Friday, March 27, 2020
Properly, Or Not At All by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) is Now Available in #Audiobook Format! #MF #BDSM
Good news for audiobook fans who love a spanking short story—Properly, Or Not At All is now available to listen, thanks to the amazing talents of Frankie Holland!
Can a husband and wife cope when one of their favourite sexual pastimes is taken away from them?
Tristan and Jayme are not only devoted husband and wife, they are also Dominant and submissive, with a particular penchant for spanking. They’ve been playing delicious kinky games for the fifteen years they’ve been together, and couldn’t be happier. However, when Tristan develops a health issue that means he can’t redden his wife’s backside for a while, it puts them under a lot of strain. It’s a big part of their sex life, and they’ll miss it badly.
They try to find a way around their unfortunate predicament, but in the end, Tristan declares he will either spank Jayme’s bottom properly, or not at all.
The prospect of no spanking at all dismays Jayme, but she has no other choice. Or does she? She continues to put her mind towards the issue and she indulges in some solo experimentation, with mixed results.
But how will Tristan react when he finds out his wife has gone behind his back?
“You know what this fucking means, don’t you?” Tristan snapped, slamming his car keys onto the hall’s side table and storming into the kitchen.
Jayme hurried after him, her heart racing. Tristan rarely got angry—sure, he often pretended she’d done something wrong and faked being pissed off about it when they played D/s scenes, but real anger—it was something that just didn’t happen. She wasn’t quite sure what had sparked it, either. The news had been unfortunate, yes. Inconvenient, yes—but it wasn’t the end of the world. Tristan’s only choice was to follow the doctor’s advice.
“Um, I take it you mean aside from the obvious?” she ventured quietly, not wanting to piss him off even more.
“Yes,” he said on a heavy sigh, making it clear his anger and frustration weren’t aimed at her. “Come here, you.” He held out his arms, and when she went into them, he hugged her tightly and kissed the top of her head. “Fucking hell, Jayme, I’m really going to miss spanking that beautiful arse of yours.”
“And I’m going to miss you doing it,” she murmured into his chest. Then, pulling back so she could make eye contact, continued, “But we’ll cope. There’s loads of other stuff we can do—we can still have fun. As much as I love it, it’s not worth making the problem worse, or screwing up your recovery once you’ve had the op. Your health is more important, babe.”
“Mmm…” came the reply, along with a very displeased expression.
“Hey,” Jayme said sharply, raising her eyebrows, “you might be in charge in the bedroom, mister, but I’m putting my foot down here. Hopefully you’ll get a date through for the operation really soon. And the sooner you have the op, the sooner you’ll be recovered and we can get back to normal. In the meantime,” she grinned widely, “we’ll just have to get creative, won’t we?”
Much to Jayme’s relief, Tristan finally smiled. “You’re right, as always, wife of mine. Clearly I’m not happy about this—fucking carpal tunnel bollocks, spoiling all our fun—but it could be a lot worse, I suppose. At least they’re not operating on my dick.”
“True.” She giggled. “That would take some creativity of epic proportions!”
“It would. So, does this mean we have to have sex more often, then?”
Frowning, Jayme replied, “How do you figure that out?”
“Well, if it’s too risky to spank you, then surely wanking is going to be bad for my wrist, too. And I’m not sure that when the doctor asked if we had any questions, he meant of this nature, did he?”
Jayme laughed again. “No, I’m sure he didn’t. I think we’d have given the poor man a heart attack if we’d started asking him how we were going to get on with our particular kind of sex life without exacerbating your problem. And I was under the impression we already had plenty of sex and that you don’t feel the need to toss yourself off very often.”
“I don’t.” He shrugged. “But you can’t blame a man for trying, can you? Especially when that man’s wife looks like you.”
“No, I suppose not.” She grinned, then slipped her arms around the back of his neck and pulled him in for a kiss. Closing her eyes, Jayme allowed herself to get into the touching of their lips, the parting, the questing tongues, shoving all thoughts of not being able to have her arse reddened to the recesses of her mind. She loved Tristan with all her heart, and their relationship was so much more than sex and kink, so they’d just have to get on with it.
And what better way to get on with it than to find a way around their unfortunate predicament? She pulled Tristan’s bottom lip into her mouth, then sucked and nibbled at it, enjoying the guttural sounds this elicited from his throat. Letting go of his lip, she then sucked at his tongue, mimicking fellatio on the warm, wet flesh and smirking to herself as his rapidly growing erection pressed against her stomach.
God, yes. The two of them had been together fifteen years, married for thirteen, and were still crazy about each other. What was a little break from spanking in the scheme of things?
Sitting back suddenly as something occurred to her, she said, “Hey, gorgeous. Shall we take this to the bedroom? I’ve had an idea.”
Tristan grabbed her hand and they immediately headed for the bedroom. “Of course. What’s your idea, sweetheart?”
“Well, now,” she replied, grinning wickedly, “that would be telling, wouldn’t it? You’ll just have to wait.”
“Damn,” Tristan muttered, picking up his pace. “I can’t even threaten to punish you unless you tell me.”
After throwing a confused look over his shoulder, he led them up the stairs and into their room before ushering her in and closing the door behind them. “God, you’re gorgeous,” he said, pulling her back into his arms.
“Now, now,” she replied, pushing his chest and wagging a finger at him. “No trying to butter me up just so I’ll cave and tell you what I have in mind.”
Adopting a mock-shocked expression, he said, “Moi? Would I do such a thing?”
“Yes! You bloody would!”
“Yeah, yeah, all right, all right. I totally bloody would. But that doesn’t mean it’s not true. You are gorgeous, and I love you. And I want you.” Gesturing towards the erection that tented his jeans, he gave a wry grin.
“And you’ll have me,” Jayme shot back matter of factly, beginning to remove her clothes. “Now, Sir, could I respectfully ask that you get naked?”
Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller), The Persecution of the Wolves, Hiding in Plain Sight and The Heiress’s Harem series. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 170 publications to her name. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Join her Facebook group for exclusive cover reveals, sneak peeks and more! Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter here: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter
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Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Saved by You
by Kimberly Daniels
Cole Stevens thought he was finally given a second chance in life. With the woman he always loved now by his side, an adopted son who felt like his own since the day he met him, and a baby on the way, Cole could finally see his forever. And then his past showed up on his doorstep, threatening to take it all away.
Now forced to relive painful memories and bring dark secrets to light, Cole begins a downward spiral that leads him back to the place he spent years trying to escape. As the pain of his past collides with the present, he finds himself lost again, fighting for his family's future. How can he find the way back in time for his forever to be saved?
I let go of him and he falters back. Dusty wraps his arms around me to pull me back and Camryn is begging me to stop. Her voice registers, sinking through the fury that just consumed me, and my head snaps up realizing where I am. Camryn’s hands are over her mouth and I can see her fighting back tears. And that’s when I see him, my little superhero, crying and shaking at Camryn’s side. My sweet little boy, my Gavin—how could I let myself get to this point?
I reach out to him and he shudders back, sinking into Camryn even more. At that moment, my heart shatters, seeing that my son, the one I vowed to protect, is afraid of the menace I just became. My gaze travels to Camryn and I see the pain in her eyes, which I am sure I put there. “Take him home, away from me.”
She reaches her hand and grasps my wrist, pulling me with her. “Come home with us.”
I pull my hand away and begin to back away from them. “Take him home without me. Right now, he’s afraid…of me.” I can’t bear to stay here and look at what I did to Gav and Camryn, to see that the old Cole has never really left. I rush off the beach, away from my family, the ones I disappointed again with my thoughtless actions. I try to grasp the realization that I’m no longer the superhero Gavin once thought I was. Today, I became the villain.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I’m a total beach bum. I spend free time at the shore both in the winter months, as well as the summer months. Salt air is an essential need in my life.
Do you have a day job as well?
I’m a middle school English teacher teaching 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. I love introducing a great book to my students or teaching them a fun writing skill.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
I’m a total sucker when it comes to romance and happily-ever-after. This is my go-to genre to read as an outlet, so it’s fitting that I enjoy writing it.
Where do you get your ideas?
I’ve always had stories playing in my head. I see something random and a whole story seems to come to life. So, I jot down all those ideas and I decide to write whatever inspires me first.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Just write. Block out any outside noise and do what you love.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Kimberly Daniels is a middle school English Teacher who took the advice of her students to pursue her writing hobby as a career. When she’s not at her laptop dreaming up new happily-ever-afters, she can be found glued to the TV or Kindle consumed with a new show or book addiction. She lives with her husband and two daughters in in the suburbs of Philadelphia,
spending weekends at basketball games, softball fields, and dance recitals.
Connect with Kimberly Daniels:
FB Profile: https://www.facebook.com/authorkimberlydaniels
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Kimberly-Daniels/e/B07BPMLDY3
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER
Kimberly Daniels will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Monday, March 23, 2020
by Sigrid Macdonald
Finding Lisa is a character driven story about a quirky Canadian woman named Tara who is about to turn 40. She dreads the thought. Everything is going wrong in her life from her stale marriage to her boring job to her hopeless crush on a 24-year-old guy. The only thing right in Tara's life is her best friend Lisa who has just confided that she is pregnant and the baby does not belong to her partner Ryan, who has a history of domestic violence. Then Lisa disappears and the search is on to find her.
All the carts were taken at the supermarket on Tuesday. I found one off to the side of the vegetable aisle. It had a defective wheel, which resulted in me almost overturning a display of cantaloupes. The cart was also enormous. No doubt this was a deliberate ploy on the part of the supermarket to encourage excess shopping.
"I feel as though I'm driving a school bus," I announced to the frail, pale orange-haired woman to my left, who was squeezing the small, unappetizing looking cantaloupes.
She smiled faintly and nodded. I wondered how she had the strength to push the heavy cart through the long aisles of the grocery store at her age.
"Mum, I'll go with you to one of those Women against Rape meetings if you want?" Devon said to my astonishment, his voice rising at the end of his sentence. "There’s only one condition. You have to watch 8 Mile with me."
"8 Mile? Isn’t that the movie based on the book by Stephen King?"
"Nah, you’re thinking about The Green Mile," Devon replied. "8 Mile is the story of a rapper in Detroit. It's based on the life of Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers. Eminem even stars in it," he said with increasing enthusiasm.
"I think it’ll give you a better idea of where he's coming from. You know, you're always talking about these girls who've been, like, abused and what horrible lives they've had. You even feel bad about boys who were taken advantage of by priests or their hockey coaches. So why don't you have any sympathy for Marshall? His mother was abusive. She was mean to him, and she did drugs! Also, she, like, gave him something called Munchkins syndrome," Devon added uncertainly.
"Munchausen syndrome?” I asked, trying to picture the tough guy with the tattoos and bad attitude as a small child with a manipulative and controlling mother.
"Yeah, that sounds right. She made him feel sick when he was totally healthy. And, Mum, I know you would respect the way Em felt about his little brother, Nathan. He, like, didn't wanna leave him alone in the house with his mother when he finally split from Detroit. He's also really keen about his daughter, Hailie Jade. He talks about her all the time in his songs and on TV."
I pushed the buttons on the radio. The Steve Miller band was singing, "Time keeps on slipping, slipping into the future." I had a sense of motion. The car was moving forward, and with every traffic light I passed, I was moving farther away from Lisa and our routine evenings at the ByTowne Theatre. The rest of us were going ahead, and Lisa had been left behind. I wanted to go back, not just to last Thursday night, but to my university days, so I could live my life all over again.
I wanted to be sixteen or twenty-six again, making decisions based on what I knew now. So many lost opportunities. How had I managed to completely screw up my life? I'd done everything wrong except that I hadn't become a street prostitute or a serial murderer. Too late for the former—who would want me? But there was still time for the latter.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I'm a bit of a hybrid. I was born in Canada and immigrated to the US at age six with my parents. We settled in New Jersey (New JOISEY, to those Soprano fans!) but my parents took us kids on trips back to Canada annually. We used to go to Montréal most often because my dad, a physician who did pharmaceutical research, had a lot of work there. Eventually I decided to go to grad school in Toronto, and my brother went to law school in Kingston, Ontario. I went back and forth between the two countries and settled in Ottawa, Ontario for a number of years until I got sick to death of "el invierno" — winter — and decided to locate in Florida. I run an editing company here, and don't tell anybody, but I would do the kind of work I do for free because I love reading, writing, rewriting, and editing so much.
What do you do when you are not writing?
In my free time, I study Spanish, play trivia, and scan Netflix for new movies or series. I'm also quite hooked on podcasts. Lately, I've been listening to something called "Conspiracy Theories." It's really good. A guy and a gal present background info on all kinds of theories like did the Royal family have Princess Diana killed, or did Jim Jones from Jonestown, Guyana, really convince 918 people to kill themselves with Kool-Aid, or did something more nefarious occur? These two approach issues with a skeptical perspective, and they present a lot of very interesting history about people like Marilyn Monroe and JFK.
Do you have a day job as well?
I do indeed. I own an editing company called Book Magic. We work with authors all over the globe and many of my editorial assistants are still located in Canada in Toronto and Ottawa. We do standard proofreading, copyediting, developmental editing, rewriting, and evaluating, and I love it. I'm so lucky to be able to do something that I love; many people aren't.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
My book, Finding Lisa, was inspired by the true-life disappearance of an acquaintance of mine. I was involved in the search party that went looking for her, and the trauma of doing so stayed with me for many years. Originally, I wrote this book based more or less on the facts of the true-life case, but then I realized that wasn't a mystery. Anybody who knew this woman's name and picked up the book would know exactly what was going to happen at the end. So I took artistic liberty with the story and made it something else. Above all, I want the story to be entertaining but also thought-provoking. I want people to think about it when they put the book down. I practically eat books, and because I do so many on audio, I'm probably "reading" three to four books a week now, not including the manuscripts I do for work. And I must say, it's unusual for me to spend much time thinking about a book after I put it down. But those are the books that are precious – the ones that stand out and make me go, "Woah! I didn't see that coming. I wonder what message the author was trying to relay here." Or it doesn't even have to be a great message; something can just be masterful, suspenseful, or purely entertaining.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
I'm a huge fan of classic literature like John Updike, John Steinbeck, Joyce Carol Oats, Dostoyevsky and books that have a message or some depth. My favorite contemporary authors is Jodi Picoult because I love the way that she manages to address social or psychological issues in almost all her works, such as autism, school shootings, racism, the plight of the elephant in the wild, etc.(I see that you like her as well based on your quote from her book My Sister's Keeper!) In Finding Lisa, I address themes of violence against women, recidivism, addiction, and unrequited love. I also like reading trashy romances, with no redeeming social value whatsoever, which is where I get my subplot of my 39-year-old protagonist falling in love with a totally inappropriate 25-year-old guy.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
I would like to say that although I write in the first person, I am not my character, Tara! It cracks me up that so many of my friends read my book and they say, "Ah ha! I didn't know you thought that way." And I don't. My character is fictitious, and I have given her many flaws and internal and external conflicts. She doesn't handle situations the way I would necessarily handle them, and she may not always do the right thing, but she's well-intentioned. Like most of us, Tara is a work in progress.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Originally from New Jersey, Sigrid Macdonald lived for almost thirty years in Ottawa, Ontario, and currently resides in Weston, Florida. She has been a freelance writer for years. Her works have appeared in The Globe and Mail newspaper; the Women's Freedom Network Newsletter; the American magazine Justice Denied; The Toastmaster; and the Anxiety Disorders Association of Ontario Newsletter. Her first book, Getting Hip: Recovery from a Total Hip Replacement, was published in 2004. Her second book, Be Your Own Editor, followed in 2010. Although Finding Lisa is written in first person, Macdonald only resembles her character in the sense that she once had a neurotic fixation on her hair, and she has always been called by the wrong name; instead of being called Sigrid, people have called her Susan, Sharon, Astrid, Ingrid and, her personal favorite, Siri.
Macdonald is a social activist who has spent decades working on the seemingly disparate issues of women's rights and wrongful convictions; she has worked at the Women's Center at Ramapo College of New Jersey and Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, and was a member of AIDWYC, The Association in Defense of the Wrongly Convicted. She owns an editing company called Book Magic. Sigrid is a public speaker and a member of Mothers against Drunk Driving, Ottawa Independent Writers, the American Association of University Women, and the Editors' Association of Canada. Visit her website at http://bookmagic.ca/ or friend her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sigridmac.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER
Sigrid Macdonald will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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Friday, March 20, 2020
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Gina Briganti will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
Mermaid Velvet has always had a special fascination with the World. And studying its two-legged humans has given the aspiring comedian unique skills to make her audiences laugh. But when she saves a human who believes he’s drowning, she’s stunned by the magic that flows between them.
Saunders is trapped between two realities with no memory of his past. Lost in a strange, underwater domain, he comes face-to-face with an alluring goddess of the sea. When he disappears from her realm, he’s desperate to reunite with the entrancing beauty.
As Velvet continues to bring Saunders out of the darkness, her love for him grows along with her fear that his next disappearance might be his last. And as his memories slowly return, Saunders must decide if he’s willing to leave the World permanently for a chance to be with the mermaid he desires.
Can Velvet and Saunders overcome his terrible fate and sink into each other’s perfect arms? Saunders’ Choice is a standalone novella in the enchanting Natural Gifts fantasy romance series. If you like irresistible attraction, mystery, and love against the odds, then you’ll adore Gina Briganti’s tale of the deep.
*An early version of Saunders’ Choice was published in the Changing Worlds anthology. Buy Saunders’ Choice to dive into an ocean of passion today.
Read an Excerpt
Knowing that she had only one more day to explore that part of the Dreaming, Velvet took advantage and swam out into another new part of the ocean. Here the water was bubbly and warm, a natural hot spring. Velvet relaxed and allowed the bubbles to massage her back and neck.
Domino surprised her by approaching her in a blended form of a water snake and a seahorse. He looked like an extra-long, coiled, seahorse. In the absence of his usual black and white clothing, he colored himself in black and white triangles.
Velvet couldn’t hold her curiosity any longer. “Domino, where do you get your ideas? You always surprise me.”
Domino’s seahorse mouth was able to smile. “They come to me, maybe the same way your ideas come to you? Some pop into my head, already formed. Others I work with until I like what I see. The more outrageous I look, the more comfortable I feel. Creatures stare, but this way I know why.”
Velvet nodded because ideas did come to her in a variety of ways. “Would you like some bubbles?” She graciously offered to move over, even though the spot she was in was prime and she was enjoying it. Domino had sought her out for a reason, and having to cancel their show at Shugey’s might have been hard for him. She reasoned that he would benefit from the bubbles more than she could.
About the Author: Gina Briganti writes fantasy and sci-fi romance in north Texas. She also writes holistic health non-fiction because real life can be magic, too. Her credentials in holistic health include certification as a Reiki Master Practitioner and teacher, certification as a nutrition consultant, and a degree in holistic nutrition.
When she's not writing, eating delicious healthy food, reading, or making videos, she is spending time with family and friends. Her constant companion is a special soul who masquerades as a lab and chow mix.
There are exclusives and announcements that she shares only in her newsletter, which you can sign up for right here: http://ginabriganti.us8.list-manage.com/subscribe
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Gina-Briganti/e/B008QZ2ZVI/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Buy link: https://books2read.com/u/3nvKDB
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Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Ex-boxer Mike Logan struggles to put a brutal past behind and make ends meet as a bus driver. When a young runaway settles for an all-night ride, he seizes the chance to do a good deed—get her home safely. But first, they’ll drive around and talk.
What he doesn’t anticipate is that this broken night angel is also a sexy little minx needing a lot more…and not just the gentle kind.
**This is an expanded edition of the story previously featured in the anthology Passion, Pleasure, Pain in 2019**
#Dark #Erotic #Romance
Put the book on your to-read shelf on Goodreads
She gives me a long, languorous look. I think I know what it means: She’s interested by my wild side. Dark attracts dark. She believes she’s found the same kind of fallen angel as she is, a soul mate.
Wrong, kiddo. What you need is someone good, not broken like me.
She reaches over the table to pat my chest. “So hard. Jesus. You definitely work out.”
Her touch sends electric sparks to my groin. My cock pulses. I push her hand away. “Don’t do that.”
I sigh. “I’m thirty-two, you’re what?”
“Nineteen, that’s very young. I could easily be accused of taking advantage of you. Did you see how the waitress treated me?”
She crosses her arms underneath her boobs. “But I’m an adult, and I have boyfriends.”
“You have boyfriends.”
“Yeah.” She holds my gaze.
I don’t know why I had to make a deal of that.
She continues, “So, it’s not like I’d let anybody touch me if I didn’t want them to.”
“Well, I don’t want you to touch me. Let’s go.”
About the author
Lea Bronsen likes her reads hot, fast, and edgy, and strives to give her own stories the same intensity. After a deep dive on the unforgiving world of gangsters with her debut novel Wild Hearted, she divides her writing time between romantic suspenses, dark erotic romances, and crime thrillers.
Meet Lea Bronsen on
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Genre: Time Travel Romance
Publisher: VJC Books
Pre-order Date: 1/6/20
Release Date: 3/17/20
eBook Price: $2.99
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/bowG1A
When Veteran Blake Cornelis visits his great grandfather’s Civil War grave, he is whisked back in time to Gettysburg, where his ancestor was a hero. His mission—to preserve his family's decorated military record, because his cousin, Evan, is determined to steal the Cornelius heroism for his own family’s ancestry. Fighting Evan is demanding and requires unremitting vigilance. Fortunately, the gods have sent Blake an exquisite guardian angel to help him.
Ariel, a time travel Protector, is tasked on this journey with safeguarding Blake, and she vows to do that—at any cost. But the attractive hero from Wisconsin is unlike others she’s been assigned to protect. The intense attraction between them casts them into deadly peril on the battlefield.
Blake and Ariel are sent into other wartimes, and as secrets unfold they realize they must sacrifice all to conquer his evil cousin, for the Cornelis honor is not all that is at stake. The fate of the American people lies in their hands. But Evan is a formidable foe, determined to achieve his mission, and since he has nothing to lose, he'll do whatever it takes to succeed—no matter the cost.
About the Author:Valerie Clarizio is a USA Today Bestselling author who lives in romantic Door County Wisconsin with her husband and extremely spoiled cat. She loves to read, write, and spend time at her cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
She’s lived her life surrounded by men, three brothers, a husband, and a male Siamese cat who required his own instruction manual. Keeping up with all the men in her life has turned her into an outdoors enthusiast, of which her favorite activity is hiking in national parks. While out on the trails, she has plenty of time to conjure up irresistible characters and unique storylines for her next romantic suspense or sweet contemporary romance novel.
Author’s Social Media links
Facebook Street Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/clarizioscronies/
Blake stepped toward Ariel with his arms outstretched. This time, she allowed herself to step into them—into the comforting arms of the man she’d dreamed about nonstop for the past year.
He pulled her tight to his warm, firm body. Maybe there was something to be said for the fact she was able to rest while on a mission with this man.
One of his hands glided up and down her back in a light, soothing manner. The other pulled the hat from her head and undid the band that held her hair in place high on her head–the long strands that had been intentionally hidden from view from the world. Her hair cascaded over her shoulders. That simple maneuver made her feel sexy; wanted in a way she hadn't experienced for a long time. Not since her ex, eons ago, long before their marriage started to fall apart.
She went rigid.
Blake inched back but still held her. "You okay?"
Was she? Yes. She loved his hold, the feel of him, and his warm, comforting scent that reminded her of roasting chestnuts.
Slowly, he combed his skilled fingers through her hair for a moment before he wove them in and eased her head back. Her heart fluttered in response to his wanting gaze, and when his lips met hers, it nearly leaped out of her chest.
His kiss was soft, sweet, and lingering. Just enough to make her want more, but instead, he pulled back and stared at her.
After a few beats, he spoke. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought of you in the past year. How many times I’ve wondered if I was ever going to see you again. I tried to find you, but I don't even know your last name.”
Her heartbeat ratcheted up a notch. He'd actually sought her out.
"Jonas. My last name is Jonas."
The man’s dark eyes were mesmerizing. She’d been lost in his gaze in her dreams more times than she could count, and now here she was, lost in the depths of his mahogany eyes in real life. She didn’t want this moment to end, yet she knew it would. It was only a matter of time before they’d be separated again, which was why this couldn’t go any further. She should stop it now. She needed her brain to convince her pleading heart it was of no use before she got in too far and couldn’t get out. They could never be together. It would never work, and she had to accept that. The memory of her nearly twenty-year marriage that fell apart was a perfect reminder that her role as a time travel Protector would be too much for any relationship to bear. Yes, for both her and Blake's sake, she could not let this go any further.
If that was the case, why did she find herself wrapping her arms around his neck and pulling him to her?
His mouth found hers again, only this time his kiss was firmer, hungrier, and turned hotter with each beat of her heart. His talented tongue explored delightfully in her mouth, and she couldn’t help but wonder how it might feel probing other areas of her body. Heat surged in her core, spreading like wildfire. She kissed him harder. Years of pent up passion flowed out of her as if she had no control. His large hands roamed her body before they settled on her buttocks and squeezed. The cloth barrier between her flesh and his needed to disappear.
As if he’d read her mind, he gripped her shirt and pulled it from beneath her waistband and yanked it over her head so quickly their lips hardly had to separate to complete the task. Following suit, she stripped him of his shirt.
Gliding her fingers over his hard-muscled abdomen, she paused when she reached the button on his trousers. What am I thinking? I’m not; that’s the problem. Did she dare go any further here and now? Should she risk opening her heart and body any further to this man, knowing they could never be together in the long-term? And what if another soldier were to see them? Yeah, they were in a secluded spot, but not completely isolated.
At her hesitation, Blake stilled. “Is something wrong?”
She needed him to stop looking at her with that desire-filled, smoldering gaze.
“This. We shouldn’t be doing this.”
He edged back slightly but kept his hands on her hips. His eyes stayed glued to her. “Why not? Because of having to stay on full-alert to ward off Evan and protect my great-grandfather?"
Ariel shook her head. "No. I'll know…we'll know when Evan's close. We'll know when we have to spring into action. Like you said, that eerie sensation Evan brings with him can't go unnoticed."
She heard his audible swallow. "So then you just don’t want to?”
Good Lord, she’d never wanted anything more, but the practical part of her brain couldn’t get over the unusual circumstances surrounding them. There was a chance that after this mission she would never see him again, and she didn’t know if her heart could handle that once she gave herself fully to him. She wasn’t built for casual romance or romps. When she gave herself physically to a man, to her, that meant she wanted to give her whole self to him—body, heart, and soul. Deep down, she felt he was like-minded, but their positions as Preservers and Protectors could very well dictate they would have no future together. Their roles came with a destiny in which they had absolutely no control.
Ariel reached up and placed her palm on his cheek. “I do want you, but…”
“I understand. I don’t know how this works either. I feel such a strong connection to you, and I fear I’ll never see you again when this mission is over. For the past year, I’ve read every piece of information on time travel I could get my hands on to figure out how I could see you again on my own terms, but I came up empty. Is there any way to do that?”
She debated telling him how her mother had once spoken of a special power her Protector grandmother had which allowed her to access a time period without being summoned. But then, she’d have to tell him that it appeared most Protectors either didn’t possess the power or hadn’t yet figured out how to use it. And then she’d have to tell him that her grandmother didn't pass on the knowledge to her mother because it was frowned upon by the gods.
The desperation in his gaze had her spilling her guts.
His eyes lit up. “So, there is hope.”