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Domestic Discipline in No Flag by Liz Borino

WMS_blogtour“I don’t support the modern version of romance. The equality everyone brags about doesn’t work. Partners are not equal in every aspect. They bring different skills, experiences, and qualities to relationships. If people would accept this, I believe the divorce rate would be much lower.”

“Accept what exactly?”

“The only thing that should be equal is the respect they show each other.  One partner leads while the other follows,” Mike told him. “Two people cannot be in control at once.”

The above exchange is how Mike introduces the concept of Domestic Discipline (DD) to his boyfriend, Will, in No Flag. Mike is the dominant partner, Head of Household (HOH) in DD terms, in their relationship. In control of everything from the people under him at his Army intelligence station to the order of the house, of course Mike would expect to dictate his partner’s every move, right? Not so much. Their DD contract was negotiated with Will’s best interests in mind. It includes things like respect, honesty, health concerns, school attendance, following miscellaneous orders, and maintaining the order of the house. All right, Will might disagree that the last point was for his benefit. Mike meted out well-reasoned punishments for broken rules and held himself accountable to equal standards.

However, Will got some say in the contract and things Mike could not regulate, namely intimacy. “I told you I was submissive, but that doesn’t make me a consistent bottom.” After recovering from the shock of this request, Mike agreed to that term. Will had one more – the condition that a relationship with Mike hinged on – his Army commission term would not be extended.

But Mike can’t control everything.

No FlagBlurb: For Mike and Will, “No Flag” meant “come home alive,” but will their love survive what happens next?

Captain Mike Kelley does not ignore his intuition, so when sexy bartender Will Hayes captures his heart, Mike embarks on a mission to win him over to a Domestic Discipline relationship. Will accepts with one caveat: Mike must promise not to renew his Army contract. Mike agrees, and they spend a year building a life together, getting married, and starting a business.

Only days before their café’s grand opening, Mike receives news that threatens everything he and Will have built. The Army invokes the Stop Loss military policy to involuntarily extend his commission and send him back overseas. Will, left alone to cope with the café, must rely on the support of old friends who may be no longer be trustworthy. Through emails and Skype calls, Mike and Will keep their love and structure alive… until insurgents wage a horrific attack on Mike’s outpost.

Mike awakens in a hospital with a devastating injury and no his memory of the attack. As the only survivor, Mike’s memory may be the key to national security. Mike struggles to cope with his injury and Will struggles to support the man who always held him up. Both fear they have lost their previous relationship. Will has Mike back rather than a folded flag, but in the aftermath of war, can they rebuild the life they had before?  Especially when those closest to them may not have their best interests at heart?

Available from:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Liz Borino Bio

Liz Borino transcribes the world inside her head onto the page, and share it with the people who are stuck in the “real world” to makes their lives a little more interesting. Because in her world, heroes fall and stand up again with the help of their partners and friends. Liz’s world is littered with formidable obstacles, which her heroes overcome with a fire of courage and passion. The beauty of love between two men is celebrated. Who wouldn’t want to live there?

When not with her heroes, Liz enjoys exploring cities, working toward social justice, and editing for other authors. Liz is less than three months from obtaining her Masters’ degree in English and published nine books since 2010.

http://lizborino.com

https://www.facebook.com/liz.borino.1

http://www.goodreads.com/author/list/4488714.Liz_Borino

 

New Release: Romancing the Stars by Various Authors

Romancing The StarsRomancing the Stars Anthology

Kacey HammellEmma LaiSandra SookooMarie TuhartLacey Wolfe

Publisher: Sybarite Seductions

Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Erotic Romance, Multicultural/Interracial

144 Pages

ASIN: B00FE2IACY

 

Romancing the Stars

~Fantasies that will make you see stars

Sexy stars abound in this collection of five, naughty stories that take you from red carpet premieres to time off from the screen and the auditioning, filming, and parties in between. Featuring young love rekindled, old lovers reunited, multicultural and interracial red carpet hook ups with the potential for more, and a BDSM couple with unexpected proclivities, there’s something to curl everyone’s toes and leave fans craving more.

 

A Sunday Kind of Love by Kacey Hammell

For Sunday Reardon, once an A-list actress, leaving the spotlight, hectic schedules and tabloid gossips behind for the quiet tranquility of her hometown was the best decision she ever made. She’s surrounded by her family, her gardens and has everything she needs. Except the love of her life, a past co-star who offered so many promises years ago, only to break them all.

When she’s nominated for an Academy Award, Sunday’s world shifts into confusion and what-might-have-beens as she comes face to face with the one man who broke her heart…and still sets her body on fire.

Read more about each Romancing the Stars story from these talented authors:

Emma LaiSandra SookooMarie TuhartLacey Wolfe

 

Excerpt © Kacey Hammell, 2013

“God, you feel so amazing in my arms. I wish you could come with me.”

Eyes closed, she nodded. “I can’t. I’m sorry.” Opening her eyes, she gazed at him. “Once the editing is finished, I need to get away from all this. I can’t deal with it any longer. And you know my dad’s having hip surgery. I need to help my mom.”

Shifting his stance, he slid his hands over the globes of her ass, urging her closer. “I know, babe. It’s okay. I won’t be gone long.”

She dug her fingers into the hair at the nape of his neck. “Nine months seems likes forever. You won’t forget me will you?”

A moan erupted from his throat as he dipped his head and latched his mouth onto hers. She savored him in her arms, revelling in his tongue dancing with hers. Passion, yearning, hunger, it was all there in his kiss.

Flexing his hips, Josh shifted his shaft to fit in the V between her legs. She gasped, her head falling back. Josh kissed his way down her neck, nibbling, biting, and driving the temperature a million times higher. She wanted to succumb to him now, to finally make love to him, but they couldn’t risk being caught.

He hauled her tighter, holding her so close she could barely breathe. But Sunday didn’t care. All she would ever need was this man in her arms. Feeling him against her, his body fevered against hers—nothing else mattered.

Josh lifted his head, his forest green eyes bore into hers. She could drown in his loving and hungry gaze. He knew her better than anyone else. While filming, they’d enjoyed so many secreted-away moments, revealing hopes and dreams and shared childhood stories imparting laughter. He was everything she’d ever need. And she couldn’t wait to tell the world.

But they couldn’t. Not yet.

“I know my leaving, since filming of my next movie is starting sooner, throws a kink in what we’d planned, but I promise, babe, I’ll be back as fast as I can. I’d rather be with you, starting our journey toward what I think will be a great future together. If I had any other choice—”

Understanding about commitments and responsibility, she covered his lips with her hand. “I know. It’s okay. We have time. We do. I’ll be waiting for you.”

He sighed. “I love you more than anything else.” He caressed her face. “I’ve waited so long for you already, it’ll be hell, but I know it will be worth it. Especially when we’re far away from prying eyes.”

She smiled, her heart booming with happiness. “And I love you.”

His cell phone vibrated. He yanked it from his pocket and groaned. “Damn, I have to go. They’re looking for me. Our flight leaves in forty-five.” His lips captured hers.

She poured all the love, hope, and belief of their relationship into the kiss. He had to come back. She couldn’t live without him now.

“I miss you already,” Josh whispered when he stepped back. His gaze travelled over her face as if memorizing every facet. Then he leaned down for his duffel bag. Straightening, he said, “I love you, Sunni.”

Tears in her eyes, she watched him walk toward the door. “I love you.”

He stared at her from across the room. Sunday wanted to rush over, wrap her arms around him and beg him not to go. But she couldn’t do that. She loved how dedicated and honest he was. There was no way she’d ever ask him to break his word.

With a last long, deep breath, he turned the door handle then exited the trailer. Feeling alone already, she sat in the vanity chair and gazed into the mirror. The love of her life had just walked out the door for war-torn Afghanistan. She worried for his safety but knew his people and the movie company would keep him safe while filming. All she could do was hold the love she had for him in her heart, and wait.

Available at:

Sybarite Seductions

Amazon US / Canada / UK

ARe

Smashwords

 

Kacey HammellAvid Reader. Romance Author. Redhead…

Canadian-born author, Kacey Hammell is definitely a book-a-holic, who began reading romances at a young age and became easily addicted.  These days, as a multi-published erotic romance author, she enjoys adding a lot of heat, sass and emotion to the Contemporary Romances she writes.

A mom of three, Kacey has made certain each of her children know the value of the written word and the adventures they could escape on by becoming book-a-holics in their own right. She lives her own happily ever after with her perfect hero in Ontario, Canada, and is a true romantic at heart.

Connect with Kacey…

Website / Newsletter / Facebook / Facebook Author Page / Twitter / Amazon / Goodreads / Pinterest / Instagram

 

The Exhibition is Now Available!

TE new coverI’m very excited to announce the release of the eBook version of The Exhibition, book three in Grace Marshall’s Executive Decisions Trilogy! At last, the trilogy is complete. So here’s a sneak peak of The Exhibition, with new thrills and dark twists and turns and, always, always lots of sizzling romance.

And, just in case you’ve missed out on what’s going on with Dee and Ellis and their friends in the first two books, I’ve added a little catch-up as well. Enjoy!

The Exhibition Blurb:

Successful NYC gallery owner, Stacie Emerson, is ex-fiancée to one Thorne brother and ex-wife to the other. Though the three have made peace, Ellison Thorne’s friend, wildlife photographer, Harris Walker, still doesn’t like her. When Stacie convinces Harris to exhibit his work for the opening of her new gallery she never intended to include him in her other more hazardous plans. But when those plans draw the attention of dangerous business tycoon, Terrance Jamison, Harris comes to her aid. In the shadow of a threat only Stacie understands, can she dare let Harris into her life and make room for love?

The Exhibition Excerpt:

Outside someone shouted, ‘Hastings, check the crappers.’

Before Harris knew what hit him, Stacie pulled him into the cubicle at the other end of the row and locked the door behind him talking in a fast whisper. ‘Sorry about this. Not very professional, I know, but I promised to do my best to keep us out of jail, and I’m thinking groping in the ladies’ room’s not what this raid’s all about.’ The words were barely out of her mouth before she launched herself at him lips first. Damn it; he wanted to be mad at her. They were about to go to jail, for fuck sake! But instead of giving her a piece of his mind, he kissed her right back, hard, and felt her yield and open, and his tongue was in heaven sparing with hers, tasting, testing, thrusting. He found himself hoping that the inevitable arrest would wait until after he got his fill of Stacie Emerson, and that could take a while. She felt way better than she had even in his fantasies, and when his badly-behaving hands moved down to cup her magnificent bottom and pull her closer, she returned the favour and gave his ass a good grope. As though that gave him permission to explore, he slid anxious fingers inside her trousers wriggling down past a miniscule thong to cup an impossibly soft, impossibly firm buttock that gave a muscular clench in his hand, forcing her hips forward until she couldn’t possibly miss the press of his appreciative hard-on straining his jeans to get closer to her.

In the hall the noise got louder and the door burst open.

She had just managed a good firm stroke to the front of his trousers that had his full attention and then some, when a heavy-handed knock on the door caused her to yelp, and he nearly fell back onto the commode.

‘All right, you two, tuck it in, and come on out.’

Download your eBook copy here:

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Catching Up with Ellis and Dee and the Gang:

Xcite must reads for Oct Grace MarshallAn Executive Decision

(Book 1)

Sex in the contract – it’s the only way super-focused, over-worked CEO, Ellison Thorne, is ever going to get laid. That’s what his retiring business partner and secret match-maker, Beverly Neumann, thinks. She’s convinced no-strings, stress-free sex in certain employee contracts would raise productivity and minimize stress — perfect for a busy executive like Ellis. But she’s joking, right?

Enter her hand-picked replacement, Dee Henning. Young, hungry, gifted, Dee is the queen of no time for sex. When negotiations on a major project break down, and Dee and Ellis end up in each other’s arms, the Executive Sex Clause suddenly becomes more than a joke. In fact hot executive sex just might be the ultimate secret weapon for success. But secrets seldom remain secret, and Dee and Ellis soon learn there’s no such thing as no-strings where the heart is concerned.

Available from:

eBook
Amazon UK
Amazon US 
Barnes & Noble
iBooks
Xcite Books

Print
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Barnes & Noble
The Book Depository
Xcite Books

IC new coverIdentity Crisis

(Book 2)

PR rep extraordinaire, Kendra Davis, is elated when she gets the chance to work for her hero, reclusive, romance novelist, Tess Delaney. Her elation is short-lived when she discovers that Tess is none other than Garrett Thorne, the bad-boy brother of business tycoon and eco-warrior, Ellison Thorne, who is engaged to her best friend, Dee Henning. Kendra blames Garrett for the comedy of errors that nearly destroyed their relationship. Garrett doesn’t like Kendra either, but he’s desperate. His alter-ego, Tess has been nominated for the prestigious Golden Kiss Award. No one knows who Tess really is, and he needs Kendra to play Tess for the awards.

When Tess is stalked by a rabid fan, the two unite to protect her identity. With Kendra, the body and Garrett the soul of Tess Delaney, is there room in this strange ménage for romance? Can a woman who doesn’t exist understand their hearts even better than they do?

Available from:

eBook:

Xcite Books
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Barnes & Noble
iBooks
Kobobooks.com

Print:

Amazon UK
Amazon US
The Book Depository

 

 

 

Mean Girls by Lucy Felthouse

Mean GirlsAdele Blackthorne is a big girl, a curvy chick. She knows it, and she’s been picked on all her life because of it. But she’s gotten to the stage where she doesn’t care. She may be Rubenesque, but she’s healthy, too. Much healthier than the mean girls at the leisure center that point and stare and say spiteful things about her. Adele rises above it all, and simply enjoys her secretive glances at the center’s hunky lifeguard, Oliver.

As the bullying of Adele becomes worse, Oliver finds it increasingly difficult not to intervene. He doesn’t want to get into trouble with work, but equally he can’t stand to see Adele treated in such a horrible way. Especially since he doesn’t agree that she’s fat and unattractive. He thinks she’s a seriously sexy woman, and would like to get to know her better. Much better.

Buy links: http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/mean-girls/

*****

Excerpt:

As usual, Adele Blackthorne felt the weight of gazes on her as she walked from the changing room to the steps to get into the swimming pool. She was used to it by now, and had learned not to react, to just carry on as though she hadn’t noticed people staring and not-so-subtly pointing at her.

With a polite nod to Oliver, the lifeguard, as she passed him, Adele was grateful for his much more favorable reaction. If he thought she resembled a beached whale, he hid it much better than everyone else did. The warmth in his eyes as he nodded back even looked genuine. But she had no illusions, he probably slagged her off the moment he got into the staffroom, or home, talking about the fat woman who went swimming three times a week without fail. But for now, she’d pretend he didn’t. Pretend he thought she was sexy, and wanted to get lost in her abundant curves. God knows she’d like him to.

It was true, she was a big girl and she was most definitely aware of it. Ever since she’d gotten to the age where her excess weight could no longer be called puppy fat, she’d tried to do something about it. Every diet under the sun, ridiculous amounts of exercise… nothing worked. Adele had grown so depressed in her teens that she’d become bulimic. Naturally, she’d lost some weight that way, but she’d also made herself so ill that she’d had to be hospitalized. It had terrified the life out of her, and ever since, she’d resolved that she’d much rather be healthy than skinny.

Which was why she visited her local leisure center three times a week. She used the gym and sauna, and went swimming. And every single time she went, she’d catch someone gawping at her. But because of the years she’d spent—especially at school—being called all the names under the sun, she’d developed an incredibly thick skin. She was happy and healthy—so healthy in fact that she could probably beat all of those skinny bitches at a swimming race. Of course she never offered, never called anyone out on their rudeness and ignorance, but it made her feel better to know that she was fitter and much more polite than them.

Slipping into the fast lane, she settled her goggles carefully into position—she hated getting water in her eyes—then lifted her legs to rest the bottoms of her feet against the end of the pool. Looking at the clock on the wall that counted seconds, she waited until the hand reached the top, then pushed off from the side and launched herself into the lane. It was quiet, so she had this section of the pool to herself. Her arms cut through the water, her legs flapped wildly and she did ten laps without losing any speed. Emerging from the water, she checked the clock again and was pleased to note she’d beaten her previous time.

She was just about to start another ten laps, when she heard voices from the other side of the pool. Voices that clearly forgot how well they carried on water. It was as though they were right next to her.

“God, I’m surprised all the water doesn’t jump out of the pool when she gets in. And the way she swims—she’ll cause a tidal wave one of these days.”

The spiteful words were followed by a trio of sniggers, and Adele gritted her teeth. Part of her wished that she could create a bloody tidal wave, so it would sweep those bitches under water and drown them. The other part of her tsked at the thought. Ideas like that made her just as bad as them, just as unpleasant, just as cowardly.

Because they were cowardly—the way they spoke about her behind her back proved that. If they ever passed her somewhere in the leisure center or its car park, they never said anything, not one word. They’d just scurry away as fast as they could, then titter when they thought she was out of earshot. She hoped that just one time, someone would say something to her face, so she could retaliate, speak up for herself. There was no way she’d start anything—she didn’t want to add confrontational to the list of faults that the mean girls had obviously compiled about her.

Sucking in a deep breath, Adele launched into another ten laps, allowing the chilly water and the exertion of powering through it to burn away her irritation. Because that’s all it was—irritation. She wasn’t angry. Anger was too powerful an emotion, and one that was totally wasted on those ignorant women. She almost felt sorry for them, actually. If they had nothing better to do than to stare at her and slag her off all the time, then they clearly had very dull lives.

The thought cheered her considerably and when she completed her twentieth lap, she lay her forearms on the edge of the pool and hoiked herself up. Her back was pressed against the side, and from here she had a perfect view of the rest of the pool. Tugging her goggles down so they hung around her neck, she had a damn good look at everyone else. The small children and their guardians in the kids’ pool right at the other end of the enormous hall, the old people who swum so slowly as they chatted that she was surprised they stayed afloat, the relentless movement of the man in the medium-speed lane and, of course, the mean girls who were in the same sort of position she was, but at the side of the pool rather than the end. The side which faced the lifeguard station.

Adele narrowed her eyes and watched them—the two waif-like blondes and a brunette—as they chatted and giggled, and it seemed for a change, not about her. They’d clearly changed the subject since their previous spouting of vitriol. Their focus was very firmly on Oliver as he sat on his lofty perch, surveying the pools before him, ready to jump in should anyone get into trouble. She often toyed with the idea of faking a problem, just to get him into the pool and his strong arms around her. However, she knew that although he’d undoubtedly do his duty and help her, he’d never believe such a strong swimmer would need his assistance. Then he’d lose all respect for her, and probably stop hiding his disdain for her so effectively. And the polite nods and smiles she got from him were the only thing—aside from the center’s top-notch facilities—that made the place bearable. She was sure that if the three witches—a nickname she’d secretly come up with for the women—had their way, there would be a sign on the main doors to the building saying ‘No Fat People Allowed.’

*****

Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over seventy publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include Best Bondage Erotica 2012, 2013 and 2014 and Best Women’s Erotica 2013. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies. She owns Erotica For All, and is book editor for Cliterati. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

 

Design and Scandal by Annabeth Leong

Design and ScandalBlurb:

Costume designer Kahala Lin didn’t get into her line of work to make clothes for tiny models. She dreams of creating high-fashion masterpieces for BBWs such as herself. When she’s hired to work on costumes for the science fiction movie Laser Sentinel, she passes up the opportunity to dress the film’s heroine and ends up with the hardest job on set—pleasing the demanding and devastatingly handsome star, James Corwin.

James is one of Hollywood’s best known actors, but he’s in trouble when he’s forced into working on this dud of a movie. James can’t relax and enjoy the shoot on Hawaii’s black sand beaches. He needs to prevent this film from becoming an embarrassment, starting with making sure he’s not shot wearing nothing but spandex, a headdress and a ray gun. His collaboration with the new costume designer starts out promising, but soon he’s so busy taking off her clothes that he’s hardly thinking about what he’ll wear at all.

The press, however, discovers their relationship almost before it begins, and the resulting scandal threatens both their livelihoods and James’ chances with Kahala.

A Romantica® contemporary erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

 

Excerpt:

“Is James Corwin as hot in real life as he is onscreen?” Kahala Lin winced a little at the question, but couldn’t help herself. Apparently going to work on the set of an honest-to-God big budget film excited her more than she’d let on when Lani had first asked if she wanted the job.

Her friend Lani grinned, revealing a bit of the fangirl herself. “Hotter. I don’t think the camera captures exactly how beautiful his eyes are.”

Lani pulled her truck into the makeshift parking lot on the edge of the set, just out of sight of the black sand beach where the first two weeks of filming would take place. Kahala figured she’d better get the silliness out of her system now, so she could act professionally once she actually met her new colleagues and the contingent of movie stars.

Kahala winked. “Eyes. Not exactly the body part I was thinking about.”

Lani slapped her arm. “You are so bad.”

Kahala shrugged. A serious expression spread over Lani’s wide, friendly face. She narrowed her dark eyes and peered at Kahala. “They’re really strict about that, you know. They don’t want you bothering the stars.”

“I’m not going to embarrass you, Lani. Don’t worry.”

Lani rolled her eyes. “Sorry. I know you’re not a teenager. You nervous?”

“Nervous?” She shook her head firmly. “This is a fun job to me. I’m not looking for a career in the movies. Believe me, these aren’t the people I’m really hoping to dress. My designs are for women with meat on their bones, not size negative two like Madison Marin.”

Lani tapped her fingers against the steering wheel. “I hear what you’re saying. I appreciate it. You made me a gorgeous wedding dress, anyway.” She smiled, then paused. “I just don’t think you should dismiss the opportunity. You might make some good connections. The work you do here is going to be seen by millions of people. That has to be worth something, even if your clothes are on a skinnier girl than you’d like.”

Kahala looked out the window. The Big Island was prettier than she remembered, way less developed than Honolulu, where she lived. Here she could actually see glimpses of what the island must have looked like when her ancestors had lived there.

Lani took her hand. “What’s the matter, Kahala? Other than being excited to see James Corwin in person, you’re acting like you don’t want to be here.”

She summoned a smile. Her friend didn’t deserve to feel bad about this. “I’m really glad you set me up with this, Lani. Don’t get me wrong. I need seed money to get my design business into higher gear. It’s just that I swore I wasn’t ever going to make clothes for tiny girls.” She closed her eyes, remembering how she’d felt when she’d gone shopping back in high school, looking for knockoff versions of styles she’d seen in Vogue and W. “They didn’t even bother to make sizes larger than twelve for most of the clothes I wanted to wear when I was younger. When I started making my own stuff, I promised myself I wouldn’t make anything smaller than twelve. I want the skinny girls to wish they were bigger so they could wear my stuff.”

“This doesn’t take away from that,” Lani said. “Don’t worry about Madison Marin. You might not even end up working on stuff for her.” Lani lifted her shoulders and spread her hands wide. “You ready to do this, girl? For the next three months, we’re going to drink, breathe and eat this place. I hope you like coffee, because your next full night’s sleep won’t be until August.”

Kahala grinned. “You love this work.”

Lani smiled back. “Craft services is rewarding. Everyone’s so hungry and tired, they love everything we do. Believe me, I never felt so appreciated working in a restaurant kitchen.” She slapped the top of Kahala’s thigh. “Let’s go. This’ll be fun.”

***

Lani dropped Kahala off with Lawrence Marsh, head of costumes. His office was a trailer nestled under a stand of papaya trees. Whip-thin and more than six feet tall, the man’s pale skin shone bright and startling against the lush, tropical background. Kahala hadn’t known a person could be that color in Hawaii—even the whitest people typically had the grace to turn red. Lawrence wore a woman’s shirt, skinny jeans and more rings than a gypsy fortune teller. He greeted Kahala with a hug but broke it off to grab a papaya off the tree behind her.

Kahala smiled nervously while he produced a small knife from the back pocket of the skinny jeans and sliced the fruit open with surprising expertise. He ate a piece of juicy flesh off the point of the knife. He didn’t wait to finish chewing before speaking with a cultured British accent that, given his behavior, seemed incongruous. “Kahala Lin!” He sounded much more pleased to see her than she’d expected. “Lovely online portfolio. Very fresh.”

She started. “Thank you!” Lani had made it sound as if she’d pulled strings with the union to set Kahala up with this job. She hadn’t thought anyone would have paid attention to her work.

“I wish I had a star worthy of your talents,” Lawrence said, leading the way into his trailer. The inside looked like an exploded dress shop. Pieces of odd fabrics mingled with half-destroyed specimens of the latest designs from Fashion Week. A dressmaker’s form wore nothing but thin gold chains. Scissors and measuring tape tumbled off tables, and Lawrence possessed more sewing machines than one person could reasonably use. Tilted against the trailer’s AC unit, a laptop showed flashes of an odd shape rotating slowly in a computer-assisted design interface. “Don’t mind the mess,” Lawrence said, shrugging. “It’s my creative process. You understand. Pull up a chair.”

Kahala blinked. She couldn’t see a chair to pull up. The only thing around remotely resembling a seat looked about half as wide as she was. She stayed standing. “I’m really glad you liked the portfolio! What were you—”

Lawrence took another bite of papaya. “I loved it. Most designs for plus-sized women try to hide the body. You let the body do the work. You have a very nice eye for accentuating natural features. I can see it in the dress you’re wearing now.”

Was she blushing? “I did make it myself! How did you—”

“You couldn’t have bought a dress with that stitching for under three thousand these days.” He shuddered. “Machines are so much sloppier than most people realize.” He slapped the papaya down and took Kahala’s hand dramatically. She flinched but tried to roll with it. “I’m going to ask you to betray every instinct that makes your work special. Can you do it for me, Kahala?”

She blinked. “What are you talking about?”

“This is science fiction. The clothes need to do the work, not the body beneath them. Madison Marin’s got no body to speak of. You can’t rely on her shape. You have to give her a shape. Designers like bodies like hers because they can give them any shape they desire. I’m asking you to betray your obvious appreciation for the female form and work with the alien specimens we have here on this project—otherwise known as actresses.”

Kahala stared. “You’re assigning me to work with your female lead?”

“I believe in delegating.” Lawrence smiled tightly. “I’d planned to work with her myself, of course. I spent months drawing sketches for her. You’ll be following those, making adjustments as needed to the costumes I’ve started creating. I’d do it myself, gladly, but ever since I arrived on set I’ve had a certain problem that’s—James Corwin.”

“James Corwin?” Kahala echoed, confused. “That’s your problem?”

“Oh, James Corwin is about to be his problem, all right,” said a deep male voice behind her. Kahala jumped, turned, and found herself face to face with the screen idol himself, all six solid feet of him. James Corwin had played football in high school, and Kahala could see why. He had a linebacker’s build and muscle. He gripped the doorframe with big hands. His face wrinkled with distaste at the sight of Lawrence Marsh, but as his gaze settled on Kahala, his expression changed. His famous golden eyes focused on her and she caught the subtle flicks he used to check out her body below the neck. Kahala’s face heated and James smiled slowly, his nostrils flaring. His dark skin seemed much warmer in person than it did onscreen. The red tones in it caught the light so he almost gleamed.

“Hello,” James Corwin said, dragging the word out to two syllables and lifting his eyebrows with appreciation.

“Um, hi.” Kahala was relieved that her voice didn’t squeak.

Lawrence dropped a hand onto her shoulder. “I’m impressed again, Kahala. That’s the first civil word I’ve heard come out of this fellow’s mouth. Even if it reeks a bit of the chauvinist pig.”

James Corwin grinned. A slight gap between his front teeth marred his perfection just enough to make him convincingly real. He didn’t take his eyes off Kahala. “I can be nice if given reason.”

“Well I’m afraid I don’t have DD reasons,” Lawrence shot back.

Kahala bit her tongue before she could add that she wished they were just DD. Bra shopping would have been so much easier if Lawrence had been right about her size.

“Lawrence, that’s crass,” James said. He leaned in toward Kahala, his voice dropping and turning conspiratorial. “Don’t think I’m not a gentleman just because of the way I’m looking at you. I’m not saying I don’t appreciate the full package, but I also enjoy learning about a beautiful woman’s personality.”

A thousand red flags went up in Kahala’s mind. This man was trouble. It couldn’t have been clearer if he’d tattooed the word on his forehead in capital letters and accentuated them with glitter. Unfortunately she could be as circumspect about this as she wanted inside the sanctuary of her own thoughts, but that didn’t help to control her glee at the movie star’s compliments. He’d still made her grin like a fool.

James winked, mischief pulling one side of his smile higher than the other. “Well? You didn’t sound shy when you were talking with just Lawrence a minute ago.”

“I’m not,” Kahala admitted. She saw his challenge and raised him. Surveying his body frankly, she allowed herself a wicked grin. “I can’t make a call on your full package yet. I haven’t seen enough of it.”

James liked that response, clearly. He moved even closer. His fingers twitched against the doorframe as if they wanted to move to Kahala’s frame instead.

Lawrence broke into the moment before she could see where it would lead. “Whoo!” He fanned himself and continued with high-pitched sounds of appreciation. “It’s gotten very, very hot in here. Almost as if you two are forgetting the full workday we have in front of us.”

Kahala blushed. She’d gotten so caught up in coming up with cool responses to James Corwin’s flirtation that she’d forgotten to act professionally. “Sorry.” Instinct told her to leave the two of them to their business, but she couldn’t see a graceful exit out of the cramped trailer. Whether she ducked left or right, any attempt to leave would involve an intense negotiation between her body and that of James Corwin. She stepped back instead, then looked to Lawrence for direction.

Lawrence drew himself up even taller, so his Adam’s apple poked prominently out of his long, thin neck. “Before you arrived, Mr. Corwin, I was in the middle of delegating loads of work to Kahala here. She’s going to take over dressing Miss Marin for me, all so I can devote the bulk of my time to satisfying your demanding self.” His words sounded light and irreverent, but Kahala caught a strain of sincere irritation running through them.

Corwin must have picked up on that too, because he scowled in response. “I don’t know if I want any more of your attention, Lawrence. That’s what I came to talk to you about.” He sighed. All the playfulness he’d shown with Kahala had gone out of him. He seemed tired and far less glamorous. “The studio’s leaning on me to be here, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I’ll be professional, I’ll do as I’m told, but I won’t tolerate being made to look or behave like a fool.”

 

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Bio:

Annabeth Leong has written erotica of many flavors. She loves shoes, stockings, cooking and excellent bass lines. She always keeps a new e-book loaded on her phone and a paperback stashed in her purse, but her eyes are still bigger than her stomach whenever she visits a bookseller. She blogs at annabethleong.blogspot.com, and tweets @AnnabethLeong . Watch for her next contemporary erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave, Heated Leather Lover.

 
© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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