I thought I had plans today, but as it turns out the family we thought we'd be visiting are running a day late. Therefore, I have a free Saturday! I'm quickly filling it up with errands and chores, and may hit the beach for a while later, so I thought I'd post my #SampleSunday then unplug without a shred of guilt.
I also wanted to share this beautiful ad Harlequin has taken out to promote the 21st Century Gentleman's Club Series. Awesome, right?
PSA: If you've missed any of my excerpts from my summer books, including this new #SampleSunday series for The Ultimate Seduction. Here's a quick round up:
- Book Blurbs - for all five of my summer titles
- #SampleSunday - An Heir To Bind Them - My June Harlequin Presents. Post links to the previous five.
- #TeaserTuesday - Mastering Her Role - fourth instalment, includes links to previous
- #Thursday13 - The Secret In Room 823 (part of Mills & Boon's The Chatsfield series).
And here's what's happened so far in this series:
Here Ryzard spies her dancing and joins her. I've bolded my shout-out of Maya Blake's Hero from The Ultimate Playboy:
~ * ~
Ryzard could drink with the best of them. He’d spent the older half of his childhood in Munich, had managed vineyards in France and Italy, and had lived in parts of Russia where not finishing a bottle of vodka was a gross insult to the host. He was restless enough to get legless tonight, but so far he’d consumed only enough to become mellow and hungry. The cashmere breeze and the scents of beach and pineapple and roasting pig aroused his appetite—all his appetites. He’d mentally stripped the nearest petite q’s and was considering a pass at one of the female members currently being scouted by every other bachelor here—along with some of the married members.
Not Narciso, aka the Warlock of Wall Street, though. He chatted with his friend long enough to see the man wasn’t just here with his wife, but besotted by her. Lucky bastard. Ryzard countered his envy by reminding himself that love was a double-edged sword. He wouldn’t ruin his friend’s happiness by saying so, but he had once looked forward to marital bliss. Luiza had died before they found it, and the anguish was indescribable. No matter how pleased he was for his friend, he would never risk that toll again.
He’d stick to the less permanent associations one found, enjoyed and left at parties such as this one.
Glass panels had been fitted over the lap pool, turning it into a dance floor that glimmered beams of colored light beneath the bouncing feet. People were having a lively time, keeping the band’s quick salsa beat rapping. The drummer stared off to the left, however, his grin male and captivated.
Ryzard followed the man’s gaze and his entire being crackled to attention.
Well beyond the pool’s light, in a corner mostly blocked by a buffet table and ice sculpture, a woman undulated like a cobra, utterly fascinating in her hypnotic movements timed perfectly with the music. Her splayed hands slid down her body with sexy knowledge, her hips popped in time to the beat, and her feet kick-stepped into motion.
She twirled. The motion lifted her brassy curls like a skirt before she planted her feet wide and swayed her weight between them. The flex of her spine gave way to a roll of her hips, and she was back into motion again.
Setting down his drink, Ryzard beelined toward her. He couldn’t tell if the woman had a partner, but it didn’t matter. He was cutting in.
She was alone, lifting her arms to gather her hair, eyes closed as she felt the music as much as heard it. She arched and stretched—
He caught her around the waist and used the shocked press of her hands at his shoulders to push her into accepting his lead, stepping into her space, then retreating, bringing her with him. As he moved her into a side step, she recovered, matching his move while her gaze pinned to his.
He couldn’t tell what color her eyes were. The light was too low, her feathery mask shadowing her gaze into twin glinting lights, but he reacted to the fixation in them. She was deciding whether to accept him.
A rush of excitement for the challenge ran through him. After a few more quick steps, he swung her into half pivots, catching each of her wrists in turn, one bare, one clad in silk, enjoying the flash of her bare knee through the slit of her skirt.
How had she been overlooked by every man here? She was exquisite.
Lifting her hand over her head, he spun her around then clasped her shoulder blades into his chest. Her buttocks—fine, firm, round globes as if heaven had sent him a valentine—pressed into his lap. Bending her before him, he buried his nose in her hair and inhaled, then followed her push to straighten and matched the sway of her hips with his own.
Tiffany’s heart pounded so hard she thought it would escape her chest. One second she’d been slightly drunk, lost in the joy of letting the salsa rhythm control her muscles. Now a stranger was doing it. And doing it well. He pulled her around into a waltz stance that he quickly shifted so they grazed each other’s sides, left, right, left.
She kicked each time, surprised how easily the movements came back to her. It had been years, but this man knew what he was doing, sliding her slowly behind his back, then catching her hand on the other side. He pushed her to back up a step, bringing one of her arms behind his head, the other behind her own. A few backward steps and they were connected by only one hand, arms outstretched, then he spun her back into him, catching her into his chest.
The conga beat pulsed through her as he ran his hands down her sides. Her own flew to cover his knuckles, but she didn’t stop him. It felt too amazing. His fingertips grazed the sides of her breasts, flexed into the taut muscles of her waist and clasped her hips to push them in a hula circle that he followed with his own, his crotch pressed tight to her buttocks.
Sensual pleasure electrified her. No one touched her anymore. After being a genderless automaton for so long, she was a woman again, alive, capable of captivating and enticing a man. She nudged her hips into his, flashing a glance back at him.
He narrowed his eyes and held her in place for one deliberate thrust before he spun her into the dance, their energetic quick steps becoming an excuse to look at each other as he let her move to the farthest reach of his hand on hers.
She had been a bit of a tease in her day, secure in the knowledge everyone knew she was engaged. She’d been able to flirt without consequence, enjoying male attention without feeling threatened by it. This stranger’s undisguised admiration was rain on her desert wasteland of feminine confidence. Climbing her free hand between her breasts to the back of her neck, she thrust out her chest then let the music snake up and down her spine as she flexed her figure for his visual pleasure.
His feral show of teeth encouraged her while his sheer male sexiness called to the woman in her, urging her to keep the notice of such a fine specimen. He might have started out his evening in a tux, but at some point he’d stripped down to the pants and the shirt, which was open at the collar and rolled back to his forearms at the sleeves. The mask he wore was vaguely piratical in its black with gold trim and wings at his temple, but the nose piece bent in a point off the end of his nose, suggesting a bird of prey.
And she was the hunted.
Her heart raced, excited by the prospect of being pursued. She wanted to be wanted.
~ * ~
The Dani Collins Masked Desires Contest is still going strong. Purchase of my erotic romance collection, or my August Presents, The Ultimate Seduction, counts as ten entries for one of these fabulous prizes.
Read the rules for the Dani Collins Masked Desires Contest (closes August 17th, 2014) then enter here:
Also, watch for chances to win autographed copies of The Ultimate Seduction when I start my blog tour mid-July.
In other news, my novella, The Secret In Room 823, is available in the UK. Here's a little blog post I wrote about my 'stay' in The Chatsfield.
These other fine retailers have my books too:
Have a great weekend. I'll be back with a #TeaserTuesday, a #Thursday13 and two more excerpts from this book over the next few weeks.