I'll use a masterful reframe and report that my long blogging absences are proof I'm really good at taking long blogging absences. See how I did that?
Stories in Progress
I'm hard at work on two contemporaries and a historical. Plot always slows me down, so I'm working on nailing that in these stories, and hopefully being able to release more frequently in the future! :fingers crossed:
Get Ready for the Upcoming Historical Release!
Deception is re-releasing this fall, so be sure you're signed up for the newsletter to get all the updates!
Get Ready for the Upcoming Contemporary Romance!
I'll also have a contemporary releasing, a sequel to SPIN. Tentative title: DARE. If you like fun, super-sexy contemporary romances, you'll love these books!
How to get ready, you ask??
Read Spin if you haven't yet! It's currently available at Amazon, and if you have KU, you can read it through that.
From DARE (tentative tile), sequel to SPIN
We drove home in the dark. Or rather, to Finn’s home, since my chokingly-expensive almost-three-thousand-dollars-a-month condo back in the city was now sub-let, giving me a brief respite before I had to decide what to really do. Hard, smart, dangerous Finn Dante, my oasis in the desert-like wasteland of my otherwise empty life.
Sitting beside me in his pick up, his eyes were on the dark highway before us. Cut from flesh and marble, he was part human, part demi-god. He had a sharp mind, a quiet, devastating confidence, and a mouth and mind so dirty it could get him jailed in several states. Finn was a former Ranger, now high-end pawn shop business owner and low-down alpha man, dangerous in ways you didn’t even see coming till he was already there, hard and confident and taking care of business.
His business had become me and my welfare.
Dangerous indeed. Because I didn’t know what my future held. Whereas Finn had a very certain, wonderful future that involved pawn and beams and struts and a horse farm and a generally quiet, problem-free life in this gorgeous mountain country, and I didn’t know if I was cut out for a quiet, problem-free life.
I was bred on problems. Needed them. Chaos, noise, trouble and toil, the sound and rich people’s fury: I ate it up. Breakfast of Champions. I didn’t know if I could exist with problems. And the idyllic mountain town of Destiny Falls didn’t have a whole of problems other than me and my missing career.
Finn's kind of peacefulness was an alien world to me. Kind of like the one outside the truck window now. I looked through it at the nighttime desert, filled with strange, natural things I didn't usually encounter. Wolves, snakes, starlight. Fresh air.
I stared out, the window rolled up tight. “What's that?” I said in a low voice.
Finn glanced over, then through the window where my finger was pointing. “A tree.”
“Oh.” I lowered my hand.
“Nothing to be scared of.”
“I'm not scared. I'm wary.”
He grinned at me. I shifted my eyes and returned him a level look through the glow of his dashboard lights.
He yanked on the wheel and brought the car off the highway, to the side of the road. Then he killed the engine.
Bad choice of words. Killed. I stared at him.
The tick-tick-tick of the cooling engine frightened me
“Um, what are we doing?”
“I've got something to show you.” He opened his door.
“Is it bodies?” I called out. His door slammed shut. I watched him come around to my side. He swung my door open and I looked up at his dark shape, the night taking shape behind him. “Are you going to show me where bodies are buried?” I asked somberly.
He put out a hand. “Get out.”
“You're scaring me.”
He hauled me out, reaching behind our seats to the small storage area and came out with a blanket. He tucked my hand into the crook of his elbow, threw the blanket over my shoulder, and started dragging me off into the bushes.
Okay, there were actually no bushes. It was open grassland, with a large, high hill on either side of the deserted highway.
“Is this legal?” I whispered as we climbed the hill.
“I mean being out here.”
“In nature? Yes, it's still legal.”
“This isn't nature,” I muttered, eyeing the scrub brush. “It's county right of way.” If there was one thing I knew, it was when someone was breaking the rules.
We began hiking up hillside beside highway. The sky was every shade of blue, from the palest blue at the horizon, to the deepest, black-blue of a bruise overhead. Soft, night breeze brushed over us, musky with the perfume of scorched earth and piñon needles burned by the sun through the day. Thin grasses rustled as the scented breeze nuzzled through their midst, like a sigh in church. Everything in the night world seemed to be alive and whispering to each other. Secret language.
“Isn't this private property?” I murmured.
“We're not bothering anyone.”
“Aren't there wolves?”
“They always howl before they attack. It's a warning signal. Three dashes and one long.”
I squinted at him. “That's Morse code.”
He flung the blanket onto the dusty ground. “Scout's honor. Grab an end.”
I grabbed a corner and drew it out. “Were you ever a boy scout?”
“Nope. But I can tie a knot. Wanna see?” He dropped to his knees on the blanket and held out his hand. A car raced by down on the highway.
“Finn.” It was half question, half warning.
“Janey, nothing's going to hurt you out here. I swear. I'll protect you from wolves and snakes.”
“And outraged landowners?”
He held up two fingers, close together. Scouts honor.
I was quiet a second. “What about rustlers?”
He grabbed my hand and pulled me down onto the blanket. “Lay the fuck down baby, and look up.”
Stiff as a board, I flattened my spine on the bright woven blanket, my hands fisted over my tightened stomach, my knees clamped together, my jaw fixed, and stared up.
“What are we looking at?” I said after a second.
“I am being serious.”
His face was bathed in night and starshine, mostly dark, all but his gleaming eyes. I opened my mouth and he pointed to the sky.
“Stop talking. Look up.”
For awhile, it was like staring at black construction paper. But slowly, as I relaxed and my eyes adjusted, and Finn breathed beside me and said nothing, the stars took shape. It was like silver fairy dust, like a pouch had been tipped over and the stars spilled out, sparking and shivering in the dark sky. It was the way I felt when Finn touched my body, and did everything but say the words. I love you.
“Oh wow,” I whispered.
“Wow,” Finn agreed, real low.
“I didn't know.”
“I know. That's Lyra,” he murmured, sliding an arm behind my shoulders and leaning up on his elbow to point. “It's supposed to look like a lyre.” His arm moved, tracing a jagged triangle through the air. “The god Apollo gave it to his son, Orpheus. He played for the Argonauts, who went with Jason to find the Golden Fleece. He played so well the wild beasts bowed for him, and even the rocks and trees were charmed.”
As he talked, his body was warm and solid beside me.
“Wow,” I said softly, but very intently, because right now, everything Finn did with his body or his mouth was of the utmost interest. “That's fascinating.”
He went on in a low rumble, telling me about the nymph Orpheus had fallen in love with, and how she died running away from some asshole shepherd, and Orpehus's heart had been broken, and how he'd gone hunting her down below in the underworld. It was better than any lesson I'd learned in school, told in his low husky voice, but Finn was an aphrodisiac all his own. I didn't even need the words, just the rumble of him, the heat of him, talking to me, one hand hung low over my belly, the other stretched out, pointing high in the sky at the tiny sparks of fire burning millions of light years away, feeling so close.
“Wow,” I whispered. I was still utterly interested, but no longer actually able to focus.
His low, instructional rumble paused. “Wow?”
I tilted my head to the side. “Not a wow?”
“I asked if you were cold.”
I laughed and leaned my head back on the ground, my face up to him. “Sorry, I kinda wasn't listening.”
In the dim starshine, his face was dark as he gave me a slow smile. “What were you kinda doing?”
“Thinking how happy I am right now, learning about sky lyres. It kind of gets me hot,” I admitted in a whisper.
“Wow,” he said, as his muscled arm slipped beneath the blanket and clamped around me.
“Tell me more about Lyra.” I urged.
“Well, Vega is in Lyra,” he said as he rolled to his side and skimmed his hand down my side then went up on his knees to straddle me. “It's one of the brightest stars in the sky.”
“That's incredible,” I said weakly as he nudged my legs apart.
“There's a globular cluster in there too. Big one.”
“No way,” I whispered as he propped himself above me. “You know about lot about Lyra”
“Nick is filled with useless knowledge and he shares it whenever we get drunk. Now, Jane, pull up your dress.”
I yanked it down and darted my eyes around. “No! We can't. Not here.”
“Sure we can. It's easy. Watch.” His hand went to my knees and tugged the sundress up.
Yep, it had been pretty easy.
I tried to pull it back down. “Finn,” I hissed. “This is someone's private property.”
“Then don't break anything.”
As there was nothing around us but sage brush and open sky, breakage wasn't my biggest concern. It was the aforementioned private property, and owners with rifles, and how we were within sight of the highway, up here on this rise. Sure, you could see a car coming from five miles away in the everlasting darkness, but then again, you could see a car coming from five miles away.
His eyes locked on mine. “Scaredy cat.”
I frowned at him. “Stop doing that.”
He leaned down to my neck and his teeth closed on the hot flesh of the curve of my neck and I was done for.
“Pull it up, baby,” he whispered, and I whispered “Damn you,” and did.
He made it worth my while, being so obedient, because his fingers began their magic again, and I felt him flip my skirt up further, over my belly, so everything was exposed to the moon and the stars and Finn's perfect, sinful hands.
Does Janey find a way to make it in Finn's world? Does Finn come clean about all the stuff he's hiding as he works to make her world maybe a little too perfect, doing anything so she'll stay with him? Do they have sex on the side of the road??
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