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Dr Dick Talks About Sexuality and Spirituality and His Eye-Opening New Book Part 1

I’m very excited to have Rev. Richard Wagner with me today for the first in a two part interview. A lot of you out there will know him as Dr Dick from his fabulous website, Sex Advice with an Edge, but this man has more layers than a wedding cake and every one of them is totally fascinating. Welcome, Richard Wagner!

KD: I know you as Dr. Dick, who interviewed me on your fabulous Erotic Mind podcast series. When we did the podcasts, I was scared to death, having never done anything like that before, and you put me at ease and made it so much fun. I love your podcasts, and your website, and I’ve found several of your essays on the Catholic Church and sexuality to be fascinating. But I have to admit, it seems strange for me to think of you as Richard or Reverend Wagner, and I can’t imagine you as Father Wagner. You’ve worn lots of hats in your life, and as I read your book, Secrecy, Sophistry and Gay Sex In The Catholic Church: The Systematic Destruction of an Oblate Priest, I am reminded just how different those hats are. Tell us about the people Richard Wagner is, and tell us how do all of those people you are live comfortably together in the same skin?

DD: Wait, are you telling me I don’t have multiple personality disorder after all?

I’m getting a lot of that same reaction from people who have known me as one or another of my “personalities”.  But the remarkable thing is that I’ve never experienced any disconnect between, Fr. Wagner, Richard Wagner, therapist and Dr Dick.  I suppose that’s a good thing.  Imagine if I had difficulty making room for all these personas in my skin.

The truth of the matter is that I am all these “personalities” and there is virtually no distinction between them.  I suppose they reflect, as you suggest, different hats I’ve worn over the years, but the hats fit on the same head.  Curiously enough, each “personality” compliments and infuses the others.  I honestly couldn’t be Dr Dick if I weren’t also Richard Wagner and Fr. Wagner.

Besides my sometimes biting humor when it comes to human sexuality, as evidenced daily on Dr Dick’s Sex Advice, there is also an abiding sense of reverence for our capacities to express ourselves sexually.  And I am painfully aware of how short a time we all actually have to explore this gift before our life is over.

KD: The events that ultimately led you from being an Oblate priest in the Roman Catholic Church to doing the wonderful, though extremely different work you do now are an astonishing example of the power of a religious institution to crush anything it considers harmful to itself, whether that threat is real or imagined. They are also the events that led ultimately to the publishing of your book. I know this is a bit like asking you to bring me the ocean in a teacup, but could you tell us briefly what happened.

DD: My book tells the story of my dismissal from The Oblates of Mary Immaculate; a Catholic missionary order based in Rome.  My association with the Oblates began at the age of fourteen as seminarian in 1963 and I was ordained an Oblate priest in Oakland, California in 1975.  In 1978, The Oblates formally assigned me to pursue a doctorate degree in clinical sexology at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, a postgraduate school in San Francisco.  For my dissertation, I chose to study the behaviors and attitudes of gay Catholic priests in the active ministry.  The study, titled Gay Catholic Priests: A Study of Cognitive and Affective Dissonance, was completed in 1981. I was awarded my doctorate the same year.  With that I became the first Roman Catholic priest in the world to hold an advanced degree in clinical sexology.  To this day, I remain the only one.

To my great surprise, and then alarm, I became an overnight media sensation, attracting attention throughout the U.S. and even abroad. Instead of focusing on my research and its results, the sole object of interest became my own personal identity as a priest and gay man.  Nothing else mattered, all context was drowned out, all rational discussion quashed, and what had begun as a story about my work was instantly transformed into a full time red-meat scandal.  What followed was a shock that altered my entire life.  Within a matter of months, the Oblate Superior General in Rome contacted my provincial superior in Oakland and demanded my immediate resignation from the Oblates.  Either that, he warned, or dismissal proceedings would be brought against me.


KD:  I still find it difficult to know what to say in response to such an experience, other than how pleased I am that out of your ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ something as eye-opening and truly ground-breaking as your book could come. Could you tell us about your book, Secrecy, Sophistry and Gay Sex In The Catholic Church: The Systematic Destruction of an Oblate Priest, What inspired you, ultimately to write down everything that happened to you? I also know that it was a rough journey to actually get it published. What happened?

DD: The book is in two parts.

Since I wouldn’t resign my priesthood; I contend I did nothing wrong, my community moved to dismiss me.  The first part of my book narrates the dismissal process that lasted for an agonizing thirteen years, until the final decree of separation was issued on May 13, 1994.  What happened to me was unconscionable and I wanted my brother Oblates to know that.  So I wrote my defense as an open letter to them.

It is a lengthy letter reviewing the entire convoluted process leading up to my formal separation, and demanding from my brothers some form of acknowledgment and restitution for the hardships imposed on me.   The letter is a fully documented history based on the years of correspondence between me and the successive Oblate administrations with which I had to deal.

As such, it throws a unique light on the internal workings of the Catholic Church and on the typical methods that church officials employ to suppress compromising truths, to exonerate themselves of wrong-doing, and to punish anyone who dares to draw into the open the institution’s interior secrets.  It shows how the church silences and hustles out of sight anyone who dares to speak out.  It is a sad and disturbing account of corporate malfeasance, canonical corruption, and institutionalized homophobia on a massive scale.

The second part of the book is my complete doctoral dissertation. Soon after the controversy with the Oblates began I learned I was being silenced by Rome.  I realized that if I didn’t get at lest a few copies my dissertation out before the order from the Vatican arrived it would have never seen the light of day. So apart from a small run of photocopies made available in a hurried arrangement in 1981 very few people have ever seen my research.

So this is the first time that my thesis has been made available to the public at large.  It remains the only large-sample study ever conducted of the sexual behaviors and attitudes of Catholic priests in active ministry, and my sample were all gay men by design.  While some may consider the sample of fifty participants to be small, it is in fact quite large given the hiddenness of the target population.  As the narrative portion of my study makes plain, the tools of intimidation and control that church authorities routinely employ to keep gay clergy silent and invisible are extremely effective, even in the case of one as prepared as I was to fight against them.

Wardell Pomeroy, my doctoral supervisor, was astonished not only by the size of my sample but also by the candor, depth, and thoroughness of the participants’ responses.  During all the years that he worked with Alfred Kinsey on the monumental Kinsey Reports—a project that involved literally thousands of participants—only two or three priests were interviewed.  What’s more, the sexual behaviors of these men were not specifically linked to their vocations but were simply folded into the study’s general statistical results.

The only reason I was able to obtain my sample was because I was a gay priest and I had extensive contacts in the informal network of gay clergy that exists throughout the U.S.  My sample’s size and the insights it provides into the behaviors and attitudes of gay clergy are still without rival as a primary source on the subject.

And if you’ve just taken the time to read through all of that, you’ll understand why it was so difficult to find a publisher.  Some publishers wouldn’t touch the manuscript because they feared reprisals from the Catholic Church.  Other publishers thought the subject matter was presented in to scholarly form.

KD: When we skyped before we did The Erotic Mind podcasts, we discovered that we had a lot in common in that our spiritual journeys had led us in directions we never could have imagined. We both felt that our journeys were about healing the split between spirituality and sexuality. Do you feel writing a book documenting the events that led you to where you are now has helped to heal that split? Do you think it may help others?

DD: Yes to both your questions.

As you know, I believe there is a needless and a very artificial separation between sexuality and spirituality in western culture.  When I first came out as a gay priest I was absolutely convinced that I had something unique to add to the conversations we, as a culture and we as a church, were having about both of these fundamental human concerns.  I believed then, as I do now, that no one will ever find sexual and spiritual peace until he/she reunites these two concepts within themselves.  They should never have been rent asunder in the first place.

The publication of my book has helped me do that for myself, and it just might provide a template for others who are trying to reconnect sex and spirituality in their lives.

KD: Dr Dick and I will be discussing that fascinating and all-important link between spirituality and sexuality in more detail next week. Same time, same place. Don’t miss out on Part 2 of my interview with this multi-faceted, fascinating man. In the meantime, here’s where you can find Dr Dick/ Richard Wagner /Fr Wagner and buy his amazing book.

Places you can find Dr Dick/ Richard Wagner


Rachel Kramer Bussel Showcases Smut for All Occasions At Sh! Hoxton

I pile out of the over-heated tube at Old Street Station with my rucksack strapped to my back and my trusty google print-out of the directions to the Thistle City Barbican Hotel, the place I was lucky enough to find on lastminute.com just before desperation set in when every place else was full. The hotel is only the intermediate stop to my true destination, Sh! Women’s Emporium, Hoxton and the smut-reading highlight of the summer.

Yep, another fabulous reading! I’ve been looking forward to this one for ages. Aside from the obvious, that the reading is at Sh!, and I never miss a chance to visit Sh! there are several other reasons why this reading is special. Rachel Kramer Bussel is going to be at this reading, and she’s bringing cupcakes and reading smut! Even better than cupcakes, I get to read with her! Not only do I get to read with her, but I also get to read with some of my heros in the erotica firmament – Kay Jaybee, Jacqueline Applebee, Janine Ashbless, Justine Elyot, and Carmel Lockyer. So you can understand why I’m excited.

Like a woman with a mission, I manage to find the hotel without even one false turn, and I don’t even let the very large, rather disgruntled hen party in queue to check in ahead of me dampen my sweaty spirits. Once I’ve change, freshened up, and put on a bit of slap, I meet up with Kay Jaybee, who is in the same hotel, and we head off to say hi at Sh!, then to the Bluu Bar, which has become the meet-up place of choice for smutters before a read. Kay and I barely get settled in before Jacqueline Applebee arrives smiling and glowing from marching with Pride, earlier in the day. She’s traded in her Doc Martins for cool sandals and a summer dress, and that little twist of a smile she offers tells us we’re in for a treat tonight – nothing less than we would expect.

We’ve just commandeered a very large booth when we’re joined by the Lovely Lexie Bay, and the charming Mr. Bay, followed immediately by the fabulous Victoria Blisse down from Manchester, and this time she doesn’t have to take the last coach home! We’ve all just settled in when we’re joined by a yummy woman in black, who introduces herself as Justine Elyot, whose outrageously hot writing as well as online wit and charm we’re all familiar with, but until tonight we’ve never been able to put a face to a name. Tonight we even get to meet Mr Elyot.

I’m in smutter heaven chatting and laughing, talking writing and sex surrounded by so many great writers. And just when I think the company can’t get any better, a lovely redhead, dressed in green, and looking a bit like a wood nymph, stops at our table. ‘Excuse me,’ she says, ‘but you wouldn’t happen to be writers would you? I’m Janine Ashbless.’ And I’m over the moon!

Though I’m the odd one out with my American accent, we pretty much have England covered, with representatives from Devon, Doset, London, Yorkshire, Manchester, and Brighton, then there’s me representing Surrey by way of Oregon and Texas. Such an international world, the world of erotica!

At last we head over to Sh! where Renee greets us with a glass of fizz and Jo, looking angelic in white is busy putting out cupcakes. Downstairs Sh! is a hot pink Smutter’s Paradise, a place many of us have fond memories of previous readings on previous festive evenings. And for those who have never had the pleasure of a Sh! reading before, we know what a treat they’re in for. The exquisitely wicked Lucy Felthouse is not only there ahead of us, but she’s let her hair down for the occasion. She’s in the company of smutter extraordinaire, Rebecca Bond and the delicious Parv Roopray, who can always be relied upon for fab photos of the fun. They’re chatting with the one and only Ruby Jones, living up to her name in a hot red frock.

While Parv snaps photos with tenacious focus the rest of us sip fizz and eat cupcakes, catch up on the latest and wait for Rachel. I’m happy that Rebecca and Parv are both Smart Phone Divas, especially tonight since Raymond couldn’t be there, and I’m certain these two lovelies have already sent a quick photo or two off to Facebook for him to see from Louisiana.

While I’m slipping into my ‘make love to me naughtily’ shoes – made for reading, not walking, I meet the final author of the panoply, the stunning Carmel Lockyer, and the sly, knowing look on her face already tells me that she has a very hot read to share with us.

There’s a stirring in the crowd as a half a dozen people straight from Pride with face paint and sparkles join in the party, and the feeling is electric, as we wait. Suraya  Sidhu Singh, editor of the terrific magazine, Filament, is among the crowd, as is fantastic erotica writer and my very good friend, Scarlett French. And just when it’s beginning to feel like if one more person crowds into the luscious Sh! pinkness, the place will burst at the seams in a colourful explosion of collars and whips and knickers and lube, and naughty books, suddenly, there she is, Rachel Kramer Bussel! And wow, she is a fabulous mix of sparkle-goddess and little girl excitement, in a totally approachable package that instantly puts us all at ease, and makes us feel like SHE is actually there especially to meet US!

After Renee makes introductions, Rachel opens with an edgy story called ‘Belted,’ from her anthology, Orgasmic. It’s a story that’s hot and squirmy in an owchie sort of way.

I get to read second, following belts with mirrors and weight rooms and a little girl on girl fun from the Smooth anthology and my story, ‘Muscle Bound.’ From the Gotta Have It anthology, Jacqueline Applebee delights us with ‘Not a Bang, but a Whisper,’ a threesome story that has an outrageously yummy twist. Kay Jaybee regails us with ‘The Advantage of Working From Home,’ and Carmel Lockyer entertains us with the hottest fitting for a bridesmaid dress ever in ‘Crushed Satin Organza.’ She reads it while standing up because she says that’s how she wrote it. Both Kay and Carmel’s stories are also from the Gotta Have It anthology.

After a break for more fizz and cupcakes and mingling among smutters and audience and whips and lingerie, we get to be the first group ever to hear the phenomenal Justine Elyot read from her hot story, ‘The London O’ in Rachel’s Surrender anthology. I certainly hope it won’t be the last time we hear her read, because her delicious story about vibrating, remote control knickers had us all squirming in our seats.

Then Janine Ashbless took us for a little historic bondage romp with a hotter than hot coming-of-age twist in ‘The Ingénue’ from Best Bondage Erotica 2011. Oh my! And finally Rachel closed with another Gotta Have It offering by Heather Linn, called ‘Seven-letter Word.’

After the reading was done, Rachel opened up the floor for questions. One question asked was what Rachel found inspiring, to which she answered that she was inspired by ordinary things. I could see all the erotica writers nodding in agreement. What makes a good erotic story is finding the erotic in the ordinary because that is the place where it’s the most unexpected, which makes it the place where it’s the hottest.

Though Rachel was unable to join us, the party continued at Pizza Express at the table which has, by default become the smutter’s table over the months of reading and attending readings at Sh! I’ve never been too proud to elbow my way in at a seat closet to the middle of the table where I can talk with as many of the group as possible, and there were ten of us. The talk was all on the topics that never get old, the topics we keep coming back to over and over again: writing, sex, creativity, the process that consumes us and makes our lives, as erotica writers, such an interesting dance.

For the most part, we write in delicious isolation, creating a space to work in the midst of real life that takes up the lion share of our time. Though we’re now all connected to each other via the magic of technology, it’s the pleasure of meeting, in the flesh, other people who are also writing stories about connecting on the most basic, most human level that adds to the party atmosphere. That flesh and blood contact makes us feel connected in ways technology just can’t manage, makes us realize that though we may work in sweet isolation, we’re a part of something much bigger, something much more powerful.  And for the few hours we’re together we bask in the energy of it all.

When the night’s over and we return to our real lives, when we seek out our little bits of isolation and the stories that have to be written, we take some of that energy with us and translate it into hot, steamy, vibrant, sometimes dark and gritty stories. But at least for a few hours, we understand that we’re a part of a collective, and it’s an amazing vibrant creative hothouse of a collective that makes our isolation all the more delicious.



The Story Behind the Story of ‘To Touch The Knight’ by Lindsay Townsend


I’m very happy to have Lindsay Townsend at Hopeful Romantic to share a little of the truly fascinating story behind the story of her exciting novel, To Touch The Knight. Welcome, Lindsay! Do Tell!

Thank you so much, KD, for having me as a guest on your blog today. I’m chatting a bit about my forthcoming romance, ‘To Touch The Knight’, which is due out in July – not long now! KD asked me to cover the story behind the story of ‘To Touch The Knight’, which I’m delighted to do.

In my novel, the heroine Edith presents herself as a strange princess with her own seductive costumes, language and customs. One of my inspirations for this particular desperate deception was a real-life fake from the eighteenth century, the Princess Caraboo.

This ‘princess’ was a young woman who appeared in a Gloucestershire village in 1817, dressed in unusual clothes and speaking a strange language. Upon investigation by the local magistrate, it was discovered she called herself Caraboo and later a sailor said he knew her language and translated her story. Caraboo claimed to be a princess from an island in the Indian ocean, who had escaped after being captured by pirates.

The magistrate, Stephen Worrall, and his wife, took in Princess Caraboo. She lived with them for several weeks, famous and fêted by the local community.

In reality Princess Caraboo turned out to be Mary Baker, the daughter of an English cobbler. When the hoax was revealed due to her picture in the ‘Bristol Journal’ being recognized, the Worralls arranged for Mary to leave for Philadelphia.

Mary did go to America but returned later to England and died there. It was the story of her unusual deception that inspired a 1994 film, ‘Princess Caraboo’ and partly inspired my own novel, ‘To Touch The Knight’.

Taking the story of Princess Cariboo as a starting point, I wondered how it would be if a woman felt compelled by circumstances to undertake a similar deception, in the Middle Ages and with far higher life-and-death stakes, and so Edith was born.

My hero Ranulf  also has his own inner demons to defeat through the story. He is a fighter who must come to terms with his grief at the death of his wife and also a mystery surrounding her death. When Edith and Ranulf come together, they are both in different ways lost souls who find themselves through each other. It’s set against a period of massive trauma and change, too – just after the Black Death of 1348.

The so-called ‘Black Death’  was  known during the Middle Ages as either the plague or the pestilence. It’s now believed there were two main types of plague – bubonic (in which sufferers presented with huge pus-filled tumors or buboes) and pneumonic, spread in the air, which killed in less than three days. Both struck Europe from the far east in 1347, spreading swiftly from Italian ports through Europe and arriving in Britain in 1348. There was no known cure for any of the plagues and over a third of the population died. It was a terrifying time, made worse by the common belief that the disease was a judgment of God.

It was a dreadful time, but for the survivors it was also a chance to better themselves, particularly for peasants, for farm labor was in short supply. Edith decides to use the chance in another way, in order to save herself and her fellow villagers.

Thank you so much for having me today, KD!

I’d like to leave you, if I may, with the blurb and an excerpt from the first chapter of my novel, ‘To Touch the Knight’.

Here’s the blurb:

As a pestilence sweeps medieval England, a low-born woman has only the sharpness of her wits–and the courage of her heart…

Edith of Warren Hemlet plays a dangerous game. At the knights’ tourneys across the land, among the lords and ladies, she is a strange foreign princess. But in the privacy of her tent with the other survivors of her village, she is but a smith’s widow with a silver tongue. They are well-fed, but if discovered, the punishment is death. And one knight–fierce, arrogant, and perilously appealing–is becoming far too attentive…

Sir Ranulf of Fredenwyke cares little for tourneys: playing for ladies’ favors, when his own lady is dead; feasting, while commoners starve; “friendly” combat, when he has seen real war. Still, one lady captivates him–mysterious in her veils and silks, intoxicating with her exotic scents and bold glances. Yet something in her eyes reminds him of home…and draws him irresistibly to learn her secrets…

And here’s an excerpt from the first chapter, where Edith encounters Ranulf for the first time:

Edith was walking with the bundled sheets to the shallow, slow-moving stream when she realized that another was there before her. A man, big and muscled enough for a knight but not in armor, was sitting on the river-bank with his boots off, dangling his bare feet in the clear water.

Large, fine feet they were, too, and very clean. She stood in the shade of a young beech tree, shielded by its fresh leaves, and watched him; this nameless knight. He was new to her, and a pleasure to look upon, with a trim waist and good shoulders. He slowly kicked his legs in the water and she noticed the dark swirls of down on his calves, less lustrous and straighter than his fair-going-to-russet shaggy, badly-clipped hair. She wondered if the tiny dark fish were nibbling his ankles and laughed softly at the foolish idea. He was handsome, she conceded, if long, clean-shaven features as regular as a mason’s new carving of a king were to one’s taste – and they were to hers. On his feet, standing proudly on the daisy and speedwell studded grass, he would be tall as a castle keep, but wiry, with a rangy strength she admired when he skimmed a pebble across the river.

Here’s where you can find Lindsay:

Lindsay Townsend, historical romance. http://www.lindsaytownsend.net

or follow me at Twitter: @lindsayromantic


Thanks for stopping by, Lindsay!  It was lovely to have you. ‘To Touch The Knight’ sounds like a fabulous read — even more so now that we know the story behind the story.  I’ll now be waiting anxiously to July to get my copy!


Still Behaving Like Animals

People have always been nervous about the possibility of human nature being nothing more than animal nature all tarted up with a big brain. There’s lots of bristling at the idea that biology might explains us just as easily as it does our animal cousins.

We’ve been wondering for a long time just how thin the line is that separates our behavior from that of those animal cousins. And we can’t ask that question without wondering if civilization is maybe nothing more than a thin veneer we humans wear to protect ourselves from the most dangerous animals on the planet — each other.

Strangely enough in the past few weeks, it hasn’t been The Pet Shop or rutting Siberian beavers on Animal Planet that have me thinking about that thin line and what’s actually going on beneath the veneer. I confess to know next to nothing about neurobiology and even less about the financial world. I write nasty stories. But when penises and testosterone and male biology enter, detrimentally, into the stock markets and the banking industry, I’m suddenly very interested.

I first became aware of the market-testosterone connection while doing my usual scan of the news over breakfast.

In his article for the Observer, Testosterone and High Finance Do Not Mix: So Bring on the Women, Tim Adams gives a brief lesson in ‘neuroeconomics’ and writes about hearing Michael Lewis, author of the book, ‘The Big Short,’ Speak at the London School of Economics. Lewis was asked what single thing he would do to reform the markets and prevent such a catastrophe happening again, and he said: ‘I would take steps to have 50% of women in risk positions in banks.’

Several days later there was an article in the Guardian about the EU calling for women to make up one third of bank directors in an effort to prevent ‘group think,’ which is often blamed for exacerbating the industry crisis of 2008.  According to the article, gender diversity can lessen the problem of group-think, partly because there’s evidence that the leadership style of women is different, that they ‘attend more board meetings and have a positive impact on the collective intelligence of a group.’

When I shared the ‘testosterone’ links with my husband, he sent me a link to a New York Times article, in which Paul Krugman discusses a comment from a post by economist, Kevin O’Rourke, called, ‘What do markets want.’ This is the comment:

‘The markets want money for cocaine and prostitutes. I’m deadly serious.

‘Most people don’t realize that ‘the markets’ are in reality 22-27 year old business school graduates, furiously concocting chaotic trading strategies on excel sheets and reporting to bosses perhaps 5 years senior to them. In addition, they generally possess the mentality and probably intelligence of junior cycle secondary school students. Without knowledge of these basic facts, nothing about the markets makes any sense—and with knowledge, everything does.’

In the animal kingdom, younger males are sometimes ostracized from the community until one of them develops the strength and maturity to wrest the power from the alpha male. In the animal kingdom, the one who gets to breed is the winner. Even our seemingly companionable British robin will fight to the death with a usurping male if it will get him the chance to pass on his genes to the next generation.

I couldn’t help but wonder as I read about hormones and the market running amuck if our cultural queasiness with our animal nature has, once again, come back to bite us in the butt. The drive to procreate, and the sooner the better, may no longer be at the top of our civilized ‘to do list,’ but the biology for it is still there. What better place for young men, not yet mature enough to lead the pack, to play out that possessive, territorial ‘need to breed’ aggression than in the market? As I said, I’m definitely no expert, but it seems to me that  to turn the animal loose in an already testosterone-charged play-ground, complete with expensive cars and high-end sex, and expect him to behave in a ‘civilized’ manner is more than a little bit naïve.



Tina Donahue Takes Us Away

I’d like to welcome the lovely Tina Donahue to  A Hopeful Romantic today. Tina  is going to give us a sneak preview of her hot new novel, Take Me Away. And just to celebrate that release, she’s offering a juicy giveaway too good to miss out on. Tina, do tell!


Don’t you love the beginning pages of a romance when the hero and heroine first meet? Their smoldering stares, their first words as they size up each other?

I do. That’s one of the parts I like to write most. When neither character quite knows where this might be heading…they just know where they would like it to go.

Usually during these encounters, we – the readers – get to know the characters better, to fall in love with them as they begin the journey of falling in love with each other.

In Take Me Away, my newest erotic romance, Kyle’s reluctant to let Lexi stay at his cabin, while she sees it as her only means to avoid the hounding press. Their first moments alone are telling for what they both think and want.

Here’s a blurb and an excerpt to show you what I mean.


She’s everything he escaped…and all that he desires

Three years ago, Kyle turned his back on a pro-football career and being the target of tabloids or gold-digging groupies. Craving privacy, he gets it at his roadhouse in Northern California until Lexi Sands invades his life. Indulged and surely phony, she’s exactly what Kyle fled.

An actress since childhood, Lexi’s fresh out of an anger management program, court-ordered when she lashed out at a badgering paparazzo. Weary of the press’s harsh scrutiny, she sees Kyle’s secluded cabin as the ideal place to hide out and him as a damn-near perfect alpha male. Deliciously virile. Protective. Principled. She offers him serious cash to let her stay for two weeks, assuring there will be no complications or touching.

Yeah, right. Passion flares, along with tenderness. Kyle recognizes how lonely Lexi really is, while she’s falling hard. Through intimate days and impassioned nights, they explore their most shameless needs, until a cruel betrayal exposes their growing love, forcing a choice neither anticipated.


Lexi caught his scent, more pronounced this time, delivering a hint of musk. Something needed and desired coiled within her, despite the fact that they’d just met.

A moment passed. Papers rustled as though he was moving or reading them, keeping himself busy, avoiding the inevitable, turning her down.

Lexi’s longing remained even as reality kicked in. Fiona’s plan to help her hide out had been kind, but unreasonable. At least for Kyle. He had a life he enjoyed. He didn’t want her presence and celebrity to screw it up.

Steeling herself for the worst, she opened her eyes.

He was leaning against the edge of his desk, arms folded over his broad chest, feet crossed at the ankles, his gaze on her.

A pulse beat crazily in Lexi’s throat. The sound of her thrumming heart drowned out the puppy’s thin whines and the muffled noise coming from the bar. She expected Kyle to look away as he had in there. He did not. Once more, interest flashed in his eyes – or at least she thought it did.

Remember, her counselor had said, what you want isn’t always what a person is willing to give.

Tell her something she didn’t know. For as long as Lexi could remember, she’d wanted a home life like other kids had. Parents that adored her because she was their child, not for the income she could bring in.

Even after all these years, the truth still wounded. Refusing to let it defeat her, she made her voice light. “So when did you?”

Kyle’s expression went from intent to confused. “When did I what?”

She smiled at the puppy licking her fingers. “Get Baby here.”

His gaze dropped to the dog, then returned to her. “Buddy.”

“Right. Buddy Baby,” she amended.

Kyle laughed.

Pride and contentment rippled through Lexi for having caused it. For having brought back those killer dimples. God, how she enjoyed seeing them and listening to his laughter. So easy and free. So intimate.

A kiss, a fuck, couldn’t compete with a man and a woman sharing a laugh. That’s what bonded two souls. Joy. Happiness. Friendship. Not mere lust.

A second ago, she’d been willing to leave without a goodbye. Now, she wanted to stay, even though she knew Kyle would never like her as deeply as she required. Lexi saw it on his face, in the way his laughter wound down and his dimples disappeared.

Didn’t matter. For a few days, no more than two weeks, she longed to be around a man who couldn’t care less about her fame, who didn’t want to use it to further his own interests. She ached to get away from the craziness, the pain, the loneliness of her world.

“Before you say no, I’m willing to offer five thousand dollars.”

His brows shot up. “Pete said three.”

She was being too needy. Something else her counselor had warned her about. “Okay then, three.” She smiled. “Are you always this easy to negotiate with?”

Kyle’s gaze settled on her smile. His expression became heated, all male.

This time, Lexi knew she wasn’t imagining it. He did find her interesting. The real Lexi, not the tramp she looked like tonight or the Hollywood invention. She saw that truth in his eyes. Excitement raced through her, but she kept it from her voice. “I won’t be in your way at all. I’ll stay in my own room. I’ll only leave it when you’re here or wherever else you may go. I’ll amuse myself outside.”

His gaze turned inward as though he were trying to imagine such a thing. Whatever his thoughts conjured up, pleasure relaxed his features.

Now she had him. “I’ll even take care of Baby for you. I’ll act as his sitter.”

A smile tugged at the corner of Kyle’s mouth. Not enough to make dimples, but surely enough to arouse. “Buddy,” he corrected.

“Sorry. I forgot. Buddy Baby.” Giving the puppy a kiss on his snout, she lowered him to the floor, pushed to her feet and advanced.

Smile fading, Kyle watched.

At his office chair, Lexi stopped. With her right foot on the seat, she slipped her hand into her boot.

Kyle stared at her naked thigh. Her skirt was so short the damn thing practically exposed her ass. From his vantage point, he could see she wasn’t wearing regular panties. Whether she had on a thong was debatable.

His mouth went dry. He pulled in a deep breath, which rewarded him with her alluring rose scent.

I won’t be in your way at all, she’d said. I’ll amuse myself outside.

With those words, he’d pictured the creek behind his cabin. Lexi shedding her clothes and boots on the bank. Sunlight caressing her nudity. The water swirling around her sleek thighs, dampening her bush, licking her cunt. Beads of moisture clinging to the soft swells of her breasts, dripping off the tips of her nipples.

A groan of pleasure and frustration bubbled up. Kyle fought it, remaining silent, not daring to ask what in the fuck she was doing. Adjusting her sock? Removing a rock that had somehow gotten into her boot and was hurting her foot?

His guesses weren’t close to correct.

She pulled out a wad of hundred dollar bills.

In the coming moments, they learn quite a lot about each other, which stokes their interest and passion.

Take Me Away is Available Now!

Buy Link: http://www.jasminejade.com/p-9333-take-me-away.aspx

Email: tina@tinadonahue.com
Website/blog: www.tinadonahue.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/tinadonahue
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000458023097

To celebrate the release of Take Me Away, I’m offering a contest today. One lucky commenter will have her choice of one of my following ebooks**:

1. Adored – RWA award-winning; EPIC 2011 Finalist; 4 Stars RT
2. Deep, Dark, Delicious – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Holt Medallion Award of Merit
3. Lush Velvet Nights – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Golden Nib Award
4. In His Arms – SIX 5 Star Reviews; 4 Stars RT
5. Sensual Stranger – 2010 Book of the Year (erotic); 4 Stars RT

** Winner chosen at random.


Thanks for stopping by, Tina. Take Me Away sounds hotter than hot! And personally, I don’t know how the lucky winner is ever going to choose between these delicious offerings!

© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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