worth.”
Where To Buy
Evernight Publishing | Amazon | Bookstrand
About the Author
L.J. Longo is a queer author, a geek, a feminist, sometime pirate, and is ARe best-selling author of Erotic Romance. L.J.’s work with Evernight includes The Dishonest Lover, Dark Captive: Manlove Edition, and Owned by the Alpha: Manlove Edition.
Find more thoughtful, hot erotica at Graceful Indecency where L.J. offers free erotica and contests to win romance e-books. L.J. also sometimes takes a break from writing and messes around on Twitter and Facebook.