Title: Hot Beach Romance: Sand, Sunshine, & Sizzle
Authors: Chris Almeida & Cecilia Aubrey, Eirinn Brennan
EmKay Connor, Jenna Dales, Jami Davenport, Sylvia Fox
Tawdra Kandall, Amber Lin, Alannah Lynne, Scarlett Metal
Lisa Marie Rice, Suzanne Rock, Margaret Taylor, Nancy Warren, Layla Wilcox
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 28, 2015
***Ready for a summer escape? Get 15 contemporary romance stories by best-selling and award-winning authors for 99¢! Each novel and novella has a beach setting, an irresistible love story with HEA, and high sizzle factor. Slather on the sunscreen, grab a cool drink, and get ready to get hot!***
Ecstasy By the Sea by Chris Almeida & Cecilia Aubrey
A honeymoon to remember.
Burn Me by Eirinn Brennan
She was sure of the future until she experienced what else it had to offer.
Finding Joy by EmKay Connor
You can run from your secrets, but you can’t hide.
Kissing Drake by Jenna Dales
A tall, dark and seriously hot hero and the woman who makes him forget about being so serious.
Madrona Sunset by Jami Davenport
Damaged souls craving comfort for a moment or a lifetime.
The Good Enough Husband by Sylvie Fox
What would you do if you met your soul mate, but you were already married?
The Posse by Tawdra Kandle
One woman, three men, and a beach romance as unpredictable as the riptide.
How to Say Goodbye by Amber Lin
She’s here for the summer. He lives on the streets. They’ll both learn how to say goodbye.
Last Call By Alannah Lynne
One unforgettably hot night could lead to forever…or…death…
Sunny and 75 by Scarlett Metal
Can paradise heal their broken hearts or will their pasts come back to haunt them?
Midnight Shadows by Lisa Marie Rice
She sees shadows that aren’t there.
Two Are Better Than One by Suzanne Rock
Two Irish exchange students convince the straight-laced Hannah that two men are better than one.
The Billionaire’s Assassin by Margaret Taylor
Adrian Hoyle couldn’t know that meeting a hot Hollywood actor would be hazardous to her health.
Sun Kissed by Nancy Warren
It’s hard not to mix business and pleasure when your business is surfing.
Miami Dreams by Layla Wilcox
Starting over in the Magic City means believing in second chances when none seem possible.
Two are Better than One by Suzanne Rock
“Did you find her?”
Hannah stopped walking as she recognized Declan’s voice.
“No. I looked everywhere.”
Quinn. Hannah knelt down behind the dune and angled herself until both men came into view. The setting sun cast a red-orange halo around them both, creating a beautiful, romantic picture.
“Damn Greg.” Quinn fisted his hands. “He’s such an ass.”
“I never liked him,” Declan agreed. “Now he’s scared off Hannah and I’m not sure if we’ll ever find her.”
Hannah stared at the men. They were looking for her?
“I’d love to punch his face in.” The normally jovial Quinn slammed his fist in his palm.
“Come now, you know violence isn’t the answer.” Declan sighed. “I just wish I knew if Hannah was all right.”
“You don’t believe that she had sex with Greg, do you?”
“I don’t think anyone believes him. He’s an ass, remember?”
Quinn shook his head. “I’m worried about her.”
“If only we weren’t running late. We could have stopped it.”
Hannah stood and was about to reveal herself when she saw Declan reach out for Quinn. She hunched back down behind a sand dune and watched as Declan wrapped his arms around Quinn’s shoulders. The act was gentle and affectionate. Soothing. It seemed almost as if he was consoling a lover.
Desire sparked in her lower abdomen. She imagined herself between the two men, their hard, naked bodies pressed up against her like in one of her erotic novels. She had never participated in a three-way, but she guessed that with Declan and Quinn it would be so much more intimate than what she had read about, more intense. To be surrounded by all of that warm skin, to feel their hands and lips on her body, would be like a dream come true.
“Don’t worry, we’ll find her.” Declan hooked his finger under Quinn’s chin and raised his head to meet his gaze. Then he closed the distance between them and covered his lips.
They were…kissing? Hannah gasped and put her hand over her mouth. They were lovers? A hollowness formed in the pit of her stomach. She was such a fool to think that they’d be interested in her. Damn Becky for putting the thought in her head. Declan and Quinn were lovers—lovers! Tears once again stung her eyes and a sob escaped her throat.
Declan broke the kiss and pulled back from Quinn. “Did you hear that?”
Quinn stepped out of his lover’s embrace. “There’s someone here.”
Hannah stood and turned to go.
“Wait—don’t leave.” Quinn’s voice rose up from the dunes.
Hannah closed her eyes. Could this evening get any worse? She couldn’t run away now. She’d have to talk to them. Hannah decided she’d be curt and quick, then get out of there and go home as soon as possible.
Hannah had let Becky give her hope for something more than a life of seclusion, and now she was paying the price. Hannah was better off with her cat and her erotic novels.
It was best to get this over with as quickly as possible. Slowly she turned around.
Both men started moving toward her.
“Hannah,” Declan was faster than Quinn and reached her first. “My God, we were worried about you.”
“Were you?” Hannah looked from Declan to Quinn. “Just now you were kissing. You couldn’t have been that worried.” Hannah winced at the men’s stunned expressions and immediately regretted her words. She held up her hands between them. “I mean, it’s none of my business—”
“You saw that?” Quinn asked.
Declan took a step forward. “Did it disgust you?” He took another step. “Scare you?”
“A little.” She shook her head. “I mean it didn’t disgust me. I just didn’t know that you two…” She waved her hands in the air between them.
“We are lovers, yes.” Declan stopped and held his hands out at his sides. “Does that bother you?”
“No. Yes.” She sighed and dropped her hands. “I don’t know.”
“There’s more,” Quinn said.
Declan glanced at Quinn, and then refocused his attention to her. “We like kissing each other, but we find it much more erotic to both be kissing another woman.”
“Much more erotic,” Quinn said as he stepped closer.
He smiled with the barest hint of irony. “Guess you have better things to do than build a sand castle.”
She hated how his words echoed her thoughts, how they put him down. Didn’t he know how much she would give to be like him? Relaxed. Confident. God, she didn’t want to be afraid anymore.
“I’ve got time.”
He pointed behind the castle. “There’s an enchanted forest right there.”
She knelt down. “Here?”
“No, over. A few inches to the left. Don’t you see it?”
He was…teasing her. It took her a second to understand just because it had never happened before. Not that she could remember.
She looked down to hide her smile. “I think I’ve got it now.”
He grinned. “Then get building, Cornell.”
Her first attempt was more like a molehill with a pointed top. By her second she’d learned to pack the sand more tightly, earning a brief nod from him. After that she worked steadily, forming the little conical pine trees in varying sizes. A vision sketched in her mind, of lush trees and woodland creatures, of fancy and imagination.
Kneeling in her oh-so-practical shoes was impossible, so she took them off. Her skirt hiked up her thighs as she scooted around the forest. Sand squeezed between the mesh of her stockings.
She hoped it would never come out.
When he finished carving arched windows, he stood back and dusted the sand from his palms. She trailed a finger down the last tree—this was how he’d feel, gritty and soft—before standing up to join him.
He was tall. His height shouldn’t have been a surprise; she was often the shortest one in the room. But she’d been equal to him on the ground, both of them dirty and eager in the sand. Now he was the tall, handsome stranger, and she the shy girl who hardly spoke.
She’d aced fluid mechanics, for God’s sake, so why should this matter? It didn’t, it didn’t. But her heart double-timed when she asked, “What do you think of the forest?”
With mock solemnity he studied the trees. They lined up neatly in rows like a Christmas tree farm she’d passed once in rural New York.
“It’s pretty,” he said, repeating her words. Then he smiled, almost shy. “Very pretty. Do you want to grab some dinner?”
Her breath caught. Had he just asked her out? It had sounded like that. Exactly like that. Her heart beat a rapid pace.
Daylight traced tiny lines radiating from his eyes, from the corners of his mouth. A smattering of blond hair covered the tanned skin of his chest, highlighting lean muscles beneath. Even the tips of his eyelashes were bleached, every part of him touched by the sun. A golden boy, a rippling-surface stereotype, while hidden depths lurked beneath. What would it take to dive under? In that moment she wanted to find out. Right then she wanted to drown.
But she’d had a lifetime of treading water, of survival. Only one answer made sense.
“I’m sorry.” Her voice sounded hoarse with disuse, as if she hadn’t spoken in years instead of seconds. “I’m not going to be here long. In Florida.”
She kicked herself. He hadn’t asked her to marry him, for God’s sake. He’d only wanted a date, and she should be able to do that. If she were more normal, she could have.
Fleeting emotions flickered across his face. Disappointment first, followed by others she couldn’t understand. But resignation—that one she recognized like an old friend.
“All right. Take care then.” His voice rang with finality. They would part now. She wouldn’t see him again, because she didn’t know how to be close to another human being. No textbook had ever taught her. No monthly phone call had told her how to feel.
Her face heated.
“You too,” she murmured. “I’ll see you around.”
But even that presumed too much. A slight shake of his head said no, she wouldn’t. His lips curved in a cold shadow of his former smile.
“Bye, Cornell.” He crossed the beach, heading for the water.
He walked right past the frothy edge and dived underneath, leaving only ripples in his wake. His head came up once for air, and again, and again, growing smaller, farther away.
She waited for hours. Or seconds, really. She stood with sand caked to her hands and her knees, feeling abraded and raw. Every other time in her life, she’d pretended not to want this. Friends and laughter. Easy camaraderie. Touch. Standing on the cooling sand, her stomach grumbling with hunger, she could no longer pretend.
Ecstasy by the Sea by Chris Almeida and Cecilia Aubrey
She stopped by the archway to the first floor and took in the fabulous space. "Wow. It's even more beautiful than the pictures and videos Stephan sent us." Warm golden wood flooring covered the open-concept area. The kitchen was the perfect size, with dark chocolate-tone wood cabinets, brushed silver hardware, and cream granite countertops threaded with dark veins that complemented the chocolaty cabinets. Cassandra walked into the kitchen and brushed her hand over the cool surface of the counters and the white subway tiling on the wall. "Nice! Stephan actually pulled off exactly what we asked for."
"Yep. The seventy-inch flat screen I have been drooling over looks awesome mounted on the wall."
"Great movie nights ahead, for sure." He watched Cassandra's eyes pass over the big screen embedded in a large media center surrounded by speakers and every electronic gadget Trevor had lusted after. She grinned and nodded toward the couch. "Even the couch has a nice deep seat for snuggling."
Trevor waggled his eyebrows. "Oh, yeah! And did you see the front door? The restoration results were brilliant. All of the original Georgian details are now showing."
Cassandra chuckled at his enthusiasm. "One would think you were talking about the Mona Lisa."
"Hey! That's an authentic Georgian door! And, considering where we live, it had to be one."
Most of the houses around St. Stephen's Green still retained the classical façades from the Georgian era and sported the traditional bright colored doors that marked the period.
She shook her head. "Love when you get all geeky about things."
He closed the distance and circled her waist with an arm, pulling her closer. "Should I begin to talk geek now? I know how it turns you on: uploads..." He cupped her face and kissed her lips in a slow, deliberate touch, nipping at her full lower lip.
"Hard drive..." he whispered, running his tongue along the curve of her ear.
"Firmware..." His hand slipped lower and cupped her breast.
Her hand cupped his groin at the same time. "Firm...yes..."
Sylvia Fox's Travel Bucket List
All this talk about the beach gave me time to think about compiling my travel bucket list. I'm not getting any younger and the time to have fun on the beach and off is NOW. My travel bucket list includes lots of islands, island nations, and beaches. (Yeah, there's inland too, but some things like castles and chocolate are hard to give up even in the face of smooth sand beaches and lapping waves.) So, here goes in no particular order, where I'd like to be while holding a hot read in my hands.
- Easter Island. I hear the plane ride is really long, and the tour, really short. But I still want to do it. I need to see those giant statues for myself.
- The Great Wall of China. I have to see something astronauts can see from space.
- Bangkok, Thailand. I have no particular reason for wanting to go to Thailand, but I’ve always had a strong desire to visit.
- Greek Islands. My husband has always wanted to bicycle through the Greek Isles. While I think we may be a little old for it, I’d love to see the water, the beaches, and eat the food, anyway—bicycle or no bicycle.
- Egypt, the Pyramids. I may not be able to see all the wonders of the world, but I have to see this in person.
- Reykjavik, Iceland. For some reason, I’m usually in line for the bathroom on international flights when flying over Iceland, and see it from the tiny airplane window while bouncing on the balls of my feet. So I have to see it for myself—in the summer.
- Switzerland. It’s neutral. There's chocolate. There are castles. There’s gotta be something to that.
- Hong Kong. I always meant to visit before the handover, but never made it there. The food is supposed to be amazing. And as a bonus, English is spoken.
- Belgium. Belgian beer and fries. Need I say more.
- Australia and New Zealand. I’ve always wanted to go to the other side of the earth. The animals are vastly different. The geography looks spectacular. And have you seen those videos of hot Aussie men and women frolicking on the beach???