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Fabulous Friday Reads: Waking the Lioness

TGIF! Let’s kick off the weekend with Amber Morgan’s purrfectly wonderful new novel Waking the Lioness, now available from Evernight Publishing and other purveyors of fine erotic romance. Take it away, Amber!

I’m a werewolf girl first and foremost, but my second-favourite shifter is definitely the werecat. Although the term “werecat” only really came about in the 1970s, there’s been myths and legends about humans turning into cats forever. In European folklore there are stories of witches turning into domestic cats. In Africa, leopard gods and goddesses would take human form and mate with mortals, and their offspring would be shapeshifters (hmm, now there’s a story idea…). In Asia, the ghosts of people killed by tigers could become evil beings called Chang, who made sure that tigers killed even more people!

And in America, where WAKING THE LIONESS is set, we have were-jaguars. In Mesoamerican cultures, priests and shamans would wear jaguar skins to become jaguars themselves. There are also stories of bipedal felines – kind of like Bigfoot, but, you know, cats. There doesn’t seem to be much about shapeshifting mountain lions, but that’s the beauty of being a writer – I can make it up! I’m hoping that WAKING THE LIONESS will be the first in a series of werecat stories, because there’s just so much to explore! In the mean time, I’m looking forward to you meeting Lara, Zane, and Tate, and getting to know my werecats very, very intimately.


waking-the-lioness-evernightpublishing-JayAheer2015-finalimageConvinced she could never give her fiance what he truly wanted, cat-shifter Lara Carey walked away from her home and her engagement, and started fresh in New Orleans. One year on, she’s never stopped missing Zane Walker…but it’s too late to do anything about it, isn’t it?

Zane Walker hasn’t come to New Orleans to find Lara, but when chance throws them together, his passion for her is reignited. There’s just one problem. Zane’s new lover is missing somewhere in New Orleans, and even if Zane and Lara find him, can Lara accept him and Zane?

Story Excerpt

She smiled, hoping she didn’t look as nervous as she felt. “Is Tate the jealous type?” she asked, flexing her fingers. Zane let out a long sigh.

“Lara, this isn’t—”

She moved in front of him, sliding her hand down his torso until she cupped his balls. Another ragged sigh. Lara licked her lips and kissed his throat, nipping lightly. The smell of male arousal mingled with her own musk. She kept her eyes on Tate as she teased Zane, raking her nails over his balls and rubbing her thumb across that soft, sensitive stretch of flesh beneath, just the way he loved. If Tate was the jealous type, she could be making a major mistake here, one she’d never recover from.

But Tate didn’t look angry or jealous as the dull glaze faded from his eyes. He looked…curious.

Zane groaned as she encircled his hardening cock. He pulled her hard against him, crushing her breasts to him with just the right balance of pleasure-pain. She whimpered as he dug his fingers into her hips, silently urging her on.

She worked her hand slowly up and down his shaft, her other hand making lazy trails up and down his chest. It had been so long since she’d been with anyone. The slightest contact burned like wildfire, and this was Zane, the only man she’d ever loved. Breathless with desire, wound tight with need, it was impossible to pretend she did this only to force Tate into a shift. She was doing this all for her own selfish pleasure and she wasn’t going to stop. And if Zane’s reaction to her touch was anything to go by, he didn’t want her to.

On the bed, Tate raised his head and chirped at Zane. Zane raised his head, a little growl escaping his lips. “You know the rules. You want in, you shift,” he said in a voice thick and throaty with desire.

The words caught Lara off-guard. They implied so much with so little. So much history, past threesomes maybe. Her heart skipped. Did Zane think… Would she even…?

Her stomach filled with butterflies as she realized she would. Dammit, she was so starved for skin contact, so – yes, still so in love with Zane, that she would. She’d take both men. Excitement raced through her. She’d take them both and savor the thrill of it.

Tate shook his head and pushed himself up, his wounded back leg clearly hampering him. Lara’s hand faltered for a second, worried he’d hurt himself worse, but then Zane’s hand closed over hers. “Finish what you started,” he growled.

Where to Buy

Evernight
Amazon US
Amazon UK
AllRomance eBooks

About Amber Morgan

Amber is the secret identity of a writer who normally pens urban fantasy, but feels like stretching her wings. Amber loves darker romance, anti-heroes, good red wine, and expensive chocolate (sometimes all at once). She’s based in the UK and lives in an adorable cottage with her dream man and two stupid snakes.

Website/Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Nicola’s Sunday Shoutout: LeTeisha Newton

Today’s Sunday Shoutout goes to the amazingly prolific LeTeisha Newton and her brand spanking (and I use that word deliberately) new Naughty Fairy Tales entry, Sin’s Pleasure (Happily Never Happened #1), now available from Evernight Publishing and other purveyors of fine erotic romance. Take it away, LeTeisha!

What if Happily Ever Afters were from a place called Elsia? What if they kept that world going and intact? And what if the Fairy Godmother, young and naive, got it wrong?

Welcome to Happily Never Happened, where fairy tales are real, sexier than sin, and sweeter than deliverance. Where Fantasy Ave is a place to see your pleasures satisfied, and the stakes raised – for a price. And then meet the ladies of Fantasy Ave, hidden gems in our world, who come from the world of Elsia, escaping the hell of their Happily Ever Afters, and offered the chance, with one last wish, to find love again.

SinsPleasure-evernightpublishing-JayAheer2015-banner1


SinsPleasureFairy Godmothers were the spawn of the devil, and Sin was perfectly happy leaving her broken marriage behind. Marriage to Prince Charming wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. She wanted love on her terms, with a man who didn’t think cheating was foreplay. 

Now she’s having trouble keeping away from Tobias, her hunk of a bodyguard that protected her when she saw clients as Mistress Sin on Fantasy Avenue. Or staying away from Zuriah, a shifter bent on making them both his mates. 

Now she’s stuck trying on that damn glass slipper again, finding passion like she couldn’t believe existed. If she can just keep the Fairy Godmother from trying to muck things up again, and get over her old break-up, she might just find love ever after. 

Story Excerpt

If Sin hadn’t learned anything else in the world, it was that Fairy Godmothers sucked, happily ever afters never happened, and she wasn’t in the mood to deal with another worthless Prince Charming who didn’t know how to keep his dick in his pants.

Yeah, she thought. Love was a bitch.

It wasn’t that she didn’t believe it could happen. Hell, she’d been the stupid little girl once, abused by her filthy step-sisters and step-mother because her father had been bespelled by the sorceress witch. Sin remembered her mother, and the relationship her mother had with Sin’s father. That had been a couple really in love, and it was the only shining example that Sin ever had in her life. Because, surely, marrying the damn Prince of Elsia had been the worst decision her now cold heart had ever made simply because a Fairy Assmother had put her damn hand in it.

It hadn’t taken long after the blissful nuptials to find Prince Charming riding good old Rapunzel in her damn tower because they would have some privacy. Or to find him jumping Aurora’s bones because, why not, Zel’s own knight liked playing around with Maleficent anyway. Even Sin thought Mal was more fun and should have put a longer sleep spell on Aurora and then everyone would have been happy. Aurora hadn’t been the nicest of princesses anyway, before she’d been put to sleep. Sin wouldn’t trust a woman who liked sleeping with men that didn’t belong to her, and Mal had put Aurora out of her own misery putting her to sleep until she’d found true love. A little tame, by most standards, but it worked. At least Mal might have a chance to get her knight back … That was if she wanted him. The only thing a Fairy Godmother did for Sin was send her as far away from Elsia as possible, in another time and place, where she could be her own woman, and forget the need of having in man in her life.

Things were so much better now because of that—well, as long as she ignored the one man that tugged at her heartstrings and made her want to climb him.

“Sin, Ace in on stage four, and the women are going crazy,” Walter, her head of floor security said to her over the communications unit in her ear. He was a welcome distraction from the head of her overall security detail.

Or did she just think about him again? Ugh.

“Tell him there’s a Bachelorette party coming in to booth fifteen when he’s done. They have requested him personally this evening. Tell Franco that he might have to entertain Rose’s boys tonight, and have Sloane with him if they have a larger party,” Sin sent back, mentally tallying how much the private parties alone had filled her register already. Franco, Barbie, and Sloane were her LGBT clientele favorites, and they brought in quite a penny from drunk frat boys and corporate events. Barbie, especially, because she could give the best of both worlds. Ace was Sin’s lead stripper, and women just went gaga over his piecing blue eyes and blond curls. Something about him looking like the dude playing Achilles. Sin could appreciate the draw. He just wasn’t her type. Not rugged enough. She liked her sex rough, nasty, and just a bit dangerous. Pretty boy slick didn’t appeal. Too much like the asshole she’d left behind.

Tobias isn’t a pretty boy and can give you just what you want. Her treacherous thoughts were going to be the death of her tonight. She didn’t need to think about Tobias. She needed to work and make sure her place was going like it should be. Plus, when she was working she was the one doling out punishment to women and men alike, and Tobias didn’t take punishment. He gave it. No one touched her, not anymore, and he’d want to. A few humps in the dark had taught her that felt as empty as her farce of a marriage. She liked making money and spending it. She loved fixing others, so they never had to go through what she went through. An impossible feat, but it kept her warm at night. She didn’t need him there.

“Need more vodka at bar three,” Trix, her head bartender, called to her. Rule one in a strip club, have female bartenders. Women didn’t really care about standing at the bar all night ogling hot guys just within reach if there weren’t any there, and didn’t worry too much how much they were drinking.

“Then get your ass over to the back and get it,” Sin ordered. “Have Rachel take over for you until you are done. Stock all the bars tonight. We’ve got three parties and Rose is coming by with her brood. It’s going to get wild.”

Rose. Now that was a girl that knew how to party. One of the other misfits that resided on Fantasy Ave, Rose was Sin’s right hand. She ran Spirits Emporium, which exclusively stocked the alcoholic beverages of every company on Fantasy Avenue—from Ari’s Glide and Slide to Blanche’s Poison Apple. Home to the women their worthless Fairy Godmother had screwed in their happily never afters, they’d bonded together and created a world of pleasure, entertainment, and, well, sometimes more pointed desires.

“Speak of the devil,” Sin said, spinning on her six inch, thigh-high, black leather boots when she saw Rose enter Sin’s Pleasure, the premier all male review club on the East coast. Sin tossed her light pink hair over her shoulder, smiling and waiting as Rose came closer. Sin had gone for gothic caramel seductress tonight with a PVC corset around her waist with a pastel pink bra to top it off. She had black elbow fingerless gloves with pretty pink bows up the sleeve. She rocked smoky eyes with a tar black lipstick. Most of her clients came from her advertising, but, every once in a while, one of Rose’s guys wanted to play. Rose wore an all red leather suit, her trademark color, that looked more like she could be someone’s fantasy for the night. Her red curls were wild around her heart-shaped face.

“Good to see you made it,” Sin said to Rose with a smile.

“You know I would. Not all pleasure tonight though,” Rose added.

“Oh? What’s up?” Sin asked, eyes scanning the crowd for any problems.

“Your office?” Rose returned, already turning around and heading to the back of the club. Rose nodded to some of her guys, six of the big boys at that, as she passed the bar they waited at for drinks. They enjoyed the show, and Rose liked bringing them in for a private party every once in a while. Their dancers were always paid handsomely, and Sin had a feeling it was in more ways than one. Sin would have to ask to watch one time.

Sin hurried to lead Rose into her area, unlocking her back door and then heading upstairs. The noise from the club dampened as they went higher, the noise cancelation Sin had installed had been for her as much for peace of mind as for her clients when they went to her dungeon. The private quarters housed Sin’s loft apartment, her office, and her dungeon, much farther back. Tobias, her guard, waved at her as she passed him to go into her office. That was his post, and it helped when she had clients. A former medic in the Marines, Tobias could handle himself, and anyone else for that matter, and was cool under pressure. Sin relied on him when she did her job, to make sure everyone stayed safe.

And if she could open her heart, he’d keep her safe too. She could see it in his vivid green eyes. But she couldn’t. They’d never stepped on that boundary, not once, but it sizzled between them whenever she looked at him. She could feel her body getting hot, even now as he tossed a mischievous smile her way. God the man was sex on a stick with his buzz cut brown hair and brawny shape. He was as big as a linebacker but quick enough to blitz attack. She craved his touch more than she could admit. It didn’t help that he was covered in tattoos and rode a mean Harley. Rough and dirty sex was all she saw when she looked at him. Just what she needed. She just didn’t need the attachment that came with it. But she didn’t trust anyone to have her back like him, so he stayed. She didn’t think she could make him go if she wanted to. She hurried to her office, not wanting his eyes on her any longer.

Once in her office, Rose sat on the couch against the wall as Sin sat at her desk before she spoke. “What can I do for you Rose?”

“I’ve got a client for you.”

“You know this isn’t how it goes. I have to talk to them, find out their needs, what they like, what they don’t. I have to know what they hope to get from our sessions, and gauge if it’s what I’ll provide,” Sin answered, already shaking her head.

“It’s one of my pack, Sin,” Rose said, closing her eyes with a sigh. Sin froze. It wasn’t often that Rose talked about her pack, or even called them that. Sin had gotten used to calling Rose’s pack her boys. It wasn’t actually correct, but it helped keep down confusion. When Rose had been in Elsia, she’d been known as Little Red. Her Fairy Godmother had thought, mistakenly, that Rose wanted her Big Bad Wolf gone, and put the lumberjack in the wolf’s way to get chopped to little doggy bag pieces. Rose? She’d been crushed. The wolf had been everything that Rose had ever wanted, and had changed her into a werewolf to live with him. He’d been hiding in the grandmother’s house to come visit Rose, not to kill her and her grandmother. Rose had taken over his pack and forced the Fairy to send them all where Sin had been sent, to the human world. Rose would do anything for her pack, anything. Even ask for Sin’s help.

“I’m listening,” Sin said then.

“Zuriah won’t yield,” Rose said after a minute.

“To you?”

“To anyone. He doesn’t want to be the alpha, and I don’t want him to either. We aren’t mates. But he won’t yield to my authority, or to any of the males. They can’t mount him without coming away bloody. He can’t mount them because they are dominant and can’t take being a bottom. He won’t take a mate, no one grabs his attention. He’s causing chaos in the pack order.”

Sin knew that Rose’s pack acted more like wolves in the wild. Males could mount males like they did a woman. It was about dominance and love at once. There was no sense of heterosexual versus homosexual. They simply were. Love was love, and it didn’t matter a stitch who they found it with. So Sin was sure that wasn’t the issue. He needed to be taught how to accept dominance, or he needed to learn that he was dominant and, perhaps, start his own pack if he wouldn’t take Rose.

“I’ll need to talk to him, Rose. Need to know where his head is. If I can do it, I will.”

“Your rate still 250 an hour?” Rose asked.

“Not for you.”

“I pay my way, Sin. Next shipment of top shelf is on me. How about that?” Sin knew a shipment of top shelf liquor to her establishment was big bucks, but she knew that Rose wouldn’t take no for an answer.

“Fine, Rose. Get him to me, and I’ll take it from there.”

“Won’t have to wait that long. He’s here. Got time to talk now?”

“Doesn’t look like I have a choice,” Sin muttered as Rose closed her eyes again. The pack could speak with telepathy and Sin always felt her hair stand on end when Rose used it near her. After a moment Rose opened her eyes again.

“He’s heading back here. He can follow my scent.”

Where To Buy

Evernight Publishing
Amazon
Bookstrand
All Romance eBooks

About LeTeisha Newton

Writing professionally since 2008, LeTeisha has spanned from Fantasy to Interracial Romance on her road to getting the jumping characters out of her head. Most days she’s pretty color blind, unless it’s a great shade of red (then she can’t ignore it). Other times she’s plotting her next twenty books and then remembering that the computer can’t read her thoughts and doesn’t type at lightning speed. Either way, she just can’t seem to get enough of quill to paper…or eh…keyboard strokes, apparently.

Where to find LeTeisha Newton

Website
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Goodreads

Mid Week Tease: Deep Water #MidWeekTease #MWTease

MWTease15It’s Wednesday? Well, we all know what that means! As Deep Water, the third book in my Olympic Cove series, is now available from Evernight and other online retailers, I thought I’d offer one last look at Olympic Cove and my first MMF trio.

Enjoy, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!

DeepWaterPoseidon, God of the Sea, has spent millennia alone due to a single terrible act. His consort Amphitrite has sworn never to forgive him, and he’s forced to live with the knowledge that he drove an innocent girl to her doom.

But when one of the Olympic Cove cottages gets an occupant with an all-too-familiar soul, Poseidon discovers that the Fates have given him a second chance. Now he must try to right the wrongs of the past and win back both his beloved consort and the mate he betrayed.

Assuming, of course, that the Mad Nereid Thetis doesn’t interfere…

Griffin twisted in the water. Something heavy slammed into his chest, shoving him backwards and driving the water from his lungs in one great whoosh. Dazed, he looked down and saw a thick wooden shaft sticking out of his chest.

And then agony washed everything away.

****

Amphitrite darted to Griffin’s side, catching him before he could sink to the lagoon floor. She stared in horror at the spear protruding from his sternum.

Then up at her sister Thetis. The First Nereid hovered in the water, tattered robes streaming out from her disfigured body.

“Well met, sister,” Thetis called, sneering. “Although I didn’t expect to find you slumming with landwalkers.”

Amphitrite’s lips pulled back from her teeth in a rictus snarl. “Thetis, you bitch!”

“Now, now, Ammie. You killed my pet,” Thetis called mockingly. “It’s only fair that I kill yours.”

Amphitrite tore her attention away from her gloating sister, focusing on Griffin. “Beloved,” she begged, “please, don’t leave me!”

There was a last flicker in Griffin’s aura as if in answer. Then it disappeared. Her newly found agapetos was dead, lost once again to her.

Amphitrite let them both drift to the lagoon floor, laying his body down as gently as she could. Her shaking hand closed his eyes. I will avenge you, beloved. I swear this.

Looking up at her smirking sister, she held out a hand. Her trident flew to it, the now-separate tines glowing with power. “I’m going to kill you for this,” she snarled.

“Oh, really?” Disdain and something akin to eagerness flickered over Thetis’s face. “You think you can do battle with me, sister? Then come and find me.” The Mad Nereid disappeared into a whirl of sickly grey, streaming out through gaps in the coral.

Amphitrite let out the underwater equivalent of a whistle. Sthenios and Skylla tossed their heads and pulled the chariot to her. She leapt into it, not daring to look at Griffin’s still form. The seahorses surged out of the lagoon after Thetis.

I’ll return for you, beloved, she thought, hoping his spirit could hear her on its way to the Underworld. Just as soon as I kill my sister.


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Mid Week Tease: Deep Water #MidWeekTease #MWTease

MWTease15It’s Wednesday? Well, we all know what that means! As yesterday was release day for Deep Water, the third book in my Olympic Cove series, I thought I’d tempt you with the brand new, never before seen prologue. Heh, heh, heh…

Enjoy, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!

DeepWaterPoseidon, God of the Sea, has spent millennia alone due to a single terrible act. His consort Amphitrite has sworn never to forgive him, and he’s forced to live with the knowledge that he drove an innocent girl to her doom.

But when one of the Olympic Cove cottages gets an occupant with an all-too-familiar soul, Poseidon discovers that the Fates have given him a second chance. Now he must try to right the wrongs of the past and win back both his beloved consort and the mate he betrayed.

Assuming, of course, that the Mad Nereid Thetis doesn’t interfere…

Poseidon, God of the Sea, glared at the shimmering silver net surrounding him. “Well, this is another fine mess you’ve gotten us into,” he said to the dolphin floating at his side.

Delphinus let out an offended squeak. It translated to, “It’s not my fault you plunged in here without looking, lord. I told you that fish was behaving oddly.”

Poseidon studied the coral walls around them with annoyance. He’d been out for a day of sport fishing with Delphinus, mainly to get his mind off his recent breakup with the Nereid Thetis. The weather was perfect for chasing down the canny fish that thronged the Mediterranean. After spotting a choice bluefin the sea god had set off in hot pursuit, Delphinus in his wake.

The bluefin had lured them on a merry chase before diving down into a thick knot of seaweed. Poseidon and Delphinus had followed, swimming straight into a small coral grotto thickly carpeted with lichen, seaweed, and sponges. The plant life had cushioned their abrupt stop, but neither god nor dolphin had noticed the enchanted net lining the walls until it snapped closed behind them. “You didn’t say it was leading us into a trap.”

“Why yes, this is true,” Delphinus said, rolling his eyes. “I humbly beg your pardon for not having godly senses that are supposed to detect magic nets like this one, lord. I’ll work on that in the future.”

Ignoring the cetacean sarcasm, Poseidon poked a finger into the gleaming net. It had only contracted at the entrance to the grotto, giving them more than enough room to move. But the silvery net wouldn’t tear, no matter how hard he pulled on it. Using the sharp tines of his trident to rip at the deceptively fragile strands had the same result. Whoever had created this cage was a clever being indeed.

And as soon as I get out of it, Poseidon thought grimly, I’m going to track down that clever being and beat him bloody.

“Problems?”

Both Poseidon and Delphinus startled, turning towards the figure that was now hovering just outside the grotto’s entrance.

“Amphitrite?” Poseidon said, drifting closer. “What are you doing here?”

“Waiting for you,” the Nereid said, tucking a lock of dark hair behind one ear. She wore a clinging wisp of fabric that did nothing to hide her feminine curves, and her eyes were bright in a preternaturally lovely face. “Took you long enough to stumble into my trap, sea lord. I’m going to have to feed that bluefin for weeks, now.”

Delphinus muttered something uncomplimentary at that, and Poseidon glared at both of them. “Is this because I broke things off with Thetis?” he asked, annoyed. “I assure you I meant no insult to your sister, but I cannot marry her—”

Amphitrite held up a slender hand. “Because of the prophecy about her son overthrowing his father. I know. This has nothing to do with Thetis.”

That gave Poseidon pause. Brows furrowed, he studied the beautiful sea nymph floating outside his prison. Her father Nereus was a primal sea god, and he and his fifty daughters were allies of the Olympian Gods. Poseidon had considered himself a welcome presence among them.

Until now, that is. “If this isn’t about Thetis, then what is it about?” he said.

Amphitrite pursed her lips thoughtfully. “Two things. I wanted to ask you a question. And I want something from you.”

Poseidon kicked closer, curling his fingers into the silvery netting. “Locking me in a bespelled net isn’t making me feel forthcoming or generous, Nereid,” he growled.

She seemed impervious to his irritation. “I’m aware of that. But the last time I tried to talk to you in private, Thetis swooped in before I got the chance. The next thing I knew, the two of you were engaged.” Amphitrite tilted her head to the side, giving him an impish look. “I didn’t want that to happen again. Thus, the net.”

Poseidon tugged again on the strands, to no effect. She had obviously gone to some lengths in order to capture him. In a strange way, he supposed he should be flattered. “All right, you have my attention,” he said, giving her an imperious look. “What is your question?”

“Why did you court Thetis instead of me?”

That was not a question he had expected. Recovering, he said, “I needed a consort. Thetis was not only beautiful and accomplished, but she was also the eldest daughter of one of my strongest allies. I thought she would suit the role well.”

Amphitrite’s eyes narrowed. “And I wouldn’t?”

“I didn’t say that.”

“But you never considered me for the role of consort.”

Poseidon considered his delicate cage. Eventually someone would notice he was missing and come in search of him, and it wasn’t as if he could drown or starve. Best to tell the nymph the truth, harsh as it might be. “Actually, I did,” he said. “But Thetis struck me as more … biddable.”

Amphitrite snorted, silver bubbles streaming from her nose. “You obviously don’t know my sister all that well,” she said. “I’m aware she’s known as Thetis the Kind, but the last part is something of a misnomer.”

Poseidon remembered the unpleasant scene in Nereus’s private garden when he’d returned his Nereid’s Band to Thetis, explaining why he was breaking their engagement. She had flung the heavy silver bracelet at his head, screeching imprecations at him until he’d fled. “As I’ve discovered. Whereas you are known as Amphitrite the Wise.” He plucked a strand of the net meaningfully. “A wise woman wouldn’t trap a god in something as flimsy as a net.”

Amphitrite folded her arms across what he had to admit was a rather luscious cleavage. “She would if it was the only way of learning the truth. So you have no interest in me whatsoever.”

Poseidon sighed, blinking against the rush of bubbles. “I didn’t say that either. You’re lovely, and obviously you’re extremely clever. But you’re also very strong-willed, and I’ve heard tales of your skill with weaponry. The god who marries you will not have a quiet marriage.”

He had thought she would be offended at his assessment. Instead, she dimpled. “Is that truly such a bad thing, sea lord?” she said. “A pretty bedmate who will adorn your home is all well and good, but wouldn’t it be better to have a strong consort who will fight at your side and give you able children?”

Poseidon went very still. “And who will I be fighting, Amphitrite?”

Her dimples disappeared. “I’ve served at my father’s table far too long not to know of your struggles with the Titans,” she said, her tone serious. “You and your brothers and sisters will not be able to co-exist for much longer with Kronos and his ilk. Eventually, you will be forced to fight them for dominion. When that happens, I would prefer to be by your side, as I have fought by my father’s side.” She bit her lower lip. “I admit, sea lord, I do not wish to watch you die at the hands of the Titans.”

“I … see.” Poseidon had assumed that her earlier attentiveness during his visits was due to his status as guest and God of the Sea. Apparently he had been wrong.

He quickly reassessed his opinion of the Nereid. True, Thetis had seemed sweeter and more pliable than her headstrong younger sister. But Amphitrite demonstrated a loyalty and strength of character that would serve better in a consort.

And Gaia, she was lovely. “I had no idea you felt this way about me, Amphitrite. I wish you’d said something earlier.”

One corner of her mouth curved upwards. “As I already said, I tried. But Thetis got to you first.”

“But she doesn’t have me any longer.”

“No, she doesn’t.” Amphitrite smiled. “Which leads me to my second item.”

Poseidon realized he’d never seen Nereus’s second daughter truly smile before. Her glorious sunburst of an expression made him feel as if a bolt of his brother’s lightning had pierced his heart. “Yes, you want something from me,” he said, unable not to smile back. “You don’t strike me as the type to ask for trinkets like pearls or jewelry. Do you want a trident of your own? A chariot? Or perhaps an island to rule as queen? I suspect you’d do well with that.”

The Nereid laughed softly. “Nothing as complicated as all that. I want a kiss.”


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Deep Water is now available

DeepWaterHear ye, hear ye, Olympic Cove fans! Deep Water (Olympic Cove Book 3) is now available from Evernight Publishing and Amazon. It should be available at All Romance eBooks and Bookstrand by Wednesday and I’ll post links here as soon as I get them.

Poseidon, God of the Sea, has spent millennia alone due to a single terrible act. His consort Amphitrite has sworn never to forgive him, and he’s forced to live with the knowledge that he drove an innocent girl to her doom.

But when one of the Olympic Cove cottages gets an occupant with an all-too-familiar soul, Poseidon discovers that the Fates have given him a second chance. Now he must try to right the wrongs of the past and win back both his beloved consort and the mate he betrayed.

Assuming, of course, that the Mad Nereid Thetis doesn’t interfere…

But that’s not all! This Friday evening L.D. Blakeley and I are throwing a Sweet Sizzling Reads Release Party at Facebook from 6 to 9 PM Eastern Summer Time to celebrate our respective new releases. There will be much fun and frivolity, plus we’ll be giving way Amazon and Evernight Publishing gift cards, nifty author swag, and custom jewelry throughout the party, so make sure you stop by.

Mid Week Tease: Behind the Iron Cross #MidWeekTease #MWTease

MWTease15It’s Wednesday? Well, we all know what that means! Courtesy of the lovely and talented Sandra Bunino, I’m sharing another teaser from Behind the Iron Cross, my delightfully kinky historical MMF romance set in 1923 Berlin. Here’s a flashback sequence where an 18-year-old Kat learns what her uncle’s Parisian friend Giselle really does.

Enjoy, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!

In the aftermath of World War I, Berlin has become a hotspot of decadent pleasures, and American millionairess Kat Tracy is determined to enjoy each and every one of them with Sam Hellman, her late brother’s lover and her convenient “fiancé.” But when the two of them meet Friedrich von Bader, a former German Army officer turned reluctant prostitute, their wicked games take on a new meaning.

BtIC_coverNaNoDinner had been just as splendid as predicted, and Giselle had promised to take Katherine out at some point for tea and shopping. But Uncle William had run into some company owners at dinner and was inveigled into an impromptu business lunch the next day. Bart had slipped out of the hotel at a ridiculously early hour (or simply hadn’t come back in the first place, Katherine guessed). Her lady’s maid/chaperone Alice was pleasant enough (a huge improvement on the unfortunate Jane), but the poor woman was also a martyr to migraines. One of the dreadful headaches had struck just that morning, and Katherine had insisted that Alice go lie down in her room with a damp rag over her eyes until the dratted thing had run its course.

Which left Katherine at loose ends. She mused over the idea of visiting Notre Dame or the Louvre, but neither idea held much appeal. It wasn’t until she found one of Giselle’s letters in her trunk that a wonderful idea came to her.

It had been even easier than she’d thought. The doorman of the hotel had been more than happy to summon a large black taxi cab for her, giving the address in the ninth arrondissement to the crabbed driver. Feeling wonderfully daring, Katherine had made sure to tip the doorman, and the driver when he finally pulled up in front of the beautiful cream stone building with green shutters and black ironwork balconies full of greenery.

Surely visiting times in Paris didn’t differ that much from Bridgeport, Katherine reasoned as she went up to the large green door with its immaculate paint and gleaming brass trim. And Giselle had invited her out, after all. If the Parisian woman was otherwise occupied, the arrondissement’s collection of shops and galleries looked intriguing enough for an afternoon’s browse.

The door opened, revealing a maid in the classic black French uniform. She gave Katherine an oddly bold look, scrutinizing her from head to foot. “May I help you?”

“I’m here to see Madame Giselle, if she’s available.” Katherine held up the envelope with Giselle’s address on it in lieu of a calling card.

The maid smiled, her manner relaxing a bit. “You must be the new girl. Come in. But make sure you use the rear entrance from now on.”

Katherine frowned. The new girl?

Before she could say anything the maid stepped back, waving her through into a pretty little foyer tiled with a black and white chessboard floor and decorated with a huge arrangement of fresh flowers on a polished wooden table. The delicious scent of the flowers perfumed the air, but Katherine barely had time to appreciate it as the maid turned on her heel and headed up a flight of wide marble stairs. She had to hurry to keep up, grabbing her skirts as gracefully as possible and lifting them as she followed the maid to the second floor.

“Excuse me, I think I should explain—” Katherine tried to say as the maid stopped in front of a polished oak door.

“No need,” the maid said cheerfully. “Madame Giselle pays me very well. What happens here is no business of mine.”

Katherine tried to make sense of the words as the maid swung the door open, ushered Katherine into a little office that overlooked the boulevard. “Madame is busy with a client at the moment, but I’ll tell her you’re here as soon as they’re finished.” With a nod, she closed the door.

Boggled, Katherine turned in a circle to study the room. It held the unmistakable stamp of Giselle’s taste, from the comfortably upholstered green velvet chair behind the Louis XIV desk to the Tiffany lamps that would light the room at night. What it didn’t hold was an answer to the maid’s nonsensical phrases.

Madame is busy with a client. Katherine had assumed that Giselle, who always wore the most stylish gowns in a variety of greys and blacks, was a rich widow of one of Uncle William’s business partners. Now, however, she realized that she didn’t know very much about the elegant Parisian woman at all. Perhaps she teaches piano, or is a singing teacher. With Giselle’s warm honey voice, Katherine could easily imagine her as a retired opera singer who only took the most promising pupils. Did she think that we would look down on her for being an instructor? I can’t think of anything more wonderful and romantic than being an opera singer.

A muted sound, almost a cry, came from the far end of the office. Curious, Katherine headed there, studying the bookcases that lined the wall. After a moment she puzzled out that the central bookcase was actually a door painted to match the bookcases on either side. At eye level was a little circular flap attached to a small screw.

A brief touch revealed that the flap swiveled up, revealing a peephole. Katherine put her eye to it.

And gasped.


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Mid Week Tease: Behind the Iron Cross #MidWeekTease #MWTease

Guess what? I’m not posting anything from Behind the Iron Cross this week! I know, I know, but it’s because I’m deep in edits for Deep Water and I decided I wanted to mix things up a little bit. So here’s a tease from a WIP I’m calling Pharaoh’s Desire, in which hunky grad student Kellen Fox accidentally summons a time-traveling pharaoh and his queen and winds up being pressed into personal service between the pair. In this scene, Kel thinks he’s hallucinating, but Pharaoh Senekenre is about to set his mind straight (so to speak) about that.

Enjoy, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!

Mid Week Tease button“I know this is going to be a weird question, but has anyone ever told you that you look exactly like Pharaoh Senekenre?” Kel said.

The man smiled. “Well, yes, seeing as I am Pharaoh Senekenre.” His smile widened, becoming a thing of sexy delight. “Who did you think I was, young scholar?”

Kel found himself grinning back at the handsome man. “Well, a hallucination, to be honest. So you’re telling me you’re Senekenre. Fourteenth king of the 17th Dynasty. You’re a genuine Egyptian Pharaoh, and you’re standing in front of me. Alive.”

Something flickered in Sekenenre’s eyes, sharpening them. He gazed around the chamber, finally spotting the deconstructed bed, and went pale under the bronze tan. “Gods above and below,” he whispered. “It worked?”

“What worked?”

The pharaoh spun back to Kel. “Amhemet’s plan,” he said, fear and excitement warring in his expression. “Have I traveled to the future as he promised?”

Kel blinked. “Uh…”

“He said he would use his magic to send us to another time for a single night.” Senekenre stepped to the display case holding the hematite scarab, pressing his palm against the glass. “It was the only way to secure a future for my queen and myself. He said that when the right man found the spell and invoked it, the bridge would be formed, and we would be transported.”

The words hidden inside the scarab blazed through Kel’s mind. Amhemnet, first advisor to Pharaoh Senekenre, calls on you, O Ra. Help me build a bridge for Pharaoh and his Queen.

His brain blipped into neutral for a moment. “Wait. You’re telling me this Amhemnet guy used magic to send you to another time? To this time?” he managed.

“Yes, thanks to you. I take it you invoked the spell?”

“If you mean I read it out loud, yeah. I didn’t know it was a spell.” Swallowing hard, Kel forced himself to reach out and touch Senekenre’s arm. It was warm under his fingertips. “Oh, shit,” he whispered. “I’m not hallucinating. You’re real. You’re really here!”

“Yes, I know.” Senekenre came closer, stopping just a foot away from Kel. At this distance, Kel could see the dark five o’clock shadow under the other man’s tan skin, and Senekenre’s thick, sooty eyelashes. “You thought I was a dream, young scholar?”

“Uh, yeah.” The logical part of Kel’s brain screamed at him to step back, get the hell away from the exhibit space and its time-traveling visitor. The rest of his brain just wanted to ogle Senekenre’s broad shoulders, cut abs, and sleekly muscled legs. The man wasn’t bulked out like a gym rat, but he was definitely in prime condition. “I mean, we don’t get a lot of visitors from the 17th Dynasty, you know?” He winced at how idiotic he sounded. “I’m sorry. This is all a big shock to me. Could we start over again, sir? Sire? Your majesty?”

“Sire will do, young scholar.” Senekenre’s head tilted to one side, openly considering him. “But what land is this, that produces such beautiful men?”

Aaaand the long-dead pharaoh is flirting with me. Holy shit. Kel couldn’t remember anything in the research materials about Senekenre being gay or bi. But that didn’t make it impossible, either. His pulse sped up at the pharaoh’s jaw-droppingly sexy smile. “Uh, you’re in the United States of America, sire. It’s a country far to the west of your kingdom, across a large ocean. It didn’t exist in your time.”

“Oh. And are all the men here like you?” Senekenre said, stepping closer. He reached out to stroke the line of Kel’s jaw. “Such pure, smooth skin, and your hair, the color of a winter sunset. If you were of my time, I would make you a member of my court, simply so that I could look upon you every day.”

Kel licked dry lips, willing his cock to behave itself. “Just look?”

Senekenre smiled. “Hmm. Perhaps … kiss?” He leaned forward, brushing his soft full lips against Kel’s.

Oh, holy God, yes. Kel relaxed, letting himself sink into the kiss. The pharaoh’s lips were masculine, but full and very warm. Senekenre’s tongue slipped between his lips and he met it eagerly, licking and teasing. Senekenre devoured him in return, sending shocks of need along Kel’s nerves and straight to his groin. His arms slid around the pharaoh’s waist, fingers playing along the hard, ridged small of Senekenre’s back.

They both pulled back at the same time, panting and grinning. “Wow,” Kel said. “If that’s how royals kiss, I can understand the interest in William and Harry.”

“Who?”

“Never mind.” He dove back in, sucking one firm, full lip between his own, then the other. The pharaoh chuckled against his mouth, tongue darting in and out in an achingly sensual tease. One hand came to rest on Kel’s chest, then trailed down his body, brushing against his hardening cock.

Kel gasped softly, twitching. “Oh.”

Senekenre made an approving noise. “You like that, I take it?”

“Oh, yeah.”

“Good. I have never seen this type of clothing before. How does it come off?”


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Mid Week Tease: Behind the Iron Cross #MidWeekTease #MWTease

MWTease15It’s Wednesday? Well, we all know what that means! Courtesy of the lovely and talented Sandra Bunino, I’m sharing another teaser from Behind the Iron Cross, my delightfully kinky historical MMF romance set in 1923 Berlin. Yay — sex!

Enjoy, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!

In the aftermath of World War I, Berlin has become a hotspot of decadent pleasures, and American millionairess Kat Tracy is determined to enjoy each and every one of them with Sam Hellman, her late brother’s lover and her convenient “fiancé.” But when the two of them meet Friedrich von Bader, a former German Army officer turned reluctant prostitute, their wicked games take on a new meaning.

BtIC_coverNaNoThe Fräulein wiggled past him and sat, hands resting on the chair arms. She’d taken off her tailored suit in the bathroom, and was only wearing a grey silk chemise now. He could smell her perfume and the scent of her skin, and a hint of something warmer, more intoxicating underneath.

She peered down at him, bistre eyes revealing nothing. “Have you ever kissed a woman between her legs, colonel?”

The idea was dizzying. “No,” he confessed.

“Good. I can teach you the proper way to do it, then.” Her hands moved to her lap, sliding the grey silk up her thighs in a slow, teasing movement, like a curtain rising. His mouth went dry when he saw the tops of her stockings and the black satin garters revealed, and then the dark curls he’d fantasized about.

She spread her thighs, revealing the glistening flesh there. The warm scent intensified, wafting into his brain and lighting it up with desire. “Isn’t it pretty?” she murmured, running a slender finger down and up the dark pink lips, catching on the tiny nub that crowned them. She rolled her fingertip around it, humming at the sensation. “Oh, that feels so nice. I want you to kiss me here, on my clit.”

She eased closer and he stretched until he could feel her heat on his lips, smell that rich, earthy scent that was the core of a woman. Hesitantly, he brushed a kiss over the tiny nub, catching it between his lips a little and dragging them across it. A louder hum was his reward.

“Do that again,” she purred, “then lick it.”

He followed her orders, surprised at the salt-sweet flavor of her. He tried running the flat of his tongue across the nub, flicking it with the tip of his tongue. This time, she gasped.

“Initiative. I like that,” she laughed. The instructions continued; mouth the supple outer lips, tease the delicate frilled inner lips with little sucking nibbles, slip his tongue deep inside her and press hard against the upper wall. He did it all, feeling his face grow wet with her juices as he licked, sucked, and kissed her.

He returned to her clit, stroking it now with his tongue and listening to her little encouraging whimpers and moans. He almost gasped into her when a warm, wet finger stroked between the cheeks of his ass, carefully pressing against the furled muscle there until it was allowed in.


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Mid Week Tease: Behind the Iron Cross #MidWeekTease #MWTease

Courtesy of the lovely and talented Sandra Bunino, I’m sharing another teaser from Behind the Iron Cross, my delightfully kinky historical MMF romance set in 1923 Berlin. There’s no sex in this one, but we do get to see a peek into Kat’s kinky past.

Enjoy, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!

MWTease15In the aftermath of World War I, Berlin has become a hotspot of decadent pleasures, and American millionairess Kat Tracy is determined to enjoy each and every one of them with Sam Hellman, her late brother’s lover and her convenient “fiancé.” But when the two of them meet Friedrich von Bader, a former German Army officer turned reluctant prostitute, their wicked games take on a new meaning.

Kat leaned back in her chair, keeping her expression as bland as any of the men seated around the table. Inside, though, she was triumphant.

The meeting with Tracy Electrics’ latest acquisition, Borchard Maschinenfabrik, had gone like clockwork. The company’s board, none of them fools, had seen the wisdom of accepting the buyout proposal that would save their crumbling company. One of them, a Heinrich Arnö, wasn’t present but the other members assured her that his vote would be the same as theirs.

Next to her, Arthur made a few last notes in his files, before closing the folder with a snap. “We’ll have the papers drawn up and messengered over to your office this afternoon, gentlemen,” he announced, getting to his feet. “Tracy Electrics looks forward to working with your company.”

The other men followed him with some alacrity, and Kat made sure that she was the last to rise. She’d taken the colonel’s advice this morning, selecting a smart jacket in a quasi-military cut this morning and pairing it with an equally smart dress in dark grey. The reaction from the board members had been subtle but noticeable, reacting less to her as a woman and more as a potential business partner.

Even Arthur had given her a thin, approving smile when he saw her, and now he leaned closer as the other men moved out of the conference room. “I hope you have more outfits like this one,” he murmured.

She pursed her lips to hide a smile. “I will by tomorrow.”

“Good. Not that I don’t like your other frocks, but this one is more…”

“Authoritative?”

“Very much so.”

The board members who had filed out of the conference room ahead of them were gathered in groups of two and three, quietly talking amongst themselves. Kat gave them polite nods as she and Arthur passed. Ahead of her, flanked by two of the older board members, she spotted a tall, handsome man in his late forties. Grey streaked his temples, giving him a wonderful gravitas that was tempered by the amused gleam in his hazel eyes.

They focused on her now, widening. “Fräulein…Tracy?” he said, stumbling a bit over her last name.

Kat’s heart leapt as she recognized him. Heinrich, her first pet, from that wonderful week in Paris when Madame Giselle had helped her explore her desires. One week of rigorous, intense, absolutely delicious training in the art of dominating a man, before Uncle William had spoiled it all and whisked her back to Bridgeport.

It was hardly surprising that Heinrich had hesitated on the Tracy. The last time they met, he’d known her only as Maîtresse. And to be honest, she wasn’t even sure if Heinrich was his real first name, either.

Taking a deep breath, she came forward. “I am. And you are?”

He gave her a little bow. “Heinrich Arnö, fräulein. You have my apologies for missing the meeting. My auto decided to pick this morning to be recalcitrant, and then there was an accident that required my driver to reroute us along a rather convoluted path.”

“Quite understandable, Herr Arnö.” She forced herself to calm, to treat the man standing before her as if he was yet another business partner. “We’ve concluded our business and will be sending the acquisition papers to your headquarters this afternoon. The other board members gave us the impression that you would be in agreement about this.”

Heinrich’s gaze sharpened, but never lost their humor. “Quite so. I’m not so foolish as to pretend that we don’t need Tracy Electrics.”

The double meaning of his words weren’t lost on her. “It will be Tracy Electrics’ honor to work with your company and help restore it to its former capacity,” she said sweetly. “Would you care to review the agreement while you’re here?”

“If that wouldn’t be too much of a bother.”

“Not at all. Arthur, I’ll speak to Mr. Arnö in the conference room.”

“Of course, Miss Tracy. I’ll have Horst bring the car around,” Arthur said, handing her his files with full deference. His body language said something else again.

Folder in hand, she waited for Heinrich to open the conference door for her. As soon as it was safely closed she leaned against the large oak table, considering him. “So Heinrich really is your first name?”

“Yes it is, Maîtresse.” He clasped his hands behind his back as she’d taught him in Paris so long ago. “I apologize for not kneeling, but there’s no lock on the door.”

“That’s all right. I have no wish to embarrass you. The years have been good to you, pet.”

Color rose in his cheeks, and his eyes twinkled. “They haven’t done a thing to you except enhance your beauty, Maîtresse. I’m very happy to see you again.”

“I’m happy to see you as well.” The thing that had pricked her conscience for so many years surfaced. “Did Madame Giselle explain why I left so suddenly?”

He sobered. “She said it was a family issue and you wouldn’t be able to return to Paris. I was…disappointed. But she said you’d had no choice in the matter.”

“I didn’t. But I apologize anyway. If it had been up to me I wouldn’t have left you like that with no word of explanation.” She moved closer, holding out one hand. He took it with reverence, bringing it to his mouth and laying a respectful kiss over the knuckles.


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Mid Week Tease: Behind the Iron Cross #MidWeekTease #MWTease

Mid Week Tease buttonCourtesy of the lovely and talented Sandra Bunino, I’m sharing another teaser from Behind the Iron Cross, my rather dark and delicious historical MMF romance set in 1923 Berlin. This teaser takes place during a masked ball with a Roman orgy theme, as Friedrich learns he’s been played for a patsy by his former commanding officer Hauptmann.

Enjoy, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!

In the aftermath of World War I, Berlin has become a hotspot of decadent pleasures, and American millionairess Kat Tracy is determined to enjoy each and every one of them with Sam Hellman, her late brother’s lover and her convenient “fiancé.” But when the two of them meet Friedrich von Bader, a former German Army officer turned reluctant prostitute, their wicked games take on a new meaning.

BtIC_coverNaNoFriedrich glanced into the grotto, then did a double-take. Inside, dressed in a Roman toga that Caesar himself would envy, was Hauptmann, sitting next to the American businessman. They laughed over drinks, all the while caressing what he could only assume were three whores dressed in flimsy tunics and vaguely Roman hairstyles, all piled curls and wrapped ribbons.

“Come on.”

He felt Sam’s hand on his arm and let himself be tugged away, back to their grotto. Sam plopped down next to the Fräulein, managing not to spill a drop of their drinks. “Guess who’s here tonight?” he said.

She rolled her eyes. “Darling, half of Berlin is here tonight. You’re going to have to be a bit more specific.”

“You’re right. Guess who’s here tonight whose head you’d really like to see on a pike?”

Her expression dimmed. “Brayburn?”

Sam grimaced. “The one and only. Looks like he’s entertaining, too. Some big blond with one of those military mustaches.”

The Fräulein put down her drink. “Going grey at the temples?” she asked. “With a small scar on his right cheek?”

“Yes, that’s the man,” Sam said, puzzled. “You know him?”

She shook her head. “Arthur warned me about him,” she said. “His name is Gerhard Hauptmann. He was a German army general until he got cashiered for almost beating a corporal to death. According to Arthur, he’s become quite the eminence grise for the Black Arrow — taught them military tactics for fighting the other gangs, how to rig an ambush, things like that.”

And just like that, time stopped, trapping Friedrich in a clear block of ice that froze him to the marrow. The Black Arrow, the gang that Oskar had worked for. The one that had killed Oskar, raped Lilli, caused Rudi’s premature birth.

His stomach turned over. And he had been working for them through the good graces of former General Gerhard Hauptmann. Oh, Christ, no. Please, no.

He dredged up saliva, make himself ask, “How long has Hauptmann worked for the Black Arrow?”

The Fräulein glanced at him. “For well over a year, now, according to Arthur. Brayburn supposedly hired him as a sort of local guide, but Arthur thinks Hauptmann’s been using his gang connections to bully various executives into signing their companies over to Brayburn.”

Friedrich realized he’d folded his fingers around the edge of the tiny table, gripping it until his knuckles whitened. The Fräulein’s warm hand covered one of his, bringing him back. “Colonel, what’s wrong? Do you know this man?”

His emotions were a whirlwind, impossible to explain and colored now with a rising red film of purest rage. He shook his head, sucking in a deep breath. “I — please excuse me, Fräulein.”

He stood and lurched out of the grotto, ignoring their questions. Fury pounded in his head, driving him through the decadent crowd. He wanted to find Hauptmann, strangle the traitorous bastard with his own hands, rip his throat out of what he’d done to Oskar and Lilli. What he’d persuaded Friedrich to do.

Oh, you stupid bastard. And you believed him, and you gave him everything he wanted.

As he approached the Brayburn grotto, he could only see the American businessman and his whores lounging on the purple couches there. Friedrich turned, pushing through the heaving throng, scanning for his prey. Ahead, he saw a familiar head disappear into a door labeled HERREN.

He followed.


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