Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Hot Off the Press - 2 New Releases & a 99¢ Sale #TinaDonahueBooks #EroticRomance

I've been busy this month with two new anthos out and a sale on my historical title First Comes Desirebook one, Pirate's Prize.

First with the new releases.


Includes Contemporary, Fantasy, Historical, Magic, New Adult, Older Woman/Younger Man, Paranormal, Rubenesque, Sci-Fi, Stepbrother Romance & Threesome from bestselling authors

Featuring Sinfully Hot by Tina Donahue - Erotic Paranormal

A hotter-than-sin reaper. A badass demon. Hell doesn’t get steamier than this.
The nightclub door swung open on its own, like an invitation from Hell.
Accepting the lure, Jewel slipped inside. She had little choice given Satan’s increasingly unrealistic expectations. The dude was worse than a Wall Street shareholder.
Corruption hung thick in the club air, the atmosphere dark and steamy, identical to the summer night. Past the narrow entrance hall, millennials had crammed around the bar or were dancing wildly, their sweaty bodies bathed in flickering orange spotlights that resembled flames. Beast and the Harlot pumped from speakers, the metal beat loud enough to make a mortal’s ears bleed and Jewel’s molars rattle.
A nice hunting ground for depraved souls. Their oily stench drew her closer.
A guy appeared at the end of the hall, a breath away from her. She stopped abruptly and stepped back. He propped his broad shoulders against one wall and slammed his foot into the other, barring her entry.
She shouted above the music, “Excuse me.”
He stayed where he was.
A black sleeveless tee hugged his powerful chest. Faded jeans strained against his beefy thighs. His biker boots were easily a size thirteen. Every woman knew what large feet and hands meant on a man. Jewel inched nearer, catching his musky fragrance.
Her belly fluttered.
She ignored her arousal in favor of the work she had to do, and raised her voice further. “Do you mind? You’re in my way.”
He looked over.
The world stilled. To say he was a hunk didn’t do him justice. He was simply beautiful. His looks belonged to a fallen angel: lushly lashed black eyes, dark hair worn shaggy, an olive complexion, bristly cheeks, upper lip, and chin. Possibly early thirties, he was a god produced by testosterone and good genes.
She liked the tiny gold hoop in his left lobe and the sin in his gaze. Time to pump up the seduction and get to work on this bad boy. His male allure currently hid his true nature and the odor of his soul, not that it mattered. Selling him on an eternity in Hell would be fun. Maybe they’d run into each other again someday and screw themselves raw. “I’m sorry for shouting, but you didn’t hear me before.”
“Yeah, I did.”
His voice rumbled deeper than the thundering bass, mischief coloring his comment.
Her pussy creamed. “Well hi, then.”
He grinned roguishly, arms crossed, biceps bulging, tat dancing. “Hey.”
Unsteady, she poured on the charm. “Great crowd tonight.”
“It is now.”
Aw, was that a compliment? This was going to be easier than she’d thought and unbelievably hot. “What say we dance? Unless you’d like to grab a table first.”
One couple had already reached third base at theirs, the young woman’s features tight from her impending orgasm.
“Sorry.” He dragged his gaze over Jewel, his manner confident and arousing. “As much as I’m tempted—and believe me, I am—I can’t let you inside.”
Her smile felt awkward. Wasn’t often she met resistance unless the victim was hyper righteous. This guy certainly wasn’t slated for sainthood unless it was in a women’s poll for male strippers.
Determined to have his carnal attention for the night and his soul from that point forward, Jewel cupped his bulge. Hot. Hard. Amazing. Her legs went watery. “What do you mean, can’t?” She ran her thumbnail over the denim and savored his meaty balls. “Better let me in there or I might hurt you.”
He lifted his face to the ceiling. His prominent Adam’s apple bobbed. “Do your worst. But it’ll have to be something nastier than fondling my nuts.”
As if. Touching him was simply too sweet. The short, dark hairs on his throat were so luscious she struggled not to lick him. “Oh yeah? Like this?”
She stroked his rod. The thing blossomed even more beneath her loving touch.
He sighed deeply and clamped her wrist. Not enough to harm but to capture and subdue. BDSM foreplay.
No way would she complain. “Looks like you’ve changed your mind.”
“Nope.” He brushed his thumb over her knuckles. “I never have, nor will I ever allow demons to harvest souls in my place.”
Surprise jolted her. Although he radiated a mortal’s heat, now an odorless chill emanated from him. What one would encounter in deep space where existence began. The tat on his right biceps wasn’t what she’d first thought. It had appeared as nothing more than a 3D star design seemingly carved into his flesh, the artist using bright-blue and vivid-yellow ink to fill the interior, creating a fake universe. Those colors weren’t stationary any longer. They swirled, the same as celestial gasses. Within that activity, countless faces rose, mouths opened, everyone bitching about leaving Earth before their time.
Holy Hell, he couldn’t be, shouldn’t be… “You’re a reaper?”
That wasn’t possible. He wasn’t homely, skeletal, and dressed like a mortician. Of course, he wasn’t a bouncer either, as she’d assumed. The Last Stop nightclub was his, which meant one thing. He was the badass who’d caused her percentages to go down. “You’re Zekiel?”
“Yes ma’am.” He smiled widely, carving a dimple in his right cheek.
She wanted to jump him and beg him to do her, then smack him for that “ma’am.” She wasn’t old. “Let go of me.”
“You first.”

She cradled his balls. He caressed her wrist. A Mexican standoff.


June 27

Featuring Skin Deep by Tina Donahue - erotic contemporary

The best is yet to come…

Turning forty and losing her job in the same week sends Tori into a tailspin. At her lowest point, she meets Jon. He proves there’s more to life than work, and she’s just getting started on the future she deserves.


Tori guzzled coffee at JR’s Java, a local coffeehouse, and checked her smartphone. Out of two thousand LinkedIn contacts, only ten had answered her buoyant emails. None could help her find new and interesting employment opportunities, nor had a single industry friend responded to her thinly veiled appeals.

Being unemployed was worse than having an STD.

Two full days had passed since UniAstro had axed her. She’d sent resumes to every major, midsized, and minor company in the vicinity and called numerous search firms. Her professional background, current certifications, and Stanford degree impressed, until the hiring managers and recruiters learned what year she’d graduated.

Google searches weren’t a miracle. They were a freaking curse. Even if she’d gone the Botox and facelift route, which she wouldn’t, nothing could erase a person’s history on the Net.

Edgy, she brought up attorneys. No matter her severance, she couldn’t sign the insulting separation papers without someone telling her she had no choice.

Loud laughter exploded from behind. Lucky them. They probably had jobs. Possibly her old one. Mark hadn’t fooled her. Eliminating a position was corporate-speak for wanting someone younger.

She scrolled through the area yellow pages.

A leather-and-tobacco fragrance wafted close, mingling with the cafĂ©’s rich coffee and sweet pastry scents. Someone in black jeans lingered at her table.

Curious, Tori lifted her face.

His easy smile carved a dimple in his left cheek, shadowed with beard. “Doing okay?”
She wasn’t certain how to answer. Kindness shone in his gray eyes fringed with long, dark lashes. Ruggedly handsome, he belonged in an ad for luxury cars or executive services, not here holding a coffee pot. “Ah yeah, I’m fine. Thanks.” She lifted her empty cup for a refill.
Her hand trembled. Not entirely from too much caffeine. He radiated effortless charm, the kind a guy owns when he’s comfortable in his own skin. Whatever life circumstances had reduced him to work as a barista, he didn’t seem to mind. By her guestimate, he was in his early to mid-forties, his thick black hair combed back, faint silver streaks on the temples. An out-of-work actor or model? For some reason, he seemed familiar even though she’d never noticed him here before. Of course, she’d always been glued to her phone or tablet.


99¢ SALE


A hunted pirate captain. A reverend's daughter determined to bring him down.

On a lush, secluded island, one passionate adventure leads to another….

Diana Fletcher means business. The beautiful, innocent, reverend’s daughter has traveled all the way to a tropical island off Madagascar on a mission: To find her brother—and to punish the man who drove him to a life of piracy. But when she comes face to face with the enemy in question, the handsome, powerfully seductive man is not at all what Diana expected…

Tristan Kent never intended to harm Diana’s brother. A man of humble origins, Tristan claims he tried to save him from another ruthless captain. Diana is desperate to believe he is telling the truth…and that the intoxicating desire that escalates between them is true as well. But can she trust him? Or is Tristan’s story—and his heart—nothing more than fool’s gold? Amid the haze of sensual delights and soaring ecstasy Tristan has in store for her, all will be revealed…


Women hadn’t been born to yield. Women could yield. They might even enjoy doing so, but only with the right man. One they desired. First came desire. Respect and love followed.

She could only deliver her heart to a man like that.

Even if Tristan wasn’t facing the gallows, he wasn’t the one she needed. His skin was warm against hers but what of it. He was handsome as the devil, yet there was the rub, because he was also brutal, violent, taking what he wanted. His mouth on hers was something she refused to consider, though she could hardly forget how he’d spoken calmly when she’d railed. She insulted and he smiled. He claimed she wanted the same as him. Diana did not. She wanted to be home. She needed to be free.

Her eyes flew open. A sound or voice had awakened her. Reclined on her side, she faced away from the door. An oil lamp had gone out, telling her she’d slept far too long, recklessly too.

Oh my God. Peter.

Diana rolled onto her back but didn’t check his mattress, knowing he wasn’t there or in the cabin.

Tristan was. His long legs, muscular calves, and thighs blocked her view of the door. He’d placed his precious book on the table. The volume was safe. She was not.

Before she could push to a sitting position or think to fight, he straddled her, his hands circling her wrists, holding her arms to each side. His touch didn’t harm, at least not yet.

Her heart pounded.

He offered a smile.

How dare he be so smug. “Release me at once.”

He tightened his grip slightly and studied her mouth, then her eyes. “Violet.” Awe flooded his face. “I wondered about your eye color but never expected this.”

She pushed and writhed but did no good against his strength. Breathless, she stopped. “What have you done with Peter?”

Tristan stared at her eyes. “Amazing color, quite beautiful. Fits your dark hair and pale skin perfectly.”

She rammed her thighs into him.

He held her more firmly. “Stop that.”

“Not until you tell me what you’ve done with my brother.” She slammed into him.

He scooted down and trapped her legs. “Peter’s on the main deck with the other men.”

“He’s a child and proved it by helping you escape.”

“This wasn’t his doing, and you’ve no reason to fear for his safety. I have James, my quartermaster, looking after him.”

“A bloody pirate, you mean. The same as you. Perhaps even worse than you.”

“No. James is a good man.” A haunted look touched Tristan’s features before he shook off whatever had troubled him and became casual. “He saved my life. He’ll take great care to watch your brother.”

She wanted to retort but couldn’t reconcile her indignation with Tristan’s previous anguish and the mean scratches she’d left on his cheek. Dried blood had gone black, the surrounding skin swollen and red. “What do you mean he saved your life?”

“Just that, ask no more for I’ll give you no other answer.”

“The only thing I want from you is my freedom.”

He stroked her wrists. “You want the same as me.”

She pushed against him, straining with the effort.

He tightened his grip, proving she wasn’t a match for his strength. If he chose to take her now, she’d have no choice except to allow him what he willed.

She didn’t beg. Wouldn’t. Not to him or any man, including Bishop. They could conquer her body but not her spirit, never her heart. Reconciled to her fate, she grew limp as she could, pulse racing. “Take what you’ve come for and be quick about it.”

“I shan’t be quick, Diana. With you, I’ll never be quick.”

Heat stung her face and throat. “You won’t be the last, either.”

His gray eyes darkened as storm clouds do, danger building in them. “What do you mean?”

“When you’re finished with me, I go to the man to whom I truly belong. Nothing will change that no matter how long you intend to take raping me.”

Despite her harsh words, he didn’t flinch or frown.

“Who is this man with whom you’d willingly lie?”

“Willingly?” She laughed. “You believe I’ve chosen him any more than I’ve chosen you? The fact is you’ve driven me to him.”

“What do you mean? Who is he? Tell me.”

She turned her face away.

Tristan brushed his lips over her cheek and buried his face in her hair.

Her scalp tingled. She could scarcely draw enough air to speak. “I said, be quick about it.”

He took his time, his lips soft and warm against her temple and ear, breath heated and sweet.

She tensed even more, determined to resist.

“Why do you fight me when you want this as much as I do?” He kissed her jaw.

Pleasure rushed through her, delight making her come alive as she never had, the feelings new, troubling, far too exciting. Her lids slid down.

“Tell me who the man is.”

Tristan’s scent surrounded her, surprisingly clean, tinged with musk.

“Tell me, Diana.”


He suckled her neck.

She trembled, an unfamiliar ache building between her legs, tension mounting within her. Flustered, she fought his hold and failed, growing weak from his imposing size. However, she refused to surrender, wanting him to know what he’d done to her. “He’s a wealthy merchant who agreed to help me find Peter if I promised to become his mistress, which I shall.”

“Never.” His breath skipped over her skin. “No one will have you but me.”

She fumed, her previous weakness gone. “You’ll take me. You’ll never have me.”

“Nor will the wealthy merchant. He owns this ship? Is his name Benedict Bishop?”

Tristan kept surprising her, giving her no defense. She pushed against him.

He eased back. “Is that the merchant’s name?”

“Yes. He’s the man to whom I belong.”

“Not any longer.”

Website  –  FB  – FB Fanpage  – Twitter  –  Amazon Author Page

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Love of Tattoos – Are They Out of Style Yet?

I just got back from a trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Great place, nice people, beautiful beaches. I even got to practice a little Spanish. At a beach resort, you’re going to see people in bathing suits and of course, more skin. So you’d expect to see more tats that usually are hidden by clothing. But I noticed an excessive amount of skin real-estate covered in colorful designs. A ton of tats.

Full arm and leg sleeves, complete back or chest designs, etc. Quite a few men and women were showing off their ink.

Tattoos were once thought to be a symbol of rebellion, and for many years they’ve been mainstream. While researching my story TATTOO WITCH for the Naughty Getaways- Eleven Sultry Stories, I read a few articles that said tattoos were peaking in popularity. Still in style, just not so rampant. It didn’t seem so in Punta Cana, unless these were old tats.

I overheard one lady in the pool discussing her tattoos and mentioned that she and four other girlfriends shared a tattoo. It’s an intricate Celtic knot design. Each woman’s tat is slightly different, missing one piece, but if you could superimpose all designs they would create a completed knot. I thought that said something about their friendship and a closeness they share.

Another lady had a detailed fantasy scene from one arm, across her back to her thigh. I had to wonder how did she decide on that design and what a commitment she'd made to offer her body to a tattoo artist as his canvas. Not to mention the trust and time involved, and expense.

I don’t have any tats, although I’ve considered a number of times to get one. I thought maybe a vine of orchids. Because I was married in St. Lucia and there were orchids in my bouquet. We almost didn’t make that trip because we left only five days after 9/11/2001. Once the airports opened we refused to let terrorists stop us from living. We were married on 9/20.

My other tattoo idea was of a dragonfly. I’ve always been fascinated by them. They remind me of lazy summer days at a lake in NJ where I grew up. I’d watch them land and admire the design in their wings. An author friend has a dragonfly tat and said they can only fly forward. Perhaps a way to say to leave troubles behind?

Do you have a tattoo? If not, what would you get if you did?

I invite you to check out TATTOO WITCH in Naughty Getaways – Seven Sultry Stories. These tats have special powers, but there’s a catch.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Playing with History

There’s always a risk when setting your story in a real historical background that you can later find out events or people of the day might actually have a real history that contradicts what you’re trying to do.

When I wrote my Passions series of books back in the early years of this millennium (and doesn’t that feel weird?), I did a lot of research on England in the fourteenth century, including major events and the main historical characters of importance. Because I’d studied Medieval literature fairly extensively in college, I had a fair grasp of the events of the period, but I tried to double-check details.

I put a date on the first book in the series but not on the subsequent ones because I didn’t want to be tied to a particular year.  There was a lot going in 14th century England and I didn’t want to have to account for everything that might’ve happened in a year and how it would impact the characters and events. For the most part I’ve steered clear of using actual historical events and personages.

In my most recent release, Healing Passion, however, there are references to battle happening on the continent and a prince who is in charge. And there is a scene toward the end where the hero and heroine go to court and meet the king and prince.  I don’t name the king, though it’s not hard to figure out he’s meant to be Edward III, because I do allude to the prince present with him as the Black Prince.
Edward, the Black Prince, is granted Aquitaine by his father King Edward III. Initial letter "E" of miniature, 1390; British Library, shelfmark: Cotton MS Nero D VI, f.31
This picture is in the public domain.
And right there I take a couple of historical liberties.  First of all Edward of Woodstock, later Prince of Wales and Prince of Aquitaine, was not (as far as we know) ever referred to as the Black Prince while he was alive. The first written use of that name for him comes almost two centuries later. But I figured that there was likely a tradition that gave him that sobriquet well before that, possibly even during his lifetime.

The second was that from a young age, Edward spent most of his time on the continent, leading the English forces in what must have seemed like an unending war.  He was rarely in England until near the time of his death and even then he spent most of that time at his own estates, separate from the king’s.

If you’re interested, I have more interesting facts about The Black Prince at my website here:http://katherinekingston.com/playing-with-his…the-black-prince/

Meanwhile, Healing Passion, the last of the Passions series of Medieval Historical Erotic Romances is now available at all major outlets.

Re-release date June 1, 2017
Genre: Medieval historical, domestic discipline, BDSM
Length: Novel
Order eBook from:  Amazon    B&N    Kobo    iTunes
More info
The king has charged Sir Thomas Carlwick with learning what became of Baron Groswick. No one has seen or heard from the man for more than a year. Thomas’ inquiries have so far turned up no sign of the Baron. When he goes to Groswick Keep, he gets a mixed reception. Young, lovely Lady Juliana welcomes him graciously, but that evening someone tries to kill him by firing a crossbow at him. Juliana apologizes and tends his injury. She also tells him she has no idea what happened to her husband, but she’s beginning to accept that he’s dead.
Thomas is attracted to Juliana, finding in her everything he’s wanted in a woman. Despite a past that was nearly destroyed by a woman’s lies, Thomas is ready to settle down again, and he believes Juliana is exactly what he’s looking for. As soon as he can prove Baron Groswick is dead, Juliana will be free to marry him.
But he may not want her anymore when he learns what really happened to Baron Groswick.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Calling On Your Life Experiences

Real life can sometimes be the pits. There are schedules, telephone calls, emails, bosses, coworkers, relatives, kids. Wow. So much to do, so little time.

All those things that make an author holler can also be gems when it comes to writing. Have a boss you can't stand? Make him the villain in your book and kill him. Is your sister a nag? Give her monster kids who destroy whatever they touch. Do you have a friend who always brags about everything she has? Have her invest all her money in a company that goes under. Ah, yes, revenge is sweet.

Too mean, you say? Okay, how about the special friend who can't seem to get a fair break? Give her the hero and let her live happily ever after. Do you have the best brother in the world? Let him find his dream job. Are your parents wonderful? They bought the winning lottery ticket!

Do I use real experiences in my books? Of course. I doubt if there's an author who hasn't drawn on something from her/his life and used it in a book. Do I use real people? Yes and no. I borrow from a person's life, but rarely pattern a character exactly after a real person.

You can add the good in with the bad. It's your book, your story, your world. Call on your life experiences, or those of the people close to you, and use them. Add your own personal touch. Real life may be stranger than fiction, but it can also be glorious.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Kindle Fire Winner!

Congratulations to Sarah from Milwaukee on winning the Kindle Fire loaded with books by the Naughty Literati authors. Our sincere thanks to all who entered and help us celebrate the release of Naughty Getaways: Eleven Sultry Stories.

Happy reading!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Romancing the Throne, or, The History of a Parthian Love Story by Regina Kammer

Naughty Getaways: Eleven Sultry Stories is out! And it includes my ancient world romance, “An Unexpected Discovery” set in Parthia, the kingdom to the east of the Roman Empire. My heroine, Roedogune, is based on an actual historic figure, a Parthian princess who, along with the Parthian imperial throne, was captured by the Romans during their invasion of Ctesiphon, the capital of the Parthian Empire.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Operation Man Hunt in Entice Me Anthology by Marianne Stephens



My story: OPERATION MAN HUNT by Marianne Stephens  

Chris Carlisle needs a man and Tony Davis becomes her goal. He learns the hidden reason for her enticing attempts to capture his attention. Both can’t deny the mutual, lusty attraction. Will true love follow? 
Genre: Contemporary Romance 

At the door, she looked through the peephole. “Tony. Just a minute.” She unlocked the door and invited him inside. “Hi. I’m surprised to see you.”

With a grin, he replied, “You left your watch at the barbecue. I volunteered to return it.” He looked around. “Nice apartment.”

She took her watch from his outstretched hand. “Thanks. Would you like a drink? Coffee?”


“Glass of wine if you’ll join me.”

“I have a new bottle of red wine I’ve been thinking of trying. Would you open it for me?”

“Sure. “

“This way to the kitchen.” She grabbed the bottle and handed it and an opener to Tony. She opened a cabinet and took out two glasses. He immediately popped the cork and poured their drinks.

“Let’s go in the living room.” She strolled away and he followed. “Have a seat,” she said and nodded to the sofa.

Once comfortably settled, Tony quipped, “Let’s toast to new friends.” He clinked his glass with hers.

She smiled and added, “And interesting friendships.”

They sipped their wine in silence for a few seconds. “Unique taste.” He gave her a wink.

Start talking.“Do you enjoy living here? I moved here a few years ago and love it.”

He frowned. “I’ve kinda been a workaholic for the past two years. Haven’t seen much. Moved here from Texas.”

“So neither of us are long time locals. I’m from Virginia.”

Tony finished his wine and refilled his glass. “Ready for more? This is good.” He looked at the label. “I’ll have to remember it. It’s a Missouri wine.”

“More, please.” She held out her glass and he poured. “That’s why I bought it. I wanted to try something from this area. I like it, too.” She settled against the sofa cushions.

“Tell me about yourself. Why live here? Enjoy teaching?” he said as he scooted closer to her.

“I love my job. Coming here gave me what I wanted. A new location. Meeting new people. And you? Same questions.”

The distance between them could be measured in inches. Chris caught a whiff of his aftershave, a woodsy scent she always savored. It reminded her of naughty fantasies she’d had about him.

Tony placed his arm along the back of the sofa. “Same answers. I needed a new start in life.” He grinned. “I think we need to toast new starts with fascinating people.” He lifted his glass.

Chris brought her glass to meet his. That’s when Sassy jumped, hitting both glasses and spilling the contents on Tony’s lap. “Sassy!”

Tony stood, took both their glasses and put them on the coffee table. “Guess your cat wanted some wine,” he quipped.

She grabbed a napkin from the table and began to wipe away the wet, red stains on his clothes. “I’m so sorry.” She turned to the cat. “Naughty girl. Go to bed!”

Tony grabbed her hand and she looked back at what she was doing. While yelling at the cat, her hand had slipped down his body and rested on his zipper. She quickly pulled away.

He let out a laugh. “I certainly enjoy your effort. I’d hafta take off my clothes if you want to continue,” he drawled.

Her heart pounded. “Take off your clothes.”

He stepped closer. “Is that a question or an invitation?” he said in a whispered tone.

Tony drew her into his arms and kissed her. A slow, wine tasting kiss soon became more urgent. Chris wrapped her arms around his neck and moved his head closer to hers.

Tongues danced between teeth, and she moaned. Chris tried to weigh the pros and cons of inviting him to her bedroom, but her passion, and need, surpassed clear thinking.

For the moment, all she could think about was exploring his body and making love. She missed feeling wanted and having sex. Every fiber in her body urged her to continue. Even though her hormones were on full alert, she stepped back and out of his reach. She needed a moment of sanity.

Tony was breathing fast. “Wow. I’m guessing it’s an invitation.”
For more blurbs, excerpts, and buy links, visit http://www.romancebooks4us.com

Marianne Stephens

Monday, June 12, 2017

Excerpt from Summer Lovin' by Nicole Austin

Bonus Novella
Part of the NAUGHTY GETAWAYS boxed-set, available now!

Naughty Getaways Ebook

Naughty Getaways in Print

Cougar on the prowl, Larissa Cross is ready for a summer full of hot younger man lovin’. Rawr! Tattooed and pierced fireman JD Harmon is tempting prey but he intends to tame the wicked cougar and stake a claim on her heart. 

*This previously published title has been revised and reedited*

Genre/theme: Older Woman/Younger Man, firefighter hero, cougar romance

Copyright ©Nicole Austin, 2017


Chapter One

Larissa Cross cruised along the coast with the top down, a warm breeze rushing through her hair. She turned on satellite radio and cranked up the volume as Steven Tyler’s signature scream blasted from the speakers. There wasn’t a cloud in the bright blue sky and the weather forecasters had rated the day as a ten on the suntan scale.

A picture-postcard-perfect Florida day and a great way to kick off her new life. Well, her new summertime life anyway. In the fall it would be back to “Mrs. Cross” and the comfortable routine of teaching elementary school.

But this summer she was going to have fun! Her son had left for college so Rissa was living alone for the first time. She’d sold the house, bought and decorated a new condo, packed up her “teacher clothes” and shopped for a new wardrobe, traded the minivan for a cherry red convertible and got tattooed. Yup, she now sported a colorful butterfly on her right hip—just above the bikini line—to symbolize her metamorphosis from Army widow soccer mom to cougar on the prowl. Rawr!

When you put all the changes she’d made over the past year together it added up to a rather frightening conclusion—midlife crisis. Scary stuff!

Dios, where the hell did all those years go?

Next month she would hit the big four-oh. Pretty sad she’d waited this long to finally rediscover herself. Better late than never though!

The changes had all started with the first erotic romance book she’d read. Then her friend Cami had told her about having a younger lover and challenged Rissa to find a hot young guy or two over summer break.

She grinned at herself in the rearview mirror. Nothing appealed to her more than the prospect of conquering a challenge. She couldn’t wait to try out some of the erotic acts that had gotten her so hot and horny when she’d read all those steamy books.

A truck full of young guys honked and whistled at her as they sped by. Hmm…maybe the challenge wouldn’t be too difficult. These boys looked way too young but their appreciation still made her smile and gave her confidence a boost.

With a wave to the boys, she turned into the jam-packed parking lot for the public beach. As she claimed one of few available spaces at the back of the lot, her car sputtered, coughed and gave a loud hiss before the engine stalled.

“Oh great!”

Rissa knew next to nothing about cars, yet even she realized the smoke billowing out from under the hood meant bad news. She jumped out and raced to the front, intending to pop the hood. That’s when she noticed the flames.

Thankfully the pickup had pulled in behind her. The teenage boys who piled out to help were on the ball, whipping out cell phones and calling for reinforcements while warning others in the immediate area to stay back.

In the few agonizingly long minutes it took for the cavalry to arrive, Rissa convinced the boys to salvage the contents of her trunk. Once they had her lawn chair, overstuffed beach bag, umbrella, towels, cooler and her precious e-book reader on the side of the road it looked like someone was having a yard sale. Or more apropos—a fire sale.

“Mrs. Cross?” one of the boys tentatively inquired.

Oh no. He must be one of her former students. Didn’t that just make her day.

“Yes.” She slid the dark sunglasses down her nose and peered over the tortoiseshell frames at him.

“Remember me? Tyler James. I was in your class?”

Prior students always failed to realize how much they’d changed or how many kids she’d taught and expected her to remember them. She played along to make him feel better. “Oh my gosh. You sure have grown up, Tyler. How’s high school treating you?”

Once the others learned she was an elementary school teacher they became a band of protective alpha-males-in-training and stayed by her side, assisting her through the crisis.

In a flurry of flashing lights and blaring sirens, a fire truck, ambulance and police cruiser arrived. The firemen quickly set to work and extinguished the flames while the medics checked for anyone with injuries and the police wrote reports. By the time the firemen were done, her crispy car appeared ready for the junkyard.

What now, Miss Smarty-pants?

Should she call a tow truck? How the hell would she get back home? Anyone she could ask for a ride lived over the bridge, at least a half hour away. She was in no mood to sit and wait that long.

There would be so much to work out now. Thank goodness she had insurance. She’d have to get in touch with the agent to file a claim. Damn, she really loved that car. Her first non-family car in two decades. Now she’d have to shop for another and get a rental in the meantime.

Rissa plopped down on top of the cooler with a heavy sigh as her wonderful plans for the summer disintegrated. In need of some emotional support, she longed to call Cami.

What would she do in this situation?

A wicked grin tugged at her lips. Cami would tell her to check out the emergency workers and if possible get pictures. She’d also tell Rissa to flirt her ass off and get one of those hot young studs to take her home.

“Who owns the car?”

She looked up as one of the firemen headed in her direction while scribbling information on a battered clipboard.

“Uh…me. I do.”

Oh yes, I do. Please and thank you!

Damn, the man was gorgeous. Tall, at least six-one, with a shaved head. A bit of dark stubble covered his scalp, ran along his square jawline and above his mouth. A plump, sexy mouth. He had to be in his mid-twenties by her estimation. Not too young or old. Perfect age to pop her cougar cherry.


Yes, what is your name, hot stuff? Please tell me.

Broad shoulders blocked out the sun as he moved to stand before her. What she wouldn’t give to have him strip off the fire gear and let her ogle his body. From his solid build she guessed he had lots of yummy muscles. Maybe even a six-pack. She pictured running her fingers over his tanned skin, feeling the sinew ripple beneath her fingertips.

“That’s Mrs. Cross,” Tyler, her proud protector, stated. “She’s a teacher in Tampa. Elementary school.”

What a wonderful, helpful boy. Go away now, you brat.

The fire god nodded toward the police officer ready to ticket the boys’ pickup. “If that’s your truck, you might want to move it.”

“Aw crap,” one of the boys groaned. The group loped off, leaving Rissa alone with the hunk, whose sharply focused attention suddenly made her nervous and fidgety.

He might have been preoccupied earlier but now she had his undivided attention. Coal black eyes took a slow journey from the top of her head down her see-through cover-up, pausing at breasts nearly spilling out of tiny bright blue triangles before dipping down to linger on her tattoo then stroke along her legs. And boy did his gaze ever have the impact of a physical caress. Everywhere his eyes touched her skin tightened and long-ignored nerve endings tingled.

If he can do that with a look, imagine what he’d be able to do with those big, strong hands.