Wicked Lovers all started here. That’s a wow for me. I didn’t have any clue when I wrote this book that it would start something much bigger. After eight novels and four novellas about these high-octane men and the daring women they risk all for, nearly 1.2 million words in the series, and multiple appearances on the New York Times and USA Today lists, I’m still in shock. I began this book as a tribute to a dear friend who is no longer with us, who impacted my life probably far more than he ever knew. But readers have touched me, too. Thank you for the emails saying that I helped you through chemo or comforted you through the death of a loved one, that something I wrote helped you understand yourself and/or your partner better, saved your relationship, or led to that great night when you conceived your child. I can’t begin to describe how humbled and grateful I am to have such amazing, caring readers. Now, I’m sitting on pins and needles as I wait for book nine (His to Take) to release. This seemed like a great time to reminisce and spread the Wicked love. I hope you’ll join me for a fun, downright sexy celebration next Thursday, 8/14 at 6pm Eastern. More details following the juicy excerpt below. If you’re new to the series, then join us and let’s get this party underway!
Wicked Lovers, Book 1
She didn’t know what she wanted until he made her beg for it...
Morgan O’Malley has seen a lot of kinky things as the hostess of a cable sex talk show. But she’s never met a man like Jack Cole before. A self-proclaimed dominant, he’s as alpha as a male can get–and good for Morgan to have around when an obsessed stalker ratchets up his attempts to get to her.
Though Jack is a bodyguard, Morgan feels anything but safe in his presence. Because slowly and seductively, Jack is bringing her deepest fantasies to the surface. And when he bends her to his will, what’s more shocking than her surrender is how much she enjoys it–and starts to crave his masterful touch. A willing player in Jack’s games, Morgan knows that his motives aren’t pure, but she has no idea how personal they are…
Someone pounded on the door. Morgan started, her heart racing. Had the shooter managed to follow her here? She cut her gaze to the window, hoping it might prove to be an escape route.
Then the door opened. Jack entered, wearing a ratty T-shirt and faded jeans, a backward baseball cap, and a false moustache.Those few external changes made him look considerably different. But she still couldn’t miss his pissed-off expression.
“Damn it, what are you two doing in here, having a slumber party?”
“Bite me, Jack. I worked as fast as I could since I need to get back to business,” Alyssa said with a smile, then kissed his cheek. “And good luck to you,” she threw back to Morgan.
Then she exited, leaving Morgan alone with Jack.
His gaze flew across the room and latched onto her. Black eyes scorched her, and a slow, sinful smile spread across his mouth. That look made her stomach clench. Quickly realizing she wore nothing but a revealing bra and thong, she glanced around for something—anything—to cover her.
She darted across the room and reached for the white satin sheet draped off the bed. Jack ripped it out of her hand.
“No time for modesty, cher,” he whispered in her ear, his voice inflected with a lilt that was decidedly Cajun French.
His body buffeted her backside, legs glancing hers, chest brushing her shoulders. The heat he gave off warmed skin she hadn’t realized was chilled. Despite his heat, goose bumps multiplied their way across her skin and a shiver ran down her spine. Her nipples made a sudden, unwelcome appearance.
She swallowed. He might be one of the good guys, but at the moment, his posture was pure predator.
“I don’t need you in here while I get dressed.”
“Mais yeah, too bad for you I plan to supervise. We aren’t leaving here until I’m convinced you can pass for Alyssa.”
“I’ve been putting on my own clothes since I was three. I think I can manage alone.”
“True, but I use Alyssa as cover for cases. We walk around pretending we’re drunk on hurricanes and sex. People are used to seeing me touch her. Often. But you…” He snaked a hand around her and laid a palm flat on her belly.
She jerked and gasped when his broad hand blanketed her bare midriff, his heat seeping under her skin, insidious, unstoppable.
“You,” he murmured in her ear, “jump when I touch you. You do that in public, and people will know you’re not Alyssa.”
With every word, Jack made her more aware that he was male—all male—and she was female. He had the kind of personal power that drew her. Her stomach flipped when he spoke. Her breasts swelled. She felt jumpy, unsettled, when he stood too close. Morgan swallowed tension so thick she thought it might choke her and tried to ease away from him.
Jack didn’t budge—or let her go.
Gnashing her teeth, she said, “There must be another way out of here besides you pawing me.”
“I wouldn’t take that bet. You wanna make it out in one piece, cher, without your stalker recognizing you through your disguise, you’ve got to act right. We’ve got to look real.”
The hand on her stomach started inching slowly north.
Morgan’s brain buzzed with the intimation in his words. He would touch her out in public, where complete strangers would see. Instantly, her breasts swelled again. Moisture gathered between her legs.
This is impossible. She wasn’t into public displays. And Jack’s caveman tendencies shouldn’t be arousing her. Having such fantasies was one thing. Living them…that was completely different. Stupid to indulge, especially with a stranger.
Jack interrupted her thoughts by cradling her breast between his thumb and fingers—and continuing to inch up.
Until Morgan slapped her hand around his wrist to stop him. “I don’t believe you. You don’t need to touch me that intimately to get me out of here.”
He stopped the upward progress of his hand. “Less than an hour with me, and suddenly you’re the security expert?”
“This isn’t a game. It’s my life!”
“Exactly,” he growled into her ear. “Locals, not necessarily the trustworthy ones, will be out there tonight, seeing me with a woman they think is Alyssa. If you’re gasping and fighting and pushing every time I put a hand on you, they’ll know you’re an imposter. And if the man chasing you offers them money for information about a suspicious female…you’ll be an easy target to spot.”
And an easy one to kill. Jack didn’t say it, but he thought it. Just as Morgan did.
“Couldn’t I leave here as a bag lady or a nun or something?”
“Your gun-toting friend is going to be waiting, watching. Don’t you think the emergence of a nun from a strip club would send up a few red flags?”
He was right, damn it. She had to get a grip. If dressing like a stripper and letting a good-looking guy fondle her for a few minutes was all it took to keep her safe, she’d survive the embarrassment and the blow to her modesty.
There was just one problem: She reacted to Jack not like a decoy, but a woman. Her body heated for him with a few whispered words and a glance. Still, the embarrassment she felt for responding to him was short-lived, particularly compared to death. When this fiasco was over and she could find a new place to hide, she’d never have to see Jack Cole again or care that he knew he could arouse her.
Taking a deep breath, she let go of his wrist.
“Smart girl,” he praised.
Morgan sensed him, his watchful gaze over her shoulder as he turned his wrist until her entire breast rested in his palm. She swallowed. God, her flesh felt heavy in his hot hand. He hovered there, breath scorching the back of her neck. Tension ramped up in
her stomach…and lower, tightening with an ache she wanted to deny—and couldn’t. Her nipples hardened impossibly under his hot gaze. Morgan squeezed her eyes shut.
Then he swiped a thumb over the taut tip. Electric pleasure shimmied down her spine.
Unable to resist, she arched, pushing her breast into his hand.
“Good girl,” he muttered in her ear, then grazed the sensitive curve of her neck with his lips.
Arousal tightened again, pulsing low and hard. Her heart pounded away like a hoard of hammering carpenters. She squeezed her thighs together.
His left hand joined the right, taking possession of her other breast in a hot swarm of fingers. She didn’t jump, but fought the need to squirm, as pleasure battered her senses with the double assault. It took biting her lip to hold in her groan.
Why did her body react this way to a man she didn’t know and who practiced a sexual life she didn’t participate in?
It ceased to matter when he pinched the hard pinpoints of her nipples between his fingers, rolling them slowly with erotic patience.
Need spiked in her belly, arrowing straight down between her legs.
“Jack…” she protested.
“Shh. You’re doing fine, cher. As long as you don’t act like I’m unfamiliar, we’ll be all right.”
All right? If he did that again, she’d be melting.
He didn’t. Instead, his right hand left her breast to glide down her stomach, lower, lower, until his fingers edged underneath the damp black lace of her thong and unerringly found her swelling, hungry clit. She gasped and tightened her thighs against him. God, he’d feel how wet he made her. This was ridiculous. He wasn’t going to touch her there in public.
“Don’t do that,” he warned, withdrawing his hand. “A tensing body and outraged gasps will give you away. Relax.”
“This isn’t necessary,” she argued, her voice strained.
He snorted a cynical sound. “Spoken like a girl who’s never run from a killer. He followed us here. Did you forget?”
“No, and I’m not a girl.”
“Non? Then stop responding like one. It’s going to take a damn convincing act to get out of here in one piece. I’m trying to save your life, not steal whatever virtue you might have.”
“Wouldn’t this kind of behavior simply draw attention?”
“New Orleans isn’t the only place that celebrates Mardi Gras. The sun is going down now, and the party is about to start. Being too good would make us stand out in the crowd, cher.”
He was probably right. She had to trust him. She had no reason not to, since he’d kept her alive so far. “Sorry.”
Behind her, she felt him nod. “Spread your legs.”
* * *
If you haven’t read the series and would like to join in on my upcoming Wicked celebration, click a buy link below and read. There’s an invitation to the party below the links. Join us!
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Join me Thursday, August 14 at 6PM Eastern (11PM GMT/3PM Pacific) to chat about Wicked Ties. I’ll have hot pics, cyber cocktails, and prizes! Discuss the book to win all kinds of goodies. You can find the fun by liking my Facebook page!
Hope to see you there!