Blast from the Past

My week as hostess of the IntlHeat blog is nearly over. Today I thought I’d end with a blast from the past. Sometimes it’s fun to look back at older books. Thought I’d do a little feature on Power Play. Have to admit this book has always been a personal favorite of mine, but sadly it’s one of those stories that Amazon has hidden behind its “adult filter” aka INVISIBLE so I don’t think many folks know it exists.

I had such a great time writing these characters. Reed and Francesca were both such broken characters until they found each other. And then somehow…it all just worked. I love stories like that.

It’s also one of my racier stories. I remember my editor writing me to say she read it on a flight home from a conference. She was enjoying it until she realized the guy next to her was reading over her shoulder. I think it ended up being just a bit embarrassing. This was all pre-50 Shades too. lol

Power Play-MariCarr72web

Power Play

There’s only room at the top for one person…at a time.

A Black & White Collection story.

Back on American soil for the first time in nine months, Reed Donovan is ready to blow off some steam. The beauty he spots at the local bar not only catches his eye, she snags him by the balls when she announces she’s always fantasized about having sex with a stranger—a fantasy he is more than willing to help come true.

Explosive fireworks over, Francesca rebuffs his invitation to dinner. While the sparks may fly between them physically, she doesn’t believe they could spend more than a few minutes in the same room without arguing. Her suspicions prove correct when Francesca reports for her new position the next morning—and discovers she’s been hired as Reed’s new marketing partner.

When Reed and Francesca immediately begin butting heads about future pitches to prospective clients, Reed proposes a bet. For the next three presentations, they’ll both make a pitch. Whoever wins the campaign also wins a fantasy.The competition is fierce—and hot. And the hotter it gets, the closer they come to the brink of something they never intended…or expected.

Warning: Wicked fantasies anyone? Up for some sex in public, sex with a stranger, sex in an office, sex in a bar, sex with a Dom, and bondage sex? Good. Strap in and hang on.

How about a peek at the first chapter?

Chapter One

Reed Donovan stared at the flat-screen TV in the corner of the bar, and though his eyes were seeing the baseball game, his mind wasn’t processing a single aspect of it. He leaned back in his chair and tried to shake off the lingering traces of jetlag. Two days earlier, he’d flown back to the States after nine months in London. He only had tonight left to recover from the trip before he returned back to work bright and early the next morning.

He picked up the drink in front of him and took a long, deep swig. His throat was parched and his mouth dry. Clearly the stress of his day job was affecting his mind, messing with his head. He’d gone to London in the early fall to clean up the mess the former manager had left in his company’s branch office.

“Have to admit I didn’t think you had it in you to be quiet for so long.”

Reed looked up and found his cousin, the owner of the bar, looking down at him. He gestured to the chair across from him and watched Carter sit.

Reed lifted his glass. “Trying to drink away some of my damn tiredness. Not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow.”

“Nine months is a damn long time to uproot from your home, Reed. And I know you hate playing the admin role, know you’ve been gritting your teeth every minute of these last few months, wishing you were back doing what you love.”

“Uncle Brian needed my help getting the London branch back under control. The last manager only managed to run the damn thing into the ground. It was my job to clean house, to put the pieces back together.”

Carter leaned back in the chair, put his hands behind his head and studied his face. “So what’s stuck up your ass? You’re home now. Figured you’d be happy and celebrating that little fact.”

Reed rubbed his eyes wearily. His cousin was right, he should be doing fucking flips around the bar. Instead, he felt tired, irritable. “You want me to make a bulleted list for you?”

Carter grinned. “Is this gonna be a long presentation, Mr. Exec?”

Reed leaned forward, not bothering to acknowledge his cousin’s joke. “Number one, I’m pissed as shit about Brian sending me to London. I’ve worked my ass off for that man for years and I don’t appreciate being used as a lackey to do his goddamn dirty work. I’m going into his office tomorrow and letting him know it’s not something I ever intend to do again.”

Carter winced. “Fuck, man. That’s not gonna be a fun conversation.”

“You’re right. It’s not. Number two, while I was off wasting my MBA skills playing office manager, he let my marketing partner lose two prospective clients to The Wilkerson Team. I could have landed those accounts if Brian would have let me do my job.”

“Sounds like your partner sucks.”

“You’re missing the point, Carter. If I’d been there, those companies would be The Donovan Group’s clients.”

Carter waved a waitress over and ordered a whiskey, straight up, before gesturing for Reed to continue. “Anything else you need to get off your chest?”

Reed leaned back. “Frankie Carlyle.”

“Who’s that?”

“The bastard who stole my deals. Some hotshot upstart from The Wilkerson Team.”

“Ah, so you’ve finally got some competition, eh?”

Reed narrowed his eyes. “Hardly.”

“Damn, you’re a sore loser. Always have been.”

Reed wanted to argue, but figured it was pointless. Carter knew him too well. “Lucky for me, I never lose.”

Carter burst out with loud laughter.

Reed scowled. “I’m simply going to tell Brian I’m not cleaning up any more messes. I’m a marketing guy and if he’d let me do that job instead of shipping me off to goddamn London for nearly a year, Frankie Carlyle wouldn’t have two jobs that should have been mine.”

Carter sat up, leaning across the table to slap him on the shoulder in a supportive way. “You and I both know anger doesn’t win an argument with Brian. He had his reasons for sending you away. Whether or not he cares to enlighten you on the whys of it is another matter entirely.”

Reed nodded, but didn’t elaborate on his real concerns regarding Frankie Carlyle. He’d seen print copies of the presentations that landed the deals. They were good. Very good. And there was a small part of Reed that wondered if he could have landed the deals if he’d been around.

He attempted to stretch a tight kink out of his neck. He was stressed out and tired. There were three more big bids looming in The Donovan Group’s immediate future and Reed intended to land every single one of them. Carlyle was about to meet his match.

“Earth to Reed.”

He glanced across the table and realized his cousin had been speaking to him.

Carter gave him a shit-eating grin and shook his head. “Damn, man. Grab yourself a woman and fuck this aggression out of your system. You gotta blow off some steam before you talk to Uncle Brian or you’re bound to get your ass fired.”

Reed snorted and nodded. Carter was probably right. He scanned the bar for the first time since he’d walked in tonight. He hoped to spot Genevieve. Though he didn’t date—his job didn’t allow him much time for romance—he did enjoy the occasional hook up with Vivi. When he spotted her in the corner of the room, he smiled.

Carter caught the direction of his gaze and nodded his approval. “Good call. Vivi will cure what’s ailing you.”

“I think she just might.”

He grinned, about to stand, when a woman seated at the bar turned to retrieve something from her purse and caught his attention. She was clearly a businesswoman. Her expensively tailored suit, the briefcase at her feet, and the Droid she was typing into fast and furiously all proclaimed her role. He could only see her in profile, but he was taken aback by the delicate curve of her face, the single loose tendril of jet black hair that had escaped her stylishly pinned-up French twist. She appeared to be tall, with long legs that just wouldn’t quit. She was slim and, much to his chagrin, the size of her breasts was concealed by her suit jacket. He was a breast man through and through.

As he continued to watch her tap away at the tiny phone screen, he wondered for a moment what it was about her that was holding his attention. She was lovely, yes, but he’d seen more beautiful women. And while her body—what he could see of it—was hot, Vivi was just as shapely, just as sexy.

However, there was something about the way she held herself as she sat at the bar, quietly sipping from her glass of red wine. She simply exuded confidence and the image struck him as vaguely familiar, though he’d bet his entire lifesavings he’d never seen her before. He stared at her for several moments before he realized Carter had turned to see what he was looking at.

“Ah, the fair Francesca,” his cousin said.

“Francesca?”

Carter gestured toward the beautiful woman. “She’s a regular here. Comes in a couple times a week. Sometimes alone, sometimes with friends or colleagues. Trust me when I say you should stick with Vivi.”

“Why?” He wasn’t sure what prompted his question. Until Carter spoke, he’d had no intentions of approaching the woman. Now that his cousin had piqued his curiosity, he wasn’t so sure.

“Because she’s the female version of you, Reed. Powerful, successful, used to being in control. She wouldn’t go for that macho routine of yours. Women like her aren’t into men like us. When she settles down, it will be with a nice, biddable man who doesn’t mind a woman who wears the pants in the relationship. That’s sure as hell not you.”

Reed turned his attention away from the woman’s face and back to his cousin’s. “You seem to know quite a bit about her.”

“We’ve talked, just about shit in general, nothing personal. She’s smart and she’s funny, but she’s also…” Carter paused, and Reed sensed his cousin was searching for a word he couldn’t find, “…dominant.”

“Dominant?”

Carter shrugged. “I don’t mean in a leather-wearing, whip-wielding way, but yeah, she’s, well, hell, she’s you, but with boobs and nothing dangling between her legs.”

Reed laughed. “So you’re warning me away?”

“Honestly? Yes. You’re feeling sort of down right now and you need a pick-me-up, not more complications. Vivi’s made to order, no muss, no fuss. You two can get together, wrinkle the sheets for a little while and come tomorrow morning, your perspective on life will be clearer.”

Reed glanced at Vivi and knew his cousin made a good point. Being with her was easy, relaxing, comfortable. They knew what the other liked in bed and neither of them expected a morning after courtesy call. Simple.

Then, from the corner of his eye, he saw Francesca move, turn her face toward the room. Her gaze met his and held. He leaned forward in his chair. It was the first time she’d acknowledged his presence. He narrowed his eyes, wondering what she was seeing. Was she feeling the same attraction? The same fascination? She studied him for only a fraction of a minute, mere seconds, but in that time, Reed felt as if he’d been shocked by the electrical current flowing between them.

“Should have saved my breath,” Carter said, rising.

“What?”

“I’ve never known you to take the easy way. Good luck, bud. You’re going to need it.” Carter turned and walked to his office, leaving Reed alone.

He looked at Vivi once more. She’d drop everything to spend the evening obeying his every command if he walked over and offered the invitation.

He didn’t.

Instead, he stood and walked toward the bar, toward Francesca.

Claiming the empty seat next to her, he waved the bartender over. “Hi Joe. I’ll have a Guinness, and get another glass of red for Francesca here.”

She’d already been looking at him as he ordered, but when he mentioned her name he noticed the slightest narrowing of her eyes.

“Do I know you?”

He shook his head. “No. My cousin Carter owns this bar. He mentioned your name to me.”

She digested that information as he studied her face. She was gorgeous. Now that they were in closer proximity, he was able to spot the slightest amount of her generous cleavage through her blouse.

“Up here, babe,” she said pointing to her face, when his eyes lingered too far south for a second too long.

He grinned at her joke. Oh yeah. She was everything his cousin described. Trouble in a thirty-four D cup. Good stuff.

“So, your cousin suggested that you buy me a drink?”

“No.” Reed pointed to where Vivi still sat behind her. “He told me to buy her a drink.”

Francesca glanced over her shoulder. “Pretty girl. Did you miss your mark? Need me to draw you a map? Help you get over there?”

“My sense of direction is just fine.”

She rested her chin on her hand and, for the briefest moment, he wondered what the hell was going on in her mind. Then the bartender returned with their drinks and distracted her.

She sighed heavily as she looked at the full glass of wine. “I really shouldn’t drink this. I’ve had two glasses already. I have a big day at work tomorrow and attempting it hungover isn’t a good strategy.”

He grinned. She clearly wasn’t drunk. He wasn’t even sure he’d call her tipsy, but she was definitely enjoying the relaxing effects of the wine.

“You strike me as the type who can handle her alcohol. And anything else that might come her way.” It was an obvious come on, but he didn’t care. There was something about her that screamed sex…and something else. Some elusive something he couldn’t put his finger on.

He took a sip of his Guinness. The alcohol was working on smoothing his rough edges too. His neck wasn’t stiff anymore and he was feeling looser, freer from the stress of work.

She leaned closer, her cheek still resting on her hand. “You know, I’ve always had this fantasy.”

He moved toward her. Her voice was low, husky, sexy as fuck. “Oh yeah?”

“Sex with a stranger.”

Her words hit him like a punch in the stomach and his cock filled the maximum weight recommended for his pants in three seconds flat. There was no way he could adjust them without drawing her attention to his dilemma. Then he grinned and made the adjustment anyway.

Her eyes followed the motion of his fingers.

“Up here, babe,” he teased, mimicking her words.

She laughed. “You’re really Carter’s cousin?”

“Yep, I’m Re—”

She cut him off quickly with a wave of her hand. “No. You tell me your name and we stop being strangers.”

She had a point. And a set of knockers that had him feeling lightheaded.

Taking a deep breath, he decided to go for broke. “Where do you wanna do this?”

“Follow me.”

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New in print!

UnknownFor fans of the Cocktales series, you can now get books 3 and 4 in a print volume called With a Twist. The first two books are already out in an anthology titled Top Shelf.

Bachelor’s Bait, Book 3

Sophia Kennedy is determined to chase her own success, rather than ride her father’s coattails. She’s devoted herself to Books and Brew, the business she owns with her three best friends. She doesn’t feel the need to explain herself to anyone, least of all the free-aid lawyer who’s determined to judge her as a society princess. She’d ignore him altogether…if it were up to her mind. But nooooo. Her body just has to have its say—and it’s using words like “gorgeous”, “hot” and “sexy”.

Soon, annoyance turns to attraction, verbal sparring to physical satisfaction as the couple is drawn together by a common cause. Marc Garrett has no time for a relationship. And he certainly doesn’t want a rich society fixture, though the damning evidence below his belt suggests otherwise. The more he comes to know his hardworking princess, the more he wants her, again and again. Marc’s falling hard, but after holding Sophie’s wealth against her, how will she react when she learns of his own rather prosperous roots?

Screaming Orgasm Book 4

Jayne Kent has watched her best friends and business partners fall in love while romance continues to pass her by. When Books and Brew regular Elias Clark offers her a Screaming Orgasm, she wishes it was the sexual variety rather than a lousy drink. She’s been lusting after Elias forever and suspects he could bring all her naughty, kinky fantasies to life. Elias has resisted his attraction to Jayne for years, assuming his dominance in the bedroom would send sweet, romantic Jayne running for the hills. Or would it?

Alone in a snowstorm, Elias tests the waters and is blown away by Jayne’s innate submissiveness and eagerness to stretch her boundaries. Ice play? Bondage? Flogging? Bring it on. Soon it’s no longer a question of whether or not Elias should pursue Jayne, even if she’s not sure she’s brave enough to submit to him forever. She’s made for him, and this determined alpha male will stop at nothing until he’s claimed her—completely.

Buy Now:

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Out of Bounds

As promised, today I’m sharing an exclusive excerpt from the incredible Erin Nicholas’ book in the Boys of Fall series, Out of Bounds.

Out-of-Bounds-by-Erin-Nicholas-200x300As star running back for his high school team, Jackson Brady led a charmed life—until the wild child pushed a little too far. And thanks to snitching goody two-shoes Annabelle Hartington, Jackson endured scandal, shame, and suspension from the team before the championship game. His ensuing downward spiral would have been far worse if not for Nicholas Carr, his high school coach and mentor.

Now, twelve years later, Jackson doesn’t think twice about returning to Quinn, Texas, to help out when Coach suffers a heart attack. It’s an opportunity to atone for past sins and prove he’s ready to give back to the close-knit community. And he knows just the person to help him—the same woman who brought him down all those years ago. A respected and beloved teacher, if Annabelle is willing to take a chance on him, everyone
will know Jackson’s a new man.

But he’s not the only one who’s changed. Though she’s just as smart as he remembers, Annabelle is also sweet, kind, loyal—and hiding a surprisingly passionate woman behind her staid schoolteacher clothes. Suddenly proving himself to the town might be more difficult than he’d thought. Because while Jackson may have shed most of his wild ways, turns out nothing stirs his inner bad boy quite like Annabelle.

Excerpt:

“There’s something I want to get out of it too.”

That, too, was very interesting. “Really? Like what?”

She took a deep breath and focused on his chin rather than his eyes. “It was what you said earlier about me being the most conservative woman in town.”

Right. The thing that had pissed her off in the coffee shop. “I’m sorry if that hurt your feelings.”

In his mind it was a good thing, but she had clearly been upset.

“It isn’t your fault,” she said. “It’s true.”

Her voice was softer now and he moved closer to be sure he heard. “And that’s a bad thing?”

It was a fantastic thing, from where he was standing. Annabelle was not only a good girl, a nice girl, a smart girl—he’d dated very few of any of those girls and he’d never dated one that was a combination of all three—she was also bright and independent. The town would have to believe he’d won her over to get her to go out with him. A woman like Annabelle didn’t get swept up in things like him being a hell of a good time or up for anything in the bedroom. A woman like Annabelle didn’t get swept up at all. She made good, rational decisions based on information and proof—not adrenaline and lust.

Frankly, adrenaline and lust were two of his favorite things.

Exactly why he needed less of both in his life.

“I think I need to be less…like that.” She focused on something over his shoulder and Jackson turned to find what it was.

Or who it was.

He couldn’t tell. The room was full, the dance floor covered.

He looked at her again. “What’s going through that pretty head?”

She met his eyes. “You’re not the only guy here who thinks that. I want to show the men in Quinn that I’m not uptight and unapproachable.”

Ah, this was making a little more sense now.

“Done.” He wanted to date her. For his reputation. And a bunch of other things that were as surprising as they were sudden. But if there was a reason she wanted to date him too—and it involved her not being uptight—damn right he was all in.

Her eyes widened and her cheeks flushed.

God, he wanted to kiss her. Badly. That wasn’t an uncommon urge when standing close to a beautiful woman, of course. He had a very healthy libido—maybe too healthy sometimes. He found all kinds of women attractive and often felt desire and lust. But with Annabelle it felt different. He couldn’t just push her up against the wall and go for it. He needed a little finesse, would have to work up to it, would have to—

She gripped the front of his shirt and pulled him in, going up on tiptoe and pressing her mouth to his.

Or he could just push her up against the wall and go for it.

Jackson had always been known for being able to think on his feet.

Opportunity.

That was what this was.

He tunneled both hands into her hair, pulling it from the fancy twist. Then he tipped her head and took control.

Buy links:

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/nojayz7 

Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/knjqzee 

Kobo: http://tinyurl.com/qeba7w2

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Google: http://tinyurl.com/mheahmw

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The Hot Outback Nights Will Leave You…Breathless

So, Breathless for You, Book One of my new series Outback Skies, releases today. Yay!! For those of you who have read Blackthorne, Breathless for You is Matt Corvin’s story. For those of you who haven’t read Blackthorne, Matt Corvin is a very sexy doctor who’s had his heart broken.

BfY1.001

When desire goes sky high, things get hot. Really hot.

The middle of the Outback seems the perfect place for city-bred Dr. Matt Corvin to recover from the beating life has given him. Working in Wallaby Ridge as a member of the Royal Flying Doctors is just what this doctor needs, until he finds himself paired with a pilot who’s every sexual fantasy that’s ever done barrel rolls through his head. She rekindles in him a desire for something he thought he’d never want again—connection.

Natacha Freeman was one medical exam away from RAAF fighter pilot status when her lungs royally screwed her over. Flying a medical plane in the Outback should have provided isolation to match her desolation. Instead, she’s stuck in a tiny plane with a nice guy who sends her hormones screaming full throttle.

Though Tash is jumping on the brakes with both feet, Matt’s not above using his thorough knowledge of the human body to change her mind. Until the dangerous reality of living in the Outback brings them crashing to the ground.

Warning: If gorgeous sexy doctors with incredible bedside manner and a dominating sexual side make you shudder with sheer orgasmic rapture, this book may be…wait for it…just what the doctor ordered.

Available now from…

Samhain Publishing http://tinyurl.com/mbx5knl
Amazon http://tinyurl.com/qhzlya9
Barnes and Noble http://tinyurl.com/kysuyxm
iTunes http://tinyurl.com/nthf8cu
Kobo http://tinyurl.com/l69489d

EXCERPT

Another cold ribbon laced through her, this one bitter with self-contempt, and she let out a wry laugh. “I’ve got a lot of baggage, Doc. Screwed-up baggage. None of it you want anything to do—”

He silenced her with his lips and swept his tongue into her mouth, the kiss as hungry and as fierce as it was unexpected. He balled his hands in her shirt at the base of her spine and yanked her to him, a primitive taking of that which he wanted.

Her.

She groaned, pressed her palms to his chest and, for a staggering moment, tried to fight the concentrated pleasure rushing through her.

And a heartbeat later, she surrendered to it, incapable of doing anything else but.

She raked her hands up his chest, lashing his tongue with hers. He deepened their kiss, his hunger evident not just in his ravenous lips but in the ungentle way he grabbed her arse and ground his erection to the curve of her sex.

She groaned, the rigid pole pushing her own desire to a feverish point.

Just this once. She’d give herself just this one time. This one time to lose herself in what could have been…

Scoring her nails over his shoulders, down his pecs, she teased his nipples—puckered into hard points—through his shirt. He hissed in a breath against her lips, his cock pulsing at her touch. She pinched his nipples again, a quick tug before dragging her nails down his ribcage, his sides, to the waistband of his jeans.

She wanted him naked. Wanted him naked and inside her.

Now.

Her heart raced with the need.

Her whole body burned with it. Every nerve ending, every molecule.

Hooking her fingers into his shirt, she pulled its hemline free of his jeans. Slipped her hands beneath the fine cotton and captured his nipples—skin on skin.

“Fuck, Tash,” Matt groaned, bucking as she pinched the pebbled points again. “That feels—”

She yanked her hands free of his shirt, grabbed the front and tore it open, uncaring of his buttons.

Before he could respond, she smoothed her hands up the subtle six-pack of his stomach, skimmed her fingers over the knotted white path of the scar marring his ribcage, and closed her lips around his right nipple.

“Holy fuck,” he ground out, tangling his fingers in her hair. “Holy fuck.”

She sucked his nipple into her mouth, closed her teeth around it and sucked again.

He bucked again. Bucked and cursed and grabbed at her belt buckle.

She straightened, tasting every inch of the muscular column of his throat, the stubble-roughened line of his jaw as she helped him remove her belt.

He tore at her clothes with desperate hands, yanking her T-shirt up over her head with rough impatience. She did the same, shucking his shirt from his shoulders even as she tried to toe off her boots.

With a horny laugh, he dropped to his knees, grabbed one foot and tugged her boot from her foot.

She curled her fingers into his armpits and pulled him back up, crushing his mouth with hers. She didn’t want to stop kissing him. She didn’t want to not have his lips, his tongue against hers. Even if it did mean she was still wearing one boot.

As if aware of her insatiable hunger, he worshipped her mouth with his, unzipping her jeans as he did so. His hands replaced the snug denim wrapping her hips, his fingers sliding over the curve of her arse cheeks.

She arched into his possessive touch, rolling her sex against the firm pole of his erection still restrained by his trousers. Its unyielding length sent liquid heat to her pussy and she dropped her hands to his fly.

***

Oh and look what’s already available for pre-order? The second book, Burn for You. Yay!

The fire in the heart is the hardest to fight.

Outback Skies, Book 2

Harsh, rugged and unforgiving, the Australian Outback is the perfect place for Evan Alexander to hide. Up in the air, fighting fires from the cockpit of his helicopter, no one sees the scars that run clear down to his soul.

When a massive fire breaks out in a nearby national park, Wallaby Ridge becomes a media staging ground, and Evan’s daring piloting skills the center of attention. Evan finds it easy to dodge every reporter—except one. A woman from his past.

Jenna McGrath can’t believe the quiet, withdrawn man declared a hero is the same arrogant, cocky pilot she fell in love with six years ago. A cruel betrayal caused Jenna to remove herself from his world, but she’s never been able to erase him from her memories.

Their long-suppressed attraction reignites, but the walls Evan has built around himself are high. And while Jenna easily overlooks the scars on his body, she begins to wonder if molten desire is enough to melt the emotional scars binding his heart.

Warning: It’s not the flames devouring the landscape that will stir your soul…it’s the wounded, broken man fighting them from the air.

(PS Pansy Petal won my medical week of blogging last week. Pansy, send me an email so I can get your prize to you ASAP! :D )

 

Free Agent

Free-Agent-by-Mari-Carr-200x300Today marks the release of Free Agent. I’m absolutely delighted about this new series. Collaborating with Erin Nicholas and Cari Quinn on the project has been a dream! They’re amazing writers and over the past few months, they’ve become lovely friends.

The Boys of Fall will be a nine book series when all is said and done. Erin, Cari and I are each writing three installments. The first three, Out of Bounds, Going Long and Free Agent are out today. The next three will release in the fall and the final three the beginning of 2016. The books run concurrently so they can be read in any order. There are overlapping scenes, which make it fun because you can see several conversations from different points of view.

My story, Free Agent, is about Tucker, the star high school quarterback, who considered leaving Quinn, Texas making a clean getaway, an escape from a very troubled, violent childhood. The problem with leaving and never looking back was he had to say goodbye to the girl he loved, the one he never forgot. Now Tucker is an NFL star, faced with a hard decision to make. And to add  insult to injury, he’s just learned his beloved football coach has suffered a heart attack and needs his help. Tucker knows he has to return home, but in doing so, he’s bound to have some old wounds reopened.

How about a sneak peek?

“I’m afraid I…have…to…” She was searching for an excuse. And doing a terrible job at it.

He smirked. “You still suck at lying, L.B.”

She shot him a dirty look. “Did you ever consider that I don’t want to hang out with you and I’m looking for an acceptable reason, so that I don’t hurt your feelings?”

He shook his head. “Nope. That thought never occurred to me. Because you’re dying to go for a ride.”

She rolled her eyes and started to walk away from him. “You cocky son of a b—”

Tucker had no idea what prompted his next move. Maybe it was because she was trying to get away. Or the adorable exasperation on her face. Or that damn smell that had his cock going hard in an instant.

Whatever it was, it had his hands on her upper arms, twisting her around to him, cutting off her words with hard, hungry lips.

Lela was motionless for several seconds. Tucker used her shock against her as he deepened the kiss. Her mouth had been open and he’d taken advantage of that fact, pressing his tongue against hers.

When she did move, Tucker tightened his grip and planted his feet to prepare, ready to halt her flight. But she didn’t shove him away. Didn’t turn her face away from his, didn’t slap him for his forwardness.

Instead, she responded. Her lips softened and her tongue met his.

It was her turn to claim the advantage. She lifted her arms, wrapping them around his neck, her firm breasts pressed against his chest. Tucker released her arms, his hands dropping to her waist. He needed to touch her skin. He hadn’t lived like a monk, hadn’t resisted the perks associated with being a star quarterback. It wasn’t unusual for beautiful women to invite him to their beds and he’d taken more than a few of them up on the offer.

He’d ventured into sex clubs and given in to dominant urges he’d never shown Lela when they’d been younger. He’d tied women up, down and sideways, but nothing, not one damn kinky, hot, sex-filled night, had turned him on more than this relatively simple kiss from Lela.

His hands drifted under her shirt. She shivered slightly when his fingers grazed her soft skin, despite the scorching heat.

Lela ran her hands through his hair before she closed her fingers in the strands, tugging it harder, using her grip to increase the pressure of the kiss.

Tucker didn’t try to escape, didn’t acknowledge the prickling pain in his scalp. There was a new roughness, an impassioned hunger to Lela’s response. It spoke to Tucker’s own needs.

With his hands on her hips, he twisted them, lightly pushing her back against the side of the car, stepping closer. He pressed his cock against her, letting her feel how hard he was, how much he wanted her. She whimpered, but didn’t seek to break the union of their mouths.

Tucker was vaguely aware of their surroundings. They were in the front yard of a fairly busy ranch. Anyone and everyone could be watching them, but Tucker couldn’t find it in himself to give a shit.

Besides, Lela was too pragmatic. Common sense was going to raise its ugly head soon enough and she’d definitely shove him away. Until then he had to make sure to leave a lasting impression. Take care to ensure this encounter wasn’t something she’d soon forget.

His hands still lingered beneath her shirt. Lifting them, he wasted no time cupping her full breasts. He squeezed the flesh firmly, loving the way Lela moved toward the touch, encouraging him to continue.

They’d been virgins the first time they’d come together. Tucker had been so much bigger than her and he’d been terrified of hurting her. That fear had never left his young man’s heart, so their sexual history had been steeped in gentleness and slow, easy lovemaking.

This older version of Lela was stronger, self-confident, sexy. Tucker couldn’t offer her softness if his life depended on it. Instead, he felt the intense need to conquer. To prove to her she wasn’t the only one who’d changed. To take her in all the ways he’d dreamed of on those lonely nights when he gave in and let himself fantasize about her.

She’d been the face he’d seen every time he’d closed his eyes, wrapped his hand around his cock and brought himself to climax. He’d envisioned her on her knees before him, her hands tied behind her back, sometimes blindfolded, sometimes not. She’d open her mouth upon his command and…

Tucker forced the sexy thoughts from his head before he really did do something neither of them was ready for.

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