Category Archives: Book Excerpt

Guest Author + Birthday Girl: Denise Stout

OMG VICTORY!!! Sorry for hijacking this post Denise – but – ok guys, so she sent me this post back in November and I thought I had it scheduled and set but the WP update screwed things up and posts weren’t going live and this was one and I thought I fixed it but didn’t and today I went back and HERE IT IS!! So anyway, I’m totally excited to welcome Denise to ALBTALBS as an official guest and author!

Erm, and my apologies, because it was supposed to be a birthday post, but obviously I’m back dating it so – this is way way off, but a very very very happy [belated] birthday to you, Denise!

Then Comes WinterWhen Limecello put out the altar call for Tuesday birthdays, I raised my hand right away. I had several ideas, stories to share, then life through me a bit of a curveball—in a good way.

Late Spring, I saw a judged writing contest for a Christmas theme short story, preferably with an Austenesque slant, featured on a blog and decided to enter. I’d put my writing on hold for a while, but I needed to get back to it now—too easy to put off. I wrote a short story and submitted it. I spent the summer running my kids around, took a short vacation, and the business of life settled into place. I was planning another story around the time the winners were to be announced. I woke up one morning, and there was the email—I was a runner up in the writing contest. And, one of the rewards of winning was to be published in an anthology (confession: I knew that when I entered, but it’s so much more of a reality when you have a contract)! I was excited beyond words. Next came a whirlwind of edits and revisions until the final product was ready for publication. The date listed on Goodreads—my birthday! Granted, the publisher had to put a date down, and don’t think me too off the wall, but I felt it was a good omen for the anthology to be published on my birthday.

The ebook released just shy of my birthday in my time zone, but I think it technically still released on my birthday somewhere in the Pacific. So that counts, right? And, the trade paperback hit within twenty-four hours of that, so I’m counting it as a win! The date of publication is listed as my birthday! Best birthday and contest win ever!!!

So, you’re not going to hear about my unicorn cake my mom made when I was sixteen—I had a photo to share, too. Went through a lot of photos to find it. I’m too excited about the anthology and publication. But, I am going to give you a teaser:

They left the restaurant and drove home in silence. He glanced her way occasionally, she noticed, as if he wanted to say something but then appeared to reconsider it. His profile betrayed nothing of his thoughts. She studied his strong jaw and discovered a bit of grey in his thick, but short, dark hair. She’d never been so alone or close to him before, and a consciousness of the car’s intimate space enveloped her. The smell of his cologne—masculine with a hint of citrus—ignited her senses.

Yep, that’s all you get. I hope you liked it!

Denise Stout, author

What’d you guys think? 😀 And please join me in wishing Denise a very happy [>.> belated] birthday!! AND congratulations for having her first story published!

Exclusive Bonus Deleted Scene from Defensive Heart by Dorothy F. Shaw

Hi friends! Look! It’s Saturday! October is over! Everything is nuts — and … Happy Halloween! <3 As you see we’ve got Dorothy F. Shaw sharing an exclusive deleted scene with us from her book Defensive Heart. It’s sexy, and a lot of fun, perfect for this day of mischief. Seriously – NSFW!

Defensive HeartUptown girl, tattooed bad boy. Think you know which one is wild? You’d be wrong. The Donnellys, Book 2 Greenwich Village is home to successful artist Jimmy Donnelly, and the world is his playground. A broken heart in college left him with zero interest in being tied down. But when he meets a sexy, quick-witted Manhattan attorney, he reconsiders his bad boy ways. Sonja Martin’s life is filled with work, an ex-husband who refuses to stay gone, and a teenage daughter who won’t follow the rules. Jimmy, with his myriad of tattoos and piercings, looks more like one of her clients than a potential lover. But when every argument between them feels more like foreplay, she can’t seem to stay out of his bed. The heat burns through whatever defenses Sonja thought she had. And Jimmy finds his every fantasy fulfilled-and exceeded-by a woman whose fire burns as bright as her fiercely guarded vulnerability. But his case for breaking her out of her self-imposed mold might just be dismissed. And he’ll lose the best thing he’s ever found. Warning: This book might piss you off. But if I’ve done my job, while you’re busy being pissed off, you’ll also fall in love with the hero and the heroine. May contain: A pompous, misogynistic ex-husband. A rebellious teenager. A ton of sex. Adventurous sex. Make-up sex. Desperate-OMG-GET-YOUR-CLOTHES-OFF sex… Did I mention there’s a lot of sex?

Sonja’s mind floated in a haze as her post-orgasm bliss settled. The bed still swayed from their lovemaking—though maybe it was her body trembling from her orgasm, Sonja couldn’t tell. However, James was trembling too.

With little thought, she stroked her fingers up and down his spine. His skin was warm and damp with perspiration. He shivered and kissed her. His soft lips met hers, his smooth tongue tangled with her own, and she moaned. The tenderness in the affection he showed was a sharp contrast to the rough sex they’d just had. At least rough by her standards.

Sonja had never done anything like that in her life. She never talked dirty in bed, let alone told someone what to do while they were there. One minute she was acting the lady she likened herself to be, the next she was barking out sexual orders like some sort of dominatrix. As though she’d been possessed, and a completely different Sonja awoke in her place, taking over.

James broke from her lips and placed a gentle kiss on her cheek, and then her neck. After rolling them to their sides, he slipped from her channel, sending another aftershock pulsing through her. Sonja shivered.

He gave another light kiss to her shoulder, rose from the bed, turned and tucked the sheets around her. “Be right back.”

She said nothing, but smiled when she was treated to a view of his magnificent backside. As the door to the bathroom closed, Sonja turned on her back and stared up at the ceiling. She simply didn’t know what to make of her behavior—nor did she know what to make of his reaction to her behavior.

Never before had a man been as intense and focused on her. Then again, James had always been intense with her. Yes, he poked and started fights, which annoyed her beyond words, but then his demeanor would flip on a dime and he’d be tender and sweet. Frankly, she didn’t know what to make of him.

The toilet flushed and Sonja looked in the direction of the bathroom. The door opened a few seconds after, the light already off. She watched his shadowed figure make its way back to the bed. His face only clear to her once he reached the edge. He climbed onto the platform beside her, with a sated and soft look in his eyes.

James pulled the sheets back, slid beneath them and once he was settled, smoothed her hair off her shoulder. “Hi.”

Sonja shifted to face him. “Hi.”

He snaked an arm around her, bringing her closer to his body. The music had stopped playing at some point, she didn’t know when, but now there was silence, save for their soft breaths. James ran the flat of his hand up her back to her neck and into her hair, threading his fingers through the long length.

Again, without thought, Sonja closed the inches of distance between them and kissed him. When her lips touched his and she moved her tongue into his welcoming mouth, he gripped the hair at her scalp. The sting drew a moan from her, and she raised her leg, resting her knee on his hip. James deepened the kiss. Releasing his hold on her hair, he smoothed his hand down to her backside, to her hip and thigh.

She tingled everywhere his fingertips had pressed on their journey along her flesh. James hiked her knee higher on his waist and rolled his hips against her center. Sonja broke the kiss and gasped at the hot contact with his erection.

My God, he was ready so soon? The benefits of being thirty. Every inch of her skin sizzled and her insides tightened with need. He was ready, and she definitely wanted him again.

Before she allowed herself to pick the unexpected desire apart—dissecting it—she moved her lips to his neck. His skin tasted of salt from his sweat, and she wanted more of that too. The scent of his cologne still lingered, but above that was the scent of pure masculinity.

Sonja moved her hands to his chest and traced the lines of his pectoral muscles with her fingertips and found his flat areolas. She sucked at his neck as she scraped her nails over the tight nipples.

A thrill ran through her at the rush of breath escaping him. Creating a trail with her lips and tongue, she moved down the side of his neck to his collarbone. Nuzzling him, she pressed her palms flat on his chest and pushed him to his back. She followed, straddling his hips.

His erection pressed hot between them. Unable to help herself, she rocked her hips forward and rubbed her folds over the thick shaft. James’s hands landed on her backside, grabbing hold of her flesh. “Fuck, you’re so wet.”

“Mmhmm.” Sonya took his hands in hers, and moved them above his head. Lacing their fingers, with her chest pressed to his, she took his lips in a hard kiss. She thrust her tongue into his mouth and undulated her hips, stroking his length with her wetness.

As the kiss deepened and James stroked his tongue over her, the need to have him inside grew higher. Her nipples scraped against his smooth chest, and another need spiked within her.

Sonja. She wanted him again, yes. For sure.

But she also wanted to be in control again too.

Like he’d asked her to be before.

Unsure of her foreign reaction, she tried to ignore the craving—tried to let him lead, but the urge clawed at her insides like a wild tiger, eager to be released. Giving in to what her mind wanted, Sonja pulled away from his lips, gripped his hands tighter, before releasing them and easing herself into an upright position.

James reached for her and Sonja rolled her hips, stroking over his length again. “Leave your hands where I left them.”

His eyes went wide, but he did what she wanted, linking his hands behind his head.

“Perfect. Don’t move.”

“Fuck. Yes. Anything you want.”

“Shhh.” Sonja spread her hands flat on his chest, mapping the contours of his upper body with her fingers. His skin was a decorated velvet canvas, one she knew she’d never grow tired of learning. With focused care, she traced the lines of the dragon tattoo on his left pec, following its design over his shoulder and up his neck.

Leaning forward she kissed where her fingers had been, savoring the flavor of him. She moved back to the center of his chest, pressed her lips there and inhaled his scent before trailing her hands down his torso to his stomach.

Sonja sat up and traced a line with her fingertip down the center of his hard abs. His muscles were chiseled in a tight a six-pack, but not bulky. Absolutely perfect. She scooted down, straddled his thighs and dipped her tongue into the center of those pronounced hills and valleys. A slight smile curved her lips when his breath hitched and his stomach jumped in response to her attention.
Moving down his legs a little farther, Sonja found his belly button and circled it with her tongue, but continued to explore his stomach, chest, and sides with her hands.

She wanted him begging…like he’d done before.

She wanted—this is crazy—she wanted every heated, carnal response she could draw from him. And more.

In this position, his heavy erection was settled between her breasts. Placing her hands beside him on the bed to support herself, Sonja arched her back, and rocked her body forward, rubbing the smooth, hot shaft.

James groaned and his whole body went rigid. “Holy shit.”

“You like that?” She undulated in the opposite direction and had to stifle her own groan. He was satin against her overly sensitive skin, but every nerve in her body vibrated in anticipation of his reaction. His pleasure.

“Yes.”

Her nipples were drawn into tight points and her arousal coated the inside of one of her thighs. God help her, she couldn’t remember ever being this turned on before. Who was this person she’d become? Shoving the thought aside, she focused on his again. “Tell me, James, what else do you like?”

“I—” he swallowe, “—I like everything you’re doing.”

“More specific, please.” Reaching between them, Sonja took his shaft in hand.

“Oh, fuck. Fuck. That, yes. Damn.” He clamped his mouth closed and exhaled a harsh breath through his nose.

“This?” She stroked his cock from base to tip.

“Yes! Fuuuck…”

“Say it, James.”

He reached for her.

Sonja shot upright letting go of his length. James froze mid-motion. Good. “I didn’t say you could move. Put your hands back where they belong.”

He stared at her for what felt like eternity. His mouth slightly open—as if he couldn’t quite believe what’d come out of her mouth.

That was fine; she was having a little trouble believing it too, yet she couldn’t bring herself to stop. This all felt too good, and screw it, she needed some feel-good with all the bad going on lately. “James?”

“Sonja, whatever it is that’s happened…whatever it is that’s come over you? Don’t stop. Okay? Just…don’t stop.” He reached for her, yanked her close and kissed her. She moaned against his mouth. Breaking from her lips, James lay down, and tucked his hands behind his head.

Just like she’d told him to do. Wow!

A thrill bolted through Sonja like a speeding bullet. Sweat trickled down her back and her heart pounded in her ears. If she didn’t know better, she’d think she was having an anxiety attack.

But she did know better. She knew exactly what this was: The rare purity of sexual desire, chemistry and connection.

Something she’d never experienced with anyone. Sonja pushed the thoughts away. There’d be plenty of time to examine them later. For now, she intended to follow through, and finish what she’d started.

Sonja glanced at his erection as she stroked him. The crown was flushed and swollen, and a bead of arousal pooled at the tip. With a moan, she swiped her bottom lip with her tongue.

James shifted beneath her. “Fucking hell.”

“Don’t move.” Sonja met his eyes and took his length in her palm again. Pressing her thumb to the tip, she covered the bead of ejaculate and then spread it around the crown.

His cock pulsed in her hand. Her body pulsed right along with it. Without preamble, Sonja shifted to the side of him, positioning herself on her knees. She gazed up his torso, over the tight ripple of muscles on his stomach, to his tattooed pectoral muscles stretched tight with his arms raised over his head. She took in his biceps—the globes of muscles also pronounced due to his position. Then returned her gaze to his gorgeous cock in her hand, and the heavy sac beneath it.

Sonja stroked him from base to tip and watched the muscles in his stomach contract. Her head spun. God help her, she felt dizzy with lust. His scent wove around her like a tight coil, constricting her ribs. She pulled in a tight breath, licked her lips and stroked his length again.
He groaned and let out a curse and another ripple of pleasure rolled through her. “You want my mouth on you, James?”

“I want you to want it.”

Wanting was an understatement…

Sonja straddled one of his legs—in this position, she could watch his face, watch his reactions to the things she would do to him next. Watch as his mind drowned in the pleasure she felt compelled to give him. Leaning forward, Sonja opened her mouth. Careful not to make contact with the swollen crown, she hovered above it, and let out a breath.

He pulsed in her hand again, and another bead of his arousal surfaced. The urge to snake the tip of her tongue out almost overtook her, but she stifled it. “This is about what I want, yes, but it’s also about what you want too.” She stroked down to the base and back up again. “Do you want my mouth on you?”

“More than anything.”

Again, ensuring not to touch him yet, she hovered above his shaft, exhaling along the way, letting him feel her warm breath. “Tell me what you want.”

“Suck my cock. Please?”

“Perfect.” Sonja gripped his shaft and moved to the head. Her mouth watered for him. The desire to know how he’d feel sliding over her tongue—how he’d taste when he exploded and shot down the back of her throat, possessed her.

She’d never before wanted a man’s penis in her mouth as badly as she wanted his.

Unable to hold back any longer, she swirled her tongue around the crown.

As his flavor hit her taste buds and she moaned.

James blew out a harsh breath. “Oh, goddamn!”

She glanced up, not wanting to miss his reaction. Catching his gaze, she pressed her mouth to the tip, and with slow deliberate care, parted her lips, receiving him. When she had the whole crown in her mouth, she pressed her tongue against the slit and sucked.

His eyes rolled back in his head, his head thrust back on the pillow and the muscles in his neck tightened. She suckled him and another drop of pre-ejaculate emerged. Desire for more of his taste ping-ponged through her, ricocheting to her core. Sonja rocked her hips and ground her slick folds against his shin.

“Fuck yeah. God, you’re so hot and wet. Take more, please?” His tone was full of gravel as he panted out his request.

The word please had never held so much meaning before. But coming out of his mouth, it felt like a drug, an intoxicating one, and she was now addicted. “Don’t come until I say.”

James raised his head off the pillow and their gazes locked. “What?”

Keeping her eyes on his, Sonja slid her mouth down his length and took him all the way to the back of her throat.

“Okay. Fuck. Anything you want.” His head fell back on the pillow.

Pleasure zinged through her at his submission. Drawing him out, she massaged his sac with her other hand and circled the base of his shaft with her fingers, and sucked him deep again. Sonja moved at a steady relentless pace…intent on driving him to the brink.

James’s cock swelled between her lips. Twirling her tongue around the edge, Sonja licked down to his sac, then back to the head. Only to begin once more.

Driving him mad; driving him higher.

James panted and gasped, tensing each time he came to the edge before finally begging her not to stop. To let him come.

Please.

…the only word Sonja zeroed in on through all his frantic pleas.

Please…

Please…

Please…

Until she gave him what he so clearly needed, and brought him over the edge.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
So what’d you think? 🙂 Need a hard cider with a shot of fireball to cool you down? 😉 Stay safe out there tonight my friends! <3

Release Day Teaser Tuesday Exclusive Excerpt: An Indecent Invitation by Laura Trentham

Hey friends – more misadventures and misfortunes abound, so expect even more oddly timed posts and playing fast and loose with time. However, not today! This was a long ago scheduled post with Laura Trentham! It’s Tuesday, and time for an exclusive excerpt so we can all bask in the comfort of regularly scheduled programming, and a lovely tease of an upcoming romance. And as you see, today is release day! So everyone enjoy the excerpt, and remember to congratulate Laura on her newest book being available to the world! Whee!

An Indecent InvitationKeeping her safe is difficult, keeping a proper distance from her is downright impossible.

Lady Lily Drummond understands only too well the danger of spy work. Her father, a preeminent master spy, has been missing for months, and her brother barely survived his final mission for the Crown. Lily is still determined to help find her father, no matter how hard her brother and his best friend try to keep her in the dark.

Busy trying to untangle the web of deceit surrounding the Earl of Windor’s disappearance, Crown spy Gray Masterson also has to ensure Lily Drummond, the gangly, awkward child who was his constant shadow growing up, doesn’t get herself ruined at her London debut. But the girl with scraped knees and elbows has evolved into a lush, sensual beauty surrounded by a bevy of suitors.

Realizing Lily is going to investigate on her own if he doesn’t let her join the hunt for her missing father, Gray assumes he can give Lily a few minor tasks to pacify her, but he quickly learns she is a valuable asset. Moreover, she fairly crackles with life and warmth—things he craves after his dark years in service.

Warning: This book contains spies, scandals, naughty liaisons in houses of ill repute, men who think they know everything and women who know they do not.

Gray offered his arm with a slight inclination of his head, and Lily tentatively laid her hand on his forearm, glancing up at him under her lashes. His faint smile seemed sly and had her biting her lip.

He guided her out the doors before her waffling conscience had a chance to protest. Instead of staying on the balustrade, safe with the other couples and smoking gentlemen, he led her down the steps and into the greenery, his hand clamped over hers, barring protest.

“Now then, a bit of privacy. Tell me, my lady, you never answered my question, has a gentleman won your favor?”

She snatched her hand away and withdrew a few paces. With only dim light cutting the shadows, Gray loomed. An innate fierceness, masked by the pomp of the ball, distilled into the darkness and surrounded her with ominous intent. Did she really know him after so long?

“An offer has been made but my brother is set to decline on my behalf.”

He stroked his bottom lip, and her eyes followed as if he were a mesmerist. “Have you enjoyed your introduction to the ton?”

“It’s been…entertaining.”

“That was a mere platitude. Tell me the truth.” He flipped her words, a smile playing behind his finger.

“The truth? It’s been disappointing. Most of the gentlemen have been like Montbatton, obsessed with horses or carriages or cravats. Do they think I give a jot about such things?”

“What do you give a jot about?” he asked with a hint of derisive amusement. “Embroidery? Balls? Dresses?”

“I care about the war. How men come back maimed everyday—body and spirit. How women are left widows to care for their children on almost nothing. How no one here—” she gestured back to the ballroom with her fan, “—seems to notice. Or care.”

Her words wiped the amusement from his face. He took a step forward, close enough to touch, but neither of them made a move. “You speak from experience.”

The darkness was now her friend, offering welcome camouflage. “My brother was horribly wounded.”

“He’s better now.” It was more statement than question.

“Is he? He drinks too much, wakes with nightmares too often, becomes angry with little provocation. He works himself into exhaustion every day to keep from falling into melancholy. I worry about him. What happens if I’m not there to bully him back to life?”

He squinted at the hedge as if it held deep wisdom. “Your brother is lucky to have you.”

“You’ve been in the fighting, haven’t you?”

His gaze travelled back to her face, and the moment stretched. “Yes.”

“Have you been injured?”

Again, he paused before whispering, “I have my share of scars.”

Now she did touch him, laying a hand on his forearm. He covered her hand with his, and for a mad moment, she wished neither of them wore gloves, wished she could entwine their bare fingers. Solid ground beckoned. This talk made her too vulnerable, and didn’t she have a part to play?

She pulled her hand from under his and forced out a false, jarring laugh. “I need to return, sir. My chaperone will surely have missed me by now, and there will be a list of gentleman I’ve disappointed.”

“Of course, let me escort you back inside.” He backed into a shaft of moonlight and waited with an outstretched hand. His hair shone black and he stood straight and strong. He had always been the stalwart port in the violent storm that was her father.

She took his hand, and he tugged her forward too quickly. Her toes tangled in the hem of her dress. She grabbed at his biceps for balance, the thick ropes of muscle flexing. His hands spanned her waist and then slid down to where her hips flared. The sensation set off a fine trembling in her knees.

Their faces were inches apart. Firm lips above a squarely masculine jaw caused her to worry her bottom lip with teeth and tongue. His nostrils flared, and in answer, she inhaled, his scent clean and woodsy. He had never smelled quite so appealing when she was a child.

He moved closer, and she parted her lips. Her brain held no sway. Her body completely ignored its instructions to push away, escape. Instead, her back arched, her face tilted up, and her hands roved over his shoulders. Her heart beat against the tight confines of her stays, trying to escape.

Was Gray going to kiss her? Did she want him to?

Her lungs pulled in much needed air, and on the exhale, she breathed his name.

The intimacy of his name disintegrated his befuddlement. Christ, had he lost all commonsense? First to pull her into him and then to almost kiss her? His body was charged for a full-out sensual assault, his hands ready to explore the too-tempting soft curves pressed into him. He thrust her away and snatched his hands back as if she had the plague.

He covered his confusion with menace. “Lily Drummond. Rafe would spank your bottom if he knew you’d accompanied a man to the gardens.”

“If he knew the man who lured me out was you?”

Her well-made point pierced like an arrow. “I was trying to teach you a lesson,” he said with pompous undertones.

“Perhaps I was trying to teach you one as well.” She sniffed and adjusted her gloves.

“What was that, pray tell?”

“Never steal a lady without first making sure you know her name.” She swept by and tapped him on the chest with her fan.

They walked side by side to the balustrade, but he didn’t offer an arm this time. “Obviously I’m a fool, but you’ve changed dramatically from the little girl I left at Wintermarsh.”

“It’s referred to as growing up,” she said pertly, but then sadness and accusation wove through her words. “If you had come to visit, my changed appearance wouldn’t be such a shock. Rafe needed you. Last autumn was horrid.”

Guilt was not an emotion he allowed lest it overwhelm him. It rose like bile just the same. “Do you not think I wanted to be there? To get Rafe home, I indentured myself to Sir Hawkins. The last eight months weren’t enjoyable for me either.”

She cut her eyes to him, her voice small. “Are you angry with me?”

He had to think on it. In disbelief, flummoxed, shocked, yes. But amused, entertained and fascinated as well. “Devil if I know why I’m not. You led me on quite a merry chase.”

Copyright © 2015 Laura Trentham
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

So what’d you think? 😀 You can read another excerpt here or buy a copy here. Happy newest release, Laura, and congratulations on the newest Spies and Lovers book!

Teaser Tuesday Exclusive Excerpt: An Unsuitable Duchess by Carolyn Jewel

Dancing in the Duke's ArmsAn Unsuitable Duchess by Carolyn Jewel The duke of Stoke Teversault has well earned his reputation for bloodless calculation. Indeed, recently widowed Georgina Lark has no idea he’s loved her since before her late husband swept her off her feet. Stoke Teversault means to keep it that way. The cold and forbidding duke and the blithe and open Georgina could not be less suited in any capacity. And yet, when Georgina and her sister arrive at his home, his ice-bound heart may melt away. Georgina Lark has never thought of the duke of Stoke Teversault as a man capable of inducing passion in anyone. He’s long disapproved of her, but she will be forever grateful to him for his assistance after her husband died. It’s been a year since she’s realized he’s not the man she thought. Can she convince him to open his heart to her?

An Unsuitable Duchess– excerpt from Chapter 12 by Carolyn Jewel, from the Anthology Dancing in the Duke’s Arms.

George tensed when she saw Stoke Teversault walking the path to the pond. She wished she hadn’t decided to come here, but she had and now it was too late to hide. She could be as cool as he could be. She would be.

It was her plan to pretend she’d not seen him, and then, when he saw her, he could decide to walk away. He would return to the house, and no one need admit that there was no repairing the break between them that had existed since the day she’d told him she was not in love with his brother.

She was prepared to have him avoid her as he had these past two days. He continued walking. Why? Why hadn’t he taken the chance when he’d had it? He was a clever man. He would know he could turn away. It wasn’t too late yet. She kept her eyes forward, but she could hear him coming nearer. Now, she thought. Now, he must realize he was at the very limit of where he could retreat with their pretense of ignorance intact.

Mrs. Lark.”

She did not love Lord William but that had not been enough to fix whatever had gone wrong. She would rather go back to his disdain of her than endure knowing she had made this painful for him. She hid the rest of the bread she’d cadged from the duke’s chef in her reticule. “Good morning, Your Grace.”

He stood on the path, unmoving.

She steeled herself, but the words she’d rehearsed a dozen times flew out of her head. “I wish I could fly or turn invisible. Or could travel back in time to never make a fool of myself.”

I beg your pardon.”

But I have. Made myself foolish to you, I mean. We shouldn’t have come. Kitty and I.” She sank into the drama that had overwhelmed her these past days. “I should never have let Lord William convince us to come here. I did so want Kitty to have a chance to meet fashionable people. With Hugh away, we don’t see many gentlemen worthy of her. I was selfish for I so wanted to see Teversault for myself. I ought to have known you would prefer we not come here.” She drew breath. “Therefore, I’ve decided that we shall leave.”

Mrs. Lark. There is no reason for you to leave. You have not troubled me in the least.”

She stared across the water, then looked at him, determined to make things right between them. “Except when you feared I meant to marry your brother.”

He held her gaze, and her stomach swooped. “I am a difficult man to know and more difficult to befriend, I’m told.”

I can’t think who’d dare tell you something like that.” The birds had stopped singing, as well they must. What creature would risk displeasing Stoke Teversault?

His smile was pained. “You needn’t leave on my account, unless what you mean to say is that you cannot tolerate me.”

She dug her toe into the gravel then realized she oughtn’t. “I did not say that.”

If you leave, I will think you believe it.”

She stared at him, perplexed. He was serious. She narrowed her eyes at him and then smiled and extended her hand to him. “Good morning, Your Grace. How delightful that you should decide to walk here at the same time I did.”

For the space of two heartbeats, he did not react. Then, he took her hand and bent over it. “A happy coincidence, indeed.”

Lovely morning, don’t you agree?” she said when he’d released her hand.

Yes.” He stood beside her and watched the water with her. The swans and several of the ducks had swum away one she’d stopped throwing them treats. “Not too warm.”

Not yet. Perhaps later, though.” She was going to learn how to behave with the duke if it killed her, and she thought it would. “I do prefer cooler weather. Don’t you?”

His arrival brought the birds to the edge of the pool, with the ducks being quite vocal.

Yes.” He drew a hunk of bread from his pocket. The noise from the birds increased. “Better for the nerves, one hears.”

Yes. Nerves.” She didn’t want to look at him but she did. He looked especially fashionable today, with his beaver hat and a greatcoat of chocolate wool. “One does wish to avoid a case of the nerves.”

He tore off bits of bread and tossed them onto the water. The swans floated close, necks arched gracefully. He turned his head to her, and she froze, and then hated herself for being caught in his gaze. His nose was too long and too boney, his cheeks too sharp, and his mouth was as hard as his heart. “Greedy beggars.”

Yes, they are.” She forced herself to reply when she’d rather stare at his face and ponder why she found him so attractive. “Beautiful, greedy beggars.”

He tore off more bits of bread and extended a handful to her. “Would you like to feed them?”

George opened her reticule and took out the bread she’d shoved inside. She held it up. “I came prepared.”

Chef muttered something about nice fat ducks this morning.” He laughed and tossed his handful of crumbs onto the water. “When I am in residence, I cannot bear to think of not bringing them something in the morning.”

Why don’t you instruct the staff to make sure they get something?”

He hesitated, then said, “I do.” His features returned to hard nonchalance, while she took her turn tossing bits of bread. “I believe you’re wrong about my brother.”

What do you mean?”

He is fond of you.”

As I am fond of him.”

More than he is of any other.”

You’ve no cause for worry.” She put a hand on his upper arm, and he glanced at her, one eyebrow arched. “It’s very odd to me, but nevertheless true, that though Lord William is handsome, unfairly so, I should say, I feel no spark of…” How frank should she be? Enough, she understood, to put his fears to rest. “There is no attraction between us. I believe I ought to feel something in that nature, for what woman would not find in him much to admire?” She lifted her hands in a gesture of her helplessness in the face of such facts. “Yet…”

Teaser “Tuesday” Exclusive Excerpt: Sacrifice by Kate Pearce

Hi friends! So, I know it’s not Tuesday – everything was pushed back a bit and you know how it goes. The fifth Tuesday of the month belongs to Riptide Publishing! I think it’s especially fitting, considering the recent Supreme Court decision – this Teaser Tuesday spot was just perfect! Also, that we have an excerpt of Sacrifice, an upcoming title from the fabulous Kate Pearce. You can actually read chapter one on Riptide’s site right now – and come back to read chapter two below!

SacrificeAwaiting execution on a foreign planet, Anna Lee has nothing left to lose—until Commander Rehz Akran offers her a chance to escape her fate. Anything is better than death, but when her training for Akran’s mysterious mission begins, the brutality is hard to take . . . especially since Anna has no idea what the workouts, beatings, and endless sexual demands are preparing her for.

Rehz Akran doesn’t deal with failure. He’s determined that his last trainee will survive her immersion in an unimaginably alien world and return alive—even if it means she’ll hate him forever. He needs to stay detached, but his new recruit makes that impossible. Soon he’s willing to defy his own training for a chance to forge a true connection with Anna.

It’s Rehz’s job to teach Anna to survive as a Tribute. And if she does, it’s his task to help her overcome the trauma of the experience. But this time he isn’t doing it to save his planet. This time he’s doing it for love.

Read Chapter 1 here.
Chapter 2

“Do it again.”Anna set her jaw and raised the heavy practice sword to meet Akran’s.

“You’re not trying.”

They were in the training complex, in a circular arena that reminded her of a round pen they’d used to school horses they’d had on the ranch. There were other pairs of trainers and . . . whatever she was, dotted around the space. All of the trainers—nine men and one woman—had wandered over to stare at her, and all of them, without exception, had put their hands on her.

At least her tits and ass were covered in the stretchy black bikini-type outfit Akran referred to as workout clothes. Of course, he could still put his hand up her skirt or slip it under the thin bandeau wrapped around her chest. And he did. Way too often for her liking. She was still sore from the lesson he’d given her the day before and the cock-sucking session that would now, apparently, start every day.

“Lee!” She gasped as his sword met hers and knocked her clean off her feet. Within a second he crouched over her, his razor-edged blade biting into her throat.

“You need to concentrate.”

“I’ve never fought with a sword before. It’s not part of my culture.”

He sighed, his breath warm on the back of her neck, and hauled her to her feet. “Don’t talk back to me.”

“How am I supposed to defend myself if I’m not allowed to talk?” She glared at him. “I have no idea how to use this weapon!”

“I don’t care whether you’re a fucking expert with a blade. I want you to be fit enough to take on anything I throw at you. You tire way too quickly.” His gaze fastened on her mouth when she started to argue. “Either shut up and listen, or you’ll regret it.”

She raised her chin. “What are you going to do? Rip out my tongue?”

He reached for her and flung her over his shoulder like a sack of flour. Her breath whooshed out, and she tried to wriggle away. His palm met her backside with a resounding slap that made her eyes water. He jogged through what seemed like miles of tunnel, his breathing regular, and his arm an iron band around her waist.

She quailed as he eventually upended her in the same room with the white plastic gurneys. He dumped her on top of one, which immediately closed around her.

“Stay there.”

For once, she was too dizzy to argue with him. He returned a second later with the man she’d met the previous day, who was nodding at whatever Akran was saying to him.

“Yes. I can do that. For how long?”

“From now until end of day.”

“All right. Where do you want me to put her when I’m done?”

“In the mess hall.”

“Oh, an object lesson, then.” He studied Anna, who glared back at him. “There shouldn’t be any permanent damage. I’ll keep the power level low. We don’t want her losing sensation.”

“No, we do not, Prof. We want her to experience every single moment.” Akran nodded at Anna. “That’s another half day of training you’ve lost me. I’ll see you later.”

She didn’t dare answer him. She already had a feeling that shooting her mouth off in this facility was not going to work out well.

*******

“She’s a tough one, Rehz.”

Rehz glanced over at Kai. “The females are hard to condition. Having less body mass means they don’t do well without nutrition, which means they don’t tend to survive as long.” He sighed. “That’s probably why our overlords don’t seem to request many females.”

“Lucky them,” Kai grunted. “Do you think she’ll make it?”

“I have no idea. If sheer stubbornness is a criterion, then she’s going to be the best I’ve ever trained. I just have to come down hard on her right now so that she stops fighting me. If she doesn’t, high command will eliminate her anyway.”

“Where is she now?” Rehz shot Kai a glance. “You’ll find out shortly.”

They paused at the doorway of the mess hall, and Kai let out his breath. “Greez, she’s here already?”

“She won’t stop answering me back.”

“So we’re going to give her mouth something else to do all night.” Kai grinned. “I’m game for that.”

Rehz watched his friend walk toward the raised dais in the center of the room. There were two naked figures kneeling there. A male—who in Rehz’s opinion wouldn’t make the final cut—and Anna Lee, a real troublemaker. Even from the door he could see the glint of the gold circle the professor had installed in her mouth, making it impossible for her to close her lips. Two chains ran down from the side of the ring to her nipples and were clamped there. Another chain ran down to her clit and another clamp. Her hands were locked in the small of her back. She couldn’t change position even if she wanted to.

He followed Kai and watched from the side where Lee couldn’t quite see him.

Kai smiled and slowly unbuttoned his pants. “You must want cock.”

He guided the head of his dick toward the circle of gold and leaned in until he was completely inside.

“Nice.” Kai started to move his hips, and Rehz knew, because he’d been the one to plan and order the mouth ring, that each slam of a cock set off tiny shocks that traveled down to Anna’s nipples and her clit. Small shocks at first, but as she’d find out after servicing all the cocks in the dining room, cumulatively unpleasant and wearing. She’d have to come eventually, and that wouldn’t feel too good either.

He was partly sickened by what he had to do and partly aroused. He wanted his cock in her, making her jerk and come for him. Recently, he’d started to hate the lengths he had to go to in order to enforce his will on the trainees as quickly and as harshly as possible. They didn’t know what was facing them. Rehz did. He supposed it was a version of cruel-to-be-kind.

Kai came and finally withdrew from Lee’s mouth.

“Nice. I’ll come back for dessert.” Kai winked at Lee, but she wasn’t looking at him. She was trying to look down at her clamped nipples and clit. Rehz strolled past her and nodded before taking his place at the dining table, where he could watch everyone else stopping to avail themselves of her mouth.

By the time dinner was finished, her skin was glowing from a combination of sweat and the come that some of his colleagues had allowed to trickle down between her breasts, or which had filled her mouth so fast that she hadn’t been able to swallow it. Rehz’s dick was hard and aching. He gently cupped his balls and considered her, waiting until everyone else had left.

She didn’t look at him as he approached, so he crouched in front of her.

“Let’s go through this again. I ask the questions. You don’t. You answer me promptly, preferably by doing whatever the hell I’ve told you to do. If I want your opinion, I’ll ask for it. I don’t have time to waste explaining greez to you. I need your absolute and complete attention, and your total obedience.”

He waited a beat and then shoved a hand in her damp blonde hair and raised her head. “If you prefer it this way, we can keep the ring in your mouth on a permanent basis. And if you still defy me, I’ll add one in your cunt and another in your ass so you can’t stop me doing whatever the fuck I want whenever I want it.”

She met his gaze and held it.

“Nod your head if you agree to keep your mouth shut unless I give you permission to use it.”

She slowly lowered her head and then kept it down. He was aware of a huge sensation of relief sweeping over him.

When had he got so soft? Why wasn’t he just striking her off the list and sending her to the executioner?

“Come on, then.”

He attached her leash and disconnected her wrists and ankles from the structure behind her.

“Come.”

He took her back through the echoing passageways to his quarters and had her kneel on the floor by his chair. Watching her the whole time, he slowly unzipped his pants and wrapped a fist in her hair.

“Suck me.”

She made a small, desperate sound, but he didn’t call her on it. Her mouth was sore. He knew how it felt. When she’d taken his cock deep, he detached the two gold chains that ran from the sides of her mouth to her breasts and threaded them through the loops of his pants and around the back of her head, anchoring her firmly in place between his thighs.

“Keep me hard while I work.”

He turned his attention to writing up the daily reports he submitted to headquarters and collating and reading everyone else’s. Some of the trainees were doing well. The male who’d been with Lee in the dining hall would have to go . . .

So what’d you think? 😀

Guest: Jenn LeBlanc

Hi friends! Sooo my birthday has come and gone, but June is juuuust at the edge of leaving us, so Jenn LeBlanc has decided to stretch things out. Whee!! Everyone give her a warm welcome. Jenn is a lot of fun, so I hope you go a little crazy with her. Us. >.>

I hear it’s YOUR birthday! And we’re all here to celebrate, because why on earth wouldn’t we?!!? The day Lime was brought to the world was a great day.
For your birthday, I give you images from my newest illustrated romance novel, because WHY WOULDN’T I? They do make the best gift.
Like this one of my hero Warrick and his love, Lulu:

Or this one of Warrick and Lulu:

The D and the D

Or Warrick on his own:

Warrick Back
I like Warrick on his own… do you?

Happy birthday Lime!!

Duke and Domina

Want more? Come find me: Facebook Twitter Instagram

The Duke and the DominaHe’s poor. She’s rich.
He’s a sub. She’s a switch.
It’s not love.
It’s a marriage of kink-venience.
Grayson Locke Danforth, in his wildest of dreams, never expected two things.
The first was to be recalled from India by Queen Victoria where he worked for the quiet purposes of the crown. He must now become the Duke of Warrick after the tragic deaths of his father and brothers. However, tragedy is entirely in the eyes of the beholder, and Grayson doesn’t want the title, or to return to what remains of his family. Grayson wants to remain invisible, an outcast, a man in exile for the way his body and mind behave and the secrets he needs to keep.
The second thing he never expected was to be forced into marriage to a woman from the twenty-first century.
Lulu is no mere woman, however. She’s a switch who works as a professional Dominatrix—at least, she did. When she wakes up in a strange house, a strange world, a strange body, she isn’t quite sure what to think and is certain she’s dreaming. She has less than a day to gain her bearings and make a decision that will dictate the rest of her life in this world—whether or not to marry this beautiful stranger.
As Lulu and Grayson attempt to begin a life together, she discovers the true reason why this man is a stranger to his family. She can only hope she can persuade Grayson to accept who she is, and who he was born to be, before he forces her out of his life in order to maintain his well-kept secrets.
Trust doesn’t come easily to either of them, but it’s the only thing they have.
Grayson will have to give in to his need to submit in order to get his wife to open up and allow him to possess her fully in return.
It’s a cautious dance between two people who have never known how to trust, or love.

You can buy a copy here.

What do you think? Two – yes TWO – lucky commenters will win an ebook copy of The Duke and the Domina. Hot, huh? 😀
Now – come on, I want to know what sort of things you’d like to know about the illustrated romance books, the process, and so on!

Guest: Amie Stuart <3

Hey y’all! Zomggg I can’t believe June is almost over. This month has been crazy. Nothing like I planned, but hey sometimes that works right? I’m super excited to welcome Amie Stuart to ALBTALBS today – so everyone give her a warm welcome! Honestly nothing else is needed – she can take it from here. 😀

First off and most importantly HAPPY BIRTHDAY LIME!!!!

For those of you new to Amie Stuart Books, Hittin’ It is actually a reissue. It was originally released from Kensington as a 2-story anthology in 2009. I got the rights back and I’ve decided to re-release the entire series (Nailed, Hittin’ It and then Screwed in early 2016).

When I originally wrote this series, the idea of hitmen as heroes was not an easy sell. MY how times have changed—and if I do say say, for the better. And when I wrote Hittin’ It, the idea of a vagabond (and basically homeless) heroine wasn’t exactly considered mainstream either, so I’m very excited to get the chance to introduce Will and Sabrina (and Scamp!) to a new set of readers.
I hope you enjoy reading about them as much as I enjoyed writing them!

Hittin' ItAs a professional hit man, Will Collier has more secrets than most. But on a sweltering Texas night, the lives he’s taken rank second place to the love he’d like to be making with a sensual Bohemian beauty.

Sabrina Walker is intimately familiar with the havoc Cupid can wreak. She’s determined that love will never seduce her again, until she meets Will Collier and discovers that some secrets are better when shared.

Will had driven as far as the Hampton Inn in Ft. Stockton before pulling off for the night. While unloading the SUV he’d discovered a crate of Sabrina’s journals. They would have been perfectly safe in his SUV all night, but curiosity had made him grab two of them and carry them upstairs to his room. He tossed them on the dresser where they called to him while he showered and worked.

He’d memorized the job details his father had sent him. Acknowledgement wasn’t necessary. He only needed to respond if he was unwilling to take the job or had questions. He was rarely unwilling and only drew a hard line at settling domestic disputes. Those were just messy from the word go, a prison sentence waiting to happen unless you took out both parties, and obviously, that idea didn’t usually go over well with the client.

Once he was done, he’d stretched out in the cool confines of the queen-sized bed, the television turned to CNN and muted, and learned a lot about Sabrina’s last year on the road. Fascinated, he’d stayed awake reading much longer than he should have.

Now here he was, sitting in a nearly-empty restaurant, sipping coffee and waiting on his eggs and turkey bacon and reading about the life and times of Sabrina Walker–the early days. The pages were musty and filled with doodles of animal faces and tarot card figures, and elaborate girlish handwriting that slanted crisply to the right.

Note to self: stay the hell out of Alabama.

Jail sucks. Jail really sucks. I don’t care what anyone says about ‘three hots and a cot’, I’m never going back. I can see why my dad didn’t want to go. Bastard.

Of course, dear old daddy wouldn’t have had to blow the sheriff to get fed either.

The scalding hot sip of coffee Will had just taken turned sour in his mouth. He forced himself to swallow. This was definitely worse than the one he’d read last night. That one had detailed a pleasant spring and summer in Florida and Georgia working fairs with a guy named Wes. Apparently, when she’d turned west, Wes had disappeared with most of her money and things had gotten progressively uglier.

“Sir.”

He looked up, blinking to clear the ugly visual of Sabrina sucking the dick of some red-faced man old enough to be her father, to find the waitress standing over him, plate in hand. He moved the journal, making room. Smiling, she set his eggs down and refilled his coffee cup, her eyes lingering on the book before she turned away.

His appetite ruined, he barely touched his breakfast then tossed the journal in the back of the Tahoe with the rest. How the hell was he going to get them back to Sabrina? The phone number on the card she’d given him was disconnected and the PO Box address listed probably didn’t belong to her anymore.

He could have just thrown them out, and maybe he should have. But something stopped him. Probably the same unexplainable something that had made him buy her a van. Luckily, she’d never know he read them.

So, what’d you think? Did you read these books the first time around? Are you interested now? I love that stories are getting a second chance, sometimes with a revamp. Amie has also very generously offered a giveaway – because BIRTHDAY MONTH! So you can enter here. 🙂 Cheers!


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