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This is Not Why We Need Diverse Romance–but it Sure Helps

24 Apr

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

There are a lot of reasons why #WeNeedDiverseRomance. We here at Lady Smut have discussed aspects of diverse romance regularly, whether it’s Alexa Day discussing the racial- and feminist-line blurring TV show Pitch or her examination of interracial romance through history or Thien-Kim Lam’s talking about #OwnVoices during #ReadHotter month, or my own look at the women who make America great, including the former first lady and the first Latina senator elected to office. Then there was Elizabeth Shore’s interview with Vikkas Bhardwaj who’s burning up romance covers and not only those covers with Indian or dark-skinned heroes. He’s challenging the need for white-washed heroes on romance covers regardless of the hero’s description on the pages inside. And we thank him for that. Oh do we ever.

We work to be a fuller, more rounded representative community here and not only when it comes to sexuality. I thought of that earlier today while trolling through Facebook (as one does on a Sunday afternoon) when I caught romance writer Zoe York’s post of a link to this delicious feature:

Gorgeous Asian Hunks Wearing Only Iconic Costumes Will Make You Thirsty AF

Well now, thought I, here’s my Lady Smut post for tomorrow.

Why yes, please do tell me more.

Whether they’re shirtless food vendors from Malaysia or smoking hot firefighters in Taiwan hosing themselves down with water, we here at NextShark can appreciate a hunky Asian man.

Thai portfolio service SKiiNMODE takes sexy snapshots that combine Asian culture with some of the continent’s most attractive guys, RocketNews24 noted.

Um, gulp.

Now, I myself, personally, am not a huge fangrrl of Asian cultural. I don’t like Asian food, or more accurately, my body doesn’t like it, and I seriously dislike anime. My cultural jones is firmly Celt and  British situated, for the most part. Thankfully, food and anime are only two minor aspects of Asian culture. There’s a ton of things to explore as with any culture, and I readily admit that samuri and geisha history fascinate me. I’m also fond of a great deal of Asian artwork and architecture.

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My romantic suspense addiction is likewise intrigued by the whole mafia/Yakuza genre. Criminal clubs/gangs/societies trip my trigger, I won’t lie, which helps explain my MC romance addiction. One of the things I loved about Anne Stuart’s fantastic dark romance, ICE series (which, if you haven’t yet, you must read–in fact, I just interrupted writing this post to one-click the hell outta the series and I already have every single book on my bookshelf in paperback) is her Asian bad ass heroes. Fire and Ice, book five of the series, has a defrocked Yakuza hero and takes place entirely in Japan, a culture of which the author is an admitted devotee. Stuart doesn’t take the tourist angle here either. Pursued by the bad guys, the hero and heroine go outside Tokoyo into the nitty-gritty aspects of Japanese society you can’t find on the NatGeo channel or with hours of devotion to Mortal Combat or Bruce Lee movies. I was just as intrigued by the Japanese culture Stuart utilized as I was by the story.

But holy hotness, SKiiNMODE. I think you just broke me.

Any of these chiseled examples of male perfection could easily storm the heart and attitude of the sassiest romance heroine regardless of cultural association on either person’s part. SKiNMODE also features gender-bending ideas for Ghost in the Shell geisha assassins and a male Elektra that would revive that sad franchise with one steely look. And who knew Power Rangers could exude so much sizzling sexuality. Morph me.

You can follow SKiNMODE on Instagram and Facebook and, bless them, there’s even a Tumblr page that gives a whole new meaning to NSFW.

You can thank me later.

Don’t forget that we’re going to be at RT this year.

Follow Lady Smut. We’ll happily morph all your cultural jones.

It’s coming fast. No, not the virgin heroine’s first orgasm. Rather, the Lady Smut big RT event is less than two weeks away! Join LadySmut bloggers at the RT Booklovers Convention May 3-7, especially at our super special reader event – Never Have You Ever, Ever, Ever. Win crowns, fetish toys, books and more! Goodybags to first 100 people in line! Wednesday, May 3 at 1:30.

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 now available. Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum

Exclusively from Kindle. Click image to buy!

Do You Dig It In The Dark?

12 Dec

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the new TV show Good Behavior, calling it the dark romance you should be watching. Here’s what I said then about the dark romance:

Lately in Romancelandia, the dark romance has become a thing–or a thing again as some form of dark romance has been around since the late eighteenth century. In its current conception, these are romances where the hero is a mobster or something nefarious and comes into the heroine’s orbit through some criminal manner. He proceeds to do some pretty terrible things to the heroine, despite having feelings for her. Often, these terrible things are sexual and there’s a lot of explanation about how the heroine shouldn’t like what she’s doing and oh this is so bad but she can’t stop it or A Bad Thing will happen. Things proceed, bad guys often show up putting lives in danger, feelings grow, behavior is forgiven, lather, rinse, repeat. I’m blasé about this sub genre because to me, it smacks too much of the rapetastic, forced seduction, Great Misunderstanding historicals of the 80s and early 90s only updated from disenfranchised Scottish bandits and English roses to Russian Bratva and the daughters of their mortal enemy. That’s not to say I don’t like romances with heroes and heroines of dubious character and motivation. Done right, I *love* them, but I’ve yet to find a “dark romance” that makes me care enough to send my very best. Even after reading all of the Dark Mafia Prince books and Kresley Cole’s The Master, The Professional, and The Player series, both highly recommend dark romances series, yet I remain unmoved. Though I will add the caveat that the biker romance sub genre could absolutely be seen as dark romances and, as any regular Lady Smut reader will know by now, with those books I am totally on board.

I wanted to talk more about dark romances today, because I’m still doing the facial expression of “da hell?” when I read them. I can’t figure out why it’s not clicking for me. It should be my crack–bad boys struggling with angst about their feelings for the woman who’s making them question everything in their lives plus a bunch of suspense stuff thrown in for shits and giggles.

But it’s not.

First, let’s figure out what we’re talking about when we say ‘dark romance’. A quick Google search brings up a bunch of links to Goodreads list of dark romances, but few clear defining descriptions. I found this analysis of what makes a dark romance from romance writer Roni Loren:

“Now, the definition of ‘dark’ can vary widely from person to person. A really gritty romantic suspense could be considered dark if you focus on the fact that there is violence or murders or serial killers. But that’s not what I’m talking about today. For my purposes, a dark romance is one that has an anti-hero, a villain type as the lead guy, and/or completely mindf*cks you. The usual lines of morality are blurred. These are the guys who you really wouldn’t want to mess with in real life, but who are so interesting to read about…

When I read these, I have that thought–wow, I really shouldn’t be rooting for these people or liking this hero or wanting this person to get the girl. But I do. And I can’t help it…I love when an author can pull that off.”

Now, I dig me an anti-hero, no question. But I fail to see the pleasure in reading about mindf*cks making for relationship exploration. Roni Loren says she shouldn’t be wanting for this person to get the girl or rooting for these kinds of people, but she is anyway.

I very much am not.

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I read the Mafia Prince series on the strong, strong recommendation of fellow romance writer pal. “Oh my God, how are *you* of all people not reading this yet?!” she said to me when I admitted to never having heard of the series. Soon after, I downloaded Dark Mafia Prince. Russian mobsters, check. Brothers split apart at a young age when their parents were murdered, check. History between the H&H that goes back to childhood, check. A blood feud with another mafia family, check. An actual prophecy, check, check, and mate. Sounds like catnip to me. Honestly, I should *love* this series.

And I don’t. It’s perfectly serviceable. It’s not a *bad* series. It’s actually really well composed and densely plotted. There are a number of aspects I found unique and gutsy–no clichés need apply here. There’s even a thoroughly three-dimensional series villain who reportedly is getting his own book later on (possibly next) and who has a particularly clever quirk that feels wholly original and organic. Even when this series is “out there” it’s believable “out there”. But I didn’t finish the books and want to read them again. I wanted to read the next one because I’m pathologically incapable of not knowing what happens next. But I wasn’t jonesing for a reread and I don’t much remember the particulars of either three books in the series.

My love for certain biker romance series is well-documented on this site, but I’ve read a lot of biker romances I haven’t written about because I didn’t have that same mad, crackalicious love for them as I do for, say, Kristen Ashley’s Chaos men or Megan Crane’s post-apocalyptic Vikings or bayou bikers. There’s an argument to be made that these “heroes” are just as anti-heroic as any dark romance mafioso (there does seem to be a prevalence of made men in these dark romances.)

I felt the same way for Kresley Cole’s erotic, dark romance series, the Game Maker series. Here again we have somewhat estranged, Russian billionaire brothers with variant mafia ties and a serious preference for control. Like, pathological preference. And yet, my general response was meh when not eye-rolling at specifics. Not pain and dominance isn’t my thing, in life or on the page, which makes some of my reading choices odd given their tendency for both these things. (I’m thinking my re-read of the Kit Rocha opus applies here). In my defense, it’s hard to find an erotic romance these days that doesn’t feature such proclivities.

the-player

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One caveat here: I really liked The Player. I think that’s because it was the brother with the least megalomania tendencies, and likely because of the heroine’s modern-day, gypsy thieves family (a sub genre for which I’ve long had an inexplicable fondness, probably due to the Irish Travelers ties), but also for the Big Reveal at the end that, if not 100% a surprise (surely, at least 95%), was absolutely perfectly crafted and seamlessly woven from the start. Actually, like the Dark Prince books, each of the Game Maker novels are perfectly good novels in the dark romance genre. I’m just meh overall. But I don’t have the urge to return for a reread or stay in these worlds.

Which continues to perplex me, because, really, this should be right in my wheelhouse.

I think it’s because I see in these stories resonance of the rape-fantasies of the 80s heyday of historical romance. Perhaps this is simply because I just read the in-depth Jezebel article on the same (which I highly recommend). But, for example, in Dark Mafia Prince, the “hero” holds a gun to the heroine’s head while she gives him a forced blow job (which, eventually, turns her on, of course) while he films it with his phone. This is so he can send it to her father (she’s his hostage against his enemy) as proof of what he’ll do to her if said father doesn’t meet his demands. Hey, it’s better than the original plan, to cut off one of her fingers and send that instead. The guy’s not a total psychopath, obviously. He’s trying to preserve her finger! What a prince!

Guys, this is foreplay for our H&H. No. Just no. When I told my friend who’d recommended the series that I’d read it and didn’t love it, she immediately referenced the blow job scene as being seriously hot. I honestly couldn’t remember the scene until prompted. Guess I wanted to block it from my memory.

But, as I mentioned briefly in that outtake at the start of this post, how is such a scene any different from the forced seductions of those original 80s bodice-rippers? How is being forced to give a blow job at gunpoint to save a digit (and not his favorite digit either) any different? Look, there are a lot of books I’ve read with a lot of highly questionable and often potentially offensive activities that, safe behind the pages of fiction, I’ve found to be seriously hot. My feminism is strong and durable, but not so naïve as to be unable to acknowledge the fact that sometimes the strong attraction is because it’s forbidden. Taboo. That’s hardly new. But there’s taboo and then there’s “oh hell no!” and–sorry, not sorry–blow jobs at gun point are the latter.

Guess I’m not dark enough for the dark romance.

What do you think? Have you dabbled in the dark romance sub genre? Do you dig it in the dark?

Follow Lady Smut. We’ll show you all our dark places.

 

Have a Taste of Wild: Simply Sinful Giveaway

25 Nov

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

Black Friday may be winding down, but it’s about to get wild here at Lady Smut as our Simply Sinful Giveaway continues with a taste of Wild on the Rocks.

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And I do mean a taste as last weekend, at my request, a master mixologist concocted an original Wild on the Rocks cocktail and lemme tell you, it was lush. What’s in it? Oh how I wish I could tell you…and be able to recreate it myself. But il maestro refused to divulge his secrets–though he did reveal several of the ingredients were no longer available in the United States.

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The makings of Wild on the Rocks, the cocktail.

Instead, to satisfy your new sprouted craving for wild–and whet your appetite for more—take a sip of some of the sexy you’ll find in my novel, Wild on the Rocks. In this very sexy excerpt, divorced couple Quin and Jasper are having a bit of emotions-free, ex-sex–or at least, that was the plan…

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Bottoms up!

Be sure to remember to comment on any (or all) of the excerpts today in order to be eligible to win our dangerously sinful Black Friday “Basket of Sin” giveaway basket. Check back in tomorrow (that’s Saturday, in case you have shopping blackout and lose track of the days) when we announce the winner!

 

 

WILD ON THE ROCKS

Wine comes in at the mouth

And love comes in at the eye;

That’s all we shall know for truth

Before we grow old and die.

I lift the glass to my mouth,

I look at you, and I sigh.

—W.B. Yeats

A Kindle exclusive. Click image to buy!

Now available exclusively from Kindle. Click image to buy!

I missed you too.

Not since he’d received his trident had four words meant so much to Jasper.

“Quinn,” he said but she kissed him before he’d finished her name. He expected the push and pull of her usual aggression, couldn’t wait to suit up for that hot battle again, but she surprised him, licking her bottom lip so her tongue slipped sweetly against his, teasing him with a taste of her. He groaned and felt her lips tip up before he took over, kissing her deep and wet and long as he lifted her off her feet and backed her up. He put a knee in the bed to lower her back down to the mattress, back again beneath him, all the while kissing her like he’d never get enough.

He’d been wrong earlier. This first time, they were going to take it slow after all.

His mouth trailed down over her chin to nip playfully at her throat. He chuckled low when her breath stuttered over an exhale. “You always were sensitive here,” he remembered.

She swallowed hard. “Not only there.”

He shifted down to the valley formed by the opened buttons of her top. “Here too,” he agreed, brushing his mouth over the mounds of her breasts that plumped up out of her bra. Swiftly, he unfastened the remaining buttons until he could spread the panels of her tuxedo shirt wide.

Beautiful.

He slipped his hands to the middle of her back to arch her up like an offering so he could tug her bra aside with his teeth. Her neck stretched back on the pillows and she moaned deep and long when his mouth engulfed her nipple.

It was better than any memory. She was better than any dream, even the ones he’d had of her, and boy, had he dreamed of Quinn. Hot, filthy, body-draining dreams that’d woke him in the middle of the night with so rigid an erection, even jacking off couldn’t ease the pain.

As always, Quinn was game for it. Greedy hands roamed up and down from his skull to his back to his waist, every inch she could reach while he paid homage to her breasts. “Here, baby,” she coaxed, pulling down the left side of her bra. His eyes flickered up to meet hers, hot and hungry with demand. He released her nipple and rolled it between his fingers, leaning over to suck the other one deep. “Jasper,” she moaned, her legs shifting and tangling with his, restless with need.

He ducked his head to drag his mouth down her belly and over that strip of skin she’d left bare for any man to see. “This has been driving me crazy all night,” he admitted hoarsely. “Knowing every guy who saw you wanted his mouth right here. But only so he could get it here,” and he slipped a finger past the band on her trousers and between her legs.

Jasper!”

“Right here, baby.” He unbuckled her belt and had her jeans and panties down and off in the next second. Jasper paused for a moment to take in the vision sprawled out before him. Her tits were propped up on display for him, her legs spread wide so he could see her wet with want for him.

“Christ, you’re gonna go already, aren’t you?”

Frantic, she shook her head against the pillow, but pushed her groin into his palm. “No,” she lied. “I don’t want it to end so soon.”

“If it does, we’ll start it up again.” And with that, he crawled between her legs and put his mouth on her.

If her kiss was narcotic, then the taste of her was the nectar of gods. Nothing compared. Not the first beer after a successful mission. Not his first bite of real food after days of living off MREs.

She shrieked on contact and again when he sucked on her clit. She ground her pelvis into his mouth and her fingers into his skull, clutching him to her as though afraid he might stop. But he had no intention of stopping and licked and sucked and ate at her until the first orgasm ripped her apart.

He knifed up as she came down, tearing at the release to his shoulder holster and setting it and his weapon on the night stand seconds before a rousing Quinn yanked his shirt out of his pants and up without bothering to unbutton it. He raised his arms to help her and then reached for his wallet while she went after his buckle, pulled down his fly, and freed him.

“Quinn,” he groaned when her hand wrapped him up. Her thumb cruised over the weeping tip, and Jasper’s head dropped back. “I want your mouth,” he growled, but when he felt her breath on his flesh, he snapped up and pushed her back into the bed. “But I want you more.”

“Oh my God, yes,” she moaned, notching her legs into the groove of his hips. “Now, Jasp. I need you now.”

She’d just come and already needed it again. She was a marvel, and tonight, right now, she was his.

His again.

“You’re gonna get me, baby. Put this on me first.” He pressed the condom wrapper in her hand before his fingers skated up her arm. “I’d forgotten how soft your skin is.”

She didn’t reply. It took another moment for him to realize she wasn’t gloving him up.

“Quinn?”

She glanced up through her eyelashes with uncharacteristic hesitation that sent a bolt of apprehension coursing through him.

“I’m on the pill,” she quietly reminded him. “And there’s been no one since you.”

He felt her words like a blow to the gut, and God, God, the sweetness of her gift nearly unmanned him.

So he gave it back as he shoved his pants off, shifted up, notch himself in place against her, and slid inside, bare as the day he was born. “No one since you, sweetheart,” he promised, and she finally wrapped him up in her arms and her legs and took him deep in her body until there was no space left between them.

“Kiss me,” she demanded. He ducked his head to comply while pulling out so he could thrust right back into her.

Christ, she was so snug around him, he almost lost it on the second go. She pulsed against him, and he took the cue and thrust out and in again, quickly building to a rhythm that had her clawing his back and making familiar noises of frustrated need in her throat.

“Wildcat,” he praised. Jasper lifted his chest to watch it come over her so he’d have that memory to relive when she was no longer around for him to fuck. She took that as invitation to bite his nipple, which quickly sent him right to the edge. “Hurry up, wildcat,” he urged, thumbing her clit, but she was already there, the spasms of her orgasm clenching down on his dick until he shouted her name and lost his rhythm, plunging and thrusting until he shot deep inside her.

Spent, he kept moving, easing them both back from bliss as he searched and found her mouth with his. “My wildcat,” he murmured against her lips, shoving in her one last time to stay put. “My wild lady.”

Mine.

* * *

“What is that God-awful noise?”

As strangely as it had begun, the piercing beep slicing through the sleepy fog in Quinn’s head stopped. An arm clutched her waist and then released. Cold rushed in at her back as the warm body that’d been curved around hers all night rolled out of the bed. She murmured sleepily when the sheet was pulled up and around her. A body dropped to the floor, and Quinn heard the once familiar sounds of Jasper’s morning routine pepper the air.

She cracked her eyes enough to make out the alarm clock across the room. “It should be illegal to be awake at such an ungodly hour of the morning.”

“Unless you stay up for it, right?”

She didn’t have to look to know he was grinning.

“That’s something else entirely,” she groused, snuggling back into the fluffy pillow.

“It always is.”

He went back to manly grunting his way through what she rightly guessed was a regimen of sit ups.

Back when they’d been married, they’d done this almost on a daily basis, or at least on those mornings Jasper was home. He needed far less sleep than she, especially if she was working into the wee hours, and too many years in the armed services had made the concept of “sleeping in” an anathema. He’d wake, she’d complain without meaning it, and he’d do his first group of calisthenics there in the bedroom while she kept sleepy watch.

Quinn had loved those mornings. Loved having that private pocket of time with Jasper before his world intruded and dragged him away from her. She adored watching his strong, mouthwatering body work through the exercises that kept him that way. She thrilled at the knowledge that he’d use that strength and ability to defend and shelter their nation and to shower her with protection and pleasure every chance he got. And she loved that he let her see this, this immense physical and mental strength, but more in those rare moments when he let her catch a glimpse of the rare vulnerability he kept carefully locked away. The fear that he’d fail his men. The worry that he wouldn’t bring them all home; the rage and sorrow when he didn’t.

When they were in bed, one of her favorite things to do was run her hands over all that muscle and sinew and hold him close and treasure him and the knowledge that he was hers in a way he’d be to no other. She’d been so proud of him and humbled to call him hers.

It had been a wrenching pain the first morning after she left him to realize she’d never do that again, that she no longer had that right.

The chorus of grunts and low-voiced swearing went on for another ten minutes through which Quinn lightly dozed until he shifted into pushups. She roused with interest. If she remembered right—and she was pretty sure she did—Jasper lifting and flexing his way through pushups was a sight worth seeing. She rolled onto her belly into the warm pocket left in his wake and, after a Herculean effort to lift her eyelids, peered over the edge of the bed.

Totally worth it.

Dim sunbeams seeped in through the blinds, cutting the floor into bands of light and dark. Jasper’s long body stretched down through one beam, head at the nightstand, feet a good four inches past the end of the bed.

Damn if the man didn’t glow.

His shoulder blades met in the center of his back on each down stroke, throwing his spine in sharp relief. Quinn shifted on one hip and propped her head on a forearm to get a better vantage point to trace the defined groove from the base of his neck all the way down to where it disappeared beneath the waistband of his black boxer briefs. The sheet slipped to the small of her back as she spent a few moments in intense study of his firm, clenched ass.

His back was a thing of sculpted beauty matched only by his literally bulging biceps and delts as he lifted up into a precise, even plane from toe to knuckle then back down to hover half an inch above the bedroom floor before lifting up again into a push up stand. Quinn’s heartbeat accelerated as she watched, riveted by the wonder of form and discipline, tracking each flex and ripple as if mapping the secrets of the universe.

And that was before he switched to one hand.

Quinn bit her lip, but not before a low moan managed to escape.

“What was that?” he asked without looking up.

Mesmerized, she counted thirty repetitions before he switched hands. “Sorry?” she croaked.

“You said something.”

“Hardly. I’m not even in my body yet.”

“Give me fifteen minutes, and I will be.”

She narrowed her eyes, but declined to retort given he probably wasn’t wrong, especially if he kept up with that, and focused on the show he was bent on performing.

He held firm in a push-up stand, then bounced back a few inches on palms and toes before lowering prone to the floor. Crossing his arms under his face so his fingertips nearly brushed each elbow, Jasper extended upwards, legs in an X formation, hands crisscrossed beneath him, one above the other, wide shoulders rounded so his triceps bulged out all along the outside of his arms. Without pausing for rest, he powered on through another set.

Quinn caught her breath and slid a hand down her belly.

“That one’s new,” she noted, a little breathless.

He grunted through three more. “Forearm to triceps extension.”

The tip of her index finger strummed along her slippery folds. “Do tell.”

There must’ve been something in her voice because this time, when he held the push up stand, his chin lifted and those green-gold eyes zeroed in on her.

Quinn licked her lips and watched heat chase the question from his face. “You like that.”

He wasn’t asking, but she held his gaze through lowered lids and let him see her answer.

She liked it. She like it a lot.

Balancing on one hand, he reached out to tug the sheet from her body. “Show me,” he rumbled, voice hoarse.

Without losing his eyes, she rolled to her back and spread her legs wide, setting her thumb to work so she could slide two fingers inside. Automatically, her hips lifted toward the pleasure. A low groan rolled up from the floor. Her free hand cupped her breast. She plucked the nipple under his avaricious gaze.

“Wider,” he ordered, chin jutting toward her legs.

“Baby,” she whispered while she complied. “Get up here.”

“You got your show,” He levered up from the floor and stretched out across the bottom of the bed, head in hand right between her spread feet. “This one’s mine.”

Fair enough. Quinn settled in to giving a show that would drive him wild. She moved her hips against her hand, working herself on her fingers as she watched Jasper watching her. Twin spots of color ran high up on his cheeks. His beautiful mouth pulled into a thin rigid line. Sweat glistened on his chest from the workout and she lick her lips again thinking how next time she was going to taste him from stem to stern and everywhere in between.

Quinn glanced down and saw the tip of his erection popping out from the top of his boxer briefs. Jasper caught her direction and pulled himself free in the next second, stroking his length almost leisurely without looking away from her busy hands.

Quinn’s efforts sped up.

“That’s it, baby,” he coaxed. “Show me how much you want it. Let me see how wet you get for me.”

“Jasper,” she moaned, fingers flying between her legs, her nipple pinched so tight, pain mixed with the intense pleasure. She wanted to close her eyes and let the orgasm roll through her, but she couldn’t look away from Jasper. He’d shifted his hand to stroke her calf while his cut forearm kept steady rhythm. “I love arm porn.”

He barked out a laugh, then leaned over to kiss her thigh. “Go over hard,” he urged. She felt his breath on her fingers and tripped over a new high. “Give that to me, sweetheart.”

She scratched her nail over her nipple and that tipped her past the edge. Her neck stretched back and she lost her view, but Jasper jacking himself for her was already burned across her mind’s eye. “Oh yes,” she moaned as it crashed over her, her head full of Jasper’s hands and Jasper’s face and Jasper’s body.

She was still in the throes when he bumped her thighs wider, knocked her hand aside, and shoved deep within her.

“Holy fuck,” he swore.

Jasper!” she screamed. She grabbed him by the neck and wrapped one leg around his thighs, one high on his back. “Don’t stop, Jasp,” she begged. “Don’t ever stop.”

He turned his head and sucked her wet fingers into his mouth, curving his tongue to lick her taste from them, and, Lord love a duck, it was so hot, she nearly passed out from the spasm that spurred through her. Jasper lowered his forehead to hers as he rocked in and out. She stared up into his eyes while the sound of their flesh slapping together filled her ears. Dark stubble covered his cheeks so he looked like some pirate intent on pillaging her until she felt him for a week. He’d shave it before going to work, but she wished he wouldn’t. Scruffy Jasper was the man who was all hers, only hers, and she hated knowing soon, she’d have to give him up.

“Come on, wildcat. Come all over me.” He palmed her breast and ducked his head to slip the nipple between his teeth, biting down until she shrieked. She felt the orgasm building again and knew this one was going to be harder that the last two, wild and out of control the way Jasper made her feel every second she was under him.

His hand replaced his mouth at her breast. She reached up to bite his bottom lip as that wild inside her cinched tighter and tighter and tighter until it burst. Her neck arched back; he took hold of her throat and pounded away.

“Fuck, how you squeeze me when you come,” he grunted. “Spectacular.” His hand slid up to her jaw, yanking her face down so they kissed deep and wet and long as he fucked her even harder until finally he came with a hoarse shout.

Panting, they lay in place, Jasper’s face in her neck, Quinn’s mouth at his ear, spent, joined, and savoring that connection in the delicious haze that followed amazing sex. Quinn shivered when his tongue teased her earlobe. Slowly, languidly, her hands mapped his back, tracing the muscles he’d worked that morning first on the floor and then on her.

“You’ve always been my best adventure,” she whispered.

He went rigid and she froze as her words penetrated.

Oh crap, did she really say that out loud?

Jasper raised his head. Going by his look of intense triumph, yup, she definitely said that out loud.

She opened her mouth to backtrack, but was saved the effort by a loud knock on her apartment door.

“Queen!” Twist’s dull voice sounded through the apartment and the opened door of the bedroom. “I’m not standing out here while you bang Quinn again!”

Quinn and Jasper stared at one another with shared shock, and then Jasper’s head dropped to her shoulder.

“I am going to kill him.”

Quinn laughed. “No you’re not. He’s your best friend.”

“Not for much longer. You wouldn’t believe the shit he pulled yesterday. It was a frickin’ sewing circle on coms with my sex life the main gossip topic.”

She rubbed his head in mock sympathy. “Poor baby,” she teased. “I had no idea you alpha boys chattered so when left to yourselves.”

“We don’t, but Twist is a rare breed. Got a psych degree and left a practice behind to join the Navy. Makes him more emo than ten other guys put together.”

He nuzzled her neck. The skin there rippled under the caress. “Man’s got a calling,” he added quietly. “Feels more than most. What you see of him is how he protects that.”

“So it’s all an act?”

“No, he really is that much of an annoying idiot.” She laughed again at his wry frustration. “But I’d trust no one more at my back,” he finished on a serious tone. “Or with my secrets.”

Quinn felt a shard of disappointment that he didn’t feel the same way about her, but shoved it aside. She was enjoying this light, affectionate aftermath with Jasper. He’d be leaving in a few minutes. She didn’t want old wounds opening up before he did.

So she wrapped him up and gave him a light squeeze with her arms and her legs and her still throbbing sex. “He loves you,” she noted while Jasper groaned.

“I know it.” He brushed his thumb over her mouth. “But can we not talk about Twist when I’m hard inside you and have to go in 5 minutes?”

She nipped at his digit when it made a second pass. “Deal.”

His eyes and face softened, and Quinn lost her breath. “Been waiting a long time to see that look on your face again,” he said in a low, warm voice that made her vibrate in all the right places.

“What look?”

Eyes open, he captured her mouth with his and slowly, sweetly slid out of her. “Satisfaction,” he growled and kissed her again. “Gotta go, babe,” and now there was regret in his voice too.

“I know.” She ran her hand over his stubble. “Wish you didn’t have to shave for the job,” she admitted. “I like this look.” She kissed the edge of his scruffy chin. “Pirate Jasper.”

He chuckled low and deep, making her nipples rise up against his hard chest. “You like it, I’ll keep it while I’m here.”

The gesture surprised her. Jasper never went against regulations. “Really?”

“Sure. There are no regs on McBain’s detail, and I don’t have the Navy to adhere to for a couple of weeks.” He bent to rub his rough cheek against her puckered nipple. “Already I can see the benefits.”

“Mmm. You’re giving me ideas.”

His tongue sneaked out to lick sensitive flesh. “Good. I’m already a big fan of your plunder.”

He was doing it to her again, revving up her hunger. He thought she’d been satisfied when the truth was, she could never get enough of him, not if she had him for a hundred years.

“What are we doing here Jasper?” The words escaped before she’d registered them in her brain, or else she would’ve stopped that shit right away.

He looked up at her without moving away from her breast. “We’re enjoying each other, Quinn. And some seriously explosive sex. Why does it have to be anything more complicated than that?”

“Because we’re us. Because it’s always complicated when it’s us.”

“Maybe that’s our problem. Maybe we need a little easy for a change.” He brushed a wisp of hair back from her face. “I’ve missed you. I’ve missed fucking you. I’ve missed talking and laughing with you. You’re a seriously good time and an amazing lay. Why can’t that be enough?”

As painful as his choice of words was, he made it sound so achievable, but Quinn wondered how long they could actually stick within those parameters. How long she could live with having only Jasper’s body and social company and nothing of his soul.

“What happened with the Navy, Jasp?”

“Who are you afraid of, Quinn?” he shot back. She rolled her lips together to keep her mouth shut. “Yeah, that’s what I thought.” His eyes filled with a hint of mean. “You can have my cock. I’m happy to give you more orgasms than you can handle, take as many as you can give me. And we’ll eat and drink and have fun together for as long as we’re both here. But you’re gonna have to share your own secrets before you get a shot at mine again, baby. You gave up the right to know my heart when you gave up on our marriage.”

It hurt and hurt deep, but he was right and it made her voice small when she agreed. “Okay, Jasp.”

He studied her. Quinn figured her easy capitulation came as a surprise. But she was saved again by Twist’s shout. “Let’s go, Queen! Or I’m gonna tell all the boys why we were late to the briefing this morning.”

“Shit. He’ll do it too,” Jasper muttered and Quinn found her good humor restored.

“Maintaining that badass rep must be a rough gig.”

“You’re not kidding.”

He kissed her hard and quick, then knifed up and off the bed to grab his clothes from the floor. He dressed quickly, barely bothering to button his shirt before strapping the shoulder holster over it and shoving his feet back into his boots. Quinn tangled herself back into the sheet and shifted up on her hip to watch him.

“I’ll shower back at the resort after the briefing.”

“They set you up in one of those posh villas by the sea?”

He snorted. “We’ve got rooms in the employee section, but once we’re done with this job, we’ll move into the resort proper. Discounted rate, or we’d be shacking up next door to you.”

“Hibiscus Court’s not that bad.”

“Babe, I jimmied the lock in two minutes.”

“Bragging is unattractive even in a bad ass, super SEAL.”

He grinned and leaned over the bed so they were nose to nose. “SEALs don’t brag. We don’t have to. But if I was bragging, it’d be about how I got you off twice in less than twenty minutes.” He kissed her hard if quick. “But I’m too much of an officer and a gentleman.”

“I’ll remind you I got to the first one on my own.”

He kissed her again, slipping his tongue in her mouth this time. “Sure you did, sweetheart. Now, you need me to set an alarm so you can go back to sleep or you gonna get up?”

“The wedding’s not till one, and Willow got Clancy to hire a temp to help him cover the breakfast and brunch runs.”

“So you’re gonna sleep.”

“No, I need to pick up some supplies in town. Then I thought I’d hit the beach until I have to start set up.”

“I get a window, I’ll come find you, yeah?”

She thought of Jasper in swim trunks, his delicious body wet with ocean water. “That’d be good.”

He read her face and his eyes softened. “Yeah,” he repeated. Then with a final kiss and a resigned glare in Twist’s direction when he shouted again, Jasper headed for the door and left without looking back.

Quinn rolled to her side again and stared at the window blinds. She heard the front door shut behind Jasper and the muffled exchange between the two men. She kinda missed not hearing their banter. Probably more than worth the price of the ticket.

What kind of price was she about to pay to have this time with Jasper? Sure, there was something to be said for having an affair with a man who knew exactly how to get her off. There’d been good reasons for her year-long dry spell and only some of it had to do with her broken heart. When you had the best, settling for a runner up was so far from enticing as to not be worth the bother. Jasper was the best lover she’d ever had—he’d ruined her for other men—and it hadn’t even taken an entire day before they wound up in bed together again. Why shouldn’t she capitalize on the fact that fate or divine providence had dropped them both in paradise at the same time?

You gave up the right to know my heart.

Oh God, how she wanted his heart again. His heart and his secrets and the right to claim him as hers with as much ferocity as he’d once claimed her. She wanted to reach deep and pull out the wild he’d only ever shown to her and keep it close, keep it safe. But Jasper had named his price and it was a cost she was unwilling to pay. Because this time, when Quinn left him, she knew it wouldn’t be by her choice.

She might not be alive to make it.

Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten Hallie Krum avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities strait is hard enough work. She writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. Her debut romantic suspense novel, Wild on the Rocksis now available. Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.

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Basket ‘o Sin!

Next up in the Lady Smut Simply Sinful Reader Event is Elizabeth Shore at 9 P.M.

 

Sexy Sunday Snippet: An Early Taste of SEALed With a Twist

23 Oct

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

Now available exclusively from Kindle. Click image to buy!

Now available exclusively from Kindle. Click image to buy!

Happy Sunday, Lady Smutters. Are you feeling particularly holy today? Or are you unexpectedly in need of something for which to atone? Well, look no further! As part of our on-going excerpt Sundays, here is a *very* early taste of my upcoming novella, SEALed With a Twist.

A sequel to my debut novel Wild on the Rocks that released earlier this year, SEALed With a Twist features Navy SEAL Grant “Twisted” Sisti and the defrocked debutante he once happily fished out of a pool at the Casa Blanca resort on Barefoot Bay. Six months after the events in Wild on the Rocks, Twist has returned to Barefoot Bay to stand with his best friend and former commander, Jasper, as he remarries his ex-wife, Quinn. But all things are not happy-go-lucky with the man who’s twisted sense of humor earned him his call sign. And they’re about to get even more complicated.

SEALed With a Twist will be available to buy in February. Keep an eye out for the novella’s upcoming smokin’ cover reveal and, in the meantime, enjoy this early taste of Twist.

****

Grant unlocked the villa with the key card and a faint regret for the lack of a hard key in his hand. Hard to defend yourself against some asshole who might shove inside the room right behind you with only a key card.

The default to combat readiness reassured him. Not that he expected to stumble upon violent crime here—recent Russian mob incursions notwithstanding. But it felt good to know his head might be screwed up, but his training looked to be intact.

It was that training that had Grant scanning the villa’s interior as he ambled in. Someone had left a light on in the living area and another over the kitchen sink leaving an ambient haze to hover over the main rooms. He noted the food set up on the island block before breaking off to reconnoiter the bedrooms and baths. Satisfied no one else had breached the perimeter, he was halfway to the patio when his phone chimed with Jasper’s reply.

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

This time, the reply came quick: FUCK OFF.

And now they were back on the easy ground where Grant felt 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.

Hell, 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 just 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

Shit. A gatecrasher. He was not in the 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 cotton on to the shit messin’ with his head. He didn’t have it in him to deal with some employee taking advantage of the late-day wedding and plush environs.

The muscle in his jaw clenched when he saw the bra and panties discarded at the edge of the deep end. A soft splash caught his attention and he turned his head in time to catch 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 his way for her to take a breath, eyes shut, the oval shape of her face perfectly bisected by the water like a Carnivàle 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 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 under the surface for near half the pool’s length before breaching 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 cottoned on to that trick, instead thought swimming was a battle to tame the water to their forms. All too many of them never learned the truth.

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

The man in him was impressed by her other intriguing assets. 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 with alarm and a shocked embarrassment that grudgingly intrigued him.

‘Cept he wasn’t in the mood to tangle with a moonlit mermaid.

“You’ve got some nerve.”

“You’re not supposed to be here,” she accused between coughs.

“Pretty sure I am given how much I’m paying for it.” His gaze swept over her without a sign of his 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.”

She had the nerve to joke? Her job in his hands and she was jerking his chain?

“I’ll 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 in relief 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. For once, Grant let the aggravation show. “Tell me your name”

She started at his bark. “Ska—Skye.” She checked the distance to where she’d left her clothes. It was the new angle of her head that finally clicked.

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

“I hardly ‘snucked’,” she denied with instinctive insult. “But yes, that was me” She swallowed and he could see her rally right before his eyes. 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. “And don’t speak to me like that,” she demanded, all traces of embarrassed guilt gone.

He showed her the edge of her amusement. “Not in the position to make demands, darlin’.”

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.

This 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 gonna stand there all night or you gonna report me?”

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

“Haven’t decided. Maybe if you were a little nicer, you could talk me out of it.”

Any other woman would’ve cut and run by now, especially when he was deliberately being this much of an outright asshole.

Instead, Skye contemplated him from below and then, shocking the shit outta him, she flattened her hands and hoisted herself out of the pool. A whoosh of water heralded her expulsion and then there she stood, naked and without a hint of shame.

He took her in, half aware of the effort it took not to have his mouth gaping like a mouth-breather. Water dripped down her chest and over her high, pert breasts whose nipples raised to points against the cooler air. Down the concave slope of her belly and over the natural flare of her hips and vee of her exposed sex to pool around her feet on the asphalt.

A surge of lust contorted him. 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 surged inside her. He felt the pull of her expectation and somehow wrenched his eyes from the feast of her body to the no less bounty of her face. When Skye caught his gaze, her lush mouth curved in a Cheshire smile.

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

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 Rocksis now available. Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.

 

Favorite Trends in Romance: A Guest Post by Michele Mannon

15 Aug

by Michele Mannon

The Romance Writers of America conference this summer held a discussion about hot trends within the romance genre. For this post, I decided to address this topic and share five trends I think are both prevalent in many new releases as well as trends I gravitate toward as a reader.

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Guest Poster Michele Mannon

Bikers, Mobsters, Criminals, and Hit Men

I’ll be the first to admit, I love a bad boy hero. I love reading them. I love featuring them in my books. These mega Alpha heroes typically run against the grain of society, are often defiant, violent and like to be in control. Ever since Kristen Ashley released Motorcycle Man, with a surly bad ass biker hero named Kane “Tack” Allen, I’ve been hooked. Another book I recently read is Dark Mafia Prince by Annika Martin. The hero is a mobster…a hot as sin Russian bratva, and man is he naughty.

Tattoos

What began as bad boy heroes with tribal tattoos seems to have morphed into an entire subgenre within contemporary romance. Laura Kaye has a great series, The Hard Ink Novels, which are set in a tattoo parlor. And authors are getting creative with what their hero’s and heroine’s tats say and where they’re located. The best example of this is in Molly Joseph’s Diva. Sorry I can’t give it away but let’s just say you’ll feel like you’ve been struck by lightening after the author so expertly reveal it.

Dirty, Filthy Sex

Click on image to buy!

Remember when in almost every romance you’d have to wait until page 100 for the characters to get it on? Just like the pacing in stories is changing—becoming much more like television, fast and always moving forward—sex within romances is happening a lot sooner, and with much more yummy, explicit detail. Spankings, rough, dirty-talking heroes, and a whole lot of intense foreplay seem to be the norm right now. And I really love a good, dirty sex scene. Yet crafting one where love sex that drips off the pages and that has the right balance of angst, love and sexual tension is hard work. I recently had a reviewer comment about my new release, Rogue, the first book in The Deadliest Lies Series: “Mannon really knows how to craft a love scene-scintillating and yet tender.” A comment I love, of course. The truth is I write scenes I want to read. And hopefully, you do too! (BTW, I featured an excerpt below. Warning: heat level high.)

Crossing the Border

Scenes, and stories, set outside of small town America seems to be an “up-and-coming” trend. In The Professional, Kresley Cole took us on an amazing, and highly erotic, journey to Russia. There’s a great scene inside a banya that I love. In case you’re wondering, a banya is an outdoor sauna the Russians favor. Inside, visitors escape the cold and partake in the custom of smacking each other across the body with bound twigs and leafy branches dipped in cold water. See, there’s something new to be learned in these globe-trotting stories.
And characters are also taking on more of an international flavor. Ilsa Madden-Mills, Dirty English, features a British street fighter. In my book Hit Man (coming 11/16), Diego is Mexican/Danish…with a filthy, Spanish-speaking potty mouth. 

Mercenary Promo Image

Click on image to buy!

Man Buns

Okay, I haven’t read a single romance with a hero with a man bun. And I’m talking about the curled up ponytail kind, not buns of steel. But I’m giving everyone an official heads up. If you read The Deadliest Lies series, the ruthless CEO of this group of hit men has a man bun. You’ll see it described through the main characters eyes in every book. But I promise you, when Hayden’s story is revealed, great things are going to happen to that man bun.

So what are trends you’re reading in romance? Which ones do you like? Are there any driving you crazy? Let me know in the comments!

Happy reading!

Blurb for ROGUE

My lover is dead.

And they think I killed him.

I’m running rogue. Hell bent on both revenge and redemption. Whatever it takes, I’m going to finish a job that began nine months ago. An unauthorized assignment that turned horribly, devastatingly wrong.

My miscalculation.

My fault.

My heart left shattered into incomplete pieces which will never wholly fit back together again.

But first I have to outsmart my former organization and the hired killer they’ve sent after me; a ghost from my past who knows my every move, who’s been inside my head, my heart, my dreams and memories: Jaxson.

I’m the traitor, Kylie. The rogue mercenary, Jaxson’s newest assignment.

And this is our love story.

Rogue Promo collage

Click on image to buy!

Excerpt from ROGUE: Warning ~ Spice Level HOT

Kylie and Jaxson are on the run and things get a bit wild.

Terrific. He’s going to flirt with me and tease me to death.

“You up for a challenge?”

“It depends on what it is.”

“Smart girl. How about I give you a play by play? Then you can either tell me to fuck off or to go for it.”

“What if I tell you to fuck off right now?” I sweetly ask.

He chuckles. “It’s your dime, fireball. Your call.”

I arch my eyebrows. He’s got this naughty, devilish look in his eyes and, God knows, not only should I resist him but I should roll myself out of our hiding place and run as fast as my legs will carry me into the woods.

“If this will help me survive Hell Camp, I’m up for a challenge,” I hear myself say.

“Believe me, it’s going to be a lesson in restraint for me as well. So here’s the deal. I wanna tease that sweet pussy of yours. Fuck you with my fingers. See how quiet you can be, how still you can be, how in control you can be when all hell is breaking loose around you. A shame I can’t lick you like I want. We’ll save that for a better time.

What do you say?”

What do I say? I open, close then open my mouth. Nothing comes out. Not “Yes, make me come beneath this decomposing tree while Hayden’s hellions run amuck around us.” Not “No, how about courting me with a few flowers first? Or at the very least, getting me tipsy on a bottle of good wine?”

I swallow hard. “I say this is you being unpredictable. Go figure.”

His hand slides downward and across my belly.

“Don’t you dare,” I whisper.

“Oh, I dare. But . . . do you?”

“Seriously?”

“I’ve been thinking about this for days. Fuck, since you sank that knife into my thigh.”

I squeeze my eyes shut. Hating that memory.

Jesus. He’s lost his freaking mind right along with me losing mine.

“Listen. You think I haven’t noticed the way you’ve been eye-fucking me? Damn, I love the way you bite then lick your lip while you think I don’t know that you’re watching me.” His hand moves across my lower abdomen, the tips of his fingers sliding beneath the waistband of my sweatpants and my panties.

“Jaxson who?” I reply. Yeah, right. I’ve had eye-gasms over him for weeks.

This is crazy. Beyond crazy . . . insane. My whole experience at Hell Camp, the fights, the knives, is surreal. One adventure after another. Nothing prepared me for him. The pad of his pointer finger flickers over my nub, tempting me. I think, Why not give into this wild need to go a little nuts? Besides, I’m with the right man to push me over the edge—literally. Just looking at him . . . oh my . . .

He’s curled a finger inside my folds.

The bony part of his palm rubs across my sensitive hood.

And I’m wet, and growing wetter with each subtle caress.

“Bend your leg and put it up on my outer thigh.”

I stare at him like he’s talking gibberish.

“I need this as much as you do.” He grins like a madman, a daredevil, a man who can steal your breath away then have you begging he steal more of it. And just like that, I’m a goner.

I bend, lift my leg, and anchor it on top of his thigh. “Stop . . . talking. Or they’ll hear you,” I whisper, my tone hoarse with excitement.

Naughty. Oh so naughty, and I want it.

“Fireball,” he murmurs, “I’m going to be struggling right along with you not to give our hiding spot away. I promise you that.”

“Misery loves company,” I add, then moan as he thrusts a digit into my slick channel.

“The best kind of misery.”

Slowly, so very slowly, he slides his finger in and out, and I’m in heaven. I feel his thumb pressing into my nub as his finger drags along the walls of my channel.

“You’re wet but tight,” he breathes into my ear, “I’m going to work another finger inside. Nod if that’s okay.”

“Do it,” I demand.

As promised, he pushes a second in alongside the first. Slowly at first, then quickening the pace. I can’t help but tilt my hips along with each stroke. It’s not long before I feel the climax building up inside me.

I moan.

“Coming,” he whispers so quietly, I barely catch his question.

“Almost. Sweet Mary . . .”

“No. They’re coming. Footsteps.” He winks at me, rolling his thumb once again over my sensitive hood while his fingers plunge into me and withdraw. Once. Twice. Three times. Until my body is shaking with need.

I jerk at the sound of a voice close by. “The trail Jaxson left behind was goddamn amateurish. Like he wants us to find him. He’s around here somewhere.”

My eyebrows lift high enough to touch the tree overhead.

His smirk is full of mischief.

And, holy sweet Mary, if his tongue is anything like his fingers . . . I clamp my lips shut, holding back my moan. Yes, oh yes.

“Check around.”

No, oh no.

“Over here,” someone shouts at the same time I arch my hips toward Jaxson and pray that the mewing sound going off in my head doesn’t work its way out of my mouth.

I struggle to keep quiet, to still my movements, to not give us away. And I curse Jaxson for putting me in this situation, for masterfully bringing me to the edge, to make me want to shout out my climax, only to have to dig deep not to do so.

My eyes meet his, and without my making a sound, I crest. My pleasure clear as day in what has to be the most blissful expression known to womankind. Which, I silently gasp, is reflected in the hottest look known to mankind that crosses over his face.

Sweet mother of God. This man is going to be the death of me.

“That was fucking beautiful.”

I blush. “Shhh. They’ll hear you.”

“They’re gone, off on a wild-goose chase. I ran ahead and planted a few less-than-subtle trail marks. Still, we better head back.” He removes his hand from beneath my sweatpants, shifts my leg off his thigh, and rolls out from beneath the tree. I squeeze my eyes shut, briefly, disbelieving what I’ve just done, then slide out after him.

He offers me a hand up.

“You’re insane,” I mumble.

“And you’re beautiful.” 

ROGUE is now available to buy from all major ebook retailers (click image above for direct link).

Follow Lady Smut for more great guest posts!

Michele Mannon creates characters who are far from perfect; who are likely to be knee-deep in trouble, heart-first in love and at wits’ end when life unexpectedly, unequivocally turns to hell. Her debut series, Worth the Fight, received two Romantic Times Magazine Top Picks. Her new sexy romantic suspense series with St. Martin’s Press, Deadliest Lies, releases in August 2016, beginning with ROGUE, a story about what happens when your own organization sends a hit man after you mistakenly, heart-wrenchingly kill your lover. Michele lives in Pennsylvania but likes traveling to exotic places, including the NJ shore. She’s fond of skinny cinnamon dolce lattes, quick-witted, Irish-accented men, a good story, and lots and lots of laughter.

For more information about Michele, please visit her website: http://www.michelemannon.com.

 

 

 

 

Exclusive Excerpt: WILD ON THE ROCKS

1 Aug

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

Hello Lady Smutters! Happy Monday and Happy First of the Month of August, the best month of the year! And that’s not only because it’s my birth month…okay, yes, it’s solely because it’s my birth month. I’m good with that.

Currently, I’m in deadline hell finishing up the first draft on SEALed WITH A TWIST (coming in October!), which, unfortunately, leaves little time for blog writing. Some fantastic fellow writers will be guest posting in my place this August while I get my writing ducks in a row. Quack, quack.

Since I’m loathe to leave you empty handed, keep reading for an exclusive excerpt from my debut romantic suspense novel WILD ON THE ROCKS, one never before posted outside of publication. I hope you enjoy this taste of Jasper and Quinn. Thanks for being phenomenal readers. And remember to follow Lady Smut to stay on top of all the smexiness.

 

Alcohol gives you infinite patience for stupidity.

—Sammy Davis, Jr.

Quinn pulled into the parking spot in front of the Hibiscus Court Apartments, closed the SUV’s moon roof, and set the brake. She shut the car down, reached for the door latch and then stopped.

Nope, not even enough energy left for something as small as pulling the door handle.

Her head dropped to rest on top of the steering wheel. God, she’d forgotten how much it took out of her to work such a long day. Once business for In the Mix had taken off, her usual gigs became blocks of structured time and targeted hours, maybe four or five max for a large event. That didn’t account for planning and research and booking, all of which consumed time, but all done with her ass in a chair, not hours on her feet in heeled boots. Not since San Diego had she put in a full shift with overtime, which was what the 12 hours she’d spent working the Thornquist rehearsal dinner and after party felt, and that didn’t include her early start to meet with the wedding planners that morning.

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Damn, but those rich politicos could pound ’em back.

But it wasn’t only the work that’d left her drained tonight. She was full up on emotional overload thanks to one stubborn Navy SEAL.

Jasper bloody McQueen had knocked her straight off her axis but good.

She’d been too busy to keep track of the security guys and their rotations on the off chance Jasper was reassigned to the bar. She did catch glimpses of Jasper’s friend Twist throughout the rest of the event. Around midnight, shouts and raucous screams from the pool area had sent nearly everyone running for the patio. Quinn mopped up the spills they’d left behind and kept an eye on the drinks to be sure none of the lingerers doctored any, but she heard enough to figure someone had gone in. A guess that got confirmed when a dripping wet Twist carried in an equally soaked and seriously smashed party girl who was screaming with glee and clinging to Twist almost as tightly as her now transparent cocktail dress clung to her breasts.

Given the shit-eating grin that spread across Twist’s face as he dripped his way through the bar with the woman in his arms, he didn’t much mind.

Later, after she’d finished closing down the bar, Quinn had counted her blessings on avoiding another confrontation and scurried out of the resort. Despite his promise, Jasper had remained a no show. All that did was ensure he dominated her thoughts all night.

And she had not one clue what to do about it.

Well, that wasn’t entirely true. What she wanted was to find out where he was staying, slip into his bed, and follow up on that kiss he hit her with. Sure, she’d probably get a gun to her head for the effort—sneaking up on a SEAL was a baaaaaad idea any day of the week. And that was before she figured in the foreknowledge that Jasper slept with his weapon close to hand, much less the level of anger he clearly bore for her. But the kind of sex she’d had with Jasper back in the day was worth more than a little risk for a repeat.

Quinn huffed out a breath that fogged up her window. Truthfully, appealing as it always was, even the idea of climbing Jasper like a tree was too exhausting to move beyond thought.

He could do all the work.

Mmm. Jasper definitely redefined the benefits of lying back and taking it. Good things happened when he did all the work. Amazing things.

Spectacular things.

She rolled her head sideways and stared out the fogged-over window.

That was the exhaustion talking. And the year-long loneliness. And, yeah, the fear. Fear she’d managed to compartmentalize and ignore while she was working and with Jasper to occupy her neuroses. If she were honest with herself—and she always tried to be—she’d admit what she really wanted was to crawl into Jasper, pull him around her like a shield, and let all the crap aimed her way land on his formidable shoulders.

But that was weakness that left you vulnerable, and she’d been vulnerable enough for two lifetimes. She wasn’t a woman who relied on others to solve her problems. She’d walked away from everyone she’d ever known in order to claim her independence. She’d be damned to surrender it now, not even to Jasper, who she’d once loved beyond reason. No, she’d handle her own crises as she had since the day she’d left the commune—and for a long time before then too.

For a place that’d professed to be all about unity and sharing and togetherness, in reality, her parent’s home was a place where everyone followed one man’s dictates. And if you went up against him, well, then you were truly on you own.

Which was just fine by Quinn.

Pushing aside troubling memories, Quinn lifted her head to glance out the windshield and up. What possessed her to take a third-floor rental? Now she had to muster the strength to get up three flights of stairs. What were the chances anyone was still awake to notice if she crawled her way up the steps instead? More importantly, did she care?

She did not. “But there is something to be said for dignity,” she mumbled as she bumped open the car door. Bracing, she climbed out, dragging her bag over the console from the passenger seat. She caught her breath when pain shot up her weary legs before resolutely setting her boots toward the open stairwell that was only mildly shaded by an emaciated palm tree.

The full moon was tinted red. “Hunter’s moon,” she whispered, shuffling toward the stairwell with her neck craned back to take it in. Exhausted as she was, she forced herself to take a walk along the water’s edge after closing down the bar in an effort to phase out some clutter from her mind. It hadn’t worked, but given her life expectancy at the moment, it seemed wise not to pass on such luxuries as a moonlight walk on the beach. Even if she took that walk alone.

Even if the moon was blood red.

It bled out into the dark sprawl of the night’s sky. If Quinn were of a more fanciful bent, she might’ve taken it as a bloody warning of things to come.

If bloody things were to come, she supposed Hibiscus Court Apartments were as likely as place to find them as any. True to his word, Clancy had handed her a phone number yesterday, and Quinn found her way into a vacancy. It wasn’t as convenient to the resort as the Fourway in the center of town, but she preferred it that way. Less questions to dodge and no nosy relative of that harridan, Charity, to put her on the gossip rack.

Despite the many demands on her time and attention and the importance of the Thornquist wedding to her burgeoning business, Willow had insisted on helping Quinn get settled in at Hibiscus Court. She’d tag-teamed her partners, too, so that there were few moments when Quinn was left to herself and thus (or so Quinn figured Willow to have silently reasoned) have the chance to rethink her offer to bail out the Barefoot Brides partners from their mixologist quandary. Willow needn’t have worried. Quinn wasn’t about to repay her kindness by mucking things up for them at the last minute.

Though if the Russian mob showed up, all bets were off.

Quinn had met Willow’s partners, Gussie and Ariel, when she’d swung by their office for a very early morning meeting. She’d been instantly struck by the bond between the three women who ran Barefoot Brides Destination Weddings. And that was before each lady had taken time throughout the myriad last-minute crises leading up to the rehearsal dinner to help get Quinn settled into temporary life on Mimosa Key and set up with whatever she needed to work her magic at the bar for the festivities. A day before, the shock of Jasper’s arrival would’ve sent her running for her SUV and fleeing for the next Key.

She knew from experience that he wouldn’t come after her.

But the ladies had made her feel unusually welcomed and wanted. She couldn’t betray that by leaving them in another lurch. There’d be plenty of chances for her to go after the wedding. She’d have to keep clear of him in the meantime, no matter her urges.

Quinn climbed the first flight of stairs and rounded the second-floor landing for the next one up. Jasper had probably been set up in one those gorgeous villas she’d caught glimpse of along the beach. No sketchy apartment complex for the defender of the American way.

What had Twist meant by “enforced leave”?

She’d only partly been joking when she’d told Jasper he looked like a poster boy. She was certain there was no more committed a soldier than him in the entire armed forces.

He’d set his team even above his wife in priority. That might seem admirable to an outsider, but as the woman who came in second place, Quinn could tell whoever asked it was a sucktastic place to wind up.

If he’d been put on enforced leave, something terrible must have happened.

It would kill Jasper not to be in the Navy anymore. His whole identity was wrapped up in being a SEAL. What could possibly have happened to jeopardize that?

Quinn took firm hold of her troublesome curiosity. Not her problem anymore, not Jasper’s career, not his trouble, and for certain, not Jasper himself.

Strange though how he’d been haunting her since she’d squeezed into that dress in Atlantic City, popping up in her thoughts while she sparred with Charity until she’d found herself using her married name. A big mistake, she now realized, one that gave advantage to Jasper, something he’d been quick to catch on to, as usual. Jasper made a living out of capitalizing on the smallest opportunities. There was power in a name and she’d given him that power by taking back his and along with it, a claim he’d made clear he was more than happy to reassert. A claim that brought with it the responsibility to get Quinn out of this mess.

I can get myself outta this mess.

Yeah, probably.

Maybe.

But the truth was having Jasper involved would make her life a helluva lot easier.

And he was there now, mere miles away, as though she’d conjured him like some badass genie. Jasper McQueen at her service. Orgasms are here, here, here, here, and here.

God, it was tempting. He was so tempting.

She hit the second landing and paused to catch a breath before starting up the final flight.

Why did he have to kiss her? She’d been holding her own, holding him off, until he’d laid hands and mouth on her. She huffed out another breath. Lord love a duck, but she loved Jasper’s mouth. The man knew what he was doing, it had to be said. She loved the taste of it, always had and she’d bet always would, and leapt at the chance to have it again.

She’d certainly leapt on him. She shook her head with self-admonishment. Couldn’t do that again. Give Jasper the smallest foothold, and he’d take the whole mountain. It was how he’d been trained. It was how he’d been bred. And Quinn knew her long sexual dry spell gave him one hell of a foothold.

Topping the last flight, she headed to her apartment at the end of the walkway.

He’d been so pissed at her tonight. She’d seen him angry before but never like that, and never at her. Yeah, okay, so maybe he had cause, but she did too. It wasn’t like he hadn’t given her more than enough reason to go. His deployments left her on her own all the time. If she was going to be alone, then she wanted to do it on the road, moving onward, heading toward a new gig, a new place, a new adventure, not locked up in a condo and a steady job. Even now, the thought of it made her skin crawl. She’d felt as trapped in that condo as she had at the commune and hopeless without Jasper there to remind her why she’d given so much of herself up to be with him. Learning he hadn’t updated the Navy to the fact that he’d been married had been the last blow. She’d trapped herself in staid civilian life for his benefit, and he couldn’t even be bothered to update his marital status!

It didn’t strike her until much later how out-of-character this was for a man like Jasper, a man for whom dotting Is and crossing Ts was a matter of pride and honor. Jasper got things right or people died, and that kind of pressure stretch into his off-duty life as well when he’d head out at a moment’s notice if one of his teammates needed him.

She only wished she mattered to him half as much as the Navy and his men did.

Quinn keyed open the door and let herself into the small apartment she’d call home for the next few days. With a rec from Clancy and his implied promise that she’d passed his security check, the manager hadn’t pressed Quinn for more than her ID and a cash deposit. That hit had hurt her weakening finances. She’d have to find some way to access her bank account or pray the wedding tips were better than anticipated, especially if she had to bail on Barefoot Bay right after the wedding.

Hibiscus Court did its best to live up to its name in the décor, if the saturation of flowers theme was anything to go on. Quinn’s apartment featured hot house plants. Like the overstuffed armchair, the couch sported a pattern of blooming jasmine with a print on the wall behind it of an African violet in full bloom.

Show off.

Quinn didn’t consider herself a flowery kind of woman, but she wouldn’t deny being drawn to some of the more colorful blooms. The deep purple of African violets made them one of her favorites, so the print cinched her decision.

She locked the deadbolt behind her—the first major selling point for the rental, by the way—and moved through the living area without turning on the overhead. Not like the apartment was so big she needed light to navigate it, and overheads tended to give her headaches anyway. She’d left on the light over the oven, and its soft illumination was enough that she could skirt the cheap coffee table and armchair to get to the short hallway leading to the bed and bathroom.

She eyed the bathroom, but was too tired to do the whole remove-makeup-and-wash-face thing. Her pores would have to take one for the team. Quinn stumbled into the bedroom, tossing her bag blindly to land next to the nightstand on the near side of the queen-sized bed and was seconds from dropping onto the mattress when a low voice came at her through the dark.

“Did you really expect to escape so easily?”

Instant terror rushed through Quinn, eradicating her exhaustion with a tremendous surge of flight or fight.

They found her.

She flung herself back from the bed, tripping over her own feet as she groped blindly for the door in the dark. She could feel a large body pursue her through the small room. A vibe of menace crawled along her skin. She screamed, high and shrill, when his hand gripped her arm so tight, she thought it’d come off right then and there.

Her knee thrust up, but he expertly dodged and yanked her back to the bed with a wordless growl. “Leave! Go!” she yelled, hoping, praying, someone in the sleepy, quiet apartment complex would hear and call the cops, call anyone for fuck’s everlasting sake, before this guy killed her or knocked her out and stashed her in a trunk for the long trip back to Jersey for worse.

He tossed her on the bed with ease, a move that would’ve made her marvel if she wasn’t so afraid, and promptly climbed on top of her. Immediately, she bucked, so pumped up on adrenaline, she managed to bounce them both up in the bed.

“Stop it,” he ordered as they struggled, gruff and seemingly unruffled by her efforts, efforts that were quickly draining her of strength.

Get off!” she screamed into his shadowed face. He pinned her hands to either side of her head. She felt his hips shift between her legs and new shoots of panic sprung up inside her gut.

Oh God, oh God, she couldn’t shift him. She wasn’t strong enough to get free.

She wasn’t strong enough for this.

“Please don’t kill me,” she pleaded, tears streaking down her cheeks. “I didn’t see anything, I swear. I won’t say a word. Please, please don’t hurt me.”

The full weight of him pressed into her as his hands moved to cradle her head. “Quinn, it’s all right. It’s me. You’re safe.”

“Please don’t kill me,” she begged again.

A strangled sound of frustration escaped his throat. “I’m not gonna kill you, honey. Take a breath. You’re okay. I’m gonna make it all okay.”

Slowly, the familiarity of his form and voice finally penetrated her fear. “Jasper?” she breathed.

“Yeah, babe. I’m here.”

Jasper was here.

Thank God, Jasper was here.

The rush of relief was nearly as debilitating as the terror that’d preceded it. Which had to be why she grabbed his wrists in an unholy vise and blurted out, “They’re going to kill me, Jasp.”

He eased up slightly and leaned his forehead against hers so that, even in the dark, she could see the intense gleam of conviction in his eyes. “Nobody’s going to hurt you, sweetheart. I promise.”

His words settled deep within her, spurring her arms to circle his shoulders as she burrowed her face in his throat. He shifted them on their sides, slid a leg between her thighs, linking them together, and pulled her into him as Quinn trembled with full body shivers.

She was taking this. She needed this. She could pull up her bitch pants and lace up her shit-stomping boots later. Right now, she was hiding out in Jasper’s strong and more than capable arms.

God, she loved his arms.

She could barely believe he was here.

Hang on. Jasper was here.

She reared back and smacked his shoulder. “Are you crazy?!”

His resigned exhale feathered her hair. “Knew that was too good to last.”

“What in the world made you think it was a good idea to break into my apartment and lie in wait for me?! Wait, scratch that. What in the holy hell are you doing here?!”

His hold on her tightened, something she hadn’t thought possible. “I told you we weren’t finished.”

She smacked him again. “You scared the shit out of me!”

“Quinn…”

“Don’t you ‘Quinn’ me in that tone of voice, Jasper McQueen! I am not one of your soldiers. I do not jump when you say so and ask how high on the way up.”

“We’re sailors, not soldiers. And no, you jump into my arms the second I touch you.”

“I do not.”

“You practically burrowed under me.”

She snorted. “Don’t flatter yourself.”

“Don’t have to when you do shit like that.”

“Cocky.”

Quinn gasped when he grinded his rock hard thigh between her legs.

“Yeah, but you like me that way.” Wry amusement tinted his voice.

“I can’t believe you’re getting off on this.” She pushed to get free, and when that didn’t budge him, reached back to pry his hands off. He snatched hers up and gave them a squeeze.

“Baby, I got you squirming under me, no training in the world is gonna keep me soft.”

“I thought you were here to kill me!”

His jaw hardened. Any hint of amusement was gone when he replied, “Yeah, let’s talk about that.”

Like that was going to happen. “Not on your life,” she vowed.

“It’s your life I’m worried about. And don’t bother bullshitting me. You’re as worried as I am, and I know this because you told me.”

Dammit, that was true. She’d been so relieved it was Jasper in her room and not Thug One or Thug Two (or someone worse), she’d nearly told him everything.

Score one for subconscious self-preservation.

“Let me go,” she demanded.

“You gave that to me,” Jasper reminded her unnecessarily, ignoring her demand. “And I don’t care if you were scared outta your mind when you did. Finally, you’re telling me some truth, and now you’re going to give me the rest of it.”

That raised her hackles again. “Why? Because you say so?”

“Yes!” he roared, ratcheting from zero to sixty in a scorching hot minute. “I have some fucking significant experience with this shit, Quinn. Maybe, for a change, you could follow my goddamn lead!”

“I’ve followed enough for one lifetime and have been doing fine without you since I stopped doing that.” That was more of a lie than she’d like to admit, but she sure as hell wasn’t adding that to her list of confessions.

“Sure. You did so fine without me, how come, a second ago, you were begging me not to kill you?”

Crap, he had her there too. “We’ve been through this already. It’s none of your business.”

“Yeah, we’ve been through this already, but you don’t seem to be getting a clue.”

Her eyes narrowed. “Excuse me?”

He shook her by the shoulders and didn’t bother to be gentle about it. “Who are you so afraid of, Quinn?”

The moment her eyeballs settled back in their sockets, Quinn reared up into his face and carefully enunciated, “It’s none. Of. Your. Business.”

“God damn it,” he growled and then his mouth was on hers, and her tongue was against his, and she sank back into his heat and the flavor that was only ever Jasper. Her fingers dug into his shirt where it pulled across his back. The leather straps of his holster dragged against the tops of her breasts. She whimpered as her nipples raised up against the friction.

Quinn lifted her outside leg and hooked it over his hip. She dug her heel into the small of his back and used it as leverage to push up and get even closer, so close, his eyelashes brushed her nose when he lifted up and repositioned his mouth to take hers again, rough and deep and wet and, God, it was Jasper, and she couldn’t get enough, she would never get enough of him.

His fingers plunged into her hair to drag her head back as though he couldn’t stop their kiss under his own power. “Fine,” he said in a gravelly voice that shot vibrations through her sex. “Keep your secrets. I only came here to fuck you.”

And like that, all her desire for him went poof, as though she’d been doused in cold water. Jasper never spoke to her that way—he never spoke to anyone that way, at least not when she’d been around to hear. Shock locked up her frame. “Wha—?” she barely managed. “What did you say to me?”

“You heard me.” He bent to kiss her again; she shoved a blocking hand between their mouths.

“You are out of your mind if you think you can say that and expect me to keep on keeping on. How dare you!”

His grip on her hair bordered on uncomfortable. “I dare, Quinn. I’ll dare anything until you tell me what I want to know. If that means I have to fuck it outta you—” He shrugged. “I’ve done far worse to get intel.”

She didn’t want to think about what that “worse” might entail. “You are such a son of a bitch,” she hissed. “Get off me!”

Instead he rolled them so he was on top again, which Quinn felt was a clear enough, if unacceptable, answer. “Don’t bother pretending I’m alone in this. A year apart hasn’t done jack to weaken what’s between us. If anything, it’s made it stronger.

“You might not want me here, and you might not want to admit you need my help,” and here his hand dipped from her back to slide over her hardened nipple. “But you sure as hell want me in your body, and baby, you don’t have to ask twice.”

“I didn’t ask at all! You jumped me when I walked in the door!”

“I waited for you! Again! Jesus, so fucking stupid, I waited for you, again. Once McBain cut us loose for the night, I headed back to Junonia to talk to you, just talk, Quinn, because I can’t stand that I haven’t known where you’ve been for a whole fucking year. And then, suddenly, you’re here the same goddamn weekend I am, and scared to death someone is coming to kill you and you still—won’t—fucking—talk to me!”

He lurched off her and was at the door before she caught up. The instinct to go after him was too strong to question, even after what he’d said and done. He couldn’t leave, not like this. Not after what she’d seen in his face.

Quinn wrapped her arms around his waist, knowing there was no way she could hold him back if he was set on going, only sure that there was something very, very important here that she would lose forever if he walked out that door.

She wouldn’t be able to bear that. Not again.

He jerked once in her hold, his hands coming to hers to set them aside.

“Jasper,” she whispered.

His head slumped forward, chin to chest, but at least he’d stopped moving.

“The bar was dark when I got there,” he continued as though he’d never stopped. “And you were gone a-fucking-gain. So I interrupted McBain gettin’ it on with his wife, and once he was done deciding whether or not to kill me for it, he explained who I was to his wife. She told me you’d shacked up here at Hibiscus Court.” His hands tightened on hers, silently communicating how he felt about her new digs. “I hotwired one of the resort’s cars and shot over here, and when your car wasn’t in the lot, I broke in to wait for you. Again.”

Quinn rested her forehead in the groove between his shoulder blades. “You did all that so you could fuck me?”

“Jesus, Quinn, no.” He spun around, so quick, always so swift and able, that now her forehead rested on his cut pec. His arms slid back around her waist, and she couldn’t stop the soul deep sigh that escaped her lips. They’d always fit together like this, as if the detailed grooves and hard planes of his body were made expressly to accommodate the soft curves and lush valleys of hers, and she’d been so empty without him all year.

“I did it all to find you.” He titled her head up and kissed her with a painful tenderness. “I’ve missed you, babe,” he admitted, mouth hovering over hers, so close she could taste the words. His lips coasted up and over the curve of her cheek to buss her temple. “More than you could ever know.”

Her heart shattered and its pieces crackled in her voice when she murmured, “Honey,” and gripped the sides of his neck to pull him back down to her. “I missed you too.”

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 now available. Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.

Dark Romance. Irish Mob. A Look at The O’Malleys by Katee Robert

13 Jun

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

I won’t lie, I hear “Irish Boston Mob series” and I’m in, no questions asked, despite my love/hate relationship with Boston. So soon as I heard Katee Robert’s new series, “The O’Malleys,” was about three Boston Irish mob families, I requested that sucker so fast, NetGalley spun on its axis for about an hour.

The O’Malleys, the Sheridans, and the Hallorans of The Marriage Contract and The Wedding Pact are the unholy trifecta of the Irish mob in Boston. An alliance between two of these families is about to be formed when one of the younger generation kills another. Suddenly, allegiances must shift before more blood is spilled…and the war that has been brimming between these three factions for so long boils over.

The Marriage Contract

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Look, a blurb!

Teague O’Malley hates pretty much everything associated with his family’s name. And when his father orders him to marry Callista Sheridan to create a “business” alliance, Teague’s ready to tell his dad exactly where he can stuff his millions. But then Teague actually meets his new fiancée, sees the bruises on her neck and the fight still left in her big blue eyes, and vows he will do everything in his power to protect her.

Everyone knows the O’Malleys have a dangerous reputation. But Callie wasn’t aware just what that meant until she saw Teague, the embodiment of lethal grace and coiled power. His slightest touch sizzles through her. But the closer they get, the more trouble they’re in. Because Callie’s keeping a dark secret-and what Teague doesn’t know could get him killed.

Look, another blurb!

The Wedding Pact

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Carrigan O’Malley has always known her arranged marriage would be more about power and prestige than passion. But after one taste of the hard-bodied, whiskey-voiced James Halloran, she’s ruined for anyone else. Too bad James and his family are enemy number 1.

Hallorans vs. O’Malleys-that’s how it’s always been. James should be thinking more about how to expand his family’s empire instead of how silky Carrigan’s skin is against his and how he can next get her into his bed. Those are dangerous thoughts. But not nearly as dangerous as he’ll be if he can’t get what he wants: Carrigan by his side for the rest of their lives.

When I first read The Marriage Contract, I immediately tweeted Katee Roberts and demanded to know when The Wedding Pact would be available and then raged that I had to wait nine months to get it. Yes, this series is that good. I re-read them both for this review only to be reminded of the intriguing and edgy concept they embody. And just look at those covers. Boy. Howdy.

The O’Malleys, the Sheridans, and the Hallorans are not good people by the standard terms. These are people trying to make good decisions in bad situations–seriously bad situations. These are people constrained by the rigid natures of their families’ demands and expectations and torn by a familial loyalty that often has little to do with love and too much to do with duty. These are people who sometimes are forced to do unthinkable things, things that make them wonder about the states of their own souls, and yet who love fiercely, be it their parents, siblings, or lovers, and, often, blindly. These are people for whom doing what makes them happy and doing what is in their family’s best interests may be diametrically opposed–and fraught with danger. The stakes are high in The O’Malleys series, as high as can be imagined.

These are not safe people–not to themselves, not to others, and not in the general sense of “being safe”. Their lives are in jeopardy so that every decision they make could be ones that bear serious life and death consequences either for them or those they love–or for those with whom they are falling in love. And Things Happen. But they want to do better, they long to deserve better, and they find that better in the ones who come to love them.

They are loyal. They are fierce. They are determined. They feel conflicted about many things and navigate a treacherous world most people don’t even know exists. They feel deep and they risk much. They are striving, each of them, to carve a life they can live with out of the ones they’ve been born into and they are falling in love along the way–with the most inconvenient and inappropriate of people.

An Indecent Proposal

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The Marriage Contract and The Wedding Pact are available to buy now, while the third and final title in the series, An Indecent Proposal, will be available on August 30th (and is currently up for preorder). It brings the Russian mob in to treacherously tangle with the Irish families–and has what I think is the best cover of them all. The scruff. That nose. The furrowed brow. The opened collar under the vest.The wide leather bracelet. The tattoo peeking out from under the rolled-up sleeve. The striped pants. The arm porn. Irish bad boy trouble in a suit. Liiiiiiick.

What, did you think I’d leave you without a blurb? Perish the thought!

Greed. Ambition. Violence. Those are the “values” Olivia Rashidi learned from her Russian mob family-and the values she must leave behind for the sake of her daughter. When she meets Cillian O’Malley, she recognizes the red flag of his family name . . . yet she still can’t stop herself from seeing the smoldering, tortured man. To save her family, Olivia sets out to discover Cillian’s own secrets, but the real revelation is how fast-and how hard-she’s falling for him.

Plagued by a violent past, Cillian is more vulnerable than anyone realizes. Anyone except Olivia, whose beauty, compassion, and pride have him at “hello,” even if she’s more inclined to say good-bye to an O’Malley. While his proposal of sex with no strings seems simple, what he feels for her isn’t, especially after he learns that she belongs to a rival crime family. Cillian knows that there is no escape from the life, but Olivia may be worth trying–and dying–for . . .

The O’Malleys series are as if The Godfather was populated by the Fitzpatricks (that’s a Veronica Mars reference for all of you playing along at home) with a dollop of The Town and a soupçon of Mystic River–and a whole lotta sexy romance. They’re dark, sexy stories about dodgy folks who embark on daring and sensuous journeys that pack an emotional wallop. Clear your calendar to dive down the rabbit hole and don’t be surprised if you come out more than a little green.

Follow Lady Smut. We’ll make all your Irish eyes shine bright.

Edited to add: An Indecent Proposal actually will not be the final book in the series. There’s two more scheduled to come after that for more O’Malley siblings. PHEW!

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 now available. Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.

 

 

Romance Invasion

16 May

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

Romance has invaded everywhere.

That was the lead statement in the speech made by guest speaker Leah Hultenschmidt, editorial director for Forever and Forever Yours imprints at Grand Central Publishing, at the Long Island Romance Writers 19th annual Agent and Editors luncheon.

“Romance has invaded everywhere. Readership has been changing over the last few years. The ‘rules’ are completely out the window. This freedom has allowed the storytelling to shine through. Writers can write with passion and tell the stories of their hearts.”

This, for most of us who live in Romancelandia, is a bit of a no-brainer. Try and think of an action film, however sexist and annoying, that hasn’t had some bit of a romance woven in, be it the loyal wife waiting at home, the rescued damsel, or the sultry siren who may or may not be working for the enemy. Romance crosses all genre lines one way or another. It has, as Ms Hultenschmidt stated so succinctly, invaded everywhere.

That wasn’t all she had to share at the luncheon. With regard to the never-ending question of print vs e-book publishing, Ms. Hultenschmidt likened the divide to be like network television vs cable TV. Print publishers are looking to convince the book store owners that this book or that one is worth putting on their shelves. E-book publishing allows for more leeway for readers to give something new a try.

Part of this is because the distance between writers and readers is much smaller now than ever before. Social media and the digital age has narrowed that gap considerably, and more and more readers are using their social platforms to make their wishes known regarding what and who they read. Perhaps this is why, Ms. Hultenschmidt stressed that it is more important than every before that authors know their audience. Knowing your audience helps shapes these expectations while creating a plan for your books–perhaps even that book of your heart. Is it part of a series? If so, what is the series hook? Know how the books in your series relate and make sure that relation is there in book one and carries through the series.

Likewise, it’s key for an author to know their market. What are the holes in that market? Are there opportunities in those holes? What are people talking about on Goodreads? Is there a new angle in a crowded category, like paranormal romance or small-town contemporary romance? Knowing your market and your audience and how the two relate together can offer an author key insights in how best to craft and target their books.

As for what that market was currently in the market for, Ms. Hultenschmidt noted that Walmart particularly loves contemporary cowboys. Despite the report from the RT convention that romantic suspense novels are dead (again), Ms. Hultenschmidt noted that romantic suspense is on an uprising in print. Contemporary and erotic romances are both crowded marketplaces, but still selling, while paranormal romances are underselling in print publications.

In e-book publications, Ms. Hultenschmidt reported that the billionaire romance has begun to go bankrupt and, along with NA romances, is a crowded category. Readers, she said, are also done with trilogies with contemporary characters. I’m of the mind that series will never go out of fashion, but it’s interesting to hear that contemporaries particularly, always a reliable category, are wearying readers in this manner.

Sports romances and romantic suspense are currently trending categories in e-book publications. Ms. Hultenschmidt claims that readers do not go to romance for issues. They go to escape. While I don’t doubt many romance readers come to the genre for an escape, the fact that the romance genre by its very nature is feminist fiction means that even in stories without an overall “issue,” the journey of personal discovery made by a heroine between the pages is one for which all romance readers are eager, whether as escapism entertainment or to learn about a new profession or a new cause brought to light by a character’s journey through that story.

As always, the Long Island Romance Writers annual luncheon was an inspiring and informative event during which Ms. Hultenschmidt and other editors and agents shined a light on romance so that all of us who attended could feel a bit of that glow.

Follow Lady Smut. We loved to shine down on you.

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 now available. Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.

 

 

Wild Times From Wild on the Rocks: An Excerpt

29 Apr

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

WildOnTheRocks-KindleWorldsSize-PROMO

Come on. Go a little wild! Click on image to buy.

It’s been Theme Week here at Lady Smut. Each day this week, one of the Lady Smut bloggers dove deep into the themes and aspects of my debut romantic suspense novel, Wild on the Rocks.

On Monday, I talked about why Navy SEALs turn my crank, Tuesday, Alexa Day chatted about the joys and pleasures to be found at the beach–with or without a lover. Wednesday, Elizabeth Shore looked at the pros and cons of reuniting with a lover. And yesterday, Madeline Iva unpacked all the crazy that comes with a Vegas wedding.

Wow! Now that’s a wild week!

Nothing left but to unpack a steamy, emotional excerpt from Wild on the Rocks to give all you lovely Lady Smutters a taste of the good stuff!

But wait, THERE’S MORE.

Read all the way to the end and leave a comment to be entered to win a free copy of Wild on the Rocks!

Buckle up!

Alcohol gives you infinite patience for stupidity.

—Sammy Davis, Jr.

“Did you really expect to escape so easily?”

Instant terror rushed through Quinn, eradicating her exhaustion with a tremendous surge of flight or fight.

They found her.

She flung herself back from the bed, tripping over her own feet as she groped blindly for the door in the dark. She could feel a large body pursue her through the small room. A vibe of menace crawled along her skin. She screamed, high and shrill, when his hand gripped her arm so tight, she thought it’d come off right then and there.

Her knee thrust up, but he expertly dodged and yanked her back to the bed with a wordless growl. “Leave! Go!” she yelled, hoping, praying, someone in the sleepy, quiet apartment complex would hear and call the cops, call anyone for fuck’s everlasting sake, before this guy killed her or knocked her out and stashed her in a trunk for the long trip back to Jersey for worse.

He tossed her on the bed with ease, a move that would’ve made her marvel if she wasn’t so afraid, and promptly climbed on top of her. Immediately, she bucked, so pumped up on adrenaline, she managed to bounce them both up in the bed.

“Stop it,” he ordered as they struggled, gruff and seemingly unruffled by her efforts, efforts that were quickly draining her of strength.

Get off!” she screamed into his shadowed face. He pinned her hands to either side of her head. She felt his hips shift between her legs and new shoots of panic sprung up inside her gut.

Oh God, oh God, she couldn’t shift him. She wasn’t strong enough to get free.

She wasn’t strong enough for this.

“Please don’t kill me,” she pleaded, tears streaking down her cheeks. “I didn’t see anything, I swear. I won’t say a word. Please, please don’t hurt me.”

The full weight of him pressed into her as his hands moved to cradle her head. “Quinn, it’s all right. It’s me. You’re safe.”

“Please don’t kill me,” she begged again.

A strangled sound of frustration escaped his throat. “I’m not gonna kill you, honey. Take a breath. You’re okay. I’m gonna make it all okay.”

Slowly, the familiarity of his form and voice finally penetrated her fear. “Jasper?” she breathed.

“Yeah, babe. I’m here.”

Jasper was here.

Thank God, Jasper was here.

The rush of relief was nearly as debilitating as the terror that’d preceded it. Which had to be why she grabbed his wrists in an unholy vise and blurted out, “They’re going to kill me, Jasp.”

He eased up slightly and leaned his forehead against hers so that, even in the dark, she could see the intense gleam of conviction in his eyes. “Nobody’s going to hurt you, sweetheart. I promise.”

His words settled deep within her, spurring her arms to circle his shoulders as she burrowed her face in his throat. He shifted them on their sides, slid a leg between her thighs, linking them together, and pulled her into him as Quinn trembled with full body shivers.

She was taking this. She needed this. She could pull up her bitch pants and lace up her shit-stomping boots later. Right now, she was hiding out in Jasper’s strong and more than capable arms.

God, she loved his arms.

She could barely believe he was here.

Hang on. Jasper was here.

She reared back and smacked his shoulder. “Are you crazy?!”

His resigned exhale feathered her hair. “Knew that was too good to last.”

“What in the world made you think it was a good idea to break into my apartment and lie in wait for me?! Wait, scratch that. What in the holy hell are you doing here?!”

His hold on her tightened, something she hadn’t thought possible. “I told you we weren’t finished.”

She smacked him again. “You scared the shit out of me!”

“Quinn…”

“Don’t you ‘Quinn’ me in that tone of voice, Jasper McQueen! I am not one of your soldiers. I do not jump when you say so and ask how high on the way up.”

“We’re sailors, not soldiers. And no, you jump into my arms the second I touch you.”

“I do not.”

“You practically burrowed under me.”

She snorted. “Don’t flatter yourself.”

“Don’t have to when you do shit like that.”

“Cocky.”

Quinn gasped when he grinded his rock hard thigh between her legs.

“Yeah, but you like me that way.”

“I can’t believe you’re getting off on this.” She pushed to get free, and when that didn’t budge him, reached back to pry his hands off. He snatched hers up and gave them a squeeze.

“Baby, I got you squirming under me, no training in the world is gonna keep me soft.”

“I thought you were here to kill me!”

His jaw hardened. Any hint of amusement was gone when he replied, “Yeah, let’s talk about that.”

Like that was going to happen. “Not on your life,” she vowed.

“It’s your life I’m worried about. And don’t bother bullshitting me. You’re as worried as I am, and I know this because you told me.”

Dammit, that was true. She’d been so relieved it was Jasper in her room and not Thug One or Thug Two (or someone worse), she’d nearly told him everything.

Score one for subconscious self-preservation.

“Let me go,” she demanded.

“You gave that to me,” Jasper reminded her unnecessarily, ignoring her demand. “And I don’t care if you were scared outta your mind when you did. Finally, you’re telling me some truth, and now you’re going to give me the rest of it.”

That raised her hackles again. “Why? Because you say so?”

“Yes!” he roared, ratcheting from zero to sixty in a scorching hot minute. “I have some fucking significant experience with this shit, Quinn. Maybe, for a change, you could follow my goddamn lead!”

“I’ve followed enough for one lifetime and have been doing fine without you since I stopped doing that.” That was more of a lie than she’d like to admit, but she sure as hell wasn’t adding that to her list of confessions.

“Sure. You did so fine without me, how come, a second ago, you were begging me not to kill you?”

Crap, he had her there too. “We’ve been through this already. It’s none of your business.”

“Yeah, we’ve been through this already, but you don’t seem to be getting a clue.”

Her eyes narrowed. “Excuse me?”

He shook her by the shoulders and didn’t bother to be gentle about it. “Who are you so afraid of, Quinn?”

The moment her eyeballs settled back in their sockets, Quinn reared up into his face and carefully enunciated, “It’s none. Of. Your. Business.”

“God damn it,” he growled and then his mouth was on hers, and her tongue was against his, and she sank back into his heat and the flavor that was only ever Jasper. Her fingers dug into his shirt where it pulled across his back. The leather straps of his holster dragged against the tops of her breasts. She whimpered as her nipples raised up against the friction.

Quinn lifted her outside leg and hooked it over his hip. She dug her heel into the small of his back and used it as leverage to push up and get even closer, so close, his eyelashes brushed her nose when he lifted up and repositioned his mouth to take hers again, rough and deep and wet and, God, it was Jasper, and she couldn’t get enough, she would never get enough of him.

His fingers plunged into her hair to drag her head back as though he couldn’t stop their kiss under his own power. “Fine,” he said in a gravelly voice that shot vibrations through her sex. “Keep your secrets. I only came here to fuck you.”

And like that, all her desire for him went poof, as though she’d been doused in cold water. Jasper never spoke to her that way—he never spoke to anyone that way, at least not when she’d been around to hear. Shock locked up her frame. “Wha—?” she barely managed. “What did you say to me?”

“You heard me.” He bent to kiss her again; she shoved a blocking hand between their mouths.

“You are out of your mind if you think you can say that and expect me to keep on keeping on. How dare you!”

His grip on her hair bordered on uncomfortable. “I dare, Quinn. I’ll dare anything until you tell me what I want to know. If that means I have to fuck it outta you—” He shrugged. “I’ve done far worse to get intel.”

She didn’t want to think about what that “worse” might entail. “You are such a son of a bitch,” she hissed. “Get off me!”

Instead he rolled them so he was on top again, which Quinn felt was a clear enough, if unacceptable, answer. “Don’t bother pretending I’m alone in this. A year apart hasn’t done jack to weaken what’s between us. If anything, it’s made it stronger.

“You might not want me here, and you might not want to admit you need my help,” and here his hand dipped from her back to slide over her hardened nipple. “But you sure as hell want me in your body, and baby, you don’t have to ask twice.”

“I didn’t ask at all! You jumped me when I walked in the door!”

“I waited for you! Again! Jesus, so fucking stupid, I waited for you, again. Once McBain cut us loose for the night, I headed back to Junonia to talk to you, just talk, Quinn, because I can’t stand that I haven’t known where you’ve been for a whole fucking year. And then, suddenly, you’re here the same goddamn weekend I am, and scared to death someone is coming to kill you and you still—won’t—fucking—talk to me!”

He lurched off her and was at the door before she caught up. The instinct to go after him was too strong to question, even after what he’d said and done. He couldn’t leave, not like this. Not after what she’d seen in his face.

Quinn wrapped her arms around his waist, knowing there was no way she could hold him back if he was set on going, only sure that there was something very, very important here that she would lose forever if he walked out that door.

She wouldn’t be able to bear that. Not again.

He jerked once in her hold, his hands coming to hers to set them aside.

“Jasper,” she whispered.

His head slumped forward, chin to chest, but at least he’d stopped moving.

“The bar was dark when I got there,” he continued as though he’d never stopped. “And you were gone a-fucking-gain. So I interrupted McBain gettin’ it on with his wife, and once he was done deciding whether or not to kill me for it, he explained who I was to his wife. She told me you’d shacked up here at Hibiscus Court.” His hands tightened on hers, silently communicating how he felt about her new digs. “I hotwired one of the resort’s cars and shot over here, and when your car wasn’t in the lot, I broke in to wait for you. Again.”

Quinn rested her forehead in the groove between his shoulder blades. “You did all that so you could fuck me?”

“Jesus, Quinn, no.” He spun around, so quick, always so swift and able, that now her forehead rested on his cut pec. His arms slid back around her waist, and she couldn’t stop the soul deep sigh that escaped her lips. They’d always fit together like this, as if the detailed grooves and hard planes of his body were made expressly to accommodate the soft curves and lush valleys of hers, and she’d been so empty without him all year.

“I did it all to find you.” He titled her head up and kissed her with a painful tenderness. “I’ve missed you, babe,” he admitted, mouth hovering over hers, so close she could taste the words. His lips coasted up and over the curve of her cheek to buss her temple. “More than you could ever know.”

Her heart shattered and its pieces crackled in her voice when she murmured, “Honey,” and gripped the sides of his neck to pull him back down to her. “I missed you too.”

 

Get your copy of Wild on the Rocks today!

If Life Isn’t a Beach, It Probably Should Be

26 Apr
Just another day at the beach, right?

May all your seaside adventures work out just like this one.

By Alexa Day

I’m enjoying a transitional period between the last job and the next job. Actually, it’s more accurate to say that I’m enjoying it now. I was not having such a good time with it last week.

Anyway, now that I’ve lightened up a little, I’ve realized that this brief (I hope) interval might be the ideal time for a trip to the beach. Sure, I could go whenever I wanted, strictly speaking, even when I was not in the transitional period. But now, I can go on a weekday morning, during the school year. That’s pretty close to perfect.

I’ve read that most people are drawn to the beach because our bodies are mostly water. The soothing sound of the waves does have a special pull. There’s a stillness on an empty beach, a sense that the world has distilled itself to this place where the water meets the earth. Because of all that, the beach is a great place to work. Indeed, Yorktown Beach, Buckroe Beach, and even Virginia Beach probably prevented me from sliding into insanity during law school. I found myself rescued by the knowledge that I could slip away after (cough, instead of, cough) class to sit on a blanket with a stack of notes or books.

If the serenity of solitude isn’t the right solution, though, the beach is still seductive.

I’ve been camping on the beach with a lover, far from the strip and the boardwalk and all those lights and sounds. Beneath the dazzling cover of the stars, we’d just sit there and watch and listen. We were together where the sky met the sea and the sea met the sand, looking out toward the horizon. It’s hard to be in a place like that without feeling tiny. Just two people on a huge planet. Just two people who happened to find each other and share a blanket. Perhaps across an ocean from two other people staring toward us and thinking the same thing.

The beach is a little different for a single girl, in my experience, but no less awe-inspiring.

I don’t generally cotton to the big beachside resort. I have family in Jamaica, and my experience of the island beach makes me want something a little more organic, I guess. But being a local on a busy island beach presents a beautiful blend of society and solitude. Parked on a chair or a blanket with the beloved beach read, I have enjoyed many a sunny afternoon watching good-looking men pass by, on their way to a bar or a boat trip or whatever. Sunbathing is kind of a spectator sport, right? A quick peek over one’s book to check out the traffic, and then back down to the story at hand. Personally, I like to be near the lifeguard. They’re not supposed to be paying attention to that innocuous person on the blanket below them, which frees me to leer at them to my heart’s content.

And let’s remember the beachside bar. Tough to pick a favorite, right? Such friendly places, filled with people who’ve spent the whole day relaxing near the water. It’s a great place to meet that guy who strolled by the blanket a while ago. I have to admit that I’ve never found the lifeguard bar, but I know there must be one. Maybe someday, when I’m not really trying, I’ll stumble across it just in time for happy hour, and I’ll finally get to see what those tanned, age-inappropriate fellows talk about when they’re not way up on the chair.

A girl’s got to have goals, after all.

Whether you actually make it to the beach this year or not, you will want to secure a copy of my colleague Kiersten Hallie Krum’s novel, WILD ON THE ROCKS, posthaste. It’s got most of what we want from the beach — expertly made cocktails,  a super-hot Navy SEAL, and loads of excitement. And you will not have to deal with the giant annoyance of tracked-in sand. Now you tell me what’s not to love about something like that.

Go get yours and then try to get by some water!

And follow Lady Smut.

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