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His to Claim #1: No Strings
by Opal Carew
Published by: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication date: June 3rd 2014
Genres: Erotica, Romance
Rafe is a rock musician by night and head of a multi-million dollar family business during the day. Melanie is his former assistant, a wallflower who’s harbored a secret crush on him for years. Someone he’d never even consider sleeping with. But when Melanie decides to leave behind her shy exterior and live out her own sexy bucket list, the two of them are thrown together in a whirlwind affair that pushes both their boundaries.
His to Claim: Part 1 is the first installment in the scintillating erotic serial novel His to Claim, later to be made available as a complete book featuring special bonus material. Don’t miss the other chapters of Opal Carew’s six-part serial out Summer 2014. She’s his to claim–he just doesn’t know it.
Opal Carew is the author of Total Abandon, Pleasure Bound, Twin Fantasies and other erotic romance novels. She also writes as Elizabeth Batten-Carew. “So why do I like writing erotic romance?” she asks. “I like being able to push beyond traditional boundaries.” Opal loves crystals, dragons, feathers, cats, pink hair, the occult and all that glitters. While she writes, she listens to inspirational music, lights candles and keeps crystals near. Before devoting herself to her passion as a writer, Opal spent 15 years as a software analyst, and she has a degree in Mathematics from the University of Waterloo. She lives with her husband and two sons in Ontario, Canada.
Excerpt 1 (From HTClaim Part 1 - No Strings) ~450 words
As Melanie stepped outside, Rafe behind her, she regretted that this time with him was about to end. The tattoo had been painful, but not as bad as she’d anticipated. It had been so nice, though, having him there to literally hold her hand through it.
“Would you like a ride home?” he asked.
She gazed at him in his jeans and tank top, tattoos visible over his chest and flowing down his arms and she couldn’t help laughing. “I just got a mental picture of you dressed just as you are now climbing into that shiny, black limo.”
He shrugged. “Sure, why not? Would you like to ride in the limo?”
She had always wanted to. It seemed so glamorous and luxurious. It would be a taste of how the other half lived.
“Or, since it’s such a nice day, we could ride my motorcycle.”
She raised her eyebrow. “You have a motorcycle?”
“That’s right. It’s over there.” He nodded his head toward a big, gleaming, burgundy Harley parked on the street in front of the shop. “But I know some women are a little intimidated by them.”
Melanie laughed. “Not me. I’ve always wanted to ride one.” She walked to the big machine and ran her fingers over the soft, black, leather seat. “I would love to ride with you.”
His lips turned up in a devilish grin. “Really?”
She glanced at him and realized her statement might have sounded a little...sexual. Suddenly, an image washed through her of straddling Rafe, and slowly moving up and down on him, his big erection buried deep inside her. A wild surge of hormones vibrated through her.
As her cheeks blossomed with heat, she flicked her gaze to the seat again. “Um, yeah. It would be a real adventure. Then I can cross two items off my bucket list—getting a tattoo and riding a motorcycle.”
“I never knew you had such a wild side.”
Before she could respond, he opened the back compartment and handed her a helmet, then pulled one on himself.
She opened her bag and pulled out the light sweater she’d brought with her and started to pull it on. Ever the gentleman, Rafe grabbed it and held it up for her so she could easily push her arms into the sleeves. As she zipped it up, he pulled a black leather jacket from the storage bin and pulled it on.
Oh, man, he looked incredibly hot in denim and leather. He mounted the bike and she climbed on behind him.
Once she was settled, he glanced back at her. “You sure you want to go straight home?”
Excerpt 1 (HTClaim Part 2 - Savage Kiss) ~450 words
“You know,” Rafe said, “if you’re interested in doing something artistic for a living, I’m sure we could find something for you in the art department at Ranier Industries.”
Melanie smiled. “There you go trying to help me out again. You know, you’re not responsible for me.”
“You’re right, but I’d like to help. Not because I feel obligated. I think you’re talented and just need a chance to shine. I’d love to help you do that.”
“Did you want help when you broke away from the company and went off on your motorcycle to find yourself?”
His lips quirked up. “No, but I have a big bank account to fall back on. And the family business. You have to play it closer to the edge. But I get it. You want to do it on your own.”
She smiled and took a sip of her drink. “Talking about your time away, how was it playing your guitar in front of huge audiences?”
His eyes glowed. “It was a pure adrenaline rush.”
She grinned. “A few months ago, I never would have been able to imagine Rafe Ranier, businessman, always impeccably dressed in a designer suit, playing guitar with a rock band in front of screaming fans, but after seeing you with your tattoos and leather jacket, and riding the big motorcycle . . .” She shrugged. “I still say you inspire me.”
He leaned forward. “I like that.”
The intensity of his gaze unsettled her.
“If I can be some part of you breaking free and finding yourself, that makes me feel good.”
She gazed into his sky blue eyes, her heartbeat increasing. “I’m glad I make you feel good.”
He was so close. With his broad shoulders and impressive height, she felt tiny in comparison. She felt the pull of his masculinity as she leaned a little closer. Heat simmered in his eyes as his face drew nearer, then he tipped up her chin. Her breath held as his lips brushed hers. Lightly. Tenderly. Then his mouth moved on hers. She breathed in his musky male scent mixed with leather and mint. The tip of his tongue teased her lips and she opened. Her arms swept around his neck as he slid into her mouth. His hands glided around her waist and he drew her closer. Her eyelids fell closed as she felt his arms envelop her.
Oh, God, this was really happening. She was in Rafe Ranier’s arms. They were alone in her apartment and he was kissing her. Her bedroom was only yards away. She curled her tongue around his and stroked it. Weak with need, she melted against him.
His mouth drew away and she opened her eyes.
He seemed uncertain. “Melanie, are you sure—”