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Snippet Showcase: Heather Rainier and Tara Rose
Heather Rainier's Divine Creek Ranch series
Lucy's Revenge, Book 15
Heather Rainier’s latest Work in Progress
Coming Summer 2013…
Now it's time for
Lucy Carter and Beck O’Malley have been like fire and gasoline since the moment they met. Their volatility is tempered only by their connection to Beck’s closest friend, Patrick Owen. Self-conscious about her body, Lucy basks in the acceptance Patrick offers. Loving him is as easy as breathing. Beck sets Lucy on edge every time she comes near him. Loving him seems like a recipe for disaster.
Beck has been holding Lucy at arm’s length while hoping for an old love to return, until his downward spiral finally turns into a free fall. Patrick longs for a normal life for him and his young son. Unfortunately, his idea of normal doesn’t line up with his influential family’s expectations. Lucy must decide between toeing the line and claiming the love and friendship she’s dreamed of, while taking a little revenge along the way.
Lucy’s Revenge includes an all new crossover with my fellow Siren author and friend, Morgan Ashbury, a.k.a. Cara Covington…
In Love Under Two Private Dicks, the intrigue surrounding the loss of Carrie and Chloe’s inheritance to their deceased parents’ business partner leads the men of Lusty straight to Divine. In the process Lucy is brought face to face with Beck’s old love.
The heavy scent of early spring rain filled the air as Beck O’Malley charged out the front door of The Dancing Pony, his cell phone held to his chest. The noise of the downpour wouldn’t make it much easier to hear the phone call outside but at least he had a little privacy. Another couple exited the club as he took a couple of breaths, and tried to swallow around the tightening in his throat. An unwelcome sense of foreshadowing hit him as he heard the chorus of “Wanted You More” by Lady Antebellum playing inside the club before the door swung closed.
He’d hoped to hear from Chloe Rhodes for the better part of a year. He needed to hear her voice but was afraid of what she’d say, and his heart was in his throat. Was she ready to come home? Did she need him to come get her? He hadn’t prayed in a long time but he sent a fervent prayer heavenward.
“That’s better. I can hear you now,” he murmured as he strained to hear every sound, every nuance of her voice on the other end of the call.
“I called your place and left a message, but I really wanted to give you my news myself. In real time.” Her voice was like silk sliding over his nerve endings, her familiar accent a caress to his soul. Then her words and the hesitancy in her tone registered. The damp chill in the air sank into his skin through his shirtsleeves and gooseflesh rose on his skin. No.
He swallowed again. “What news, Chloe?”
“I’m…I’m getting married. I…you know I’m living in Lusty. I met someone…” He heard a raspy chuckle and knew that sound. She was fighting tears. “I met a couple of someones, actually. Grant and Andrew Jessop. They’re good men.” Her words registered and pain flared in his heart and his head. His jaw felt locked shut as she quickly continued, speaking faster. She always talked a little faster when she was nervous. “You are a good man, Beck. I know there is someone special out there, just waiting for you. I know you’re going to find her.”
“Yeah, there was, and I already did.” He clenched his jaw until the pain swelled in his head. He’d held on all that time, holding out hope that she’d come back to him—that she’d change her mind.
He could barely hear her as she replied. “No, Beck. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I couldn’t be that someone for you. And maybe—” His heart clenched when he heard her sob. “Maybe someday when you do meet your one and only, you’ll understand.”
“You’re crying. You cried when you left.” She had such a tender heart and she’d cried as she’d left him the year before. He’d thought everything was fine between them and had even bought an engagement ring, bartering his services to Clay Cook to help cover the cost of it. The proposal hadn’t gone anything like what he’d hoped for. She’d cried and refused him. A week later she was gone. He’d never understood why his love hadn’t been strong enough to make her want to stay. “Chloe…I never wanted to make you cry.”
Her voice was stronger as she said, “You didn’t. You have never made me cry. It was just the circumstances. Any pain inflicted on me I did to myself. And you. God, I’m so sorry I hurt you. But I think that all along, I knew I wasn’t the one for you…and you weren’t the one for me.”
No. No. No! You were perfect for me. So perfect! The center of his chest felt like it was being torn open from the inside out. An involuntary quiver shook him and his jaw trembled. He held the phone to his ear and clutched his arm, trying to hold it together.
“I still love you, Chloe Diane.” A hot tear tracked down his cheek, followed by another one. “I don’t know how I’m ever going to stop loving you.”
“I’m sorry,” she whispered, and he could hear her heart in her words. “I wish…well...” Please don’t say you wish we could be friends. She let out a shaky breath. “Good-bye, Beck O’Malley. Take care of yourself.”
“Chloe—I—” Don’t beg. You’ll only hurt her worse and humiliate yourself besides. “Good-bye, Chloe Rhodes.” He held the phone to his ear until the connection ended. Tight with agony, Beck stepped out from under the deep awning, into the downpour.
Tara Rose's Racy Nights series
Marisol Santiago and Rafe Rodriguez were forced by their parents to break up when Rafe was a high school senior and Marisol was only fourteen, but they have never gotten over each other. When a tornado brings them together again eighteen years later, his parents force him to make a choice. Rafe Rodriguez has never defied his parents, but he will stop at nothing to win Marisol’s love.
Ellis McCree is smitten with Marisol after he offers to make one of her BDSM fantasies come true. She is everything he’s been searching for. But when he learns that Rafe intends to win her heart as well, Ellis knows the only way he can have Marisol is to share her with Rafe.
A searing betrayal by her best friend Ria, Rafe’s sister, drives Marisol into Ellis’s arms for comfort. But if she gives her heart as well as her body to him, will she lose Rafe in the process?
The silence between them was so awkward that Marisol almost started crying again. She needed to process everything that had happened tonight, but she didn’t want to do it alone. She wanted Rafe to stay. “Rafe, thank you for telling me earlier that you were just as afraid as I was. It meant a lot to me that you didn’t dismiss my fear.”
The look he gave her was so intense that she became confused. Had it been a mistake to say anything? She was so unsure about everything right now. Nothing she did or said seemed to make sense.
He brushed a lock of hair out off her face, and Marisol drew in a sharp breath at his touch. “Is that what you think I meant?” he asked quietly. “That I was afraid of the storm?”
“Um…yes.” What else could he have meant?
“You’d better try and get some sleep, Marisol.”
“Rafe, what did you mean then? Please tell me. What were you afraid of?”
He sighed and took a step back. “You aren’t making this very easy.”
“I’m not trying to make it anything. I’m simply trying to find out what you meant by that comment.”
The struggle on his face was so painful that it made her uncomfortable. What the hell was going on? “I wasn’t afraid of the storm, Marisol. I was fighting with every ounce of self-control I had.” His voice was so soft, but deep and exotic. It was easy to imagine they were lying in bed right now, gazing into each other’s eyes just before making love.
“I don’t understand,” she whispered, even though she understood perfectly. What she really meant was that she was afraid to believe what he was saying was real.
“Holding you in the dark like that…so close. All I wanted to do was kiss you.”
“Maybe you should do it now.” The second it was out of her mouth, she wished she hadn’t said it. This was all in his hands. In about ten seconds she’d either feel like the biggest chump on the planet, or her eighteen-years-long fantasy would finally come true.
He stared at her for so long without answering or moving that Marisol finally turned toward the door, intending to open it for him so that he could leave and she could drown her despair in sleep. As she moved, he pulled her into his arms and kissed her.
She moaned loudly against his full, warm lips as every fantasy she’d ever had about this man, and every moment of their four months together came rushing back at her. There might as well have been a second tornado inside her town house, concentrated just on the two of them.[j1] All the elements were there. The freight train sound, the howling wind, and the dizzying whirlwind of chaos and confusion.
But one additional sensation hung over this storm that made it sweet, erotic, and sexy. Marisol was more aroused than she’d ever been, and she melted into Rafe’s strong embrace, never wanting to leave it. Her mind filled with decadent images, fueled by countless dreams over the years.
She parted her lips to let his tongue inside, and she moaned again as it moved over hers with familiar precision, sending waves of tiny contractions to her soaked pussy and jolts of electricity to her nipples. Wanton desire filled her body as she clung to him, pushing closer toward his hard, muscled body. His jeans couldn’t mask the erection, huge and rock hard. She wanted that dick inside her, filling every hole until she was so used up she simply couldn’t move.
Their parents had been convinced the two had had sex when Marisol was a girl of fourteen, but the truth was that they’d gone no further than what they were doing right now—hot, passionate kisses. And once, Rafe had cupped her left breast and then apologized, pretending it had been an accident. She’d let him because the sensation had been so incredible that she’d wanted more.
She wanted more now. She wanted everything she’d been denied for eighteen years. She wanted to make up for all their lost years together in one crazy, erotic night. When Rafe released the kiss and nuzzled her neck, Marisol moved her hands down his back. Her breath caught in her throat as his muscles rippled beneath her fingertips. She’d never seen him naked. He must be gorgeous, and she wanted to find out.
“Mi tesoro…we cannot do this.”
My treasure. He’d always called her that when they were dating. She pulled out of his arms and looked into his beautiful black eyes. “Yes, Rafe, we can. We’re not kids anymore.”
He brushed his fingers over her face, and she caught them in one hand and kissed each fingertip. He groaned softly, and the sound fueled her arousal.
“Rafe, you want me as much as I want you. How can you deny it?”
“I’m not denying it, Marisol. But how can you want me after what I said to you?’
“When we walked along the river that day.” His face was full of pain, and suddenly understanding dawned. He thought she was still upset about what he’d called her.
“Rafe, I forgave you for that the second you said it. I know you were only trying to obey your parents, and there was no other way for us to end it unless you pretended to be cruel to me. I knew you didn’t mean it.”
He stared at her with incredulity. His mouth actually hung open, and she had to bite back the sudden laugh that threatened. “You’re not upset with me?”
She shook her head and moved back into his arms. “No. I’m not. I’ve never been.”
“I didn’t know. Marisol, I didn’t know.”
It didn’t matter. How could she make him see that? None of that mattered right now. “Rafe, please…please stay with me tonight. Make love to me.”
He kissed her again, this time with a depth and passion she’d never known. It was slow and torturous, but Marisol savored each moment. Her body was on fire for his touch, but clearly Rafe was setting the pace tonight, and he was determined to take his time with her.
She shivered when he tangled his fingers in her hair and gave it a slight tug. “I want all of you, Marisol. You have to understand that.”
“I understand.” Anything. She’d give him anything right now. All he had to do was ask.
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