Elayne S. Venton
The fates are on Lorie Walker's side when she pulls long-term duty with the hunk of Space Station 5423, Dodd Henderson. Or maybe she's not so lucky. Their space capsule is drifting in a black hole and the gauges are nonfunctional. The odds of survival are slim whether they try to break free of the void or await help. Dare they take the time, perhaps the only chance they'll ever have, to explore the suppressed passion between them? Or will a diversion from their recovery efforts doom them?
Aria's life on the mining world of Iyon is harsh. Her future made bleaker when her father gambles her away in a dice game. Refusing to accept a prostitute's fate, she flees into the night--and ends up in Raeder's and Haven's arms.
They're a fantasy made flesh--or a nightmare waiting to happen. After a night of unparalleled pleasure, she learns of their origins and runs from them, only to realize she's faced with a choice--listen to her heart, or to the rumors about the men who call the closed desert world of Adjara home.
Reader Advisory: Contains scenes of graphic male/male sexual interaction.
Lonely widow Vanessa d'Aulaire reads Professor Robert Woodcock's marriage manual and marvels at its absurd, inaccurate statements. Determined to set the professor straight, she invites him for tea, only to learn she was his teacher ten years ago. Rob's schoolboy crush flares into a man's passion as Vanessa tutors him in pleasuring a woman.
Vanessa's stepfather is pressuring her to marry one of his friends. But how can she consider marriage to an elderly widower when her secret liaison with Rob fills her with sensual delight?
Return to Xander
Mia has ached for artist Xander since she broke up with him. She never expected to find him stripping at a club. Xander isn't pleased to see Mia but that doesn't stop him from having hot sex with her. When Mia shows up at Xander's studio, she agrees to a challenge--she will stay and pose for portraits. Xander plans to paint her, use her, then throw her out. But old emotions return. Mia needs to convince Xander she will do anything to be with him or they'll lose out on love.
Cindy Spencer Pape
When Sorcerer Cian hears a siren's song on a cool Toronto night, he has no idea his life is about to change forever. Lyra's life has been a long cycle of loneliness and meaningless encounters with mortals. One night with Cian turns that life upside down. Can their night of passionate sex turn into a love that will last forever? Together they work to find a way, challenging even the gods themselves for their chance.
Dakota was devastated when she caught her fiance with another woman, so she heads to what she thinks is familiar ground for a little rest and relaxation.
Sebastian and Dimitri Cordova are surprised when they stumble upon an unknown woman bathing in the bridal pool in White Valley. The sacred waters are used only to help prepare a woman for joining with her new mates--werewolf mates. Determined not to leave her to suffer a sexual awakening on her own, the brothers do what any good werewolves would do. They claim her as their own.
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November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from Jewels of the Nile III by Jory Strong
"Cryonic thaw is complete," a computerized voice droned into Lorie Walker's foggy brain.
The solid, curved front cover on her freezing chamber slid open with a soft hiss, allowing the warm air of the ship to wash over her cold body. She squinted against the light glowing from the emergency lamps inside the compact spacecraft. When her eyes adjusted, Lorie blinked at Communications Specialist Dodd Henderson's back as he floated just above the gravity-enhanced floor in front of the control panel, typing at lightning speed. Completely engrossed in his work, he didn't seem to hear her soft groans as she stretched her stiff arms and legs.
For a long, unfocused minute, she admired his wide shoulders, trim waist, contoured buttocks and long muscular legs showcased within his snug, shiny gray flightsuit. In the four years she'd worked on Space Station 5423, Dodd was the only man who'd made her pulse race. Luck had been on her side when the Interplanetary Defense Council reassigned them to Pluto IV together.
Or maybe not. Her gaze shifted to the black expanse outside the cockpit window. A shiver trickled across her shoulders. Where were the stars, the streaming comets and floating asteroids? She'd never seen space so dark, so empty. So lifeless.
This is what purgatory must look like.
She rubbed her cold arms in an attempt to chase away the bone-deep chill. After taking a deep, lung-filling breath, she stepped out of the cryotube on unsteady legs. The door hissed closed behind her. The unusually weak suction in the gravity-enhanced floor threw off her equilibrium. She slapped a palm on the hull wall for support.
Dodd spun around as if surprised to see her, and then relief eased the strained lines on his face. "Thank God I'm not in this nightmare alone." A muscle jumped in his tight jaw. "Simulation training didn't prepare me for this."
Lorie cleared her raw throat. "Where are we?"
"In a black hole."
An Excerpt From: PASSION'S SONG
Copyright (c) JORY STRONG, 2008
Restlessness rode Raeder du'Faerin. It howled along his nerve endings with the same force as the sandstorm battering and rubbing against the outer walls of the tribe's tent city.
He wasn't the only one on edge.
Men he claimed as friends looked up, their expressions ranging from guarded to hopeful as he passed where they gathered in small groups, waiting--as he waited--for the council to finish its contemplations and send word to those who'd be lucky enough to claim a female, a third joined to a pairing that had already proven itself stable and useful to the tribe.
Among the Faerin, there was no petitioning for a joining as there was among some of the other tribes on Adjara. The Faerin elders met in council, listened to reports from the scouts--men who traveled to other planets in order to locate and identify the females who should be brought into the tribe--then decided which bonded pair of males would take her as their third.
The council's decisions were final. Its word, law. And the matching of a given female to a pairing wasn't subject to negotiation, only to acceptance or rejection.
Raeder had never heard of anyone turning down the chance to add a third, though occasionally a pair returned to their home world without the female they'd gone to claim. It was not an outcome he understood or found acceptable. It didn't matter whether the females were initially willing to be brought to Adjara or not--in the end they all made a place for themselves in the tribe and most found great happiness.
As he drew near the tent that was home, Raeder's hand went to the erection hidden beneath the loose folds of the robe he wore during those months when the tribe lived in the desert. Anticipation turned his thoughts away from the council elders and their deliberations.
Raeder knew even as he reached for the tent flap that he'd find Haven inside--waiting not on the council's decision, but for him to return home so they could spend the time when the sandstorm raged making love.
An Excerpt From: PRIVATE LESSONS
Copyright (c) SOLANGE AYRE, 2008
The innocent must seek out the innocent. To this end, young men must strive to come to the marriage bed untainted. They should engage in healthy sports and pleasant, energetic pastimes to sate their animal natures. They must avoid spirituous liquor, billiard halls and, most importantly, Scarlet Women.
Professor Woodcock's Guide to Success and Happiness in Marital Relations (1st edition, 1893)
"Pour out the tea when I ring the bell, Annie--not before," Vanessa d'Aulaire said, stepping into the kitchen. "I detest lukewarm tea. Once you've brought in the cucumber sandwiches and macaroons, you may take the rest of the afternoon off."
"Yes, ma'am." The cook wiped her hands on her apron and turned back to the stove, muttering something under her breath about "improper clothing" and "looks like an evening gown with that low neckline".
"It's an afternoon dress, not the least unsuitable," Vanessa said. "Royal purple is quite acceptable for second mourning."
Annie's arms went to her hips and her lower lip pushed out truculently. "That color is red, Miss Vanessa. Scarlet-red. Your mother would be rare mortified to see you wearing such."
"But she isn't here, nor will she and my stepfather return for three days," Vanessa answered, maintaining a pleasant tone.
"'Taint proper to entertain a man without your parents here," the cook continued with the freedom of a longtime servant.
"I'm a widow, not an innocent girl." Her voice turning stern, Vanessa added, "I am expecting the professor at two o'clock. Please show him into the parlor upon his arrival." Wishing to hear no more chastisement from Annie, she left the room with a swish of her velvet skirt.
Entering the parlor, she seated herself on the blue settee, arranging her skirt becomingly. She glanced around the room, observing the garish hangings and ornaments with distaste. She and her mother had never seen eye to eye, either in home decoration or in her mother's choice of second husbands.
She plumped the pillow beside her. "Jesus Loves You," the cross-stitched wording on it read. He was the only one who did, in this house.
Sighing, she reflected on how much happier she had been in her own home.
She stroked the mourning brooch on her bosom, the onyx stone surrounded by hair from her deceased husband. "Bertrand, you left me too soon," Vanessa murmured. The thought of the handsome older man, with his loving words and kind eyes, made her blink back tears. Eighteen months had passed since his death. Although she missed him, she longed to rejoin life again.
She remembered a day when Bertrand had said, "Life is short, ma belle," then kissed her ear in a way that made her tremble. "We must pursue pleasure while we live, for surely it is God's gift to us."
Professor Woodcock did not share her deceased husband's admirable philosophy. Vanessa picked up the professor's book from the marble-topped table. The poor man, she thought as she skimmed through the pages, pursing her lips at several of the professor's more absurd statements.
Men! Too many of them thought they knew everything in life, from her tyrannical stepfather to Professor Woodcock, with his many erroneous ideas about women.
An Excerpt From: RETURN TO XANDER
Copyright (c) ROWAN WEST, 2008
The club smelled of excited women and raw men. Mia didn't particularly want to spend the evening surrounded by sweat and alcohol but, as maid of honor, giving the bride what she wanted was part of the job. Her friend Helen had wanted a bachelorette party on Ladies' Fantasy Night at Club Odeon, so here Mia sat, playing with a tiny paper umbrella and trying to make small talk over the pounding music. Although the club usually catered to a male clientele and had female strippers, once a week the tables were turned and male strippers took their clothes off for a female crowd.
So far they had downed three rounds of fruity drinks and been entertained by a pirate named Jack Spear-Oh then Officer Cuffs, the hot cop, and Mr. Grades-Me-Hard, the teacher you would do anything for to get an A. The exotic dancers were young, sexy and good at parting women from their money. Mia had nothing against a fun night out with the girls but she'd had a busy week at work and a lonely month since the end of her last relationship. Okay, maybe six weeks of sporadic dates and lackluster sex were stretching the definition of relationship but that was as good as it had gotten in the last couple of years. At least building her new business made her happy. It wasn't keeping her warm at night but she looked forward to work every day.
"Time now, ladies, for your next fantasy," the announcer broke into her thoughts. "Picture the scene. It's afternoon. You're relaxing on the couch with a book and a glass of wine when the doorbell rings. You're not expecting anyone but you go and answer the door anyway. And who should be there but Mr. Overnight--our special delivery guy!"
To cheers and whistles, out walked a hunk wearing a recognizable brown delivery uniform and carrying a huge box. A cap shaded his face. He started the dance moves that were already becoming familiar at this point in the evening, gyrating around the stage, making certain all the women had a good look at him. And there was plenty good to look at. Tanned and muscular, he must have stood over six feet tall. The low visor of his cap made it tough to see the upper part of his face from a distance but a shadow of stubble covered his lower jaw. Poking out from underneath the cap, his dark hair looked short and wavy, the kind that allowed a man to towel dry and instantly look great. When he ripped off his top, Mia saw that, unlike the other dancers who had gone before him, he hadn't shaved his chest and her eyes were drawn to the smattering of hair and the dark line that arrowed into his brown shorts.
An Excerpt From: SORCERER'S SONG
Copyright (c) CINDY SPENCER PAPE, 2008
From the balcony of his penthouse apartment, Cian looked out over the city. Waves crashed and rolled on the Lake Ontario shore. He loved Toronto, this young but vibrant city. It was a good headquarters for his various companies and charity foundations as well as his mystical research. Lately though, he'd been restless--almost as if there was something he was missing or something he was supposed to do. Maybe it was time to pay a visit to the family home in Ireland. Or even take a vacation, perhaps somewhere warm and sunny.
He listened to the waves and sipped his drink. His grandmother would have a fit if she knew he favored Scotch. She believed that nothing good could come from those barbarians across the Irish Sea. Cian considered himself a true son of Erin, but he wasn't about to give up his aged single malt. Not even for Grandmama. Barbarians the Scots may be--at least in her eyes--but they sure knew how to brew whisky.
Thinking of Grandmama reminded him of her prediction last New Year. He glanced down at the Celtic tattoo that banded his upper arm. Entwined in the knotwork was his sorcerer's mark. When that mark appeared on another, and his own turned red to match, he'd know he was mated. It was still green and black. So far, so good.
A whisper of sound brushed against his ear. Was it music? His better-than-human hearing focused in on the beach. There was something out there. Something almost...calling him.
"Black is the color of my true love's hair..."
A voice. Possibly the most hauntingly beautiful voice he'd ever heard. She was singing a song he'd heard back in Ireland as a child. It was a love song, but his mother had altered the lyrics to sing to him as a baby, in honor of his dark curls. The voice singing now, however, was seductive rather than maternal. It was strong, pure and richly feminine.
"His smile is like the roses rare..."
A deep powerful need filled his body, hardened his cock. He didn't understand it, but he had to find the woman who was singing. He had to see her with his own eyes and touch her with his own hands.
"He has the sweetest lips and the strongest hands..."
Closing his eyes, he raised his hands to the night sky and summoned his power. There was a blinding flash. Moments later the world re-coalesced around him and his bare feet touched the cool sand of the beach.
An Excerpt From: WHITE VALLEY
Copyright (c) LACEY THORN, 2008
Dimitri and Sebastian Cordova followed the sounds to the bridal pool and stood hiding behind the lush foliage to watch the woman undress. Her hair was a cascade of sun-kissed brown curls that reached nearly to the small of her back. Her breasts were high and full, her stomach concave. The flare of her hips called to man and beast alike urging them to take and mount her. Her buttocks were creamy and smooth and it was all they could do to control the wolves that sought to howl inside them. She was sheer perfection and the brothers wanted her.
Who is she? Sebastian asked through his link with his brother. Have you ever seen her before?
Never, Dimitri answered. She cannot be from the Valley.
But she bathes herself in the bridal pool. Sebastian stated that fact as they continued to watch her frolic and splash in the water. It is only for those who are preparing to mate. You know what the water will do.
Dimitri's grin was carnal. Yes, we do. But I'm guessing that she doesn't.
Sebastian laughed softly. Good thing that we are here to see that she does not suffer needlessly.
You are saying that you want us to claim her? Dimitri asked just to be sure that his brother was thinking the same thing that he was.
We have reached our twenty-fifth year. It is time that we claim a mate. Sebastian turned to look at Dimitri's face. Tell me you do not want to mount her right now. Tell me that your wolf is not howling for release.
You know that it is, Dimitri told him.
It won't be long now. The waters will work their magic soon and then she will be ours. Sebastian glanced back at the woman and almost groaned when she stood from her play. Water dripped from her pebbled nipples. It clung to her body and he wanted to lick every inch of her skin before placing her on her hands and knees and claiming her in the way that his wolf demanded.
Soon, Dimitri murmured, his eyes glued to the woman as well. Soon all three of their lives would change. The bridal pool would ensure it.