4.5 PADDLES:"Karen Mercury has done it again! She returns us to Last Chance, California for another kinky ménage adventure. As always, Ms. Mercury has well developed characters and storylines. Rose is the Chef at the Cavern on the Green, the restaurant attached to the restored Searchlight Motel. The Searchlight has a nefarious past as an infamous brothel The Sunset Palomino Ranch. It has been renovated to a mid-century revival motel and supper club. Swearing off men and digging into her work doesn’t seem like a problem for the curvy chef. Rose is written as a character that has been thru the mill with bad relationships. Men, who leave her standing in the rain, make her only get a salad at dinner because they are cheapskates or just plain ole jerks. She is taking a vacation from men. Jesse is an interior designer and portrait painter, who had painted Willow, Rose’s boss, portrait. Rose assumes Jesse is gay, because he is so beautiful and because of his profession. Her assumptions are very wrong. He is attracted to Rose, but knows he must move slowly to get past her defenses. Jesse’s character has been developed as a beautiful man of mixed race, who is a former male model. However, he is not just beautiful on the outside; he is also smart and witty. His father has exiled Drake to Last Chance. He is supposed to run their ranch and keep a low profile. His character was the epitome of rich and bored bad boy. He spent most of his life as a Dom in the private dungeons all over Europe. His one mistake, being caught on camera in a Gay club in India…in a very compromising position. Daddy did not like this and was very embarrassed, thus the punishment. These three characters have to come to terms with their attractions to each other as couples and as a group. Each character has to also come to grips with their own sexuality and learn what they ultimately want, desire and need. With this entire sexual discovery going on, Ms. Mercury throws us a mystery/intrigue storyline as well. It fits with the overall story and keeps readers on their toes, tying in past to present. As always, the villain is written as an over, the top character that makes you laugh and think why did he think he would ever get away with a crime? The sex scenes are some of the hottest you will read. A Drake is a Dom who knows his stuff! Garden benches will take on new meanings. Hopefully Ms. Mercury will keep returning to Last Chance, California, The Searchlight Motel, and show us more about the infamous Racquet Club." -- Wendy Dawn, BDSM Book Reviews
That soup had been served hours ago. Earlier, Table Fourteen’s silver fox had been with a couple of business associates, but now he was alone, so he was her culprit. Rose had no choice but to suck it up and paste a grin on her face. Wiping her hands on her apron, she took a few deep breaths, reminding herself it was almost eleven and everyone would soon be gone.
Rose went obsequiously around the side of the table, even bending her knees a little to gain more eye contact with the gentleman. Oh, my. He was stunningly beautiful and not really a silver fox at all—could a man of only forty be classed as a silver fox? He must have just been barely grey and chose to let it go—another point in his stunningly beautiful favor. His straight, pointed nose led the eye to his perfectly sculpted, bowed lips. The lips were thin and stern, though, and his dark brown eyes seemed to have no pupil as he regarded her with disapproval. His cheekbones were so sharp you could skin a deer with them.
“Hi, I’m Rose Britton, executive chef. You found fault with the pepper pot soup?” She had a feeling she knew what the “fault” would be. She was attempting to reintroduce a 1950s comfort food kitsch item that not many people remembered, ironically or otherwise.
“Yes,” said the gentleman, sneering at a nonexistent soup bowl on the table. “What was that awful rubbery stuff in there?”
Once his eyes moved up Rose’s torso though, as expected, his eyes dilated with pleasure.
Rose knew she was pretty. She could always see the pleasure wash over men’s faces when they first viewed her. She had never lacked for dates or suitors, even though her nose was too wide and piggish and her eyes always looked puffy and tired. Her honey blonde hair could look delicious and whipped when it behaved—or tinged with a nauseous green from her high school swimming days in Florida.
But right now that didn’t matter. Rose was tired of men. Men were dogs, and it enraged her even more to think this cultured man would insult her soup even worse if she had been more overweight than her pleasantly curvy, or had her nose been even more piggish. She kept her hands folded in front of her filthy apron and said civilly, “You must mean the beef tripe. That’s an ingredient many people aren’t familiar with.”
He frowned. Rose knew his sort. They had to know everything, and the worst insult was to infer that they didn’t. “Of course I’m familiar with tripe,” he said imperiously. He had really broad shoulders. Rose mentally slapped herself for wondering if he worked out. Rose imagined she could see pectorals rippling under the suit jacket as he made a little pile of his linen napkin on the table top. “I was just wondering why it had to be so damned rubbery. So damned repellant.”
He had gone back to disliking her because she had questioned his know-how, and that was fine with Rose. She just wanted to get back into her kitchen, oversee the cleanup, schedule workers for tomorrow, and get the hell back to her room at the Searchlight Motel. She found herself eager to please him, and she told herself it was just to hurry things along. She had a sneaking suspicion, though, that she might just sincerely want to please the asshole. “Well, that’s kind of the nature of tripe, sir. Maybe next time the vichyssoise or turtle soup would be more to your palate.”
His eyes flashed with anger. He dropped his credit card on the table as though it was a turd. “Aren’t you a bit young to be an executive chef?”
“Well, this is a small establishment. I do a lot of the hands-on cooking here myself.”
He narrowed his eyes. “Including the pepper pot soup?”
Rose sighed. “Including the pepper pot soup.”
He snorted. “Well. If thereis a next time, I’ll definitely stay away from your soup.” He stabbed the credit card with his steely glance, giving Rose the unmistakable picture.
“Oh! I’ll take your bill to the cashier.” Rose gave a little bow, and got the hell out of there without having to endure another acerbic word from that asshat.
“Asshat,” she said under her breath as she handed the cashier the black billfold.
“Yeah,” said the other woman. “He’s gorge, but he’s sure got ’tude. He sent back his Clams Casino appetizer because it was too buttery.”
“It’s supposed to be buttery. Who is he, do you know?”
The hostess shrugged. “I’ve never seen him before. But they were talking about steers and registered cattle, so I guess he’s in the ranching business nearby.”
Rose looked at the man over her shoulder. He irritably slapped a cowboy hat against his knee, but he wasn’t tan enough to be the actual rancher. He must be the owner.
“Oh, whatever,” Rose said, irritable herself now, and sped off to the ladies’ room.
“Do her forearms,” Drake instructed Jesse. “You did a good job with these knots.”
Jesse oiled Rose’s forearms, again relaxing her with his massaging skills. But when the men switched so Jesse could gently oil Rose’s naked pussy, Rose jumped and cried out at an unexpected stinging on her chest. She raised her head and saw that Drake stood at the side of the bed, cock proudly erect, bulging between the restrictive silver harness rings. He held a red candle at his shoulder level and was pooling it in the vicinity of her belly button. The sensation was difficult to describe. The hot wax splashed, jumping like drops of water in a hot pan of oil.
“Stroke your two fingers between her labia,” Drake instructed Jesse. “You’re good at that. But don’t get her too excited.”
Rose knew the intention was to keep her mind off the wax. She found herself waiting for each splash and drip. Drake wielded three different colored candles that he alternated, seemingly creating a pattern down the center of her torso. He dripped on her boobs, her nipples, and Rose hissed in air.
“Oh, too much, too much,” she whined, and Drake immediately moved to splatter wax on her ribcage.
Rose was torn between the stinging of the hot wax and the plunging of Jesse’s fingers between her pussy lips. She knew that was the intention, but the anticipation of each splash of wax was driving her over the edge. Jesse’s massaging fingers would softly arouse her, and then the sting of melted wax would make her gasp. “Oh, please, Drake! Stop!”
“Is it too hot? I can hold the candles up higher.”
“Yes. I mean no! It’s fine! I just can’t stand the anticipation anymore. Every time I’m waiting for a drip of wax to fall I tense up, then Jesse’s fingers relax me, then bam! Another drip of wax!”
Drake nodded at Jesse. “Let’s swap again.”
Rose protested. “No! Are you serious, Drake? Come on! You couldn’t possibly be such a sadist as to—ah!”Yes, he’s such a sadist. I should’ve expected that. Drake was dripping wax on her freshly shaved mound.
Jesse commented lightly, “You’re an artist with the wax. A regular Jackson Pollock.”
Drake said, “My dad used to have a Pollock in the library, and another in the main living room. Here, why don’t you try? You’re the artist.”
Jesse took two candles from Drake while Rose squirmed. “I’m not much of an abstract expressionist.”
“Yes!” Rose agreed fervently. “Jesse, you’re a photorealist, not an alcoholic drip painter!” She had studied some art at her culinary school, which was all about being artsy-fartsy, being near New York City.
“I know.” Jesse grinned. “But it’s fun.”
Drake bunched the pillow up underneath Rose’s head so she could watch Jesse. “Is it different when you can see?” he asked. “Then you’re not so tense and expectant.”
“Yes, it’s less tense,” she agreed. “But the constant bouncing around—I mean the contrast between pain and pleasure—is wearing on me. I feel like I’ve run a marathon. Oh!” Jesse dripped a stream of wax directly between her labia, and it dribbled down hotly over her clit before hardening up.
“Oh, God!” Jesse held the candle up high as though surrendering. “I’m sorry.”
“Never apologize!” ordered Drake. Kneeling on the bed, he took the candles from Jesse and replaced them in the metal tray. “We’ve got a good artist’s palette going here.” Drake spanked Rose’s pussy, and she could tell by the clammy slap against her labia that she was mushy and wet with arousal.
Rose huffed and puffed, every cell in her body on fire. The blistering wax had wakened every square inch of her body, thrown her into a permanent state of anticipation. What would be next? Cold ice? Drake’s brisk slapping over the cooled wax had her literally burning with a need she didn’t know how to fulfill. Drake was a true sadist, merely toying with her like a puppet master just to see her reaction. “Oh, God! Drake, you have to do something! I’m going to go out of my mind with frustration!”
“Jesse,” Drake commanded. “Sit on her hips.”
“I’ll ruin the wax painting. It’ll crack.”
Drake grabbed Jesse by a bicep and jammed him onto Rose’s hips. To his credit, Jesse sat lightly, his hard-on bulging obviously in his jeans.
Jesse spoke while twisting his torso to watch Drake behind him. “Drake, what are you—oh, fuck, not again, Drake! This is too, too fucking much!”
Rose strained to lift her torso off the mattress. “What’s he doing, Jesse? What’s ‘not again’? Look, I can’t take anymore of—ah!”
Rose saw the metal and leather cock harness fly through the air and clatter to the floor just as Drake slid his upper thighs under Rose’s ass. Instantly the mushroom head of his hot, naked cock was nestled at the entrance to her pussy, and Drake was saying, “Don’t worry, Jesse. I’m not leaving you out, buddy. Turn around. Face Rose. I want her to watch.”