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All I Want For Christmas

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Sami’s wish list

  • No stress shopping, aka, an underground parking space when I need one, a trolley that is big enough for all my
    Sami's small but cute Chrissie tree

    Sami’s small but cute Chrissie tree

    purchases, and well behaved children. I actually had all this happen yesterday. Wow! Mind you I got to the shopping centre before 8am to get that parking space and the kids were only well behaved two thirds of the time. But two thirds is pretty good. And I was wearing great shoes.

  • For the kids to believe in magic for at least another year. Reading Princess’s letters to ‘Santa’ just makes me melt and want to hug her for being so sweet and innocent. I dread the day she becomes a cynical teenager and heaps scorn upon me for all the Santa/Tooth Fairy/Easter Bunny related lies I’ve told.
  • Dappled sunlight and a light breeze on Christmas Day. We are staying near the house and near the pool thank you very much. But I still don’t want to content with 40 degree heat with a house full of people waiting to be fed. No thanks.
  • For everyone in my combined family to be gentle and kind to one another.
  • If I wrote a letter fo Santa it would be to wish we could trade in all the material things we think we want for that one thing we need more than anything in this world–for all our children to be safe in their schools, in their daycare centres, in their beds. Please, can’t we work harder for that? Please?
  • For all my readers and writer friends and online friends and followers and bloggers and book reviewers and publishers to have a Christmas that inspires fond memories in years to come. Let’s all make the most of what we have and appreciate time with family and friends for what it is—a necessary miracle.

Love and best wishes for the season,

Sami

Ho Ho Ho

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Chapter One

 

Chilled to the bone, weary, dry-eyed and craving a beer more than ever, Jack McKenzie knocked on his cousin’s door.

The flight from mid-summer, sweat-sucked-from-your-pores Sydney, to mid-winter, freezing-your-arse-off-in-a-bloody-snowstorm Texas, had been long and grueling. Not only had he been stuck between two rather large men of dubious personal hygiene for the entire fourteen-hour trip, he’d had to endure a screening of No Broken Hearts Allowed, the latest cringe-inducing rom-com to come out of Hollywood, and the very film during which Tiffany chose to tell him, forty minutes after opening credits, she was dumping him for her fifty-two-year-old boss.

To add insult to injury, the airline carrier had lost his luggage carrying his only jacket capable of withstanding the bitterly cold weather and the only Christmas present he’d brought with him to unwrap on the big day — the small flat package from his mum he suspected were season sideline tickets to the Sydney Swans. Expensive. Irreplaceable. Completely eBayable.

Suffice to say, Jack wasn’t in a good mood. He hoped to God Bruce had a Tooheys. His cousin had been living in the US for a few years now. Maybe he’d crossed to the dark side and had his fridge stocked with Bud, or Miller, or, or… okay, he couldn’t think of any other American beer at the moment. All he could think about was a Tooheys, a shower, maybe some Vegemite on toast and a soft, clean bed, even if the bed was Bruce’s sofa.

He looked at the closed door before him, absentmindedly tracing the large, silver 7C screwed into the burgundy painted wood just above the peephole while he waited for Bruce to answer his knock.

Serendipity Estates. Weird name for an apartment complex. What was his cousin — an ex-sheep shearer and more “blokey” than any other male Jack knew — doing living in an upmarket, trendy looking city apartment complex?

The door swung open and a tall, willowy redhead regarded him with laughing gray eyes. A tall, willowy redhead with laughing gray eyes, long, long legs encased in worn black denim, and the fullest, softest lips Jack had ever seen. “Yes?”

He frowned, even as his body said Heeello. The redhead wasn’t Bruce. Bruce had never looked this good. “Um.” He bit back a muttered curse. Bloody brilliant conversation starter that is, Jack.

The redhead smiled, interest flickering in her smoky eyes. She tilted her head to the side a little and placed her hand against the doorjamb, unwittingly drawing Jack’s attention to the small, round perfection of her breasts snugged behind a pure white T-shirt. “Can I help you?”

“Um,” Jack began, and again mentally cringed at his inarticulate clumsiness. What was going on with him? Jet lag? Or had Tiffany sucked from him his ability to talk to a beautiful woman? She didn’t want him anymore, but she sure as hell didn’t want him to find anyone else? Okay, now you’re being paranoid.

He gave the redhead a slightly puzzled smile. “Is Bruce home?”

One finely arched auburn eyebrow cocked. “Bruce?”

Jack hitched his backpack higher onto his shoulder, trying not to shiver. The hallway was chilly, the snowstorm outside permeating Serendipity Estate’s internal structure, and his only jacket was most likely somewhere between Australia and Who-Knows-Where. “Bruce McKenzie.” He paused, waiting for the entirely too gorgeous woman to acknowledge his cousin’s name.

She didn’t.

“The bloke that lives here.” The statement sounded like a question, and Jack’s gut began to tighten. Why did this feel wrong?

“There’s no Bruce McKenzie here,” the woman replied, the sides of her mouth playing with a grin.

Jack studied her, looking for some sign she was pulling his leg. He’d just flown halfway around the planet. His girlfriend of six years had dumped him for her boss two days ago. It was nine p.m., Christmas Eve. He wanted a beer, some hot toast, an even hotter shower and a bed. Not necessarily in that order. He raked his right hand through his hair, realizing he was messing it up even more but not caring. Christ. Where the bloody hell was his cousin?

He dug into his back pocket and pulled out a small scrap of paper, unfolding it to read the address scrawled on it in Bruce’s normal black print.

Apartment 7C,

Serendipity Estates,

155 Cherry Lane,

Charlie, Texas, USA.

Jack shot the door another look. The silver 7 and the silver C hadn’t changed. This was the right address. So where was Bruce?

“Can I help you?”

The husky murmur lifted Jack’s attention from his cousin’s lessthan flowery penmanship to the woman still standing in the door of apartment 7C. She was studying him with an unreadable expression. “You’re Australian, yes?”

Jack nodded. “Yes. And so’s my cousin who told me he lived here.” He shoved the small slip of paper back into his pocket. “Do you know of any Bruce McKenzie living around here? Maybe he just wrote the apartment number wrong.”

The woman shook her head, her long auburn hair tumbling over her straight shoulders in a glossy cascade that made Jack’s stomach and groin grow tight. “I don’t, I’m afraid. I’ve lived in Serendipity Estates since they were built. Trust me, your cousin has never lived in 7C.”

Jack suppressed a sigh. “Damn it.”

No luggage, no jacket and now no cousin. Which meant no shower, no toast, no beer and no bed. All with a bloody snowstorm cold enough to freeze the tits off a bull wrecking havoc outside. When he found Bruce, if he found Bruce, he was going to kill him. That was, if he didn’t freeze to death in the interim trying to hail a taxi. What a fantastic Christmas this was going to be.

Jack hitched his backpack further up his shoulder and gave the woman — damn, she was gorgeous — a wry, lopsided smile. “Well, I’m sorry to be a nuisance.” He took a step away from the door. “Have a nice –”

“Do you want to come in?”

The question stopped Jack dead in his tracks.

“You’ve obviously got nowhere else to go, and I couldn’t live with the guilt of you turning into an icicle out on the street. Not on Christmas Eve, at least…” The rest of the sentence hung on the air between them and Jack felt his heartbeat quicken. He should say no. He should thank her for the kind offer and find a cab. Not because he was worried she was going to try and cut him up into little pieces once she had him behind closed doors. He was a professional tae kwon do instructor. He could take care of any nut-job trying to take him out, no matter how deceptively willow they may be.

No, he should say no because his body was saying yes, yes, you bloody moron, yes — and right at point in time, he didn’t think he had the energy or the inclination to ignore it.

Tiffany had ripped out his heart and shoved it in his face, his always dependable cousin had given him a bum steer, shit, even the airline had messed him up, and here was one very gorgeous, very sexy woman with legs that didn’t quit, lips made for kissing, and an accent that made his balls feel heavy and his blood feel hot, inviting him into her home.

He should say no. So why was he hesitating?

He wanted a shower, he wanted a beer, but right at this very moment he wanted something more. He wanted to feel like he had a place to relax on Christmas Eve, a place to be himself. If only for fifteen minutes or so. And feeling like that would be a whole lot finer in 7C’s company.

The woman gave him a wide grin. “I won’t bite. Promise.”

Not unless I ask you to?

The entirely too sexual thought flittered through Jack’s head. He opened his mouth, ready to say no, he should go, when the woman offered him her hand, her eyes shining with daring merriment, as if she could hear the very thoughts running through his conflicted mind. “I’m Holly.”

(Join me on Chapter Two on my blog tomorrow. Hee hee hee. Ho ho ho)

My Jolly Exciting News

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A few days ago I received a jolly exciting email in my inbox.

My editor had just accepted two more of my books for publication, turning the previous book I’d sent her into the start of an all new series called More Than.

You may have heard me talk about the first book. I wrote it in 8 days. Which is not only a record for me, it’s also completely insane. I just don’t write that fast. But after 3 months of writer’s block, of not being able to put a single sentence together, I guess those words were sitting there, just ready to escape. And escape they did. Into a whole new friends-to-lovers book which I tentatively titled Forever Friends.

Samhain tossed that title right into the garbage. Their reasoning? It sounded way to sweet for the book I’d written. And yeah, there may may be some sweet aspects to the story, but ‘sweet’ wouldn’t be my first choice to describe it.

Hot, erotic, sexy…yep, yep, yep. Sweet, nope.

And so the book was renamed More Than Friends.

But lets be honest. You can’t have a book name More Than…Something, and not have more than one of it. And so the series was born, with More Than Lovers becoming the second book, and More Than Words the third.

There’s a fourth book in the pipeline too, More Than Ever, but that’s just in a glimmer in my eye for now.

More Than Friends is in the final editing stages, and I’ve just received the blurb for it. Wanna know more?

ComingSoon_72LG

MORE THAN FRIENDS: The Blurb

He was her best friend…until he became her fantasy.

A More Than story.

Lucy Lawson’s got it bad. Bad as in stunned speechless by the situation she’s in, by the feelings sitting on her chest, ready to explode. She’s in love…with her best friend.

Problem is, telling Sebastian Blackford could destroy the best thing in her life, but the longer she keeps her feelings under wraps, the stronger the need to spill her secret.

The last thing Seb suspects is that his best mate is madly, wildly in love with him, or that he’s the star of her seriously dirty fantasies. Worse, he’s just started seeing someone he’d like to see again—and Lucy knows it.

So why does her confession hit him like a runaway train? And why can’t he get her explicit description of her fantasies out of his mind? They’ve never been more than friends, but now that he knows how Lucy feels, everything is out of whack.

Seb figures it’s up to him to get their relationship back on track. He’ll do it too, just as soon as he establishes which track is the right one.

Warning:  After reading this, you may just be tempted to jump your best friend. It’s recommended you keep your partner on speed dial or a toy with fresh batteries on standby.

More Than Friends releases at Samhain on the 28th of May, and the next two books release towards the end of the year.

🙂

Jess

Release Day – New Year’s Kisses by Rhian Cahill

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The second of my holiday novella series is out today!

She didn’t plan to fall in love, but he’s not accepting anything less.

 

Emily has a five year plan, and romance isn’t on it. Unfortunately no one told Wade Johnson that.

 

Wade never thought he’d need to resort to blackmail to get a date. But if that’s what it’ll take to convince Emily Warner to join him, that’s what he’ll do – and make it a date neither of them will ever forget.

 

New Year’s is all about new beginnings and Emily and Wade are about to discover the best beginnings start at year’s end.

Excerpt –

Emily Warner threw another skirt back into her closet and cursed Wade Johnson. The man had her questioning every decision she’d ever made right down to the clothes in her wardrobe. Indecision was not her thing. She was a take-charge-get-it-done kind of woman. Except when it came to Wade. Her shoulders drooped and her head fell forward as all the air left her chest. How had one man managed to shake her confidence with such profound effect? If only she hadn’t needed that favour. But she couldn’t put on a Christmas concert for the children without a Santa. Refusing his offer of help to avoid a date hadn’t seemed fair.

She’d met Wade months ago, their attraction mutual and obvious, but Em had a five year plan and nowhere was there mention of a man, least of all one who made her stomach drop and her mind wander through a white picket fence and down the garden path. With her plan firmly in place, she’d rejected every advance he made in the hope he’d give up and move on to greener, more amenable pastures. She should have known better. A man like Wade couldn’t be brushed aside so easily. He was like a dog after a bone and now that he’d finally sunk his teeth into her, she doubted either of them would come out unscathed.

Cursing the man and his rotten timing – and her treacherous libido – Em dove back into her closet with the determination to wear the first thing she put her hands on. Whatever she pulled out next would be it. No more waffling. The black dress she came out with was the sexiest piece of clothing she owned. Wasn’t that just typical of her current off-the-track life plan that it would be the outfit she’d grab?

“Dammit.” Emily tossed the dress across the end of her bed and stared at it, muttering. “Dammit, dammit, dammit.”

She didn’t have to wear it. Except she’d made a decision and she would stick to it. She’d be damned if Wade Johnson was going to make her second guess one more thing. Head high, she spun on her heel, and stomped to the bathroom. He’d arrive in less than an hour and she needed every second of that to pull herself together. Heaven forbid he see her flustered. The man would pounce on any weakness she showed and Emily Warner never showed anything but calm, cool certainty. Her shoulders drooped slightly. Until Wade.

Steam from her shower still hovered in the bathroom and she had to swipe a towel across the mirror to clear the fog. Emily studied the face in front of her, but only saw the same woman she’d seen every day for years. Nothing had changed outwardly, but internally… Inside something was different. Cracked. It didn’t matter how much she denied it or fought it, there was no way to hide from the impact Wade had on her. He made her think of things she’d put aside years ago. Made her remember what it was to yearn for something she didn’t have and thought she didn’t want. Not yet anyway. And now he had her questioning the plan.

With a sigh, Em pulled the towel from her head and picked up her comb. Her short hair was practical for work and the natural curl gave her a feminine look, but if she were being honest she’d have to admit the style was quite boyish. The robe she wore hung off her slender shoulders, emphasising the less than curvaceous body beneath. More proof she didn’t live up to the image of most men’s fantasies. With another sigh, she began to run the wide-toothed comb through her tangled curls. It didn’t take long to remove the knots and fluff the waves into place. Reaching for her make-up bag, she pulled out her meagre supply and set to work on her face. She may lack curves in the places men lusted after, but her face was her saving grace.

She’d been called classically beautiful. What that meant Em wasn’t sure, but her deep blue eyes and long lashes were often called bedroom eyes, and drew more than a few compliments. Her full red lips had been described as kissable by a number of guys she’d dated over the years. Personally she thought they were over-large and took up too much of her face. To counteract her large mouth, Emily emphasised her eyes and down-played her lips. The one place she didn’t worry about make-up was at work; she never knew when one of the children would plaster a paint covered hand on her cheek, so it was best to not have to worry about cosmetic repairs at all.

The old cuckoo clock that had been her grandmother’s whirred to life out in the living room. With a squeak of hinges and a time-worn voice, the little cuckoo sprang from his house and chirped seven times. She was down to thirty minutes before Wade arrived. He hadn’t told her where they were going or what they were doing but considering it was New Year’s Eve and he’d asked her to dress semi-formal Em expected to be attending a party or perhaps an upscale restaurant. Her stomach fluttered at the thought of spending hours with him. From the few conversations they’d engaged in over the last few months she knew he was intelligent and didn’t doubt he’d be a charming companion for the evening. It was how charming he’d prove to be that had her worried.

Slicking on a coat of lip gloss she rolled her lips together to spread the layer evenly. She bypassed her foundation and blush and opted for a single swipe of mascara on her lashes. The temperature hadn’t lowered a great deal and she’d learned not to risk melted make-up disasters long ago. Sydney’s summers were best dealt with naturally and today was no exception. If the weathermen were to be believed there’d be no relief from the heat in the next few days and her car’s climate control system had registered a stifling thirty-eight degrees when she’d arrived home at five o’clock.

Emily checked her reflection one more time. Happy with both her hair and face, she made her way back to the bedroom and the black dress awaiting her. She pulled a matching bra and panties set out of her top drawer while she eyed the slinky material draped over her quilt. The fabric shimmered in the low light and Em couldn’t help but wonder what Wade would think when he saw her. A smile tugged at her lips. She’d never be a traffic stopper with her overly slender body, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t look good. Knowing how to play up her best assets had served her well in the past.

Not that she was out to impress him.

She slipped the belt of her robe free and shrugged out of the satin negligee she’d spent far too much money on last birthday. It wasn’t often Em spoiled herself, the plan didn’t allow for it for a start, but she’d never been one to indulge in frivolous things. While she hadn’t needed a new robe Em had found it impossible to pass up and consoled her practical side by saying it was a birthday gift to herself after exceeding the first year’s goal in her five year plan.

Stepping into the lace underwear Em thought about how far she’d come. From high school drop-out to business owner in less years than it took most to get their degrees. Years spent with her nose buried in books earned her not only a high school certificate, but a degree in early childhood education and a business degree with a minor in accounting: all things necessary to make her childcare centre such a success that parents put their children’s name down on the waiting list before they were born. By most people’s standards she’d already made it. But Emily wasn’t quite done yet.

Two more years and she would have achieved her goal a whole year ahead of time. Then she’d be able to step back and enjoy the results of all her hard work. Until then she couldn’t afford to be distracted by a good looking man, no matter how he made her insides churn. She’d go on this date and make it perfectly clear that she wasn’t interested in anything more. Emily chewed her bottom lip as she bent forward to fit her breasts into the cups of her bra properly. The delicate lace hugged her size-A mounds, barely covering her nipples. She didn’t normally wear such a low-cut undergarment, but the dress’s scooped neckline made the risqué underwear a necessity. And Emily excelled at doing what was necessary.

Emily reached for her dress and lowered the zipper. Carefully, she lifted the fabric over her head and shimmied until the soft material floated down her body. The silky caress of cool cloth sent a shiver down her spine. Twisting, she managed to get the zip up to her shoulders before contorting herself like a pretzel to close it the rest of the way. With another small shimmy the dress rippled and slid into place. Satisfied with her outfit if not precisely comfortable, Em searched the cupboard for her black sandals then headed for the living room.

She checked her phone in the hope of finding a message from Wade telling her he had to cancel, but there was no little envelope icon on the screen. It was probably best if she just accepted she was going on a date with Wade Johnson no matter how much she’d fought against it. Resigned to the inevitable Emily sighed and sat on the couch to wait for him to arrive.

 

You can purchase New Year’s Kisses from –

ESCAPE PUBLISHING  ~  AMAZON  ~  KOBO

To celebrate I’m running a week long contest party on my BLOG so be sure to pop on over and enter for your chance to win a $10 Amazon GC. PLUS the other five Escape Publishing release authors are joining me in the week long party so there’s more prize to be had! 🙂

Rhian Cahill

www.rhiancahill.com

Red Hot Weekend is now available

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Yep,  it’s here. The print version of the ebook anthology, Red Hot Weekend, featuring novellas by Lexxie Couper, Delilah Devlin and myself:

Three stories. One weekend. Hundreds of fantasies to fulfill.

Dare Me by Lexxie Couper
Nothing prepared Emily for the Aussie who strode into her alternative cancer clinic and dared her to cure him. Eight months later, Rob is out of danger…and Emily’s in too deep.
Rob never thought he’d survive, much less fall for his oncologist. The problem? Her Hippocratic Oath hangs between them.

Hidden Fire by Jess Dee

Jenna is all set to spend the weekend wallowing in misery. Instead she’s tied to a chair, knee to knee with the man who broke her heart.
With one chance to show his partner in captivity that his love is real, Garreth methodically, wickedly, sets out to dismantle her defenses. One dirty word at a time.

Lone Heart by Delilah Devlin
Lone Wyatt is in no rush to find his one-and-only, until he spots Charli Kudrow. One look into her haunted eyes, and he’s ready to tear through every objection she can think up.
One killer smile from the cowboy, and Charli feels something she hasn’t felt in a long time—a spark of attraction. Thinking she’ll never see him again, she succumbs to temptation, only to discover that spark is a raging wildfire.

Product Warnings: Contains scorching passion, shattering desire, heartbreaking angst, Aussie sarcasm, no-holds-barred demands, and enough sexin’ up to knock you heart over bootheels.

Red Hot Weekend is available now from Samhain Publishing, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Happy reading.

🙂

Jess

Release Day – Shut Up And Kiss Me by Rhian Cahill

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Yay! It’s release day!

Blurb:

The city of Sydney isn’t the only thing heating up this summer.

Jacqueline Mowbray has spent months fantasizing about her friend Kyle and never once did she consider he may be suffering the same unrelenting attraction. But Jac is about to find out that what Kyle wants Kyle gets.

Kyle Barnes has kept a lid on his simmering desire for Jac for years but what’s a man to do when faced with a hot, wet woman wearing only a towel? Take what he wants of course.

As the city around them melts under a summer heat wave these two friends will discover the sizzling temperatures aren’t the only thing boiling over.

Warning: This story contains more than rising temperatures and the author advises the reader to have a cold drink or suitable partner to help combat the heat.

Excerpt:

Jacqueline Mowbray let herself into the oven that was masquerading as her apartment. Three days of the worst heatwave Sydney had ever endured had taken their toll on more than her hair. The city had hit crisis point this afternoon and now half the population was without power. Jac listened for the hum of her ancient refrigerator but heard only silence. With a sigh, she tossed her keys on the dining table on her way to the bathroom and a cold shower. Good thing she wasn’t after a hot shower or the lack of electricity would really top off her shitty day.

She stripped off her clothes as she went, leaving a trail of damp cotton in her wake. Work had sucked. Power had gone out around two but the boss, being her usual bitchy self, wouldn’t let them shut down until the dot of five. Fucking cow. Jac really needed to look for another job. She’d been Vanessa’s dogsbody for over a year and knew the reason the other woman was doing so well had nothing to do with Vanessa and everything to do with Jac.

If Jac had the cash, she would start up her own shop and give the bitch a run for her money. She smiled. The thought of snooty Vanessa helping women try on clothes was the funniest damn idea. She’d scare off buyers before they ever made it to a fitting room. It was a wonder the store hadn’t gone bust in the year prior to Jac’s employ.

Her feet connected with cool tiles, bringing blessed relief to her hot soles and she took a moment to curl and uncurl her toes to soothe them—and her mind. No more work. Well not for two days, anyway. Jac had never been more thankful for a weekend. She planned to spend it lazing around the house in her underwear, in part due to the unrelenting temperature and in part just because she could. Not even bothering with the hot water tap, Jac twisted the cold one all the way on. A draft of cool air caressed her naked body as the shower blasted against the tiled enclosure. Jac sighed as she stepped beneath the spray.

The water streamed over her short hair and down her back. Closing her eyes, Jac turned under the flow more fully and let the stress of the day wash away. In spite of the high heat and much-needed cooling-off, goosebumps broke out across her skin and a shiver skittered down her spine. She edged out of the flow and reached for the soap. After a quick lather, Jac rinsed, and once more let the cold water rush over her face before switching it off and getting out.

Tempted to air-dry, she thought about the carpet she didn’t own and grabbed a towel. The last thing she needed was to have to replace mouldy carpet. Her savings had already taken a hit from major car repairs she hadn’t counted on. She really should think about getting a new vehicle, but the hunk of metal in her parking spot out front held sentimental value. Jac had been so proud of herself when she’d bought the car. It was the first purchase her parents hadn’t made for her.

Of course Daddy had been a little upset and angry that she hadn’t accepted the brand-new BMW he’d wanted to give her but Jac had stood her ground and he’d finally—grudgingly—acknowledged her need for independence. Her car might not be the best model or the safest, flashiest ride in town, but it was all hers. He hadn’t stopped taking care of her over the years but she’d learned to pick her battles wisely and, other than a few small things, hadn’t allowed him to smother her with his well-intentioned love.

Jac wrapped the towel around her and tucked the end between her breasts. She scooped up her dirty clothes as she followed the trail down the hall to the living room. With the bundle in her arms she made her way through the kitchen to the tiny laundry. No electricity meant no washing, so she dropped the bundle on the floor and headed back to the kitchen and the fridge, where she debated whether or not to open the door. Her fingers curled around the handle just as someone knocked on her front door.

Hoping it wasn’t Mrs Jenkins from the ground floor with another complaint about noise, Jac went to answer the summons. When whoever it was knocked again, she smiled: it wasn’t her elderly neighbour. There was no way the woman had enough strength to bang that hard. Forgetting about her lack of attire, Jac threw the door open, the smile still tilting her mouth, and came face to face with her best friend—the star of her most recent fantasies and every woman’s wet dream.

Kyle Barnes.

* * *

Kyle’s temperature shot up ten degrees. The woman in front of him set him on simmer every day, but wrapped in a towel, damp from a recent shower, she set him to boil in an instant. He swallowed the lump in his throat and tried to remember why he was knocking on Jac’s door. Something about cooling off … He lowered his eyes, taking in every exposed inch of her, from her curly blonde hair to her red-painted toenails. Her legs were smooth and tanned, long and sleek, and an image of them wrapped around his hips flashed across his mind. A drum beat in his ears, a matching one took up in his balls, and his cock hardened, tenting the front of his shorts.

“Hey, Kyle. What’s up?” Did she sound breathless?

He brought his gaze up to meet hers. The bright blue of her eyes sparkled and he found himself thinking of swimming pools, which made him think of skinny-dipping. His cock throbbed harder, but he refused to answer the urge to readjust and find relief. The lust he’d spent years trying to ignore surged through his veins. Damn. This couldn’t end well.

“Kyle?” One of Jac’s finely sculpted brows rose.

“Fuck, woman, are you trying to fry my brain?”

“Huh?” Her smile disappeared.

“You can’t answer the door dressed like that and not find yourself slammed against the wall with my cock buried in your hot pussy.” He took a step towards her. She gasped and took a step back. “You’ve had me grinding my teeth and taking cold showers for years, Jac. No more.”

Kyle’s control snapped, taking every ounce of civility he possessed. He barged in, grabbed Jac’s shoulders and, kicking the door closed, spun around so he could shove her against it. His mouth landed on hers with raw hunger. No finesse, just pure unadulterated desire. She whimpered and for a split second he thought about pulling away. But then she softened—melted like the city had in the merciless heatwave. Her lips parted and he thrust his tongue inside.

She remained passive, let him touch and taste what he wanted. Kyle took advantage, brushed his tongue against hers, licked at her teeth and eased off to nip at her plump bottom lip. He ate at the fleshy curve, sucked and bit from one corner to the other. Jac moaned and he drove his tongue back into the dark recess of her mouth. Blood pumped through his veins, pounded in his ears, his groin. With each stroke his arousal soared higher, until it wasn’t enough just to have her mouth.

He tore his lips from hers, gasped for air and said, “Tell me no.”

“What?” Her chest heaved with each ragged breath she took and her towel had come untucked; the only thing holding it in place was his body pressed to hers. “I don’t want to say no.”

Kyle’s gaze darted up to meet hers. “You want me to fuck you?” Could the burning attraction he’d fought for years go both ways?

“God yes.” Her eyelids lowered, the fan of lashes hiding her eyes from him. “I’ve dreamed about it for months.”

He cupped her neck, pressed his thumb beneath her chin and pushed her head back until it rested on the door. “Don’t hide from me. You want me, you say it to my face. Eyes open.”

Jac gasped, her eyes rounding and meeting his. Her pink tongue darted out, sliding across her lips to leave a glistening trail behind. “I want you.”

Her words were a whisper but he could see the truth in her gaze, feel it in the way her body melted against his. Kyle grinned. She might be saying yes now but once he’d laid down a few rules she might change her mind. Shame he wasn’t about to let her back out.

“Say you’re mine.”

Jac’s eyes widened further, if that were possible, and her slender throat worked as she swallowed.

“If you’re saying yes, Jac, it means you’re mine. All of you. To do what I want when I want. No holds barred.”

She opened her mouth to speak and Kyle placed his thumb over her lips to stop her.

“Make very sure this is what you want, Jac. I’m not easy. I’ll demand and expect you to give.” He saw fear flash across her face and he stroked her mouth with the pad of his thumb to soothe her. “I won’t hurt you, ever, but I’ll push every boundary you have and then some. You need to know what you’re getting going in.”

“Are we talking a one-time deal?”

“Hell no! When we cross that line, honey, we ain’t coming back. I’m not after a one-night stand. I can get that at the local club. Besides, what I want from you can’t be satisfied in one night.”

“Oh.”

Kyle smiled. She was starting to get it. Question was, once he’d given her a taste of what he liked would she like it too? “So are you in or am I out?”

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