A little something for everyone.
The Birthday Surprise Melanie Blaisdell has had a secret crush on her handsome lawn maintenance guy for years, but Sandy's a good fifteen years her junior. What would he want with a woman about to turn forty? But then she's caught in the act of watching him at work, and he and his buddy Wes invite her to celebrate her birthday with them. Turns out Sandy's had the hots for Melanie too, and the two young men are more than eager to show her just how desirable she still is.
Cuff Me for Christmas It's been eight long months since Franco and Vanessa called off the wedding, and both are certain there is no way back. Then Vanessa discovers a box of Franco's mementos in her storeroom, including the handcuffs they had used in their favorite sex games. Finding those cuffs sets off a chain of unexpected events that culminate in Franco's bed. Passion flares to life as Vanessa is held captive once again by her most primitive desires. Will their torrid encounter rekindle the flame of their love?
Shadows of Desire Best-selling horror writer Roderick Williams is on deadline to finish his next book when odd things begin to happen in the old mansion he inherited. When his agent sends a paranormal investigator to check out the problem, Rod is none too happy about it, even though the investigator is a gorgeous blonde. As he struggles to ignore his attraction to Philippa Adams, it almost seems as if the house wants to throw them together. Is his imagination just working overtime, or have they both fallen under some erotic paranormal spell?
Paradise Encounter Andy and Maya have done business by phone for a year but have never met in person. That is about to change. When the hunky horticulturist and the gorgeous office manager finally meet at the Paradise Nursery, the attraction between them is instant and sizzling hot. Can they manage to keep their relationship businesslike? Or will the temptation to take things further overcome their better judgment? And what will happen next, after their Paradise Encounter?
Lady Blake's Tales for the Queen: Sir Devon and Arrabelle Lady Blake has served as Storyteller to the queen for some time, and she has learned the type of stories the old woman most enjoys. So tonight she regales the queen with an erotic tale about the arranged pairing of the innocent and lovely Arrabelle and Sir Devon McClare. As the story unfolds, the queen enjoys every salacious detail of the young woman's sexual awakening at the firm hand of her new master. Will the couple's introduction come to an end with this single carnal episode, or are they indeed the perfect love match?
Naked Treats Attorney Zack Cranston has a problem: he can't keep his mind off his personal chef. The beautiful but reserved Rose Phelps arrives at his condo every other Sunday to cook him a gourmet breakfast…in the nude. It was never his plan to fall for her—he's a confirmed bachelor—but there's something about her that fascinates him. Is it her refusal to reveal anything at all personal, or simply her smoking hot body? Then a fluke changes everything. Lines are irrevocably crossed and passions flare in a way no one could have imagined. Afterward Zack and Rose both have to decide what's most important—guarding their hearts or choosing a whole new future together.
Content Warning: these stories contain explicit sexual activity
Note: These stories were previously published.
The Birthday Surprise Excerpt:
A sudden movement over his right shoulder caught Sandy's eye. He turned just in time to see the drapes in Mrs. Blaisdell's bay window fall to the floor. And standing there in the window with her hand to her mouth was Mrs. B herself. Her big blue eyes were very wide, her pretty face all pink.
Sandy flicked off the power to the blower. He stepped up close to the window. "You okay?" he yelled.
For a moment she simply stared, her face glowing more pink by the second. Then finally she nodded. "Fine. Fine," she yelled back, waving him away.
She bent down and picked up the drapery rod. He watched as she struggled to lift it high over her head. He couldn't help but notice her shirt riding up, exposing several inches of her pale stomach. Knowing she wouldn't be able to hear him, he groaned under his breath. He'd been lusting after Melanie Blaisdell since the first day he saw her, and the skin on her torso was every bit as smooth and creamy as he had imagined it would be.
Now she didn't seem to be having any luck hanging the drapery rod. She wasn't tall enough.
"You need help?" he yelled again. He unhooked the harness of the blower, ready to set it aside.
She shook her head vehemently. He watched as she hefted the rod again, admiring the way her snug t-shirt clung to her big, soft-looking breasts. He swallowed hard. He was pretty sure she wasn't wearing a bra today. He knew Mrs. B often worked at home, so seeing her in casual dress was nothing new. But he'd never seen her body displayed like this before, framed in the front window where anyone—including him—could totally check her out.
"I'm coming in to help," he called.
Cuff Me for Christmas Excerpt:
Vanessa's hand shook as she held her cellphone away from her ear and stared at the screen. Oh. My. God. Eight months apart and the sound of his voice could still turn her whole body to mush. She hadn't expected that. She'd thought she was over him.
"Calabrese," he repeated, this time with an edge of impatience.
She gathered up her courage. "Franco? It's Vanessa." She'd practiced that line all day. Somehow she managed to pull it off with no tell-tale quiver in her voice.
Several seconds passed in silence. "Nessa," he finally said, his voice softening as he purred the nickname that only he used.
The sound of her name on his lips curled through her, strumming lightly between her thighs. Just like always.
His voice dropped half an octave. "I almost didn't recognize your number. How are you? Have you missed me, baby?"
More than you know.
She cleared her throat, determined to be all business. "I was in the storage locker this morning looking for Christmas decorations, and I found a small box of your things. I thought you might want them back."
"Really? I was sure I got everything when I moved out last March."
"Yeah, well, this is a box of mementos or something. You know, things you wouldn't necessarily miss day-to-day."
She could practically hear him scowl, and she couldn't help but picture his face. Those thick, black brows. Those chocolate-and-brandy eyes.
"Like what? Did you open the box? What's in it?"
"Just things. Things," she said, feeling a pulsing heat begin to steal through her limbs as she remembered what she'd found. The box held old family photos, a couple of baseball caps, a kid's wooden yo-yo.
And the pair of handcuffs he used to use on her.
She made her voice clipped and efficient. "Do you want the stuff or not?"
Shadows of Desire Excerpt:
Philippa Adams pulled her minivan up the winding driveway to the Williams home. She had almost missed the entrance. The granite gate posts were overgrown with vines and situated between two tacky tract homes that had been built in the last ten years or so. The driveway cut right through the newer development and led up a rise to a wooded knoll. She could see the old stone mansion looming ahead, towering over its modern neighbors like a medieval castle.
"Awesome," she said aloud. Her pulse kicked up as she pulled the van under the columned porte-cochere and turned the key in the ignition.
The house was constructed of yellowed stone blocks and surrounded by a jungle of neglected shrubs and trees. A blustery wind blew errant brown leaves across the broad stone steps that led to a pair of carved doors.
She grabbed her duffle bag and hopped out, the blood singing in her veins. It seemed an appropriate place to be on a Halloween afternoon, with dusk in the offing. If the spooky location was any indication, this promised to be a very interesting job.
The front doors were huge, at least ten feet tall. Heavy iron knockers with gargoyle faces grinned at her as she stood before them. She grabbed one and rapped several times on the paneled surface. After a minute she knocked again.
Finally one door swung open. A man of maybe thirty-five stood there, blinking in the pale daylight.
"I'm Philippa Adams."
He peered past her shoulder to her van, which had her company name emblazoned on the side. Suddenly he took a step back and his eyes narrowed.
"Paranormal Patrol? Did my agent Jane send you?" The man's lips were set in a hard line and his brows v'ed downward.
Philippa checked her clipboard.
"Yes, it was a Jane Plant who booked the appointment. I'm supposed to talk with the homeowner, Roderick Williams. Would that be you?" She extended her hand in greeting. The man's expression was more sour than ever. He ignored her hand.
Such a shame. He wasn't a bad-looking guy. Get him out of that gray t-shirt and rumpled cardigan, comb his hair a little, and paste a smile on his face, and he'd be downright handsome.
She tried again. "I understand you've been having some unexplained activity here. Is that right? Appliances being unplugged and such?"
"Yes," he muttered.
"Do you mind if I come in and have a look around?"
He stood for several seconds, obviously undecided. Finally he sighed and pulled the door open.
Paradise Encounter Excerpt:
"You're definitely my hero today, Andy," Maya said.
Andy turned away and walked the few feet to where the flatbed cart with the bags of mulch waited. He lifted the top bag and repositioned it, pretending to realign the stack. He really just needed a few seconds away from the brilliant glow of Maya's physical presence. Needed to get his heart back into a normal rhythm and his breathing less erratic.
He chuckled to himself. Facebook hadn't done her justice. The social media site should come with a warning on those album pages: Subjects are several times hotter than they appear.
And there was no way he could have been prepared for the way she smelled either, all warm and sweet, wrapped around exotic notes of floral and spice. Like honeysuckle and roses might smell if they bloomed along the Nile River. The little blue dress she wore only hinted at cleavage, but he was pretty sure that was where the enchanting scent was coming from. He could imagine burying his nose in that heavenly valley and taking his last breath. Talk about dying a happy man.
"Everything okay, Andy?"
Realizing he'd been standing motionless for some time, he sucked in fresh oxygen, filling his lungs. Come on, fool. All this stalling wasn't getting the mulch loaded onto her truck. That was the main mission today, after all, to get Maya's order completed and out to the job site on time. He turned and pushed the cart over to the pickup.
"Everything's great," he said. "This will only take a few minutes to load."
She gave him a smile that would have blinded a lesser man.
Lady Blake's Tales Excerpt:
My first question to the girl—the first question I ask all the maidens—was "Do you know your sexual nature?"
Arrabelle answered me in a small voice that she did not. She sat shivering on the hard chair, despite the fact that the fire crackled not ten feet away.
"How will you know what you desire in a Compeer, if you do not know your own self?" I asked.
She dropped her gaze and looked as if she wished to disappear. She kept her arms folded over her naked breasts, her legs squeezed tightly together. I could see that the girl was entirely innocent. I don't know why parents don't begin their daughters' instruction before they come of age. But then, the very heart of being Matcher is to help young ones learn about their true selves, their hidden passions, is it not? To draw out of each partner his or her natural propensities, and then bring together those whose passions complement one another. That is the highest calling of any Matcher.
Already I had divined signs of Arrabelle's submissive character.
So I told her, as I tell all my young ones: "Each of us comes to this plane with a unique set of innate wants and desires, which are further enhanced by the experiences of our childhood, the influence of our homes, families, and social stations. Over time, our secret desires form a core of yearning within us that is just as vital to take into account as the size of a dowry, or the grandness of house and acreage a husband-to-be might possess. What we have learned over the centuries is that mismatches in material areas of compatibility can more easily be addressed and rectified than mismatches in the marital bed."
The girl actually blushed!
Confident I was reading the signs correctly, I skipped straight away to the first of the Father Questions. "On those occasions when discipline is meted out in your parents' home, does your father take hand to you?"
"No. Never." At first her expression was forthright and earnest, but after a moment her gaze slid away. I saw the pupils of her eyes expand as she further considered the question. A stain of excitement spread over her chest.
"Do you ever wish that he did, Arrabelle? Do you imagine it?"
"Oh, no!" Her gaze darted back to her lap, refusing to meet mine. Her breathing became more rapid.
Naked Treats Excerpt:
Zack Cranston's new favorite thing was breakfast with Rose. On the first and third Sunday of every month she would arrive at dawn, let herself in using the key he'd given her, and quietly go to work in his kitchen. By the time he got up at ten or so, she'd have concocted a culinary masterpiece for him. Eggs Benedict or crepes or seafood omelets with fresh fruit and wonderful, exotic coffee.
And she would serve it to him naked.
Well, there was the tiny lace apron she wore tied at her slender waist, but that hardly counted since he could see right through it.
While he ate she would sit across from him at the glass-topped table by the window, sipping her coffee and nibbling dry toast. The fact that she often assumed a somewhat relaxed position, her thighs parted, was a distraction to be sure. And after three or four Sundays he'd formed an indelible association between the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and glimpses of her most private places. That association had caused him discomfort more than once in client meetings.
The fact that she was so relaxed with her nakedness, which he'd loved at first, had lately begun to make him slightly uneasy. What if someone in a neighboring building glanced across? Since he paid for her culinary services shouldn't he be the only one privy to the view of her voluptuous breasts and breathtaking behind?
He had that thought this morning as he watched her at the stove, where she was poaching eggs and making Hollandaise sauce. He'd gotten up unusually early, using the excuse of a hangover, but he really craved watching her work. The open floor plan of the condo gave him an almost unobstructed view, and oh, he was being richly rewarded for his loss of sleep.
Rose's body wasn't perfect, but she was healthy and young and her curves were lush and utterly feminine. As she stirred the sauce her whole body moved along with the circular motion of the wooden spoon. Her breasts bobbed and swayed, her hips undulated, and her long, sable hair swung like a satin curtain. She was really something to see.
Zack swallowed hard and popped a wedge of grapefruit into his mouth.
"Marry me, Rose," he said without thinking, his gaze glued to her breasts.
As soon as he heard the words escape his mouth a flash of panic went through him. Why had he said such a thing? He didn't even know her.
What if she said yes just to mess with him?
But Rose simply turned and smiled at him, her dark lashes sweeping her cheeks.
"Eat your fruit, Mr. Cranston," she said primly. "The sauce is almost ready."