Posts Tagged ‘Contemporary Romance’

Dear Reader, Once with a Cowboy

OnceWithACowboy_AReDear Reader,

For the longest time I’ve wanted to do a book celebrating Loving Day. For me it isn’t just a celebration of the Lovings and their triumph against narrow minds and barriers meant to continue keeping people separate but a victory for love, for looking beyond what would hold us back or keep us apart and instead bring us closer together as a people through the beautiful, simple emotion of love.

With this story I wanted a hero who accepted the heroine even though she didn’t let him into all aspects of her life, didn’t tell him everything and yet he still wanted her—all of her. I also wanted a complicated heroine who had to learn via his love for her to accept the parts of her that she couldn’t accept herself, that she felt shame and guilt about. They both had their issues but the one thing that couldn’t be denied for them was love.

On a more personal note (inspired by my friend Amie Stuart), as a biracial child, growing up, I always felt other. People would ask to touch, play with or do my hair. They’d ask me the lovely question, “What are you?”. As a kid I didn’t really get how loaded that question was. Not, “Who are you?” but what. I struggled to find my place in the world for the longest time and it wasn’t until an episode of the anime Inuyasha –hey inspiration and epiphanies can come from anywhere—that I finally figured out that I didn’t need to belong to one side or the other, I could just be me, whoever that was.

In the episode he had to confront his half-demon, half-human status and was asked how he handled that and he said, “Not really a demon; not really human. I’m not either. That’s all. There was no place for me, so I had find one myself. And then I realized. I had a place, but I was the only one in it. I didn’t know any other way to live.” (Found on the InuYasha Wikiquote page).

I am the product of an interracial union. I love seeing interracial couples. People that look beyond ethnic backgrounds and find love despite what others may think. It matters so much to me, it’s one of the reasons why I write IR books and why I felt compelled to put together this collection. To celebrate love. I hope you enjoy the stories we have to offer you.

To find out more about the Lovings and Loving vs Virginia click here.

This Collection and story is a celebration of love in all its forms.

NSC Loving Day Collection 1:

Kilt Tease by Melissa Blue
Redheaded Stranger by Amie Stuart
Grind by J. Hali Steele
Once With A Cowboy by Selena Illyria

Blurb:
Take one stubborn and sexy cowboy, add in a voluptuous beauty, mix in emotions, and stir.

Vanessa and Tyler have been friends with benefits for a year. While he’s fallen in love with her, she’s tried to keep her distance. Convinced by her parents that she’s a failure in everything from relationships to jobs, she’s come to believe that she isn’t worthy of love.

Tyler fell for Vanessa from day one when she came to him for a job. He’s accepted her distances and a friends with benefits relationship, while keeping his feelings to himself. Well, not to himself, he had to tell his family right? When his aunt blurts out the dirty details, he has to deal with the fallout.

Can Nessa move beyond her past and what she thought she deserved? Will he take her back despite the hurt she’s caused him?

Warning:
This Swirl Romance contains, sex toys, voyeurism, a sexy cowboy who can’t keep his hands to himself, a curvaceous, plus-sized bartender and a big mouthed aunt.
Available at Amazon

Find out more about Selena Illyria at www.selenaillyria.com.

Fall Reads Friday: Avril Ashton

(Watch Me) Break You

 

Run This Town, BK #1

 

They’re in a war for control of the streets, but love will be the ultimate prize.

 

rsz_watchmebreakyou_4_-_copyHere comes trouble…

Men. Women. Drugs. Dima Zhirkov’s favorite things. Add in the element of danger and he should be right as rain. But not today. It’s not working, hasn’t for a long time. He’s grasping at the flimsiest of straws to prove he’s indeed strong enough to run his streets. Until he sets eyes on him. In the midst of a room full of strangers, Dima is drawn to a man as cold and dangerous as he’s beautiful. Captivated, Dima embarks on a ruthless campaign to get his new toy into bed.

Here comes the danger…

Xavier “X” Storm is content to pull the strings while someone else handles the day to day dealings of his gang, The Rude Boys. He’s after what Dima holds closest—the Coney Island streets. He contracts out the job of killing the Russian, except Dima isn’t that easy to kill. When he suddenly shows up in X’s path, tempting him to indulge in the dirtiest play, he finds Dima isn’t all that easy to shake, either. His cocky attitude and rough submission tempts X to go where he’d vowed to never return, and they plunge head first into an affair fueled by possessive obsession.

Run for cover

Sex and pain Dima can handle, and X delivers the most depraved kind. Their connection is explosive, their games addictive, but Dima can end it whenever he wishes. He doesn’t see that X is breaking him down, giving Dima everything he wants and even more than he ever thought to need. By the time he realizes who X is and what he wants, Dima is raw and bullet-riddled. It’s run or fight. And Dima doesn’t back down. Neither does X.

Warning: Includes strong BDSM elements, and reference to rape and sexual abuse.

 

EXCERPT

 

“This little game that we play…” He paused when his throat burned.

“Is it, Rush? Is it a game?”

Down on his knees, Dima looked up and up into fathomless eyes. They trapped him enough that he forgot to bristle at that stupid nickname. Rush. Because he was Russian.

The pad of one finger touched his throat, slid down. He swallowed, but he had no saliva. He blinked to clear the haze over his eyes.

“Is it a game, this, what we do? This is how you play?”

Of course it was. He liked his toys. His drinks. His drugs. His women. His men too. Like the one who had him on his knees. This was Dima. The crazy little games that he played. He could leave at any time. Tied up as he was he couldn’t move except to flick a glance at the door flung wide open for anyone to see him beg to be used. But he could leave. End it. Because that’s what he did. He played. And then he walked away.

“Your game.” The hand in his hair moved then reappeared in front of his face holding another length of rope. “This is your game. You stalking me, begging me…”

Dima didn’t beg, not unless he was on his knees. He didn’t remember begging.

“You always in my fucking shadow making it impossible for me to do anything, cock blocking. That’s your game? The woman you just saw me with. The one you would’ve hurt if I hadn’t rescued her. All part of your game?”

She’d needed to be hurt. No one used his toys without permission. He’d stood in the shadows and watched her touch his toy, put her red lips to his ear and her long-nailed hands on his thigh, and Dima had salivated at the thought of gutting her. For touching what was his. He’d gotten hard as he’d thought of it.

Hot breath brushed his neck. Made him shudder. Usually he had better control when he played his games. Usually his toys didn’t affect him. Usually he didn’t pursue his toys either. This one was tough to catch. Impossible to pin down. It exhilarated him, that cat and mouse game.

“If I’d fucked her while you watched, would that have been part of the game?”

Something thudded in his chest. He swallowed again. Fire burned his throat. His head pounded as a flash of heat made him sweat. Anger. Not just any anger. Jealous anger. His lips parted and his toy swooped in, took him. His mouth. His tongue. His mind. And Dima started to pant because that wasn’t part of the game. Not his game. To be taken over. To be made to feel more than the superficial pain on his skin. He tried to stop the kiss, turn his head, but his toy caught him by the throat, fingers tight, pressing in, stealing breath he didn’t seem to want to give back.

“Watch me,” his toy whispered. Sadistic. Eyes so black Dima didn’t see the whites. He looped the rope around Dima’s neck. Tightened it. “Let’s play then, Rush.” He pulled the rope. “And watch me.”

Dima did.

 

 

Amazon: http://bit.ly/BRku01

All Romance: http://bit.ly/XnD01

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/xNd01

 

 

 

About the Author

 

A Caribbean transplant, Avril now lives in Stone Mountain, GA., with a tolerant spousal equivalent. Together they raise an eccentric daughter who loves reading and school (not so much school anymore). Avril’s earliest memories of reading revolve around discussing the plot points of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys with an equally book-minded mother.

Always in love with the written word, Avril finally decided to do the writing in August of ’09 and never looked back. Spicy love scenes, delicious heroes, and wicked women burn up the pages of Avril’s stories, but there’ll always be a happy ending; Av remains a believer of love in all its forms.

Addicted to cake, the ID Channel and the UFC, Avril writes Erotic and GLBT Romance for Evernight PublishingeXtasy BooksSecret Cravings Publishing and Total-e-Bound.

Visit: http://www.avrilashton.com

Friend Av on: http://facebook.com/writeravrilashton

http://www.twitter.com/#!/AvrilAsh

Summer Read Saturday

The Blake Legacy by Rhonda Laurel

 

The Blake Legacy-RhondaLaurel_200_300Tagline

 

Two lovers. Two dreams. One hell of a hard decision…

 

Blurb

NFL quarterback Seth Blake is having an unbelievable hot streak—he’s won his third Super Bowl title the same day his wife Morgan gave birth to their son. Life couldn’t be better for the new father and MVP. His contract with the Philadelphia Titans expires in a year, giving him a chance to make a professional dream come true: to play in his home state for the Texas Wildcats and return to his much-missed Twelve Horseshoes Ranch—this time, for good.

Morgan Reed-Blake has never been happier. She’s got the best husband, the cutest baby, and she’s successfully juggling career and family. Her bookstore is expanding, her charitable organization is growing, and she’s been offered her dream job on the literacy council. Everything in her Philadelphia world is coming up roses. Until Seth’s contract with the Titans expires, and his dream of returning home comes close enough to touch…and the powers that be in Texas start romancing Seth in earnest. Morgan and Seth both have dreams. But a choice has to be made…

 

Excerpt

Seth Blake begrudgingly prepared for the impromptu press conference in the hospital amphitheater. He didn’t know how his publicist, Daniel, had managed to organize it, but there was a media circus waiting down stairs to interview him. After he’d won the Super Bowl, Seth had found out his wife, Morgan, had gone into labor, and he’d run out of the stadium so fast there had been no time for interviews and congratulatory fanfare.

Now he held his son, Seth Jacob Blake Jr., in his arms, celebrating his third win in a row was the last thing on his mind.

Morgan assured him that she and the baby would be fine for an hour without him. Despite the fact that their entire family stood outside in the hallway, he took the quickest shower of his life, peeking out of the bathroom from time to time to check on them. Morgan looked radiant, despite not having slept the past seventeen hours. The nurses wanted to make her more comfortable, but she wasn’t interested in anything that required taking the baby out of her arms.

Seth changed and shaved, but he still wasn’t ready to go. As far as he was concerned, seeing his son being born was the most exciting and fulfilling thing that had happened all day.

He sighed. “This shouldn’t take too long.”

Morgan smiled at him. “Take all the time you need. You did it. You’re a third time MVP and Super Bowl champ. This is your moment.”

“This right here is my moment.” He leaned in and kissed her and the baby.

“The sooner you leave, the sooner you’ll be back.” Morgan shooed him out of the room.

Seth stepped out into the hall and came face to face with the Blake and Reed clans.

“Congrats again, baby.” His mother, Teri-Lyn, gave him a big squeeze. “Sydney and I will go in with Morgan while you do your press conference.”

“I went back to the hotel and got her hospital bag.” Michelle, who was standing next to Seth’s brother Tyler, pointed to the bag in a chair. “Thank goodness my neurotic friend packed one just in case.”

Tyler smirked at him. “If he picks up a football while you’re down there, I promise I’ll come and get you.”

“That’s not funny, Tyler.” Seth punched his brother in the arm.

“I don’t know about a football, but maybe he’ll pick up a guitar,” Seth’s best friend, Tate McGill, said behind them.

“You’re both wrong,” Channing, his youngest brother, said. “One look at him and you can tell he’s a genius. It’s clear he wants to study law.”

Seth shot all of them evil looks, but he enjoyed the endless possibilities for his son’s life. He and Morgan had talked about the dreams they had for their child before he was born. Morgan had assured Seth she was OK with his secret desire for his son to one day be a football player in his own right. Both agreed as long as he was happy and healthy, Seth Jacob Blake Jr. could carve out whatever life he wanted for himself.

* * *

As soon as Seth stepped into the crowded amphitheater, his team began chanting their battle cry. Cameras started flashing and reporters fired questions at him from around the room. He moved toward the stage and was greeted by his good friend and team mate Patton Hawkes. Patton gave him a hug and took a seat next to Seth at the center table.

“Seth, how’s your wife?” a reporter yelled from the back of the room.

“She’s fine. The baby’s fine. I couldn’t ask for a better day than this.” Seth ran a hand over his face.

“Boy or girl?” someone else shouted.

“A boy. His name is Seth Jacob Blake Jr. And before anyone asks, he will be a quarterback.” Seth grinned and winked.

The room erupted in laughter. Technical questions about the game began to flow, and he was grateful he could answer on autopilot. He congratulated the team and reinforced the group effort involved to win, thanking each of them for playing their best. Everyone agreed that his fifty-five yard pass to Lamont to score the winning touchdown was the greatest play of the game.

“How does it feel to achieve three Super Bowl wins in a row, something no team has ever achieved before?” The million-dollar question came from the back of the room.

Seth tugged on his ear. “It feels great, but it’s also a humbling experience. This achievement shows how dedicated every player was on the team to doing our jobs, and in the process we made a little football history.”

“Being three time MVP ain’t bad either, is it?”

The crowd roared.

“The honor of being named MVP is never to be taken lightly, and I have much respect for it. Somebody thought I was doing something right, and I appreciate that. But if I didn’t work with exceptional people, there would be no title.”

“Seth, what were you thinking when you threw the ball to Lamont?” a sports reporter for Sports Now yelled out.

“I was thinking, Lamont, if you never catch another pass I throw you, this is the one you should catch.” Seth laughed.

“Were you aware your wife was in labor during the game?”

“No. She told my family that under no circumstances was anyone allowed to tell me she was in labor until the game was over.” He shook his head, smiling.

Patton grabbed the microphone off the stand in front of him. “And before anyone asks, I am the godfather to his son.”

There was rumbling among the team about why Patton should have the honor. Seth covered his mic with his hand, leaned over, and whispered to Patton, “Thanks, man.”

“They’ll get over it,” Patton spoke into his microphone.

Damn. The rumblings grew louder. Seth had to defuse the situation before it blew up in his face. “Our wives are good friends. Nina was always there to help Morgan during the pregnancy.”

His teammates kept grumbling but gradually went quiet, and Seth tried not to wipe sweat off his brow. Questions about the game resumed, and Seth fired off responses as quickly as he could, anxious to get back to his family. He didn’t want to miss a minute of the first day of his son’s life. He did his best to be polite, but after forty-five minutes, he informed everyone he was headed back upstairs. After a brief conversation with Daniel and his agent, Luke, Seth slipped out a side door and headed for the elevator.

“Great game today,” a familiar voice said from the direction of the reception area.

Seth turned to see T.K. Holbrook, a friend of his father’s and one of the richest men in Texas. T.K. was also the owner of the football team the Texas Tomcats. T.K. had courted Seth throughout his football career to play for him, but timing was never on their side.

“Thanks, T.K.” Seth shook his hand.

“And congratulations on your baby boy. John Jacob let me get a peek at him; he’s a handsome little devil. I see a Super Bowl in his future.”

Seth laughed. “I’m hopeful.”

“If he does, then maybe a Blake will finally play for the Tomcats.” T.K. winked at him.

The elevator door opened, and Seth held out his hand to keep it ajar.

T.K. hitched up his pants. “I knew you could do it. I knew you would take the Titans to glory when you signed that contract. I regret I couldn’t get to you first.”

“Well, the timing wasn’t right. Things seemed to have fallen into place for a reason.” Seth smiled.

T.K. nodded at Seth’s sentiment. “You’ve given them three Super Bowl wins. I knew you were a champion the first time I saw you play in grade school. Your father and I would talk about that all the time when you were a boy. We both knew you’d be in the Hall of Fame one day.”

“It’s a little early for that. But everything I’ve done in my career was to work toward being an exemplary player and to make my family proud.” Seth held out his hand again when the elevator door began making a jerking movement.

“Well, you’ve definitely done that. Listen, I know you want to get back to your family. Congratulations again.”

“Thank you for stopping by, T.K. I appreciate it.” Seth nodded.

“Your contract with the Titans is up in a year, right?” T.K. rubbed his chin.

Seth had to think about it for a moment. There had been so much going on he’d forgotten about his expiring contract. “Yes,” Seth said as he stepped inside the elevator.

T.K. smiled and tipped his hat.

The elevator doors closed, leaving Seth alone to process T.K’s surprise visit. A few years ago the possibility of playing in Texas would have been his biggest dream come true.

The elevator opened again, and he was surprised to see the corridor leading to Morgan’s room empty. Seth gently opened the door to her room to find her nursing the baby.

Morgan looked up when he walked in. “We were just talking about you.”

“Is that right?” Seth sat on the bed and caressed her cheek.

“I was telling Jake about what a great game his dad played today.”

“Jake? That’s a nice nickname.”

“It was not my idea. The family got together and decided that S.J. sounded pretentious. Your father said he looked like a Jake. After that decision was made, they shifted to where he would go to college. I kicked everyone out.” Morgan flashed a cheesy smile.

Seth shook his head. “You didn’t.”

“I love them all, but they were driving me crazy. I threatened to institute a demerit system on visitation tomorrow. How did the press conference go?”

“I told everyone you were holding the next Blake quarterback in your arms.”

Morgan giggled. “No pressure on your son at all. Your dad brought in this man he said was an old friend of the family. His name was T.K. Holbrook. Did you see him?”

“I ran into him downstairs.” Seth moved her bangs out of her eyes for her. Her hands were a bit full after all.

“Good. He seemed anxious to talk to you. I got the feeling it was about more than a congratulatory chat. What did he say?” Morgan furrowed her eyebrows.

“He wanted to congratulate me on the baby and the win today.”

The sound of Jake’s suckling noises echoed through the room.

Seth couldn’t help but grin. “Boy is he hungry.”

“He’s going to have your big appetite.”

Seth kept watching, entranced. Morgan had to cough to bring his attention back to her face.

“Yes?”

“You do know my breasts won’t remain this size?”

He smirked. “They might.”

“Well, if I go back down to my normal cup size, maybe you’ll start looking me in the face again.” Morgan arched her eyebrow.

Seth held his hand to his chest, feigning indignation. “I beg your pardon. I was just admiring the luscious view.”

“Well, I got a spare tire to go with the bigger boobs.” She groaned.

“Morgan Blake, you are beautiful, right now, just the way you are.” Seth kissed her tenderly on the lips.

 

 

Buy Links

Amazon US:   http://www.amazon.com/Blake-Legacy-Boys-ebook/dp/B00GO4J81I/ref=sr_1_7?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1384444286&sr=1-7&keywords=rhonda+laurel

Amazon UK:   http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Blake-Legacy-Boys-ebook/dp/B00GO4J81I/ref=sr_1_10?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1384444433&sr=1-10&keywords=rhonda+laurel

Amazon CA:   http://www.amazon.ca/Blake-Legacy-Boys-ebook/dp/B00GO4J81I/ref=sr_1_9?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1384446267&sr=1-9

Amazon FR:    http://www.amazon.fr/The-Blake-Legacy-Rhonda-Laurel-ebook/dp/B00GO4J81I/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1384446340&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=rhonda+laurel

Amazon DE:   http://www.amazon.de/The-Blake-Legacy-Boys-ebook/dp/B00GO4J81I/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1384446395&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=rhonda+laurel

Amazon AU:   http://www.amazon.com.au/The-Blake-Legacy-Boys-ebook/dp/B00GO4J81I/ref=sr_1_8?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1384446430&sr=1-8

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-blake-legacy-rhonda-laurel/1117397978?ean=2940148861393

KOBO: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-blake-legacy

All Romance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-theblakelegacy-1348977-149.html

Etopia Press Bookstore: http://www.etopiapress.com/the-blake-legacy/