Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sunday's Safe Word Shelf: Me, You, and Us Series by Deanndra Hall

Unforgettable You #2
For Sheila, a lie is a deal-breaker. But what if it’s not a lie? What if it’s just not the whole truth?
Being a popular Dom at the nicest BDSM club in town would be the top of the mountain for lots of guys, but for Steffen Cothran, it’s meant heartache. He lost someone he thought he might be able to have a future with to his best friend when Trish Stinson and Clint Winstead patched things up. He knows he wants a relationship, but so far he’s had trouble finding that one person, the one he knows he's meant to be with, to make that happen.
That all changes when Trish and Clint walk into the club with Trish’s best friend, Sheila Brewster. Even though he's met her, he never really had much contact with her. But Clint has a plan: He’s looking for a Dom to protect Sheila in case her abusive ex-boyfriend manages to get paroled. And Clint happens to think that Steffen is a great candidate for that position.
Steffen and Sheila’s relationship starts casually and quickly grows into a promising romance. But one question makes all the difference, and when Steffen doesn’t lie but doesn’t tell the whole truth with his answer, Sheila’s left wondering if she can ever trust anyone again. And when Steffen’s little omission shows up on his doorstep in full-blown chaos, the relationship he’d had such high hopes for is shattered, possibly forever.
In the aftermath, Sheila sets a course for self-destruction that turns out to be more dangerous than anyone could’ve imagined. With no one to blame but himself, Steffen finds it hard to help a woman who won’t have anything to do with him.
Two broken hearts. One huge mistake. A few really bad choices. And a lifetime of pain if things can’t be righted. It may be impossible to mend the broken trust, and their love could be lost forever.
The second in the Me, You, and Us series following Adventurous Me, Steffen’s story in Unforgettable You is funny, smart, sweet, kinky hot, and heartbreaking. It’s a tale of what happens when you forget that there’s not a lot of difference between a lie and a partial truth, and what love really means when two people belong together.
WARNING: This book contains explicit sexual situations in graphic detail. Not intended for readers under the age of 18. Reader discretion advised.

Adventurous Me #1
"Boring? Tiresome? Predictable? We'll see about that."
When Trish's husband of almost 30 years announces that he's leaving her because she's "boring," she sets out to find an adventure. Her attempt to drink her heartbreak away drops her onto a handsome gentleman who invites her to have an adventure, and Trish can't help but say yes. 
She embarks on that adventure, but her path keeps crossing with that of another - Clint Winstead, a Dominant at the club, Bliss, and the one person in the place who seems to despise her. And that's fine with Trish. After all, there are plenty of other Doms there who want to play. 
But when an annual event at the club throws Trish and Clint together for two weeks, both of them are horrified, not by the pairing, but by the feelings they're trying hard to deny. As the time passes, it's harder and harder to deny what they know is true - that is, until one nearly-tragic incident that almost changes both their lives irreparably. And when Trish realizes that continuing on with her commitment could cost her the ultimate - her life - she knows that it has to end. But does it? 
Trish is the queen of second chances. But this second chance might just come at a price too high to pay. A little adventure is a good thing, but perhaps she's gotten far more adventure than she can handle. 
WARNING: This book contains explicit sexual situations and BDSM themes. It is not suitable for readers under the age of 18. Reader discretion is advised.

“You think you’re pretty funny, don’t you?” She’s trying to pretend she’s mad, but I can hear her chuckling.

“A real riot. Oh, and I meant part of what I said.”

“Which part?”

“Let’s see . . . the parts about eating your pussy, and the part about ass fucking you.”

“Oh, is that right?”

“Yeah, it absolutely is. Good thing you’re not here.” I’m still chuckling.

“Oh? And why is that?” Something sounds wrong. I can’t figure out what it is, but it just doesn’t sound right.

“Because if you were here, I’d do everything I said I was going to, and I’d do it to you right now.” About that time, the doorbell rings. “Hang on. Door.”

I look through the peep hole and then start to laugh. When I open the door, there she stands, phone in hand, and I realize the seemingly odd quality to the call was because I could also hear her outside the door and didn’t realize it. “Can I come in?”

“I don’t know. Do I want you to?” She’s got on a short trench coat, and she opens the front.

She’s fucking naked underneath.

Well, that cut my decision-making time drastically. “Yes. I absolutely want you to. Get in here.” I yank her by the arm into the house, slam the door shut, and pin her against it, crushing her mouth with mine. She’s mumbling into my lips and waving her arms around. “What?”

“Let me take off the coat!”

I shake my head. “No. I like it. Makes you look all mysterious, like a spy or something.”

“I’m afraid we’re about to ruin the lining.”

“Yes, I think we probably are. I’ll buy you a new one.” I smash her against the door again, then lift her and wedge her between my body and the door so she can ratchet her legs around my waist like a vice. One arm under her ass, I manage to reach into my pocket and hand her a foil-wrapped condom with the other. “Here. Unwrap this while I release the animal.” I undo my belt and fly, then push my boxer briefs down until my cock springs free. Once I get the condom rolled on, I bury myself in her with one swift stroke. She cries out as I take her rough and fast, and there’s nothing in the world that I want to do more than fuck this girl, right here, right now. With my face pressed into her neck, I moan out, “God, Sheila, you’re killing me. Your body’s like a drug.”

She takes my face in her hands, kisses me lightly, and snarls out, “Just fuck me.”

And I do. I fuck her so hard I’m pretty sure her teeth are rattling. She bounces up and down from the force and occasionally mutters, “Oh god,” or, “Damn, Steffen.” With every stroke, her tits bounce a little, and occasionally I catch a nipple in my teeth and give it a nip, which makes her yell. I like that a lot. I’m banging her like a barn door in a tornado when she cries out, “Oh, damn, Steffen, I’m coming!” I don’t try to tell her to wait or stop or anything, just let her go, and when she grips me, I come too. I swear, it was so hard and fast that I think I smell smoke.

“Good god, girl, this is what you get when you show up on my doorstep like that.” I carry her to the sofa and let her perch her ass on the back, then pull out of her.

“That means I’ll do it more often.”

“Won’t hurt my feelings at all.” I lean down to her and kiss her, my hand wrapped around the back of her head. When I break away, I smile at her. “Hi there.”

“Hi. Surprised?”

“Very. Pleasantly . . ."

The writing of Unforgettable You
I never intended to write Unforgettable You. Adventurous Me was supposed to be an independent novel, but I kept having readers ask me about Steffen and Dave. They were pretty solid characters, so I decided I’d give it a whirl.

In Adventurous Me, we saw Steffen get his hopes with Trish dashed. I knew he was crushed; I didn’t realize how crushed he was until I started to hear from him in Unforgettable You. He was really counting on being able to step into that relationship, and being the first Dom there with whom she scened played a huge role in that belief for him. Even though he and Clint are very, very good friends, Steffen pretty much assumed the “all’s fair in love and war” mentality when things fell apart. I was pleased that Clint held no ill will for him; in fact, he felt somewhat guilty that Steffen was hurt so badly.

I also had no idea what had gone on in his past, and I certainly couldn’t have anticipated how horrifying it was. When it turned out to be almost as bad for Clint, I felt like pure evil had descended into the story, and I had to capture that, its essence and terrible truth, so it could be understood for what it was and how it had shaped his life.

I think Unforgettable You is actually a lesson on how the things we grow up with and experience can shape our lives, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. Steffen loved his father and missed him once he’d passed away, but it was a simple and old-fashioned notion instilled by the man that unknowingly colored his adult behavior and led to problems for him. What Steffen learned is a classic example of believing something just because someone in authority said it was so. I’ve seen that over and over in the area where I live. But unlike in a lot of instances, Steffen’s belief didn’t cause him to be narrow- or closed-minded – instead, it caused him to behave in a particular way that hurt him and the people he most wanted to be near.

When I met Steffen in the first book, I thought the same thing everyone else did, that he was an ego-driven stud-wannabe who was just gaming his way through the female factor at the club. But I was so very wrong about him; Steffen is so much more than that. I’m glad I had a chance to really get to know him.

And you might find it strange that I talk about him that way, but it’s all true. One of the things I love to do is build strong, well-defined characters, and then let them talk. And talk they do. Adventurous Me was a mess that almost didn’t happen because I started writing it in third person omniscient point of view and it was horrible. I thought about it and thought about it and finally wondered: What will happen if I just let Trish tell her story? The result was the funny, smart, snarky, sexy voice of the book that I published. It just made sense to me to let Steffen tell his own story, and tell it he does in his own sexy, smart, sweet, and sometimes sad voice. I thought of him as just an extraneous character in the first book, but he’s so much more, so complex and emotional. When all of his protectiveness kicked in, I wanted to cheer. But I couldn’t; I was writing. Ever tried to type and clap at the same time? Doesn’t work!

Sheila was just Trish’s “wing woman” in the first book, but I knew she had more story to tell also. As a friend, she was a good one; as a main character, she’s a great one. I love the way their personalities play off each other. Where Clint and Trish’s personalities are more balancing and complementary, Clint more conservative and Trish wild and crazy, Steffen and Sheila are very well matched in their personalities. They both like to laugh, both have quick, sarcastic wits, and both are committed to each other. It’s a match made in heaven; well, once they get finished slogging through hell.

In all, Unforgettable You wrote itself pretty quickly once Steffen started to tell his story. Some parts were harder to get out onto the page than others, and in several spots I spent a good deal of time crying – couldn’t help it. Just as in Adventurous Me, the plot in Unforgettable You took me some places I wasn’t quite prepared to go, and left me wounded and bleeding a few times too. But in the end it all works out as it should.

I think my favorite line was this one to Steffen from Sheila: “I want to know you, really know you. You have a beautiful soul.” Thanks, Sheila – I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Author's interview with Steffen Cothran from Unforgettable You
DEANNDRA: So this is Deanndra and I’m here today with Steffen Cothran, who is just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.
STEFFEN: Oh my god, you’ve found a way to make me blush!
DEANNDRA: You’re used to hearing that.
STEFFEN: Actually, yeah, I kinda am, although that’s definitely not what I’d want to be known for, to tell the truth.
DEANNDRA: And what would you want to be known for.
STEFFEN: Why, my sexual prowess, what else? *laughing*
DEANNDRA: So are you legendary in the bedroom?
STEFFEN: *smirking* Yeah, in my own mind.
DEANNDRA: Uh-huh. Just as I thought. So, what are you up to these days?
STEFFEN: Hanging out at Bliss, trying to look cool while I pant after some of the subs who hang out there with us.
DEANNDRA: Looking to collar one of them?
STEFFEN: Nah. They’re all just looking for fun. They don’t really want anything serious and, if they do, they most certainly haven’t ever bothered to let me know that.
DEANNDRA: And if they did?
STEFFEN: Uh, I might consider one or two of them, but probably not. They’re not really my type.
DEANNDRA: In what way?
STEFFEN: In that they’re great to scene with, but if I had to live with them day in and day out, I think I’d probably lose my mind. It’s going to take a special woman to be with me. She’s going to have to tolerate an inordinate amount of bullshit, and most women just can’t do that.
DEANNDRA: Bullshit? From you?
STEFFEN: I’ll admit it – I’m a smart ass. I can’t help myself.
DEANNDRA: Well, at least you know that about yourself.
STEFFEN: No sense denying it. It’s the truth.
DEANNDRA: So what does a great scene consist of for you?
STEFFEN: Hmmm . . . bondage. Definitely bondage. I love a spreader bar and leather cuffs. A Hitachi Magic Wand. A big bottle of lube. Maybe a ball gag and a blindfold. A nice suede flogger, or maybe a paddle. Nipple clamps, adjustable if she’s not very experienced, and clover clamps if she is. And candles.
DEANNDRA: Wax play, huh?
STEFFEN: I like it, but that’s not what I meant. Just to set the mood. Something nicely scented, lavender or jasmine or something like that. Maybe a bubble bath afterward. Chocolates. Wine.
DEANNDRA: Are we talking about scening or seducing?
STEFFEN: Yes. *laughing*
DEANNDRA: But you want to make her scream?
STEFFEN: Depends on what kind of screaming we’re talking about. From fear and pain, no; well, okay, maybe a little. From pure intensity of climax, absolutely. And then lots of moaning – lots and lots of moaning.
DEANNDRA: So this isn’t just about sex for you, is it?
STEFFEN: No. It’s not. I most definitely want a kinky girl who can meet my needs, but I want to meet hers too. And I want to connect with her on a level that goes way beyond just physical.
DEANNDRA: So you’re looking for love.
STEFFEN: Aren’t we all?
DEANNDRA: I’ve already found it.
STEFFEN: Lucky you! Yeah, I hope I eventually do. That’s my goal anyway. Best case scenario would be to find someone through a mutual acquaintance. It’s risky out there these days. Take a sub home with me, wind up in pieces in a drainage canal. Counter-productive to forming a lasting relationship.
DEANNDRA: Wow – I’ll say. It puts the lotion on its skin . . .
STEFFEN: Exactly! *laughing* Talk about a mood-killer . . .
DEANNDRA: We’ll have none of that. You’re far too good-looking to be fish bait.
STEFFEN: *smirking* Thanks. That makes me feel sooooo much better.
DEANNDRA: So, questions. Tats? Have any?
STEFFEN: Nope. Not because I don’t like them. Just never have gotten one, that’s all.
DEANNDRA: Piercings?
STEFFEN: I’ll never tell . . .
DEANNDRA: Well, that’s no fun. Beer or whiskey?
STEFFEN: Definitely beer.
DEANNDRA: Blond or brunette?
STEFFEN: Redhead.
DEANNDRA: Ooooo! Okay! There’s hope for me yet!
STEFFEN: You’re taken.
DEANNDRA: And if I weren’t?
STEFFEN: I think my search would be over. *winks*
DEANNDRA: Well, aren’t you the charmer?
DEANNDRA: Steffen, I’m so glad I got a chance to talk to you. Good luck, sweetie. You’ll be fine.
STEFFEN: Thanks. You’re an angel. Good talking to you too.

Hey, it’s Deanndra and I’m here with Clint Winstead, Steffen Cothran, and Dave Adams from Bliss. Guys, it’s great to have you here.
STEFFEN: Thanks! It’s good to be here.
CLINT: Yeah, it is.
DAVE: I can’t think of two better knuckleheads to be sitting here with.
CLINT: Feel the love.
STEFFEN: Wow. Thanks, Dave.
DAVE: You guys know I love you. I have to say, I’ve watched one of these guys grow up . . . well, actually, when you get right down to it, I’ve watched them both grow up and –
STEFFEN: Again, thanks, Dave. You do realize I’m forty-five, right?
DAVE: Couldn’t prove it by me.
CLINT: He knows you pretty well, Cothran.
STEFFEN: Don’t worry, Winstead – it’ll be you next.
DEANNDRA: Are you guys always like this?
CLINT: Absolutely. We’re tons of fun.
DAVE: Tons of bullshit is more like it.
DEANNDRA: Okay, so . . . what would you say is the hardest part of being a Dominant?
DAVE: Okay, you two experts, why don’t you take this one?
CLINT: Oh, god. Well, let’s see . . . I think the hardest part of being a Dom is finding ways to challenge your submissive without overwhelming them. I mean, driving a sub into subspace is a form of overwhelming them, I suppose, but it’s different. Subspace is more of an emotional and physical overload, wouldn’t you say?
STEFFEN: That’s a good way to put it. By overwhelming, I think he’s trying to say frightening or hurting them. Yes, some subs get off on pain, but you don’t want to physically injure them, although I really do believe there are some subs out there who want to be physically injured. They find that arousing. Me? I don’t want to physically injure anyone. I like applying the pain, but I don’t want someone injured.
CLINT: Yes, what he said. It’s one thing to leave a mark. It’s another to draw blood. If that’s what they want, it’s one thing, but to do that while they scream their safeword and just ignore it? Not cool.
DAVE: Do that at Bliss and I’ll bounce your ass into next week.
CLINT: He will too. I’ve seen him do it.
STEFFEN: Not pretty.
DEANNDRA: And what do you think the best thing is about being a Dominant? Steffen?
STEFFEN: Hmmmm. I’d say . . . the moment I like best is that moment when the submissive is doing what I’ve told her to do to satisfy me and then I stop her just before I get there and turn my attention to her. I delay my gratification because I want her to be satisfied before I take my pleasure, and I have no doubt that I can satisfy her. When you do that, you don’t have to require her submission – you get it automatically because she’s so satisfied that she’s desperate to please you.
DEANNDRA: Really? 
CLINT: Oh, yeah, absolutely. If you do that, if that submissive knows that you were almost there and you decided to forego that for their pleasure, that’s true power. She’ll walk through fire for you. And the promise of your own satisfaction is incentive to please her. It’s kind of, um . . .
DAVE: Reciprocity.
CLINT: Exactly!
STEFFEN: Yeah, I’ve heard these so-called Doms talk about how they won’t let their subs orgasm for like two weeks. A good Dominant not only wants their submissive satisfied, it’s their job to satisfy that submissive. I’ve heard of submissives who want to be spanked, whipped, beaten, slapped, tied up, gagged, blindfolded, locked in cages, burned, cut, but I’ve never talked to one who wanted to be sexually frustrated for two weeks. That’s just ridiculous. Maybe they’re out there, but I haven’t found them.
DAVE: And I want to speak to something right now. These women swoon over Dominants who want to humiliate them, subject them to horrifying things, ridicule them, talk to them like shit, basically just use them. And they flock to these guys. I just don’t get it. Yeah, we play with them, but we play with their bodies, not their minds and hearts, and there’s mutual satisfaction involved. We try to foster an atmosphere of meeting needs, not offering submissives for fodder. That’s no good. Somebody goes away feeling smug and superior, and somebody else goes away unsatisfied and maybe even feeling hurt. More than being a Dominant, I’m a man. If the woman I’ve been with goes away unsatisfied? I should be embarrassed, not bragging. Guys?
CLINT: Absolutely.
STEFFEN: Couldn’t agree with you more.
DEANNDRA: Wow. I like you guys. So, who’s got a permanent sub?
CLINT: Me! Sorry. Gotta brag.
STEFFEN: Working on it.
DAVE: Not interested.
DEANNDRA: Dave, I’m sorry but I don’t believe you.
DAVE: Believe it.
DEANNDRA: Sorry. Don’t.
CLINT: Yeah, don’t. He’s lying.
DAVE: No I’m not!
STEFFEN: He is. Guaranteed.
DAVE: You guys are full of shit.
DEANNDRA: I agree with them. If the right submissive walked in, you’d be on her like a hangover on Sunday morning.
DAVE: I already AM on ‘em that way. I just don’t want to keep ‘em.
DEANNDRA: Okay, Dave, you just keep telling yourself that. Thanks for talking with me, guys. Congratulations, Clint.
CLINT: Thanks!
DEANNDRA: Steffen, good luck.
STEFFEN: Thank you.
DEANNDRA: Dave, love ya.
DAVE: Love you too, darlin’.
DEANNDRA: Aw, that makes me smile.

Author Bio:
For as long as I can remember, I've been a writer . . .
and it has served me well. I wrote for local publications, wrote marketing and advertising materials, wrote for academic publications, and eventually grew jaded with the writing profession as I often watched others take credit for my hard work. I retreated into the world of 3-D art in the fiber and textile mediums and hid out in a world of colors and textures. But, truth is, there was always a story or two in my head. It wasn't until Nikki and I met in my imagination that I decided it was time to let those stories out, and I'm glad I did. My readers now get to enjoy the fruits of my imagination and, believe me, it runs wild!

On the personal side, I've been happily married to my lover and best friend for over thirty years, and I have two wonderful adult kids who've blessed me with two excellent choices of life partners. When I'm not writing, I'm playing with my three crazy little dogs, hiking in a local recreation area, kayaking, working out at the gym, tending my herbs, cooking, or doing some kind of research.
But I'd really rather be writing!


Unforgettable You #2

Adventurous Me #1

Brought to you by:

Release Day Blitz: Black Hills Secrets by AC Wilson

Title: Black Hills Secrets
Author: AC Wilson
Series: Black Hills #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 1, 2015
Blake Phails is struggling with the loss of his best friend and brother-in-arms. He is desperately choking back the guilt of not dying and now must face the emptiness of the world alone. It is difficult to find peace anywhere and home, well, he has no idea where that even might be. It is not a concept he is well acquainted with.

His mother gave him a picture. There was a date and a town in South Dakota written on the back. Hot Springs. He has made up his mind to go, but there is no way to predict just what is ahead.

Bailey Campbell’s greatest joy is the wide open spaces on the back of her horse, Liberty. There is nothing quite like freedom and sadly, it always comes at a price. Every time Bailey takes one step away, her stepfather reels her back in by using her half-sister as bait. He is vicious and abusive.

It is a part of her life Bailey struggles to keep hidden until a chance meeting with a soldier as battered as she. Following destiny’s guidance, can Blake and Bailey embrace a future without secrets?

 Deep, gut-wrenching sobs caused him to choke and gasp for air as he lay curled up on his side next to the freshly mounded dirt. The depth of his grief knew no bottom and even that didn’t terrify Blake Phails as much as going through the rest of his life without his best friend. He opened his mouth swallowing a cry of utter torment as his fingers dug into the wet earth of the gravesite. His loss of a brother-in-arms had created more chaos than two tours in Afghanistan. It threatened to uproot the foundation he’d built in the United States Army and cast him aside like a piece of unwanted rubbish.


Author Bio:
A.C. Wilson lives in Abilene, Kansas with her husband, two sons, and their chocolate lab. She loves to be outdoors, playing with her boys and absolutely loves to write.
The Black Hills Series came from her mother’s idea to use Hot Springs, South Dakota as a home town for the Johnson family. Everything about the Black Hills is enchantingly rugged and of course, there are cowboys!
Check out her young adult contemporary romantic series. Black Hills Angel (Book 1), Black Hills Blessing (Book 2), Black Hills Rebel (Book 3), Black Hills Secrets (Book 4) and Black Hills Forever (Book 5 coming Summer 2015).
Four novellas will also accompany this series as Black Hills Seasons presents the stories of the supporting characters that readers have requested. Watch for them in late 2015 or early 2016.
Please feel free to connect with her on social media.


Brought to you by:

Longing by Lilly Avalon

Title: Longing
Author: Lilly Avalon
Series: Resist #2
Release Date: January 27, 2015
Genre: Erotica Romance 
It's been two months since Allegra walked out of Devlin's hotel room. Well, two months and five days, but she's not counting. She needs to move on, but before she can, Devlin shows up her new coworker.

Seeing him at work every day is enough to make her lose her mind. Allegra tries to stay away from Devlin, knowing the effect he has on her, but she can't. The more she's around him, the more she's tempted to have something more with him. After everything that's happened in the past, it's a slippery slope that may land her in a place she never wants to revisit. Something is happening to her heart, though. A longing is building up that isn't one-sided...and doesn't feel temporary.

He wants her. She wants a forever. Is it possible to have it all?

***Longing is a full-length erotica novel, and the sequel to Resist***

Sonya is standing right in front of the elevator when it opens. Her shoulders relax when she sees me. “Thank God I caught you,” she says, grabbing my arm as I walk out.

“What are you talking about?”

“I tried calling you sixteen different times and you didn't pick up.”

I balance the pile of papers and dig into my purse to find my phone. When I open it, I discover she wasn't kidding. Sixteen missed calls. “I must have had it on silent,” I tell her, tucking my phone back into my purse. I smooth out my skirt before gripping the papers again. “What's going on that you're all up in a tizzy about? Is everything all right with you and Rodney?”

“It has nothing to do with me...and everything to do with you...and...”

I jerk to a stop when I see Jack talking to a familiar tall, dark, and handsome man with emerald green eyes.

My body is frozen in place. My shoes are glued to the floor. Never in a hundred years would I have expected to see this. See him. He's here. At my place of work. In my office. In the same room as me. “What in the ever-loving fuck?” I whisper.

Sonya squeezes my arm. “I tried calling. You saw.”

“Yes, I saw.” When I turn to her, she's attempting to hide a grin. “What's that for?”

“You've gotta admit, it's pretty funny how you said just yesterday that maybe you'll meet your prince today.”

My eyes bore into her. “Oh, you're gonna get it for that.”

She drops the grin and her face softens. “Are you going to be okay?”

By this point in the conversation, those green eyes have found me and they're dancing while he smirks. He's unbelievably gorgeous, more so than I remembered, standing there in a sexy as hell perfectly tailored suit. I've tried to forget, tried to let go. I thought I was moving on. However, seeing him now? It all bubbles to the surface, breaking through the ice and melting me into a pool of water. I can still feel his strong arms encircling me from behind, my breasts in his masterful hands. I can't look away, even though it's necessary for me to. A tingling builds up my center that causes a sharp intake of breath.

Fucking libido.

I can't let this get to me, can't let him get to me. I'm at work, a place of business. It doesn't matter that I saw his toned body naked or that he kissed all my intimate parts. I have to suck it up and be an adult. I heave a heavy sigh and say, “I'll be fine.”

Sonya lets go of my arm, but stays in step with me when I start walking again. “You don't appear to be fine.”

I ignore her and keep going. It doesn't matter whether I am fine or not, I'm going to put on a brave face and figure out what in the world is going on and why in the hell Devlin is here.

Jack brightens when we reach them. “Good morning, Allegra.”

“Morning, Jack.” I turn to Devlin and put on my sweetest smile. I reach out to shake his hand. “I see we have a guest. Devlin, long time no see. How have you been?”

“Better now that you're here.” He gives me a wink.

Jack gives Devlin a pat on the shoulder. “Devlin, you charmer.” He laughs, oblivious to the fact that Devlin's not joking. At least, I don't think he is. Based on the amused look on his face, I doubt it.

I shake my head to go along with the rest of the act. “So, what are you doing in our neck of the woods? Up for a visit?”

He raises an eyebrow. “Not exactly,” he responds, glancing at Jack.

“You know how we've been trying to replace Victor ever since he retired?” Jack says.

I involuntarily tense up, but nod slowly.

“Devlin had mentioned in February about his interest in coming back north in the future. So when Victor told me he was retiring, I figured I should offer the job to Devlin first. I didn't expect him to jump at it, but I am very glad he did. This way, we don't have to do a lot of training on a newbie since he's already familiar with the business.”

You know that feeling where it seems like your stomach has dropped to your feet? Yeah, that's the feeling that comes over me now.

Devlin Pierce, my one-night stand, has become my coworker.

Well, isn't that the cherry on top of the melted sundae that is my life.

When I make eye contact with Devlin, he has that look on his face. The kind you want to smack off because it has an underlying carnal feel to it. “Let's get this over with,” I say as I start walking to my office.

“Why the rush, Allegra?” he asks, catching up to me. “I daresay you're trying to get rid of me quickly.”

“Now, why on earth would I want to do that?” I reach for my doorknob, but my papers start to tip.

Devlin reaches out to steady them before they fall. He says, “Allow me,” as he opens the door.

I flare my nostrils, but mutter, “Thank you.”

“You're welcome.” He glances around the room. “So, this is your office, huh?” I notice another smirk playing at the edges of his lips.

I set the papers down on my desk. “Yes. Don't get any ideas.”

His jaw drops and he touches his hand to his heart. “I didn't have any until you mentioned them.”

“It's not my fault that my mind goes straight to dirty things when I'm around you.” The words escape my mouth before I can stop them.

“Is that so, Miss Allegra?” He waggles his eyebrows at me. “At least I know I made an impression last time around.”

I let out an annoyed groan as I walk around my desk toward him, stopping a few feet away. “Why are you here?” I need to know the reason he's here. Is it to annoy me? Is it to seduce me?

“I work here.”

I shake my head. “No. Why are you really here?”

“I have my reasons.”

“Which are?” I hold up both of my hands, anxious for an answer.

“Hmm...” He steps closer to me. When I inhale, I take in his scent. I'd forgotten the power it has over my cognitive function. It's as if I drank a pitcher of margaritas all by myself. I'm intoxicated. He tips up my chin. “I wonder...why are you so curious?”

Don't look at his lips. Remain focused. Body, don't you dare betray me. I keep my eyes on his, but bite my lip without thinking. Damn it. “I have my reasons,” I say, repeating his answer back to him.

He nods, pursing his lips and releasing my chin. “Well until I hear yours, I'm not telling you mine.” He steps away and I take in a deep breath. “Now, let's get on with this tour, shall we?” He holds his hand out toward the door.

I expect him to leave, but he continues standing in front of me. That panty-dropping cologne enters my nostrils again and I can't move. “Um, I need”

“I don't want to walk away just yet.”

What does he mean by that? My breath catches in my throat. “What are we doing?” I whisper.

He tilts his head. “Whatever you want.” His fingers graze across the edge of my jaw.

Focus, Allegra. “I...uh...” I heave a heavy sigh. “Look—we had a great night together. But that's all it was—it's what we agreed to.” A one-night stand is a one-night stand for a reason. This reason right in front of me.

“I promised you one night of passion. I didn't promise that it would be the last.”

“I never said I wanted more than that.”

He comes closer, our breaths now mingling. “Your reaction to me begs to differ.”

“Just because you can turn me on doesn't mean I want you.”

His lips quirk into a smile and he whispers into my ear, “I think that's the definition of want, princess.”

This is bad. He's twisting up my insides in several different ways. It's okay to let go once, but not twice. He's not the one. I can't give in to the temptation again without the threat of opening what I call the vault—my Pandora's Box of heartbreak. I can't think about the fact that I want to run my fingers through his soft brown hair, pulling him down closer to my face as he...

I push him away with one palm flat on his chest. He willingly steps back. “I have to get to work,” I tell him, straightening up.

“Very well. As you were.” He gives me one final glance, and then walks off.

Well, I know now that he's still interested. What I don't know is if I'm the reason he came here. It's only a matter of time before he reveals the truth to me. I just have to hope I can keep it in my pants in the meantime.

In the middle of the afternoon, Devlin calls me to come to his office to go over some new accounts I've been auditing. When I peek inside, he looks up at me with a cheeky grin. I narrow my eyes at him. “What's going on?”

He wordlessly reaches into a drawer, and then produces a pair of blue lace panties. It takes a few seconds to register that they're the pair I left behind in his hotel room three months ago.

Gasping, I hurry inside to close the door. “What are you doing with my panties?” I hiss as I walk around his desk to snag them from him.

He stands, holding them above his head. “Ah, no you don't. I found these in my hotel room. They're rightfully mine.”

“Like hell they are! I would have gotten them if they weren't still in your pants pocket.”

“It's actually kind of sexy to think about you walking around New York without them.” I try to grab for my underwear again, but he holds me down. One side of his mouth quirks up into a smile. “They would have made a nice addition to my trophy wall. My shirt would have been lonely.”

I make a sound that's half groan, half sigh. “Fine. Keep them. Is that the real reason you called me in here?”

“No.” He places the panties back in the drawer. “The real reason is I wanted to see you for longer than five seconds at a time. And that I'm beginning to lose my mind.”

“How so?”

“Do you know how it feels to see you and not touch you?” He snatches my hand and places it over the growing bulge in his pants. I gasp, but don't pull away. His hand rests over mine and his eyes roam over my face. “It's damn near impossible for me to not react like this. I spend the whole day in pain—unless I do something about it, of course.” His voice is low, guttural. It sends shivers down my spine.

I glance down at our hands, then up to his face to see his eyes darkening. “What do you do?”

“How about I show you?” I nod, giving him permission to proceed as I pull my hand away. He unbuttons his pants, freeing his cock from his boxers. It's already hard and proud when he strokes his hand over it slowly. An aching need comes over me, making me want to jump into action. “Is something the matter, Allegra?” I shake my head and say nothing. “Because it seems like something is going on in your mind.” He strokes it a couple more times, letting out a low groan.

I can't take it anymore. I reach for his cock, causing him to come to a halt in his movement. I pull his hand away and take over, sliding my fingers up and down the length. He sucks in a breath. “What are you up to?”

“No good,” I answer.

“Don't start something you can't finish,” he says.

I smirk, removing my hand to push him back into his chair. I drop to my knees in front of him.

When I look back up at him, his eyes widen. “What are you doing?”

“Finishing this.” I take him back in my hand, leaning in to lick the tip. “Did you know that from the first moment I saw your cock, I've wanted to do this?” My tongue glides across the side and back up again. His body twitches in response. I taste along the tip again, swirling my tongue around before I take him in as far as I can.

“Oh God, Allegra,” he rasps out with a groan. His fingers fist into my hair and he guides me in a steady rhythm.

The pleasure I feel from his body and the moans coming from his mouth drive me crazy. I love it, I love this. Going down on a man before often felt like it was only for him, like it was more of a chore. They always made it feel that way. This, however, seems different for us. Sure, I'm doing this for him, because I want to. But it feels like more. It feels better.

“Christ, Allegra.” He tries to pull me away, to warn me that he's about to come inside my mouth. I stay in place, ignoring his warning because I want to take it all from him. His breathing is erratic and the words tumbling from his lips are like a melody. I suck him in slightly deeper, taking him over the edge. He pushes into my mouth with one final thrust and I swallow everything.

When I finish, he lifts me up and kisses me hard. “Why did you do that, Allegra?”

“I told you I wanted to take care of you.”

Author Bio:
Lilly Avalon is the author of the erotic romances Here All Along and Resist, and the upcoming novella More Than Words.

She's somewhere in the midst of her twenties and lives mostly in the stories in her head. When she's not enveloped in the worlds she creates, she's out in the real world making stories happen. That or reading other romances. It's a toss-up.




Brought to you by:

State of Alliance by Summer Lane

Title: State of Alliance
Author: Summer Lane 
Series: Collapse Series #5
Release Date: January 30th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Post-Apocalyptic
There is no such thing as safe.

For Commander Cassidy Hart, staying alive is only one of her day-to-day problems. As a newly minted Senator of the State of California, she must travel to Monterey Bay with the hope of bringing an agreement between the militia forces and the Pacific Northwest Alliance as the United States desperately battles against the shadow invasion forces of Omega.

But Monterey is not what it seems. The threat of another Omega attack looms on the horizon, and Commander Chris Young – the love of Cassidy’s life – is not the only important person in Cassidy’s life who is keeping secrets. Assassinations, betrayal and startling revelations lie ahead.
The war is now. Fight or die.
Choose your side.

The fifth installment in the international bestselling Collapse Series, a YA/NA post-apocalyptic romantic adventure.

Saying Hello to the Sea By Summer Lane 
The fun in writing State of Alliance was that I was able to remove Cassidy from the middle of California – namely, the Central Valley and the Los Angeles area – and take her to an entirely new setting: The Pacific Ocean. I had envisioned this tale for a long time, and bringing it to life was epic!

Cassidy Hart’s story began in Los Angeles. Since then, she has been primarily spending her time in the Central Valley of California and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. State of Alliance brings her tale to Monterey, California – one of the most beautiful places in the Golden State. It has all the beauty and drama that a storyline needs, and I was able to utilize some of the most popular hotspots in the city as prime focal points in my plot – places like Cannery Row, Fisherman’s Wharf and the Presidio.

The element of water allowed me to take Cassidy into new adventures with the Navy – specifically where Chris Young is concerned, since the love of her life is a SEAL. We’re throwing Commander Young into his most skilled area of talent. There are so many things I loved about writing this book, I don’t know if I can just choose one! I can’t wait to share State of Alliance with the world!

Author Bio:
Summer Lane is the author of the international bestselling Collapse Series and Zero Trilogy. She owns WB Publishing and Writing Belle, an online magazine dedicated to the Art of Storytelling. Summer is also an accomplished creative writing teacher and professional journalist. She lives in the Central Valley of California where she creates her stories and shares them with the world.


Brought to you by:

Cover Reveal: Two Truths and a Lie by Ashley Stoyanoff

Title: Two Truths and a Lie
Author: Ashley Stoyanoff 
Series: PRG Investigatins #1
Release date: February 28th 2015 
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Cover Design: Okay Creations

One year ago, I became a missing person. I left everything behind—family, friends, school. It seemed like a good idea at the time. My only option, really, until I realized running from a police officer isn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

It’s been exactly three-hundred and sixty-five days since I left home, but I’m finally ready to take the step I should have taken a year ago. I’m done hiding. I’m done running. I’m going to take my life back.

It was supposed to be easy. A meeting with Jason Pierce, a private investigator, was set up for me. All I had to do was go to him, let him do his thing, and then I could go home, or so I thought.

That is, until I met Jason and things got … complicated.

Author Bio:
Ashley Stoyanoff is an author of paranormal romance books for young adults, including The Soul's Mark series and the Deadly Trilogy. She lives in Southern Ontario with her husband, Jordan, and two cats: Tanzy and Trinity.

In July 2012, Ashley published her first novel, The Soul's Mark: FOUND, and shortly thereafter, she was honored with The Royal Dragonfly Book Award for both young adult and newbie fiction categories.

An avid reader, Ashley enjoys anything with a bit of romance and a paranormal twist. When she's not writing or devouring her latest read, she can be found spending time with her family, watching cheesy chick flicks or buying far too many clothes.

Ashley loves hearing from her readers, so feel free to connect with her online.

Brought to you by: