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Lady Smut is on Vacay!

11 Aug

And we’ll be back soon! Mmmmmmwha! 

Sexy Sunday Snippet: Dancing King by Rayanna James

6 Aug

Rayanna James, right now, right here. This excerpt is from her too hot to handle novella, Dancing King in the Royally Mine anthology, Royally Mine: 22 All New Bad Boy Romance Novellas.

About the book:

Powerful kings. Dirty-talking princes. Insatiable dukes.

They’re ready to rule your heart.

Royally Mine is a sexy collection of bad boy romances featuring HOT royal heroes, brought to you by twenty-two New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling authors. This deliciously naughty bundle of ALL-NEW standalone novellas stars panty-scorching kings, princes, and dukes who are used to being in command. Charge up your e-reader, clear your schedule, and put on your best tiara, because these royal bad boys are ready to conquer your heart while making you blush oh so hard.


Excerpt from Dancing King by Rayanna James (available exclusively in Royally Mine)

She wanted to hit me again, probably more than once. I wanted to kiss her until we both forgot everything we needed to forget. I won.

My lips covered hers in a kiss that was deep and punishing. I closed the space between our bodies, and held her wrist tight against the wall with one hand, while grabbing her thick hips with the other. I used the leverage to pull her to me, smirking when my cock throbbed against the crotch of her jeans.

She kissed me back, using her tongue like a seductive enchantress. When she kissed me like that, all I could think of was how gorgeous those lips would be curled around the tip of my cock while I watched her blow me.

She knew what she was doing to me, and she used it to her advantage.  Before I knew what was happening, her wrist was free, and she slapped me again. At this point, I couldn’t tell if she was still just that angry, or if she just liked it rough.

I didn’t care. I circled both arms around her waist and lifted her easily, while she shrieked in outrage as I tossed her over one shoulder. Small fists pounded my back as I began the long walk back to my room. Maids, groundskeepers, and security officers stared as we passed, but nobody dared say a damn thing. Apparently, my position in the kingdom had gotten out much faster than I had realized it would.

At this moment, the fact pleased me, though I knew it would annoy me later.

“Mazi! Are you crazy? Put me down right this instant, you self-important, Neanderthal bastard! Who do you think you are? You think just because you’re a prince it gives you the right to treat me like this?”

We reached my room then, and I unlocked the door quickly, still keeping a tight grip across her waist, until the door closed behind me.

I kept walking until I reached the middle of the massive suite and then, and only then, did I let her go, dumping her unceremoniously onto the newly made bed.

I had her right where I wanted her. And right where she belonged. Now, I just had to convince her of that.


Pre-order for this awesome collection is now live! Order yours on Amazon US, B&N and iBooks.


Rayanna is a coffee drinking, wine loving, sushi obsessed, knee sock fanatic who works her passions into every story she writes. She resides in Southern Utah with her husband, 2 kids, mother, grandfather, 2 dogs, and a lizard named Leo.

In her spare time, she enjoys celebrating life with good food, good drinks, and good friends.

She also writes kinky romance under the pen name Rayanna Jamison.

Website * Newsletter* Facebook



Sexy Saturday Round Up

5 Aug

Howdy cowgirls! Rope yourself a cuppa joe and gather round this week’s sex-gender-romance campfire.

From Madeline:

For Lexi who blogged about this very thing! From Bust mag: Best TV Abortion portrayals

What does the kink community think of kink apps?

Does playing hard to get ever backfire?

The science of passionate sex.

Sushi date from H-E-L-L! 

I can’t use exclamation points and I am dead inside

Back from Valley Of the Dolls: The sleeping beauty diet

How to argue in a relationship & how NOT to argue

From Elizabeth Shore:

4 ways to make foreplay the best part of sex.

Badass tattoo guru Kat Von D gets ready to launch a vegan shoe collection.

Why are you sharing all kinds of personal details to this hot guy you just met? Because sexual attraction loosens your tongue

Drone Boning. It’s now a thing.

Fidget spinners – not just for kids! Now you can put one up your bum.

15 hilarious tweets by women for women.








Peek at IN HIS HANDS by Adriana Anders

4 Aug

 The rules are simple:
Never speak to outsiders.
Never yearn for something more.

Abby Merkley has been a member of the Church of the Apocalyptic Faith since she was a child, and there’s no way out…until her darkly handsome, brooding neighbor defies the rules and takes her into the safety of his arms.

He should frighten her, but everything inside Abby thrills at Luc Stanek’s rough manners and shockingly gentle touch. He excites her, ignites her, leaves her shaken and wanting more. But evil men follow in her footsteps, and it may take more than one fierce beauty to defend her loving beast.







“Kiss me,” she whispered, full of the knowledge that this could well be the end. What if he doesn’t want this?

She watched as he reached out to graze her dress with his fingers. Just the fabric, not the body beneath, but even that was heady, different. New.

“You want this.” It wasn’t quite a question. If anything, the words came out disbelieving.

“I want you.”

That did it. Whatever it was. Like they’d busted through their shell, only it was more like a dam had blown, and the man she’d known until this moment—quiet, contained, restrained—transformed into something wild. Unleashed.

Several feet away one moment, the next they collided.

It felt like falling, inside and out, a fatalistic succumbing. She could barely contain a sob when his skin finally touched hers, his lips moved to her neck, his hands on her shoulders. One hand went to her nape, cupping, cradling, but firm as well. And his face, as it made its way from the hollow beneath her ear, up and over her jaw, her cheek, to her mouth… Gracious, the man was drinking her in, learning her, smelling her.

And she wanted to do the same to him.

By the time his lips made it to hers, she thought she’d be ready for it. She was wet between her legs like she’d never been in her life, and heavy, too heavy to move.

Only somehow, her hips were doing a dance all on their own, tilting toward him.

He stopped right before her mouth. “You want this, Abby?” His whispered words felt wrenched from his massive frame, each one a hot little brand against her face.

“I’m afraid,” she whispered in his ear.

He stilled. “Of me?”

“Goodness, no.” She almost laughed. “I’m afraid of what God’ll think.”

“Of this?” He pulled back and frowned. “A kiss?”

It might sound absurd when he said it like that, but they couldn’t all be wrong, could they? Mama and Isaiah, Hamish and the other folks?

And was this really just a kiss? That hardly seemed possible.

She couldn’t think straight with the smell of him so close. Like nothing she’d experienced, it was heady and intriguing, and all she could think was This is what a real man smells like.

“What happens, over there, if you do something sinful?”

“You’re punished.”

“By who? God or the man who leads the Church?”

Weren’t they one and the same? “Guess I’m not sure anymore.”

“We shouldn’t do this, then,” he said, running the back of his hand over her cheek and behind her ear, where his fingers sifted through her hair. “I don’t want to hurt you, Abby.” He sounded tortured. Was this the punishment—this strange, frenzied fluttering, this agony of need? “I’ve never…I’ve never been with someone like you.”

“Someone like me?”

Innocente.” The word, his accent, the strain of his voice—all of it built and built until she could barely breathe. Her lungs were so full, she’d die if something didn’t ease the pressure.

Tell me it’s wrong, she prayed. Show me a sign.

“Just ’cause I haven’t done things doesn’t mean I haven’t thought of them.”

Sexy Sunday Snippet: Jared, The Kings of Guardian series, by Kris Michaels

30 Jul

This week we have a hot bit from Book 5 of Kris Michaels’ The Kings of Guardian series.

About the book:

The jagged line between love and hate is paper thin and razor sharp. Pushing Christian across that line severs him from Jared’s life…until fate steps in giving Jared one last chance.

Jared King had endured more than the normal amount of danger in his life.

He’d jumped from planes into hot landing zones, been shot at, almost blown up—twice, damn near killed more times than he cared to remember. Yet, nothing in his past compared to the danger of admitting his feelings for Christian Koehler. When Jared pushed Christian away too hard, once too often, the young man finally left and took Jared’s heart with him.

Once upon a time, Christian Koehler had idolized Jared King. But after two years of the arrogant man’s hot and cold mind games, Christian avoided the sexy Guardian like the plague. The jagged line between love and hate was paper thin and razor sharp, and Jared had pushed Christian across that line, with prejudice.

When Christian discovers what he believes is a common thread in several disappearances of the homeless and at-risk teens in his area, he immediately tells his superiors. But neither his employer nor the D.C. cops believe the missing children are connected. Desperate to find out the truth, Christian swallows his pride and returns to the Kings and Guardian for help.

Jared seizes the opportunity to investigate the missing children and the unexpected chance to once again be part of Christian’s life. What he finds leads to a tempest of deceit, danger and intrigue that pulls Christian back into Jared’s world.

This time, Jared vows to fight to keep Christian with him forever—no matter the cost.


Book excerpt:

Christian woke to a heavy muscled arm over his hip. Jared’s hot breath tickled his shoulder.  His body ached with the echoes of last night’s reality-bending sex. He always knew they had chemistry, but what they shared last night had gone beyond the limits of Christian’s imagination. Jared was a considerate lover.  The man’s girth would wreck anyone, but he was gentle, careful and deliberate with his preparation.  Before he’d let exhaustion claim him, Jared had ensured Christian was clean and comfortable. This side of Jared fascinated him. The man was a myriad of personalities, but the whole of the man laid Christian’s heart and soul bare. He’d never be able to walk away from Jared King. He belonged to this man. It was as if it was written in his genetic code.  He wasn’t whole unless he was with the man.

Christian took a deep breath and contemplated that shocking thought.  He knew who he was. He was the product of a fucked up childhood, true, but he was a fighter and a survivor. He worked at a job he loved, but in every aspect of his life, some part of him was missing. Jared filled those misshapen, oddly formed holes. Christian ran his fingers up and down Jared’s arm.  Even after all the shit during the last three years, right now…well, hell, Jared made him happy. Damn, he never thought he’d say that, especially after the fucked up way they started.

“You’re thinking too hard.”  Jared tightened his arm and pulled Christian back into his chest.

Christian chuckled and pushed back on the semi-hard cock growing between his butt cheeks. “Did you say hard?”

Jared laughed and kissed his shoulder where it joined his neck. Gooseflesh formed at the scrape of his morning beard and a shiver ran down his spine. That earned a growl from his lover. “Don’t move, babe.”

Babe. Christian’s mind stopped functioning for a minute at both the command and the endearment. He fell into those words and soaked in the intimacy that watered a place in his soul he’d thought would always be parched.  The seed of hope that Jared had sewn when he begged for a chance had taken hold and was growing.

Jared pulled away. A rush of cooler air chilled Christian’s back. The bed dipped again, and Jared’s warmth returned. He heard the crinkle of a condom packet and then the snick of the lube bottle. Jared tucked up behind him again and resumed his position wrapped around Christian before he whispered, “Lift this leg toward your chest.”  He tapped the thigh of his top leg.

He lay on his side with Jared’s upper arm under his head. He grasped at the muscled forearm that held him to Jared’s chest and lifted into the position Jared requested.  Fingers worked his body, coaxing and relaxing him as Jared’s mouth, and tongue danced over his skin in a barrage of feather light kisses and caresses.

He was tender from last night and the pressure of Jared’s hard cock hurt when the wide shaft pushed through the tight ring of muscles. At his hiss of discomfort, Jared froze his advance and once again began kissing Christian wherever he could reach him—his back, shoulders, and neck. The warmth and attention of Jared’s tongue and lips pulled him away from the pain and gave his body the time it needed to once again accept Jared’s size.  He pushed back and moaned when the pain eased. Intense pressure filled him when Jared thrust forward and seated inside him in one slow, languid motion.

“Fuck, you feel so good.”  Jared exhaled the words, pushing in as deep as he could go.

Jared’s cock slid up against Christian’s prostate, and his world dimmed to the feeling of just the two of them…to the sensations and emotions that swirled and combined taking a firm hold inside him.  Jared’s gentle caresses teased and slowly stoked the fire he’d started deep within.  Fingertips teased his hardened nipples and sent rivulets of pleasure to every fiber of his body. His cock strained with each firm push of Jared’s hips, each soft caress of his lover’s lips or scrape of Jared’s beard.  Christian reached down to stroke himself, but Jared’s hand blocked him.

“No, I want you to come from just me inside you.”  Oh. Fuck.

Jared’s hips continued in the slow slide and retreat. Christian grasped Jared’s hand and threaded their fingers together.  He needed the connection, the reassurance.  This wasn’t just sex and the depth of the emotions he felt slammed into him with the force of a wrecking ball.  He closed his eyes and relaxed back into Jared’s embrace.  He felt wrapped up in the man that was making love to him. He knew he couldn’t extradite himself from the almost overwhelming experience.

“I love you.”  His words fell like a prayer—reverent and honest.  Jared’s lips sought his. The kiss was sideways and sloppy, but stripped bare and genuine. The passion that built between them was no less than last night, but the intensity brought on by the slow burn Jared currently stoked, ramped Christian’s need to an unprecedented fervor.

Jared slowed the kiss and pulled away barely separating their lips. “You’re mine, Christian. I’ll never let you go. You’re my heart, and I’ll cherish the chance you’ve given me. Forever.”


Jared is available now at all major outlets. Find your copy on Amazon, B&N, iBooks and Kobo.


Kris Michaels believes in meeting life head on…as long as there is an ample supply of coffee, whiskey and wine! She believes love makes this crazy life worthwhile. When she isn’t writing Kris enjoys a busy life with her husband, the cop, and her two wonderful sons. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter and check out her webpage.

Sexy Saturday Round Up

29 Jul

By Elizabeth Shore

We’re into August next week, dear friends. Where is the time going? Don’t let summer slip into fall without doing something fantastically fun – including catching up on some awesome reads that your intrepid Lady Smut has gathered for your enjoyment. So kick off your shoes, grab a piña colada, and savor the lazy, hazy summertime weekend.

Who makes the best lovers on Game of Thrones? Why, male virgins, of course.

British man decides the cure for boredom while his wife grocery shops is to masturbate.

Go ahead, get your grumpy on. Why science tells us that being in a bad mood can be good.

Idris Elba! Matthew McConaughey! The Dark Tower, based on Stephen King’s epic 8-book series, is just one of the exciting books-into-movies out now or coming your way soon.

Is it hot to have a bunch of paintings of naked people?

What exactly does it feel like to squirt?

One woman’s answer to receiving a guy’s unsolicited dick pic – sending it to his mom.

You say your partner has a really unattractive sex face? Here’s what to do – besides just closing your eyes.

Holy smokin’ nudity! A video of hot, naked, romance book cover guys. Grab the popcorn and settle in.

The awesome things that can come from dating a younger guy.

Leave it to the fashion world to give us the ultimate in WTF-ery: zits are now cool.







Guest Post: M. O’Keefe on Dark Romance and Sexbots

24 Jul

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

Happy Monday Lady Smutters! I greet you from not-so-sunny Orlando where I am days away from the 2017 RWA national conference. Today, we have a real treat for you here. My friend, Molly O’Keefe, who also writes dark romance as M. O’Keefe, is visiting Lady Smut today to talk about bad sexbots, making sex integral to the character, and her journey through different genres of romance novels…getting ever sexier as she goes along. She also has 5 free copies of her book, Lost Without You, for 5 lucky commenters. Read on for more details.

Welcome Molly!

Guest Author Molly O’Keefe

This spring, I was asked by a reader why my latest books had gotten so dark, the content so sexual. It wasn’t a criticism, just a question. And I don’t think I gave her a clear answer, because honestly, I hadn’t thought about it. I was well-aware some of my books were darker than others, but had they all become so dark? Why was I drawn to these darker stories? This deeper sexual content?

I’ve been writing romance for nearly 20 years. I was very much a young woman when I started. I was 25-years-old and keenly aware of the fact that my mother would be reading my books. A few of my friend’s parents. My high school teachers! In terms of writing sex scenes–it was a very limiting mind set for me.  There was a lot of internal cringing while I wrote those early books. A lot of fretting about what would my mother think?

And frankly–I didn’t know how to write sex scenes. How to make them pivotal to character growth or plot development. I make a joke about it now, how I worried so much about creating fully-developed characters, but once they got into the sex scene they were like sex-bots. One dimensional and mechanical. Bad, in a word. Really bad sex robots.

Click on image to buy!

Then I found the books of Anne Calhoun and Cara McKenna and Charlotte Stein, and it felt like my world got blown open. Make the sex matter to the characters, make it difficult and fraught with tension and the sex becomes not just interesting but INTEGRAL. To read, yes, hopefully. That’s always the hope.

But to write! How fun, how deeply intriguing to dig into the characters through their feelings about sex. Their hang ups and their turn-ons. Writing Bad Neighbor, which in a lot of ways is just about a woman’s sexual awakening with a slightly dangerous next door neighbor, was one of my favorite writing experiences to date.

Everything I Left Unsaid, which is increasingly dirty phone sex for thousands of words, should have been harder than it was, but when each sexual experience unlocked something about my heroine, I’m not kidding, the book practically wrote itself.

Very few people are truly ambivalent about sex. Most people have some kind of negative or positive feeling about their past, their bodies, what they perceive to be dirty or shameful. About what they want sex to be. Or don’t want it to be.

For me these have become the questions that I ask my characters. That I try to answer in my books. Maybe it’s because I’m 40 now? And 40 is so much more liberating than 25? I’m not sure. But I feel like part of my interest in these stories is simply the product of growing up. Of seeing a wider world, understanding that very little is black and white, and that it is the gray areas that make life and stories interesting. Make us humans more human.

I like characters whose backs are against the wall and are making life-altering decisions. Bad decisions, maybe? But decisions about survival. About wanting more than they have. And being desperate for something better.  My new series–The Debt–is about five foster kids who save one of their own from their abusive foster father. But instead of going to prison, they find themselves indebted to a powerful man with mysterious motives. And no one knows if they’ve been given a second chance or a life sentence.

Click on image to buy!

In every single romance in this series, my characters are desperate for something. Truth. Love. Revenge. Redemption. And they make dangerous choices to get those things they want. Sometimes criminal, sometimes immoral, but never, ever, amoral. They do bad things and they know it and they wrestle with it.

The wrestling with it is what feels human to me. Feels interesting. Well, that and the sex.

So, how about you? Do you like your romances darker? Why or why not? What has been one of your favorite dark romances?

Molly O’Keefe is an award-winning author of over 30 romance novels. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her family and the largest heap of dirty laundry in North America. Sign up for her newsletter to get release day news, exclusive excerpts, sale announcements and in-depth author interviews!  Found our more at

Now available exclusively from Kindle. Click image to buy!

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, is a finalist for InD’Tale Magazine’s prestigious RONE award! Visit her website at and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.

We Meet At Last! Lady Smut Authors at RWA 2017

21 Jul

My fellow vaginas! There’s no experience quite like connecting with a Lady Smut author in person.

Our fabulous authors ALEXA DAY, ISABELLE DRAKE, G. G. ANDREW and KIERSTEN HALLIE KRUM are all going to be at RWA in Orlando, FL.  If you are a devoted Lady Smut reader and want to meet them at the convention, don’t be shy.  Here’s how you can connect with them via social media and make that magic moment happen!

Use one of the social media links below to make contact:











Or leave a comment below!

We’ll see you there– xoxo

Welcome to On Fire Week at Lady Smut!

17 Jul

by Rachel Kramer Bussel

Welcome to On Fire week, where we’re celebrating the release of my new Cleis Press anthology On Fire: Erotic Romance Stories, which comes out as an ebook tomorrow, and a print book on August 8th. And stay tuned for the audiobook, which will be narrated by the fabulous author and podcaster Rose Caraway.

I’ll be sharing more later in the week, including a very sexy excerpt from the book, but I wanted to give you a little glimpse into this sexy book, which features couples having all sorts of erotic adventures, from exploring a stocking fetish to planning an orgy to diving into cherished BDSM rituals.

This is the official blurb:

In On Fire, today’s top erotic authors take us inside the passions of couples who go above and beyond in pursuit of sexual and romantic satisfaction, from kink to fantasies to outrageous, stimulating adventures. You’ll treasure the stocking fetish in “Sensitive to the Touch” and travel to “A Place as Beautiful as This.” You’ll go “Beyond the Blindfold,” find out what lurks in the “Art of Darkness,” delight in discovering “The Sweetest Thing,” and observe a feisty femdom couple in “Dreams Made Flesh.” These steamy stories by Kristina Wright, Delilah Devlin, Giselle Renarde, Kay Jaybee, Victoria Blisse, Jade A. Waters and others are perfect bedtime reads for your lover or for your own pleasure.

Here’s my introduction to the book, and keep reading Lady Smut all week for all our fiery posts!

Introduction: Fired Up

What does it mean to be On Fire? The characters in these stories know! It means to burn with need for your partner, to be willing to do anything for them, to take risks because you know they’ll be there to catch you. In this collection of erotic romance stories, you’ll read about all kinds of ways that desire plays out between couples. They know each other inside and out, know what makes the other tick, and use that to their advantage. When the narrator of Jacqueline Applebee’s “Approaching Hardcore” reveals, “I’m a filthy girl. My husband, Dan, always says so,” we know that we’re in for a treat as we find out just how filthy she can be.

Yet these stories are both tender and dirty, sometimes within the span of the same page. That is the beauty of these erotic storytellers—they don’t skimp on love or lust, instead entwining them in tales that will make your pulse pound, your heart race and your breath sigh. Some of these are about new lovers, like the one who helps Deb get over her ex in “Just Knowing.” Some are about long-term relationships where a new revelation leads to the type of intimacy neither partner had imagined, such as in “Every Second of It,” by Lynn Townsend, in which she writes, “Twenty-three years of marriage, and if he knew that she masturbated, he had never mentioned it. Until now. ”On the opposite end of the spectrum are couples who know each other so well, they know exactly how a command like “No underwear” will go over when given from a Dom to his submissive in “My Wife, My Sub, My Love,” by Victoria Blisse.

The couples here also learn how to understand and embrace each other over time, using the power of love and trust to further their sexual and emotional closeness, as is the case in the fun “Sensitive to the Touch,” by Donna George Storey, about a stocking fetish fulfilled. These are transformative, powerful moments that I hope will move you as much as they did me.

Sometimes the most wondrous thing is for lovers to watch their partners with someone else, with their full approval and consent—the couple made all the stronger for their extracurricular passions. This is the case in the paranormal “Masquerade,” by Angela R. Sargenti, and with the swingers in my own “The Dance.”

However these couplings happen, whatever fire warms them from the inside out, transferring from one person to another, all of these tales are ones that are daring, taking risks of the body and soul, in order to reach a new height of pleasure.

Rachel Kramer Bussel

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Intrigued? You can buy On Fire for Kindle, Nook, Google Play, iBooks or Kobo.


Rachel Kramer Bussel ( has edited over 60 anthologies, including Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1 and 2, Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica, Begging for It, Fast Girls, The Big Book of Orgasms and more. She writes widely about sex, dating, books and pop culture and teaches erotica writing classes around the country and online. Follow her @raquelita on Twitter and find out more about her classes and consulting at You can follow Rachel on BookBub to get notified about new releases and ebook sales.

Sexy Sunday Snippet: A Heart’s Desire by Kris Michaels

16 Jul

This week we have some hotness from Kris Michaels, the alter ego of a happily married wife and mother who loves to write erotic romance with a twist of military flavor.

About the book:

Agent McKenzie is nobody’s ‘yes’ boy and has the letters of reprimand to prove it. He smells the stink of political maneuvering in this case, and he can see the handwriting on the wall. Hell, the words are three feet high and written in crayon. Someone in his own agency wants a target on Liam Mercier’s back, but McKenzie would be damned if he’d put one there. The damaged man currently in his custody needs his protection, not manipulation. That’s why he’d agreed to use a safe house that was off the grid. Throwing away his rarely used FBI procedure book had nothing to do with the protective urges he felt around Liam. Nope, not a damn thing to do with heavy doses of desire, or spikes of lust. He was just doing his job, after all, he has a killer to catch and a victim to keep alive. Protecting his best bet of taking that sick bastard down was his civic duty.

Forced to face the nightmares of his past or lose his pension, Liam Mercier did the only thing he could do. He walked back into his personal hell. The man assigned to protect him is everything Liam wanted and needed—four years ago. Leaving the small island of sanity he’d been existing on could cost him everything. But being hunted by a genius, sadistic killer without the protection of the sexy, intense, agent was a guaranteed death sentence. Fate had dictated Liam’s course four years ago. The only thing he questioned was when his killer going to finish his work.


Book excerpt:

Steele pounded up the staircase. Worry tore at him. For the last four days, Liam had been withdrawn. He’d claimed it was a side effect of going off his medication, but in his gut, Steele knew better. Since their first morning together, Liam hadn’t slept more than a handful of hours and barely talked, other than short replies to direct questions. The man literally ran himself into the ground. The intensity of facing what Miller did, not only to him, but also to each of his victims, nearly consumed Liam. Running seemed to help him cope, but without proper sleep and food, Steele honestly didn’t know how much longer Liam could go on.

When Steele tried to comfort him, he’d pulled away, become distant. Doc Morgan said it was a typical response to the stress. She’d held extra sessions with Liam to help him cope with the memories the autopsy reports had dredged up. She’d told Steele that giving the briefing would be a big milestone in his recovery.

Steele wouldn’t classify the briefing today as big. Massive, gigantic, or colossal perhaps. Big didn’t hold a candle to what Liam was dealing with right now. Alone.

Steele knuckled Liam’s bedroom door, opening it without waiting. The room was empty but the sound of the shower drew Steele toward the en-suite bath. Steam billowed out as Steele moved in.

Liam stood naked beside the shower. Silver and red scars decorated his body in a sick twist of ivy and heart scrollwork. Seeing the scars in the daylight and in their entirety filled Steele with anguish and rage.

“This is what he did.” Liam focused on the falling water.

“I know.”

“He took my dignity, my sense of safety. He raped me, physically and mentally. The others didn’t live. He told me I was his special gift from God. He believes we are meant to be together for eternity. He won’t stop. He’ll come for me.” Liam lifted his gaze and Steele witnessed the devastation held in the chocolate-brown depths. “By the time they deciphered my notes and found me, I’d given up. I wanted Miller. When he… I wanted to please him, to be good enough for him so he’d stop the pain. I wanted to be what he said I was.” Liam’s voice broke into a sob.

Steele shut the bathroom door and stripped out of his suit, placing his automatic on top of the hurriedly shed clothes before he crossed the room. His hand fell on Liam’s shoulder but the anguished man didn’t move or acknowledge the touch. “Liam, let me help.” Steele brought his chest to Liam’s back and peppered his shoulders with quick, light kisses.

Liam closed his eyes and nodded his head. A slow, fat tear trickled down his cheek.

Steele continued pouring attention on the man. “Do you know what you are?”

“An abomination. A sick, twisted abomination.” Another tear dropped, traveling the same path.

Steele paused at the comments. Why would Liam think he was the abomination? Miller was the fucking animal. He turned the shattered man toward the bathroom’s full-length mirrored wall. “No, you’re a survivor. Open your eyes, angel.”

Liam opened his eyes and winced at the reflection. Steele slid both arms around Liam’s waist. He belted the shorter man to his body with one arm and snaked the other up his chest, lightly grasping Liam’s jaw. He leaned forward and whispered in his ear. “You’re strong. So damn strong, babe. You did what you had to do to survive. The man you have trapped in your memory isn’t the man I see. You are neither his creation nor his exhibit. You are bruised and a little broken, but you are so much more than what he did to you.”

“I’m not. How can you say that? How can you even touch me?” The anguish and sorrow behind the question nearly floored Steele.

“Because I see you, not what he did to you. You are an amazing man. Dedicated, caring, and so damn strong. When we were together I saw the hot flush of arousal build over your chest and creep up you neck. I saw your eyes darken into the most intense shade of brown, so dark with desire that they’re almost black. And that mouth… Fuck, you are every gay man and straight woman’s dream.”


A Heart’s Desire is available on Amazon and free on Kindle Unlimited.


Kris Michaels believes in meeting life head on…as long as there is an ample supply of coffee, whiskey and wine! She believes love makes this crazy life worthwhile. When she isn’t writing Kris enjoys a busy life with her husband, the cop, and her two wonderful sons. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter and check out her webpage.


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