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EXCERPT FROM GOOD GIRL GONE BAD
"It's, ahfor work." She grabbed for the book. "May I have it back now?"
Luke swung it above her head, a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. "Work, huh?" He lowered the book, folded it close and held it in one hand, seemingly taunting her to try for it again.
Of all the imagined fantasies of being alone with Luke, being caught reading about sex never came into her thoughts, let alone teased about it. "I...it's..." If she was going to be an honest to goodness writer, she needed to act like one. She raised her chin a notch and looked him squarely in the eye. "Research," she said in a meek voice.
He set the book down and braced his hand on the top shelf above Reagan's head and leaned his head down. "What exactly is it you want to learn from these books, Reagan?"
Little vibrations hummed through her body from the way he said her name, deep, rich cords, almost a whisper. She dropped her chin and glanced away. "II don't know, exactly."
He captured her chin with two fingers, lifting her gaze to meet his for several long moments that held Reagan's breath. "Tell me."
"I..." She moistened her bottom lip, craving for him to lean down and kiss her.
He lowered his gaze to her damp lips as he lightly traced his fingers from her chin down her throat to cover her wildly beating pulse. "Don't you know what's in those books, Reagan?"
Luke's words swirled over her mouth in a moist caress, Reagan breathed the faint taste of coffee and sugar. How she wanted his firm mouth to press against hers, to kiss her, to ravish her... Slowly she shook her head, biting her lower lip.
His fingers left her pulse, his hand moveddown her chest, over the ruffle of her blouse and skimmed across the fabric to the swell of her breast, cupping it so softly Reagan nearly cried out, only contained herself knowing someone would come if she made a noise. For now, their corner of the bookstore was empty.
"Look at me."
She sucked in a breath and slowly returned her gaze, fearing she would find him amused. Instead he rewarded her with a look of satisfaction and his hand pressing harder against her breast, lifting upward and squeezing her nipple between his thumb and forefinger.
Reagan fought against a spasm of pain and unexpected pleasure, tensed against the warmth radiating between her legs.
"Do you want to know what's in those books, Reagan?"
She never knew her body could feel like this, tight and aching, yearning and alive. If those books could teach her how to have this again and again, then... "Yes, Luke. I want to know." She barely recognized her tone, she sounded ragged, out of breath, seductive.
Luke lowered his mouth and suckled her bottom lip, nipping it before moving to her throat. The stubble of his beard scraped against her skin, sensitizing her flesh. Reagan dropped her head back, fingers digging into the wood shelf behind her for support.
"Do you want me to show you what's in those books?"
EXCERPT FROM APHRODITE'S PASSION
Selena paced across her chamber, lighting a few lamps and straightening her bedclothes as she went. Why was she so nervous?
Stopping, she peered over her shoulder to look at Gavin. He stood by her door, appearing much as he had when he caught her pleasuring herself. A wash of desire worked through her with the memory. He was why she was nervous.
He was a stranger. Sent to take her back to a life she loathed. And yet, she ached for his touch. Her desire for him went deeper than mere physical attraction, yet she couldn't explain it. Not to herself. And certainly not to him.
Now she was alone with him. She'd chosen him to be the first man she would take to her bed since her husband. This dangerous man who brought out needs she hadn't realized she had, even as she allowed her sexuality to be awakened by the teachings of the temple.
She sighed. The temple. There was no doubt this man had questions about the temple, the cult and what they did here. How could she tell him enough to soothe his fears about what would happen to him without telling him so much that he could destroy the group?
When she paced passed the mirror, she caught Gavin watching her. Her cheeks heated with embarrassment. Oh, what if she did this all wrong? What if she hurt her friends? Or worse, what if she disappointed him, proving she wasn't really a sensual being at all? Proving she belonged in the straight-laced society she hated and fled from.
"Now that you have me here," he said softly when it became more and more apparent she couldn't find words to speak. "What will you do?"
She struggled with an answer for a moment before her eyes fell on the large metal tub in the middle of her room. It had been filled, probably on Isadora's orders. Steam rose from the water.
"You must be tired from your long journey. A bath has been drawn for you. First you will wash, then we'll discuss our options." She was surprised how cool and strong her voice sounded when nerves caused her whole body to tremble.
"Very well." Still he didn't move away from the door and continued to watch her with a cautiously. "I'll bathe if that's what you want, but why don't we talk while I do so?"
She nodded once. "Fine. Undress."
He looked around the room, then at her. "In front of you?"
She was pleased that his eyes widened. Obviously, he was as unnerved by the situation as she was. Probably even more so since he didn't understand where he was and his life had already been threatened.
She paused at that thought. No matter what Isadora wanted, Selena wasn't going to allow him to be killed.
She managed a smile. "Do you have something to hide, Major?"
Now it was his mouth that quirked up with arrogance. He reached up to the collar of his shirt and slid each button free. "Absolutely not. The only one in this room who has secrets is you."
She pursed her lips. How dare he take that taunting tone when she had saved his life not half an hour before? She opened her mouth to retort when he freed his shirt from his trouser waist and pulled it over his head. Then all words, all coherent thoughts disappeared.
Gavin Fletcher had felt good beneath her hands when she touched him. He had looked good in his fitted clothing. But it was nothing compared to the way he looked naked. His shoulders were broad and his arms rippled with muscles. The only marring element was a long scar jutting down his left arm. His chest was magnificently muscled with a peppering of dark chest hair that tapered into a V and disappeared into the waistband of his trousers.
She shivered as she pictured rubbing her breasts against that chest. Having those muscular arms hold her. Those strong, skilled hands touch her in every aching place. It was a body made for pleasure.
Hers and hers alone.
EXCERPT FROM WHITE HEAT
Walker stared up at the woman and, with a certainty that shocked him, he understood exactly what she was.
The word breathed through his mind, through all his reawakening senses, shaking him to the core. That he could have found the one person meant for him in all of Creation, here in this icy hell, boggled his mind. All this time, he'd thought his mixed blood had meant he wouldn't have the bonding of his father's people, that the generations of inter-mating with humans had taken this destiny from him.
But for the first time in many lunar cycles, his power stirred, even though his body temperature wasn't high enough to support it. The touch of her body had set him on fire and increased his heat level in the way his father had told him it would if he was ever lucky enough to find his mate. His blood pounded though his veins, his senses on overload with the smell of her body, the taste of her lips, and her dancing gray eyes.
He wanted to tear off her clothes, rip away his own, and press his naked body tight against hers. The warmth would be amazing. He could heal his hands and bring her to orgasm with his touch. The way she poured heat into him during their kiss, he knew he could do it.
He forced his body to remain still. His hat had fallen off and her fingers filtered through what was left of his hair. The scalp was a great conductor of heat, and hers flowed into him, building his reserves even more. The sensation filled him with a burning need only she could fulfill.
Right now, he was almost helpless, his body exhausted by the fire and the long walk in the storm. If she kept going and kissed him a few more times, he'd have enough energy stored to heal his hands.
"Kiss me again," he said, his voice rusty from lack of use.
He could tell she was reluctant, her hands stilling.
"Please." He'd spent his whole life never begging for anything, but at this moment, he'd do whatever it took for more of her touch.
Her mouth pulled into a frown, her brows lowering, then she shrugged and dipped her head.
Pleasure ran the length of his body and back again, tightening every muscle, making his cock rock hard as she slanted her lips and slipped her tongue inside his mouth. He wanted to grab her, roll her beneath his body, but instead, he kept his hands out to the side. He bent his fingers, the spike of pain reminding him to go slow with her.
He didn't know how he was going to do it, but he needed her to take off both of their clothes and press her body against his. As his mind cranked through possible scenarios, his lips enjoyed her kiss. He tried to think, even though her taste filled his mouth with warmth and pleasure exploded inside him.
Then a plan came into his mind, something he'd never considered before.
EXCERPT FROM SUMMER LIGHTNING
Sally rested back in her seat and watched him moving along the cupboards, quickly glancing in each. He was so nonchalant about the fact he was naked, all but for an apron. How could she not love that? In fact, he seemed totally unaware of his body, completely lacking in self-consciousness. He was certainly unaware of how gorgeous he was and the affect he had on her. He had to be. She crossed her legs, savoring the rhythmic, ticking sensation deep between her thighs. She'd never met a man so at ease with himself. He was every artist's dream model. She wondered if he would model for her, during his stay. Just as the question permeated through her consciousness, he crossed the kitchen towards the far work surface, glancing approvingly at the cyber figurine as he went past.
"He's cool, I like the little man."
Sally got the words out and then the smile on her face froze and she watched, horror struck, when his hand reached for the handle on the broom cupboard. She clapped her hand over her mouth. She'd completely forgotten about the torso when he'd started hunting through the cupboards on his quest for sugar.
"Hello, what have we here?"
She prayed he was talking about the broom. The dustpan and brush? Let it be the feather duster, please. But, no, he was bending into the cupboard, looking at what had to be her latest sculpture.
"This looks interesting."
Maybe he wouldn't recognize it.
He squatted down on his haunches and slid out the thin chipboard plinth it was resting on, to get a better look at the lump of clay formed around its mesh frame. "Why have you got it hidden away in the cupboard?" he asked, and turned back to her before she had a chance to do anything about composing her features.
She lowered her hand from her mouth, and laughed, nervously.
His brow furrowed, a half-smile still hovering. He glanced from her to the sculpture and back, a curious expression on his face. He turned the plinth slowly, looking at the clay.
She was speechless, what could she say? All she could do was hope that he wouldn't click. Maybe the floor would open up and swallow her.
"This is me, isn't it?" he said, still puzzled, but fascinated too.
Damn. She couldn't bring herself to deny it.
"But you certainly didn't have time to get up and do this between dawn and breakfast...so, when...?" He turned the plinth again, and looked at the hand, which rested on the rising cock, the thumb obviously working against it.
Oh no. That was such a huge clue.
He stared at it for what seemed an age and then pushed it back into its hidey-hole in the cupboard. He continued to look at it for another minute. Sally realized she was holding her breath and her lungs were about to burst.
He shook his head, and stood up, closing the cupboard, and turned to her. His expression was dark but controlled and his eyebrows were drawn down as he considered her.
She bit her lip. How upset was he going to be? How would she feel, if the tables were turned? She realized that it was an intrusion, she had intruded on his privacy, yes, and she shouldn't have worked on the model without his permission. What had she been thinking of?
"You were watching me on the beach the other day, weren't you?" His tone was stern, and he folded his arms across his chest while he contemplated her.
She felt like a naughty schoolgirl. "I couldn't help it." That sounded so lame. She'd made a conscious choice here. She had to defend it, and it was in her nature to do so. "I'm sorry, I just ... well, you inspired me." She adopted what she hoped was an imploring expression. He took a step closer, his fingers tapping against his folded arms, his mouth tight. She'd blown it with him already. He was upset with her. She stood up as he approached.
She swallowed. "I'm really sorry," she added.
"That's not good enough." He frowned. "You'll have to be punished."
"Punished?" Her voice faltered. What had she got herself into here?
He grabbed at her wrist, drawing her in close against him. His eyes were gleaming, his hand strong and controlling on her wrist.
She stared up at him, in disbelief. Then she caught a glimpse of the dark, expectant twinkle in his eyes. His mouth twitched to one side in a sardonic smile.
"Your face is a picture," he commented, and then broke into a laugh, the timbre deeply amused and satisfied. But he didn't let her go, not just yet.
"You devil." She gave a nervous laugh, her eyes wide with incredulity. He was teasing her!
"That's as may be, but you've still got to be punished."
She stared at him, disbelief spiraling inside her. Whatever did he mean by it, to punish her? Then, somewhere inside her an instinctive pang of anticipation suggested an answer to the question: did he mean to have her, for her naughtiness? On his terms, whatever they might be. Her heart began to race. She felt dizzy with confusion. He was having fun with her, but he also seemed intent on following it through.
He eyed her up and down with deliberation, as if the idea of it was very appealing to him. Clasping her waist, he drew her whole body up against him. If she had been in any doubt about his sheer physical strength, it was all too obvious now. She was easily captured in his grasp. For some reason it made her legs tremble and she felt the heat building between her thighs. He ran his hands over the outline of her breast, where her nipple jutted hard through the fabric of her t-shirt.
"I'll give you a thirty second head start, but I have to warn you, I'm fast on my feet."
As he said the words, he set her aside. He flexed his arms and knotted his fingers in a stretch, as if preparing to work her over. He nodded at the door.
She stared at him. He couldn't be serious.
"Thirty...twenty-nine... you're wasting time, anyone would think you wanted to be punished!" And then he smiled again, and the urge to spar rose up alongside the flood of anticipation inside her.
"If you can catch me, I'm pretty fast on my feet too," she retorted. She turned and headed for the door.
She heard his voice as she bolted out across the grass bank that linked the cottage grounds to the edge of the cove. The grass was deep and springy beneath her bare feet, damp and lush from the overnight rain. Where she was headed, she didn't know; she just wanted to make space between them, to outrun him, to show him she was game for a joust as much as he was.
Punish her indeed.
She glanced back over her shoulder, to see him nonchalantly leaning up against the doorframe, watching her with a smile on his face. He was an absolute devil, taunting her like that. She turned back to her path and ran as fast as her feet would carry her, her breath catching in her lungs, her emotions flying somewhere between elation and trepidation. She squinted into the distance where she could make out the outline of his motorbike on the far end of the cove. If she could make it that far...she'd have proved a point. She dug deeper and found more resources, moving faster than she ever thought she could. Behind her, she heard him shouting after her.
He was on his way....