Following is the monthly wrap-up I sent to my newsletter subscribers. Just a catch-up to let everyone know what’s new and what’s coming.
Thanks to everyone for your well wishes and prayers. The 7-year-old sailed through her second surgery. Her recovery is going to be long and grueling. But she’s in good spirits when she isn’t complaining about boredom (she’s confined to bed, for the foreseeable future).
I’m still trying to catch with everything I’ve let slide. Keep reading. Below, I have reminders of new stories you can pick up now and lovely, tempting covers for what’s coming in August!
Thanks again for your support–especially for your emails and Facebook messages! You lift me up!
A Glance Back At July
SEALs of Summer 3: Military Romance Superbundle~Navy SEAL Style
This includes 11 Navy SEAL stories from top authors in the genre, and includes my story Baby, It’s You!
The term sex object brings to mind a curvaceous starlet on a casting couch or an iconic, bee-stung-lipped beauty being pursued by a powerful, capable man. In Sex Objects, Devlin turns that concept upside down by allowing the woman to objectify a handsome, sensual man, using the concepts of role reversal and power play, but from a female perspective, to create something evocative and fun for the feminine, romance-reader.
A record executive plays hardball with her latest star in “Hush.” In “Taste Test,” a food critic is seduced with a gastronomic feast by a master chef. “Dark Circus” enchants with a story about a circus owner and a young accountant exploring a D/s relationship. A celebutante and her bodyguard get “Slap Happy.” In Devlin’s own “Butled,” a famous writer succumbs to the tender manipulations of her butler. Lush settings and creative cliche-busting will delight readers eager to embrace the passionate and surprising couplings.
These women are masters of their own domain, in charge and proud…capable of using sex for pleasure’s sake…but ultimately succumbing to the pull of desire and love created by the “objects” of their desire…
After a month-long sleep filled with dreams of adark-skinned lover in a glass castle beneath the sand, Captain AndromedaO’Keefe awakens in her suspension chamber to discover her dangerous cargo hasescaped. Worse, naked and at his mercy, she learns her sexy, forbidden dreamsweren’t hers alone.
Khalim Padja of the Raptor Clan has a date witha prison cell. Using his dream-share gift, he invades the wary captain’s dreamsto seduce her. But time is running short to win her heart and his freedom.
Of course, there will be a new Stepbrothers Stepping Out story–but I don’t have a cover yet, because, uh yeah, I haven’t written it yet. I’m trying to narrow down the possible themes. Maybe you can help me… Which of these appeals to you most?
With His Construction Crew With His Wranglers With His Warriors With His Biker Club With His Starship Crew With His Ranger Team
In the meantime, Baby, It’s You, an Uncharted SEALs story, releases August 5th! Before We Kissdoesn’t release until September 20th, but I couldn’t resist sharing the cover with you! (And psst! It’s available for pre-order now!)
I woke up late today. I’m a little worn out. My dd, SIL, and I have done our civic duty to pay attention to the news and watch those conventions. With the 7-year-old’s bed in the middle of the living room while she’s recovering, we had to tape the conventions and watch them when we could, but we are finally done.
This election cycle is completely crazy. And I think my family is reflective of the nation at large when it comes to who’s voting for whom.
My 96-year-old grandma (who’s a lifelong Democrat) is glad she hasn’t registered to vote.
My parents (who’ve voted Republican ALWAYS) are struggling to remain staunchly supportive of their candidate. My poor dad gets so angry at T-word’s antics and words.
My two kids are split. My son has decided he’s staying home on Election Day, since his candidate, Bernie Sanders, didn’t get the nod from the Dems. My dd and SIL are voting for H-word. My daughter’s convinced the targeted hatred toward her candidate is the result of genetics, not intelligence. People don’t like her because she’s a strong woman.
I know who I’m voting for. My support hasn’t wavered even once. When Obama faced McCain, I wanted to vote McCain, because I didn’t think Obama was prepared. That is, I was for McCain until Palin became his running mate, and then, I couldn’t bear the thought of her being a bullet away from the Oval Office. So, you can guess who I support now. It’s been hard not to wave my flag on social media, but I know that there are people out there who are virulent to the point of being obnoxious over their support of their candidate, and I don’t want to invite any of that. I hope I haven’t done that by talking about what’s on my mind now.
Just know, this old Army vet worries about power being held by someone who doesn’t get what America’s about. Someone who doesn’t understand our history or fear our foes.
So, I don’t care if you say who you’re voting for. I’d like to know if you watched the conventions, if you’re doing your homework. I’ve been watching everything I can. I watched almost all the 11-hour Benghazi grilling. All of the House’s email grilling. As much of both candidates’ speeches as I can catch on the news. And I READ every article and interview I can find. How are you preparing for what might be the most important vote of our generation?
Now, because I’ve made you think of things that might make you uncomfortable, here’s an incentive to post your answer. If you comment, you’ll be entered to win a free download of this coming Friday’s release, Baby, It’s You! The winner will be announced tomorrow. And if you’ve already pre-ordered that story, I’m sure we can come up with something else you’d love to read. 🙂
Thank you, Delilah for having me on your blog. Love you and your books!
Hi everyone. I’m Lexi Post, the romance author who gets her inspiration from the classics, which may sound boring, but believe me, those books inspire some pretty hot thoughts in my head. For example, take my latest release, Eden Discovered. It’s the third in The Eden Series and it takes place on a planet of naked men. It’s not techy sci-fi, more a social sci-fi. On this planet, every woman must marry at least two men, every man has a special paranormal ability depending on the Kindred birthmark he is born with, and the cities on the planet are walled in so they can simply exile any criminals, or “lawbreakers” as they call them.
The classic that this particular book was inspired from was Emily Dickinson’s poem “The Goal.” Since Dickinson was a recluse, I decided that she wasn’t really hiding in her home, but had been chosen to come to Eden where she became their first High Poetess. She is credited with having saved their civilization, and so there is Dickinson Law which has to do with how the men treat their woman, mostly. Of course, there is also Criuson Law which is based on the aliens who took men from Earth during ancient times and brought them to populate Eden. Only one problem. No women are born on Eden, so to find their wife, the men must go to Earth and research their chosen one.
Let’s just say that if you read Cruise into Eden (#1), Unexpected Eden (#2) and Eden Discovered, this will all make perfect sense. But the great thing is, each book is a stand alone romance, and each happily ever after has more than one Edenist. Just sayin’ J
To celebrate the release of Eden Discovered, I’m giving away this hand decorated Venetian mask made in Italy. It is a cat mask in honor of Talia, the hero’s chameleon saber-tooth sized cat. Just enter the Rafflecopter for your chance to win. Good luck!
Animal lover Jaelene Upton doesn’t expect to lose sight of her sister when she follows her through a bizarre travel portal, but that’s exactly what happens when she’s distracted by a cute baby porcupine. Lost, she asks for directions, only to be nearly assaulted by one naked man before being saved by another. Her best guess is she’s landed among a native tribe in the middle of a jungle….but odd reflections and energy sources have her questioning even that assumption.
Theron misses his home in Loraleaf and the brothers of his heart, Konala and Rekah. His new home, a lonely cave, is his escape from seeing the woman he loves happily bonded to Loraleaf’s leaders. When he saves Jaelene from lawbreakers, he finds himself drawn to her intoxicating curiosity and despite his best efforts, he falls for her. But no matter what his heart wants, he can’t offer her anything but safety and a reunion with her sister. Unless…
If Theron can interest Konala in Jaelene as well, then he would only have two more obstacles to conquer, Rekah and Jaelene herself. But Rekah, hurt by Theron’s betrayal, wants nothing to do with Jaelene, and when she discovers Theron’s past love, she refuses to be his consolation price. As the battle with the lawbreakers grows near, Theron realizes this time, he may well lose more than his heart.
Jaelene looked at the pool again. It would feel good.
Theron stepped behind her and whispered in her ear. “What are you afraid of, Khityki?”
You. I like you too much. I depend on you too much and you aren’t interested. She wasn’t about to tell him her fears. “What does that word mean? You said it to me once before.”
He placed his hands on her shoulders. “You are changing the subject. Why do you not want to disrobe and enjoy the warm waters of the bath?”
Oh, he meant getting in the water. That was easy. “You’ve seen me. It’s not like I’m Miss America or anything.”
Theron lifted one hand from her shoulder and pointed across the water. “You are a special person, Jaelene.”
On the other side of the pool floated a reflection of herself, but it was so beautiful she couldn’t believe it was her. She studied every feature and each was exactly the same on her. Her small naked breasts, her narrow hips, her big lower lip, yet a silver inner light showed through and her blue eyes sparkled like the sun hitting the blue waters of the sea.
Her eyes watered and her heart swelled. She looked up at Theron. “Is that how you see me?”
His dark eyes grew almost black. “No. It is how everyone sees you. This is you.”
Hurt she’d thought she buried exploded within her, the tiny pieces disappearing into thin air as she stared into Theron’s eyes.
She needed him in her life.
Turning toward him, she hooked her hand around his neck and lifted up on her toes to kiss him.
He lowered his head, his lips brushing hers in a soft kiss.
She relaxed her hold on him, hoping for more, but he straightened, his face unreadable.
“Will you bathe with me?” His voice had lowered to a husky base that sent tingles all over her body.
Lexi Post is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of erotic romance. She spent years in higher education taking and teaching courses about the classical literature she loved. From Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Masque of the Red Death” to Tolstoy’s War and Peace, she’s read, studied, and taught wonderful classics.
But Lexi’s first love is romance novels. In an effort to marry her two first loves, she started writing erotic romance inspired by the classics and found she loved it. Lexi believes there is no end to the romantic inspiration she can find in great literature. Her books are known as “erotic romance with a whole lot of story.”
Lexi is living her own happily ever after with her husband and her cat in Florida. She makes her own ice cream every weekend, loves bright colors, and you will never see her without a hat.
Hi! Before I get started, I want to thank Delilah for being so generous with her blog space. I always have a good time when I come to visit here, and I appreciate that Delilah lets me.
So it’s my birthday month, and more specifically, my birthday week. I remember as a kid how much I looked forward to my birthday–it was about halfway through the year from the other big kid present holiday, Christmas. Each one seemed so far away from the other when I was a kid. Do you remember, too? I always thought it would be worse, though, to have my birthday too close to Christmas and then have to wait even longer for gifts. Funnier, though, when I think about it as an adult, is that gifts when I was a kid were a lot of useful things and a few fun things, plus the dinner of our choice and whatever kind of cake we wanted (my mom was a really great baker). I had a lot of siblings, so huge wish lists weren’t the norm in our house. And we were okay with that.
Even when I got older, birthdays were more about the cake than the gifts. I’m still a huge fan of the birthday cake, actually. Something decadent and delicious, with icing. There has to be icing, or there’s no point in the cake, unless it’s cheesecake, and then it still needs something–fruit sauce, or chocolate, or something.
I haven’t written a character yet whose birthday happens during the course of their book, until now. I’m working on a shifter story, and the heroine has a birthday and Christmas during their story, and neither of those has ever been a big deal in her life up until this point. Seeing things through her eyes that I’ve taken for granted is kind of eye-opening, and a little sad for her. The hero does some very romantic things for her, too, which makes the whole thing even better.
But there is still something to be said for a good birthday gift from someone special, whether it sparkles, or maybe it’s just a good dinner at your favorite restaurant. So I wondered what some of your favorite romantic birthday gifts have been. From your spouse, or maybe a previous significant other, I want to know. Everybody who shares in the comments below by noon EST on Sunday, July 31, 2016 will be entered into a giveaway drawing (via RandomResult.com)–I have a box full of books, including a signed copy of Hunting Medusa. I can’t wait to hear these!
The Medusa Trilogy, Book 1
Ever since the original Medusa ticked off Athena, her cursed daughters have been paying for that mistake. To this day, successive Medusas play cat and mouse with the Harvesters.
When Kallan Tassos tracks down the current Medusa, he expects to find a monster. Instead he finds a wary, beautiful woman, shielded by a complicated web of spells that foils his plans for a quick kill and retrieval of her protective amulet.
Andrea Rosakis expects the handsome Harvester to go for the kill. Instead, his attempt to take the amulet imprinted on her skin without harming her takes her completely by surprise. And ends with the two of them in a magical bind—together.
Though their attraction is combustible, her impending PMS (Pre Magical-Curse Syndrome) puts a real damper on any chance of a relationship. But Kallan isn’t the only Harvester tracking Andi, and they must cooperate to stay one step ahead of a ruthless killer before they can have any future, together or apart.
Elizabeth Andrews has been a book lover since she was old enough to read. She read her copies of Little Women and the Little House series so many times, the books fell apart. As an adult, her book habit continues. She has a room overflowing with her collection, and still more spreading into other rooms. Almost as long as she’s been reading great stories, she’s been attempting to write her own. Thanks to a fifth grade teacher who started the class on creative writing, Elizabeth went from writing creative sentences to short stories and eventually full-length novels. Her father saved her poor, callused fingers from permanent damage when he brought home a used typewriter for her.
Elizabeth found her mother’s stash of romance novels as a teenager, and–though she loves horror–romance became her very favorite genre, making writing romances a natural progression. There are more than just a few manuscripts, however, tucked away in a filing cabinet that will never see the light of day.
Along with her enormous book stash, Elizabeth lives with her husband of more than twenty years and two young adult sons, though no one else in the house reads nearly as much as she does. When she’s not at work or buried in books or writing, there is a garden outside full of herbs, flowers and vegetables that requires occasional attention.
First, thanks to everyone who purchased Raptor’s Prey and With His SEAL Team! Raptor is #9 on the Science Fiction Erotica list! And SEAL Team is right here:
Thank you, thank you, thank you! 🙂
I am super-envious of everyone who was able to attend Comicon! The news coming out of there of new movies to watch for has been killing me. On Facebook, I shared clips from the new Justice League and Wonder Woman movies coming in 2017. Since they are so much on my mind, I thought I’d help stoke your obsession too! So, answer me this…
Which member of the Justice League would you most want to see charging up the sidewalk when you're getting mugged? You may choose 2.
Wonder Woman (42%, 8 Votes)
Superman (32%, 6 Votes)
The Flash (11%, 2 Votes)
Aquaman (11%, 2 Votes)
Batman (5%, 1 Votes)
Cyborg (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 11
And of course, you’re welcome to explain your choices in the comments!
UPDATE: The two winners are…Michelle and Sandy Ebel!
* * * * *
Ready for another off-world adventure filled with sexy space travelers? How about a hero with “special gifts”? Yeah, here’s a hero you could never escape, because he can slip into you mind—anytime, anywhere… And his method of tyranny for my heroine? Straight up, dirty seduction. Enjoy the excerpt at the bottom of this post. Be sure to enter the contest! I can’t wait to hear what you think of my story…
She’s held captive by her dream lover…
After a month-long sleep filled with dreams of a dark-skinned lover in a glass castle beneath the sand, Captain Andromeda O’Keefe awakens in her suspension chamber to discover her dangerous cargo has escaped. Worse, naked and at his mercy, she learns her sexy, forbidden dreams weren’t hers alone.
Khalim Padja of the Raptor Clan has a date with a prison cell. Using his dream-share gift, he invades the wary captain’s dreams to seduce her. But time is running short to win her heart and his freedom.
Two winners will choose one of my previous Planet Desire stories! All you have to do to enter is answer me this…
If aliens landed and offered us space travel,
would you take them up on their offer?
You can win one of these stories…
Excerpt from Raptor’s Desire
I dreamt of him. My dark warrior.
He pulled me from a deep REM cycle with the force of his summons. Now, standing with my toes sinking into heat, I found myself on a ridge of shifting sand—red as Mars and as hot as the fury of his gaze. And I was naked. Again.
Rays from an orange sun beat down on my skin. Wind lifted my hair and brushed it against my nipples. Even knowing he was angry, my stomach tightened, and my breasts grew heavy with desire. His hard, golden-eyed gaze raked my body, pinning me like a rabbit between his namesake’s talons. And yet, I yearned to thread my fingers through his long, dark hair and drag his mouth toward mine. He had taught me to crave the taste of his lips.
“I shouldn’t be dreaming,” I said, breathless with anticipation of what new sensual wonder we would explore.
“Are you?” His deep voice rumbled, and yet his lips didn’t move. He stood as still as a pillar, naked as I was. Aroused.
“I must be. How else am I here with you?” Emboldened by the thought that within my dream I was free to explore my fantasy, I reached to touch his face. He didn’t move as I brushed his sun-warmed skin and feathered a light touch over his high cheekbones and sharply defined nose. My fingers paused at his mouth, and then I swept my thumb over his lower lip and pressed inside. The tip of his tongue stroked my finger, and I gasped, imagining its moist heat teasing the hardening points of my breasts.
His expression didn’t change, and his gaze didn’t leave my face as though gauging my responses. The calculating gleam in his golden eyes gave me a moment’s pause.
“If this is a dream, then why don’t you give me what I seek?” he asked. “What harm would there be?”
My hands fell to his shoulders and I kneaded the muscles there, fascinated by his strength. “If I tell you, you won’t call me back to you.”
“Do you think your password is all I desire from you?” His gaze swept over me, scorching me everywhere it paused—my mouth, my breasts, my belly, the juncture of my thighs.
Heat licked at my loins, and my glance fell to his erection. “No, but surrendering to you would give you power.”
“I would not abuse that power any more than I would abuse the gift of your body.” A strong hand lifted my chin. His steady, hypnotic gaze seemed to pull me closer and made me flush with warmth. “Have I caused you pain? Haven’t I fulfilled your fantasies?”
I ignored his questions, knowing my blush colored my face and breasts. He had taught me to find pleasure centers in my body I’d never known existed. “I’ve watched you, while you sleep in your suspension chamber.” The admission was difficult even knowing this wasn’t real—he wasn’t real. Unable to meet his stare while I confessed my intrusive behavior, my gaze dropped to his broad, bronzed shoulders.
“I wondered if your body is as powerful as it appears.” Hesitantly, I smoothed my palms over his warm, lightly furred chest and felt the muscles beneath my hands spasm. “Am I only dreaming your body is this incredibly hard?”
He wasn’t unaffected. His chest rose and fell more quickly now. I was pleased my touch inflamed him as well.
With my hands, I measured the breadth of his shoulders and followed the thickly corded muscles of his arms downward. “You’ve led me, invoking my responses each time we’ve met, but this is my dream. I would know if everything is as hard as it appears.” I noted his hands clenched at his sides, and I smiled up at him. “Will my touch break your control? You’ve teased me, lured me to the edge, and left me wanting. Can you resist me?”
I spread my hands on the defined ridges spanning his taut, narrow waist. Then I glided downward, curving my fingers to rake the silky arrow of hair that broadened to frame his immense manhood.
As I encircled his cock, his head fell back, and his jaw clenched. Feeling powerful, I stepped closer to press my aching breasts to his chest and slide my tongue along the crest of his shoulder. He smelled of exotic incense and warm, musky man. My hands glided up and down on his smooth, hard cock.
Suddenly, with a movement that left me gasping, his hands closed around my waist, and he lifted me high. I was exultant. Now, he would come inside me. Now, I would learn the promises his body had hinted at—if only in my dreams. I clutched his shoulders and wrapped my legs around his waist, and he lowered me, impaling my moist flesh.
I moaned, and his mouth curved into a grim smile. His hands shifted to my buttocks—but he held me still while my vagina dampened in anticipation of a vigorous coupling.
“Why won’t you move?” My body ached for fulfillment, and I tightened my inner muscles around him.
“Your password.” He clenched his teeth. “Give me what I want, and I will finish this.”
The request jarred. But I was so lost in my flaming need, I ignored the warnings clamoring in my mind. “This is my dream, my mind. I command you to take me.”
His eyes narrowed, and his hands were hard, steel bands anchoring me to his hips. “Do you?” His expression challenged me to prove myself.
I faltered, and a prickle of unease crept up my spine to lift the hairs on the back of my neck. Khalim Padja of the Raptor clan, a Tirrekh warrior and the man embedded in my body, was a murderer and a traitor to the Dominion. But what else might he be? Was he somehow making this dream happen?
He’d been brought aboard my small transport ship, a cargo so precious and dangerous the governor of the outlying fortress had refused to hold him long enough for a military transport to arrive. I’d been promised a fortune to deliver him to the Dominion courts, and I’d assured the governor that Khalim’s suspension chamber would hold him safely.
Before I’d slept in my own chamber for the duration of the month-long journey, I’d inspected his, and checked to be certain the sleep inducements would last. But I’d been unable to resist a thorough inspection of his body as he lay inside.
I was a woman who’d spent too many months alone aboard my ship in deep space, my imagination my only company. And his body was beautiful. What harm would there be to look and stroke my hands over his still flesh?
And I had, much to my shame.
But this dream was too vivid. Even for the elaborate fantasies I often built to while away the days and weeks of my travels. His scent, his warm skin, his hard hands. His cock that stretched me—achingly.
“I’m not dreaming, am I?” I asked, afraid of the answer and his knowing smile, and ashamed of my body’s creamy response. My lips trembled, and his gaze fell to my mouth. I closed my eyes.
“No. You’re not dreaming.” His mouth descended on mine, and I was lost to his mastery. His firm lips pressed mine, and his tongue stabbed between my lips, sweeping over the roof of my mouth, gliding along my tongue, inciting me to suck.
I moaned, and my traitorous body released a fresh wash of liquid arousal.
He growled deep in his throat, and his hands squeezed my ass and lifted me, and then pushed me down—moving me, finally, up and down his thick shaft.
Mindless now, I threw back my head and clutched his shoulders, my nails digging into his skin as I climbed the precipice. “Don’t stop,” I begged. “Please, harder.”
His body shuddered between my legs, and his hips joined our dance, working in contradiction to the hands that directed my hips, pulling out as he lifted me, thrusting deeper as he ground my pussy down his length. Deeper, harder, faster—until I shattered. My long, keening cry ripped through the stillness around us.
When I opened my eyes, my head lay upon his shoulder, rising and falling with his ragged breaths. Drowsy, sated, I was less afraid and less believing, because I’d never experienced such depth of passion in my life. I smoothed my cheek on his warm skin. “If this isn’t a dream, then what is it?”
At last!!! I put out the first four books of the Delos series, and later, wrote sequels to each one of them. The first of those sequels, Secret Dream, is following Cav and Lia from Nowhere to Hide, Book 1. I’ll be rolling out three more, one a month! I’m excited to hear from you as to whether you like having a sequel after the “big” book. So do let me know! Below is an excerpt from SECRET DREAM. Enjoy!
Sequel novella to Nowhere to Hide, Book 1, Delos series
Publishing date: 7.25.16
Ebook, paperback and audio www.lindsaymckenna.com
Ex-Navy SEAL Cav Jordan faces danger daily in his job as a security expert. He even faced down a gang of South American drug dealers to protect his fiancée, Lia Cassidy. So why is he terrified of meeting her parents? Having lived through his own horrible childhood Cav can’t understand the situation is he is walking into. Lia just wants him to meet her parents. Why does this feel like the fight of his life?Secret Dream by Lindsay McKenna
“Steve Cassidy. Welcome, Mr. Jordan. We owe you a lot.” He gripped Cav’s hand, and choked out, “You saved Lia’s life. Thank you…”
For a moment, Cav was stunned by the sudden kindness emanating from the farmer’s expression who was thin, wiry, sunburned and physically sinewy from the daily work he did. Gripping the farmer’s calloused roughened hand, he said, “Nice to meet you, sir. And I was just doing my job. Call me Cav?”
“Call me Steve.” He clapped him heartily on the back, still clasping his other hand. “And you’re a hero to us, son. Nothing less.” Steve released him, keeping his hand on Cav’s broad shoulder, watching Lia clinging to he mother, both of them in a tight, loving embrace with one another.
Embarrassed by such a show of emotions, Cav murmured, “Thank you, sir.”
Steve gave him an assessing look. “Just Steve will do.”
“Yes, sir….I mean, okay,” Cav stumbled. It was very different meeting people who were strangers, but this was Lia’s parents and he didn’t want to fuck this up for her. Awkwardly, he stood there, watching tears roll down Susan’s face. He wasn’t sure that Lia wasn’t crying too, such was the tight bond they shared. Obliquely, his mind leaped backward. Cav remembered the times his mother had cried. But they were tears of pain. Tears mingled with blood from her nose, a split lip or both after his father got done beating her up. How many times had Cav cried alone in his room wishing she would run away with him from his monster father?
Steve clapped him on the shoulder. “Let’s us guys go find your luggage, huh?” and he smiled a little.
Good idea! “Yes, sir—“
Steve laughed and patted him warmly on the back. “You’re staying a week with us, Cav. I’ll work that military side out of you by then. Come on, let’s hunt up that luggage you and our Lia, eh?”
There was a male gruffness mingled with warmth to Steve that made Cav want to open up to the man. He had a deeply weathered face, his blue eyes the same color as Lia’s. The woman he loved had her mother’s same color of hair, her father’s sparkling, mischievous looking eyes and her smile. There was benevolence to Steve Cassidy, and Cav automatically found himself wanting to be close to this man who exuded a male gentleness he rarely found in any man. “Thanks for coming to pick us up,” Cav said, noting that the baggage from their flight would be spit out by Carousel Two.
“We’ve been looking forward to seeing you two,” Steve said, standing with his hands on his hips, watching the luggage starting to be dropped off the conveyor belt. “Did you have a good flight?”
“Yes. It was quiet. That’s all I ask.”
“We don’t travel much,” he said. “With a farm, you can’t walk away from it, so I’m glad you came for a visit.”
Cav felt Steve’s genuine sincerity. He hooked a look over his shoulder, seeing Lia and her mother talking animatedly with one another as they walked toward them. Susan had given Lia her smile and her beauty, no question. He liked that the mother had hooked her arm around Lia’s waist and they walked closely, their affection for everyone to see. He knew Lia’s affection himself and already, he could see how happy she was at being home with her parents once more. They breathed even more life into her, if that was possible. Compared to the ghost of a person she was in Costa Rica months earlier, Cav was stunned at Lia’s natural radiance. She was sunshine to his darkened soul who craved her.
“Uh oh,” Steve murmured, grinning as he turned. “I’m about to get attacked.”
For a moment, the word put Cav on instant guard. But as he turned, he saw Steve opening his arms as Lia flew into them, her arms wide open, joy radiant on her face as she clung to her father. A lump formed in his throat as he watched Lia being swallowed up by the big man who kissed her hair, kissed that cheek that had that deep scar on it, his eyes only for his beaming daughter in his arms. His gaze flicked to Susan, who stood a few feet away, teary eyed, smiling, her lower lip trembling as she watched Lia with her doting father. It hurt to swallow and Cav turned away, remembering too much of the twisted and distorted family he’d somehow managed to survive. He’d never known a moment of affection from his father. Only his fist. His hatred. His anger always aimed at him.