Jul 13 2012 1:01am
Win Hot Summer Reads from the Top Romance Blogs
Three top romance blogs, one big idea! Heroes and Heartbreakers, Romance@Random, and USAToday’s Happy Ever After join together to offer exclusive content and sweepstakes.
July’s Round Robin Theme: Summer Reading Gets Hot! Hot! Hot!
Head over to Romanceatrandom.com, which celebrates author Karen Leabo’s classic Loveswept re-release Callie’s Cowboy, on sale 8/13/12 - stop by R@R for a chance to win one of five prize packs including a Net Galley preview copy of Callie’s Cowboy plus a Net Galley preview copy of Deep Autumn Heat by debut author, Elisabeth Barrett!
Then grab your sunscreen and head over to USA Today’s Happy Ever After to find out what your favorite romance authors love to read at the beach. If you leave a comment sharing your favorite beach reads, you could win a prize pack of recent releases and a copy of Blush by Opal Carew plus Net Galley preview copies of Elisabeth Barrett’s Deep Autumn Heat and Karen Leabo’s Callie’s Cowboy!
Make your final stop at HeroesandHeartbreakers.com, for an excerpt plus a look at the tantalizing new cover for Opal Carew’s scorching erotic romance (hello, ménage!), Blush and enter for a chance to win one of five prize packs including Blush by Opal Carew and a special limited time Net Galley preview copy download of Karen Leabo’s Callie’s Cowboy!
Giveaways end July 22, 2012. Be sure to stop by each site for the best chance at winning free books.
Sneak a peek at Opal Carew’s Blush with an excerpt of Chapters 1-3. And be sure to leave a comment to enter for a chance to win a copy of the book!* Rules below.
“I want an orgasm.” Hanna Lane’s hands clenched in her lap as she stared at her sister across the table.
Grace cleared her throat.
“I think the drink is called a Screaming Orgasm,” Grace said, loud enough for the people around them to hear.
They both knew that wasn’t what Hanna had meant. Hanna glanced around the restaurant and noticed people staring at them, and her cheeks flushed hotly. She lowered her voice. “I’m sorry, I’m just a tad frustrated.”
“I’ll bet. Have you tried one of those vibrators with the thing—”
“Yes, it doesn’t work. Nothing works,” Hanna answered shortly, not wanting to talk sex toys with her older sister. Hanna didn’t want to have this conversation at all, but she didn’t know who else to turn to.
Grace patted Hanna’s hand. “You’ll find someone soon. When you’re in a relationship again—”
“No, it won’t matter.”
“Honey, I know what you and Grey had was very special, but you’ll find someone special again, and with him—”
“No, you don’t understand. Grey and I never . . .” She stared into Grace’s intense gaze. “I mean, I’ve never . . .”
Hanna shook her head, her gaze fixed on the water glass in front of her and the condensation beading on the crystal surface.
“Even with Grey? But he was so sexy. And considerate, and patient.”
Hanna nodded. “I know. It wasn’t his fault.”
Grace nodded. “That’s true. The only person who can give you an orgasm is you. You have to let it happen.”
“You’re not going to tell me just to relax, are you? If I hear that one more time, I’m going to scream.”
She’d read every book she could find on the subject, and they all insisted that the woman just had to relax and allow it to come. But it wasn’t that simple.
Grace’s lips pursed as she watched Hanna.
“Why haven’t you told me about this before?”
“It isn’t exactly the kind of thing you want to go running to your big sister about.”
Grace squeezed Hanna’s hand. “It is exactly the kind of thing you can come running to me about, honey.” She paused. “Is that why you broke up with Grey?”
Hanna had known her sister would ask that. After all, Hanna and Grey had seemed perfect for each other. In fact, they were perfect for each other, except for one thing. In the year they’d been together, he had never once told her he loved her.
Which had hurt all the more because she loved him so much.
There was a time she’d dreamed of happily-ever-after in Grey’s arms. She’d even convinced herself that he was just one of those guys who found it hard to say the words.
But she needed to hear them. She had to know he actually loved her.
Finally, she’d thought if she said the words first, he would reciprocate. One day, in their favorite restaurant, she had taken his hand in hers and gazed into his warm green eyes glimmering in the candlelight.
“Grey, I love you,” she’d said.
His fingers stiffened within her grip and his smile faded.
“Grey,” she’d prompted him. “Did you hear me?”
“Yes, of course. I just have to . . .” He’d glanced around, as if seeking an escape, then stood up. “I have to call the office.”
He’d rushed away from the table like a man pursued by a demon, then returned a few minutes later and continued with dinner as if their previous conversation had never happened.
She’d gotten the message loud and clear.
A week later, after a lot of soul-searching, she had broken up with him. She’d told him that she loved him, but he clearly didn’t love her. A part of her, even at that point, had hoped he’d deny it, then sweep her into his arms and proclaim his love for her. Instead, he’d only looked shocked.
Then she’d asked him outright, “Do you love me?”
He’d drawn in a deep breath and taken her hand in his. “The way I feel about you is different from what I’ve felt for any other woman. Deeper. I love having you in my life.”
“But do you love me?”
His mouth had tightened into a flat line and he’d said no more.
She’d simply nodded at that point, knowing she had lost.
Pain lanced through her at the memory. She still loved him and she missed him every single day . . . and night. She’d always felt loved and cherished, snuggled in his arms in bed.
Tears welled in her eyes and she dashed them away.
“Oh, honey.” Grace pulled her into a warm embrace and patted her back.
Hanna accepted her big sister’s hug, then slowly drew away, still thinking about Grey. “We just weren’t right for each other.”
How could she settle for less than love? How could she ask Grey to settle for less?
Grace looked skeptical, but she let the subject drop.
“Okay, honey, what are you doing to solve the problem?”
Hanna’s sister, who was a holistic healer, was a firm believer that everyone was responsible for their own problems . . . and solutions.
“I’ve been reading books.” Hanna gazed at Grace. “And I’m talking to you.”
Grace’s eyes glowed with warmth and she smiled.
“There’s a ten-week course at the university, in the evenings. I believe it starts next week. I know the guy who’s teaching it, and he’s exceptional.”
Hanna’s eyes narrowed. “What kind of course?”
“It’s called ‘Kama Sutra for the Beginner,’ but he discusses different sexual issues, and one of the things he talks about is female orgasm and the fact that a lot of women have trouble achieving it. I know the instructor and I’ve recommended a couple of my patients take the workshop.”
“I’m already signed up.”
“You are?” Grace’s eyebrows rose. Obviously, she didn’t believe her.
Grey had signed them up for that course, hoping it would help her with her problem. Now that they’d broken up, though, she couldn’t bear to take the course alone. Not that she would tell Grace that.
Taking the course would remind Hanna of the frustration she and Grey had both shared. It would remind her how hard he had tried to make sex enjoyable for her, despite her problem.
It would remind her that she no longer had Grey in her life.
“You know . . .” Grace stared at Hanna over the frosty water glass she held in her hand. “The instructor’s single. . . .”
Grace sipped her water, then placed her glass on the table.
“Okay, so why don’t you do something wild and different? Something you’ve never done before?”
“Well, maybe find some sexy guy—someone you don’t even know—and make wild, passionate love with him. If you don’t know him, you can act differently. You don’t have to be yourself. You can be wild and uninhibited. Maybe then you can let go of what’s holding you back.”
Wild and uninhibited.Hanna’s stomach tightened.
“Oh, no, I don’t think so.”
“A complete stranger? That’s crazy.”
“Sometimes you need to let loose. Do something crazy. But it doesn’t have to be a complete stranger. It could be someone you’ve seen a few times. Maybe been attracted to. You could even form a relationship after . . . or not. The point is not to worry about it. That’s where the freedom lies.”
Goose bumps shivered down her spine. The thought actually excited her. How insane was that?
In fact, she thought about the tall, sexy man who’d started coming to the Hot Spot Café, the coffee shop she owned, about a month ago. He had eyes the color of espresso and a deep, melodic voice that sent tingles down her spine every time he spoke. And he was exceptionally good- looking, with a strong, straight nose and a square jaw softened by the waves of dark curls that caressed his collar.
She had found herself making an excuse to help out behind the counter whenever he came in so that she could serve him. Organic Earl Grey tea with milk and natural cane sugar. He was always warm and friendly, and he exuded a sexual magnetism that sent her senses whirling and had triggered some exciting and embarrassingly erotic dreams.
Maybe her sister’s suggestion wasn’t so crazy after all.
J.M. walked along the stone path through the campus, lit by the streetlights and the soft glow of an almost full moon. A light, warm breeze rustled through the trees as he stepped toward the traffic light on the corner of Stevens Street and Main, Brock University campus behind him.
He liked it here in Spring Falls, a quaint university town where the people were friendly, the pace was easy, and the scenery was stunning. The Shannonista River meandered through town, banked by bike paths and parks filled with flowering shrubs and bright gardens.
Ordinarily, he would head straight home at this hour, but he had a craving for an Earl Grey tea, the special blend with bergamot oil they served in the coffee shop across from the campus. Or, really, a craving to see the attractive woman who frequently served him.
He smiled at the thought of her midnight blue eyes twinkling as her soft, rose lips curled up in a smile, which happened every time she turned and saw him at the front of her line. She wore her long, blond hair tied back, but soft wisps swirled around her heart-shaped face and caressed her cheeks. There was a sweet innocence about her, but he sensed a smoldering sexuality beneath the surface.
The light turned and he crossed the street. It was unlikely she’d be on duty now, since he usually saw her there in the late afternoon, but it didn’t really matter. All they’d ever done was exchange a few friendly words while he’d waited for his tea. Of course, if the shop was still open, which he doubted on a Thursday night at nine thirty . . . and if she was there . . . and if the opportunity presented itself . . . then maybe he’d ask her out.
His intuition told him this could be his lucky night.
The bell over the door rang and Hanna hurried to finish clearing the tray of dishes, wishing she’d locked the door after the last customer had left a few moments ago.
“I’ll be with you in a moment,” she said over her shoulder as she wiped the tray and placed it on the stack of clean ones.
She was still here forty minutes after closing. There had been a rush of people about a quarter to nine, and they’d just kept coming in. Someone had mentioned there’d been a special speaker at the psychology building tonight and the talk had ended at eight thirty.
She turned around and stopped cold as she found herself facing the tall, dark-haired man she’d been dreaming about even before her sister suggested she jump a stranger. Her cheeks flushed and a tremor of awareness quivered through her body.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.” He smiled. “I’m glad you’re still open.”
“Well, actually, we aren’t.” Oh, damn, why had she said that? “I mean, I can still get you something, but . . . I’m just closing up now.”
“Of course. I haven’t turned off the machine yet, and there’s still plenty of hot water.” She smiled but glanced toward the door, hoping no one else would come in. “An Earl Grey? I have decaf if you’d like. Naturally decaffeinated.”
“That would be great.”
Her gaze strayed to the large front window and a couple walking by, gazing into the shop. Hanna grabbed the key from the drawer under the till.
“Look, would you mind locking the door for me?” She placed the key with the brass cup-and-saucer key chain on the counter. “It’s actually past closing time and I don’t want any more customers tonight.”
She grabbed a tall mug from the shelf and filled it with hot water, then ripped open the foil pouch on the tea bag as he walked across the store. When she heard the click of the lock, she realized she was in the shop all alone at night with a sexy, attractive man. One she’d been having hot dreams about. Dreams where they’d done intimate, erotic things together.
She dipped the bag in the steaming water until it reached the darkness she knew he liked and filled the mug with milk and one packet of cane sugar, then placed it on the maple counter. He placed the key beside it, along with a couple of bills to pay for the tea.
“I was going to take it to go so I wouldn’t keep you.”
She stared at the ceramic mug she’d given him.
“Oh, sorry. I can put it in a takeout cup . . . or . . . you’re welcome to enjoy it here, if you like. I’ve . . . uh . . . got some leftover banana walnut muffins I can’t serve tomorrow.” Great, she’d just offered him what sounded like stale muffins. “On the house.”
She lifted the glass cover from the decorative plate containing three muffins, picked up the tongs, and placed the biggest, fattest muffin on a plate and handed it to him.
He smiled. “Thank you. These are my favorite.”
She knew that. He ordered them every time they had some, so she’d added them to the menu more often, just in case he came by.
She dropped the rest in a paper bag and curled the top.
“Actually, take the rest, too. I’d just wind up taking them home, and I don’t need any more muffins.”
As he took the bag, his hand brushed hers and an explosion of sensation burst along her arm. She had to work at not snatching her hand away.
“Are you this generous with all your customers?”
“No, not really. I . . . uh . . .” She paused, worried he would think she was flirting with him, then realized that’s exactly what she was doing. She just wasn’t very good at it. “I just hate to see them go to waste.”
She really wasn’t good at this!
“Here’s to finding myself locked in a coffee shop with a cup of tea, a muffin . . . and a beautiful woman.” He held up his mug. “Would you join me?”
His warm, inviting smile chased away any thoughts of refusal.
She smiled shyly. “Okay.”
Someone tried the doorknob, rattling the door a little. When the man peered in, she shook her head, mouthing, We’re closed.
“I . . . uh . . . need to turn down the lights so people know we’re closed, otherwise that’ll keep happening.”
She dimmed the lights, then grabbed a bottle of water from the cooler and followed him to the table with the two love seats in the far corner. It was in the back of the seating area and people couldn’t see them from the window.
“This is nice,” she said as she sat across from him.
She watched him as he sipped his tea, her gaze straying to his lips. Full and sexy. She could imagine them pressed against the back of her hand, playing along her knuckles. Goose bumps blossomed along her arm as she thought of those lips taking a long, leisurely stroll up her arm, then nuzzling her collarbone. He would stroke behind her ear, then tip her chin up and capture her lips in a firm, passionate kiss.
Oh, man, she wanted him. Maybe her sister was right. Maybe Hanna should just jump him here and now. Have a sexual romp totally devoid of relationship or baggage. Just consume each other’s bodies in a hot, wicked flight of fancy.
But how could she be so bold? Her gaze shifted from his lips to his hot, simmering eyes and her breasts swelled with the need to feel his hands on them. His lips. She wanted him. Here. Now.
“Exactly what are you thinking?” he asked.
“I was thinking that . . .”
She drew in a deep breath, seeking the courage to say what she wanted to say.
J.M. watched her as she licked her lips. This sweet, innocent nymph clearly had passion on her mind. He could feel the desire radiating from her. But he could see she was struggling with how to act on her desire. The hot look of lust in her eyes sent his blood boiling and his cock straining.
She needed a little help getting over her inhibitions —clearly she’d never done this before—and he was determined to help her get what she wanted. Because it was exactly what he wanted, too.
He leaned over the table toward her.
“I’ll tell you what I’m thinking.”
His gaze shifted to her lips and lingered, just as hers had on his.
“Yes?” She seemed mesmerized.
“I’m thinking how lovely it would be to kiss your luscious lips. To feel their softness against mine.”
Her eyes glittered in the dim light.
Hanna pushed herself to her feet and slid beside him on the love seat. All kinds of bells rang in her head, trying to prevent her from continuing, but the heat inside her, swelling inside her breasts and melting through her core, wouldn’t let her.
She sat beside him, staring into his eyes. Her nostrils filled with his spicy, masculine scent. She breathed deeply, filling her lungs with his male aroma. Filling her with need.
He made no move toward her. He just watched her, his dark eyes encouraging. Courage built within her and she raised her hand to touch his cheek. Raspy. Oh, so masculine. She stroked his other cheek, loving the maleness of stubby whiskers under her fingertips.
He was so sexy . . . so incredibly attractive. Yet so comfortable to be with. Most sexy men seemed arrogant, making her self-conscious. Grey, too, had been easy to be around right from the beginning. But she didn’t want to think about Grey right now.
At this instant, she wanted to lose herself in this man’s simmering espresso-colored eyes. She could melt from the heat of his gaze. He made her feel attractive and desirable. Sexy and feminine.
Slowly, she eased forward, approaching those full, masculine lips, anticipating the feel of them on hers. He eased forward just a little. Offering his mouth. Encouraging her.
Simply sitting still used a great deal of J.M.’s considerable discipline. He had to still the lustful desire to pull her into his arms and devour her lips. Loving a woman should be long and slow, but with her he wanted it now. Fast and furious. His cock stirred at the thought, pushing against its black denim prison.
But J.M. took a deep breath and calmed his mind and his body. He would wait for her.
Her lips settled on his, lightly, like the touch of a butterfly’s wing. He let out a shuddering breath at the delicate feel of her. She smelled like roses and jasmine, with a tantalizing trace of vanilla.
Why this delightful woman, who his intuition told him had never done anything like this before, had decided to pursue a sensual experience with him, a virtual stranger, he didn’t know. He also sensed she was seeking more than an illicit sexual romp.
Her lips began to move on his—slowly, seductively—as she stroked her fingers along his cheeks, then over his temples. She made a tiny strangled sound in her throat, then her fingers tangled in his hair, and she pulled his face tighter to hers, her tongue pulsing against his lips, then slipping inside his mouth. He greeted her with a gentle stroke of his tongue, while hers darted inside and undulated against him.
His pulse increased and he felt his base chakra energy rise to his sacral chakra, sending heat cycling between them, charging him with sweet, sexual energy. He hadn’t even touched her body yet and his cock, in full, hard erection, ached for her.
She drew back, their lips parting, and she stared at him with wide, innocent eyes.
“I’ve never done anything like this before. I—”
He touched a fingertip to her lips. “I know.”
He cupped her cheeks within his palms and tilted her chin up as he stared into her midnight blue eyes. His lips captured hers in a sweet, lingering kiss.
“You are a very special, sexy woman and I am honored you have chosen me to explore this side of your sexuality. It is exciting and sensual.” He kissed her palm. “Thank you.”
Hanna stared at him in astonishment. How sexy is that?
She flicked open her top button, then the next. His gaze followed her fingers down the button placket with great interest. When she reached her skirt waistband, she tugged her blouse free, then continued. After she unfastened the last button, she hesitated.
She didn’t know this man. How could she do this?
His searing gaze met hers, and beyond the clear sexual desire she saw in those eyes she felt warmth. An appreciation for her as a woman and as a person. She could tell this was a very compassionate man with a loving attitude toward others. Maybe she just saw what she wanted to see, but that was enough for now.
She drew open her white silk blouse, revealing her lace- clad breasts. His gaze grew hotter and more intense. Thank heaven she’d worn her favorite sexy black lace bra and thong today.
She grasped his hand and drew it to her breast, anxious for his touch. The feel of his big, masculine hand cupping her soft flesh sent a thrill rushing through her. Her nipples hardened and her sex clenched in anticipation, desire melting through her.
She dropped her blouse over her shoulders, letting it slip to the floor. In a moment, he would see her naked breasts. A tremor quivered through her as she reached around behind her to unfasten her bra, but he stilled her movements.
She nodded. He caressed her ribs as his hands slid around her, then worked at the hooks. The garment loosened and he drew the cups forward, freeing her breasts.
As the cool air washed across them, the nipples tightened even more.
He smiled as his tender gaze caressed her nipples, tormenting them with sweet pleasure. She longed for his physical touch—almost moaned with the need. He leaned forward and stroked his cheek against one nipple, the burn of raspy whiskers sending hot need blazing through her. He caressed the other with a light brush of his fingertips and she moaned as she clutched his head against her chest. He turned his head and captured one nipple in his hot, wet mouth.
“Oh, yes,” she whispered.
She couldn’t believe she sat here, in the dim light of her coffee shop, her breast being suckled by a complete stranger. And one so sweet and tender as this. She didn’t even know his name, yet his tongue swirled over her nipple and a need burned deep inside her to feel his body pressed tight against her while his cock slid into her, then thrust over and over again.
Her hand slid down his shirt. She could feel his tight, muscular chest, then the solid ridges of his firam abdomen. Her fingers found his belt buckle and, as she fumbled with it, he took her other nipple in his mouth and sucked. At the thrilling sensations spiking through her, her fingers fell slack, so he unlatched his belt and drew the zipper down, leaving him open to her seeking hands. At the thought of his hot, hard shaft waiting for her, she slid her fingers inside his pants and stroked over the soft cotton of his briefs, feeling the solid length of his cock.
She wanted it inside her. She wanted to ride it hard, to feel it invading her deepest, most private places.
She stood up, her gaze locking on his, and unzipped her skirt, then dropped it to the floor. She hooked her fingers in the elastic waist of her black lace thong and rolled it down her legs, then kicked it aside. Now, she stood totally naked in front of him, except for her black patent high heels. He smiled and stood up. He kicked off his shoes, then dropped his pants and unfastened his shirt buttons. She watched in excitement as his shirt slid away, revealing more of his tanned, masculine flesh. Tight, well-sculpted muscles defined his chest and abs. His charcoal briefs barely contained his growing erection. He tugged those down, too, and tossed them aside, revealing a long, thick cock pointing toward her like a divining rod.
He skimmed his hands down her sides, then wrapped them around her waist and drew her forward. Her breasts tingled as they came into contact with his hard, masculine chest, the coarse, curly hair brushing across her sensitive nipples, arousing them more.
He hugged her close, capturing her lips, taking them with a passion matching her own. She melted against him, loving the feel of his body pressed against the length of hers, his hard cock tight against her belly.
“I can’t believe how sexy you are,” he murmured against her ear. “I’m a very lucky man.”
His words calmed and excited her at the same time.
Her hands stroked over his tight, hard butt, her fingertips pressing into his flesh. She drew her hands over his hips, and then eased him backward, onto one of the armless wooden chairs next to the love seat. She knelt in front of him and admired his long, steel- hard cock standing straight up in front of her. She wrapped one hand around it and stroked. It was amazingly tall and thick. The bulbous head called to her and she leaned forward and licked it. His eyes drifted closed as she drew it into her mouth and licked around the crown.
It was glorious feeling his big, thick cock head in her mouth. She sucked and licked like it was a delicious lollipop, then dove downward, taking him as deep as she could. She slid up and down several times, to his groans of appreciation, then slipped off and licked his shaft, from base to tip.
His hands cupped her face and he drew her forward, and then kissed her lips. He stood up, drawing her to her feet, and eased her backward. She felt the love seat behind her calves and sat down. When he knelt in front of her and parted her legs, she felt a bit panicky. She didn’t think she could allow him to do that. Not this stranger.
As he lowered his head, his gaze intent on her glistening slit, she tucked her hands under his chin and lifted.
“No. I’m not comfortable with . . .” Her words trailed off.
What could she say? She knew it was strange that she was ready to make love with him—wanted to feel his cock drive deep into her—but she wouldn’t allow him this. It was just too intimate.
But he nodded and smiled.
“What ever you want.”
She nodded, then held out her hand. He grasped it, then stood up and eased her to her feet. She kissed him, then guided him to the chair again. He sat down and she straddled his thighs, then leaned toward him. He captured first one needy nipple, then the other in his mouth and suckled until they throbbed. She wrapped her hand around his cock and pointed it toward her vagina. She eased downward a little and stroked her wet slit with his cock head.
Oh, God, it felt incredible. She dripped with need. Slowly, she sank down. His steel- hard cock stretched her as he ascended into her heated body, stroking her inner walls.
She sat facing him, eye to eye, his immense cock embedded inside her.
Her breathy word made J.M.’s head spin.
Her hot, wet body surrounded him and, even with his years of Tantric training, giving him the ability to hold off ejaculation over hours and hours of lovemaking, he felt he might erupt inside her at any moment. She was that sexy.
He wrapped his arms around her and drew her against him, their chakras aligned. He pulled in a deep breath. As the air washed through his body he imagined beautiful golden light washing through his chakras, calming his body, yet filling him with wonderful energy.
Sitting still, his cock jutting into her, he nuzzled the side of her neck. She sighed, then stroked his shoulders. The delicate sensation of her touch danced across his senses, filling him with a sense of wonder. Her energy, so light, so joyous, filled him with bliss. He kissed across her jawbone, then nibbled her lower lip. Her tongue stroked his lips, then dove inside his mouth, and he sucked it gently, then kissed her earnestly, his tongue dancing with hers as their lips pulsed against each other.
She began to move, pivoting her hips to drive him deeper. Back and forth. A sensual rhythm that stroked his cock, building heat between them.
Hanna felt light-headed as his long, hard cock stroked her sex. What an incredible feeling. And his lips—first nuzzling her neck and lighting a fire within her, now caressing hers with a blazing passion.
Pleasure pulsed within her, building higher and higher. The gentle pressure of his hands, first on her shoulders, then gliding down her sides and over her hips, heated her body even more, sending goose bumps dancing across her flesh.
He tightened his hands on her hips, stilling her movements. His lips parted from hers, then he traveled down her body, kissing and licking his way to her breasts. When he drew one nipple into his hot mouth, she gasped. His cock twitched inside her, and her intimate muscles contracted around it. It felt like a hot, hard marble shaft within her.
She squeezed and released, squeezed and released, gripping his cock, cheered on by its fervent twitching. She felt the upsurge of sexual energy within her again, a mounting pleasure coiling through her cells.
He stroked her other breast and his fingers slid to her hard nipple, then toyed with it, sending an aching need spiraling through her.
She began to move again, rocking on his cock. It thrust within her, stroking her deep inside. So hard. So full. Pleasure built higher. Her muscles tightened. She clutched his shoulders.
So sweet, so good. His cock stroked her insides. She squeezed him again. Waves of blissful sensations washed through her. She sucked in a deep breath as she realized the prize drew nearer. Just beyond reach. She could almost touch it.
Oh, God, she wanted this orgasm.
The pleasure built to a pounding crescendo. Closer. And closer. Her muscles tightened, her whole body taut as a fully wound spring.
So close. His cock—hard and masculine—pounding into her.
The pleasure building.
She wanted it so bad.
Maybe this would work. Maybe this sexy stranger would give her what she needed. That all-elusive orgasm.
Oh, God, she hoped so.
He stroked her back, then grasped her hips, trying to still her movements again, but she pulled free, pounding down on him, racing toward her goal. Tightening her muscles around him as though she could milk it from him.
The pleasure climbed . . . climbed . . .
Then slowed . . . hovering so close but . . . She wailed in frustration. Not close enough.
“Oh, please,” she gasped on a long breath. “I’m so close. Make me come.” She clutched his shoulders tightly as she rode him mercilessly, grinding his pelvis beneath her own. “Please!” she wailed to the universe in general.
He cupped her behind and kneaded as she continued to ride him. His caresses sent warmth through her, nudging the pleasure up, starting the race again . . .
But it was only a sprint and she started to lose it again. She could feel the orgasm slipping from her grasp, disappearing into a black hole in the distance.
Exhausted, her muscles taut and aching, she slowed.
His cock remained long and hard within her. He hadn’t come yet.
She kissed his cheek and pushed her stressed muscles further as she began to move again, determined to take him to his climax.
“Sweetheart. It’s okay. You don’t have to keep going.”
She kissed him soundly on the lips. “I want you to come.”
As J.M. stared into her eyes, he realized she didn’t just want him to . . . she needed him to. Ordinarily, he would hold off his orgasm until she came, but it was clear that she wasn’t going to. She was coiled far too tightly. He had tried to slow her down, tried to get her to relax so he could help her build her pleasure slowly, but she had resisted.
He had a great deal of experience helping women who had trouble coming to orgasm—enough to know she would not orgasm tonight. She was too tense and too frustrated. If he could take her somewhere quiet and comfortable and spend time relaxing her and building her pleasure over time, he could probably get her there, but that’s not what this encounter was about.
She had wanted a forbidden joining of strangers and he didn’t think she’d take well to him inviting her home.
So even though she hadn’t come, she needed him to come. It was a matter of self-esteem, written clearly in her wide midnight blue eyes. He cupped her round ass and stood up, lifting her with him. He leaned her against the wall and thrust forward. This would fit her sex-witha-stranger fantasy. Hard and fast against a wall. He took care to keep them in the shadows, blocked from the main window by a pillar.
He thrust again and again, releasing his sexual energy to flow free and easy.
“You are so incredibly sexy,” he murmured against her ear.
She gasped as he plunged deep inside her and her legs tightened around him in a death grip. She didn’t seem to realize that her tension only pushed her orgasm further away. Or maybe she did but was helpless to stop it.
He continued thrusting, luxuriating in the astounding pleasure of his cock gliding along the walls of her vagina. So hot. So wet. So tremendously sensual.
His balls tightened and he pushed aside the automatic reaction to hold off his ejaculation. Her soft breasts pulsed against his chest as he drove into her in short, deep thrusts. The energy built, filling his chakras with intense, cosmic energy, flooding his body with bliss. The sexual energy he had built up over the past few weeks overflowed and his cock swelled, then erupted within her. His body shuddered in orgasm, accompanied by his long, rumbling groan.
He held her close and tight within his arms, his muscles aching from supporting her weight, but not wanting to let her go. Finally, she shifted, then eased her legs down so her feet touched the floor.
“Hanna, you are an incredible woman. Thank you.” He kissed her, enjoying her warm, naked body pressed against him, his cock still embedded in the warmth of her body.
Hanna stared into his dark eyes, embarrassment rising within her. She could feel the heat of a blush stain her cheeks.
“How do you know my name?” She had not introduced herself.
He smiled. “You usually wear a name badge.”
Oh, damn. So much for anonymity.
What had she done?
Hanna cradled her knees against her chest as she stared at the streetlights visible through the sheer curtains covering the large picture window in her living room. Her big, comfy chair wrapped around her as she rocked her body slightly, remembering the handsome stranger who had risen to her challenge, so to speak.
He had risen quite nicely, in fact. Her cheeks burned at the thought.
She sucked in a breath. How could she have been so wanton? She didn’t even know his name.
Which made the whole situation even hotter.
She had to admit, it had been extremely sexy stripping off her clothes in front of him, watching his eyes darken with lust. Then he’d pulled off his shirt, revealing his taut, muscle-ridged abdomen. Her fingers tensed at the memory, wanting to stroke over his hot, masculine flesh once again.
Her stomach churned. Sex with a total stranger. She couldn’t believe she’d actually done such a thing. What would people think if they knew?
The memory still haunted her. The feel of his long, hard cock sliding inside her still made her hot. A stolen moment in time. A hot, hard stranger thrusting into her. The phone rang and she snatched it from its cradle. “Hello?” Her voice came out hoarse, so she cleared her throat. “Hanna? You okay?” It was Grey’s voice.
Hanna’s stomach clenched and guilt seeped through her. She felt like she’d been caught doing something wrong. Which was ridiculous. She hadn’t cheated on Grey. She had broken up with Grey over two months ago.
She breathed deeply, calming her roiling emotions.
“Grey. Hi. I’m fine. How’s New York?”
He’d been offered the chance to do a six-month contract in New York just before they broke up. Actually, the timing had helped her decide to go ahead with the breakup when she did. He wouldn’t have gone if they were still together, but it gave him a great chance to spend some time with his mother and two of his sisters who still lived there.
Her heart aching, she picked up the small brass clock that had belonged to Grey’s father, which sat on the end table, and stroked her finger along the smooth, round edge. She’d let Grey leave his stuff at her place until he got back and found a place of his own to get settled into.
Unfortunately, having his stuff around constantly reminded her of him.
Reluctantly, she put the clock down. Maybe she should have insisted he move the stuff into storage, but she’d hated to say no.
“Mom’s happy to have me here, and I had dinner with Sylvia and her husband last Sunday,” he said.
Hanna’s heart stung at the sound of his strong, familiar voice, reminding her how much she missed him. How much she loved him.
She could just hear the implied, But I’d rather be there with you.
Of course, Grey would never say something like that. He wasn’t the type to share his feelings.
But she could tell by his tone that he wasn’t happy about their breakup, and she hoped he wasn’t calling to try to change her mind. “Are you still going to take the Kama Sutra course next week?” he asked.
She glanced at the catalog of adult courses from the university sitting on her coffee table. She’d been reading the synopsis earlier this evening, trying to decide.
“I don’t know.”
“You should really think about it. It would be good for you.”
She gripped the phone tighter.
“I don’t think I’d want to do it alone.”
“Would it help or hurt to tell you I’m still willing to go?”
She didn’t even consider telling him it didn’t make sense for him to drive the two hours from New York every Tuesday night, because she knew if he got it into his head it was a good idea, he wouldn’t listen.
The silence strung tightly between them as she struggled with what to tell him. She could just see the tightening of his jaw as he held back the urge to try to convince her.
“I’ll arrange to get the refund and send it to you,” she said.
“I don’t care about that. I just care about you.”
Her chest tightened at his words. It was the closest he’d ever come to saying the L word.
J.M. walked into the Astra Alternative Health Care Center on South Garner Street about two blocks from the university and smiled at the friendly redheaded receptionist.
She returned his smile.
“Hello, Jeremy.” She handed him a clipboard with the latest sheet from his patient information log clipped to the top.
He jotted down what he wanted to work on this visit, which was removing any blocks to his book coming together. He wanted it to be a great success, of course, and to help many people. He believed in putting the right attitude and energy into a project right from the beginning. It helped keep him focused. He initialed the sheet and handed it back to Tanya.
“Great. Dr. Grace will be with you in a moment.”
Dr. Grace Jones was the owner of the center and had been his health-care practitioner since he’d moved to Spring Falls a couple of months ago.
As he sat down in one of the upholstered waiting room chairs and gazed out over the tree-filled park beside the center, a gray squirrel pranced across the grass, his cheeks packed full of nuts. J.M. couldn’t stop thinking about his enchanting encounter with the beautiful Hanna. She’d been so sensual and sexy yet had somehow maintained an air of shyness and innocence.
His sacral chakra blossomed with energy just thinking about her.
“Hey, Jeremy. How’s the book going?”
He glanced around to see Dr. Grace walking his way. He and Grace had become friends over his brief time in town. She was funny and smart and very insightful, sharing many of his same interests, especially in the realm of energy healing.
“I’m still researching and trying to figure out how to put it together. I should be starting it next week.”
“And you start your workshop at the university tonight, right?” She picked up his clipboard and led him to her office. She closed the door behind him and he sat down on one of the two chairs facing each other.
She sat down in the other chair. “It turns out my sister is taking your course.”
He smiled. “Thanks for recommending me.”
“Oh, no, I didn’t.” She grinned. “I mean, not that I don’t recommend you, but my sister . . . well, she’s younger than me, so she won’t listen to anything I say. Thinks I try to run her life.”
“Which, of course, you do.”
She rolled her eyes. “Yeah, well. Sometimes it needs a little managing. Anyway, she’s got a very specific problem. She’s having trouble having an orgasm and—”
“Grace, maybe you shouldn’t be telling me this.”
“Why not? You’re an expert on the subject. I just thought maybe you could give her a little extra help.”
He arched his eyebrows upward.
“And what do you want me to do? Take her aside and tell her you told me about her little problem and asked me to help her out?”
She chuckled. “Yeah, right. I’d never hear the end of it if she knew I’d told you. No, I thought you could just stress that topic a little, maybe give specific suggestions. To the class as a whole, you know?”
“Sure, I could do that. A lot of women have that problem.”
“Of course, I bet she’d benefit a lot from some personal attention. . . .”
The glint in Grace’s eyes told him what kind of personal attention she was hinting at.
“Grace, if you’re asking me to date her—”
She grinned wickedly. “We could consider it professional services. You let me know how much time you spend with her, then I’ll give you a credit toward your appointments here as payment.”
He chuckled at her dry humor. “And how would it look, me dating one of my students?”
She waved a dismissive hand. “No problem. I could easily steer her clear of your course. All I’d have to do is push her to take it. That would send her running.”
Grace loved to kid around, but he was beginning to think she actually hoped he would wind up dating her sister. Not that Grace would actually pay him, or anything of the sort, but she had succeeded in setting him up to pay attention to this sister of hers, and since he and Grace got along so well, he had a strong feeling he might be attracted to her sister.
Under other circumstances, he might be interested in dating her, but images of Hanna, sexy and naked, danced through his mind.
He shook his head, smiling.
“I’ll have to pass. I don’t like the idea of you driving my students away. Anyway, I’m already seeing someone.”
It wasn’t exactly a lie. He wanted to be seeing Hanna. He wanted to be doing more than seeing her.
Hanna stood in the atrium, books cradled against her chest, staring at the stairway with the dark blue metal railings. Room 204. Up that stairway and to the right.
She watched other people walking up the stairs, most going to classes on the second floor. Like “Psychology for the Businesswoman” or “Changing Lifestyles Reflected in Pop Culture” or “Learn to Crochet” or “Writing the Short Story” . . . or a dozen other fascinating courses she could have signed up for. And some people were going to “Kama Sutra for the Beginner.”
She glanced at her watch. The class started in twenty minutes. She didn’t have to go up right now. She drummed her fingers on the course book. Kama Sutra: The Art of Loving, by Jeremy Smith. Although she had told Grey she wasn’t going to take the course, she’d reconsidered, thinking long and hard about the reasons she had used to convince herself not to go.
The fact that her sister knew the instructor made it a bit weird. Not that the two of them would discuss her—of course they wouldn’t—but the whole thing made Hanna uncomfortable. But that was a minor concern.
Then there was the embarrassment factor. Since the course was primarily about the Kama Sutra, the instructor would probably discuss sexual positions—how could he not?—and that would be weird and awkward if she was there alone. Even if she wasn’t alone, actually. Also, the course covered not just Kama Sutra but other areas of sexual awakening, too, including Tantra and other techniques. That was the main reason Grey had chosen it. True, the issue of a woman not achieving orgasm was only one of the topics to be covered, but since she was a single woman in the class, people might figure out why she was there.
But the most important reason was that every minute she sat in the course she would think about the fact that she had intended to take it with Grey. It would be a constant reminder of the relationship she and Grey had shared—and the fact that they were no longer together.
She missed Grey coming in the door at 6:20 every evening, dropping his bag by the door, then dragging her into his arms as if he couldn’t wait to hold her. The way he’d called her every day during the afternoon lull at work, just wanting to say hi—but she’d known it was so much more than that. He’d adored her. He’d delighted in being with her.
If only he had loved her.
She stared at the book she had cradled in her arms. The Art of Loving. Grey certainly had made it an art with her. He had done everything he could to help her with her problem. When he’d made love to her, he’d kissed her long and lovingly, caressed her with great patience and tenderness. He’d bought books and tried techniques, loving her long into the night.
And even on nights when they hadn’t made love, he used to hold her close all night long. Her chest tightened.
She missed that so much.
But he was not a part of her life now.
She stared at the book, knowing she needed to take control and solve her own problem. Other women had orgasms. There was no reason she shouldn’t have them, too.
And she really wanted to have them.
Grace’s suggestion hadn’t worked. Hanna’s cheeks burned as she remembered her salacious fling with a total stranger. No, actually a total stranger would have been a much better idea. She, on the other hand, had chosen someone who came into her shop on a regular basis. Someone whom, if she’d thought about it for half a second, she would have realized she would see again. And again.
He had come into the shop twice since the Incident. The first time, she had ducked away before he’d seen her. At least, she hoped he hadn’t seen her. The second time, she hadn’t spotted him in time and she’d glanced up from making a double latte with a sprinkle of cinnamon to see him standing right in front of her. He’d smiled, their gazes had locked, then she’d sputtered, made some ridiculous excuse—she couldn’t remember what—and dove for the door to her office. Not the ideal way to treat him after stripping naked in front of him, then climbing onto his lap and fucking him silly.
She really needed to find another way to solve her problem. Maybe this course was the answer. That’s why Grey had signed her up for it. Just because they’d broken up didn’t mean she shouldn’t take the course.
She clung to the book and chewed her lower lip. But did she really want to sit in a classroom where sex was the topic of discussion? The course synopsis mentioned techniques, breathing, and exercises. What kind of exercises would they do? She could imagine a class full of people sitting on mats on the floor breathing heavily. Would they work with partners? Would the instructor actually show them, or have them practice, specific positions? Since she didn’t have a partner, would the instructor partner with her? Of course he wouldn’t do that . . . any of it. But what if he did?
And what about the instructor? According to his biography, he’d done research on various sexual disciplines and techniques, including Kama Sutra and Tantric sex, and he had written several books on the topic. Also, he’d studied Reiki energy healing and other New Age topics. No wonder he and her sister got along so well.
He was essentially an expert on sex. And a mystic. The guy could probably look into her eyes and know her problem on first sight.
She sucked in a breath. Oh, God, she couldn’t do this.
She spun around and lurched forward—and ran smack into a hard, male chest. She backed away from the buttons pressed against her nose and glanced up.
Her heart raced into high gear. Her mystery date from the coff ee shop.
“Hello.” J.M. watched Hanna, hoping she wouldn’t flee to the door before he could talk to her. Then he saw the book she was carrying. His book. The latest he’d written, and the one he’d be using as a text for the course.
“You’re taking the Kama Sutra course?” he asked.
“Oh, uh . . .” She glanced at the copy of the same book he held in his hand. “Well, I was going to, but . . . I think . . . I’m not going to after all.”
“That’s too bad. I’ve been told it’s very helpful. Why did you change your mind?”
“The only reason I was going to take it is because my boyfriend . . .” Her gaze met his, widened, then ricocheted away. “I mean, my ex-boyfriend, he signed me up. We’re not together anymore, so . . .”
He smiled. So he had a chance with her after all. “You don’t need a partner to go.”
She clutched his book tight against her bosom and he remembered how soft those full, round breasts were against his naked chest. How smooth and silky to the touch. And how the nipples felt in his mouth. His cock stirred.
“Oh, I know. It’s just that . . .”
She glanced up at him from beneath her long eyelashes with an almost coquettish look, though he doubted she intended it. She leaned a little closer. The scent of jasmine, rose, and vanilla tickled his senses, sending a vivid image of her sitting on his lap, his cock buried deep inside her.
“I don’t think I’ll be comfortable. You know, a single woman sitting in a classroom where everyone is talking about sex.” She spoke quietly, as though sharing a secret.
“Well, I doubt everyone will be talking about sex.”
She shrugged. “The instructor will be and he seems . . . very knowledgeable.”
He grinned. “Isn’t that a good thing?”
She nodded. “Sure, but it can be a little intimidating, too.”
Clearly, it wouldn’t be wise to tell her he was the instructor of the Kama Sutra course. At least, not right now. Although he didn’t like hiding his identity, it would only embarrass her.
He could sense that this fascinating woman craved sexual excitement and desperately wanted to experience the awe of ecstasy, but she was limited by her own inhibitions. The night of their delightful encounter, she had somehow pushed past those inhibitions. Briefly. What he had assumed was a wild, carefree romp on her part had actually been a momentous step forward.
He would bet she’d never achieved an orgasm in a man’s arms and that had motivated her enough to push her boundaries. She had thought she might find what she needed with a stranger. With one brief fling. But that wouldn’t do it. She needed more. With a patient, loving partner.
He was prepared to be that partner. To guide her and help her discover what would bring her bliss.
But first, he’d have to convince her not to run away. From him. Or from herself . . . and her deepest desires.
Hanna watched his gaze grow intense, as though he was coming to some conclusion about her. Probably that she was a slut monkey, but she knew that was ridiculous. He would have decided she was a slut monkey the moment she’d torn off her clothes and thrown herself at him.
She glanced at her watch. Six fifty.
“I should be going. Nice seeing you again.” Her face flushed as she thought about how much she’d seen last time.
So maybe “nice” wasn’t quite accurate, since seeing him tonight had dredged up the whole embarrassing incident again. Still, he was good to look at and, as embarrassing as the incident was, it was certainly fodder for many erotic daydreams.
She turned to leave.
Reluctantly, she turned toward him again.
“I can tell you’re embarrassed by what happened between us the other night.”
Her cheeks flushed hotly.
“I want you to know that I was hoping you’d be there that night. I wanted to see you. I wanted to ask you out.”
She understood that any man would jump into the game if a strange woman tore her clothes off in front of him and demanded sex. It was in their makeup. But to know he’d actually been attracted to her before the deed made her feel infinitely better.
“Yes. And I still want to.” He smiled.
He had the most gorgeous smile. All white teeth and dimples.
He glanced at the clock high on the wall. “Class is going to start in a minute, so I’ve got to get up there. But would you meet me back here afterward? Say, nine fif-teen?”
She drew in a breath, confusing emotions swirling through her brain. She liked him . . . but she’d recently broken up with Grey . . . but she’d had sex with this man.
She realized that last one was actually a pro, not a con. She already knew what to expect. No awkwardness about that first-date kiss, or when was the right time to go all the way. If she met him tonight then, conceivably, tonight could be the right time.
She sucked in an unsteady breath at the thought of that delicious but unsettling possibility.
“Hanna, please say yes. Meet me here?”
She stared at him, hesitant.
“I don’t even know your name.”
“That’s easy to fix. My name is . . . J.M.”
He held out his hand in offer of a handshake. She placed her hand in his, loving the feel of his big fingers wrapped around hers.
“My parents named me after my two grandfathers, and instead of picking one name over the other, they always just called me J.M.” He smiled. “So, what do you say?”
Slowly, she withdrew her hand from the warmth of his. She nodded, more because of his compelling brown eyes than anything else. Gazing into their depths, she could feel his sincerity. He didn’t just want her because she’d been available. His attraction to her felt tangible—like a soft light shining on her, filling her with warmth.
“Well, I do have some work to do at the café.”
His smile broadened.
“Great. Do you want me to meet you there?”
“No,” she answered a little abruptly. The thought of being alone with him again, at the scene of the crime, so to speak, unnerved her. “I’ll meet you here.”
Grey stepped into the classroom and moved up the middle aisle between the neat rows of tables and chairs to the center of the room, then selected a chair two in from the aisle. He sat down and glanced around. Several men and women sat in pairs around the room, and there were a few other individuals.
He pushed his flat leather case forward on the desk in front of him and stared at the blackboard.
Hanna wasn’t here. He had hoped she would decide to come after all. He still cursed himself for how he had handled things with Hanna.
He had fallen in love with her early in the relationship, and that love had deepened throughout their year together. He’d wanted to be with her always, to marry her. But he’d known it wouldn’t be fair to her. She wouldn’t want . . . No woman would want to marry a man like him. So he’d held off telling her the truth about himself so he could enjoy their relationship just a little bit longer.
He loved her, and he’d wanted it to last as long as possible, but he knew, one day, he would have to tell her the truth and they would break up.
As stupid as it seemed now, he hadn’t been able to tell her about his problem the night she told him she loved him, because he knew it would be the end of the road for them.
But the pain of being without her burned through him. He loved her and she loved him, and he realized he had to take a chance. Maybe they could figure out a way to make their relationship work.
He had decided to tell her everything. How he was sterile after a childhood disease. And even though he knew she wanted a family, he loved her with all his heart and wanted her back. He intended to do everything possible to convince her they were right for each other, and then they could figure out what to do about the future.
But before he did any of that, he had to win back her heart.
He pulled out a pen and paper from his briefcase.
As for Hanna’s problem in the bedroom, it wasn’t her fault. She was sexy and alluring. She made his heart pound and his body tighten just being near him.
Whatever the reason, he would figure it out. This course would provide him with tools so he could help her.
If she ever let him into her bed again. And, more important, into her heart.
He hoped she would let him stay at her place once a week when he was in town for the course. That way, they could get to know each other again, a courtship of sorts. And when the time was right, he would sweep her into his arms and tell her the truth. Then she’d have to decide the fate of their relationship all over again. But at least this time, she’d have the facts straight.
He drummed his fingers on the desk and glanced at the clock at the front of the room. Two minutes after seven.
A tall, clean-shaven guy with longish but tidy hair, wearing black denim jeans and a long-sleeved black shirt, walked into the room and strode to the front, then smiled at the class.
“Good evening. My name is Jeremy Smith and this course is ‘Kama Sutra for the Beginner.’”
He turned to the blackboard and wrote his name, then the course name.
“In this course, we will explore the Kama Sutra as a guide to spiritual bliss. We will also discuss the sacred practice of Tantric sex. Don’t let the words ‘spiritual’ and ‘sacred’ throw you. We will be studying specific techniques and practices you can use in your own sex life to bring more joy to your, and your lover’s, life. We’ll also take a look at some common problems people have in their sex lives and discuss possible solutions or courses of action. Of course, I have also provided a recommended reading list for those of you who are interested.”
He leaned against the edge of the desk in a relaxed pose.
“I know that sex is a sensitive topic and some of you might find it difficult to raise your hand and ask questions in a public setting, though I hope as the course goes on you’ll start to feel more comfortable. For those of you who do have questions but would like to talk to me on an individual basis, see me after class and we can arrange a time. I want everyone to get the most they can out of this course.”
He smiled, then turned to his desk and pulled out some books from his bag.
This Jeremy seemed like a friendly enough guy. Approachable. That was great. After class, Grey intended to talk to him about Hanna’s problem and see if he’d be willing to give Grey a little extra guidance.
Copyright © 2012 by Opal Carew
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Opal Carew is the author of Forbidden Heat, 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.