I have a new release at Ellora's Cave today!!! It's another one of my "sparkling, impish" romantica comedies. (My crit partner's words for my style.) :-D
And I won't be here when it hits the virtual book store shelves since I'm on my way to the New England romance writer's conference. There I'll be giving a talk on epublishing and signing my paperback, Heaving Bosoms! Send good vibes my way!!!
Death by Delilah
Delilah Mills, a navy enlistee, is on the verge of finding true love. All she needs is a little push or so her grandmother believes. The elder Delilah can’t resist the urge to meddle with her namesake—even if she’s a ghost and her influence is limited.
Joshua Sparks, a naval officer attracted to Delilah since their teens, discovers the crush has been mutual all these years. Back then, he let her mixed race and his parents stop him. Now, the Navy says they can't date. One night they throw caution to the winds and not only can't undo what they did, but don't want to.
Can two Navy lovers, equal in resolve but not in rank, secretly live together off base, without discovery getting one of them transferred to the Middle East?
Publisher Note: A shorter version of this book was previously published elsewhere under the same title.
Delilah wriggled in her chair. “I was never as good in social situations as Gabby,” she said.
“Really? I thought you seemed perfectly comfortable until that guy bothered you.”
“I was. I mean, I am. I’m comfortable around you and Gabby. People I know.”
Josh sat up and scrutinized her. What did she have to be self-conscious about? Then he glanced at his sister being hoisted up onto the bar and shook his head. “I don’t think many of us are as ‘social’ as my sister is.”
Delilah laughed. “There’s an understatement.”
Gabby did her best to put on a show that rivaled The Coyote Uglies. The patrons as well as the bartender encouraged her, so she plucked her drink off the bar and continued to dance. When she emptied her glass in one gulp, the bartender handed her the vodka bottle. There was only an inch or so left at the bottom but Josh was becoming concerned.
“I’m going to get her down before she falls down.”
He stood and sauntered over to the bar.
Gabby pointed straight at him. “I see you coming, Joshua but I’m not getting down. I’m having a good time and I’m not leaving.”
Josh held his hands up and backed away. “Suit yourself little sister. I just don’t want to see you break your neck before you start your new job.”
She stopped dancing, rolled her eyes but slowly climbed down assisted by two of the guys buying her drinks. As he could have predicted, they bought her another one.
Josh returned to Delilah and asked her to dance. He was surprised when the music turned to a slow song almost as soon as they reached the dance floor. He decided to quit fighting it, slipped an arm around her waist and pulled her close. She put up no resistance. In fact she seemed to meld to his body. Her heat filled him and ignited his inner fire. If he held her as close as he wanted to his swelling arousal would be up against her belly and he’d let her know what she did to him.
It must have been the beers. A voice inside was warning him to be careful but that voice was getting weaker and the demands of his body were getting louder.
He nuzzled her neck and inhaled her perfume. She smelled like fresh flowers in the rain. He preferred her light scent to some of the overpowering fragrances women wore. She snuggled closer and her breasts rose against his chest. Damn. I’m either going to have to sit down or give up the fight. I want too much from her. He wanted it now and he wanted it badly.
The war in his head raged a few seconds before his instinct won. His fingers caressed her back in light strokes and he heard her sigh. He wished he could cup the curve of her luscious ass but this wasn’t the time or place. He’d just have to be content holding her in his arms and touching her in safe zones, for now. Maybe someday he’d know the feel of all her erogenous places and taste her salty skin. His erection hardened like cement as he pictured it.
Josh wished the dance could last all night but as soon as they pulled their bodies apart, he got the next best thing. Another slow one. She smiled as if she knew what he was thinking and he hauled her back into his warm embrace.
R rated excerpt
* * * * *
“I thought I’d find you back here.”
“Martin, you didn’t honestly think I was going to stay at that seminar, did you?”
“Sure I did. It was very enlightening, I thought.”
“You misrepresented it completely. You said it was about how to communicate with the living. I thought I was going to get some insight into whispering thoughts or moving objects or something.”
“No, I didn’t. I just said it was about communicating with the living and it was.”
“But you didn’t say it was all about why not to!”
“How did I know what they were going to say?”
“Oh, pooh. You wouldn’t have suggested it if you thought it would help me talk my namesake into anything.”
“Oh for crissakes, I’m not the enemy, Delilah. I’m trying to help.”
“I know. You’re my ever lovin’ man.”
“Speaking of which, do you want to have sex?”
“You’re kidding, right?”
“Nope. I looked at the schedule. There’s a seminar about mind-blowing out-of-body sex. In fact, it’s about to start.”
“Martin if this is another one of your tricks…”
“It isn’t. I swear. Frankly, I miss having sex, don’t you?”
“Well, of course I do. Mind-blowing, huh?”
* * * * *
Josh stepped into the back seat, scooted across and patted the empty spot beside him. Delilah slid in next to him and shut the door. He faced her squarely and looked her in the eyes.
“There’s something I want to say.”
She smiled and shrugged. “Say it.”
Josh gently placed his hand behind her head. The other one he wrapped around her waist. Leaning in and drawing her to him at the same time, he kissed her. She tipped her head and pressed against his mouth harder, opening to him.
Their tongues met and swirled together slowly, as if dancing. She tasted the slight tang of beer and salt but also something sweeter. Something that must have been pure Joshua Sparks.
Delilah knew they shouldn’t be doing this but a big part of her didn’t care.
Josh stopped suddenly. “I’m sorry.”
She tried to cover her crushing disappointment. “Why? Are you afraid that an officer kissing an enlistee might be construed as ‘fraternizing’?”
Josh laughed. “I’m sure it is but no. I was operating under the assumption that ‘it’s better to do what you want and beg forgiveness than to ask permission and be told, ‘no’.”
“Ah, I see.” Delilah traced the shape of his lips with her finger. “And what if I said that I wouldn’t forgive you?”
She put a finger over his lips and whispered, “Shhh. I wasn’t finished.”
“Oh. What were you going to say?”
“What if I said I wouldn’t forgive you—if you stopped what you were doing?”
Josh pulled her into his strong grasp and kissed her soundly. Delilah felt the heat building between them and answered his passion by meshing her body to his. Their mouths stayed fused together as he lowered her and pulled her bottom toward him until she was supine. His hand found her breast and moved over the slinky material of her dress. She moaned around his mouth as his finger circled her erect nipple. Damn, I’ll kill him if he stops now.
Where there’s fire, there’s Ash
See all of my Ellora's Cave ebooks, available now
Heaving Bosoms now in paperback: Details below.
Death by Delilah coming 4/11/08