People often ask what prompted me to try my hand at writing. Fair warning – its cliché. One day, my teenage daughters commented that I’d read so many romance novels, I could probably write my own. Like everyone, I’d read a few I found less than satisfying, so the seed was planted. Why not write one? So, it began. It took years to write that first book, and it stunk. Trust me, it will never see the light of day, but my family encouraged me to keep at it. Their faith in me propelled me on.
I found Romance Writers of America and discovered the wealth of resources available for individuals like me. I found a whole world populated by people who believed I could write a novel, and that I could become a published author. I took online classes. I entered contests for feedback, and I wrote.
Thanks for stopping by to visit with me this week. It’s been a blast getting to know you. I leave you today with an excerpt from the second book in the Lothario series, SHOW ME THE ROPES. Go find a fruity drink with a paper umbrella, and a cabana boy with a palm frond, and enjoy the cruise!
Richard stepped in and shut the door quickly, throwing the deadbolt as he did so. She backed a few steps into the room, unsure what he expected from her. Six feet of bronzed masculinity filled the small space and overwhelmed her senses. He smelled like the wind and the sun, and exuded enough heat to raise the ambient temperature several degrees. He wore nothing more than a white Lothario passenger wrap, slung low across his lean hips. Any lower and there would be no need to wear it at all. His sun bronzed back and shoulders filled the tiny space. He turned to her. Her breath caught in her lungs. The ship could have been named after him. He was every woman’s image of a Lothario, a seducer of women. There wasn’t a woman on the planet that wouldn’t be drawn to this man. Tall and lean, his brown hair bleached sandy by the constant Caribbean sun, and his eyes like gleaming emeralds, he even stole control of her involuntary muscles.
Those jeweled eyes made a quick sweep of her nakedness before they returned to her feet and slowly inched up, stopping at the juncture of her thighs, on the neatly trimmed mound there. His gaze lingered, but at last his eyes moved further up, pausing again at her breasts, now aching for his touch, her nipples painful rubies.
She should have felt like a bug under a microscope, or worse, a cheap whore, but underneath the obvious arousal, there was nothing but admiration, and perhaps reverence in the way he looked at her. He might be a despicable player, but it was hard to remember that when he looked at her that way. No wonder women threw themselves at him.
At last, he looked into her eyes. “Turn around.” She turned, willing her trembling legs to hold her. No one had ever looked at her so. She felt exposed, vulnerable, yet aroused beyond anything she’d ever felt. With her back to him, she waited for his command, wondering if he intended to take her now, or if he ever would. She’d wanted him for so long, she didn’t know if she could wait any longer. It wasn’t up to her. She’d ceded control to Richard in his office earlier. What they did or did not do was on his time schedule now, not hers.
“You’re more beautiful than I imagined.” His breath whispered across her shoulder. She jumped. When had he come so close? Metal jangled behind her and she quaked. “Easy. Relax, sweetheart. You followed my orders, so I have a surprise for you.”
Richard raised his hands over her head. An intricately wrought gold chain dangled from his fingers. She’d seen them in the gift shop, custom-made slave chains. She recognized it as the one from the display mannequin. Exquisitely handcrafted to look like solid gold rope, it must have cost a fortune. Richard had more money than God, so she shouldn’t have been surprised. The Lothario was a very small portion of his portfolio. “Do you want the gift, Fallon?” The chain dangled in front of her face. “Everything we do for the next week is up to you. This chain is simply a reminder for both of us, and anyone else who might want to claim you, that you are mine. No matter what we do, the choice is always yours whether we continue, or not. Nod your head if you understand.”
She nodded. Cold metal draped around her neck. Richard’s fingers scalded her skin where he fastened the intricate collar. “Do you have a code word you would like to use? Something that will tell me to stop?”
She nodded again.
“Tell me. What is it?”
“Stop,” she whispered. She’d gone from Ph.D. to dunce, in a matter of minutes.
She closed her eyes. His full lips would be drawn up on one side, a dimple creasing the opposite cheek.
“Not very creative, but it will do.” His hands slipped under her arms and clamped like heated vices over her breasts. His front pressed against her back. The hard shaft of his arousal branded her buttocks. “Try it, Fallon. Tell me to stop.”
“Stop.” Her voice broke on the one simple syllable, but his hands instantly dropped away, leaving her breasts aching and cold, but he remained pressed against her.
“See. That’s how it works. Now, let’s get the rest of this chain on you. Turn back around.” He moved a step back then, allowing her room to turn.
Richard sorted the delicate chains and rings and smoothed them over her skin. Two woven gold ropes hung from a ring on the front of the collar and criss-crossed her chest in an intricate pattern before widening to form two rings of the same woven rope pattern, one to encircle each breast. Roped chains fell from under her breasts to repeat the elaborate diamond pattern across her stomach, down to her waist. Richard fastened the rope around her waist to a ring at her bellybutton with a small, jewel-encrusted lock.
There was much more to it. Every few months a new piece had been added to the display. Fallon had even tried on a few of the pieces. She’d been looking at the display one day when the jeweler came out to add the new wrist shackles. He’d noticed her interest in the piece and asked if she wanted to try them on before he added them to the display. They’d fit perfectly, and she’d admired the way they felt, as well as the exquisite workmanship. When the matching ankle shackles were ready, he’d called her and asked her if she wanted to try them too. She’d turned an appointment over to Kelsey and hurried to the gift shop.
Richard knelt before her. “Spread your legs.” She shifted and his hands on her thighs spread her further. “So beautiful.” One finger swiped through her juices. She bit her lower lip to keep from crying out. “Look at me.”
She turned her eyes to the man kneeling before her and watched as he sucked his wet finger into his mouth. Her knees buckled. Richard caught her before she fell. He steadied her, and then helped her to the one chair in the room. “There are more pieces. Every day I’ll reward you with another piece if you have earned it the day before. Now, put on the silk sarong. I want to take you to dinner.”