A Handful Of Fire: First chapters & pre-order links

Greetings! It’s Alexis Alvarez with an excerpt from my brand-new novel, A Handful of Fire.  A taboo relationship…steamy passion…and emotional, poetic prose.  It’s a stand-alone contemporary romance with lots of sexy heat and an HEA.

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Here are the blurb and the first two chapters.

Blurb:

Single father Gabriel Baystock is rich and powerful, educated and handsome – and helpless when it comes to ensuring his son Michael recovers fully from a childhood cancer.  He’ll do anything, even hire award-winning child therapist Shai Bonaventura.

Shai is drawn to brooding, sexy Gabriel, and while she falls in love with the little boy she’s hired to help, she loses her heart to his father. Their powerful chemistry is off the charts hot, and Shai thinks he might be the one to help heal her own demons, even if it means crossing professional boundaries.

But when old secrets from Shai’s past are revealed, it’s not clear if their fragile relationship can survive the harsh reality of the real world…or whether they have the courage to fight for what they really need?

Chapter One – Shai

Even from across the room, I can see that his eyes are the color of emeralds glowing in the dark.  If I thought his lean body was dangerous, if watching his muscles moving under the expensive suit made me catch my breath, the glimpse of his face only increases my attraction. He’s far more attractive in person than even his best pictures on the internet. I find it hard to believe that this is the father of my newest patient—assuming he hires me, of course; Allison explained how he thinks therapy is usually a “complete waste of time.”

He notices my gaze; a beat goes by, our eyes locked, and then he smiles. Does he know who I am yet? I stand straighter in my heels and fluff my red-brown curls with one hand. I know I look good in my blue sheath dress; I’ve been working out. Still, the people around him are a world apart in terms of elegance.

“Shai?”

I turn to my boss with a smile, tuning down the images. “Allison. This is amazing.” I gesture, the word amazing no match for the elegance of the charity champagne fundraiser our company, Frazier Pharma, has sponsored.

“Our entire team worked hard to make it happen. Thank you for being part of the effort. Having my therapy team manager here is critical for our fund-raising.” Allison Emercy is perfection in a crimson gown and blond up-do, looking younger than her fifty-two years. With her at the helm, our charity auctions bring in an unprecedented amount of money. This time our pharmaceutical company is raising money for childhood cancer research. It makes the company look good, that’s a given, but it’s something we all believe in.

“It means a lot to me.” Instinctively I touch my silver locket. It’s fancy enough that it matches any outfit, even formal wear, not that I’d care. It’s a reminder of Mani, and I’ll never take it off.

I shoot another look over at him, but he’s not looking anymore; he’s busy with a cluster of elegant people, doctors and rich patrons.

Allison looks over, too. “There’s Gabriel. When he’s free I’ll introduce you. You’re ready, yes?” She raises an eyebrow.

For a second I feel like my heart hangs at the top of a roller-coaster, ready to head down, then it bangs into action, staccato. “Yes.” But lusting over a patient’s, well, a potential patient’s father, is not professional.

I keep looking. He’s in his early thirties, like I am—but he’s separated from me by a chasm of wealth and privilege. He’s got a sylph on his arm, a few handsome men around him, and several women hover, coming and going like delicate butterflies around a blazing sun.

I know these things from my internet search mixed with information from Allison: He’s a single father, widowed. One of the richest bachelors in Chicago. A difficult ten-year-old son with emotional issues and a genius I.Q. And, although this shouldn’t matter to the job at hand, I can’t help but notice that he’s breathtakingly handsome.

I remember what Allison told me at our last meeting: “Gabriel Baystock could be one of our biggest donors. He already gave to the cancer research fund, but he’s unsure about the therapy program. He doesn’t think therapy works. His son is recovering from pleuropulmonary blastoma that spread—a good prognosis, but the child is having emotional difficulties. Their surgeon recommended therapy, so Gabriel said he’d try our program, and if it helps Michael, he’ll donate to help it expand. He asked for the best child therapist—that’s you.”

When Allison asked if I could work an extra patient into my schedule and still lead the therapy team, I said, “Yes, of course.” Because she wasn’t really asking.

And how could I say no? I love the sparks of challenge and hope that come with each new child. Taking a little person and helping them replace the rotten broken railings on the hanging bridge of their mind, allowing them to cross from anger and pain to a happier place—that fulfills me.

Beneath the pride and excitement, though, came that additional feeling that I get more often these days, the ever-increasing tone of unease. I pour everything I have into this job. But my batteries are wearing out and I don’t know where to recharge them.

I remember how much it meant to me when I had a therapist help me after the incident, all those years ago, and how I promised myself that I’d devote my life to helping other kids out of their own personal hell. So if I’m running on fumes some days, I just have to figure out how to keep going. I brush my index finger down the thin scar on the side of my face, which is usually hidden by my curls, and bite my lip, trying to push back memories. This isn’t the time, or the place. I need to focus.

A passing couple in their sixties stop to greet Allison. He’s tall and lean; so is she; they both walk with the confidence you see, always, in the best surgeons. The man takes her hands and kisses both cheeks. “Dr. Emercy. It is so good to see you.” He’s got a lovely French accent.

Allison steers me forward with one hand on my shoulder. “This is Shai Bonaventura, my Therapy Outreach manager. We started a new initiative at Frazier, a way to connect with the children in our community who need help beyond the lifesaving medicines we work so hard to provide. Shai has received the Chicago’s Best Therapist Award three years in a row now. It’s a peer-driven award and a high honor.”

I smile and shake hands.

Allison adds, “There are many children who can benefit from behavioral therapy while they undergo treatment and recovery for childhood cancer and other illnesses. Shai heads our new department of therapists. For qualifying families, we will provide free therapy sessions for up to a year.  Right now it’s a beta program, and after we prove our success in a limited market, we’re going to expand.” She smiles and the couple smiles back. “Shai, can I leave you with Dr. and Dr. Pelletier, Lucas and Lena, to explain more about our program?”

I take the verbal baton. “Of course.”

After I finish selling our project to the doctors, who promise to donate a sum of money that is double my annual salary, I need a moment alone to recoup. I duck out into the hallway.

There’s art on the walls—I recognize the small rapid brushstrokes of Monet; the bolder, rougher ones of Cezanne. These are originals; I’m sure of it. I regard another picture, one by an artist I don’t recognize. It’s like a photograph, but it’s painted. It’s bleak and beautiful and it tears into me immediately, fierce and sad. It’s raindrops on a window, and a shattered alley outside, the only beauty from the smeared wet colors and the perfect desolation, from the way the water distorts the reality into art.

The one next to it is diametrically opposite in tone. It’s sunlight streaming in beams across a field, waving flowers, and so much space captured in so little space that it’s a miracle. Inside bigger than the outside. A trick of a master. It’s a magic wardrobe, a sidewalk chalk painting you can jump into, a book you want to read forever. I can tell it’s by the same artist because—well, I don’t know the artistic words. But I know it in the way I can tell music by Mozart just by hearing a few bars. Songs by Madonna. A painting by Van Gogh. Prose by Hemingway. Some things are so essentially themselves that you always know them, even if you don’t have the language to explain why.

Nor do I know why someone put these two pictures here, side by side, unless they want to showcase the opposite ends of human emotion. My eye darts from one to the other, unable to choose which one is more powerful. They’re both fascinating; I can’t pick which one I like better. It’s almost like both are necessary; they work together to highlight the beauty of the other.

Allison comes up behind me, touches my shoulder. “Gabriel’s ready to meet you now, Shai. He has some time before the next speech.”

Before I can answer, he enters the hallway and comes right up to us, and my heart jumps to my throat as he reaches out his hand. “Shai? I’m Gabriel Baystock.”

I put out my hand, and when he takes it, an unmistakable spark travels down my fingertips and dissolves into my bloodstream. When it pulses to my heart, I catch my breath. “Hello.” I smile, feel my face flush, and don’t care. “It’s nice to meet you.”

His eyes are mesmerizing, deeper than both of those pictures on the wall, and more beautiful. Also, sadder, I think; he’s guarded. This man is sexy and muscular and he seems completely unrelaxed, even though he’s confident. I wonder why.

“I understand you’re Frazier’s top therapist.” His voice sends reverberations into my skin. He’s still holding my hand, and I’m reluctant to take it back when he releases it. His eyes move up and down my body, and it’s like I can feel his fingers doing it. I suck in a breath. I’ve never been so attracted to someone so fast, felt a gaze so intense. But he’s probably just examining me. I don’t want to imagine desire in his eyes, when it’s merely the want reflecting from my own. Besides, I have to stay professional.

“Our entire team is top-rated,” I say; it’s important to highlight the fact that I’m the tip of a huge iceberg of care, although the praise makes my cheeks tingle.

“Allison and Dr. Chandler said they feel you specifically, of the entire team, have the interpersonal skills to be a match for my son. He’s had a difficult time.” His face tightens. “We’ve tried other therapists after his treatment, and they just never work out.”

“Helping children on the journey to wellness is my top priority, ” I say. Then, because this sounds clinically sterile, and because his eyes narrow, I add, “I genuinely like all of my patients.  I bond with them, root for them, and do my best to help them regain self-confidence and joy. I’ve never met a child yet that I haven’t been able to help.” As I speak, I can feel my own confidence behind my words. Fumes or no fumes, this is what I do, and I’m good at it. Damn good.

His eyes drill into mine, and I sense a challenge. “‘Well, we’ll see.” His voice is noncommittal but a little arrogant. “Why don’t you meet my son first, before you start making promises.” He walks down the hallway with a “follow me” gesture.

I shoot Allison a look, tilting my head and raising my eyebrows. He may be rich and powerful, but I’m the expert here, and I know I’m good at my job.

Allison gives me a one-shoulder shrug and a small smile. “Follow up with me later, okay? I’m going to head back to catch up with more donors.” She walks the opposite way, back to the crowd.

I nod and follow Gabriel up a flight of stairs, where we reach a woman standing in the open doorway of a large playroom. She has one hand on the walkie at her waist and stands firm, like a guard. “Gabe! Here to check on Michael and the gang?”

This doesn’t make sense, but when I step closer and peer past her to see about a dozen children, I understand: These must be kids of the guests. Babysitting on the spot. It only makes sense to keep them safe. Of course if I had a child I’d do the exact same thi—I touch my scar.

“Lindsay.” Gabriel nods, his voice short. “I’m going to introduce Michael to the therapist. Shai.” He gestures at me and I smile. But Gabriel’s standing back in the hallway so he can’t be seen by anyone inside the room. He doesn’t seem like he wants to do any introducing.

“Okay, um, but…” Lindsay wrinkles her nose. She adds, “Shai, it’s so nice to meet you! But maybe now isn’t…?” Then she gestures across the room, and I see the child who needs someone. Who needs me.

Chapter Two – Shai

The other children are busy together; there’s a PlayStation VR connected to a large-screen TV, and an intricate train set. This kid is alone, sitting with his back to the room, looking out the window. I can only see his profile. His face is puffy, his head bald. I fight the urge to run up and enfold him in my arms. I want to tell him he’s special, miraculous. I want to fix him. But now isn’t the time.

The child looks over. His eyes are green, like Gabriel’s. I see tears in his eyes before he turns back to the window, his arms crossed over his chest.

Lindsay steps out of the doorway and lowers her voice. “I hate to throw a wrench into things, but? He’s just sitting there all sad, and when the other kids come up to him, he snaps at them or ignores them, and now they’re starting to whisper? It’s killing me. I’m worried that if you guys go in there right now and start doing a therapy thing? They might make fun of him? What if you did it after ice cream?”

Gabriel sighs. “Lindsay. I don’t plan to embarrass him in front of the other kids. Why don’t you have Clare take them to the kitchen, and we’ll talk privately to Michael. He can’t have ice cream right now anyway. It’s not on his diet.”

Another helper moves into action, and soon the kids stream past, giggling, running, dawdling, poking, a ragged line of healthy childhood. I can tell that they’ve forgotten Michael as they move on to the next adventure.

When they’re gone, the silence in the room is noticeable.  Gabriel crosses his arms. “Lindsay. Would you please go introduce Shai?” He nods his head.

It’s a little weird, but I’m not about to say so.  Lindsay walks over and touches his shoulder. “Michael.”

He stiffens and shrugs off her hand, and makes a growly noise without looking at her.

“Michael? I’d like to introduce you to someone.” Her voice is gentle, hesitant. “This is Shai, the therapist. She’s here to meet you and just say hi like we talked about with your dad before, okay?”

Michael looks at my hazy reflection in the black window, and our eyes meet, sort of, as ghosts. “I’m not interested in therapy at this time,” he tells me. “Therapy is for people who can’t handle life on their own.”

I nod. “You’re right. The thing is, though, none of us can handle life on our own. It’s okay to get help when we need it.” I shift my purse on my arm.

He notices my move and tilts his chin. “Let me guess. You probably have a cheap, infantile stuffed animal made for a three-year-old in your purse, right? And you’ll give it to me because it will make you feel so good about yourself, and you’ll never stop to think that it’s just a piece of crap that I’ll add to the ever-growing pile of stuffed animals that people give me that I just want to throw away. I get enough of those from the women who throw themselves at my dad and pretend to be nice to me.”

Behind his back, Lindsay winces and shoots me a pleading look. I wonder if Gabriel is hearing this. He must be. He’s right behind us, in the doorway. For a second I feel stress, then it all goes away when I look back at Michael’s eyes and see the hurt there, the longing.

I crouch down to speak, and he says, “I see what you’re doing. It’s called getting on my level. Now you’re going to talk in a soft voice, like you’re trying to entice a baby deer, and tell me that you want to be my friend. You can just go away.” He crosses his arms and scowls, but I see a challenge in his face.  He hasn’t tilted his body away, and he’s looking up at me, almost eager.

I think about this and say, “What was the ugliest one?” I have to win him over. I think I need to match him wit for wit, like in a game of chess. Clearly he wants to be respected, not condescended to.

This seems to surprise him. “What?”

I make my play. “The stuffed animals. I’m imagining a fake Tigger from one of those claw-machines that make me depressed every time I see them in a dirty restaurant lobby. Something so awful that you just know it cost about two cents to create, and it was made by sad overworked kids in some kind of Chinese labor camp, something that nobody in their right mind would buy. And maybe it had a stupid label on its neck with your name written in frilly, fancy purple pen, but maybe your name is even spelled wrong?”

He stares, I stare. I hold my breath. This is the moment of truth—will he accept me or not?

Time goes on and on, and he’s silent. Finally he grins. “The ugliest one,” he tells me, “was a pink plastic kitten with rainbow splotches all over it, with the name Princess Lorelei on a bow around its neck and eyes as big as, like, the bottom of a Coke can. And I think it had been pre-owned, because it was a little dirty. I wanted to roast it like a marshmallow in the courtyard BBQ, but you just know it’s probably made with lots of lead paints.” He gives me a challenging look. “Did you know that the symbol for lead is Pb? Its atomic number is 82. The word comes from Latin.”

I nod, letting out a mental sigh of relief and gratitude. “I do know that the symbol is Pb, but I admit I would have had no idea of the atomic number. But if you decide to see me, we can start by burning all of the toddler toys in a huge bonfire. I’ll bring gas masks so we don’t choke on the toxic fumes.” I grin and add, “I might not know the elemental properties of lead, but I can help protect you from brain damage.”

This makes him smile bigger, and I think he might want to laugh. But he doesn’t. “That’s funny,” he says, and his face looks happy. He waves his hands a few times, small gestures, like little butterflies.

He leans in closer and lowers his voice conspiratorially. “I can tell you’re not in this just to get to my dad,” he says. “We’ve had quite a few women say they wanted to help me out, but they were only trying to get closer to Gabriel. You don’t talk like them.” He narrows his eyes. “Or look like them.”

I’m pretty sure he means it as a compliment, even though it maybe didn’t come out quite that way. “Well, I’m just unique that way,” I say. “It’s kind of my calling card. The hey, I’m not here to snag Michael’s dad look. Very popular these days, you know, in certain circles. I might even start a trend.” Then I add, “Also? I’m an actual certified therapist, I love working with kids, and I’m good at my job.” I smile.

“Because they’re usually models and stuff.” His face is blank. “That’s the kind of women who gravitate to him. His girlfriend, Arielle? She’s a model.” He bites his lip, and the look he gives me now is almost pleading.

I nod. “Got it. My orbital pull is not going to be sufficient to attract your progenitor.” I feel my face get hot. I know Gabriel and Lindsay can hear this.

He laughs now. “You’re smart.” He sounds surprised and pleased.

“Yeah. So are you.” Understatement of the year. “I just might be able to keep up with you if I brush off my calculus book,” I joke.

Michael stops laughing and gives me a shy smile, and I think he’s starting to like me. “If you really need help, I’m on partial differential equations. They’re easy. I think solving them is kind of like cracking a spy code.” Then he turns pink and looks down quickly before meeting my eyes again.

He touches his bald head along a hair-thin scar line and I see him looking at my cheek, at my own scar, which shows now that I’ve leaned forward to talk. I think he wants to ask, but he doesn’t. “Okay,” he announces. “You’re hired.”

I feel a presence behind me as a masculine voice rings out, a displeased voice, “That’s my decision to make, Michael.”

My eyes widen and I feel my cheeks flushing as I leap to my feet. Supermodels. I suck in my stomach and stand tall in my heels and fluff my curls. Maybe I’m no runway model, but I’m damn pretty, and I have nice curves. I have nothing to be ashamed of! Then I’m mad at myself for caring.

Michael rolls his eyes. “Calm down, Gabriel. She’s not murdering me. She didn’t even give me a Beanie Boo.” His voice is sarcastic. “And for that, I am sincerely grateful. I mean, since you parked me here with the Kindergarten Craptastics, I’ve been bored out of my skull. Oh. Too bad the cancer won’t leave my skull along with my sanity, right?”

“Michael.” Gabriel’s voice is tight. “That kind of language is inappropriate. We’ve talked about this—”

Michael turns his back. Gabriel doesn’t say anything, but I can feel the tension coming off him. He runs a hand through his dark hair and curses under his breath. “Fuck.” His green eyes are dark, and the frown makes me forget, for a second, about how handsome he is. When he folds his arms over his chest, I can see his muscles through the dress shirt, though, and I try not to gawk.

“May I talk to you out in the hallway?” I nod my head to the doorway and he scowls, follows me.

“Gabriel. Thank you for letting me meet Michael. I can tell he’s brilliant and creative and mature for his age.” I touch his arm and feel that spark again, and for a split second I think that there’s something in his eyes beyond frustration and irritation, something feral and dark, something just for me.

I pull back. “It seems that he’s feeling a lot of anger and confusion right now, and that it’s getting directed toward you and himself. I can help him. I’d love to work with him.” I feel the absolute need to work with Michael, more than any other child I’ve met.

Michael’s voice pipes up as he steps out to join us. “I like her, Dad.” He tilts his head and smirks. “If you hire her, I bet she could help me figure out how to stop cursing. And how to stop putting beetles in Arielle’s purse. Well, it was just the one time, but it was so rewarding that you just know I’m tempted to step up my game and order some Madagascar hissing cockroaches online. They’re relatively inexpensive, you know. And how to stop—”

Gabriel interrupts. “Michael. This doesn’t concern you. Go back with Lindsay. And why don’t you work on that essay, already, while the other kids are busy. Lindsay can help. It’s the perfect chance right now. Your tutor said this weekend is the last chance to rewrite it before you get a zero.”

Michael’s mouth drops open and so does mine and I speak without thinking. “This entirely concerns him. It couldn’t be more about him if it—if it were a T-rex come alive to eat all of North Carolina.”

Michael laughs. “I love Parasaurolophuses better than T-rexes. Actually, it couldn’t be more about me if it were an airplane full of pretty pink Barbies with glitter glue and,” he hesitates, shooting a sidelong glance at Gabriel, and continues, speeding up his words, “fucking ballet tutus on them that crashes into a pet food factory.”

“That’s enough.” Gabriel’s voice is steel. He points. “I don’t need your cursing or your backtalk.”

“Whatever.” Michael crosses his arms tight across his chest, but there’s something in the gesture that’s sad instead of mad, and tears sparkle in his eyes.

I want to help, but it’s clear that if I argue further with Gabriel, I will make things worse. I shouldn’t even have contradicted him! That’s absolutely forbidden in therapy 101. Never directly contradict the parents like that, so bluntly, even if they’re wrong. You need to have a professional approach at all times. Honest, but gentle. Never lie, but don’t be an asshole. Feeling are delicate.

I look Michael in the eye and say, “I hope we meet again.” I mean it, and I hope he can tell. I add, “You’re a cool boy.”

“I am?” The words come out of him with a force that surprises me. It’s like they’re pulled from him, an animal ripping another one apart. His face teeters on the edge of disaster.

“You’re more than cool. You’re smart and funny and brave. I like you.” I might never see this kid again, and if my words can help him climb one centimeter out of his own personal hell, then I’m going to pour them like water onto a blaze.

“Brave and smart because I fight cancer like a little champ?” His voice is sarcastic but I hear hope, too, a tiny reedy thread of it.

“Brave because you say what you’re thinking, and you’re honest enough to put your feelings out there. And clever because you mentally crashed a plane of Barbies into kibble. If I were a modern artist? I’d paint that and sell it and be the next Andy Warhol. Now that’s good thinking.”

Michael’s face is transformed as he laughs. He makes an airplane noise, then flattens his hand and zooms it down like it’s crashing. He laughs harder than my joke is funny, and I think maybe he’s laughing with relief and joy that someone gets him. And when he laughs, I see his father in his face. Something about Michael’s cheeks and eyes is handsome despite the swelling, and I see the man he’ll be. If he lives to get there.

That thought chills me and I feel like vomiting. It’s the part of my job that freezes off little bits of my soul, turning them black and gangrenous so I have to excise them. I just hope that I can help enough kids before my heart is shaved down to nothing.

“Maybe you can paint it yourself,” I offer. “Or work it into that school essay. Sometimes I think it’s fun to throw people off by doing exactly what they need, but adding in my own little twist. It’s like putting my own needle in the haystack and watching to see who finds it. So what’s your essay supposed to be about?” I look at Gabriel to see if he wants to stop this line of conversation, but he shrugs, gives me a “go ahead” gesture, so I look back at Michael, raise an eyebrow.

Michael stops laughing. “I’m supposed to write a story about what I’ll be doing in ten years. The teacher told me to redo it because my first try I drew a picture of a graveyard and my name on the stone.” He blinks. “It was just a joke! But she said it was morbid and that my sense of humor is inappropriate. Also, Lindsay is not, shall I say, gifted in the way of expository excellence. Just saying.” He crosses his arms.

I nod. “Okay. What if you wrote about, say, ten possibilities? Make a bunch of them funny ones. Like, you’re a famous artists who draws pictures of planes full of Barbie dolls. Maybe you’re a scientist who brings dinosaurs back to life. But include a few that you’d actually do if you could. If you put them both in, that could be fun. And you could totally sneak your humor in there without getting in trouble.”

“I love that idea. I’m going to do it. I’ll get started right now. This is going to be the best essay ever.” He smirks at Gabriel, trots back into the room and starts rummaging in a Transformers backpack. I sense real excitement in his tone, even though I assume that the predominant part of his exuberance is geared toward accepting any ideas that aren’t his father’s.

I shoot a look at Gabriel, and his expression is unreadable, but his hands—they’re clenched into fists, and the knuckles are white. He looks away and speaks. “You’re hired. On a temporary basis. When we meet next week, it will be to discuss time frame and details. Call me tomorrow morning, please?”

I nod, and he adds, “I have an information dossier prepared with Michael’s medical history and all the pertinent information, as well as a list of expectations I have from… therapy.” His voice is just the slightest bit contemptuous, but I think I hear hope as well.

“Okay. That sounds great.” I give him a genuine smile, and my heart leaps with joy that I get to keep working with Michael. I can’t say why, but this kid is already wound into my heart, melted into me in a way that feels good.  And the thought of meeting with Gabriel somehow makes a different kind of spark in my body, one that is more of a lazy warmth and a tingling spatter of excitement.

The echo of heels has me glancing back down the hallway. A statuesque woman walks toward us with intent, her movements sinuous and loose, on a runway. She’s the sylph from earlier, the one decorating his arm like a Tiffany masterpiece dripping with diamonds. Her arms have that lanky length, and shoulders and elbows, and her hips pop and sway with each step. Her dress is poured onto her, silver honey, a wrapper that begs to be undone, because it hits at the sweet spot of thigh and pulls your eye up and along her curves. Her hair is long and flowing, a golden brown mane, and her face is pure Botticelli.

She goes right up to Gabriel and folds into his arms. Her kiss is personal, and I step back, an interloper. “Gabe, they’re about to do the Community Donors presentation in ten minutes and I really want you to be there to hear me accept my award.” She smiles into his face.

He touches her bare arm. “Of course. I just need to finish up a few things here.” His voice goes from warm to business, and I’m irritated on Michael’s behalf that his father uses such a cool tone to discuss him and his issues.

She looks at me but doesn’t ask for an introduction; instead, she stands next to Gabriel and entwines their fingers. “I booked our usual resort for next weekend,” she murmurs into his ear, and only then does she put her glance on me. “I’m Arielle,” she announces, extending her hand like a favor. Her smile is warm, but I’m not 100% sure that it goes all the way to her eyes. It sort of looks like it does. Maybe it does?

Nope. It does not. She just gave me a tiny smirk as she looked me up and down, and that’s all I need to know about her. “I’m Shai.” I don’t bother with “nice to meet you,” because—honestly—it isn’t.

“Shai is going to work with Michael on a temporary basis,” Gabriel says. “She’s a therapist with Frazier.” He gives me a smile. Arielle’s eyes follow, and her hand tightens on his forearm. Her nails are perfect.

“Oh! How wonderful!” Her voice sounds so genuine. “You’re such a thoughtful father, always getting him the things he needs. Like this massive playdate opportunity, with kids of the donors. I admire that about you.” She smiles up at him and touches his cheek. “I’m so glad we’ll get the chance to have a private getaway. You definitely need to relax after all the hard work you put in at home. Recharge.”

He doesn’t respond to that, but checks his watch. “Lindsay, can you please take Shai to get the info packet? Arielle, let’s head back now. I need to catch Masterson before your award.” He turns to me. “Thank you, Shai. I appreciate your willingness to work with my son.”

He takes my hand again and nods, and even though Arielle is draped along him, a Prada anaconda, my heart hammers a tune out in my chest, a few sudden notes of surprise and desire, at the touch. I keep my expression even as I smile and walk away.

At the top of the staircase I look back at him, and flush—he’s watching me. I duck my head, then straighten up. I give him a small wave with the fingers of my right hand, and smile. Then I do the airplane crashing motion that Michael did.

Arielle is talking into his ear, but he’s still looking at me. Before I turn, I see him tilt his head toward me and give me a quick one-wave motion with his hand. And I think I see the briefest hint of a smile.

 

I hope you enjoyed the excerpt.  This is my favorite book so far and I’m excited to share it with you.  It’s going to be on Amazon and KU, and the links are here. The pre-order price (which will last through the first few days of sale) is $0.99 in the US and £0.99 in the UK, so grab it now before it goes back to $3.99.

Amazon US

Amazon UK

My gorgeous cover was created by Sarah Hansen from Okay Creations, whose work is so far beyond “okay” that it reaches the realm of fantastic.  I’m in awe!

Thanks and happy reading. XOXO, Alexis

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Rough Around the Soul

Maria Monroe’s got a sexy TABOO romance novel coming out on April 18. Continue reading for all the details as well as a sexy sample!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gritty. Sexy. Taboo.

Melanie Cannon is troubled, desperate, and only eighteen. Taking the fall for a friend, she’s forced into a drug education class, which she expects to be boring as hell. Until Detective Jake Beck walks in as her instructor.

Jake knows it’s a mistake to get involved with a high school senior.

But their passion is undeniable.
Their bond is the kind that lasts forever.
Their connection is more than just lust.

Jake’s willing to risk it all—even when harsh betrayal and ugly secrets threaten everything.

Sample: 

She sits up straight and grins, looking straight into my eyes. “Can I have another beer?”

Gazing right at each other sends a spark straight to my groin. “I shouldn’t have let you drink the first one.”

She darts out an arm and grabs my bottle, swigging, and setting it back down with a now what? look in her eyes. This is definitely not a game I should play. But it’s hard to resist the challenge I see when I look at her, red lips holding back a grin as she stares hard, unblinking.

I take a deep breath, hoping to keep my wits, and shake my head. “Get your stuff. I’m taking you home.”

With a scowl, she gets up and heads to the bathroom. A few seconds later she goes into the living room, still dressed in my sweats, her clothes in hand.

I grab a plastic grocery bag from the cabinet and bring it to her. “You can put your clothes in here. Keep the sweats.”

“I couldn’t.” Her voice is lower than usual. Throaty. She’s up to something as she holds my gaze with those hazel eyes, grinning at me.

“It’s not a problem.”

“I should really return them now.” She grasps the bottom hem of the sweatshirt and lifts it up, slowly. Slow enough, in fact, for me to stop her, but I’m frozen.

I can’t take my eyes off the silky expanse of stomach she reveals, slim and tight. I suck in a breath when I see she’s not wearing a bra. In one final movement she pulls the shirt up and over her head, tossing it at me.

“Think fast,” she says.

I barely catch it, and still I’m too stunned to move as she stands before me in only my baggy sweatpants. I’ve seen her naked before, but it’s as exciting now as the first time to see her topless, her perfect round breasts tipped with hard, pink nipples. I close my eyes briefly, imagining my tongue on them. Remembering my tongue on them.

“Melanie.” There’s warning in my voice, but desire too. I can’t hide it. I clutch the sweatshirt as I watch, transfixed, while Melanie’s hands move to the waistband of the pants.

Her hair is almost dry now, and it falls across her chest, partially obscuring her tits. How I want to push it aside, stroke her neck, take her nipple between my fingers.

I need to stop her. Stop this. But I’m unable to move as she slowly—achingly slowly—pushes the sweatpants down. And, fuck me, she’s not wearing panties. Her eyes meet mine, unblinking, as she pushes them all the way to floor and steps out of them.

She bends and picks them up, then makes her way to where I stand, hard as fuck, watching her.

“Here.” She holds them out to me.

“You need to get dressed,” I murmur.

But her breasts are pressed up against my chest, and through my jeans I swear I can feel the warmth from between her legs. So when she whispers, “Just one kiss,” I cave and drop the clothes I’m holding.

I want to devour her. I want to taste every single inch of her. She’s so beautiful and clean and ready. Her lips are smoother than I remember, her tongue more demanding, and when I clutch her naked ass, drawing her closer to me, I know I’m fucking lost.

Rough Around the Soul will be available on Amazon on April 18!

Add it to your TBR list on Goodreads

 

 

New! Menage Spanking Romance from Maria Monroe

Maria Monroe has a hot new spanking romance published by Stormy Night Publications! Check out the sexy cover and blurb right here:

keptOver the years since a series of catastrophic natural disasters left most of the planet in ruins, those who survived have returned to a much more primitive way of life. In this harsh world, men fight to protect what remains of humanity while women care for their homes, obey their husbands, and bear children to rebuild civilization.

After twenty-year-old Lara loses her mother and brother in an attack by a hostile tribe, she disguises herself as a solder and goes off to fight in the hopes of avenging her family, but when her deception is discovered she finds herself in deep trouble. To avoid banishment, she must spend three months as the prisoner of the village leaders, Commander Rex and Commander Tye, during which time she will be required to submit to them in any way they demand.

Her captors plan to make sure that Lana is taught a lesson she will never forget, and soon she is blushing with shame as her bottom is thoroughly punished, both inside and out. The humiliating chastisement is only the beginning, however, and when the two handsome, dominant warriors show her all the ways in which a man can enjoy a woman she is left begging for more. But when she learns of a dire threat to the village, can she convince Rex and Tye to heed her warnings or will she be forced to take matters into her own hands?

Publisher’s Note: Kept by the Commanders includes spankings, sexual scenes including threesomes, and elements of BDSM. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.

Buy Kept by the Commanders now!

 

The Gunslinger’s Woman by Kelly Dawson *New Release!*

Greetings! It’s Alexis Alvarez here, and my friend Kelly Dawson is visiting with some excerpts from her smokin’ hot new spanky romance, The Gunslinger’s Woman.  Please keep reading for a sexy excerpt or two…

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A hardened gunslinger, a sassy woman. Is his quick draw enough to keep her safe?

Amazon Buy Link: https://goo.gl/ercXLQ

Blurb:

The last thing nineteen-year-old Jeannie Cooper wants is to be a prim and proper lady, so when her older brothers try to send her off to finishing school she runs away from the family ranch to keep them from putting her on the train to Boston. She plans to hide out on the prairie and return in a few days, but things go horribly wrong when she stumbles upon the infamous Mullins gang.

Danny Coulter is a hardened gunslinger with more than enough enemies already, but when he sees a beautiful young woman held captive by outlaws his conscience forces him into action. Rescuing Jeannie turns out to be only the beginning of his troubles, however. Her sass and defiance quickly test the limits of his patience as he endeavors to get her home safely, and before long he is left with little choice but to take her over his knee for a sound spanking.

Though Danny’s firm-handed discipline leaves her bottom sore and her cheeks blushing, Jeannie is nonetheless excited when her brothers offer him a job at the ranch. Soon he is courting her in earnest, and after a local busybody witnesses him giving Jeannie the first bare-bottom spanking of her life, Danny proposes marriage to avoid a scandal. But with the Mullins gang out for revenge, will his quick draw be enough to protect his woman?

Publisher’s Note: The Gunslinger’s Woman includes sexual scenes and spankings. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.

Excerpt 1:

She reached for his gun, to remove it from the holster, so she could wipe it clean, then she froze as she remembered exactly what Danny was. He was a gunfighter. A killer. Entirely the wrong type of man to be lusting after. Danny didn’t wear a gun just for protection, as she and her brothers sometimes did; his guns were a part of him. They defined him. Without his guns, Danny Coulter, the fastest gun in the west, would be nothing.

            “Leave it.” His command was hoarse, there was pain in his voice, but there was no denying the dominant manner in which it was said. “You bandage me up, I’ll clean my gun. Nobody touches my guns.”

            “It won’t take long to clean it.”

            “I said leave it.” His fingers took hold of her chin then, and he tilted her face up to look at him. “You know what will happen if you disobey me.” His threat rumbled in her ear, sending waves of electricity through her. Yes, she knew exactly what would happen. Her buttocks clenched again, involuntarily, at the thought, and she held her breath. The air was too thick to breathe again. She could feel her face flushing as the waves of electricity surging through her reached that aching juncture between her thighs.

            “You’re hurt,” she pointed out.

            He smiled in spite of the pain, his eyes crinkling up at the corners as he looked down at her. “Not too hurt to spank a naughty girl who disobeys.” As if to prove his point, he drew back his hand and smacked her bottom, reigniting the burn       Her eyes widened in shock as she reached back to rub out the sting. Hurt or not, his hard hand was still strong. She felt a spasm right in her very core at his touch. His dominance turned her insides to mush.

            The hand that had smacked her returned to her chin and he tilted her face sideways slightly so he could whisper huskily in her ear. “So leave my guns alone.”

            “Yes sir,” she breathed.

Excerpt 2:

She gasped as Danny’s huge, hard hand connected with her bottom, the force of the swat reverberating through her. His hand landed again and she gritted her teeth against the pain, determined not to cry out, lest the townsfolk hear her.

            “You need to be taught a lesson in manners, and in controlling your temper,” Danny scolded, punctuating his words with another fiery swat.

            Jeannie hissed at the fire that tore through her backside, unable to believe that someone who had been half dead just two days ago was smacking her so thoroughly now. She straightened and stood up as he removed his hand from between her shoulder blades, relieved that it was over so soon.

            “No, stay there, this isn’t finished. Take down your pants – you’re going to get this spanking on the bare.”

            “No!” Jeannie gasped, horrified. “You can’t!”

            “I’m too sore to spank you hard enough to have much of an impact,” Danny said. “So it’s either your bare behind, or I use my belt. What’s it to be?”

            What a choice. Jeannie groaned. “It’s having an impact, believe me!” she cried. “It’s hurting a lot!”

            Danny looked at her sternly, his dark gaze smouldering as he fixed his eyes on hers, sending electricity rippling down her spine. His stern stare sent heat to her very core. “What’s it to be?” he asked softly, dangerously. “Will you take down your pants or am I taking off my belt?”

            The sting Danny’s hand was inflicting through her pants was bad enough, no way did she want to feel it on her bare skin. But his belt? She shuddered at the thought of the leather slapping against her bottom. Even through her heavy canvas pants, she knew it would hurt. The sting in her bottom contradicted his claim that he couldn’t spank her very hard at the moment due to his injury – the thought of his belt against her tender bottom truly scared her.

            “I’ll pull my pants down,” she mumbled, her face flushing red with embarrassment. She looked at the ground, hoping Danny wouldn’t see the shame flooding through her.

            “Go on then,” he urged her.

            Her fingers were shaking as she fumbled with the buttons on her pants, undoing them slowly then pushing them down to her knees. She tugged her short lace drawers down too – the only concession she made to femininity. She shivered as the cool air rippled across her bare skin, kissing her with a chilly breeze. She kept her back to Danny, trying to keep her most intimate places hidden from his view. She was mortified. But despite her shame, she could feel a slickness between her legs that wasn’t there before, and a tingling ache that left her wanting.

            “Put your hands back on the wagon and bend over, just as you were before.”

            She shook her head. I can’t do this. Panic rose up within her. Maybe she couldn’t escape from her punishment, but neither could she participate in it. If Danny wanted her bent over, he’d have to put her in that position.

            Danny’s hand went to his waist. “Do I need to take off my belt?” He looked at her sternly, one eyebrow raised, his dark eyes flashing with impatience.

            Inhaling sharply, she shook her head furiously and forced herself to obey. She placed first one hand on the side of the wagon and then the other, fighting to calm her racing heart.

            “Good, now bend over.”

            Danny’s voice was smooth, a low rumble that sent sparks through her. His hand on the back of her neck, pushing her down, gave her the strength she needed to position herself as he demanded, and she took comfort in the presence of his restraining hand.

            The first smack of his hard, rough hand against her bare skin took her breath away. It stung so much more without the protection of her pants. Never had she been spanked on her bare bottom before, and the indignity of it was almost as intolerable as the pain. A second slap followed quickly after the first, and the third one made her cry out.

            “Unless you want the townsfolk to witness your spanking, I suggest you keep quiet,” Danny admonished quietly. “You earned this spanking, now you can stand there and take it.”

Author Bio:

Kelly Dawson loves anything to do with horses, rodeos and cowboys, and loves to get lost in a good book – preferably one containing spanking!

A life-long closet-spanko, Kelly started writing spanking stories on every spare scrap of paper in the house as a child. So when she discovered the internet and spanking romance along with it, she was most excited. But it took her a good decade of devouring these stories before she got up the courage to submit her own. And now, here she is, 7 books later, with a plethora of ideas still to write!

She lives literally at the bottom of the world in the South Island of New Zealand, with her husband, four kids, a dog and a cat.

Author Links:

My blog: http://www.kellydawsonauthor.blogspot.co.nz/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008980697756

Google+: https://www.google.com/+KellyDawsonauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KELLYDAWSONauth

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kellydawsonau/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13257528.Kelly_Dawson

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/kellydawson

Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/bRukkv

 Thanks for Reading! XOXO, Alexis

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Because Beards * Cover Reveal *

Greetings authors! Maria, Adrienne and I have a wonderful new book to tell you about: Because Beards, an anthology that will donate all our profits to The Movember Foundation. The Movember Foundation funds prostate cancer research and support as well as other men’s health initiatives.  We all love reading stories about sexy heroes.  Join with us to help support the Movember Foundation, a group that works to keep our real-life men safe, healthy & strong.  XOXO

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  • Title: Because Beards
  • Genre: Anthology, Romance
  • Cover Design: Jessica Hildreth
  • Photographer: Wander Aguiar, Wander Aguiar Photography
  • Cover Model: Jacob Rodney
  • Charity Donations To: The Movember Foundation
  • Release Date: November 1, 2016

Amazon: myBook.to/BecauseBeards
iBooks: http://tinyurl.com/zuse33r
Nook: http://tinyurl.com/jzlwv6s
Kobo: http://tinyurl.com/ztajbhj

Synopsis
Be it a little scruff or a full length beard, there’s nothing more attractive than a man with a well-groomed face. Masculine. Powerful. Sexy. Devoted. Lose yourself in this tantalizing collection of original short stories by your favorite romance authors in support of a great cause. Hipster CEO, bartender, best friend, baseball player—just to name a few—these men all have one thing in common: they’re bearded for your pleasure and deliver one hell of a happy ever after.
All proceeds from this anthology will be donated to The Movember Foundation, an organization that supports charities in the research and treatment of prostate and testicular cancer as well as other men’s health initiatives.

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Written by Alexis Alvarez, Faith Andrews, M. Andrews, Jeannine Colette, Hayley Faiman, Angelita Gill, Ace Gray, Ruthie Henrick, Scott Hildreth, Evie Lauren, Jerica MacMillan, R.C. Martin, Emmanuelle de Maupassant, Leslie McAdam, Maria Monroe, Adrienne Perry, J. Quist, Renee Rose, Kacey Shea, Martha Sweeney, and Tom Sweeney.

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#becausebeards #preorder #movember

We’re so excited about our sexy heroes.

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Stay tuned for longer excerpts…coming soon! Our release date is November 1st.

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It’s only 99 cents, it’s for a good cause, and it’s full of super sexy stories.  Thanks so much for your support. Happy reading! XOXO

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WIP It Up with Casey’s Choice **New Release**

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Greetings, everyone!  It’s Alexis Alvarez for this week’s WIP It Up Blog hop, here to tell you about Casey’s Choice, my brand new release. It’s a full length romance with kink and an HEA.  I’m proud of this book. I think it’s one of my best ones yet, and I enjoyed working in themes of art, self-knowledge, and choice.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.  Thanks.

caseyschoice-cover-800-sizeBlurb:When trendy young artist Casey Reilly sneaks into Chicago’s most exclusive BDSM club under a fake name, she soon finds herself lying naked over the lap of handsome billionaire Jax Hunter as he gives her the first spanking of her life. Hunter’s dominance excites Casey more than anything ever has before, but after discovering her deception he has difficulty forgiving her, even after she accepts a thorough, humiliating punishment.

Hunter’s cold response to the truth about her identity leaves Casey dejected, but Max Abbott–one of the most respected doms at the club–quickly sets about mending her broken heart. Max mixes firm-handed discipline with gentle reassurance in way that she finds deeply comforting, and his masterful lovemaking brings her pleasure beyond her wildest dreams, but when Hunter tries to win her back will Casey be ready to make the most important choice of her life?

Publisher’s Note: Casey’s Choice includes spankings and sexual scenes. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.

Buy Links:

Amazon US:   

Amazon UK:

divider 1Excerpt 1:

“Good.” He smiled.  “Walk over to the dresser and open the second drawer.  Take out the black wooden hairbrush. Bring it here.”

She gasped. “A – what? You’re going to use that on me?”

“Yes, I am. And you’re going to like it.” He touched her chin. “Don’t argue, Sofia.”

“But I-”

“It will hurt, but I won’t harm you. In here, with me, your obedience is required.  Hesitation and arguments will result in longer discipline. That’s the point – the way I’ll train you to my desires.”

“What if I don’t want to be trained.” But a surge of moisture between her legs told her otherwise.

“Then you wouldn’t be here, would you?” His voice held a smile. “Fetch the brown leather crop in addition to the hairbrush. You’ll get a taste of that for arguing with me and forgetting to say Sir.”

Excerpt 2:

“This,” he announced, “is for last night.  It’s an example of punishment, the kind you might not like as much.  This is for your attitude.  I’m going to spank you, you’re going to take it without complaint, and you’re not going to come. At least, not here. After you go home, I can’t control what you do.”  But then he stepped forward, grabbed her neck, and whispered into her ear, “Yet,” and the mere idea of his control, and the feel of his lips on her skin, made her moan out. “God,  Hunter.”

Excerpt 3:

But the thing with almost perfect was that it started to wear away at you like soft sand-paper, without your slightest notice, and then one day you woke up to find a gaping wound in your soul.  She couldn’t bear to settle now and deal with that gash later, and need to start all over. Better to feel the pain now, leaving herself open and ready for the person that made the almost disappear and turn into always.

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Thanks, and  happy reading!   XOXO, Alexis

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This is a blog hop, and there are many talented authors participating.  Find their links below to read more sexy excerpts!

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New Release – Casey’s Choice from Alexis Alvarez

Saturday+SpankingsGreetings! It’s Alexis  Alvarez here with a brand new release called Casey’s Choice, which released from Stormy Night Publications today.  It’s a kinky, spanky romance with sex, expensive art,  passion, punishment and love.

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Blurb:

When trendy young artist Casey Reilly sneaks into Chicago’s most exclusive club under a fake name, it isn’t long before two rich, handsome men are vying for her attention. The club’s owner, billionaire Jax Hunter, is the first to make his move, but when he discovers her deception he has difficulty forgiving Casey.

After Hunter’s cold response to the truth about Casey’s identity leaves her dejected, Max Abbott doesn’t waste time in stepping in to pick up the pieces, and he promptly gets to work on mending her broken heart. But when Hunter decides to try to win her back, Casey will have to make the most important choice of her life.

 

Excerpt:

“This,” he announced, “is for last night.  It’s an example of punishment, the kind you might not like as much.  This is for your attitude.  I’m going to spank you, you’re going to take it without complaint, and you’re not going to come. At least, not here. After you go home, I can’t control what you do.”  But then he stepped forward, grabbed her neck, and whispered into her ear, “Yet,” and the mere idea of his control, and the feel of his lips on her skin, made her moan out. “God,  Hunter.”

Buy Links:

Amazon US:   

Amazon UK:

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Please stop by and visit all of the other talented authors in the blog hop.

Thanks, and happy reading! XOXO, Alexis

 

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My Sexy Saturday – Casey’s Choice *New Release*

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Greetings, Sexy Saturday friends! It’s Alexis Alvarez with a brand new erotic/kinky romance novel, Casey’s Choice. It’s sexy and alluring and dirty as hell, and it just released from Stormy Night Publications.  I know you’re going to love it.

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Blurb: When Trendy young artist Casey Reilly sneaks into Chicago’s most exclusive club under a fake name, it isn’t long before two rich, handsome men are vying for her attention. The club’s owner, billionaire Jax Hunter, is the first to make his move, but when he discovers her deception he has difficulty forgiving Casey.

After Hunter’s cold response to the truth about Casey’s identity leaves her dejected, Max Abbott doesn’t waste time in stepping in to pick up the pieces, and he promptly gets to work on mending her broken heart. But when Hunter decides to try to win her back, Casey will have to make the most important choice of her life.

Excerpt:

“Good.” He smiled.  “Walk over to the dresser and open the second drawer.  Take out the black wooden hairbrush. Bring it here.”

She gasped. “A – what? You’re going to use that on me?”

“Yes, I am. And you’re going to like it.” He touched her chin. “Don’t argue, Sofia.”

“But I-”

“It will hurt, but I won’t harm you. In here, with me, your obedience is required.  Hesitation and arguments will result in longer discipline. That’s the point – the way I’ll train you to my desires.”

“What if I don’t want to be trained.” But a surge of moisture between her legs told her otherwise.

“Then you wouldn’t be here, would you?” His voice held a smile. “Fetch the brown leather crop in addition to the hairbrush. You’ll get a taste of that for arguing with me and forgetting to say Sir.”

Buy Links:

Amazon US:   

Amazon UK:

caseys-choice-4Please visit the other authors in this blog hop. You can find them below.

Thanks and happy reading! XOXO, Alexis

 

 

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New from Jane Henry & Maisy Archer!

Greetings! It’s Alexis Alvarez here with an excerpt from a new release. Two of my author friends have a new spanky book out, and I’d like to tell you a little bit about it. It’s called Her Protector, and if you like kinky, spanky books with heart, you’re going to love it.

her protector

About Her Protector

Tony Angelico thinks he knows all about Dominants and submissives. After all, his two brothers are unapologetic Dominants with long-term submissive partners. Tony also knows that Tessa, the woman who works for him… the one girl he can’t get out of his mind… is interested in the lifestyle. But he wants no part of bossing women around, let alone dominating them.

Tessa Damon craves the attention and discipline of a strong, dominant alpha male, but she’s not been able to find what she’s looking for. She’s attracted to Tony, and can’t help fantasizing about being taken over his knee for a sound spanking. She longs for the release and comfort of submitting to a man she can trust.

The night Tony decides to give it a shot, everything changes. But can Tessa be healed from her abusive past, and find that she’s worthy of love? Can they find a path that works for both of them? Will Tony finally understand that there is no one definition to cover every nuance of what being a Dominant means – not when his heart and soul know that he wants nothing more than to assume the role of Tessa’s protector?

DISCLAIMER: This book contains explicit themes, including the spanking of adult women and other BDSM scenarios. The book also includes a self-harm scene involving “cutting”. If such material is likely to offend or trigger you in some way, please do not read.

Excerpt

“Tell me what you need,” he said, his voice so gentle, it seemed almost ironic he was talking about spanking her. His gentleness made the tears threaten to fall again, her throat clogged with them. She’d been bossed around and tied up, ordered into submission and whipped, but never had any of the men she was with asked her not only what she wanted, but what she needed.

“A real spanking,” she whispered. “One that hurts. I want to feel your strength.”

One of his hands wrapped around her waist, and her hand instinctively flew back. He grasped it, holding her hand, a gesture that was at once intimate and assuring, pressing her hand, engulfed in his large one, into the small of her back as the first smack of his hand fell. Her panties were thin and his hand large; the sting from the single swat hurt more than she’d expected.

“Ow,” she said in a little voice.

“Too hard?” he asked, squeezing her hand in the small of her back.

“Noooo, no no no, please, Tony,” she said. “Not too hard. That’s perfect.”

Another sound smack jolted her, and now he was spanking her in earnest, his palm rising and descending, and the heat of each spank warmed her skin, beginning with a jolt of pain that quickly spread to warmth, and her clit zinged with each stroke…

Buy Her Protector:

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

BIOS:

Jane Henry

Jane has been writing since her early teens, dabbling in short stories and poetry. When she married and began having children, her pen was laid to rest for several years, until the National Novel Writing Challenge (NaNoWriMo) in 2010 awakened in her the desire to write again. That year, she wrote her first novel, and has been writing ever since. In 2012, she became interested in the d/s lifestyle, and has discovered her love for writing romance with a d/s twist. With a houseful of children, she finds time to write in the early hours of the morning, squirreled away with a laptop, blanket, and cup of hot coffee. Years ago, she heard the wise advice, “Write the book you want to read,” and has taken it to heart. She sincerely hopes you also enjoy the books she likes to read.

Maisy Archer

 Maisy is an unabashed book nerd who has been in love with romance since reading her first Julie Garwood novel at the tender age of 12. After a decade as a technical writer, she finally made the leap into writing fiction several years ago and has never looked back. Like her other great loves – coffee, caramel, beach vacations, yoga pants, and her amazing family – her love of words has only continued to grow… in a manner inversely proportional to her love of exercise, house cleaning, and large social gatherings. She loves to hear from fellow romance lovers, and is always on the hunt for her next great read.

Follow us!

Maisy Archer:

Facebook

Twitter

Maisy’s Amazon Author Page

Jane Henry:

Facebook

Twitter

Jane’s Amazon Author Page

Jane and Maisy’s Blog

Thanks for reading, and best of luck to you, Jane and Maisy, on the new release! Congrats.  🙂

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Capturing Kate – NEW! ***

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Dear readers, greetings from Alexis, and welcome to WIP it up Wednesday! This is a blog hop where authors share an excerpt from their steamy, kinky and/or spanky novels.  I recently released Capturing Kate from Stormy Night Publications, and I’m excited to share my blurb and a snippet of the book with you. 

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Excerpt:

“Let’s get one thing straight,” Sloan told her. “I’m in charge right now. Not you. You’re going to do what I say, when I say it, and that will save both of our lives.”

“What will you do if I don’t?”

He looked at her for a long second, and Kate almost thought he was going to grab her and throw her on the bed and kiss her senseless. She’d felt a rush of attraction to him in the coffee shop, and despite the situation, it was still there. She was sure she saw the same desire in his face. Or maybe that’s what she wanted, and because of it, she saw the reflection of her need in his eyes. Still, something burned there, something hot and bright and dangerous.

He tilted his head. “What do you think I should do?” His voice was stern and a little husky.

She sucked in her breath. “What do I think?” Her face grew hot and she put a hand to her cheek. “I—I…”

She wanted something bad and dirty, something that had nothing to do with the awful situation at hand. She wanted what she felt back in the coffee shop, before any of this, when he was a handsome, broad-shouldered man with strong hands and a sexy mouth. She didn’t know why these feeling were here, pushing aside the anxiety and fear and anger. But there they were, bold and strong.

“I think…” There was no way to say he needed to fuck her brains out, drive into her body and fill her so far up with pleasure that all of the pain and fear had nowhere to go but out. She couldn’t ask him to put his tongue into her mouth and his dick into her body and his strength into her soul, to seal up her cracks with his presence, his movements, his touch. That he needed to be a living poem, writing the words of salvation and relief into her skin with his skin, that he needed to touch every inch of her body with every centimeter of his until all she could think of was nothing, nothing, blessed nothing.

So she said nothing. But she couldn’t look away. He read her face with his eyes, she thought, learning it, memorizing it, figuring something out. Surely he couldn’t see her thoughts from her expressions?

He smiled, nodded, as if he was right about something. Then he raised one eyebrow. “If it’s necessary, I’ll tie you back up, like I said. But first, I’ll do something else.”

“What—else?” She whispered the words, suddenly sure he had read her mind and knew exactly what she wanted from him, and the thought made her burn.

“I’ll turn you over my lap and spank you so hard that you won’t sit comfortably all day tomorrow.” He pierced her with his gaze.

“You can’t do that!” She jumped to her feet, stepping back, alarm bells tripping over the butterflies in her belly. “You said you weren’t going to torture me!” This wasn’t what she had in mind—

“A spanking’s not torture. In fact, it can even be a lot of fun, under the right circumstances.” He flexed the fingers of one hand. “But if I need to punish you, it’s definitely going to hurt. No permanent injuries, but you’ll have a thoroughly sore ass. And then you’ll listen.”

“No! I won’t let you.”

“Oh, you won’t?” He raised one eyebrow and stepped forward and her heart accelerated in her chest. For some reason, though, she also felt spires of desire flow through her abdomen. The thought of those strong hands on her naked ass made her blush. “I don’t think you have a choice.”

 

Blurb:

Twenty-eight-year-old journalist Kate Klein knew reporting on a powerful businessman’s disregard for the safety of the local water supply was a dangerous assignment, but she is nonetheless shocked when she is suddenly taken captive, bound, and brought to a remote cabin.

Her gruff yet undeniably handsome captor turns out to be a man named Sloan who claims he is an undercover FBI agent investigating the same organization she has been trying to expose. Kate is unsure whether Sloan can be trusted, but he makes it clear that he plans to do whatever is necessary to protect her, whether she likes it or not. If keeping her safe requires taking her over his knee for a stern punishment to ensure her obedience, then so be it.

When Kate keeps some critical information from Sloan, a long, hard spanking on her bare bottom quickly proves that his warning was not a bluff. To her surprise, however, the painful, embarrassing chastisement leaves Kate not only promising to be good but also yearning for Sloan to take her in his arms and claim her thoroughly.

Sloan’s skilled, dominant lovemaking is unlike anything Kate has ever experienced before, and she finds her desire for him growing more intense by the hour. But when something goes terribly wrong and the entire investigation is put in jeopardy, can Sloan prove to Kate that she is not just a means to an end for him?

Publisher’s Note: Capturing Kate is an erotic romance novel that includes spankings, sexual scenes, elements of BDSM, and more. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

 

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