About the Author
Leslie Kelly has written dozens of books and novellas for Harlequin Blaze, Temptation and HQN. Known for her sparkling dialogue, fun characters and depth of emotion, her books have been honored with numerous awards. Leslie lives in Maryland with her own romantic hero, Bruce, and their three daughters. Visit her online at www.lesliekelly.com
Shana's passion is to enjoy life! She loves to travel and see the world, be with family, friends and experience the beauty that surrounds us. Many of her experiences find their way into her books. First published in 2010 as Cristal Ryder, Shana has written contemporary erotic romances for Sybarite Seductions, Lyrical Press (now Kensington), Ellora's Cave, and Harlequin Blaze. Her stories range from scorching quickie length to longer erotic romances.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
She'd been wrong. Oh, so wrong.
"I think I'm going to need a defibrillator," she managed to mutter between harsh breaths. She collapsed onto a silky pile of sheets and pillows, her heart pounding wildly in her chest. Every bone in her body seemed to have melted away, along with all her strength. The wild sex-against-the-wall had been both incredibly pleasurable and aerobically challenging. The only things she could move now were her lips, which curled up into a well-satisfied smile. "Will you resuscitate me?"
"How about I do mouth-to-mouth?" Nathan asked, falling beside her, his hand finding hers in the rumpled sheets.
"I'm pretty sure you already have. A lot."
"Are you complaining?" he asked with a confident, masculine chuckle, already knowing the answer.
"Most definitely not."
God, no. Nate Watson was hands-down the best kisser she'd ever met. Best lover, too. Best looking. Smartest. Sexiest. Funniest. He was, without a doubt, the perfect man.
Hard to believe she'd only known him for seventy-two hours.
When she'd set out for a long girls' weekend getaway in Vegas, she'd never dreamed she'd meet someone so amazing. She'd certainly never expected him to ask her to extend her trip so they could spend more time together.
She'd refused at first, having responsibilities at home. She ran a shop right on the plaza in Santa Fe and seldom took vacation. But her two best friends had cheered her on, urging her to go for it, saying every woman should grab at least one wild adventure with a guy most only dreamed of meeting. She knew they were right. So once they'd promised not to tell anyone she was staying longer so she could get her freak on with a stranger she'd met at the craps tables, she'd said yes.
Heather had never done anything so wild and reckless in her life. Being the nice, reliable, bleeding-heart owner of an art gallery, she was far more the type you'd expect to run off to join the Peace Corps than to shack up with some guy. Yet here she was. And, frankly, she'd never been happier.
"Are you sure you don't want to come with me today?" he asked. "Free food."
"No, I don't think so," she said, slowly shaking her head, capable of no more movement than that. "I need to float in the pool and recuperate."
"From us, you mean," he said, nuzzling her throat. The sensation of his slightly stubbled jaw against her skin made her quiver with helpless appreciation. God, she loved the feel of this man, the taste of him, the power of him.
But she hadn't been joking. They'd made love so often, in so many exciting, wild ways, that she figured she should remain motionless for hours, just to regain her strength.
"You go do your being famous stuff, and I'll just nap."
He laughed softly. "You still don't believe I'm famous?"
She hadn't, at first, being someone who paid absolutely no attention to any kind of sports. So of course she had not recognized the championship-winning quarterback, or ever even heard of his name, not until he'd told her last night.
"I believe you," she admitted. "The way women fall over you was a tipoff." Though, of course, his incredible looksthick, dark hair; dreamy brown eyes; powerful, rock-hard bodycould also have explained that. "And the gushing casino owners were, too." Though, of course, his obvious wealth could have had something to do with that. "But there's really no other way to explain that group of college guys who tried to carry you across the lobby last night, unless you're the world's oldest frat pledge or your tastes are a whole lot more varied than you've let on."
He reached over and cupped her breast, reminding her ofjust how much he appreciated her woman's body. "Don't ever question my tastes."
"So who are you pledging? Alpha Alpha Alpha?" she asked with a giggle, because the man was the definition of that word.
"Okay, okay. Just remind meis football the one with the big, round, orange ball or the pointy triangular ball?"
"You're hopeless," he said, running his fingers gently through her hair. He'd admitted that her red hair had caught his eye from across the casino the night they'd met, and that he'd been hoping she would cross his path. Funny that she'd ended up cheering on one of her friends at the craps table where Nate was laying bets much larger than her own. Funny and lucky.
"Sorry, the only sport I enjoy is croquet. I'd kick your ass in croquet."
"I don't doubt it."
And she didn't doubt him, not anymore. She'd been skeptical at first. After he'd told her who he was, laughing at her shocked expression when he admitted most of the rest of the world would have recognized him on sight, she'd checked him out on the internet. Yeah, he was a pretty big deal. Which just made her wonder even more why he'd spent the past three days glued at the hip to her.
Of course, their hips did match up very nicely. As did all their other parts.
She shivered with the thrill of the sensual memories. Noticing, he dropped a powerful arm across her waist, pulling her close, as if to warm her. But frankly, when Nate pulled her against his smoking body, she didn't get warmshe got hot. Luckily, the opulent suite at one of the most exclusive five-star hotels on the strip was nicely air conditioned.
"I'm becoming addicted to you," he whispered as he leaned closer to scrape his lips along the edge of her ear. He nibbled on the lobe, breathing hotly down her neck.
"I can't move," she said, groaning even as she laughed at how utterly relentless he was.
"You don't have to. Just lie there and enjoy."
Good lord. The man was insatiable. But when he began to kiss his way down her body, she certainly didn't protest. Instead, as his warm mouth reached her breast and his lips covered her nipple to suck deeply, she merely groaned.
"I love these," he mumbled as he moved to suckle the other.
"I'm so glad," she purred, her strength returning as a different kind of energy began to pour through her.
He continued to caress her breasts, squeezing lightly. The tension within her increased, the pleasure exponentially so, and she arched toward his strong, warm mouth. Her breasts had always been sensitive, and when he drew on them like thatoh, God, like thatshe thought she might climax merely from the sensation of his lips and his masterful tongue on her skin.
He kissed her between her breasts and then descended down her body, lavishing attention on her sensitive skin. She quivered beneath him, holding her breath as he explored her, inch by inch. She was almost crying by the time he stopped at her belly, dipping his tongue into the hollow, nibbling her hipbone, his very breaths hitting all her pleasure sensors.
"Nate, please," she cried, begging him to go further, to give her the kind of dizzying climax he could so easily provide. The man's mouth was perfect for smiling, but even more perfect for oral sex, at which he'd already proved himself a master.
"Please use your mouth on me." She had no shame with him; he removed every thought in her head but the need to climb ever higher. "Make me come."
She twisted beneath him, and finally he continued to move down. By the time his jaw brushed against the soft curls between her legs she was on fire, a live wire of sensation.
She was greedy. With him she was a different woman. With this amazing stranger she was a completely sensual being, in tune with every ounce of pleasure she was capable of achieving.
"Oh, God, yes," she groaned when he moved his mouth right where she craved it and stroked her with his tongue.
He groaned himself as he tasted her, eating her into a mindless frenzy. She'd had oral sex before, but never with someone who seemed to totally get off on giving it. Nate devoured her as if he was starving, his warm tongue licking into her, making love to her, before he returned to her clit and got serious about bringing her to orgasm. The intensity of the sensation was shocking, overwhelming, and she began to shudder, bucking up toward his mouth.
And then the pressure erupted into a warm sea of waves that rolled through her, relentless as a tide, bringing utter satisfaction. She cried out, stunned by the power and perfection of her release. Nate moved up her body, kissing the sound right off her lips, before the pulsing delight had ceased. And then he was inside her, riding it out with her.
"I can't get enough of you," he growled as he plunged deep. "The minute we stop, I fantasize about starting again."
"Ditto," she muttered, shocked that he could have made her so wet, so ready for him again, when they'd made love more times in the past three days than she had in a year. But every inch of her was attuned to him, welcoming his massive cock, loving the heat of it, the thickness of it, the way he bored into her as if he was an explorer claiming her for his very own.
She'd always viewed sex as a journey toward orgasm, not realizing quite how remarkable the trip itself could be.
"I've never experienced anything like this."
"Neither have I," she admitted.
"Don't leave tomorrow."
She tightened her legs around his hips, arching up to take his deep thrusts. "I have to."
"Why don't you come to Miami with me?"
She laughed, but the laughter melted into a helpless groan when he plunged again.
"Come with me."
"I'm going to," she said, deliberately misinterpreting. And a few moments later, when he reached his climax, angling his hips to give her just enough pressure where she required it most, she did exactly that. Heather let out a little scream as she fell off the ledge into pure sensory delight all over again.
"Come with me," he demanded, staying on top of her, kissing her jaw, her nose, her lips.
She considered it. There was her shopher employees were very reliable. Her scheduleshe could always change Friday's dentist appointment. Her houseplants screw the houseplants. Her parentsthey were so in love, they probably wouldn't even notice she was gone. Her father was capable of taking care of her more-than-a-little-flighty, dreamy, irresponsible mother.
"My place is right on the beach," he told her as he brushed his stubbled cheek against hers. "You can walk out my door and be in the surf within a hundred steps."
Oooh, tempting. April in Vegas was very nice, but it definitely wasn't a beach in Florida.
"Give me a chance to think about it," she said, sorely tempted to say yes. But she wanted to get away from him, to evaluate the situation rationally. Right now, with his naked body entwined with hers, all gleaming with sweat, both of them so sated and delirious, was no time to make any major decisions. And skipping off to Florida with a football-playing superstar was a major decision.
"Okay," he said. "I have to do this charity thing and press junket. But promise you'll consider coming while you're lying by the pool, and we'll talk about it tonight?"
"And if you decide no, be warnedI can be very persuasive when there's something I really, really want."
Nate really, really wanted Heather.
He wasn't sure why, couldn't say how she'd embedded herself so deeply in his psyche, but it was true. He'd become addicted to her over the past three days.
It wasn't just that she was beautiful, with her long, red-gold hair, pale green eyes and slim figure. He also enjoyed her sense of humor and her kindness, and was attracted to her spirit. She was natural, with not a fake bone in her body, unlike most women he met. Definitely unlike the one he'd planned to marry.
The difference between gallery-owner Heather Hughes and Felicity Monroe, his bubblegum-pop-singing exfiancée, was like the difference between a five dollar bottle of Chianti and Pernod Ricard Perrier-Jouët champagne. They might both get you drunk. But one would leave you with a headache and a sour taste in your mouth, while the other left you feeling pretty uplifted. The fact that he'd ever proposed to Felicity embarrassed him. He was just glad she'd eventually revealed her real, vicious personality behind the sweet facade she'd shown him at first.
As he stood in a crowded hospital corridor, he tried to force memories of Felicity out of his mind. He was always willing to help out good causes, and didn't regret saying yes to today's appearance at a new wing of a children's cancer center. The press conference afterward would be a pain, but hopefully it would go quickly.
Then he could return to the hotel and Heather.
"So, Nate, do you have any comment about Felicity's news?"
Nate, who'd been squatting down to autograph a football for a cute five-year-old, tensed, recognizing reporter-tone. He finished signing the ball, tousled the kid's hair and rose. Before him stood a middle-aged man whose eyes sparkled with excitement. Nothing beats digging into other people's dirty laundry.
"The press conference is happening later. If you have to ask about ancient history, save it until then. This is about the kids."
Not even curious about what his ex's news might be, he began to walk away. But another guy with a press label on his jacket stepped in front of him. "Nate, will you support your child?"
Nate's whole body went rigid. Child? What the hell?
"Haven't you heard about Felicity's interview on The View this morning?"
"I don't know what you're talking about," he said, desperate to get to a private spot to contact the team's press office. He'd intentionally kept his phone off for the past few days, being focused on Heather. That must be why he hadn't heard about this yet, though, obviously, word was spreading.
The reporter didn't let up. "She announced her pregnancy, naming you as the father. Felicity said that when you found out, you dumped her. She mentioned a lawsuit for breach of promise."
Christ, was that even still a thing?
"And said she'll sue you for child support."
"This is crazy," he said, swiping a hand through his hair.
"How do you respond to the allegations?"
"I deny them," he snarled. "We broke up " He was about to yell because she cheated, which she had. But he instead fell silent. Felicity was very popular right now, and the team's PR reps had thought it best that the breakup appear mutual.
"Because you're just not ready to be a father?"
"That wasn't it." He glanced around for an organizer, hoping someone could get rid of the human piranhas who loved to nip at the heels of any celebrity, especially one who'd recently dumped a VH-1 goddess. No one was nearby. Figures.
"Is it because of the redhead?"