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Kathleen Rowland Launches One Night in Havana with a Great Giveaway

 

One Night in Havana

#34 in the City Nights Series from Tirgearr Publishing

by Kathleen Rowland

 

Kathleen will be awarding 3 lucky winners a $10 Amazon Gift Certiticate. Winners will be chosen randomly with Rafflecopter. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.

 

About the Book:

A desperate competition and sizzling attraction leads to dangerous desire.

 

New York Marine biologist Veronica “Roni” Keane is attending the Havana Bay Conference in Cuba. Tomorrow only one grant will be awarded which will provide the winner with professional recognition, resources for a project, and living expenses for two years. She hopes to continue her deceased father’s work, but smooth operator, Carlos Montoya, has won many grants in the past.

 

Carlos, a freelancer for the Havana Port Authority, works to help protect Havana’s reputation as a bastion of safety. As international travelers flock to the island, attracted by its 1950’s time-warp and colonial architecture, the drug business is running rampant, particularly on Roni’s cruise ship. Something’s not right, and when her scuba tanks are tampered with, Carlos brings in the military police to investigate. For her safety, he keeps her close, but he craves her body.

 

Their attraction leads to a fun night with a bit of kink. But Roni finds herself in more trouble than she bargained for when the criminals blame her for alerting the military police and come looking for her. Can Roni trust Carlos to protect her? Will she stay in Havana if Carlos wins the coveted grant, or kiss her lover goodbye?

 

An erotic romance with mystery.

 

Amazon Buy Link

 

 

Excerpt:

 

Chapter One

“Why, Veronica Keane.” A voice heavy with a Spanish accent drawled from behind her. “A dive bar?” A taunting tsk. “What do we have? A slumming New Yorker?”

She stiffened and closed her eyes. She knew that voice and its owner, Dr. Carlos Montoya, a finalist like her, competing for the same damn grant at the biggest Cephalopoda conference of the decade. Her heart pitter-pattered against her ribs. To turn toward him would intimate distress, or worse yet, weakness. She wouldn’t fail to win this grant, not when she was a final contender. “I like this funky little place.” Sia Macario Café, smack in the center of Havana, allowed her to observe locals and their daily lives.

“You need to eat with all the mojitos you’ve downed.” The big tease wasn’t counting. This was her first drink, but his rumbling, sexy timbre hinted at all kinds of dark, hot promises. She’d rubbed shoulders with the Cuban scientist all week. This splendid specimen of Latin male brought on a physical ache that punched low.

A flare-up stirred fear. For her own good, she needed to resist. “I ordered camarones enchiladas.” By now she knew the menu on the chalkboard by heart. She tipped her head back to whiff grilled shrimp soon to arrive in sofrito sauce with fried sweet plantains.

“The flan is good. Just like my abuela makes.”

“I bet. Your grandmother would be happy to hear that,” she said, knowing he brought out the best in most people. Two days ago he’d invited her and a handful of others scuba diving. The chance to ogle him had been one of the perks. He’d worn nothing but swim trunks, his bare chest on display. Every glistening muscle was finely etched. Not a drop of fat on him. Since he’d not given her the time of day, she’d checked him out without him noticing.

The hard-bodied host had led the way toward habitats of soft-bodied creatures. To find where invertebrates lived was never an easy task. Octopuses squeezed into narrow passages of coral for protection and gave females a place to keep their eggs. She’d discovered the remains of a few meals nearby.Octopuses scattered rocks and shells to help them hide.

This grant meant so much to her and no doubt to him as well. Veronica mindlessly toyed with the gold necklace around her neck, but anxiety crackled through her brain. Unlike this man of action, she lacked the flamboyant personality necessary to talk people into things. Carlos had that ability. He’d made friends with judges on board while she’d conversed with an older woman about a box of scones made with Cuban vanilla cream.

That day the wind had picked up to a gale force, and this woman named Bela with Lucille Ball red hair needed help walking to her home. The half mile down the seaside promenade, The Malecón, had provided her with time to practice her Spanish. Turned out Bela was Carlos’s grandmother. She’d worked as a maid when the Castro government came to power. When private homes were nationalized, titles were handed over to the dwelling occupants. Bela owned a crumbling home in the respected Verdado district and rented out rooms.

What Veronica detested about Carlos was his abnormal level of talent for schmoozing. Not that he wasn’t charismatic; he drew her like a powerful magnet with emotions hard to untangle. Why was a self-assured woman who ran her own life thinking about a man who commanded everyone around him?

She inhaled a breath and turned around on the barstool, caught fast by a gut punch of Carlos Montoya in the flesh. She sighed and surrendered to the tendrils of want sliding up between her thighs.

Tall and muscular, his lush dark hair curled to his collar giving him a wild, roguish appearance. His face was lean and chiseled. His mouth full and tempting. His eyes the smoky-gray of a grass fire and fringed with black lashes as dense as paintbrushes. He smiled. A faint hint of mockery curved his mouth, a sensual mouth she imagined to be either inviting or cruel. Or both at the same time when he leaned over a woman with a diamond-hard gleam in his dark eyes while she drowned with pleasure. She fought a fierce desire to run her hand across his broad chest, tip her face upward, and…

His breath tickled her face.

Not going there. She blinked and forced her mind to focus. Carlos Montoya was not the kind of man you lost focus around. But that image of putting her mouth full on his and peeling away his shirt once introduced in her mind was impossible to expunge. Pointless even to try.

He was an intimidating blend of intellect and sexy danger. Both qualities had her leaning back against the bar’s edge. If it weren’t for him, she’d have a chance at winning the grant.

His lips twitched. “You’re staying on one of the cruise ships, am I right?” He rolled up the sleeves of his linen jacket to reveal a dusting of manly hair.

”Yes.” Her cabin served as her hotel room while attending the January meetings with perfect high-seventies temperatures. His eyes locked with hers. She willed herself to move and yet she remained seated, clutching heat between her legs, a wetness so intense that her breath stalled in her chest while her heart hammered faster. Soon she’d return to freezing New York City.

“So, Bonita, give.” He slid onto the bar stool next to her. “What brings you down from a lofty ship to grace us lowly Cubans with your presence?”

Bonita. Pretty lady was not an endearment coming from the mouth curved in a taunting smile, but not a slight either. Not with his deep, melodic voice speaking words as if he knew secrets about her. What secrets did he know? Would he pry into her personal life? She doubted this bad-boy college professor acknowledged boundaries.

“Just drinks and dinner.” She scrambled for composure. “Aren’t we attending a world-class conference? I find the local population to be friendly and kind. That’s not slumming.”

The bartender set down a saoco. “Hope you like it, senorita.”

“Gracias,” she said. “Very nice, served in a coconut.”

“Ah, the saoco,” Carlos said. “Rum, lime juice, sugar, and ice. The saoco,” he repeated, disbelief heavy in his words. “Um. Wow. Once used as a tonic for prisoners of the revolution.”

“Medicinal?” She couldn’t help it. She chuckled and sounded as if a rusty spoon had scraped her throat raw, but it was genuine. The warm glow in its wake was welcome and needed. .

He leaned an elbow on the bar, his beer bottle with the green-and-red Cristal label dangling between his fingers. “Be careful with that one.” He dipped his head toward the front door as if he needed to go somewhere soon.

That fast, the glow snuffed out. She cleared her throat and gripped the fuzzy surface of the coconut container.

He placed a five-peso coin with a brass plug on the counter and whirled it. The spinning motion mirrored a dizzying attraction going on in low parts of her belly.

She cleared her wayward mind and nodded toward artwork on the opposite wall. “I plan to buy a painting tonight.”

“Don’t buy anything unless the seller gives you a certificate. You’ll need one to take art from Cuba. Artists deal in euros in case you don’t have pesos.”

She’d come prepared but said, “Thanks for the info.”

His coal-black eyes widened as he gazed from her head down to the tiny straps around her ankles as if she wore high heels and nothing else. “You give off a Barbie doll image,” he replied and stood up.

“Huh?”

“Where’s Ken, anyway? Kenneth Morton. He came with you to the talks in Antarctica. Five years ago.” He grinned, and the mortification in her belly gave way to a longing which she had no business feeling toward her competitor.

“Ken and I broke up.” She hesitated for a moment. “You have a gift for remembering names. Like a salesman.”

“A person’s name is, to that person, the most important and sweetest sound. Back then I introduced myself to Ken in the men’s room.”

“I remember now. Didn’t you give a talk on a specialized pigment in the octopus?”

“Ahh, si.” He splayed his fingers over his chest. “A pigment in their blood is—”

“—called hemocyanin. Turns their blood blue and helps them survive subfreezing temperatures. Were you awarded something?”

“The antifreeze protein grant? No. It went to a deep-diving photographer. He wasn’t chicken about getting lost or trapped under the ice.”

She slid from her stool and strutted around, jutting her chin in and out like a chicken. “Bock, bock, bock, bock, bock, begowwwwk.”

He chuckled. “Cute chicken dance. Very cute in that skimpy black dress.”

Her cheeks heated, and she clutched her necklace. He’d seen plenty of women in body-fitting attire. In Cuba, women wore dresses to meetings. If she’d harnessed sexier mojo, she’d have livened up presentations. Her presentations with an abundance of dull data went south. She slid back against her stool and clutched her purse to her stomach as if the small satin bag could calm the nerves playing deep down kickball. She belonged in her tidy New York office filled with computers, modems, and research manuals. Not in this softly lit café where passion oozed from a man’s pores, and artists displayed their canvases. Here was where Havana’s trendsetters congregated, and Ernest Hemingway wrote about desire.

“Good luck with your purchases, Veronica Keane.”

Okay, so they weren’t going to pretend they were going head to head for the grant.

As if he had more to say, he grinned at her, his perfect white teeth flashing.. “Do you find us different, like apples and oranges?”

“What am I, an apple or an orange?”

“Hmm. You’re an apple.” He was doing that sexy voice thing which made her brain shut down. Heady.

It started with an unexpected spark, an instant attraction, the jolting jab of oh-I’m-feeling-something. Something like a flashfire in her belly, but now they were talking. “Am I the apple of desire? Want to take a bite out of me?” She pulled in a breath. Had she really said that?

Bonita, do I ever.”

 

“Tomorrow is the final ceremony.” Would she watch him walk to the podium to accept the grant?

 

About the Author:

Book Buyers Best finalist Kathleen Rowland is devoted to giving her readers fast-paced, high-stakes suspense with an erotic love story sure to melt their hearts. Her latest release is One Night in Havana, #34 in the City Nights series.

 

Kathleen also has a steamy romantic suspense series with Tirgearr Publishing, Deadly Alliance is followed by Unholy Alliance. Keep an icy drink handy while reading these sizzling stories.

 

Kathleen used to write computer programs but now writes novels.   She grew up in Iowa where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and raced her sailboat on Lake Okoboji. Now she wears flip-flops and sails with her husband, Gerry, on Newport Harbor but wishes there were lightning bugs in California.

 

Kathleen exists happily with her witty CPA husband, Gerry, in their 70’s poolside retreat in Southern California where she adores time spent with visiting grandchildren, dogs, one bunny, and noisy neighbors. While proud of their five children who’ve flown the coop, she appreciates the luxury of time to write.

 

If you’d enjoy news, sign up for Kathleen’s newsletter at http://www.kathleenrowland.com/

Tirgearr Publishing – Leading The Pack

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/786656.Kathleen_Rowland

http://www.amazon.com/Kathleen-Rowland/e/B007RYMF7S/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1450835163&sr=1-2-ent

https://twitter.com/rowlandkathleen

https://kathleenrowland.wordpress.com/

http://www.kathleenrowland.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/romanticsuspense.kathleenrowland/

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

Hiding in Plain Sight, Sexy Spy Thriller by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) is Now Available in Audiobook Format! #audio #audible #audiobook

Enjoy over five hours of thrilling storytelling by Poppy Jay Fox in this sexy spy thriller by Lucy Felthouse.

Blurb:

Mallory Scott is a British espionage operative—and a damn good one, at that. Her current assignment to bring down a group of diamond thieves and scammers should be a piece of cake. She plans to get her claws into one of the gang, infiltrate the group, and uncover the information she needs to catch and prosecute them. Luck is on her side, and within twenty-four hours she’s lunching with Baxter Collinson, the youngest—and most handsome—diamond thief. What she’s not expecting, however, is to get on with him quite so well. Attraction bubbles between them—and for once, on Mallory’s part, it isn’t an act. For the first time in her career, Mallory struggles with what she must do. Can she ignore her heart for the sake of the mission?

Audio links:

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2CFX2t2
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2CF2Zql
Audible UK: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Crime-Thrillers/Hiding-in-Plain-Sight-Audiobook/B0788XKPLS/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1513422463&sr=1-1
Audible US: https://www.audible.com/pd/Mysteries-Thrillers/Hiding-in-Plain-Sight-Audiobook/B0788XKQQX/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1513422464&sr=1-1
iTunes UK: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/hiding-in-plain-sight-unabridged/id1326333627
iTunes US: https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/hiding-in-plain-sight-unabridged/id1326333627

eBook and print versions available here: http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/hiding-in-plain-sight/

*****

Praise for Hiding in Plain Sight:

“…a cute little romp, & of course Felthouse delivers her usual flawless delivery. Fast-paced, fun, sexy, & with a twisty HEA that I think you’ll like.” 5 out of 5, Manic Readers

“A super romantic suspense from Lucy Felthouse. The characters are realistic and I easily identified with their emotions – I particularly loved the banter and the scenes between the main couple. It’s also got plenty of smexy and sizzling scenes which the author excels at. Recommended for readers of romantic suspense who enjoy a read which contains some sexy and explicit scenes.” 5 out of 5, A Readers Review

“One of the things I love about this author is her ability to write descriptions that make you see the scenes in cinema-scope. I especially loved her descriptions of Amsterdam. It made me feel as if I was there on an adventure with the characters. This is certainly a sexy story that fuses espionage, suspense and erotica very well.” 4 out of 5, Love Bites and Silk Ties

“…the test of any erotic thriller is whether it would work without the sex scenes, and in the case of Hiding In Plain sight, the answer is yes. There’s enough technical jargon to make the work of the agency seem believable, without weighing down the plot, and an edge of tension to remind you how much is at stake for Mallory and her team… a fun read that leaves you hoping for more adventures featuring this sexy spycatcher.” Elizabeth Coldwell

*****

Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller), The Persecution of the Wolves, Hiding in Plain Sight and Mia’s Men (The Heiress’s Harem Book 1). Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 160 publications to her name. She owns Erotica For All, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter and get a free eBook: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter

 

 

Vows: Asian Adventures III Now Out from Lisabet Sarai

 

 

 

 

The more you try to release desire, the more attached you become.

 

 

Vows Blurb

 

Travel brings out a strange recklessness in my wife, a hunger for extremes that I don’t see when we’re in New York. I would never have acted on my desire for male flesh if she hadn’t bullied me into my first homosexual encounter. Not that I regret it. I’ll never forget that incandescent night with the audacious young punk she bought for me in Amsterdam.

 

Now, she wants us to seduce the achingly beautiful Buddhist monk we’ve met in Luang Prabang. I try to reject her suggestions, to resist temptation. But I can’t banish the images of Souvannaphone— ripe lips curved in a half-smile, brown eyes sparkling with gentle challenge, smooth curves of golden flesh that cry out to be kissed. I yearn for his body—and his serenity.

 

Contemporary multicultural bisexual erotic romance (X rated)

7,400 words

 

HFN ending

 

 

Vows Excerpt 

We strolled northeast toward the far end of the peninsula, where Wat Xieng Thong was situated. The jewel of Luang Prabang, according to our guidebook. We had visited several of the other famous temples in the city. I had been saving this one for last.

 

Dani took my hand as we made our way through the quiet streets, in the lengthening shadow of Phu Si hill. “Relax,” she said. “Don’t worry. I’ll handle things. Just leave everything to me.”

That was exactly what I was worried about.

 

The vegetation thickened around us as we left the city center behind. We passed rough wooden houses on stilts, chickens scrabbling in the shade underneath, laundry swaying in the gentle breeze. Occasionally, we heard the muted babble of a television or radio, but we saw no one. It felt as though the whole of the city-village was dozing in the afternoon. I took a deep breath, and then another, trying to release the awful tension that gripped me, but it was no use. I was consumed by desire and dread.

 

Finally we reached the arched gateway to Wat Xieng Thong. Souvannaphone’s home. Gilded nagas, the serpent-dragons that sheltered the Buddha while he meditated, guarded the entry, their scales a riot of multi-colored mirrors. As we stepped over the sill and into the sacred compound, I felt something shift inside me. The choice was made, the effects would follow. Let karma do its worst.

 

At first, the place seemed deserted. Directly in front of us was the magnificent sim, or ordination chapel, with its five-layered, flame-tipped roof swept into dramatic earthward curves. Smaller but equally ornate buildings were scattered around it. Blue tile and gold leaf were everywhere.

 

An enormous, fantastically-twisted tree shaded the entire courtyard. At the same moment —I could tell from the way her hand tightened in mine—Dani and I noticed the figure seated, full lotus, on the turf at the foot of its main trunk.

 

It was, of course, Souvannaphone. His eyes were closed; his chest was bare. The golden, hairless flesh fascinated me. His nipples, more bronze than gold, drew my eyes and made my balls contract and ache.

 

It was his expression, though, that once again brought up my tears. It gave me a glimpse of total peace. Bliss. Perfect stillness and unearthly beauty. My craving to know his exquisite body faded and transformed into exquisite longing to know what he knew, to experience this state of completion.

 

Buy Links

 

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078LKFC9R/

 

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B078LKFC9R/

 

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/771439

 

Barnes and Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/vows-lisabet-sarai/1127731965?ean=2940155064060

 

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/th/en/ebook/vows-asian-adventures-book-3

 

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37751373-vows

 

 

About Lisabet

 

Lisabet Sarai has been addicted to words all her life. She began reading when she was four. She wrote her first story at five years old and her first poem at seven. Since then, she has written plays, tutorials, scholarly articles, marketing brochures, software specifications, self-help books, press releases, a five-hundred page dissertation, and lots of erotica and erotic romance – nearly one hundred titles, and counting, in nearly every sub-genre—paranormal, scifi, ménage, BDSM, GLBT, and more. Regardless of the genre, every one of her stories illustrates her motto: Imagination is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

 

You’ll find information and excerpts from all Lisabet’s books on her website (http://www.lisabetsarai.com/books.html), along with more than fifty free stories and lots more. At her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com), she shares her philosophy and her news and hosts lots of other great authors. She’s also on Goodreads and finally, on Twitter. Sign up for her VIP email list here: https://btn.ymlp.com/xgjjhmhugmgh

 

 

Mia’s Men, Book 1 in a Brand-new Reverse Harem Series by Lucy Felthouse, Available for Pre-order Now! (@cw1985) #reverseharem #whychoose

Blurb:

The Heiress’s Harem: Book One

Mia Harrington’s father just lost his brave battle with cancer. Naturally, she’s devastated. With her mother long-since dead, and no siblings, Mia has a great deal of responsibility to shoulder. She’s also the sole beneficiary of her father’s estate. Or so she thinks.

Unbeknownst to Mia, her father made a change to his will. She can still inherit, but only if she marries a suitable man within twelve months. If she doesn’t, her vile cousin will get everything. Determined not to lose her beloved childhood home, she resolves to find someone that fits the bill. What she isn’t expecting, however, is for that someone to be into sharing women with his best friend. In the meantime, Mia’s friendship with the estate gardener has blossomed into so much more.

She can’t possibly plan to marry one man, while also being involved with two others …or can she?

Pre-order now—coming 23rd January 2018!

(For those of you looking to purchase at non-Amazon retailers, pre-ordering is highly recommended as the book will be going Amazon exclusive shortly after release)

Amazon (universal link): http://mybook.to/miasmen

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mias-men-lucy-felthouse/1127582098?ean=2940154640357

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/mias-men/id1321058881?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/mia-s-men

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/764209?ref=cw1985

Add to your Goodreads shelves: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36988259-mia-s-men

*****

Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller), The Persecution of the Wolves, Hiding in Plain Sight and Mia’s Men (The Heiress’s Harem Book 1). Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 160 publications to her name. She owns Erotica For All, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter and get a free eBook: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter

Pre-order blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services.

 

The Naughty Book – A Guest Post by Janine Ashbless (@sinfulpress) #giveaway

I’ve been very naughty. I know, as an erotica author I’m supposed to be, right?  I’m supposed to use transgression and shock for erotic effect in my work. Well, in my novel The Prison of the Angels, which is all about – surprise! – fallen angels and their wickedness, there’s an intricate scene in which I turn the kinky sex up to eleven – and I kick it all off by quoting the Bible. Extensively. Egregiously. With malice.

My heroine, Milja, has a lot of issues by this stage in the trilogy. She’s a Christian who has betrayed God, according to all that she’s been told. She has a definite propensity for public exhibitionism and submission. And she is carrying a TON of guilt regarding how she has treated her angelic lover Azazel. So in a scene that is pretty much her ultimate guilt/BDSM fantasy, she finds herself naked and surrounded by a load of leering guys, and there’s a preacher excoriating her with bible verses.

The Bible’s got a lot of filthy stuff in it, if you know where to look. Much of it’s under the guise of condemnation: “I will shew unto thee the judgment of the Great Whore that sitteth upon many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication”. (Revelation 17)

That’s metaphorical of course – Babylon, the Great Whore, is a symbolic figure. But there’s a strong Biblical thread of denouncing nations/peoples/cities by slut-shaming them in the symbolic guise of errant wives and/or prostitutes who just can’t give up the game because they just love to fuck.

“She gave herself as a prostitute to all the elite of the Assyrians and defiled herself with all the idols of everyone she lusted after. She did not give up the prostitution she began in Egypt, when during her youth men slept with her, caressed her virgin bosom and poured out their lust on her.” (Ezekiel 23)

The Prophet Hosea, for example, was commanded by God to marry a “harlot” in order to provide a living sermon. “Let her remove the adulterous look from her face and the unfaithfulness from between her breasts. Otherwise I will strip her naked and make her as bare as on the day she was born.”

In Milja’s fantasy all this bubbles up to shame, frighten and excite her, because there’s really nothing like a sense of transgression and sinfulness to get people thoroughly overwrought:

“For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will deliver thee into the hand of them whom thou hatest: And they shall deal with thee hatefully, and shall leave thee naked and bare: and the nakedness of thy whoredoms shall be discovered, both thy lewdness and thy whoredoms. I will do these things unto thee, because thou hast gone a whoring after the heathen, and because thou art polluted.” – (Ezekiel 23)

And the filthiest verse in the Bible? That’s in Ezekiel 23 too: “There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.”

That’s a simile even I would balk at, normally – but hey, it’s in the Good Book! Thank you, Biblehub!

xxx

Janine

*****

Excerpt from The Prison of the Angels:

The cold water flashed like white fire over every inch of my skin. It burnt my eyeballs and my lips and the inside of my throat, and beyond the white fire was a darkness so immense that it swallowed me whole.

I fell forever.

Something grabbed my wrist. Something so hot that it boiled away the darkness, so that there was suddenly light flashing in my eyes. I felt myself grabbed up bodily and lifted. I felt heat against my lips, blowing fire into my frozen lungs. I saw the wooden posts of a flight of steps, and then I pitched forward onto hands and knees in the shallow snow, choking up pond-water. In front of my blurred vision an inchoate swirl of darkness poured up the steps onto the lit porch and then disappeared. Unseen, something slammed against the door, a knock that made the house shake.

I was on the ground beneath the back porch of John’s house, I realized, shuddering.

Mama. Oh Mama. The thought seemed to come from nowhere.

Three times the knock sounded, and on the third the door burst open—outward, onto the porch—to reveal Egan in the lit room within; shaven, shirtless, and frozen mid-lunge for what I could only assume was a weapon of some sort.

He stared.

I tried to cry out.

“Milja?”

Grabbing his pistol he ran out barefoot onto the porch and looked around for enemies that were not there. Then he clattered down and pulled me up into his arms. I pressed my face to his neck and he carried me up the steps and over the threshold—not like a bride, but like a child he could hold tight against his torso, his wrists locked under my thighs. His skin blazed against mine. He hefted me into the kitchen and propped my ass on the table in front of the range.

“What the hell?” he demanded in a low fierce voice, sweeping locks of sodden hair back from my face. My hat seemed to have disappeared. “What happened, Milja? What were you doing out there?”

“Ice. I fell in the lake.” My jaw chattered. It was obvious I was telling the truth—I was soaked from head to toe, and after clasping me so close he wasn’t much drier himself.

“Feckssake, woman!” he growled. “What the hell were you thinking of?” He shucked off my coat, which lifted a sodden ton from my shoulders, then stooped to pull my boots off; ice-water spilt all over the floor.

I tried to strip off my gloves but my fingers weren’t capable of gripping anything.

“Come here, come here,” he said softly from where he knelt at my feet, grabbing my wrists and peeling away the useless gloves. He pressed my hands on either side of his warm neck, holding them there. They must have felt like ice-blocks to him, but he didn’t wince.

He looked like a knight kneeling before his queen, I thought. I could feel his pulse.

“I’ll go get towels, Milja. Are you going to be okay a sec?”

I nodded, though he probably couldn’t see it through the shuddering. He rose and hurried off, leaving me with the radiant warmth of the stove. I thought I should probably get the rest of my clothes off, but even after I struggled with my fly zipper my jeans seemed determined to cling to my bum-cheeks.

I heard the back door bang shut and I flinched.

Azazel?

Had he been gathering himself to come get Egan? Was he the one who had saved me from the black waters? Where was he now?

Egan came back in carrying armfuls of towels. “Alright?”

“I’m okay,” I told him, smiling through my shudders. He was still shirtless, and I could see the faint Ethiopian scars on his arm and chest.

He wrapped my hands one at a time in a towel, chaffed them dry, and then set them deliberately against the hard, hot wall of his torso.

Oh God.

Then he slipped all the buttons on my thick flannel shirt—the one I’d chosen this morning precisely because it wasn’t provocative or distracting—and he only slowed when he realized I was wearing just a bra-top underneath. My nipples stood in shamefully hard points under the stretch cotton. I tried to wriggle out of the long tartan sleeves of my shirt on my own, to spare his blushes, but everything clung like a freezing cold second skin and he had to help.

The shallow slash on my forearm wasn’t bleeding anymore, but each brush of his fingers felt like hot coals.

My wet garment made a slap as it struck the floor.

He draped a towel around my shoulders and another over my head. He started rubbing the water from my face and hair and scalp, his movements precise and gentle. For long moments I was buried in a soft darkness. I reached out, blind, to put my hands back on his bare ribs. I could feel his heart pounding beneath them, like a beast pacing a cage.

I have no idea when it all changed for him. When his grueling self-denial simply fell apart, like a garment worn and washed until the fabric was weakened beyond all use. All I knew was that he dropped the towel off my damp head, cupped my face in both his hands and—absolutely without warning—kissed me.

*****

Blurb:

Milja Petak’s world has fallen apart.

Her lover, the fallen angel Azazel, has cast her aside in rage and disgust. The other contender for her heart, the Catholic priest Egan Kansky, was surrendered back into the hands of the shadowy Vatican organization, Vidimus, after sustaining life-threatening injuries.

She has killed and she has betrayed. She is alone, homeless, and at the end of her tether – torn apart by guilt and the love she has lost.

But neither Heaven nor its terrifying representatives on Earth have finished with Milja.

Both her lovers need her in order to further their very different plans, and both passionately need her, though they may try to deny it.

Milja is once again forced into a series of choices as she uncovers the secrets Heaven has been guarding for centuries. But this time it is not just her heart at stake, or even the fate of a fallen angel.

This time, the choices she makes will change everything.

This time it’s the End of the World.

The Prison of the Angels is the third in the acclaimed Book of the Watchers trilogy, following on from Cover Him with Darkness, and In Bonds of the Earth.

Buy links:

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*****

Author bio:

Janine Ashbless is a writer of fantasy erotica and steamy romantic adventure. She likes to write about magic and myth and mystery, dangerous power dynamics, borderline terror, and the not-quite-human.

Buyer beware! If you like dark romance and a hard-won Happily Ever After, try “Cover Him with Darkness,” “Heart of Flame,” or “The King’s Viper.” If you prefer challenging erotica, go for “Red Grow the Roses” or “Named and Shamed” instead. All her other books lie somewhere on the spectrum between.

Janine has been seeing her books in print ever since 2000. She’s also had numerous short stories published by Black Lace, Nexus, Cleis Press, Ravenous Romance, Harlequin Spice, Storm Moon, Xcite, Mischief Books, and Ellora’s Cave among others. She is co-editor of the nerd erotica anthology ‘Geek Love’.

Born in Wales, Janine now lives in the North of England with her husband and two rescued greyhounds. She has worked as a cleaner, library assistant, computer programmer, local government tree officer, and – for five years of muddy feet and shouting – as a full-time costumed Viking. Janine loves goatee beards, ancient ruins, minotaurs, trees, mummies, having her cake and eating it, and holidaying in countries with really bad public sewerage.

Her work has been described as:

“Hardcore and literate” (Madeline Moore) and “Vivid and tempestuous and dangerous, and bursting with sacrifice, death and love.” (Portia Da Costa)

Author Links:

Janine Ashbless website: http://www.janineashbless.com/

Janine Ashbless on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janineashbless

Sinful Press website: https://www.sinfulpress.co.uk

*****

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The Romance Reviews

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