Don’t you love that point in a romance where the barriers between the hero and heroine begin to crumple? For me, the verbal foreplay and the prolonged, heated gazes always bring on a smile and the hunger for more.
In Sensual Stranger, my newest erotic romance, circumstances haven’t allowed Toni and Zach to be obvious about their attraction. Oh, it’s there, but they keep fighting it during their first hours together.
When they’re finally alone, free of outside distractions, vulnerable to each other’s allure, they have no protection. For Toni, it’s the beginning of a journey she couldn’t have imagined.
Here’s the blurb and an excerpt to show you what I mean:
Into his life she came—wanting…willing…wanton
It’s no ordinary morning when Toni Starr arrives at Zach’s garage. Flat broke, with a past she won’t share, Toni’s instantly taken by such a potently virile man. Direct and unashamed, she tells him she’s a motorcycle performance artist who needs work and knows motors.
Zach knows women, and Toni’s unlike any he’s met. Lushly sensuous, exceedingly assured, she’d easily be his match in business and bed. A provocative challenge that stirs him as nothing has since losing his wife. A chance he’s reluctant to take, offering no more than a month’s employment, then she’ll have to be on her way.
The hours tick by. Each word and glance intensifies their denied yet escalating desire, forcing them to surrender to passion and Toni’s need for Zach’s dominance. Driven by carnal hunger, conquered by yearning, they face the unforeseen truth of Toni’s past and a future neither of them expected.
At last the garage was empty except for her and Zach. Toni’s heart beat out of control. Taking a full breath became increasingly difficult. She felt awkward suddenly, not knowing what to say or to do.
Toni knew what she wanted—Zach to touch her, to fuck her hard and long—suspecting he wanted it too. Even so, she needed to be certain not to cross an invisible line between employee and boss, risking her job, which meant letting him make the first move.
He joined her by the cabinet, leaning against it, stretching out his left leg.
Their arms were only a few inches apart. She smelled a hint of coffee on his breath and imagined the heat of his skin. Pleasant sensations rolled through her.
In a softened voice, he asked, “How’d it go today?”
Wanting to tease, unable to stop herself, she said, “Better than you expected?”
He laughed. “You do good work.”
She grinned so hard it hurt her cheeks. His praise meant everything, more than he would ever know. It moved her like a baby’s first smile for its mother. It filled her as no food or drink could. She recalled her father’s approval, still missing it after so many years. Reluctant to allow those sweet memories to bring back all the others, ones she’d buried for too long, she teased, “Yeah, I know.”
Zach’s smile brightened briefly at her sass, then fled with his questioning look. “So what now?” He regarded her grease-and-oil-stained overalls.
Uncertain as to what he meant, not wanting to ruin anything in case she’d read him wrong, she joked, “You pay me for a day’s work? And while you head out, I clean up here and see you in the morning?”
“Where are you planning on staying tonight, Toni?” He looked at her, his expression serious. “Were you thinking of crashing in my office?”
A wave of heat surged to her throat and face at him guessing her thoughts. He had a reasonably comfortable sofa in there that looked as if he’d spent more than a few nights on it. “I won’t take anything,” she promised, her voice laced with embarrassment. “I’m not a thief.”
“No one said you were.” He pushed away from the cabinet and went to the wall switch, flipping the controls for the bay doors. He spoke loud enough so she could hear him over the rattling metal. “Finish up, then come into my office.”
As he moved toward it, Toni’s heart beat painfully in hope and worry. Hope that he’d let her stay in there. Worry that he’d changed his mind about her employment, intending to terminate her because she was still essentially a stranger. “Why?”
He stopped and looked over. The doors reached the floor, thwacking it. “So I can take you home.”
Stupidly, she stared at him. “What?”
He turned to face her. “You don’t have any money to spend on a motel room and you’ve already said you won’t be going back to the shelter. So I’m offering you a place to stay.”
Not understanding, Toni shook her head. “With who?”
His gaze roamed her. “Me.”
Her heart stumbled on several beats at his answer and the renewed intensity in his eyes.
As their silence lengthened, his demeanor shifted back to the forced restraint she’d seen earlier. “Don’t worry,” he said, his voice neutral, subdued. “I know how to handle myself.” He headed for his office again.
Without thinking, she called out, “I know that.” She could see and hear it.
Once more, he stopped and looked over.
“And I’m not worried,” she added.
Without warning, something dark and dangerous flared in his eyes, telling her she should be. He wasn’t a man to be toyed with. If a woman desired him, he’d enjoy her anyway he chose, and once he started nothing would stop him. He’d take what he wanted while providing equal pleasure.
Desire weakened Toni’s legs. She leaned against the cabinet, needing it for support.
“Don’t make me wait,” he said, domination and a hint of pleasure in his voice. Not giving her a chance to respond, he went into his office.
Moments later, she heard him tossing clipboards from his desk to the file cabinet next to it.
Gaze turned inward, she tried to picture his place, an apartment surely, just large enough for two. Would he offer her his bedroom or would he tell her to sleep on the sofa? During the night, would he come to her, unable to stay away, his big body trapping hers against the cushions, one hand holding her wrists above her head while his other roamed?
Her lids slid down on a lusty sigh.
She swallowed at the thought of his rigid cock pressed against her mound, showing her his need as he pulled her top away, baring her breast, lowering his mouth to it, pulling the stiffened nipple inside.
Her cunt clenched in arousal, delivering a rush of moisture at the image of his hot, soft lips surrounding her areola while his bristly cheeks scraped the delicate swell of her breast. Of him wanting no woman except her.
Had he ever loved anyone?
Even if he had, Toni sensed he didn’t now. He wouldn’t be bringing her to his home if he had a girlfriend he cared about. He wouldn’t be offering her a place to sleep. He wouldn’t be crossing a fragile line separating employer from employee, man from woman, stranger from lover.
He wouldn’t be telling her not to make him wait with a hint of danger in his eyes.
Sensual Stranger will be available December 15th.
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