Kiss and Dwell (Harlequin Blaze #325)

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Monique Vicknair has a secret--she's a medium, dedicated to helping spirits cross to the other side. Unfortunately, she's been so busy, she hasn't taken care of her own earthly needs. And it's been a long, long time. So when she meets recently deceased-but oh-so-sexy--Ryan Chappelle, she's more than ready for a fling. Even if it is with a ghost!

Ryan is no stranger to the pleasures of a woman's body, and his death hasn't changed that. But he's never wanted anyone the way he ...

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Monique Vicknair has a secret--she's a medium, dedicated to helping spirits cross to the other side. Unfortunately, she's been so busy, she hasn't taken care of her own earthly needs. And it's been a long, long time. So when she meets recently deceased-but oh-so-sexy--Ryan Chappelle, she's more than ready for a fling. Even if it is with a ghost!

Ryan is no stranger to the pleasures of a woman's body, and his death hasn't changed that. But he's never wanted anyone the way he wants Monique. So he's refusing to leave this world until he makes love to her. And if he has to break all the laws of heaven and earth to do it, he will. Again and again and again....

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780373793297
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 5/28/2007
  • Series: Harlequin Blaze Series, #325
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Monique Vicknair spooned sautéed crawfish tails from the black cast-iron pot, inhaled the spicy scented air, then turned toward Pierre and smiled. "Okay, bring me that bowl," she instructed, pointing a red-tipped finger toward the large dish. She'd had her nails done today at her salon. Nails done, brows waxed, skin moisturized, hair trimmed—the works. And tonight, she planned to put the works to the test with Pierre Comeaux.
"This bowl?" He lifted the white ceramic dish embellished with a thick blue ring around its bulging middle. Green onions, yellow onions and chopped bell pepper towered above the rim and added another tantalizing scent to the kitchen. He held the bowl out of her reach. "Do you need this, chère?" he asked, green eyes glittering with mischievousness. He knew she wanted him, and from the cocky smirk on his gorgeous face, he probably knew how much.
"Yes, I do." She swallowed thickly and prayed that the summons from Adeline Vicknair would wait long enough for at least one time of hot-and-heated with Pierre. Over the past six months, her deceased grandmother had single-handedly managed to keep Monique from any sexual activities whatsoever. Well, any sexual activities involving males. Monique had sure given her stash of vibrators a run for the money. Thank goodness Grandma Adeline didn't have the power to stop a charged battery, a steamy romance novel and a determined imagination.
But Adeline did have the power to make Monique miserable if she didn't heed a spirit's calling. In other words, when Monique's skin started burning, signaling she had a letter waiting, she should return promptly to the Vicknair plantation to starther assignment. Do not pass Go; do not collect two hundred dollars.
However, the operative word in that sentence? Should. She should return. But why now? Why this time? Why couldn't Grandma Adeline give her a little more time, just until Pierre made her toes curl? It never failed that the minute her libido experienced that exquisite elation, at the telltale moment of orgasm-here-we-come, some distressed specter decided to pay Monique a visit. Not exactly what the doctor ordered for a woman who enjoyed sex.
Take tonight, for example. Pierre Comeaux's invitation to a "cozy dinner on my terrace, beneath the whisper of mighty oak branches and a warm July breeze" had started Monique's sparks burning hotter than a levee bonfire at Christmas. Naturally, the image that came to mind was of the two of them sprawled on the veranda, their stomachs sated from a delicious meal and their sexual appetites equally sated from a delightful tango beneath a limitless blanket of stars.
Unfortunately, Monique had had a hell of a day at the beauty shop, with nothing going quite right, particularly in the color arena. And double unfortunately, she knew what that meant. It was only a matter of time until Adeline sent a summons that would warrant the attention of her middle granddaughter.
Middle. Middle girl in the list of cousins and middle child in her own family, with Gage the playboy serving as big brother and Dax the tenderhearted forming her younger bookend. Middle children were known for demanding attention, right? Well, she was ready to demand some now—from Pierre. Time was wasting. Flesh was stinging. Ghosts were coming.
She took a deep breath and prepared to ask the most gorgeous combination of dark-haired, tanned and muscled Cajun she'd seen in quite a while if they could skip dinner completely and get naked, but before she could make the request, he inhaled the tantalizing scents in the kitchen, emitted an extremely male guttural growl, and grinned.
"I've wanted to share a dinner with you—share a night with you—for a long time," he said. "You, me, delicious food and an entire night to explore possibilities." His smile broadened, his eyes smoldered with desire. He obviously saw all of this heat in the kitchen as enticing foreplay, and she did too; she just didn't know if she had time for it.
As it was, she'd botched three color treatments today at Monique's Masterpieces, her salon in nearby Ormond. Not completely botched, she supposed, but the auburn had ended up a bit too red, the blond a bit too platinum, and the black a bit too Elvis. That, in and of itself, told her she had a ghostly visitor on the way. Add the stinging growing stronger and stronger on the back of her neck, and Monique knew her minutes were numbered. If she did happen to get things started with Pierre, she wasn't planning on it being a quick encounter. Have mercy, she prayed he wasn't a minuteman. A marathon man was what she needed after going this long without.
Pierre moved behind her, wrapped his arms around her waist and tilted the bowl to pour the vegetables into the seasoned butter bubbling in the pot. He pushed closer, and the impressive bulge in his jeans nudged her bottom. "Is that what you want, chère?" he asked against her ear. "Oh, yeah," Monique breathed, her desire mixing with the scent of spicy onions and peppers to create a hot, sizzling lust. However, her neck also sizzled, and regrettably, Monique knew why. She decided to fight it, just a little while, long enough to get Pierre out of his clothes.
No doubt about it, she wasn't heeding the call in a timely manner. Pesky rules. She was a healthy twenty-four-year-old woman who wanted—needed—sex. Real sex, as in the kind that didn't require batteries. Was that too much to ask?
"Have you got the garlic powder and paprika ready?" she asked, anxious to get this meal moving, and to get those clothes dropping.
Pierre moved his mouth behind her ear and nuzzled her hair out of the way while distributing hot, wet kisses against her skin. "Your hair is so soft, Monique, and the color—it reminds me of a sandy beach."
Monique blinked. Sand? Her hair reminded him of sand? And he thought this was a compliment? She cleared her throat, with the total intention of asking him to clarify his statement, but before she had a chance, his kisses moved a fraction lower, and her thighs clenched in anticipation of those spine-tingling kisses in other places.
"What about that paprika and garlic?" she managed, deciding she couldn't afford to waste time talking about the color of her hair.
His low laugh tickled her nape, due to its already stinging state, the sensation made her neck practically flame. Have mercy, her grandmother wasn't cutting her any slack—again.
"We have to let the onions sauté first," he said. "They need to be clear. How about a glass of wine while they're simmering?"
"How about a heap of sex instead?" she asked.
Another deep laugh rumbled against her neck as his erection pushed her bottom and his hard chest pressed against her back. "Chère, we'll need longer than the time it'll take those onions to get tender, and I'm not about to have my first time with Monique Vicknair run short. On top of that, I promised you a mouthwatering dinner, and there won't be anything delicious about it if we leave that pot on its own." He nipped her right earlobe, then cruised slowly beneath it, until his lips nuzzled the sensitive indention where her neck curved toward her shoulder. "Nice to know you're so anxious, though," he said, his voice a husky whisper. "Trust me, it'll be worth the wait."
Monique glared at the onions that refused to lose their color. The burning had moved beyond her neck to settle in her chest and make her nipples ache. She knew good and well that Pierre Comeaux, with his mesmerizing green eyes, bulging biceps and bulging other parts, could sure enough put out this fire, or perhaps send her into a true bout of spontaneous combustion.
What was he waiting for? "I—I really think we need the garlic and paprika now," she mumbled, losing herself in the feel of his mouth on her shoulder and his teeth working the tiny strap of her red tank dress down her arm. Consequently, the top swell of her right breast pushed above the soft fabric, and Monique wanted to cry from desperation. "Don't you?" she asked.
He laughed again. "Oh, Monique, who'd have thought you would be so eager? I promise, before the night's over, I'll take you right there, in the center of my kitchen island. Push your soft skirt up to your hips and give you exactly what you're wanting. First with my mouth, then with my—"
Monique's flesh burned hotter than the burner making the vegetables sizzle. It flamed, the fire raging forward from her chest to blaze through every limb. Her breathing hitched and every nerve ending bristled in anguish. She couldn't wait. If she stayed any longer, the pain might be too much to endure, even for the short drive home. Have mercy, sex with Pierre would have been good, but it wouldn't be tonight.
Damn family curse. "I've got to go," she said, squirming out of his embrace and trying to control her madly racing heart. She was scorching, so fiercely that she honestly didn't know if she could maneuver the car back home, but she had to. The longer she ignored the calling, the worse it would be. She could only imagine how irritated her grandmother was that she had disregarded her summons, probably nearly as irritated as Nanette.
Fleeing the kitchen, Monique sprinted through Pierre's house and bolted through the front door, sucking big gulps of thick Louisiana humidity as she grabbed one of Pierre's big white columns for support. And, just super, the huge white cylinder reminded her of other things that were, from all indications in Pierre's jeans, long and thick and hard.
"Granny, I do not like your sense of timing," she announced, as the object of her current long, thick and hard fantasy lazily stepped onto the porch.
"You gonna explain what just happened in there, chère?" he asked, easing his mouth into that cocky, sexy grin. "Because I'm not into teasing, Monique, and when a woman asks me one minute if she can move on to getting naked, then the next minute she decides to leave, I have a tendency to think she's a tease." He leaned against the door frame and lifted one brow. "Are you, Monique? A tease?"
Monique shook her head. A tease? No, the one teasing here was Adeline Vicknair, but Monique couldn't tell him that. Trapped in this family-induced hell once again, she simply took a deep breath, started down the steps toward her car and called to the guy who'd almost given her the first maleinduced orgasm she'd had in half a year, "I'm not a tease, Pierre, but I do have to go." Then she got in her car and sped away, wincing as the wind whistled through Pierre's matured oaks with a melodic resonance way too similar to her grandmother's laughter.
Monique punched the accelerator to the floor while her skin continued to flame. If the coming spirit was as strong as the burning sensation on her flesh—and that was the way it usually worked—this particular ghost would be a doozie. Probably male, she'd guess. And with Monique's luck, probably another cranky old geezer, bald with no teeth, who would proceed to cuss Monique out because he couldn't find the damn light.
No, she'd had that kind of spirit last time; Granny wouldn't give her two ornery old farts in a row. Would she? And what did Adeline Vicknair have against sex, anyway? Or rather, against Monique having sex. "You weren't a prude," Monique said, glancing upward and knowing her grandmother was undoubtedly listening. "And you know good and well this would have been phenomenal. What did I do that pissed you off?"
Monique glanced in her rearview mirror and saw Pierre, his muscled frame leaning against one of the big white columns as he watched her drive away.
"Mon dieu, Granny, this better be good."
Oddly enough, at that very moment, the wind in the trees changed direction, producing an echoing sound through the swaying limbs. Monique's ears pricked at the new reverberation, and she knew she heard Adeline's voice this time.
Oh, chéri, it is, the whistling branches hummed. C'est si bon.
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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted March 1, 2012


    Quick read. Wasn't pushed to continue with the series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2007

    A reviewer

    I stayed up late last night so I could finish reading `Kiss and Dwell.¿ I don¿t know what to say. From page one I was hooked, I couldn¿t put it down. The way Kelley writes, keeps her readers hooked from the first word to the last word. The relationships she makes with the characters are great, Kelley makes the readers fall in love with them. I just loved Monique and Ryan. They really fit with one another, even if he is a ghost. :' My favorite part of the book was the last five lines.

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