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Friday, April 24, 2015

New from @TinaDonahue Erotic Takeover #RB4U #RomFantasy


Available from:



He’ll unleash her indecent desires…in the most provocative way possible

Working for a celebrated photographer of lush nudes, many with BDSM themes, isn’t easy for Jodi. She’s full-figured, wholesome and longing for Mac, her bad boy boss. His shaggy hair, wicked tat and total hotness make her dream of ditching her work as his assistant to get down on her knees as his eager sub. If he’d only notice her.
Who says he hasn’t? As laid-back as they come, Mac can’t get over how uptight Jodi is around him…like he might bite her. Not what he has in mind. Her guileless nature and voluptuous figure do dangerous things to his self-control.
Lucky for him a client’s request has Jodi finally yielding to her sensual nature, because Mac’s fully prepared to dominate, demanding her submission, delivering punishment. In other words, an erotic takeover.

Excerpt:

He was gentler than he’d intended to be or could endure for long. Mac’s only reason for making his first move so subdued was that he didn’t want to alarm Jodi. The moment she decided he was being too rough, she might pull back or push him away.
No fucking chance he’d let that happen.
Her mouth was too seductive. Not only ungodly soft but loose beneath his. Her flowery fragrance made him think of her again in an old-fashioned, age-yellowed portrait. In the image, her hair would be longer, the ends dangling above her lavish breasts, her nipples puckered from her arousal and excitement at posing so shamelessly.
He imagined her in a frilly corset drawn tightly around her waist, the satiny fabric not doing much to hide her lush nudity. Instead, it would display her pale breasts and ass for his use, her punishment. The thought of disciplining her thickened Mac’s blood. He could almost hear the crack of his palm or a strap against her succulent cheeks, followed by her sounds of submission and desire.
A growl caught in the back of his throat, a sound Mac didn’t dare let out until he was certain she wanted at least a portion of what he’d been fantasizing about. His tongue glided over the seam of her mouth, testing, teasing, then slipped inside gradually, opening her to him.
Her taste and wet heat made his legs rubbery. His knees bumped into hers.
Moaning softly, Jodi sagged against him, surrendering.
Aw, baby.
Mac planted his hand on her ass and pushed her cunt into his rigid shaft. Jodi yielded further, her mouth fitted to his, arms wreathed around his neck.
Intoxicated by her eagerness, Mac filled her mouth with his tongue. Her nipples were peaked, hard as could be against his pecs. Her desire was so damn welcome that he answered her faint moans with a growl then a cruder grunt, unable to pretend he still had any control over what was happening between them.
Jodi couldn’t possibly be deluding herself either. She suckled his tongue with abandon and ground her body into his.
They rocked back and forth, each of them trying to get closer in their carnal dance. Mac held the back of Jodi’s head, not allowing her to break free. She pushed her fingers through his hair, anchoring him to her. Wasn’t enough, dammit. He needed more and angled his mouth for better penetration.
Once he had it, Jodi took charge, forcing his tongue aside then spearing hers into his mouth. An appreciative noise escaped him, the sound more animal than human. She answered with a lusty groan that thickened his cock and squeezed his balls. Mac wanted her hands on that part of him. No, not her hands…her tongue.


Available from:


BIO:

I’m an award-winning, bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance for Kensington, Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Siren Publishing, Booktrope, and indie. Yay! Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised my work, and trust me, I’m forever grateful for that. I’ve had my books reach finals in the EPIC competition, one title was named Book of the Year at a review site, and others have won awards in RWA-sponsored contests. I’m actually featured in the 2012 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. Talk about feeling like a freaking star. Before my writing career, I was the editor of an award–winning Midwestern newspaper and worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company. Outside of being an admitted and unrepentant chocoholic, I’ve flown a single-engine plane (scary stuff), rewired an old house using an electricity for dummies book, and have been known to moan like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally whenever I’m eating anything Mexican or Italian. Yeah, I like to eat (burp).

You can check me out here – yes, I am everywhere!

Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/1ChWFkO
My page at TRR: http://bit.ly/1vb7eEc
EC Author Page: http://bit.ly/1Dh9wor
Samhain Author Page: http://bit.ly/1Bvw6mL
Sweet ‘n Sexy Divas: http://bit.ly/1ChWN3K
Romance Books 4 US: http://bit.ly/1JPtfeS

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

ARe Blast - 25% off all participating titles - today only! #RB4U #MFRWAuthor #RomFantasy


As most of you have probably heard, today is the day to get your new reading material from ARe at sale prices!! The following titles of mine are included in the Blast, so if you’re looking for some great reading, check out all the awesome authors at the ARe Bookstore, I’m sure you’ll find something to love!!

(Amazon and ARe Best-seller – Short contemporary Western Erotic)

Chase Jordan is a man with half his life missing since his return from the war in Iraq. He arrives back in Texas, a drifter looking for home. When he arrives at the Double D ranch, the owners know him, even if he can’t remember them. Cheyenne’s been infatuated with Chase since her high school days, but Deke MacKenzie’s already made it clear to Chase that his kid sister is off limits.

A loner by nature, and even more so now as PTSD plagues him, Chase rejects Cheyenne’s efforts to seduce him. He senses complications he wants no part of if he gets too close to her, and part of his soul is very much at home on the Double D. When an old boyfriend of Cheyenne’s goads him into a fight, his anger put him on all kinds of edge–and Cheyenne’s determination to turn up the Texas Heat get her in over her head...

Chase has warned her, he doesn’t play nice. When she ignores his invitation to leave, she puts herself at the mercy of his anger, his lust, and the most explosive passion she’s ever experienced... But what happens when the “job” is over, and Chase turns his back on her again? Memories are waking, the kind that will change both their lives in dramatic ways.

(Contemporary paranormal – vampires - novella)

When Detective Faith Fitzpatrick is assigned as a liaison to the police force in Montreal, intent on helping the detectives there capture a killer who's MO matches one she's hunted at home in Los Angeles, she is ill-prepared for what awaits her in the beautiful jewel city of Canada's French province. Mysteriously drawn to her temporary partner, Adrian Blackthorne, she rebels against his allure, only to be drawn into an even deeper darkness when Adrian's past snares her - and she becomes a pawn in the deadly battle between the vampire Blackthorne and the powerful master he has long denied?

(Amazon and ARe Best-seller – Contemporary Military erotic - novella)

Randall Stone is the stuff of heroes, a mercenary given a discharge from the army he has served with his life. But the government is still interested in using the skills they've taught Major Rand Stone, and he continues to work with his hand-picked team. Into his shadowy world a light has come, and in her love, Stone discovers unhoped for joy, and, perhaps, unbearable sorrow?

(Contemporary set of two – sweet and erotic)

One sweet, one sexy - both passionate and guaranteed to make you smile!

Two very different stories of love and passion. In Brigit Aine’s enchanting tale, Her Secret Admirer, love is being discovered, with all its magic and mystery and hope… and in the second movement of the Duet, The Conversation Cards, two people already involved in their passionate love affair learn new things about each other, and reaffirm their bond.

Pas de Deux: Her Secret Admirer – Love is often found when it’s least expected. Cindy is working hard at making her business a success, and at her side offering solid support is Will. When she arrives home one evening to find a Valentine Love Coupon taped to her door, a romantic game of dreams and hope begins as her Secret Admirer begins a courtship that will win her heart long before she knows his name…

Pas de Deux: The Conversation Cards – Two modern lovers, living often separate lives, discover that making time for their relationship isn’t always easy. A whimsical, spur of the moment purchase of a Valentine novelty evokes an open and honest conversation that makes their secret getaway an even more romantic rendezvous, and renews hope for a future that is the stuff of dreams…

(ARe best-seller – Historical pirates, fantasy world vampires – some erotic)

Three stories, one kind of hero, pirates anyone? Includes the short stories Angel-Fire, Storm-Singer, and The Phantom’s Lair… Historical adventure, and the darker mystery of an ageless vampire who keeps a witch at his side, his protector and his lover through eternity...

Angel-Fire: A short intro to the world of Captain Jack Stanton, an honourable man with a tarnished reputation. Stranded in Nassau, caught up in a pleasant interlude with a barmaid, Jack has a vision that will lead him to his past and his future, if he can survive to get back Tortuga to discover what it all means…

Storm-Singer: The Isle of Nyx has become the dread of all sailors who must dare the waters surrounding the mythical island. Local legends say a vampire prince resides in the ancient castle that can be seen from the harbor of the island. At his side is a powerful sorceress whose song can control and summon storms.

In a desperate attempt to end the eternal threat looming over them, the people of the Aurora Islands sacrifice their greatest treasure, the princess Sarita, entrusting her with the task of seducing and destroying the dark prince who has been plundering their wealth and their people for centuries?

The Phantom’s Lair: Upon her arrival in the pirate port of Tortuga where her father is acting as Governor, Katheryn Hollinsworth is determined to choose her own path, and follow her heart wherever it may take her. On the streets of Puerta de la Plata, she encounters the mythical buccaneer known as The Phantom, and very quickly loses her heart to the handsome rogue.

Jack Stanton is a man who has never fully come to terms with his past, and in the Governor's pretty daughter he finds a most unlikely champion. But when his past threatens her life, and any chance of a respectable future, The Phantom must face the demons of his past, and accept the dictates of his own reawakened heart...

(Contemporary mainstream mystery novel)

Death has many shades and shapes... Deep within the ageless Carpathian Mountains, an ancient evil wakes. Imprisoned many centuries ago, the creature has waited, patiently, for the one destined to grant her freedom. Arienne Lereaux has studied the preternatural menace called "vampyre" for most of her life. She is an expert in the field. Loosely affiliated with a secretive organization called The Institute of Paranormal Research and Investigation, she turns to them when she unearths what may be the first representation of the vampyre ever to exist.

(Best-seller – Short, contemporary ménage erotic)

What begins as an idyllic cruise for four friends quickly becomes a nightmare… the pleasant afternoon has had its tense moments as personalities clash. Iris is the newest member of the quartet, married to Dale Montgomery for a short time, she is reserved and elegant–a direct contrast to the earthy sexuality and eroticism of Giselle Jordan–the woman who has been Dale's closest friend for many years. When their boat is caught in the crush of a tidal wave near sunset, the four are swept into the ocean. Hours after the capsize, Giselle awakens on a stretch of beach, a short distance away is Iris, bleeding and terrified. When Iris dies, Giselle is left stranded on an island with the two men she loves. How long will it be before passion take them into the dangerous realm that is the uncharted territory of the heart?

(Short, contemporary paranormal – sensual)

The misty evening air of a Winter in Venice cloaks many things…. Some who are passionate lovers hoping for stolen moments….. others who are merely the cutthroats and thieves that plague any city filled with the wealth of visitors and citizens of palaces….. But what else lies hidden within the mist? The voice of an angel lures…. each perfect note beckons and promises untold pleasures…. until, finally, a broken heart succumbs to desire…. and Fate weaves a new thread into the tapestry that is the mystery of life itself….

Inspired by the music of Riccardo Foresi, the photography of Vincenzo Chiofalo, and the eternal lure of Gaston LeRoux’s The Phantom of the Opera… discover what waits Within The Mist…

(Amazon and ARe Best-seller – Historical Western, sensual – novella)

When Dylan Coulter rides into Sparkling Springs, he quickly discovers the woman who runs the local saloon is worth the risk of facing the hangman. Things get ugly fast when Dylan is accused of killing the only son of the richest rancher in the area. Unwilling to leave her behind, Dylan takes Maggie with him as he tries to dodge bounty hunters and a determined Pinkerton agent who just happens to be Maggie's old love...


Click on the titles to read more, or visit my page for all my titles HERE



Monday, April 6, 2015

Amazon Top 10 Best-seller - turning up the Texas Heat! #RB4U #MFRWAuthor #RomFantasy

This story came into existence via a strange route. When I write cowboys, I tend to write them historically. I’ve had an on-going love affair with the Old West my entire life, my first heroes were cowboys. I saw a call from Delilah Devlin on Facebook, and she was requesting submissions for an anthology called Cowboy Heat. So, I decided to see if I could write a modern cowboy. In the end, the story wasn’t what she was looking for, and I took another look at it. It’s now about 2500 words longer, and while it remains a short story, it’s one with a sexy kick. Chase was a fascinating challenge as a large part of the story is written from his point of view, but I really like this story and I hope readers will enjoy this hot hero as much as I enjoyed creating him. The story has twice made it into the Top Ten Amazon best-sellers, getting as far as #2 the last time it was on sale. If you like your stories hot, this one just might have you reaching for a fan... it's short, but it packs a punch!

TEXAS HEAT
Available NOW from New Dawning Book Fair
Short contemporary erotic Western

*Amazon Best-seller*


Blurb:

Chase Jordan is a man with half his life missing since his return from the war in Iraq. He arrives back in Texas, a drifter looking for home. When he arrives at the Double D ranch, the owners know him, even if he can’t remember them. Cheyenne’s been infatuated with Chase since her high school days, but Deke MacKenzie’s already made it clear to Chase that his kid sister is off limits.

A loner by nature, and even more so now as PTSD plagues him, Chase rejects Cheyenne’s efforts to seduce him. He senses complications he wants no part of if he gets too close to her, and part of his soul is very much at home on the Double D. When an old boyfriend of Cheyenne’s goads him into a fight, his anger put him on all kinds of edge–and Cheyenne’s determination to turn up the Texas Heat get her in over her head...

Chase has warned her, he doesn’t play nice. When she ignores his invitation to leave, she puts herself at the mercy of his anger, his lust, and the most explosive passion she’s ever experienced... But what happens when the “job” is over, and Chase turns his back on her again? Memories are waking, the kind that will change both their lives in dramatic ways.

Excerpt:

“Miss MacKenzie,” he said.

She walked around the truck and looked at him.

The speculative look in her eyes kissed the back of his neck with a tingle of uncertainty. He was always edgy around her, like something was close but still eluding him. He didn’t like it.

“It’s Cheyenne, Chase,” she reminded him.

He nodded. They’d done this dance a time or two before. There was something too familiar about her, but he couldn’t pin it down. The now customary flare of annoyance woke inside him. Half his damn past was missing since he’d come home from Iraq. Maybe he’d known her once, though he couldn’t imagine forgetting someone like her. “Something I can do for you, ma’am?”

She laughed and dropped the tailgate on the pickup, bending over with what he knew was deliberate intent. There was no denying the appeal of her well-shaped ass in the tight jeans, and his cock twitched in response. She turned, tossed him a beer, and sat on the tailgate looking at him while she took a swig of her own drink.

Chase opened the can of beer and drank half of it. He strolled to the truck, braced his arm casually on the side as he stared at her. “You haven’t answered my question, Cheyenne.”

She twisted around until she faced him, and cradled the cooler between her breasts. Her nipples were clearly outlined and pushing against the thin cotton of her tank-top.
He met her candid stare and grinned at the challenge in her expression.

“Why don’t you like people, Chase?”

“I like people just fine, ma’am,” he said. “I just prefer my own company to that of idiots.”

She considered his reply then shrugged. “Do you consider me an idiot, Chase?”

He laughed. “No, ma’am.”

“Good answer,” she said.

“I have work to do, Cheyenne.” He finished his beer and tossed the can into the ice-filled hamper containing the rest of the six-pack she’d brought with her.

“You work for me, too, Chase,” she reminded him softly.

He took a long look at her, his appraisal meant to be offensive and blatant.

At only a little over five feet tall, Chey was stacked and curvy in all the right places. Her long auburn hair was tied back in a simple ponytail, and she wore no makeup.

He dropped his gaze to her breasts, fingertips tingling as he contemplated what her skin would feel like, and taste like if he leaned in and took one of her ripe nipples into his mouth. She slid a little bit closer to him and he shook off the heat that was building inside him. “Thanks for the beer, ma’am. I’ll be getting back to my work now.”

He would have left but she grabbed his arm and he was too aware of the pebbled point of her nipple brushing against his bicep.

“I want―”

He put a finger over her lips, silencing her as he shook his head. “Baby, I know what you want, but I’m not playing that game.”

She slid her hand along the front of his jeans, stopping to squeeze hard and his cock reacted instantly and pushed against the heavy denim.

“I want you to fuck me, Chase,” she whispered, her gaze locked with his, the glint in her dark eyes a clear dare. “I think you want it, too.”

He smiled and let the predator in his nature emerge in his expression. More than one woman had backed off when his smile went dark and warning.

Cheyenne’s eyes widened, but she didn’t back down. Her chest rose and fell as her breaths quickened with obvious excitement.

“You don’t know what you’re asking for, Cheyenne,” he told her. “I don’t play nice.”

“Maybe I don’t want nice?” she said, uncertainty in her words.

He needed to push her away while he still had some control over the situation. He took the bottle she’d been clutching and tossed it aside, grabbed her ponytail and eased her head back, exposing the graceful curve of her neck. Leaning in, he licked the smooth hollow at the base of her throat, smiling against her skin when the tang of sweetness and sweat touched his tongue. “You have no idea how tempting you are, Cheyenne, but I like my job here, so you have to go.”

She moved her head a bit, what her restricted freedom would allow. When she laughed, the whisper of her breath fanned across his skin. “I’m not going anywhere, Chase.”

“Yes, honey,” he paused, smiled, and finished, “you are.” He let go of her and stepped back, adjusting his jeans as he fought down his arousal. “I have work to do, and fucking you isn’t part of my job.”




WIN copies of Champagne and Chocolate, in paperback now!! #giveaway #RomFantasy @NaughtyNightsPr

Just released in paperback. If bought from Amazon in paperback, the eBook is FREE. However, if eBook is your preference, for a limited time, this novella is on SALE for only 99¢ at the stores listed below!!


CHAMPAGNE AND CHOCOLATE
(Historical Western romance)
* Best-seller *



Paperback: Amazon | Createspace


From different worlds, drawn by desire, passion is about to change their lives forever...

Indulge in a wickedly seductive taste of CHAMPAGNE AND CHOCOLATE:

Austin Standish is a man of refined tastes. Intelligent and educated, Austin enjoys all of the best life has to offer. A gambler, a gunslinger, and a man who has plans to taste the sweetest prize at The Palace Casino and Saloon - the lovely owner, Chantille L'Amour, the most sought after jewel on the Barbary Coast.

Running a high-class brothel and casino isn't exactly the life she was born to but Chantille is determined to overcome the ruin her family was left in once the Civil War ended. But, she has chosen a difficult path... one that demands much and leaves her lonely. She's noticed the handsome man who comes into her world from time to time, and when she chooses to give in to desire, the passion evoked by Austin's touch may change her life forever...

Excerpt:

“Will you be needin’ anything else, Miss Chantille?”

Chantille L’Amour turned and looked at her maid. Carrie was hovering close to the door, clearly eager to get on with other chores if she wasn’t needed here.

“No, Carrie,” Chantille said with a shake of her head. “I just want a few quiet minutes before business begins for the night.”

Carrie hesitated, her mouth opened to speak, then she shook her head and nodded. A moment later, the door to the suite of rooms closed with a soft thud.

Chantille sighed heavily and walked to the French doors, then leaned against the door frame. The last faint rays of the glowing afternoon were giving way to the steady encroachment of evening as she stared out at the glittering, sun-dappled beauty of San Francisco Bay. For several more moments, she delayed the increasingly wearisome task of preparing herself for the evening ahead. For a few precious moments, she allowed her heart to pine for a simpler world in which to live. The world her parents spoke about with such longing, life as it had been before the Civil War tore everything to pieces. Born in the midst of that conflict, Chantille had never enjoyed the peace and happiness her parents had known in their youth. She’d resented it deeply, and, because of the devastation wrought by the war, she’d made choices that weighed heavily on her. Those dictates had done their part to age her spirit well beyond her twenty-five years.

The scents and sounds of the Barbary Coast wafted up to her, assaulting her senses now where they had once caressed. She’d arrived in San Francisco several years ago, bright-eyed and determined to be the mistress of her fate. She’d been tired of living on the dead dreams that sustained her family, fully aware that the South would never again possess the lazy, luxurious languor that had enabled it to fall to its own complacent arrogance. In San Francisco, Chantille’s money and family meant nothing to the hordes of men who flocked to her place of business. They cared only about the quantity of drink and companionship to be found at The Palace. The quality was another wasted effort on her part, though she steadfastly refused to compromise it.

With a barely audible groan, Chantille pushed herself from her casual slouch and went to her bed. She’d laid out her clothes before bathing, a custom she often found soothing. She slipped the silk dressing gown off her shoulders and reached for the soft, ribbon-trimmed cotton drawers. The ritual of dressing eased her nerves, as it always did, and her spirits lifted as she closed the hooks on her corset and carefully tugged free the hand-woven froth of lace that decorated her chemise. Layers of crinolines and petticoats came next, and, once she’d fastened them, she walked to her dressing table and sat before the mirror. She applied a slight hint of rouge to her high cheekbones, and then repeated the color in darker tones on her lips. She selected earrings, and a sparkling diamond necklace that was worth more than most of her customers would see in their lifetimes. She’d done her hair earlier and turned her head to survey the results of her work. The pale ash blonde of her hair was set off by the inky black, velvet ribbons that she’d taken time to weave into the intricate knot. Strands of fair hair had already escaped the confines of her careful design, but she knew better than to attempt to contain them further—by night’s end, many more curling wisps would be falling around her face, giving her a deceptively angelic appearance that she knew appealed to men.

Her gaze fell to the ivory swells of her breasts, the ample curves made more prominent by the corset she wore. Her waist was naturally tiny, and the tightness of the shaping undergarment made her appear delicate, almost fragile. Another illusion, she thought, as she laughed inwardly. She walked to the bed to retrieve the glowing silk gown she’d selected for the evening. It was pale amethyst in color, trimmed with deep plum lace and ribbon. She settled the heavy dress over her hips, pulled it closed, tight to her body, then tugged the wide straps downward so her shoulders were almost bared. As she bent forward to retrieve a handkerchief from the top drawer of her dressing table, she caught her reflection in the mirror. Her parents would have been horrified to see her like this, her bosom all but falling from her dress, her face painted, and her dark brown eyes filled with knowledge that decent women would run from.

Oddly, the sadness that would once have accompanied the observation was missing now, and she realized she’d grown beyond caring what other people thought of her. There was no profit in opinion, and she’d learned that money was the only real power that mattered. So, she dismissed the whisper of censure from her past. However, the appealing image in the looking glass created an entirely different kind of ache within her. Loneliness, yes, but not the heartbreaking pain she’d known when she’d first arrived in San Francisco. This evening, she was lonely for the very companionship the girls who worked for her sold on a nightly basis. Chantille seldom accepted any of the numerous propositions that came her way in the course of an evening, but, tonight, she decided, she would attempt to be more receptive to the invitations she received.

It had been a very long time since she’d permitted a man’s arms around her. Longer still since she’d enjoyed more intimate pleasures. Smiling, she turned and headed down to the main room of the vast saloon she owned and ran.

* * * * *

Austin Standish alighted from his carriage and glanced at the incongruous, regal splendor of The Palace Saloon and Casino. He paid his driver, then headed into the sprawling building, an old opera house that had been abandoned for a number of years before Chantille L’Amour bought the place and set about reinventing it. He’d come to this particular establishment on numerous occasions since first discovering its existence and had enjoyed most of the pleasures offered. He’d thus far failed to make one conquest, however, and he was honest enough to admit it was that very challenge that kept him coming back. The owner of the saloon was an enigmatic and alluring woman who’d quickly seen through the charm and easy arrogance with which he had enticed so many ladies before her. Despite several invitations, she’d never granted him an audience.

Inside the grand saloon and casino, the décor was a reflection of surprising sophistication and good taste. It was wasted on most of the clientele.

Austin spotted several gentlemen who frequented the place, gentlemen who preferred not to be seen in the company they presently enjoyed. He ignored them and went through to the casino’s private room. He was known to the doorman and was immediately granted entrance. He spotted his quarry the minute he walked in; she was standing near the polished bar, surveying the customers and their talent at the tables.

Somewhere inside him, he felt a familiar flutter of excitement, but he dismissed it as ludicrous. He’d long ago learned the high price one paid for infatuation, and he refused to be swayed by it ever again. He wanted this alluring woman, but nothing more than that. A night in her bed, and he’d be content to never again step inside The Palace.

When the lovely Miss L’Amour glanced his way and held his eyes with her dark gaze, he had to ignore the self-mocking laughter that bubbled up inside his head. He inclined his head in a casual bow of acknowledgment, then went to purchase his usual thousand dollars’ worth of chips. He seldom lost, but his starting sum always remained the same; when he deviated from the practice Lady Luck withdrew her favor more often than not. He entered the casino with a thousand dollars, and usually left with considerably more than he’d had upon his arrival.

The chandeliers set in the high ceiling threw off enough light to rival the early afternoon sun, and the noise level, while something that couldn’t be entirely disregarded, was nowhere near the din that pervaded most saloons on the Coast. Standish was content for the moment to enjoy himself. He’d concentrate on the beautiful saloon owner after he’d indulged his more mercenary tendencies.

* * * * *

Less than two hours later, Standish’s winning streak forced a division of his attention. His last bet at the roulette wheel had earned him in the vicinity of ten thousand dollars. The man in charge of the table was looking more than a little bit worried, and he requested a moment to consult with the owner. Austin smiled and waited for the pretty woman to join them. He watched her for a few moments as she listened to whatever was being whispered in her ear. Once again, his stomach reacted with a disturbing flutter when she glanced at him, her stare bold and refreshingly direct as she considered her course of action. He realized, much to his inner horror, that he’d been holding his breath while he waited; he almost gasped in air when she smiled and began to walk toward him.

“Mr. Standish,” she murmured when she had reached the roulette table. “How lovely to see you again.”

He was surprised by the familiarity, and he arched one eyebrow, the response reflexive. “I wasn’t aware we’d met, Miss L’Amour.”

She laughed softly, and he was further enchanted.

“I don’t believe we have,” she agreed. “Not officially. But I do know who you are, Mr. Standish. Otherwise,” she added with a hint of irony, “you wouldn’t be permitted to gamble in this suite.”

“And am I to be permitted to continue this game, ma’am?”

“How lucky do you feel tonight, Mr. Standish?”

He grinned with an expression he knew was both confident and charming, a device well used over the years. Miss L’Amour’s tinkling amusement whispered in the space between them. Then she nodded and went around the table herself.

“Place your bets, gentlemen,” she said, gesturing at the numbered black and red table surface. She picked up the gleaming white marble and prepared to send the roulette wheel spinning.

When she bent forward, giving him a deliciously full view of her cleavage, Austin placed a reckless bet and sat back to watch the outcome.

“Your luck holds, Mr. Standish,” she said less than a minute later. “It would seem that I now owe you a substantial sum of money.” She walked from behind the table. “I’ll inform the cashier of your good fortune. When you wish to cash in, the money will be in my office.”

With a brief nod of her head, she left the table, smiling despite the loss of revenue. Standish was charmed all over again.

“Sir?”

He turned to look at the man next to the roulette wheel. They were waiting for his next bet. He shook his head.

“Not this time, Marty,” he said with a laugh. “I think I’ll quit while I’m still winning.”

The other man nodded, and, the moment Austin left his chair, he was aware of another man taking his place. He headed for the bar, intent on exchanging more than a few words with Miss L’Amour.

* * * * *

Chantille watched Standish from her vantage point at the end of the bar. He was a handsome man, one she’d noticed on several occasions. As he stood, she took quick inventory of his appearance, chewing her bottom lip unconsciously as she absorbed the man’s almost palpable presence.

At a height of over six feet, Austin Standish was a man not easily overlooked. He had sandy blond hair with a lock that perpetually fell over his forehead. Under the shaggy blond hair, the most startling green eyes Chantille had ever seen missed nothing that came within their scrutiny. His face was a fascinating blend of angles and contours, the individual features not perfect, yet the overall combination completely arresting and pleasing to the appreciative eye. He was slender, yet there was an undeniable sense of strength and power in the long line of his body. Tonight, as on other nights, he’d chosen a suit of black, the inky shade contrasted sharply by the stark white of his shirt. The frills at his cuffs and along the front of the shirt could have lessened the impact of strong masculinity that emanated from him, but, instead, they only added to his imposing aura. His brocade waistcoat was a shade of palest gray, adorned by a gold watch chain that disappeared in a pocket at his left. Silver-trimmed boots finished the polished and cultured image, and Chantille wondered how he’d remained a free man for so long. She didn’t doubt for an instant that the company of women was something he never lacked.

She straightened when he caught her gaze and began to walk in her direction. Deep inside, she began to quiver, and the awareness that he could shake her so intensely with no effort was both disconcerting and annoying. Yet….

“Miss L’Amour.” Austin smiled when he reached her side. “Would you do me the honor of joining me for dinner?”

“Thank you, no,” she replied. “Have you come to collect your winnings, Mr. Standish?”

“If you can’t be persuaded to grant me your company, then I’ll have to settle for your money.”

“You’re far too charming to suffer loneliness,” she countered. She walked away from the bar and led him into her office. She arched one eyebrow in subtle surprise when he closed the door behind them.

“I assure you, Mr. Standish,” she said, her tone cool, “money is all you will be collecting in this office.”

Austin continued into the small room until he was directly in front of her and she had to tilt her head back to hold his gaze. The gleam of amusement in the deep green eyes that bored into her was irritating, and intriguing.

“Are you certain I can’t change your mind about dinner?”

“Not entirely,” she conceded with a smile that wanted to become laughter.

“Ahh,” he whispered. “Hope at last.”

“Hope has a way of disappearing just when you’re learning to count on it, Mr. Standish.”

“But the times it doesn’t are so sweet it makes the disappointments bearable, Miss L’Amour.”

“Right you are, sir,” she agreed with a thoughtful smile. She made a decision then, a reckless choice that she didn’t take time to consider. “Perhaps I could persuade you to dine with me in my suite?”

Austin’s gaze was pensive, and she wondered, with a tiny leap of panic, if she’d miscalculated his interest.

“It’s never a good idea to offer a man paradise if your plan is to shut the gates before he has a chance to come inside, Miss L’Amour.”

It was a veiled warning, but a warning just the same. This man was not one to be toyed with or played for a fool. He was drawing her a little more deeply into his presence, in spite of herself.

“And you think I’m offering you paradise, Mr. Standish?”

“I’m fairly certain of it, yes,” he murmured, voice low and compelling.

She smiled and went past him to the safe that was in her office. She collected his money and brought it to him.

“Your winnings, Mr.—”

“Austin.”

“Austin,” she said.

He took a double-eagle from the pocket of his waistcoat and held it between his index and middle fingers. With a quick grin, he slipped it into the valley between her breasts, caressing silken skin for the briefest instant before drawing his hand back. Something betrayed her reaction and made his smile deepen.

“You take liberties with great ease,” she whispered, her voice husky and exotic.

“Before the night’s over, I plan to take a great many more,” he assured her.

“Perhaps I’ll be the one to take liberties tonight, Mr. Standish.”

“I’d be delighted to put myself in your hands, Miss L’Amour.”

She smiled. “Would you wait here for a few moments? I have to speak to my maid.”


Short Author Bio and Links:


Canadian born and bred, and a lifelong dreamer, I began writing at an early age and can’t recall a time when I wasn’t creating in some artistic form. My life has had several on-going love affairs that shape much of what I write.  In the past half dozen years, I’ve released books in all lengths and genres, and it’s something I hope to continue to do for many more years. A visit to my websites will show the diversity of what is currently available, as well as other surprises and extras!