Friday, October 3, 2014

Secrets With The Billionaire Available Today!!!

I'm so happy to announce the release of my latest e-book, Secrets With The Billionaire, from Evernight Publishing.

While vacationing on an island resort, ambitious news reporter Tim McInerny is surprised to see the reclusive techie billionaire, Connor Albright. It's clear from Connor's appearance that he's been ill, but Tim approaches him anyway, making clear that he'll write a story with or without Connor's cooperation. Still recovering from a heart attack and quintuple bypass surgery, Connor reluctantly agrees to the interview despite his fear the interview will wreck his corporation’s plans for the acquisition of an internet start-up. 

Though they each have their own agenda, it isn't long before professional considerations are thrown aside and Tim and Connor give in to their passion for each other. But their new relationship is threatened when Tim learns that his interview won't be published and that Connor knew about it all along. Both men are forced to choose which takes priority: their careers or their burgeoning relationship. 

And as I promised, here's an excerpt: 

But the reality of who Tim was and what brought him to Connor’s room in the first place caused Connor to extricate himself from the embrace and take a step back.
He watched as the expression on Tim’s face changed from one of desire to confusion. “What’s going on?”
“We can’t do this.” Connor shook his head, trying to shake off the lust-filled cobwebs clouding his better judgment. “You should go.”
Tim’s jaw tightened and he shoved his hands into his pockets, his frustration evident. “Is it because of your heart attack? Is there a medical reason we can’t continue?”
Actually, Connor’s heart was beating furiously at the moment, but it didn’t scare him. In fact, he hadn’t felt this alive and invigorated in months, even well before his heart attack. While he indulged in the occasional one-night stand, it had been a long, long time since anyone had turned Connor on this much. He wanted nothing more than to rip Tim’s clothes off and bury his dick in Tim’s ass as far as it would go.

But he’s a reporter, not a fuck-buddy, Connor reminded himself. Things needed to stay strictly professional between them. He’d exposed enough vulnerability to Tim by talking about the heart attack. Going to bed with him might result in a loss of control that Connor couldn’t let himself sacrifice.

 I'm really proud of this book and I hope you all enjoy it too.  :-)

Buy at Amazon or from the Evernight Publishing site.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Secrets With The Billionaire releases Friday!!!

I'm thrilled to share that my latest e-book, Secrets With The Billionaire, will be available this Friday!!  It's my first book with Evernight Publishing that's not part of their Romance On The Go line or included in an anthology.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my cover!!!  The contrast between the cold, stark boardroom and the hot, HOT men perfectly captures the 'opposites attract' chemistry of the heroes of my story, as shown in this blurb:

Tim McInerny, a reporter for The Philadelphia Chronicle, is on vacation when he sees Connor Albright, the reclusive techie billionaire.  It's clear from Connor's appearance that he's been ill, but Tim approaches him anyway, hoping to get an interview.  Connor reluctantly agrees to talk to the reporter once Tim makes clear that he'll write a story with or without Connor's cooperation.  It isn't long before professional considerations are thrown aside and the two men give in to their passion for each other.  But their new relationship is threatened when Time learns his interview won't be published and that Connor knew it all along.  Both men are forced to choose which takes priority: their careers or their burgeoning relationship.

Come back Friday, the day of the release (!!), when I'll share an excerpt from the story.  Hope to see you all here then!  :-)

Monday, September 29, 2014

H K Carlton talks Always Cambridge!!!

It's always a pleasure to welcome my friend and fellow author H K Carlton back to my blog.  As she approaches the end of her exciting series, Always Cambridge, H K and I spend a little time talking how the series started and what's coming up next.

NK:  Thanks so much for joining me.  I'm so excited to talk to you about Always Holly, the final book of your Always Cambridge series.  Before we talk about Always Holly, I'd like to ask about the beginning of the series.  I'll confess I'm asking for selfish reasons because writing a series is one of my writing career goals.  Did you know from the very beginning this was going to be a series or did it start as a standalone novel? 

HK: Thanks for having me Noelle. Perhaps Im not the best person to give advice on series writing, unless we can all learn from my mistakes. LOL

NK:  Oh stop! Always Cambridge is a great series and its part of the reason why Im interested in writing one of my own.  But go on...

HK:  Thank you so much! (blushing)
I fell into this one. It was one of those plots or story lines that chose me.

Keep in mind, when I began writing Always Cambridge, I was still only writing for myself. So in the very beginning stages, I never intended for anyone else to see it let alone read it. I have always writtenjotted things down for my own pleasure. But it got to the point where I had to write things down to get them out of my head. But once I did, it left room for other stories. I didnt have any set rules. I hadnt been introduced to editors or guidelines or formatting yet. I didnt know what I was doing. I just wrote; whatever came to my mind, it went down. In long hand on paper. I didnt even have a laptop at that point and trying to fight three school age children for a turn on the desktop PC was near impossible. I hadnt been published or even accepted for any of my other works, when the saga began. If memory serves me correctly, I had subbed Swap (an erotic romance) and You Found Me (historical romance), but had not yet heard back. And to that point had only experienced rejection letters. I had no idea if I even had the chops to sub let alone ever be published. But happily, by the time I finished the AC series, I had.

I never intended to write a series. Always Cambridge in its first incarnation was a standalone. But once I got to what I thought was THE END, I found out quickly, that it wasnt. I had more questions that needed to be answered, and I originally went back to satisfy my own curiosity. But when I returned to tie up the loose ends, every time I wound one up, there was just more and more. The story just kept evolving and growing and I went with it.

NK:  I never would have guessed that you hadnt intended Always Cambridge to be a series, but I can see what you mean about unanswered questions and loose ends.  Was there any one question or plot point that made you think, Oh, I think theres another book here?

HK:  The main one was I wanted to know precisely what Holly had been up to the six years that she and Randy were separated. The way it was the first time around, I just sort of glossed over the specifics of how Holly had come to the FBI, after shed deserted the family. And once I began to develop that line, Alex made his way into the story in a big way and became the voice of the second book, Running. But throughout the series, Alex is Hollys rock. Hes her sounding board, her consciousness, her voice of reason. Every time her world comes crashing down around her, when the dust clears, there is strong, capable, SSA Alex Orton, to save her from herself.

Also, the way Id left off in the first version of Always Cambridge, Holly and Randy escape into Witness Protection and that was the end. I thought the reader could make up their own minds and imaginations whether Holly and Randy made it without their enemies coming for them. But that wasnt good enough for me. I had to know what happened to them. And in developing that part of the story (and in conjunction with the Alex story line) the irresistible Victor Mayhue, reared his oh-so-lovely head, and Holly wasnt the only one that fell for him. The charming bad boy just kept coming at me and every time I tried to give Holly and Randy the HEA that had always been the entire premise for this story, Victor was there, telling me, it wasnt over. And he was right. It really showed me that the characters are really the ones who are in charge of things. The author is just the conduit and along for the ride.

And once the characters had all presented themselves and where they wanted to go, well, justice just had to prevail. Right?

NK:  One of things I like best about the Always Cambridge series is how each book is its own self contained story but you still maintain the continuity from the prior stories.  How difficult was it keep the balance between old plots and new ones?  I know that's the challenge of writing a series and I know it's what kind of scares me as I think about attempting it.

HK: This series is a proper saga, in which each new instalment begins precisely where the last ended. They might be self contained stories, but the books truly must be read in sequence. Once I realized it was going to be several books and that I was going to try and get it published, I tried to write the remainder as if it were a stand alonea giant one with over 300,000 words. What I found difficult was trying not to be too repetitive. Because it was a continuing saga, I didnt want to keep rehashing the same things, but I wanted to gently remind the reader where Holly was coming from and maybe why she was making the decisions she was. That it was all a product of her upbringing that drove her combined with her need to see justice done. In writing it like it was just one big book, I think kept the continuity needed to avoid too much repetition.

NK:  What was it specifically about Always Cambridge that intrigued you enough to create a world for these characters? 

HK:  I think what intrigued me enough to pursue this story was that in one way, I could relate to Holly on so many levels because in fact there is a lot of me in Holly, to a point. But on the other hand, there are other aspects of the story that I know absolutely nothing about and cannot even relate to. Especially the violence and brutality. I could draw a true parallel between truth and fiction. They say write what you know, which in a way, I did, but on the flip side, what do I know about mob-life or the FBI. What I know about the mob can be summed up between Goodfellas and the Godfather (which I have not even watched in its entirety) And as for the FBI, Im a diehard Criminal Minds fan. But I did do a tiny bit of research on the Bureau when I realized this series was going to be published.

With this story, I could go anywhere I wished. There were no rules. And so different from anything I had created before. I wrote smut and historical. This was new and different and exciting.

NK: Since youre just wrapping up one series, I know this is the last question you want to hear, but Ill ask it anyway because Im annoying like that.  J   Do you think youll write another series? 

HK:  I already have, cause Im annoying like that, too. :p
Another one that was unintentional though. Last January, my beloved editor from MuseItUp, Susan, sent me a submission call for a new collection that MIU was exploring. Wild Darkness Callsan assortment  of short paranormal erotic romance stories. Susan was my editor on The Devil Take You (historical romance) and I jumped at the chance to work with her again. TDTY was an enormous project and I was so new to this stuff when she was given that mess. I can just imagine her head hitting the desk repeatedly when the poor woman was given the unenviable task of making that raw massive wordy manuscript flow. I knew the story was good, but man, it was chaotic. But she helped me make it something Im extremely proud of. Anyhoo, paranormal is not really my thing, although, I love time-travel novels (and penned one of those too) J (Shameless plug, Lost Time)

So, for this Dark short (oh and the word dark had to be incorporated into the title as part of the guideline requirements) I wrote about a couple who take part in one of those ghost-adventure, paranormal investigation type deals and end up being possessed by some randy spirits. And at the end of that story, (same type situation as the runaway train that was Always Cambridge) I found there was more to the story. I dont write small. Short stories dont work for me. I am way too wordy (as you can tell by this rambling piece). Needless to say this one op story turned into seven. And the first story in the Lustful Possession Series - Meet Me in the Dark, comes out later this year or early in the new year (not sure yet) but I dont have to tell you, Noelle, about uncertain release dates. (wink) But I threw all my favs into this one. It bends genres (which I love to do) and theres a little historical time-travel (book 3) along with the ghosties and we take a UK trip, mid-series. Not Scotland this time though, which is my usual destination of choice. J The stories were intended to be m/f, but there is also an m/m relationship that develops between some secondary characters which take over in the later books, then back to m/f to close it out. (for readers like me who dont mind reading any combination of coupling). But unlike the AC Series, which follows the same characters throughout, this story explores several completely different storylines and characters and does not conclude with the original couple.

NK:  Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on writing Always Cambridge.  Its a great series and I hope everyone reads the thrilling conclusion!

HK:  Thank you so much, Noelle. I can’t wait to find out where your muse takes you and your series. And you’ll have to promise me now, I get the exclusive at Pick a Genre! J

Follow the saga from the beginning Always Cambridge

Author Bio:

H K Carlton is a multi-published Canadian author of romance and its varied sub-genres including contemporary, paranormal, historical, time-travel and erotic.

H K’s Blog Pick a Genre Already

Monday, September 1, 2014

Great Review for The Billionaire's Network

I'm thrilled to share that my latest ebook, The Billionaire's Network, was reviewed by Rainbow Book Reviews and described as a "hot romance set in the cold world of business dealings."  Now, why couldn't I think of a snappy tag line like that? :-)  With all of the ebooks on the market, I'm grateful that Rainbow Book Reviews took the time to read my book and am even happier that the review was positive.  I appreciate any attention I can attract for my books, but have to say that good reviews make me feel better than negative ones.  :-)

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Billionaire's Network available today!

My latest release from Evernight Publishing, The Billionaire's Network, is available today!  I had a lot of fun writing this story and I hope you all have just as much fun (or more!) reading it.  Keep reading below for an excerpt....


 “Look,” Wes said. “It all happened a long time ago, and none of it matters now. I’m not holding any grudges, so there’s no need to worry about me starting trouble at NBS News. As far as everyone there will know, we’re former college roommates who shared an apartment for a year or two after graduation.”
Wes started towards the door, but stopped when he felt Rick’s hand on his shoulder. “Are you really able to walk away that easily? Seeing me again means nothing to you?”
Despite the shirt and suit jacket he wore, Wes could still feel the warmth that Rick’s palm generated. “Of course, it means something. We were an important part of each other’s lives for a long time, but that time has passed. I have no interest in attempting to make history repeat itself.”
Rick’s grip tightened on his shoulder to the point where Wes had no choice but to look up into the other man’s eyes. Though he was only a couple of inches shorter than Rick’s six foot, four inch frame, the difference in height seemed vast, which made Wes feel vulnerable. He took a step back, but Rick took a step forward, closing the gap between them so that their mouths were only inches apart.

Buy from Evernight Publishing or Amazon today!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Billionaire's Network cover revealed!

My latest book, The Billionaire's Network, is being released this Friday, July 25!  It's a short story for Evernight Publishing's Romance On The Go line.  Below is the gorgeous cover:

The heroes of my story are network news anchor Wes Henley and billionaire Rick Sheridan.  Former lovers, they are reunited when Rick buys the network where Wes works.  Though their breakup was a bitter one, it isn't long before Wes and Rick reignite their passion for each other.  However, their second chance at romance is threatened when Rick's plans for the network threatens the job security of Wes' colleagues.  Wes is forced to decide whether his love for Rick and hopes for their future together outweighs his dedication to his job and allegiance to his coworkers.

I can't wait until the release on Friday!  I'll post a reminder, along with an excerpt then.  :-)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Great Review for Trusting The Army Captain!

I'm happy to announce that Trusting The Army Captain, has just been reviewed by MM Good Book Reviews!  It's not easy attracting reviewers' attention since there are so many books competing for attention.  That's why I'm very grateful that a reviewer not only took the time to review a story of mine but to also give it a great review.  I hope you all check the review and the book! :-)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Author C.A. Szarek and Calculated Collision excerpt

I am so happy to welcome my fellow Totally Bound author, C.A. Szarek back to my blog and am thrilled that she's sharing an excerpt from her latest novel, Calculated Collision, the third book in the Crossing Forces series.  If you haven't yet gotten into this series, this would be a great time to start because you've been missing out!  Perhaps I'm biased because romantic suspense is one of my favorite genres to read, but this really is an exciting series and I can't wait for the next book to come out.  Below is a synopsis and excerpt from Calculated Collision as well as links to where you can purchase your very own copy.  :-)


Special Agent Lee Dawson has secrets. Secrets that forced her from Dallas to New York City in disgrace two years ago.

Dallas County Assistant District Attorney, Nate Crane, visits New York and witnesses the brutal murder of a friend. When Lee is assigned to the investigation, her personal and professional life collides. She can’t avoid the man she ditched six months ago.
She’s the one Nate can’t stop thinking about. The one he let get away. He’s determined to get her back, no matter what she thinks she wants. Being a witness in her case puts them close—and Nate intends to keep it that way.

After Nate’s attacked at a safe house, Lee knows there’s a leak – a dirty FBI agent working with the human trafficker her unit has been hunting for years.

Can Lee protect her witness and resist the heat between them or will she succumb to her desires and throw them both into danger?


Her heart hit overdrive and she shook her head. “Sorry I snapped at you.”

“It’s okay.” Nate came to her side and grabbed her hand.

She made the mistake of looking into his face and stilled, unable to pull her fingers out of his.
Their eyes locked and the words were on her tongue to order him to stop looking at her that way. Stop touching her. Stop everything. But when Nate lowered his head, Lee closed the distance between their mouths.

On a groan, she went to him, her breasts pushing into his chest even before she stretched to wrap her arms around his neck.

He deepened the kiss, rubbing his tongue against hers. Nate pulled her closer, squeezing her ass with both hands and rocking his pelvis against her. He was already hard, his erection evident, and Lee’s sex throbbed in response.

God, it’s been too long.

She moaned and kissed him harder. Lee rocked her hips into him, wanting him to know she wanted him as much as she ever had. Wanted him to read her mind. Know she was sorry for more than just snapping at him about things he didn’t know.

Lee cared about Nate.

Wait. No.

You can’t.

She put her hand to his chest and shoved. “No, Nate. I’m not doing this.” Lee panted, her whole body a live wire for him. He still lit her up from the inside out.

With one kiss. Made her feel more than any man ever had.

Kissing him was the same— No, it was better. Desire unfurled low and hot, and she struggled to breathe. To forget. Fought the urge to move back to him and let him take her mouth again.

“Why?” Nate put his hand on the wall as if he needed to steady himself. His chest heaved as he sucked in air. His cheeks were flushed and his mouth open.

She shivered when his tongue darted out to moisten his bottom lip. Lee swallowed hard. She shook her head. “Just…not going there.”

“Why, Lee?” He grabbed her shoulders, but he didn’t hurt or scare her.

Nate forced her backwards until she hit the wall outside the kitchen. He pressed forward, hazel eyes boring into her. He dipped his head low as if he would kiss her again, but stopped, lips hovering millimetres over hers.

Lee gasped, her heart kicking up a notch. “It’s…different.” The words were forced, cracked.
“How?” His warm breath was minty, tickling her mouth, her cheeks.

Her lips parted of their own accord and she struggled for coherent thought. He was too close, and she wanted him. Burned for him. “H-h-ow?” The repeated word fell out of her mouth fragmented.

Nate put one palm flat to the wall above her head, and the other at her waist. His chest wasn’t touching her breasts like it had been when he’d kissed her, but she could feel every inch of his body as if they were melded together.

She ached for him.

“How is now different than when we were together in Texas?” His voice had dropped, but his tone was even, calm. In complete control.

Somehow, it enflamed her even more.

“Nothing’s changed except venue. We were only fucking, remember? Can’t we fuck in New York?” he said the words she’d flung at him with a straight face.

A flush lit her from head to toe and Lee trembled. She’d hurt him when she’d said that to him the day she’d left Antioch. She’d hurt herself, too. Because it was a damn lie.

When he’d told her he felt something for her, that he thought they could make a go of a real relationship, she’d had to get him away from her. Had to make him change his mind—put him in check.

Lee didn’t need a reason—then or now—to admit the unwanted feelings Nate brought out in her. She’d had six months to get over him.

Yeah, that’d worked.

“Nate.” Lee meant to shout, scream, order him to move away, but his name came out as a croak. Strained. Wanton.

“Lee.” His mouth brushed hers. Tender. Soft. A question.

She fought the urge to close her eyes. Pain, confusion, guilt, desire—all rushed her at the same time, making her head spin. It took all she was made of to turn her face away. His second kiss landed on her cheek.
“Don’t, please.” Once again, the demand came out as a whisper.

Nate stilled. His hazel eyes searched her face when she managed to look at him again. But his jaw was tight, expression unreadable.

And there you go, you hurt him again. What a winner you are, Selena Dawson.

“You still want me, Lee.” His voice was even lower.

A tremor slid down her spine. What could she say? If she lied, he’d call her on it. Nate was an excellent body language interpreter. He’d told her once he pretty much detected deceit for a living. It made him a damn good prosecutor, but a crappy former lover. He was too in tune with her.

“Don’t tell me what I want.”

Nate smirked. “I don’t have to. Your body is screaming at me. For me.”

Like he read my mind.

He dragged two fingers down her bare forearm to her wrist. He caressed her knuckles and squeezed her hand.

Goosebumps rose and she shivered. Both reactions she couldn’t hide from him. “No.”

“No? I see it. Straining nipples. The rise and fall of your gorgeous breasts. You’re panting. Flushed cheeks, swollen lips. I see you tremble and beg for my touch. You can’t hide it, Selena Dawson. You. Want. Me.”

About C.A. Szarek:

C.A. is originally from Ohio, but got to Texas as soon as she could. She is married and has a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice. She works with kids when she’s not writing. She’s always wanted to be a writer and is overjoyed to share her stories with the world.

Facebook Author Page:

Twitter: @caszarek

Buylinks for Calculated Collision:

Other Books in Crossing Forces series:

Friday, June 20, 2014

Executive Assistant : Manlove Edition releases today!!!!

I'm thrilled to announce that I have a story in the latest anthology from Evernight Publishing, Executive Assistant : Manlove Edition, which is available for sale today!

My story, Between the Briefs, is about Seth, a corporate lawyer, who decides to focus on his career after a bitter break up with his boyfriend.  But Jamie, a handsome and sexy paralegal, has had a longtime crush on Seth and is determined to make a move now that Seth is free.  It isn't long before Jamie's and Seth's goes from professional to personal when they give in to their attraction for each other.  However, problems arise when Jamie finds himself dealing with the reappearance of Seth's ex-boyfriend, and Seth's own reluctance to get involved in another relationship having just ended one.

I love office romances and I had a lot of fun writing this one.  I hope you all enjoy it and can't wait to hear what you think!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Contract News and Cover Reveal!

Wow, I didn't realize it's been well over a month since I've blogged here.  Sorry to have been so out of touch, but it was for a good cause: I have contract news to announce!  Feels like forever since I've been able to announce that.  I was in a bit of a funk for a while, and then I developed an unfortunate addiction to Candy Crush.  However, I'm happy to share that I have two e-books coming out in the next two months and will have a story in an anthology whose cover I'm proud to share.

My story, Between The Briefs, is included in the Executive Assistant : Manlove Edition from Evernight Publishing and will be released on June 20.  I also have The Billionaire's Network and Secrets With The Billionaire coming in July from Evernight Publishing.  As soon as I have the covers, of course I'll share them here.

I'm working on a new story now, and with any luck, I won't be out of touch for so long and can share good news about it soon.  :)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Author C.A. Szarek and The Tartan MP3 Player excerpt

I'm thrilled to welcome author C.A. Szarek back to my blog.  Not only is she sharing an excerpt from her new novel The Tartan MP3 Player but she's also answering a few questions for my feature, One Last Time.  If you're curious about C.A.'s last celebrity crush or the chore that makes her go Ewww, keep reading!

      1.  Last person I kissed...
Hmmm, I am pretty sure hubs gets this one. LOL.

2.      2.  Last time I said "I love you"...
Today! When I said goodbye to some good friends from attending a conference hosted by my writer group. I told my hubs the same when I got home. J

3.      3.  Last celebrity crush...
There are too many to count. I adore The Rock. A more recent one that has come on to the radar is Tom Mison, from Sleepy Hollow. Gosh he’s hot. And I adore Alex O’Loughlin from Hawaii 5-O.

4.  Last chore I did...
Took out the trash. Ewww. But necessary.

5.  Last thing I do before bed...
Read usually. It’s my time to unwind before I sleep. I love it. Me time in a different way than writing is.

6.  Last time I cursed...
Lol. Probably today. I kinda have a potty mouth. Those who know me well can attest…

7.  Last time I had fried food...
Hmmm…Friday. Chicken fingers, and they were yummy! LOL!

The Tartan MP3 Player excerpt

Claire gets sucked into 1672, naked and scared. Duncan rescues her only to realize she's the key to finding his brother who was kidnapped by the Fae. Can they work together and both get what they want? Will sudden passion for each other change their goals?

“I’m going with you.”
A week had past and neither of them was closer to what they wanted.
Home for Claire and Alex for Duncan.
She still couldn’t remember anything before ‘waking up’ on the beach of Skye. Or how she’d got to his time. Even though he was convinced she’d travelled through the Faery Stones.
And Duncan was supposed to leave in the morning to continue his quest for them.
He laughed long and hard. “A lass on a pirate ship. Sorry, but it’s not a pleasure cruise. I’ve told ye what I seek. We’ll figure out another way ye can help.”
“Right.” Claire took a deep breath. “Your purpose is my purpose. You want to find your brother, and I want to get home.”
But did she?
Claire was already fond of this huge Highlander.
More than fond?
Her heart stuttered, but she ignored it. Duncan had been nothing but kind and honorable with her, even if his whole clan—his whole family—assumed she was sleeping with him.
Sleeping yes—as in his bed.
Every night.
Not so much.
God, I wish.
Duncan said nothing, but he stared at her like he always did.
Claire took a step toward him, closing the distance between them in his office—ledger room—he’d called it. “We’ve talked about this. You need my help, and I want to help. Besides, maybe I can sense something, or something will jog my memory. And I can figure out how I got to that beach. It’s worth a shot.”
His massive chest rose and fell as he let out an audible breath.
Claire was holding hers.
Duncan was her familiar in this very foreign land of the past since she’d been here. She couldn’t imagine being left in the castle while he was gone for possibly months.
She adored his sister, liked his father all right, and of course little Angus, but… the thought of Duncan leaving her churned her stomach.
Historical romance novels hadn’t covered just how difficult life in this time was. Hard work, and boring with no TV, movies, not even her damn MP3 player. What was worse, she couldn’t read or speak Gaelic or Latin, so the books here were out, too.
No automation. Everything was manual labor, even cooking and laundry. Being a guest, she wasn’t expected to help Janet and the female staff with the castle day-to-day, but she didn’t want to sit around and be useless.
So Claire had been scrubbing floors on all fours, using a washboard to clean clothing and bed linens. Even smacking the dust out of tapestries.
She was a decent cook, so the previous night she’d helped in the kitchens, preparing a stew the men had seemed to enjoy, but she’d drawn the line at killing, even if she’d cooked and eaten the meat.
The archaic defined roles of the sexes were irritating but not a surprise.
On the other hand, the simplicity of life here appealed. And smiles meant the same. Love was the same.
Duncan’s people were kind and had welcomed her. Not even questioned her presence at Dunvegan, or in his rooms…in his bed.
“I see yer wisdom there.” He crossed his arms. “I don’ like it. My men…are ruffians.”
His thick brogue, leaving off the t whenever he said ‘don’t’ still made her heart beat harder. The man was pure sex.
Claire took two more steps. She could feel the heat coming off his body. “You’ll protect me.” She wanted to inch even closer. If he reached for her, she could be in his arms in seconds. A tremor shot down her spine.
“Will I now?” One corner of his mouth shot up. Amusement wrapped Duncan’s words and Claire’s heartbeat kicked up another notch.
“Aye.” She winked as she said his word.
Duncan smiled, and her stomach fluttered. “How’s that?” He bent his head low.
She gasped.
His lips hovered over hers.
Please, God.
Let it happen finally.
Please kiss me.
“Because you’re going to tell them I’m yours.”
Duncan growled—honest to God growled. Then his mouth crashed down on hers.
Claire moaned and moved into his chest as well as into his kiss.
He forced his tongue into her mouth, but she had no intention of fighting him. She slanted her lips under his and kissed him back as Duncan wrapped his arms around her.
She’d not bothered with a chemise that morning, and the stupid wool of her skirt made her thighs itch as it brushed her skin.
His massive hands cupping her ass and lifting her scattered Claire’s thoughts and she whimpered into Duncan’s mouth.
He slammed his pelvis into hers and she melted, pushing right back.
God, she wanted him.
Burned for him.
Sleeping in his bed, but not in his arms just left her with blue balls, especially the two nights he’d held her instead of avoiding contact.
Was it finally going to happen?
The Highlanders in her damn books never had as much control as Duncan MacLeod.
Unless he didn’t want her—scratch that. An erection was pressing into her stomach.
Claire rocked into him, kissing him harder and squeezing her arms around his neck.
“Jesu, lass.” Duncan yanked away from her mouth, resting his forehead against hers. His hard chest pushed into her breasts as he panted. His high cheekbones were flushed with color.
“Duncan, I want you.”

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Twitter: @caszarek