Stand in Hiatus Post for Travel

Hi friends! So you may (or may not have noticed) that things have been pretty quiet here lately – I’m out and about with intermittent internet, and time, so hopefully I get a chance to fill in posts and such – just … not quite right now.

While I have you though – I’m curious. What’s your favorite place to visit in NY[C]? Or if you’ve never been to the city, where would you most want to go?

TBR Challenge Review: The Italian’s Suitable Wife by Lucy Monroe

The Italian’s Suitable Wife by Lucy Monroe
Contemporary romance released by Harlequin Presents on October 1, 2004

The Italian's Suitable WifeEnrico DiRinaldi wants a wife and children, even though an accident has left him unable to walk. So he proposes a marriage of convenience to Gianna Lakewood. Having always longed for a baby herself — and having secretly loved Enrico since she was a teenager — Gianna can’t say no.

The passion Enrico ignites in his innocent bride leaves her breathless. But when she realizes that his full recovery is imminent, and his beautiful ex-fiancée is waiting in the wings, Gianna is sure he won’t want her any more. So why is Enrico so intent on keeping his convenient wife by his side?

It’s TBR Challenge Time and I’m a day late and a dollar short, as usual. This month we were supposed to read a “RITA book” – whether it be a winner, or a nominee I believe. I have to be honest, I’ve never had much luck with RITA books, and aside from being happy for authors with their nominations and/or wins, I don’t take them into consideration. Accordingly, I went with a comfort read. I want to say I first read this book right around the time it was published, and have re-read it numerous times since.

Gianna is something of an atypical Harlequin Presents heroine, especially for 2004. She’s not a total doormat, and although she’s a total emotional pushover when it comes to Rico, she does get some of her own back. Gianna is warm, loving, uncertain, and passionate. I found her character and age realistic, especially as someone who had been pining for a man since ~girlhood. It was nice that Gianna gets along so well with the DiRinaldi family and already has an established relationship with all of them. It saved her from being too put-upon, and gave her the support and confidence she needed.

Enrico DiRinaldi is your typical Harlequin Presents hero. A take charge tycoon, Latin Lover, and something of an asshole. I liked that we got his perspective at time, and a look into his uncertainties. It was also nice that he admitted them to Gianna in the end, which really cements the fact that they have a real, believable relationship, not just something that happened because it’s the formula of the book/publisher line. Rico experiences all sorts of new emotions, and realizes he’s fallen in love in typical emotionally stunted male fashion. Lucy Monroe is a really great writer that digs into your emotions, and you really feel for Rico, even when he’s being a jerk outwardly.

There were a few things that I didn’t find believable – that she was an assistant  professor at age 23. I found that unrealistic even in 2004. Also the evil model ex-fiancée was borderline evil mustache twirling villain, but what mostly makes up for it is that Rico takes care of things in the end. The first intimate scene(s) are a bit extreme, but I’d put that down mostly to the Harlequin category format. (And the year.)

If you enjoy category and/or Harlequin romances, I definitely recommend this one. It made me tear up on the metro when I read it this most recent time. Yes, even knowing what was coming and on public transport. It might be a little bit of nostalgia and emotional attachment for me, but I really like The Italian’s Suitable Wife. I think it’s how Rico comes around and his character growth that forms his relationship with Gianna that does it for me.

Grade: B+

You can read an excerpt here or buy a copy here.

Teaser Tuesday Exclusive Excerpt: An Unsuitable Duchess by Carolyn Jewel

Dancing in the Duke's ArmsAn Unsuitable Duchess by Carolyn Jewel The duke of Stoke Teversault has well earned his reputation for bloodless calculation. Indeed, recently widowed Georgina Lark has no idea he’s loved her since before her late husband swept her off her feet. Stoke Teversault means to keep it that way. The cold and forbidding duke and the blithe and open Georgina could not be less suited in any capacity. And yet, when Georgina and her sister arrive at his home, his ice-bound heart may melt away. Georgina Lark has never thought of the duke of Stoke Teversault as a man capable of inducing passion in anyone. He’s long disapproved of her, but she will be forever grateful to him for his assistance after her husband died. It’s been a year since she’s realized he’s not the man she thought. Can she convince him to open his heart to her?

An Unsuitable Duchess– excerpt from Chapter 12 by Carolyn Jewel, from the Anthology Dancing in the Duke’s Arms.

George tensed when she saw Stoke Teversault walking the path to the pond. She wished she hadn’t decided to come here, but she had and now it was too late to hide. She could be as cool as he could be. She would be.

It was her plan to pretend she’d not seen him, and then, when he saw her, he could decide to walk away. He would return to the house, and no one need admit that there was no repairing the break between them that had existed since the day she’d told him she was not in love with his brother.

She was prepared to have him avoid her as he had these past two days. He continued walking. Why? Why hadn’t he taken the chance when he’d had it? He was a clever man. He would know he could turn away. It wasn’t too late yet. She kept her eyes forward, but she could hear him coming nearer. Now, she thought. Now, he must realize he was at the very limit of where he could retreat with their pretense of ignorance intact.

Mrs. Lark.”

She did not love Lord William but that had not been enough to fix whatever had gone wrong. She would rather go back to his disdain of her than endure knowing she had made this painful for him. She hid the rest of the bread she’d cadged from the duke’s chef in her reticule. “Good morning, Your Grace.”

He stood on the path, unmoving.

She steeled herself, but the words she’d rehearsed a dozen times flew out of her head. “I wish I could fly or turn invisible. Or could travel back in time to never make a fool of myself.”

I beg your pardon.”

But I have. Made myself foolish to you, I mean. We shouldn’t have come. Kitty and I.” She sank into the drama that had overwhelmed her these past days. “I should never have let Lord William convince us to come here. I did so want Kitty to have a chance to meet fashionable people. With Hugh away, we don’t see many gentlemen worthy of her. I was selfish for I so wanted to see Teversault for myself. I ought to have known you would prefer we not come here.” She drew breath. “Therefore, I’ve decided that we shall leave.”

Mrs. Lark. There is no reason for you to leave. You have not troubled me in the least.”

She stared across the water, then looked at him, determined to make things right between them. “Except when you feared I meant to marry your brother.”

He held her gaze, and her stomach swooped. “I am a difficult man to know and more difficult to befriend, I’m told.”

I can’t think who’d dare tell you something like that.” The birds had stopped singing, as well they must. What creature would risk displeasing Stoke Teversault?

His smile was pained. “You needn’t leave on my account, unless what you mean to say is that you cannot tolerate me.”

She dug her toe into the gravel then realized she oughtn’t. “I did not say that.”

If you leave, I will think you believe it.”

She stared at him, perplexed. He was serious. She narrowed her eyes at him and then smiled and extended her hand to him. “Good morning, Your Grace. How delightful that you should decide to walk here at the same time I did.”

For the space of two heartbeats, he did not react. Then, he took her hand and bent over it. “A happy coincidence, indeed.”

Lovely morning, don’t you agree?” she said when he’d released her hand.

Yes.” He stood beside her and watched the water with her. The swans and several of the ducks had swum away one she’d stopped throwing them treats. “Not too warm.”

Not yet. Perhaps later, though.” She was going to learn how to behave with the duke if it killed her, and she thought it would. “I do prefer cooler weather. Don’t you?”

His arrival brought the birds to the edge of the pool, with the ducks being quite vocal.

Yes.” He drew a hunk of bread from his pocket. The noise from the birds increased. “Better for the nerves, one hears.”

Yes. Nerves.” She didn’t want to look at him but she did. He looked especially fashionable today, with his beaver hat and a greatcoat of chocolate wool. “One does wish to avoid a case of the nerves.”

He tore off bits of bread and tossed them onto the water. The swans floated close, necks arched gracefully. He turned his head to her, and she froze, and then hated herself for being caught in his gaze. His nose was too long and too boney, his cheeks too sharp, and his mouth was as hard as his heart. “Greedy beggars.”

Yes, they are.” She forced herself to reply when she’d rather stare at his face and ponder why she found him so attractive. “Beautiful, greedy beggars.”

He tore off more bits of bread and extended a handful to her. “Would you like to feed them?”

George opened her reticule and took out the bread she’d shoved inside. She held it up. “I came prepared.”

Chef muttered something about nice fat ducks this morning.” He laughed and tossed his handful of crumbs onto the water. “When I am in residence, I cannot bear to think of not bringing them something in the morning.”

Why don’t you instruct the staff to make sure they get something?”

He hesitated, then said, “I do.” His features returned to hard nonchalance, while she took her turn tossing bits of bread. “I believe you’re wrong about my brother.”

What do you mean?”

He is fond of you.”

As I am fond of him.”

More than he is of any other.”

You’ve no cause for worry.” She put a hand on his upper arm, and he glanced at her, one eyebrow arched. “It’s very odd to me, but nevertheless true, that though Lord William is handsome, unfairly so, I should say, I feel no spark of…” How frank should she be? Enough, she understood, to put his fears to rest. “There is no attraction between us. I believe I ought to feel something in that nature, for what woman would not find in him much to admire?” She lifted her hands in a gesture of her helplessness in the face of such facts. “Yet…”

Guest Deelylah Mullin: WTF Was I Thinking?

Hi friends! The Universe has been treating me to a lot of WTFery so I felt this was the perfect post to share here. As you see we’ve got Deelylah Mullin visiting with us, so enjoy! [Yes, I’m trying to tie things all together and honestly I know Deelylah is going to much more entertaining and interesting that I am today. So THERE YOU HAVE IT!] WHEE!

WTF Was I Thinking?

The BossMany thanks to Limecello for letting me guest post today! Y’all are getting a bit of stream-of-consciousness about stuff today. :-)

I am a teacher. Anyone that’s ever been a teacher knows it’s much more work to get ready for a substitute than to actually show up for work. Teachers work all the time when they’re sick, stressed-out, and a host of other reasons normal people don’t go to work.

I *chose* to be a teacher. This is all on me.

I am super excited to see some of my friends on Wednesday. Now, most of you are probably thinking, “Wait. It’s summer. Teachers don’t work in the summer!” Most of the time, you’d be right. However, I teach in a residential placement facility. We have summer school. So, for me to see some of the special people in my life that I don’t get to see often, I have to make sub plans. Which are the bane of my existence.

I’m starting my fourth year teaching in this location. I’ve been teaching since 1991. Yes. That makes next year my silver anniversary of teaching. You’d think I would have a ‘system’ down by now, but that’s not the case. Legislators keep sticking their noses into my classroom. Standards and curricula change. We need to collect data on everything we do. What makes that even more of a challenge is the fact I’m also a special education teacher. Even MORE data.

So, by this point you’re thinking, “WTF does this have to do with anything pertinent to my life?” Bear with me. I’m getting there.

With bachelor degrees in music and English, as well as that master’s in special education, I’ve taught music for fourteen years, English for five years, college composition for two years, and I was a special education resource room teacher for three years. I like teaching. It makes me happy when the lightbulb goes on and my students ‘get’ a concept.

But it’s not my passion.

I always knew something was missing. When I was in college in the 80s, I majored in music because I was awarded a full-ride, ability-based scholarship. I added an English major, with a creative writing focus. I’ve always wanted to write. In March of 2013, I started editing books, quite by accident.

In editing, I found my passion.

Athena's AshesEditing makes me happy. It uses my skillsets, and I still get to teach my authors a thing or two about words. Even though it’s a behind-the-scenes thing, I still take pride in my author’s achievements. When I get an email with recent statistics and new news about a book that ends with, “We made that!!!” I get all warm and fuzzy inside. I always want to sit on my yoga ball chair at my desk and edit. I don’t really consider it work most of the time. The adrenaline rush of making a deadline is a high unlike any other for me. My stomach gets butterflies on release day, and I wait alongside authors for the first reviews to come in. I watch rankings on retailers.

If I could edit full-time, I’d do it in a heartbeat. I still don’t know WTF I was thinking when I decided to be a teacher, other than I like working with words, and I like problem solving. I mean, what *do* you do with a BA in music, other than teach? Not much, especially when I didn’t want to move away from my family. I knew I wasn’t going to become a great author five minutes after graduating. So, I taught.

If I weren’t teaching summer school, I wouldn’t have to make sub plans to spend the day with friends on Wednesday. I might be a little resentful of my teaching gig because I have to spend time, in which I could be editing, to finish those plans, probably. If I were editing full time, I’d just have to be ahead on my projects so I could afford, time-wise, to not work for a day. Piece of cake.

So, I’ll make my plans and continue to wonder WTF I was thinking. But someday, I’ll be able to do, full time, what brings me joy. And that’s play with words.

Happy Independence Day!

It’s a holiday, my friends! Well,  if you aren’t stateside, it’s just happy fourth to you. :) I’ve decided to share the Declaration of Independence today. It’s obviously an incredibly important document – not just to the United States –  as it set off a number of important and historic changes. I think we often forget about the actual words. In fact, I couldn’t remember the last time I read it through… so here we go. I hope you join me in taking a minute to read what our founding forefathers wrote. Of course they weren’t perfect, but with some things … yes.

Declaration of Independence

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I didn’t include all 56 names … but you can read them here. And you can find out more about the Declaration here, on the National Archives page. Which is also where I copied the text from. [Thanks, Government!]

So I hope you all have a happy and fun July 4th. And if you’re not American … well, we appropriate a number of holidays, so turn those tables and join us! Grill something. Eat red, white, and/or blue foods. (Yes, this is why there are always so many cakes etc with white frosting, decorated with strawberries or raspberries, and blueberries.) Light some sparklers and twirl!

Xoxo

Teaser “Tuesday” Exclusive Excerpt: Sacrifice by Kate Pearce

Hi friends! So, I know it’s not Tuesday – everything was pushed back a bit and you know how it goes. The fifth Tuesday of the month belongs to Riptide Publishing! I think it’s especially fitting, considering the recent Supreme Court decision – this Teaser Tuesday spot was just perfect! Also, that we have an excerpt of Sacrifice, an upcoming title from the fabulous Kate Pearce. You can actually read chapter one on Riptide’s site right now – and come back to read chapter two below!

SacrificeAwaiting execution on a foreign planet, Anna Lee has nothing left to lose—until Commander Rehz Akran offers her a chance to escape her fate. Anything is better than death, but when her training for Akran’s mysterious mission begins, the brutality is hard to take . . . especially since Anna has no idea what the workouts, beatings, and endless sexual demands are preparing her for.

Rehz Akran doesn’t deal with failure. He’s determined that his last trainee will survive her immersion in an unimaginably alien world and return alive—even if it means she’ll hate him forever. He needs to stay detached, but his new recruit makes that impossible. Soon he’s willing to defy his own training for a chance to forge a true connection with Anna.

It’s Rehz’s job to teach Anna to survive as a Tribute. And if she does, it’s his task to help her overcome the trauma of the experience. But this time he isn’t doing it to save his planet. This time he’s doing it for love.

Read Chapter 1 here.
Chapter 2

“Do it again.”Anna set her jaw and raised the heavy practice sword to meet Akran’s.

“You’re not trying.”

They were in the training complex, in a circular arena that reminded her of a round pen they’d used to school horses they’d had on the ranch. There were other pairs of trainers and . . . whatever she was, dotted around the space. All of the trainers—nine men and one woman—had wandered over to stare at her, and all of them, without exception, had put their hands on her.

At least her tits and ass were covered in the stretchy black bikini-type outfit Akran referred to as workout clothes. Of course, he could still put his hand up her skirt or slip it under the thin bandeau wrapped around her chest. And he did. Way too often for her liking. She was still sore from the lesson he’d given her the day before and the cock-sucking session that would now, apparently, start every day.

“Lee!” She gasped as his sword met hers and knocked her clean off her feet. Within a second he crouched over her, his razor-edged blade biting into her throat.

“You need to concentrate.”

“I’ve never fought with a sword before. It’s not part of my culture.”

He sighed, his breath warm on the back of her neck, and hauled her to her feet. “Don’t talk back to me.”

“How am I supposed to defend myself if I’m not allowed to talk?” She glared at him. “I have no idea how to use this weapon!”

“I don’t care whether you’re a fucking expert with a blade. I want you to be fit enough to take on anything I throw at you. You tire way too quickly.” His gaze fastened on her mouth when she started to argue. “Either shut up and listen, or you’ll regret it.”

She raised her chin. “What are you going to do? Rip out my tongue?”

He reached for her and flung her over his shoulder like a sack of flour. Her breath whooshed out, and she tried to wriggle away. His palm met her backside with a resounding slap that made her eyes water. He jogged through what seemed like miles of tunnel, his breathing regular, and his arm an iron band around her waist.

She quailed as he eventually upended her in the same room with the white plastic gurneys. He dumped her on top of one, which immediately closed around her.

“Stay there.”

For once, she was too dizzy to argue with him. He returned a second later with the man she’d met the previous day, who was nodding at whatever Akran was saying to him.

“Yes. I can do that. For how long?”

“From now until end of day.”

“All right. Where do you want me to put her when I’m done?”

“In the mess hall.”

“Oh, an object lesson, then.” He studied Anna, who glared back at him. “There shouldn’t be any permanent damage. I’ll keep the power level low. We don’t want her losing sensation.”

“No, we do not, Prof. We want her to experience every single moment.” Akran nodded at Anna. “That’s another half day of training you’ve lost me. I’ll see you later.”

She didn’t dare answer him. She already had a feeling that shooting her mouth off in this facility was not going to work out well.

*******

“She’s a tough one, Rehz.”

Rehz glanced over at Kai. “The females are hard to condition. Having less body mass means they don’t do well without nutrition, which means they don’t tend to survive as long.” He sighed. “That’s probably why our overlords don’t seem to request many females.”

“Lucky them,” Kai grunted. “Do you think she’ll make it?”

“I have no idea. If sheer stubbornness is a criterion, then she’s going to be the best I’ve ever trained. I just have to come down hard on her right now so that she stops fighting me. If she doesn’t, high command will eliminate her anyway.”

“Where is she now?” Rehz shot Kai a glance. “You’ll find out shortly.”

They paused at the doorway of the mess hall, and Kai let out his breath. “Greez, she’s here already?”

“She won’t stop answering me back.”

“So we’re going to give her mouth something else to do all night.” Kai grinned. “I’m game for that.”

Rehz watched his friend walk toward the raised dais in the center of the room. There were two naked figures kneeling there. A male—who in Rehz’s opinion wouldn’t make the final cut—and Anna Lee, a real troublemaker. Even from the door he could see the glint of the gold circle the professor had installed in her mouth, making it impossible for her to close her lips. Two chains ran down from the side of the ring to her nipples and were clamped there. Another chain ran down to her clit and another clamp. Her hands were locked in the small of her back. She couldn’t change position even if she wanted to.

He followed Kai and watched from the side where Lee couldn’t quite see him.

Kai smiled and slowly unbuttoned his pants. “You must want cock.”

He guided the head of his dick toward the circle of gold and leaned in until he was completely inside.

“Nice.” Kai started to move his hips, and Rehz knew, because he’d been the one to plan and order the mouth ring, that each slam of a cock set off tiny shocks that traveled down to Anna’s nipples and her clit. Small shocks at first, but as she’d find out after servicing all the cocks in the dining room, cumulatively unpleasant and wearing. She’d have to come eventually, and that wouldn’t feel too good either.

He was partly sickened by what he had to do and partly aroused. He wanted his cock in her, making her jerk and come for him. Recently, he’d started to hate the lengths he had to go to in order to enforce his will on the trainees as quickly and as harshly as possible. They didn’t know what was facing them. Rehz did. He supposed it was a version of cruel-to-be-kind.

Kai came and finally withdrew from Lee’s mouth.

“Nice. I’ll come back for dessert.” Kai winked at Lee, but she wasn’t looking at him. She was trying to look down at her clamped nipples and clit. Rehz strolled past her and nodded before taking his place at the dining table, where he could watch everyone else stopping to avail themselves of her mouth.

By the time dinner was finished, her skin was glowing from a combination of sweat and the come that some of his colleagues had allowed to trickle down between her breasts, or which had filled her mouth so fast that she hadn’t been able to swallow it. Rehz’s dick was hard and aching. He gently cupped his balls and considered her, waiting until everyone else had left.

She didn’t look at him as he approached, so he crouched in front of her.

“Let’s go through this again. I ask the questions. You don’t. You answer me promptly, preferably by doing whatever the hell I’ve told you to do. If I want your opinion, I’ll ask for it. I don’t have time to waste explaining greez to you. I need your absolute and complete attention, and your total obedience.”

He waited a beat and then shoved a hand in her damp blonde hair and raised her head. “If you prefer it this way, we can keep the ring in your mouth on a permanent basis. And if you still defy me, I’ll add one in your cunt and another in your ass so you can’t stop me doing whatever the fuck I want whenever I want it.”

She met his gaze and held it.

“Nod your head if you agree to keep your mouth shut unless I give you permission to use it.”

She slowly lowered her head and then kept it down. He was aware of a huge sensation of relief sweeping over him.

When had he got so soft? Why wasn’t he just striking her off the list and sending her to the executioner?

“Come on, then.”

He attached her leash and disconnected her wrists and ankles from the structure behind her.

“Come.”

He took her back through the echoing passageways to his quarters and had her kneel on the floor by his chair. Watching her the whole time, he slowly unzipped his pants and wrapped a fist in her hair.

“Suck me.”

She made a small, desperate sound, but he didn’t call her on it. Her mouth was sore. He knew how it felt. When she’d taken his cock deep, he detached the two gold chains that ran from the sides of her mouth to her breasts and threaded them through the loops of his pants and around the back of her head, anchoring her firmly in place between his thighs.

“Keep me hard while I work.”

He turned his attention to writing up the daily reports he submitted to headquarters and collating and reading everyone else’s. Some of the trainees were doing well. The male who’d been with Lee in the dining hall would have to go . . .

So what’d you think? 😀

Guest: Jenn LeBlanc

Hi friends! Sooo my birthday has come and gone, but June is juuuust at the edge of leaving us, so Jenn LeBlanc has decided to stretch things out. Whee!! Everyone give her a warm welcome. Jenn is a lot of fun, so I hope you go a little crazy with her. Us. >.>

I hear it’s YOUR birthday! And we’re all here to celebrate, because why on earth wouldn’t we?!!? The day Lime was brought to the world was a great day.
For your birthday, I give you images from my newest illustrated romance novel, because WHY WOULDN’T I? They do make the best gift.
Like this one of my hero Warrick and his love, Lulu:

Or this one of Warrick and Lulu:

The D and the D

Or Warrick on his own:

Warrick Back
I like Warrick on his own… do you?

Happy birthday Lime!!

Duke and Domina

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The Duke and the DominaHe’s poor. She’s rich.
He’s a sub. She’s a switch.
It’s not love.
It’s a marriage of kink-venience.
Grayson Locke Danforth, in his wildest of dreams, never expected two things.
The first was to be recalled from India by Queen Victoria where he worked for the quiet purposes of the crown. He must now become the Duke of Warrick after the tragic deaths of his father and brothers. However, tragedy is entirely in the eyes of the beholder, and Grayson doesn’t want the title, or to return to what remains of his family. Grayson wants to remain invisible, an outcast, a man in exile for the way his body and mind behave and the secrets he needs to keep.
The second thing he never expected was to be forced into marriage to a woman from the twenty-first century.
Lulu is no mere woman, however. She’s a switch who works as a professional Dominatrix—at least, she did. When she wakes up in a strange house, a strange world, a strange body, she isn’t quite sure what to think and is certain she’s dreaming. She has less than a day to gain her bearings and make a decision that will dictate the rest of her life in this world—whether or not to marry this beautiful stranger.
As Lulu and Grayson attempt to begin a life together, she discovers the true reason why this man is a stranger to his family. She can only hope she can persuade Grayson to accept who she is, and who he was born to be, before he forces her out of his life in order to maintain his well-kept secrets.
Trust doesn’t come easily to either of them, but it’s the only thing they have.
Grayson will have to give in to his need to submit in order to get his wife to open up and allow him to possess her fully in return.
It’s a cautious dance between two people who have never known how to trust, or love.

You can buy a copy here.

What do you think? Two – yes TWO – lucky commenters will win an ebook copy of The Duke and the Domina. Hot, huh? 😀
Now – come on, I want to know what sort of things you’d like to know about the illustrated romance books, the process, and so on!