Chapter 1 Jacob Hale was just getting started on the pile of work he’d brought home when he noticed the lights. Leaving his open case files on the table, he stepped up to his kitchen window and took a closer look over the fence at his neighbor’s house. He’d seen Isa yesterday while he was getting his mail, and she’d asked him to look in on her cat while she was away for the weekend. So why then were there lights on in her bathroom? Flickering lights, like a flashlight. “Hell,” he muttered. Someone had broken in. He knew she had an alarm system—everyone in the neighborhood used the same monitoring company, and he knew it was a good one. And it wasn’t a silent alarm, but rather was designed to scare off an intruder, and the fog horn of a siren could be heard for blocks. But someone was definitely in her house, and the alarm wasn’t going off. He quickly crossed to the back door, snagging his sidearm from where he’d placed it on the counter on arriving home. His private investigations business didn’t often get involved in dangerous cases; he mostly handled cheating spouses and financial investigations these days, but he’d been a cop for ten years, and carrying a gun was a habit he just couldn’t break. The gun was kept loaded, but he checked the clip out of habit, drawing back the slide and ratcheting a bullet into the chamber as he crept out the back door on silent feet. He crossed through his yard and into Isa’s, stepping up onto her back porch and testing the door. Locked. He frowned. It didn’t make sense for an intruder to come in through the front door. It was too visible, too open. Her back yard backed up to the woods; it made much more sense to approach from that angle. He heard the tinkle of glass breaking from inside the house, and shook his head. Probably a couple of dumb punks with too much time and not enough supervision. He grinned. At least he could scare the pants off of them, and have a little fun doing it. He kept his gun ready, just in case they were armed dumb punks, and crept around the front of the house to surprise them. E Isabella Carelli sank lower into the bathtub and glared at the bubbles that tickled her nose. She was supposed to be at her family’s cottage on the shore by now, curled up in front of a romantic fire, drinking wine and making love, but no. She’d been dumped—again. She felt herself getting pissed all over again just thinking about it. Of all the cowardly, slimy, lame ways to break up with someone— She cut off the thought with a curse and picked up the bottle of wine. She’d had a glass, but the edge of the tub had been slick with spilled bubble bath and the delicate crystal had skidded right off, crashing with an almost musical tinkle onto the tile floor. She’d tossed a bath sheet over the shards of glass and switched to drinking straight from the bottle. It suited her mood. The room flickered with the light of the dozen or so candles she’d lit, their soothing eucalyptus scent wafting in the air. At least it was supposed to be soothing; it really wasn’t doing much to calm her ire. She took a sip of wine, hoping alcohol, bubbles, and a soothing mint mud mask would work where scent was failing. She closed her eyes, sank deeper into the tub, and tried to forget her day. A plaintive meow reached her ears, and she opened one eye. Her enormous orange tabby was sitting on the edge of the tub by her feet, glaring at her in that unblinking and slightly disturbing fashion that only cats seemed to be able to pull off. “George,” she sighed, “get down.” George stayed where he was, tail swishing against the side of the tub, and meowed again. “You can’t be hungry, I just fed you,” she said, and picked her foot up out of the water to nudge him with her toe. He made a noise and shifted slightly, but otherwise stayed where he was. “George, get down!” She poked him with her foot again, splashing him slightly this time, and he complied with a grumpy hiss. She watched him sashay his way across the room, lips twitching when he turned at the doorway to give her a haughty look before disappearing into the hallway. She sighed, closing her eyes again and taking a deep breath in an effort to relax. Unfortunately, instead of serenity and calm, her mind filled with the memory of having her boyfriend break up with her—over the intercom, he couldn’t even be bothered to come down from his apartment to talk to her! The fact that she’d been picking him up for a romantic getaway weekend was salt in an open wound, and she snarled out loud at the remembered humiliation. “I’m sorry,” she muttered out loud, her voice whiney and meek as she mimicked his words. “I just can’t handle this. It’s you, not me. You’re a freak.” She set the bottle down blindly on the edge of the tub with a clunk. “Fucker. I should have known this wouldn’t work when he had to ask his freaking therapist if he could tie me up during sex.” She heard a shuffle across the room and sighed, picturing the cat sneaking up to the tub again. “George, get out!” She opened one eye, prepared to glare, and screamed bloody murder.
Jacob winced at her scream, his relief that she wasn’t being robbed overshadowed by concern for his eardrums. For such a little thing, she had some pipes on her, he mused. He gave brief thought to announcing himself, to let her know it was only him, but it was too late—she was already in panic mode and reacting on pure instinct. She screamed louder, her voice going so shrill he was sure every dog in the neighborhood was now on high alert. He opened his mouth to call out, hoping calling her by name would break through the blind terror induced by seeing a man with a gun her in bathroom, but instead he found himself ducking as something came hurtling at his head. He barely got clear of the first missile when the second came flying at him, clipping him on the side of the head and sending star bursts across his vision. “Help!” she screamed. “911! Call the police!” Through the haze of pain he saw her kneeling in the tub, her nudity apparently forgotten as she picked up a shampoo bottle and winged it at him. He had to credit her aim and her arm strength; he barely managed to deflect the bottle with his free hand before it could smash into his face. He saw her snatch up the matching bottle of conditioner and blurted out, “Isabella, for God’s sake, it’s me! Jacob!” Isa already had her arm cocked back to fling the bottle, but that stopped her. “Jacob?” She paused, blinking water out of her eyes, and he stepped further into the room so she could see him better. He saw recognition dawn and let out the breath he’d been holding. Too soon. “What is the matter with you?” she screamed, and let the conditioner bottle fly. “Ow!” The bottle pinged off his forehead, and he glared at her. “What the hell did you do that for?” “You scared me to death!” She shouted, shoving wet hair out of her eyes, and he suddenly grinned. He doubted she had any idea she was kneeling there, her only cover some sort of green paste on her face, giving him a full view of her lush, wet curves. “What the hell are you doing, breaking into my house with—is that a gun?” Her eyes bugged out as she pointed to the pistol in his right hand. “I thought someone was breaking in,” he explained, keeping the gun down at his side. “You told me you were going to be out of town, and through all this—“ he waved a hand at the glass brick that made up the wall behind the garden tub “—the flickering candles look remarkably like someone holding a flashlight. Like a burglar might? And I heard glass breaking. What was I supposed to think?” “Oh. Oh, shit, I’m sorry.” She winced, one hand coming up to cover her eyes and smearing green paste. Yep, he thought. No idea she’s naked. “My plans got cancelled, and I broke a wine glass—did I hurt you?” “Nah,” he said, taking shameless advantage of her distraction to look his fill. She was all firm, lush curves, with full hips he knew would cradle him perfectly and lush breasts he was dying to get his hands on. Her nipples were wet from the water and puckered tight, and he imagined they’d look much the same after he finally got his mouth on her. He watched a trickle of bathwater wind its way from the underside of one breast, following it as it slid down the slight curve of her belly, detouring around her belly button before continuing down to disappear in the folds of her pussy. Her bare pussy, he noted with a surge of lust. She either shaved or waxed, the lack of hair to shield her from his gaze making his gut tighten with desire. He imagined how she’d feel against his tongue, silky smooth and wet with her own passion, and had to suppress a shuddering groan at the thought. He whipped his eyes back to meet hers as she dropped her hand. “You’ve got good aim, though,” he continued easily, as though he hadn’t been picturing her spread out like a buffet for his enjoyment. “If a burglar did break in here, he’d probably be lucky to get out alive.” 90 Hannah Murray She chuckled. “I played shortstop on my high school softball team.” “That would explain the aim.” He fought a grin as she continued to kneel there, naked as a baby. She shrugged, making her breasts bounce invitingly and causing his pulse to speed up. “I really am sorry. You scared me, and it’s been a real pisser of a day,” she said. Her voice went tight with anger, and he assumed that whatever had led up to the change in plans wasn’t pleasant. She suddenly shivered, the air in the bathroom cooling along with the bathwater, and he saw her face go slack with surprise as the light dawned. “Holy shit,” she breathed, looking down at herself in horror. She slapped one arm across her breasts, the other hand going to cover her exposed mound, and with a squeak, she fell back into the water and disappeared from view. Jacob winced when he heard her head thump against the tub, but he didn’t step any closer. “Are you all right?” He heard a gurgling reply and grinned openly. “Tell me you’re not drowning, Isa, so I don’t have to come over and check for myself.” Instantly her head popped up over the edge of the tub. His grin widened when he saw her hair had come out of its clip, hanging half in her eyes as green water dripped off her face. “I’m fine,” she sputtered. “Could you um… give me a few minutes? To get dressed?” “Sure,” he said. “I’ll just wait for you in the kitchen.” “Thank you,” she managed, her breath sighing out in relief, and he turned to go. He’d gone about four steps when he heard her agonized whisper, “Could this day get any worse?” He grinned again as he continued down the hall to the kitchen. For him at least, the day had just gotten a whole lot better.
EXCERPT - DEVIL IN A KILT - NICOLE NORTH
Chapter 1 North Carolina, present day As a “born-again virgin,” Shauna MacRae wanted to kick her own butt for indulging in the erotic fantasies that had ensnared her two months ago. If only she hadn’t spied that sexy Highland hunk on the cover of a romance novel… She hadn’t even read the book; at least she had some control. But the picture had spawned all kinds of erotic chaos deep in her psyche. She tried to pry her eyes open and pay attention to what was going on in the Kelchner College faculty meeting, but the fantasy wouldn’t release her. He wouldn’t release her. With hot breath, he murmured foreign words in her ear. Gaelic. The unusual sounds rolled off his tongue just before he flicked it against her neck. Warm, wet, tingling. I’m a professor, dammit! I can’t be caught daydreaming like a slacker student. Fighting down languid arousal, she blinked herself back into reality. Distinguished Professor Longgrove paced at the front of the cafeteria expounding on his insurance gripes as he had been for the past hour. Shauna’s eyes closed and the delicious stranger dragged her back into her fantasies. Those devilish blue eyes of his could seduce her with one hot glance. The long straight scar that ran down the right side of his face from forehead to square jaw gave him a dangerous appeal. His sensual lips never smiled, but, hot damn, could he kiss with them. He kissed her all over… kissed and licked and sucked… her nipples. They ached for his touch. With a tingling yearning, her crotch grew wet. She moaned. The droning monotonous voice shut off and quietness surrounded her. Shauna catapulted back into reality and found quizzical eyes staring at her from every side. Professors’ eyes—judgmental, patronizing. Amused? One or two bit back smiles. Omigod, did I just moan in the middle of a faculty meeting? She cleared her throat. “Sorry. Toothache.” She rubbed her jaw. As the “new kid”—she’d been Assistant Professor of Psychology for less than a year—she had not yet been accepted into their tight, tenured ranks. Matriarchal Dr. Munoz examined her over the red-framed reading glasses perched on the tip of her nose. “You should have a dentist examine it.” “Do you have dental insurance?” Longgrove asked. Shauna nodded and rose. “If you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go see if my dentist can fit me in,” she mumbled and fled the room. She ran to her car and sped across Asheville to her apartment, thankful the traffic was light this late in the day. Once inside her small economy, she dropped her bag and dove onto her bed. Her eyes closed and she drifted, not to sleep, but back into her perpetual fantasy. He was there, tracing insistent, slightly roughened fingertips over her sensitized skin. What should she name her imaginary lover? Oh, who cared if he had a name? His body was all she needed. She had been abstinent too long. After her first ghastly sexual experience at eighteen with a cocky college football player who did nothing but fumble, in the backseat of his car as well as on the field, she had avoided sex over the last few years, never becoming intimate with the men she’d dated. Avoiding sex hadn’t been all that difficult, considering what shallow, egotistical losers she attracted. And now, pathetically, she’d become obsessed with a figment of her own imagination—a very hot, hungry, hypnotizing figment. She knew why. No man in existence could live up to this standard. In her fantasy, her clothes disappeared. She lay naked before him in the low light. His wicked blue eyes scanned her body, halting briefly at her breasts then skimming down to her mound. There his gaze lingered. He pushed her legs apart and lay down to examine her at close distance. Scorching arousal burned through her. She squirmed. Touch me. Lick me. Leaning closer, he lapped at her with his tongue, eating her as if she were hot caramel cake. Oooh yes, more. Moaning, he parted her sex lips, slid his tongue deep inside her, then sucked at her clit. She clutched the covers tightly in her fists. A bed-rattling orgasm rocketed through her. She tumbled through the erotic stratosphere, screaming. Before she was finished, he plunged his glorious cock inside her. “Oh, yes. Yes!” Her orgasm magnified and expanded into two, three. Even when the shudders ended, the pleasure continued as he pounded into her. “More.” He gave her more, filling her, stretching her beyond her limits. He set a quickened pace, as if they were in some sort of race to see who could get in the most strokes. And with each frenzied, wet thrust, her pleasure escalated until she hurtled through the roof again. The phone rang and she jerked awake, aching and wet, alone in the twilight filled room. Had she been asleep? She could almost smell him, musky male blended with sandalwood and lavender. And sex. Blinking back the dream, she inhaled a deep breath and pressed the button of the cordless phone. “Hello?” “Shauna? Are you okay?” The voice belonged to Amelia, a friend and professor of social work. “Yes. Why?” “How’s your tooth?” “Oh, fine. I came home, took a pain pill and went to bed.” “You aren’t going to the dentist?” “I’m sure they can’t see me today. It’s so late. I’ll call tomorrow.” Shauna couldn’t tell happily engaged Amelia about her dreams. She’d think she was in need of getting a life. Which was exactly what she needed. “I’m worried about you, Shauna. You seem to be in a fog half the time.” “Really?” Shit! She hadn’t known anyone had noticed she spent so much time daydreaming about him. “Are you seeing someone?” Amelia asked. “No. Why?” “I don’t know. You seem like you’re in love or something. You’re not seeing a married man, are you?” “Are you kidding? That would be stupid.” But probably not as stupid as obsessing over a man who wasn’t real. After talking a few more minutes, she hung up the phone, rolled over in bed and closed her eyes. The sexy scent of his skin settled over her like a fine mist. She loved the warmth of his big body lying next to hers. He covered her with a plaid woolen blanket and snuggled her against his chest. She looked up into his eyes to ask his name, where she might really find him, but he started loving her all over again. ** Scottish Highlands, 1621 Gavin MacTavish awoke from yet another sex dream. He hated dreams that made him lose control like a green lad. ‘Slud, it had been too long since he’d had a woman. But none wanted to lie with the devil. He shoved himself out of bed. Naked, he stalked to the basin and washed himself with cold water. He glanced out the window at the Highlands and the first faint trace of dawn peeking over the eastern mountains. It won’t be long. A yell echoed from down the corridor, the ravings of a madman. His father. One day that would be Gavin, talking to ghosts and shadows. But likely when he sank to that level, he would have no roof over his head. Or else his sparse clan would lock him in the dungeon to die alone. Since he had no heir, his greedy, grasping cousin would become laird. His clan would rejoice when their devil laird was dead. “Damnation! Alpin willna unseat me. The craven whoreson.” Draping his plaid around his waist and holding it in place, Gavin strode from the bedchamber and down the corridor toward his father’s room. “There ye are, lad,” Crocker said, his sparse gray hair sticking out in all directions. “Thanks be to God. He’s a right lunatic this morn. Asking for ye, he is.” “What the devil is wrong with him?” Gavin stepped inside the chamber. “I dinna kin.” “Gavin! Gavin!” his father screeched from the four-poster bed as his body writhed, his long gray hair tangled. “The lass. Ye must look for the lass. Ye must marry. For the sake of the clan. For the sake of yer very soul.” “What lass?” No lass for miles around would so much as glance in his direction. He used to have to drag them from his bed and send them on their way. Now, he couldn’t pay one to give him an hour’s pleasure. He would like as not turn them to stone, or they would end up possessed by the devil, as he was thought to be. Gavin waited for his father to tell him which lass he referred to, but the older man now lay still with his eyes closed, apparently asleep. Mayhap he’d meant the lass from Gavin’s arousing dreams. But she wasn’t real, and he’d never seen her face. Fingers of dawn light gleamed over the mountains and Gavin’s animal nature surged forth, beyond his control. “Damnation! When will it end?” He moved toward the open window, helpless to resist the call. Just as he reached it, a moment of pain sliced through him. His body transformed, and great glossy-black wings appeared where once he had arms, and talons on his feet. Taking flight from the window, he became one with the wind, the Highlands and the bright colors of dawn.
EXCERPT - THE BET - LEIGH COURT
“I can make a woman come using just my mouth.” Damian Hunt, Viscount Atherton, leaned back in his club chair after delivering that salacious pronouncement. He and his friend George Beringer had been drinking heavily for the past two hours, but what else was there to do on a cold winter’s night except discuss horses and politics -- and now, obviously, sex? “What’s so impressive about that?” George slurred, inching his chair closer to the roaring fire in the hearth. “Works like a charm every time. Sends a woman right over the edge.” Damian gave him a slow smile. “Oh, but I’m not talking about using my mouth on her. I’m talking about making a woman come using just the power of my words.” “Balderdash! You may have a well-deserved reputation as a ladies’ man, but it’s impossible to make a woman climax using just words.” Damian took a deep swallow of his wine. “Care to place a small wager on that?” George stared at him, as if silently debating Damian’s abilities. “Why, I’ll place a large wager on it, you arrogant bastard. My London townhouse says you can’t do it!” Damian held up his wineglass in salute. “I’ve always admired your house in town.” “Admire it as much as you like. You’ll never --” George frowned. “Wait a minute. Have you ever made a woman come using just words?” “No,” Damian admitted. “But I’m certain I can do it.” “Well, if I stand to lose my house over this, then I’ll be the one to pick the woman.” George stroked his chin thoughtfully. “Hmm…” “Well, get on with it,” Damian said impatiently. “How hard can it be? We know practically every woman in London.” “And bedded them. Which is why the woman in our wager must be a virgin.” “A virgin?” Damian bolted upright in his chair. “The devil you say!” “It’s perfect, don’t you see? The ultimate challenge for the ultimate rake.” “A virgin wouldn’t know what the hell I was talking about!” “Now, now, I’m sure you can be very, er… descriptive. And I know just the girl for our purposes.” “Bloody hell.” Damian scowled. What had started out as a vain boast was quickly turning unsavory. “Who’s the girl?” “Claire.” “Your younger sister?” “Come on, man. There’d be no harm done there. She’s almost one-and-twenty, practically on the shelf.” George shrugged. “No man’s ever even made an offer for her.” “But she’s --” “A prude. Prim, and proper to a fault. And, sexually, a block of ice.” “She’s a lady.” Damian’s face darkened. What the hell was George thinking? It was a brother’s obligation to protect his sister, not offer her up for some puerile bet. “I may be a rake, George, but I’m no seducer of innocents.” “Ah, but that’s the beauty of it, don’t you see? You wouldn’t be seducing her, not literally.” “She’d technically still be a virgin, but after I’m through with her she will no longer be innocent, George. Pick another woman.” George tilted his head and cocked an eyebrow. “What is it, you old sod?” he goaded. “Worried that you can’t do it, after your fine boast?” “I can do it,” Damian growled. “Just pick another woman.” “No. It’s either Claire, or you forfeit the wager. And if you forfeit, I believe it’s only fair that I get to claim a prize of equal value to my townhouse.” Damian gritted his teeth. How had this situation gotten so completely out of hand? “What would you want?” George tapped a finger against his lips, considering. “I’ll take -- Thunder.” They’d spent more than half an hour tonight discussing Damian’s recent purchase of the stallion, and his hopes for a win at Ascot this year. George knew full well Damian would never part with the horse. Aside from its value, it was too much his pride and joy. “He’ll make a fine addition to my stable,” George added. “You will never get your hands on that horse,” Damian vowed. George took a swig of his wine and smiled wickedly. “Then I take it we have a bet?”
EXCERPT - HEARTS STORM - LIANE GENTRY SKYE
What in Triton's name was I thinking? Sirenia squinted against a rush of tears. Her impulsive nature had not only led her into trouble again-she'd also managed to indenture herself into a life debt. To a land-walker, no less! "Do. Not. Dally," she said. That was the urgent advice Mar-ala had offered earlier, while Sirenia slathered her arms with coconut oil, preparing a barrier against the dehydrating salt of the open waters. "Promise me again, Sirenia, that you will swim an unbroken trail to the Mother's Mangrove." She had bristled as soon as Mar-ala spoke. "What could I possibly find in Open Waters more interesting than The Lost Son?" Deep down, she knew her history provided ample evidence to warrant concern. Too often, one impulsive investigation led her to the delighted discovery of another. More than a few times, she arrived home just in time to greet her outbound search party. Sirenia shuddered, imagining the torment she'd face if she dragged this stray back to Maidenhead. The Elder's would likely banish her-and her land-walker-to open waters as food for the sharks. And they'd be within their rights. By the time the emerald cap of the Mother Mangrove crept above the horizon, she had devised a hundred reasons why she must take the human right back where she'd found him. "He'll likely die anyway..." she tried, but each new glance at her human inspired a thousand fresh reasons why she must see him to safety. Hours spent pushing the delirious man in front of her had taken its toll. Her stressed fins burned with exhaustion and she gulped against air running thicker than silt. A rushing school of sea jellies hastened past. Their agitated behavior mirrored the anxious prickling of her dorsal fins-all signs that the storm would break sooner than she'd hoped. Riding out a hurricane was no big deal for a mermaid. Traveling alone, she could simply seek shelter below, in the arching network of prop roots that supported the Mother Mangrove. That's where she'd been going anyway, to seek the carvings Mar-ala had spoken of-before the land-walker had threatened her plans. "Saving you, changes everything I might have done..." Sirenia lifted her hand from the water, raking it through the curls that clung to the unconscious man's forehead. Even if she carried him to the deeps with her, sustaining him with breaths from her reservoir lung, he'd not survive long enough to weather the storm. He needed dry land. Shelter. Fresh water and plenty of nurturing. All requiring the one resource she couldn't afford-time. "Why now?" Sirenia rolled her gaze up to the brooding sky. "If you had to drop a half-dead man into my arms, commit me to his life debt, couldn't he at least have been merkind?" Lightening flared, leapfrogging the inky clouds. In its wake, thunder rolled, chasing a colony of gulls inland. The hairs at the back of Sirenia's neck bristled, and dread uncoiled in her gut. She felt that Triton himself was warning her that life debts-even to humans-could never go ignored. A wailing wind lifted her hair, slapping it against the land-walker's angular face. The lush fan of his lashes fluttered against prominent cheekbones. Growling, his brows knit above glazed, golden eyes, creasing his forehead with agony. "Shush, now," Sirenia said. She smoothed her palm against the human's cheek. He raged with fever. "We must get you to shelter and soon..." Though logic bid her to get moving, concentrate on getting him to safety, her rebellious body vibrated with longing. She wanted to stop, admire, ruffling once more the rich, chestnut waves capping his forehead... A fresh lightening bolt ignited the clouds, blazing a trail deep within the mangrove. The foreboding thunder that followed renewed Sirenia's sense of urgency, but such an overt expression of Triton's will did nothing to help her sprout the legs she'd need to navigate the mangrove-with her delirious land-walker in tow.
Description: THE BET - LEIGH COURT I can make a woman come using just my words… That outrageous claim by a very drunk Damian Hunt, Viscount Atherton, somehow escalates into a high stakes wager between two best friends: Damian bets his prized racehorse that he can do it… George Beringer gambles his London townhouse that Damian can’t. And the surprising woman George chooses for the bet is not only a virgin, she’s also George’s very respectable sister, Claire -- and to complicate matters even more, once Damian lays eyes on her, the stakes escalate in the most unpredictable way… To My Readers: What happens when a boring winter’s night prompts two best friends to make an outrageous wager? The stakes run so high that losing simply can’t be contemplated! There’s just one unexpected twist, and her name is Claire… THE BOY NEXT DOOR - HANNAH MURRAY Isabella Carelli isn’t just looking for Mr. Right, she’s looking for Mr. Tie Me Up And Do Me Right. In all the wrong places. Fortunately, the right place is right next door. And the boy next door is just about ready to make his move... To My Readers: Isabella and Jacob’s story is full of laughs, love, and rope – a lot of rope. And boy, do they have fun with it! I hope you do, too.
DEVIL IN A KILT - NICOLE NORTH A trip to the Highland Games turns into a trip to the past when modern day Shauna MacRae touches Gavin MacTavish’s four-hundred-year-old claymore. What she finds is a Devil In a Kilt she’s had erotic fantasies about for months. Can Shauna break the curse imprisoning this shape shifting laird and his clan before an evil witch sends Shauna back to her time and takes Gavin as her sex slave?
To My Readers: Who can resist a hunky Highlander in a kilt? Not me, and not Shauna MacRae who finds her erotic fantasies come to life when she travels almost 400 years into the past to the Highlands of Scotland and a cursed laird in need of her love. I hope you enjoy this adventure! HEART'S STORM - LIANE GENTRY SKYE Sirenia's final breeding moon is upon her. She is the last fertile mermaid of her brood. Racing against a hurricane, she must search out and mate with the only merman who can save her kind--the prophesied Lost Son of Triton. When Sirenia rescues injured Navy SEAL, Byron Burke from drowning, she seals herself into his life debt. When the time comes to ask Byron for her freedom, her heart threatens to stand in the way of the last, best hope for her kind. To My Readers: A lifelong fascination with mermaids, a kayaking trip through the mangroves of Tarpon Bay and a snapshot sent to me by a friend provided the inspirations for Heart's Storm. I hope you enjoy!
First Coast Romance Writers are pleased to present THE BEACON - 2010 Published Division An Award for Excellence in Romance
The Bet by Leigh Court
SECRETS VOLUME 27 UNTAMED PLEASURES
REVIEWER TOP PICK
Score: (4.5 out of 5) Secrets, Volume 27 is the latest offering of short stories that are long on romance, spice, adventure and excitement.
"Heart Storm" by Liane Gentry Skye features Sirenia as the last fertile mermaid, upon whom all the hopes of her brood depend. She must find a merman to mate with in a race against time. When she stumbles upon injured and drowning Navy SEAL Byron Burke, she becomes responsible for him, endangering the future of her brood. Will Triton allow these two to have a future together, at the cost of all merkind? This story was filled with fantasy, intrigue, romance and sex, all combining for a fun and enjoyable read.
"The Boy Next Door" by Hannah Murray showcases Isabella Carelli who has just been dumped for being too adventurous in bed. All she is looking for is someone with a little bit of spice, one who is willing to push the boundaries in the bedroom. Jacob Hale, her next-door neighbor has asked her out, but Isabella considers herself too "vanilla" to even consider. Can he show her that he knows how to handle the ropes in and out of the bedroom? This was a highly sensuous read, daring and seductive, fun and romantic, all at once.
"Devil in a Kilt" by Nicole North has Shauna MacRae being thrust into the past after handling a claymore at the Highland Games. Gavin MacTavish believes Shauna has been sent to be his wife, hoping she can help break the curse placed upon him by a vindictive witch. Can Shauna convince Gavin of the truth, will Gavin be able to win Shauna's heart? Will these two lovers be able to overcome the evil that threatens them both? Nicole North has penned a creative and interesting time travel romance. This could easily be pushed into a longer novel, as it ends much too quickly, leaving the reader wanting more.
"The Bet" by Leigh Court features a drunk and cocky Damian Hunt betting his friend George Beringer that he can make a woman come just with words. Damian puts his prized racehorse up against George's London townhouse in the highs takes wager. George gets to choose the woman, so he chooses his very virgin sister, Claire. Is Damian willing to throw his conscience aside to win this bet, or will he end up losing more than his horse? Maybe even his heart? This was a scintillating historical romance.
This collection will thrill and please readers with its varied stories, suitable for all tastes. The only regret will be having missed the previous collections. So, collect them all! ~~ NIGHT OWL REVIEWS
SECRETS: VOLUME 27 Liane Gentry Skye, Hannah Murray, Nicole North, & Leigh Court Erotic Anthology SECRETS VOLUME 27 is the most enjoyable erotic anthology that I have ever read.
HEART STORM--Liane Gentry Skye Skeleton’s Graveyard, The Tropics—Present Day
After her sister fails to conceive a child, Sirenia becomes the last fertile female of her mermaid kind. A sterilizing disease has stricken all of the males in her brood and she must race a hurricane to find a sacred tablet that will predict the one male that can father a child. Sirenia must search out and mate with the only merman who can save her kind—the prophesied Lost Son of Triton.
But Ba’at Rath wants to be the King of all merfolk and he must convince the ruling council that he can father a child in order to achieve his dreams. When Sirenia rescues injured Navy SEAL Byron Burke from drowning, she seals herself into his life debt and threatens all of Ba’at Rath’s plans. Neither Sirenia nor Byron knows that Ba’at Rath is harboring a dangerous secret that effects them all. Will they learn the truth in time to save themselves, their love, and Sirenia’s people? Liane Gentry Skye creates a memorable underwater world with danger and liquid hot sex in this oceanic tale. The main characters are wonderfully written and the story is the perfect length for a sit-down read without leaving any unanswered questions.
THE BOY NEXT DOOR—Hannah Murray
All Isabella Carelli wants is little bondage, a slap on the ass once in a while, maybe a nipple clamp here and there. If her alternative lifestyle ex-boyfriend thinks she’s ‘too freaky,’ then it’s a sure bet that her good-looking, responsible next-door neighbor will think she’s twisted.
But Jacob Hale is anything but vanilla and he’s eager for a chance to tie Isa up. After mistaking a candlelit bubble bath for a burglar’s flickering flashlight he finds Isa in a very interesting state. He also learns exactly why she turned down his casual dinner offer when she joined the neighborhood. Things get chilling when Isa’s ex decides he wants to tie her up after all. Hannah Murray creates every erotic book-lovers favorite rope fantasy in this sexy little tidbit. She has got it all, lust, bondage, danger and a happily-ever after.
DEVIL IN A KILT—Nicole North North Carolina--Present Day Scottish Highlands—1621
Shauna MacRae has been fantasizing about the sexy Highland hunk on the cover of a romance novel for weeks, and in an effort to end her distraction she goes to the modern day Highland Games wearing her grandmothers antique brooch. After a mysterious highlander tricks her into touching an equally old sword she finds herself ensnared in Gavin MacTavish’s 400-year-old castle and meets her fantasy hunk in the flesh.
But Gavin and his clan are caught in an evil witch’s curse. He’s hiding a dark secret and his demented father is convinced that Shauna is the only woman who can break the curse. But will she stay in the past or return to her own time before the witch is defeated?
Nicole North does a fabulous job blending the present day and the 16th Century Highlands. Shauna brings modern day sexuality to a time when men were real men. The combination is sure to leave readers panting for more. I also enjoyed the witty dialog as these two very different main characters found true love. THE BET--Leigh Court The English Countryside—Regency Era
One dreary winter’s night two best friends beginning bragging about their sexual prowess when one Damian Hunt, Viscount Atherton, boasts that he can make a woman come by using just his words. Not to miss a prime opportunity for personal gain, George Beringer bets his London townhouse against Damian’s new racehorse knowing there is no way that his prudish, stuck up, moralistic sister will cave to Damian’s wicked charms.
But Claire isn’t all that her brother believes her to be. Underneath her stern prim and proper ways is the restless body of a warm and passionate woman. She fights her own sexuality simply because she doesn’t want to be associated with her scandalous brother. After renewing her acquaintance with Damien in the country, she must not only fight herself, but also his effect on her mind and body.
These three bold characters in THE BET bring some much needed humor to a cold winter’s night. Leigh Court’s comedic look at virtue verses vice will leave readers laughing in their seats and feeling every bit of Claire’s and Damian’s frustrations. Never fear, Court delivers on all accounts and readers will be very satisfied in the end.
SECRETS VOLUME 27 is the most enjoyable erotic anthology that I have ever read. Each story represents a different sub-genre in erotic fiction providing a buffet of talents and entertainment. The sex scenes are all fantastic, the heroes inspire imagination, the heroines are easy to identify with, and the dialogs are witty. SECRETS VOLUME 27 is a must for new and experience erotic readers.
~~ Mel Mason - RRTErotic
Secrets Vol 27 by Liane Gentry Skye, Hannah Murray, Nicole North, Leigh Court Untamed Pleasures “Heart Storm” by Liane Gentry Skye Sirenia is the mermaid chosen to save all of merkind. As she swims to the mangrove where she will meet and mate with Triton’s Lost Son, she saves Navy SEAL Lieutenant Byron Burke from drowning. Sirenia and Byron can’t resist each other, but they are not meant to be. Ba’at Rath, a merman who wants the power that will go along with mating to Sirenia, will stop at nothing to have her for himself. Sirenia is exactly what I would expect a mermaid to look like: her flowing blonde hair, freckles, and the pearl of skin between her eyes, make her ethereal and beautiful. She reminds me of a Barbie. “Heart Storm” moves fast for such an intense story, but it’s entertaining, sensual, and romantic. “The Boy Next Door” by Hannah Murray Jacob Hale and Isabella Carelli are neighbors and friends. Jacob would like them to be lovers, but Isa turned him down the one time he asked her out. Isa wants more than vanilla in the bedroom and she’s convinced that Jacob would be turned off by her darker desires. She may have been right about her ex-boyfriend feeling that way, but she might be wrong about Jacob. Isa makes the mistake of judging a book by its cover in “The Boy Next Door.” Jacob is so much more than a nice guy. He’s commanding and kinky and just what Isa was looking for. Isa unknowingly wasted a lot of time being lonely when she could have been tied up in Jacob’s bed! “The Boy Next Door” is a little kinky and a lot romantic.
“Devil in a Kilt” by Nicole North Shauna MacRae should be happy that she’s met the man of her dreams, but meeting Gavin MacTavish throws her back in time to the Highlands of 1651. Now, Shauna has to break a curse, fight a witch, and find a way for her and Gavin to stay together. I’m a sucker for a tortured hero. Make him a Scottish laird, and I’ve got everything I need. “Devil in a Kilt” has more than a sexy Scotsman, though. It’s a sensual, exciting story full of romance. Gavin being a cursed shape-shifter makes “Devil in a Kilt” a little different than other time travel stories. In “Devil in a Kilt,” the guy is hot, the sex is hotter, and the story is romantic and fun.
“The Bet” by Leigh Court Damian Hunt has bet his friend George Beringer that he can make a woman orgasm using only his words. George agrees to the wager on one condition: he chooses the woman. George chooses his prudish and innocent sister Claire, thinking Damien will have no chance of seducing her. Damien wants to win the wager, but soon, he wants Claire, too. Can he have both? Because of great writing, “The Bet” feels like a novel instead of a short story. I felt like I got to know Damien and Claire well enough so their fast-paced romance didn’t feel forced. Of course, added length would give more details, but “The Bet” is just fine the way it is. Damien weaves an erotic web around Claire on almost every page that she was inevitably going to fall into. His words are as powerful as his touch. “The Bet” is a wonderfully sensual historical romance with charismatic characters and an angst-filled storyline.
The stories in Secrets 27, Untamed Pleasures are very different, so there’s something for everyone. They have a few things in common, though: hot men and even hotter sex. With wonderful stories and interesting characters, Secrets 27, Untamed Pleasures fulfills secret fantasies. Reviewed by Nannette ~~JoyfullyReviewed.com