Thursday, July 29, 2010

IVORY'S ADDICTION by Teirney Medeiros

IVORY'S ADDICTION by Teirney Medeiros

Social worker Ivory Black has seen the effects of addiction too many times to count. The latest: A baby girl whose mother died in an overdose. What would have been an easy case turns into a fight for her heart when bad-boy Jax Morgan enters the picture.

As the only living relative, Jax is by law, the child's assumed guardian. As Ivory struggles to open Jax's cold heart to the child, and keep her own protected from him at the same time, Jax is dealing with severe PTSD. Addiction is never pretty, but Ivory can't stop wanting Jax.



“Is there anything else?” Her hands turned to butter, and she gripped the cup in her hands tighter. She didn’t dare raise it to her lips otherwise Jax would know just how nervous she felt.

“Not about Ashley.”

Appearing to be cool, calm and collected, he leaned against the high back of the barstool, but at the slightest movement, Ivory knew the man would coil into action. “I want to know more about you.”

“Me?” Ivory’s droll tone earned her a disapproving bearing of his teeth.

“I think that’s what I just said.”

She closed her eyes and tried to shut out the sound of the loud jukebox and raucous patrons. She focused on staying calm because if she didn’t, she might bolt for the safety of her Jeep. She wasn’t quite sure if she needed to be safe from the patrons at the bar or from Jax and his pheromones.

He studied her, his thick fringe of eyelashes lowered slightly, and Ivory felt a curious tingling ascend her spine. “Are you always rude?” she asked.

Jax’s lips pulled into a smirk. He tapped his finger against the bar in time with the hard rock. “I don’t see many people, babe, except through the end of a scope.”

A chill crashed over Ivory. A scope, as in sniper’s rifle? She clenched her drink harder. More than the little bit of knowledge he’d given her, the alpha male sitting next to her made her body react in a way she hadn’t let herself feel in a long time. Not since college. She felt heat coat her stomach, flames lick the center of her core in time with the rips of a guitar. She sensed his need and her body responded. The last time she’d given herself to a man, he’d broken her heart.

He leaned in, the heat of his skin so close her flesh grew warm. She drew in the scent of his cologne, something airy, like cool water. How could a man be so hot and cold at the same time? She bit down on her lip.

His smirk continued to taunt her. “Don’t worry, Miss Black. I don’t bite” He took a sip of his drink then pushed the glass away. “Unless you ask me to.”

He rose to his full height, tossing down a few bills. “Trixie, for both our drinks, and you,” he called out, his deep voice loud enough for the woman heard him from the other end of the bar.

Ivory felt too hot as he stood, gripped her elbow, and steered her toward the door. The light pressure of his fingertips against her elbow burned all the way to her core. She clenched her thigh muscles against the growing need. She never had a one night stand in her life but Jax could make her want it. Oh, God, he could make her want to do things she had never wanted to do before and that was the problem.

Outside the bar, the sudden quiet made her ears ring. Instead of leading her toward her Jeep, he pushed her deeper into the shadows. Ivory dug her feet in, but he tossed a look over his shoulder. He propelled her toward the wharf, the docks.

The smell of dead fish didn’t bother her, but the man taking her away from the safety of light and her car did. She felt around for her weapon again. “Where are you taking me?”

“I need some air.”

Ivory yanked on her elbow and pulled her arms out of reach. He stopped half-way down the dock, turned to face her. Ivory tilted her head back, stared up into those blazing eyes and nearly melted. Had a man ever wanted her the way she sensed he did? The way he looked made her toes curl, her womb throb.

How could he make her feel this way with just a look? On principle, she didn’t even like the man. She had no respect for anyone who could turn a back on a child. On top of that, he killed people. He killed people. Ivory took a step back.

“Going to run?”

Ivory felt for her 1911 again, confidence in the cold piece of steel strapped to her body making it easier to breathe. Her lungs seemed to work again. “I don’t run, Captain.”


Ivory notched her chin up at him, clamped her lips shut. He took a step forward, and they danced that way. She retreated. He advanced. She felt the rough wood of a fishing shack at her back and glanced up. No lights. No one around. The bar music vibrated on the wind. If she screamed, no one would hear her. But oh, man, she really did not want to.

Even though she’d trained in all forms of martial arts over the years, thanks to her absentee father’s monthly stipend, taking down the six-four giant with a body of iron would be hard for her. If he pinned her, would she even be able to get to her gun? Would she even want to? Her thoughts chased themselves around and around until he placed two massive palms on either side of her body, his cool breath smelling slightly like liquor.

Despite her growing apprehension, her body continued to groan in need. She hadn’t been with a lover since Nathan. She needed release, and Jax seemed to want to give it to her. Her nana’s voice echoed through her mind. Don’t give it all away on the first date, Cha-cha.

Ivory’s breath came rapidly. He leaned in close, and his breath fanned her ear, which sent signals of pleasure racing to her brain. She jerked at the torture of him so close, the heat invading her clothes despite the cool night.

“What do you want from me?”

Jax nipped at her lobe. “I think you know want what I want.”

“Doesn’t mean I’m going to give it to you,” Ivory shot back.

Jax lowered a hand to her waist and pulled her against the hard wall of his body. A very specific bulge burrowed against her stomach. Her knees turned to jellyfish. His wide palm splayed against her back, then slid under her jacket to the skin beneath. The heat seared her flesh, and to her horror, she whimpered.

“I’m not going to take you,” he murmured.

He licked the bundle of nerves just behind her earlobe, and Ivory sank her nails into his shirt, astonished to feel the fire and granite of his chest, the ridges and valleys of his pectoral muscles. It had been way too long without sex, and now she found herself ready to give herself over to a stranger, on the docks no less.

“At least, not tonight,” he rumbled seconds before he licked a scorching path up her neck, pressed her harder against him.

Ivory wrapped her arms around his back, tired of the game he taunted her with. “I don’t even know you,” she panted.

“Baby, you’re going to know me, real well. That’s a promise.”


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

COPPING A FEEL by Lexxie Couper

COPPING A FEEL by Lexxie Couper
A standalone title in Elora's Cave's Cougar Challenge series.

Darci-Rae Whitlam doesn't know which is more disturbing, receiving scads of obscene phone calls - or getting so turned-on by said phone calls. Then there's the email from her American friend, Rachel, taunting Darci with something called a Cougar Challenge. Just the thought of seducing a younger man is enough to permanently soak her knickers. No wonder her ever-disapproving sister thinks she's oversexed!

Cybercrime Detective Jarrod St. James is investigating a case of stolen identity. He quickly learns the fiery redhead claiming to be Darci-Rae Whitlam is the real deal (his shoulder trapped in the jaws of her gargantuan dog might have sped that decision along). He really should go back to Sydney, continue tracking the imposter who's operating a phone-sex business in Darci's name...but the woman proves too tempting. Job be damned, he has to have her. The fact she's got a titillating challenge to complete only helps his case.

Darci just may be the fastest cougar to snag her cub yet. Being the victim of a crime has never been more fun!


By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary to exit this site.

An Excerpt From: COPPING A FEEL

Copyright © LEXXIE COUPER, 2010

All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

Pursuing a case of identity theft beyond the computer lab was exciting—but wasn’t meant to end up in a quiet street in coastal Newcastle. What kind of criminal mastermind lived in a neat little two-story surrounded by gum trees, wattle and tree ferns? With a 1996 Volvo in the driveway? A Volvo wearing a “Public Education. It’s Our Future” bumper sticker, no less?

Jarrod breathed another drawn-out sigh. Maybe he’d been too long in front of a computer after all. This couldn’t be right. This felt wrong.

“But this is the only address for someone claiming to be Darci-Rae Whitlam,” he muttered, scanning the front windows, the gauzy curtains and wide awnings concealing the interior from his inspection. “And it was someone claiming to be Darci-Rae Whitlam who spoke to you on the phone a mere three hours ago.”

With alarming ease, his cock twitched at the memory. The woman—whoever she really was—had the most amazing voice. A voice created to send a man wild. She’d said very little that could condemn her. Asked a very husky question about what he would do with his tongue after he brought her to orgasm with his fingers, wondered if he had staying power, pondered what it would be like to be tied up by him. But in that voice of hers, like smoke and velvet playing in the back of her throat…it was enough to set his groin on rock-hard alert and his pulse quickening beyond fast.

Is that the real reason you’re here? ’Cause a possible crook got you horny with just her voice?

For the third time he let out a protracted sigh, this one tainted with deprecating disgust. Fuck, what was he doing?

“Catching a criminal, Detective.” His growled whisper rumbled deep in his chest. “That’s it. Catching a criminal who’s stolen the real Ms. Whitlam’s life—and making her pay.”

He forced away the sensation of stirring steel in his cock, narrowed his stare on the front door of the house and crossed the front yard, the delicate perfume of the native violet ambling through the flowerbeds wafting into each breath he took.

Climbing the five steps leading to the front porch on silent feet, he unclipped the holster on his Glock, planted his feet slightly apart, squared his shoulders and raised his hand to knock on the door. Ready to take on whatever came—

The door flung open and a goddess with brilliant green eyes and wild, fiery-red hair smacked straight into him.

Followed immediately by a bear cleverly disguised as a dog. A growling dog.

He stumbled back a step, grabbing the goddess’s upper arms even as the bear—err, dog—slammed two paws roughly the size of the Opera House against his chest.

“Eep!” the goddess cried, and Jarrod’s balls prickled in instant interest as the sexiest voice he’d ever heard caressed his ears for the second time that day.

Still struggling under the dog’s massive force, he tightened his grip on her arms, his fingers telling him exactly what his mind had already decided. The goddess was smooth, warm and firm to the touch. Sex and sin and toned feminine strength in one incredible package. He could feel her triceps flex and coil beneath his hands, a realization that made his balls not just prickle with interest but rise up and grow heavy.

Fuck, he was in trouble.

The dog shoved him, teeth bared, muzzle wrinkled, and before his stupefied brain could process the situation, he fell backward, stumbling down the front porch steps, dog and goddess joining him—reluctantly, by the sounds of the dog’s snarls and the goddess’ surprised shout—in a very undignified free fall.


The ground hit his ass, or more to the point, his ass hit the ground, at the exact moment the dog decided snarling just wouldn’t cut it anymore and the goddess decided she needed to slam into him with her entire weight. Wicked teeth latched onto his shoulder just as a slender, curved knee rammed into his crotch, followed by a palm heel to the solar plexus.

Jarrod’s groin and chest exploded in black stars of pain. He let out a shout that sounded like a croak, thanks in part to the strangled pain in his chest and the dog’s canines threateningly latched to his shoulder.

Yep, definitely been in front of a computer for too long, Jarrod.

The surreal thought flittered through his reeling mind, seconds before another palm heel struck him in the jaw.

“Let go of me, dickhead,” the husky voice growled, a dangerous caress. “Or I’ll let my dog eat you.”

“Wait, wait, wait!” Jarrod choked out, struggling under the massive dog’s rather insistent attack. Thank God for his thick cotton shirt, otherwise his shoulder would look as if it’d been through a cheese grater. He gripped the goddess’s arms tighter still, the base male part of his mind pointing out she reclined full stretch atop him now, her firm softness separated from his body by nothing more than two layers of clothing and a seriously protective mutt.

The thought sent a surge of eager blood through his veins, flooding his already semi-hard dick with wildly inappropriate intent. Unable to do anything else, Jarrod flipped the goddess and her hellhound, dislodging the dog’s teeth in the process, and straddled them both. “Wait!” he panted, staring down into eyes the color of raw emeralds. With an abrupt shift in position, he pressed his knee—gently but forcefully—on the dog’s neck, pinning the animal to the ground so the bloody thing couldn’t take any more bites out of his hide, and then grabbed the goddess’s wrists and pinned them to the ground beside her head.

“Get off me!” she snarled through clenched teeth, squirming beneath him. “Who the hell are you? Get off me, you prick.”

She bucked again and Jarrod bit back a groan. With all her thrashing and writhing, there was no way she would have missed the growing bulge in his jeans. Damn it, his bloody erection kept poking her in the belly every time she moved, contained by his jeans or not.

Way too long in front of a computer, Jarrod. Way too long.

“Wait,” he snapped one last time, and for a dizzying moment he wondered what the hell had happened to his vocabulary. Maybe he’d left it on the front porch along with his pride and professionalism.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

SAVE ME FROM MYSELF by Cassie Stevens

SAVE ME FROM MYSELF by Cassie Stevens

Reid Hansen has always had a "thing" for Marines. But not for former Marine, now up and coming fashion designer, Jackson Tate. In fact, Reid would rather see Jackson dead.

Jackson Tate has more success than he'd ever imagined, and all the stress that goes with it. Who better to help pull him back from the edge than Reid Hansen? But his fateful and unexpected presence in Jackson's life resurrects the ghost of the Marine Reid once loved, the Marine Jackson served with, the Marine who died saving Jackson's life, and it's quite clear that Reid has no intention of offering Jackson the salvation he seeks. In fact, it seems Reid would rather deliver that final shove that destroys him.

Jackson is the last man Reid wants to meet. Their lives first intersected on an Iraqi desert years before. Now, finally face-to-face, resentment, anger, and guilt put them at odds. Grief and the truth bind them. And then there's the unrelenting want fueling their actions. A craving neither can deny.

Yes, Reid's the one man who could save Jackson from himself. But who is saving whom?



...Jackson sagged against the nearest wall. It was finally over, except for clean-up, and that’s what hotel staff was being paid to do. He was in that sweet, quiet time before the crew descended on the room and Trish returned from monitoring load-up to hustle him along. Joy covered his exhaustion. He’d made it through the night. Now if he could only stop shaking…and feeling like he was going to throw up.

God, I hope I don’t have what Arnie’s got. Jackson didn’t have time to be sick. He pressed his hand to his forehead. Cold and clammy. Not good. But at least it wasn’t a fever.

“Hey,” Trish called out, “truck’s loaded and we’re ready to go. Unless you plan on walking.”

Jackson pushed away from the wall. “I’m coming.”

“You can ride with me.”

Reid Hansen’s voice from behind stopped him cold. Then he felt the other man’s heat inches away and wondered if he might have a fever after all. Sweat trickled down his back. His balls tightened. And his cock… Well…lately it didn’t take much to make it hard.

“I’d like to finish that discussion.” Reid edged into Jackson’s peripheral vision.

Jackson sighed. It was his fault for spouting off. He couldn’t blame Reid for wanting more information. If he’d learned anything tonight it was that Reid never took no for an answer. Jackson watched Trish’s gaze dart from him to the man beside him.

“Go on.” He waved his hand her way. “We’ll be right behind you.”

She shot Reid one final look, then ducked out the exit. Jackson sighed, but lacked the energy to square his shoulders. He’d done all the posturing he cared to do with Reid earlier tonight.

Jackson scuffed his hands together. “All right, let’s get this over with, shall we?”

“That is the plan.” Reid led him to the opposite end of the hotel, away from the loading dock.

At two in the morning, they passed no one save the occasional hotel employee. The walk to valet parking would have given Jackson ample opportunity to tell Reid everything he wanted to know about Stan’s murder. Accidental as it might be termed, there was clear intent behind the bullets aimed at Jackson and Stan’s backs. He and Reid said nothing to each other. They kept pace as if the rhythm was ingrained from a long-term relationship. Even the slight swing in their arms was in sync. They walked mere inches apart, so close Reid’s heat still washed over Jackson.

The memory of Reid’s hard body wedging Jackson against the wall slithered through him, lifting goose bumps and penis at the same time. It was the power and control Jackson had longed for in a relationship. Stan’s stories weren’t fabricated. Reid was born to dominate. Rumors from other sources had confirmed that as well. What they’d all failed to say was that Reid was an ass.

And to think I actually wanted the man.

Jackson didn’t know whom he was fooling. He still wanted Reid. Wanted to experience the release of control to another person, wanted the skill he’d heard Reid possessed, wanted to feel Reid pressed against his body naked, hot, and hard.

He curled his fingers loosely in his palm to keep from adjusting the erection swelling his trousers. Pre-cum would have moistened his boxers and the black silk by now. That was fine—Jackson’s clothing line easily withstood the tests of life. However, he really wasn’t anxious to have a cum stain telling on him. The last thing he wanted was for Reid to discover that, despite their being apparently at odds, Jackson wanted to grab him by his satin lapels and haul Reid against him. And let Reid take it from there. Funny, since the whole point of wanting a man like Reid was to have him take charge of all of that...


Friday, July 16, 2010


Book V of Vampire Queen series

Sometimes desire works three ways...

Joey W. Hill returns to the dark and seductive landscape of her Vampire Queen novels as a desperate woman finds herself trapped between the desires of two men, each with his own mission of the night.

Gideon Green is a hardcore vampire hunter. But in the past year, his only family, his little brother, became a vampire queen's servant – and then a vampire himself, giving Gideon a different view of the vampire world. Since Gideon's sole purpose for over a decade has been killing vampires, the violence that has scarred his soul now haunts his conscience.

Then he crosses paths with sexy BDSM night club owner, Mistress Anwyn. Their connection is immediate and intense, but she has a silent partner - the vampire Daegan Rei. When Anwyn is viciously attacked and turned by a rogue vampire, Gideon and Daegan join to protect her through a dangerous transition. As the bonds between the three of them draw tighter, Gideon faces an unbelievable truth...that the path to meaning in his life may be found in surrendering to the desires and needs of two vampires.


By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary to exit this site.

Vampire Mistress
Erotic Romance
© Copyright 2009-2010 - All Rights Reserved

Anwyn stood in the security room, her eyes trained on the surveillance screen for the Queen’s Chamber. With the high canopy bed, lush draperies, and polished restraint systems, it was one of her favorite rooms. The stainless steel and gleaming wood instruments of pleasure and torture had been rendered by quality craftspeople. She’d spent a lot of time designing it, her own private fantasy room in a club dedicated to fantasy. In some ways, she considered it hers, though she took very few sessions herself anymore.

Running any business consumed a great deal of time, and Club Atlantis more than most. An exclusive BDSM club, Atlantis dared to cater to the most extreme players, the ones who wanted to step boldly over the lines and fully immerse themselves in a world few understood, even those who played at less strenuous levels. Knowing diversity was key to business success, Anwyn had an upper level for those softer lifestyle people, as well as the dabblers and thrill seekers. This was the underground level, its geography enhancing the psychological impact of what it was about. The deep core zone.

Though everything that occurred in Atlantis was legal in the ways that mattered, they had the same philosophy as an illegal business. The people who came here paid a high price for the painful pleasures they sought, and therefore they weren’t interested in lawyers and liability suits. It made it easier to meet those needs.

Down here, people were fully dedicated to hardcore Domination and submission. They understood that consensual was a term used by the politically correct. They wanted to lose themselves in their craving need to dominate or be dominated, and for those purposes, choice was often a disruption to the fantasy. Because that was a line that required careful straddling to make sure everyone stayed safe, her largest cost was well-trained security outside each playroom door, and video surveillance of what was happening inside. The eyes she paid to watch those screens never wavered, her staff making a play by play judgment as to where the line was. A private ambulance and an on-staff medical team were ready to help those who needed it.

At this level, it was about a desired, if temporary, reality, and she was committed to giving it to her clients. However, since many personalities were incapable of handling what they thought they wanted, the vetting process for this level was strict. She herself personally approved or rejected all applications after viewing video tape of the entry interviews. Which was why she was sure none of her staff understood why she’d approved Jon Smith. He had every warning flag that resulted in a rejected application.

He was aggressive. Passive, active, and every spot on the spectrum in between. He was a tiger trapped in a small cage, almost mad with confinement, though only he could see the bars. In his interview, he couldn’t define what he wanted, but he had an obvious, burning need for what they were offering. He’d given the name “Jon Smith” with an insolent sneer, daring them to challenge it, even producing a driver’s license that backed it up, but that didn’t mean she believed his lying ass for a minute.

He was 120% trouble. She’d known it the first time he’d darkened the club’s doors in a battered leather jacket, scuffed boots and faded jeans, those midnight blue eyes vibrant with a breathtaking energy and passion. Because she knew only one other with eyes that piercing, she’d taken a second look to be sure their new guest was a mortal. He was, through and through. The badly cut dark hair that fell to his shoulders tempted touch, enhancing the fact he was all wild animal, fierce and beautiful and scarred. Most people dressed up for their sessions in some way. He’d come as he was, she was sure of that. Probably his only adjustment was leaving behind whatever weapons he’d been packing, because that was one rule the club never bent. There were weapons here, for controlled use, but that was it. Only the highest level of her security team, most of whom were ex-military, ever carried.

He was so overwhelmingly alpha she’d wondered—and still did—if he might need a Master’s hand in addition to a Mistress’s. But during the entrance interview, he’d reacted to that as if the interviewer had threatened his testicles with pruning shears.

“No, I do not want to be ass-fucked by a man.” He’d surged out of the chair and loomed over Madelyn, who was fortunately one of her more unflappable Mistresses. “Do I look like a faggot to you?”

It was a kneejerk hetero reaction, and one Anwyn quickly dismissed. People in the vanilla world were so caught up in their categories and labels. What people needed inside these walls had little to do with their sexual orientation, politics or gender. They needed to be stripped down to their souls, in order to find the lost treasure of themselves again. That was why she’d named her club Atlantis. That, and because it had lingered in her own childhood memories, a young girl who read the legends of the enlightened city, trying to find her own answers.

Of course his violent reaction was another reason his ass should have been booted out of here. She’d watched his taped interview, read his terse, uncommunicative responses. James Watts, the head of her security team, said flatly he was a risk, that he wouldn’t recommend his admission. Instead, following her intuition, Anwyn approved his temporary pass and met with her more experienced Mistresses, several of whom agreed to take the plunge.

In his first session, he wouldn’t be bound, but he was okay with pain. He kept goading Madelyn, his assigned Mistress, asking for higher and higher levels, and as he did, he’d get more worked up. He never moved to hurt Madelyn, but when his frustration level got too high, he destroyed furniture, equipment, got verbally abusive. Then, contemptuously, as if paying a whore, he’d thrown down a wad of cash for the repairs and stormed out.

But he came back. He’d seemed a little surprised that he’d been let back in, and Anwyn had felt her staff’s speculative glances when she made the decision. During that visit, she’d ordered a camera trained on him, so that later that night she could watch it. Alone. From beginning to end.

He’d sat at the bar, watched the public play, but hadn’t tried for another private session that time. There’d been a female slave bound for a flogging, and the few times his eyes strayed toward her, his gaze would just as quickly slide away. Anwyn had a trained ear for the begging note in a cry of pain, a clue to building desire and pleasure, so she knew the woman was receiving what she wanted. Though he apparently recognized it enough not to interfere, his shoulders had hunched, as if he found it difficult to bear the woman’s cries.

In contrast, he’d watch the play involving a Mistress without flinching. When a scourge landed on a bare male back or buttock, leaving red welts, his fingers would tighten on his glass. Even through the screen, Anwyn felt his yearning, a gas fire that threatened to consume. It was too similar to what she knew and remembered, and she felt oddly stripped as she looked into his face and saw how lost he truly was, this feral creature who’d come to her door, not sure if he wanted to beg for a bowl of scraps or break in and take whatever he wanted.

His next private session had gone no better than the first. Tara was strong, tall, an almost masculine woman. He’d hated her, with a viciousness that had almost come to blows when she’d tried to force him to his knees. Tara’s MO was that she got physical with her clients, and she was trained for it, a former MP and karate blackbelt. Madelyn had tried mockery, Tara brute force, and he’d responded to neither.

So tonight, Anwyn had sent in her best psychological Mistress, Chantal. She’d tried clever manipulation and head games to break him down, and now Anwyn was looking at a destroyed dresser, a shattered mirror. The rich hangings on the bed had been ripped down, shredded. Their problem child sat on the bed, his head in his hands. He hadn’t moved since Chantal had gone to the door, dropped her persona and told him in an even tone that the club didn’t have what he was seeking. She’d made the private signal to the camera that she was done with the session, no intention of returning after he had a cooling-off period.

“He’s a loss, Anwyn.” James had come in behind her and now leaned against the wall, his well-developed arms crossed and brow furrowed, the intent gray eyes as focused as she’d expect from a man who’d spent twenty years working with the DEA. “You’ve got the best instincts I’ve seen, but I think you’re off on this one. He’s not a psychopath, but he’s too close to it. Too damaged. Completely unpredictable. We need to cut him loose. He’s going to hurt someone.”

“I agree with your assessment. But I want to try one more thing.” Leaning over, she pressed the button to reach the security guard posted outside the Queen’s Chamber.

“Yes, ma’am?”

“Engage the locks on the door, Alan. I want Mr. Smith to know he’s not free to leave.”

She straightened, glanced at James. “I’m going to take over this session.”

His jaw tightened. “I could send in three men to secure him. Maybe that’s what he wants. You know we’ve had clients before who want the forced binding.”

“Yes, but not him. If we go that route, I think we will push him over that dangerous edge you’re concerned about.” She studied Smith’s broad shoulders, the scarred hands clenched at his neck. “He’s all beast, James. A male will be a threat to him, only make things worse. He’s seeking a woman’s touch, but he’s looking for a specific woman. One he knows he shouldn’t have, shouldn’t want, but with every wrong woman we’ve sent him, his need has only gotten sharper, his self-damnation deeper. The goal is surrender, James.”

“To what? Or whom?”

“The only opponent he’s been fighting all along. Himself. I’m going to clear the ring so he can go hand-to-hand with himself. Then maybe he’ll let go.”

James gave her an arch look. “I have absolutely no idea what that means.”

“I know.” She smiled at him. “It’s a lot like watching the Dog Whisperer. Cesar can’t always explain what he’s doing. He just knows, because he feels what the dog feels. That’s something most people don’t get.” Though she kept the smile on her face, she knew James was sharp enough to see there was no humor behind it. “In order to understand a creature’s pain, you have to step inside him, see through his eyes. And be strong enough not to feel sorry for him, teach him how to be a dog again. Live in the moment, because this moment is all there is.”

“I didn’t realize Cesar was Zen,” James muttered.

“All good trainers are, James.” She laughed. “Feed that link to my private changing area, please. I want to watch him while I get ready.”

“Speaking of animals, you’ve had another alley cat show up. She looks pregnant. I think they’re spreading the word that you’re handing scraps out the kitchen door on the graveyard shift.”

“You can stop sounding so disapproving. I know you do it, too.” She gave him an absent smile. “We’ll have to catch her, get her spayed. Maybe she’ll be more tameable than the others so far.”

“If anyone can do it, it would be you. Just be careful,” he advised, nodding toward the screen, telling her he was referencing Gideon, not her assortment of alley cats. “I know who will have my ass if someone hurts you. As scary as this son of a bitch is”—he dropped his voice so only she could hear him—“I’d rather deal with ten of him than a tenth of Daegan.”

James, you don’t know the half of it. “I run this club,” she said crisply, snapping his spine straight at the reminder of who paid his check. “If I get hurt, he will take that up with me.”

The security chief held his tongue until she’d left the room, but then he grimaced, attracting a curious look from the two security techs monitoring the screens. “Yeah, right,” he muttered. If something happened to the remarkable Mistress Anwyn Inara Naime, Daegan Rei would make everyone within these walls responsible. There’d be hell to pay.

James returned his attention to the Queen’s Chamber. You hurt her, buddy, your personal demons will look like Disneyland characters next to what will come after you. You better hope she’s right.

* * * * *

Okay, so maybe this time he’d really pissed someone off. They probably wanted him to stew until some stuffy club owner in a suit gave him a strong talking-to about his bad behavior. Delivered the official word that they didn’t want him here again or they’d call the cops. Or hell, maybe they’d actually called the cops. Somehow Gideon doubted this place handled its problems with official law enforcement, though. Most of their security team looked like Rangers or SEALs.

He wasn’t particularly concerned by a locked door, but the fact he wanted to leave and it was locked irritated him. That irritation continued to grow. He knew he was under video surveillance, so he’d prowled about some, kicked a prissy-looking vanity stool across the floor so that it made a satisfying dent in the velvet wallpaper. Queen’s Chamber. He hadn’t seen a queen grace it with her presence yet. Maybe some ladies-in-waiting. Pretentious bullshit, but he’d liked the room. That’s why he’d destroyed it.

“All right,” he snapped. “I get it. You want me to leave and not come back. I don’t need your lectures. You know I have the money to cover it. Just let me the hell out of here and I’ll go. Throw a bottle of Jack on the tab.”

Another long, ten minute silence. Fuck it. He was going to take down the door. He’d had enough.

Just as he was determining which of his picks he was going to use, or if it might be just as satisfying to rip it off its fucking hinges, the locks snicked back, and the doorknob turned. When the door swung inward, he curled a lip, ready to leap and snarl at whatever inferior being came through it.

Instead, he went still.

Though he’d scoffed at their efforts, he’d recognized that the three Mistresses they’d sent had been formidable in certain ways. The first, the one who’d conducted his application interview, had been older, stout and more experienced, with a superior rack. Beautiful, full tits just begging for a man’s adoration. Then there’d been the Amazon with the martial arts moves, kind of a tall and better cut Lara Croft. Today’s contender had had that slim, upright look of a spinster schoolteacher.

This one…she wasn’t formidable at all. Not physically, but what she did bring into the room preceded her by about ten feet, and packed a punch.

Maybe about five-six. A little on the slim side, but a body that wouldn’t quit, C curves and an ass that would fill out a pair of jeans in a way that would make even a non-vampire crave to bite. Only instead of such casual attire, she wore painted-on latex black pants and stiletto heels she worked like a pro. He’d expected some equally intimidating corset, so that she was tight and armored from neck to toe. Instead, she wore a lace camisole, one that gathered on her hips and gave the outfit a casual, sexy look. Her slim throat displayed an onyx choker with an earth goddess pendant on it, and her hair, a sable brown, was loose on her shoulders, shining waves that coaxed a man’s fingertips.

It was an unsettling mix of Mistress and sub, vanilla next-door girl and experienced woman. Hard to pin down. He’d never seen her before, because he was sure as hell certain he’d have remembered her. Maybe even asked for her, when he’d asked for nothing else. He’d basically said “figure out what I want or go fuck yourselves”. He’d been kind of surprised they’d accepted his membership, and suddenly he realized they’d never stopped auditioning him. This was who’d been evaluating him, the guy who couldn’t tell them what he wanted because he didn’t know himself.

When her gaze came to him, he was pinned by killer blue-green eyes that should have belonged to a mermaid. They were framed by brown lashes, and underscored by a soft, small mouth that was an unbelievable tender pink, frosted with a light gloss.

Though he was unbalanced, he wasn’t fooled by such fragility. This woman ran the show.

“Your real first name, Mr. Smith. Your given name. I don’t care about your last name.”

He’d heard of women who purred, or who had a touch of velvet in their tones, a practiced art. But he realized he was wrong when he thought the way she walked in the stilettos and wore the latex was professional, learned. Her sexuality was innate. There was a rasp to the voice, a husky pleasure just in the speaking, that touched him as if she’d run fingertips up his bare spine while he was strapped to a whipping post, unable to do more than strain toward her.

Holy hell, where had that thought come from?

She moved into the room, sliding a shard of wood gracefully out of her way with her foot. The stilettos were boots, laced with scarlet ribbon, crisscrossed on metal hooks that stopped just above her ankle. Tiny charms clinked together at the ends of the laces as she moved. “Please pick the broken dresser up and set it against the wall. Then I would like you there.”

She nodded toward a prayer bench in the corner, set before a tranquil fountain and stained glass depiction of a male angel. Back lights drew the eye to the blue of the angel’s robes, the silver of his sword and wings, the darkness of his hair.

“I’m still waiting on your name, Mr. Smith.”

“Why should I do anything you ask? What makes you so different from the others?”

Of course he knew, but he wanted her to prove it. Was afraid she would.

She considered him. He knew body language. If she was daunted at all, if there was any tension to her, it was faint, and it wasn’t anxiety. It was the irresistible drug of female arousal. He knew the really good ones were into what they did, even in a place where you paid for it, but some part of them stayed detached, that invisible line between client and proprietor, strangers.

She wasn’t detached at all. That beast that had been raging in him, that he’d carelessly unleashed towards the others, made him fear for her now. Because the beast wanted her. It hadn’t wanted the others. That soft hair alone was taunting him closer.

As if she knew his thoughts, she tossed it over her shoulder in a smooth, elegant move, a faint smile coming to her lips as his eyes followed it. “You should do it because I did not ask you to do anything. And because you’re not a coward.”

Unlike the last Mistress, she wasn’t trying to goad him. Her voice remained smooth, thoughtful, not derisive. She kept her gaze on him, her expression serious. “You’re here for what I have to offer. So let’s proceed. Tell me your name, and go to the bench, please.”

“Trey,” he said. Her expression did not change, the eyes didn’t even flicker, but he swore he felt the ocean of the blue-green color close over his head for a moment, the slither of a feathery tail as the mermaid swam past, leaving him behind.

Turning, she moved back toward the door. “You may stop at the accounts office to pay for the damages. I wish you a good night.”

She didn’t hesitate, didn’t slow down. If it was a game, she was damn good at it, and usually so was he. When she reached the door, he didn’t even have the extra moment her turning the latch would afford him, because the same security guard who’d opened the door for her did it from the outside now, not only confirming the interior surveillance, but the fact this was a woman who didn’t have to touch doorknobs. Not if there was a breathing male within fifty feet.

“Gideon,” he snarled.

She didn’t stop. In a blink, she was gone, the door closing on well-oiled hinges behind her. Gideon stared at the door, his hands closing into useless fists at his sides. Hell, he shouldn’t be here, shouldn’t be doing this. She’d been right to leave. Vaguely, he knew he’d paid them for the right to be here, that he should be pissed, but he understood this place better than he would have at one time. This underground level wasn’t about memberships and having your ass kissed.

Then he realized something. The door was closed. They left it open after a session’s completion. At this point, the security guard would have put his carefully blank face back in and told him how many minutes he had before his ass was expected to be out of there. Instead, he heard the locks snick in place again.

Something loosened in his chest and tightened even lower.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

NEVER AS IT SEEMS by Shiloh Walker

NEVER AS IT SEEMS by Shiloh Walker

Three years after he walked away and broke her heart, Leo is back in Chloe's life and that's the last place she wants him. Not that she has any choice in the matter. She's in big trouble. She needs somebody to watch her back, and he's the "somebody".

Three years ago, Chloe dumped a bombshell in Leo's lap. I'm psychic, she told him. As if he was supposed to believe that. His world is black and white, and he doesn't buy into that mumbo-jumbo. Walking away from her damn near killed him, but he couldn't be with somebody he couldn't trust.

His new job? Keep Chloe safe. That's it. He's not supposed to touch her. He's not supposed to make love to her. He's not supposed to want her...need her. But he can't stop thinking about her, can't stop dreaming about her. Now that she's back in his life, he can't keep his hands off her either.



Swearing, he tried to remind himself where he was. Why he was here.

Who he was with.

But that didn’t help.

This was Chloe and she’d always been his weakness.

“Chloe,” he muttered.

She dragged her lashes up and the sultry, female hunger he saw there laid him low.

Groaning, he dipped his head and slanted his mouth over hers.

Three years. Three long, aching, empty years.

She kept her mouth closed, kept her hands clenched in fists at her sides.

Growling, he licked the seam of her lips, nuzzling them.

She whimpered. Her body swayed against his. Her hands came up, still clenched into tight fists, and rested against his chest. He could feel the heat of them through his shirt and he wanted her to open those hands, smooth them down his chest, all over his body, really. Wanted to feel them unzipping his jeans, slipping inside and closing over his cock.

Just the thought was enough to make his cock jerk in response. Make him grit his teeth and snarl a curse against her lips. Lifting his head, he stared at her through slitted eyes. Fisting a hand in her hair, he tugged on the short, silky strands and muttered, “Open for me, sweet girl. I’m dying to taste you.”

Chloe shuddered.

Her lashes lifted and he found himself staring into eyes that burned hot, hungry…and all too clear, despite that hunger. “This isn’t smart, Leo. We both know that.” Her voice was whiskey rough, shaky with need.

“So the fuck what?” He couldn’t care less about being smart. He cared about the fact that she was here. With him again, after three years. He crowded against her until she was against the railing and then he leaned into her, shuddering as her soft, slender body cradled his. Fuck, she felt so right.

So perfect.

She’d always felt so fucking right.

So how had everything gone so wrong?

Monday, July 12, 2010

BIT THE JACKPOT by Erin McCarthy

Erin McCarthy, the USA Today bestselling author of HIGH STAKES returns to Sin City, where you can get bitten by the gambling bug - or by the sexiest vampire you've ever seen...

Campaign manager -and vampire -Seamus Fox has had his fill of women, since he's been keeping tabs on his presidential candidate's wife and femaile entourage. But suddenly he finds himself obsessed with a mysterious stripper who dances behind a screen. The sultry, yet shy, Cara Kim whets his appetite for more.

Leave it to Seamus to fall fangs over feet for that rarest of Vegas attractions - a good girl. After a sudden run in on the street, though, they may soon have a lot more in common...



Cara couldn’t even imagine why she had thought it was a good idea to go out into the alley wearing jeans, flip flops, and a short satin robe. No bra. No cell phone. No purse.

She had lost her everlovin’ mind, and if she hadn’t been drinking bottled water only all night, she would swear she’d been drugged. It was the only explanation for why she was crouched in a corner watching Seamus Fox- if that was really his name- brawling with two fat guys in bad outfits.

And they weren’t just fighting. They were doing some freaky shit. At first it had looked like normal punches but then Seamus had gone all Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, doing moves that looked humanly impossible. He was like a blur in a black T-shirt, and at one point, she could absolutely swear he had actually risen vertically in the air.

She was too scared to move, afraid they might see her if she tried to sneak back in the door. Clearly even though Seamus was outnumbered, she wasn’t going to be of any assistance to him. Her major talents in life were dancing naked and animal care. Somehow she didn’t think doing a hip rock or clipping his nails would help Seamus at the moment. It would be best to leave them to their beating the crap out of each other thing, but Cara had retreated too far from the door to go back in without being seen.

Cara? Seamus called to her, shattering her illusion that she hadn’t been spotted.

Not to mention she was almost certain he hadn’t spoken out loud. Just in her head. She licked her lips nervously. What? she whispered tentatively, her lips moving automatically even if no sound came out.

Go back in the club, beautiful.

She fell back on her butt, startled that she could hear him so clearly in her head. Yet he wasn’t even looking at her. He was slamming one of the big guys into the brick wall.

I’m serious. They want to kill me. Get back inside.

It seemed like a good plan. Get back inside away from big, hairy men throwing punches. But for some reason her legs weren’t moving. Leaving Seamus all alone just didn’t seem right. She bit her fingernail nervously. If she ran toward the door, she could call 911 and get Seamus help. That would be the smartest thing to do.

She stood up, hugging the wall, staying in the shadows as she inched toward the door.

Right then Seamus leaped six feet in the air in the most unbelievable move Cara had ever seen and kicked one of the guys in the back of head. It should have dropped the big dude to the ground, but instead, he just growled and bared his teeth. The streetlight was right on his face and Cara had a perfect view of his face and mouth. Of his fangs.

“Arrghh,” she said involuntarily, covering her mouth with her hand. Those were not just exceptionally large canines. Those were fangs. And Seamus was leaping through the air like he had superpowers.

Something was very, very wrong here.

Now the big guy had seen her.

“Who are you?” he asked, getting back to his feet after kissing concrete. He took a step toward her, a leer on his face. He wasn’t as ugly as the other guy, who was currently in a headlock under Seamus’s armpit, but he looked stupid.

“Leave her be. I’ll wipe her memory,” Seamus said.

Excuse me? That didn’t sound pleasant. Cara started fast walking toward the door.

Stupid cut her off, stepping right in front of her escape path. His nostrils flared. “You smell good.”

Cara grimaced. That just didn’t sound like a compliment. But to prevent pissing him off, she murmured, “Thank you.”

If she ran the other way, toward the street, she could get help. She chanced a glance at Seamus. He still had the ugly guy in his grip, but was getting his head pounded against the wall in retaliation. Cara winced. That must hurt. That was brain damage in the making.

It was up to her to make a break for it. Especially since Stupid was leaning towards her, his mouth wide open.

“I bet you taste really good, too,” he said.

Eeew. Time to move it. “What’s that?” Cara asked, pointing behind the guy’s right shoulder.

“What?” He turned.

She ran like hell to the end of the alley and out into the street.

It was a good plan.

What she hadn’t factored in was the possibility of a car driving right in that particular spot.

She popped out with too much momentum to slow down, even as she realized an SUV was only a few feet from her. She felt the impact of the huge car like a massive shove, her brain rattling, her breath sucking right out of her lungs. Then she was hurtling through the air with nothing to hold onto, a scream stuck in her throat.

This could be a problem.

Cara landed, pain ripping through her entire body, crunching and jarring and tearing.

Then with great relief, she passed out.



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