The second installment in an exclusive and red hot mini-series from New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Rock.
Leo Perconti's life is spinning out of control. As head of his family's hotel conglomerate, it's his job to save his family from bankruptcy. At the center of his turmoil is Karin Norell, a quiet, alluring housekeeping manager who compliments his dominating personality and lets him feel in control once more.
As Karin explores her passion her feelings for Leo deepen. Unfortunately, Karin and Leo come from different worlds, and when the two worlds collide, the cost can be devastating. As the service staff at The Palazzo rise up against the Perconti family, both Leo and Karin are faced with losing what each of them holds most dear. Together they must learn that true power comes from vulnerability and trust that can only happen when you let your insecurities go.
Read all four parts of this sensational e-series-and look for the full volume of At His Service in June 2015 from St. Martin's Paperbacks.
About the Author
A lifetime New Englander, Suzanne Rock has been married to her college sweetheart for more than two decades. In addition to being a self-published author whose boxed sets have hit the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists, Suzanne is a chauffeur, a maid, a chef, an event planner, a hairdresser, a wardrobe stylist, a tutor, and a sometimes masseuse. Her steamy books include At His Service, For His Pleasure, and others.
Read an Excerpt
At His Service: Part 2
By Suzanne Rock
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2015 Suzanne Rock
All rights reserved.
Karin paced back and forth in the break room of the Palazzo as her nerves jumbled into knots. For most of the day she had tried to keep up the calm, collected façade required to do her job at the most glamorous hotel in Boston, but the effort had left her drained. She needed to talk to someone about what had happened between her and her Leo Perconti in the elevator, and she could think of only one person who would understand what she was going through.
She had only called her coworker and confidante, Wes, ten minutes ago, but each passing second felt like an eternity. She wished she had asked to meet him at a café after work, or at one of the benches in Boston Common. This break room was far too small, and the moldy bread smell from the refrigerator was just strong enough to set her stomach on edge.
"Hey, darlin'. What's going on?" Wes asked as he entered the room. "You sounded more uptight than one of my Catholic schoolteachers—" Noticing her agitated state, he stopped short and pushed his blond hair from his forehead. "Ah, hell. What happened?"
"Oh, Wes. I don't know what I'm going to do. I've made a huge mess." Karin fell into a nearby chair and leaned her elbows on top of the white, circular table. "I feel like I'm drowning." She cradled her head in her hands as the full impact of what had happened over the past few days pressed down on her shoulders. "Marco's going to kill me." Marco was their boss, and ran the Palazzo for his older brother, Leo, the head of Perconti Enterprises, the largest hotel conglomerate in the world.
"Come on." Wes slid into the seat opposite her and lowered her hands away from her face. "Things aren't that bad, I'm sure. Why don't you tell me about it?"
Karin stood, extracted her hands from Wes's fingers and walked over to the microwave. "I never should have slept with Leo. I'm going to get fired, I know it."
Wes leaned back in his chair and put his arms behind his head. "When we talked this morning, you told me you wanted to stay away from him. You had decided to pretend that nothing had ever happened."
"Things have changed," Karin said, remembering the words from the elevator, words she couldn't forget if she tried. She turned around and pressed her backside against the counter. "I didn't realize how hard it would be to avoid him when we both work at the same place. I see him everywhere and each time he looks at me I remember what we did together. Twice I had to hide in the bathroom to avoid talking to him. I—I think he wants to pick up where things left off."
Wes's face brightened. "That's wonderful."
"No, it's horrible." She let out a long breath and crossed her arms. "I can't have sex with him again."
"Because I work for him!" Karin huffed and started rummaging through the cabinets. "Don't you see? I'm sure he wants to turn me into his plaything, someone who'll come running whenever he calls."
"Was the sex good?" Wes leaned back in his chair and folded his hands behind his head.
Karin stopped rummaging through the cabinets and turned to face him. "Well, yes—"
"I knew it." He smirked.
He lowered his hands and leaned his elbows against the table. "What do you mean?"
"I mean that I can't do this, Wes. We come from different worlds. He's rich, powerful, influential ... the list goes on and on. I'm just—"
"A gorgeous and desirable woman." Wes stood and began to close the distance between them. "Relax, honey. Sleeping with the head of Perconti Enterprises is like a badge of honor."
"What are you talking about?"
Wes pressed his hands on the counter on either side of her hips. "Do you have any idea how many people want to know what Leo is like in the bedroom? Especially after his ex, Danika, accused him of being a 'dominant lover' ... Wait, he didn't hurt you, did he?"
The image of her blindfolded with her back arching in his bed flashed through Karin's mind. Heat crept into her cheeks. "No." Leo didn't inflict pain, but he did other things, wonderful things that played over and over in her mind.
This isn't over, he had said. If Leo got her in his bed again, she knew that he'd continue to push her limits. Karin wasn't sure if she was ready for that. The man both frightened and excited her.
"I know you want to tell me what happened." Wes pushed away from the counter and folded his arms. "So spill it."
Karin hesitated for a minute, then sat back down at the break table. "All right, but you have to promise to keep this to yourself."
He collapsed into one of the chairs at the break table and crossed his heart. "Scout's honor."
She frowned as she slid into the seat next to him. "I thought they held up three fingers or something."
"Honey, I'll hold up all five fingers if it will get you to spill all of the juicy details. Tell me."
After a quick glance around to make sure they were alone, Karin leaned in close and lowered her voice. "It was amazing."
"I knew it."
"I told you it would be—what? How on earth could it be scary?"
Karin shrugged and looked away. "It just was."
"Scary—like how? Did he jump out of a closet or something?"
"No." Karin chuckled. "Nothing like that."
"Then what happened?"
She sighed and picked at her nail polish. "I'm not quite sure how to say this ..."
Wes took her hands in his, stopping her movements. "Honey, sometimes blunt is best."
"You're probably right." She leaned back in her chair and decided just to come out with it. There was no delicate way to describe the amazing energy between her and Leo.
"Leo has this presence. The things we did together ..." She leaned in closer to Wes and lowered her voice. "They were dirty."
Wes smirked and inched closer. "Oh yeah?" he whispered. "Like what?"
"Like ... I was touching myself."
He stared at her, stunned. "Well, that's hardly scandalous." His voice sounded disappointed as he straightened in his chair. "Judging by the way you were carrying on, I thought that perhaps—"
"No." Karin shook her head. "Leo was a gentleman."
"Wes, I'm serious."
Wes patted her hand. "So am I. No one wants a gentleman in the bedroom."
She rolled her eyes. "You don't understand. I've never done anything like that before."
He furrowed his brow in confusion. "You've never masturbated?"
"Shh," Karin said as a coworker entered the room. She shifted uneasily in her seat as he went to the refrigerator. "Of course I've done that before." She rolled her eyes as she whispered to Wes. "Just not at someone's command."
"Ah." Wes widened his eyes in understanding and leaned closer. "'The General' likes to give orders, and you're frightened because of how much you want to obey them."
"Kind of." Karin watched the coworker leave the break area and thought about the erotic commands Leo had given her first in the bathroom, then later in the bedroom. The staff's nickname for the Perconti patriarch was appropriate. Like a general, Leo had expected his orders to be obeyed, and heaven help her, she wanted to please him..
But Karin had fought hard to get where she was, and she wasn't going to throw away years of hard work to become someone's plaything. No matter how handsome he was—or how good in bed. She didn't want a sexual partner who ordered her around like a servant. She wanted a partner, an equal both in bed and out.
"What else did he do?" Wes asked when they were alone once more.
Karin felt her cheeks heat as she remembered how, after he had made her orgasm twice, he had blindfolded her. She could almost feel his hot, wicked tongue slide along her inner thigh. "Not much."
Wes chuckled and patted her hand. "Don't worry, you don't need to tell me. It's written all over your face." He tilted his head to the side and pressed his lips together for a moment in thought. "You liked it when he gave commands in the bedroom, didn't you?"
"Yes." She let out another relieved breath. "What I'm feeling isn't normal, Wes. It can't be." She should be appalled. Karin wasn't a child, far from it. Why did taking orders send her desire into overdrive? "I don't want someone to control me like that. I had enough of taking orders with Jason."
"Following commands between the sheets isn't the same as taking orders at work. Jason tried to control where you went and with whom. He thrived on pushing you away in public, and becoming closer in private. Jason was into mind games. This is different."
"Of course." He leaned in and whispered conspiringly. "Marco used to order me around in the bedroom all the time. It was just part of the experience."
"Yes, and I loved every second of it." He leaned in closer. "In the bedroom, I'm submissive." He nodded, as if that explained everything. "We used to go to a club and hang out with others who did similar things, but Leo put a stop to it. He told Marco that it wasn't good for the family's reputation for him to be seen at a club that specialized in carnal pleasures with a male lover." Wes rolled his eyes.
"You've been to a club like that? With Marco?"
"Yes." He considered her for a moment. "He introduced me to it, and I was hooked. Once Leo forbid him to go there again, we started staging most of our scenes by ourselves, but sometimes I really miss the crowd, you know?" His features twisted into sadness. "Not that it matters anymore. Marco's still mad at me over what happened with the phone."
"Did you ever find it?"
"Leo found it in the penthouse suite and gave it to Marco. Thank God it was password protected. If Leo had seen those naked pictures ..."
"You erased them, right?"
"Hell, no." Wes pulled out his phone. "I mean, Marco told me to erase them, and I will. Eventually." He flashed her a knowing smile. "I need something to help me get through the day, you know?" He frowned at the phone's screen. "Marco has been so busy. We hardly have any time alone together anymore."
"Wes, you have to get rid of those pictures." Karin covered the phone and waited for Wes to look up at her. "What if the paparazzi got them?"
Wes rolled his eyes. "Just give me a few days." He pocketed the cell and considered her for a moment. "Marco likes to live dangerously, and knowing I have those pictures on my phone is a turn-on. I can tell."
"How can you ..." Karin shook her head. "Forget it. I don't want to know."
Wes chuckled as he pulled out his wallet. "When you sleep with a Perconti brother, you're bound to get more than you bargained for."
"What are you doing?" Karin asked.
"Here." He pulled out a card. "Take this."
"What is it?"
"It's a card from that club Marco and I used to go to. The first Friday of the month is newbie night."
He grinned. "It's when people who are curious and want to learn more about 'the lifestyle' show up and ask questions. Doors open at nine. You should go."
"No, thanks." Embarrassed, she pushed the card back toward him.
"Do me a favor," he said, sliding the card back over to her. "Keep it and think about it for a little bit."
She pushed the card into his hands. "But Leo—"
"Forget Leo and go have fun with someone else." He pressed it into her fingers and stood. "And I won't take no for an answer. If you enjoyed yourself as much as I think you did, then you won't be satisfied with plain old sex anymore. You'll always be craving more."
"You want to get Leo out of your system?" He nodded at the card. "Then go. I guarantee that you'll find the answers you're looking for there." Wes's work phone pinged, and he pulled it out to check his messages. "I'm needed on the fourth floor." He gave her a quick hug. "We'll talk more about this later, okay?"
She ran her fingers over the embossed navy blue lettering on the business card: Dark Desires. Even the name sounded seductive. What was she thinking? Never in a million years would she ever think of going to such a place.
Then again, she never would've thought that she would have enjoyed following Leo's commands in the bedroom, either.
Karin wasn't sure if she was ever going to visit a club. Unlike Wes, she wasn't into exploring her sexual side with a crowd. In fact, she couldn't imagine ever doing that with anyone but Leo.
This isn't finished, cara. Not by a long shot. Leo's words once again rang through her head as she ran her finger over the Web site address in the lower right hand corner. If Leo was determined to make her part of his games, then maybe she should at least look into it.
* * *
Hours later, Karin collapsed into her cubicle chair and blew the hair out of her eyes. What a mess. In the hours since her talk with Wes, she had become more determined than ever to learn all she could about Leo's bedroom games. She was fond of Leo, but more importantly, she was addicted to what he could do to her body. Unfortunately, she had been too busy with Marco's tasks to follow up on her plan.
It would probably be better to wait until she got home to do her research, but she couldn't afford to take that risk. At any moment Leo could walk around that corner, and she had to have her defenses in place or risk succumbing to his charms once more.
Determined, Karin pulled out the business card and typed in the Web address. What popped up on the screen was a picture of a brick building a few streets over from Fenway Park. She squinted at the building and was impressed that it looked like any other club in Boston. There was a sign, tinted glass doors, and an overhang for people to wait under when it rained. Nothing about the building suggested anything lewd or crass. In fact, it looked classy.
The picture took up the center of the screen, and a large, beige border surrounded it. Underneath the picture in small type were the words "Click to enter."
As she clicked, a pop-up window appeared asking for a username and password.
"Damn." Wes hadn't told her that it was a closed Web site. Then again, he had wanted her to attend the club in person, not research the place online. Karin sighed and ran her finger over the mouse button. "Now what?"
She hesitated a moment, then went to Google. She typed in "BDSM," then "submissive." She found some interesting links, but when she clicked on them, they all were blocked by the Internet security system of the hotel.
This was ridiculous. She needed to stop searching for sexual kinks on the Internet at work. The hotel firewall wasn't going to let her get anywhere, and her browser history was going to raise questions she wasn't sure she could answer. Damn Leo, she was a good girl, a sensible girl. She should be focusing on her internship, not some sexual perversion. She cleared her browser history and cookies and tried to focus on her work.
It was difficult. She couldn't stop thinking about her interaction with Leo in the elevator, and wondered if he'd really meant it when he said that what was between them wasn't over. She hoped he was right. A part of her wanted him to come and carry her up the stairs to the penthouse suite, like some action hero in one of her favorite movies. Then, once they were alone, he'd command her body again.
It was too bad that the Internet firewall prevented her from learning more ... or did it? After a quick glance around to make sure no one was watching, she went to Wikipedia. There, she typed a few choice keywords into the search engine. What popped up was an assortment of terms and pictures that made her blush.
"Oh my God," she whispered. Quickly, she scrolled down and skimmed information about safe words, bondage, and collars. She thought about the blindfold Leo had placed over her eyes. All of her senses had been heightened. Each touch felt more erotic, each kiss more intense. If Leo could take her to these amazing heights with just a simple blindfold, then what would happen if he used handcuffs, or a paddle?
Karin moistened her lips as she pictured Leo standing above her prone body, paddle in hand. She'd be chained to the bedposts, and her ass would be upright in the air, ready for punishment. He'd slap the paddle into his opposite hand, making a hard, cracking noise and filling the air with tension. Karin would brace herself as his low, sexy voice rumbled from behind.
Excerpted from At His Service: Part 2 by Suzanne Rock. Copyright © 2015 Suzanne Rock. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
She wants to forget it ever happened, but he wants to pick up where they left off and has promised that he will get his way. If you enjoyed Part 1, you're going to love Part 2. At His Service is a sexy, fun series that is a must for those that love the dom/sub genre.
I received an ARC for an honest review. Wow this is the second book in this series and does it ramp up the heat. As Karin tries to keep her distance from Leo, he cannot think of anything but her and the amazing way she responds to him. We get to know some of the other Perconti brothers and get to see what makes them tick and what drives them to be who they are. You will not be able to get enough of this Perconti Passion as well as the seductive Leo in this second book and you will want to beg like Karin does for more. DELICIOUS DESIRES AND PASSIONATE PLAY ABOUND.
Part two of this sexy series, it begins were part one left off and doesn’t disappoint. Leo wants to take their relationship further but Karin is afraid of getting hurt. Leo want Karin to trust him and now that he has allowed this part of himself out can he let Karin go and hide it away again? This is a wonderful series, sexy and emotional I can’t wait for more!
4 - 'This isn't over.' Stars. So, part two of At His Service carries on directly after where part one left off. Leo and Karin have done the deed, Karin has done a runner, due to Leo discovering that she isn’t initially who he thought she was, as you would expect all sorts of complications have now arisen. ”This is my life you’re playing with, Mr. Perconti.” CEO and owner of the Palazzo Hotel, sleeping with a staff-member and a lowly cleaner no less, hold’s a certain interest to the press, now who would have guessed! Joking aside, I am actually enjoying this serialized version so far. Leo is a little blunt and stilted in his language, a lot dominant and in all the right ways I want to read about, and he is initiating his little ‘maid’ in some sexy and varied ways. The over use of the word ’Channel’ is starting to grate a bit, as all I can see when the word is (repeatedly) used is a massive ship sinking in her lady garden! Onto part three, let’s hope she doesn’t suffer from any fog or inclement weather when Leo, no doubt visits her ’Channel’ again. ARC generously provided via Netgalley, in exchange for the above honest review.
Still going strong and still liking the potential that the story has. It's really interesting watching them come together, she's starting to seem more his equal than an employee. I'm looking forward to watching more of this play out.