New Release Titles

New Release Titles
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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Taking Time For Myself In Between Books

Elizabeth Black writes in a wide variety of genres including erotica, erotic romance, and dark fiction. She lives on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son, and three cats. Visit her web site, her Facebook page, and her Amazon Author Page.

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Mid-winter, I decided to stop writing and look for an agent. I've recently finished sending out agent queries for one of my erotic novels. That's nearly 70 queries in about a month. So far, no takers, but I have plenty of time to hear back from anyone who may be interested. I'm remaining hopeful that someone will want to represent me.

In the meantime, the mountains of snow here in Massachusetts have finally melted (for the most part), and spring has sprung. I can see out the windows for the first time in several months. When the piles of snow covered the ground, I couldn't see outside because the snow had piled several feet high, covering the windows completely. The cats were beside themselves with boredom not being able to see outside to see what creatures may have been running by in the middle of the night. Here's what the view from outside my apartment complex looked like. I live on the ground floor. The snow holed me inside for three months.


Now that I have finished my agent search for the time being, I've taken some time off. It's a good thing I have no urgent deadlines ahead of me. I can take a break. I'm not quite ready to begin writing again. I don't feel like it. When I do get back in the groove, I will work in increasing the word count in "Full Moon Fever", my bisexual ménage werewolf shifter book. It's at novella length now. I need to increase it to novel length and develop the characters a bit more. Then, I'll start the agent query process all over again. Déjà vu and back again.

So to recharge my brain so that I feel like writing again, I've taken to walking on the beaches near my home nearly every morning, weather and time permitting. The beach is mostly deserted save for a few couples or individuals walking their dogs. The weather is brisk so I still need to wear a sweater and sweat pants. It's not shorts weather yet. Here is the beach I walk on in the spring – Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, Massachusetts.


After May 15, I begin walking on Long Beach in Rockport, Massachusetts. I live in Rockport, so I take advantage of my beach parking sticker I get for the car every year. I can't park in the lot of Gloucester beaches during the summer because I'm not a resident, and I don't want to pay $100 for an out-of-towner sticker that I'd use for only two or three months.  This is Long Beach.



So, for the time being, I'm in rest mode. I'm not writing. I'm not promoting. I'm barely on Facebook and Twitter, and I like it that way. Frankly, Facebook has been depressing as hell lately. I've seen too much political bickering regardless of political affiliation. I don't want to see another picture of an abused kitten or a heartless, grinning hunter who gunned down a giraffe for sport. Everyone is getting sick or upset. I don't want to read more about Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies, and if you follow science fiction, fantasy, and the Hugo Awards you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. If not, Google it. The awards have been gamed much the same way you can game the Preditors and Editors Poll Awards. So rather than see all this crap, I've been walking on the beach, watching movies, reading the "Game Of Thrones" books (which I will probably be reading until the U. S. has a new President, LOL Those books take forever to get through.), and cooking. It's good to take a break and replenish your energy coffers every so often. I highly recommend it. When I'm ready, I'll begin work on "Full Moon Fever". Until then, I play in the sand and surf.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Giveaway! Win a print copy of At War in the Willows by bestselling author Kiki Howell!

Enter the Rafflecopter gift giveaway below for your chance to win a print copy of At War in the Willows by bestselling paranormal romance author Kiki Howell!

Buy the ebook now on Amazon

Blurb: 
What chances could you take to keep your true love with you forever? 
Would you go against the rules of society, your family and risk everything you have ever known? 
Would you go to any length to save the one you love, even if what must be done could possibly cause their death? 

The Willows is a resort town run by vampires, werewolves and witches. Here, their true identities are kept secret from humans, and intimate relations between the individual clans are strictly forbidden.

When it becomes known that the vampire Amberlyn has fallen in love with the werewolf Kane, the tedious line of their co-existence has been crossed. Caught in the crossfire of this revelation, Drake, the vampire clan leader and Amberlyn’s maker, is killed along with an innocent witch. These deaths spark a series of horrific events, leading to an all out War In The Willows.

Unexpected close encounters, bodies ripe with need, and situations beyond their control lead to forbidden relationships. Now, three vampires, a witch, a werewolf and a human must ride along the edges of the rules. They will attempt once unthinkable romantic entanglements despite all those who oppose their relationships, while fighting for their lives as well.

With the Willows full of violence and bloodshed, meetings and magic amiss, will the clans ever be able to find peace among them again? Or, will this war destroy the Willows?

In Book 1, Amberlyn’s vampire brother, Isaac, always one to kick ass first and deal with the consequences later, kidnaps a witch, Winter. He intends to find out what type of retaliation the witch clan is planning against the vampires and werewolves. In doing so, he finds so much more then he bargained for.

By Book 2, Isaac and Winter devise a plan to try to get the Elders of the clans talking peacefully. But, things don’t go as they’d hoped, and the fighting between the clans becomes more devious – deadly. Now, Devin, another vampire of Drake’s making, steps in to help pick up some of the pieces.

When Book 3 begins, it is Devin who hides the biggest secret; he’s in love with a local human. In a moment of desperation – of love – Devin sweeps this human, Sara, away to his home in order to keep her out of harm’s way.

Excerpt from Book 1:
A few seconds later, she practically dove at him. His body braced as hers fell against his. Caught off guard she knocked him flat on his back and her body fell over his. Her hands grabbed his face hard and her mouth crushed down over his lips. Her tongue entered his mouth before he could process it all. But his body, his instincts, reacted. His fangs revealed themselves right into her lip.

Winter pulled back with a small gasp. Her hand went to her mouth. Magic swirled around him, the power that just resided inside of her increased, glowed around them both so much that he resisted tasting her. Stunned could be the only explanation of why he didn’t put his tongue on his fang to get a hint of her blood’s flavor. Was he feeling warm?

Yet, when her hand fell from her mouth and she licked over the scarlet colored blood that ran from her lip, he lost control of the situation. He pulled her back against him with one arm curled around her back, while his other hand went to her breast and squeezed the round globe hard. At the same time, he sucked the blood from her lip. Honey–pure sweet nectar–made him feel like he had drunk a sweet wine. It went straight to his head. The instant high was like nothing he’d ever experienced before, more pure–more brilliant and full–more clear and potent than any drug he’d ever done.

With her moan, somehow, he found the strength to pull back, lick over her lip so the puncture marks healed, and looked into her eyes rather than drank her dry. He was satiated with just a sip. He wondered if it was truly amazing or all a product of her magic, one she controlled or one natural about her? The whole reason their kinds didn’t mix was the unknowns. Her lip had sealed over right before his eyes, faster than a normal human’s would. Her eyes were glassy, but not from tears. He feared it was from desire.

Next thing he knew, she pulled her nightgown off. Her breasts, pale, perfect, with hard red nipples, were an unbelievable picture. With her white lace panties her only clothing, she sat up on her knees. She couldn’t have looked more seductive if she’d tried. She had curves in all of the right places in his mind.

“I will bite you again.”

“I know. You stopped the first time, hardly taking any blood, and I don’t mind. Like you, I don’t fear death. But, neither do I fear you killing me.” She flipped her hair off her neck, leaned her head to the side in invitation.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 10, 2015

Chapter 1: Xavier by Bestselling Gay & Transgender Authors J.S. Morbius and J.D. Morgan

Read Chapter One of Xavier 
by Bestselling Gay & Transgender Authors 
J.S. Morbius and J.D. Morgan

Buy Now at: All Romance Ebooks, Amazon, Amazon UK, Excite, Naughty Nights Press and all other reputable online retailers.

Blurb

Isaac instantly becomes intrigued with a handsome man he notices across the room at the club. Turns out, this man has certainly noticed Isaac, and has been watching him the entire night. Too bad he's disappeared before Isaac could make a move.
For the next few weeks the man seems show up everywhere Isaac is, constantly watching him. The more he sees the mysterious stranger, the deeper his interest becomes. Oddly, every time Isaac makes a move toward the mystifying stranger, he vanishes from view, almost as if he were a ghost.

Xavier Kane has been searching for centuries for someone just like Isaac. Someone he could spend his life with, share his dreams with, and eventually, continue the bloodline. He sets off a little game of cat and mouse, designed to tempt Isaac into getting to know him. Xavier Kane isn’t an ordinary man, though, and he hides a big secret until the very end.

Will his deception be the end of Isaac and Xavier's budding love, or will Isaac give in to the promises made for love eternal.
What does the future hold for Isaac and Xavier?


Chapter One

I hadn’t ever been to the club previously. I didn’t even know it existed prior to then. Ever since the day I first walked in and saw him, I knew I wanted –no, needed– to get to know him. He stood just a shade over six feet tall, looked strong, without being overly muscular, and his hair was the color of the darkest night. How I wished I could have gotten close to him that night, to see him within a direct proximity, but it was not to be.
As soon as he saw I was watching him, he seemed to disappear into the darkness of the club. No matter where I looked, I just couldn’t find him again. I didn’t have to worry, though I wish I knew this at the time, because it wasn’t going to be the last time I saw him. In fact, from that night forward I saw him everywhere. In the streets, at work, in shops, literally everywhere I would go. However, oddly enough, every time I tried to get within a stone's throw of him, he would seem to vanish. I honestly couldn't explain it, not even to myself.
It soon became almost like a game, I would see him, make to move toward him and he would be gone, just like that. It was as if he were toying with me, testing me, seeing just how much I wanted to get near him. I must have passed his test, because after a few weeks of the dematerializing act, he began to let me get closer. Not close enough to speak to him, or even to make out his features perfectly, but closer than he did at the start. At first, it was just two or three steps closer, then five or six, but soon I was getting to within five feet of him and when I did, he would still turn and dissipate, though I never could see just how he did it. One minute he'd be in my line of sight, and the next, I'd blink, the area where he'd stood was empty.
It seemed impossible anyone could just disappear into a crowd like he did, but I was witnessing it with my own eyes. It even got to the stage where if I jumped forward I would be able to touch him, and I thought about trying it but the look in his eyes told me not to. Something sinister there, an odd, dark kind of spark perhaps, sent shivers running down my spine each time I even speculated about reaching out a hand to touch him.
This went on for several weeks. I was becoming weary of this same game, intriguing though it was, and was about ready to give up. I'd started turning my back on him when he would appear. Counting to five, then turning back to see if he'd gone away. Most times he did, though there were some rare occasions where I had to count twice before he'd become nothing more than a wispy shadow of my peripheral vision.
Just as I was contemplating how to get him out of my mind and stop this silly game once and for all, it happened.
Once again, he was there, this time as I entered the underground car park to fetch my car, and again I turned my back on him, closed my eyes and began to count.
One...two...three...f—
Only this time, before I got to five, he was in front of me and standing just inches away.
“Hello, Isaac,” he said, causing me to jump.
Opening my eyes, I looked at him, finally seeing him a hair's breadth away from me for the first time. I went weak at the knees, as if, suddenly, I were the one who was about to become nothing more than a shadow. My senses were on high alert, my mind spinning, and my skin almost tingling with anticipation. He was stunning, and I felt as if my very breath had been ripped from my body, every thought had begun to swirl relentlessly throughout my brain. I stood still, not moving a muscle for fear it would cause this beautiful apparition to whither away right in front of my eyes before I'd even had the chance to form words within my consciousness.
His swept back hair, tied in a ponytail, shone under the lights of the car park, appearing to have an almost blue-black highlighted appearance. His face was handsome, the five o’clock shadow gracing his chiseled chin, and emphasized his masculinity. His eyes were a mesmerizing, piercing green, a color I'd never seen on another person in my entire life.
“H-h-hello.” I wondered how he knew my name but, for some reason, I dared not ask. Some form of instinct told me not to ask questions just yet.
“Allow me to introduce myself,” he said, ignoring my stammer. “My name is Xavier Kane, and I have noticed you following me for the past for weeks.”
Shock at the accusation seemed to spring open the imaginary lock on my mouth and my words were suddenly freed from their trap. I spouted back, “Hang on, I haven’t been following you. You are the one who has been following me.”
“And, why would I be following you?”
“That, I don’t know,” I replied. “But when I tried to get near you to ask, you would just disappear.”
“Well, if that is what you think, ask away. I’m here right in front of you now.”
I stared at him, not believing what he was saying, and opened my mouth to ask him but nothing came out.
“Just as I suspected,” Xavier said. “You can’t ask me because it was, in fact, you following me.”
Once again I tried to argue, but as he continued to stare at me, I found myself unable to say a word.
“I’ll tell you what, Isaac,” he began. “Why don’t we get in your car and you can take me for a drink to explain yourself.”
Although I had previous plans, spending some time with Xavier appealed to me far more than they did. After all, his random appearance those first and subsequent nights, in so many places I'd gone, and the mystery of his ceasing to exist every time I thought I'd finally caught up to him, had all but taken over my life.
I walked over to my car at a pace to rival that of Xavier's disappearing act, and palming the key, I fit it into the door lock and turned to the left until I heard an audible click as the bonding mechanism let go. It sounded unusually loud tonight, long and drawn out, like the world around us had suddenly become hushed, time had slowed, and the tumbler within the latch had dropped like a bowling ball going down an un-shined, uneven laneway in the alley.
I climbed in first, and reached across the seats to unlock the passenger door. Leaning back slightly, still wondering if this figment of my imagination were real this time or if, yet again, I would be left disappointed and alone. I let out a rush of pent up breath I was unaware I was holding as the door was opened from the other side. I watched, as Xavier brushed the seat with his hand, as if some dust, entirely invisible to me, had settled upon the cloth covering and he didn't want to mar his clothing, before climbing in.
“Do you have anywhere in particular you would like to go?” I heard myself ask, though I didn't remember forming the thought in my head before the words slipped from my mouth.
“No, the choice is totally up to you,” he said, flashing a slight smile I didn’t quite understand.
“Okay,” I said, before turning the key and switching the ignition on. The car rumbled to life, the engine purring beneath the hood.
I pulled the car out of the parking space, cautious of the possibility of other vehicles or pedestrians that may be around. Usually this particular lot was quite busy, so now that I actually thought about it, I was stunned to realize we were the only ones about.
I made my way to the exit thinking I actually knew of the perfect place to take Xavier: a quiet little pub just on the outskirts of town. I pulled out of the car park, turned, and headed down the freeway, speeding past light after dwindling light, ever closer in the direction of the darkness.
“Excellent choice for a bar,” Xavier broke the stillness. “In fact, it is one of my favorite haunts.”
How the fuck did he know where I was going? I hadn't even spoken since just after getting into the vehicle. I decided to shrug it off since much of what happened with the appearance of this man hadn't truly made sense to me anyway. Perhaps I'd said something aloud and didn't even remember. I did feel out of sorts, like my mind was filled with some sort of fog, yet swirling out of control with so many questions and random thoughts I still dared not verbalize. I have no idea why I knew I should say nothing. I just did.
Continuing to drive in silence, I occasionally glanced at Xavier out of the corner of my eye, further admiring the choice and cut of his clothing, and a strength of character and dominance that seemed to ooze from his firm, straight posture. He appeared completely controlled, like he knew where we were going and that it was his will for us to get there. His long, slim legs framed by form fitting leather pants were propped slightly at the knees, the leg room too small for his height. I wondered briefly what his chest looked like under the white collared dress shirt and the long leather coat wrapped around his fame. My mouth had begun to water at the images that suddenly rushed through my imagination. I truly needed to focus on the road if we were to arrive in one piece. I forced the now lurid images from my mind, determined to regain some control of my fleeing intellect and leave the contemplation until we arrived.
My determination didn't last very long before I was again lost in thought, curious to know if he thought the same about me as I did him. After all, I had been told I wasn’t a bad looking guy. I stood six feet tall, weighed about 210-220lbs, and, after spending far too much time at the gym, was pretty well built.
It was Xavier who finally broke the silence inside the car. “So, Isaac, are you ready to tell me why you have been following me?”
Still unable to believe he thought it had been me following him, I didn’t know what to say, but heard myself start to talk even though I hadn’t meant to.
“Look, Xavier, I am sorry if you think I was following you. I really thought it was the other way around. But, the truth is, since the first time I saw you at the club I have been desperate to get to know you better.”
“And, now, you will get the opportunity,” he said as I pulled the car into the pub car park.
Parking the car close to the door, I turned the engine off, and then climbed out. Closing my door, I walked around the car, and, for some strange reason, opened the door for Xavier.
“Very kind,” he said as he stepped from my vehicle. “Shall we go in, Isaac?”
I didn’t answer. I just opened the door, waited until Xavier entered, and then followed him in. Once inside, Xavier went and sat at a small table as far from the bar as possible, whilst I went up to the bar and ordered two large scotches. Once I had paid, I took the glasses to where Xavier was sitting, handed him one, and then sat opposite him.
For a few minutes we just sat there, sipping our drinks, eyeing each other up, when it suddenly dawned on me I knew absolutely nothing about him, except his name. For all I knew, he could have been a bank robber, serial fraudster, or even worse, a serial killer, and I began to feel uneasy.
“It’s okay, Isaac, I am none of those things,” he said, as if he had read my thoughts, making me feel even more uneasy. “You are perfectly safe with me.”
Maybe he’s psychic. I was still unable to believe that he seemed to be able to read my mind. If he is, I better be careful what I think from now on.
“Xavier, I honestly wasn’t following you,” I said.
“Never mind about that now, Isaac. We are here now, together. Let us enjoy each other’s company.”
“Okay, sounds good to me,” I replied. “Would you like another drink?”
“I won’t say no, but you must be careful,” Xavier said. “Don’t forget you still have to drive me back home.”
“Very true. Maybe I shall just have a small one this time.”
I got up and made my way back to the bar with my brain still racing at his ability to, seemingly, read my mind. I tried to remember what else had gone through my thoughts since I had been with him. I hope he doesn’t know exactly what I think of him. That could be awkward.
Deciding this was going to be our last drink, and we would leave once we had finished it, I took the glasses back to our table and sat back down.
“Isaac, what would you think if I suggested we left after this drink?” Xavier asked.
Fuck, he’s done it again! He’s read my fucking mind.
“It’s just, I would like to get back home before it’s too late,” he continued glancing at his watch.
Relief washed over me as I realized he hadn’t read my mind, this time. He had just decided he wanted to go.
“Sure, if that’s what you want,” I took a long swallow of my drink.
“Thank you.”
“You don’t have to thank me,” I said, puzzled. “If you want to go, that’s fine with me.”
I finished my drink, sat back, and while I waited for Xavier to finish his, I really looked at him. I hadn’t really noticed before, but his skin seemed pale, almost white, I and began to wonder if he suffered from some sort of illness.
“Come on then, Isaac,” Xavier suddenly said, emptying his glass. “Let us leave.”
We left as we had entered, with me following Xavier, opening the door for him, and then following him outside. Once we were in the car park, he seemed in a hurry to leave, as if there was something bothering him, and he just jumped into the car as soon as I unlocked it. Climbing in next to him, I glanced across, noticed he seemed to be even paler than he was inside the bar, and began to panic.
“Is everything okay, Xavier?” I started the car.
“I’ll be fine, Isaac,” he replied. “Just get me home, please.”
Concerned for his welfare I put the car into gear, stamped on the accelerator, and screeched out of the car park narrowly avoiding another car that was turning in.
“Try not to kill yourself, Isaac,” Xavier said as I sped back towards town, unsure exactly where I was supposed to be going.
“Don’t you worry about my driving.” I knew I was a good driver, despite my concern for my new friend. “Just tell me where I am going and try to relax.”
“The Old Rectory, do you know it?”
“You’re joking right?”
“Why would I be joking, Isaac? I was fortunate enough to purchase the building after they built the new rectory, and just before they demolished it.”
“It’s just, I’d heard the rumors about that place.” About how the old vicar went crazy, saying vampires were terrorizing him, before massacring seven members of his congregation.

“Well, you know they say you should never listen to rumors, Isaac,” Xavier leaned back in his seat and closed his eyes, a small smile forming on his lips.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Review: Whispered Desires (Risque Confessions #1) by D.F. Krieger - 5 Stars!

Unique and awesome plot!!

Blurb:

Keep a journal of your wildest fantasies, but remember the two rules: The fantasies have to involve your spouse, and no reading your spouse's journal. When the marriage therapist recommends this treatment to Hannah and Jason, they doubt the journal's ability to fix Hannah's loneliness or Jason's stress. But as the pages fill with heated longings, they find themselves wanting each other in ways they'd only ever imagined.


Buy on Amazon
Follow author D.F. Krieger on her blog

My Thoughts


When I first started reading this book, I could swear the author had some inside track on my life, my marriage, and I had to give myself a bit of a mental shake. I don't know if this story is pure fiction or based in some part on fact, but either way D.F. Krieger has this unique plot idea pegged perfectly.

Her writing style and use of description, both at the start and throughout to the sensual scenes, enabled me to relate so well deeply that I felt like I was a participant in the story in some manner. The author's approach and delivery drew me in and kept me turning the pages to the very end in one sitting.

I needed to know how the marriage therapist worked out for this couple, loved the idea of the journal as a means to opening up the communication in the relationship and putting the lust back into their love for one another. I rejoiced when it seemed things were going to work out and am even now contemplating using the journal idea in my own life for a bit of fun. *grin*

This book is a refreshing change to the many boy-meets-girl-and-then-they-live-happily-ever-after romances I've read in the past. It focuses more on the reality of marriage, overcoming obstacles in life, and proving there's happiness yet to come even when you fear the worst, yet still maintains an excellent quality of great titillating fantasies brought to life that we all love in our romance books.

Nicely done, Ms. Krieger!


Saturday, April 4, 2015

Cover Reveal! Alphas on The Prowl Box Set - Releases April 28th!

Alpha shifters are on the prowl, and they're used to getting what they want. But there's more to claiming a destined mate than raw power, and they'll have to prove themselves worthy – in more ways than one.

Alphas on the Prowl is page after page of passion and pleasure in this box set featuring eleven tantalizing shapeshifter tales from NY Times and USA Today best selling authors!

It's so exciting to show off this amazing cover!

Join Gina Kincade, Phoenix Johnson, Lashell CollinsTasha Black Anna Lowe, Bethany Shaw, Annie Nicholas, Sarah Makela, Amy Lee Burgess, Catherine Vale and Jami Brumfield in this boxed set featuring our newest shifter romances.
It's going to be one hot read!

Will update with pre-purchase links as soon as they are available.

A taste of my inclusion, A Shot at Love is below. Click on the author names above to get a taste of the other sizzling stories in this set!

To follow the status of this book and my other releases, be sure to sign up for my Newsletter, follow me on Twitter, FB or TSU.

Teaser:

Micah put out a hand and splayed his fingers across Jason's collarbone, whispering his lover's name, a question in his voice. Warm breath caressed his cheek. He bowed his head for a moment and a soft sound came out, like an extended groan. Lifting his head, Micah ran his fingers over Jason's square jaw, whispering across the silky stubble framing the edges of the goatee. He ran his thumb across Jason's lower lip, noting the velvety softness overlaying the firm chin with its thatch of hair placed in the center. Very much like Jason, so smooth on the surface, but unyielding, strong underneath.

Micah traced the curve of a fine ear, the strong tendons of Jason's neck. The hair was soft and he buried his fingers in it, reveling in the feel of the short strands gliding against his palm, tickling his skin. He brought his other hand up to trace the elegant lines of Jason's high cheekbones, long lashes, his dark brows. He leaned forward, brushing his lips over that beautiful mouth. He'd never kissed anyone the way he'd kissed Jason before and he shivered, remembering the feel of his lover's lips on his, the amazing sensations that just kissing him had always caused.

A jolt like electricity went down his spine when Jason grabbed the back of his neck and pulled Micah toward him, hot lips moving, caressing, bruising. Jason's tongue slipped into Micah's mouth, stroking, and Micah moaned deeply, his legs trembling.




~ Lady Gina Kincade,
Author of Erotica and Erotic Paranormal Romance

Friday, April 3, 2015

Chapter 1: Forbidden by Bestselling Romance Author Kiki Howell

Read Chapter One of Forbidden by Bestselling Romance Author Kiki Howell

Buy Now at: All Romance Ebooks, Amazon, Amazon UK, Excitica, Naughty Nights Press and all other reputable online retailers.

Blurb

James Alexander Whitmore III, better known as Jaws as a joke among his co-workers, doesn’t even want to be on this cruise he’s been guilted into.
A rule-breaker in his CEO father’s eyes, he’s a software engineer who designs video games. Although, he’s not your typical geek, either, with his muscular body framed by long, dark hair and home to tribal tattoos from his latest successful game.

After traveling around the world to gain certificates as a personal trainer and yoga instructor, Samantha has finally landed her perfect job working on a cruise ship. As a staff member, Sam has the run of the ship. She can fraternize with the passengers, but being caught in flagrante delicto is grounds for immediate dismissal.
While an adventurer, she’s not a rule-breaker, so this poses a problem when she meets Mr. Tall, Dark and Mysterious. While she can’t imagine fitting into the world of a man who can rent a secluded cabin in the Grand Turks for the five hours they are in port, he just may prove to be her greatest adventure yet, in the bedroom and out.


Chapter One
  
A slight turn of her head to adjust the yoga mat that had slipped off her shoulder brought her face to face with sweaty tattoos. Her hand touched flesh to steady herself after hitting a rock hard chest, and she looked up into the darkest pair of eyes she’d ever encountered. Her breath caught as she assessed the dangers of her situation, real and erotically imagined.
The firm grip he had on her arms didn’t let up, kept her body against his, her fingers pressed against his bare chest. His black hair fell in wet curls to frame a face with just a hint enough of a tan to make him not look ghostly. Despite the chiseled features that gave him a fierce predator like look, he appeared to be the one to have seen a ghost.
Finding the means to separate herself, her hands slipped away from his body to reveal six pack abs highlighted by the sharp points of a tribal tattoo. Shoulder and sleeve of black ink continued on to swirl in a crescent shape from his upper chest until it disappeared into his black shorts. Not one hill or valley of his abdominal muscles inked, the tattoo made a nice frame for such an exquisite core.
“I’m sorry, are you okay? Please, say something,” he hissed.
“What? I’m sorry,” she apologized as she shook her head to clear the mindless female hormonal haze of attraction. Had to be that bad boy thing she’d heard so much about, but up until now had never experienced for herself. A personal trainer by profession, she’d spent most of her dating life being bored by one jacked up, lunk-head after another, once talk of fitness was exhausted and primal lust satiated.
A good body she’d often seen on men and not given one rat’s ass about. This guy on the other hand, he looked like some dark overlord from some action hero movie. A villain, in fact, one who could steal a woman’s heart and life without thinking twice. Thankfully, the idiotic thought tripped her ability to think again.
“Did I hurt you? You have this dazed look in your eyes and were not responding to my apologies or questions,” he half growled.
The base tones in his voice took her right back to the whole villain scenario. Sadly, she shivered from some primal attraction born of fear but laced with lust. Strange, this attraction thing. Guess her body wanted an adventure. With this guy, though, she just hoped she’d survive it. Tough. Dark. Mysterious. Brooding. Unfortunately, a guest on the ship, she’d never be able to find out. Sex with the passengers was a big no-no, so she knew without a shadow of a doubt she’d lose sleep daydreaming about being kidnapped by this nefarious hero.
“No, I’m fine. I’m made of a bit sturdier stock than that. Just shocked, I guess, for a second. I’m sorry. I wasn’t looking where I was going,” she fumbled the words.
“It’s fine. Guess I wasn’t either, looking where I was going, that is. You just leaving a yoga class?” He helped the incessantly errant yoga bag up over her shoulder again.
“Yes, actually. I teach yoga on the ship.”
“Really, so working, not on vacation?” he grumbled, his voice so deep it vibrated through her as she continued to be mesmerized, maybe even hypnotized by eyes so dark brown she’d have called them black. Slivers of sunlight reflected in them, gave him an evil look that sucked her in, curled her toes, and quickened her already heavy breathing.
“Right, I’m a personal trainer and yoga instructor on the ship. You must be a passenger, and no stranger to the gym.” She paused as she felt the heat rise up her neck and over her face. “Ah, sorry, that came out wrong. You obviously take care of yourself. Just something a PT notices.”
Built, a tad pale, and not at all looking like a typical passenger on a cruise ship, she wondered about this thug-like monster of a man in front of her and why he seemed to have such a dizzying effect on her. He wasn’t her type at all, or at least, she’d never thought so. But damn, this guy was just all that and a slice of dark chocolate cake with a scoop of melty, decadent ice cream, real whipped cream, and more than one cherry on top. Death by over consumption would be more than worth every taste.
“I work out to blow off steam. My job keeps me in an office most of the time, so I need to do something to displace my geeky nature. I find punching the bag especially stress relieving. And, yes, I’m unfortunately, a passenger. Not to knock on your ship here, but it’s not really my thing. My parents drug me on here, some corporate meeting gig they’re doing. Mom worries about me, and feels I need to get out more, so I get guilted and tricked into these things quite often.”
They’d both started walking to the door that opened onto the main deck of the boat, onto a walk overlooking the pool area. Not wanting to stop talking to this enigma, both dark and fierce on the outside, yet seemingly, from a few details, all smart and nerdy on the inside, she’d more have associated him with a street gang than an office.
“Sorry, I have to stop here.” She pointed at the door to the pool deck. “Staff members of the ship can enter all public areas except the pool area. My one restriction. Lots of rules when you work at sea. Guess it keeps the mutiny down to a minimum, but just because people need their paychecks,” she explained, chastising herself for talking too much.
He stopped short. Looked to the forbidden pool, then back at her. She stopped the large exhale of breath burning her lungs, anger crept in that she couldn’t stay with him, follow him anywhere, in fact, like to a shower, then to a bed. Literally, she glanced down at her body, wondering exactly what had gotten into it. She trembled, each nerve ending screaming out to be touched again by this man.
“So, pardon me for saying this out loud,” she continued, prolonging the moment, desperation raising her voice an octave, “but you don’t look like the suit and tie type I see here all the time. And, geek? The word never would’ve crossed my mind looking at you. You do what for a living, exactly?”
“Oh, I’m not the suit and tie type at all. My father is a CEO of some huge corporation. I get drug along, still. For show, mostly. My parents are always hoping I will someday cut my hair and join them in their world full time, not just for appearances. They hate what I do, disapprove of my life. I know, poor little rich boy, right?”
“I’m not sure I would use poor, or even the term little, to describe you. So, forgive me for the interrogation, but again, what do you do for a living, then? You said office, but no suit. So, mafia hit man? No, you wouldn’t have an office. I’m stumped.” She laughed, but the high-pitched noise sounded foreign even to her ears.
What is it with this guy, she asked herself as his laugh practically unnerved her. She couldn’t tear herself away. So unlike her. Yes, she’d had flings, more the adventurous love ‘em and leave ‘em type. Yet, this guy, this puzzle, this man so obviously unlike her in all ways, except working out. She felt this incessant need to get to know him, like her obsession with chocolate during PMS, out of her mind to get her hands on, and then some.
“No, nothing like that. What an impression I must’ve made on you. I’m a software engineer. Fancy words for, I make video games. Actually, I’m quite the nerd, despite what you may think from current appearances.”
“Seriously?” she breathed out.
“Yes, seriously.” He grunted.
He’d rolled his eyes, then let a small smile, a devious upturn to his mouth, break the hard lines of his face.
“I’d have never guessed that…” she left off, censoring herself from voicing the next words that popped into her mind about how he really looked to her. Dangerous. Scrumptious.
“Yeah, I guess I don’t look the part until you get to know me. In fact, my tattoos are from the last game I was part of a team to create. These tribal tattoos were on the main characters. The dragon that goes up my spine is part of the game logo. And, to prove the point that I am an endless, game-playing geek, I have to say, you look like one of the faeries from one of my games. All long, blond hair with emerald eyes, but with an unbelievable body to fight off your enemies. Shit, I can’t believe I just said that.”
Her turn to laugh, she blushed, as well, at his description of her. “It’s fine. My first thought when I saw you was you were some villain from one of those superhero movies, some dark overlord or something. I am an action-adventure movie junkie, myself. We all have our indulgences, I guess. Ours aren’t that far apart, though I have no control over the outcome. Well, it was interesting bumping into you. I have to go get ready for a PT session someone scheduled, get out of these sweaty yoga clothes and into a new workout outfit. Such is my glamorous life.”
“Wait, can I get your name?” Fierce frustration vibrated the gravely tones of his voice.
“Sam, well, Samantha. And, yours?”
“My friends call me Jaws. Stupid as it sounds, I prefer it to my real name. Jaws is a play on my initials and the way I attack my work as well as my play, or so they say. Anyway, it works for me, I guess. The name stuck, regardless.”
“Well, nice to meet you, ah… Jaws. A funny thing to say when you’re out in the middle of the ocean. Have a nice cruise, or what’s left of it.”
“Sure, thanks. Nice to meet you,” he said, his voice falling off more with each word.
She fought her disappointment as she walked away, each step harder and harder to take. What had gotten into her, she didn’t quite know. Sure, the mystery of the man attracted her, as did his body in general. In another time and place, she would’ve considered a one night stand with the guy a grand adventure, something she craved, needed, another walk on the wild side into the unknown. Yet, she could fraternize with the guests but not have any sort of physical relations with them. Being caught in flagrante delicto was grounds for immediate dismissal. Of course, you had to be caught, literally red-handed, with dick in hand, she once heard someone say. There had to be proof, to put it in nicer words.
Eyes were everywhere. Even on a cruise ship this size, the world of the staff was small. There’d always be someone anywhere you went, waiting on the guests hand and foot. A ship crew worked twenty-four, seven, and petty jealousies existed as in any work place. Someone always wanted to get ahead, take your job.
In a sort of tizzy now, sexual frustration having eaten away at all of her zen from her yoga class, she looked forward to giving some guy, named Brad, a good workout.

****

All the way back to his cabin, Jaws berated himself for letting the faerie comment come out his mouth, for not being at all cool and collected, for losing the I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude he cloaked himself with during these business events with his parents. He’d never encountered such an ethereal creature outside of his beloved games. Seriously, she could’ve been created by code he’d written, and then stepped right out of his TV screen after battling a dragon.
That body of hers, lean and lightly muscled, tough, but still distinctly female, he’d had his hands on and hadn’t wanted to let go. The way her fair-colored ponytail caressed her neck, skin shining from working out in the tropical heat. He could imagine the salty and sweet taste of her on his tongue. The light scent of flowers still invaded his senses. Alone, now, in his cabin, he found himself smelling her, honeysuckle and maybe citrus, still on the palms of his hands.
The light green tank she’d worn had ridden up during their small collision, revealing to him the slight indentations of ab muscles that led to the soft curve of her hips. Long legs, the color of a goddess, he imagined wrapping around his back, powerful enough to hold on as he pounded into her.
“Shit,” he let out a stifled yell as he turned on the water in the shower. Stripping off his sweaty shorts, he swore he needed a second, no, maybe third, and forth go at the heavy bag to work her out of his system. It was day three of a five-day cruise. Not that he’d been counting down or anything, to get off this damnable ship where his parents filled his time with smoozing the rich and unimpressive. Though, to hear them talk about themselves, and they did, quite often, in fact, they were someone you wanted to be friends with if you wanted to be someone. He never had, wanted to be friends or be someone, really, not in their world, at least. In fact, video games, at a very young age, had been his escape from the life his parents had groomed him for.
Shaking the thoughts of his situation from his mind, he realized that only gave him two more days on the ship to run into Samantha again. What were the chances? This place seemed like a small island with rooms enough to fill a large hotel, more restaurants than you could count on one hand, a mini mall in the middle, then a pool and gym and all. When they’d boarded, his mother had actually complained that she couldn’t get the whole ship into one picture on her camera.
What did it matter though? Even if she’d agree to dinner, or dare he dream, to a one night stand with him, and he doubted it, he wouldn’t see her again after that. This was a cruise after all. That shouldn’t matter so soon after meeting a stranger, but somehow, the idea deflated him on many levels like a flawed, and thus unbeatable, game. Frustration mixed with anger left him shaking as a flight or fight response mingled in confusion with the urge to give into defeat.
Sam was beautiful to rival any definition of the word he’d ever seen in the endless parade of women his mother had thrown at his feet without shame or apology. They obviously had nothing in common but severe attraction. He’d felt it, a connection so fierce it had actually weakened him a moment from the spark, and he could still feel the burn in his air-deprived lungs.
After showering in the coolest water he could stand, and getting appropriately dressed for dinner, he suffered through hours of a five-course meal, finding each word spoken at the table grated on his nerves more than usual. The newest money-grubbing airhead his mother was trying to fix him up with sat beside him. Each time she laid her hand on his arm to accent what she’d said, with a lame attempt at overt flirting, sent his mind right back to Sam.
By dessert, in his bored, and so more overly-active than usual imagination, he’d made love to Sam, twice, fierce and fast, like the villain she’d thought him, kidnapping a beautiful faerie from the woods and having his way with her. It wasn’t sick or twisted though; it’d been hot and beautiful. In his dream, she wanted him as much as he wanted her. Her light cured the darkness in him. God, he was a geek, a horny nerd fantasizing about a girl out of his league. A new one for him. Sam had not seemed to be impressed by the amount of money he was worth, if it had even dawned on her at all. Shit, that fact alone made him half in love with her already.
“Son,” his father’s voice interrupted his thoughts.
“Sorry, what?”
“It seems you fell asleep with your eyes open. Not sleeping well on the trip?” his mother soothed, stopping his red-faced father from continuing on. “We are ready to go up to the nightclub on the upper deck by the pool for a nightcap. Please escort Suzanne.”
“Yes, mother,” he said, taking his napkin from his lap and placing it on his plate full of food.
He stood, pulled out Suzanne’s chair, and offered her his hand to help her up. Her perfectly manicured fingers in his, he watched her body, covered in a white silk gown, gracefully flow from sitting to standing. She was pretty, in that too perfect way only an obscene amount of money can buy. Unfortunately, nice or not, she belonged in this crowd and he would never fit in. He didn’t want to fit in. Trolls and warriors suited him just fine. At least you knew where you truly stood with characters you created.
Suzanne continued to talk all the way to the upper deck, giving her opinion on the conversation from dinner that had bored him into fantasies about Samantha, or Sam. He liked a girl who could handle a nickname. So many full names were used in this world he grew up in, to ad nauseam, by his parents. Not sure if just his father’s pompous friends tended toward using full names, or if all the overly rich who think themselves famous of the world were this way.
He loved the stupidity of his own nickname. In his office he worked with a Ben rather than Benjamin, a Ton (pronounced like tone) rather than even Tony, let alone Anthony, and so on. Better yet, he couldn’t even remember Chubs real name, and the guy seemed to wear it like a badge of honor, always up for the latest food challenge to come across YouTube. Also, they called Chris, Noob, because he excelled at writing code for video games but sucked at playing them.
As he stood at the bar getting Suzanne some fruity, girly concoction, and a whiskey for himself, he could name a Richard Kent, a Fredrick Stephen, a William David, and a Daniel something or other, all with varying degrees of second or third or more after their surnames.
A tingle of laughter came through the door as someone opened it onto the deck. Turning his head, he saw Sam, looking more a Samantha in a thin, pale yellow sundress flowing with the breeze. A beer in her hand, she laughed with a group of people, her hair waving in the wind looking like strands of silver and gold in the moonlight. More angelic tonight, but still ethereal, shimmering with the backdrop of the ocean standing at the furthest deck of the ship. Even with her brightness, he liked the simple beer in her hand, how it grounded her in the real world.

Picking up the drinks, he obediently trudged back over to Suzanne, only thinking of how to break away to go talk to Samantha.