Today we have the lovely and talented Megan Hart visiting with us. I was thrilled when she contacted me about giving away a copy of her novel Stranger with a shiny new cover! I loved Stranger. In fact, I gave it an “A” when I reviewed it. (And now I want to re-read it…)
If you haven’t read it yet, here’s your chance. Megan also included and exclusive excerpt for ALBTALBS readers! Whee!
I pay strangers to sleep with me. I have my reasons…but they’re not the ones you’d expect.
For starters, I’m a funeral director taking over my dad’s business. Not exactly the kind of person you’d expect to fork over cash for the intimacy and urgency only skin-to-skin contact can create. Looking at me, you wouldn’t have a clue I carry this little secret so close it creases up like the folds of a fan. Tight. Personal. Ready to unravel in the heat of the moment.
Unsurprisingly, my line of work brings me face-to-face with loss. So I decided long ago that paying for sex would be one of the best (and most arousing) ways to save myself from the one thing that would eventually cut far too deep.
But Sam was a mistake. Literally. I signed on to “pick up” a stranger at a bar, but took Sam home instead. And now that I’ve felt his heat, his sweat and everything else, can I really go back to impersonal?
Let’s just hope he never finds out about my other life….
The knock on the door didn’t startle me, but I pretended to be surprised when I opened it, anyway. “I didn’t order a pizza.”
The man standing outside the door wore a blue shirt and matching ball cap, and the box in his hand undoubtedly held a pizza. “Are you sure?”
“I’m sure. I think I’d know if I ordered a pizza or not.”
He frowned and made a show of looking at the front of the door. “This is the room they told me. Are you sure?”
I put my hands on my hips, bunching the silk of my nightgown. “Yes! I’m sure!”
The pizza boy looked confused, then annoyed. “Look, this is the third prank pizza delivery I’ve had to put up with this week, and I’m getting pretty tired of it.”
“Are you saying I prank ordered?”
He pushed forward, pizza in hand, and set it on the table. “Someone in this room ordered a pizza. You’re the only one here.”
My heart thumped. He looked really angry. I looked at the door, ajar behind him, and he turned to look at it, too. But then he closed it with a swift shove and faced me again.
“But I don’t have any money!” I protested.
I stepped back. He moved forward. Beneath his unbuttoned blue shirt he wore a white t-shirt that clung to him like a second skin. Beneath the ball cap’s brim his eyes flashed, brilliant blue. His hair was hard to see but I knew it was dark. His gaze raked me up and down, taking in my black silk nightgown and the glisten of glittery powder across the top swell of my breasts.
“Then I guess we’ll have to think of something else.” His mouth tilted, half up and half down, and his voice dipped low.
“If you think –” I started, intending but unable to sound angry. My voice shook, just a little, and I had to stop to swallow against my dry throat.
“Turn around. Put your hands on the table.”
I did, one on each side of the pizza box, still warm and smelling of cheese and sauce. I didn’t dare turn, not even to glance over my shoulder. I closed my eyes so I didn’t have to watch my fingers clutch against the sleek laminate of the hotel table, and I waited, every muscle tense and atremble, for him to touch me.
He didn’t. Not as soon as I’d thought he would, and the waiting became torture. I felt the heat of his body behind me and caught a whiff of something more delicious than cheese and sauce. I heard the rattle and hum of him pulling down his zipper, then the shush of the material sliding over his thighs. I shifted my weight, leaning forward and moving my feet farther apart. The silk rode higher on my bare thighs. And still he didn’t touch me.
The sound of our breathing mingled and grew loud in the silence. I counted seconds like drops of rain on a roof, a steady rising pattern of them. My fingers ached from their grip upon the slick surface, and I relaxed them. I opened my eyes. Started to turn, a question hovering in my mouth.
Then, he touched me.
His hands lightly clasped my ankles and slid up the backs of my calves, then my thighs, both at the same time and in one, swift motion that left me gasping. His hands slid up, over my ass. He cupped my flesh briefly, and in the next moment the whisper of his breath moved over all the places his hands had just touched.
Oh, god. He was on his knees behind me.
He tasted the invisible trail his hands had left, mapping the path of his touch with his tongue. He paused to lick the back of my knee, then moved to bite the back of the other. If the table had not been so stubbornly slick my fingernails would surely have gouged out runners in the surface, so fiercely did I clutch it. I opened my mouth but immediately bit back the cry as his mouth shifted higher. His tongue flicked the underside of my buttocks, a place nobody had ever kissed, much less licked. It was a good thing the table was in front of me, because his caress had buckled my knees. His tongue slid higher, along the seam of my ass. When it reached the bottom of my spine, that magic, secret spot that made me writhe, I couldn’t have held back the cry if I’d tried.
Pain sizzled in my lower lip; I’d bitten it. My hair fell down over my face, and I closed my eyes again. I didn’t want to be staring at a pizza box when this happened to me.
His hand moved between my legs as his mouth moved upward along the line of my spine. His fingers found my clit at the same time his teeth found my shoulder, and at the twin bursts of pleasure rocketing through me, I cried out again.
The softness of his t-shirt brushed my back as he leaned in and the hard, small chill of his buttons pressed my hip. His fingers played upon my clit a moment more, not long enough, but when he withdrew to use that same hand to push my legs wider apart I could make no protest. I licked away the salty heat of blood from my lip.
His hand found my heat again. His fingers traced the outline of my cunt and parted me, nudging inside just enough to make me tremble again. The chuff of his breath blew hot on my shoulder, left damp from his mouth. His other hand anchored my hip and held me still. I waited again, tense, for him to replace his fingers with the thickness of his cock.
I felt him all over my back. His mouth again found the flesh left bare around the thin straps of my nightgown, and he fastened his lips there with the hard promise of his teeth beneath. The silk of my gown crumpled in his fist and fluttered around my hips.
His hand replaced his mouth on my shoulder, and he pushed me forward. I bent and my hands jittered across the tabletop. I opened my eyes to see the pizza box teeter on the edge, then tumble off. The hand on my hip now guided his cock between my legs.
He found my entrance with unerring efficiency but took his damned sweet time pushing inside me. He twisted a little, thrust a little, eased out and then in again while his hands kept me from moving.
His low moan moved across the back of my neck as physically as if he’d used his hand to touch me there. For one endless moment we didn’t move, both of us still like a frozen river; solid and unmoving on the top and rushing, rushing underneath.
“Please,” I said, then, in a voice so small and faint with pleasure I wasn’t sure he’d hear me.
The first real pull and push caught me unaware even though I’d anticipated it, nearly begged for it, even. He did it all at once, nothing like the cautious way he’d pushed inside me, but fast. Hard. And harder, then, with the second. Hard enough to move me forward on the table, hard enough to move the frigging table itself.
His hand returned to my shoulder. His thumb pressed the place that on angels sprouted wings, but there were no angels here. His fingers gripped me as he pounded inside me in the smooth rhythm he set all on his own without effort from me. I wanted to push back against him, or to lean forward and lift my ass so he could drive into me deeper, but his hands anchored me. Kept me still, no matter how I tried to writhe. His cock slid inside and against me, hitting spots unused to such attention.
I was caught between pleasure and pain, feeling too good to protest though I wondered if I’d regret it later. Rough sex had a price, but at the moment I was too wildly turned on to care. Every thrust, each pinch of his fingertips on my flesh, sent me soaring closer and closer to the orgasm I craved.
My mouth parted and a low moan seeped out. I closed my eyes again, wanting to get lost inside the sensations sweeping over me. The feeling of advance and retreat inside my body. The slap of our bodies against one another sounded louder with my eyes closed, and so did the harsh pant of his breathing. His low moan answering mine. Even the burble of voices from outside the hotel room sounded louder, and I gasped a small laugh at the passing conversation. They were talking about where to go for lunch while inside we were fucking like animals.
I reached between my thighs and pressed my palm flat against my clitoris. I didn’t have to rub or stroke; his thrusts did that for me. I simply needed a little extra, just a little…
“I want you to come.” This, said in the low, thick voice laced with desire, earned another whispering gasp from me. Something about the words, the way he said them, the command behind them, pumped my hips forward against my palm. His hand tightened on my shoulder. “Grace, I want you to come.”
The sound of my name destroyed any final illusion I’d been trying to keep about him, but I didn’t care. He wanted me to come, but he didn’t say he expected me to answer. I wasn’t sure I could form words. I let my body reply, instead, as my cunt bore down on his cock and I spiraled into ecstasy.
Release. It was so good, so strong, so…necessary. So freeing. In that moment I could do nothing but feel. I could think of nothing but pleasure.
I went up, up, and then floated down, sated, the table beneath my cheek still warm from the pizza box. Jack thrust a couple more times and finished with a grunting sigh. His hands relaxed, letting me go, and it wasn’t until he was no longer holding me that I really felt how hard he’d been gripping.
For a few moments we stayed still. I moved first with a subtle shift of my hips, and Jack pulled out. I took a second longer to lean against the table we’d so abused, giving myself time to catch my breath and my legs to stop shaking. I turned to rest my butt against the table. The strap of my gown had fallen down my shoulder, so I pushed it back up, and I let the hem fall back down to my thighs. Jack had turned to take care of the condom, and when he turned back to me he was already tucked away and zipped closed.
We stared at each other in silence.
Then, the smile.
“That,” Jack said, “was totally hot.”
So what’d you think? I do want to note, Stranger was originally published with the Harlequin Spice line, so it’s an erotic novel, not necessarily a romance. More that than an erotic novel. Have you ever read anything by Megan Hart before? If you haven’t, or if you want the look with it’s new cover, here’s your chance! Megan is giving away a copy today – open internationally!
Just for reference, you see I included the original cover. Which one do you like more? What do you think of the current trend of book covers especially for erotica and erotic romance?
(And p.s. – the kindle copy of the “old version of Stranger” is currently $5.99 – it’ll go up to $8.13 on 9/24 with the new cover. Just a thought.)
What’s your poison? Erotic romance? Erotica? Erotic fiction? Sweet? And what about the covers? Or, you can “just” tell Megan Hart she’s pretty.