Monday, December 12, 2011

Revenge Sex is here!

Dead to the Max is still free, but it will soon be going back to its regular price.

I’m very pleased to announce the start of my new West Coast series. No, it’s not about living on the West Coast. West Coast Manufacturing is a Silicon Valley manufacturing company where the executives are exceptionally hot and sexy. Just the kind of company I would have liked to work at in my old accounting days, where the view in the boardroom is breathtaking.

There’s swinging, wife swapping, and now there’s hotwifing, so let me tell you what hotwifing is, in case you’ve never heard of it, because I certainly hadn’t. In a hotwifing relationship, the woman has lovers with her husband or boyfriend’s approval. Usually she comes home from a “date” to tell him all about it. Often they plan the “date” together. Of course, what every couple does will vary greatly, but here’s the most important thing about hotwifing: the man does not have other lovers. Nope, he’s monogamous. And he loves it that way! I didn’t realize I’d written hotwifing stories, but there were a couple of them in my courtesans tales, Dax and Nicole in Yours for the Night being one of them. Past Midnight is also involves hotwifing. I didn’t know what I was writing about until another writer, Cody Alston, pointed it out to me. And defined it for me (thanks, Cody!). So I figured I’d dedicate a whole series to it!

So today I’m introducing the first book in the series, Revenge Sex. Each story is novella length, about 40,000 words (150 pages) and in ebook format only for the time being. Thanks to Rae Monet for the sexy cover! I’ve got a very naughty excerpt from the book, so please be over 18 if you choose to read it.

A brand new series about sexy hotwives and the men who want them

A man, the hotwife he can’t control...and the woman who wants to fix what’s wrong with him.

Tough, autocratic CFO Clay Blackwell strikes both fear and loyalty into the hearts of his employees. But he’s got one quirk no one at West Coast Manufacturing knows; he loves the idea of his live-in girlfriend Ruby being with another man...then coming home to him for the best sex of his life as she describes every naughty detail. He’s only got three stipulations: no sex with anyone from work, no sex with another man in their own home, and she always has to tell him when she has a date. The problem? What to do with a “hotwife” who has all the freedom any woman could want, but still can’t follow three simple rules.

Jessica Murphy has the utmost respect and admiration for her CFO. She also has wild sex fantasies about Clay every night. Not that she’d ever tell anyone. Until she walks in on Clay’s girlfriend Ruby screwing Bradley the financial analyst right on Clay’s desk.

All bets are off and a little revenge sex is the name of the game. Ruby thinks she’ll placate Clay by telling him to have sex with another woman to pay her back for all her rule-breaking. When Jessica learns about that, she makes up her mind to seduce her boss for keeps, not just one night of revenge.

But can she become the more-than-one-man woman Clay Blackwell wants? Or will his desires tear them apart?


Revenge Sex
West Coast Series, Book 1
Copyright 2011 Jasmine Haynes
Chapter One

Hoisting her onto the desktop, Bradley spread her legs and yanked on her pretty purple thong.

“Oh yeah, baby, that’s it, rip them off.” Ruby loved Bradley’s he-man act. Of course, the panties didn’t tear, but so what, he still managed to slide the thong down her legs and toss it into the corner.

Ruby was wet and ready before Bradley even licked her. She’d been wet all day planning the naughty little encounter.

“I’m going to make you scream,” he boasted, then he put his tongue to her.

And truly, she did want to scream. “Oh, that’s so right, baby. Clay never does it like that. He never finds the right spot.” Bradley always needed a little ego boost to get him going, and what better way than to tell him how much better he was than Clay, her live-in boyfriend, lover—whatever you wanted to call him—and most importantly, Bradley’s boss.

Leaning back on her elbows, she drew her knees up so she could watch every move he made. His hair was a lustrous dark brown against the perfect white flesh of her thighs. His shoulders were wide, and she loved the sight of him in his white dress shirt as he went to town on her. Ruby enjoyed watching a man make love to her with his mouth. She loved the brush of soft hair against her skin, and the bristle of Bradley’s perpetual quarter-inch growth of beard. She relished each and every sensation.

She especially loved cuckolding Clay on his very big desk at ten o’clock on a weeknight after the cleaners had all gone home. His second-floor office overlooked the parking lot and road, yet with the conference table between the windows and Clay’s desk, they were virtually unnoticeable from the outside. So Ruby had left the lights on, all the better to see Bradley down between her legs.

“Ooh,” she crooned. “Clay hardly ever licks me.” She moaned. “And I so love the way you do it.” Bradley was twenty-nine and a mere financial analyst, so she had to find ways to coax the best out of him—young men still had so much to learn. One of those ways was to tell him how much more virile he was than his boss, or rather, his boss twice removed. Bradley worked for the finance manager who in turn worked for Clay, but really, it was Clay Bradley had to impress. To be honest, Clay didn’t always appreciate Bradley’s work, so Ruby had made it her mission to help the young man feel he was good enough in other realms. Like doing her nine ways to Sunday. On a Wednesday night.

Then she stopped thinking and let sensation take over. “Don’t stop, lick me, baby, just like that.” The heat built inside her, ready to burst, yet she pushed it off a little longer, like riding a magnificent wave just before it crashes.

Bradley put two fingers inside her the way she’d taught him, and found her G-spot right away. Oh, that boy was improving. She shuddered, then cried out, “Yes, yes, yes.” And the climax pulsed through her body.

Before it could end, she grabbed Bradley by the hair. “Fuck me now.”

Bradley grabbed her hips, and rolled her over, her stomach bare against the cool wood of the desk. She loved it from behind, pushed against a hard surface, taken, almost forced. Especially when Clay took her this way. He was so big, so tall, three inches taller than Bradley’s six feet.

Behind her, Bradley made fast work of the condom. “It’s going to be so good, you won’t want to even go home to him.”

She didn’t tell him that would never happen; better not to spoil the moment. “When he does me, baby, I imagine it’s you.” Actually, when Bradley did her, she imagined telling Clay about it later, how hot he’d get, how it turned him into a wild man. Her wild man.

Bradley plunged deep. Glorying in the feel of him, she stretched out her hands, accidentally knocking over the photo of Clay and his two teenage sons. Oops. But oh, this was good, so very good. He was young and strong, his technique not better than Clay’s, just different. It still needed refining, but he was a fast learner, at least in the sex department. She adored teaching a young man new tricks. She was forty years old—a hot little number, if she did say so herself—and proud of her toned figure and that her face had only a smattering of age lines. She was better than she’d ever been. Bradley couldn’t get enough of her.

“Oh my God,” she cried out. “You fill me up. You’re so much bigger and thicker than Clay.”

At her words, Bradley went crazy, assured of how much more virile he was than Clay. These young men performed so well when you told them what they wanted to hear. Stretching out her arms, she curled her fingers around the edge of the desk and gave herself up to the moment, to the feel of a hard, young cock inside her and the second sweet climb to the pinnacle.

* * * * *

Jessica Murphy jerked, then snapped to a sitting position on the break room sofa. In the dark, the microwave clock flipped to ten-oh-five in bright blue letters. Good Lord, all she’d wanted to do was rest her eyes, a five-minute catnap; she’d slept for over an hour. The board meeting was on Friday, and she needed to review the March quarterly financials tomorrow with Clay Blackwell, her CFO. But there was an issue in CIP, the construction-in-progress account.

A noise had woken her. It couldn’t be the cleaning staff; they’d left before her so-called catnap. She rose from the couch, crossing to the door by the illumination of the microwave clock. The hallway was dark. She’d turned out all the lights, not wanting to waste electricity, especially when she was accounting manager for West Coast Manufacturing, which meant she knew exactly how much the PG&E bill was.

There it was again. Bracing herself against the doorframe, she strained to hear. A moan. Then she was sure she could make out voices, though the words were indistinguishable. She shivered slightly. The automatic thermostat turned the heating down at nine, raising it again at six in the morning. Despite being the beginning of April, the San Francisco Bay Area was still chilly at night.

Stepping out into the hallway, which bordered all the cubicles in the middle of the large accounting department, she made out lights on the far side. From the CFO’s office. But Clay had been long gone before she’d crashed on the break room sofa. Obviously, he’d come back.

What if he’d discovered her sleeping? Jessica fluffed her hair, which was curly and tended to get mashed after she slept on it. It must look like a rat’s nest. And her lipstick was probably smudged. She ran a finger under each eye to get rid of any mascara, then smoothed beneath her lips, hoping that was good enough to fix the lipstick. She hated the idea of Clay Blackwell seeing her at anything less than her best. He lived with the CEO’s executive admin, Ruby Williams, and Jessica didn’t have designs on him—she wasn’t a home wrecker—but she admired Clay immensely and...well...a woman could have her fantasies in the middle of the night when no one else suspected.

All right, nothing could be done about her appearance now. She marched down the small walkway between the cubicles, and the sounds from the other side of the thin dividers grew exponentially louder with every step she took. Jessica’s heart started to pound, and she thought about turning around and getting the hell out. Because really, what was Clay Blackwell doing in his office? And just who was he with?

She might have run, too, if she hadn’t heard distinct words in a female voice—“Clay’s never fucked me like this”—punctuated by a man’s low growl of pleasure.

Turning the corner by the end of a cubicle wall, Jessica could see straight into Clay’s office. Her breath stopped in her chest.

Ruby Williams was facedown on the desk, skirt pushed up over her butt, dark hair flowing around her shoulders, eyes closed, her red lips parted on a moan of intense pleasure. Behind her, Bradley Palmer slammed into her, each thrust shoving her across the desk.

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt. Here’s where you can find Revenge Sex in e-book format: Amazon, Smashwords, and soon to be on B&N (it's still processing in their queue).

Monday, December 5, 2011

Fool's Gold is here!


First a reminder that Dead to the Max, Book 1, is free on most major e-book retailers. It'll be jumping back up to regular price soon, so now's your chance to try the Max Starr series, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003XRE4XG.

Last week I told you all about She's Gotta Be Mine, Cottonmouth Book 1. This week, I’ll give you an excerpt of Fool’s Gold, Cottonmouth Book 2! Both of these books are reissues from 2005, but they’re updated, and available for the first time in e-book, with wonderful new covers by Rae Monet Inc!

When I was writing She’s Gotta Be Mine, I actually fell in love with Sheriff Tyler Braxton. I wanted Bobbie Jones to fall him love with him, too, but since Nick Angel was such a misunderstood hottie, she went and fell for the bad boy instead. Which meant I had to write another story so Brax could find his happy ending. Now as I was thinking about Brax, I visited my brother-in-law in Goldfield, Nevada. If you’ve ever seen the old classic Vanishing Point with Barry Newman (rent it if you haven’t!), all the town scenes were filmed in Goldfield. Now that movie was made in the seventies, and I swear to you, Goldfield looks exactly the same. And there are some very odd characters there. My brother-in-law told me a ton of stories, about outhouse excavating and the “twinkie” caper. So when I was making up my fictional town of Goldstone, well, it looks like Goldfield, and it has a lot of my brother-in-law’s tall tales (thank you very much, Jonny)! I made some stuff up, too (there’s no whorehouse called The Chicken Coop, swear it).

So, let me introduce you to Goldstone and Sheriff Tyler Braxton in Fool's Gold:

Goldstone, Nevada: It’s not your typical vacation getaway.

Sheriff Tyler Braxton hightails it out of Cottonmouth to Goldstone for a little R&R, when his sister puts out a distress call. Suddenly, instead of vacationing, Brax is offering advice to the lovelorn! And to top it off, he has to start his own investigation on his sister’s behalf: Is his brother-in-law having an affair with the local erotic author?

Simone Chandler has found her haven in Goldstone; she loves the forsaken town and its lovable but somewhat beleaguered residents. With a thriving Internet business penning made-to-order erotic fantasies, some of her friends in Goldstone just happen to be her clients, too. The problem: The hunky sheriff from out of town wonders if she’s not only writing stories for his brother-in-law, but acting them out with him, too.

Then murder comes to Goldstone, and Brax is suddenly hip-deep in small-town secrets, with sexy Simone Chandler at the head his suspect list.

Is Simone the real thing, or, as with everything else in Goldstone, is she Fool’s Gold?

You can find Fool’s Gold at Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, Sony, and Apple. Here’s an excerpt. In this scene, Brax has been forced to attend a tea party at the local rest home called Our Manor of the Ladies. Be sure to read all the way to the end because I’ve got a special surprise for you!

Fool’s Gold
Cottonmouth Book 2
Copyright 2011 by Jennifer Skully

Brax shot the table at large a winning smile. “May I have one of those delicacies?”

“Scones. I made them myself. They let us use the kitchen here, you know,” Rowena said in her quaint British accent. “I’ve always loved baking, but with my chosen profession, I never had much time. Since I came here, why I bake to my heart’s content, don’t I, girls?”

“You should taste her trifle,” Nonnie added. “Delicious.”

“Trifle isn’t baked, you silly woman,” Divine burst in. “It’s custard and whipped cream.”

“Don’t forget the sherry on the ladyfingers,” Agnes trilled. “Rowena always puts extra sherry. It’s simply orgasmic.”

Brax almost knocked his water tumbler over. He cocked his head and stared at Agnes as if he wasn’t sure he’d heard correctly. Then he grinned, which Simone determined to mean he’d decided he’d imagined the word. After all, Agnes, her pile of gray hair knotted and confined in a silvery hair net with tiny sparkles of glitter, certainly didn’t look as though she’d say orgasmic. Simone covered her mouth to hide her smile, though it would have been terribly embarrassing if Brax had understood exactly what their former chosen profession had been.

He came out with “I’d love to try it sometime.”

“And then there’s her nut torte,” Nonnie added. “It’s made with crushed nuts, no flour or anything. It’s amazing. And there’s—”

“Pass him a scone, Nonnie, before he expires of hunger,” Rowena admonished.

“Ladies first,” Brax said politely.

“Oh no, you’re the first man we’ve entertained since Chloe opened the place,” Agnes revealed. “Gentleman callers first.”

“Oh yes, yes. And jam and butter.” The plate of scones rattled against the jam pot as Nonnie passed them to Brax with slightly palsied fingers.

“I can’t wait.” Brax took the offering, but his glance shot speculatively to Chloe.

Our Manor of the Ladies had been Chloe’s brainchild, and she’d funded a goodly portion of it, then chided town dignitaries to raise the additional monies. It had taken almost a year, but finally, the Manor had opened to its first residents, the four women now seated at the table.

“Here’s your tea,” Agnes said, passing the cup. Lukewarm liquid sloshed into the saucer. “And you must have milk and sugar, the way the British drink it. Rowena taught us that.”

“Thank you, ma’am.” Brax poured milk, stirred sugar, and spread jam and butter as the ladies tweeted around him like birds.

“Oh my, would you look at the size of his hands.” Eyes wide, hand over her mouth, Agnes was agog.

Brax stopped with a bit of scone halfway to his mouth. Then he extended his arm to look at the aforementioned hand. He quirked an eyebrow. “Is there something wrong with my hands?”

“Oh no,” Nonnie chirped.

“They’re so large,” Agnes went on with awe in her voice.

His gaze flashed left to right, from one lady to the other, his question shouted in his glance.

“You know what they say about a man’s hands, don’t you?”

Oh my God. Catastrophe was coming. Simone opened her mouth to divert it just as Brax said, “No, what do they say?”

Agnes let the words burst forth. “Why, that the size of a man’s hands is directly proportional to the size of his penis.”

If he’d been drinking his tea, Simone was sure he’d have spit mouthfuls across the table. As it was, his pupils dilated, and the scone dropped to his plate, landing with a splat, jam side down.

“Is it true?” Nonnie asked with wide-eyed innocence.

Simone’s cheeks flamed. Why, the old jokesters.

“You two stop that right now. My mother always says the tea table isn’t the place for discussing”—Simone searched for an appropriate euphemism and fell back on—“tallywhackers.” Brax was going to think that’s all they talked about in Goldstone.

Agnes hid behind pouring tea for everyone else and passing out the cups as someone—maybe Divine—snickered. Nonnie blinked behind her jeweled cat’s-eye glasses and said, “It isn’t?”

Rowena sampled her scone and pronounced it “Magnificent, if I do say so myself. And, my dear, in our profession, penises are always the first thing we wonder about.”

“Former profession,” Chloe corrected.

Rowena sniffed. “If men realized the virtue of an older, experienced woman, it wouldn’t be former, darling.”

“Here, here.” The ladies clinked cups, china tinkling in the dining room.

Brax had yet to pick up his teacup or his upside-down scone. Now that was a squirrel-in-the-center-of-the-road look if Simone ever saw one.

Divine tapped Maggie’s arm. “You didn’t tell him, honey?”

Maggie, silent and morose up to this point, twisted her paper napkin until it fell apart in her fingers. “I didn’t think I needed to.”

“Tell me what?” Brax croaked. His voice probably hadn’t cracked like that since he was thirteen years old. He had to know what was coming. In fact, Simone could have sworn he ducked slightly as if to ward off the blow.

“Our Manor of the Ladies is a home for former ladies of the night,” Divine explained.

“Chloe built it for us,” Rowena added.

“Sadly, many of us aren’t terribly good at saving our money for old age,” Agnes admitted.

“We never thought we’d reach old age,” Divine scoffed. “What with AIDS and all that.”

“Speak for yourself.” Rowena tipped her head with a queenlike gesture in Divine’s direction. “I always insisted on protection even before it was fashionable.”

Brax made an odd sound, either horrified laughter or he was choking on the bit of scone he’d just popped in his mouth.

“But Chloe came to our rescue.” Nonnie acknowledged credit where credit was definitely due.

“Isn’t she the most wonderful person?” Agnes said on a grateful sigh. The others nodded their heads like bobbing apples.

Simone couldn’t agree more, but Chloe, flustered by the glowing compliments and admiration, busied herself with buttering a second scone.

That’s why Chloe was the only one in town who wanted Jason’s resort. Most thought it was because she wanted increased traffic through The Chicken Coop. Which was true, but Simone suspected she wanted the extra cash flow to support the Manor. Fifteen ladies now lived in the small rest home, but she constantly received new petitioners. Chloe had a hard time saying no.

Brax finally swallowed the scone. He raised his dainty teacup, which looked ridiculously fragile in his big hand, and saluted each one. “Here’s to the most gracious quartet of ex-ladies of the night I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.” Then he inclined his head toward The Chicken Coop’s madam. “And to Chloe for her generosity.”

They all drank to his toast.

What a sweet guy. He could have run screaming from the room.

Agnes pointed to the hand still holding his teacup aloft and said, “So, don’t keep us in suspense. Eight inches? Or more?”
-----

I hope you enjoyed the excerpt! Here’s my special surprise. My quaint British mother makes the trifle described in the excerpt. The recipe follows! It’s divine!


Mom’s English Trifle

2 packages lady finger cakes
Raspberry jam as needed
4 to 6 T sherry
2 bananas sliced
1 package thick custard
2 half pints whipping cream

Place lady fingers around edge and center of dessert bowl, covering the whole bowl. Spread raspberry jam over top of cake (thin layer to individual liking). Drizzle sherry on top to soak into cake. Layer bananas on top of cake and sherry. Make thick custard from package and spread over bananas and cake. Whip cream and top over cooled custard.

Monday, November 28, 2011

She's Gotta Be Mine!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! And I hope you enjoyed Beauty or the Bitch over the last couple of months!

First, some important business! Dead to the Max, Book 1 in the paranormal Max Starr mystery series is free for a limited time on Amazon, B&N, Apple, Sony, Smashwords! This is an e-book only offer, not print. I always to make sure I tell you about free stuff I’ve got going!

And now, I’m so pleased to announce that I’m reissuing my first two books by Jennifer Skully for the first time ever in e-book, with fun and flirty covers by Rae Monet Inc! This week I’ll talk about She’s Gotta Be Mine, and next week, I’ll give you an excerpt of the sequel, Fool’s Gold.

If you missed it previously, KOD Daphne Award winner and Romantic Times Top Pick “Sex and the Serial Killer” is back with a new title, She’s Gotta Be Mine, and a slight text revamp. It’s still laugh-out-loud funny, peopled with hilarious characters in the small town of Cottonmouth, California. Not to mention an alleged serial killer who’s too devilishly handsome to ignore.

I’ve got my husband to thank for this book. He helped me do so much of the plotting for it, providing tons of ideas. Calling my little town Cottonmouth, that was his idea! This book was originally published in 2005, and I can’t tell you how happy he was. My first sale to a major publishing house! My hubby, the Viking God as I call him—because he’s blond and Norwegian and totally hunky—has always supported my writing. I wouldn’t have a writing career if it hadn’t been for him. So thank, sweetie, for all the hours of plotting and all the love and support.

Okay, so I should tell you up front that Jennifer Skully is my funny half. But because I’m still Jasmine as well, there’s a few hot-hot-hot scenes as well! You can find She's Gotta Be Mine at Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, and Apple. Here’s a little blurb, then I’ll give you an excerpt.

She's Gotta Be Mine
Cottonmouth Book 1
Copyright 2011 Jennifer Skully

Dumped? For her husband’s high school sweetheart he hasn’t seen in twenty years? Roberta Jones Spivey isn’t going to lay down for that, no way. Instead, she decides to reinvent herself. The new Bobbie Jones—new haircut, new name, new attitude—will follow her soon-to-be ex to the small Northern California town of Cottonmouth. And there she’ll show him—and his sweetheart—what a big mistake he made.

What better way to show him what he’s missing in the brand new Bobbie Jones than taking up with the town’s local bad boy—who’s also reputed to be a serial killer. Nick Angel is devilishly handsome and sexy as all get-out. In a word, perfect.

It’s all going exactly according to plan...until a real murder rocks the little town of Cottonmouth. Of course, Nick didn’t do it...did he?

Prologue

A mixture of red dye and sweat trickled down her forehead, hovered on her eyebrows, poised to drizzle into her eyes. Soon to be blinded by runaway hair products, Roberta Jones Spivey could force nothing more than a mousy squeak from her throat. She was about to go deaf, too, from the hairdryer blasting her eardrums, and still, she couldn’t open her mouth wide enough to shriek. Any moment now, her hair would spontaneously combust. They’d smell the smoke first, then the aroma of singed hair, but by the time any of the umpteen stylists scurrying about The Head Hunter’s main salon came to her rescue, she’d be bald. If not charred to a briquette.

Help me before my demise becomes a fifteen-second slot on a tabloid show. Now was not the time for a panic attack.

Drip, drip, drip, from her eyebrows to her eyelashes. In a last ditch effort to save herself, she squeezed her eyes shut. Burning tears leaked out to mingle with the caustic fluids. She clamped onto the chair’s arms, a death grip, terrified that if she touched the stuff, she’d end up rubbing her flesh off, too.

Someone. Please. Notice me.

The bowl of the dryer was suddenly jerked up, cool air from the overhead fans wafting across her scalp.

“Bobbie, honey, why didn’t you tell me the color was running?” Mimi was the only person who’d ever called her Bobbie.

Roberta dragged in a breath of air to explain, then collapsed in a spasm of coughing as the stench of chemicals, dyes, perm solution, and her own terrified sweat swooped down her throat.

Mimi’s shoes clicked-clacked away, then back again. “Here, drink this.”

Water had never tasted so good. All Roberta had wanted was a new look. Okay, so she needed a new life, too. Instead, she’d almost died, and her heart was still pounding like the Pony Express. She handed the empty paper cup back to Mimi, who crumpled it, executed a perfect free throw into the trash can, then tugged at a few squishy locks on Roberta’s head, and pronounced, “You’re cooked.”

Roberta was cooked all right. Roasted, basted, filleted, flambéed. And limp as a wet noodle to boot. Residual quivers made her knees wobble as she tried to stand up.

Mimi put a hand beneath her elbow. “Bobbie, honey, you okay?

“I’m fine.” Well, except that Warren had walked out on her three weeks, six days, and seven hours ago. On April eighteenth. Three days after tax day. Two days after he’d left for his little mission up north. In Cottonmouth, California. He’d dumped her with nothing more than a phone call telling her he wasn’t coming back. Ever.

Roberta blew out a breath. “Yeah, Mimi, I’m just fine.”

“Good, for a minute there under the dryer you looked a little panicky.” Mimi patted her arm and led her to the rinse bowl.

“I didn’t want to bother you while you were busy.” Her, panic? Just because her husband of fifteen years had left her for his long-lost, recently-located-through-the-Internet high school sweetheart? The love of his life. The teenage bimbo who’d broken his heart, then disappeared off the face of the earth—or at least left the San Francisco Bay Area for parts unknown. Cookie. What kind of name was that anyway? It made her think of some hairy blue monster on a morning kids’ show. Warren was bound to see he’d made a mistake.

Okay, so she’d made a mistake, too, by actually helping him search the Net. And mailing the hundreds of letters—because he was nervous about calling all those women looking for the right one. And letting him drive to Cottonmouth all alone that fateful weekend. She’d only wanted to help him solve his problem. Because his problem was her problem.

Mimi pushed her head back into the bowl and began rinsing with warm water. Roberta closed her eyes. The water turned off, the soothing scent of citrus conditioner replaced the stinging dye in her nostrils, and gentle fingers massaged her scalp.

“Bobbie, honey, you’re tense. Is work getting to you?”

“No, it’s fine.” Except for those dreaded whispers of “restatement” trickling out of the audit committee, and her boss Mr. Winkleman’s finger pointing firmly in her direction, as Director of Accounting. But she wasn’t worried; she knew every balance, every detail, inside and out. Her numbers were solid.

She gave herself up to the finger pads working her scalp and the little knots at the base of her skull. Her breathing relaxed, the whir of her mind’s gears slowed. Ahh.

“So, where’s your husband taking you for your birthday?”

Roberta’s eyes flew open, and all that lovely mellowness fled through the soles of her low-heeled pumps.

“He’s picked out this new restaurant he heard about on Nob Hill.” The lie just sort of slipped out. Roberta believed in little white lies to keep everyone comfortable. Except that there wasn’t anything comfortable about turning forty. Or about being dumped. What was next? Menopause. Old age. Death. “It’s very exclusive, very dressy, and very San Francisco, he says.”

She wouldn’t have had a thing to wear because she’d lost ten pounds since Warren left. But if Warren was taking her out for her birthday, then she wouldn’t have lost the ten pounds because he wouldn’t have left, and then she would have had something to wear. Her temples throbbed. Everything was so confusing.

“You’ve really got yourself a prince there.”

Yeah, a prince. She just hadn’t realized that princes needed Prozac. Or that a good psychiatrist cost upwards of two hundred dollars an hour—excuse me, fifty minutes—just to say, “Mrs. Spivey, you must realize that antidepressants will have a negative impact on your husband’s sex drive.”

He had no sex drive. That’s why he’d gone to a doctor to begin with.

Tears suddenly pricked the corners of her eyes. “Yes, Warren’s a wonderful man.”

At least she’d thought so. But he’d gone off the drugs for the Cookie Monster, for God’s sake. And the woman was married. Another dumpee in the making. Maybe Roberta should call Mr. Cookie Monster to commiserate.

Maybe she should sue Warren’s psychiatrist for putting the idea of finding closure with his high school sweetheart into his mind in the first place. Instead, she’d dyed her brown hair red.

“Maybe I need a new haircut, too.”

Easing her to a sitting position, Mimi wrapped a white towel around Roberta’s head and squeezed the water from her hair.

“Something bouncy and short?”

Her head enshrouded in terrycloth, Roberta nodded.

“Thank God, Bobbie. I’ve been telling you your hair is naturally curly, the length and weight just pulls it all out.”

Mimi tugged Roberta to her feet and guided her to a chair. The towel came off. What she’d thought would be red was merely a darker brown. Richer maybe, but still brown.

“Don’t pout. It’ll look red when it dries. Now, how short shall we go?” Mimi fluffed the drying strands.

Roberta pointed to her shoulders.

Mimi grimaced in the mirror. “That’ll drag your face down. As we get older, we need to make sure our faces don’t drag.”

Who was this we? Mimi was a pert, perpetual twenty-nine-year-old with lively black hair, wood-nymph brown eyes, and unlined skin. Without opening her mouth, Roberta skimmed the bottom of her ears with shaky fingers.

Mimi beamed. “Perfect.”

Then she started snipping, clipping, drying, and poofing. Roberta squeezed her eyes shut amidst the cacophony of voices, laughter, running water, and blow dryers.

“You can open them now.”

A scintilla of the hysteria she’d felt under the dryer tingled along Roberta’s nerve endings. Then she looked in the mirror.

“Oh my.”

Behind her, Mimi bounced with expectation. “Whad’ya think?”

Roberta didn’t recognize the face framed in silky red hair just brushing the tips of her ears, hugging her nape, gently curling across her forehead. Her hazel eyes looked greener, lush, like new spring grass. Her lips looked fuller. And the tired lines pulling at her mouth seemed to have vanished.

“It makes you look like you’ve lost weight. I think you need to buy a new outfit to celebrate.”

The woman in the mirror needed a whole new wardrobe. Business suits and tailored blouses just wouldn’t go with that face. That face needed vibrant colors and short skirts. Four-inch spike heels.

The hand in the mirror touched the full lips. Lipstick. Something overstated. “Maybe I need some new makeup, too, Mimi.”

“I’ve got just the thing.” Mimi disappeared from the mirror, click-clacking across the linoleum.

Yes, she needed new makeup. Because fixing your whole life couldn’t be accomplished simply by changing your hairstyle.

No, that new hair needed new makeup, new clothes, new shoes. And a new name. Like Bobbie. Bobbie Jones. Without the Spivey, which had always made her think of the word spineless. Spineless Spivey. Warren? Or herself?

And Director of Accounting would never do for Bobbie Jones. Bobbie needed something...exciting. A job where she’d meet new people every day. Doing something she’d shine at. Where she couldn’t help but be noticed.

Where there were no Mr. Winklemans pointing their fingers and saying, She did it. Fire her.

God, could she really do it? Could she really quit, try on another career like a new outfit?

What on earth was standing in her way? There was no Warren. And there was money in the bank to tide her over until she found just the right job.

Could she? Would she? She stared at the familiar yet changed woman in the mirror. That woman could do anything she set her mind to. That woman would find a new goal in life.

Roberta sat straighter, squared her shoulders, put a hand to the brand new curls that overflowed the top of her head. Bobbie Jones wouldn’t have to worry about negative impacts on a man’s sex drive. Bobbie Jones would have her pick.

Roberta Jones Spivey could stick with a job she hated and grovel at the feet of the Winklemans of the world. Roberta Jones Spivey could have panic attacks under a hair dryer because she’d decided to change the color of her hair. Bobbie Jones had better things to do. Important things to do. One all-important thing.

Bobbie Jones was going to Cottonmouth to show Warren what he’d thrown away when he drove off into the sunset to find the Cookie Monster.

Oh yeah, and one more really important thing. Bobbie would have sex for the first time in...much too long.


Chapter One


Bobbie Jones—she’d tossed out Roberta along with her job, her tailored suits, and her frilly blouses—tapped her brilliant crimson lip with the tip of a matching manicured nail. A new woman with a new attitude. And no ugly, painful thoughts.

“I must have that cottage.” No, no, we can’t possibly do this. Bobbie quashed another annoying little Robert-whine. She was getting so much better at doing it, since that day in the salon, a little less than a month ago, when she’d decided every page of her life story needed revising.

Top selling real estate agent and self-proclaimed Cottonmouth maven, Patsy Bell Sapp’s mouth opened so wide, the wrinkles marring her tanned face vanished. Almost. “You don’t want that.”

Bobbie smiled. “Yes. I do.” No, we don’t. Buzz off, Roberta.

The house, little more than a cube tucked into a postage-stamp lot, was the antithesis of the pristine residence on the stately San Francisco street. Warren had chosen the property over having children, a plan she’d, no, Roberta had gone along with because being a parent was too awesome a responsibility.

“But the serial killer lives right across the street.” Patsy hacked out a cough, her penciled-in eyebrows disappearing into the fringe of her bouffant hairdo. With a vigorous shake of her head, multiple shades of gray sparkled in the sunlight.

“Excuse me?” Was the woman serious? Probably not. If she was, why would she even bring Bobbie by the rental?

Still looking at her, Patsy pointed at the shaded, two-story house across the street. “He’s a serial killer,” she mouthed.

The title had a ring to it, even if it was most likely a town joke. Serial killer. Didn’t that fit her mood to a T? Her mood, not Roberta’s. She itched with a mixture of danger, disbelief, and anticipation. Heavy on the disbelief part. But still, he must be a real bad-boy type to fuel such rumors. Back home in Head Hunters salon, she’d sworn to herself she was going to have sex with someone. And sex with an alleged serial killer sounded risky. Edgy. Exciting.

Just the kind of thing a Bobbie Jones, not a Roberta Spivey, would do. It would tweak Warren’s nose right out of joint.

And that’s what this whole excursion to Cottonmouth was about. Right?

Monday, October 31, 2011

What Happens After Dark by Jasmine Haynes

Happy Halloween!

What Happens After Dark comes out tomorrow, Nov 1, 2011! The second book in my sexy, emotional DeKnight trilogy, the series continues with the characters from Past Midnight, this time giving you Bree Mason’s tale (the accountant). What Happens After Dark is a dark story seething with emotion, about love, sex, life, death, illness, and tragedy. Yeah, yeah, I know the stereotype about accountants, but really, they aren’t all boring!! But they certainly aren’t all nice either!

As with all fiction books, this is make-believe; still, a writer can’t help but put bits and pieces from his or her own experience. That’s what makes every story different despite common themes, because we bring pieces of ourselves into everything we write. In this book, you’ll meet a character named Marbury, an awful man. Here’s where I blended fiction with personal. Marbury is patterned after a boss I had several years ago. The incident I remember most from my brief time working for my personal “Marbury” (who shall remain unnamed) concerned a raise. I felt I deserved one. Don’t we all!? So I practiced what I wanted to say, enumerating all the reasons why I deserved it. I, of course, thought they were all very valid. I was as polite as could be, too, when I sat in the chair opposite him and gave him my prepared speech. Oh my God! He went ballistic. He called me a prostitute and some other horrible names. It was quite traumatic. But despite his blustering, I stuck to my guns. And I did get that raise. I was proud of myself for remaining steady in the face of his tirade. It had an added benefit, too! That experience helped me create Denton Marbury in Bree’s story. I hope you hate him as much as I did, LOL!

Here’s a blurb on What Happens After Dark, A DeKnight Novel, Book 2.

By day she’s a mild-mannered accountant.
After dark, she’s a willing slave to his wildest fantasies.

Bree Mason longs to be a successful career woman, but secrets keep her chained to the past, afraid to take that next step. And at night, her frustrations are released by the domineering Luke Raven, who gives her what she asks for and more in a sensuous game of master and slave…

But to take control of her life, Bree will have to look within and face the demons of her past. Luke knows the ins and outs of Bree’s body, knows what makes her gasp and sigh and beg. But now he’s willing to push their relationship to the limit—to stand by her side in the light of day and take the greatest risk of all…for love.

I’ve given you all an http://www.skullybuzz.com/newsite/books/bookwhathappensafterdark.html of the prologue on my website. But I thought I’d do something different for today, an excerpt featuring the above-mentioned Denton Marbury! You won’t find this anywhere else but on my blog (or in the book itself!).

What Happens After Dark
A DeKnight Novel, Book 2


The outer office consisted of Clarice seated at a very big desk with her computer monitor, keyboard, and phone all within reach, and a host of office machines lining the walls, including a combination printer with scanner, fax, and copier, a color printer for presentations, and of course a coffeemaker and large refrigerator. Denton Marbury was a large man.

The high-speed printer was spitting out documents while Clarice talked on the phone’s headset and tapped on the keyboard. She’d fashioned her honey blonde hair into a ponytail on the crown of her head. At close to fifty, she seemed a bit old for ponytails, but she’d once confided to Bree that a tight ponytail was cheaper for stretching out the wrinkles than cosmetic surgery. And it seemed to work for her.

She held up a finger to keep Bree for a moment, her polish the most amazing neon orange that actually seemed to glow. Marbury was closeted in his office. Whenever Bree had an appointment with him, he always made her wait, sometimes only a few minutes, but always long enough to show his superiority.

But with his office door closed, escape might very well be hers. Bree merely waggled the manila envelope of documents, mouthed “I’ll leave them,” then slid the package onto the edge of Clarice’s desk.

She almost made it out the door.

“Bree.” The deafening voice raised her hackles. Even when Denton Marbury was trying to whisper, he boomed. The sound matched his body. He was six-foot-three and wide like an ex-football player who’d stopped pumping iron long ago. Because he was tall, she didn’t think of him as fat; she wasn’t even sure he was, there was just so much meat to him. He wore a light brown shirt, brown tie, and brown pants, and all the unrelenting brown seemed to amplify the bulge of his belly.

Okay, if she had an appointment, he kept her waiting. But if she was trying to sneak in, he had some unnatural radar to catch her. He always had to get his pound of flesh, so to speak. “Mr. Marbury, I have to run. Erin needs me right back.”

“Why, I just talked to Erin and she said your father’s ill and you’re working half days.” He smiled. He had the square jaw, fleshy lips, and perpetual five o’clock shadow of the Fred Flintstone cartoon character. He held up his watch. “My understanding was you were on your way home.” He didn’t offer sympathy or condolences. Not that she’d have known what to say if he had.

She certainly shouldn’t have lied, though. She shouldn’t have offered an excuse at all. But he always made her feel as if she owed him something. “I have to run another errand for Erin, then I’m on my way home.”

“What do you have to do for her?”

Most people would never even ask the question. If you were making an excuse, they’d let you get away with it. Because really, what skin off their nose was it? It wasn’t his business anyway. But Denton Marbury always pushed her. He was a total asshole, and if she wasn’t so pathetic, she’d tell him so.

“Denton, Roger says he needs to talk to you.”

Marbury didn’t bother to glance at Clarice as he snapped out, “Tell him I’m busy.”

Clarice was silent a beat, then clucked her tongue. “He heard that, and he says that if you’re too busy to talk to him, he’s too busy to write you a check.”

Bree wondered why she couldn’t think of something pithy and brilliant like that to tell him when he was bullying her.

Marbury growled. “Fine. I’ll be there in a second.” Then he turned back to Bree. “We need to schedule a time to go over the documents.”

Bree wanted to say that they were self-explanatory. At least for anyone who knew accounting and did DKG’s taxes, but with certain people, it was just better to avoid confrontations. “Fine,” she told him. “I’ll look at my calendar when I get to work tomorrow.”

“Be sure to call me,” he said. Not okay, give me a call when it’s convenient or that’ll be good. No, he had to say it like she was a bimbo who would forget or simply ignore him.

Wouldn’t she just love to ignore him. “I will.” But gosh, with all the stress she was under, she was sure she’d promptly forget.

Behind him, Clarice shooed her away with a get-while-the-getting’s-good hand gesture. Bree was well aware that Clarice had come to the rescue with that phone call.

Leaving, she felt like a frightened mouse scurrying away from the cat with the huge claws. She didn’t know why she let Denton Marbury intimidate her. He wasn’t even that smart or great at tax work. She’d had to call him lots of times about errors she found in the tax forms when she reviewed them. He always managed to make it sound as if her work papers were at fault. Not. But she could never tell Erin. She didn’t want to be caught in the middle. Besides, it was humiliating to have to ask Erin to fight her battles.

---

I hope you enjoyed this little excerpt of What Happens After Dark. Next week I’ll be returning to give you Chapter 9 of Beauty or the Bitch. So be sure to come back!

Here’s a complete list of The DeKnight Novels in order:

Past Midnight
May 2011

What Happens After Dark
Nov 2011

The Principal's Office
February 2012

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Please welcome Delilah Devlin!

Thanks so much for joining us, Delilah. It's a pleasure to have you!

Here's the latest skinny on Delilah's new book, Enslaved by a Viking. Read on to the end to hear about the prize Delilah is offering and how you can win it!

Twenty lusty Vikings, captured and enslaved for the pleasure of the women of a more advanced world—this novel has it all—passion, danger, the spectacle of the gladiators’ arena. Most of all, it’s the story of two people from two very different worlds who clash, then join together in a turbulent, romantic journey that spans a galaxy.

That’s how I’d describe my latest full-length novel. Why Vikings? Sure, they were rude, crude, and violent. What’s not to love? They were also extremely loyal to family and clan, which is at the center of this novel. On New Iceland, the place my Vikings wound up after making the mistake of accepting an invitation to Asgard from the “gods”, they’ve thrived despite the inhospitable conditions. Another human race on the far side of the universe thought this uneducated bunch of barbarians would be easy to keep enslaved and working to mine the richest energy source in their galaxy. However, these barbarians aren’t easily subdued. They own their planet now. When the others decide to snatch the most virile males, they don’t take it lightly. They hijack space ships and follow. The first book, Ravished by a Viking, describes that first hijacking and ends in a glorious battle with ice dragons. This book has its own savagely beautiful battle, plus the added bonus of watching those virile Vikings play at being sex thralls. Interested now? I hope so. I love these guys and can’t wait to write more stories in my far-away galaxy.

His suffering…

Though proud and strong, Eirik, heir to the Ulfhednars kingdom, found himself seduced and taken from his homeworld by a bounty-hunting vixen, who sold him into slavery. Purchased by a wealthy, Consortium-backed brothel, he is kept at a heavily guarded and secure breeding facility, where he is forced to feed the lustful whims of Helios’s elite at night. He bides his time, waiting for a chance to escape and get his revenge on the woman who betrayed him…

Her satisfaction…

Once a sex thrall, Fatin earned her freedom through service. Now, as a bounty hunter, she is determined to earn enough to buy her sister’s papers from the same brothel she escaped. For this, she abducts a brutishly handsome, breed-worthy specimen from the Viking planet and delivers him to auction. But her desire for justice and his desire for freedom may consume both of them in a passion neither wanted—or can resist.

“This is an exhilarating BDSM (and more) romantic science fiction… With a strong cast made up of several races and a lead couple in love and distrust, readers will appreciate Enslaved by a Viking in outer space.”
~5 Stars, Harriet Klausner, Genre Go Round

"This lusty novel has components of BDSM, scorching sex and the element of surprise. There is clever worldbuilding and tight plotting, with a great cast of characters..."
~4 Stars, RT Books Reviews

Link to excerpt and BUY links: http://www.delilahdevlin.com/books/enslaved-by-a-viking/

Delilah is offering a $10 Amazon.com gift certificate to one lucky person who leaves a comment on this blog. Please leave your email, too, so we can contact you. We'll be choosing the winner on Sunday, Oct 16th. Be sure to pop over to read Delilah's excerpt! It's great!

And be sure to drop by next Monday when I'll be continuing my free erotic read, Beauty or the Bitch. For those of you who missed it, Chapter One started on Aug 22nd. Catch up and tune in for Chapter Eight next Monday! If you don't want to wait for the ending, you can pick the e-book up at www.amazon.com/dp/B004UWPPWC

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Please give a warm welcome to Cerise DeLand

I have a special guest for you today, Cerise DeLand. She’s going to give you a delightful excerpt from her regency historical, Lady Starling’s Stockings. I love the book cover, very sexy! Enjoy the blurb and the excerpt!

Lady Solange Starling has a special skill. But catching spies within her cousin's embassy has never presented a challenge. Then one moonlit evening in a garden, Solange meets a daring man who once saved her from death~and stole her heart. A man, who even in his youth, carved his place in her life and her reverie.

Monsieur Noir, he calls himself. And so he is, a man living in shadows, dark and dangerous to all he encounters. Now he joins her to weed out the nemesis who attempts to thwart their fight against Napoleon. Together, Noir and Solange finally discover how rich grand passion can be.

But this time can they finally win against cruel fate to give them what they most desire? Each other. Free of torment and loss. Free at last to love.

LADY STARLING'S STOCKINGS, 99 Cents in Kindle http://tinyurl.com/3orc36e and AllRomanceebooks.com at http://tinyurl.com/3h2b4b3

A nibble of my newest cherry:
Excerpt, Copyright 2011, Cerise DeLand. All rights reserved.

Naples, Italy
Evening, October 5, 1815

The evening seemed eternal! Solange read Byron and fretted. Sent two hot bricks up to her maid Cora, brought low by the rain today to her bed in the upstairs servants’ quarters. Then she wrote to her Aunt Minette, James’s mother, and walked the floor. She even played a vicious and solitary game of chess and threw the board, pieces and all, across the room. Still, Noir did not come.

If she could not relieve herself from the anxiety of holding her secrets, she would look like the ravages of hell at breakfast. Why did he not appear? Her visit below stairs had been most profitable. Her visit with James, minutes later in his study, much more so. Noir must learn it all.

Yet, what detained him? Where are you, Etienne? Are you reluctant to come tonight? Afraid I might not welcome you? Or need you?

Clutching her dressing gown around her, she marched to her boudoir window three stories above the Via Espana. No one walked out at this small hour of the morning. The rain broke into torrents, lightning crashed and a downpour obscured the details of the other houses along the boulevard.

A sleek black coach trotted past her door, only to pause at the garden. Had a figure emerged from the cab? She wiped the moisture from the glass, but her vision became no clearer. Her hands upon the latch, she satisfied herself that her balcony doors were indeed unlocked and accessible from the garden terrace.

Climbing into her bed, she lay on her back, folded her hands like a day-old corpse and waited for Noir.

Many minutes later, she heard the latch on the French doors give and the pounding of the deluge become louder as someone entered from the balcony and shut out the sounds of the world. Exhausted but satisfied he had arrived, Solange called to him from the bed.

In the flashes of lightning, she watched his powerful silhouette stop and scan the room. “Do not stand there and drip on my carpet, mon cher.” She flung back her covers. “The night is ugly and we both need warmth.”

“Solange, no,” he murmured, pleading for reprieve from the intimacy she offered.

“Come, Noir. I will not leave this bed.”

Cursing, he divested himself of cloak, boots, coat and stock. Striding to her side, he slid in beside her. Once this close, she knew he would do as he had always done when this near to her. He encompassed her in his arms and she lifted her bare leg to curl around his hips and welcome him to her. He did not object, neither did he move.

“You are chilled,” she murmured, a frisson of delight traveling her spine.

“I am never ill.”

“How well I recall. You could eat nothing, hunt for game or scout for soldiers all day and never tire.”

“To weaken is to lose,” he told her, his lips to her forehead, his tone grim. “You went out with Giorgio today.”

“I did,” she offered simply, replaying the tone of Noir’s voice, listening for the jealousy she sought like a starving child.

“What did you learn?”

Her palm upon his chest, she caressed his well-hewn muscles. Then with an indifference she used like a knife, she said, “He wishes to have me as his own.”

Noir snorted. “Bastard. Of course he wants the lovely English woman. So does every man worth his salt in this city.”

Wondering if Noir would admit to counting himself among those men, she snuggled into him and kissed his throat. The aroma of his musk met her nostrils, the fragrance balm to her soul and spur to her desire.

He cupped her nape, holding her still. “You refused him?”

She sighed. “You and I both suspect him of treachery. We have tried to learn his actions and failed. It seems the best course. I concluded I should accept him.”

Noir pulled back, their gazes locked as the lightning struck to illuminate the room. “You do not wish the man.”

“I wish only to complete my work.”

Noir’s arms tightened. “Such sacrifice is not required.”

“Of course it is. You know it. Recount what you have lost since the Terror. Your entire family. Your lands and your–”

His body went rigid. “I did not relinquish those. They were taken from me.”

“And what do you sacrifice to gain any of it back?”

“Do I work for that?” he asked as if he had never before considered it.

“You live in the shadows,” she persisted. ”Running spies in foreign cities. How do you live? Where? Why have I not seen you–” she tempered her tones of sorrow, “–not seen you in years?” She pressed a tiny kiss to the corner of his mouth.

He flinched. “You have no idea what I have given to the cause of restoration of my rights.”

She heard the bitterness in his words. “I can imagine, mon cher. I can help you and you must not forbid it.”

“Not to give your body to a man who will not respect you! No!”

She tore from his grasp and rolled to her feet. Naked, she rejoiced when the storm obliged her with another bright strike of lightning. Noir drank her in, like wine for his soul. “You cannot stop me, Etienne.”

“Darling Solange, he is not worthy to touch you.” He sprang from the bed and came round to press her to the wall. “How can you expect me to sanction such an act?”

Her heart leaped at his words. Would that he could stop her and make her his alone. “We must learn who aids Murat in this house. Time grows short. If Murat invades and wins back Naples, Bonaparte can return to the Continent!”

“To hell with Bonaparte!” He took her by the shoulders. “The British sail him off to St. Helena.”

“He escaped them six months ago. He could again!”

“Never!” Noir gave her a shake. “I will not let you take that Italian crow to your bed!”

“You have no say!” she incited him, even as her body flooded with delight.

“I do! I have earned a say. Once, twice and now…”

“Now, what?” She wrenched to be free of him.

“After last night?”

At the memory of their passion, her heart raced. Her nipples hardened. Her pussy pounded, gushing with joy that he would recall them together on her bed. Still, she knew to provoke him or lose the moment. “We shared nothing!” she flung at him. You saw to it.

“We could not!”

“No? You left me wanting, needing–“ She pushed at him, all the hurt she’d experienced fueled her movements. “After all we are to each other and all these years of yearning, you left me, Etienne.”

He yanked her close. “How could I make love to you?”

“How could you not?” she demanded.

“I cannot have you!”

“Who forbids it?”

“My conscience! What if we loved and tomorrow escapes us?”

“Mon cher,” she mourned, “it always did.”

He stared at her, hunger and remorse in his stance and in his eyes, desire. “Why do you think I never came to you before this? Why do you think I ran a courier between us? Why?”

She raised her chin and arched her brows at him.

“I did not want to see you. Not face-to-face. I could not. From afar, I saw enough.” His face fell lax with sorrow. “You were so lovely. Yet you appeared so forlorn. Even as a debutante, you roused men. And as a bride to that idiot Starling, you dazzled. Other men spoke of you. Wished for you. Rejoiced when Starling died, thinking like fools they might attract you.”

“What could you care?” she tossed at him, needing his own declarations of desire.

“Care? I cared. I pined like a boy. Wanted you like a man.” He clamped her so close, she melted at the pressure of his cock against her belly. “As you grew older, after you were widowed, I knew your life and I knew if we met again what would happen between us.”

“Did you? Sure of your charms, are you?” she taunted him, roiled he had purposely stayed away and yet had longed for her.

He crushed her against him. This time, his cock rode her cleft and she whimpered. “No coyness for me, my pet. You and I came to care for each other long ago. When survival depended on trust and mutual responsibility.”

The proof of his desire was a torment and she undulated against him. “Still you deny us both any pleasure.” She wrapped her arms around his waist and cuddled so near she could be absorbed into his skin. “The finest bliss I ever knew was with you. The exhilaration of escape. The thrill of victory against all those hundreds who hunted us. The years between our meetings have been so fraught with the perils of ordinary living. And no affection. Or love. How can you refuse the opportunity to seize bliss?”

His expression, so bleak, so stern, shattered. “The devil knows. I do not.”

---

Hope you will read all of Solange and Noir’s story--and then try my other Regencies. See www.cerisedeland.com for a full list!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Baby, I'll Find You by Jennifer Skully

I’m so glad everyone enjoyed the photos from RomCon! Hopefully I’ll see some of you there in the future!

I’ve got plans for another story to put up weekly on the blog, just because it was so fun with Kinky Neighbors and everyone got into discussing the story. So starting next Monday, I’ll be putting up a new serial! I’m going to keep you in suspense about what it will be until next week!

This week, I want to give you a taste of my latest Jennifer Skully release. For those of you who don’t know, I wrote as Jennifer Skully for HQN a number of years ago. The books are funny, light, mostly mystery (I usually killed someone and had to solve a murder) and had 5 releases with them. Sex and the Serial Killer (yes, it was funny despite the title) was a Romantic Times Top Pick and won the Daphne Du Maurier Award of Excellence. The sequel was Fool’s Gold. And from there, I had Drop Dead Gorgeous, Sheer Dynamite, and It Must Be Magic. Now, after an absence of 4 years, Jennifer Skully is back with Baby, I'll Find You I’m so excited to finally be out there again with something that’s a little on the lighter side, though there’s definitely a sad theme in Baby, I'll Find You. While it’ll make you cry, some of the quirky characters will make you laugh, too. Be warned, Jennifer is very different from Jasmine, but it’s still the same voice in many ways, and still sexy. Because I can’t write anything that’s not sexy!

Thanks to Rosemary Gunn for the fabulous cover. I love, love, LOVE it! Baby, I’ll Find You is available on Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords. Right now, it's only in ebook format, but I hope to have the POD ready at a later date. Here’s more about the book!


Award-winning author Jennifer Skully is back! This time, she brings readers a poignant tale of loss and renewal. Peopled with Jennifer’s signature quirky and often hilarious characters, this story will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you ache. Step into the world of Jennifer Skully.


Baby, I'll Find You

A man without a future, a woman determined to give him one...

Jami Baylor has lost her job, her fiancé, her hopes, and her dreams all on the same day. But she believes in fate and destiny, and after finding Colton Amory’s CD in a thrift store grab bag, Jami knows it’s serendipity that she’s heard his song now. “Baby I’ll Find You” speaks to her heart, right when she needs it most. So, off she goes to the wilds of Yosemite to discover why Colton Amory hasn’t written another song in seven years.

The only problem? The man who wrote such beautiful music turns out to be a self-pitying jerk. Or so it seems, until Jami digs deeper.

Seven years ago, Cole Amory had a flourishing musical career and a little girl who was his pride and joy. In one split second, he lost it all. He hasn’t written a lyric or played a note since. Buried in a small Yosemite town, he’s now a fry cook at a fast-food joint. And he doesn’t need a woman with stars in her eyes opening all his old wounds and his guilt.

Can two people with nothing left to lose find it all?


Baby, I'll Find You Excerpt
Copyright 2011 Jennifer Skully
Chapter One


Good Lord, he’d fired her. Just like that. Her boss, Richard Headley, had scapegoated her. After five years with the company, Dick Head—as Jami referred to him in the privacy of her own mind—ripped the rug right out from under her.

Jami Baylor had never been fired, not even from the paper route she’d had as a kid.

The Bay Area had a late September rain yesterday, and a damp, musty smell permeated Used But Not Abused as Jami pushed through the thrift shop’s front door. She didn’t know if it emanated from the used clothing that had been shoved to the back of someone’s closet for too long or the ancient orange shag carpet covering the store’s concrete floor. Even the books smelled musty, as if they’d lain for years lost and forlorn in somebody’s attic.

Why did that feel like a metaphor for her life right now?

The stale scent didn’t bother anyone else. The shop was sardines-in-a-can packed. Fifty-percent-off Tuesday brought out shoppers in droves. Jami could barely find a spot to eyeball the latest treasures beneath the scratched glass showcase.

Behind the counter, Olga waddled towards her. “Baby Doll, what are you doing here in the middle of a workday?”

A large woman, Olga had to suck in her stomach to get behind the counter. Her face had turned to leather from years of smoking, and when she laughed too hard, she often lapsed into a coughing fit. Yet for the five or so years Jami had frequented the second-hand shop, Olga always had a kind word and a sweet smile.

Jami gave her one in return. “I needed a Used/Abused fix.”

The woman leaned in to inspect Jami. “You okay? Your nose looks like Rudolph. Got a cold coming on?”

No. She’d been crying. In the car, once she’d left the office, it hit her hard. She’d been fired. She’d worked in Silicon Valley for thirteen years, since graduating university, the last five at Southside Manufacturing. After four years as Cost Accounting Manager, she’d made the leap to Director of Materials, a job she’d toughed out for over a year. The first female director at Southside Manufacturing.

Yet when it came time for someone to take the blame, it was her signature on that purchase order sticking the company with thousands of specially machined parts they couldn’t use when their customer canceled a million-dollar contract. Cardinal rule in Purchasing, give yourself an out. Dick Head had her sign the PO without a cancellation clause. Against her better judgment.

That fact seemed to have slipped his mind when he fired her.

“I’m fine, thanks for asking,” she said, to avoid explaining. Especially since she might start blubbering again. Really, she wasn’t cut out to be an executive. “I just felt like a day off.”

“Well, good for you, Baby Doll. And let me tell you, we got some fine pieces in this weekend that your nieces will love.”

A woman elbowed Jami out of the way. “I want to see that,” she pointed for Olga, adding another finger smirch to the glass counter.

Jami gave the other lady room. Slightly chipped crockery and fine china with the gold edging worn off filled a display cabinet, and the necklaces and earrings in the glass sideboard were more of the dimestore variety than anything one would find at a jewelry store, but Jami loved buying the trinkets for her nieces. Kids were so easy. At last count, she had five nieces but no nephews, and that lack of a male heir was the bane of her mother’s existence.

By the time Jami came along, her mother already had three girls, each a year apart. She’d wanted a boy so badly she’d actually given Jami the boy’s name she’d had picked out before having the ultrasound. When the tiny fetus turned out to have the wrong apparatus, Mom thought she’d be cute by simply dropping the es off James and adding an i. Jami often wished her mother wasn’t so cutesy. She’d grown up feeling a bit...unnecessary in the scheme of things.

Not finding a thing that would make any of her nieces absolutely hyperventilate, Jami moved on. Halloween was, comparatively speaking, just around the corner, and Used But Not Abused was like any other shop, stocking Halloween gear a month before the main event. Scratched trick-or-treat pumpkins were stacked one atop the other and next to that, an assortment of battered skeletons to hang on the front door and Frankenstein monsters to guard the stoop.

At the back of the store, where the air got a little less circulation, the mustiness was enough to wrinkle her nose. But at least the crowd had thinned out. Most patrons favored the clothing aisles. Jami wasn’t interested in clothing. She’d discovered a treasure trove on a shelf in the back corner years ago. Even if she made it to the shop only five minutes before closing, when she had a particularly hard day, or was stressed at work, or she’d had a fight with Leo, she came here.

Not that she and Leo argued a lot. Their relationship was pretty darn amicable. And comfortable. Maybe too comfortable. What if Leo never thought it was the right time for a family? Jami was thirty-five. It was time. She wanted a child so badly it sometimes felt like shrink-wrap squeezing her insides. They’d been living together for seven years. When would he make up his mind? There was always that next big promotion around the corner or one more financial goal he needed to achieve. Not to mention that their lovemaking had become increasingly perfunctory, and, to be honest, not so much about her pleasure.

Jami shivered. How was she supposed to break the job news to Leo? They lived in his condo, but she shared expenses. She had savings to live on for...well, over a year at least, but it would still be a blow to them both.

Okay, she wouldn’t think about all that now.

Jami hunkered down in front of the stapled paper bags on the bottom shelf. Grab bags. They took her back to her childhood when her favorite uncle visited, with grab bags for her and each of her sisters. Filled with junk that her sisters threw out along with the paper sack, in Jami’s mind, there was always a treasure in there, big or little. Growing up, she’d been the youngest and never learned how to scream the loudest or the longest, and her mother was often too busy dealing with someone else’s drama to notice Jami’s relatively minor problems. The fact that her uncle always knew the perfect treasure to put in that sack, one especially for her, made up for the lack of attention.

Continuing grab-bagging into adulthood was, at the very least, a little OCD, but Jami didn’t care if she had an obsessive-compulsive disorder. She loved the grab bags.

Closing her eyes, she put out a hand for a stapled bag. Best not to think or look too hard. That was the key to grabbing. If you didn’t over-think, the universe stepped in and gave you exactly what you needed.

Then someone snatched the magic bag right out of her fingers. Jami snapped her eyes open and rose to her full five foot seven plus three-inch heels. “Hey, that’s mine.”

“I saw it first.” Easily a head shorter than Jami, the elderly woman clutched the bag to her chest, her bosom heaving.

“I had it first.” Jami narrowed her eyes and secured her stance on her high heels, like a gunfighter ready to quick-draw. She’d touched it first, so she had dibs. She might not have stood up to Dick Head when he’d ordered her to sign that PO, but she’d go to the mat for that bag.

A tear trickled down onto a cheek that resembled an apple wizened in the sun. “But I need it. You don’t need it.”

Jami took in the woman’s blouse, which was literally falling apart at the seams. The torn hem of her skirt dragged on the orange shag carpet. Jami glanced at the bag. Its label read women’s clothing.

Jeez. Did it matter who’d touched it first? The grab-bag thing was about feeling better, and really, if she yanked it out of this poor lady’s hand, she’d feel lower than dirt. “You’re right. I don’t really need it.” She reached in her purse for a dollar bill and handed it to the woman. “But since I touched it first, I still have to be the one to pay for it.”

The woman beamed. She was missing a tooth. Then she snatched the dollar from Jami, pushed between two men arguing about a broken cuckoo clock that cucked but didn’t koo, and slapped the bill on the counter before Jami could change her mind. If the old lady had scammed her, she’d done it well, and Jami didn’t mind.

Instead, she bent down, reached into the maze of bags on the shelf without looking, pulled one from the last row, then made her way to the front.

The two men were still arguing about the cuckoo.

When she reached the counter, Olga patted her hand. “What’d ya get this time, Baby Doll?”

Smiling, Jami plunked down her dollar. “I have no idea. It’s a surprise.”

Olga looked at the sack’s writing through the bottom of her glasses. “It says—”

Jami stuck her fingers in her ears. “Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know before I open it.”

There was a whole ritual to follow; okay, she did have OCD. She couldn’t read the writing on the outside of the bag, just stick her hand in, eyes closed. It could be clothing, jewelry or books, CDs or video tapes. She’d been known to pick men’s clothing or shoes, but there was always something worth calling treasure, even if all an item did was garner a memory of her father’s Florsheim shoes and the quarters he used to pay her as a child to keep the leather polished. Pops had passed from lung cancer ten years ago. He hadn’t smoked a day in his life.

Olga shook the bag. “It sounds like—” she singsonged in that raspy voice.

“Stop it,” Jami squealed, playing along. “I don’t want to know.”

Olga loved to tease, and they went through the same rigmarole every time. Maybe that was part of the pleasure of grab-bagging. Olga, her teasing, her smiles. Even before Jami left the shop, she always felt sunnier. A little more hopeful.

“Well, I want to hear what you find inside. If it’s really good, I think we’re going to have to consider raising prices.”

“It’s because they’re only a dollar that you even sell them and you know it.” Jami herself was probably the only one who got a big kick out of what was in the bags anyway. “Raising the price doesn’t do you a darn bit of good if volume goes down.”

“Being a high finance mucky-muck, you oughta know.”

Right. She’d been more like Dick Head’s bum girl even if she did have a title. C’est la vie. The bright side was not having to see Dick Head day in and day out. Maybe getting fired was a blessing in disguise.

Olga slammed the cash drawer. “Now get outta here, and see if you got anything fun.”

Jami waved. The bag rattled in her hand as she headed out to her SUV. It didn’t sound like jewelry. CDs, maybe videos; she rarely got DVDs, since everybody was chucking their old tapes.

The sun shone through the windshield of her white 4Runner, and once inside she was toasty despite the taste of fall chill.

“What have we got?” she whispered. Tearing out the staples, she closed her eyes and stuck her hand in.

Could be video games. She didn’t know if they came in jewel cases. She opened her eyes to find Lawrence Welk staring at her, offering his all-time favorite polkas. Oh my God, her aunt would love it! She sifted through the bag, counting nine more CDs. Maybe it was Lawrence Welk’s complete collection. One Christmas present was in the bag, no pun intended. The next one she pulled out, however, was Slim Whitman. Jami laughed out loud. Grandma in the movie Mars Attacks had played a Slim Whitman record on her phonograph and made all the Martian heads explode, thus saving the world. Jami had thought they made up Slim just for the movie, but he was an honest-to-God crooner.

Les Paul and Mary Ford were next. A married couple from the fifties timeframe, and the CD featured their Rheingold beer commercials. Hmm, okay. She found four more Lawrence Welk, big band, ballads, and standards, then the soundtrack for The Blair Witch Project—did it even have a soundtrack?—and two CDs from a guy she’d never heard of. Colton Amory. The first was called Dream Sweet and the second Dreaming of You.

She flipped over one to read the song titles on the back, and her heart simply jumped into her throat. Even in a studio portrait, Colton Amory had the most penetrating pair of blue eyes she’d ever seen, as if he were looking right into her soul. Jami held her breath for several seconds. His hair was dark brown, and though his mustache had one or two streaks of gray in it, she could swear he wasn’t more than mid-thirties. He had a cock-eyed smile that made her want to smile right back at him as if he could see her, and laugh lines around his gorgeous blue eyes.

The dollar she’d paid was worth it for Colton Amory’s photo alone. She turned over the other CD, Dream Sweet, and this time his smile was only a hint. As if he had a sexy secret. His mustache was minus the gray streaks. But damn, he was hot in both photos.

The copyright dates on the inside covers showed Dream Sweet was the earliest, nine years ago, and the second album, Dreaming of You, a couple of years later.

By now, Colton Amory probably had a paunch and a big bald spot, but she could still fantasize about what he’d looked like seven years ago. Since he’d found his way into a Used But Not Abused grab bag, however, his music was probably crap.

She started the engine, yanked his more recent CD out of its jewel case and shoved it into her player, then pulled into traffic to the opening strains of Colton Amory’s guitar. It had an odd sound. No, not odd. Not out-of-tune either. It was unique, in a different key that pulled a person’s soul right into the music. Some songs didn’t penetrate the consciousness. Usually, she’d be thinking about the million things she had to get done in the first five minutes at work and never even heard the songs on the radio. Colton Amory’s music didn’t allow her to think of anything else. It sucked her in and wouldn’t let her go.

Then he started to sing, his voice like the smooth taste of a glass of Kahlua-n-cream going down. Sweet and velvety like cream, yet rich and smoky like Kahlua. In “Baby, I’ll Find You”, he sang about dreams and soul mates and finding the perfect woman. More than a partner, the person who fulfilled you, completed you, the one who gave you synergy. Separate, you were just going through the motions, but together you were so much more than simply the sum of your separate parts. His words spoke to her inner heart; his voice mesmerized her. She ran through the tail-end of a yellow light, cutting it way too close to red.

Oh. My. God. Colton Amory was a grab-bag treasure among treasures. His lyrics made her want to reach for her dreams.

At the next light, she closed her eyes and shivered with an ache so bad, it made her insides quake. God, she wanted. Everything. A baby growing inside her, then finally, finally, that cherished little human being in her arms. Leo’s ring on her finger. His breath in her ear saying how much he loved her, wanted her, needed her. A four-bedroom house she and Leo owned together, something in the suburbs with a white picket fence and rows of hydrangea bushes. She wanted the blue ones. She wanted all the passion in that song, to rediscover it with Leo. Now. Not tomorrow or next month or next year.

The emotion Colton Amory seared into his music was more than mere words. It was a message. In that grab bag, the universe had given her exactly what she needed. Maybe the universe had been sending her a message when Dick Head fired her, too. It was time to take a stand, go for the gusto, take charge of her life, and ask for what she wanted. She’d waited seven years for Leo to make up his mind. She wasn’t getting any younger. She’d spent far too much time waiting for things to happen. It was time to let go of her fears and force them to happen.

Finding Colton Amory’s music was serendipity. Or fate. Maybe even destiny. Jami knew what she had to do.

Tonight, she’d make up Leo’s mind for him.


Chapter Two


“I hate to say it, sweetie, but no man buys the cow when he can get the milk for free.”

Jami’s shoulders tensed, then her neck, until finally a mammoth tension headache sprouted like an alien probe inside her head. With her outdated clichés, her mother was an anachronism. You’d think Mom had been raised on fifties TV shows like Father Knows Best and Leave it Beaver. She’d actually caught her mother watching old reruns on TV Land.

But Mom was right, things with Leo hadn’t gone the way Jami planned.
###

I hope you enjoyed this taste of Baby, I'll Find You and Jennifer Skully. I’m sure she’ll be back for more! And don’t forget, next week, the start of another serial!

Monday, August 8, 2011

RomCon 2011!

I had a great time at RomCon in Denver, saw lots of old friends, and made lots of new ones! In this blog, I’ll update you on the conference and share some of the fun photos! I attended the conference with Ellen Higuchi, my local romance readers group leader.

















First, here’s a photo of Sue Grimshaw, Ellen, and Mary Jo. I hung out with these ladies a lot! And what great discussions we had!


While everything from my erotic authors panel to the erotic author mixer and the book “rumble” on Sunday was fantastic, I would have to say the highlight of the weekend was the Victorian Fashion Show put on by Deeanne Gist. She was extremely knowledgeable about the subject and the dresses were fabulous. The first portion of the event was a parade of historical authors dressed in period pieces. I’ve got a few sample photos provided by Ellen Higuchi (because I was a dork and forgot to put my camera in my bag!)







Here’s a wonderful photo of me with Jade Lee in a bathing costume. Can you believe that they even wore bustles in their bathing suit!?








I just loved this gorgeous dress. I must apologize because I can’t remember the name of the author wearing it so prettily. The eye candy on her arm is cover model Brooks Johnson, who graciously helped all the ladies get up those stairs to the stage!











And this is Delilah Marvelle in an elaborate skating costume. The whole point of skating was falling into your desired man’s arms! In this case, Brooks’.














The next two photos are off Deeanne Gist demonstrating the work Victorian ladies had getting all that clothing on. The first is of the undergarments, which included drawers, chemise, corset, and crinoline cage. By the time dressing a lady was done, they must have needed to take a nap! It’s hard work. The second photo is Deeanne all dressed up. Wow, she’s so beautiful that all the hard work was worth it!




And here’s a few fun photos of me with friends.






Me with Cyn (Mistress Kitty)















Me with Diane Smith











Isobel Carr at the book signing. She made me a lovely pin to wear with the cover of What Happens After Midnight.

Monday, August 1, 2011

What Happens After Dark

Happy August! Oh my God, where is the summer going!? I hope you’re all enjoying your summer vacations! I just had a great vacation with a visit from my friend Rita. What a wonderful time we had! But now I have to get back to work, and I started in yesterday with reading the galley of What Happens After Dark, DeKnight novel 2. Gosh, I love the cover Berkley did for the book! The galley is the proof, where I do my last check for any typos. And really, I don’t know how those typos get by me in all the other reads! Actually, this one isn’t two bad, I’ve only found two so far, like “it was all tied up in a neat little bowl.” LOL. And ugh, my wireless is giving me fits and starts! I’m thinking it’s time for a new computer. In the meantime, for your enjoyment, here’s an excerpt of what I’m currently working on. What Happens After Dark will be out in November! It continues with the characters in Past Midnight and DeKnight Gauges, Inc (DKG), this time giving you Bree Mason’s story, DKG’s accountant, a woman with a lot of secrets that no one at DKG would ever guess. BTW, as usual, it's a naughty excerpt, so really, you should be over 18 to read it.


By day she’s a mild-mannered accountant.
After dark, she’s a willing slave to his wildest fantasies.


Bree Mason longs to be a successful career woman, but secrets keep her chained to the past, afraid to take that next step. And at night, her frustrations are released by the domineering Luke Raven, who gives her what she asks for and more in a sensuous game of master and slave…

But to take control of her life, Bree will have to look within and face the demons of her past. Luke knows the ins and outs of Bree’s body, knows what makes her gasp and sigh and beg. But now he’s willing to push their relationship to the limit—to stand by her side in the light of day and take the greatest risk of all…for love.


What Happens After Dark
A DeKnight Novel, Book 2
Copyright 2011 Jasmine Haynes
Prologue


He tipped his head back, savoring the feel of her mouth on him. Christ. She knew every nerve that excited him. Dropping his chin, he opened his eyes to drink in the sight of her down on her knees on the plush, navy carpet, her silky black hair cascading down the slope of her back. Red fingernails, red lips, and alabaster skin, she was more beautiful than any model gracing the cover of a fashion magazine.

He groaned as she hit a sweet spot with her tongue. His legs trembled, his tension rising, need pulling at him.

For six months, she’d been his to command. Since the night he’d won her away from Derek, her bruiser boyfriend, in a downtown club. She wasn’t made for the club scene, and he’d taken her from Derek as if she were the war prize in hand-to-hand combat, which technically she was, since he’d decked the guy to rescue her.

And what a prize she was. Squeezing his cock, she tantalized him, drove him mad. He thought his head would explode. Shoving his fingers through her hair, he pushed her back. “Not yet,” he murmured.

She gazed up at him with eyes the shade of sapphires. “Did I do something wrong, Master?” Her voice was soft, sweet, like the gentle babble of a distant brook.

She insisted on calling him Master as if he were her dom and she his submissive. He’d never gone in for the dominance and submission lifestyle, but after he found her in that San Francisco sex club, he’d read a bit on the Internet. There were aspects of it he enjoyed immensely—tying her down, blindfolding her, a good spanking, toys, forcing her to push her sexual limits—but other elements, humiliation, degradation, making her cry, giving her to another man as if she were chattel—which was what he’d caught Derek doing—that stuff, not so much. She liked to be dominated, but she needed to feel special. She needed approval. She withered when she was ignored.

He couldn’t have ignored her if he’d tried. Even when she wasn’t within sight, he fantasized about her. Hot fantasies where she was handcuffed, spread out on his bed, and begging him to crawl between her legs. Yeah, he liked the dominant role. “I told you not to make me come yet,” he said sternly.

“You should punish me for that,” she whispered. “Because I’m such a slut, and I’m bad.”

That was another thing she liked, the name-calling. Bitch, slut, even worse. At first he’d used the names because they made her wild. But they made him burn hotter, too. Being with her had taught him how sexy a little dirty talk could be. And then there was the punishment thing...

“Get on the bed, whore,” he ordered, and his erection surged, his blood pumped faster.

She bit her bottom lip, drew in a breath, her nostrils flaring with her excitement. Then she rose gracefully, her movements steady. He’d closed the blinds against the cold January night, and the soft lighting of his bedroom illuminated her slender body, the elegant curves of her back and bottom. Her limbs were long and lithe, her breasts small, the areoles dusky pink buttons. She was a tall woman at five-nine, and barefoot, she was only a couple of inches shorter than him. He’d never been worried about his height; Derek had been taller and bigger than he was, but he’d still won the girl.

She climbed onto the big bed on all fours, her ass heart-shaped.

“On your back,” he instructed. “Spread your legs and arms.”

She laid down, her pussy glistening. The rich burgundy of the bedspread made her skin glow. “I know I’ve been bad, Master. You need to punish me and call me the names I deserve.”

For her to feel that way, he’d assumed she’d had bad relationships in the past that had marked her with some deep-seated insecurities. Derek the horse’s ass certainly wasn’t the first. He also couldn’t deny his desire for a little tender lovemaking and more intimacy. He wanted to know more about her, exchange more than sex, reach a deeper level. But there was power in dominating her, too. They both excelled at dirty, nasty games. He’d bought the fur-lined handcuffs; then he’d bought the four-poster bed to attach them to. The scarves in the top drawer of his dresser—which could be used as either blindfolds or bindings—hid a variety of toys he’d used on her.

He hoped to God one of his daughters didn’t start rooting around in there during their frequent trips home from college.

“Scarves or handcuffs?” He could gauge her mood by the kind of restraints she asked for. “Which do you deserve, you dirty little bitch?”

Her lips parted; her eyes darkened. “Handcuffs,” she whispered.

She wanted things a little rougher. Something must have happened at work today. Not that she ever told him much about her life outside the bounds of their relationship. She was secretive even when he questioned her. Her evasiveness was one of the things he’d had yet to break her of, but he would, eventually. Tonight, she’d been tense when she arrived. In fact, she’d been unusually stressed for weeks, and he’d learned that the worse her day had been, the higher degree of domination she required.

“Wider, slut,” he demanded as he took one delicate ankle in his hand. She stretched for him, her scent rising, swirling around him. He was hard for her, ravenous, but the night would end quickly after he came. He wanted to stretch it out.

She’d never spent the night. They didn’t cuddle afterward. He didn’t know precisely where she lived or the name of the company she worked for, only that she was thirty-five, unmarried, no children, made her living as an accountant, and she was promiscuous. He’d gathered that the fact he’d been her only lover over the past six months was unusual.

He took it as a testament to how good he was at giving her what she needed.

She needed the trappings of submission, but what she loved best was making him climax with her mouth and swallowing his come. She relished every groan, every cry of pleasure he gave. If he didn’t make her come before he did, she wouldn’t come at all. As if she didn’t require the orgasm to be satisfied.

But in this moment, he craved her climax, her pleasure, to feel her body tremble for him.

Rounding the bed, he restrained her other ankle. Then he went to work on her wrists, anchoring them to the bedposts. He didn’t ask her if it was too tight; she would merely tell him that she would take whatever he chose to dish out.

“What are you going to do to me, Master?” Her voice quavered, but it wasn’t fear; it was need. When she was restrained, he could force her to let go.

“Would you like me to fuck you?” he murmured, climbing onto the bed, leaning close to draw in the scent of her. She made his head spin.

“I’m your whore. You can do whatever you need, Master.”

Need? Christ. He needed so much, all the things she withheld, herself. Her thoughts, her feelings, her fears, her joys, her past. Yes, all those things; but for now, he would take this, savor it, until she gave him more.

He grabbed her chin, held her, forced eye contact. “I want to hear you scream my name when you come.”

She blinked rapidly a moment, and he knew that wasn’t what she wanted to hear. She wanted his orgasm. But she was his slave, and she answered the way she had to. “I will.”

He lowered his lips to hers, though he didn’t kiss her. “I’m going to lick you, my sweet little slut. That’s how I want you to come,” he whispered against her mouth.

She tensed. He’d never gone down on her when she wasn’t restrained. He’d never made her come with his mouth, tongue, or fingers when she wasn’t immobilized and unable to fight him. He loved it that way, too, because in those moments, she was his, she let herself go. As if somehow the restraints actually set her free.

“But don’t you need to come?” Her voice rose slightly at the end as if it were a question, yet she cajoled, her voice like a siren in the night.

God yes, he needed to come inside her, or her mouth. Or by her hand. She could work him up in any way she tried. But he wanted her climax, which was tantamount to her capitulation.

“I’m going to lick you, and you’re going to scream.” He covered her, flesh to flesh, held her gaze, her eyes wide, pupils dilated, her nipples pebbled against his chest. “Right?”

She gave in. “Yes, Master,” she whispered on nothing more than a puff of air.

Then he crawled down her body, tasting her skin as he dragged his tongue over her breasts, her belly, down to the finely trimmed mound of her sex.

“You have the sweetest scent.” He breathed her in, then put his tongue to her a moment. “And the sweetest taste.” He loved her pussy; she was gorgeous, full, pink, her clit burgeoning.

He swiped his tongue across her, back and forth, swirling her taste in his mouth. God. How he loved this. She writhed against her bonds, and her soft sounds of delicious distress filled the room. He fit first one, then two fingers inside her, and played her G-spot and her clit in tandem.

She panted. Moaned. Music to his ears. Then her legs started to shake, her cries rose, she called out his name, and her body jerked. He kept at her, rode the tide of her orgasm, until she fell limp against the comforter, her dark hair splayed across his pillows.

Her taste lingered on his lips as he shimmied up her body to lay beside her. “Was it good?”

“Master, it was heaven.” She swallowed, closed her eyes.

He wasn’t looking for affirmation. There was just something too . . . fast. As if she’d wanted to appease him.

“But you didn’t come,” she added.

He gave her a long, measured look, something inside him shifting. “You didn’t come either, did you?”

She swallowed again. Like a nervous habit she’d suddenly acquired. “I did.”

“Don’t lie to your master.” He clenched his teeth against the epithet that rose to his lips. He could call her whore, slut, bitch, almost anything as he was seducing her, but the words lost their sexiness in the aftermath.

She filled herself with a great gulp of air, her chest rising, her skin tinged with pink, though not as if she’d just surrendered to a luscious orgasm. More like... nerves.

“I’m very displeased that you didn’t come.” He used language she understood and responded to.

Yet this time she evaded him. “I’ll suck you,” she whispered. Straining against the handcuffs, she tugged her wrists as if she needed to touch him. “I’ll make you come.”

A coldness spread through him. “How often do you fake it?”

“I don’t,” she whispered, looking at his nose, his cheek, his mouth, anything to avoid meeting his eyes.

But he felt her lie in the stiffening of her limbs. He wondered how many times she’d faked an orgasm, how many times he’d been so wrapped up in her, in what she made him feel, that he hadn’t realized how good an actress she was.

Fuck. He was forty-five years old, too old to get rankled, yet the fake cut him. He wanted into her life. He wanted her to know about him, his daughters, his work, even his failed marriage. And he wanted to know everything about her. There were times his gut roiled against her secrets, the way she held him emotionally at bay. But this was what they had. She phoned, came to his house, had him call her names, tie her down or cuff her, blindfold her, spank her. When she was at his mercy, he could do anything he wanted. The sex between them was fantastic, but he wanted something more authentic from her, more real, more than just bits and pieces of her life. He wanted a whole night without her rushing away. He’d wanted all that for months, but he hadn’t pushed. He’d bided his time. Only to find out she’d actually faked some of her orgasms. Damn her.

“Fuck me,” she whispered, and he recognized the deliberate seduction in it. She never said what she wanted, never asked for anything, but she could follow orders. Jesus, she could follow orders and blow his mind. This, asking for it, was different, unlike her. “I’ll make you feel good,” she added.

Sinking inside her body, he’d feel better than good. When he was buried deep, she took him to another plane of existence. No other woman had done that, not even his ex-wife when he’d still believed her to be the woman of his dreams.

He was being manipulated. She was avoiding what he really wanted from her. He climbed from the bed, stood beside it, gazing down at the perfection of her body in her supine position, losing himself in the shimmer of her brilliant blue eyes. He knew he’d fuck her. Because he wanted her, badly. He had from the moment he first laid eyes on her.

But the game would have to change, the rules revised. He wanted more than sex; he wanted everything. And he would have it. Even if he had to order her to give it to him.

After all, he was the master.

Hope you enjoyed the excerpt. Look for What Happens After Dark in November!


The DeKnight Novels

Past Midnight
May 2011

What Happens After Dark
Nov 2011

The Principal’s Office
April 2012
 

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