Book five of the Cougar Challenge series.
Damn Cougar Challenge!
Rachel's thankful for the new friends she met while attending an erotica-book convention. They instantly connected and began sharing the relationship woes unique to older single women on their Tempt the Cougar blog. Then Monica issues that challenge... How is Rachel going to convince a younger man to have sex with her? Hell, even she doesn't want to look at herself naked. To control her growing angst, she makes a list of eligible men then... Nothing. It's been too long and her divorce was too painful. She'll never be able to do this.
Ethan, one of Rachel's physical therapy patients, is pissed when he learns of the challenge. Not because he finds it silly--because he's not on Rachel's list! So he does what any self-assured young stud would do. The luscious police officer gives her a copy of the Kama Sutra then asks her to make a new list.
And assume the positions...
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November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from Assume the Positions by Mari Carr
"Potential Younger Men for Cougar Challenge?"
Rachel prayed to God he didn't know what "cougar" meant. She'd only learned of the term while reading her erotic romance novels. She'd been shocked to discover how much the idea of an older woman hooking up with a younger man turned her on, pushed her hot buttons.
"It's just something silly...something stupid, really. Give me back my notebook and we'll get started on your exercises."
Ethan ignored her and she watched as he scanned the list of names. When he closed the book with a snap, she flinched at the unfamiliar look on his face. She'd never seen him look so serious or...angry. "What are you doing, Rachel? What the hell is this list about?"
She took a step back, confused by his reaction. Over the course of the past two months, she'd felt a friendship forming between her and the young cop. As a result, she now found her fears, her anxiety over the challenge falling from her lips uncontrolled.
Even though she was sure she was making a mistake, she told him everything--from meeting her friends at the conference to the blog to the dare to sleep with a younger man. She didn't leave out a single detail and throughout her entire confession, Ethan was quiet. In the end, it was his silence that unnerved her more than his initial anger.
"So there," she said at last. "That should keep you busy in the teasing department for months. I'm an insane, horny-as-hell woman who's actually contemplating throwing herself at a younger man on a dare. And before you say anything, yes, I know...I'm old enough to know better." She walked away from him as she said the last, too embarrassed to face him.
She'd only made it two steps when he reached out and gripped her forearm, turning her back around. "Old enough to know better?" he asked. "You think you couldn't land a younger guy?"
"Maybe I could," she said, surprised to find him taking this conversation so seriously. "I mean, I don't think I'm unattractive, just sort of out of practice with the whole dating scene."
Ethan grinned and she spied the usual mischievous sparkle in his gaze that she'd grown accustomed to over the past few weeks. "Wish you'd mentioned this horny problem of yours earlier, Rach."
"It's not something a polite woman advertises," she said.
He continued pulling her toward him until they stood face-to-face, close enough that she could smell his skin, a pleasant combination of fresh shower, soap and--yummy--man. Rather than look up, she stared straight ahead, placing her line of vision at the top of his chest. There was no way she could look at his handsome face and not spend the rest of their session imagining him naked. He wore a tight T-shirt and she could just imagine what his bare pecs would look like. She swallowed heavily, her mouth watering at the thought.
"Isn't that a shame," Ethan added. "Advertisements like that sure would take a lot of the guess work out of dating."
"I haven't been doing a lot of dating since my divorce from Voldemort."
"Mm hmm." She felt certain if she hadn't been standing so closely, she wouldn't have heard the small, guttural sound--a growl?--that emanated from him. Did it make him angry to hear her mention her ex? "Look at me, Rachel," he said as she felt his gaze bore through the top of her head.
"I am," she said, her eyes remaining locked in place, several inches below his chin.
He reached down and gently forced her head back with firm fingers at her jaw. She took a deep breath and faced him. His head was cocked to the side, his lips painfully close to hers. An impractical woman would lean forward and initiate a kiss. A woman without any common sense would rise up on her tiptoes, close the gap separating them and take a nice, long taste of him. An adventurous woman--
Her mouth stroked his briefly and her mind struggled to understand how she'd gotten close enough for that touch. Had she moved?
Her lips brushed his again, but rather than move away, she continued to push closer.
She was kissing Ethan. Her brain kicked into high gear.
Red alert! Abort! Abort!
Her practical side was practically screaming for her body to step away from the hot man. But apparently her body had its own agenda.
His fingers moved from her chin and along her cheek, taking up residence in her hair. His hand pulled her closer and he deepened the kiss, forcing her lips open with his, exploring her mouth with his tongue.
Holy crap. He was kissing her back. She wrapped her arms around his neck and struggled not to moan when his other hand traveled up and down her back, rubbing delicious patterns through her shirt that made her want to purr like a kitten.
They continued to kiss, but Rachel's racing mind kept fighting for the control her body had seized.
This is wrong. He's so far out of your league I'm not sure you can consider yourselves inhabitants of the same planet. He's a patient.
The last thought jarred her enough that she pushed away abruptly.
"Shit," Ethan muttered when she struggled out of his embrace. "I was wondering when that head of yours was going to get in the way."
"What?" she asked.
"You think too much," he replied.
"That's not true. I just don't think it's professional for me to be kissing you in the clinic."
He grinned. "But it would be okay if you kissed me outside? The door's right there. Let's go."
"It's not professional, period. I shouldn't have-- It was wrong of me to--"
"Kiss me?" he supplied, and she could see he was enjoying her predicament far too much.
"Yes," she hissed.
"Did that overactive brain of yours happen to notice that I was kissing you back?"
Oh, her brain noticed--it just didn't want her to be happy. Meanwhile, every other major organ and nerve in her body was singing--big time. Her nipples were cutting through the satin material of her bra, her stomach was still doing happy flip-flops and she was noticing regions south of her waist reappearing after deserting her years ago.
She shrugged. Seemed like the easiest thing to do.
"Why wasn't my name on your list?" he asked.
She burst into laughter.
"I'm serious," he persisted when she continued to chuckle.
"You sound as if you're hurt by the omission," she said. "Is this some male ego switch I've triggered? I would think you'd be relieved. You don't have to worry about some sex-starved divorcee setting her sights on you. Trying to lure you into her lair." She raised her hands in a claw-like fashion and made a scary face.
He didn't smile at her joke, so she lowered her hands and shook her head. "I like you, Ethan. You've become a good friend these past couple of months and I wouldn't dream of annoying you like that."
"Annoying me? You think I'm not attracted to you? Sexually?" he asked, setting off her laughter again.
"Oh damn, now that is funny," she said between giggles. "Well, I guess I'll just have to say it. You're hot, Ethan. Super hot. And about a decade younger than me."
"I thought that was the point of this challenge of yours," he argued.
"Well, let's just say there're younger men and then there're younger men. In the world of women like me, you fall into the untouchable category."
He nodded, but she could see he didn't like her answer. "I didn't see that 'untouchable' thing holding you back a few minutes ago."
She sobered up at his scowling face. "As I said, I shouldn't have done that."
He was silent for several uncomfortable moments and she wished she could read his mind. "I've screwed up everything tonight, Ethan," she added, desperate to fill the void. "Can we just start this whole PT session over? I'll even let you sneak in and scare me again."
His face cleared suddenly and his cocky grin returned. She took a deep breath of relief--until his next words knocked it out of her again.
"Put my name on your list," he demanded. "The top of your list. And then mark out every name under it. You're going to follow through on that dare...with me."