by Angie Martin, Izzy Szyn, AnnaMarie Gardner, Jess Bagnall, Brandi Gillilan, Kathryn C. Kelly, Candi Fox, Layla J. Omorose, CeeCee Elaine, Leigh Savage, Christina McCord, Nathalie M. L. Römer, Courtney Lynn Rose, Stephanie Angelea, Cree Nations, T. Elizabeth Guthrie, and Claire Marta & Nia Farrell.
Join this amazing group of authors as they take you inside the erotic world of the Brothers Grimm, putting their own twists on classic fairytales.
Erotic Fairytales from the Brothers Grimm includes
The Devil’s Touch by Claire Marta and Nia Farrell
Length 23,028 words
Taken by a dark-eyed devil to settle a debt, this innocent angel will give him his due.
A deal struck with a devil in a designer suit and Avalon O’Keefe’s life becomes a nightmare. Taken as payment for her stepfather’s debts, she finds herself in the clutches of mobster Ricco Gotti. Crude, cruel, and unyielding, he’s used to people bowing to his will. He demands her submission, intending to make her pay between the sheets.
Avalon refuses to play Ricco’s game. When she proposes one of her own, it’s a challenge he grudgingly accepts. Two fierce competitors, each determined to best the other, both of them believing when it comes to winners, there can be only one.
Let the games begin…
The Devil’s Touch is a modern take on The Girl with No Hands by the Brothers Grimm. This dark Mafia erotic romance has potential triggers and is written for Ages 18+.
Moving to the large wooden wardrobe, Avalon caressed the panel of the door, feeling its smoothness beneath her fingertip before tugging it open. The rod inside was lined with clothes. Everything was new, still with tags. Pulling out a dress, she saw the name of an expensive boutique… and frowned when she saw it was her size.
What the fuck?
Taking out another, she checked the label. Leaving it on the bed, she took out the others—all with her exact measurements. Even the shoes. How? How had Ricco known her sizes? This wasn’t possible. Unless….
Shock washed over Avalon. How long had he been plotting to kidnap her?
Hurrying back into the bathroom, she checked all the bottles she could find. Everything was what she used. Even the makeup she found in a cabinet had her brands and shades.
The ruthless, calculating son of a bitch.
He’d intended to take her as payment for Fred’s debts all along. Avalon felt sick at the knowledge. Ricco must have been spying on her. He’d had her watched. For all she knew, he’d baited Fred with an eye on the prize, and Fred had fallen for it—hook, line, and sinker.
Pressing a hand to her mouth, she sank to sit on the edge of the bathtub.
She might be spared from his advances tonight, but tomorrow was a different story. How was she supposed to save herself from his lust? Avalon chewed on her lip, her mind racing furiously. She’d seen his excitement at her challenge. Even though he’d wanted her, he’d played along with her game. Maybe she could dare him again. Perform for him as she had tonight. Make another bargain. Keep him distracted until she could find a way to escape.
As soon as she did, she was headed for the nearest police station to report his crimes against her. Against Fred Miller. Freddie might be a loser, but no one deserved to have their finger cut off. The sight of that blood-soaked towel was burned in her brain. She’d have nightmares tonight, she was certain. But there were hours to go before bedtime, and the devil was expecting her for dinner. She needed to get a grip, compose herself, and keep herself together. Stay placid, calm, and cool even when he turned that lust-filled gaze full-force on her.
She had to be strong. Strong and smart. Using her head was the only way to save her body from what he had planned.
Squaring her shoulders, she met her gaze in the mirror, dried her hair, and put on makeup. War paint, she thought, applying a mask that made her feel empowered. Confidant.
Or confidant by comparison.
The antique highboy had drawers of lingerie, all in her size. Imagine that. She couldn’t fault his taste. The matched set she picked made her look like someone’s favorite mistress. Not that she intended to be his, but if she was gonna dance with the devil, she might as well do it in style.
Excerpt 2 (NSFW):
Ricco refilled their glasses. Avalon’s wine had a little something extra in it.
Let the games begin.
Within a minute, her cheeks grew flush. She fidgeted her napkin, raising it to fan herself. “Is it hot in here?” she wondered, blissfully unaware of what was happening. She crossed her legs. Uncrossed and recrossed them. Straightened them and clamped her thighs together in growing desperation. She needed release.
So did he.
Ricco reached for his tie and pulled it free, tossing it onto the table. Shrugging off his jacket, he threw it on an empty side chair and started rolling up his sleeves, revealing his hair-dusted forearms. His sculpted muscles made her eye him like a prime cut of beef. The top two buttons of his shirt pushed free, allowing the neckline of his shirt to part. Running his hands down his chest, he fondled himself, giving her a peep show but keeping the best parts hidden.
Her sapphire eyes darkened. She wet her lips and aimed her gaze at his groin, frustrated by the tabletop between them.
“You know,” he drawled, “I promised I wouldn’t fuck you. But there’s nothing to stop you from copping a feel. Nothing to stop you from taking whatever you want. Nothing to stop you from using me however you fucking need, whatever it takes to get yourself off. How do you want to do this, angel? Where do you want me?”
She bit her lip and considered her options. “Turn around,” she told him. “Put the back of your chair against the table and stay seated in it.”
Playing along, he followed her directions. She rose to stand before him. When he reached for the button at his waistband, she batted his fingers away. “Put your hands on the arm of the chair and keep them there!”
Hmm. Suddenly, he was rethinking his offer. It would be a dick move to rescind it now. Plus, she’d made him curious to see what she had in mind.
Hiking up her hem, she looped her arms over his head, grabbed onto the back of his chair, and straddled his lap, grinding her clit against his groin.
The scent of wisteria body wash rose from her skin. Her breasts were close enough, all he’d have to do is dip his head to get a mouthful.
Circling her hips, she started riding his pole, rubbing against it, using friction to bring herself off. Even with the drugs, it took some work, but she did it. Meanwhile, he took in everything. Her fractured breaths, her trembling thighs, the way she stiffened and broke against him.
“Oh, God…” She shattered, pussy walls squeezing her juices and ruining the front of his pants.
While he was still hard as oak behind his tightly zipped fly.
He’d cheated and she’d outmaneuvered him again. She’d gotten her rocks off and he was still incredibly aroused.
And admittedly humbled. He wasn’t as smart as he thought. Like chess players, the king had tried to take the queen but he hadn’t succeeded.
This collection of short steamy Vampire Romance Erotica holiday storiesincludes
THE DEAD OF NIGHT—A POISONED GARDEN SHORT STORY
by Claire Marta and Nia Farrell
Back in Paris, heartbroken and alone on Christmas Eve, Etienne de Foix decides to share his beloved music with the souls of the dead. When someone else is drawn to the cemetery, he finds himself tempted by his new admirer.
The young man who steps from the shadows has stars in his eyes and an innocent air that stirs Etienne’s hunger. Intent on sating his lust for blood and sex, he’s surprised when something more emerges from their tryst.
The Poisoned Garden Series stories follow Etienne de Foix, the vampire villain of Guarded Hearts Season One. Set in 1791, this historical paranormal erotic romance contains MM scenes. Written for Ages 18+.
He let his music transport him, carrying him as close to heaven as he would ever be. A creature of the night, eventually he’d be dust and would rot in hell for all eternity. There was no forgiveness for his sins. No penance or absolution. His only solace came from the bow in his hand and the strings beneath his fingers, weaving songs as they formed. He grew so lost in the new one, it was a while before he sensed he was no longer alone.
Opening his eyes, his gaze traveled through the shadows opposite him, settling on a man. A handsome young man with honey brown hair and hazel eyes. He stood so perfectly still Etienne had almost missed him.
Pausing, Etienne surveyed him cautiously. Was he a hunter looking for prey?
“Don’t stop,” the stranger pleaded when he stilled his bow. “Play.”
“My music was not for you,” Etienne told him, enchanted by his voice. “I perform for the souls that lie here.”
He wasn’t in church. Maybe he was a prostitute. Paris was full of them. Easy pickings for a vampire like himself.
Disappointment crossed the young man’s face. “What brings you here in the dead of night on Christmas Eve?”
“I come to play,” he told him. “What is your name and what is your price, hmm?”
“Gael,” the young man spoke softly. “And I have no price.”
“Nonsense,” Etienne scoffed. “Everyone has a price. It’s only a matter of finding it.”
On the run from her mobster stepfather, Ashlee Gabrielli knows to trust no one. When Ash stumbles through the gates of the Citadel looking for a place to hide, she has no idea the men here are shifters.
Tobias Santini is the leader of The Order of the Phoenix. The cadre’s superior has guided his men and protected their women since the first fated mate was found. With everyone else in relationships, Tobias remains alone, serving as guardian to them all.
When he discovers Ash hiding in the garden, everything changes. She’s the image of a woman he loved and lost a lifetime ago, and she’s in trouble. Taking her under his wing, Tobias vows to protect her—even from himself when attraction sparks between them.
Ash is inexplicably drawn to the silver fox superior. Eventually, he reveals their past life connection, but he’s still keeping secrets. She has one, too, possessing a dangerous gift that no one foresees. With forces unfolding their insidious plans and a final showdown brewing, the men of the Citadel will need every ally they have to survive the wrath of the vampire Etienne. Yet even that might not be enough this time.
This epic Season One finale has BDSM, consensual power exchange, dark themes, and potential triggers, including a history of child abuse. The first DD/lg book of the series is written for Ages 18+.
Guarded Hearts Season One features The Order of the Phoenix. Season Two will feature members of The Order of the Dragon, Hell’s Fury MC, who appear as secondary characters in Season One. Hell’s Fury MC: Dangerous Curves (Guarded Hearts Book 7.5/Season Two Prequel) debuts in the Twisted Steel 2 MC Anthology out 13 April 2021.
EXCERPT 1 (PG):
<p class="has-text-align-justify" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80"><strong>Tobias stared at the angel before him. Skin still flushed from her bath, she was a vision of beauty and so startlingly like his Francesca, he almost forgot she wasn’t.</strong>Tobias stared at the angel before him. Skin still flushed from her bath, she was a vision of beauty and so startlingly like his Francesca, he almost forgot she wasn’t.
“What?” Ash questioned, looking at him like he’d gone mad.
Catching himself, he realized he’d been staring like a besotted fool. Moonstruck by this enigmatic young woman.
Tobias cleared his throat. “Forgive me, I should have set out a brush and comb for you to use.” Ash still had questions to answer and could easily be a threat to his home if she was working for their enemies. Showing her kindness was one way of putting her at ease.
Ash shrugged a slim shoulder. “I used a bunch of other stuff, but it would be nice to brush my hair before we eat.”
Tearing himself away, Tobias quickly fetched the items and brought them back to her. When she reached to take them, he could smell the subtle scent of his favorite soap on her hair and skin. Why it pleased him, he wasn’t sure. He was desperate to know why she looked so much like the one woman who had meant so much to him, one he’d lost centuries ago. Coincidence? Or was something darker and more nefarious at play?
He watched her turn, quickly returning to the bathroom to brush her locks and bring order to the messy blonde mop.
He had planned to work on the carousel phoenix today but he didn’t dare leave her alone. One unguarded moment and she might disappear as quickly as smoke. Remembering the way the air had rippled around him when he’d caught her by the wall, he frowned. He needed to know who she was…, what she was, and what powers she possessed.
Perhaps it was time to call Father Xavier over for a visit. The priest was the acting head of the Guardians of the Sacred Light cell in the city. Although the secret organization had no real love for supernaturals, Xavier had many he called friends. If anyone would know what this woman was, it would be him. Tobias wondered if she was some kind of changeling or shapeshifter. That would explain why she had Francesca’s face. Perhaps she had picked up his thoughts which had been so heavy with the past lately and used an image from his memories.
The sound of her voice dragged him from his musings. Standing before him, she stared up at him, her expression a mix of innocence and nervousness. Tobias remembered her earlier fear when he’d grappled her to the ground and felt a surge of protectiveness toward this female who had come so unexpectedly under his care.
Whether she was his prisoner or his ward remained to be seen.
EXCERPT 2 (NSFW):
“Hey,” Tobias whispered. “We don’t have to do this.”
Ash straightened her spine. “Yes, we do. You know we do.”
Her virginity might have been stolen from her by the monster she’d lived with, but to Ash, this would be her first time. The one she would always remember. She’d chosen Tobias to give her the memory of what it should have been like. Something to treasure. The first man she’d truly been attracted to. Her choice. No one else’s.
Ash knew she’d made the right decision from the way he kept talking to her. If she said stop, she knew in her heart he would.
Walking on her knees, she straddled his head and let the calloused hands on her hips guide her into place. She curled her fingers around the top of his headboard and hung on for the ride.
He licked her, a sinful stroke of his tongue that made her want to grind herself on his face and use it to get herself off like she’d used his fingers. He licked her again, shifted her, angled his head, and started fucking her with his tongue. Her small breasts swung with the motion, pelvis rocking against his hungry mouth. He feasted on her like a starving man before finding her clit and letting his finger fill the void he’d left behind.
A familiar tension built, holding her in its grip, refusing to let her go but not letting her find completion, either. She whimpered, feeling desperate and needy.
Hearing her, Tobias gave her clit one last lick, fastened his lips over it, and sucked it into his mouth. Working a second finger into her pussy, he banged her with his fingers, curled them, and drove her over the edge.
She’d never come so hard in her life. Juices shot out, wetting his face. Her spasming walls milked his hand, tightening around his digits like a Chinese finger trap.
“Sorry,” she apologized when he tried to pull out and her muscles clenched that much harder. “I guess my pussy doesn’t want to let you go.”
Embarrassed, she couldn’t meet his gaze. This was so different than what she’d experienced in the past. Better but at the same time she felt awkward and unsure. Tobias was older than she was. He wasn’t quite human but he had confidence that assured her he’d done things like this before. Ash pushed aside the twinge of jealousy. Tonight was her night. She wasn’t going to let thoughts of his other lovers spoil it.
He didn’t let that deter him. Instead, he started teasing her clit, toggling it with his tongue, drawing designs on it that helped her to open up to him. He fucked her with two fingers and worked in a third, jacking his hand in short forays that grew in strength and speed. When she was on the verge of coming again, he fucking lifted her by the waist, sat up with her, and lowered her onto his cock.
Or tried to.
Four fingers might have been enough to stretch her out.
“Breathe, babygirl,” he murmured. “Take hold of me if you need to. Part your lips with the tip and find your opening and guide me in. Just like that. Christ.”
Thank goodness she was slick. It was all she could do to wedge the head of his erection inside her and slowly sink down onto it, inch by incredible inch. The man was huge. Huge. Her god of the forge was hung like a horse. It took forever to work her way down, rocking against him, gaining ground with every push.
She winced when he hit bottom.
“Ssh,” he crooned. “Just hold still. Let your body adjust. Don’t try to rush it. Everything will come in time.”
He started whispering lovetalk in an odd mix of Italian and Latin, telling her how beautiful she was, how brave she was, how lucky he was to have found her. Ash took it as all the things she imagined a man was supposed to say during sex. Not the insults and threats she’d endured at the hands of her stepfather.
But Tobias kept on, vowing to protect her, to cherish her. She knew this was different when he bent his head and kissed her breast and confessed he couldn’t wait to see their baby there.
Men didn’t talk babies. Not like he was talking.
She realized then that he wasn’t wearing a condom.
Oh, God. What was she thinking?
“It’s a bit soon for that, don’t you think?” she asked him nervously.
Tobias jerked back his head, shocked that she knew what he’d been saying.
“You’re not wearing a rubber,” she reminded him. “Promise me you won’t get me pregnant. I’m too young for that. I want to live a little before I think about having kids. Jesus, I’m barely more than a kid myself.”
Guilt washed over his features. “I don’t have condoms,” he confessed. “I haven’t needed them.”
He didn’t have lovers or hookups or whatever? How could that possibly be as good looking and fit as he was?
“You’re going to buy some,” she ordered. “If we’re going to keep doing this, I’m not taking chances. Meanwhile, can you control yourself enough to pull out to finish? I don’t care where, just as long as it’s not inside me.”
Flexing his hips and driving up into her, he wove his fingers into her hair and pressed their foreheads together, holding her close while they shared each labored breath. “I do. I can. I will,” he swore.
“Okay, then. I’m trusting you to take care of me.”
HELL’S FURY MC: DANGEROUS CURVES ★•**•★COMING 13 APRIL 2021★•**•★
First appearing in TWISTED STEEL: A MOTORCYCLE CLUB ANTHOLOGY (SECOND EDITION) from Knox Publishing by Kristine Allen, Scarlett Black, April Canavan, Chelle C. Craze & Eli Abbott, Amy Davies, Claire Marta & Nia Farrell, Nicole James, Addison Jane, Elizabeth Knox, E.C. Land, Rae B. Lake, Erin Osborne, Dani René, and Claire Shaw
The authors of the Twisted Steel anthology have decided to come back with a second edition. They heard how much you loved it and listened to the readers. But, that’s not all. A few new faces have been added as well.
These USA Today and International Bestsellers have collaborated once again to bring you brand new biker stories that have never been published before. A combination of full-length novels and novellas are within the pages of this edition.
A couple of these authors have written about characters in their clubs you already adore, while others are launching a brand new series.
Each story takes place in a separate club, but you can always count on copious amounts of danger, suspense, angst but most of all – chemistry.
We ask you again: will these men and women put everything on the line for their brotherhood, or will they risk it all for love?
This collection includes stories from Dani René, April Canavan, Elizabeth Knox, Addison Jane, Claire Marta & Nia Farrell, E.C. Land, Erin Osborne, Amy Davies, Kristine Allen, Chelle C. Craze & Eli Abbott, Claire Shaw, Rae B. Lake, and Scarlett Black.
Twisted Steel: A Motorcycle Club Anthology (Second Edition) includesHell’s Fury MC: Dangerous Curves (Guarded Hearts Book 7.5/Season 2 Prequel) by Claire Marta and Nia Farrell (Length 49K words)
Quake is a club Enforcer for the Hell’s Fury MC, gargoyle shifters who belong to The Order of the Dragon. Together, they are sworn to watch over mankind and supernaturals alike. Warrior, soldier, he’s never envisioned more out of life until a certain stripper catches his eye.
Magenta is a rare red maned wolf shifter. She’s the featured performer and highest-paid sex worker at The Pole Barn, a strip club and brothel near Las Vegas, Nevada, but it’s not where she plans to spend her life.
Magenta—aka Rory Lockheart—dreams of more.
When trouble comes knocking on Magenta’s door, it’s Quake who comes to her rescue. She’s the stuff of his dreams, but women like her don’t date even when attraction ignites between them.
After Magenta is kidnapped, all evidence points to the low-life jackal shifters in the Death’s Head MC. Can Quake find the rare beauty before it’s too late or will she disappear from his life forever?
Dangerous Curves is the Guarded Hearts Season Two prequel. Quake and Magenta’s story continues in Hell’s Fury MC: Rory (Guarded Hearts Book 8). This story ends in a cliffhanger and has adult situations and potential triggers. Written for Ages 18+.
Highland athlete Ross Carmichael is a mountain of a man and more than most women can handle. American Nora Taylor isn’t put off by his size, and she loves that he wears a kilt.
Now if she can just see what’s underneath it…
Lassie, Come Home is a 5,000-word erotic romantic comedy short story first appearing in A Curvy Christmas Anthology. Written for Ages 18+.
Beta Reader Dawn Martin-Smith: I find it incredible that you have such a way with words, that under a different nom de plume the stories are so different. Nia, I love Ree L Diehl’s stories. They are short, sweet and fucking hot!
He’d given thought to what he had to offer a woman, let alone one as beautiful as she was. His size intimidated most that he met. Under a bit of paunch, he had enough muscle to tip the scale at three hundred twenty-five pounds and rank in the top ten of any Highland games that he competed in.
He was a mountain of a man. Lucky for him, she was an avid climber.
After connecting online, he’d managed to talk her into visiting Scotland. Now that she was here, he hoped that he could get her to stay.
Given her interests, he could tempt her with Harry Potter places, dangle castles and historic sites, and offer to guide her on a number of walking tours. Today’s weather would have been perfect for it. With temperatures hovering at fifty degrees Fahrenheit, the average tourist required no more than a light jacket or shawl. Aussies wore winter coats, and braw souls from Northern climes sported bare legs and arms.
Ross gripped himself under the table and imagined pinning her to the wall of the lavvie and banging her senseless.
An invitation to the royal hunt at Château de Fontainebleau is an offer Etienne de Foix cannot refuse. Falling for the charm of Kristoff Vasilyvich, a Russian prince, yields a second one he’s delighted to accept. The third—to find pleasure in a threesome with Odette d’Évreux—flings him into a world of darkness. Lurking beneath the château are creatures he never knew existed. One dark kiss, one night of insatiable lust, and Etienne finds himself one of the damned, reaped in the dark harvest.
The Poisoned Garden Series stories follow Etienne de Foix, the vampire villain of Guarded Hearts Season One. Set in 1538, this historical paranormal erotic romance contains MM and MFM scenes. Written for Ages 18+.
To Etienne’s good fortune, the Russian prince shared his nature, preferring men to women but indulging in both. Last night, he’d been delighted to discover the Russian was big all over, not just in stature. He’d had trouble sitting all day. A price well worth paying for the memories they’d made. Typically, he was the one who plucked the black rose, but he’d found Kristoff too charismatic to say no. They’d left the dance early and fucked half the night.
His cock stirred, ready for another round.
Kristoff chuckled. “Settle,” he murmured. “Do not let her see your interest.”
Etienne grimaced. “‘Tis you she wants.”
He bent to whisper in his ear. “As do you. I think I should fuck you both. Shall we see how badly she wants it? I am willing to beg off from joining the hunt. Let the others go forth in the cold and damp whilst we stay warm in bed.”
Jesu. Etienne was hard now. The bastard knew well how to incite his passions. He wouldn’t mind sharing Odette with Kristoff. The man was a satyr. He’d handle them both and his servants, too, given the chance.
“All right,” Etienne agreed, striving to not seem too eager. “How do you wish to do this?”
Kristoff stroked his beard, considering. “I could just ask her. Or I can entice her. Lure her away with an offer to see the gardens by moonlight and carry her off like a Viking conquest to my bed. She’ll expect nothing less from the House of Rurik. Once we get started, you can come and join us.”
Etienne nodded. Locked in the throes of passion, she’d be much more likely to agree to take two lovers—especially if it meant losing the one.
He watched Kristoff stalk across the floor to the beauty who was watching them. She was a captivating creature with dark hair, expressive brown eyes, and soft, generous lips that contrasted with her smooth, fair complexion.
It took nothing for his lover to coax her onto the dance floor. Sipping his wine, Etienne watched Kristoff flirt, reeling Odette in with his rough charm and devilish smile. A touch of his hand here, a whisper in her ear, and he’d soon persuaded her to join him in an evening far more satisfying than a dance.
They’d already agreed the hunting party would leave at dawn without them. Whether there were two or three bodies in Kristoff’s bed remained to be seen.
Musician George Elliott is in rehab, recovering from the car accident that nearly killed him. So far he’s beaten the odds, learning to walk and talk again (even if it’s with a stutter). He’s on the autism spectrum and struggles with PTSD whenever there’s a change—and everything is new to his injured, amnesiac brain.
He doesn’t know where his home is. He can’t remember what it’s like to be with a woman, but he very much wants to when he starts sessions with music therapist Carole West.
Plus-sized George finds himself falling hard and fast for a beautiful woman he doesn’t think he can have. But it’s Christmas season. In this short story inspired by the classic holiday film It’s a Wonderful Life, miracles do happen.
Originally part of A Curvy Holiday charity anthology, By George is a heart-warming BBM romance with a heat level of four, written for Ages 18+.
Beta reader Dawn Martin-Smith “God Nia, I don’t know how you do it. The story of George is absolutely fantastic. I had tears in my eyes pretty much from the get go. Your talent is incredible.”
George felt his breath seize and fought the anxiety that made his chest tighten and his heart race. He’d never had panic attacks before the accident (or so he’d been told). Any change carried the threat of one—which sucked—because everything was new to his injured, amnesiac brain.
Tina rapped on the door.
The voice that answered was as rich as dark chocolate and as sultry as a summer night. Tina opened the door, revealing a wall of musical instruments on the left. To the right, an electric keyboard sat by a set of shelves lined with drums and percussion. On the far side of the room sat the source of the voice, a beautiful blonde with a soft smile and compassionate eyes as blue as the azure sky.
“Hi, George,” she said, rising from her office chair and rounding her desk to greet him. “Do you know who I am?”
Anxiety clawed at his chest, tearing ragged holes in his breath.
“That’s okay, George,” she quickly assured him. “My name is Carole. Carole West. Can you say it?”
“Cuh-Cuh-Ca-rrrole W-Wuh-Wuh-WWWest,” he managed, cursing his stutter that the accident hadn’t taken with his memory, damn it all.
She beamed at him like a teacher with a prize pupil. “Very good, George! Now, come on in. Have a seat. I have some things I want to show you, and then we’re going to try some fun things that I think you’ll enjoy.”
Carole looked at Tina. “Thanks for showing him down. I’ll buzz you when we’re through.”
The door closed, shutting the two of them in together. George lowered himself into an empty armchair. Carole sat on the piano bench and looked at him sitting white-knuckled with nerves.
“Are you okay, George?” she asked, all solicitousness. “I know this is a break from your routine.”
Evidently, he was on the autism spectrum, too.
He hated that she knew it. He couldn’t hide his stutter but he’d become something of an actor, able to convince people that he was just like them.
“I’m f-f-fine,” he grunted, sounding sulky, regretting that he had too much going against him to interest anyone as lovely as her.
“Oh, George,” she sighed, blinking away the moisture that sprang into her eyes. “You’re here. You’re strong—stronger than you know. I want to show you something and hopefully give you some new goals to achieve.”
Rising, she picked up a remote control from her desk, aimed it at the DVD player, and pressed a button. A concert lit up the screen, starting with a shot of the guitarist’s hands, his fingers dancing over the strings, his soulful voice serenading the fans who’d come to see him perform.
The camera angle shifted, showing the audience. Carole was sitting in the front row with Tina.
“See anyone you know, George?” she asked, freezing the frame and trying to not grin.
“Th-th-that’s y-you,” he stuttered. “A-a-and T-Tina.”
“Correct!” She hit the play button. The camera panned left until it pointed back at the stage, passing over band members and background vocalists before focusing on the lead singer.
George clutched the arms of his chair and stared.
“I’ve been a fan of yours for years, George,” she said softly. “You don’t stutter when you sing because there’s music in your soul. I hope to help you find it again.”
A psychic, an ex-priest, and two shifters walk into a bar… But it’s no laughing matter. All hell’s about to break loose.
Gael Fournier is harboring a secret—one that threatens to jeopardize his brothers at the Citadel and their fated mates. Broken, scarred, he refuses to open up to anyone, especially his partner Elijah.
Unwanted, Elijah Marley fights to break through to Gael anyway. Watching him from afar, nothing he does seems to pierce the wall around the Frenchman’s heart.
One chance meeting brings them face to face with their fated mate, Sam Henderson, a psychic medium who talks to the dead. Gael’s hostile reaction drives Elijah into the arms of another whose destiny is linked to theirs.
Angry, alone, Gael unknowingly walks into the clutches of the monster who’s been stalking him the whole time. After Elijah is unwittingly thrown into danger, too, it’s up to Sam and Father James Carver to race to the rescue of both men.
Not an easy task when their enemy is a vampire hell-bent on claiming and keeping what’s his….
Shifters with a sci-fi twist, Guarded Hearts Season One (Books 1-7) follows members of The Order of the Phoenix. Each book in this interconnected storyline provides a happily-ever-after for the main characters. While the first book of Season One can be read as a stand-alone, the following titles need to be read in order, beginning with Morgan (Guarded Hearts Book 1).
This story has potential triggers, including forced compliance. MMFM ménage erotic romance with MF, MM, and MMF scenes, written for Ages 18+.
“Sammy, get that one to bend over for me, would you, hon, so I can check out those tight buns of his in those jeans?” she murmured.
Sam bit her lip and swallowed down her reply. She’d had plenty of weird looks when people thought she was talking to herself. No one could see Grandma. They only heard her one-sided conversation which made things awkward.
“Oh, yeah, come to Grandma,” the old woman crooned, circling around behind the men and eyeing their tushes.
Please don’t get handsy, Grandma, she mentally warned and hoped she was listening in. Bum pinching was Ellie Mae Henderson’s afterlife obsession. Okay. Sam would admit they were both drop-dead gorgeous. The blond had a broody, bad boy vibe going and the other one’s smile was bright and friendly. His eyes twinkled and there was something about him that made her warm all over. She really needed to get laid. It had been months since her last hook up. Not since North Carolina. Her grandmother’s inability to keep her hands to herself had ended every relationship she’d ever been in. Her longest had lasted a month until he’d gotten spooked. Once Grandma got grabby, it was goodbye, boyfriend.
“Come on, girl! Don’t just stand there with your mouth hanging open. Charm these fine young men. Winner, winner, chicken dinner. Play your cards right and you’ll have some dark and white meat in your bed tonight. If it makes you feel any better, I promise I won’t watch.”
Talk about killing the mood. Sam shook herself and focused on the men who’d come with Prince.
“I’m Sam,” she repeated. “And you are…?”
“Elijah Marley.” The handsome black man with the blinding smile had a Jamaican accent. He had his hands full holding the Irish wolfhound, who was straining to check out Gus.
She looked expectantly at the broody one, a tragic blond with a dark shroud clinging to his shoulders.
“Gael Fournier,” he clipped in a French accent, as unhappy to be here as Elijah was delighted.
She intuited that they were partners but they sure didn’t act like it. If they were in a committed relationship, it was on the rocks. She sensed a separation looming with a chance of a reunion. The future had yet to be determined. It would have to be both their choices to make things work. Otherwise they were doomed to fail.
Which was too bad. They really were a beautiful couple.
Sighing, she wished them well. Just her luck to attract two gay men. She seemed to have a knack for it.
“And this is Prince,” she hummed, dropping to her knees. Putting her hand beneath his muzzle, she looked him squarely in the eye. “They tell me that you’ve been chasing a cat. Want to tell me what that’s all about, hmm?”
In her mind’s eye, Sam saw a blanket that used to be the dog’s. Somehow the cat had gotten hold of it and hidden it.
“You need to help them find it,” Grandma told her. “Go on! Tell them what you saw! If anyone can handle your truth, it’s these boys. Trust me.”
Sam lifted her chin and met their gazes, shifting hers back and forth between the two of them.
“The cat—Gibbs?” she asked Prince, double-checking what she thought he said. “Prince says that Gibbs stole his blanket. He’s only been trying to get it back. The cat’s hiding it somewhere on the property. If you like, Gus and I can do a search-and-rescue…, help find it and restore peace in the household. I’m afraid Prince isn’t going to stop until he gets it back. He barely tolerated the cat before this. He seriously dislikes him now. Sneaky thief, he says. And my precious. Dear Lord. He says he likes Lord of the Rings on movie night. This is one seriously fine animal you have.”
Gael remained stonily silent, eyeing her with suspicion. He wouldn’t trust easily. There were scars on his soul that might never heal.
Elijah looked at her in wonder. “You are a conjure woman, yes?” he asked. “You see things. Hear things.”
Gael curled his lip and made a scoffing sound.
Sam refused to apologize for her gifts. “I don’t do spellwork,” she told them. “I don’t intentionally conjure things, but I do hear them. Spirits. Animals. Trees. My grandmother. She’s gone but she’s still very much with me. My gifts are what let Gus and I be such a successful search-and-rescue team. When the trail goes cold, I can point him in the right direction until he picks it up again. Look, I know this is as unconventional a class as what you could imagine, but I’m happy to give you a refund. I just want to help Prince find his blanket. And I’ll have a talk with Gibbs while I’m at it. Hopefully, he’ll see the error of his ways. With cats, it’s hard to say. Too many of them remember when they were worshiped as gods.”
“Yes!” Elijah agreed excitedly. “We would be honored with your presence and help in our home.”
Gael’s jaw tightened but he didn’t say a word. The look in his eyes, though, spoke volumes. He didn’t believe a word she was saying—or at least he refused to.
“Great!” Sam replied, brightly ignoring the cold blue eyes directed at her and Grandma’s satisfied smirk. “Let’s start the lesson and then we can work out when I can come over.”
Prince turned out to be a good listener. Full of energy with a boisterous nature, he loved to play. Gus was a good influence on him. Well-trained and patient, her partner helped to show the younger dog what he was supposed to do. By the time the lesson was up, Prince and Elijah both were more confident with each other. Unlike Gael, who hung at the back of the room like a storm cloud. He hadn’t attempted to interact. Instead, he’d watched and silently judged.
“That one’s a project.” Grandma commented, eyeing the Frenchman. “He needs someone to take him in hand.”
Sam’s traitorous thoughts slid to a certain part of his anatomy she would love to take in hand. From the way he filled out his jeans, he wasn’t short or small in that department. Feeling her cheeks heat in a blush, she shook herself. Holy Batman, what was she thinking?
Although Elijah could be the actor Henry Cavill’s crotch double if there was such a thing. Her attention settled on the Jamaican’s natural endowment. The ridge in his pants reached to the side of his hip. It looked like he was housing an anaconda down there and growing by the second the more she watched.
“Oh, child,” Grandma chuckled. “Just wait until you unwrap it. It’s going to be like Christmas Day come early!”
Sam choked on the breath she’d just inhaled. They’re gay. She could sense a connection between them and her gift never failed.
Although, they could be bi…
“Bi,” Grandma confirmed, then sang it like NSYNC. “Bi, bi, bi…”
Sam and James walked to where the path divided, one side heading for the chapel, the other winding its way through the gardens. The property was softly lit from the glow of security lights that reached some of the flagstone walk. She let Gus mark a tree, wrapped his lead securely around her hand, and told him, “Find Grandma.”
Gus took off toward the back of the chapel. The spirit of Ellie Mae Henderson was walking the labyrinth, singing, “Follow the yellow brick road,” and spouting quotes from The Wizard of Oz and Airplane!
“It’s a twister! It’s a twister! Don’t call me Shirley!”
“What should I call you, then?” Sam whispered, not knowing if there were other ears around. James was in the chapel but Gael was missing. He could be out here somewhere, moping in the dark.
“Nope,” Grandma told her, reading her mind again. “There’s no one here but me, myself, and I—and now you and Gus and that good-looking man of the cloth on his knees in the chapel. You should check on him, Sam. Father James is in a world of hurt right now. He’s used to being the rock for everyone else, but he needs to feel an anchor, too, even if it’s the weight of a therapy dog.”
Sam had to hand it to Grandma. She hadn’t considered offering the comfort that Gus could provide someone. How many times had she seen him go to someone upset, someone in mourning, and accept their hugs and tears? “All right,” she said. “We’ll go. Will you stay here or are you coming in?”
Her late grandmother didn’t skip a beat. “I’ll stay here,” she chirped. “I’m still looking to catch me an elf—or a leprechaun! They’ve got ‘em, mark my words!”
If that’s what her grandmother believed, Sam wasn’t about to try and dissuade her, especially if it kept her out here and away from James.
Sam led Gus to the door of the chapel and stopped just outside it, wondering whether or not she should take him in. James might benefit from some pet therapy, but her instincts told her that he needed the human touch more. The comfort and support of an understanding, nonjudgmental soul might make all the difference to him right now.
Slipping inside, she spied James in the second row of pews, kneeling in prayer with his head bowed over his hands clasping the back of the seat in front of him.
His shoulders were shaking with silent sobs. She could feel his anguish from here.
Tying Gus to the coat rack in the back, she walked softly to the front, making just enough noise to let him know he wasn’t alone. She didn’t want to startle him when she slipped into the pew beside him and placed a healing hand over his back heart chakra.
“He’s going to be alright,” she promised, as certain of that as she was of anything right now.
“It’s my fault,” James choked out. “If I hadn’t gotten greedy. If I’d only stayed… By the time I saw what was going on, it was too late.”
“You were there when he needed you to be. If they’d taken you down first, there’d have been no one to intervene. You saved him, James. I was there, too, remember?”
Straightening in his seat, he swiveled his head to meet her gaze. In the thin light of the room, she could see the sheen of tears on his skin. Finding the bottom of her broomstick skirt, she raised her hem and dried his face.
“As for what happened before… you were needy, not greedy,” she said softly. “We all have needs. There’s no judgment here. Elijah sees the same things in you that I do. You’re a good man. A strong man. An honorable man. Someone he can connect with in a way that he doesn’t seem to with Gael. I’m worried about him,” she confessed. “Something doesn’t feel right, but I don’t know what it is and my guides aren’t saying anything.”
He looked at her, puzzlement in his eyes as he tried to sort out what she was saying.
“Who are you?” His voice was thick with emotion, his mind full of questions.
“Someone you’ve known before. In other lifetimes. Other places. Tell me you don’t feel it, too.”
He blinked, trying to clear his vision. “I don’t totally discount the idea of reincarnation, given that it’s referenced in the Bible, but I’ve never… I mean, I don’t see how…”
“You’re only shown what’s allowed when it’s time,” she explained. “Maybe one day you’ll remember—or maybe not at all. Because of my mission, I’m allowed to recall more than most. I’m a psychic medium. And you, Sir, are a very old soul. It’s nice to meet you again.”
Hopefully, things would be better for them this time. She sensed that their last lifetime together didn’t end well. The longer they were together, the stronger the impressions Sam was receiving. Why he felt so familiar was now making sense.
“I wish…” She stopped herself before she said too much. She wished that she’d found him first. Wished that they’d found Elijah together. In her mind’s eye, she could see the three of them happy and in love.
The kind of love they’d shared before, despite the laws, despite society and family and religious institutions. She sensed they’d risked everything once.
What about now?
Throwing caution to the wind, she lifted her hand and cupped the side of the ex-priest’s face, learning the feel of him. The warmth of his skin. The short thatch of beard. Leaning forward, she slipped her hand behind his head and urged him closer, lifting her forehead to press against his. They stayed like that for long, soul-searching minutes, sharing each other’s breaths, struggling not to overanalyze but to accept.
James heaved a cleansing breath, letting go, releasing the shackles of guilt that had bound him. Sensing it, she rewarded him with the soft brush of her lips on his, a tentative kiss, not demanding a response.
He went still, locked in an internal struggle. Thanks to her actions, he faced a moral dilemma. What was right? What was fair? Different races. Different backgrounds. Different genders.
What about Elijah?
Sam kissed him again, needing him to see what she did, that whatever had sparked between them was worth pursuing. She teased the seam of his lips, probing his defenses, not letting up until he’d surrendered to the moment.
Surrendered to her.
Thrusting his fingers into her hair, he finally took control and kissed her back.
Sam swore she heard a chorus of angels singing hosannas and smiled.