AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER - READY TO READ DECEMBER 1
Features: Contemporary, Fantasy, Historical, M/F/M, M/M, M/M/F, New Adult, Paranormal, Romantic Comedy, Romantic Suspense, Rubenesque, Sci-Fi Fantasy, Shape-shifter, Stepbrother Romance & Threesome
Featuring My Wish Come True by Tina Donahue
Baby, it’s hot inside…
For Laurel, Christmas so sucks. She’s out of a job, money, and luck until her neighbor Scott plays Santa. This tall, dark, and sexy hunk delivers sweet decadence and holiday magic that makes being bad oh-so good.
Laurel Austen jerked awake, uncertain why.
Someone shrieked, paused, and wailed again.
She winced and forced one eye open. Crumbs decorated her kitchen table, along with chocolate smears from cookies she couldn’t bake. Depressed by the season and her current circumstances, she’d gobbled the remaining raw dough. A bad move according to the CDC or some other government agency that warned against salmonella, E-coli, Ebola, or a disease-of-the-week. Just what she didn’t need.
Like the Energizer Bunny the damn noise kept going and…
“Oh crap.” She jumped up and flapped her hands. “No, no, no.”
Her oven belched smoke worse than an active volcano, her cookies burnt to ash. The smoke alarm hit it highest note and stayed there, loud enough to break her eardrums.
“Hey!” A deep male voice in the hall cut through the racket.
Couldn’t be her neighbor Scott Quinn. With the other tenants gone for the holiday, she’d hoped to corner him at last and impress him with her awesome baking skills.
A fist pounded on her front door. “You okay in there?”
She was light-years from all right. Moving to Boulder had been a huge mistake despite the supposed job opportunities and men outnumbering women by an awesome margin. Neither situation had worked for her, and now this. It was him. She’d recognize his rumbling baritone anywhere.
“Ms.…ah.…” He hammered again. “Ms.!”
He didn’t even know her name. She hadn’t combed her hair. Wasn’t wearing makeup. This couldn’t get worse. “Yeah, I’m—” She coughed and turned off the oven.
He knocked hard enough to rattle her teeth.
Before he called 911, she slapped on a smile and swung her front door open.
He peered over her head into her crappy studio apartment. An easy task given his height. At least six-three, he had broad shoulders, narrow hips, long legs, and a super impressive bulge behind his jeans fly. Stuff that fueled female wet dreams.
Her mouth watered.
Scott batted away smoke. “Where is it?” He shouldered past her, an extinguisher in hand.
“What? You mean fire? There isn’t one. It’s my oven. I turned it off. My cookies burned. No biggie. Everything’s cool.”
The screaming alarm contradicted her.
He flicked on the oven fan and checked the appliance. “You need fresh air in here to get rid of the…” He stopped at her window caked with ice. Snow came down in huge, wet flakes.
According to weather.com, Boulder hadn’t experienced a winter this cold in decades. Lucky her. “I’m afraid you can’t open that. It’s frozen shut.”
He rubbed his arm.
Laurel bet his skin goose-pimpled beneath his gray Henley. She would’ve sold her soul to snuggle close and get him warm.
“Don’t you find it cold in here?” He checked her thermostat and whistled. “It’s only fifty-two degrees.”
Before she’d turned on her oven, the temperature had dipped to the upper forties. “Can’t be winter forever, right?” She forced a laugh.
He looked over.
Black hair skimmed his forehead and curled around his ears and neck, a just-got-out-of-bed look that made her blood race. Same as his stubble. By her guestimate, he had testosterone to spare and couldn’t be more than thirty.
He tapped her thermostat. “Your heat’s off.”
Smart and gorgeous. No guy deserved eyes that blue. And his lashes… Even with mascara, she’d never made hers so dark and long. “Uh-huh.”
“Is the unit broken? Did you call the manager?” Scott frowned. “Did that jerk give you grief? He whined like a two-year-old when I needed my kitchen lights replaced.” He raised his handsome face to the fixture. Off. The only light source was the small bulb above her oven and what illumination spilled in from the hall. “Want me to talk to him about getting this stuff fixed?”
“No, please.” She held up her hands.
Scott regarded her oven mitts and ensemble. Boots, several fleece sweats that made her thighs even bigger, and a puffy parka that gave her a bod like the Michelin man.
The four sweatshirts she wore beneath her coat didn’t help. “This isn’t his fault. I’m sure the heat and lights work fine. I don’t turn them on. Actually, I can’t.”
This wasn’t how Laurel envisioned their first conversation, Scott cocking one eyebrow at her as he would someone seriously nuts. She shrugged and tried to act upbeat. “I kind of—”
The alarm sputtered, gave one last painful wail and cut off.
She sagged. “Finally, huh? My ears were about to bleed.”
“Mine too. What were you saying?”
By now, most guys would have fled with their extinguishers, grateful she hadn’t caused a blaze that threatened their digs. Scott’s interest and possible concern surprised and dismayed her. Laurel didn’t want his pity. “Nothing really. That is, I wasn’t saying anything important. I lost my job, that’s all. I wasn’t fired for cause. They loved me. Just not enough. I was outsourced or maybe insourced. I’m not sure what you’d call what happened to me. They found someone else or rather something else that was way cheaper than my salary and benefits. Not that my medical and earned time off were great or that I made a fortune there. But money’s money, huh? At this point, I’ll take anything. Even Walmart hasn’t called back. Been a tough few months. After Christmas though, things should look up.”
She wasn’t making sense. Heat burned her cheeks. The warmest she’d been in days. “Yeah. I’m embarrassed to say a computer replaced me.”
“You were in customer service?”
“I wish. I’d probably still be working. I compiled information from various sources and wrote news articles for our clients.”
Scott brightened. “You’re a journalist.”
“Not there I wasn’t. I mean, I didn’t do reporting. Simply pulled facts together and wrote stuff I thought was interesting. Management said the computer did it faster and better. Go figure. However, I do have a communications degree and the crushing student debt that goes with it. Life is good.” She bared her teeth in what she hoped was a smile. “By the way, I’m Laurel Austen.”
“Scott Quinn.” He put out his hand.
She fumbled with her oven mitt and finally used her teeth to pull it off. Beneath it she wore her Hello Kitty mitten. “Nice to meet you.”
His firm grip weakened her knees. His dimple stroked her soul.
Also featuring Pleasure Quest (bonus story) by Tina Donahue
She’s into virtue. He’s not. On a pleasure asteroid, he’ll show her what paradise really is.
Desexo 69, pleasure asteroid at end of Milky Way
Hunter Sloane teleported into Buzz, the last stripper-gin joint before the unchartered universe. The establishment’s owner had contacted the Federation about trouble here, wanting it stopped pronto, the perp in question caught and disposed of…preferably in deep space.
No one demanded action and retaliation like business owners pissed they’d lose profit.
To Hunter, everything appeared normal. Thunderous music in here and solar flares outside, rattled the building and shook Martian dust from his leather jeans and combat boots. Purple, orange, and red laser lights pumped in time with the raucous tune. Quadruple X-rated movies played on the walls.
Maybe he had the wrong place. He activated the databank on his wrist. This location proved accurate.
The capacity crowd partied hard.
Humans, aliens, cyborgs, androids, and beings Hunter couldn’t identify performed stripteases on the many stages or boogied their hearts out on the dance floors below. Those who were still dressed sported garish hair, makeup, and clothing, the peacock colors meant to entice sexual partners. No problem there. Contorting bodies filled all available space.
Musk, sweat, perfume, booze, and pleasure drugs thickened the air.
“Hey, doll.” A female alien covered in brown-and-gold body hair sidled up and cupped his balls. “What’s your pleasure?”
He shouted as she had. “Careful.” He eased her talons from his nuts. “I’m looking for trouble.”
Her wide smile bared her elongated canines. “You’ve come to the right place.” She fondled her breasts and licked her black lips. “There’s a free table over there. It’s got our names on it.”
“Sorry. I’m here on official business.” He brushed past. Yellow and green spotlights swept patrons. He craned his neck.
Something white flashed within the gaudy colors.
His quarry. Security cameras had captured her the moment she’d stepped into this place. The facial recognition databank provided her name and other particulars.
He shouldered through the throng, sidestepped those screwing in ménages or groups, and stopped at a booth near the back.
The young woman didn’t notice him. Bent at the waist, she shouted at the human couple humping on the table. “Please, just listen to me for a minute.”
They kissed and fucked.
She gestured frantically. “You don’t know what you’re doing.”
On a loud bellow, the guy climaxed. The woman shrieked happily.
No one had to tell them how to have fun.
Hunter stepped closer and yelled above the noise. “Melody Prudence Patience Carlyle.”
She flinched and whirled around.
He forgot what he’d intended to say.
Bluer eyes than hers didn’t exist in this universe. She’d pulled her flaxen hair into a prim braid that dangled over her lush breasts and swayed above her narrow waist. She wore no makeup. Didn’t need any. Inner heat tinted her cheeks and lips a deep rose that enhanced her sweet features. Musk suffused her clean fresh scent.
Warmth rolled through him. His cock thickened, balls tightened, both ready for action.
Unfortunately, her startling white body suit bore two large letters in red that killed his carnal high. Her kind had no business being in this joint, her presence a class AAAA felony and why the owner had alerted the authorities.
She lifted her face. “Yes?”
Her expectant, guileless look stole every word Hunter knew. Given the heathens in here, she was beyond different. “Ah, Melody Prudence Patience Carlyle?” Unnecessary to ask again since she couldn’t be anyone else, but it was all he could come up with.
She frowned. “No.”
He didn’t understand. The description on the alert fit her perfectly, including her cute white boots. “Then who are you?”
“Modesty. Not Melody. Who are you? Wait.” She took in his height, black leather jacket, jeans, and the jagged scar on his left cheek. Hope lit her lovely features. “You’re the bouncer, right?” She pointed at the couple who’d resumed their carnal play. “They won’t listen to me. Get them to stop. Please. After you’re through with them, you can keep the others in line.”
The Milky Way’s combined armed forces couldn’t corral this randy group. “Sorry, darlin’, I’m Hunter Sloane, an enforcer, not a bouncer. I’m here to arrest you.”
She blinked rapidly. “What?”
“You’re from the Purity Patrol.” He gestured to the embroidered PP above her boob. Her nipples had tightened. Nice. “Your group isn’t allowed to proselytize here or anywhere in the galaxy for that matter. You’re messing with everyone’s good time.”
Prolonged moans and excited shrieks rang out. Music roared. Deafening bass pounded. Its frenzied beat matched his hammering heart. Her pale eyebrows shot up. “Ruined their good time? Since when?” Her gesture took in the room. “No one’s listened to me.”
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