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Archive for September, 2013



Jennifer Kacey: Bondage Boot Camp Part 1 & Contest
Monday, September 30th, 2013

Bondage Boot Camp Part 1 & Contest

When I decided to write my first BDSM novel, Together in Cyn, I thought I was so prepared to write it, because A) I’ve read the genre for years, B) I had what I thought was a great story, and C) I’ve watched porn.

Of course this, in my mind, meant I had all my bases covered and I was ready to write the story.

I wrote it, submitted it, it was accepted, I turned around and signed with the agency I’ve always wanted, and someone how or another that turned into a 10 book contract within 4 months. Thus the Members Only series was born. Haaaaaaa!! (Please picture sparkly lights coming down from pretty clouds here, because seriously it was that cool. **SMILE**)

Then my fabulous editor gave me my first round of edits. Holy shitballs, Batman!! I’m pretty sure a crayon box exploded on the MS. I organized it, made a spreadsheet of what I needed to do, did a major re-write on a few chapters, added more sex—‘cause I COULD, and then sent it back.

Between this round of edits and the second one – guess where I went?

You guessed it! Bondage Boot Camp.

Was it really called that? No, but that’s what it was. For me anyways. It was two and a half days of bondage, bondage, and more bondage. Chains, duct tape, and lots and lots of rope. Shibari bondage has a very special place in my heart. It’s wonderful and beautiful, and painful, and cleansing, and sexy, even if there’s no sex involved.

That brings me to the most important revelation of Boot Camp. Bondage does not equal sex. And bondage, at least the good bondage is better than porn even without the sex. It’s about a connection between a top and a bottom. Speaking to each other in complete silence. Their breathing coalescing in a symphony of not a single spoken word. Maybe a moan, or laughter. It’s so very different than what I had in my head. I am forever grateful for being exposed to this.

When I got the last round of edits for Together in Cyn my head was finally in the right place. In a space where bondage can coexist with the vanilla and blossom. Self-discovery is amazing and I hope each and every one of you has a chance to experience something that changes you, moves you, makes you look at the world from a different perspective to find something inside you never knew to look for.

Now you may notice that it says Part 1 in the title. As I write this, I am scheduled to go to another bondage convention in T-minus 4 days. Next month on Oct 20th, right here on DD’s blog, I’ll let you know how this one went. I can’t wait!!

CONTEST – Bad Girls of Romance Trading Cards plus Swag and Trading cards from yours truly. Get them before anyone else!! They are so hot you might need gloves to open the package!

Tell me if you’ve had any revelations like mine in regards to kink? What did you discover is VERY different from a pre-conceived notion you had?

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Members Only, Book One

She knows it’s wrong. Cyn shouldn’t have feelings for fraternal twins Jared and Chris, her best friends. She shouldn’t want them to tie her up or strap her down, to take her one at a time—or together. The only way to control her taboo desires is to write them down and lock them away in her diary. Guys like Jared and Chris could never be interested in someone like her, or in the kind of sex she craves.

But Jared and Chris have read her diary, and sweet little Cyn is in for the shock of her life. The brothers not only own a members-only BDSM club, they want her. Need her. And now, with their unlimited funds and an entire establishment devoted to fulfilling her darkest pleasures, they’re going to claim Cyn for their own.

Inside Scoop: If you have a kink, this book probably has it too. If you like your ménage romances extra hot with a side of male-male romance, spanking, voyeurism and girl-on-girl action, come and get it.

A Romantica® BDSM erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Buy Links below and others on the TIC webpage along with an Excerpt and Video
Amazon | Ellora’s Cave | Barnes and Noble

Website – http://www.jenniferkacey.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.kacey.7
Twitter – https://twitter.com/JenniferKacey
Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6941549.Jennifer_Kacey
Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/jenniferkacey/

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Jennifer Kacey is a wife, mother, and business owner living with her family in Texas. She sings in the shower, plays piano in her dreams, and has to have a different color of nail polish every week. The best advice she’s ever been given? Find the real you and never settle for anything less.

M.A. duBarry: The Lure Of The Selkie
Sunday, September 29th, 2013

The Lure Of The Selkie

First, thanks to Delilah for having me on the blog today!  Glad to be here.

Second, I’m thrilled to talk about one of my favorite magical creatures.

My favorite stories are those made of myth and magic.  For me, a supernatural hero is the ultimate bad boy.  He usually struggles with the fact he’s trapped between the human and magical worlds and that can make for great conflict.  One such creature I’ve always been fond of is the Selkie. Below are some magical facts about the Selkie.

Selkies are magical, shapeshifting seal people born of myth from Celtic legend, especially Irish and Scottish legend.  But similar seal creatures exist in many cultures. They’re usually very good looking. And very sexy.  It’s been said male Selkies come ashore for the sole purpose of finding a mortal woman in need of a good romp.

If a Selkie comes ashore and sheds his/her skin, then he/she must remain in human form until the skin is found.  This also means they cannot return to the sea until their pelt is recovered.

According to legend, if a mortal woman wished to meet a male Selkie, she could do so by crying seven tears into the sea. Those tears would be answered by her Selkie who would then come ashore for an amorous encounter.

If a mortal male found a discarded female Selkie skin, and stole it, the Selkie woman would then remain land-bound and become his wife. In the latter, it is usually the children of the Selkie who eventually return the skin to their mother, who then leaves them for the call of the sea.  Selkie children often have webbed fingers or toes.

In my novella, IN THE SHADOW OF THE SELKIE, my Selkie hero is also part vampire.  His enemy comes from the Fin-folk—a darker, not-so-nice sea shifter from Celtic legend.  My heroine is part-human, part-Selkie.

I’d love to know what’s your favorite magical creature. And if you have a favorite myth or legend you like to read.

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In the Shadow of the Selkie
ISBN: 1-59998-874-7
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Red Hots!
Length: Novella
Buy at: Samhain | Amazon | B&N | Kobo

In the dangerous world of the selkie underground, a selkie vampire king and a mortal woman join forces to fight the queen of darkness that would destroy them all.

Lady Theodosia Barrett is blackmailed by Dubheasa, Queen of the Dark Fin-Folk, and forced to stalk the Cu Maran crypts in search of a selkie king’s pelt. What she finds is the king himself—and he isn’t only a selkie, but also a vampire. Calling upon her skills as a vampire hunter, Theo stakes him. But she doesn’t complete the kill. A year later, King Roane comes back, demanding her hand in marriage.

Theo has no choice. To protect her family, she must accept.

Selkie vampire King Roane Cu Mara is determined to keep his people safe from the Dark Fin-Folk. To do so, he must first solve the puzzle as to why Theo, a soul born to protect the selkies, tried to kill him. Until he can figure out why she betrayed her own kind, Roane sets out to keep a close eye on her by making her his bride.

But even as Theo begins to warm Roane’s cold, vampyric heart, Queen Dubheasa plots to destroy selkie-kind in a twisted quest to make Roane her own. For she knows something that Roane doesn’t—Theo’s soul holds the key to keeping the selkie kingdom alive.

AUTHOR BIO:
M.A. duBarry is a native New Yorker who’s as zany as the city she grew up in. As a child her favorite toy was Emerald The Witch, a small doll with green eyes, green hair and purple skin.

Miss duBarry’s books and novellas have garnered numerous awards and nominations, including the Sapphire Award, P.E.A.R.L. Award & Word Weaving Award. Her books have also been featured on Midwest Book Review’s Book Watch TV. M.A.’s first novel, COME THE NIGHT (w/a Angelique Armae), made Fictionwise’s Best of the Best list, rounding out the top five best selling dark fantasy books of the year. Her most recent novel, SHADOWS OF THE SOUL (w/a Angelique Armae) made the Amazon Kindle and Books bestsellers lists.

When not working, Ms. duBarry enjoys traveling, learning about the ancient Celts, exploring history and learning new languages (she’s fluent in English and Italian and speaks some French). M.A. studied history and French literature at SkidmoreCollege.

Visit her website

Snippet Saturday: Farewell…
Saturday, September 28th, 2013

Update: The winner of the free ebook is Yolaine Clark!

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This is our last Snippet Saturday. :( I’ve enjoyed being a part of this Saturday tradition. Be sure to click on the links at the bottom of this blog to find the other snippeteers.

I’ve chosen a snippet from my most recent releaser, Crescent Moon—a book I loved writing, and maybe you can see why! Enjoy!

If you post a comment today, you’ll be entered to win
a free download of any of my downloadable backlist books!

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From ancient Egypt to present-day New Orleans, a woman of exceptional strength is called to protect against an unspeakable evil…and to experience an unforgettable seduction.

Khepri still isn’t used to being The God’s Wife. The daughter of a common farmer, she’s more comfortable being friends with servants than employing a whole team of them. Being the wife of Amun affords her luxuries she only dreamed of, but her dreams are not always a haven…they are also filled with demons. Lately she’s had doubts about the role she’s been thrust into. She’s had yearnings for another sort of life, one where she’s loved intimately, rather than only adored from afar.

When a powerful man lures her away from her temple, she’s thrilled at the chance for an adventure. Her adventure quickly becomes a nightmare when the handsome vizier mummifies her alive. Pure of heart and body, she’s the warrior he foresees will battle a demonic pharaoh if ever he awakens. Khepri’s sure he’s insane, until she awakens in a distant future. Alone and needing a guide in this strange and garish new world, she turns to the troubled man who set her free…

When New Orleans police detective Justin Henry Boucher is called to the Garden Museum to investigate stolen Egyptian artifacts, it’s not exactly the adrenaline rush he used to get working a homicide. But with a reprimand on his record and a sorrow he can’t shake, he will take what he can get – as long as he can keep his badge. What he doesn’t count on is having to keep his cool when he finds one of the priceless artifacts—a golden-skinned goddess wrapped in fabric like a mummy, left to die and needing his help. She’s a mystery he’s determined to unravel. She might also be the cure for his lonely heart.

After she’d soaked in a warm bath, Khepri couldn’t fight the weight of her fatigue. As she’d feared, the moment her eyes closed, her world tilted again.

With no time to cry out, no time to worry whether she’d ever see Justin again, Khepri felt as though she was being pulled by her feet, tumbling through an undulating tunnel, until she stopped so suddenly her head jerked back. Once her mind stopped whirling, she glanced around to find out where she’d landed this time.

Torchlight shimmered against gilt-painted walls. The dais beneath her was encrusted with a jeweled mosaic of a radiant sun resting in the bottom of a shallow barge as it floated across the sky. Her stomach lurched. Her heart thudded dully against her chest. She knew this place.

A hand reached down to pat her hair, and she noted quickly that she was seated on the floor, her legs folded and to the side. She wore no clothing beyond a slave’s crudely woven, white kilt, her breasts bared. Her hand was curled around the back of a man’s calf, and she knew that if she looked upward, whose face she’d see.

But she wasn’t ready to confront him. Not with the commotion surrounding them. Her companion sat on a throne-like chair, in a row of such chairs. All gleaming with more gilt paint and tiny, intricate inlaid mosaics, jewels sparkling. Before them stretched a long hall filled with frightening, half-human creatures lined up to watch a procession of humans as they were dragged in chains up the carpeted steps to where Anubis stood beside the Scale of Truth, the plates of his scale glinting gold where not covered in fresh blood.

Khepri’s stomach lurched. Her fingers tightened on her master’s calf. She didn’t want to be here. Didn’t want to watch. Read the rest of this entry »

Em Petrova: Naughty Things Cowboys Do (Contest)
Friday, September 27th, 2013

Naughty Things Cowboys Do

 Howdy! In celebration of my latest release UNBROKEN, a hot new contemporary western ménage a trois, I’d like to share the top five naughty things cowboys do.

*clears throat* Okay, let’s see if I can think coherently.

  1. Tip their hats and say “how’s it goin’ ma’am?” –just like the Jewel song Do You, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOVzkz9cLwI) these rugged shoot ‘em ups do that thing with their thumbs against the brims of their hats that make a woman’s knees turn to jelly .
  2. Glare –Something about a piercing glare from beneath a hat brim sends out a warning to everyone in their vicinity. Although we ladies flock to that kind of alpha male, right?
  3. Fistfight – who doesn’t love to watch a couple pissed-off cowboys taking a swing at each other? As one friend put it to me when I told him I was writing a fight scene between cowboys, “Go for the one-punch, Em. We cowboys do it right the first time!”
  4. Hook their thumbs in their belt buckles – watching a man hook his thumb in that belt only draws attention to his hips swathed in denim, or denim with chaps. Who doesn’t want to ogle that?
  5. Care for animals –Because their lives are spent around cattle and horses, they appreciate how to care for them. Does this mean they’re in tune with their softer sides? I’d like to think so. At least the cowboys in my story Outlaws of Love are!

What drives you crazy about a rough and tumble type? I’d love to hear from you. And please read on for an excerpt of my new release!

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It’ll take more than rope to tie down the man they love.

Country Fever, Book 3

When Christian comes out of the bar to find a bat-wielding country girl beating the hell out of his best friend Tucker’s truck, he does the only thing he can—he flirts with her. Unfortunately, he knows her pain—he’s in love with Tucker too.

Claire plans to nurse her bruised heart alone, but inevitably Tucker draws her back in—along with Christian—and the three of them tumble headlong into delirious passion. Then she and Christian wake to find that Tucker has fled his horse ranch, leaving them to care for the animals and each other.

Still grieving the death of his fiancée, pressured to sign over mining rights to a coal company, Tucker is boots-deep in emotional turmoil. Running only sharpens his longing for what he truly wants—Christian and Claire in his bed, in the barn, and under the stars.

But roping themselves firmly inside the circle of love will take everything they have—bulldogged determination, flying fists and aching hearts.

Product Warnings: Wrangle one heartsick cowboy, and the man and woman who love him. Throw in weeks of working in close quarters, bales of pent-up lust, and feel the burn of prairie-fire-hot desire. Now just try to walk away with your heart unbranded.

EXCERPT–rated melting-hot ADULT

“That’s it, baby. Open to me. Let me make you cling to the ceiling while Christian watches you come apart.”

Claire pasted a hand over Tucker’s chest, absorbing the rumble of his words. She darted a glance at Christian to find his eyes hooded with longing, his hard jaw set and fists clenched as if struggling to keep from diving into the booth with them.

Tucker drove his finger deep into her pussy, plunging it in and out twice then smearing the juices over her distended button. Pleasure surged, rushed in her ears. He circled her clit once…twice.

Ground it against her body.

And she spasmed. Digging her fingers into Tucker’s nape, she drew his mouth to hers as her pussy contracted wildly.

All the time, she stared into Christian’s eyes.

Her head spun as she came back down to reality. Crash landed, actually, when the cook called her name from the back room.
Tucker pulled his hand free and his mouth free and slid out of the booth. “I’ll handle this, baby doll.”

A boneless lump still twitching with pleasure, Claire could do nothing more than watch her lover stride across the diner to intercept the cook.
Claire met Christian’s dark, excited gaze. “You’re beautiful, you know.”

Warmth shot to her heart, causing a blossom of sudden affection. She felt her smile spread. “So are you. So is he.” She jerked her jaw at the man that wicked up all of the life in the room.

Christian swung his gaze toward the cowboy who was persuading the cook to take over the operation of the whole diner tonight, since it was so slow.

“Yeah,” Christian said slowly, as if dumbstruck, “a man like that should have a warning label.”

Buy Unbroken: Samhain Amazon BN

Thanks for reading! I’m giving away 1 e-book to one lucky commenter! Winner’s choice from my backlist.

Em Petrova
~hardworking heroes–in bed and out~
www.empetrova.com

 

The weekend’s just around the corner…
Thursday, September 26th, 2013

What are your plans? I hope they’re less stressful than my own!

If anyone is in Bismarck, Arkansas on Saturday, you should drop by. I’ll be setting up a booth at a craft fair to sell jewelry with my daughter, Kelly. Not that we’re anywhere near ready for it! I have stuff all over the place. I need to tag items. I don’t have any signage. Agh! This is not my area of expertise! Any advice, y’all?

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Vivi Dumas: The Business of Writing
Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

The Business of Writing

First, I want to thank Delilah for having me here today. I’m very excited to chat with all of you.

I’m not sure if many of us start out writing thinking we were starting our own business, right? We started writing because we had a story to tell. Or the voices in our heads wouldn’t leave us alone. It was most likely an artist venture or a personal journey. Not a business decision.

Then, once we had that lovely little story in hand, we thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if I could get it published.” The thought is much easier than the action, but the action starts a chain reaction which leads to a lot of work we probably never expected.

Writing may be artistic, but you need an MBA to deal with the business of publishing. Whether you contract with a publishing house or self-publish, technically we are all self-employed. What does that mean? A lot of work, planning and thinking.

My question to you today is do you treat your writing like a business?

Huh? What? (I know that’s what went through many of your minds.)

Here are some things you should think about as a business owner of (Your Name Here) Publishing.

  • Do you have a business plan with both short and long-term strategies? – Why do you need a business plan? It is your business/career map. It keeps you focused on your writing career goals and measures the success of your business. Most business fail because they never understood what success looks like. And success doesn’t have to look the same for everyone. Understand where you want to go and map out the direction to get you there.
  • Show me your short and long-term marketing plan. – Most of the time this is a part of your business plan. I tend to keep one outside of my business plan because I look at my marketing plan more frequently than my business plan. You need to track how much money marketing activities are costing you and whether you’re getting a return on your investment. Do you know which activities actually translate to sales? Most writer would say no. Why? Because they never track and measure the outcomes of a marketing activity. If you advertise at a site, what do you get from it? If you get no return on your investment, don’t keep advertising. How do you measure? Document your sales prior to the marketing activity going live, then check it for the week after it ends. How many sales did you get? What was your profit? Now subtract the cost of running the promotion. Did it make or cost you money? If it cost you money, did you get something else in return? (i.e. additional followers) Yes. All these things go into planning your marketing. I tend to look at my marketing plan each quarter, adding new items or removing items which no longer work.
  • Where do you want to spend your time? – This is something that is hard for me. We are writers. As writers, we need to do what? WRITE! So, don’t try to be an expert at everything or sometimes there is value in outsourcing. I found myself, especially since I self-pub some of my books, spending more time doing things like building/administering my website or trying to create banners or book covers. Those things are not my expertise, even if I could figure out how to do them. They also took way too much time away from my actual writing. Yes. We all want to save money, especially since there is very little aggregate profit in each book. But as authors our job is to write the best book we can and keep pumping them out for our fans. Spend your time and energy where it matters.

Those are a few activities which will help you with the business side of your writing. I’ve learn to appreciate having a strong business component in my day job to help manage my writing business. You don’t need a business degree to do this. Just a little common sense and awareness.

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Upcoming Release in November 2013 – Book 3 in the Dueling with the Devil Series

Stolen Innocence Blurb:

They say ignorance is bliss, but when it comes to love and mating, Charity Lovell wished someone had schooled her on the ins and outs. She fell hard when she saw the beautiful face of the fair-haired demon as he lay broken in Lucifer’s dungeon. Her body ached for him. Her heart cried for him. This had to be her mate, right? Who else could make her trade her soul to the Devil to save someone she didn’t know? Someone should’ve told her love wasn’t quite as straight forward as that.

Damon lived an uncomplicated life, even as the alpha of the Lake Charles pack and the son of Lucifer. He should’ve taken a mate years ago, but held on to the hope of love. Only one female came close to making him believe he still had a chance for happiness. Yet, her heart belonged to someone else. Once again, the feeling is back, stronger than ever. And again, his female has pledged herself to another. Damn demons were ruining his love life. This time Damon plans to fight for what is his and win his rightful mate.

Author Bio:

Although Vivi Dumas grew up an Army brat, she calls Louisiana home, but have endured the hot summers and cold winters of Maryland for the last 16 years. She is a graduate of Mount St. Mary’s University with an MBA in Finance and Marketing. Her analytical side has honed a career in the financial industry for almost twenty years. To balance her logical, numerical day job, she unleashes her creativity in her writing.

Vivi pens multicultural paranormal romance, mixing the two genres she loves. Her steamy paranormal romances indulge in worlds inhabited by demons, werewolves, vampires, and other supernatural beings. She has published works with Decadent Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and Breathless Press.

Website Address: www.vividumas.com
Twitter Address: https://twitter.com/vivi_dumas
Facebook Address: https://www.facebook.com/vividumasfanhub

A Sneak Peek…
Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Since I’m neck deep in two projects that have to be done by the end of the month, I thought I’d share a quick sneak peek from one of them. This one will be indie-pubbed, so you don’t have long to wait… ~DD

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“Sweetheart, how ’bout pretending you’re driving in rush hour traffic when a road-raging gangbanger pulls in front of you and slams on his brakes. What are you gonna do?”

“Flip him off? Duck behind my steering wheel?” Maya Cordoba asked, batting her eyelashes. Really, how could the man expect her to concentrate when his sexy green gaze stroked over her bared shoulders like a physical caress? Or was it just her imagination and he was really wondering why she’d dressed in skimpy shorts and a spaghetti-strapped tee for an anti-terrorist training seminar?

Angel Rickman sighed and rubbed a large hand over his short-cropped black hair. Suddenly, his eyes widened. “Keep your eyes on the road,” he practically barked at another steep, unmarked turn.

Maya almost felt sorry for him. She wasn’t exactly the class genius. After all, this was just a vacation for her. She wasn’t here like some of the other students who had to learn skills for real-life survival.

The most worrisome dilemma she’d ever faced was her travel agency’s audit when the accountant made the ominous pronouncement the company only months to prove up the business or their financial backers would sell off their assets.

All partners had drawn straws to see which of them would take the first “adventure” vacation so they could begin to familiarize themselves with this new line of offerings they hoped would net more sales. With experience only in high-end luxury packages, they’d all felt the need to become experts in the rapidly-expanding market for adventure tours. If not experts, at least they needed to get their feet wet so that they could add their personal recommendations to clients who preferred an adrenaline rush to being pummeled by a masseuse at a spa or earning a sunburn on some remote island beach.

Which was why she sat behind the steering wheel of a non-descript car on a lonely Central American highway surrounded by jungle with a man who’d introduced himself as a former merc (mercenary, he’d revised when she’d looked confused).

For Maya, the meeting had been lust at first sight.

Apparently, for Angel the experience was a living nightmare. As far as he was concerned, she drove with two left hands, braked with a lead foot, and must have gotten her driver’s license from a Cracker-Jacks box—or so she thought she heard him mumble under his breath.

Problem was, her normally razor-sharp focus on her own ambitions had lost its shiny edge. But how could she be blamed? With a build like a Chicago Bear’s linebacker, a square jaw, and blunt blade of a nose, he was the most enormous, physically powerful man she’d ever had sitting just six inches away. Never had she felt so intensely feminine—or so incredibly curious about a man’s intimate “proportions.”

And she knew for a fact he wouldn’t appreciate her opinion that his gorgeous eyes softened his tough-guy image. Moss-green with a sooty fringe of eyelashes…mmm-mm. Every gaze that sliced her way cut straight through her usual smart-ass reserve, rendering her insides into wiggly Jell-O.

She’d had hopes this winding trip into the mountains was just his way of getting her alone. Instead, he’d had her executing “boot turns” and “laying Goodyear” on the road—things he’d had her doing around a track with orange cones all morning long without mishap. But this narrow donkey trail of a highway was just another obstacle course.

“Time to play it for real, Princess.”

Recognizing the tension in his voice, Maya wrapped her fingers around the steering wheel like a $99 wedding dress at a Macy’s Fire Sale. The forest canopy opened and sunlight broke through the thick vegetation. An intersection loomed ahead.

“Gun it!” he bit out.

Maya pushed the pedal toward the floor.

Just before she entered the intersection, two cars appeared in her peripheral vision. The tires of a battered Land Rover on her left squealed as it turned ahead of her vehicle. Its brake lights flared bright.

Maya had just a moment to curse, knowing exactly why Angel had asked about gangbangers. Then she grabbed her emergency brake, gave the steering wheel a quarter turn, and executed a “boot turn” in the center of the crossing to face the opposite direction—too breathless to give a victory cheer.

But the second car slid neatly in front of her, cutting off her escape. She mashed the brake with her foot and halted an inch in front of the dented side of the Camaro.

For a long moment, she sat silent beside Angel, her lips pulling into a grimace before she shot him a glance. “How’d I do?” she asked in a small voice, hoping to be heard over her pounding heartbeat.

His eyes blinked as his fingers loosened from the dashboard. “Since we’re both dead now, I’d say you didn’t pass.”

The drivers of the other two vehicles got out and walked to her beat-up Dodge, wide grins wreathing their faces.

“What took you so long getting here, Angelito?” one of them asked.

To stop the burst of laughter threatening to erupt, Maya pressed her lips together. Who in his right mind would have the nerve to call the hulk beside her “Little Angel?” Recognizing another of the instructors, the one who’d lead the weapons familiarization class, she relaxed and decided to get out and stretch her legs.

Only when she got out of the car, she nearly crumpled to the pavement. “Hey, where’d my legs go?”

“Easy there,” Angel said, his arm slipping around her waist.

“You were fast,” she gasped as he pulled her against his chest.

“Only sometimes, Princess.”

Damn, his voice rumbled like a bear’s growl. Maya let her weak knees fold.

“You okay?”  His arm tightened around her.

“Just a little shaky,” she whispered, clinging to his broad shoulders, then leaning a little closer to breathe in his lovely, musky smell.

Amusement gleamed in his eyes for a moment before he jerked up his head. His eyes turned from moss to flint. “Back to camp, boys.”

“Yeah, I’m ready for a beer. Joining us?” the other guy said, a smirk on his lips.

“Later, maybe.”

Laughter followed the two well-built men as they climbed into their cars and drove in the direction the Dodge now pointed.

Unable to peel her gaze away from their flexing muscles, Maya just stared, and then looked up into Angel’s shuttered expression.

“You want me to drive?” he asked, his face tilted only slightly towards hers.

She cleared her throat and straightened inside his embrace. However much she liked the way his big hands molded against her sides, she wasn’t going to beg him to kiss her.

Not yet, anyway. She still owned a little Yankee pride. “I’m feeling better, now.”

His hands slid slowly away, and he stepped back.

Despite the sun glaring down, she felt chilled. Bereft, even. A word she’d never have used back in her real world. With her nipples prickling against her thin shirt after contact with his hard chest, she turned and plucked at the fabric. Had he even noticed? Or was he still critiquing her driving performance?

After she summoned the courage to face him again, she met his cool, hard gaze.

Angel pulled a pair of dark sunglasses from a pocket of his short-sleeved khaki shirt and slipped them on. “Keep it under the speed limit this time, chica. Class is over.”