Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Texas Tangle by Leah Braemel, Excerpt One

 

This is a sneak peak of my upcoming erotic romance, Texas Tangle, that will be released June 2010 by Harlequin's new digital-first line, Carina Press.

Thanks to her cheating ex-husband and her thieving brother, all horse breeder Nikki Kimball has left is a bruised heart, an over-drawn bank account and an empty home. When sex-on-legs Dillon Barnett and his brooding foster-brother Brett Anderson start showing more than just neighborly attention, Nikki is intrigued…and a little gun-shy.

Dillon and Brett have a history; back in high school, the two friends fought a bitter battle over Nikki. Now, ten years later, Brett still longs to be the man in Nikki’s life, but he’s determined to stand back and let Dillon win Nikki’s heart.

Society says Nikki must choose between the two men she loves. Is Nikki strong enough to break all the rules in order to find happiness?





Copyright by Leah Braemel 2010



Chapter One

“No, no, no!” With steam billowing from the hood of her truck, Nikki maneuvered blindly easing the vehicle to the side of the road, making sure the horse trailer she was towing wasn’t blocking traffic. “You can’t die here. We’re so close to home.”

With a sigh, she killed the engine, climbed from the cab and kicked the front tire. “You couldn’t have held on for another three miles, could you? No-o-o, you had to blow out the rad here, you piece of shit.”

She waited in the inky black night for ten minutes before a vehicle crested the hill, its high beams blinding her until the driver dimmed the lights. She moved to the side as the Jeep zipped past, not even slowing to see if she needed help. A half-dozen cars zoomed by over the next half hour without a single one slowing. She was starting to consider unloading her newest horse and riding him home when a familiar white pick-up slowed then parked in front of her truck.

First a long, booted leg, then the rest of the driver’s body unfolded as he clambered down. Dillon Barnett jammed a dusty black cowboy hat on his head before he ambled over. “Hey, Nik. Need some help?”

“Yeah, my truck's overheated.” Trying to ignore the shivery feeling that had her nipples hardening every time she set eyes on her neighbor, Nikki reached for the hood release.

Dillon caught her wrist and stopped her. “Whoa, don't touch that yet. Let it cool down a while longer, or I’ll be hauling you off to the burn unit.”

Before she could stop herself, she leaned in and filled her lungs with his scent, detecting only a hint of the aftershave he’d used that morning behind a heaping of good honest sweat. Mostly he smelled of machine oil, sawdust and…mesquite? She scrunched up her nose and took another sniff. “You been at a barbecue?”

Dillon chuckled, a dark delicious sound that reminded her of humid summer evenings eating barbecued ribs and drinking cool beer. Of star-filled nights that promised long sessions of hot, sweaty sex.

Where had that come from? Maybe because she hadn’t been with a guy and had hot, sweaty sex in a couple of years?

“We’ve been cuttin’ down some mesquites out back of the old Pritchert place. New owners are plannin’ on putting in a pool and hired me to do the landscaping around it. I figured I might as well get started in there with my machinery.”

When he released her, she took a step back, stopping her sigh before it could escape. Stop with the fantasies, Nik. If Dillon was interested in you, he’d have made some move after Wade moved out. Oh, he was always over checking on her, helping her fix the fences the horses or weather knocked down, but not once had he given her any indication he was interested in her.

No, Dillon just did those things because he’d been raised to be a good neighbor, willing to help the struggling divorcee with the measly forty acres of scrub behind his spread of two hundred and fifty. Still, a girl could fantasize. Oh. My. The fantasies she’d been having about him lately.

But had she imagined the way he’d held her after pulling her against him? Or the way his hand stroked the small of her back? That couldn’t have been accidental. Could it?



Text Copyright © 2010 by Leah Braemel

Cover Art Copyright© 2010 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A. Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited.  All rights reserved. © and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Erin Nicholas: Just Right

Genre: Contemporary
Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Publication Date: 03-30-2010
Length: Novel
ISBN: 978-1-60504-947-2
Buy the book from Samhain's My Bookstore and More

To save one good man, she’ll have to let her inner bad girl out to play…
 
ER nurse Jessica Bradford is a good girl. Okay, a reformed bad girl, but she’s done her late father proud. Now she’s one step away from landing Dr. Perfect, aka handsome, sexy, heroic Ben Torres—the hot fudge and cherry on top of her hard work scooping out a respectable life.

Ben learned the art of sacrifice from his missionary parents, but when a drunk driver he saved kills three people, he quits. To be precise, the fist he plants in the man’s face gets him suspended. And the first dish he wants on his newly empty plate is Jessica—preferably naked.

Jessica can’t believe the Ben she’s found drowning his sorrows in a bar is her knight in shining scrubs. And he won’t be pried loose until she bets 48 hours of her time in a game of pool. She loses. And the next morning she stands to lose much more.

The Chief of Staff’s recommendation for the promotion she’s been after rides on her ability to keep Ben out of trouble until things blow over.

Except “trouble” is all Ben wants. And despite herself, Jessica finds that she’s more than willing to go down with him…

Product Warnings
Contains hot love in a store dressing room and in the front seat of a car—at the expense of a very nice strawberry patch, unfortunately—oh, and hooker boots. Can’t forget the hooker boots.

Just Right
by Erin Nicholas

Jessica’s nipples were perfect. The entire left breast was damn nice. He was assuming the right matched, but it was still covered with terrycloth.

Even if it didn’t, Ben was currently the happiest man on earth.

The towel she’d wrapped herself in had slipped as she reached overhead for the bottle of mouthwash in his medicine cabinet. Ben was glad he’d put the bottle up high. The more she reached, the lower the towel slid. She was, of course, unaware that the mirror in front of her reflected to the mirror on his dresser, which he could see perfectly from the bed. He’d never noticed it before but was now very thankful for the way he’d arranged the room.

Jessica in his bathroom, in nothing but a towel, warm and still wet from her shower, was a fabulous way to start a day.

She reached up again, retrieving dental floss, and Ben knew exactly what to do.

Jessica was known as a non-dater, a non-flirter, a non-partier. It wasn’t that she wasn’t friendly to the staff and downright magical with the patients, but she didn’t go out. Period. She wasn’t nasty about it or judgmental about those who did. She just always said no thank you.

Well, he was in the mood to do a whole bunch of stuff definitely including flirting and partying, and Jessica was, for some reason, the only person that he wanted to do it with. It didn’t make sense, but he’d had a lifetime of trying to make sense of things and he was tired of it.

If his attraction for Jessica didn’t make sense, it certainly didn’t mean that he couldn’t enjoy it.

He was going to try something new—he was going to just go with it.

Ben pushed himself up out of bed, pausing only long enough to drop his boxer shorts near the clothes hamper.

His major morning erection would impress Jessica, or scare her. Either way, there was no time like the present to start getting to know each other better.

“Good morning.”

Jessica sucked in a quick breath and grabbed the top of her towel. The fact that the top edge of the towel came below her left breast registered in the next second.

She yanked the towel up and spun to face him, her face red.

“Good—”

Her gaze dropped, her cheeks got even redder and she pulled her eyes back to his face. But her eyes dropped to his jutting erection again.

Ben grinned. This was going well.

“I…” Jessica croaked. She stopped to clear her throat, lifted her gaze again and blinked a few times, then turned her eyes up toward the ceiling. “Good morning.”

“You look great in the morning.”

“Um, thank you.” She continued looking up.

“Your neck is going to get a kink in it,” Ben told her, amused.

“You could use a good duster,” she replied conversationally. “There are cobwebs all over that light.”

He glanced up, never having noticed the fixture before, not to mention the cobwebs. “I certainly wouldn’t be offended if you reached up there and tried to brush them away,” Ben said.

She looked at him and frowned, opened her mouth, then glanced down at her towel. He watched as her mind put the pieces together. Reaching up, towel sliding down, breast exposed, him here in front of her…

He wondered if her imagination went as far as his did. Like to him taking her nipple into his mouth, sucking, making her moan.

A certain part of him liked the idea a lot. He grew harder. Not that Jessica noticed. Her eyes were back on the ceiling.

Ben crossed his arms and leaned a shoulder against the glass shower door. He decided to let it go. For now. He had no doubt that he would eventually be very familiar with Jessica’s nipples. “Are you finding everything you need?”

Her eyes remained trained on the light fixture overhead. “Yep. Yes. Um, yes. I’m fine.”

“Don’t need anything at all?”

Without looking where she was going, Jessica began inching toward the door.

“Coffee,” she said. “I definitely need some coffee.”

Ben grinned watching her, and vowed to make Jessica more comfortable being naked around him as soon as possible. Practice made perfect, after all.

“I’m going to shower and I’ll be right out.”

“Gre—” Jessica’s response was cut off when she slammed the door behind her.



Jessica was dressed in record time. There was no coffee pot so she was now she was searching Ben’s cupboards for something, anything, other than Pop-Tarts that would pass for breakfast food. She was trying to keep her pulse at a normal, steady rate too. Which she might have been able to accomplish if she could quit thinking of Ben standing in the bathroom in all his glory.

It wasn’t her fault that all of the food in his kitchen reminded her of him. Naked. Aroused. Largely aroused.

That guy was simply made to be naked. It wasn’t fair to cover all of that up with clothes.

She opened the cupboard near the fridge. It held a jar of peanut butter. Only a jar of peanut butter. Peanut butter that would look good smeared all over Ben…for her to lick off.

Jessica groaned, slammed the cupboard shut and yanked open the drawer by the fridge.

The Twinkies were penis-shaped. She stared down at the three individually wrapped cakes. Okay, they weren’t exactly penis shaped. But in her imagination, at the moment anyway, it didn’t take much.

***

For more information about Erin and her books, visit:  www.ErinNicholas.com, http://ninenaughtynovelists.blogspot.com/, or http://samhainpublishing.com/authors/erin-nicholas

Return to Leah's blog

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Lisa Pietsch: Freedom's Promise

Excerpt from Lisa Pietsch's Freedom's Promise, Book #3 in the Task Force 125 series from Sapphire Blue Publishing.

When one of their own is taken hostage and the Agency turns its back, the members of American Swift must take matters into their own hands.

This time they’re off the clock and on their own.

Freedom's Promise
by

"Jason?"

Jason turned to face her.  "Yeah?"

"Are we going to be able to do this?"

His eyes wrinkled with the laughter he was probably holding in.  "Any monkey, even an Air Force cop like you, can mount an M-60 to a chopper, Sarah."

Sarah found no humor in the joke today.  Her shoulders sunk and she shook her head.  "That's not what I'm talking about."

His voice dropped a little deeper when he spoke.  "I know, Sarah."  He grabbed her shoulders and looked her in the eyes.  "Never, ever allow room for doubt in your head, your heart or your gut.  We've got the best equipment and people in the business right here on this little sandbar.  Always remember, who dares wins."

"Where have I heard that before?"

"Okay, so it wasn't original but it is appropriate.  It's the British SAS motto and its every bit the truth.  Have you ever heard of the SAS failing at anything?"

Sarah gulped back the frog growing in her throat.  "No."

"Exactly."  Jason shook her shoulders.  "We're the heroes, Sarah.  Don't forget it.  We're going to save Vince, kill the bad guys and then we'll all live happily ever after."

"How can you be so sure?"

Jason placed his hands on either side of Sarah's head and pulled her close until their foreheads touched and their eyes were just inches apart.  "Because the alternative is unacceptable and because we have this."  He walked over to the covered helicopter and pulled the tarp away from the nose.”

Lisa Pietsch: A Taste of Liberty

Excerpt from Lisa Pietsch's A Taste of Liberty, Book #2 in the Task Force 125 series, from Sapphire Blue Publishing.


Sarah Stevens finally has a life.

Instead of the same old life with no man around who is worth the energy, now she has three!

One she loves but cannot have,
one she can have but cannot love,
and another who wants her and doesn’t care if she loves him.

What’s a girl to do?


A Taste of Liberty
by

Warning: Strong Language

Sarah walked into her apartment and closed the door.  She pulled her phone out of her purse and dialed Vince.

No answer.

Those sons of bitches are going to answer for this.

The more Sarah thought about it, the angrier she became. 

Where the hell do they get off scaring my dates away like a couple of big brothers puffing up their chests?

She called Will.

He picked up on the first ring.  "Sarah, you okay?"

"I'm pissed.  Where's Vince?"

"We left the club about fifteen minutes ago.  He was going straight back to his place."

"Great.  I'll find him."

"Sa..."

Sarah hung up before he could say anything.  She left her apartment, stomped down the hallway and punched the elevator button.

Son of a bitch.

When the elevator didn't show up immediately, she ripped open the stairwell door and ran down the two flights of stairs to Vince's floor.

She banged on his apartment door like a cop ready to bust a drug dealer.

Vince opened the door within seconds wearing a casual smile.  "Hey, sweetheart." 

A flash of pink silk caught Sarah's eye.  She looked past Vince to see a beautiful brunette in pajamas lounging on his sofa.

Rage boiled beneath her skin.  Every muscle in her body tensed with anger.  She glared at him but he seemed oblivious as he smiled at her.

Mutherfucker!

She didn't try to stop herself as she threw her whole body into a hard punch to his stomach. 

Vince wasn't expecting the hit.  He braced his hands on the doorframe, bent slightly into himself and stepped back before recovering.  His face was red and he looked genuinely surprised when he looked up.

His voice boomed.  "What the hell was that for?"

"Don't sweetheart me, you bastard!  You get to bring women home whenever you like, but I finally find a nice guy to go out to dinner with and you and your flunky, Will, have to fuck it up?"

He shook his head and grabbed her arm.  "Now hold on a minute!"

Sarah cut him off.  "No, you hold on!"  She shook her arm free of his grip.  "Let's get something clear here.  We may work together but my off-duty time is mine."  Sarah turned without waiting for a response and stormed down the hall.  Behind her, she heard Vince's door slam shut.”

Lisa Pietsch: The Lonely Road

An excerpt from Lisa Pietsch's upcoming release from Sapphire Blue Publishing, The Lonely Road, book #4 in the Task Force 125 series.

With hefty bounties on Vince, Sarah and Will’s heads the team has to be creative in finding a way to do their job as well as stay one step ahead of the powerful man who wants them dead.

The way they choose is creative but it is also inconvenient and very dangerous.  A new guy who isn’t at all what he seems must be brought into the fold.

What happens on The Lonely Road is likely to turn everyone’s life upside down.

But that may not be such a bad thing after all.

The Lonely Road
by

"You enjoy this, don't you?"

"Private jets, sable coats, the best hotels, limousines, a gorgeous bodyguard and the opportunity to kick a little ass once in a while."  She grinned.  "What's not to enjoy?"

A smile crept across Jay's face and the corners of his eyes creased.  "So you think I'm gorgeous?"

She felt the familiar flush rising through her cheeks again and shrugged.  "You aren't an eyesore."

 He picked up his paper and opened it.  "Nah, I'm bloody gorgeous."