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Ashley Lister’s RAVEN & SKULL a Deliciously Diabolical Office Horror

It’s always a pleasure to have the fabulously versatile Ashley Lister as my guest. Sometimes it’s poetry, sometimes it’s erotica and today it’s something totally different. Today it’s horror. Welcome, Ashley!

 

Ashley Lister Raven and Skull cover image 29 June 13474266_10208485044217586_218274077_nRaven and Skull

By Ashley Lister

Have you ever worked in an office? Good. Then you’ll know what I’m talking about here.

I first started working in an office many years ago when I was back in my twenties. Back then computers were a novelty and fax machines were state of the art technology. Most desks had ashtrays and every telephone was a landline.

A few cynics asked me if I ‘liked’ office work. They used that sneering tone of voice that suggested I would clearly be a few sandwiches short of a picnic basket if I did like such tedium. I always answered, “Well, I’m indoors, getting paid, and I can keep my clothes on, so it’s an improvement over my last job.”

Maddeningly, most people missed the attempt at humour in this response.

But it was office work and, as happens with office work, I got to the stage where I could do the complex administrative stuff without giving it a second thought. Almost as though I was a zombie. Or an automaton. Or some soulless abominable hybrid of human and machine.

I think it was either Alan Carr or Jimmy Carr who said they’d worked in an office where a woman sat behind a desk with a sign that said, “You don’t have to be mad to work here, but it helps.” Carr explained that this particular sign was more impressive than most because the woman had written it in her own faeces.

And, whilst I’ve always found this joke to be amusing, I think it touches on a real truth.

Office work can drive us crazy. Office work, where the trivial and unimportant becomes obscenely vital to the point of psychosis, can drive us round the bend. It has made me scowl at the sound of a colleague’s laughter. It has made me hide from someone who wanted nothing more than to talk to me. In truth, office work has made me act in ways that can properly be described as horrific.

Which is why I wrote a horror novel based in an office. From personal experience I believe it’s hard to think of a more horrific environment. These are the opening lines from my latest novel, Raven and Skull.

 

 Raven and Skull Excerpt:

‘Tell us about a time you nearly died, Tony.’

Heather’s suggestion was greeted by a barrage of laughter.

There were half a dozen of them sitting around the table – the last souls left in an otherwise empty bar. Drained beer bottles and lipstick-smudged glasses stood between them like abstract monuments to the memories of good times gone. The darkness outside the bar window was fading to the apocalyptic grey of another dawn.

Tony glanced at his five colleagues and flashed an automatic grin. He hadn’t yet drunk enough beer to be light-headed, but he could feel the mood around the table was shifting. The evening had started as an early weekend escape from the offices of Raven and Skull; a two fingered salute to the workplace in the time-honoured tradition of every godforsaken Friday. After a grim week working nine-to-five – a grimmer week than any of them were used to suffering – Geoff’s idea that they should get pissed and have a laugh together had seemed like a stroke of pure genius. But now, whilst the maudlin veil of melancholy felt like it was finally lifting, Tony thought it was revealing something strange, unpleasant and potentially dangerous.

 

Ashley Lister Raven and Skull 29 June13467787_10208484853492818_738797422_o

 

Of course, the employees in this novel only have to contend with the diabolical, the supernatural, and their own dark and twisted desires. As office workers, I’m sure we all know the experience can be far more sinister. If you want to find out more about this story, please check out my blog: http://ashleylisterauthor.blogspot.co.uk/

Or if you want to buy a copy, it’s available from most good bookstores, as well as the usual online retailers: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Raven-Skull-Ashley-Lister/dp/1910720534/ or https://www.amazon.com/Raven-Skull-Ashley-Lister/dp/1910720534/

 

 

Out Now – Another Glass of Champagne by Jenny Kane (@jennykaneauthor) #romance #newrelease

Following on from the bestselling novel, Another Cup of Coffee, and the seasonal Christmas novellas Another Cup of Christmas, Christmas in the Cotswolds, and Christmas at the Castle, Jenny Kane brings you the final instalment in the Pickwicks Coffee House adventures.

Another Glass Of ChampagneBlurb

A warm-hearted, contemporary tale about a group of friends living in a small corner of busy London, by bestselling author Jenny Kane.

Fortysomething Amy is shocked and delighted to discover she s expecting a baby not to mention terrified! Amy wants best friend Jack to be godfather, but he hasn’t been heard from in months. When Jack finally reappears, he s full of good intentions but his new business plan could spell disaster for the beloved Pickwicks Coffee Shop, and ruin a number of old friendships…

Meanwhile his love life is as complicated as ever and yet when he swears off men for good, Jack meets someone who makes him rethink his priorities…but is it too late for a fresh start?

Author Kit has problems of her own: just when her career has started to take off, she finds herself unable to write and there s a deadline looming, plus two headstrong kids to see through their difficult teenage years…will she be able to cope?

A follow-up to the runaway success Another Cup of Coffee.

Buy Link: http://mybook.to/AGOChampagne (universal Amazon link)

*****

Extract

‘My goodness, woman, you look like the proverbial beached whale!’ Amy grinned at the teasing smile on her former boss’s face.

‘Thanks, Peggy. I know I can rely on you to be ready with a huge compliment!’

‘Huge is the word, and you are more than welcome!’ Taking advantage of a lull in custom, Peggy followed Amy to where Kit was working, and pulled out a chair for her friend before sitting down herself. ‘So how long have you got to go now?’

‘Only two months, which is nothing like as long as I need to get ready, or even get my head around what’s happening to me! I have far too much to do before the baby comes, although we’ve almost finished decorating the nursery at last. I haven’t even managed to find anyone to cover my job at Home Hunters yet.’

Amy thanked Megan, Pickwicks’ chief waitress, as she delivered a tray of drinks and half a huge carrot cake for the three friends, before asking Kit, ‘I don’t suppose that lovely husband of yours fancies coming back to the business while I’m on maternity leave?’

Kit shook her head. ‘Not a hope. It did cross my mind after Phil gave up running Home Hunters that he might have withdrawal symptoms and want to go back, but he took to running the bookshop like a duck to water. I can’t see him ever going back. And he wouldn’t have the time, to be honest. Did I tell you that they’re so busy now, he and Rob have employed a guy to help them with their new educational courses at Kew?’

Amy beamed. ‘No, you didn’t. That’s fantastic! I bet Jack would be thrilled for them if he was here.’ Suddenly pensive, she picked up her cup, ‘I don’t suppose either of you have heard from Jack?’

Peggy shook her head as Kit said, ‘Not a word. I thought he’d keep in touch with you though, Amy, even if he went quiet on the rest of us.’

‘Paul says he’ll turn up eventually, but I’d rather like to be able to tell Jack about this bundle,’ Amy patted her stomach, ‘before he or she stops being just a bump in my jumper. I might ask him if he wants to be godfather.’

Kit nodded. ‘Jack is godfather to the twins, and although he’s a dreadful role model on the morals front, both Thomas and Helena have always found him great fun, and say that having a gay godfather is, and I quote, “Well cool”.’

Peggy had never understood the loyalty Jack’s two ex-girlfriends felt for him considering how appallingly he’d treated them both. She certainly wouldn’t want anyone who’d stood her up on her wedding day – albeit only in the role of usher – to be a godparent to her child, but she simply asked, ‘How long has he been AWOL for?’

Amy frowned. ‘It must be more or less four years since I last saw him, and about twelve months since I last spoke to him. It’s not so much being AWOL as missing in action. How about you, Kit?’

Peggy and Amy exchanged glances as they saw Kit staring blankly into her soup bowl-sized cup of black coffee.  ‘Kit? You with us?’

‘What? Oh, sorry, guys. I didn’t get much sleep last night, I phased out for a minute. What was the question?’

Peggy had noticed how distracted Kit had been lately, although instinct told her that she shouldn’t ask her friend about it yet. ‘When did you last hear from Jack, honey?’

‘I’m not sure, must be at least a year. That is very Jack though, isn’t it. I bet he’d get a kick out of the fact that we’re all back here wondering where he is and if he’s OK.’

Amy, who’d had similar thoughts herself, grimaced. ‘I wouldn’t be surprised – although I’d like to think that at his age he’s finally grown out of playing those games.’

Kit and Peggy laughed in unison. ‘No chance!’ ‘I assume he’s either still travelling around the world – or working in someone’s garden, using that horticultural qualification he got after Paul and I got married.’

‘Sounds possible, and of course,’ Kit let her inner storyteller go in a way she wished she could on paper, ‘if Jack has spent all the inheritance his grandfather left him, he could have got a job in the grounds of some posh house, had a torrid affair with the heir to the manor, and be in the middle of a society scandal.’

Amy smiled as Peggy divided the carrot cake into mountainous slices. ‘That sounds entirely possible, and I sort of hope it’s true! The boyfriend bit, I mean, rather than the scandal bit.’

Pulling her cake plate closer, Kit shrugged. ‘I’m not sure he’d risk another relationship, not after Toby hurt him like that. I suspect he’s reverted to full-on sleeping around mode.’ Realising she had sounded rather curt, she added, ‘I’d like to be wrong though. If he settled down a bit, he might come home…’

*****

Bio

Jenny spends a large part of her time in the cafe’s of Mid Devon, where she creates her stories, including the novels Another Glass of Champagne, (Accent Press, 2016), Abi’s House (Accent Press, June 2015), Romancing Robin Hood (Accent Press, 2014), the best selling contemporary romance Another Cup of Coffee (Accent Press, 2013), and the novella length sequels Another Cup of Christmas (Accent Press, 2013), Christmas in the Cotswolds, (Accent Press, 2014), and Christmas at the Castle, (Accent Press, 2015).

Her next full length novel, Abi’s Neighbour, will be published by Accent Press in Summer 2017. She is also working on a short historical novel, which will be published in November 2016.

Jenny Kane is also the author of quirky children’s picture books There’s a Cow in the Flat (Hushpuppy, 2014) and Ben’s Biscuit Tin (Hushpuppy, 2015).

Keep your eye on Jenny’s blog at www.jennykane.co.uk for more details.

Twitter: @JennyKaneAuthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JennyKaneRomance

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It’s out! the second edition of Peter Birch’s The Big, Bad Book of Spanking Positions 

Unashamed Obsession and The Big, Bad Book of Spanking Positions

by Peter Birch

02 cover smallThe Big Bad Book of Spanking Positions is a  150 page coffee table style hardback featuring 20 girls being spanked in 130 positions, along with case studies, interviews and more. I’ve never spent so long putting a book together, and there have been well over 100 of them. All told, it’s been six years, from the short, playful article I wrote for Forum magazine on the Top 20 spanking positions to the release of the current book.

 

And I’ve enjoyed every moment, but then I would, as I’m unashamedly obsessed with spanking and have been for a very long time. It’s always seemed completely natural to me as well, but I appreciate that not everybody shares my taste and as K D has asked me to explain the thrill and how it relates to the book I will do my best. Having said that, if you don’t understand spanking you probably can’t, or at least not in any meaningful way. To a purely rational mind it must seem bizarre in the extreme that one person can take pleasure in inflicting pain and humiliation on another, let alone that the second person can enjoy that pain and humiliation, and to cap it all that the experience can form a deep, loving bond between them. Nevertheless, that is so, and I say in the book, “If you do not understand, please accept the right of others to the free expression of their sexuality, as you would wish them to do for yours.”

 

A glance at Wikipedia – the modern Everyman’s Encyclopaedia – shows mention of three factors, the aphrodisiac qualities of pain, helplessness and exposure. All three are certainly important in the pleasure people gain from spanking, but that only scratches the surface of the subject. Those who’re into pain for its own sake generally prefer something rather harder than ordinary spanking, while for some people pain is an unpleasant by product of an experience that belongs almost entirely in the mind. The sensations of helplessness and exposure are more cerebral, and certainly more important when it comes to choosing favourite positions. When doing the photo shoots for the book, there was some discussion of which positions are the most painful, but far more of which make the spanking more intense in the mind, especially when it comes to exposure and embarrassment. One position that is both loved and feared is the notorious Nappy Changing Position, and while the main illustration used in the book is too rude for this blog it also includes a relatively demure example.

 

Illustration 1 – The Nappy Changing Position

 

2 nappy small

 

Being spanked in the nappy changing position not only hurts, but it can bring out feelings of helplessness, exposure, submission, shame, embarrassment, indignity, abandonment, irresponsibility and more, all of which combine to produce an extraordinarily heady cocktail of erotic desire. In fact it’s too strong for some, but for others it simply doesn’t work, which is because the pleasure of spanking is a very individual thing. There are no general rules, nothing that will always apply to everybody. Exposure can be exciting for the sake of showing off, or for the sake of humiliation, sometimes both, or neither. Pain can be exciting because it gets the endorphins flowing, for the sake of submission and surrender, or both, or more.

 

No two people are exactly the same, but the pleasure each individual takes in spanking is compounded of different factors and to different degrees. Simple physical contact is another important consideration, especially for the spanker, who has their playmate’s body to enjoy at leisure. Then there’s the whole area of punishment and redemption, which is often linked to religion, to military fantasies, or a dozen other ways in which often unpleasant realities of our history and culture have been transformed into erotic games. Position 29, Kissing the Gunner’s Daughter, derives from an old naval punishment in which the victim was mounted on the barrel of a cannon, while Position 43 shows the star of the book, Chloe, stood at ease as if on the parade only with her knickers around her ankles.

 

Illustration 2 – Stood at Ease

 

26 small

 

Another thing I’ve found over the years is that spanking makes a great way to engage socially. Obviously it has to be consensual – which should go without saying – but it’s a wonderful way to bond and maintain friendships, to break the ice at parties – of the right sort – and just to be nice to each other by sharing a pleasurable experience. Spanking is intimate, and a wonderful way to bond, be it between casual playmates who often don’t have conventional sex at all, or between life-long lovers. And that, for me, is the supreme pleasure of spanking, the sheer, wonderful intimacy of indulging a playmate in a favourite experience, and vice versa. It’s no surprise then that by far the most popular spanking position, and one to which I’ve devoted an entire chapter of the book, is to be placed across the spanker’s knee. There are lots of variations, but I like to think that the cover picture is a pretty good illustration of the classic pose.

 

Illustration 3 – OTK from the cover.

02 cover small

 

So there we have it, a brief, even superficial look at the pleasure of spanking and spanking positions. I haven’t even mentioned little rituals such as corner time or the importance of a bare bottom, let alone the complexities of clothing and props and scenarios, but most of it’s there in the book, which I like to think is something that every dedicated spanking enthusiast should have on their shelves.

 

Buy The Big Bad Book of Spanking Positions Here: 

http://www.fiction4adults.com/books/b10754-the-big-bad-book-of-spanking-positions.htm

 

Find Peter Birch Here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peter.birch.7549

Twitter –  https://twitter.com/PeterBirchBooks

Tumblr: http://peterbirch.tumblr.com/

 

One Night in Cape Town: Pre-order Bargain from Lily Harlem!

OneNightInCapeTownbyLilyHarlem-500

 

By Lily Harlem

PRE-ORDER NOW TO CLAIM AT BARGAIN PRICE!

 

Pre-order a copy of Lily Harlem’s hot new story, ONE NIGHT IN CAPE TOWN and be seduced on a mountain top by a
seriously sexy backpacker who knows exactly what he needs to do not only to survive but also to claim the woman he wants!

 

Pre-order price just 99c/99p – goes up on release day 29th June!

 

 

 

One Night in Cape Town:

The week before her big day, Tia catches her fiancé getting down and dirty with her best friend. She quickly washes her 11914883_1539511242957380_4363875284067779827_n

hands of them both. But why waste a perfectly good and very expensive honeymoon to her dream spot-South Africa?

After bumping into the same cute guy three times in Cape Town, Tia’s reminded she still has desires. Before long, they’re hiking over Table Mountain together, and getting to know each other.

But when trouble brews in the African sky, a wild storm leaves them stranded on the mountain as night falls. Levi’s survival skills provide them with quick shelter as the storm rages above. But for Tia, another storm rages between her and her sexy saviour. Will he teach her to trust again? Or is there more to the hot American than meets the eye?

 

 

 

Buy Links (pre-order on Amazon only)

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Night-Cape-Town-City-Nights-ebook/dp/B01FYBQPDA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=tirgeapubli09-20&linkId=8151118e49c171c11136a41b29807415

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Night-Cape-Town-City-Nights-ebook/dp/B01FYBQPDA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1465207502&sr=1-1&keywords=One+Night+in+Cape+Town+%28City+Nights%2C+%2323%29

Tirgearr Publishing http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Harlem_Lily/one-night-in-cape-town.htm

Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/one-night-in-cape-town

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-night-in-cape-town-lily-harlem/1123835843?ean=2940153032290

 

 

lily-harlem

About Lily Harlem

 Lily Harlem lives in the UK and is an award-winning author of erotic romance. She writes for publishers on both sides of the Atlantic including HarperCollins, Totally Bound, Pride Publishing, Evernight Publishing, All Romance eBooks, and Sweetmeats Press. Her work regularly receives high praise and industry nominations.

Before turning her hand to writing Lily Harlem worked as a trauma nurse and her latest HarperCollins release, Confessions of a Naughty Night Nurse draws on her many experiences while nursing in London. Lily also self-publishes and The Silk Tie, The Glass Knot and Scored have been blessed with many 5* reviews since their release.

Lily writes MF, MM and ménage a trois, her books regularly hit the #1 spot on Amazon Best Seller lists and Breathe You In was named a USA Today Reviewer’s Recommended Read of 2014. Her latest MM novel is Dark Warrior.

Lily also co-authors with Natalie Dae and publishes under the name Harlem Dae – check out the Sexy as Hell Trilogy – The Novice, The Player, and The Vixen – and That Filthy Book which has been hailed as a novel ‘every woman should read’.

One thing you can be sure of, whatever book you pick up by Ms Harlem, is it will be wildly romantic and down-and-dirty sexy. Enjoy!

Check out Lily’s website for details of her other books and her Amazon Author Page. Subscribe to her newsletter to get a FREE ebook and be the first to hear of new releases and free reads, and if you enjoy Facebook, hop on over there and say hi!

 

OneNightInCapeTownbyLilyHarlem-smbanner

Find Lily Harlem Here:

Website http://www.lilyharlem.com/

Newsletter Subscription http://www.lilyharlem.com/newsletter.html

Blog http://www.lilyharlem.blogspot.com/

Twitter https://twitter.com/lily_harlem

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lily.harlem

Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/LilyHarlemAuthor

Pinterest http://pinterest.com/lilyharlem/

Raw Talent http://rawtalentseries.co.uk

BritBabes http://thebritbabes.blogspot.co.uk

Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/106837751333678531161/posts

Harlem Dae http://www.harlemdae.com

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4070110.Lily_Harlem

 

 

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Out Now – Beast Untamed by Faye Avalon (@faye_avalon) #erotica #romance #pnr

Beast UntamedBook Blurb:

Beasts of Bodmin Moor, Book 3

To guard his woman, he must claim his mate.

Ex-special forces operative Nathan Quinn enjoys women, but he just doesn’t trust them. Thanks to a mother who abandoned him, he prefers no-strings relationships, and has no intention of ever marrying or mating with a fellow shifter.

He focuses his energy on building his security business until a human woman catches his eye—and firmly rejects his charm. Which only challenges him to work harder to break down her barriers.

Born of ambitious, emotionally cold parents, Erin Howard’s craving for attention led her down a slippery slope to an abusive relationship. Now on the run from her ex, she plans to lay low and stay away from possessive, dominating males. But who says she can’t enjoy a little hot sex without a shred of commitment?

Soon their attraction explodes into something so fierce, that Nathan feels the primal need to mark Erin as his. But his fallback plan—distance himself—creates the space for Erin’s past to drive the final, possibly fatal, wedge between them.

Product Warnings

Contains a sexy panther shifter with an attitude problem, a human female intent on playing things safe, and an anxious dog learning to co-exist with the local cats.

Buy Links:

Samhain: https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5808/beast-untamed

Amazon:  http://mybook.to/BeastUntamed

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beast-untamed-faye-avalon/1123127162?ean=9781619234413

All Romance:  https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-beastuntamed-1997437-340.html

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/beast-untamed

*****

Excerpt:

Nerves fluttered in her belly, but Erin breathed them away. She was going to enjoy herself tonight. She was going to be normal, make conversation, have fun.

But when the door swung open in response to her knock, those nerves came flooding back with a vengeance. The man towered in the doorway, his dark and brooding good looks like something in a magazine devoted to warrior gods of times long ago.

“You must be Erin,” he said, the hint of a smile softening almost harsh features. “Come on in.”

He stepped back, and Erin was about to enter when Talia came down the hallway. “Great. You’re early. We can have a drink before we get going. You’ve met Caleb?”

Erin looked up at the man. Handsome, and built. No wonder Talia always had a satisfied smile on her face.

No sooner had she accepted Caleb’s outstretched hand than Talia reached out and all but pulled Erin into the house. “Come and meet everyone.”

Everyone?

Erin’s knees went wobbly, her stomach pitching in a way that had her evening snack threatening to revolt. Maybe she wasn’t ready for this after all. It was too soon. She needed time to adjust, to work out exactly who she was going to be, before she thrust herself into life again.

Talia had other ideas and guided her into a room off the hall. Stepping across the threshold, she heard Naomi’s laughter. Her new friend had her arms wrapped around the neck of a formidable-looking man who in turn had his arms wrapped around her.

“Break that up, you two,” Talia instructed. “Save it for your wedding night.”

“That’s days away yet,” Naomi complained, smiling up at the man who was obviously Tynan. “He can’t keep his hands off me for that long.”

“My female speaks the truth,” Tynan said. “Anyway the mating has already—”

“Ahem…” Talia loudly cleared her throat, and the couple looked over. “We have company.”

Erin had the distinct impression she’d interrupted something, and not just a heated embrace between an engaged couple. But the smiles that headed her way, and the companionable way Talia slid an arm around her waist, made her think she’d imagined it. She must be so on edge lately that she was seeing spooks where none existed.

“Come and meet Tynan,” Naomi said, grabbing her away from Talia. “Ty, this is Erin. She hasn’t been in Bodmin very long, and she works at the tea shop, remember?”

A look passed between the couple, and again Erin felt as if she was missing something.

But then Tynan smiled and held out his hand. “Good to meet you, Erin. Hope you’re ready for a raucous evening.” He slipped an arm around Naomi’s shoulder, and the simple gesture was filled with possessive intent. “According to my woman, you’re all going to party enough to set the moor alight.”

“Well, I…”

“Don’t listen to him,” Naomi said. “Tynan, take her coat. We’re having a drink here while we wait for a couple of the other girls to arrive. What’s your pleasure?”

“Lime and soda if you have it.” She smiled when Tynan helped her out of her coat.

“Forget that.” Talia ushered her onto the sofa. “No soft drinks allowed tonight. Unless you’re allergic or sworn off alcohol on religious grounds. No? So, what’ll it be?”

“White wine would be good.”

While Caleb went across to the drinks cabinet, Talia sat next to her on the sofa. “Love your dress.”

“Thanks.” Erin tugged the skirt of the simple navy shift down to her knees. “Naomi said I had to wear something good.”

“I said something sexy.” Naomi plunked herself on Erin’s other side and eyed Erin’s dress. “I would have preferred more of a cleavage,” she said in a hushed tone that only the girls could hear. “But I’m not complaining.”

Grateful, Erin took the drink Caleb handed her and took a healthy swig. Conversation turned to logistics regarding transport for the evening, with Tynan and Caleb sitting side by side on the opposite sofa. Good Lord, Erin thought, taking several surreptitious sips of her wine. The room positively hummed with masculine appeal. She couldn’t remember ever seeing two more intimidating men in her life, or two more attractive and virile, but while they seemed tough and formidable, she didn’t feel especially uneasy in their company.

It was apparent from the looks and smiles the men each shared with Talia and Naomi that there was a whole bucketload of love in the room. In their men’s presence, the women seemed relaxed and completely at ease with themselves. Erin wondered how that must feel, considering her own experience had only ever been one of fear and intimidation.

The sound of the front door closing and heavy footsteps pounding down the hallway brought Erin from her reverie before she could take a painful trip down memory lane.

If she’d thought the testosterone levels couldn’t rise any higher, she hadn’t been prepared for the man who stepped into the room. Built like a tank, his shoulders filled the doorway, while the heavy scowl pushed the first real fluttering of fear into her since she’d arrived.

“If you expect me to drive that piece of garbage, you could have at least washed it first.”

The deep timbre of his voice and the edge of vitriol in his tone caused Erin to slink down a little in the seat, but since his attack was aimed at Tynan, she tried to steady her breathing. Her heart hammered anyway, her mind scanning back to a time when a similar attack was aimed at her.

“You want me to fill that junk trap with gas for you? Then you’d better make it worth my while by getting on that bed and spreading your legs for me. Now.”

Oh God. Oh God.

“Are you okay?”

Erin glanced up into Talia’s concerned gaze. “Yes, fine. Sorry.”

“Don’t apologize. I’ll get a cloth.”

Erin looked down, surprised when she saw the damp patch on her dress. Bloody hell, her hand had shaken so much that she’d spilled her drink.

She looked up into the dark, steady gaze of the man who had just arrived. He eyed her with little interest, but her stomach jumped like a train.

“Here.” Talia mopped at Erin’s dress, then turned her glare on the man. “Why did you want to come in here and scare my guest, Nathan Quinn?”

“Didn’t know anyone else was here. Thought you females had left for the evening.”

“This is Erin,” Naomi said. “She’s just moved to the area.”

Another pointed exchange of looks, but Erin knew she was reading too much into everything right then. They must all think she was a bloody loony.

The man called Nathan turned his gaze to her and inclined his head.

She tried for a smile but wasn’t sure she made it. Her whole body was reacting as if to a threat, and she feared she was about to go into full panic mode.

“Well, let’s get this show on the road,” Naomi declared and stood. “I can hear the others arriving, which means we’ve got that serious partying to do. And you guys have some serious poker to play.”

She took Erin’s glass and handed it to Tynan, then kissed him full on the mouth. “That should keep you for a while. Enjoy your game.”

In response, Tynan put the glass down and hauled Naomi up against him. “That won’t keep me for five damn minutes. Come here.”

Erin felt she should turn away when the kiss morphed into the kind that required locked doors and darkened rooms.

“Don’t mind them,” Talia said drawing her into the hall where Caleb held out their coats. She turned to her husband. “You’re really sure you don’t mind driving us? We can get a cab if it’s easier, then you can drive to Truro with Ty and Nathan. That way you’ll get to enjoy a drink.”

“I said I’d take you. I don’t want you out of my sight any longer than necessary.”

The big man smiled down at her, his eyes gleaming. Talia rewarded him with a soft kiss, her palm resting lightly against his cheek.

While Caleb didn’t haul Talia against him to give her the same treatment Tynan was currently giving Naomi, Erin felt equally uncomfortable. The possessive look Caleb gave his wife made her feel like she should turn away from something intensely private and intimate.

Naomi came into the hall, flushed and pleased with herself. “Ready?”

Moments later, after brief introductions to the two women who had arrived, they were piling into Caleb’s SUV. From the backseat, Erin found herself glancing back to the house, hoping against hope she didn’t catch sight of Nathan again.

The man made her feel uneasy and anxious. They’d barely shared a glance, but he’d looked at her like he knew something nobody else did. She shuddered at the thought, remembering Naomi had told her that Tynan was his business partner, and they were security consultants. That meant he would know how to access official files, documents, people’s history.

At Naomi’s instruction beside her, Erin clipped on her seat belt and vowed to keep a very low profile where Nathan Quinn was concerned.

Copyright © 2016 Faye Avalon
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

*****

Author Bio:

Faye Avalon enjoys writing sexy stories about strong men and the savvy women who rock their world. She has taken a roundabout journey toward her writing career, working as cabin crew, detouring into property development, public relations and education, before finally finding her passion: writing spicy romantic fiction.

Faye lives with her super-ace husband and one beloved, ridiculously spoiled dog. They regularly expand their family by boarding puppies destined to become guide dogs. Between writing, reading, running around after manic puppies and grabbing some quality time with her husband, Faye enjoys a challenging yoga session or a night at the movies.

Links:

Website:  http://www.fayeavalon.com

Blog: http://www.fayeavalon.wordpress.com

Twitter: @faye_avalon

Facebook: www.facebook.com/faye.avalon.1

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/fayeavalon1/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/fayeavalon/

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