NEW Today! Brooklynaire, by Sarina Bowen

Brooklynaire Teaser Photo


by USA Today bestselling author

Sarina Bowen

Release Date: February 12, 2018

A sexy new standalone!

You’d think a billion dollars, a professional hockey team and a six-bedroom mansion on the Promenade would satisfy a guy. You’d be wrong.

For seven years Rebecca has brightened my office with her wit and her smile. She manages both my hockey team and my sanity. I don’t know when I started waking in the night, craving her. All I know is that one whiff of her perfume ruins my concentration. And her laugh makes me hard.

When Rebecca gets hurt, I step in to help. It’s what friends do. But what friends don’t do is rip off each others’ clothes for a single, wild night together.

Now she’s avoiding me. She says we’re too different, and it can never happen again. So why can’t we keep our hands off each other?

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Collage of photo teasers from Brooklynaire, by Sarina Bowen

Read an Excerpt from Brooklynaire…

I grab a towel off a waiting stack of them and toss it onto the edge. “You can sit and put your feet in.”

She’s wearing a short little knit dress that’s been making me crazy all evening, so it would be easy enough for her to strip off those stockings, sit on the towel, and drop both feet in.

And that’s what she does. She eases one stocking down over a smooth knee and tugs it off.

I don’t want to stand there staring like a middle-school boy. Okay, I do want to. But I don’t want to make her uncomfortable. So I go over to the sound system instead, and I set my phone on the speaker and cue up a really old playlist. One she’ll recognize.

When I turn around again, she’s seated on the towel, both legs hanging down into the churning water. “Ah. Wow.” She looks up at me, her eyes sparkling. “Nice place you got here.”

“Isn’t it?” I toe off my shoes and kick them to the side.

The first song comes on, and it’s a Macklemore tune that we used to play far too often in our first office. Rebecca laughs immediately. “You didn’t! I haven’t heard this playlist in forever. But I’ll bet I still know every transition. Lady Gaga is next.”

“She sure is.”

Rebecca kicks her feet, making a splash. “I have a little confession to make.”

“What’s that?” I loosen my tie and slide the knot out.

“Well…” She grins up at me. “I used to have a crush on you. Back in the early days.”

My hands freeze on the tie silk. “Get out of town. You did not.”

“No, I really did.” Her cheeks are pink. “That first year especially. But you were taken, and you were my boss. Those two things made it pretty easy to tamp down, when you’re a practical girl like me.”

I walk over and drop down beside her, my back to the water, though, because I’m still wearing trousers and socks. “So how does that work, exactly?”

“What?” She gives me a sidelong glance, but then looks away again and won’t meet my eyes.

“How do you stop wanting someone? I’m a practical person, but I don’t see how that makes it any easier. Nothing seems to mute the raging attraction I have for you.”

Her chin turns quickly toward me, and I seize the opportunity to kiss her. And it only takes one kiss—one slide of my lips over hers, and I’m on fire again.

We’re facing opposite directions, so it’s awkward as hell. But I don’t even care. I take greedy sip after greedy sip of her mouth, until she pulls back to stare at me. Her color is high and her eyes are bright and happy. “This is like Twister.”

“It’s better,” I correct. Lady Gaga comes on, just as Becca said she would. “Are we getting into this pool or what?”

Becca kicks a foot in the water. “I’m tempted. But I don’t have a bathing suit.”

“Oh, snap.”

She smiles and shakes her head. “Are you really getting in?”

“We don’t have to.” I’m never going to pressure her.

Her fingers trail across the surface of the bubbling water. “But this is an adventure, right?”

“Right.” I stand up and remove my socks. She’s watching me. And I can’t read her expression. “What?”

“Just wondering what else you’re going to take off.” She smiles.

“Come here.” The order rolls off my tongue.

But Rebecca doesn’t blink. She gets up and turns toward me, curiosity in her eyes.

“You tell me. What am I taking off?”

She puts two hands tentatively on my chest, and I make myself be patient. Everything I ever wanted is on the other side of this moment. I just need us to break through this awkwardness—the “will we or won’t we” tension.

Her fingers find the top button of my shirt. “I’m not getting in the water unless you are.”

That’s a compromise I can live with. I find my lower shirt buttons and work upwards, until we meet in the middle. She pushes the two halves of my shirt apart and runs a hand down my bare chest.

My inner caveman stands up and cheers.

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Sinner, by Sierra Simone – Check Out This Awesome Cover!

Sinner-Sierra Simone-Cover 


by Sierra Simone

Release Date: March 15th

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Designer: Letitia Hasser from RBA Designs

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I’m not a good man, and I’ve never pretended to be.  I don’t believe in goodness or God or any happy ending that isn’t paid for in advance.

What do I believe in?  Money.  Sex.  Macallan 18.

They have words for men like me—playboy.  Womanizer.  Skirt chaser.

My brother used to be a priest, and he only has one word for me.


Full Cover of Sinner by Sierra Simone



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About the Author:

Sierra Simone is a USA Today Bestselling former librarian (who spent too much time reading romance novels at the information desk.) She lives with her husband and family in Kansas City

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Hot Shot (North Ridge #3) by Karina Halle: Hot, Heartbreaking, and Oh So Good

Hot Shot by Karina Halle - Front Cover

“A flame reaches forward like a hand, fingers outstretched toward the dirt line. It jumps across in an arc of flames. Wraps right around my throat, squeezes me with a pain I’ve never known. And in that moment, the moment of my death, I realize there’s nothing to fear. It’s just relief. That it’s all over. That I don’t have to worry anymore. That I don’t have to live in pain anymore. That I don’t have to hate anymore. The world burns away and somewhere in the dark skeleton forest, I know there is peace. Just out of reach.”

Hot Shot (Northridge Series #3) by Karina Halle

Release Date: January 9, 2018

Contemporary Romance, Standalone

About Hot Shot

Delilah Gordon has a secret.

She’s been in love with her best friend and the boy next door, Fox Nelson, since she was six years old.

And while most of her friends and family know about her unrequited crush, the one person who remains oblivious is Fox himself. To Delilah, it’s better this way. She’d rather pretend that they’re just friends, even though her feelings for the moody, rugged mountain man are anything but tame.

Fox Nelson has a secret too. As a wildland firefighter or “hot shot,” Fox parachutes into danger every day he’s on the job, risking all to fight wildfires that threaten ranches, forests and thousands of lives. But while Fox’s job is only for the brave, inside he feels anything but. The more he grapples with his raging demons, the more he realizes Delilah is the only one who can put out the flames.

As the two friends grow closer – and more intimate – than ever before, the more complicated their relationship becomes.

And Delilah has one more secret to reveal.

A secret that will change both their lives… forever.

Buy Hot Shot on Amazon

My Review

Hot Shot (North Ridge, #3)Hot Shot by Karina Halle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh. My. God. This book kills. On an ugly cry scale from 1-10, it’s a solid 8. Sometimes I couldn’t read through the tears streaming down my face. But it was SO worth it.

I confess I hadn’t read books 1 and 2 of the North Ridge series before diving into Hot Shot, so I knew there were other stories behind the secondary characters and was concerned I might have missed something important to this story. As it turns out, I needn’t have worried; there are references to the relationships established in the first two standalones in this series, but they didn’t detract from this one. And Hot Shot, Fox and Delilah’s story, is so powerful that it made me want to go back and start the series from the beginning — I’ll be doing that today.

As always, Karina Halle draws and develops deep, complex characters that instantly engage you, frustrate you, thrill you, delight you, hurt you, and compel you to keep reading. Fox, the alpha hero/anti-hero of this story, is a beautifully broken, confused, fearful young man, taunted by guilt and shame, driven to put his life on the line as an elite firefighter as his life spirals out of control and ultimately unravels around him. Delilah is a less complex character, but powerful in her strength, compassion, tenderness, patience, selflessness, and devoted love for this tortured man. Their story will tie you in knots, then lift you up, then tear you apart, then put you back together again.

There is so much more I could say about this beautiful book – its masterful settings, raw alpha eroticism, meaningful dialogue, sizzling chemistry, and heartbreaking conflicts are all-consuming. I read it in one sitting and thought about it for hours afterward. I know I’ll read it again because I devoured it – and now I want to go back and read the series in order so I can savor every word.

If you’re in the mood for an emotional read that will take you to the highest highs and the lowest lows, one-click Hot Shot today. You’ll thank me tomorrow.


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Cover Reveal: SINGE, a Steamy New Romance by Aly Martinez

Full cover, Singe, by Aly Martinez

SINGE is the first book in an ALL NEW smokin-hot standalone series by Aly Martinez, releasing February 6th!

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About SINGE…

She was my nightmare. Every time I closed my eyes, I watched her fall into that inferno. Over and over, I failed to save her.

I hadn’t been able to reach her, and the guilt only burned hotter over time. Four years later, I was the unreachable one.

Heroes aren’t always saints. Sometimes, we’re nothing more than jaded sinners driven by sleepless nights and hearts full of darkness.


And then I met her. She was a dreamer who managed to soothe my scars and heal my wounds.

But, as the flames closed in around us, I feared I wasn’t the right man to save her. That is until I realized she was the one woman I’d burn the world down to protect.

About Aly Martinez

Photo of author Aly Martinez

Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Aly Martinez is a stay-at-home mom to four crazy kids under the age of five- including a set of twins. Currently living in South Carolina, she passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a glass of wine at her side.

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Royally Screwed, by Emma Chase – A Cinderella Story that NEVER Gets Old! (Book Review)

Royally Screwed

The Royally Series, Book 1 by

Emma Chase


Nicholas Arthur Frederick Edward Pembrook, Crowned Prince of Wessco, aka His Royal Hotness, is wickedly charming, devastatingly handsome, and unabashedly arrogant; hard not to be when people are constantly bowing down to you.

Then, one snowy night in Manhattan, the prince meets a dark haired beauty who doesn’t bow down. Instead, she throws a pie in his face.

Nicholas wants to find out if she tastes as good as her pie, and this heir apparent is used to getting what he wants.

Dating a prince isn’t what waitress Olivia Hammond ever imagined it would be.

There’s a disapproving queen, a wildly inappropriate spare heir, relentless paparazzi, and brutal public scrutiny. While they’ve traded in horse drawn carriages for Rolls Royces, and haven’t chopped anyone’s head off lately, the royals are far from accepting of this commoner.

But to Olivia, Nicholas is worth it.

Nicholas grew up with the whole world watching, and now Marriage Watch is in full force. In the end, Nicholas has to decide who he is and, more importantly, who he wants to be: a King… or the man who gets to love Olivia forever.

Buy Royally Screwed on Amazon

My Review of Royally Screwed…

Royally Screwed (Royally, #1)

Royally Screwed by Emma Chase
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you love rags-to-riches, contemporary fairy tales that are sweet, sexy, funny and poignant, Royally Screwed, #1 of this new series by Emma Chase, will check off all the boxes and leave you wanting more. It will take you out of the daily grind, and drop you in a royal world like Cinderella herself. You’ll return to a time when you believed there was a Prince Charming (or a “His Royal Hotness”) somewhere out there, just for you — one who would sweep you off your feet and make your every dream come true. It might even make you believe in fairy tales again – it’s that good.

I devoured this story in one sitting. It’s seamlessly written, effortless to read, and completely engaging. I laughed – a lot – at the Prince’s inner monologue as well as the snappy banter between all of the principal characters. Even better, Emma made me love every one of them – well, almost every one of them, anyway. They felt like family and friends from beginning to end: relatable, unpredictable, and memorable – especially Nicholas’s brother, Prince Henry, whose story we will get to enjoy as the series continues.

Emma knows what readers want – and what we need – in a great story. Enough reality to resonate; enough fantasy to inspire; and just enough heat to keep you captivated from beginning to end. And while this is, indeed, a contemporary fairy tale, like other stories of its kind, it will also make you think about the choices that come with family, responsibility, honor, duty, destiny and a once-in-a-lifetime love affair. You will feel every emotion: the surprise, the happiness, the passion, the hopelessness, and the growing sense of desperation as Nicholas and Olivia navigate the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that threaten to tear them apart. You may cry at their darkest moments – I certainly did – but you’ll want to stand up and cheer at the end. If you’re like me, you’ll want to start back at the beginning and read it “for the first time” all over again – and you won’t want to wait for the next standalone in this promising series.

I’ve been an ardent fan of Emma Chase since she released her timeless, bestselling Tangled series, and my respect for her has grown with every new release. Enthusiastic Emma fans will be surprised and delighted when a character from her unforgettable Legal Briefs series makes a cameo appearance in Royally Screwed – so be on the lookout. If you’re just discovering Emma Chase, be prepared: you’ll want to go back and read everything she’s written, if only to tide yourself over until Prince Henry’s story hits the bookshelves.

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Meet Pauline West, Author of Candlemoth: The Holy City Romance Series

About Pauline…

Photo of author Pauline West (Candlemoth Series)Pauline West is a bookworm, trail runner and bourbon lover. Her hobbies include mild hypochondria and ill-advised matchmaking. For more romantic stories about Charleston, follow West on and Amazon for news on the Candlemoth: Holy City Romance novels, as well as her upcoming series, Evening’s Land: a Gothic Fantasy.



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About the Candlemoth Romance Series…

Steamy, exciting and beautifully written, these dramatic romances will appeal to fans of Sylvia Day.

Candlemoth Book 1: A Holy City Romance

Candlemoth Series, Book


A bold and independent free spirit from the foster system of small town South Carolina, Lily is a survivor with skeletons in her closet. She knows what she wants and how to get it. And a spoiled rich playboy is not part of her plan- but Ry is irresistible.

Photo of a shirtless young man with a quote from the Candlemoth Series, Book 1

Candlemoth Book 2:  How to Spend It: A Holy City Romance

Book Cover, Candlemoth Series


The scorching second installment in the Holy City Romance series of steamy romance novels about a wild, fun-loving group of twenty-somethings in Charleston, South Carolina.

Lily is a bold, passionate free thinker from small town South Carolina. Fiercely self-reliant, the same strength that helped Lily survive a traumatic upbringing makes it difficult for her to trust anyone, especially Ry Calhoun. When Ry’s political obligations and Lily’s rising notoriety in Charleston threaten their relationship, Lily arrives into her most reckless act yet- and at incredible cost.

A quote from Book 2 of the Candlemoth Series superimposed over a photo of a couple kissing

Candlemoth Book 3: A Twist of Fate: A Holy City Romance

Front Cover, Candlemoth Series Book


As Lily and Ry are reunited, the lovers are caught in a tragedy that changes their lives forever. Boldly sensual and deeply inspiring, this installment in the Candlemoth series will have you on the edge of your seat all the way to its soaring finish.



A photo of a couple embracing with a quote from Book 3 of the Candlemoth Series

An Interview with Pauline…

What is your typical writing schedule?

I’m a cubicle bunny from 9 to 5, so I write from 5 to 8:45 am every morning and until 2pm on weekends.  Its easier to roll out of bed & start if you do it every day.  It becomes a habit, like closing your eyes to savor that first sip of hot coffee.

“Habits at first are cobwebs, then cables”~ Spanish proverb.

Sometimes I’ll write during lunch too, but more often I just read instead.  Recently I picked up Exit to Eden by Anne Rice… I read that thing in a white heat.  She’s amazing.

What inspired you to write the Candlemoth series?  How long did the first book, from first thoughts to final polished copy, take you?

I’d been working on a Southern Gothic, Evening’s Land, and kept finding myself writing these really intense, steamy scenes.  So I ended up wandering off to do a little ‘research’ into what’s new in the romance genre (it turns out you actually can read Story of O and Anais Nin only so many times) and happened on Sylvia Day’s Crossfire series.

Day’s erotic scenes are AMAZING.  I mean, you can’t read them on an airplane because you turn bright red and steam up all the air.  After reading Crossfire, I couldn’t resist trying to write a no-holds barred romance series of my own.

To be honest, Candlemoth: A Holy City Romance wrote itself.  You meet extraordinary people in Charleston every day, and the city is as romantic and sultry as it gets.  Book One took me about two months from start to finish.  It took longer to get the nerve up to publish it!

Without giving too much away, what’s your favorite part of Book One?

Oh, man.  The first time Lily really lets herself go with Ry, on his father’s kitchen counter…

Readers have told me it reminded them of what it was like when they fell in love with their forever sweetheart, how powerful that first experience together was.  Also, its scorching hot.  It was crazy fun to write!

Ry Calhoun is so swoony!! Is he based upon anyone you know?  What traits do you like best and least about him?

Ry’s personality is based partly on my fiance, especially the goofy/sweet aspects of his personality.  My guy didn’t have the wacky childhood bed that I describe for Ry- I have no idea where that came from, I was as surprised as anybody when I wrote that- but he does share the same sense of humor.

For Ry’s looks, I used Ian Somerhalder from the Vampire Diaries.  Somerhalder has that whole cut, smug-sexy thing going on that I imagined for Ry.  You resist him at first, because he’s so damn cocky… but he’s also just meltingly sexy.

“Then I met Ry Calhoun, and all my clothes flew off…” ~ Lily Inoue, Candlemoth: A Holy City Romance, Book 2

When Lily meets Ry, she’s torn because Ry stands for everything she’s never been able to have, and she assumes he must be the spoiled playboy everyone says he is.  Lily hates herself for being so drawn to him.  She figures she’ll just be another plaything; that even being drawn to Ry in the first place must indicate some kind of weakness in her.

But Ry has depths he doesn’t show most people.  He’s actually humble, and does so much behind the scenes to help other people however he can.  I love what a strong, brave human being he is, and I’m so proud of both his and Lily’s actions later in the series.  They grow so much together, and become these amazing people.  And of course, they have smoking hot chemistry.  They can’t keep their hands off each other.

One of the things I don’t like in Ry is that he’s such a good guy that Lily can seem like a bitch in comparison to him.  Even though she’s this gorgeous, fragile-looking beauty, Lily is fiercely independent, and a little selfish.  She kind of has this Scarlett O’Hara thing going on 🙂

What’s your research process like?

I’m a total magpie, I’m always gathering up bits for stories.  I take notes on my phone- phrases I like, cool street names, random thoughts, sensory experiences- and then email them to myself.

Sometimes I can put them into a story right away, but I’ll also hoard them in separate docs for Names, Dialogue, Sensory Experiences, etc, and pull from them later.  I’m constantly drawing from my life for my work, and I think both are richer for it.

I also read voraciously, always with a pen in hand.  (Usually a green one from the art supply store down the street or a Pilot V-5.)  I read everything: genre lit, poetry, natural history, cereal boxes, The New Yorker, The New York Book Review, beer labels, the Sunday papers.

Have you ever done something wacky for the sake of ‘research’?

I’m pretty open to experiences, so people might categorize a lot of my life as wacky!

I homeschooled myself through high school to see if I could; I lived in my Jeep out in the woods one summer, just to sort of drop out and experience being alive really deeply, out there in the quiet; I’ve sucked out pigeon brains in Vietnam and eaten the whole head of a pig, including the eyes and upper palate (hey, you asked); I worked as a phone sex operator girl to better understand what makes desire tick; I sold cable door to door to meet the people you wouldn’t ordinarily meet.  Going door to door you meet everybody under the sun.  You also realize pretty quickly that we’re all just one big kooky family.  It was absolutely awesome.  We actually made great money doing that, and then took a vacation couch surfing through Moldova and Ukraine.   One couple we met ended up taking us exploring into the limestone tunnels under Odessa: I mean we were stepping over broken oil lamps and reading hundred year old poetry on the walls.  We made dinners for so many new friends in their kitchens after shopping together in the outdoor markets…

Experience itself is the best research.  I’ll try anything twice, and the good stuff way more often than that.  Basically, writing is just an excuse to have more fun.

Do you read much?  Who are your favorite authors, and what genres do you enjoy the most?

I love to read, and make time to read every day.  If I’m really busy, it’ll be some poetry, like anything by Ocean Vuong or Jack Gilbert; I also love short stories.  Hugh Howey’s Beacon 23 and These Heroic, Happy Dead by Luke Mogelson are fantastic.  Anne Rice, Sylvia Day, Denis Johnson, Thomas Pynchon and James Lee Burke are major favorites as far as full length fiction goes.  Generally I like stuff that’s stylized, a bit flashy and dark.

How do you relax?

We throw a fair bit of boozy dinner parties!  I’m always taking long, ambling walks downtown, and exploring the nature preserves outside Charleston.  There’s so much history, so much lushness and decay here, I can’t ever get enough of it.  Its just a dreamy place to live.  I also love running and hitting the gym with friends: I turn into a neurotic mess if I don’t exercise.  My natural state is just a wee bit tightly wound, as you might guess from my main characters!

But my very favorite way to relax is on the porch with my feet up and a book in hand. I love recommendations, so find me on GoodReads and let me know who you think I should check out!

What do the next six months hold for you?

I’ll be finishing Books 3 and 4 for the Candlemoth series and getting those rolled out as quickly as I can for readers, because I’ve got everyone perched on the edge of a helluva cliff right now.

We’re also planning to do some traveling this winter, maybe to Japan.  I’ll write about that extensively and share the experience on my blog.  You can follow me at  I also post stories there for free too sometimes, so make sure to stay tuned.

Thanks again for having me, and very much for reading.  I hope you’re enjoying Ry & Lily’s love story as much as I am~ I’ll have more for you soon!

A Guest Post by Pauline…

Seven Words to Describe Lily Inoue, the bold, feisty protagonist of the Candlemoth: A Holy City Romance series

  1. Fierce

Lily is a bold, passionate free thinker from small town South Carolina.  Once she knows what she wants, nothing can stand in her way.

  1. Independent

The same strength that helped Lily survive a traumatic upbringing makes it difficult for her to trust anyone.  Especially Ry Calhoun.

  1. Reckless

“What can I say?  Love brings out the worst in me… I had the strangest impulse to kiss that smirk right off Ry’s face.”

  1. Vulnerable

Lily’s past haunts her… sometimes in tangible ways.  “If I were an ice cream cone, and you could order me at a drive-through window, you’d say, “Hmm… Lily flavor: the sad, kinda fucked up kind.  Oh yeah, dip me up a spoonful of that, right?”  

  1. Sensual

Perfect discipline means mind blowing release.

“I thought of the hard, beautifully cut muscles I’d felt beneath Ry’s shirt.  The mouth so kissable it was impossible to think of it doing anything else.  Except…

  1. Loyal

When Ry’s political obligations and Lily’s rising notoriety in Charleston threaten their relationship, Lily arrives into her most reckless act yet- and at incredible cost.

  1. Fire & Ice

Do not fuck with Lily Inoue. 

“Asians, man,” a man said, from the couch.  “When they beautiful, they really beautiful.”

“Hey, fuckheads.  You guys like to travel?”  I leaned down, pushing my face close to theirs.  “You like to fuck?  Good.  So why don’t you fuck off.  A long way off.”

A Character Interview with Lily…

Lily, what would you say is  readers the most interesting thing that’s ever happened to you?

I’ve had something like twenty foster parents.  I’ve partied with pop stars, fought off blackmailers and survived more than one attacker.  I have the kookiest, funniest, most amazing friends a girl could ask for, and I live in the most romantic city in the whole world.

But the day I met Ry Calhoun I felt something I’ve never felt in my life.

It happened fast.  I was serving cocktails at a wedding, and my tray got tipped, throwing me off balance.

The whole tray, filled with sparkling cocktails, went up in the air.  Suddenly this small, horrified knot of Charleston royalty is dripping vodka.  And I was still falling.


Shards of glass sparkled up from the perfectly manicured lawn: I was about to get a faceful of glass.

I felt a large, warm hand at the small of my back, steadying me.  He caught my left arm, bringing me against him as the rest of the tray smashed down into the grass.  And I didn’t fall.

I smashed into his chest instead.

When I looked up, I saw a man so gorgeous my heart stopped like a dropped clock.

He was tanned and chiseled, with full, sensuous lips that came as a surprise against his masculine jaw.  His eyebrows were thick and deliciously scruffy above big blue eyes.

And he was laughing at me.

I jerked back, humiliated, still with the trace memory of the warmth of his chest on my hand.  My fingers had fitted so perfectly against his sculpted chest muscles; he was gorgeously cut under that dress shirt.

Not that it was hard to see that now.  He was soaked in vodka, and his shirt was drenched tightly against his chest, outlining every erotic detail of his torso.  He was long, lean and ripped solid.  The mischievous look on his chiseled, sexy face was in delicious contrast to the ultra clean-cut image his Brooks Brothers outfit and short ash-blonde hair projected.

Oh my god… I was definitely fired.  You couldn’t just smash a bunch of glass over people’s heads and get away with it.  I dug my heels down into the grass.

“Wait, wait, stop.  I can’t just disappear like this.”

The guy paused so suddenly I almost ran into him again.  He turned his heart-stopping gaze on me.

“But you’re hurt,” he said.

For a moment both his warm hands fitted around my wrist.  His thumbs traced over my skin for the space of a heartbeat.  Could he feel how fast my heart was racing?

Then one of his hands moved slowly up my arm, and I glanced down.

Sure enough, there was blood all over my arm.  Not only was I soaked with the spilled drinks, I had cuts on my arms too.  I hadn’t noticed until now, but they burned with the vodka.

I looked up, my eyes drifting to his.  I saw that sneaky grin of his again, tugging at the corner of his handsome mouth.  Why was he smiling at me like that?  I had the strangest impulse to kiss that smirk right off his face.

But blood was spreading on his chest.

“You’re hurt, too,” I said, stopping just short of touching him again.

He ran his hand carelessly through his hair, grinning at me.  “We make quite a team,” he said.

Then Beren, my best friend, appeared suddenly beside us, just as cool as a cucumber.  As if we weren’t walking through a black-tie wedding party drenched in blood and vodka!  Beren looked from one of us to the other, his smile reaching his eyes.

“How can I help?” he said, making his voice richer and deeper than usual.

My would-be rescuer put a hand on Beren’s shoulder and nodded in the direction of the shattered grass on the lawn.  “Set up a drinks station on top of all that,” he said.

The easy command in his voice made me tighten, and I couldn’t help turning my head to look at him.  The guy had an arrogant grace that was as arousing as it was maddening.  It drew something in me to him.  As if we were magnets.

“Yes, sir.”  Beren said, nodding.  He glanced at me.  “Babygirl, you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m-”

“Yeah, I got her,” the handsome stranger said.  I glanced at him again, surprised.  The men looked at each other for a beat, evaluating one another.

It was Beren who broke the stare.  “See you in a minute?” he said to me, a little protectively, glancing back over his shoulder as he hurried off.

I nodded.

And there I was.  All alone with tall, dark and dangerously handsome.  “You should get back to the party,” I said.  “I’m fine, really.”

“I will,” the stranger said, easily, taking my hand again.  “But I can hardly leave you to fend for yourself like this, can I?  My grandmother would roll over in her grave if she thought I’d abandoned a lady in distress.”

I reddened.  “I’ve been fending for myself for quite a while now,” I said, trying to be nonchalant as we swung into the private entrance of the house.  A curtain of heavy, air-conditioned silence instantly drew over us.  I lowered my voice in spite of myself, taking in all the fancy antiques, the deep plush of the rugs.

Then I realized his hand still rested lightly at the small of my back.  Possessively.  Awareness of his touch burned through me like a torch.

“Well, I hope you don’t mind me saying, but you looked like you could use a little help, pretty,” he said.  He got that playful look in his eyes again.  “You think vodka absorbs through the skin?  I feel a little buzzed.”

“That’s the adrenaline,” I said.

“My heart is beating pretty fast,” he said, grinning at me as he held open the door to the bathroom.  I slipped in and he stood in the doorway, still holding the door.

Still watching me.

I was about to ask him his name when I caught sight of myself in the mirror.

Even in the forgivingly rich dim of the elegant bathroom, I looked disheveled and flushed.  My long, shiny black hair had escaped from my once tidy bun into a frazzled mess, and my pale eyes looked bright and starstruck.

Suddenly I realized what I looked like to him.  Like an anonymous peasant girl.  An easy roll in the hay.

Well, if that’s what he thought, he was dead wrong.

“Well, thanks.  You should get back to the party now,” I said, snapping back to my senses.  I ducked my head and turned on the tap, rinsing my cuts clean.  Threads of blood ran over the sides of my arm and disappeared down the drain.

Focus, Lily.

“You don’t like it when people help you, do you?” he said.

“Not particularly,” I said.

Then he was behind me, so close I could feel the heat of his body through my clothes.  He smelled like lemons and cedar, and something else I couldn’t name.  Something old, something powerful.  Sex.

I felt nerves all over my body sharpen and dance to the surface.  I went blurry with desire.

I wanted him away from me, now.  This was crazy!

He was a complete stranger- and anybody could see we were impossibly different.  I mean, here I was, this loner foster kid who’d basically never been kissed, and there he is: rich, gorgeous, impossibly cut.

But I wanted him.  Specifically, I wanted him to fuck me.  Some secret, traitorous part of me wanted it, desperately needed it, and I couldn’t get the bad thoughts out of my head.

What would it feel like to have him press against me?  His full length, the sensuous hardness of him.  And his gorgeously full, sullen mouth in the mirror- I could see it just above my shoulder- how would that taste?

I ached for his body, his weight.

The wanting went deep.  I wanted him inside me.  Every inch…

I flushed.

I’d never had these kinds of thoughts before.  The masterpiece of my life was having learned how to glass myself inward, burying my heart so deep I didn’t even know where it was buried.

This guy was tripping off all my alarms and yet I couldn’t even begin to run away!  What the hell was wrong with me?

“Easy,” the maddening stranger said.  As if I were some wild horse.

Gently, he took my hand in his again.  He was darkly tanned, every line of his body perfectly sculpted.  My familiar tea-colored skin, usually so dark next to the pale Southern Belles I’d grown up with, looked delicate beside his own.

Somehow, that turned me on even more.  How different he was.  How sun-dark and rock-hard…

He turned down the faucet to a trickle, and ran his thumbnail up the edge of my cut.

“Ouch!” I cried, as he carefully lifted out a splinter of glass.  It hurt more coming out than it had coming in, and I felt a ribbon of fire sail briefly under my skin.  “I didn’t know that was still in there.”

Behind us, the bathroom door fell closed with a heavy, expensive click like a limousine’s door.  He held the splinter of glass up between us so I could see it, his hips so close that if I swayed even slightly we would have touched.  I couldn’t help smiling up at him.

“See, you need me after all,” he said.

I flipped my hair out of my face irritably.  “I don’t need anybody,” I said, rolling my eyes, moving away.

“Wait,” he said, his hand near my waist.  He reached down to the cabinet beneath the sink.  “I think they’ve got bandages down here.”

“You must know these people pretty well,” I said, but he didn’t respond, busying himself with opening a silver-plated first aid kit.  It was neatly stocked with band-aids, hydrogen peroxide, bandaging tape, nail scissors, everything you could want.

“Come here,” he said, without looking at me.  When I didn’t obey, he gave me that mischievous, smirky look again and tugged me close.  He bandaged my arm expertly, smoothing the fabric tape flat.

“There.  Now you won’t bleed through your shirt.”  He grinned.  “Now, admit it.  You need me just a little bit.”

It didn’t help that he was impossibly cute.  And now we were standing toe to toe.

“Maybe just a little,” I said.

“What, no kiss?” he said, still grinning down at me.

The most interesting thing in my life turned out to be the simplest: falling in love with Ry Calhoun.

~Lily Inoue, from the Candlemoth: A Holy City Romance series, by Pauline West.

And, finally…an Excerpt from Book 2….

He kissed my forehead, stroking his fingers under my chin.  Tilting my face up so that I looked into his eyes.  “There’s not many things a hot bath won’t help.  And I do want to help, Lily.”

Wrapped tight in his arms, naked except for a pair of silky pajama shorts, I’d never have believed how much I’d come to love this man who’d been a stranger to me days ago.

“But you have to talk to me.”

Fate is a clock.  I knew this.  Just as I knew Ry and I had been rushing towards one another all our lives.  But what if now we were already rushing apart?

What if I was rushing us apart?

“Lily.”  He buried his face in my neck, letting his breath out in a rush.

The small, white-tiled room filled with steam and Ry’s eyes darkened to indigo beneath those wonderfully scruffy eyebrows.  I don’t know how to fix this.  I knotted my fingers in his silky hair, bringing his face close.  If I lose you…

I’ll find you again, I wanted to say.  I will always find you again.

“I missed you,” I said.

He fitted me against him.  I felt denim swell against silk.  Pressing my hand down his front, memorizing the carved swoop of his pectorals, the spike of nipple under my thumb.  Scraping the tender pink flesh with the edge of my nail, I watched Ry’s beloved face quicken…

Santa’s Son, a New Release by David S. Scott: Naughty or Nice?

Santa’s Son

by David S. Scott

Making the rounds on December 23rd, 2016

Banner Ad for Santa's Son, by David S. Scott

About Santa’s Son…

Book Cover, Santa's SonWhat do you think of when you picture elves? Could they be real? What about other fantasy beings? What about… Santa Claus?

Shawn is accustomed to living life the way he wants to. He has no responsibilities, no one to answer to. He comes and goes as he pleases, traveling the world, looking for fulfillment.

But all that is about to change…

Santa’s sick and getting old. This year, he’ll be replaced by his son. Will you be on the naughty list?

Find “SANTA’S SON” as well as David’s other published works right here >>> on Amazon US 

and via

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Photo teaser for Santa's Son

Santa's Son teaser

Santa's Son -photo and quote

An Excerpt from Santa’s Son…

Passions have always ruled my family.

Always. My father’s name is Pelznickel, but he has been called many things throughout the millennia. Saint Nicholas. Kris Kringle. Santa Claus.

Yes. That Santa Claus. The man who’s brought joy to the children of the world for thousands of years. People have thought him a child’s story, a myth.

I spared a glance over my shoulder to ensure the redhead was gone and I was alone. Satisfied, I rubbed my right index finger along the side of my nose. A feeling of pins and needles covered me, as if my entire body had lost circulation. In a way, it had. The warm sandy beach I’d been walking on blurred and swirled in my vision, quickly being replaced by my bedroom.

The first few times I’d ever teleported, I’d been convinced I’d stayed still and the world had moved around me. Now I knew better.

Frantic knocking greeted my arrival.

“What is it?” I called.

“Master Schonesgeschenk, your father is looking for you.”

Fighting the urge to roll my eyes, I strode to the door. The fat little gnome waiting for me on the other side was dressed in thick green robes with white trim. His long white beard nearly reached his waist. “Astlin, how many times must I ask you to call me Shawn? It’s just Shawn, I swear.”

Teaser photo with a quote from Santa's Son

Meet David S. Scott

Photo of author David S ScottDavid S. Scott is a new author of erotica and erotic romance novels. After finishing his debut novels, Deep In You and its sequel Deeper In You, he is moving on to several other projects, including an erotic paranormal tentatively titled Obsidian Angel. He is in his mid-thirties and happily married, and has a bit of a wicked sense of humor. When not writing, David can be found reading a variety of genres or playing “nerd games” like Dungeons and Dragons with his friends.

David loves interacting with people and meeting new friends, so please be sure to follow him on his author page: