For generations, the Temple of the Deity has kept the people of Heklos safe. But now a new religion is coming, and Abiron and Ariana, priest and priestess of the Deity, must fight to protect their nation.
But what neither of them realize is that mightiest weapon the Deity has in Her arsenal is that of sexual love. Ariana, Abiron, and those whose paths they cross will all be bound up in it, fated to become...
The Guardians of Heklos.
~~~~~ Excerpt ~~~~~
Start at the waist, Ariana's advice, spoken months ago, whispered in his mind. He laid his hands gently on Angela, taking care to keep his touch feather-light. Stroking, motions slow and sure, he caressed her from hip to where the fan of her ribs began to swell into the proud outthrust of her small breasts. Stepping closer, he ran his hands down the long, strong muscles of her back, stopping short of the taut curves of her buttocks.
In turn, Angela began to explore his body. She drifted her hands down the clean lines of his chest, fingertips exploring him with delight. Her breath began to grow short. Greatly daring, she brought her face close to his neck and nuzzled him while he groaned in pleasure.
Enough, she thought. She came to him, sealing her body against his. She hooked her hands behind his shoulders and brought his sweet mouth down to hers for their first kiss. Boldly she opened her mouth and sought his tongue with hers. She felt his hands firmly grasp the curve of her hips, and in turn sought out the hard muscles of his buttocks. She cupped them in her palms, reveling in the strong feel of him under her hands.
Her hands sought to go lower. Bending her knees, she knelt before him, hands learning how his buttocks gave way to his thighs and thence to his calves. She removed his shoes, and her mouth dipped for a quick kiss on the arches of his feet. Still kneeling, her hands reached up and with sure fingers undid the flies of his breeches. She hooked her fingers in the waistband, and with one abrupt movement pulled his breeches to his feet. Eyes wide, she took in the object of her desire, standing strong and proud, bobbing in front of her face in time with his heartbeat, which she could feel in her palms as they rested on his legs. She licked her lips, staring at it. Her previous encounter, sweet as it was, had been a fumbled, hurried thing. She had had no chance to explore all the possibilities of desire. She looked up at Abiron.
“My friend, will you take me to bed?”
Charlie Griffin had sworn to save himself for marriage. When he met hot, sexy Elena Rodriguez, he thought his prayers had been answered. But then Elena is cruelly taken away from him on their wedding night. Succumbing to despair, Charlie sinks into depression. But he hasn't counted on the willpower of one young woman. Jasmine, Elena's daughter, won't let him throw his life away. She will do anything to claim the love of "My Virgin Daddy."
~~~~~ PG Excerpt ~~~~~
Charlie was shivering with pleasure and fear. This was not what he had imagined his first time would be like. Rather than the culmination of weeks of planning after a wedding, he was being seduced by his dead wife's daughter. His eyes feasted on her incredible body, seeing for the first time what he had known unwillingly. Long, slim legs melded into a pair of subtly curved hips, the white lace of her high-cut panties emphasizing her slender waist. Above, her stomach was flat, the dimple of her navel winking at him saucily. The delicate fan of her ribs morphed irresistibly into the lovely curves of her breasts, standing out high and proud from the wall of her chest, obviously not needing the negligible support of her filmy bra.
“Thirty-six C,” she said, catching his look. “A little smaller than Mama's, but then,” she shrugged, “I haven't had any babies yet. They'll probably get a bit bigger when I do.”
“It's all right, Charlie,” she said. “Men like to know.” She stepped closer, until he could feel the heat of her body. “Would you like to go to my room?” she asked quietly.
She shook her head. “Too many memories. I know Mama never slept with you there, but...it would still feel like I was trying to take her place.
“I'm not, you know.” Her face, looking up into his, was solemn. “I know I'm not her. I'm me. But I'm a me who loves you, Charlie. And I don't want you to hurt anymore.” She shook her head. “I'm sorry. I'm screwing this up. I just...”
Greatly daring, Charlie laid his fingers across her full, kissable lips. His heart was hammering in his chest. Slowly, carefully, he enfolded his stepdaughter in his arms, until their bodies were pressed together. He could feel her soft curves against his bare chest. His arousal was an iron bar inside his slacks, pressing against her bare belly. Jasmine didn't flinch away. Instead, she made a low, growling noise deep in her throat, and her hands reached around him to grab his ass, pulling them even closer together.
Her eyes, when they met his, were shining. “Are you ready?”
“I think so.”
In the spring of 1628, the Witchfinder of Wessex finds himself a true Witch. As Bess Hawksmith watches her mother swing from the Hanging Tree she knows that only one man can save her from the same fate at the hands of the panicked mob: the Warlock Gideon Masters, and his Book of Shadows. Secluded at his cottage in the woods, Gideon instructs Bess in the Craft, awakening formidable powers she didn't know she had and making her immortal. She couldn't have foreseen that even now, centuries later, he would be hunting her across time, determined to claim payment for saving her life.
In present-day England, Elizabeth has built a quiet life for herself, tending her garden and selling herbs and oils at the local farmers' market. But her solitude abruptly ends when a teenage girl called Tegan starts hanging around. Against her better judgment, Elizabeth begins teaching Tegan the ways of the Hedge Witch, in the process awakening memories--and demons--long thought forgotten.
Part historical romance, part modern fantasy, Paula Brackston's New York Times bestseller, The Witch's Daughter, is a fresh, compelling take on the magical, yet dangerous world of Witches. Readers will long remember the fiercely independent heroine who survives plagues, wars, and the heartbreak that comes with immortality to remain true to herself, and protect the protégé she comes to love.
~~~~~ Excerpt ~~~~~
“Um.” He swallowed. “I want to apologize. When I was upstairs yesterday, I opened the curtains because I hoped to see you naked.
“You have every right to tell my parents, or call the cops, or whatever else you think is appropriate.
“I’m sorry,” he finished. “I’m really, really sorry, and I will never do anything like that again. Not to you or to any other woman.”
After, a long moment, she blinked. “An apology. Well. Apparently you’re not a complete prick.” She paused, seemingly gathering her thoughts. “So, Jack.” Her tone was chilly. “Here’s the question. Were you spanking the monkey last night because you were seeing a naked woman? Or because I was naked?”
Jack didn’t need to think about it. “It was because of you.”
“Oh? Do you think I’m beautiful?” He thought he could see something stirring in her eyes.
“No,” he answered honestly. “I don’t think you’re beautiful.
“I think you’re hot.”
“What? What are you talking about?”
“Lots of women are beautiful. Or want to be. And they’re going to spend the rest of their lives trying to hold onto the way they look right now. And the older they get, the harder they’ll try. Eventually, they’ll be nothing but makeup and liposuction and dye-jobs and botox. I’ve seen it with my mother’s friends. It looks like their faces will crack if they smile.”
Jillian’s lips twitched, and that gave him the courage to go on. “But you, Mrs. Murphy. You don’t seem to care. I mean, you look good. But you don’t have to work at it. You have this grace, this natural flow about you. You remind me of a tiger. Or a leopard.”
“Not a cougar?” Damn it, there was a smile playing around one corner of her mouth. For the first time, he felt himself relax slightly.
“Maybe. You’re…you’re just sexy, Jillian. I’ve thought so for years. And I wanted to see you. All of you.”
“Hmm.” For a long moment, Jillian stared at him. She nodded once, abruptly. “All right. Apology accepted.”
He felt his knees buckle. “Oh, thank God,” he said. He turned for the door. “I’m sure you don’t want to see any more of me,” he said, realizing he was babbling, but unable to shut up. “I’ll see you later.”
He felt his shirt sleeve seized in an iron grip. “Oh, no you don’t.”
Her face was lit by some unnameable emotion. “I said I accepted your apology. I didn’t say that I was done with you.
“I. Own. You.
“So here’s how it’s going to be, Jack. You can walk out of here. And sometime in the next couple of days, your entire comfortable little world is going to come tumbling down around your ears. Maybe it’s an anonymous phone call to the cops. Maybe it’s a letter in the mailbox. Maybe I show up on your front doorstep, and walk to talk to your parents.
“So unless you do what I want, I ruin you.”
Jack could almost feel the blood draining away from his face. “So what is it? What do you want?”
Jillian stepped closer, so close he could almost feel the heat of her body. “Oh, don’t look so scared.
“Do you know,” she asked, one hand tracing patterns on his chest, “how long it's been since I've been in bed with a man who found me attractive? It has to be nearly twelve years.
“So here’s the deal, Jack. You show me exactly how hot you find me. And I’ll keep my mouth shut.”
He stared at her. "You're blackmailing me into sex?"
~~~~~ Excerpt ~~~~~
Grace watched as a riot of emotions chased themselves across William’s face. Confusion, understanding, a bright surge of hope, an answering darkness as he shook his head.
“I am married, my lady captain,” he said, taking refuge in formality.
Damn the man! Why did he have to be so…so honorable?
She would not, would not beg, she swore to herself. “True.” She backed away and leaned against a bulkhead, crossing her arms under her breasts, using the motion to lift them slightly. Her lip twitched as she caught William noticing. “But do you wish to go to her bed, as her husband, with this hanging over your head?
“One night, William. I offer nothing more. And nothing less.
“You say she is cold to you. I am not. I am not like my sisters. I am not drawn to them. I want…” Their eyes locked suddenly, sea-gray meeting his dark blue, like the twilight sky in the last moments before true night fell. “I want a man. I want to feel him inside me. I want muscles and strong arms and legs and something long and hard I can ride.”
She watched him lift the glass to his lips, swallowing the last of the whiskey. Slowly, he rose to his feet and set the glass aside, and she despaired, sure he was about to leave.
In two long strides, he was next to her. She gasped as she felt his arms close around her, holding her tight. She felt his head nestle against her hair, and she returned his embrace, knowing without being told his need for simple human comfort.
When they parted, his eyes were shining in the lamplight. “So,” he murmured. “How do you want to do this?”
“I want to make love to you,” she answered. She held up her hand as he tried to speak. “Not with you. To you.
“Stand over there,” she said, using her chin to point at the curtained alcove where her bunk lay. “Very good,” she smiled as he obeyed her order. She followed, looking up at him, admiring his well-made body. Even as she did, she could feel her pulse begin race excitedly, her body preparing itself for love.
Seven weeks. Seven weeks since they had left port. Seven weeks since she’d had a man. Touching herself until she gained release was not nearly enough, and even if she had been like some of the other women on the ship, who did not blink at taking female lovers, doing so would have undermined her authority.
“What-“ but she cut him off.
“I am making love to you,” she repeated. She stepped closer, running her hands over the fine cloth of his shirt, feeling the strong muscles underneath. For once she was glad William was not dressed in his customary finery. He looked very well in the clothes of a lord, but getting him out of them…
That would take far too long.
But now a new age is dawning. Rome, with its mighty military and its new gods, thinks little of the tribes of Britain. If Finian and Eilonwy are to weather the storm, they will have to learn to work together, despite their differences. And what role will Aurelia, half-blood daughter of the governor of Corinium, play in our tale? She has seen the future through the gift of her mother's people, but will she have the strength to embrace her fate?
Old foes become new allies, and desire erupts in the most unlikely of places. Because, despite all they can do, Eilonwy, Finian, and Aurelia are all caught in the web of…The Dryad's Passion.
~~~~~ Excerpt ~~~~~
“What,” she asked, “was that?”
Finian grinned up at her like a fool, his face full of a joy that echoed her own. “Humans call it an orgasm.”
“And human women…have these…orgasms…often?”
He shrugged, seemingly embarrassed, and sat back on his heels, the movement bringing more of his magnificent body into view. She eyed it with unabashed hunger. “I think they can. I don't know if they do. The woman who…who was my first lover…taught me how to please her. I am very happy that what works for women works for dryads as well, Eilonwy.”
She was suddenly consumed by a blazing fire of jealous fury. Another woman had dared to lie with her beloved? Had she taken his seed within her? Born his child?
She forced the anger away, another thought striking her. “Can…can men have this orgasm, as well?”
A lopsided smile pulled his mouth into an attractive curve. “Oh, yes. We can.”
“And how is it done?”
He made a cautious gesture towards his shaft, which was still rising proudly from its nest of pubic hair at his groin. “With your hands. Or your mouth.” She felt her eyes widen in surprise. That in her mouth? She fought back a giggle. Of course, a few moments ago, you would never have thought Finian would put his mouth where he did. And look how pleasantly that turned out.
“Or, if you allow it,” he continued, his face as red as his hair, “I could…we could…” he stuttered to a halt.
Suddenly realizing what he was trying to say, Eilonwy lay back in the grass, letting her legs sag apart lewdly. Her eyes were drawn to his groin like a flower following the sun across the sky. His male hardness bounced in time with his heartbeat. “Inside me?” she whispered. Despite everything, she felt a tiny stab of worry. How would he…gods, how would he fit?
“Yes.” Although quiet, his voice throbbed with need.
“Then come, my love,” she said, letting go of her fear and allowing her own desire fill her voice. She held out her hands to him. “Come to me.”
Prince Jothri didn't want a wife. Milkmaid Alessandra Shipbourne CERTAINLY didn't want a husband. But the law was clear. The prince of Westhaven must sire his heir on a commoner. And with both the land and their own desires driving them together, only a fool would try to stand between. Alessandra will need her wits about her, because she has been "Chosen By The Prince!"
~~~~~ Excerpt ~~~~~
Her voice, when she spoke, was deeper than usual, with a slow, rolling cadence which was older than the hills.
“The Land speaks through me. What is the desire of the Lord who comes before me?”
Jothri stood. In the low light, wrought of candlelight and the low glow of the fire on the hearth, his body was magnificent, golden red, like bloodstained gold. His eyes were deep and shadowed, and she saw, with a stab of triumph, that the fabric at his loins could no longer disguise the signs of his swelling arousal.
“I am the Lord.” His voice was deep and steady. “I come to claim the Land for my own. Mine and the heirs of my body.”
A wave of displeasure rolled through her. This one is arrogant. He will need to be taught a lesson.
She raised her chin haughtily. “I am the Land. I submit to no Lord who does not kneel before me.”
As if it were the most natural thing in the world, Jothri bowed his head, kneeling before her. “I am the Lord. I come seeking the Land’s blessing.”
His position put his head nearly at the level of her groin, and Alessandra stifled a wild impulse to pull up the hem of her robe and demand that he kiss her throbbing womanhood until she climaxed.
“Disrobe, my Lord,” she murmured, somehow hiding her panic. “Let us see what you have to offer the Land.”
His hands flew to the waist of his robe, and she knew he was aroused as she. It took only moments before he was nude, standing before her proudly.
Her legs grew weak, and before she knew what she was doing, she had fallen to her knees.
“So lovely,” she whispered, bending forward. It was impossible to resist. The tip of her tongue flickered out, laying a darting kiss on his skin. His taste was divine. Clean soap and male musk and the faintest acrid tang of his sweat, all combining to make him irresistible.
She murmured, voiceless, deep in her throat, her body raging for release, as she licked him. His taste burst on her tongue in an explosion of pleasure, and before she knew it, her mouth was open wide, only a hairbreadth from swallowing him whole.
Stupid, wretched slattern! The voice was a whip-crack in her mind. Will you ruin everything? Do you want him to spill his seed uselessly in your mouth or on your body? Your child will be queen. But only if you don’t make a bloody stupid balls of it. Stop it. Stop it now!
Although it was close to agony, somehow, shaking, she pulled away, raising her head and letting him escape her mouth. Above her, Jothri was shaking like a fly-stung horse, the muscles of his stomach jumping and trembling spasmodically.
“Oh no,” she teased, hiding how close she had come to losing control. “You will not spill your seed on barren ground, my Lord.” Why was she still wearing this stupid robe, she thought with a trace of her old irritation. She undid the knot and let it fall to the floor, at last leaving her naked with her lifemate. Teasingly, she ran a finger down her breasts to her stomach, pausing below her navel. “Only within my fertile valley will it take root.
“Are you the plowman I have been looking for?”
Or how sweet the reward. For Kitiara didn't want the sweet caresses of a man, but the firm hand of a woman!
~~~~~ Excerpt ~~~~~
Her legs shifted under the gauze-like material of the robe, making it ride higher on her thighs. Nora swallowed. For months, she had been fighting a battle against herself, not daring to acknowledge how attractive the younger woman was becoming. “Tell me,” Kitiara continued, her lips curving in a grin. “Which one would have you taken to bed? The tall one? You could have climbed her like a tree.”
“They were all lovely,” Nora replied. She held up a hand and wiggled her fingers. “Which one of these is more attractive?”
“What?” Kitiara leaned back, her lips curling in a disbelieving smile. “The men, too?”
She shrugged, her face heating. “Yes.”
Kit shook her head. “Unbelievable. I would have sworn that you have never found a man attractive in your entire life, Nora.”
“And how should I have found a man attractive?” she flared, upset at her gentle mockery. “I was thirteen when I came to court, Kit. Thirteen! Should I have chosen a husband from among the pimply, stupid louts whose fathers farmed the lands around Buckhallow? They only had one thing on their minds. This,” she said, pointing at the spot between her legs. She was ashamed to feel her eyes pricking with tears.
“And when I came to court, when your mother chose me as Companion, I traded one set of fools for another. They didn’t want me. They didn’t want the brown-haired farmer’s girl who was in way over her head. No. They wanted the Heir’s Companion. All they saw was the power I could bring them. How if I married them, they could use me to influence you and the queen.”
Kitiara raised her brows, but did not respond to her unusual spate of ill-temper. “So you could bed a man, do you think?” Her voice was softly pensive.
“I could,” she sighed, suddenly tired. “I will never stop wanting women. But I could do it. With a man. I even wonder what it would be like, sometimes. The last time I was at the temple, I almost asked for one. But it would have to be the right man. Someone who was completely unconcerned with rank, and privilege, and power. Someone who was lovely, not just in his body, but in his soul. Someone I was sure was not trying to use me, or you, or your mother the queen.”
A tear ran down her cheek, and she sniffled. “Rotten brat,” she said, her lips trembling in a weak smile. “How do I always end up telling you everything?”
“Because you love me,” Kitiara said cheerfully, finishing her wine. She got up and walked to the sideboard, pouring another measure into her cup.
“Arrogant, too.” Nora drained her own goblet. The wine was stronger than what she was used to, rich and red, and she was beginning to feel pleasantly muzzy around the edges of her mind. “I obviously didn’t paddle you often enough when you were a child.”
“Maybe you should start doing it again.” To her utter astonishment, Kitiara bent over the arm of the couch that faced hers. The position put her rear only a foot or so away from her face. “Would you like to paddle me?” she asked, her voice suddenly low and sultry. “Paddle me, sweet Eleanora, and turn my little bottom nice and rosy pink?”
But a long weekend with Sam provides unforeseen temptations. He’s not one to take her teasing ways lying down. Unless he's lying down with her! Because Sam has a dominant side. And he's dedicated the weekend to…Popping Cherry!
~~~~~ PG Excerpt ~~~~~
“I'm glad we were able to spend some time together, Sam.” She made her voice a caress. “Who knows when we'll be able to hang out again?”
He shrugged, keeping his eye on his bobber, which had begun to move in an interesting fashion. Did he have a fish on the line? “You're welcome to come up and visit any time you like.”
“Not like that, Sam.” She moved closer and let her hand stroke his arm. “Alone. Just the two of us.” Now, closer still, until the swell of her breast was pressing into the bulge of his bicep. She leaned until she could breathe into his ear. “Wouldn't you like that?”
She could see the tension building in his body, the way his free hand clenched as he fought for control. “Cherry…don't.”
“Don't what?” she teased, letting her hand fall oh-so-casually on his thigh. Slowly she moved it higher, until it was resting over the hot bulge of his crotch. “My,” she breathed. “What a…big…boy you are.”
“Remember, Cherry,” the voice seemed to come from a great distance. “I warned you.”
Her head spun as she found herself thrown suddenly to the ground. Her arms were stretched up high over her head, her wrists pinioned effortlessly in one of Sam's large hands. His other hand was engaged in pulling her shirt up over her head, a task which he managed with ridiculous ease.
“Sam, what are you doing?” Her voice was high and thready.
“Exactly what you want me to do,” he gritted. He used her shirt to bind her wrists together. “Wendy told me about the games you like to play. And I've seen it myself over the last few days. You're good, I'll give you that. You play the shy little vixen to perfection. And I bet you really get off on watching men grovel and beg.
“I tried to warn you. Remember, the first night? I asked you if you knew what winning would be like? Congratulations,” he said. “You've won. And this is your prize.”
He stood and went to the car, returning with a length of clothesline. Wide-eyed, she watched as he tied it firmly around the tree, then to her wrists. Bound, she found herself unable to move more than a few inches to either side. Her mouth grew dry from fear, and another, unnameable emotion. This wasn't big, gentle Sam, who had barely spoken a harsh word to her in all the years she had known him.
Or maybe, her mind whispered to her, you're seeing the real Sam for the first time. The one he hasn't shown to anyone else.
“This is how it's going to go, Cherry,” he said, kneeling down so he could look her in the eye. “I'm going to take all your clothes off. And then I'm going to take all of my clothes off. And I'm going to do whatever I want to you.
“If you don't want me to do this,” he continued, drawing one finger down her cheek, making her shudder, “all you have to do…is say 'no.'”