Jewel betrayed Reece, the only man she ever loved, when she confessed to a murder she didn't commit. Sentenced to life on a desolate prison colony, she faces the horror of becoming some warlord's sex slave. Miraculously, she's offered an alternative. Sign on as sexual companion for a long-term space mission. She'll still be a sex slave, but only until the mission ends. Jewel agrees and is introduced to the man who will use her body for the next five years--Reece.
And contempt has replaced the love in his eyes.
Gothic Master by Request
Bound and naked in a training Master's bed, Lorelai struggles to forget her sexually disappointing and emotionally painful past. When her alluring attempts to convince the cloaked man to untie her fail, she challenges him to teach her something new.
Will the Master and his red velvet bag of training tools help her accept her passionate appetites?
Hotter Than Hell
Ellie Grant hasn't had the best luck with men, unless you count her friendship with Sam Dare--a friendship on the cusp of change as the sexy fireman challenges her to a weekend of no-holds-barred, hotter-than-hell sex.
Sam had spent plenty of restless nights aching for Ellie and he's grown tired of waiting for her to notice the attraction. As a firefighter, he knows a little something about heat and, as far as he's concerned, Ellie is the only woman who can make him burn.
Tall, dark, sinfully handsome Mikhail is fascinated by stories of the lovely whore who never climaxes. Unable to get her out of his mind, he vows to be the man who makes her scream with pleasure.
Eighteenth-century women belong to their husbands, but Nadia is determined to remain independent. Mikhail must convince the headstrong beauty to face her greatest fear--allowing him to possess her heart as thoroughly as he's claimed her body.
No past, no future, no questions. Tonight there are no words.
Devastated by betrayal, Starla is unwilling to risk heartbreak again. She hides behind a fictitious persona and arranges a purely sexual rendezvous with a coworker she's been attracted to for years. But Cole knows her true identify and the reason for her fear. He's determined to fulfill her every fantasy...then help her mend her broken heart.
The wonky thermostat at the historic bank building where Monica works is on the fritz again. Just when she thinks things can't get any hotter, a pistol-packing stud slides her a note. He's demands money while his sexy smirk demands her body's response.
Realizing that he is none other than her old boyfriend from college, there with his appearing-out-of-nowhere sidekick, the couple's former best friend, Monica gets pretty hot under the collar. But when the daring duo take her hostage and retreat to a rustic hideout, the situation really heats up.
Reader Advisory: This book includes an attempted rape scene by a villain.
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November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from Flavors of Ecstasy IV by L.A. Day
"Hell of a predicament, Jewel."
"You know me." She blinked back tears and flashed a toothy smile.
Helton took off his military-issue cap, folded it in half and laid it on the top bunk. "I do know you and that's why I know that you did not murder Semon."
Jewel swallowed the lump in her throat. Not everyone had such faith in her. "I killed him."
Ice-blue eyes narrowed. "Why?"
She hesitated as memories flashed through her mind. Semon had once assisted in saving her life. That didn't entitle him to destroy another. She shook her head and missed the feel of her flowing hair. Reaching up, she touched her short, clipped hair. She felt naked without her long locks but confinement had no place for vanity. A deep sigh shuddered from between her lips. "I was jealous. A lover's quarrel turned deadly," she repeated lies she had rehearsed.
"Bull! You weren't lovers and cold-blooded murder is not your style. You are not talking to some pansy-assed court official. I want the truth."
The colonel knew her well. He should know her well enough to realize that he couldn't break her. "It was personal." She focused her gaze on the crack that ran the length of the concrete wall.
The one-word proclamation startled her. A barely perceivable jerk of her head, the only outward sign would go unnoticed by most but not Helton. "I'm sorry I won't be around to care for her any longer." Sweat bloomed along her hairline as she attempted to keep her cool.
Helton stepped closer. "In your way, you're still caring for her. She's the one person you'd commit murder to protect."
She pursed her lips. "I'd do anything for my sister but she has nothing to do with this."
"You know you can't lie to me? What did Semon do? Did he attack Ruby? The Sage Me'lo incident unhinged his mind."
She leveled her gaze on Helton's face. "Thank you for coming, Sir."
"If you don't talk, I'll go to Ruby." He rested a hand lightly on her shoulder. "I know she's at your mother's on Alpha Four."
"Let it go," she begged and relaxed her guard enough to let her eyes plead her case.
His returning stare held no emotion but he slowly shook his head. "I can't."
"Damn you! He raped her."
The colonel exhaled sharply. "She let you take the blame for this? She let you face a UEM court-martial?"
She remembered Ruby as she had found her that day, her clothes torn and bloody. Beautiful but mentally fragile, Ruby shouldn't have had to endure Semon's touch. He'd been looking for her. "She doesn't remember and I want it to stay that way. After the attack, I took her to my mother." She poked at her chest with one finger. "I chose to protect her."
"You could have introduced the evidence even without her testimony. She's not as fragile as you think but I would have vouched for Ruby's condition and for Tre's, if I'd been informed of the hearing."
On extended leave, the colonel had been unaware of her arrest until after sentencing. It had given her an opportunity to save her sister, for she had known Helton would interfere. "It's too late."
"Jewel, they've sentenced you to life on the Awarie prison colony."
She shrugged. "I've been to worse places."
"No you haven't. Not alone and without weapons. You were a UEM officer, if you are lucky they will kill you." His gaze ran over her in a way it never had before. "I doubt it will be that easy for you. You'll be the sex slave to one of the warlords until they tire of you and give you to their men."
Jewel controlled the fear within her. She knew what she faced and her first plan of action was to give them reason to kill her. "I won't change my mind." She stared straight ahead without blinking.
He sighed. "I assumed as much, that's why I've made other arrangements."
"What have you done?"
"I have an alternative to Awarie."
She shifted restlessly. She didn't want anyone's help at the cost of their career. "I won't let you jeopardize your career."
"I haven't. The court has agreed to my offer. The publicity left them with little choice during sentencing but I've quietly arranged an amended sentence. You'll ship out tomorrow as planned but instead of Awarie, you'll transport to Alpha Space Station. I've enrolled you in a new space venture, Companion Operation."
Jewel blinked. "You're joking."
"The amendment is in place."
She released a deep breath. "I'm going free. I can pilot an Explorer?"
The colonel picked up his cap. "You'll be part of the crew."
"Oh. Of course. I lost my commission but still, I'll be free." She paced in the confined space. Freedom was a word she thought she'd forsaken.
"About that," the colonel hesitated.
She raised a brow.
"The Explorers are scheduled for five-year missions into uncharted, possibly uninhabited, space. The only human contact you are sure to encounter is at the biannual meetings with supply haulers," Helton explained without meeting her gaze.
She shrugged. "I can handle that."
"Your role on the ship is as companion."
Unease crawled up her spine as she sensed something behind his words. "What are you telling me?"
"Long years without outside contact initiated the need for Companion Operation. As you can imagine, there were few volunteers. You will be a sexual companion for the crew."
An Excerpt From: GOTHIC MASTER BY REQUEST
Copyright (c) ISABELLE DRAKE, 2009
How long would she have to wait for the Master to show himself?
Once he realized she didn't belong there, he'd untie her. He had to.
The alternative was too unbearable to consider.
All she had to do was wait.
And stay in control. Then explain.
She wiggled, trying to change positions, but it was impossible to do anything other than lie with her legs spread eagerly and her arms outstretched, welcoming.
Beside her the fire crackled, casting a soft glow across the polished wood floor. The heat drifted toward her, caressing her skin like a lover's fingers. Across the room a black velvet chaise lounge was tucked into a corner, beside it was a tall narrow table, its surface bare.
And then she saw the small rings, bolted high up on the legs of the chair. She tugged against the bindings, straining to sit up enough to see a matching ring on the front leg.
Immediately she scanned the room again, stopping on the red velvet bag beside the fireplace, then skimming across her bare breasts she noticed a narrow doorway in the corner of the room.
He was beyond that door, she was sure of it.
She could call him out, insist that he come to her.
She could do that but she wouldn't.
That would look desperate and Lorelai didn't look weak for anything or anyone. Not anymore. Not ever again. Submission was no longer part of who she was.
Pointlessly she tugged against the bindings, trying to shift the heavy comforter over her flushed skin until she finally gave up, settled back and prepared to wait however long the Master deemed necessary.
From her position, her vision was filled with the sight of her own breasts. How long had it been since she'd really looked at them?
Her nipples had become erect from all the tugging and twisting and were now pointed straight up.
Eager to be touched.
She shifted her shoulders, watching the pale mounds shake then resettle, the tight peaks pointed obediently at the ceiling, inviting and expectant.
An unwelcome quiver of want skimmed through her as she imagined rough hands grasping her feet, then sliding up her legs and dipping around to squeeze her ass before gliding up to grab her breasts.
Buried memories of her old Master surfaced--the initial thrill of being possessed, her daily chores followed by nights of fulfilling his desires. The weekends they'd spent together--her giving him everything and him still demanding more.
Sudden want left her breathless, nearly panting.
Want was the same thing as weakness and weakness led to regret. She'd learned that lesson well.
She did not want to be weak, so she didn't want to be touched. Even though her body had other ideas.
The charge pulsing through her blood, making her cunt slick and swollen, was only the aftereffects of the tea. Even now her body hummed with something that might have been desire, if she didn't have her experience to guide her, to tell her that a desire for sex and longing for love were two very different things.
Stay in control, wait and be ready, that was all she needed to do.
She turned to watch the flames and listen to the soft crackle of the wood burn. Calling on months of practice bringing peace to her mind and silencing the unwelcome, deviant hunger of her heart, she slowed her breathing and emptied her mind.
An Excerpt From: HOTTER THAN HELL
Copyright (c) REGINA CARLYSLE, 2009
Just then his doorbell rang and he opened the door to see Ellie standing there looking as cute as hell and as mad as a hornet.
She sighed and stuck out her bottom lip. "Got another one of those?"
He held up his bottle. "A beer? Sure. But I thought you hated this stuff."
Ellie marched past him, tossed the luggage that passed for a purse on an overstuffed chair and marched to the kitchen. "I do, but if that's all you've got, I'll take it. I'm that desperate." She peered into the fridge, giving him a more than healthy look at her mighty fine ass then she turned. "God! Don't you ever eat? Sam, you don't have enough food in here to feed a mouse. Where's the whiskey?"
As usual, she gave him little time to answer. She was a woman who was in constant motion. "Whiskey? That bad?" Sam reached into a cupboard and pulled down a bottle of his finest bourbon and reached for a squat bar glass. "So where's Shithead?"
He dropped a couple of ice cubes into the glass then smiled when she launched herself at him with a groan. "Why don't I listen to you, Sam? You told me. You said Scott was a jerk and I didn't listen."
God, she smelled great. He'd known she was going to a nightclub tonight but there wasn't a whiff of anything stronger than the classy-smelling perfume she always wore. He wrapped his arms around her curvy body as she buried her nose against his bare chest. Sam sank his face in her wavy hair and just breathed her in. "Ah, I'm sorry, sweetheart. What happened?"
She looked up, embarrassment sharp in her soft gray eyes. "Got dumped. He walked out on me at the club. Just left me there. Now Sam, don't go getting all pissed off. I know that look. I mean it."
Sam fought down the urge to hunt the bastard down and smash his perfectly capped teeth down his throat. "Okay. All right. I'm listening." Reluctantly, he released her to pour a splash of whiskey over the cubes in her glass. "Come on. Tell Dr. Sam all about it."
He put the glass in her hand and looped an arm over her shoulder before leading her back into the living room. Once she was settled on the couch, he turned off the television.
"Hey! You don't have to do that. You were watching that before I showed up," she protested. "Come on, Sam, don't let me ruin your plans."
Sam turned and smiled, then walked over to the stereo to turn on some tunes. Sexy, smoky jazz filled the room. "Game was boring. You, however, are as fascinating as hell." Facing her, he caught the look of dejection on her face along with something else, something that surprised him and made his heart thump hard. Her pretty eyes were focused on his bare chest. Her tongue brushed along her bottom lip and his cock instantly rose at the temptation she presented. Tonight she was wearing a short little bit of nothing skirt in a soft pink color and a matching tiny tee. She looked like a fluffy bite of cotton candy. Soft and completely edible.
Finally she switched her attention to the glass in her hand and took a tentative sip.
Mm. Interesting. Maybe he wasn't the only one who had dirty dreams these days. He was sick to death of all this friendship stuff. Making a quick decision, he sat beside her on the couch and plucked the glass from her hand to set it on the coffee table.
"Wait. I'll give it back. Let's just get more comfortable."
"I'm fine. Really."
He shook his head. "Nope. Uh-uh. You look like a woman who needs some cuddlin'." He waggled his eyebrows at her. "Come on. Let me be your teddy bear."
Ellie laughed, then gasped when he plucked her up and settled her across his lap. She stiffened a little, no doubt noting his hard-on poking her delicious ass. But then she settled back in his arms and quietly watched him as he put the glass of false courage back in her hand. "Here, sweetheart. Take another sip and tell me all about it."
As the story unraveled, he got pissed all over again but the guy was history now so he reined in his anger and concentrated on her. Tough work considering the way her soft, delicious body was snuggled up against him.
She sniffed a little then knuckled a tear from her cheek. He wished she wouldn't cry. Damn woman broke his heart.
"So, um, guess I blew it."
"Fuck that! He blew it if he couldn't realize what a good woman you are."
"What does being a good woman have to do with anything? God!" She rolled her eyes and gave him a scathing look. "I've seen the sex kittens who've tromped in and out of here over the past two years and don't tell me you guys are playing cards or something. Or having funner-than-fun missionary sex. Those women didn't look like the missionary type to me. Remember the hunk calendar that charity put out last year, Mr. April? Hot Hunks of the Dallas Fire Department? Jeez. Our street looked like a parking lot after that one. All those women showing up wearing nothing but big red bows and smiles. What in the hell would you know about anything?"
"I know a whole lot actually."
Ellie snorted and he had to laugh. Once again he took the glass and set it aside. She went very still when he looked straight into her eyes and cupped her cheek in his hand. "Let me show you."
"Shh. Don't you know I'm dying to kiss you?"
An Excerpt From: NADIA SEDUCED
Copyright (c) MADISON HAYES, 2009
"It will only be hand work," she insisted in a last-ditch effort to discourage him. It wasn't fair to charge two gold for hand work. Normally she charged one gold for much more. But Nadia wasn't trying to cheat the poor man. She was just trying to get rid of him.
Her visitor wasn't easily discouraged. "All ten fingers?" he questioned, his voice roughened with a low note of hunger. "Anywhere I want them? When and where I want them?"
His question reminded her that he was only a customer trying to get a good deal. And she was only a whore. With that in mind, she took a step backward, inside the sheltering walls of her small stone house. Though it was midsummer, the nights were always cool in her cottage by the river and she rubbed her hands down her arms to ward off the late evening chill.
Following her retreat, he moved beneath the lintel, his chin angling up a bit in the shadowed night. Enough for her to catch a glimpse of intense blue eyes reflecting the light of the single candle that flickered in her window embrasure. The eager glow of light caressed the hard angles of his lower face where his gently curving smile revealed a one-sided dimple.
By the gods, he was a fine male specimen. Black hair. Blue eyes. Tall, long-limbed and graceful, a casual strength rippled beneath his skin with every sauntering step, every confident shift of his shoulders and every self-possessed tilt of his hips. Her pulse fluttered as a lust-heavy haze settled around her. Defeated, Nadia felt her resolve crumble as she gave him a helpless nod. "It will only be hand work," she repeated in a mumble.
"We're understood then," he said in a rich rumble of sound that sent shivers of excitement down her spine.
"We're understood," she echoed. As she backed another step into the room, he followed her through the door and pushed it closed behind him. It latched with a soft click. "The room is cold," he said, eying the few sticks of wood beside the dying fire.
"I'm sorry," she apologized, twisting her hands together. "There are a few logs outside but they need to be split."
"I'll take care of that before I leave," he offered in a quiet murmur. "In the meantime, let's get this room warmed up a bit."
Squatting before the hearth, he poked at a few coals and coaxed a small flame to life. As Nadia watched, her gaze slipping surreptitiously over his muscular thighs, he reached for two splits of wood and crossed them over the lick of orange he'd kindled.
While her guest built the fire, Nadia tiptoed across the room to the window. She moved the candle to her small writing table that stood against the wall and drew the curtains closed to signal that she was engaged. Except for the two small points of light, one in the hearth and one on the table, the room was cloaked in darkness. Slowly, she moved around the dinner table that sat in the middle of the room so she could get a better look at her visitor's face. Before she could satisfy her curiosity about his looks, however, he stood and stepped behind her. She felt his fingers rub gently against her skull as he pulled at the ivory combs that held her hair.
"What are you doing?" she asked as her hair fell to her shoulders in a loose pour of dark honey. She'd never had a client who didn't get straight to business. She'd never had a customer who stoked the fire or offered to cut wood. And she'd certainly never had a customer who undid her hair.
"I'm only using my hands," he argued after the slightest hesitation. "That was the agreement, wasn't it?"
She blinked her eyes wide. "Your hands? I thought...I thought we were talking about my hands."
"Did you?" His muted voice held the sound of smooth laughter. "If I only wanted hand work, I'd do it myself and save two gold, miss. I'll tell you what, while my hands are learning all the intimate details of your body, you may feel free to put yours anywhere you like.
"No charge," he added on an amused whisper.
An Excerpt From: SILENT ABANDON
Copyright (c) AUBREY ROSS, 2009
"You hacked the DMS email server and created a fictitious persona?" Lisa covered her eyes with her hand and shook her head. "You're not going to get laid. You're going to get fired."
"It was harmless. I wanted him to know I'm an employee without revealing exactly who I am."
"Amber Star?" Lisa chuckled and lowered her hand. "Where in the world did you come up with that? It sounds like someone on a soap opera."
"My mother's name is Star!"
"She's a freaking hippie!" Lisa's expression calmed before she went on. "You should have tried a little harder to cover your tracks. You've used some variation of Amber as your screen name for as long as I've known you. Are you sure he doesn't know who you are?"
"As soon as he gave me his personal email address and IM identity, I deleted the Mercury profile. We've been using public domains for all our communication now, so I doubt my job is in jeopardy."
"That didn't answer my question. Does he know who Amber Star is?"
"I don't think so. He asked a lot of questions in the beginning, but I told him an air of mystery kept things interesting for me."
"Did he work at DMS while I was there?" Lisa asked.
Starla shook her head and glanced away. Colson Beck was her guilty pleasure and she wasn't ready to share him with anyone. "You don't know him," she lied.
"And neither do you. People can say anything on the internet."
"People can lie to your face just as easily," she reminded as Jeff's image flashed through her mind.
Bracing her elbow on the tabletop, Lisa rested her chin on her palm. "He has to have some idea who you are."
"He knows I work for DMS. He knows I attended at least one of his training sessions, but I won't confirm which one. Everything else we've chatted about has had nothing to do with work."
"I have no doubt." Lisa's gaze narrowed and all amusement left her expression. "Is he pressuring you to meet him?"
"Actually, I was thinking about suggesting it. Our exchanges have become rather...stimulating lately and I think we're ready for physical interaction."
"This is so not like you." Tension creased Lisa's brow and her thumb tapped out her worry against the tabletop. "You went out with Jeff for months before you did more than kiss him goodnight."
"And see where that got me. I did exactly what was expected of me. I found the perfect man and planned the perfect life, beginning with the perfect wedding. He told me exactly what I wanted to hear while he fucked all my friends."
"That bastard never touched me," Lisa insisted.
"I know." Starla paused for a sip of coffee. Even that assurance was small consolation after all the other betrayals. "I'm tired of hollow promises and meaningless lies. In fact I'm tired of words."
"So your solution is a one-night stand with a man you hardly know?" Lisa shook her head, a strand of hair falling across her forehead. "It will only make you more restless and discontent."
Starla released a harsh little laugh. "There's a freedom online I've never experienced before. The anonymity is empowering. It's exhilarating and addictive. I know it's not real, but I'm ready for a little fantasy. I want animal magnetism and carnal abandon. I want to speak with my body and live in the moment. Bodies don't lie. They either respond or they don't. Desire is honest. Lust is real. Beyond that... I don't care anymore."
Silence descended. Lisa stared at her with sad yet kind eyes while Starla's determination grew.
"This won't make you happy and it won't change what Jeff did to you." Compassion resonated through Lisa's tone.
"This isn't about Jeff."
"Yes it is."
"I need to feel desirable and alive. I've earned a little rebellion."
* * * * *
"Are you sure this is her?" Cole slipped into the chair beside Rex's desk and stared at the computer screen. The lines of code meant little to Cole. That's why he'd asked Rex for assistance.
"This was her access point." Rex indicated a line near the top of the screen. "The only way to bypass our firewall was to start from inside our system. She was clever, but I managed to unravel her knots. Unless someone else used her computer without her knowing about it, Starla Landry is Amber Star."
An Excerpt From: STICK UP
Copyright (c) BRIGIT ZAHARA, 2009
Monica Carrington was having a bad day.
Her alarm didn't go off, making her late for work. An accident on the freeway had made her even later. The coffee in Fairmont National Bank's overheated staff room was cold--although that was nothing new. The building dated back to 1918 and had officially been declared a historic site by the city back in the nineteen forties and therefore could not be renovated or updated in any way. If all that wasn't enough to fray her nerves, the day had been hellishly busy and now, near closing time, some clown in shades was holding her up.
She glanced down again at the note he had slid toward her and slowly reread the words.
This is a stickup. Put all the money from the drawer in the bag and hand it to me.
"Anytime, princess," the guy opposite her said in a low voice. "We don't have all day."
A strong sense of familiarity quickly overtook Monica's mounting fear, gnawing at her for a brief moment, but she was at a loss to pinpoint the reason for the feeling. Then something in the robber's last comment jumped back into Monica's head.
She studied him carefully for a long moment. He was of above average height, had dirty blond hair and wore a faded jean jacket. From her location in the business teller's booth, she could see little else, but given his soft country twang, Monica strongly suspected he wasn't from the city. Hurriedly she reached down to turn the key on her cash drawer but his voice stopped her cold.
"Whoa there, darlin'. I want you to move but you gotta do it real slow. And I'm gonna have to ask that you keep your hands in view at all times."
A fiery burst of nervous anger ignited in Monica.
"Now just how do you propose we do that? The money's below the counter. What am I supposed to take it out with? My teeth?"
In response, the guy merely flashed Monica a gorgeous grin, his straight white teeth and dimpled cheeks sending a fleeting shiver of attraction coursing through her to land in her stomach along with another pang of vague recognition. Slowly drawing open one side of his jacket, he revealed a shoulder holster and the handgun tucked neatly into it. "Now you just simmer down," he said, not raising his voice. "This doesn't have to be a bad thing. I don't think I could live with myself if I was forced to mess up a pretty little thing like you." He cocked his head slightly to one side, his fading smile serving to show the enticing full curve of his lips as he spoke. "Damn, but you look good. On second thought, maybe I should pull out my concealed weapon..."
Monica gawked at him. Was he actually trying to flirt while he held her at gunpoint in the middle of robbery?