Friday, January 25, 2008

New Release Day!

By Bernadette Gardner
© 2008, Bernadette Gardner
Cover Art by Les Byerley
ISBN 9781419914393
Ellora’s Cave

Her body is his canvas.

When Makena Brady walks into SkIntense Body Art, she expects nothing more than a little prick, and a small tattoo to satisfy her quest for independence from her ‘good girl’ lifestyle. What she gets instead is a sensual awakening.

Darq Stone is an artist and Makena’s body is the perfect canvas. He works his magic on her, bringing her to the edge of reason with a temporary tattoo airbrushed on her inner thigh. Enthralled by the excitement of lying nearly naked while he paints on her, Makena yearns for more, but can she handle the real thing? Darq is much more than he seems and once he brands her with a permanent mark, she’ll be drawn into his world forever.

Here’s a short excerpt:

“My hands are shaking,” she said. “Maybe you could help me.” She dropped her suit jacket on the chair behind her, but it slithered to the floor. She shrugged and tried to quell her internal tremors. If he continued to look at her that way, she might come from anticipation alone.

In two long steps he crossed to stand in front of her. The musky scent of his cologne reached her and her head swam. Darq Stone was nothing like she’d expected him to be. In fact, with his long-sleeved casual shirt and black Dockers, he didn’t even appear to have any tattoos of his own. She wondered if she might convince him to show her all of his body as well.

“Would you like me to unbutton your blouse?”

She nodded. “Yes.” The word came out as a breathless whisper. She held herself utterly still until he obliged, raising his hands and clasping the first tiny button.

It popped open under his expert touch and Makena gasped. Good Lord, if just having him open one button felt this good, what would it feel like if he actually put his hands on her? She’d come apart under him.

The next button went and Makena felt his warm breath on the vee of flesh exposed above her collar.

“Are you considering an image above one of your breasts?” His voice had gone thick. His eyes were locked on the third button of her blouse.

“I’m not sure. Maybe the small of my back, or on my shoulder. Or my inner thigh.”
“That’s a very sensitive area. You might not be able to wear a tight skirt or pantyhose for several days after the work is done. That could interfere with your job.”

“I have vacation time coming.”

Two more buttons. Makena wanted to put her hands on his broad shoulders and lean on him. Her legs felt rubbery and each breath hitched in her chest. “Pull my blouse out of my skirt, please.”

He hesitated only a second then tugged the creamy yellow silk out of her waistband. She didn’t need to ask him to push the blouse off her shoulders or to run one finger under the strap of her bra.

She bent forward to ease the intense ache that crawled up from her pussy to her womb. Her stomach clenched when his breath hit the bare skin of her shoulder. “Do you see a spot you like?”

He didn’t answer. Instead he curled his fingers around the satiny strap and pulled it down, almost exposing her breast. He ran his fingers over the skin below her shoulder and then into the cup of her bra.

Every nerve in her body went tight and she gasped when his fingers grazed the smooth skin just above her nipple.

“You’re very sensitive here as well. The process can be painful in certain areas. I wouldn’t want to see you in discomfort for a long period of time…unless you like pain. Some people do…they get a sexual satisfaction out of being tattooed.”

“I don’t know if I would…ah…”

“Turn around.”

She obeyed on wobbly legs. In her mind’s eye, he put his hand on her back, just between her shoulder blades and pushed forward so that she bent over the chair. She pictured herself spreading her legs for him and biting her lower lip hard while he lifted her skirt and probed between her thighs for the hardening nub of her clit.

Instead he merely removed her blouse, sliding the cuffs over her wrists. He placed the garment on the stool he’d been sitting on and then brought his hands up in delicate strokes along her spine to the clasp of her bra.

“Will you allow me to—”


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