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Once Upon a Time in Bliss (MF)

Nights in Bliss, Colorado

Siren-BookStrand, Inc.

Heat Rating: SEXTREME
Word Count: 74,703
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[Siren Everlasting Classic: Erotic Consensual BDSM Cowboy Romance, spanking, whipping, sex toys, HEA]

Come back in time to Bliss’s first happily ever after…

CIA operative John Bishop arrived in Bliss, Colorado, seeking a respite from the high-stakes game of blood and lies that sent him to the worst corners of the world. A week playing the role of vacationing professor Henry Flanders would recharge his batteries, especially if he found a submissive plaything to occupy his time.

Nell Finn has spent her life focused on helping others, but when she meets the tall and mysterious Henry Flanders, she can’t stop imagining what he might do for her. When Nell and her mother are threatened, Henry comes to her, offering his protection and comfort.

But as the threats escalate out of control, Henry discovers that the beautiful and innocent Nell is much more than a plaything. Can he save the woman he loves without exposing the secrets that would drive her away?

A Siren Erotic Romance

 

Sophie Oak is a Siren-exclusive author.

NOTE! Each book in the Nights in Bliss, Colorado series is complete with a happy ending for each respective romance. Any of the books in this series can be read in any order.

User Reviews
Absolutely love this series. This story is a awesome addition and is nice to have the back story to two great characters. :)

- Jenn

loved every minute of it

- downtown15

Professional Reviews

5 STARS: "It's no mystery that I love Sophie Oak. I've waxed poetic many times about her Nights in Bliss, Colorado series. And many times I've laughed about the characters of Bliss and their antics. One of those characters is Nell Flanders. I've always wondered about her poor husband, Henry, that seems to follow her and support her crazy protests against burgers or the law that prevents people from being nude in the town. But Henry has given us a few glimpses throughout the series of something just underneath that placid surface he displays. Something a little dangerous. Well, ONCE UPON A TIME IN BLISS there was a man trying to escape his life as a CIA operative even if it was just for a few days. He goes to his friends' nudist colony in Bliss, Colorado as Professor Henry Flanders and meets a bleeding heart liberal by the name of Nell, who changes his world forever. When Nell is in danger, this man tries to protect Nell the best way that he can even if it means leaving her forever. ONCE UPON A TIME IN BLISS is a prequel of how Nell and Henry met and fell in love. We get to see some of our favorite Bliss characters before they got their own HEA's, and even got to meet some characters that we've only heard about in previous books. WOW, whew!*fans self* I. HAD. NO. IDEA! None. Who knew that Henry Flanders had it in him?!? The sexy, dominant, dirty talking man is not who I was expecting, but it's definitely who I got. And man, he could teach some of these boys in Bliss a thing or two. Nell…was Nell. I didn't really see her much differently than I did in the previous books, but I enjoyed seeing her through Henry's eyes. It really put a new perspective on her character for me. And besides the fact that this book was smokin' hot, I loved the struggle that Henry had to go through in order to be the man that Nell deserved. Also, we are treated to the suspenseful plots that the Bliss books have become known for. I have to admit, I have always wondered about Nell and Henry, but I didn't think that the story would have enough meat to be its own full-length story, but I should have known better than to doubt Sophie Oak, because she has made me a believer time and time again. ONCE UPON A TIME IN BLISS is no exception. And then, to add the icing on top of an already very decadent cake, we are set up for the next Bliss book which will feature the character we've been waiting for to get his act together: Deputy Logan! Yes, people, he will finally be getting his own book (well, his own along with his best friend and the woman they are going to share)...SCORE! So, I'm sure it's obvious that I was over the moon about this book. ONCE UPON A TIME IN BLISS is the book I didn't even know I was desperate to have. And I think only Sophie Oak has the ability to do that to me. I'm glad that even eight books in, this series is going strong, and I am on the edge of my seat for more books to come." -- Rho, The Romance Reviews

5 STARS: "Once Upon a Time in Bliss by Sophie Oak is the story of one of my all-time favorite couples, Henry and Nell Flanders. To that I say, “WooHoo!! FINALLY”!! I love Bliss, CO and the unique characters that reside there. I have always been smitten with Henry and Nell. At last, we have their lovely story. When Henry visits Bliss on vacation, he meets sweet Nell. They are instantly drawn to one another. When Nell is in danger, Henry will do everything he can to save her. In the end, we see who really saves who… I always knew that Henry was some sort of badass. Did I ever underestimate him! Henry, who is dark and tortured, is the complete opposite of Nell’s light and happy. They are both incredible forces that together make for a wonderful couple who truly complement each other. I’m so happy to finally know the real Henry and Nell. There is so much more to them. Henry is not just Nell’s lapdog who follows her around at her every whim. And Nell is not a flake by any means. Ms. Oak never ceases to amaze me with her wonderful stories. I cannot get enough of her writing. I am always transported to a wonderful place and am shown a beautiful love story full of intrigue and at-the-edge of your seat action. Action that is heart stopping scary to heart pumping sexy!! Bliss just wouldn’t be Bliss without the Flander’s!!!! If they were to ever leave my favorite CO town, I think I’d have to protest that! *Grins*" -- Angeline De Luca, Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

5 STARS: "When I want to escape to a place of happy endings, when I want to laugh out loud and shed tears over a book, I can always return to Bliss, Colorado, and the world created by Sophie Oak. Once Upon a Time in Bliss is her latest effort, a telling of the story of Nell Finn and Henry Flanders. Although complete in itself, it sets the stage for the next book, when Logan Green will most likely return to Bliss. John Bishop is burned out. As one of the CIA’s best undercover operatives, he has seen too much death, too much blood and he doesn’t know what is right and what is wrong any more. He decides to take a week off and visit his mentor, who has retired to Bliss. When he arrives, disguised as history professor Henry Flanders, he finds Bill now operates a nudist colony on a Colorado mountain. As he is talking to his friend, Nell and her mother arrive, to tell Bill someone has trashed their cabin and they need somewhere to stay. Unexpectedly attracted to Nell, Bishop decides to help them out by finding out who tore up their cabin. Thus begins a whirlwind courtship, as Bishop learns Nell is dedicated to righting the world’s wrongs. She is also a sexual submissive, perfect for him. They fall in love but Bishop knows he has to leave eventually. He has a host of enemies, not the least his employer, who won’t want to lose one of their best trained operatives. Through all of this, we are treated to the madcap mayhem that is Bliss, including Mel, the alien hunter, Max and Rye Harper and more; and we learn more about Seth and Logan in their youth. As usual, I found myself laughing out loud at the antics of Sophie’s characters, and believing in hope right alongside Nell. I also shed tears and enjoyed the HEA. My poor husband had to listen to whole segments of the story as I read passages out loud to him. And, yes, it was good he was handy-some of the sex scenes in this one are hot! I simply can’t wait to return to Bliss for the next installment!" -- Shadow, Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

4.5 DELIGHTFUL DIVAS: "I truly love all of Sophie Oak’s books about Bliss, Colorado as well as the offshoots in Texas. If you have been reading them in order, you know that with the last story ending practically in Nell and Henry’s backyard, that these two were destined for their own prequel. Henry is definitely one tough hombre who knows how to protect what is his, and that includes the citizens of Bliss. Nell has always been quirky and that is what has made her lovable. She takes on any cause that protects animals, people, and the earth and is downright hilarious. We have always had a few glimpses of Henry, but nothing that really hinted as to who he was or what he was capable of. His sex appeal, toughness, and love for Nell literally flew off the pages. Catching a glimpse at characters we have grown to love was an added treat as well as the tie in with her paranormal Faery series. Ms. Oak is a masterful story teller and is the prima donna in the family tree business! She intertwines characters and their lives almost magically. Henry and Nell are as unique as the town they live in and after reading their beginning, you will have an even greater appreciation for them than you did before." -- Susan, Dark Divas Reviews

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Excerpt

STORY EXCERPT

 

Nell Finn looked up at the most beautiful man she’d ever seen. Destiny. She’d wondered about the word, thought at times that it was a silly thing to believe in, but here he was standing right in front of her.

She’d even felt a spark of lightning when he’d touched her for the first time. All the fairy tales her mother had told her were true. There really was one person out there for her. Of course because her mother was slightly insane, she’d claimed that the one person out there was likely on another plane of existence and trapped by an evil relative, but hey, here he was and she couldn’t quite breathe.

Henry Flanders. It was a perfectly lovely name.

Why couldn’t he have met her at a better time? Maybe destiny was a cruel goddess. Or maybe she could still save this little meeting. Her mother hadn’t talked too much yet. If she could get Henry out of the room, maybe it would take him a few days to figure out her mom was crazy and thought that faeries were real and god, please don’t let her go into her spiel about corporate vampires. Yes, Henry had to leave because she really did have a problem, and Bill was the best person to deal with it.

She turned to Bill, forcing her attention away from Henry’s well-made chest. He was still dressed, and it was likely a good thing. She was well used to the men of Mountain and Valley and their chosen belief system. She would honor it as she honored all people’s philosophical beliefs, but it would have been difficult to not stare at the handsome professor, and staring at a nudist’s privates was really quite rude.

“Bill, could we please schedule a time to talk to you about our security problem?” They could go and have lunch in the cafeteria. Mountain and Valley always had a good vegan choice. She could settle her mother down and then come back this afternoon when Henry was off doing activities or relaxing, and then what? How would she see him again? Her mind went in a hundred different directions. She had no idea how to pursue a man. She’d spent her college years learning how to protest. If Henry was a corporation violating EPA standards, she would totally know what to do with him.

Bill sat back down behind his massive, very important-looking desk. Nell loved the desk but worried a little about just how many trees had died to create it. Still. As long as it was well crafted and not some throwaway furniture, it was the kind of desk that could last several generations, thereby making the loss of the trees worthwhile. Someday she would find a desk like that.

She wondered if Henry had a desk like that.

“Nell, dear, if this is a security problem that has your mom upset, why don’t we talk this out now? I have nothing better to do than help out Pam’s friends,” Bill said.

“It’s okay. I don’t want to bother you when you’re talking to your guest.” The last thing she wanted was for hot Henry to hear her tale of woe. She didn’t have a lot of experience with men. She’d really only had a couple of boyfriends, and they’d all been run off either by her dedication to causes or her mother’s firm belief in a reality that didn’t exist. She was pretty sure that most men also preferred women who weren’t high maintenance. They liked independent women who knew their own minds and solved their own problems.

“It’s not a problem.” Henry stood, offering her his chair. Everyone else had found a place. “Please, sit.”

She didn’t want a seat simply because she was female. “Oh, no. You were here first. I’m perfectly healthy. I can stand.”

His eyes narrowed. “Sit down, Nell.”

She found herself settling into the chair. Something about his voice told her it was better to not argue. Why had she done that? She loved arguing. She was quite good at arguing. She’d taken whole semesters of it. Arguing 101. She’d been given an A+ and told she was the most annoying woman the professor had ever met. In her world it was a compliment. “If you insist, but you should know that I don’t think women are any different from men, so there’s no need for the whole gentlemanly act.”

“It isn’t an act,” Henry replied. “And we’ll discuss just how different men and women are at a later date.”

He’d whispered the words her way, leaning over the chair she’d just sat down in. She’d been able to feel the warmth of his breath. It shimmered along her skin.

Wow. Nelson Milford, her debate team boyfriend, had never once made her heart pound like that. And what the heck had just happened to her nipples?

“Go on, Moira,” Callie said in an encouraging voice. Callie had been the first friend Nell had made when she’d followed her mother to Bliss after she’d graduated from college. The minute she’d walked into town, she’d known this was her home. “Tell Bill what you told us.”

Nell turned, praying that Henry had left the room. Nope. He was standing there, his arms crossed over his chest. She wondered what he taught. He looked like a professor. Sharp intelligence sparked from his dark eyes. Yeah, he wasn’t leaving, and his eyes were squarely on her. She turned back around and held back the urge to ask him to leave. She had the sudden belief that he would say no and rather forcefully.

So much for destiny. After Henry heard her mother’s story, he would stay as far away from her as possible.

 

ADULT EXCERPT

 

She found herself flat on her back. One minute she was in front of him, and the next he had flipped himself over and covered her. His weight pressed her down into the bed. Heat from his body poured into hers. She loved the way his chest brushed hers and how they fit together. She felt drugged as he kissed her. His lips caressed hers and then went lower, nuzzling her neck.

“No one’s ever sucked your nipples.” He sounded like he was talking more to himself than her. As though memorizing an inventory of everything he was taking.

His tongue came out, curling around her nipple. She shivered and then let her hands find his hair as his lips covered her nipple, sucking it in. He played with her, laving and sucking and then biting down with a sweet sharpness. He switched to the other nipple, giving it the same attention.

“No one’s loved your belly.” He moved down, his tongue delving into her belly button. He was running his tongue over her, his hands moving her to suit his needs. She didn’t have to do anything, just let him adore her.

“And no man’s ever gotten a taste of this sugar.” His mouth was right over her pussy. Her heart rate tripled. She could feel his heat as his lips hovered. “Tell me no one’s ever put his mouth on this pussy and eaten you until you screamed.”

Her voice came out in a low huff. “No. No one’s ever done that.”

And suddenly she really, really wanted someone to do that. Oh, yes. His breath played over her flesh. She could feel herself swelling in anticipation.

“You’re going to remain very still, Nell. I want you to reach above your head and grasp the slats on the headboard. You’re going to hold on to them, and they will help you to not move while I play with you. You’re mine right now, Nell. You’re going to obey me.”

She should be protesting him, but, no, her hands didn’t seem at all interested in protesting what was an obvious male grab for power. Nope. Her arms just drifted up, and her suddenly submissive fingers found the headboard and curled around it. Obedience wasn’t necessarily a bad word, she decided. She obeyed things like traffic laws and karmic laws and the rules of recycling. She was just obeying the rules of sex, and Henry seemed to be an expert. Yes, she could justify it that way.

And then she wasn’t thinking at all as Henry’s tongue came out, and he licked a long line along her pussy.

Nell gasped, her hips shifting.

Henry’s head came up, his handsome face frowning. “Be still, Nell. I’ll stop and spank you if you can’t obey.”

She didn’t want him to stop. Maybe this whole sex thing didn’t have to be a pure partnership. Or maybe she should rethink her idea of a partnership. It didn’t always have to be fifty-fifty every minute of the day. Maybe it could be a sweet symphony where each partner did what they did best in order to please the other. What did Henry need? He needed to be in control here. He was telling her exactly what he needed and not prevaricating about it. It was really a great thing when she thought about it.

“I’ll be still. But it’s hard because it feels so nice, Henry. You’re very good at that.”

He stared for a minute, his jaw dropping slightly. “Thank you. I’ve never actually been told that. Not in a verbal fashion.”

He needed praise. “You are very, very good, Henry. I love the way it feels. I’ve never felt anything so good.”

A slow smile crossed his face. “Oh, I can be even better, love, but I appreciate the praise. You taste so good. Nell, you taste incredible. Pure and…fair. You taste fair and right.”

She couldn’t help but giggle a little. He was trying. It was actually really sweet of him. “I’m so glad, Henry. Please won’t you kiss me again? I promise I’ll be still. I’ll try to.”

His face, so hard before, softened. “I can handle your enthusiasm. We’ll work on it, baby, but for now, I just want to eat you up.”

His head lowered again, and he made good on his promise. His tongue licked and loved and his lips sucked. His tongue was everywhere, spreading affection. Nell had to concentrate, forcing her legs to stay still. It felt perfect. He ate her like a dessert and for the first time in her life, she felt adored.

Over and over he ran his tongue along her flesh, and his hands left her thighs as though he knew she would stay still. She looked down her body, Henry’s dark head at her core. He looked up, tilting his head slightly. His eyes met hers and he sucked one petal of her labia into his mouth.

She felt the connection flow between them. This was why she’d waited all this time. She’d waited for a man she had a real connection to. He’d annoyed her and tempted her, but she’d felt the connection the minute she’d seen him. The minute she’d touched him, she’d felt an electricity between them. She might never feel this again.

“Tell me how this feels, love.” He teased a finger against her pussy.

“So good.” She whimpered. It was so hard to stay still, but she’d promised.

“Do you want more?”

She needed more. She needed so much more than that finger. It dipped in and out of her pussy, teasing inside. “Yes.”

“I can give you so much more, Nell.” The words were warm on her skin. “But you have to give me something first. I want your orgasm. I want to hear you come.”

His finger dove deep, and he settled his mouth over her again. He sucked her clitoris into his mouth, and Nell nearly screamed. Pleasure raced across her skin, heat filling her.

She was bigger than she’d been the moment before. She cried out, calling his name. She was less alone, happier.

Every cell in her body came alive, and she knew she’d found something important.

She settled down. Henry’s head came up. “Please make love to me. Please, Henry.”

She was ready.

 

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