Some Write It Hot

January 3, 2011

A Taste of Scarlet–Coming Soon! by Evanne Lorraine

A Taste of Scarlet releases soon from Loose Id! Just for Some Write It Hot fans here’s an excerpt from chapter one:

With the right players even the most mundane chore takes on new excitement. Scarlet ran to the store for a few essentials and….

On any other night, she would have tucked her dormant tail between her legs and run back through the woods all the way to the safety of the old house. But not tonight. How could she track the whisperer if she was too cowardly even to buy groceries?

Her arm trembled as she reached for the handle. No cringing, she reminded herself firmly. She was on a mission. Wimping out at the first sign of an Alpha wouldn’t cut it. She wasn’t a submissive Beta, and even a flawed Omega did not cower. Besides, she was still in charge, not her inner bitch. Nothing would ever change unless Scarlet took action.

Abruptly she pushed into the store. Grabbing a basket, she scurried toward the dairy section clear in the back.
She spotted the Alpha instantly. Aggression rolled off shoulders big enough to block the coming moonlight. Even in human form, he prowled toward her — a powerful male in his prime, pure lethal poetry in motion, and scary as hell.

As Scarlet fought to hold her ground, she felt her inner wolf hum for the first time in a decade. Her breath caught; she was afraid to breathe, afraid to believe. She’d endured so many treatments, sessions with the visiting Omega, meetings with Alphas to overcome her phobia of the dominant males, but nothing had worked to restore her damaged connection to her inner Omega bitch.

Hope beat wildly at her Omega’s gentle but unmistakable nudge toward the Alpha, infusing Scarlet with badly needed courage. Perhaps the connection wasn’t as damaged as she and the pack had believed. The link responding so soon made her impulsive trip to the mountains seem more like a valid inspiration and less like a desperate chase after myths.

Her wolf’s message came through loud and clear: this Alpha was different. In a good way?

Gradually her heart rate slowed to something almost normal, her knees firmed, and she took a step forward. Alpha or not, her wolf had responded to him, and that was all that mattered.

Suddenly she couldn’t look directly at him. A weird tingling washed over her skin. If she’d been wearing fur, it would have fluffed. In challenge or dare, she wondered. Definitely not in terror, which was freakily strange for her.

Determined and more than a little curious, she braved another step.

As he came closer, she forced herself to meet his gaze. Instantly his dark gray eyes pinned her in place.

She quickly dropped her focus to the floor, quivering with tension, but she didn’t panic. Her inner bitch made a throaty sound of approval. The sudden urge to grovel and show him her throat washed over her, making staying upright a challenge.

When she darted another look, he’d halved the distance separating them. He stopped, glanced down at his hip, and glared at an insistent buzz from his pager. A deep rumble of irritation issued from his throat. The sound was so loud, she could’ve sworn it shook the pyramid display of microwave popcorn on his left.

Once again, she sensed his focus locking on her.

“Stay,” he growled at her. Then he whirled and strode off, disappearing down the soups and spices aisle.

Read more about my dangerously sexy stories at Evanne Lorraine

December 29, 2010

All Things Being Equal by DH Starr

Filed under: Writing life — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
Tags: , , , ,

With so many options out there, it can become daunting to decide where to buy your books. Amazon.com is like a huge conglomerate and tends to be the first place people think of. For those of us in the romance community, places like allromanceebooks.com and a few other places are huge resellers. It seems, in all of the different venues where you can purchase books, the one place that gets marginalized is the actual publishing houses themselves.

Here’s a little information from an author’s perspective just to help you when deciding where to buy your books. Please keep in mind that I subscribe to purchasing books at the best deal. We are in hard economic times and you should be able to spend less to get what you want, so if a book costs less in one place rather than another, definitely go for the less expensive copy. From time to time, various publishers and resellers offer deals or discounts which will help you to get a greater value for the money your spend. But, with all things being equal, it is better for the authors and the publishers if you buy at the publishing house.

Take a book that costs $8 and a royalty contract that splits 50-50 between the author and the publisher. That 50-50 ratio is applied based on profit to the publishing house. If you buy through the publisher, all of the money is profit. When publishing houses sell their books through other venues like amazon.com (these are called resellers), the reseller keeps a percentage of the sales. Let’s say a reseller keeps 25% of the sales and pays 75% to the publishing house. The profit earned on an $8 book is reduced to $6 which means that the publisher makes $3 and the author makes $3 for that sale instead of $4 each.

As you compare the prices of the books you purchase, consider where your money is going. First and foremost, find the best deal for yourself, but with all things being equal, buying at the publishing houses helps authors and publishers more.

December 20, 2010

Free Read: Gato Negro by Ali Katz Chapter 2

Filed under: Free read — practicalkatz @ 04:00
Tags: , , ,

The continuing saga, Gato Negro Chapter Two, as promised. I hope you’re enjoying the read. If you need to catch up, you can read Chapter 1 on my blog.

Of course, if you just can’t wait for the next installment, Gato Negro is available for Kindle at Amazon.com and for other readers, in .epub format, at Goodreads.   You can always download the book, and the beautiful cover art by Stella Price. Sorry, they wouldn’t let me price it any lower than ninety-nine cents.

Dos

Despite his intention to avoid the woman, Carlos’s gaze settled on her the moment he crossed the tree line into the compound.

Six sat at the table–two women, four men, all young–eating breakfast and talking softly, their voices barely audible over the constant, annoying hum of the generator doing battle with the birds. Only the fairest of the men paid her special attention, casting moony-eyed glances her way. Carlos found himself taking the blond’s measure as a low growl formed. The growl died in his throat. The boy represented no threat. Off in her own world, his hummingbird didn’t appear to care he existed.

Perhaps coming here this morning was more mistake than he feared if his self-control teetered so precariously.

Seeing her in the flesh, the pull grew undeniable. Enough light filtered into the clearing to allow his human eyes a clearer picture of her earthy beauty. Her hair wasn’t black, as the cat had perceived, but the color of rich, dark chocolate. She wore it free this morning. Out of the braid, it hung almost to her hips, thick and wavy, inviting fingers to play. Her eyes shone as black as he anticipated, beautiful and mysterious beneath her dark brows. Right now, they focused on some faraway place, perhaps a land of fantasy where lovers came in many shapes.

More likely thoughts of a lover left behind inspired the scent that drifted across the yard to fill his head.

She smelled of arousal. The dream came to mind in a flash no less vivid than the dream itself. If he hadn’t awakened this morning in a puddle of semen, he might have sworn some demon had brought them together. At all costs, he must take care to hide his response in her presence, to avoid recalling her sweet taste on his tongue.

“Elizandro, my God, man. Where the hell have you been?” Carter, the station’s manager and expert on epiphytes, came out of the main building trailed by his wife and Antonio Alvarez, the resident local ecologist. Seeing Antonio, some of Carlos’s anxiety over his long absence dissolved. As a native, Antonio understood the complex ecosystems in the preserve far better than any outsider did. He was a strong defender of the forest, and Carlos trusted him implicitly.

“South, working a new territory,” Carlos said. His mind bent around the task of choosing unpracticed words while keeping his answers vague. He tried to keep his comings and goings as understated as possible. “Has it been so long?”

“Must be three years,” Antonio said, coming up to grab his shoulders in an intimate gesture of friendship. “¿Como estás, amigo?

Bueno, Tony. Muy bueno. How is your family?”

“Growing,” Carter answered for him with a grin. “His third is on the way–which makes your arrival perfectly timed. Are you looking for work, man? We could use you for a couple of months. We’ve got six new grad students and he wants paternity leave.”

“Congratulations.” Apparently, human men had grown a new interest in their progeny. Or Antonio wanted time off. His gaze drifted again to the woman. She listened to something her friend said, then glanced his way, studying him with apparent interest.

“I’ve got some time,” he said without a thought to the caution he’d promised himself.

“Join us for breakfast. I’ll introduce you and then we can talk.”

* * * *

“Beth, are you paying any attention?” Kate poked at her arm, bringing Beth out of her reverie.

The graphic dream had left her dazed. She’d actually checked under her hammock this morning for evidence of her dream lover. Thank God she found none.

“What’s up?” she asked, somewhat annoyed at the intrusion.

Kate nodded her head in the direction of the main building. Carter and Antonio stood talking to a stranger.

“He keeps checking you out,” Kate said.

“And?”

“And, look again. The man belongs on the cover of a romance novel.”

On closer inspection, Beth agreed; he was checking her out. The discovery inspired a rush of interest. Dark-haired, broad-shouldered, tall, his shadowed brow hid his eyes from this distance, but the chiseled angle of his jaw, the prominent cheekbones, exuded masculinity. The dream came to mind. Heat rose to her face. She had to turn away, hoping he didn’t notice.

“They’re coming this way,” Kate whispered.

Beth busied herself with her breakfast to avoid looking at the three men as they settled at the other end of the long table. Mrs. Carter came out balancing three plates of food and a second pot of coffee. Once the men were served, Carter clinked a fork against the side of his coffee cup to get their attention.

“Kids, this is Carlos Elizandro, the ranger in this part of the forest. He’s pretty autonomous since he covers a huge territory. We haven’t seen him in a few years, so he’s going to make up for his neglect by giving us a couple of months. He’ll be your guide until Antonio gets back. Introduce yourselves when you get a chance. Beth, Kate, Richard, Sam, I’m hoping to send you out to do some collecting as soon as Carlos and I get everything settled–maybe as early as tomorrow.”

At last, Beth had a legitimate reason to look. When he turned his gaze in her direction, the breath caught in her throat. She’d expected dark eyes, but his were light, hazel, almost golden. Her heart skipped a beat.

“This is Beth,” Kate said boldly. “I’m Kate. Richard, Sam, David, Jean-Paul, all accounted for. We’re glad to have you, Carlos.”

Carlos smiled shyly at them all. Beth put his age at about thirty–young to be responsible for what amounted to a section of wilderness half the size of Rhode Island, most accessible only on foot.

“How well do you know the area?” Beth asked. He couldn’t have been at the job long.

“Well enough,” he said, eyeing his plate as if he hadn’t eaten in a week.

Avoiding me? Of course, he might just be very shy. Which has its own appeal, she thought, lips curled into a grin.

“No worry, Beth,” Antonio said. “Carlos knows this jungle better than anyone. I wouldn’t leave you in any but the most capable hands. Carlos, Beth had an encounter with a jaguar the other day at Rio Sardinal.”

Carlos glanced up, expectantly. The hazel eyes were disconcerting on someone so dark.

“Melanistic,” she said, ill at ease, “young, watching from the tree line.” Antonio would bring up the cat.

His scrutiny made her squirm. “I know this cat. He is shy of people–not dangerous. Still, fortunate for you he wasn’t hungry.”

Beth nodded, praying he didn’t question her further. She couldn’t take much more of that intense regard without melting to her seat.

Sitting back with her coffee, she held her other questions and left them alone to eat their now-cold breakfast. Her gaze kept returning to Carlos. More often than not, he was glancing her way out of the corners of his eyes while savoring each bite as though it was fois gras and truffles instead of eggs and bacon.

When his tongue slid out to clean a bit of egg from the corner of his mouth, her eyes fixed on his movement, hypnotized by the act of bringing food to his lips, pausing to smell, sliding the fork between his teeth slowly, relishing every morsel. And with each bite, it seemed, he glanced her way. Until, after one of those bites, his gaze lingered and the expression on his face made her feel like his next.

Her dream lover’s hungry kisses stared back at her. Embarrassed to have been caught gawking, Beth picked up her tray and left.

* * * *

The following morning, they all met at the Jeep after an early breakfast. The faded light of dawn had just begun to seep through the canopy.

“You have all brought something for getting wet?” Carlos reminded them. Carter told him these four had arrived only two weeks ago and had not traveled as far from the compound as he had in mind. Many things needed to be taken into account when hiking a jungle trail. The unremitting dampness was one they’d have to get used to, but this morning’s trip included a soaking. “There is no electric dryer where we are going.”

Each nodded his assent as they piled into the Jeep. The one called Kate brazenly opened her shirt to show him the swimsuit she had on beneath, then laughed at his surprise.

He returned her smile. He was not so out of his element that he’d misinterpret a bit of playfulness. The disorientation he’d lived with since walking into the compound yesterday had begun to fade–except around Beth.

Carlos slid behind the wheel and paused, staring at the unfamiliar configuration on the dash. “What is all this?” he muttered, already unsure his foot would remember how to use a clutch after so long. He didn’t need all these dials and gauges.

Beth leaned over him from the back seat and started naming them all.

“All you need to worry about is RPMs and fuel,” she said. Her hand gently gripped his shoulder. One supple breast grazed his upper arm. Hot breath brushed his cheek. When he turned to her, she met his eyes with a smile. “You do know how to drive, don’t you?”

The scent of vanilla and heat wafted over him. He swallowed and turned back to the wheel.

“Sure.” How could he resist a woman as willing as this? He couldn’t quite remember why he should want to.

The Jeep slipped into gear with little effort and took off with only a few lurches, then smoothed out. Now all he had to accomplish was to stay on the road. He could handle that.

Even in the half-light of dawn, her presence in his peripheral vision distracted him. Every time her gaze fell on him, its heat seared the back of his neck. And she watched him constantly, as she had all day yesterday.

Last night, her scent had carried to him across the compound. With his man’s intellect, Carlos resisted the temptation to cross to her room and take what he wanted, but the cat–well, the cat had his own thoughts on the matter. Carlos dreamed of her again, but woke unsatisfied and restless this morning.

Even now that scent tore at his mind as all the blood rushed to his groin. Better not to look, but knowing her eyes were on him, and knowing her scrutiny to be the source of her heat, made looking unnecessary. She wanted him, and unless she did something to change his mind, he would not be able to resist her for long.

Perhaps he should take what she offered and hope in the end only his heart suffered.

The road ended two hours from the camp. They proceeded on foot. The four were not quiet walkers. Though they kept their voices low, the constant chatter drowned the peaceful sounds of the jungle and raised the raucous cries of angry howlers.

They reached the ford by ten as planned.

Catch Chapter 3 next time.

Thanks for reading.
ali
www.a-katz.com
http://practicalkatz.blogspot.com

Purchase

For Kindle @ Amazon.com

For other readers (.epub) @ Goodreads

and, oh, if you’ve already read, a couple stars would be appreciated. Better yet, stars and a review 🙂



December 17, 2010

Stick To Your Guns by DH Starr

Filed under: New Release — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
Tags: , , ,

When I wrote Meant For Each Other, I had this story to tell about two kids who figured out they were in love at the last possible moment before one of them moved across the country. They reunite 15 years later, both in unhappy relationships and both still pining for one another.

As I wrote the story, I was exploring my own ideas of fidelity, true love, the pain of admitting when a long-term relationship is over…in short, the very real and painful experiences that we, as humans, go through despite gender or sexuality. At the same time, I celebrated the joys of finding the right person, the one who makes your world brighter and more colorful.

Once I finished writing, I was convinced that I had a story which was emotionally poignant albeit a bit angsty…but angst is a normal part of human relationships as well. I submitted it to several of the bigger name publishing houses and received several positive and specific rejections stating that the story was relationship heavy and plot light. They made many suggestions on how I might be able to beef up the plot to make the storyline more compelling (which I translated into more standard). While I have written stories that have strong action-oriented plots (in fact I have one coming out soon), this particular story I didn’t want to change.

That’s when I came across Ai Press, a new publishing house. Sedonia Guillone saw the promise of my story and contracted it. Together we honed the story. As a seasoned author, she was able to guide me to maintain the focus on relationships and how they evolve while also maintaining a strong story element as well. What has resulted is a book which, to my great pleasure and surprise, has turned out to be quite popular, receiving many wonderful reviews and, so I am told, pretty good sales.

It’s not that sales that I was going for, it was the story that I wanted to tell. I could have altered it and had it contracted much sooner by a publishing house that is well established, but in this case, I didn’t want to change the story. By sticking to my guns and remaining loyal to Craig and Jeremy, I am proud of the product and thrilled that there are plenty of people out there who have enjoyed the journey.

There is an author in my crit group who has embodied this philosophy, remaining true to her characters and stories. When a publishing company finally smartens up and contracts her works, he erotic romance reading community is in for a real treat.

My advice to authors is don’t compromise your vision for a story unless a new vision sits well with you. To everyone I share this story as a valuable lesson. While many times we may believe in something that we have done or produced but others do not see the value that we see, every once in a while, you find that connection with the right person or place who sees the magnificence of what you have to offer. The feeling is worth the anxiety of the wait.

Below is a snapshot of the book I have written about above. I hope the blurb and excerpt interest you and, if you choose to purchase the book, that you can relate to the experiences of the main characters.

Thanks for taking the time to read this posting.

DH Starr
http://www.dhstarr.com

Meant For Each Other

A contemporary erotic romance

Buy Link

Blurb

Sometimes your first love is the one that was meant to be.

Craig Harper and Jeremy Finn were best friends growing up. They attended the same school, spent all of their time together, and hung out with the same group of people. It wasn’t until the day before Jeremy and his family moved across the country that they discovered their attraction to one another.

Fifteen years later, they reunite by chance in New York City. Both are in relationships and have established a routine in their lives. But routines and relationships are shaken as they begin to spend time together once again. Old feelings and connections are still strong and the passion that pulls them together is a powerful, soul-searing call neither man can deny.

As each deals with the issues in their own relationships, they begin to question whether the comfort of what they know is more powerful than the pull of what they could have been…and what they might become. Struggling to find the answer, only their hearts can reveal if they are meant for each other.

Excerpt – Rated R

Craig spent the rest of the day walking around the room, helping kids with their work. Finally, at dismissal, when the last kid had been picked up, Jeremy took Craig back inside. “You have a natural way with the kids. They adore you.”

Happiness flooded Craig at the compliment. “Well, they’re kind of hard not to love. They’re so cute and damn if they aren’t smart as hell too.” I can’t believe how a simple compliment from him causes my heart to race. “So, we have a couple of hours to kill before we’re supposed to meet the boys downtown at The Bulls and Bears.”

Jeremy walked over to the far corner of the room and stood in front of a bulletin board covered with student work. Craig followed him. “Are these the stories your kids wrote?”

“Yeah. I’ve left spaces next to each one for their pictures.” Jeremy kept his eyes focused on the board as he spoke. “I’ve never had anyone take an interest in my class before. No one. I mean my parents ask about school and Andrew listens to my stories, but you really care about the kids.”

Craig watched Jeremy as he continued to inspect the wall, surprised to find the flush had moved from his neck to his cheeks. When Jeremy turned to face him, two smoldering eyes caught him in a lust-filled gaze. Before he had a chance to speak, Jeremy grabbed him and gave him a fierce kiss. Unable to resist, not wanting to, Craig wrapped his arms around Jeremy and kissed him back, opening his mouth to Jeremy’s invading tongue.

They remained together for several minutes, gripping each other as the intensity of their kiss increased and their straining erections pressed against each other through the fabric of their pants.

The wall connected with Craig’s back and Jeremy leaned his body even tighter, to create more pressure and friction. Craig allowed him to take charge, his own hands carelessly running along lateral muscles and resting on Jeremy’s waist.

Jeremy’s hands were far from gentle. He wrapped one hand behind Craig’s neck and pulled him close, sealing their lips together in a fervent kiss. His other hand worked its way inside Craig’s shirt, lightly pinching the sensitive nipple, rolling the nub of flesh between his thumb and forefinger and leaving Craig helpless to do anything but enjoy.

When Jeremy ended the kiss, they both stood panting for a moment, simply staring at each other.

Craig was the first to speak. “Jesus, Jeremy. What if someone saw us?”

Jeremy laughed. “They couldn’t. See, the door is on this wall and we’re standing in the corner here. They would have to come into the room to catch us and no one ever comes in once school lets out.”

“But—”

“I know. I’m sorry. I just can’t help myself when I’m around you. And watching you interact with my kids and the way you understand me and what I do…it’s a huge turn on. You have no idea how good it makes me feel to know you appreciate what I do.” Jeremy’s lips were red and swollen from their kisses, making them appear even more pouty and kissable. Since it was obvious that his cock was tenting his pants, Craig didn’t bother hiding as he reached into the front and readjusted himself. Jeremy laughed and did the same.

“Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy kissing you, but you’re with Andrew and I’m with Robert.”

Jeremy finished tucking his shirt back into his pants, his skin returning to a normal pallor. “I know. We’re going to have to work harder at controlling ourselves. Let’s say we’re even. You pulled me into a kiss the other day. I initiated this one.”

Craig had to work to suppress a laugh, the thought of them competing to see who could trap the other in the most compromising kiss caused all his work at readjusting himself to be undone. “This isn’t a competition, Jeremy.”

Jeremy shuffled from foot to foot. “I like kissing you.”

Four words, four very dangerous words which could make the difference between a lasting friendship, or losing one forever. Craig held Jeremy’s gaze. “Maybe we should grab a bite to eat before meeting the guys.”

Jeremy nodded, grabbed his things, and led Craig outside. The fresh air helped to dissipate the heat between them and made regular conversation easier. “Do you like Thai food?” Jeremy’s voice had returned to its normal cheerful tone.

December 10, 2010

Sex, Sin and Surf by Lauren Fraser

Available today from Ellora’s Cave. Sex, Sin and Surf by Lauren Fraser

Blurb

Holidays are all about relaxation. And what better way to relax than with a hot holiday fling?

On vacation in Mexico with her two best friends, forty-one-year-old Celeste Kopp vows to break out of her middle-aged rut and live life to the fullest. Taking surf lessons is on the top of her to do list. However, when she meets sexy surf instructor Ben, the idea of a holiday fling with a younger man becomes the only thing on her list.

Ben is more than willing to live out Celeste’s fantasies as well as a few of his own. But their holiday romance turns out to be more than either of them bargained for when the connection between them deepens. Being with Celeste forces Ben to deal with his own baggage in a way he never expected.

As the vacation draws to a close, Celeste realizes she wants so much more from Ben than a holiday fling, but can she convince him that their future together is worth the risk?

Excerpt

“I don’t think you should kick his ass,” he told her. His husky, lightly accented voice slid over her body, caressing her with its sexy cadence.

Surfer god stepped around the counter and shot the kid a fierce look before he eased the boy out of the way. “Sorry about him. What can I help you with? You ladies interested in learning to surf?”

“Well…” Nancy grumbled.

“Which is easier to learn, surfing or paddle boarding?” Celeste asked before her friends could change their minds.

“That depends really. A lot of people find the paddleboard a bit easier because they have something to hold onto for balance.”

Celeste stared at him, unable to speak. His English was flawless, with almost an American rhythm to it, but everything about his body language said Latin American.

Realizing she was staring at him like an idiot, she smiled. “Okay, well maybe we’ll start with that.”

She turned to glance at her friends. Focused on the surf god in front of them, it hadn’t registered on the two women that Celeste had turned around. Celeste bit back a laugh. God, they were like a bunch of dirty old ladies ogling the man. He was just a baby, probably not much older than his early twenties. “Any chance you guys have lessons or something since we’ve never done this before?”

“We can certainly help you out. When did you want to go out?”

“Tomorrow sometime?”

He pulled out a day-planner from under the counter and flipped it open to the next day. “Do you have a preference if your instructor is a male or a female?”

Hell, if they were going to humiliate themselves, they could at least enjoy the view while they did so. Celeste rested her elbows on the counter. “Any chance you could give us a lesson?”

She couldn’t be sure which one of her friends gasped. But if forced to guess, odds were the outraged noise had to have come from Nancy. Screw it. This was her holiday, and she was going to enjoy it

His gaze flickered over her shoulder, amusement lingered in his eyes before he turned his attention back to Celeste. The look on his face quickly changed, a slow sexy smile eased across his face. He rested his elbows on the counter, his face inches from hers. “I could probably teach you a few things tomorrow afternoon.”

Her nipples beaded tightly beneath her bathing suit. Without breaking eye contact, she licked her lips. “That sounds perfect. What time works for you?”

A strong nudge to her hip forced her to look away from the man and toward her friends. Nancy glared down at her. Celeste wrinkled her eyebrows and mouthed, “What?” Nancy’s jaw clenched tightly as she stared back at her. Clearly, Nancy wasn’t on board with the whole relaxation and trying something new experience yet. Rolling her eyes, Celeste stood up. “Right, so what time tomorrow for our lesson?”

He laughed. “You’re on vacation, ladies, Mexican time. We’re a little more relaxed here on the beach. Do you plan to take a siesta during the day?”

“Not that I know of.”

“All right, well, the waves are pretty tame mid-day so why don’t you come down after you finish your lunch, maybe around one p.m.? I’ll take you out then.”

Nancy stepped closer to the counter and asked, “So our appointment is for one p.m.?”

Surfer god laughed. “Around then, yes.”

Nancy growled, which made Celeste and Sarah laugh until she turned her glaring stare to them. Celeste coughed to cover her amusement. “Sorry, Nance. Tomorrow around one-ish works just fine for us.”

“But…” Nancy stammered. Not giving her a chance to speak, Sarah pushed Nancy toward the door of the shop.

“What’s your name?” Surfer god asked.

“Celeste.”

He grinned and wrote her name in the book. “Celeste. I’ll see you tomorrow.” He nodded his head toward her friends. “Your friend needs to have a couple more margaritas to get her in the holiday spirit.”

Celeste laughed. “She already did.”

He snorted and shook his head. “I’m Ben by the way.” He grabbed a business card from the counter. “Call if you need to make any changes to the lessons.”

“Oh, I won’t.”

“I didn’t think you would, but I imagine your friends might.”

“Nope, they’ll be here too.”

“All right then, I will see all three of you tomorrow.”

“Great, sounds good,” Celeste said. Turning, she herded her friends toward the entrance.

Celeste walked by a rack of t-shirts and glanced back. Ben was watching her ass as she left. She turned back around, a smile on her face. She still had it. She added a little extra sway to her hips as she left the store.

Once she stepped onto the beach, she kicked off her shoes and strolled down to the water. Her friends immediately joined her. “What were you thinking flirting with that guy?” Nancy demanded.

“What do you mean? I thought we were on holidays. Weren’t you the one who said a little holiday romance would be good for me?”

“I did, but he’s so young.”

“He might be young, but he sure seemed interested in Celeste,” Sarah piped in. “And damn, if a man who looked like that even glanced my way, I would be all over him in a heartbeat.”

Celeste glanced back over her shoulder to the shop. “He was damn sexy, wasn’t he? Mmm.”

Nancy shook her head. “Just don’t make a fool of yourself.”

“Oh relax, Mom, I’m not going to do anything stupid.”

Sarah hip bumped Nancy. “Drop it, let’s just move on. We’re here to relax and have fun. Think of it like Vegas. What happens in Sayulita stays in Sayulita.”

“Sounds good to me,” Celeste said. “Let’s go explore the beach.”

A shell caught her eye and she bent down to pick it up. Celeste trailed her finger over the beautiful pink swirls before sticking the shell in her purse. Glancing down the beach, she spotted a cute little restaurant.

“Let’s get some drinks,” she said to her friends and plopped down onto a lounge chair in front of one of the many beachfront restaurants. This holiday was all about relaxation and enjoyment and if she stood a chance with Ben, she planned to make the most of it.

Buy Link

See what else Lauren has going on at Lauren Fraser

December 8, 2010

Blue Heaven by Jadette Paige

Filed under: New Release — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
Tags: , , ,

Today is one I’ve looked forward to since Siren Publishing contracted my m/m alternate fantasy novel, Blue Heaven! Yes, today is my release day.

Blue Heaven came into being from a writing challenge at a critique group I was member of a couple of years ago. The challenge was to write a scene that had a song in it and to use a picture assigned to you. I ended up with a painting of a knight and lady. The song was my choice.

The images of the story began to come together and I completed the challenge. Since I considered the challenge as an exercise in writing, I put the story aside. Then, like a nagging toothache refusing to go away, Blue and Stryver started tapping me on the shoulder until I wrote their story. I mean, how many naked torsos…clears throat…among other body parts can a woman take until she gives in. And so, Blue Heaven was born. I hope everyone who reads it will love it as much as I loved writing about those two guys.

Blurb:

Take him from Heaven’s Seat. Bring him to me. We will protect his sacred head.

Stryver Zorti’s mission appears simple. Kidnap the Godchild and deliver him to his master. But with the first meeting of the holy man’s azure gaze, desire surges in him to strip bare the God and touch the man within.

Worshiped all his life, the Godchild is shocked by the stranger who dares lay hands on him, even if it is to save him from assassins. With a different name given by his new ally, Blue is freed from the constraints of the holy order for the first time. He revels in the extraordinary experiences opening to him, then in the passion that sparks between him and the hard-edged, oddly gentle Stryver.

But a god does not love, and if discovered, their precarious utopia will shatter, destroying any chance for a future together–that is, if the assassins don’t kill them first.

Adult Excerpt:

“Lie down. I’ll wash you,” he told Stryver. A knot formed at the base of his throat, and his blood pounded in his veins with the offer. What would his lover think? Too forward? Below his level as Godchild? Would Stryver reject him again? He wasn’t sure. He’d grown so much in every aspect of his life during the short amount of time with Stryver. This man, once a stranger but no longer, had shown Blue a bright, new world. Now, all he wanted was to run his hands over Stryver’s smooth skin, but he refused to go any further than bathing him.

Too many times in this life, Blue’s wishes had been set aside, considered not good for his growth. Disappointment was normal. He never wanted to experience that bitter taste again.

Stryver stopped at the edge of the bed. With a shake of his head, he said, “No.” Another shake sent his hair sliding over his brow.

Blue froze. This new refusal lashed out at him, and he bled invisible drops, glistening red, straight from his heart.

Careful, he shifted and asked, “No, what?” He moved to where a bucket had been left along the wall at the edge of the bracketed bed, clasping his hands together so as not to reveal his trembling.

Stryver faced him. “Let me bathe you.”

Blue shied away from the hand he’d lifted.

Heart pounding, breaths growing harder to pull in and out, Blue clenched his hands harder. Once sure he could control his voice, he lifted his gaze and met Stryver’s. Did he not realize how much he meant to him? “I want to do this. Have to. You didn’t let me touch you last night. I have—”

Stryver grabbed his shoulders and jerked him against his chest. His lips found Blue’s. Without thinking, Blue opened his mouth to the larger man’s tongue, allowing him to pillage inside. Blue tangled his fingers into Stryver’s vest and held on while his world tilted.

They broke apart. His chest hurt from trying to drag in enough air. “Wait.”

Tilting his head, Stryver dipped close to his lips again.

Blue pressed his palms to the hard wall of his chest. “Wait. It’s my turn now.”

Chuckles vibrated under his hands. Heated air coasted over his cheek. Stryver’s hold grew tighter. Obviously, Stryver had decided not to pay attention. Blue twisted under his arm, pulling it across the front of his body, and flipped the larger man over his shoulder. Stryver landed with a thump in the middle of the cot.

Blue wasn’t sure who was more surprised—he or Stryver.

Slow, sexily, a half smile tugged up the corners of his lover’s mouth.

Blue’s heart melted. “Did I hurt you?”

“No. Where did that come from?”

“I told you. It’s my turn to touch you.”

Stretching out, Stryver clasped his hands behind his head. “Be my guest.”

Slowly, carefully, Blue crawled onto the cot and straddled his hips. With one finger, he traced a trail down the center of Stryver’s chest, ending at his belly button. His tanned skin tempted Blue with an unending need to run his hands over him. He glanced up and met his observant, hot gaze. The smile on his lips had relaxed a bit.

Blue followed the rim of his belly button around, once, twice. He watched the movement. Below Blue, Stryver hardened against his own erection. Blue’s breath caught, and he had difficulty concentrating. Laying his palms flat, he slid them along Stryver’s sides.

Stryver twitched. Blue shifted farther, and the larger man burst out laughing, twisting to one side.

“Sorry. Tickles,” his lover choked out.

Surprised, Blue leaned over him. “Tickles? You, the strong and mighty warrior? Ticklish?”

He’d tell him later how sorry he was, but the enticing chance to enjoy this moment overcame all other thought. Blue curled his fingertips into Stryver’s sides.

The larger man jerked, his body rising off the cot in an attempt to escape. He reached to grab Blue’s hands, but Blue moved faster.

Laughter exploded out of Stryver. Between gasps of air, he begged, “Stop. Enough.”

Blue’s own laugh echoed his. His heart sang with joy. He shook his head. “No.”

They struggled on the cot in a mock battle, each trying to overcome the other with playful touches. The ropes holding the mattress in the wooden frame groaned under them. After several minutes, Stryver pinned Blue on his right side, his hands gripped between both of his and held above his head. Panting, Blue tugged one more time, but not seriously trying to escape. The ship rode a wave and came down, giving him the sense of floating in Stryver’s arms with nothing to anchor them to the world. Silently, he wished this would never end.

Husky, low, Stryver spoke against the side of his head. “Benevolence, Blue.” Warm breath glided over his ear, sending tingles down his neck.

Eyes half opened, Blue stared at the line of his neck. “For you? There are others who need mercy more.”

“But they’re not your lover.”

Blue grinned against Stryver’s throat. His whiskers scratched at Blue’s lips. The tiny pricks added to the sweet vibrations drumming in his lower body. “No. Very well. Mercy.”

Stryver dipped his mouth and covered his, releasing his wrists to grasp the sides of his head. Blue opened under his assault. Strong, lean fingers massaged his scalp. Warm, delicious sensations spiraled through him. Stryver’s erection prodded his belly.

Remembered pleasure from last night added to the new promise of ecstasy flowing in him. Blue slipped his hand between them and into the front of his lover’s waistband. Stryver trembled under his touch. The larger man threw his head back as he pulled air between his clenched teeth.

Stryver managed to mutter. “Not fair. You’re…uhn…cheating.”

Wrapping his fingers around his hard length, Blue shifted closer and pressed his mouth against the pulse in his neck. “Yes, fair. You did the same to me last night.”

He applied pressure. Stryver released a groan.

“Move like this.” His lover unlaced his pants and set his hand over the back of Blue’s hand, teaching him the rhythm.

Stryver’s breathing rumbled in his chest with each stroke. Blue matched the movements with thrusts from his groin, riding Stryver’s side.

“Where the hell is the coconut oil?”

A gasping laugh escaped Blue. “By your head, on the floor.”

“Don’t stop,” he muttered between his clenched teeth. He lowered one arm behind him onto the floor. “Damn, where the fuck is it?”

“Turn,” Blue managed to say between quick nips on his neck.

Stryver rolled onto his back with Blue half over him. “Got it.”

Blue missed a stroke.

He moaned. “Keep moving.”

The cork flew across the room. Gurgles came from the shell. His hands, hot and slick, eased under Blue’s pants, slipping them lower.

Blue wiggled. The material ripped. Stryver muttered an apology. Blue choked, lost between the hilarity of the situation and his need to have Stryver inside him.

Humor faded with the first swipe of his lover’s hand on the back of his thighs. His breath caught in his throat. The scent of coconut rose from his movements. Strong fingers rubbed and stroked over his butt, sliding into the crease and inside him. Warmth spiraled out of control between his legs with the increased pressure. Blue’s body opened for Stryver’s incredible touch. His pants slid off under his lover’s skilled hand.

Stryver grasped Blue’s hips and pulled him astride his body. Aiding his lover, Blue helped guide him to his entrance. Unhurried, careful, Stryver eased inside him.

Buy link for Blue Heaven

December 1, 2010

Free Read – Gato Negro by Ali Katz

Filed under: Free read — practicalkatz @ 04:00
Tags: , ,

Cover Art copyright 2010 by Stella PriceThe second edition of my Contemporary Erotic Romance, Gato Negro, is now available for Kindle at Amazon.com and for other readers, in .epub format, on Goodreads. And guess what. I did it myself!! Yes, I am now a publisher LOL. For those of you who’ve considered using Amazon’s free Digital Text Publishing program, you’ll be happy to know it’s been quite an adventure and not very hard at all. Goodreads is a bit more of a challenge.

Gato Negro has been an adventure from it’s inception. It’s a story of love at first sight, two stories, actually: Beth’s and Carlos’s overpowering instant attraction and my own brief affair with the cloud forests of Costa Rica.

To celebrate the continued adventure, I’ve been offering chapters weekly on my blog,  http://practicalkatz.blogspot.com/ during the month of November and thought I’d jump on the wagon and do the same on Some Like it Hot. Of course, if you just can’t wait for the next installment, you can always download the book, and the beautiful cover art by Stella Price, from Amazon or Goodreads.

So, without further ado, here’s Chapter One. I hope you enjoy.

Uno

The woman crouched between him and the water his body craved. Fortunately for her, he was not hungry. The peccary he’d taken this morning would keep him for a few days. Yet the sight of her naked haunch, straining to hold her crouched over her work, held him captive.

Instinct told him the meat was forbidden. But he watched for the tightening of muscle that would herald an attempt to flee as though she were prey. She was not prey.

And his full stomach demanded water, not meat.

Whatever prompted her to block access to the stream, arrogance or inexperience, getting rid of her was a simple matter of letting loose the growl forming in his chest.

Or he could move on to the next watering hole.

But he waited and salivated, watching her with something akin to hunger as she prepared a…syringe…with a barb…a needle…as long as her finger, hovering over the bright blooms like a hummingbird. He almost understood, but his cat brain couldn’t quite make the connection.

From flower to flower she moved, more purposeful than a hummingbird, filling the syringe but not feeding. Instead, she emptied each flower’s gathering into a small vial, making notes on its label before moving on to the next.

She’s collecting nectar. The lucid thought warned him of the pending change a fraction of a second before the cramp struck his thigh. Without time to prepare, his body reacted with a jerk and low grunt.

The woman spun on her heels. Her eyes locked to his, immediately aware.

A look of wondrous awe shined in those eyes. Then he smelled the fear a moment before it registered on her face.

* * * *

My God, a black jaguar. The cat crouched behind an elephant ear at the edge of the tree line, less than five meters away. An amazing specimen, perfectly formed, stocky, with the powerful jaws and shoulder of a male in its prime. The black fur gleamed with health. Beth was close enough to distinguish the shadowed rosettes on its back. Her gaze moved to study the face. Golden eyes scrutinized her thoughtfully.

Off in the distance, a howler screeched. The cat gave a low huff. The eyes narrowed.

Awareness of what those jaws could do struck her like a blow. She froze, knowing her fifty kilos had no hope of outrunning or overpowering the predator’s eighty.

Lips curled into a snarl, the cat tensed. A growl grew from deep in its chest, grew and grew, then exploded into a yowl.

She thought she was dead. But the great cat wheeled on its haunches and disappeared among the trees.

Her body went limp with relief and the aftermath of an adrenaline rush. Her legs threatened to drop her to the forest floor, but the other members of the team rushed to her side. She clung to her dignity and stayed upright.

“Beth, are you all right? It’s gone. Come here. Sit down.” Jean-Paul grasped her arm and led her to a mossy area upstream. Dignity was the last thing on her mind by the time he helped her to sit. Her eyes focused on nothing while she waited for the feeling to return to her limbs and her heart to stop racing.

“Stupid,” she reproached herself under her breath. “Working next to a watering hole. I blocked his way. Stupid.” She needed to pull herself together. The mistake was bad enough. Falling apart over one could get her sent home.

Kate plopped down beside her. “Damn, Beth. You’re supposed to stay with the group, for God’s sake.” Her voice was at least an octave higher than normal.

Beth couldn’t argue the point. She’d moved without thinking, not a good behavior to embrace anywhere, especially in this environment–as she’d just proved to herself. The shock was finally passing, the numbness fading; her body was starting to come back to her. But the cat–the initial thrill returned.

“Did you see him?” Astonished laughter rose in her throat. “A black jaguar! My God, did you see how beautiful he was?”

“I saw it looking at you like breakfast,” Kate said. “Beth, get over it. You were careless. You could have been killed.”

“You’re right. I’m sorry. We better get back, don’t you think?” Unable to muster the appropriate amount of remorse, Beth picked herself up and started back to the watering hole to collect her sample bag. “Carter said he hasn’t seen a cat or wolf in this area in years,” she mused. “Where did this one come from?”

* * * *

Ch’aho’m–no, he reminded himself, Carlos–didn’t understand how he came to be back in his old territory. When the research center with its influx of people took over the area, he’d moved rather than fight. Moving territory was easy in the forest these days. He didn’t have to worry about stepping on another cat’s toes; his were the only toes to step on.

His old scent markers were faded, but if he followed the creek in this direction, he’d eventually come upon the sagging wooden suspension bridge and orient himself. The cabin wasn’t far.

A night under a roof, a mattress to sleep on, not to mention clothes, sounded wonderful. How long had he been a cat this time?

A long time, weeks. The transformation had been hard. The muscles in his legs still cramped as they re-acclimated themselves to this shape. His bones ached. Still, it felt good to be walking on two legs again. He glanced down at his nakedness to discover part of the discomfort had nothing to do with muscles. He had an erection. Is that what brought him to human form? The woman? Not surprising. After all, how many years had it been since he’d had sex?

While here, he’d make the rounds he’d neglected far too long. A grin crept over his face. A visit to the research center might offer a chance to do something with the erection.

But not with his hummingbird. He sensed danger there. Looking back on their meeting with human perception, she still smelled like prey. Pale skinned, raven-haired, obsidian-eyed–he could get lost in those eyes. For a few seconds, he’d seen into her soul and recognized the desire to reach out, to touch, to stroke, to nuzzle. No wonder he had a hard-on. No, the hummingbird woman was off limits.

With some relief, he found the path to his door overgrown and undisturbed. Not wanting to risk his tender new skin, he picked up a fallen branch to help clear a way for himself through the overhanging foliage and made his way home to see if he still had a job.

* * * *

Beth knew she was dreaming, so the cat’s appearance at her window didn’t surprise or frighten her. Even when it leaped into the room, all she wanted was a closer look, but night in the cloud forest was pitch dark.

It was early; frogs still sang. The moon must certainly be out, but the canopy didn’t let in much light, just enough to detect the black on black shadow of his stocky body and the golden glint of his eyes–two brilliant flashes in the night.

Thunder sounded as the cat approached in slow motion, its powerful shoulder muscles rolling beneath the blackness. His head nudged her, setting the soft cocoon of her hammock into a peaceful sway. The motion lulled her deeper into a languid state. On the return swing, her hand brushed the length of his jaw. The cat leaned in, turning the glancing touch into a caress. With the gentle rocking and soothing contact, Beth soon dropped into dreamless sleep until soft lips whispered across her cheek.

The touch startled her. Still, she didn’t wake. Instead, she fell into the dream, opening her senses to the awareness of a man’s lips caressing her face, neck, shoulders–a beautiful dream, purely sensual and more than welcome.

Warm, wet, his mouth covered her breast, tongue playing over the hardened nipple until it tightened to the point of pain. Her body arched into the sensation; the play grew more heated. Soft puffs of hot breath soughed over her skin, faster, harder, a prod to her growing arousal.

The hammock tilted. She gripped the edges, rolling to one side as two arms came up from below to cradle her through the fabric. The mouth had a body, a strong, hairless, naked chest pressing against her. And a face, his soft, short-stubbled beard, sparse, grazed her skin as a man’s teeth and lips gnawed at her torso. Long, moist strokes of his tongue followed, awakening every nerve.

No sound from him but the soft whistle of air through his nose as he took in her scent, and the hot whoosh of his exhaled breath washing over her.

This was like no wet dream she’d had before. The man, in the dark, eating her alive as though he couldn’t remember his last meal–his hunger came off him in waves. Her body responded, arching into his need, offering a banquet.

His mouth moved back to her breasts. He tilted her, giving himself access to both, sucking at each until her sex throbbed with pulses of fire and her hips rose in supplication.

Taking pity, he abandoned her breasts, chewed and licked his way down her torso until his head slid between her thighs, where he stopped and breathed her in.

A whimper escaped her, rousing her a little, but she fought to maintain her languid state, to hold onto the dream. She raised her knee, opening to him, hips thrusting, brazenly rubbing her sex against his soft beard. Finally, his tongue reached for her in one long stroke from front to back. Her pussy wept for joy. He lapped it up.

Please, she thought, but in the dream, he heard. His mouth fell on her. His tongue stroked the length of her, petting, creating liquid spasm, which he drank greedily with hard swallows that moved in waves down his throat pressed to her belly.

In the dream, she had no shame. Her hips bucked, riding his face, giving him the rhythm to take her over the edge. He followed. Finally, he took her clit between his lips and sucked.

The orgasm exploded through her–like nothing she had ever experienced in life, let alone in a dream. His breathing grew ragged. Finally, little growls escaped his throat, sending vibrations to increase the intensity of the spasms that went on and on.

The arm beneath her shoulders vanished. Only one arm held her, pressing her cunt to his face while the rest of her hung supported by the hammock, head lowered, blood roaring past her ears to her brain as he sucked, growling, huffing, grunting. She heard the slap of flesh against flesh and knew he was bringing himself to climax. The knowledge sent her into a second orgasm. He stiffened, cried out against her, and his teeth clenched the soft flesh of her thigh as his body heaved. A wild sound escaped her.

When it was over, she stretched, every muscle loosened and burning from the powerful force of the orgasm. Her body hummed.

He kissed her thighs, her belly, still panting with exertion, and made his way up her torso, peppering her with gentle kisses, soothing after the ravaging he had given her. His sweetness touched her breasts, first one than the other, careful to avoid the over-sensitive nipples.

She waited, murmuring her pleasure, for the kiss to reach her mouth. His teeth gently closed on her throat.

He was gone…

* * * *

She dropped into a dreamless sleep to the sound of rain splashing on the leaves and the jungle laying itself to rest.

Look for Chapter 2 in a couple weeks.

Thanks for reading.
ali
www.a-katz.com

Purchase

For Kindle @ Amazon.com

For other readers (.epub) @ Goodreads

and, oh, if you’ve already read, a couple stars would be appreciated. Better yet, stars and a review 🙂

November 29, 2010

Distractions by Ash Penn

Filed under: Writing life — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
Tags: , , ,

The Internet is never more riveting than when I have a new chapter to write. Very often the only way I can get any work done is by switching off my router fora few hours. And inevitably, when I do, I’ll immediately need to Google something for research purposes. Then it’s ‘Oh, I’ll just check one or two of my writing forums for new posts before I get started on the new chapter’ and then I’ll check my email and by the time I’m done an hour has passed, and I’ve yet to make a start on the WiP.

I’ve decided that if I’m to get any real work done (and have my latest book on sub by the end of this year) I’ll have to stop treating writing as a hobby and start thinking about it as a career. No more random surfing of the internet for hours on end, nor more wasting a morning or four in coffee shops, or window shopping for things I can’t afford. I’m going to have to get myself settled into a proper routine in a distraction free environment. I’ve managed to set up an office (of sorts) in a corner of my bedroom. Nothing fancy. Just a desk, my laptop, and an alarm clock. There will no more idle strolls into town, no internet or TV until I’ve either reached my daily word count goal or the alarm goes off and I can take a break. Hopefully the new, more disciplined ‘professional writer’ me will keep motivated enough to fulfill my personal goal for next year. I want at least four novellas either published or on submission, and perhaps a novel if I can rescue my failed NaNo attempt.

Just as well I’m not into the whole social networking thing, because I’m sure I’d never get any writing done at all.

November 23, 2010

What, no conflict? by Lillian Grant

Filed under: Writing life — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
Tags: , , , ,

I was working on an idea for NaNo the other day. (NaNo is a special kind of torture where writers go insane and sign up to write fifty thousand words in thirty days.) Anyway, I was working on plot ideas and my eldest wandered into my office and asked what I’m doing.

“Plotting,” says I, “My story needs conflict.”

His response. “Is it a war novel?”

Nooo, it’s romance of course!

So, why do you need conflict? Poor delusion child. I explained how it goes. Girl meets boy, or vise versa, they feel attracted, fall in love, something happens to pull them apart (conflict), they overcome the obstacle and live happily ever after.

He grins at me. “I’ve got a conflict for you. How about your hero is abducted by aliens. They probe him and when he returns to earth he’s gay. Now the heroine has to either get herself changed into a man or find the aliens to reverse the procedure if she wants to save their relationship.”

I do apologize for him. I gave birth to him and after that I have no idea what went wrong.

Funnily enough, around the same time as my son was regaling me with even more ridiculous ideas, a whole discussion opened up on Romance Divas about novels being contracted with no conflict in the plot and didn’t readers want conflict anymore.

I myself have a novella that has been tossed back at me by a publisher because it has no conflict. But I actually don’t mind stories without conflict. Hell, my favorite book of all time doesn’t even have a plot. I defy anyone to read Hunter S. Thompson’s Rum Diary and find the purpose of the book. Just when you think it’s about to get to the reason, the bit that ties it all together, it ends. Despite Hunter’s massive oversight in writing a book that has no real point, other than to meander through the life of journalist Paul Kemp as he lurches from drink to drink and from one apparent disaster to another, it’s a brilliant book.

Let’s be honest, most people don’t have romances with conflict, most relationships are not all Romeo and Juliet with calamity around every corner. Unfortunately my own romantic history has been full of conflict and hand wringing. Maybe that’s why I can accept a story where it’s all love and laughter because it’s not my experience of real life. How about you? Do you want conflict in your romance?

Read more from Lillian Grant at her website

November 16, 2010

The Geek Next Door by Lauren Fraser

The Geek Next Door
By Lauren Fraser

When the woman of your dreams only sees you as her geeky neighbor, sometimes you have to go to extremes.

Computer nerd Dylan Crane has been in love with Erin since she moved next door two years ago. Unfortunately, she’s never seen him as anything other than her best friend–until one afternoon when her world flips upside down and everything changes.

Erin Sharp learns firsthand just how sexy a man with a brain can be. She already loved Dylan, her friend, but as their relationship evolves, she wonders if she could finally have it all.

When her career ambitions get in the way of their relationship, Erin has to decide what matters most to her – getting the job she always wanted, or the man she needs and desires.

Excerpt

Man, I am pathetic. Dylan Crane pushed his Buddy Holly glasses up his nose, took a sip of his beer and turned away from the window. The last thing he needed to do was watch his neighbor leaving for another date. In the two years he had lived in the townhouse complex, Erin hadn’t noticed him as a man. He was the geeky neighbor. The guy who watered her plants and fed her cat. Not the object of her lust.

The purring of a sports car pulling away from the curb let Dylan know that Erin and her date had left for the evening. A typical Saturday night, Erin was out on a date with a poster boy for up–and-coming-corporate-exec.com and he sat at home with his Star Trek reruns. How had he let things come to this?

He had plenty of money and he was a reasonably good-looking guy, or so he’d been told. He could get a date. The problem was the more time he spent with Erin as friends, the more he wanted her to be his alone. Other women just didn’t hold the same appeal. The idea of suffering through a mind numbing date just to say he did seemed ridiculous.

The steady clicking of the clock on the mantel mocked him with its constant reminder of how long Erin had been on her date. What was she doing? Was the suit enjoying her curves in that sinful dress?

Dylan growled. God, I need to get a life. Slipping his feet into his sneakers, he grabbed his ID and house key. A nice long run ought to take his mind off Erin and her date. He slammed the door shut behind him.

His feet pounded on the pavement. The heat from the Las Vegas desert instantly made him sweat. In minutes his shirt would be soaked. For the first couple of miles thoughts of Erin plagued him, but by mile three his mind emptied and he hit the zone. An hour later, he rounded the corner of his block, tired, relaxed and feeling completely less pathetic. Until he saw Erin slamming the door of the BMW roadster she had left in only a couple of hours ago. Her date scrambled out of the car and chased her up the walkway. Dylan pushed himself harder, racing to get to his house. When he reached the driveway, he could hear their conversation.

“I told you to leave,” Erin told her date.

“Come on, you know you were sending out the vibe.”

“Yeah, ’cause I’m just stupid enough to think a five star meal is worth a roll in your bed.” She placed her hands on her hips, outlining her curvy body in the spectacular blue dress. “I’m worth a hell of a lot more than that.”

The smarmy suit stepped toward her, his jaw clenched. Anger emanated off his body.

“Hey, Erin,” Dylan called, making his presence known. She visibly relaxed when she saw him and a fist clenched in his chest. She was magnificent, strong and confident.

“Hi Dyl. My date was just leaving.”

“Whatever.” The suit waved his hand in the air and turned on his heel to storm back to his fancy car.

Dylan didn’t take his eyes off the man until his car peeled away from the curb. With the loser gone, he turned his attention back to Erin. “Looks like your date went well.”

“Yeah, it was a real hit. I should know better than to date an investment banker. In my experience, they’re all about the bottom line.” She shook her head sadly. “I don’t know why guys think just because they paid a lot for your date, you owe them payment.”

“Not all guys think like that, Erin. Maybe you’re dating the wrong kind of guys.”

She didn’t answer then raised her head to look at him. “How was your run?”

He looked down at his soaked gray T-shirt. “It was good, but I need to hit the shower.” He moved to walk past her but the sadness on her face pulled him up short. “Look, why don’t you change into something more comfortable and come upstairs for a movie? I’ll leave the door unlocked while I jump in the shower.”

Her eyes widened hopefully. “I won’t be interfering with your plans?”

“Nah. You know me. The life of a computer guy, it’s action packed.”

She laughed. “If you’re sure?”

“Of course. But bring some microwave popcorn, since I think we ate the last of mine after your last dating disaster.”

She touched her hand against his damp T-shirt, and he was surprised steam didn’t fly off it. “Thanks Dyl. You’re a great friend. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

Right, friend. Story of his life. He certainly didn’t feel like her “friend” with her warm touch on his body. He clenched his stomach muscles, praying she’d finally notice him. Her hand rubbed against him and a surge of hope shot through his body. Finally.

“No problem.”

She dropped her hand from his stomach. Damn, he really wished she’d kept it there.

“See you upstairs.”

Buy Link

Find out what else Lauren had going on at Lauren Fraser

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