Book 2 in the Turn Up the Heat seriesReed Brody is head of the geek squad for the local police. At work, he's intense and driven; after hours, he can't help but use that same drive in his sex life. Too bad he can't find a woman interested in a few bondage games.Halli Wilson is a quiet coffee shop owner who also hosts sex-toy parties on the side. Too bad she can't find a guy man enough to tie her up and take her down.Halli only bargained for a month. Reed's never wanted forever. Two people determined to keep it light make the biggest mistake of all by falling in love.
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Ellora's Cave Publishing, Incorporated
November 13, 2009
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Adobe DRM EPUB
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Excerpt from Scalded by Desiree Holt
With one last look at her packed cases, Halli knew the sales of dildos, cock rings and anal lube would push her profit margin over the top. The money would put her one step closer to buying the house she'd been dreaming about and getting out of the small cramped apartment over her coffee shop, Jolts. Though the free rent hadn't hurt her savings either. The sex toy parties more than made up for the declining economy. People always, always had time and money for sex or sex toys.
Four years ago she would never have dreamed of making money this way, but back then she hadn't known her dream house really existed. Not until she'd found it surfing local real estate listings. Now that Halli knew it was out there waiting for her, she'd do whatever it took to make it her own.
Too bad Halli didn't understand the fuss herself. Oh, she could talk the talk, but she'd never walked the walk. Too timid to bring up sex toys to her past lovers and too uptight to try them out by herself, Halli relied on satisfied clients in order to glean the details.
Did it make her a freak that she wanted a little bondage? Wanted to dump the responsibility for her sexual pleasure on a man's lap? She wanted to be teased and touched until she begged for the release only her lover could provide.
Too bad that lover didn't exist. Most men didn't like admitting to needing anything more in the bed besides their cock. Halli didn't think toys took away from their masculinity, only added more intimacy to the joining. It sucked that they needed so much convincing.
"So, how did it go tonight?" Tina Devers, her hostess for the evening walked back into the room after showing the last guest out.
Halli smiled at the older woman, not able to stop the wide grin forming on her lips. "Who knew tax attorneys could get so kinky?"
Tina laughed, her gray-streaked hair tumbling wildly around her cheery face. "We can party with the best of them, honey. Don't let anyone tell you different."
Fanning a hand in front of her face, Halli laughed with her. "After tonight my lips are sealed."
"Good." Tina gave Halli a friendly pat on the back. "Now, let's get this stuff in your SUV. I can't wait to try out my new toys with Ricky."
A sliver of envy caught her unawares at the mention of Tina's husband. After so many years together they still shared a passion and friendship that made her yearn for a connection like that of her own.
Desperate to shut down that mental picture before it could form, Halli grabbed the top case. "Don't you dare grab one, Tina. These things weigh a ton. Plus, it's my only form of exercise today."
"Nonsense. If you won't let me help then I'll yell for Ricky." She put words to action yelling her husband's name.
Within seconds the barrel-chested retired police detective ran into the room. "Tina, honey, what's wrong?"
"Nothing, Ricky, I just wanted you to help Halli lug out these cases. The poor girl's been on her feet all day serving coffee. Then she came straight over here for my party. It's amazing she hasn't fallen over yet."
Heat crept up her cheeks as Halli listened to Tina's exaggerated version of her day. Granted she'd been up early in order to open Jolts, but she hired people to sling the coffee while she normally stayed in her office playing catch-up with paperwork, coming out to help when the rush hour crowds showed up or spelling an employee for break or lunch.
"She works too hard," Ricky agreed. "Hey, honey, Reed's on his way over. He had some questions about an old case I caught a few years ago."
"Ricky," his wife of thirty-four years whined, "I have plans for us tonight. I opened a bottle of wine and everything."
Rick looked a little confused until Tina jerked her head to the case he carried. A red flush crept up his cheeks as his wife's meaning caught on. "Oh....uh...okay. I'll try and catch Reed before he gets here."
"Good, 'cause you won't be answering the door once the lights go out. You'll be real busy, lamb-pot." Tina purred to her spouse and Halli wanted to dash out of the house with her ears covered.
One major drawback to hosting these parties, people forgot to censor their tongues around her. They said and did things they'd never dream of repeating in public anywhere.
The party tonight had lasted longer than normal, but the women and their open checkbooks more than made up for any tiredness she felt. Still she wanted to go home, crank up her computer and check up on her dream house.
"Sure, honey. Halli, don't tell me you carried these trunks in here all by yourself?" Ricky tugged one bulky plastic container and hefted it into his arms. "These things weigh a ton."
"It's my only form of exercise, Rick. Besides they're not that bad." Grabbing the white handles Halli lifted the next case and followed her friend's husband out the door.
"Not bad, my ass," Rick complained good-naturedly.
The trip from the couple's living room to her small hybrid SUV took only a few minutes. Soon they had the cargo area filled. With the last of her product tucked safely in a smaller plastic case under her arm, Halli said goodbye to her host.
The lighted walkway leading from the door to the driveway lent a sense of safety as she contemplated her future plans. Her dream house crept closer with each party she gave and the more products she sold. Soon, so very soon, she'd be able to buy a king-size bed and have a place to put it.
Her small cramped place now did double duty as both apartment and storage space for Jolts. Her personal space was crammed in between cases of coffee and creamer and her small twin bed and mini fridge.
One of her favorite pastimes was to click on the little slide show posted on the real estate agency's site. Her dream house was just over twenty-five hundred square feet. She didn't care if it was more room than one person needed. The place had two porches--front and back--a large stone fireplace in the living room, professional chef's kitchen, and a lovely backyard complete with swimming pool and hot tub.
The master bedroom and bath were any female's ultimate fantasy with giant walk-in closets, double sinks, walk-in stone shower with its decadent five showerheads. The tub, almost big enough to swim in, came with massaging jets, heat lamps and a shelf for a flat screen television.
Another couple of parties like this one and she'd be able to put thirty percent down on her dream.
Caught up in her visions of home and leg room, Halli didn't notice the tall figure striding toward her, his form just out of the comforting circle of the security lights.
When hard hands grabbed her shoulders, Halli jerked back, let out of yelp of fear and threw her arms up in an automatic protective gesture. The plastic tub fell to the ground with its lid flying open. Anal beads, wands, lubes, handcuffs, silk scarves and nipple clamps scattered around her feet.