Happy Tuesday! Today, we're going to tease you, baby, with some super sexy snippets from some of the Princesses. AND I have freshly delivered print copies of ONLY FOR A KNIGHT, book two in the Realm of Honor series, so leave a comment and you can win a signed copy! My tease for that is last, but in the meantime, here are some perfectly sexy snippets! Happy reading!
Releases August 26, 2014; Pre-Order in print or eBook at Amazon
H.M.S. Tenacious, Portsmouth Harbor, England
Lieutenant Charles Dance was old enough and smart enough to know that some ideas were bad, right from the start. Some choices were no choice at all, especially when fueled by desperation. And some things were enough to drive a man to drink.
Except that his captain was already drunk, reeling about his cabin reeking of gin at ten o’clock in the morning. And they hadn’t even left Portsmouth dock.
“Who in the hell are you?”
“Lieutenant Dance, reporting for duty, sir.”
The old sot of a captain blinked his rheumy eyes at Dance, and stepped curiously sideways, as if they were in high seas, and the deck were rising up to meet his foot. He squinted upward to try and focus on Dance’s rather tall person. “What are you doin’ here, man?”
Dance ducked his head to step forward under the beams overhead. He never had fit in a damn frigate. “I’ve been assigned to Tenacious, Captain. I’ve come to be your first lieutenant, sir.” Dance raised his voice slightly, and enunciated his words, in case the man was deaf as well as drunker than a gin whore.
“Damn your eyes. Stand still.”
Not deaf then, but most assuredly a grizzled, grumpy old drunk who showed no signs of recognition, or cognizance, much less sobriety.
Dance dug in his old blue uniform coat to produce his written orders, handed to him only that morning. The orders he had been desperate to accept, because he knew damn well he was unlikely to get another posting that seemed such an easy berth.
He had been eight months out of employment, put ashore on half-pay and close rations like most of the fleet. Eight months of watching his chances of getting a better command dwindle to nothing, while better men—men with influence and connections—were deprived of their profession as well.
Now that the navy had won the bloody war, and saved Britain from sure invasion, they were all redundant—a drain on a nation ready to forget the past and be pleased with the future. The trouble was, of course, that after so many years of war, Dance and men like him were unfit for any other gainful profession. Unfit for any other company but their own.
Which might explain why his captain was drunk and alone.
“My orders are to join you for this voyage to the South Seas, sir. An expedition of the Royal Society, is it not? Slated to leave as soon as the ship has finished being made ready?”
Dance had jumped to accept his old friend Will Jellicoe’s suggestion that he take the commission aboard Tenacious. Such a lengthy expedition looked to provide suitable, easy employment for several years, even without the added bonus of a monetary prize from the Duke of Fenmore for safeguarding the expedition of naturalists under the duke’s liberal patronage. One didn’t turn down a patron like the Duke of Fenmore, even if it meant signing on with a captain who looked as if he ought to have been put to bed with a cannonball years ago.
Dragon Lover by Karilyn Bentley
Available at Amazon
But he’d rather speak a promise. What did I see?
A small brush against his mind, so slight as to be almost imperceptible. Almost. He slammed mental barriers in place, watching her brow furrow as she tried to remove his memory of her. She probably could get away with reading others’ minds, but not his.
“You saw me standing here.” The High Priestess’s voice jarred him back into the moment.
That’s not all I saw.
“Yes, it is. Now, are you going to give me that ride back to the Temple or not?”
Having problems transporting?
“I’m still here, aren’t I?”
Fafnir chuckled. A ride then. He knelt, offering her his back.
Her hand touched his shoulder as some of her bristle relaxed. “Thank you.” She climbed to his back and sat, her weight a pleasant feeling against his scales.
He straightened, standing a bit taller, knowing she sat on his back, knowing she trusted him. Him. The Draconi liar, the male too afraid of his own guilt to admit his identity. But she didn’t know that, did she? No, she felt pity toward him, pity for his years of captivity, his inability to change into human form, but no outright disgust. As annoying as pity might be, he could live with it. Her disgust, though, would shatter his heart into shards of shame.
Bloody effing sap.
Coming Soon from The Wild Rose Press
Pretty much covered the whole freakin’ day.
A blinding red-white, red-white strobe, reflected in my brand new Wrangler’s rearview mirror, seized my attention. The police. I tossed my hands skyward, ready to surrender. I shouldn’t have been too surprised. Like I'd commented this a.m. to my roommate, Jenny, “Today, anything’s possible.”
My Bad Day checklist included:
- Crappy job interview, one which might have provided desperately needed income.
- Wore gut-busting panty hose on a hot day which had now worked past my waist and strangled my diaphragm.
- A barely blowing air conditioner indicated something had malfunctioned in my new, fun car.
I stole another glance in the mirror, and with great reluctance, flipped the right turn indicator. My vehicle coasted to a stop on the shoulder of Boston Avenue in my hometown of Sommerville, a nice suburb located between two large cities. Four lanes of cars and trucks zipped by as I sat there where every single one of my family, friends, friends’ friends, and their friends—including Rat Fink Suzanne—would see a police vehicle positioned right behind mine. Gleefully, drivers would chant the “Ha-ha, got you, not me” ditty.
After killing the engine, I flopped back in the seat. Shooting the morons the finger was an idea. Nah. I'm too exhausted to care.
A litany of: "No, not hiring." "Just filled the position." "You're over qualified." "You're under qualified…" tornadoed through my head. Coupled with the intense job search through various outlets like the internet and completing numerous online employment applications, no wonder my body had been depleted of all life force.
Not even a breeze blew to take the edge off the unbearable summertime heat. Tangled wild trees and dry scrubby bushes banked the roadside. The grass had taken on a scorched look. Rolling down the driver’s window, I surveyed my surroundings. Nothing great. Nothing new.
I stole a glance in the side mirror at the policeman who strode purposefully along the shoulder. The gravel crunched under his boots. He looked huge, probably because his uniform, which appeared to be bulked with a bullet-proof vest, made him resemble a buffed-up superhero in size. Exceedingly intimidating.
Sigh. When things went wrong, they were really wrong.
As I viewed him drawing closer, my heart pounded harder. Awkward circumstances usually brought out the worst in me like shyness, ineptness, and uh...more shyness, hang-ups I carried from childhood. Back in the dark ages, I’d deliberately steered clear of embarrassing situations by developing the best self-protection— avoidance. Over time, I’d adapted to embarrassment, but every now and then, some unusual situation would spring out, and like a stealthy cat, those old prickly feelings crept back inside me.
The policeman stopped by the driver’s side, his head slanted to better peer inside.
Up close and exceptionally personal, I saw his sunglasses with dark lenses which shielded his eyes.
“Ma’am, I’m Officer Wellborn. I need to see your driver's license and proof of insurance—”
Something unknown possessed me. I bulldozed in and snapped in an overly loud voice, “What do you want? Why did you pull me over?”
His body stiffened like a package of frozen chocolate chip cookie dough.
Witness Protection by Barb Han
Available December 2014 from Harlequin Intrigue
A clink against the back door of the bakery sounded again. Sadie Brooks lost her grip on the twenty-five pound sack of flour she’d held. It struck the floor and a mushroom-shaped cloud of white powder formed over the bag’s lip.
Creek Bend, Texas was a far cry from Chicago, she reminded herself. No one from her past knew where she was. No one could hurt her. No one cared. And she was no longer Laura Kaye.
Available September 2014 from Harlequin Blaze
Forget about it! He was on a cruise ship with round the clock entertainment. When would he ever get this kind of chance again? Joe made his way to the casino, found a stool in front of a one-armed bandit and ordered a couple of more drinks while he fed it quarters.
Bleary-eyed and out of coins, he checked his cell. 1:37. He’d better head to bed. Feeling just buzzed enough to take the edge off his sexual frustrations, he stood and made his way to the elevator. But once he got in the elevator and punched his old deck number he remembered he’d switched rooms with the diva and—he couldn’t remember what his new room number was. If he hadn’t been so distracted by sexy Carly and her sweet sexy curves and those ice-blue eyes…
He shook his head to clear it and remembered. Forty-seven eighty-two. He punched the button for the fourth deck and when the elevator let him out he walked down the long hall suddenly exhausted and dizzy. Perhaps he had a bit of mal de mer, too.
Ahh, here was forty-eight seventy-two. The key card clicked and the door opened with ease. He let out a relieved breath he wouldn’t have to call someone for help and look like an idiot.
The room was pitch-dark, but he didn’t want to bother to switch on the big overhead light. Man, he was more tired than he’d realized. He flipped on the tiny light in the closet.
The cabin didn’t have a balcony as he’d expected Piper’s would have, but he didn’t care. The king-size bed awaited. He shucked his jeans, crawled onto the soft mattress, and was asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow.
Still, even in his dreams he couldn’t get Carly out of his mind. Her spicy scent filled his senses and he felt her soft breasts pushing against his back. In his dream he turned over and wrapped his arms around her hot body. It seemed so real that he could’ve sworn he could feel the silky material of her nightgown catch on the calluses of his palms. He nuzzled into a sweetly soft neck, pushed his rigid erection against her stomach and heard her moan.
He stilled. Forced his heavy lids to open. And looked right into Carly’s wide-open eyes.
And then she screamed.
Hell of a Week by Phyllis Middleton
J.C. spun around to face her and whispered. “Play along if you want to stay safe”
All she could do was nod. What the hell was she playing along with? Rape?
J.C. wrapped his arms around her and drew her close, holding her tight against him. His warmth reminded her of how chilly the night air had become. His lips were on hers in a flash. At first, she wanted to push him away, but his words ‘play along’ kept her in place. The fear fluttered away when heat of a different kind that rose within her. His tongue urged her to open her mouth to him. She did, helpless to fight off the very thing she’s wanted from him for days.
His tongue stroked hers into play. This was no game. He wanted her and the moan of her surrender escaped only for him to hear. His hand moved down and cupped a buttock, pulling her into him. She felt his need for her against her abdomen. That simple move made her ready to let him take her, here and now, and she arched further to him. He suddenly pulled away. The kiss and his touch were gone.
What the hell?
“Satisfied?” J.C. said.
Max was still muddled from the kiss. No, I want more. But I knew he was speaking the biker.
“I don’t believe that act for one minute. “ Butch answered.
“It’s true.” I said, not having the slightest idea what possessed her to say that.
“Shut up, bitch. This is between brothers.”
Flesh zapped by my face so fast it wasn't until after J.C.’s fist landed on Butch’s face that I realized what had happened. Butch reeled back.
“That’s for calling her a bitch and I’m able to give you another one if you and your buddy don’t haul ass back to camp.”
“Come on, Butch.” Skip said.
Butch rubbed his cheek tenderly. “This ain't over.”
J.C nodded back at him, “No doubt.”
Max watched them walk back in the direction she needed to go and she wasn't inclined to hurry after them. “They must have been watching me.”
“We've all been watching you. What got into you that made you think you are safe alone anytime this week? I've had to keep an eye on you because assholes like Butch are out to earn patches. Saving your ass is playing hell with my work,” he quipped.
She became the target of his temper and she was in no mood to hear it. “Well, excuse me! Don’t let my safety and welfare keep you from your precious work. I absolve you from those duties, J.C., whatever your name is. Oh wait, maybe you don’t know what absolve means.”
“I’m not stupid. I know exactly what it means and unfortunately for me, you’re Sheriff is holding on to the club’s promise that I won’t let harm come to any of his people by one of mine. Let me say you've become the biggest pain in the ass I've had to deal with yet!”
“And none of it is my fault. Keep your boys in check, Mister!” she said and turned to leave. She didn't bother to look back to see if he was watching. She wanted to, but didn't. She didn't want to encourage him, but she really did appreciate him saving her ass.
When she got back to the house, Bernie looked up from the table where she’d been working on crossword puzzles. “Where have been?”
“I got lost.” Boy, did she ever.
Available at Amazon
“You are truly delightful, your highness,” Derron said.
“I wish you wouldn’t call me that.” Irritation clawed through her. Mostly because he didn’t take her in his arms and kiss her thoroughly. As though she were the last Fae woman worth kissing.
“Why not? Isn’t that your rightful title?”
“It is, but it’s unnecessary for you to continue to use ‘your highness’.”
“You don’t seem to mind when the others call you that.” Before she could answer, he asked, “Would you prefer ‘princess’, then?”
“No.” She pouted, clenching her jaw tight and trying not to pucker her lips. Still, she was incensed. And he still held her so close she could literally feel his pulsing heart. Or maybe that was her imagination.
Now he was teasing her. She flushed to the tips of her pointed ears, her face burning hot.
“Not that either, I gather. How about ‘your grace’? I suppose I could bend the rules of address this once and call you that. Would that do?”
“No.” She punched him in the ribs to get away but he still held fast. “Let me go.”
He stopped walking so suddenly she stumbled again. This time he turned to her, grasped her arms and pulled her close. So close, her hands rested on his chest and she knew for certain she could feel his heart pounding through his tunic. Their eyes locked, his searching hers. Heat flooded her. Something she’d not known…well, ever. And especially for Derron.
It had been much too long since he’d looked at her like that. Ages, in fact. When he had tried to court her and all she wanted to do was run away from him. She’d wanted nothing to do with him. She had been such a fool to reject him. And why had she? She thought she hadn’t been in love with him. How wrong she was.
“Elyne, then. How about I call you Elyne?”
She liked the way her name sounded on his tongue. Oh, he’d said it before. But usually with princess attached to it. Rarely her name. And never looking at her like that.