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A Contest to Celebrate My Birthday

Since I’ve stopped having birthdays, I’m turning 37 again. To celebrate, I’m going to give away three copies of Re/Claimed (Doms of the FBI #3). All you have to do is leave a review for Re/Bound or Re/Paired and paste the link in the form whose address is below. Yes–you may enter once for every review you leave. The contest will run until July 20, and winners will be announced by July 21. Good Luck!

I found this picture that reminds me of a scene between Layla and Dustin. Yes, he plays the piano, and she sings off-key.

layla and dustin








What they heck, here’s an excerpt:

She moved on to the piano, a keepsake his grandparents must also have left behind. “Are you going to give me a tour?”

He shook his head. “Kitchen is behind me, bedrooms are upstairs. You can look around in the morning.”

She lowered her eyelashes coyly. “You assume I’m staying the night?”

The steel in his gaze didn’t reveal whether he disliked her demeanor or her question. “Are you wearing underwear?”

“You’ve wanted to ask me that all night, haven’t you?”

He crooked a finger. Part of her thrilled at his alpha move. The rest of her resisted it.

She sat on the piano bench and opened the fallboard. “Do you play?”

If he were her dominant, he wouldn’t have allowed the evasion. As it was, he waged an internal struggle before joining her on the bench. She pretended not to notice. His thigh pressed against hers, and she felt the tension drain from her body. “Of course. Do you?”

She didn’t have a piano in her house, so it was a fair question. “Not really. I had lessons when I was little, but I don’t think I remember too much.”

He kissed her. As before, he brushed his lips across hers, promising more than he delivered. “We’re going to have sex tonight.”

“I know.” She allowed his statement because it was true. “But you’re going to let me get comfortable first.”

“You’re nervous. Why? We’ve done this before.”

“Not at your house. Not vanilla. I haven’t done this in years.”

He chuckled. “I hear it’s like riding a bike.”

She linked her arm through his and rested her cheek against his shoulder. “How about you play something for me?”

He dropped a kiss on the tip of her nose and grabbed a songbook. “Okay, but you have to sing along.”

Layla wasn’t sure what proposal stressed her out more—vanilla sex or singing with Dustin. This was so outside her normal realm of what might happen on a date that her brain short-circuited. He was treating her like a friend, someone he could be goofy and silly with, cut loose and have fun with, not like someone he wanted to sleep with.

She was still trying to make heads or tails of this development when he started tickling the ivories. The song was one of her favorites. Her attention flew to the sheet music for confirmation.

After the intro, he sang. His tenor was pleasant. It reverberated through her body, washing her nerves with its soothing tone. When she didn’t immediately join him, he elbowed her gently in the ribs to remind her of her obligation. Though she didn’t have too high an opinion of her voice, she entered on the next line. “‘It’s the heart, afraid of breaking, that never learns to dance.'”

By the time they finished, the same shivers that ran up her spine when Bette sang were running rampant, and she wondered if he’d chosen it for its message. He sought to encourage her to take an emotional chance with him—just as he was doing with her.

A song like that required a few moments of silence afterward. Layla gave it that because she was still stunned that he’d chosen to play it. “How did you know I like that song?”

A devious smile played around the corners of his mouth. “You were singing it the last time I broke into your house. I stood behind you, listening for almost a full verse, and you never turned around. Though you did throw back your head when you cut loose.”

She didn’t want to ask, but she knew deep down that he’d learned the song because of that night. Emotion welled up, closing her throat. She swiped at moisture that leaked from her eye.

Dustin put his arm around her. “How about something less serious?”

Then he started in on a song she didn’t know, but when he got to the line that went, “You were giving me head on an unmade bed,” she burst out laughing.

“You wish.”

He paused and gave her a sideways look. “Pull up your dress and put your leg across mine.”

It was an order. A jolt went through her system, and moisture surged between her legs. She had to put her foot down and draw boundaries before things got out of hand. “You can’t order me around.”

Without missing a beat, he tried again. “Please pull up your dress and put your leg across mine.” His tone had been the same. He probably knew how it affected her. She supposed it would take him some time to get used to not being in charge.


I’m Michele Zurlo, author of over 20 romance novels. During the day, I teach English, and in the evenings, romantic tales flow from my fingertips.

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