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Tina Donahue: Intimate Details

Contest

Win 3 of Tina’s backlist erotic romances from this list:

  1. Adored – RWA award-winning; EPIC 2011 Finalist; 4 Stars RT
  2. Deep, Dark, Delicious – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Holt Medallion Award of Merit
  3. Lush Velvet Nights – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Golden Nib Award
  4. In His Arms – SIX 5 Star Reviews; 4 Stars RT
  5. Sensual Stranger – 2010 Book of the Year (erotic); 4 Stars RT
  6. The Yearning – Top Ten Bestseller
  7. Take Me Away – #1 Pick, Miz Love Loves Books
  8. Unending Desire – Best Book Rating LASR
  9. SiNN – Nominated for Book of the Week LASR
  10. Sinfully Wicked – Magnificent – Romancing the Book
  11. Claiming Magique – Top Pick – NOR
  12. Illicit Desire – Four Stars Romantic Times
  13. Come Fill Me – Five Stars – Guilty Pleasures
  14. Losing Control – Four and a Half Stars – Sensual Reads
  15. Shameless Desire – Four and a Half Stars – The Jeep Diva
  16. Illicit Intent – Four and a Half Stars – Sensual Reads
  17. Deep Within Me – Four Stars – Romantic Times

 Click here for the Rafflecopter.

About Intimate Details

As a computer hacker, she demands justice.

As a woman, she craves two powerful and commanding men.

Shana’s been hacking one of Manhattan’s most corrupt executives, making him pay for what he’s done to his victims. Using her skills, she convinces Mike and Cody to hire her at their intelligence-gathering firm, where intimate details help their clients.

Never has Mike met a woman as delicious as Shana. Smart as hell, curvy and assured, she’d be a delightful challenge in bed. Cody’s carnal hunger is equally intense. He and Mike want to know everything about her.

She won’t divulge the secrets of her past. All she can offer is unquenchable desire and her heart.

During weeks of shameless lust and pleasure, Mike and Cody peel away the layers of Shana’s life. The stunning truth changes everything. They’ll do all that they can to keep her safe…and in their arms.

Siren

Excerpt

The doors hissed open.

Shana staggered from him, her mouth still wet from his kiss and Mike’s. She’d mussed his hair. Cody’s tie was askew. Backing out of the elevator, she murmured, “Good night.”

Before either of them could respond, Shana turned to flee. No way could she ever come back here.

“Whoa.” Mike grabbed her wrist as he had in the suite.

td-intimatedetails-full (2) copyThe guard at the front desk leaned up in his chair. His beer belly hung over his belt. His expression said the security cameras had shown him what had just gone down in the elevator. “Everything okay, Mr. Russo?”

“Is my driver out there?” Mike asked.

The guard craned his neck to see. “Yes sir, he is.”

“Please tell him we’ll be out in a few minutes.”

“Yes sir.”

The middle-aged man hurried outside. Mike held Shana’s wrist gently but firmly. “Good night?”

His lower lip shone with the moisture she’d left on him. Several locks dangled over his forehead. Unable to help herself, Shana eased them back. “I need to go home.”

Mike’s gaze remained lifted to her smoothing his hair. “Yeah, we get that.” Cody had just joined them. Mike spoke quietly. “You’re taking off after what just happened in the elevator?”

She lowered her hand. “It shouldn’t have.”

Cody frowned, his expression a mixture of confusion and disappointment. “Why not? Clearly, we all enjoyed it. You did, right?”

More than anything Shana could recall. Their strength was thrilling and protective, an amazing combination she longed for but couldn’t risk.

Her throat tightened. Tears threatened.

Suddenly, she felt beyond weary and so alone she rested her head against Cody’s shoulder. Stupid, she knew, but Shana couldn’t help herself.

Cody hesitated a moment, then ran his hand down her hair. Mike played with her fingers.

She fought against smiling and crying. Crap, her emotions were all over the place.

“You okay?” Cody murmured.

Shana nodded then shook her head then nodded once more.

“You’re hungry and tired,” Mike said, speaking softly. “You’re not yourself.”

She laughed, unable to stop. “How can you say that? You don’t know me.”

“We want to,” Cody whispered.

Her belly clenched with worry. What they were asking for wouldn’t work. Shana knew they’d never harm her deliberately. They weren’t that kind of men. However, they were human and eventually they’d hurt her. It was what people did to each other, whether they meant to or not. Best not to get involved. She needed peace. They deserved a better woman than she could ever be.

“We can talk about it in the car,” Mike promised.

Shana eased away from Cody then memorized his and Mike’s features because she couldn’t see either of them again.

“Really, we can,” Cody said.

Smiling sadly, she straightened his tie then patted the knot, drinking him in, loving the gentleness in his expression, his rough good looks.

“What?” he asked, as Mike had earlier.

Shana’s emotions raged, battling with her thoughts. What she knew she had to do.

The guard returned from the outside.

She glanced at him then the glass door swinging closed.

Mike and Cody shifted their weight as though they expected her to bolt.

Shana should have. Leave, she ordered herself. Now.

The guard looked at her curiously.

She turned from him before he could read her expression. Mike and Cody studied her.

Both of them were everything she’d ever wanted in a man, in a friend, and far more than she’d hoped for.

Go.

“Yes,” she said, speaking before she could stop herself. “I enjoyed every second.”

They smiled.

“And I’d like more,” she added, admitting what was in her heart.

Now, they grinned.

“But it’d only be sex,” she said, low enough so the guard wouldn’t hear. “Having a good time. Nothing personal. Ever. You guys couldn’t possibly want that. You deserve more.”

“Wait,” Mike said, again keeping her from leaving. “Who said we’re looking for a commitment for god’s sake. What’s wrong with just being friends?”

“Yeah,” Cody chimed in. “We already know what kind of lattes you like and that you’re into cheesecake brownies. That’s personal. As far as I can see the world didn’t screech to a stop when we found that out.” He glanced around then shook his head. “Nope. It hasn’t.”

Mike leaned close, delivering his wonderful fragrance. “We’ll keep it fun. Promise.”

“Nothing personal,” Cody said. “Strictly surface crap. We’ll talk about work, clients, sports, films, food, books. Stuff like that.”

“Why?” she asked, stirred by what they’d said, frightened as hell too.

Smiling, Mike brushed Shana’s hair from her shoulder and stroked the side of her neck. Her breath caught.

“Because we like you,” he murmured. “That’s what friends do. However, I do have one personal question, and I want an answer.”

Her skin got clammy. She stepped back.

He followed. “Are you in trouble or in some kind of danger? Is that what this is about? If so, let us know, please. We can help.”

Shana stared at him.

“Is someone trying to hurt you?” Cody asked.

She thought about Raptor, the threat he’d presented in the past. What he’d do now if he were lucky enough to find her.

“No,” she lied. “No one’s after me.” She faked a laugh. “Seriously, you guys were really in military intelli—”

Cody interrupted, “We just want to help, all right?”

Sobering, Shana nodded.

“We won’t grill you on anything personal,” he said. “But you can’t ask us anything either.”

“That’s right.” Mike took her hand. “No more hacking into our accounts either, business or otherwise. Remember, our lives are as private as yours is. Come on.”

About the Author

Tina Donahue is an award-winning, bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance for Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Siren Publishing, and Kensington. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. Three of her erotic romances (Adored, Lush Velvet Nights, and Deep, Dark, Delicious) were named finalists in the 2011 EPIC competition. The French review site, Blue Moon reviews, chose her erotic romance Sensual Stranger as their Book of the Year 2010 (erotic category). The Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books was created specifically for Lush Velvet Nights, and two of her titles (The Yearning and Deep, Dark, Delicious) received an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition (2011 and 2012). Take Me Away and Adored both won second place in the NEC RWA contest (different years). Tina is featured in the 2012 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. She was the editor of an award–winning Midwestern newspaper and worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company.

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Ann B. Harrison and “The Club—Two for One”

I was at a library talk the other night with a few romance writers and one of the most common questions I hear came up.

“Have you read Fifty Shades of Grey?

Uh, hell yes. Along with millions of other people, I did read it and I’m not ashamed to say so either. Okay, I get it, you either love it or hate it. Being a writer myself I kind of swing both ways on this one. I loved the storyline, rich tortured guy finds himself infatuated with innocent young girl who tries to save poor tortured hero. Happy ever after with a bit of tension and loads of sex and you are guaranteed to have a winner on your hands, right?

Well, yes and no. The complaint I hear the most against the books is, the editing. Sure it wasn’t that great but I can read past that if there is a good story and E.L. James had a great story in my opinion. She had all of the elements wrapped up in that little package. And she had a killer marketing plan very few of us can get away with.

But do you know what it is that I loved the most about the whole deal and nobody can deny this? It changed the way we read. Yep, now you can sit in the train with a romance novel and not have to hide it behind the Sydney Morning Herald. And it can be a steamy romance novel too because that is what Fifty Shades has done for us, made it more acceptable to read erotic romance in the open. I mean, how many of you got a copy  in your Christmas stocking last year? I know my daughter did and she wasn’t the only one in our circle. All the men were talking about it and it was available in the local grocery store!

two-for-oneGotta love it right? I do because it made it so much more acceptable for us authors to write it. It made all the difference to me. I normally write rural romance with sex. Not a lot, but still steamy by some people’s count. Now I can happily write my little heart out, sex scene after sex scene and not get frowned at. That makes this author a very happy little girl.

The Club—Two for One is my steamy romance and I hope you enjoy it.

Thanks E. L. James!

About The Club—Two for One

Nothing is going Lizzie’s way. Her sex life is unsatisfying, her job sucks and she has more debt than she needs thanks to her loser brother. Against her better judgment, she lets her best friend sign her up to be auctioned off at a high-rolling venue called the Club. Agreeing to a weekend of adventurous sex with a stranger is one thing, but being bought by the brothers who own the Club means Lizzie is up for a weekend beyond her wildest fantasies.

Ryan and Lizzie hit it off, in bed and out, but it’s his quiet brother, Trace, that has her heart pounding and her panties in a twist. But is Lizzie what Trace needs? Having been burned before, will he take a chance on what his heart is telling him or trust his instincts and send her home after their weekend is over?

Amazon

About the Author

054A3757_pp_1 (2)Ann swears she was born with a book in her hands and has never put it down. A lifelong love of reader has finally culminated in achieving her dream of writing…and publication.

She lives in the beautiful Hunter Valley with her own handsome hero of many years. Ann has always loved the ups and downs of life in small communities and she shares this with readers in her rural romances.

Strong sexy heroines with a good dash of sass thrown in feature in her stories. Of course these women need an equally strong hero. Bring on the outback hero and watch the passion ignite.

When not writing Ann enjoys reading, gardening, walking her very large dog Hugo and fighting with her computer.

Julie Shelton and “Owning Sarah”

About Owning Sarah

It’s been a month since Sarah Marshall was kidnapped and held at knife-point by her ex-fiance.  But Jesse Colter and Adam Sinclair, her two loving Doms, know that there is an even deadlier threat still out there—Ryder Malone.

He blames both Sarah and Jesse for sending him to prison eight years ago for attempted rape, and he’s determined to make them pay.  So, he begins a systematic campaign of terror and intimidation against them.  But the danger he poses doesn’t end there.

Set against the deepening love and commitment between Sarah, Jesse, and Adam, Owning Sarah is more than just a sexy, sensual, BDSM love story.  It is a harrowing race against time for Jesse, Adam, and a team of former SEALs to stop one of the biggest arms-for-drugs deals in U.S. history.  And to rescue Sarah before Malone sells her to a human trafficker and she’s lost to her men forever.

Excerpt

js-owningsarahAs soon as Sarah finished greeting the last man, Jesse moved in behind her, pulling her against his body, her back to his front. He ran his hands up her arms before settling them on her shoulders. At that blatant gesture of possession, all conversation died and six pairs of eyes bored into her. Wow. She was surrounded by eight strong, powerful, confident men. Men who had survived harsh, primitive conditions. Men who had experienced the brutality of combat and undertaken untold numbers of dangerous missions, all to keep America free. Men whose exploits would never be recognized or acknowledged, who were heroes in the truest sense of the word.

Men who gave new meaning to the term sexy, even if they weren’t particularly handsome. There was nothing handsome about Bulldog, for instance. Yet….wow. The sinuous, animalistic grace of his movements, the air of command he exuded were both undeniably sexy. To a man, these Spec Ops soldiers were tanned, fit, confident, powerful…masculine. These men were potent. The testosterone they exuded was so strong it was almost palpable, a living, breathing thing.

Wow.

Nearly overcome by a sudden bout of near-crippling shyness, Sarah stiffened her spine and gave them what she hoped was a confident smile. “It’s lovely to meet you, and I hope you all can stay for dinner, although I’m not sure what we’ll have. We’ve been eating so much take-out lately, there’s nothing in the refrigerator but a bunch of science experiments on the properties of mold.”

“And beer,” Adam piped up. “There’s always plenty of that.”

“Right,” Sarah agreed tongue-in-cheek. “Science experiments on the properties of yeast.” Her smile faded. “Like I said, you’re all invited to stay for dinner. But why do I get the feeling that this is not a social call? You’re not here for dinner, are you? You’re here because of Ryder Malone.”

“I see we’ve come to the question and answer portion of the evening,” Jesse murmured, squeezing her shoulders gently before dropping a kiss on the top of her head.

“Speaking of beer,” Adam interjected brightly, turning on his heel and moving toward the kitchen, “who wants one?” Everyone except Sarah and Jesse followed him out there. Turning her to face him, he let go of her arms and lifted his right hand to tuck an errant, mink-brown curl behind her ear.

She tilted her chin to look up at him. “This is about a hell of a lot more than just vandalizing my bedroom, isn’t it? What’s going on, Jesse?”

His fingers stilled, warm against her skin, sending a shiver through her. Aware of the undisguised interest on the parts of the men filtering back into the room, beer bottles in hand, they struggled to fight the sudden heat blazing between them. “Don’t worry about dinner, baby,” Jesse said in an effort to divert her attention, “It’s all taken care of. I’ve ordered a Pig-Out Feast for Twelve from Porky’s Bar-B-Q.”

“But,” she spread her hand in confusion, “there’s only nine of us.”

He just chuckled. “Obviously you haven’t seen these guys eat. Anyway, they’ll be deliverin’ it in around”—he glanced at his watch—“half an hour or so, so be on the look-out while we finish up—”

“Finish up what?” she interrupted quietly, refusing to be diverted. “Answer my questions, Jesse, and stop trying to protect me from the big, bad world out there. I know what’s out there, remember? I see it every day in court. So, why are they here? What could Ryder Malone possibly have done to merit a response like this? An entire SEAL team? Really? Don’t you think that’s just a little bit over the top? Like sending a Cruise missile to take down a gnat?”

“Well, if it makes you feel any better, they’re no longer SEALs,” he offered lamely, lifting one shoulder in a slight shrug.

“Oh, well, that’s certainly a relief.”

“Sarah—“”

“Who are they, Jesse? Aside from the biggest, scariest, meanest-looking, bad-ass, uber-macho bunch of guys I’ve ever laid eyes on? Some sort of clandestine, super-covert, black-ops commando group that’s so Top-Secret not even the President knows about them?”

Everyone froze. Seven pairs of eyes were suddenly riveted on her. Her mouth dropped open as realization sank in.

“Oh. My. God!”

Her entire body solidified.

“Holy shit,” Bill Payton muttered, his beer bottle halted in mid-air, halfway to his mouth.

“Told you she was smart,” Jesse muttered back.

Sarah just stared up at him, dumbfounded.

Oh.

My.

God!

Omigod!

“Jesse—”

“It’s okay, baby.”

“It’s okay? It’s okay?” Seized with a sudden need to shiver, she crossed her arms over her breasts. “How can this possibly be okay? What, exactly, makes this okay?”

“Well, for one thing, I’m pretty sure the President knows about us,” Jay offered helpfully, patting her shoulder as he passed her on his way to the couch.

“Looks like she’ll be coming to the meeting.” Adam joined them, grinning, holding out a frosty bottle of beer. She just stared at it pointedly until, shrugging, he withdrew it.

“What meeting?” she wanted to know.

“The meetin’ that’s startin’ right now,” Jesse said grimly, grabbing her by the elbow and steering her unresistingly toward the sofas and chairs gathered around the stone fireplace.

“C’mon, sweet pea.” Adam latched onto her other elbow and they led her to one end of a brown leather sofa where they sat with her tucked snugly between them. The other six men spread out on the other sofa across from them, the oversized ottoman, and in the two club chairs.

Jesse turned his attention to Bill Payton. “Okay, Wildfire, it’s your show,” Jesse said before relaxing back against the cushions himself. Conversation died as they all turned their attention to Bill “Wildfire” Payton, who cleared his throat, and looked directly at Sarah. “Sorry to bring this to your doorstep, Sarah. But it appears that your boy Malone is one seriously bad dude.”

About the Author

IMG_2358Julie has always loved stories, both reading and writing them, ever since she was old enough to hold a book in her hands. One of her favorite childhood activities was smuggling books under the covers to read by flashlight after she was supposed to be asleep.

A career as a children’s librarian eventually led to her dream career as a freelance storyteller and puppeteer, a business she operated successfully for twenty-five years. During that time she created and wrote all the original material for a monthly language arts newsletter full of poems, songs, puppet and flannel-board stories, fingerplays, and other resource material for early childhood educators. For that endeavor she won the prestigious EDPRESS Award for the best educational newsletter of 1982.  She has also written other resource materials for preschool and early elementary teachers.

After moving more than two dozen times in her life, Julie lives in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia.  Now widowed and retired, she once again has time to devote to her two favorite things—reading and writing—especially her new love, erotic romances.

Contacts

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Previous post on Susana’s Morning Room: Loving Sarah

Author Julie Shelton and “Loving Sarah” + GIVEAWAY

Note: Susana is offering a deck of playing cards with yummy Ellora’s Cave covers for one lucky commenter on this post and the next one, with Diana Hunter. Be sure to include your email address in your comment!

Today my guest is Julie Shelton, whose debut novel, Loving Sarah, was recently published by Siren Publishing. Welcome to Susana’s Morning Room, Julie! Tell us a little bit about yourself.

IMG_2358I’m recently retired after a 25-year career as a professional storyteller and puppeteer. I love violets, ballet, England, the Middle Ages, gorgeous scenery, beautiful music, reading, and writing.

What is Loving Sarah about?

Eight years ago Jesse Colter fled his small town, leaving behind eighteen-year-old Sarah Marshall, broken-hearted and devastated. Now a retired Navy SEAL, he’s back and he wants only one thing—Sarah Marshall—preferably bound, naked, and on her knees before him.

She has never forgotten Jesse. He’s been the object of all her sexual fantasies since she was fifteen, as well as the star of nightly dreams that have become increasingly erotic over the years. So when he suddenly reappears in her life, she is torn. Can she trust him not to hurt her, or will he once again break her heart? Warily, she agrees to let him introduce her to his world—the world of bondage, domination, and erotic slavery. When he also introduces her to his best friend, Adam Sinclair, Sarah faces a daunting future of sexual submission to two powerful alpha males.

But Sarah faces an even bigger challenge. Someone is stalking her. Is it the old enemy who’s just been released from prison? Or is it someone else from her past who is determined to destroy any chance she has at happiness? Can Adam’s and Jesse’s love protect her? Or will her world explode in a cataclysm of betrayal and violence that will destroy them all?

What comes first, the plot or the characters?

Well, in the case of Loving Sarah, the character of Jesse Colter came first. Before I even wrote a single word, I spent months thinking about what he looked like, what kind of a person he was, and falling completely, irrevocably in love with him.

What/Who inspired you to start writing?

Mad Magazine and Nancy Drew.

Who is your favorite author?

Mayabankscherisesinclairloraleighlisamariericelaurendanesophieoakleahbrookesierracartwright-kristinashleyedenbradleyshaylablacklexiblaketymberdaltondelilahdevlin. And that’s just her FIRST name!

Are you a pantser or a plotter?

I plot minimally, just enough to know what things are going to happen. But if something comes up I didn’t plan for, I’m willing to explore it to see where it goes and keep it if it turns out to be great.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I’ve written seven romance and historical romance novels, but only one has been published. I wrote all the original stories, songs, fingerplays, poems and puppet plays for Kidstuff, a monthly language arts newsletter for early childhood educators that won the 1982 EDPRESS Award for Excellence in Educational Journalism. I also wrote Puppets, Poems, and Songs, a 288-page resource for making and using puppets in the classroom or library.

Do you do research for your books or does it all come from your head?

I do tons of research. Two of my unpublished novels are medieval romances, so I have literally spent years researching every aspect of the daily lives of nobles, servants, soldiers (along with their weapon, tactics and armor), townsfolk, knights, clergy, and peasants, the clothing they wore, the food they ate, their entertainments, how they traveled, the things they saw, heard and smelled, and hundreds of other tiny details that help make the past as vivid and real as the present.

What are you working on right now?

I’m nearly finished with the sequel to Loving Sarah, which I’ve titled Owning Sarah. The villain threatening Sarah in the sequel, is extremely dangerous and determined to make her pay for having sent him to prison. She and her two Doms continue to deepen their connection and commitment not just to each other, but to the D/s way of life as well.

What would we find under your bed?

Christmas decorations.

What are your favorite pastimes?

Reading, writing, going to movies, concerts, plays, the ballet, shopping, making jewelry

What has been your biggest adventure to date?

A four-month, twelve-country shoestring-budget tour of Europe with a girlfriend forty years ago.

If your publisher offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming project, where would you most likely want to go?  Why?

England. That four-month trip to Europe forty years ago? Well, two of those months were spent in England. I absolutely adore England. That trip was the beginning of my life-long love for anything Medieval. It was also the inspiration for the two medieval romances I subsequently wrote but have not yet been published. Now that the ice has been broken by the publication of Loving Sarah, I will definitely be taking another look at them.

Name three things that inspire you?

Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, the Smoky mountains, England’s Royal Ballet’s version of Romeo and Juliet, starring Wayne Eagling and Alessandra Ferri, with choreography by Sir Kenneth MacMillan, and medieval illuminated manuscripts.  Okay, that’s four things.  Math was never my strong suit.

Have your ever experienced writer’s block?  If so, how do you work through it?

I go back and rewrite/edit the last scene I wrote, or I go through my notes, looking for scenes, dialogue, or fragments of ideas that might inspire me. Or I read. I try to avoid writer’s block altogether by stopping at a point where I know what’s coming next and can pick right up on it the next session.

What is your favorite color?

Purple.

What is your favorite food?

Filet mignon, medium rare, and baked potato. No, lasagna. Or fried chicken and potato salad. Wait, make that strawberry shortcake. Actually, baby back ribs from Tony Roma’s. No…what was the question?

What is your least favorite food?

Liver.

Why?

You mean other than the disgusting taste, weird texture, revolting smell and unappealing appearance?

Coke or Pepsi?

Coke

Coffee or tea?

Coke

Chocolate or vanilla?

Pistachio

Excerpt

js-lovingsarahUh-oh. She was in trouble now. A quick glance in her rear view mirror confirmed the strobing red and blue lights of the unmarked police cruiser behind her, a black, Humvee H3 Alpha, powerful and forbidding, with a slight air of menace. Just like its occupant.

Jesse Colter.

Sarah’s throat thickened and she suddenly couldn’t breathe. She shut her eyes, trying to calm herself, but her nerves felt like stinging nettles burning her skin. Why hadn’t anyone told her that the newly-hired Chief of Police she was scheduled to meet with today was Jesse Colter? She’d left work the moment she heard his name, desperate to avoid this very encounter. I’m not ready, she thought, pushing against the panic that threatened to overwhelm her. I’ll never be ready!

Blowing out her breath, she wiped her sweating hands on her skirt. Her belly clenched as hot juice gathered in her feminine folds. How could he still affect her like this? She hadn’t seen him for eight years. Not since he’d abruptly disappeared the day of her seventeenth birthday.

At least, she hadn’t seen him in person.

But she had seen him nearly every night of those eight years. In her dreams. She’d seen him and tasted him and felt him as if he’d been real. As if he’d been there. She’d seen him rising over her, preparing to enter her. Tasted his full, moist lips and thrusting tongue. Felt him stretching her, filling her until she was sobbing and screaming out his name—only to wake up on the edge of an explosive orgasm that melted away even as he melted away, like a chalk painting in the rain. Her dreams of Jesse were just that.  Dreams.

Eyes riveted to the side mirror, she watched, dry-mouthed as he unfolded himself from the interior of the Hummer and rose to his full height of six feet three inches. He stood without moving, just staring in her direction, his eyes hidden behind the mirrored lenses of his aviator sunglasses.

God, he was even more gorgeous than she remembered. Gypsy-dark, panther-lean, his magnificent body was taut with the unyielding ripple of tempered steel. Her eyes roamed over his beloved face, with its strong, square jaw, hawk’s beak of a nose and full, sensuous lips. And those killer cheekbones—Lord have mercy. To Sarah’s eyes, there had always been something raw and untamed about him.

There still was.

She stared into the mirror, unable to tear her gaze away from the powerful muscles bunching and rippling beneath the snug material of his black cargo pants. The soft cotton of his black t-shirt stretched tautly across the sculpted ridges of his chest and abs, accentuating rather than concealing the power beneath. His forearms were deeply tanned and corded with heavy veins. His thick black hair, shorter than she’d ever seen it, feathered neatly across his forehead. His biceps flexed and bulged as he reached back inside the car, lifted a black Stetson to his head and closed the door.

Her chest constricted as she watched him stride toward her, purpose in every step. He looked so good, so good….exactly the way she remembered. Except he was completely different. So much bigger than he had been; broader, harder, just…more. He had been sexy. Now he was positively lethal.

With supreme effort, she kept herself from moaning aloud. No longer dry, her mouth was watering like Niagara Falls. God, she’d missed him so much. She hadn’t realized just how much until this minute. Heart thundering in her ears, she waited until he drew even with her before lowering her window. She turned her head to look up at him, ready with what she hoped was an impersonal, self-confident smile.

Except he wasn’t smiling. His expression was blank, almost scowling. Her own smile slid away as the breezy greeting she’d prepared died on her lips.

“License, registration and proof of insurance, please.” The rough grit of his deep baritone voice was still there, but his tone was flat and impersonal. The soft southern drawl she’d loved so much was gone.

She stared up at him, trying to jump-start her brain. That’s it? After eight long years, that was it? No ‘Hello, Sarah, how’ve you been’? No, ‘Nice to see you.’? Just ‘license, registration and proof of insurance’? Her lungs froze; she couldn’t seem to catch her breath. She felt hot and cold all at once, goose bumps racing like fire across her skin. Here she was, creaming her panties at the very sight of him, the very thought of him, and he was acting as if he didn’t even recognize her.

“I—I beg your pardon?” She pulled her lower lip between her teeth, biting down hard. God, Jesse, why did you have to come back here? Why couldn’t you have left me with my dreams and fantasies?

“You heard me, Ms. Marshall. License, registration and proof of insurance.”

She recoiled as if he’d struck her. Ms. Marshall. Not ‘Princess’, or ‘darlin’ girl’, or ‘sugar’ or any of the other pet names he’d called her over the years. Not even Sarah. She might have been any stranger he’d pulled over on the highway for speeding. Her throat closed up. Wrenching her gaze away from him, she snatched her purse up off the passenger seat and pulled it into her lap, reaching blindly inside to grab her wallet. “I—just—just a minute, I have them right here….”

Pride stiffened her spine, but nothing could stop her hands from shaking as she tried to pull the requested items from their slots with fingers that suddenly felt as thick as sausages. She struggled to make sense of his attitude. Was he angry because she’d skipped out on their appointment? If anything, she was the one who should be angry. After all, he was the one who’d walked away eight years ago. He was the one who’d taken her father’s pay-off money and disappeared with no word of explanation or goodbye.

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About the Author

Julie has always loved stories, both reading and writing them, ever since she was old enough to hold a book in her hands. One of her favorite childhood activities was smuggling books under the covers to read by flashlight after she was supposed to be asleep.

A career as a children’s librarian eventually led to her dream career as a freelance storyteller and puppeteer, a business she operated successfully for twenty-five years. During that time she created and wrote all the original material for a monthly language arts newsletter full of poems, songs, puppet and flannel-board stories, fingerplays, and other resource material for early childhood educators. For that endeavor she won the prestigious EDPRESS Award for the best educational newsletter of 1982.  She has also written other resource materials for preschool and early elementary teachers.

After moving more than two dozen times in her life, Julie lives in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia.  Now widowed and retired, she once again has time to devote to her two favorite things—reading and writing—especially her new love, erotic romances.

Contacts

www.facebook.com/Juliesheltonauthor

www.juliesheltonauthor.com

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16162502-loving-sarah

http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?trk=tab_pro&id=241889558

www.amazon.com/author/julieshelton