Tag Archives: Awakenings

Zurlo Vault Grows!

Greetings Weblings,

You may or may not have noticed, but Hanging On and Irrepressible Force are no longer available. The rights have reverted to me, and due to Siren’s clause about how they own the setting and characters of Awakenings (or whatever specific BS they listed as their interpretation of a clause that no other publisher interprets that way,) Hanging On is now in the Zurlo Vault. When it reemerges sometime after Dec 2018 (when the entire series reverts to me), it’ll be different. Like Letting Go, Hanging On was originally written in first person. It was a stronger narrative that way, as you’ve seen with Hanging On 2 (which I refused to change from first person). Anyway, when it surfaces again in 3.5 years, it’ll be a lot better than the original, which was pretty darn good if I do say so myself. (In case you’re wondering, I plan to retool Two Masters for Samantha, which goes in the vault Dec 2015, and Time to Pretend, which goes in the vault in March 2016. Stepping Stones, Surreal Neal, and In Their Hearts will NOT be reissued, though elements of their stories may show up in the originals.)  Similarly, the Daughters of Circe series will also not be re-released once rights revert back to me.)

Irrepressible Force will not be reissued. That is a story I never felt turned out quite the way I wanted, and so I’ve changed it all. The characters and setting are the same, but the plot/conflict is completely different. I’ve beefed up the roles of some supporting characters, changed some, and introduced others. With the original, I was directed to spice it up with more sex, and perhaps that’s what didn’t quite fit. The new version, called Blade’s Ghost, has fewer sex scenes, but they’re better–more sensual and much hotter. I’m really pleased with the way it has turned out. That reminds me–I need to call my cover artist and get her to work on the cover for it. I may put it out in August or move the release date to September so that I can take a well-deserved vacation at some point this summer. I haven’t had one in five years.

Anyway, that’s today’s update. Now back to working on Doms of the FBI #4 (Jordan and Amy’s story.)

With love, Michele

Alternatives to Letting Go

Some of you may have noticed that Letting Go is no longer available for purchase. Normally when a contract period is up and the rights for a book revert to an author, the author can revise and self-publish the book. However, the former publisher of Letting Go interprets the right of first refusal clause differently from other publishers. They insist that nobody else (not even the author) can publish the book until the rights from every book in the series revert back to the author. Because I cannot afford a lawsuit to protest this interpretation, I’ve decided to pull Letting Go from circulation. As the rights from all books in that series revert, I’ll be pulling them all. By the end of 2015, Hanging On and Two Masters for Samantha will no longer be available. I have plans to significantly revise the first four books and republish them after December 2018, when the rights to book 7 will revert to me. Books 5-7 will not be republished once they’re gone. I plan to incorporate elements of them into the revisions, so all is not lost.

I like to force myself to look at the glass as half-full. On the plus side, I’ll be able to significantly revise them and publish them according to my original plan. My imagination runs a bit darker than the parameters set by other publishers, and I no longer have to change my writing and plotting style to suit someone else’s guidelines. Freedom comes at a price.

ReBound-FJM_Low_Res_500x750In the meantime, if you’re looking for some quality BDSM love stories, check out my Doms of the FBI series. They’re romantic suspense, so there’s an added element of danger. I have plans to expand that series as well. I’m purchasing the rights to book 2, and then I’ll put out book 3. Book 4 is in the works, but I don’t expect to have it done until 2016. Maybe late 2015. It depends on whether I change careers this year.

Kiss Me By Moonlight
Kiss Me By Moonlight

If you’re craving the angsty feel of a heroine and hero who make mistakes, love, and grow–if you want to laugh and cry–check out the Kiss Me Series. It doesn’t contain BDSM, but it’s a damn good story. Lacey and Dylan are two of my best creations.banner rough1

If you’re looking for some hot menage action and an action-adventure storyline, check out Dragon Kisses. Some of my readers who have said they don’t usually go for paranormal or shifter romancesgave it rave reviews. It’s definitely a different kind of shifterromance, and it’s more my style–especially book 3, which will tug at your heartstrings and make you cry.

Janus 14-15

Janus was the Roman god of gateways and beginnings. He had two faces, but on him they were a good thing. One face looked back, contemplating the road just traveled, and the other face looked forward, dreaming about the future.

Kiss Me Goodnight cover

Kiss Me By Moonlight

2014 was a good year for me. It saw the release of two mainstream romances, the Kiss Me series, easily two of the best stories I’ve ever written. Critics loved them, though they didn’t sell very well. Oh well–they were a labor of love, and I remain devoted to Lacey and Dylan. Their story made me laugh and cry, and their journey was equally heartwarming and heartwrenching.

2014 saw the launch of my own small press, Lost Goddess Publishing. At present, I’m keeping it small. I’ve taken on two other authors to publish, and that means I’ve transitioned to editor as well as writer. I don’t think that job is for everybody, but I turned out to be surprisingly good at helping authors flesh out their stories. And I’m a whiz with commas. I wasn’t always able to claim that title. Working with Nicoline Tiernan has been great. (No, she’s not me, but she is one of my closest friends.) Her writing and her style have evolved a lot in the past year. If you like MM and haven’t picked up Tristan’s Lover yet, you’re really missing out. I’ve also begun an occasional blog series called Dirty Grammar, where I discuss grammar while using examples from adult scenes.

Tristan's Lover 5002014 also saw the first of my backlist returned to me. Loose Id returned Re/Bound to me. I tightened it up a bit, mostly tinkering with the ending to make that last scene work better. It finally clicked, and the Amazon reviews for it skyrocketed from 12 to 30. As it’s available for lending on Kindle, it’s not available for sale through other venues. It was briefly nominated for the Golden Flogger award until the person who nominated it (who runs the conference) discovered it was originally published in 2012, and so it was disqualified. Ah, well. It was an honor to have been briefly nominated. Re/Bound is one of my favorite novels, and I’m just happy people are enjoying it.

ReBound-FJM_Low_Res_500x750Janus also looks forward, so here’s what I have planned for 2015–

January-February-March will see the launch of my new menage series, Dragon Kisses. Right now it’s a trilogy, but my beta readers have used strong language to indicate the series should continue. The premise behind it is science fiction-ish: Five humans wake up one morning to find they’ve been transported to a world where dragon shifters (Zmaj) keep humans as sex slaves. They feed on human sexual energy. Book 1 is told through Cassie and Niall’s eyes. We get to know the new world and the dragon culture. Both Cassie and Niall fall in love with the dragons who claimed them, and of course they balk at the idea of being sex slaves. The menage part comes from my scientific mind: There’s no way a 600-pound dragon can shift into one person. That ignores the law of conservation of mass. Six-hundred pounds can shift into 4-5 humanoid shapes, and so each dragon shifts into 3-5 aspects. The aspects may have separate bodies, but they function as one person. It’s quite an interesting concept that I hope you’ll come to enjoy as much as my beta readers did.

Book 2 follows Arabella, who is captured when a rival group of dragons raid the human settlement next to Zmaj. She has amnesia, and though Tobin initially lies to her about their relationship, they eventually fall in love–and that puts them both in danger from the Inamanida King, who treats humans as disposable flesh. This story also follows Jonathan, a man who was born on Zmaj and finds his world turned upside down when it’s revealed that his biological father was a dragon. Not only does he have to contend with coming of age and becoming a shifter, but he must deal with Laurel–the woman he likes who is terrified of dragons.

Book 3 brings all those storylines together. Arabella and Tobin are in Zmaj, where they’ve fled. Attack from the Inamanida is imminent. Not only do they want revenge on Tobin, but they want to destroy the Zmaj warriors who are protecting the few humans on the planet. Laurel is forced to confront her fears and her feelings for Jonathan. Cassie and Niall’s lives are put on the line as well. I meant for this to be the conclusion of the story, but some things happened that I hadn’t foreseen, and it leaves things open for more to the stories.

2015 will see the return of five Siren-Bookstrand titles to me. Some will be revised and re-released. Others will go away forever. Lettting Go should come back to me in February. As my first published novel, it hold an extremely special place in my heart. It will go away for a couple of months as I get ready to relaunch it. I’ve already done a lot of revisions to make it fit my original vision, and I’ve added parts in response to readers who’ve written me about it. I’ll also get back Hanging On, Irrepressible Force, Tomorrow Cries (under another name), and Two Masters for Samantha. I’m pretty sure I’m getting some Loose Id titles back–Re/Paired and perhaps the Oasis series (though there may be another year on that contract.)

2015 will also see the third book in the Doms of the FBI series finally come out. I’ve been sitting on that one for two years because, as I’ve realized, writing while under the influence of a concussion isn’t the best idea in the world. It’s been majorly overhauled, and at last I have the story I want. Call me picky, but you’ll be glad for that when you finally read it! I’ve already begun brainstorming book 4 in that series. Amy will finally get her happy ending.

Best Wishes for a Happy New Year! I hope it’s the best one yet!

Love, Michele

Attention: Letting Go Fans

I’m working through revisions for a reissue for when rights are returned to me next Feb/March. I’m changing some things–well I’m changing quite a lot of things (like making it first person and expanding that last scene). Question–Some sex is alluded to, especially their first summer together and when she takes him on a tour of sex clubs. Would you like to see that become explicit? It would lengthen the book. Also, would you like to see it released as one novel or in serial form?

Excerpt from In Their Hearts

Here’s some heat from Two Masters for Samantha 2: In Their Hearts (Awakenings 7)

Story Excerpt:

mz-a-tmfsintheirheartsMusic drifted from Stef’s room, and his door was open, so she went inside without knocking. His back was to her, and he was dressed in a suit, which meant he was heading out for work soon. As it was Monday morning, she wasn’t surprised. It had been a rare occurrence for them to both take three days off in a row. The weekend had been heavenly.

She approached from behind, enjoying the sound of Stef’s off-key singing, and slipped her arms around him.

He broke off and turned in her embrace. “Hey, gorgeous. I was just about to pound on Lex’s door and ask if you needed rescuing.”

The image of him barging in to find her tied up, gagged, and at Lex’s mercy made her knees weak. His definition of rescuing her probably meant joining in. She giggled and pressed a kiss to his lips. “I’m here now, if you’d like to rescue me.”

She rubbed her bare mons against his package.

He groaned, but he didn’t move to take things further. “I can’t, Sammy.”

At that moment, she noticed the suitcase on his bed, wide open and half packed with fresh clothes. She pushed him away. “You’re leaving? You didn’t say anything about traveling this week.”

“I know,” he said, reaching for her. “It wasn’t planned. An emergency has arisen.”

She smacked his arms away, a move that might get her punished. Good. It would make him miss his flight, and that would be his punishment for keeping this from her. “Did someone die? Because I can’t think of another reason that would constitute an emergency. For Christ’s sake—you just got back!”

He held his hands out, beckoning her closer.

She perched one hand on a hip and scowled.

“Sammy, be reasonable. This is a huge deal. We have to handle this just right or we’ll lose it.”

She pressed her lips together, but her attempt to censor her thoughts was futile. She lost her battle with her temper. “This is bullshit. You have lots of people who work for you who could go. And besides, it’s always a huge deal. How many huge deals do you need before you’ve made enough money?”

“Sammy—”

“Don’t ‘Sammy’ me! You have billions of dollars. You bought me a fucking island, and you didn’t even bat an eye at the sticker price.”

“We negotiated very good terms,” he said. He closed the distance she had put between them. “Honey, don’t be angry. We’ll be home in time for the weekend.”

Hot tears pricked the backs of her eyes, and her nose twitched. She struggled not to cry. Her shoulders slumped, and she let Stef put his arms around her. “I’m not angry.”

Just like that, she wasn’t angry. Her underlying emotion came to the surface. She was hurt.

“Is she okay?”

Samantha turned her head to find Lex standing in the doorway with a suitcase on the floor at his feet. Her stomach dropped. “You’re going, too?”

Stefano huffed out a long breath. “You didn’t tell her?”

Lex shook his head. “I thought I’d let you break the news.”

Stefano regarded his brother with his lips pressed together, but Samantha didn’t care if they fought. Too many emotions whirled through her. She tore away from Stef’s hold, stormed past Lex, and went to her room. Her sanctuary. This was the one place in the house where she was in charge. It was turning out to be the place where she slept the most often.

Adult Excerpt (Explicit):

After hanging up, she rushed into the room to find Stefano setting his briefcase on the floor next to the sofa. He glanced up at her, a huge smile on his face.

“I like this,” he said. “Having you here makes a huge difference, Sammy. I have a reason not to linger in a meeting or with the client.”

She looked behind him, a question in her eyes.

“Lex will be along shortly. He got a call in the lobby that he had to take.” He stroked the edge of his thumb up and down her arm. “I need you, honey. Right now.”

She stripped off her jacket, shivering with residual chill and anticipation. Her shirt and skirt followed, but those she folded neatly over a chair. She had dressed for fine dining.

With one hand on the back of her neck, Stef shoved her down over the sofa. She felt his cock nudge her entrance. She wasn’t quite wet, so the first thrust hurt, but after that, she was fine. He fucked her hard and fast.

“You’re not allowed to come.” He ground out the command as he pumped himself into her. “Tighten around me.”

She did, and that made it even more difficult to resist the siren’s call of her climax. Focusing on the ugly painting across the room, she controlled her breathing and managed to withstand his onslaught. The feel of his warm semen bathing her insides brought her enough fulfillment.

He pulled away, and cool air stirred against the places that were warm from his touch. “Stay like that.”

He rummaged through a drawer that contained their toys. She heard water run and the telltale wheeze of a lube bottle that was almost empty. Time for a run to the store. The silicone toy nudged her back entrance. She breathed out to let it in, and she ended up gasping. It was the widest one they owned, and her Doms rarely used it. The thing hurt going in, and it took her several minutes to adjust to it. She couldn’t walk or sit. Moving was usually too difficult. The toy ensured she was going to “stay like that.”

The door opened again, but it was to her back. She trusted that if anybody was in the hallway, Stef would shield her naked body.

“Hell-o,” Lex said. “What a nice surprise.”

“You’re welcome,” Stefano said. “I’m going to jump in the shower.”

“Sure.” Lex had already lost interest in his brother’s plans.

Samantha wondered if they’d coordinated this, or if they were making it up as they went along. She felt his caress along her bare bottom, and then she heard the rustle of fabric that told her he was lowering his pants.

“No coming,” he ordered.

It wasn’t confirmation that they’d planned anything. Lex and Stef often did the same things to her, and she knew they had no idea how in sync they were with one another.

“No coming,” she repeated. “Got it.”

He also took her fast and hard, pounding into her with such vigor that sitting in the restaurant was going to be a challenge. Sometimes she took one of the circular blowup pillows to ease her discomfort.

The plug added another dimension to the experience. Every time he surged forward, he shoved it deeper into her, fucking her doubly. It was easier for Samantha to hold off her orgasms with vaginal sex than anal, and when they were combined, she struggled not to come. Sharp tingles shot up her spine and her head grew dizzy, sure signs she was about to lose it. She breathed in short, harsh gasps, trying to stave off the inevitable.

Lex climaxed before she lost control, thank goodness. As he came inside her, she sagged over the sofa in relief. That’s when he spanked her.

He started off by punctuating his smacks with soft caresses of her thighs, butt, and lower back. The intensity of each blow varied, making it impossible to predict what was coming next. She braced her hands on the sofa cushion and held on for the ride. Her backside burned pleasantly, and when he centered the blow over the plug, it was too much.

“Please,” she begged. “Not that. You’re making it so hard not to come.” When he didn’t alter his actions, she tried again. “Lex, please!”

The smacks came harder and faster, and she knew they’d soon reach a crescendo. She also knew that Stef had returned, and he was responsible for at least half of the blows.

“Stef, please! I want to be good.”

Just like that, the blows ceased. Two sets of hands righted her. The room took a moment to come into focus as her blood returned to normal flow. They held her steady until she could stand on her own. Now her ass and thighs burned, and she felt wonderfully used.

They stroked her, caressing her as a reward. Lex took her into the shower with him. She held up her hair and let him wash the sweat and the smell of sex from her body. He even took out the plug, laughing when he realized what Stef had done.

“I think Stef is in a particularly sadistic mood tonight.”

The redness on her ass bore witness to the fact that Lex was in the same mood. She was sore, incredibly horny, and she’d be walking funny for the next hour, but she didn’t mind. It had been a while since they’d played hard. Her soul rejoiced at the chance to serve them like this.

She put her arms around Lex as they exited the shower, and she pulled him to her. “I love you, Alexei Morozov.”

He kissed her tenderly, his earlier harshness erased by her declaration and submission.

A brief knock on the door interrupted them. Lex reluctantly released her. “Do you have the device of which we spoke?” he asked in his best imitation of an evil scientist.

Samantha turned to find Stefano holding a metal contraption. She recognized a chastity belt. This particular one had places to attach dildos that would occupy her front and rear entrances, and that’s exactly how Stefano put it on her.

Lex rubbed her hip. “How does it feel?”

“Cruel and unusual. I’m already horny as hell.” And they were locking her out of even being able to rub her thighs together to find some semblance of relief.

“Good,” Stefano replied. “That’s close enough to depraved and diverse. By the end of the night, you’re going to be mindless with need.”

Samantha sighed. “You’re evil. Both of you.”

Alexei put his arms around her. “That’s exactly how you like us.”

Yes, it was.

Buy from BookStrand today: http://www.bookstrand.com/two-masters-for-samantha-2-in-their-hearts

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Excerpt from Surreal Neal

Excerpt from Hanging On 2: Surreal Neal (Awakenings 6)

Story Excerpt

mz-a-surrealneal3Neal fell asleep three hours into the flight. I didn’t know where he’d stashed his return ticket, but he had it tucked away somewhere. He’d slept at his aunt’s house last night, and we’d missed having him in our bed.

Drew and I watched him, crashed on his first-class seat. We’d been holding hands and chatting, but now we lifted the arm rests, and I scooted closer. He slung his arm around me, and I snuggled my head against his shoulder.

Though he’d woken me early to have sex before we finished packing for our eight a.m. flight, I wasn’t tired. The idea of having Neal to ourselves on a tropical island sent my libido into overdrive. If we’d been on a private jet, I would have ordered Neal to strip, and we would have begun our vacation early.

“I’m glad we invited him,” Drew whispered to me. “This feels different—being with him.”

Yesterday Drew’s parents had come over, bringing Lila, their daughter who lived out of state and had surprised them with an impromptu visit. We hadn’t talked too much about our night withNeal, and by the time our unexpected guests had left, we had been too exhausted to do more than go to sleep.

“Yeah,” I agreed. “Very different. I wonder if it’s because he’s only ever been ours together?”

Drew considered this aspect. “Maybe. Or maybe it’s just him. He’s the first one who has made me look forward to participating in any kind of S&M scene.”

“We could do that on the island. I don’t think our room has dungeon furniture. We’ll probably have to go to one of the public areas, and I don’t know how he’ll react to that. He might like to watch us, but I’m not sure if he’d want to be put on display.”

The hand Drew had parked on my hip stroked slow circles through the fabric of the comfortable yoga pants I’d worn for the long flight. “I thought that kind of thing wasn’t up to him.”

This was a conversation in which we had engaged before. I sighed. “Everything is up to him. He has the ultimate veto power.”

Drew thought about it, and I was pretty sure it was for the first time. It wasn’t that he’d ignored me for four years. It was more like the information hadn’t been relevant. That had changed. “Like when he agreed to a spanking or when he showed me how to pull on his sac.” Drew nodded as he made sense of what had happened. “Okay, I get it. I’m not sure I understand this new urge I have to do those things to him.”

I smiled into his shirt, and I knew he felt the move. “You know he gets off on it. The power rush comes from giving him what he wants, but on your terms. Think about how it made you feel to deny him an orgasm and then push him so that he couldn’t stop it from happening.”

Drew shifted in his seat, and I knew he wanted to adjust himself, something he refused to do in public. This kind of talk was turning him on.

“You had no intention of letting him get to six,” I continued. “You set him up to take a spanking, and you both knew that’s what was going to happen. He consented because he enjoys the challenge, but also because he wanted to be spanked.”

With his trademark cocky grin on his lips, Drew leaned over and planted a kiss on my forehead. “I think I’m going to enjoy this vacation a lot.”

ADULT EXCERPT (Explicit)

She slapped a handful of condoms into my palm. “Take these to Drew.”

I headed to the bedroom, but Mistress didn’t immediately follow. Drew waited for me on the bed, his naked body arranged decadently on his side. His hair was tousled and his cock—this was my first clear view, and good Lord it was thick—lay along his thigh. The sculpted muscles of his physique left no doubt that he worked out daily. I wanted to touch him everywhere with my lips and hands.

He crooked a finger, inviting me closer. I climbed onto the bed and handed him the condoms. He chuckled and let them cascade from his hand onto the sheet. “Sophia has set the bar high.”

I looked at the pile. It was more than a single man could use in an evening if he wasn’t concerned about his dick falling off. “She expects us to use all of them?”

“Yes. She’s insatiable. Now come here and kiss me like you did earlier.”

That kiss had rocked my world. I arranged myself next to him, our thighs and stomachs almost touching, and I kissed him. No tentative foray, no teasing—I dove right in. He rolled toward me, pushing me to my back, and settled his weight on top of me. Our hands roamed, seeking and exploring, sometimes moving quickly, and other times slowing down to savor a texture or reaction.

After a while, Drew sat up, kneeling between my legs. Wordlessly, I handed him a condom. From the foot of the bed, Mistress handed him a bottle of lubricant. I had been so wrapped up in Drew that I hadn’t noticed when she’d joined us.

She laid down on the bed, propped on her elbows, so that her face was near mine. “Do you prefer to be on your back or stomach for this?”

Between my legs, Drew rolled on the condom and squeezed a dollop of lube into his hand. I wanted to see him when he took me. “This is fine.”

She kissed me, a brief bout of passion, and then she moved her lips down my neck and over my chest. Then she skipped the good part and got to her knees. Drew captured her lips for a heated moment, and then she sat back out of the way.

He hiked my legs up to expose my anus. His fingers were gentle as he smeared the gel over and into that muscle. Mistress handed him a towelette, and he wiped away the excess. Then he positioned his cock at my entrance. The pressure almost sent me through the roof. My dick throbbed painfully. I needed to come so badly.

The moment he breached my opening, tingles shot up my spine. I exhaled a hard moan. “You feel so fucking good.”

He grunted. The veins on his neck stood out. He pushed all the way in.

Mistress translated. “He says you feel good too.”

Drew set a moderate pace, fast enough to keep me on the edge without pushing either of us over too quickly. Mistress sprawled along my right side, her dark, damp hair spilling onto my shoulder. She watched us both, alternating between studying Drew’s face and mine. Desire darkened her irises to nearly black.

When having sex with two amazing people, it was difficult to not have ADD. Everywhere I looked was hot and tempting. From Mistress lying next to me, stroking herself, to Drew, hovering above me as he thrust harder and faster. My gaze met his, and he ensnared me. I couldn’t look away as pleasure overtook him and he buried himself all the way. His body shook as he thrust one more time and shouted, spilling his seed into the condom. He withdrew and collapsed, rolling to my left side.

Mistress stroked my hair, moving the locks that were stuck to my forehead. “How close are you?”

Unable to catch my breath, I panted. “Seconds, I think.”

Her mouth was around my cock before I finished speaking. I had been about to assure her that I could hold out for longer, but the sight of her lovely lips wrapped around my dick did me in. Lifting my hips, I thrust into her mouth and came. She moaned, swallowed, and sucked harder, draining me of every drop. The edges of my vision went fuzzy.

Excerpt from Stepping Stones

Excerpt from Letting Go 2: Stepping Stones (Awakenings 5)

STORY EXCERPT

mz-a-steppingstones“What the hell are you doing?”

He glanced up, lifting a brow at her unusually colorful language. She almost never swore when they weren’t in a scene.

“Fixing the sprinkler head. It’s watering the side of the pool house instead of the grass.”

She stomped her foot, hating the gesture even though it made her feel a little better. “I mean last night. And this morning. If you’re mad at me, I wish you’d just yell or spank me or something.”

He rose to his feet, his lanky legs unfolding as he stood up, and wiped his hands on his jeans. “I’m not mad at you, Sabrina. You said you didn’t want to go. I’m respecting your wishes. Last night you were strung so tight I thought you were going to snap. I knew you weren’t going to fall asleep without help. And then when Ethan called for you and you didn’t get up, I figured you were exhausted, so I got him out of his crib and we let you sleep.”

No tension stiffened the lines and planes of his body. His olive gaze showed patience and a little bafflement. He truly wasn’t upset with her.

She shook her head in disbelief. The resort was something he’d talked about on and off for years. “You didn’t really want to go?”

He shrugged. “Doesn’t matter. You don’t want to go, and I would never make you do anything you don’t want to do. I love you, honey. If we go, we go because we both want to be there.”

Oh, but she wanted to be there. She just wanted to not have stretch marks or sagging breasts first.

“Sabrina, what’s holding you back?”

Startled, she stared up at him. He’d always been able to read her. Sometimes that skill brought endless thrills. Other times it revealed secrets she’d rather keep to herself. Shaking her head, she said, “It’s nothing.”

“It’s not nothing. You’re about ready to cry right now, and that’s not like you.”

It used to be like her to hold in her emotions, swallow whatever bothered her and pretend like it didn’t exist. She folded her arms over her chest. “I don’t think people should see me naked. It’s not a pleasing sight anymore.”

His dark blond brows shot nearly to his hairline. “You’re serious?”

 

* * * *

 

Though she was easily one of the most attractive women on the planet, Jonas knew better than to argue with her. She required proof, not words. So he narrowed his eyes, took a step closer, and went with a different strategy.

“Why does it matter what anybody but me thinks?” He didn’t add that he was her husband and her Dom, and his opinion was the only one that counted where she was concerned. There was no need.

Her eyes widened. Shades of brown swirled as she realized her mistake. She dropped her arms down by her sides and cast her gaze to her feet. “It doesn’t.”

Threading his fingers, grease and all, through the hair at the nape of her neck, he yanked hard to bring her gaze back to his. Tears prickled at the corners of her eyes, but they were the right kind. Her shoulders relaxed, and she gave herself over to his control.

“Clearly, it does. You’re refusing to go on a proper honeymoon with me because you think other people might not find you attractive. If you think I’m going to share you, you’re sadly mistaken. I will kill any man who touches you, Sabrina. Make no mistake, my opinion is the only one that matters, and I find you very attractive.”

“No, I didn’t mean that.” She scrambled to reassure him, and he had to suppress a smirk at how well she responded to his reassuring taunts. “I meant—I—I—Damn it, Jonas. I have stretch marks all over the place.”

He leaned down, not stopping until his face was inches away. “Each one of them proclaims to one and all that you belong to me. You’re my wife. My submissive. The mother of my children. You will wear them proudly as the badges they are.”

Perhaps that was pushing things a little far, but truthfully, he didn’t think they stood out. Maybe they would if he held a black light next to her skin, but he had no intention of doing so. From his frequent and close inspections, he knew she had a few on her inner thighs, her ass, and across her stomach, and maybe one or two on her breasts and hips. They were parts of her, and he loved all of her. And he knew better than to tell her about the ones on her ass. She hadn’t yet discovered them.

She trembled so hard he felt the shockwaves radiating across the small space between them. He knew she wanted him to treat her roughly, to make her forget about everything that was bothering her, but he refused to do that until everything was right between them.

“I’m just not as confident about this as you are.” She touched his shoulders and traced the line of his muscles over the triceps and biceps. “You’re still very toned and handsome. You can’t possibly know how I feel.”

The thing about being married to a smart woman was that she changed tactics mid-discussion. He resisted the urge to turn her over his knee. She’d like that too much. He knew she wanted to go. The brief gleam of excitement in her eyes told a different story from her mouth. If this was the only thing holding her back, then nothing was holding them back. He wasn’t going to allow this to derail his plans.

Instead of responding to her statement—there was no way to win using that avenue—he nodded, indicating that he’d reached an inarguable decision. “I’ve arranged for your mother and my parents to watch the kids. We leave in one week.”

“Jonas—”

He set his finger over her lips. “This discussion is over.”

 

ADULT EXCERPT (Explicit)

 

Sabrina peeked out the window of her breakfast nook. In the distance, past the deck, the trellis bursting with tangerine and white roses, and a large expanse of lawn, the sun glinted on the water, beckoning her closer.

With the kids at her in-laws for the afternoon, she had some free time, and it had been a few days since she’d been able to get in a good, punishing workout in the water. She opted for a bikini—the hot-as-hell pool boy was due sometime today—grabbed a towel, and rushed to the pool.

As she got closer, she noticed the man with a long pole stuck into the water, and she slowed her pace. Too late. Now she would have to wait for the pool boy to finish cleaning it before she could swim.

With a sigh, she heaved herself onto a lounger and sent a baleful look in his direction. He wasn’t supposed to show up until later, after she’d worked out. She had plans to pull herself, dripping wet, out of the water, throwing her hair back so that the sun caught some of the highlights. She’d squeeze away the excess, letting it drip over her breasts to draw his gaze to the gentle swells there.

He’d ruined everything by showing up early. There was so little variety in her life. She spent most of the day looking after her one- and three-year-olds, and the chance to put herself on display to torment the pool boy was one opportunity she hated missing. While her afternoon wouldn’t be completely ruined, she did prefer to do things her way.

After all, a girl had to have fun, right? Her husband worked long hours and traveled all the time, so she had to get her kicks however she could.

“Good afternoon, Mrs. Spencer.” He grinned at her from across the pool.

He wasn’t wearing a shirt. She spent some time admiring the way his lithe, lean muscles bunched and strained as he methodically worked his way toward the far end of the pool. The tan darkening his skin testified to many hours spent under the punishing rays of the sun.

Her gaze traveled lower, taking in the way his shorts hung low on his hips. Too low. One tug and she’d catch an eyeful. The hipbones jutting forward were tanned as well. It made her wonder if his gorgeous ass enjoyed the same freedom.

“Armand, I thought I told you to not wear those shorts anymore. They’re positively scandalous.” She spoke to him in a tone that managed to be both haughty and lazy. “And put a shirt on. My husband will not look kindly upon you if he sees you walking around here almost naked.”

He didn’t respond. Nothing in the set of his shoulders or the tilt of his mouth gave her a hint as to his reaction, but she knew he had one. She knew he’d heard her. He hadn’t stopped looking at her for a single second.

After forever, he extracted the vacuum from the pool and set it on the concrete patio. Ever so slowly, he rounded the pool, not stopping until his shadow loomed over her. This close, she could see the danger glittering from his olive-green eyes. They were hazel normally, but they tended toward green under most circumstances. When he was feeling amorous, they often turned topaz.

“Mrs. Spencer, your husband is half a world away. And you know as well as I do that you like when I wear these shorts. You think they’re sexy. After all, you bought them for me.” Like a cobra, his hand shot out. He caught the end of the string tied behind her neck to hold up her bikini top, and he tugged.

She felt the small pop that indicated it was no longer tied. She knew she should put her hands over the fabric to shield herself before he peeled the scrap of material away, but she was paralyzed by the hard expression on his face. The planes and angles that made up his face were what some might call handsome. She might think it, but she knew better than to say it to his face. And his lips were positively sensual. She imagined what they’d feel like traveling down her neck, sucking her nipple inside, and then slipping lower.

“Armand, this is highly inappropriate. My husband wouldn’t like this.”

The mask slipped away for a second, revealing Jonas’s humor at her remark. They hadn’t planned to role-play today. She knew he was pleased with her improvisation, and she loved how quickly he’d understood both what she was doing and what she wanted from him.

“He’s a busy man, your husband. I’m doing him a favor by putting you in your place.” With that, he tugged again, and the strings holding up her top came loose. “I’m going to make you beg, Mrs. Spencer.”

Oh lord, she was moist. It only took one look from him to make her knees weak, and he was using it on her now. Thank goodness they’d stocked the pool house with the necessary equipment.

She’d wrangled her hair into a braid to make it easier to get under her swim cap. Reaching back, he grasped her by the long rope and pulled, urging her to stand up. He turned her around, so that her back was to his front, and he guided her back against him. Only then did it become apparent exactly how hard his muscles were. Before she could think to struggle, he banded one iron arm around her midsection.

Because she was half a foot shorter, her head fit neatly under his chin. He rested it on her now, another tool to keep her close. “Last chance, Mrs. Spencer.”

“Really?” She didn’t honestly think he’d let her off the hook so easily. Men as dominant and virile as this didn’t take kindly to her haughtiness.

He chuckled, a low, sinister laugh. “No, not really. Your fate is sealed.”

With that, he peeled away the fabric clinging to her breasts and squeezed one hard, his callused palm scraping her sensitive skin. She whimpered with the effort it cost to not beg for more.

He ground his pelvis into her ass, and she realized he was hard and ready. That could only mean one thing.

Excerpt from Time to Pretend

Excerpt from Time to Pretend (Awakenings 4)

STORY EXCERPT

 

Gentle hands trailed along her hips. Heat seared her back as those hands traveled upward and moved her braid out of the way. When a second set of lips seared her neck, she realized Evan was behind her, kissing her neck while Daniel claimed her lips.

With a startled gasp, she jerked away from both of them. Her actions bordered a little on the violent side, but she didn’t care if one or both of them suffered bruised lips.

Anger made her body and her voice shake. She pointed an accusatory finger at both men. “You did this on purpose!”

Daniel held his hands up in a supplicating gesture that managed to also be condescending. “Lainie, there’s no need to get upset.”

“No need? You lied to me!” Her gaze bounced between Daniel and Evan. “You both lied to me. You used me, and you lied to me.”

Evan took one step forward, but he checked himself when she took another step backward. “Alaina, honey, we didn’t use you. We aren’t using you, and we didn’t lie to you, not really.”

“Not any more than you lied to us.” Daniel turned off the sauce boiling on the stove and crossed his arms over his chest. The popping sounds from the boiling concoction slowed and stopped.

Alaina’s sharp intake of breath should have been warning enough, but Evan shot Daniel a warning look just the same.

Daniel ignored them both. “Lainie, we wanted you to get to know us separately before you had us together.”

Her wildest dreams were coming true, but she was too angry to take solace in that fact. “Did it ever occur to you to let me in on your little plan beforehand, Daniel? You go on and on about hating women who play head games, yet this is exactly the kind of thing you bitch about.”

He took a step toward her, but she backed around the island counter. He stopped, letting her have something between them. “This is different, Lainie. We’re both in love with you. We both want a relationship with you, and I think you want a relationship with both of us, too. Why don’t you just calm down now?”

The world exploded in red as Alaina’s fists came down on the counter. She wasn’t the kind of person who yelled, but she definitely had the lung capacity when she needed the volume. “Calm down? Damn it, Daniel! You both used me for a one-night stand, and then you both came back for another night. I’ve been out of my mind, confused by the fact I was falling for both of you and afraid of hurting either of you and afraid of damaging your friendship, and you expect me to calm down when I find out you planned this all along? I’m a woman, not a blow-up doll!”

Daniel’s face had taken on that ruddy undertone it got whenever he lost his temper with her. Curiously, Evan seemed completely unaffected by their angry outbursts.

Planting his hands firmly on the counter opposite Alaina, Daniel leaned closer. “So we went about this the wrong way. It’s not like we’ve ever done something like this before. Cut us some slack.” He glanced at Evan before focusing his gaze back on Alaina. “Or at least cut me some slack. You don’t seem pissed at Evan.”

She growled, a snarling sound she’d never made. “He didn’t even know me when you invited him into my bed. At least he fell for me honestly. He treated me with dignity and respect. I’m sure this wasn’t his idea.”

Evan’s shadow fell between them, diverting the flow of anger that seemed to amplify between Alaina and Daniel. Needing to know his place in all of this, she lifted her face to meet his gaze.

“It wasn’t my idea, Alaina, but I wasn’t against it. After I met you, I was all in. I’ve never shared a woman with anyone, not even Danny, yet the idea of the three of us together just seems so right.” His blue eyes searched hers for something. “I know you’re angry. You have every right to be. Maybe we went about this the wrong way. We’re sorry we hurt you. But we’d like to ask you to put that aside for now and seriously consider having the both of us in your life.”

“You made me feel like a slut.” Hurt suffused her quiet words. Alaina no longer had enough anger to power her lungs.

Daniel’s aggressive stance relaxed. “Don’t say that, Lainie. It’s not your fault. We’re just irresistible.”

Alaina sighed at Danny’s attempted levity. Her gaze fixed on her hands still curled into fists on the countertop. “I’ve never had casual sex, not once in my entire life before I met you.”

Evan rested his hand over her fist. She didn’t unfurl it, and he didn’t force the issue. “What you have with us isn’t casual.”

Just like that, a switch was thrown in her head. She understood what they had done and what they were offering. This was her dream. This was what she wanted. It didn’t seem quite real, not yet.

 

ADULT EXCERPT (explicit)

 

“Touch Daniel, sweetheart. I want to watch you suck him while I fuck you from behind.” He caressed up and down her spine with his fingertips, sending waves of electricity straight to her nipples. “Are you okay with that?”

She leaned back so that his arms cradled her, and he planted a string of kisses on her neck. “Anything, Evan.”

He rested his cheek on the top of her head. “You can ask for things, too, Alaina.”

She laughed lightly. Daniel closed his hand around his erection and pumped it slowly. Her breath caught. “For now, just being with both of you is what I want.”

Daniel’s hand froze. He impaled her with a hard stare. “For now?”

She crawled across the narrow expanse of bed separating them. Using one fingernail, she grazed a path along his inner thigh. “For now, Danny. Later, I’m sure I’ll have a lot of requests. You know how demanding I am.” Steel was softer than her tone. She didn’t like the fact they weren’t telling her they were both bisexual and in love with each other. Not wanting to ruin the mood, she favored him with a soft smile to make up for it. “For now, I’m content with letting you call the shots.”

Before he could say anything, she bent down and licked the pearly drop of pre-cum beaded on the head of his cock. He sucked air and rested his hand on the back of her head. Giving head to Danny was something she enjoyed, and she wanted to prolong the experience.

She licked the length of him. She held him with one hand while the other caressed his sac. His hips rose from the bed, thrusting into the air, and his hand tightened in her hair. She loved him with her mouth, letting her lips wander where they pleased. She flicked her tongue over the sensitive skin of his balls before sucking one into her mouth. This wasn’t something she had ever done before, but she figured Daniel would like it.

She was right.

“Fuck, Lainie. If you keep that up, I’m going to come in your hair instead of your mouth.”

Behind her, Evan trailed kisses over her back. He was such a gentle, compassionate lover. She wondered if Daniel topped Evan or if it was the other way around. There was no telling with these two. In a lot of ways, Daniel seemed to be in charge, yet Evan had no problem calling the shots, either.

Evan’s strong hands moved her hips and legs, positioning her to receive him. She cooperated, and when she heard the foil package rip open, she finally took Daniel into her mouth. She sucked hard, pulling him in as far as she could and wrapping her hand around the base.

Her hips lifted. Evan’s fingers probed her slick opening, positioning his head at her entrance. She moaned in anticipation, and Daniel’s grip pulsed in her hair, loosening and tightening in time to the rhythm she set.

One powerful thrust, and Evan filled her. Alaina made soft sounds of pleasure and need in the back of her throat, urging him to move. Finally, he pulled out almost completely and stayed there, teasing her with the promise of more.

She glanced up at Daniel to find his gaze locked behind her, and she knew Evan was taunting Daniel as much as he was teasing her. Daniel’s body writhed under her onslaught, and the expression on his face pleaded with Evan on her behalf.

Then Evan moved. He pumped into her, matching the rhythm she used with Daniel. Tight coils of pleasure swept her away, and Alaina forgot all about the silent communications between her lovers. When Evan slowed down, she sucked Danny slower. When he increased his pace, she matched his actions.

Noises, cries of pleasure and impending climax, came from all around Alaina. The noises Evan wrung from her were absorbed by Daniel’s rock-hard cock. In a torrent of heat, she came. Cream rushed down her thighs, her vagina milked Evan’s cock, and still he didn’t stop.

Daniel came next. Hot semen shot to the back of her throat. She swallowed it and licked him dry. He groaned beneath her.

Lifting her head, she glanced up at Daniel once more. She watched him watching Evan thrust into her body, prolonging the spirals of pleasure pulsing throughout her core. Her arms were too weak to hold her up. They trembled, a prelude to dropping her.

Evan hooked one arm under her torso and lifted her so that her back rested against his chest. He kneaded her breast, tweaking the nipple with soft pulls. Her head flopped back against his shoulder as he repositioned her legs on either side of his so that she essentially sat on his lap.

The gentle urging of Evan’s thumb on her chin had her turning her face toward him and opening for his kiss. He ravaged her, worshipping and claiming her at the same time. His hand trailed heat down her front and parted the lips of her pussy.

He tickled her lightly, teasing circles around her clit until she couldn’t hold in her moans anymore. Only then did he release her from the endless kiss and press the pad of his fingers against her swollen nub.

“Oh, Evan, yes. Don’t stop.”

He didn’t. Beneath her, his hips pumped, and she matched his rhythm. His stiff cock jabbed a shallow thrust into her sweet spot as his fingers created a friction designed to leave her boneless.

Alaina opened her eyes to watch Daniel watching them. Desire blazed, and it seemed to hold equal parts for Alaina and for Evan. Having Daniel watch heightened the experience. She wanted to climax for herself. She wanted to please Evan, and she wanted to put on an unforgettable show for Danny.

Excerpt from Two Masters for Samantha

Excerpt from Two Masters for Samantha (Awakenings 3)

STORY EXCERPT

mz-tmfs“You’re not Alexei.”

His brows rose high. “Why would you say that?”

She noticed he didn’t deny it. “Because you’re not.”

“I know,” he said. The surprise faded, replaced by an honest, open appreciation. “But what makes you think I’m not?”

Samantha shook her head. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it. “You’re just not. I don’t know how to explain it. Who are you, and how do you know me?”

It was a valid question. He didn’t just know her name, he seemed to know her. Before he answered, she realized that Alexei must have told his brother about her.

He offered his hand. His right hand. Alexei had offered his left to Jonas to shake. “Stefano Morozov, at your service.”

The door behind Sam opened and closed again. This service entrance was far more popular than it should have been. Sam glanced over her shoulder to find Alexei inches away from her back. His hands came to rest on her hips.

He wasn’t looking at her. He stared over her shoulder at his brother.

Stefano’s smile didn’t fade. “She knew I wasn’t you. She wouldn’t kiss me.”

Trepidation made the few sips of wine Samantha had managed to drink churn in her stomach. She didn’t want to cause a fight, especially not between brothers. Glancing back at Alexei, she tried to turn to face him, but he held her in place with the pressure of his hands on her hips.

His smile matched Stefano’s in brilliance and intensity. “I promised her a kiss she wouldn’t forget.”

There is was again, that subtext Samantha couldn’t read.

“Alexei, I…”

Alexei silenced her with a finger to her lips. One hand held her, keeping her from turning. “There’s no need to get upset. We’re very pleased you could tell us apart.”

Samantha’s frown never had a chance to manifest. The finger on her mouth moved, and he gripped her cheek and chin. His lips descended.

She expected him to brush against her lightly, but this wasn’t a cautious foray. His strong lips molded to hers. His tongue pressed against her lips as the hand on her cheek massaged the muscle of her jaw, insisting that she open to him.

Electric sensations flowed through her body. Sam wanted to turn, to press herself against him, and to feel his arms enveloping her body. The hands on her hips and at her waist prevented movement. Alexei’s tongue swept into her mouth, tangling with Sam’s and wrangling it into submission.

A soft moan sounded deep in her throat. He took that, too.

With one hand, she gripped a thick thatch of that deliciously black hair. She threaded the fingers of the other through the ones possessively holding her hip. Melting into him, she relaxed what was left of her guard.

As if sensing her complete surrender, the hands on her body moved, turning her at last. She leaned forward, wanting to feel him against her, but the hands pulled her back until a solid chest supported her that way.

Samantha stiffened. She had forgotten they weren’t alone.

“Relax, Sammy.” Soft words breathed against her neck. Lips brushed against the sensitive skin there, fulfilling another promise. “Lex is going to give you that kiss now.”

“But I… Why are you still here?” The bliss of Alexei’s kiss faded as her lack of comprehension grew. There had been too many hands on her body for them to have belonged only to Alexei.

Stefano’s chest rumbled against her back, the low-toned laugh barely registering in the audible spectrum. “Lex and I share everything—our faces, our careers, our women. You won’t regret it, Sammy. Lean against me. Let me hold you while Lex gives you that kiss.”

Her brows drew together. “Hold me?”

This time, Stefano’s mouth closed over hers. His kiss was different from Alexei’s, softer and reverent, though no less demanding. Samantha responded to him on a primal level, opening to him without thought or internal struggle. It was the first time in her life she’d ever done anything as wanton as kissing two men in succession.

 

 

ADULT EXCERPT (explicit)

 

Samantha breathed easier, pleased and relieved that Stefano accepted her decision without arguing. She didn’t expect them to completely avoid alpha male behavior, especially after what they had done to her on that tiny patio. She trusted them to make sure everyone got what they needed.

Stefano bent his head and kissed her shoulders. His lips whispered a caress on her bare skin. She brought her hand up to caress his shoulder, but he wrapped his hand around her wrist and held it next to her thigh. His right hand came up to cup her right breast. She wanted him to knead it, to play with her nipple, but he only held it in his palm.

On the other side, Alexei did the same thing, holding her wrist at her side even though she hadn’t moved to touch him. His kiss began at the same point on her shoulder, but where Stefano’s lips traveled along her shoulder to the back of her neck, Alexei’s kisses headed straight for her mouth.

They turned her so that she faced Alexei. She opened her lips to let Alexei’s tongue inside. Liquid heat spilled from his mouth into hers, riding on the tongue he thrust between her lips. Samantha moaned and opened to him even more. She relaxed her body, melding it to his.

Behind her, Stefano kissed a line down her spine. His hands rested on her hips and his thumbs traced patterns over her ass. She felt him shift to kneel behind her. The heat of his mouth fastened on the fleshy part of her rear end, and he sucked hard.

Samantha whimpered into Alexei’s mouth. The sharp pinch had felt so damn good. She did like a forceful lover, but she didn’t want to give these two permission to do all the things to her that a Dom did to his sub. She wasn’t ready for that.

Hands moved over her body, and Samantha soon lost track of who touched her where. Sensations ran rampant. She relaxed into the dual embrace, forgetting to care who kissed where until one of them moved away from her.

Samantha protested the loss. She opened her eyes, fastening her gaze on Alexei’s cobalt blue irises.

He caressed her cheek. “It’s okay, Samantha. We’re going to move you over to the bed.”

Without another word, he guided her backwards across the room, his luscious body pressing against her the entire time. He stopped before her knees bumped the edge of the mattress.

“Get on the bed, Samantha. Kneel over Stef.”

Sammy turned her head to see where he wanted her. Stefano had undressed completely. Broad shoulders topped a defined chest. A light sprinkling of hair began at his nipples, thickening as it flowed to surround his fully erect cock. He lay across the bed with his feet resting on the floor. Holding out one hand, he beckoned her closer. Lazy bedroom eyes added a sensual layer to his order.

She climbed over the bottom of the bed to put her hand in his. Behind her, she heard the distinct sounds of Alexei undressing. She wanted to watch his striptease the same way he had watched hers, but Stefano tugged her closer.

“Up here,” he said as guided her to straddle his face. His hot breath caressed her dripping folds. “I’ve wanted a taste of this since the patio. Lex said you have an incredible flavor.”

He licked his lips and gripped her ass. His long thumbs reached around to part her lips. His gentle touch elicited a fresh gush of cream. He played with the folds of her pussy, releasing his hold on her rear end to run his fingers along the surfaces of her wet and waiting pussy.

She hissed when his questing fingers found her clit. He barely touched it as he ran the tip of his finger over the most sensitive part of it.

“Harder,” she said, fighting the urge to press down and force the friction she craved. “I need more.”

Below her, Stefano chuckled. “Honey, you’re going to get plenty, but not until we want to give it to you.”

Raising a brow in challenge, she pressed one finger to her clit and rubbed it back and forth. She needed more or she was going to go crazy.

A hand on the back of her neck pushed her onto all fours, forcing her to abandon her masturbation attempt. “None of that, Samantha. You’ll come when we say you can come, not before.”