I got my release date for my upcoming Ellora's Cave novel - Slither!
Mark your calendars for February 17th and crank the AC because things are going to get hot!
Here's that excerpt I promised - and for more - drop by the Ellora's Cave chat loop this Sunday for some more sneak peeks from Slither!
The bedroom was just dark enough to be sultry. The California king-sized bed bore sheets of gunmetal satin which made it look like a block of iron sitting in the middle of the room. He adjusted the lighting to give the place a warm glow from overhead spotlights set around the perimeter of the ceiling. Behind the bed was a mirror and at its foot, a black leather bench. Her missing scarf lay across the end of the mattress.
She blushed. “I accidentally left that at your shop.”
“It was no accident.”
She resented the implication. She’d been in such a hurry to escape after he’d brought her to a shuddering orgasm that she’d barely had both her shoes on when she stumbled out the back door. Acute embarrassment made her shiver.
She jumped at the feel of his fingers on her shoulders, but she managed to keep herself calm while he slid her jacket off.
He placed the garment on a high backed chair in the corner of the room and returned to walk around her in a circle. “You stand like you have a stick up your ass.”
She burst into surprised laughter. She’d expected sexual innuendo, or even an open invitation to fuck. “I knew you were charming, but wow. Way to knock a girl’s socks off.”
He faced her, wry amusement lighting his features. “It’s not just your socks I want off. How do you manage to get through life being so uptight, Miss Daniels?” He grazed her cheek with a forefinger and the feathery touch sent a cascade of awareness down her body. Next he rested his hands on her shoulders and pressed down a bit. “Drop your arms. Breathe deep. If you lock up all your muscles, you’ll impede blood flow to your brain and you’ll pass out.”
“Is this a yoga class? Because I forgot my mat.”
“Do you suffer from dizzy spells? Do you get lightheaded often?”
She did. Gramma Essie always told her that was her connection to the quaking. It drained her energy.
“No,” he said, not in response to his own question, but to her unspoken thoughts. “It’s because you clench up everything all the time. You’re suffocating yourself with your own nervous tension.”
“And how are you going to relax me?” Her impertinent question prompted him to slip his fingers into the collar of her blouse. One by one he opened the buttons, making sure to brush against her bare skin as he did so. “Oh.”
After he flicked open the last button, he spread the shirt and pushed it off her shoulders, exposing her bra. She figured he would go for that next. God, she wanted him to, but with her jaw clenched so tightly to keep from moaning aloud, she couldn’t tell him.
Maddeningly, he ignored her breasts and instead ran his hands down her abdomen to the fly of her jeans. He worked quickly to open the button and zipper and then eased the stiff denim down over her hips and thighs. She arched her back instinctively, but refused to make a sound. He helped her slip her shoes off and step out of the jeans. He squeezed her ass before stripping off her panties, and she stifled a groan. This had already gone too far. Why couldn’t he simply paint on her hand or her arm? Why did she have to be so exposed and so vulnerable to him?
She squeezed her eyes shut when he dropped a kiss on her shoulder and her knees threatened to buckle when he pulled her shirt off and dropped it on the floor. Now she wore only her bra, and he made quick work of that, opening the fastening in the back with expert fingers.
At the foot of the bed, he snagged her scarf and returned to her side. For a moment she worried that he planned to tie her up and she tensed even further. A stab of fear wormed its way through her lower belly and he must have felt it because he grunted.
“I’m not going to hurt you,” he said. “I’d love to tie you up, but I won’t.” He offered her the scarf. “Cover your eyes with this. I don’t want you to watch me work. I’d rather you be surprised.” The sleek watered silk felt like heaven against her sensitive skin, but fear of losing control made her hesitate. “You can remove it any time. It’s about trust. If you trust me not to take advantage of your not being able to see, I’ll trust you not to remove the blindfold.”
She pursed her lips and considered the offer. Why not?