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Merger and Acquisition: An Excerpt from Passing Through

5 May

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By Alexa Day

Ten days to Reno.

Ten days to the RT Booklovers Convention and days of splendiferous fun with loads and loads of romance authors and readers and books and parties and happy hours and general abundant good times. If you’re going, be sure to make a space on your calendar for the second coming of Never Have I Ever, Ever, hosted by my learned colleagues.

If you’re not going, hey, don’t sweat it. I’m not going, either. I expect to have my hands full right here.

Last year, I had some friends drop by to hang out on a fainting couch that wasn’t big enough for all five of us. If I were at RT with my friends and the couch, you and I would have had to have The Chat about how I’m not sharing and you need to bring your own friends. All that is easier to navigate if we’re each at home with our own couches, away from prying eyes.

But certainly it won’t take you all of ten days to get your calendar done or to get your own couch with your own friends. Honestly, some of you overachievers might manage to do both in ten days. What are you going to do with the extra time?

passing through cover

How about a trip to the beach? I can get you there and back in no time. You won’t even have to park. And this time you won’t have to bring your own friends. In my novella, Passing Through, you’ll get a whole summer with a very hot, very obedient Army Ranger, and you’ll be home in time for dinner.

You want to see a blurb?

The summer’s brought two surprises to bar owner Gigi Dean: the former Army Ranger she hired is the perfect barback, and he takes orders in bed as well as he does on the job. She swore long ago never to let a man come between her and her business, so pursuing the powerful attraction to her employee is a definite no-no. But how long can she resist the desire to put this alpha male on his knees?

Noah Monroe’s told his boss that he’s just passing through on the way to a more permanent job. He hasn’t told her that his hunger for her keeps him awake at night. He won’t have more than this summer with the gorgeous woman who is his perfect match. Can he coax her into his arms for a summer fling? Or will acting on instinct cost him everything he’s begun to love?

Sound inappropriate? Good. That’s my specialty. But don’t worry. Ever the responsible boss, Gigi has a conversation with her best employee right after their first night together. When Noah drives her home that night, she takes the opportunity to have that conversation again. Just so everyone knows where they stand. Or sit. Or lie down.

Check it out.

***

Driving home after work bothered Noah for reasons he used to have trouble naming. The traffic-clotted madness that marked his drive to the bar didn’t faze him. At rush hour, he was surrounded by people on their own missions, trying to get home or stop for groceries or meet friends for the evening. Late at night, he had the road to himself.

Not having all those people to pay attention to should have made things easier, but the empty streets pushed his senses to high alert. After a few weeks of making that late-night drive, he realized that part of him was looking for people. That side of him wasn’t nearly as hypervigilant as it used to be, but the quiet still bothered him.

Tonight, his boss’s directions provided just the right distraction. She led him deeper and deeper into the suburbs, away from the water and the highways lined with strip malls and hotels. Trees gave shelter to narrow drives, and petite houses lay in darkness. People envisioned this sort of place when they talked about settling down with a family.

“Nice neighborhood,” he said.

“This is where I grew up. Used to ride a bike up this very street.” She pointed out the open window. “Fell out of that oak tree once. Next right.”
As he made the turn, he caught her wistful grin. She had more stories to tell about growing up here. This had been the place she’d learned to drive a car. This was where she’d done homework. Daydreamed about a boy who would one day take her to prom. Her parents had left her with more than a business. She had a history in this neighborhood. She had a whole life with roots growing down deep in this place.

She had a home. Something stable to protect from transient barbacks passing through town.

Something inside him twisted painfully, but he willed the ache away. Whose fault was it that he didn’t have what she needed in her life? His whole history fit in the back of the truck with room to spare. He chose that for himself, connecting only with what lay inside his arm’s reach. Able to move and start over whenever he liked.

Her home and history still called to him, and the need to answer pulsed in his veins. When the time came, it would take all his strength to go.
She pointed at a farmhouse on the right. “There it is.”

He pulled into her driveway and coasted beneath the boughs of a tree to her carport. The ancient transmission clunked when he put the truck in park, and they turned to face each other as the engine gurgled.

They watched each other in silence for a few seconds. Years ago, a teenage Gigi would have looked across the front seat at some hormone-plagued boy, wondering if he would kiss her.

Noah chuckled. Who was he kidding? If this woman wanted to be kissed, no way she was going to sit there with her fingers crossed, waiting for it.

“Something funny, Monroe?”

“Just thinking, boss.”

She rooted deep inside her purse before pulling out her keys with a jingling flourish. “I’ll call Heather in the morning, I guess.” She glanced down at his lap briefly before her gaze skittered to the gearshift.

Damn if he was going to make this easy for her.

“I can pick you up if you want. You know, if you want to make a run on the way in.”

Her tempting lips pursed as she shook her head. “No, no. Heather has to be up early anyway, and she has the supply list.”

He tried without success to keep from smiling. Was she even going to thank him? “If you say so, boss.”

A breeze tickled the branches overhead, making them sigh. She’d probably sit here all night rather than ask him for anything. But she wanted to. She wouldn’t still be sitting here, her knee up on the bench seat, if she didn’t want something.

“You have a second to come in?” Her voice lacked a little of the steel she used at work, and for an instant, he wondered if he was wrong about the teenage Gigi, waiting on the passenger seat.

He turned off the engine and the truck shuddered to rest. “Yeah, I have a second.”

* * *

Gigi shut the door behind them and leaned against it. Noah waited for her in the living room. The hodgepodge of furniture, most of which her parents had left behind on their way to retirement, looked small and insubstantial around him. He towered over the coffee table like a giant.

Her giant.

She shook off the thought and jerked a thumb over her shoulder at the kitchen. “Want anything?”

He smiled and sat down on her couch. “I’m good,” he said.

She opened her refrigerator and stood in the chilly air, acutely aware of the heat of his gaze on her back. She’d invited him in to ask about their conversation from the other night, to be certain that there were no awkward aftereffects from the Fourth of July. She had no reason not to take him at his word, of course; Noah was a straight shooter through and through. But at work, he could be such a closed book, even when they were alone after last call. He’d never let on that there was more between them than work and one hot night on the patio. And the cab of the truck—that was where kids made out.

If they were going to have an adult conversation, they’d have it in the living room like adults.

She finally closed the fridge empty handed, cutting off the spill of light into the darkened room. When she turned back to the living room, she found Noah holding the hefty glass ashtray that weighed down the coffee table. He turned the unwieldy thing over and over, his thick fingers moving in the grooves cut for cigarettes.

Gigi grinned and joined him on the couch. “It’s an ashtray,” she explained.

He nodded, smiling. “Yeah, I know. My uncle had one like this. I haven’t seen one in years.”

“Home décor secrets of the Seventies,” she said, watching as he set the ashtray back on the coffee table. “This is your uncle who was in Vietnam?”
He nodded. “My Uncle Tim.”

“You really loved him, didn’t you?” The question was out into the air between them before she could stop it, more personal than anything that had yet happened when they were alone.

In the soft light of streetlamps, his gaze found hers. “Yeah. He was my favorite uncle.” He leaned back on the couch. “My dad’s oldest brother. He was old enough to be drafted to go to Vietnam like a bunch of other guys. Dad worshiped my Uncle Tim when they were kids.” He smiled at her. “He said when people asked him what he wanted to be, he used to say he wanted to be Uncle Tim.”

Gigi laughed, and Noah shifted on the couch. His smile slowly faded into something harder.

“Anyway, he went to Vietnam and came back home. When he got off the plane, this gorgeous woman came up to him. My uncle thinks, hey, this is great, this woman wants to flirt with the man in uniform. He opens his mouth to say something to this girl. And she spits in his face and then turns around and walks off.”

Gigi felt her mouth drop open, weightless. He glanced up at her, sorrow darkening his features.

“Dad said Uncle Tim wasn’t the same after that. It was like someone had taken whatever he used to be and shattered it, and then he wasn’t able to find all the pieces.” He sighed. “When we went to visit him and my Aunt Joanie, they were always happy enough to see us. I could kind of see what my dad saw in him. But sometimes I’d look over at him when we were watching TV, and he’d be staring at the floor, almost like he was wondering what happened to him.” He laced his fingers and set them on his knee. “You know, we’re doing all this stuff for veterans now. Free drinks and all that. College girls who want to climb you like a tree. Which is great. All that is great. But no one wants to remember that, a little while ago, people would wait for soldiers to get off the plane so they could spit in their faces.”

The silence stretched and grew thick between them. In the dark, she could all but hear him breathing.

“You learn a lot in the Army, boss. You learn that everyone’s there, willing to put it all on the line, for a different reason.” He looked up to meet her gaze. “And I never met one person who went all the way to Afghanistan for free beer. But little things like that matter anyway.”

“You didn’t have to tell me all that,” she said.

He shrugged. “Your ashtray just reminded me.” A long sigh slid out of him. “I guess it’s been trapped in there for a while.”

She had to reach to pat his knee. Resisting this need to make contact with him proved harder than simply giving in.

His hand covered hers, setting her heart on a jig. More than the excitement she’d been trying to fight for so long, she ached with a new emotion. She felt safe. Like he’d opened this part of himself to her now and wanted to welcome her inside.

She stared at their joined hands, long enough for her skin to tingle. She knew he was watching her with the same intensity he reserved for potential trouble on the job, for anything that might not go as planned.

Yeah, this qualifies.

He shifted again on the couch, and she forced her eyes to meet his. His fingers twined with hers. A whirlwind pushed at her insides, fear and need and this forbidden excitement chasing each other around her heart.

He reached for her slowly, cupping her face in his large palm. His rough thumb stroked her cheek.

“What do you need right now, boss?”

Gigi found her breath. “You said this was whatever we said it was.”

He nodded. “Right.”

“So what are we saying it is?” she whispered.

He closed most of the distance between them, stopping just inches away from her. “What do you need it to be?”

She tried to yank her hand out of his but he tightened his grip. Frustrated beyond endurance, she turned her gaze up to the ceiling. “Jesus, Monroe.” She looked back at him and wanted to pull that smirk off his face. “Can you really not answer a simple question like that?”

He slid his fingertips up to her chin, gently tugged her toward him. Their knees touched when they kissed. His mouth coaxed hers, teasing her, making the spark she was trying to suppress into a hungry flame.

He pulled away from her and pressed his forehead to hers. “I want you like I want air to breathe.” The rough caress of his whisper made her catch her breath. “But Gigi, you make the rules.” He kissed the corner of her mouth, his lips lingering there. “You tell me. You tell me what you want.”

She wanted him. She wanted to see all of him and hear every sound he could make, and even if it never happened again, with him or anyone else, she wanted him tonight.

“The bedroom is at the end of the hall.” She pulled back and away from his embrace. “Go down there and strip.”

Without a word, he rose and headed down the hallway, peeling off his shirt as he went. She stood up on suddenly uncertain legs and slowly followed him.

***

Don’t you love it when work meetings go a little long? Click and find out how Gigi evaluates her best employee.

And in the meantime, follow Lady Smut.

Alexa Day is the USA Today bestselling author of erotica and erotic romance with heroines who are anything but innocent. In her fictional worlds, strong, smart women discover excitement, adventure, and exceptional sex. A former bartender, one-time newspaper reporter, and licensed attorney, she likes her stories with just a touch of the inappropriate, and her literary mission is to stimulate the intellect and libido of her readers.

 

 

Springing Forward: EXCERPT From Sealed With A Twist

30 Apr

It’s hard to think “Spring” with blizzards in April. But tomorrow is May Day and, here at Lady Smut, the upcoming RT Booklovers Convention puts more than a spring in our step. Occasionally, we skip. Once we even skedaddled, but I’m pretty sure wine was involved. But we’re sure ready to leap over the next three weeks and get going to the mad cap, crazy, bookapolooza hootenanny that is the RT Booklovers Convention, that yearly gluttony of authors and the readers who love them.

Lady Smut’s own Elizabeth SaFleur and Isabelle Drake will be represent in Reno at RT, once again headlining last year’s wildly popular “Never Have I Ever Ever” game, that sexy tell all of all the naughty things we’ve never done…and the naughtier ones we have.

You know you wanna know…

Meanwhile, back here on the home front, since I’ve been out of the loop for a few weeks, I wanted to re-introduce myself to the many lovely new readers who’ve joined us here at Lady Smut. My January post, Dating Apps and Ghost Dicks, vented my frustration with the incomprehensible juvenile behavior of said ghost dicks, but one thing dating apps have taught me is the succinct introduction–which, for a motormouth like me is saying something.

Available exclusively from Kindle. Click on image to buy!

Hi there. Welcome to Lady Smut where we know what we like! I’m Kiersten Hallie Krum and I like to write award-winning, very sexy, romantic suspense novels. I like dive bars and live music and guys who…whoops, sorry. Went into autopilot there for a sec.

Right. Fictional meet cutes. Not real ones. Gotcha.

My heroines are sexy, self-rescuing smart asses and my heroes are smokin’ bad asses who often carry guns and do things that make their ladies (and readers) go “ohhhhh”. I love reunion romances and second-chance romances, which means both of my books, Wild on the Rocks and SEALed With a Twist fit one of those categories.

My debut novel, Wild on the Rocks, won the 2016 Reward of Novel Excellence (RONE) award from InD’Tale Magazine for Best Romantic Suspense Novel:Short. Reviewer Between My Bookendz called the follow-up novel, SEALed With a Twist, “well-written, engaging and plotted to perfection…but what really makes it stand out to me is that this author tackles a serious topic such as PTSD with candor without losing the romance and suspense that centers this book. Plenty of humor and witty banter.”

But hey, books are subjective: one reviewer may like a book, while another reader thinks “are you high? that book sucked!” You’re a Lady Smut reader. Clearly you have discerning tastes in your reading choices–tastes you prefer to determine for yourself.

 

I hear ya, sisters (and bros), and I want to give you what you like. That’s what we do here at Lady Smut. So keep reading for a steamy excerpt from my latest release SEALed With a Twist. Remember, if you’re in or near the Reno area, don’t miss Lady Smut at the RT Booklovers Convention for some naughty “Never Have I Ever” fun.

And follow Lady Smut. We know what you like too.

Look! A blurb!

Available exclusively from Kindle. Click on image to buy!

Debutante. Heiress. Lady. 
Skylar Thornquist has been called them all. But when her family insisted she stand as bridesmaid at her sister’s wedding to Skye’s ex-fiancé, she rebelled, drowning her public humiliation in tequila and a one-night stand of carnal debauchery with Grant Sisti. To escape her family’s iron grip, Skye now hides out cleaning toilets at the Casa Blanca Resort & Spa, masking her breeding and identity under a dye job, heavy makeup, and a smattering of fake tattoos while she tries to discover which label sticks to her best.

Doctor. Joker. Warrior.
Navy SEAL Grant “Twisted” Sisti has been them all. But since he failed to prevent the violent death of his teammate six months ago, Grant isn’t sure he can be any of those men anymore. He’s back at the Casa Blanca Resort & Spa for his best friend’s wedding, but Grant knows he’s reaching the end of his rope. A state that isn’t improved by finding the help swimming naked in his private villa’s pool.

Skye never thought she’d get caught skinny dipping by the man who got her through her worst night. But this Grant is a different man than the one who lit up her world back then. And though it takes him too long to remember her, Skye is drawn even more to the wounded warrior than she was to the charming lover.

Grant is fascinated by the puzzle Skye presents, the debutante who cleans toilets and speaks like a queen. She’s the first thing he’s had any interest in since his friend’s death, the first woman in a long time to see the man before the SEAL.

They never expected to find each other again on Barefoot Bay, both hiding from who there were, both wondering who they should be. Until Skye’s identity is compromised and the Thornquist iron grip gets a stranglehold on her new life…only this time there’s a Navy SEAL by her side.

SEALed With a Twist EXCERPT:

The sunset-timed wedding meant full dark had fallen by the time Grant made his way down the path that would take him around to his rented private villa. A private villa called Artemisia of all things had been reserved for Quinn and Jasper on his dime—his wedding gift to them—along with a sleek pleasure cruiser down at Mimosa Harbor, should the couple ever make their way out of the bridal chamber. What the hell was Grant sitting on obscene amounts of wealth for if not to spoil his friends on special occasions?

He preferred to ignore the fact that he was heir to a robber baron fortune with a trust fund bulging at the seams from interest rates alone. The money wasn’t who he was, a lesson he’d learned early under his father’s strict hand. He used it for start-up funds for his practice and then again years later to buy his place on Coronado and a sports car, two rare outright indulgences. Otherwise he left it untouched, collecting percentages and adding zeroes to the bottom line without any direct effort from him. He set up some charities, enough to keep his soul from going completely black, and got quarterly reports from his money manager that he read religiously so he couldn’t get swindled. Otherwise, he liked to forget it was there. He led a life a Navy salary could afford and left only a chosen few the wiser as to his net worth. Even Jasper didn’t know how deep the Sistanovich pockets went.

And Grant liked it that way.

He strode down the paver-stone, tree-lined path to Blue Casbah villa. The resort owners had put together one hell of a resort, steeped in Moroccan ambiance while remaining Florida flavored, particularly in the foliage. He’d plundered more than a few luxury hotels around the world during the wastrel years before he broke away from the familial herd. Few could compare to the lush environs of Casa Blanca Resort & Spa.

Grant rolled his shoulders as the villa came in view. Each step away from the reception felt like a year off a dead man’s reprieve. He was a shit for bailing on his friend. He knew it. He’d make up some explanation for Jasper if he asked for it.

His mobile pinged with an incoming text alert. Speak of the devil.

Sit rep.

Even being the best man Grant ever had the privilege to know or fight beside, Jasper McQueen could be a serious pain in his ass.

Grant exhaled audibly through his nose and typed out a reply.

Fuck off.

Don’t talk dirty to me on my wedding day.

A wry smile twisted Grant’s mouth. You wish.

Quinn wants to start the dancing. needs you for the congo line.

Congo line? Christ, more staid tradition from edgy Quinn. Next, she’d want him to start the chicken dance, after which lay only madness and binge drinking.

Sorry man. got a better offer.

He had zero offers, but that wasn’t for Jasper to know on his wedding night. Grant had tried burying his emo fallout in the easy pleasure of the SEAL bunnies, but too many of those hookups started to ring empty and he needed no help there.

Now, it felt like too much effort to bother trying.

His phone pinged with Jasper’s reply. You bailing on my wedding?

I wasn’t there for the first. you won’t miss me at the second. Should know what you’re doing by now without me holding your dick. He reread the text, then backed it up to replace “dick” with “hand” and sent it before he could berate himself for wussing out.

There was a longer pause this time before Jasper’s reply arrived.

You need me, brother?

Grant’s throat got tight. He’d do it, Jasper would. He’d put a word in Quinn’s ear and slip out on his own wedding if Grant gave him the slightest signal. Jasper’s well of responsibility ran that deep, but more, he was that good of a man—and a friend. He had Grant’s back, no matter what, and for that very reason Grant couldn’t let him know how fucked up his head had become.

Nah. You’re relieved from wingman duties tonight.

I ask to be relieved?

Yeah, when he transferred to SOCOM. That was a little too on point for comfort. Been doing without you six months now. Think I can manage another night.

Another long pause, then, Don’t piss me off, Twist.

Don’t ask stupid questions. And stop dicking with my mojo. Dance with your wife.

He turned off the phone to avoid Jasper’s reply and unlocked the villa with a card and a faint regret for the lack of a hard key in his hand. Some asshole decided to shove inside the room behind him, be tough to mount a defense with this flimsy piece of plastic.

The default to combat readiness reassured Grant. Not that he expected to stumble upon violent crime here—recent Russian mob experiences notwithstanding. But with so many things getting past him—first that maid, then Quinn’s too-close-for-comfort téte-a-tête—it was good to see his edge might be wavering, but it could still cut a bitch.

Quinn’d been right; men like him and Jasper were always on, which is why Grant automatically scanned the villa’s interior like it was a tango’s lair. A light had been left on in the living area and another over the kitchen sink so that an ambient haze hovered over the main rooms. He noted the fruit set up on the island block before breaking off to clear the bedrooms and baths. Satisfied no one else had breached the perimeter, he re-booted his phone on route to the patio. Surely, by now Jasper had been distracted away from bugging Twist.

His phone immediately blew up with Jasper’s missed message.

Even through the flat, emotionless language of a text, Jasper’s words were resolute.

You will brief me on what this shit is about.

Grant snorted. Like that was gonna happen. He pulled back the wide glass doors that led out to the patio and pool before typing out, Whatever, man. Kiss quinn for me.

The reply came quick. Fuck off.

And now they were back on the easy ground where Grant was most comfortable. It was his job to dig into the emotions of his team, to make sure their heads were in a place where they could continue to complete their duty.

Damned if he’d have any of them, even Jasper, do the same to him.

He let Jasper keep the last word and tucked his phone in his back pocket as his foot tangled in a pair of shorts left in a pile on the pool deck.

The hell?

His gaze tracked along to land on a matching golf shirt. He could just make out the Merry Maids logo in the glow of the pool lights.

Gatecrasher. He kicked the shorts up with his toe and snatched them out of the air.

“Fucking brilliant.” He was in no mood to deal with this shit. Feelin’ too much today already, watching Jasper and Quinn get their happy ending, dealing with Putter, working to keep that devil-may-care attitude at the forefront so his friends didn’t zero in on the shit messin’ with his head.

Failing at that if his conversation with Quinn and Jasper’s text messages were anything to go by.

Was it too much to ask for a quiet night swim followed by more tequila and a morning filled with the headache of regrets and good booze? Instead, he had to deal with some reckless townie looking to take advantage of the abandoned villa.

He looked beyond the shirt and the muscle in his jaw clenched when he saw the bra and panties discarded at the edge of the deep end.

A girl townie.

Fantastic.

Time was, he’d view this as a chance to end his night with his favorite kind of happy ending. Now, he was only annoyed at having to rustle some kid out of the pool before he could get back to drinking.

The sound of steady splashing caught his attention. He lifted his head in time to catch a glimpse of arms cutting through the water with smooth, sharp strokes.

Her body had length, most of it in the legs that kicked rhythmically in time with her arms, calf muscles cut in relief. Her head tilted for her to take a breath, eyes shut, the oval shape of her face perfectly bisected by the water like a Carnival half mask. Grant’s eyes tracked down to the equally round and, it had to be said, pert shape of her bare ass with tight cheeks he guessed would comfortably fit in each of his hands.

She reached the end of the pool and executed a perfect underwater flip that set her feet in precise location to launch into another lap. The floor lights in the pool illuminated the gleam of her body as she undulated for near half the pool’s length before breeching the surface with the sharp bob of a breast stroke.

Emphasis on breasts, plural, as both globes were revealed to Grant’s growing admiration. The SEAL in him admired her skill. She was an amateur but a damn good one who knew to move with the water rather than against it. Not many amateurs figured that trick out, instead thought swimming was a battle to tame the water to their form. Most never learned the truth.

There was no taming the water. Not in any form.

The man in him was far more intrigued by her other captivating assets. Grant felt a ripple of interest he hadn’t felt in months. He crossed his arms and settled in at rest to enjoy the show.

She was halfway through the return lap when she finally tagged him. Immediately, she floundered, getting a good swallow of pool water as she did, which led to an epic bout of choking while she got her feet under her.

Fixed on him, her eyes bugged out wide, but the pool light now put her face in shadow, hiding their color. Her once fluid limbs locked tight on the water’s surface, with an air of shocked embarrassment that told him she wasn’t accustomed to being naked before strangers.

He liked all that said to him.

’Cept he wasn’t in the mood to tangle with a moonlit mermaid. “You’ve got some nerve, sweetheart.”

“Holy cats,” she managed between coughs. “You’re not supposed to be here.”

“Sorry to disappoint, but pretty sure I paid for the privilege.” His gaze swept over her, clinical and without any admiration. “Don’t remember checking off the ‘naked water nymph’ perk on the reservation.”

“It’s –it’s only—” A final harsh gurgle cleared her throat. “It’s only offered to Gold Star members.”

Her cheek made him fight a grin, which only made him more aggravated. “Hafta remember to thank management for the upgrade when I report you.”

That took care of her cheek. “You can’t do that,” she whispered.

“Think you’re wrong there, nymph.”

Something odd flashed through the shocked embarrassment in her face. Odd and…familiar.

His vision narrowed to pinpoint on her features. Her wet hair left her face stark and that whisper of warning teased the back of his neck again. The one that’d saved his life countless times in the field. The one that told him he’d missed something important.

He felt it, but didn’t get it, so he got pissed. “Tell me your name”

She started at his bark. “N-no.”

Her refusal surprised him. He wasn’t used to being disobeyed, and the only thing that kept his temper in check now was that she looked as surprised by it as him.

Her eyes tracked past him to where she’d left her clothes. It was the new angle of her head that finally clicked an image in his head.

“You’re the maid who snuck behind me while I was on the phone.”

Her shoulders rolled back, chin tilting with an arrogance he’d expect from his Yankee, blue-blooded mother, not a housemaid at a Florida beach resort. “I hardly ‘snuck’. Now if you please, kindly turn your back so I can get out and leave you to your evening,” she ordered, all traces of embarrassed guilt gone.

Grant found himself fighting a grin. “You’re not exactly in the position to make demands, nymph.”

She turned that rigid shoulder to him, exposing plump side boob and a very nice back whose spine was ramrod straight. She swished her way to the edge of the pool where she’d left her clothes—which were now at his feet.

Despite her demand to turn his back, her nudity seemed not to bother her at all. Once at the side of the pool, she looked up, fingers curling around the rim, and, fuck him, his dick finally dialed in to take acute notice, rousing despite her breasts being out-of-sight crushed to the wall.

Her legs kicked idly in the water, muddying his view, but he’d seen enough to know she’d be worth the time and effort—if he was in the mood to make either. Well, parts of him were in the mood, but it’d been a long time since he’d been led around by his dick. One tempting water nymph wasn’t going to make him revert.

“You going to stand there staring all night or are you going to report me?”

More cheek. He really didn’t want to like this woman.

“Probably. If you were a little nicer, maybe you could talk me out of it.”

He waited for the sharp reply, eager to hear what snooty rejoinder she’d aim his way. Any other woman would’ve cut and run by now, especially when he was deliberately being this much of an outright asshole. But something about this woman made him brace.

Good plan, too, since his water nymph contemplated him from below and then shocked the shit outta him by flattening her hands on the cement edge and hoisting herself out of the pool. A whoosh of water and there she stood, naked and without a hint of shame.

Water dripped down her chest and over her high, pert breasts with nipples raised to points by the cooler air. Down the concave slope of her belly and over the natural flare of her hips and the vee of her exposed sex to pool around her feet on the asphalt. She was almost a foot shorter than him, but her height was mostly in her long thighs and curved calves.

He wanted his hands on those hips, his mouth on those breasts, and those lithe legs wrapped tight and high on his back as he sank inside her. He felt the pull of her expectation and somehow wrenched his eyes from the feast to the no less bounty of her face. When she caught his gaze with what had to be the bluest eyes he’d ever seen, the perfect bow of her mouth curved into a smug, Cheshire smile.

“How much nicer do you want me to be?”

 

Kiersten Hallie Krum writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. She is the award-winning author of Wild on the Rocks, and its follow-up, SEALed With a Twist. She is also a past winner of the Emily Award for unpublished novels.

A member of the Romance Writers of America, the New Jersey Romance Writers, and the Long Island Romance Writers, Kiersten has been working in book publishing for more than twenty years in marketing and promotion. At other times in her career, she’s worked back stage for a regional theater, managed advertorials for a commerce newspaper in the World Trade Center, and served as senior editor for a pharmaceutical advertising agency.

Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities straight is hard enough work. Born and bred in New Jersey (and accent free), Kiersten sings as easily, and as frequently, as she breathes, drives fast with the windows down and the music up, likes to randomly switch accents for kicks and giggles, and would be happy to spend all her money traveling for the rest of her life. Find out more about Kiersten and her books on her website www.kierstenkrum.com

Of Magic, Winter Landscapes and Russian Revolution

26 Jan

By Elizabeth SaFleur

Who is sick of the news? Who is weary from rapid-fire action and violent conflict that permeates our entertainment these days? Gather around my tired and weary friends for I have a new obsession to share that will take you far, far away from the angry, shoot ‘em up movies and TV shows that fill our screens. Welcome to Turkish Romance.

A year ago, a friend of mine gushed about a show called Kurt Seyit ve Şura. Well, mostly about the lead actorKıvanç Tatlıtuğ. Can you blame her?

My friend warned me about its soap-opera qualities, the sweeping, over-the-top music, the almost-too-gorgeous people (Oh, Seyit!). Now, having seen half of the first season, I can’t believe it took me this long to watch this show.

Ten minutes into the first episode the hero’s strength and nobility were declared, the heroine’s vulnerability established, the nemesis identified, the war showcased, and the beauty of early 20th Century Russia showcased. Ten minutes, my friends! That’s stellar crafting, and that brilliance was all it took for me to be all in.

Kurt Seyit ve Şura is based on the true, love story of Seyit Eminof, a 1st Lieutenant of the elite Imperial Guard and Şura Verjenskaya a Russian noblewoman. Seyit and Şura meet in WWI Russia just as the Bolshevik revolution was taking hold. They fall in love and are forced to break from their “magnificent lives” (the official publicity statement) to flee to Istanbul. And, bonus! Their romance is based on a true story, which only made me swoon more while watching it. The granddaughter of the real Seyit wrote the book on which the series is based.

Along the lines of the Age of Innocence and Downton Abbey, Kurt Seyit ve Şura is a story of people experiencing their perfect, beautiful life crumble as society demands change, and set in a time when class divides were so severe revolution was inevitable. Much of the show shows off the excessive luxury the Russian noble class indulged in – the gorgeous palaces and architecture, the jeweled gowns sweeping across ballroom floors, love notes written on crisp, thick, monogrammed paper. It’s hard to feel sorry for their ultimate downfall, but oh, peeking into their lives is such a wonderful, guilty pleasure.

   

Even with the show’s brilliant opening, the pace is slow and honestly welcomed. Expect love-filled lingering looks between characters, kisses that last minutes, music that swells in the background. Sigh. In fact, the music is often so cheesy, my husband has literally left the room. As for me? I love it Even with its soap-opera drama moments (if they would only talk to one another, clear up that miscommunication all would be well!), the show sucked me in faster than a black hole.

Case in point? I hate winter, but somehow this show made me fall in love with that frigid season from its scenery alone. The gorgeous, wintery Russian and Turkey landscape is a character of its own, and one that is used well to depict their lives. Picture snowflakes and ice chips crusted into beards as the gorgeous Seyit and his men stomp through snowy forests and trails on horseback. Imagine men and women in their fur-lined coats being jostled in open-topped carriages through icy streets. Be warmed by the outdoor, iron-scroll gaslights throwing light over iced steps.

Double sigh.

The war is ever present in this series, but from afar like gunfire in the distance. So far, no real battle scenes have marred the beauty of the scenery. I expect the screen will eventually fill with a bloody battle scene. I mean, we’re talking the Bolshevik revolution that ended the Russian noble class for good. For now, I’m happy for war to be a bit player.

Back to Seyit, the hero. He is to die for. Noble, desperately trying to do the right thing, loyal, close to his family, and soon even closer to Şura, our heroine, he is everything one would want in a romance. He is beguiled by Şura’s innocence and purity, which I imagine is not unlike the life that they both lived, despite Seyit’s war-time occupation. I suppose you could liken Şura to Marie Antoinette, but without the cruelty and haughtiness. Şura certainly is as ignorant of the “real world.” You can’t help but love her, however, as she stares starry-eyed at Seyit. Who doesn’t want an all-encompassing, I-can’t-stop-staring at you love?

One could argue that these two are delusional and simply in lust with one another, but that would spoil the magic. And, right now, I believe we all could use some magic. I’m not done with the series yet, but I’ll return to let you know how it all ends up. It’s romance so I’m expecting an HEA, but the producers cleverly only say Seyit’s granddaughter wrote the story, not Seyit and Şura’s granddaughter. Do they end up together? Does the war eventually tear them apart? (We all know how the revolution ends.) Do their long, lingering looks grow old? Do they grow old? Does someone throw themselves on a train track? I can only tell you this: I’m going to find out, despite the fact hubby can’t be in the room during the orchestral swells.

~~~~~

Elizabeth SaFleur writes contemporary romance that dares to “go there.” Expect alpha males (and females), seductive encounters, and love. Learn more about her steamy and sexy stories by following her on Amazon and Bookbub.

Surviving the Sadness

24 Sep

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

Welcome to Theme Week here at Lady Smut. This week we’re celebrating the release of my new book, SEALed With a Twist.

Look! A blurb!

In the follow-up to the wildly popular, Library Journal starred review, RONE award finalist, Wild on the Rocks, a fan favorite returns to Barefoot Bay…

Debutante. Heiress. Lady. 
Skylar Thornquist has been called them all. But when her family insisted she stand as bridesmaid at her sister’s wedding to Skye’s ex-fiancé, she rebelled, drowning her public humiliation in tequila and a one-night stand of carnal debauchery with Grant Sisti. To escape her family’s iron grip, Skye now hides out cleaning toilets at the Casa Blanca Resort & Spa, masking her breeding and identity under a dye job, heavy makeup, and a smattering of fake tattoos while she tries to discover which label sticks to her best.

Doctor. Joker. Warrior.
Navy SEAL Grant “Twisted” Sisti has been them all. But since he failed to prevent the violent death of his teammate six months ago, Grant isn’t sure he can be any of those men anymore. He’s back at the Casa Blanca Resort & Spa for his best friend’s wedding, but Grant knows he’s reaching the end of his rope. A state that isn’t improved by finding the help swimming naked in his private villa’s pool.

Skye never thought she’d get caught skinny dipping by the man who got her through her worst night. But this Grant is a different man than the one who lit up her world back then. And though it takes him too long to remember her, Skye is drawn even more to the wounded warrior than she was to the charming lover.

Grant is fascinated by the puzzle Skye presents, the debutante who cleans toilets and speaks like a queen. She’s the first thing he’s had any interest in since his friend’s death, the first woman in a long time to see the man before the SEAL.

They never expected to find each other again on Barefoot Bay, both hiding from who there were, both wondering who they should be. Until Skye’s identity is compromised and the Thornquist iron grip gets a stranglehold on her new life…only this time there’s a Navy SEAL by her side.

There’s a lot about SEALed With a TWIST that is sexy and fun and it’s full of flirtatious banter. Grant and Skye are on similar journeys, but they’re at different locations on the path. They’ve both lost someone and that loss has rocked their foundations and made them question and reevaluate key components of their makeup. They’re both reconciling pieces of their past and learning to make peace with themselves about it.

This book was very difficult for me to write. In the beginning of the SWAT, Skye learns about the death of her grandmother who raised her and that, because of the choices she made, Skye wasn’t with her at the end. My mother died rather suddenly in the beginning of this year. She had lived with me since 2003 and I had been her 24/7 primary caregiver since 2008, so her loss has had an enormous impact on every aspect of my life.

While I had already written the death of Skye’s grandmother before that happened, fleshing out those scenes in the months afterward became very personal for me, much more than I’d anticipated.

Anyone who deals with grief walks the five stages, but the way in which we take those steps is always unique. No one can tell another how to do it or when to stop or how long it will take or what it will entail. Every grief journey is different. One day, you’ll realize that last breath you took wasn’t quite as hard as the one before it. A few months or years later, you’ll realize that breath wasn’t as difficult as the other one. The only thing you have to do is keep breathing.

Skye’s grief journey is just beginning in SEALed With a Twist. She’s in the very early stages, before the full impact has had time to take root, but even now, she wonders how she’ll survive the sadness. Into these early moments. the man who was once the only good thing in a horrendous, publicly humiliating situation has suddenly show up in her life again. Not only that, but Grant is on his own grief journey and has been since just before he met Skye for the first time six months ago–and he isn’t handling it well at all.

I hope you’ll walk along with these strong and flawed and hurting people as they walk this journey together and discover any journey, however difficult and rocky, is easier to endure when the right person is by your side.

 

 

Kiersten Hallie Krum writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. She is the author of the prestigious RONE award finalist, Wild on the Rocks, and its follow-up, SEALed With a Twist. She is also a past winner of the Emily Award for unpublished novelists. 

A member of the Romance Writers of America, the New Jersey Romance Writers, and the Long Island Romance Writers, Kiersten has been working in book publishing for more than twenty years in marketing and promotion. At other times in her career, she’s worked back stage for a regional theater, managed advertorials for a commerce newspaper in the World Trade Center, and served as senior editor for a pharmaceutical advertising agency.

Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities straight is hard enough work. Born and bred in New Jersey (and accent free), Kiersten sings as easily, and as frequently, as she breathes, drives fast with the windows down and the music up, likes to randomly switch accents for kicks and giggles, and would be happy to spend all her money traveling for the rest of her life.

SEALed WITH A TWIST

18 Sep

It’s a new week here at Lady Smut and we are still agog about our smokin’ new look–and thrilled to feature the emotional and sexy new book from Lady Smut blogger Kiersten Hallie Krum–SEALed With A Twist.

In this follow up to Kiersten’s wildly popular, RONE award finalist novel, Wild on the Rocks, fan-favorite, Navy SEAL Grant “Twisted” Sisti, returns to Barefoot Bay for the second wedding of his friends, Quinn and Jasper (from Wild on the Rocks)…and runs straight into the arms of a mysterious woman from his rocky past.

 

EXCERPT

~~~~~

“I remember you.”

The words were so soft, it took several seconds for them to resonate in Skye, a slow earthquake that rippled out with increasing impact as their meaning and consequence took root.

“But you changed your look,” Grant continued. “Dyed your hair. Added some new tattoos I should’ve figured were temps. Slathered on enough makeup to make me wonder who you’re trying to hide from. Even with all that, there was something was so familiar about you. Couldn’t figure out how or why.

“Now I know.” His head slid to the side and Skye trembled for a different reason when he nipped at the jittery pulse in her neck. Her neck stretched back with an invitation he was eager to take. His hand slipped to pull one strand of her top out of his way before she felt his tongue on her throat as his mouth followed the line of it up to her ear. “I remember how you taste. How you feel when I’m inside you. How you sound when I make you come.”

That was an uncomfortably thorough and arousing account. Her legs shifted on the sand and restless with the need to relax beneath him and take all that was promised by his hard body and hot words.

“And sweetheart,” he continued, head lifting out of her neck so he could stare into her face. “When a girl runs out on you after a night of spectacular sex, it’s the definition of unfinished business.”

“You left first,” she accused, a child’s defense, but all she could manage against a tsunami of arousal. Dammit.

He released her wrists and brushed her hair back from her forehead before spearing his fingers through the bunched strands to cradle her head in his wide palm. “My friend needed me,” he explained, no less terse for the gentle way he touched her. “The same friend, funny enough, who got remarried last night, no small part because six months ago, I left a sexy debutante passed out in my bed to help him get his head outta his ass and make up with his then ex-wife. I didn’t think you’d bail the second I was gone!”

Remembering how hurt she’d been when she realized he’d run out on her re-ignited Skye’s ire. “Then you should’ve left a note!” She shoved at his shoulders, not that she could move him, but so frustrated, she couldn’t hold back. “Let me up!”

He cursed under his breath, but set her free, sliding off to her right so he shielded her while she set her suit to rights.

“I figured,” he growled, over his shoulder, “that after a night that good, you’d want more. I damn well did.” Checking she was decent, he flipped back around to face her. “Because, you’re right. What happened between us was a goddamn sexual unicorn. I wanted more. I wanted you. All the while, you were using the security guard to work out your rich-girl issues. Daddy cut off your trust fund again?”

She sucked a breath in through her teeth and lurched upright. “You have no idea what I was dealing with that night.”

“Ditto, princess,” he shot back.

“I’m not a princess.” She’d been cleaning toilets for long enough to bring that fact home.

Grant cocked an elbow on his bent knee and sneered, “You are. An American princess. Privileged and entitled. I grew up with your kind, sweetheart. I know your kind.”

“You do not know me.” Skye swept sand off her arms with a regal sniff, unconsciously giving weight to his label. “Amazing that you suddenly recall such salient details of our…dalliance when last night it escaped your memory entirely despite the fact that I stood naked before you. How convenient for you to stumble upon the details now. When, exactly, did you deign to remember you had…Biblical knowledge of me six months ago?”

The corner of his mouth twitched. “Biblical?”

“So help me, if you laugh…”

“This morning.” He cut her off before she could finish what they both knew would’ve been an empty threat. “I remembered this morning when Jasper and Quinn surprised me with morning-after breakfast. He brought up when I pulled you from the pool back then and—” He snapped his fingers so close to her face, she started in place. “Your puzzle pieces clicked together.”

“I am not a puzzle!”

“Baby, you are a Rubik’s Cube of contradictions. Fortunately, I’ve been well-trained in decoding all possible combinations.”

That was be disastrous.

God, he remembered. And in detail. Skye floundered for a retort, floored by too many quick changes to find stable footing.

As if sensing his advantage, Grant tugged her back in his arms. One calloused thumb rubbed her button lip; it caught on wind-chapped flesh, so that her tongue shot out to moisten his digit. She watched his pupil flare into a sharp green as desire drew skin taut across the craggy planes of his face.

A low keen hit her ear and Skye was too turned on to be mortified when she realized it came from her.

“Oh yeah,” Grant said, his words a sibilant sound against her cheek. His hand cupped her jaw, thumb sweeping back over her parted mouth. “I remember that too.”

This was bad. This was very, very bad. She was getting sucked back under when he’d already turned her down once. Truth was, she didn’t want to find someone else to be with for however long she had left here on Mimosa Key. Not when she was drawn to him like an opposing polarity, constantly failing to break the laws of magnetism and getting stuck on him over and over again.

And when he touched her…

Lord, was she in trouble.

It’d been that way since the night she’d slept with him. A night when she’d been given a glimpse of something she knew she’d never have again, not from any other man. And it wasn’t the orgasms or Grant’s physical prowess in her bed. It was how he’d lifted her up and carried her away from her deepest humiliation, from a lifetime of being less than, and made her feel like the most important woman in the world.

Treasured even.

Precious.

“It might’ve been a one-night stand for you, but waking up to find you gone killed me.”

Grant’s shock at her words was no less that hers for having said them. He reared back liked she’d slapped him. “The hell you say.”

But the gate had been breached and half a year of emotional trauma ripped out of her, raw and unrestrained. “That night—that was the worst night of my life. I was a joke, a punchline, and everyone at that bloody wedding knew it. So, yeah, tequila and the pool. Since if I was already publicly humiliated, best to make it really memorable.”

“But then you were there, laughing like I was the best time you’d ever seen. You jumped in the pool and…plucked me up like I weighed nothing.” She latched onto his shoulders, nails digging into his skin. “Cripes, I’ve never known anyone as strong as you,” she mused, fingers tracing the lateral muscles that bunched under her touch. “You took me out of that…horror show and made it…” she sighed heavily, “so much better. And god, the sex was amazing. Don’t look so smug. I may not have a lot of experience, but even I know three orgasms in one night isn’t customary. And then you were gone.”

She’d felt so ashamed and at the same time, so devastated by his absence. “After all that, you made me feel like some filthy cliché,” she said in a small voice. “I was fighting the first hangover of my life. Sick and…so very ashamed for…so many reasons. I had to get out of there before anyone saw me.” She bristled now, embarrassed at how naïve she’d been. “I get it now. I understand how such things work. But Grant, whether you meant to or not, you broke my heart.”

The hand cradling her head slid around to cup her chin. “Skye,” he murmured. “I didn’t know.”

Drained from her emotional purge, Skye merely nodded. “I know.”

He struggled with something for a moment before exhaling hard. Releasing her, he scrubbed both hands over the scruff on his face and considered her over the tips of his fingers.

“That night,” he began. He hesitated. “I—fuck—I was dealing with some shit too. Still am, for fuck’s sweet sake. You were blitzed. Totally shitfaced.” His face softened as if seeing her again. “And so beautiful. Stunning and tragic.”

She winced at the description. “I sound irresistible.”

“Utterly,” he said with simple sincerity. “And I—” His eyes clouded and he ducked his chin to gaze out toward the water. “I needed to forget for a while. I took advantage of that. I took advantage of you.”

The admission cost him. More, she saw the memory of what had driven him then continued to claw at him. ““What happened to you?” she asked softly. When he didn’t answer, she risked pushing a bit more. “You’re different. You’ve changed.” Now he looked at her.

“You come with me right now, back to the villa, and I’ll show you how much I haven’t.”

She’d be lying if she said the idea didn’t tempt her. “Don’t do that,” she gently admonished. “Tell me what you wanted to forget that night. Tell me what haunts you.”

“Tell me why you were drunk in that pool,” he countered. “Tell me what you’re hiding from now.”

“Grant,” she said. Only his name, but it hung there between them, weighted with meaning that didn’t require articulation.

“Let it go, Skye,” he demanded, brusque in a way that was meant to be obeyed.

Unfazed, she tilted her head to catalog his nuances. To anyone looking, he probably came off cool and aloof. A seasoned warrior at rest, perusing the beach with watchful eyes, never fully off-duty, but enjoying the bright side of life.

But all of it was a skillful mirage. The leveled lines of his shoulders remained locked tight, braced against whatever turmoil broiled right beneath his surface. His jaw was set, an acute angle that restrained some unholy impulse.

Beneath all that was…pain. His beautiful irises were dull and flat, deadened by the damage he kept locked away. A knot twisted in her plexus, making her chest feel concave with empathy. She wanted to hold him close, overwhelmed by an instinctive urge to protect this man no one else seemed to notice was quietly falling apart.

So Skye, with the lack of self-preservation no Thornquist breeding could fully wash out, led with her heart.

“Something’s changed in you.” She tried for a smile but knew it was weak. “I can see it there, behind your eyes. You’re not hiding it from me; I think, for some reason, you’re not trying that hard to.”

He started to reply, no doubt more assertions of how wrong she had him, but the alarm on her phone interrupted them. “Time to go,” she announced softly. “Mandy is treating me to a spa appointment.”

She rolled onto her side and pushed against the yielding sand, feeling ungainly and awkward through the modified yoga pose that got her to her feet. Once steady, she gazed down at him, strong and imposing even posed at her feet, self-assured if strangely aloof.

He stood in a rush with far more grace than she’d managed, as though the shifting sand was as solid beneath him as concrete.

Annoying.

Skye bent to gather her shorts and tee, pulling both on mechanically. Casting him a look from under her lashes, Skye searched her feelings, but they were too conflicted for her to settle on one. This was when being bold became uncomfortable risky. By the pool, in the dark of night, she could blame emotional trauma and the mistakes only the night would forgive. In bright sunshiny day, it was much harder to come up with excuses she could live with.

“Stay safe, Grant,” she said, feeling lame but somehow as if it was the right thing to say.

“If you can’t be safe, be fucking deadly,” he returned, then explained, “Something we say on the Teams.”

“Well.” That was certainly…definitive. “Try to be both. Not that I want you to be deadly per se,” she floundered as what she’d said registered. “I mean, I do, if that’s what it takes to make you and your friends safe, but it’s not like I want other people dead.” She winced when humor flashed through his eyes. “Just—keep breathing. For my sake, if not your own.” She studied his stalwart face for a moment. “Because I have a feeling you really don’t care whether you do or not.”

“But you do.”

“Yes,” she confirmed without hesitation. “I do.”

Those arms rippled as he again crossed them over his chest, a move she recognized as defensive but felt more aggressive coming from him. “Not sure what you want me to do with that, Skye.” And, by that flat, unyielding tone, he wasn’t too keen to find out.

Her smile turned wane. “Me neither.” She laid a hand on one bulging forearm. “But I care whether you live or die, Grant Sisti. What puzzles me is why you don’t.”

She gave him a squeeze, and left it at that, stepping back while swinging her bag up and over her shoulder before starting the short walk back to her putt putt.

Before she was three steps in, Grant snagged her hand and pulled her up short. “Skye,” he said in a sibilant tone, too masculine to be a whisper but pitched for her ears only. She shot an inquisitive glance over her shoulder.

Grant closed the distance between them in one stride. His hand skirted up her spine to squeeze the back of her neck. “Don’t try to get into my head,” he warned. “You won’t like what you find.”

“Maybe not,” she allowed. Going with her gut, she twisted at the waist and leaned into his touch, stretching her neck up to briefly press her lips against his. “But I bet I’ll still like you.”

~~~~~

SEALed With a Twist is now available exclusively from Amazon Kindle

Blurb:

Debutante. Heiress. Lady.

Skylar Thornquist has been called them all. But when her family insisted she stand as bridesmaid at her sister’s wedding to Skye’s ex-fiancé, she rebelled, drowning her public humiliation in tequila and a one-night stand of carnal debauchery with Grant Sisti. To escape her family’s iron grip, Skye now hides out cleaning toilets at the Casa Blanca Resort & Spa, masking her breeding and identity under a dye job, heavy makeup, and a smattering of fake tattoos while she tries to discover which label sticks to her best.

Doctor. Joker. Warrior.

Navy SEAL Grant “Twisted” Sisti has been them all. But since he failed to prevent the violent death of his teammate six months ago, Grant isn’t sure he can be any of those men anymore. He’s back at the Casa Blanca Resort & Spa for his best friend’s wedding, but Grant knows he’s reaching the end of his rope. A state that isn’t improved by finding the help swimming naked in his private villa’s pool.

They never expected to find each other again on Barefoot Bay, both hiding from who there were, both wondering who they should be. Until Skye’s identity is compromised and the Thornquist iron grip gets a stranglehold on her new life…only this time there’s a Navy SEAL by her side.

 

 

Kiersten Hallie Krum writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. She is the author of the prestigious RONE award finalist, Wild on the Rocks, and its follow-up, SEALed With a Twist. She is also a past winner of the Emily Award for unpublished novelists. 

A member of the Romance Writers of America, the New Jersey Romance Writers, and the Long Island Romance Writers, Kiersten has been working in book publishing for more than twenty years in marketing and promotion. At other times in her career, she’s worked back stage for a regional theater, managed advertorials for a commerce newspaper in the World Trade Center, and served as senior editor for a pharmaceutical advertising agency.

Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities straight is hard enough work. Born and bred in New Jersey (and accent free), Kiersten sings as easily, and as frequently, as she breathes, drives fast with the windows down and the music up, likes to randomly switch accents for kicks and giggles, and would be happy to spend all her money traveling for the rest of her life.

Like Soldiers? My Obsession with Matthias Schoenaerts Continues!

7 Sep

This week, I’m talking about the hotness factor of Matthias Schoenaerts in two different films where he plays two different kinds of soldiers and brace yourself, because there are a billion shameless plugs at the end.

As devoted LS readers already know, Matthias Schoenaerts is one of those underrated actors we admire as he is becoming more of a hot commodity in Hollywood. He’s gradually creeping his way up the ladder of leading men through a combination of undeniable warm sexiness, excellent acting, and mad language skills. He’s a more accessible Tom Hardy. A less genial Tom Hiddleston. He’s more the quiet guy, more burly, more…Belgian. I’m always drawn in by how unassuming, quietly competent, and totally hot he is.

In DISORDER, Schoenaerts plays a soldier with PTSD who’s either paranoid or–unlike everyone around him–aware of hidden danger when taking care of a woman (Diane Kruger) and her little boy while her Arab husband is away.

This is different look for Schoenaerts – he’s a little grubby in this film. He usually plays the well dressed man. (With Mr. Oat in FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD being a picturesque variation). Here he’s got a shaved head, scruff-i-licious beard, and a soldier-y look. He’s also playing a different class of character – more middle class with their offhand brusqueness. Ultimately, he’s a man hanging onto his shit as his mind is unraveling. It’s a fast, gripping little movie….

THE HOTNESS FACTOR: He’s all beefy and scruffy and you just kind of want to grip him hard and bite his skin.

And if you like this kind of hero then (shameless plug #1) you’ll lurv of the hero of my friend Adriana Ander’s second book: BY HER TOUCH.  You all know Adriana—she’s been featured on this blog a lot. This is her second book with a DEA guy who’s got PTSD, and needs to remove all the gang tattoos he got while he was undercover in a biker gang. He encounters a female doctor willing to take off the tattoos.  She’s eager to dig under his skin and sooth his caged soul. (Yum!!!)

Click to buy!

In the other movie, SUITE FRANCAIS, Schoenaerts plays a German Lieutenant as the Germans roll into a French provincial town to occupy it in the first year of World War II.

Part of the regiment is quartered in the homes in the homes of the townspeople. And as an officer,  the lieutenant is quartered in a very nice home that Michelle Williams’s character Lucille. She lives in with her controlling mother-in-law while her husband is away at the front. She was married off to her husband by her father, and clearly doesn’t love him, but goes about with her mother-in-law and generally lives a repressive life, doing her duty. However,  she has a deep love of music and playing the piano soothes away the stresses of war.  The lieutenant wanted a house with a piano because back in Germany before he became a soldier he was a composer.  As they share their love of music, she’s drawn to his room to listen to the piano, and he’s drawn to her fragile, cultured goodness. He swiftly falls in love with her, even as the soldiers begin a series of abhorrent acts that he despises. Eventually, he is commanded to engage in these atrocities as well, and it takes a toll upon him—while he does what he can to help Michelle William’s character when she asks for his influence in certain matters relating to the townspeople.

The Schoenaerts Hotness factor: he’s tall and crisp–an imposing soldier with power over the town and and all townspeople. (Fans of dark romance would go ape over Schoenaerts in his German uniform.) In addition to that, he’s a sensitive composer, and a reluctant soldier. He brings the whole sane-people- in-a-world-gone-mad factor to the movie – otherwise it’s just a movie about a bunch of very uptight French provincials getting screwed by the Germans.

Even as Schoenaerts is all super clean shaven and short haired, there’s still something sensitive and sensual about his every look and touch. The combo of being all he-male in uniform and yet  a man with no defenses when he’s around Lucille—ready to give her anything he can, and shield her in any way he can—it’s compelling. He’s on the wrong side of the war, and married, etc.

This is one of those movies that knows how romance addicts are. They string you out on the scenes between the two of them—there aren’t as many as you want and they aren’t very long. Instead there is a lot of fraught tension and wind up. And at a certain point – I could tell that things were as good as they were going to get between these two illicit lovers. It was all going to be a rather tragic downhill slide from there on out. I’ll admit I stopped watching and went for a jog instead. While I jogged I continued the story in my own mind, creating scenarios where somehow, despite all the multiple challenges the characters got to be together after the war. So if you like your romance more flavored with bittersweet love, then this movie is your poison.

But speaking of choosing your own ending! (shameless plug #2) My good friend Nara Malone (such an excellent writer) has a new Choose-Your-Own-Romance book out called STORM RUNNERS.  You actually choose whom Trella, a singer/songwriter hooks up with — and what kind of Happily Ever After Trella lands.  (BTW, Don’t you just lurv this cover?????)

Click to buy!

And here’s my third shameless plug –if you like military romance–or even better yet, reading romances written by actual soldiers –check out another author–C.M. Moore. C.M. Moore is actually two people –my friends Connor and Monica. Both served tours of duty in Afghanistan and their military infused futuristic romances reflect that experience. Their second book, titled 2:05am is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.

Final shameless plug which has nothing to do with Matthias Schoenaerts whatsoever, but does have to do with a sexy sorcerer/soldier.  My publisher has started uploading my latest work WICKED ENCHANTRESS onto Wattpad. WICKED ENCHANTRESS is book two in my Wicked Magic Series.  Here’s a blurb and a cover:

SHE WILL MASTER THE POWERS OF ENCHANTMENT…TO SAVE THE MAN SHE LOVES

After Rhine the sorcerer and soldier inadvertently saves a kitchen maid named Wart from an evil spell, he tries to reunite the maid with her one remaining friend, Zephyr the Sorceress.  Yet the famous sorceress is not in her tower as usual. Her lover, Theo the Black Knight, has taken her to Balfad where elves rule and Theo’s father is the Winter King.    

Rhine takes Elspeth all the way to Balfad–yet keeps his distance though Elspeth secretly pines for him.  After Rhine is overcome by a deceitful enchantress, Elspeth is the only one determined to do whatever it takes to save him. If that means risking her own life to become an enchantresses too, so be it. When she discovers Rhine half-naked and locked up in chains, she realizes that the sorcerer is almost mad with the sensual torments of his enchantment.  In helping him find relief, Elspeth’s inner wickedness begins to take over…one pleasurable deed at a time…

The first episode is going up tomorrow, Friday.  Whooo-ha! So follow me on Wattpad and you can start reading …The story will be serialized for at least the next ten weeks, and all episodes will be available until January, 2018.

 

 

 

Sexy Sunday Snippet: For the Love of a Soldier edited by Kristina Wright

25 Jun

Today’s Sexy Sunday Snippet is about a popular subject: sexy military romance! For the Love of a Soldier: Military Erotic Romance edited by Kristina Wright and published by Circlet Press, is out June 29 for Kindle, Nook, iBooks and Kobo.

About the book:

Sixteen stories of passion with soldiers, sailors, pilots, and men (and women) of war. When you love someone in the military, erotic opportunities can few or far between. These authors, veterans of the erotica and romance writing world, turn their pens to the subject with insightful and sizzling portrayals of those in (and out of…) uniform.

Edited by award-winning author Kristina Wright, who is married to a former Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy, For the Love of a Soldier is filled with sexy, romantic stories by some of the top authors in the erotic romance genre. Cat Johnson, Victoria Janssen, Lucy Felthouse, Sidney Bristol, and 12 other talented writers reflect on the lives, loves, and sacrifices of men and women in uniform and answer the provocative question: What would you do for the love of a soldier?

Excerpt from For the Love of a Soldier from short story “Penelope Pending” by Axa Lee:

It happened fast, too fast. It was less a whirlwind romance than an obvious. Of course, you moved in with me. Of course, we wanted a baby. Of course.

Neither one of us really noticed that we’d only known one another a couple of months. It felt like we’d been together far longer. Of course. You’re the type who’s willing to gamble and risk again and again. Just so happens that this time, you won.

And now you’re leaving, and the thought of it, of days and weeks piling up on one another without you in them, makes my throat tighten. It’s amazing how quickly you and the baby have become my whole world.

You come up behind me while I’m folding laundry and the baby is napping and grab a handful of my ass, squeezing just hard enough so it hurts, the way you know I like. Then you do that thing, pulling my hips back into yours, biting my neck, in that way that makes me absolutely cream for you.

“Only another seventeen years and two months,” I joke, “then I’ll be rid of you.” It’s been a joke between us that we’re only together for the sake of the baby, based off something someone said while I was pregnant.

“Oh really?” You lick the edge of my ear, biting the lobe. I suck in my breath. “How about I buy a week at a time, every time I make you come.”

“A day at a time,” I bargain, biting my lip as you press your hand over my mound, using a sudden but steady pressure.

My pussy will still be sore tomorrow when I throw my leg over a horse from how hard you fuck me this afternoon. But I don’t care. I want to freeze this moment, be able to rewind and play it again while you’re away.

You tease my lips and tongue with yours, until I’m bursting for you. Usually we make love, but this time we rip off our own clothes, desperate to press as much skin against skin as possible. It makes my head spin when you kiss me, all wrapped up, knotted up in my head, until there’s only room for your and pure sensation. Your touch is as purple as a thousand clichés, scorching, sizzling, burning, tingling, tender, savage, tortuous, yearning, transcendent.

You split me open with those smooth, gentle fingers, sliding into my wetness with a groan, as I suck you. Your cock in my mouth feels exquisite, full and hard. It’s got me dripping wet already. Sex has always been my drug of choice. You run your hand over the smooth curve of my ass. I love the sharp, sudden crack of your palm, how you grab my flesh, twisting, moaning.

“God, I love that ass,” you say. “But, baby, I really need to be inside you.”

Then I’m impaled on your cock, up to the hilt, dropping my head back, moaning, grinding against you, your hip bones jutting upwards, pressing against me. By the time your thumb finds my clit, I’m done. You fuck my pussy so well I speak in tongues, babbling, begging, so hot and tight for you that I swear you’re going to come in the first few minutes. I think you swear you’re going to come in those first few minutes. Holding off is something you pride yourself in. We’ll have sex a couple three times sometimes before you’ll let yourself come. You’re that into getting me to come. And come, and come… It’s not a line when I say I’ve never come like this, explosively, vibratingly hard.

“How many days does this buy me?”

“One…” I breathe.

You thrust into me, roll your hips. It’s so unfair that you know all the combinations that get me.

“Two…” My breath catches. “Three… oh… fuck!…”

My mouth swallows the vibration of your chuckle.

You turn me onto my side, legs stacked, change the sensation and angle with delicious insightfulness. I’ve barely recovered from the first few and already I feel another orgasm building. You’ve learned this, over time, the amazing variety of ways you can get me to come. And you exploit them ruthlessly.

You pound into me, fast and hard, almost stereotypical, fucking like a soldier looks like he should fuck, with your whole body, all dominance and power, with barely restrained strength rigid through your thick neck and shoulders. You fuck the way guys imitate fucking when they’re around one another, palms up, pulling the girl into them, making them feel all cocky and in control, flaunting the power of their being a trained killer.

But your eyes put a lie to the illusion. Your eyes are raw, exposed. And it’s as though we’re having the most connected sex on the planet right now, as you lean forward, hips still shallowly thrusting, and nip the side of my neck, breathing hard beside my ear.

“Mine,” you say, “you’re mine. And I’m yours.”

I feel safe in your arms, safe enough to be vulnerable, safe enough to admit my want for you in return. I don’t have to be tougher than you are. I don’t have to be ashamed that I like being your woman, like it’s a shameful thing for a woman to enjoy—even get off on a little—on having the protection of her man. Because, in return, you’re willing to do anything for me, anything to keep me safe, to help me be happy. I can set aside my mother’s feminism for that.

“All yours,” I agree.

I can’t see the look on your face, but I feel the breath go out of you and the complete yielding to this thing between us. There’s nothing sexier than a trained killer, who can end a life with his bare hands, being completely vulnerable and in love with you. And you embrace me as I erupt on your cock, coming so hard my legs kick and I clutch you like you’re the last solid thing in the world, as I descend into body rocking orgasms, that only get better when you come inside me, making me quake even harder as you stroke against my cervix and I feel you fill me, pressing the entire length of your long body against me, and we both quake, overwhelmed with the intensity of the raw emotion between us.

Love only cuts as deeply as one is willing to be cut. You and I are both gutted.

Wild for All of YOU!

29 May

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

I am, Lady Smutters. I am absolutely wild for you–and so grateful for all your support during our Wild Week here on Lady Smut when we celebrated the nomination of my novel, Wild on the Rocks, for the prestigious RONE award by InD’Tale Magazine. Truly, you make me giddy with grateful glee.

While I do not yet have the results of the contest, I’m happy to report that Wild on the Rocks made a stunning return to the Top 100 Kindle World Romance rankings holding steady in the 50s for the last two weeks, more than a year after first being published! That’s amazing! I’m so grateful for all your support and I hope everyone who took a wild chance on Quinn and Jasper enjoyed their sexy, emotional ride.

Wild on the Rocks is still on sale for $.99, so if you haven’t snagged a hot copy of this sizzling romantic suspense, now is a great time!

“Her taste was narcotic. His mind fogged over and the burn in his chest exploded as he drank deep. Somewhere along the way that day, she’d indulged in a shot of rum. He licked the spicy flavor from her lips and dived deeper.” From Wild on the Rocks.

You know what else is sexy? Service to our country. I know, I know, it sounds formulaic and, let’s face it, potentially insincere. But the truth is that committing your life to something greater than yourself is the sexiest thing a man (or woman) can do. And it’s important that, each year, we take the time to remember those nameless and faceless heroes. After all, they’re not nameless and faceless to everyone.

The hero of Wild on the Rocks, Jasper, is a Navy SEAL, and one of the sexiest things about him is his commitment to that job, that calling, that has shaped his life in many ways. I write heroes like him because I am so in awe of people who have the courage to put their lives on the line for our nation and our people. I believe that says something amazing about the character of such people, right off the bat.

Much as I would like it to be otherwise, Jasper is, alas, a fictional character. But there are many real-life men (and women) who have followed that call and given their lives in service to our nation. They didn’t first ask to know what were our politics or who we voted for or where we stood on national healthcare. They went where they were told and did extraordinary work that, in many cases, cost them their lives.

Today, on Memorial Day, we remember those sacrifices. We honor those men and woman who gave their all so that I can maintain the freedom to do things like, say, post sexy things on a website and not go to jail for doing it–and so you can enjoy those sexy things too.

Follow Lady Smut to get all the sexy by signing up for our newsletter and joining us at the Lady Smut Speakeasy on Facebook.

Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten Hallie Krum avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities straight is hard enough work. She writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. Her debut romantic suspense novel, WILD ON THE ROCKS, has been nominated for InD’Tale Magazine’s prestigious RONE award! Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.

Click on image to buy!

 

 

It’s the End of the World as We Know It : Sexy Sunday Snippet

27 May

Hey folks! Here’s a snippet of C.M. Moore’s latest 1:05.A.M. And check out the interview I did with him about his ex-soldier past here.

Blurb:

In a dystopian future, an assassin must choose to fulfill a final contract or keep the love of her life alive.

Yearning for a normal life, assassin Karmen-Marie has had enough of of the post-apocalyptic world. Forced to take one last assassin’s job, Karma sets out across the frozen landscape of Earth.

Rea MacBain’s job is to ensure the safety of Earth’s precious few water purification plants. He believes his abusive past must stay buried under the snow that encases his domain.

Ice cold assassin’s blood drives the woman sent to kill him, yet it ignites the fire which thaws Rea’s heart.

Karma rolled out of bed and landed lightly on her feet. She grabbed one of Rea’s button-up shirts out of the plastic drawers and slipped the garment over her head. Without making a sound, she crept into the bathroom and used the facility before returning to the bedroom again.

She came out to check on Rea, who was snoring. He looked handsome even while he slept. A lock of red hair covered one eye. His face seemed serene, and worry was no longer evident. She resisted the urge to crawl back in bed and wake him in a very naughty way. He looked so calm she didn’t have the heart to wake him, even if it would be fun. It made sense why he was sleeping so hard. They had both been up most of the night. Not that she was complaining.

Last night, she’d been awakened by him twice, and both times were everything she had missed about him.

The first time he woke her, he was sweet and loving. He carefully pulled her to him and touched every inch of her as if trying to memorize her skin. She could tell by his murmurs of approval that he missed her screams of pleasure and her declarations of love.

The second time was when she’d stroked him until out of pure frustration, he flipped her over and took her from behind. She thought she should be more tired after a night like that, but for some reason, she was refreshed.

Instead of getting back into bed she meandered over to the computer and clicked on a few of the buttons that showed different areas of the water bases. Strange, but snooping around the computer seemed natural. Nothing looked familiar on the screen like she’d hoped, so she roamed into the kitchen space. She figured she could make Rea food, and she ambled past the dark wood cabinets and tan counter. She opened some broken drawers and the fridge, but she didn’t know what he would want to eat.

Frustration flooded her that she couldn’t remember even the most basic item of what he ate for breakfast. Giving up on food, she glanced at the clock on the microwave in the kitchen. The time blinked 7:11. Her body had summoned her awake fairly early. She thought about that. She was restless and fidgety. Did she normally get up this early? She used to love to sleep in and snuggle all day in bed with Rea.

As she glanced around the room, a few other thoughts struck her as well. From what she gathered, this was an entirely different water base than the one they grew up on. If that was the case, everything looked exactly like she remembered. The broken plastic drawers that held his clothes were in the corner. The blanket on his bed was the same thin rag with the blue diamond pattern. The few plates and cups in the cabinets were adorned with the same green flowers, and even the bathroom layout was identical to what she remembered. If she and Rea were so much older, why was their home the same? Why had the two of them not cleaned his room and decorated together? Did Rea’s father still hate her? She remembered how bad life got right after Rea’s mom died. Was he still being beaten? Too many unanswered questions nagged at her, and she resolved to get some answers today. When Rea awoke, she’d ask him then.

Karma started to head back to the computer, not bothering to turn on any of the lights since her eyes had adjusted to the dark perfectly. As she moved silently, so as to not wake Rea, she passed by the kitchen table. When she reached one of the pushed-in chairs, her ears picked up the sound of footsteps outside the door. She moved around the table and checked to see if Rea had awoken.

Curious about who’d be here this early, she opened the door. Gears was standing just outside the door with his fist raised in a position ready to knock. A look of surprise was written on his face when she appeared. He cleared his throat uncomfortably.

“Good morning,” she whispered with a slight nod.

She didn’t know why, but around the doctor she was edgy, like there was a secret he wasn’t telling her. Gears looked at her with apparent distrust, and she considered all the actions she could’ve done to warrant that look.

“Good morning, Karma.” Gears gave a solemn smile. He looked around the hall nervously. He then tried to lean past the doorframe. “Is Rea here?”

“He’s sleeping,” Karma answered. She kept her voice low so as to not wake Rea. Why did everyone keep asking stupid questions? Of course, Rea was here, where else would he be? She waited for Gears to say more. Did he regularly show up this early? That seemed odd to her also.

“He’s sleeping, really?” Gears’ eyes went wide with astonishment, but Karma couldn’t think of what could possibly be so shocking about that. People had to sleep, didn’t they?

As a snore cut into the brief pause in the conversation, Gears began looking her up and down. She could tell he was assessing her and drawing conclusions as to what they’d been doing during the night. She tugged at the bottom of Rea’s shirt and wished the fabric was longer. She also awkwardly brushed some of her wild hair so the tendrils didn’t look like she had just been rolling around in bed.

“He had intercourse with you?” Gears voice went high on the last word. He cleared his throat and pushed his glasses up his nose in an almost nervous gesture. Karma thought she was either getting used to that particular move, or his action was familiar.

“We’re grown adults. I don’t think you should be concerned. People do sleep, and they have sex, and they eat too. It’s all really boring, actually. I thought you were a doctor.”

There was something about how Gears reacted to her that bothered her. She had the impression that when she was talking to him, he was silently interrogating her. Maybe she had caused some type of rift between Rea and Gears. It was also possible Rea’s father could favor the doctor over Rea. There was a chance Gears worked for Rea’s dad and was reporting back. If they’d just tell her what was wrong, she was sure she could make amends.

Gears seemed to recover and collect his reaction. She noticed a tiny smile play on his lips.

“That came out all wrong. You’re right. I’m a doctor. I was making sure you were healing. I didn’t want you to engage in any activity that might not be good for your health. I know you’re an adult. I was concerned as your doctor only. Just keep your wounds clean. That’s important. I always say cleanliness is next to godliness.” Gears paused awkwardly, like he wasn’t sure what he should say next. “I brought you some clothes my girlfriend left at my place. I thought you might need them.”

Karma looked down at the pile of fabric in his arms and relaxed. Maybe she’d gotten Gears all wrong. She offered him a small smile. She shouldn’t be so quick to judge him. He was the doctor here, and she should give him the benefit of the doubt.

“Thanks for the clothes. I didn’t know I didn’t have any here. Where are my clothes normally?”

Gears looked uneasy and glanced past her again. Was he hoping Rea would answer her question? Another awkward silence filled the air between them.

“Maybe you should wake Rea and tell him what time it is. You can ask him your questions. This is a friendly doctor’s suggestion.” With that curious sentence, the doctor quickly departed.

Karma was left standing in the doorway, and as Gears left she mulled over what to do next.

She supposed the first thing she should do is get dressed. She closed the door and went into the bathroom to try on the clothes he’d brought.

One by one, she tried them on, only to find nothing fitted properly. If this clothing was Gears’ girlfriend’s, then the other girl was a lot shorter than she was, Karma concluded.

Finally, she discovered a pair of black stretchy pants that had enough fabric to cover her legs down to her knees. She then chose the largest shirt she could find. The shirt was royal blue, and the garment covered her breasts but clung to her like a second skin. Since she couldn’t find anything else that looked like it might fit, she dressed. She then brushed out her hair with a hairbrush she found on a shelf.

As soon as she got back into the bedroom, she decided it was probably a good idea to take Gears’ advice and wake Rea. A part of her didn’t want to wake him, but if he had somewhere to be, she’d hate if he slept all day and missed his appointments.

From what she gathered, Rea was somewhat of a busy man. If his father were still around, he wouldn’t be happy if Rea wasn’t doing whatever he was supposed to be doing. The idea of meeting an irate Rea’s father was a frightening thought. She remembered how he used to bust into Rea’s room. She hoped he didn’t still do that.

Karma lay down on her side and cushioned her head next to Rea’s face. She softly kissed him and waited to see if he’d wake up. He mumbled incoherent words in his sleep and moved closer to her, as if seeking her out. When his hand found her breast, he brushed his fingers over her shirt and then gave a lazy smile. She loved when he did that, and she scooted closer so he could wrap his arm all the way around her.

“Hey, handsome,” Karma purred as his eyes leisurely lifted open.

“What’s going on, Kitten?” he mumbled sleepily, still caressing her.

“It’s past seven, so I thought maybe I should wake you. We could have breakfast or…”

The word “seven” brought out the strangest reaction in Rea. One moment he was snuggled next to her making lazy circles on her back, and the next second he’d thrown himself out of bed like he’d been laying on razor blades.

“After seven? Shit!”

Karma scooted to the edge of the bed as Rea started to wildly throw on clothes. She was amazed at the speed with which he could get fully clothed. When he was dressed, he shoved his feet into boots that lay next to the bed.

“What’s wrong with seven?”

“I’m late for training. I haven’t been late since—” Rea looked like he was going to say more, but he stopped himself and ran his hand through his rumpled hair.

Frowning, he crossed to the door of the bathroom and disappeared. Karma sat on the side of the bed and waited for him to come back. How was she supposed to know what time he had training? She didn’t even know where her clothes were.

Rea rushed out of the bathroom and headed straight for the exit. He paused at the door with his hand on the knob. For a moment, she thought he was going to exit without saying anything more to her. He spun around and looked at her like he’d completely forgotten she was there. Karma was mildly annoyed.

“Damn it. What am I supposed to do with you?” He swore two more times and then swiveled his head back to the door.

Karma stood up and went to stand next to him. She could tell he was worried, and she could see the war within him starting.

Ignoring his frantic state, she wrapped her arms around his shoulders and brought his mouth down to hers. She kissed him with barely leashed passion, not letting him go for a second. She swept her tongue inside his mouth to taste the toothpaste he used. She clutched at his muscled upper arms. She didn’t let go until he wrapped his arms around her body and crushed her to him. When he finally surfaced from the kiss, he looked at her with a bemused expression on his face.

“What was that for?”

“I wanted to say good morning before you left, and tell you I had a great time last night. I can wait here for you. I can sit around and try to get my memory back while you’re out. You don’t need to worry about me.”

Rea’s expression turned grim. He ran his hands through his hair again. Her words had the opposite effect on him than what she’d intended. He looked more worried now than before.

“No, you can’t stay here alone. Your boots are over by the chair. Put them on and come with me.”

“You want me to go with you… to training?” Karma was truly astounded.

Once she’d snuck in to watch his training with his dad. After his father had humiliated him in front of everyone, he then pitted Rea against two men who were better trained.

Karma remembered keenly watching Rea get slammed into the mud repetitively. When Rea found out she’d seen it, he had made her promise to never come to training again. She’d honored his request because she couldn’t watch his sadistic father in action ever again. Watching the love of her life get crushed had been a hell like none other.

“Hurry up.” He pulled a pair of socks from a drawer and tossed them at her.

Karma was still stunned he invited her. She fumbled with the socks as she put them on. She grabbed the soft black leather boots he pointed to and sat in a chair by the table. They felt like they were made for her, and she zipped them up over her calf. These boots gave her a measure of comfort because out of everything, these were familiar. A memory of her zipping up these boots popped into her head, and the thought was comforting.

Rea didn’t spare her another glance as they hurried out into the hallway. As Karma trotted along after Rea, she glanced at the empty rooms to the right and left. The plain cement walls were smooth on either side of the large walkway. Bright round lights hung every few feet above them. Each room they passed had the door open, and empty beds and sparse furniture came into view.

“Why are all the rooms around here empty? Are we antisocial?”

“It’s ‘coz once I leave to build a new base my room and all the rooms in this area go to the scientists and their families. Once the men are trained, they’ll be the police and the safety of this water base. Scientists, women, and children can’t move onto the base until it is safe. It’s my father’s rule.”

“I didn’t know this was a new base. Thank you for bringing me along while you build it. I heard you’re not supposed to do that.” Karma mulled what they’d been discussing. Was having no one around him hard, or did he want it that way? Maybe he liked that his life was just her, him, and his dad. Karma shuddered at the thought of Rea’s father. She was glad she hadn’t run into him so far.

After a few seconds of silence while they walked, she started to wonder if they were going to stay on this base or if they were going to move on to build another one.

“After this base is fully operational and people move in, will a family or a couple live in your room? After the scientists and workers move here and this base is safe, where do we go?”

They turned a sharp corner and headed down similar hallways of cold cement with large fat columns. The walls were sterile, like they were waiting for someone to decorate them. She thought that adding finishing touches to a base might be fun.

“My room and the others around me are for single people and sometimes for couples. Down further, there are rooms for larger families. This way is past the greenhouses that grow some of the food. Spouses and children are responsible for the underground farms that get added after I leave.” Rea sounded resigned to this, like he was a tour guide educating her. “All the best shit gets added after I leave.”

Rea hurried Karma along over the rock flooring, past the different areas of the water base. They rushed past large equipment rooms where the scientists would clean water from the surface and put it into huge tanks. They passed barracks for the single men and an enormous empty cafeteria.

Something about the greenhouses was familiar to her. The time 1:05 a.m. leaped into her mind. As soon as she tried to catch the memory, it was gone again.

“Until the families get here, who takes care of the greenhouses?” she asked to chase away the perturbed feeling seeping into her. She was practically running to keep up, and she was irked she had no memories.

“All the men have to spend time in the greenhouses. It’s partly ‘coz we have to grow our food, but mostly it’s mandatory that we all have to be under the sun lamps. Gears gets after us if our vitamin D drops too low. He checks our health once a month.”

“That makes sense, but you didn’t really answer my other question. Where do we go after this water base is built? What do we do when we don’t have Gears with us? Does he come with us, or is there another doctor?”

“We?” Rea gave her a quick side glance and kept up his jog.

“Yes, we. Are we going to a new base to train others, or are we going back to an already established base? Do we stay here? Where does your father go? Does he come with us? Does Gears move with us? I thought he was a close friend of yours.”

Rea abruptly stopped. They came to a large metal door and paused. His hand reached out and grasped a long metal handle.

“That’s a lot of questions, Kitten. We’re going to work it out.” He spoke meticulously. He stopped and turned around to look at her. A fierce frown wrinkled his brow as his eyes slashed over her. “What are you wearing?” he added after studying her.

“Clothes.”

“That’s not clothes. That’s a second skin, only in color.”

Karma looked down at herself and shrugged. The boots came up to where the black stretch pants left off, and the blue shirt covered her torso even though the top was snug. The clothes did fit, but he was right about the fabric not hiding much. It seemed tight, but she could move easily.

“Gears gave the clothes to me this morning.” She smoothed her hand over the bottom of her shirt. “He also told me to wake you. I think he was surprised you slept in.”

“I bet he was,” Rea grumbled. He then mumbled under his breath a few more words about how Gears was trying to make his life miserable. With a frown now permanently plastered on his face, he put his hand on the doorknob and swung the door wide. The entrance was a large double door, but the opposite one stayed firmly shut.

“I would’ve worn my clothes if you’d told me where they are,” Karma commented to his back. What did he expect her to do, run around the base naked? This was better than nothing.

“We can work that out too,” he grumbled, preoccupied.

It was apparent he was now dismissing her from his thoughts.

Rea’s stride was swift. He entered the room with head held high and back straight. Karma followed him, and she recognized the huge training room. The massive room had only a mud floor, but the ceiling was cement and at least twelve feet high.

She looked up at the columns, which held up the giant chamber, and she let her eyes pass over the different things going on around her. On her left side, near where they entered, two shirtless men were fighting with jagged looking knives. On the opposite side, a large group of men was practicing with some type of club and shield. The center of the room was only a big ring, which wasn’t occupied, but all the way around the circle, men were standing as if waiting for someone to enter it. The ring in the center was familiar. She remembered Rea in the center, being beaten to the floor while everyone stood by watching. A part of her knew this wasn’t the exact same ring, but the area was so recognizable a feeling of helplessness swamped her.

To banish the raw memory, she looked at all the different sizes and shapes of the men around her. Every male was fit, but they were as different as light and dark. Some were black, some Hispanic, and some maybe Asian or Indian. Tall, short, and medium, the room was a collage of sturdy warriors, and all of them were intimidating and well built.

“I want you to stay close to me. Don’t talk or draw attention to yourself. You already look too damn sexy. These men haven’t been around a woman for a few months. Dad says women are a distraction and shouldn’t be around during training. Especially, not a hot woman like you.”

“You think I’m sexy?” she purred.

“I said don’t talk,” Rea groused, but Karma couldn’t help but smile anyway.

“If women aren’t allowed on the base because they’re not safe, then why did you let me come?”

Karma knew she shouldn’t ask, but she couldn’t help herself. She hated that she still didn’t have the ability to recall even the simplest information.

“We’ll talk about it later.”

He was brushing her off again. Karma wanted to be offended, but she wasn’t. She could tell Rea wasn’t happy about bringing her near a bunch of men while they were in training mode. If Rea hated doing this so much, he must have an excellent reason to have asked her along. He wasn’t the kind of man to jeopardize her safety or cause problems for his men.

Even though he told her not to say a word, it didn’t matter. Her presence caused enough of a stir that she might’ve shouted at all of them instead of meekly walking behind Rea.

“Boss-Mac got a piece of ass?” someone in the back called out.

“I thought he was gay!” Another man remarked loudly.

“I heard that, Essie,” Rea yelled over his shoulder as he kept striding forward.

A few other men gave out hoots and whistles behind her.

“Now we know why he slept in.” A man to her left gave out a sharp bark of laughter at his own comment.

“Did you bring us a prize to fight for? I heard your dad used to do that. If we get to do her when we win, then I’m first up to fight.” A large Asian man to her right spoke, as his eyes raked her body like she wasn’t wearing a stitch of clothing.

He adjusted the small pistol on his belt so he could grab his balls and wink at her.

The vulgar way he looked at her made Karma’s blood run cold with rage she didn’t even know she had inside of her. She thought she wasn’t a violent person, but the idea of grabbing his gun off of his belt and beating him over the head with it filled her head.

“I’m up for fighting this morning if she’s the prize,” a shorter blond with a big nose called out from the back of the crowd. “Hell, I’d even marry her.”

Karma felt like a piece of meat thrown to dogs. She quickly assessed what other weapons were around the room and which ones would be easiest to steal.

“Hey, Boss-Mac,” a brawny brunet man standing next to her side spoke up. “You said if we’re late for training then we have to be in the ring first thing to fight you, so who do you fight if you’re late?”

Karma studied Rea. His face looked like it could’ve been carved in granite. He seemed like he didn’t care if anyone had sex with her or if he had to fight in the ring with all of them. He took bored to a whole new level. Karma couldn’t believe this was the man she’d had sex with last night. When he was with her, he was so expressive and caring. Now he looked like an icy stranger.

“First off, I’m the Water Base Boss. I get the women around here. If you guys want to get laid, then become better fighters. Learn the rules to make this base secure. After it’s safe, you can chase as much trim as you want. You can also bring your girlfriends and wives here once this is fully operational.

“Second, as boss, I can be late. However, to honor the rule, I’ll step into the pit. Who is first up for me to beat?”

Rea strolled into the center of the ring without even looking back at her. Karma found her hands going up to her hair. She began swiftly pulling the strands into a tight ponytail. She didn’t know why she was doing it, but the action was as if it was ingrained in her to have her hair out of the way right at this time.

From behind her, she heard some of the men grumbling about fighting Rea. She could tell from his overpowering confidence he wasn’t worried about sparring with any of them. She recalled a bandage near his rib cage that she’d seen last night. She couldn’t believe he’d fight with an injury. He didn’t appear concerned about any of it, injury or men.

As he stood casually in the center of the mud, he waited like he had all the time in the world. His body was hard and muscular, with strength radiating off of him. Karma’s body felt like her insides were winding up. As if someone was twisting her internal organs. She could feel the heat of the men around her pressing in, and a deeply rooted battle cry was trapped in her throat. She wanted to fight all these men. She wanted to defend Rea even though he was standing so mighty before her. She didn’t want him to stand alone.

“I’ll take you on, Boss-Mac,” a Hispanic-looking man, with a thick accent, called from behind her.

Karma turned slightly to look at the tall, husky, curly-haired man casually striding toward the ring. He stopped when he came to her, and something about him seemed recognizable. He smiled at her, but the flash of teeth wasn’t friendly.

“How about you watch a real fighter?” Curly spoke as he walked up to her. He was talking loudly enough for Rea to hear from where he was standing.

She glanced to Rea to gauge what he wanted her to do. Once Curly had Rea’s attention, he wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her to him.

“Playing a damsel in distress, Karma?” he whispered to her before he nuzzled her neck. No one seemed to hear what he said, and she had no idea what that meant.

Disgust filled her at his smell and touch. She tugged away from him. He only laughed at her squirming, but he let her go and slapped her ass. She restrained herself from striking him, but her muscles tensed to do so.

The slap seemed loud in the space. Although it only took seconds for him to touch her, it was as if time had slowed down. She saw Rea’s eyes darken only slightly, but he kept his face as an unreadable mask.

“Quit fucking around,” Rea barked out.

When Curly entered the ring, Karma could tell he was slightly shorter than Rea but just as fit. The two of them looked evenly matched. Karma’s heart dropped to her stomach. Curly was a good fighter. He was dangerous. She didn’t know how she knew that, but she did, and she trusted her knowledge.

As soon as the two men faced each other, Rea’s eyes narrowed. Karma started to study Curly as if she was going to enter the bout with him herself.

“Who are you?” Rea asked as they eyed each other.

“My name’s Nash,” Nash spoke with a slow drawl. “I’m new.”

“I don’t remember seeing your name on the roster.” Rea’s voice was flat.

“I transferred here from another base. I showed up yesterday, around the time you kicked out Charlie and Josh. I heard about what went down. Guess I can’t blame you. If I were fucking an ass as fine as that bitch, I wouldn’t be sharing either.”

Rea’s anger swelled noticeably. He threw the first punch.

Nash blocked Rea’s fist. He landed his elbow straight into Rea’s gut. Rea bent over with the hit. The crowd of men cheered. The room filled with noise all the way up to the ceiling. Rea got back up quickly, and his eyes flashed with rage. He threw his entire body at Nash, wrapping his arms around the other man’s waist. They wrestled to the floor. More cheering followed.

Karma moved closer to the ring. Rea’s eyes caught hers for a moment. She shifted slightly through the men, who were now captivated by the spectacle before them. They cheered and shouted. None of them even noticed her any longer.

As Karma moved through the crowd, she had the urge to call out the command for Rea to focus on what he was doing. He needed to stop looking for her.

Biting her tongue, she moved until she was standing on the opposite side of the ring. She was following Nash’s movements. She didn’t know why. As she moved, the two men exchanged hit after hit. Nash was pounding at Rea’s injured side. Blood could be seen smearing across his shirt.

She thought she should be appalled at the blood, which splattered on the dirt, or at the crack of bone hitting bone, but she found the fighting dull. She was resigned, bored even. An odd jaded feeling was filling her. She shifted her weight to the balls of her feet. She was waiting for something. Even though she was waiting, she didn’t know what she was looking for.

The air crackled with unexplained discord. What was she expecting to happen? It was the way Nash moved, the way he glanced at her. His actions were speaking silently to her. She trusted her instincts.

Everything happened so fast Karma wasn’t sure why she did what she did.

As she saw Nash pull a sleek steel dagger from the side of his boot, she turned and grabbed a handle-heavy throwing knife off the belt of the man shoved next to her. For some reason, she wasn’t happy with his knife selection, but that idea came like a quick bolt of lightning. She balanced the rusted blade on her palm. The action was as if she’d done this a thousand times.

With ease, she threw the cumbersome knife with practiced grace. The throwing knife lodged in Nash’s hand. Swiftly, she moved again between two more men. Nash hollered with pain and surprise. His eyes shot to her for a second. Her actions startled the man next to her, but she slinked away from him around the circle. None of the men moved quickly enough to stop her.

Stepping to the edge of the circle, Karma assessed what other weapons were within arm’s reach. The dagger Nash had held now lay on the ground, forgotten. The knife was stained with mud and splattered blood. The blade had never reached its intended destination.

Nash swore at her in fury.

Rea stumbled backward. Shock etched into his features as he rotated his head toward her.

Nash brought his hand, with her knife stuck between the bones, down to his middle. With a concentrated effort, he pulled the oxidized blade from his skin. Dark, rich blood spurted in all directions.

Now that he had the old throwing knife clutched in his good hand, Nash turned to her. His eyes were ablaze in outrage.

“Fuck you, Karma. I knew you switched sides, you sneaky bitch.”

The entire room stilled collectively as if they were holding their breath.

Nash charged her. In a flash, she felt the swipe of the knife at her belly. Karma jumped back before the next swing of Nash’s weapon. Warm blood and ripped cloth fell to the ground. Her body reacted even as her mind went blank.

Karma crouched low, sweeping her leg under Nash. She knocked him backward to the dirt. As her hand reached for the gun hung on the belt of the man behind her, her mind rejected her actions. She fought to focus on what was happening. This was starting to feel like a dream… or a nightmare.

Rea threw his body over Nash. He kept him pinned to the ground. They grappled for the knife Nash still held. Rea’s hands forced Nash to stab himself in the neck.

The sound of a single shot being fired reverberated around the room. Scared, she glanced around to see who’d fired a gun.

Finally, there was only an eerie silence in the training room.

Blood flowed freely from the huge gash that had been cut into Nash’s throat. As the dirt around him turned red, she spun away. She was lightheaded and trying valiantly to not vomit. What had she done? She looked around the room. The weight of every man’s eyes was on her. This time, they weren’t assessing her figure; they were afraid of her. Every man, including Rea, looked tense and alert.

Rea stood unsteadily. He stepped between her and the lifeless body. He didn’t speak but merely stared at her like all the other men. Her eyes jumped to him. She wanted to beg him to hold her, to chase away what had happened. She wanted Rea to comfort her, to tell her he was there for her.

“Karma?” Rea said her name slowly.

His voice wasn’t more than a whisper of sound, but she felt it in her heart. She could feel the persistent connection that said he’d be there, no matter what. Rea would be there for her. He loved her.

“Kitten?” Again he spoke slowly, like he was trying to soothe a wild animal.

He took one tiny step forward, then another, until he was only a few inches from her. Carefully, with his hands steady, he reached out to her.

Karma looked down at her hands when he reached for them. She realized she was tightly gripping a gun. Where had she gotten it? When?

Wildly, she spun around. She let her eyes return to the dead man on the floor. A perfect bullet hole was in the center of his forehead. What had she done? Tears welled up at the corners of her eyes, but she couldn’t seem to let them fall. Everyone was waiting for her to give up the weapon she still clutched. This was evident without the words being spoken. She didn’t want to let the gun go. That idea frightened her more than anything that had happened so far.

She released the small pistol into Rea’s hand and waited to see what would happen. She had killed a man who worked for Rea. What would Rea’s father say when he found out? What would Rea do?

“Gears,” Rea called to the doctor, who appeared at his side. Karma was stunned to see him. She didn’t even know he’d shown up in the training room. “Take Karma back to my room and check her injuries. Check her memories.” Rea linked his fingers through hers. They rushed through the men who moved out of their way like they were an avalanche.

They got to the far side of the room with Gears following them. Rea opened the door. The hallway looked like a welcoming sanctuary that would let her escape this madness. She turned to Gears, who was now standing next to her. Gears and Rea exchanged a look. The men were silent, which made the training room seem abnormal.

“Gears, I’ll stay here and handle the body. I have to speak to Ken. Take Karma home. I’ll be there soon.” Rea pressed the gun she’d had moments ago into Gears’ hand. Gears looked at the weapon and wagged his head back and forth.

“Back to your room again? Really? Don’t you think you should reconsider that?” Gears pushed the weapon back at Rea. Rea pushed it back again.

“Take her to my room. Do what you have to do to look after her. I’ll tell Ken what happened and have him handle it. I’ll be there soon.”

“I don’t think so.” Gears shoved the gun back again into Rea’s hand. “What if this triggers all her memories? Does Ken know what’s going on? Maybe I should talk to him instead. You go with Karma. I’ll stay.”

Gears’ hands were shaking. He looked like he was scared of going with her. She hated that. He took a step away from her and moved closer to the training room door.

Rea was not to be swayed. He stepped in front of Gears, handing the gun to him one final time.

“I’ll only be a minute. Ken will help me remove the body and talk to the men. He’s efficient.” Rea started to push him out into the hallway. Karma meekly followed, feeling dejected.

“What if she…” Gears trailed off.

“She’ll be fine,” Rea insisted.

Rea returned to the crowd of men around the body. At this point, she didn’t believe him. She thought she’d never be fine again.

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Something Wild This Way Comes

15 May

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

It’s Wild Week here at Lady Smut! We’re celebrating the nomination of my novel, Wild on the Rocks, by InD’Tale Magazine for their prestigious RONE (Reward of Novel Excellence) Award in the category Best Suspense/Thriller: Short.

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The first step of the RONE nomination process is the public voting stage. I ask you, Lady Smutters, to kindly support my book for this award. Please go to http://indtale.com/rone-awards-week-five now to cast your vote for Wild on the Rocks in the Best Suspense/Thriller: Short category.

But wait, there’s more!

Welcome to the Lady Smut Wild Scavenger Hunt!

All week long, the Lady Smut bloggers will be sharing one wild thing they’ve done and one wild thing they’d like to do but haven’t yet. Then, you, lovely Lady Smutters, post in the comments of this post all the “wild” things you hunt down on the Lady Smut blog posts this week. All who comment will then be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card giveaway along with a copy of Wild on the Rocks! You can also be entered for the raffle by posting a screen cap confirmation of your vote for Wild on the Rocks.

And be sure to check in with Lady Smut on Thursday when I’ll be posting a brand new excerpt from Wild on the Rocks!

Something Wild This Way Comes…

In my family and with most of my friends, I’m known as the wild one. I am usually the first one to climb out on the cliff, the first one to ask the question, the one willing to try anything–within reason. The first guy I brought home when I was fourteen wore a leather jacket. My mother took one look at him and said to my father, “we are in trouble”. (BTW the guy turned out to be a total tool and my mother never stop needling me about him.)

Being the designated wild one always amused me because I’ve actually always been the good girl, endeavoring to get it right, follow the rules–and I am always, always afraid. Afraid of doing it wrong, afraid of disapproval, afraid of a conclusion I can’t anticipate or control, afraid of being punished for breaking the rules, however wrong those rules may be, ultimately afraid of “getting in trouble”. My best friend once said “Kiersten wants to be a rebel, but she keeps getting tripped up by the rules,” an eerily accurate description for the dichotomy of my personality: the Wild Good Girl.

Age has helped me get over the idea that being good and following the rules is some kind referendum on my character. A decent part of my adult life has been allowing myself to be free of those rules, or, more specifically, not to allow those rules to keep me from taking risks with long-term benefits for myself simply because they may not be looked upon as the right thing to do and/or may benefit the one over the many. Men make such decisions all the time; it’s expected of them, but when a woman breaks out in such a way, when a woman behaves in a manner traditional ascribe to the man’s role, it’s received with decidedly less favor. Socially, we’re expected to be self-effacing and modest, inclusive and without ambition, nurturing and unselfish. Standing up for ourselves and doing things that ensure our own happiness regardless of the opinions or judgments of those around us takes courage and verve and the ability to live with any potential fallout. It is, in effect, a wild move.

One of the wildest things I’ve done in my life is to travel abroad alone. I’ve done this twice–to Ireland in 1999 and to Italy in 2001 (a few months prior to 9/11)–long before women travelling by themselves became a regular topic in the The New York Times’ Travel Section. I love to travel and wanted particularly to visit both these countries, had longed to do so for many years. But I was never able to find a friend or partner equally ready and/or able to take the trip. So I finally decided, the hell with it. I’ll go on my own then. I was no longer willing not to do something, not to achieve a dream, simply because there was no one to do it with me.

It doesn’t sound very wild, does it? Not in today’s global climate where we’re all interconnect and the world is Twitterfied. But remember, there were no smart phones back then (I left my flip phone at home–both times). I had a digital camera with panoramic capabilities and that was considered pretty damn special. When the loneliness broke me halfway through my first trip, I called my mother from a cell phone booth on the west coast of Ireland–on her AT&T long distance card. Social media did not exist. By the time I got to Italy, Internet cafes were prominent because email was commonplace, but the full might of the Web had yet to become the lifeblood of every home. So stepping off a plane into a country you never before been in where you know no one and, in the one case, don’t speak the language, and you aren’t sure exactly where you’re going or staying from night to night, trust me, it felt pretty wild at the time. These are the things on which episodes for Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders are based.

For the past two years, I’ve been on a journey of physical self-improvement. I didn’t like my life–specifically, the limitations put on it by my physical restrictions–so I decided to change it. It’s an ongoing journey that I often get wrong, but as I walked around downtown Toronto last weekend in the rain, without having to stop and catch my breath, without having to rest every 30 or so feet, without each step being filled with pain and effort, without sweat dripping down my face from the immense effort of walking a straight line, I reveled in getting it right this time. Enough now that I can go back to being more than a bit wild.

So what’s something wild I *want* to do. Well, that list has been getting longer and longer, but top line are two things: sky diving and learning to drive a motorcycle.

I’ve been parasailing and loved it, so sky diving seems my next natural progression. And, I love to fly in planes; how much more awesome to fly in the sky (with a parachute for landing, natch)? As for the motorcycle, remember that first leather-jacket clad boyfriend? Not like this hasn’t been coming for a long time. My love for MC romances is well documented here at Lady Smut, so it’s hardly a surprise. And why ride pinion when you can drive (outside of being able to hold tight to a hot biker, of course)?

With any luck, there’s all sorts of wild out there yet to come for my future.

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Tell me something wild about yourself, some crazy thing you’ve done or have always wanted to do. Be sure to keep track of all the wild goings-on here this week at Lady Smut. And remember to get out the vote by going to http://indtale.com/rone-awards-week-five and voting for Wild on the Rocks!

Follow Lady Smut. We bring a bit of wild to everything we do.

Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten Hallie Krum avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities straight is hard enough work. She writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. Her debut romantic suspense novel, WILD ON THE ROCKS, has been nominated for InD’Tale Magazine’s prestigious RONE award! Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.

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