Ground Hog day again….hummm, you know, sometimes, as a writer, I feel like a ground hog. I’ll be working along on a project and someone pulls me out of my writing cave for a release. That book was written most times a full year before it releases, so my little mind is entrenched in my current project. Honestly, I know how Punxsutawney Phil feels…lol. Did anyone catch the other ground hog? I understand he’s the main contender for competition with Punxsutawney Phil. In this case, the Mayor was trying to tell everyone that Jimmy, the official groundhog in Sun Prairie did not see his shadow and spring was coming early. Jimmy bit the Mayor on the ear. Now I don’t claim to be an expert on Ground Hog but I’m thinking that means, Jimmy thought you misheard him Mr. Mayor. Spring is not coming early, Jimmy wants to go back to bed.
I know I’m going back into my writing burrow. Filthy Rich is releasing this month but I’m about to close out the second book on what will be my next series. It’s hot enough to keep even my toes warm too! I hope you all enjoy Filthy Rich.
She was shutting him out.
Nartan watched the way Celeste tightened her features and looked away from his face. He really didn’t need to get involved. But leaving felt like quitting.
That was something he never did.
“It won’t be over until you pull that weed out by the root,” he informed her. “That’s how that ghost maintains its grip.”
She started to shake her head. “This isn’t your concern.”
He stepped into her path when she tried to make a getaway.
“Or maybe I should have said, it won’t be over until you find the courage to face your demons.”
Her eyes widened in surprise before her temper flickered in her eyes. “Like I said neither of us needs the tension hooking up will create.”
“The way you blush when you look at me says differently.” He shrugged and watched the way her gaze lowered to his shoulders. “Am I the first man who’s excited you since you left the prick? Or am I just the first one who’s made it past your defense system?”
“You don’t—” She bit back the lie, a hint of disgust surfacing in her expression. “My sex drive works just fine.”
He offered her a raised eyebrow. “You’re good at it, the brush off.”
“How would you know?” She questioned. “You don’t look like a man who gets told no very often.”
He chuckled. “Thanks for noticing.”
“Can you even name the last five partners you had?” she asked.
Nartan locked gazes with her. “Now you’re back to being a bitch to get me to shove off.”
“Maybe I am a bitch.”
He studied her for a long moment. “You aren’t. I know my share of them.”
She drew in a deep breath. “My point exactly. But just in case you don’t get it, I’m not interested in joining your list of friends with benefits. I know what it’s like to be used and I won’t be doing it to someone else. Even if you’re willing.”
Surprise flashed through him, and it unleashed a wave of need that shocked him with its intensity.
“Tell me you don’t want to touch me and I’ll walk away.”
She’d crossed her arms over her chest. She gripped her own bicep, her fingertips pressing into the skin. There was a flash of guilt in her eyes, a hint of fear over being unmasked, which sent a jolt of excitement through him.
“I want the same thing.”
“Yeah, I got that message when you pinched my butt,” she responded in a dry tone.
“I cupped it.” He withdrew his hand from his pocket and mimicked a little pat.
Her face turned scarlet.
But the tip of her tongue appeared and swept across her lower lip. He stepped toward her and had to force himself to stop when her expression become guarded.
“Touch me, Celeste.”
She blinked. “Excuse me?”
He crooked his finger, beckoning her forward. “Come here and finish what we started last night…” He laid his hands on his chest for a moment. “Do what you felt the impulse to do, and don’t let that prick keep you bottled up.”
“I told you, I’m not interested in doing anything about what I feel for you.” She shook her head.
“Why would I? Your ideas are clearly different than mine when it comes to relationships. I’m a complication you don’t want any more than I want to be disappointed by you.”
“All that proves is that you like getting what you want,” Celeste countered, doing her best to recall exactly why using him was something she wanted to avoid.
“You think I have to follow you to get it?” It wasn’t really the tone of his voice, just the way his features sharpened with confidence. He knew his effect on women and enjoyed reaping the benefits.
“Thanks for confirming what I thought about you the first time we met.”
She went to step past him, but he moved into her path. “And what was that?”
“That you are very successful and accustomed to being in control.” She sighed and held up her hand when he started to speak. “It’s nothing personal. I just don’t go for the controlling type.”
His eyes had narrowed, but his lips lifted just a bit at the corners. “The hell you don’t. That little puppy dog that tried his hand at impressing you on the dance floor didn’t have a prayer, because you need someone who is going to impress you before you yield.”
“You sound like a cave man.”
He reached out and clasped her nape, curling his hand around the slender column. He gave her just a taste of his strength, enough to unleash a flood of heat before releasing her.
He chuckled softly when she averted her gaze to keep him from seeing what she felt. “What’s wrong? Don’t know what to do when I remove the opportunity for you to divert your attention away from how I affect you?”
The thought scrapped her pride, leaving her smarting as she was forced to admit there was a lot of truth in his accusation.
“Nartan, this is just going to get messy.
“You don’t trust a confident man, but there is no way you’d surrender to one who wasn’t confident.” His voice hardened. “Your ex is succeeding in getting you to build your own prison.”
Was that true?
She hated the fact that it might be.
He reached out again. Doing it slowly, testing her nerve. She felt the distance between them closing, everything slowing down as she became immersed in the sharp sensation of anticipation.
But she didn’t pull back. She locked gazes with him. “You might be right.”
“And you don’t like that?”
“No.” She stepped closer to him. “Let’s see if it was moon madness last night.”
All of her senses were heightened, her skin ultra-sensitive when he brushed the surface of her cheek with his fingertips. She shivered, her eyes slipping closed as she savored the connection between their skin.
For just a moment, time froze and she allowed herself to savor the contact. Oh yes, she had forgotten how good it felt to be touched.
But she opened her eyes when she realized she’d never enjoyed a man’s touch as much. This was more intense and far more likely to explode.
“You’re fire.” She shook her head, intending to sever the connection between their gazes, but he slid his hand into her hair, rubbing across her scalp before he closed the distance between them and tightened his fist in her hair.
“I could make the same accusation.” His eyes glittered with need. “I haven’t stopped thinking about kissing you again.”
She gasped, the sight of him on the edge driving her closer to it herself. He leaned down and captured the sound with his lips.
It wasn’t a hard kiss.
She could have pulled away from a hard, possessive claiming of her lips.
Nartan started with a soft press that stole her breath. It might have been slow, but he still pressed his mouth against hers with all the solid confidence she’d accused him of having. It was there in the way he slid his lips across hers. Once, twice, and then a third time before he teased her lower lip with a soft lick.
Everything except the connection between them ceased to register. She reached for him, smoothing her hands down the cotton of his shirt. She dipped her fingers beneath the blue tie, determined to get closer to his skin.
She could smell him. That musky scent that turned her on as much as the way he stroked her tongue with his. It was masterful, arrogant, but excitement tore through her like lightening and left a burning trail behind.
She twisted toward him, straining upwards so she might kiss him. The hold on her nape changed, tightening as he growled. He curled his other arm around her, binding her against his body as she reached for his hair and pulled his head tighter against her own.
The kiss became demanding and hard. He pulled her right off her feet and pressed her up against the wall of the building. He reached down, sliding his hand across the curve of one side of her bottom and further down to her thigh. Heat roared through her, her heart pounding as her clit began to ache. The need to press against him was so intense, she never protested when he pulled her thigh up to allow him to press against her mound.
He hissed, his fingers slipping beneath the hem of her skirt and discovering one strap from her garter belt was the only thing to keep his hand off her bare skin. She shivered, his skin connecting with hers like a clap of thunder. She jerked her head back, unbearably conscious of how exposed she was. Only a thin triangle of silk covered her sex, just inches from his fingers. She was on edge, completely exposed. Frantic with the need for more. More of him.
By Dawn Ryder
February 3, 2015
“Tantalizing” – RT Book Reviews on Out of Bounds
SHE’S FIGHTING FOR CONTROL…
Celeste Connor swore that she’d never be a victim again. After the hell of her abusive ex, the last thing she needs is to be under another man’s thumb. But when she catches the eye of fiercely dominant Nartan Lupan at her best friend’s wedding, Celeste finds herself drawn into a glittering world of wealth and power that has her body aching and her mind reeling.
HE’S FIGHTING TO MAKE HER HIS…
Nartan is a filthy rich businessman who works hard, plays harder, and doesn’t take no for an answer—and he wants Celeste with a hunger he’s never before felt. He’ll do whatever it takes to have her. But Nartan didn’t expect that he’d want still more…
Dawn Ryder is the erotic romance pen name of a bestselling author of historical romances. She has been publishing her stories for over 8 years to a growing and appreciative audience. She is commercially published in mass market and trade paper, and digi-first published with trade paper releases. She is hugely committed to her career as an author, as well as to other authors and to her readership. She resides in Southern California.