No matter how far you run, the past has a way of lurking, waiting to bite you in the ass – or in the bed.

erotic contemporary romanceWhen a Southern woman crosses the Mason Dixon there’s gotta be a damn good reason. Laurel thinks she’s got a humdinger. Sam, her newly acquired lover – and her boss – disagrees. He’s determined to uncover her secrets. Why? Because they’re interfering with his sexual agenda, of course. 

In this snippet, it’s not long after their first night together. Laurel has escaped back to her apartment with Sam hot on her heels. And nothing she says will dissuade him from insisting she reveal all. From her past to her flesh, he insists that she lay it all bare before him.

Hard Love is out now. 

Racy

“We had our 17th birthday party at my Gran’s friend’s big ole house with a marquee on the lawn. Our clothes were tailor made for the occasion. It was a beautiful day. Magical even. Gran let me taste a little liquor for the first time. A mimosa. I sipped at it from a champagne flute and thought I was it, baby.

“Hardy had a new friend. Peter Monroe was his name. He was tall and his lips were very thin, but he had a thick head of blonde hair and blue eyes and a big house with absentee parents, so most of the kids worshipped him even though he was up from Charleston and wasn’t a local. He was the kind of boy parents liked, ‘cuz he was all smiles when they were around, but drinking down their booze and going in their purses when they weren’t lookin’.”

“Sounds like an asshole.”

“Yeah. Y’all would’ve got along great.”

“Careful.”

“Sorry. That was uncalled for. You’re a completely different kind of asshole, Sam.”

“Thank you,” he smiled, not taking offense in the least. “Go on. What did this Peter do?”

“Nothing, at first. The other boys followed him around like the Pied Piper as he cut a swathe through town. He was good at creating confusion, then weaseling out of trouble. It was a while before the boys realized how good he was at it, and how often someone else went down for something he’d done.

“He was also a degenerate gambler at 17. Can you believe that? I’ve seen gamblers before. I grew up with card games going on all day and night in the house. I watched my Daddy stumble home drunk at the end of the night with his pockets stuffed like squirrel cheeks or as flat and empty as air. It was usually the latter. So I know how they are, how they think, but Peter was something special.

“He was a rare kind of slick. He could smile at you and make you believe nothing was wrong. Like, even as the house was burning down around you, the two of you could sit there sippin’ iced tea without a worry in the world.” She shook her head. “I wonder what became of him? Probably dead or in jail.” One hopes.

“What’s the point, Laurel?”

She stared at him, unsure what he meant.

“Why are you taking me on this walk down memory lane, baby? As much as I like learning more about you, I know there has to be a point to this little monologue. And I think it has something to do with sex.”

She laughed softly, mirthlessly. Ah, yes. What does this have to do with me, he wants to know. How does this information help or hinder my cause to get you on your back?

“Yes, Sam. It absolutely concerns sex. I like,” she paused, discarding several words before settling on the truth. “I like having sex with you. I like it very much, but I cannot have you slapping me around. It makes me feel like, it makes me feel horrible.”

“Why?”

“Why?”

“Yeah, why? Is it because you think you shouldn’t like it rough?”

“What?” Why the hell was he questioning her like this? Surely it wasn’t that out of the realm of normalcy for her to feel as she did?

“Tell me. Is this because you’ve got some idea in your head that what we do in the privacy of our bed is wrong? Is this society talking, or is it you? I mean, did I actually hurt you? I don’t think I did, but if you don’t tell me I won’t know. So, tell me. What about that fabulous sex we had a few hours ago unsettles you so much? Did I hurt you?” He repeated. “If I did I’m sorry, baby, but you gotta talk to me, L.”

It was the first time he’d ever used the nickname, and she hated how it softened some little part in her heart, making her already wobbly foundation that much shakier against him.

“What, baby? Why are you looking at me like that? Like I’m speaking a language you can’t understand. Tell me what’s going on. What did this Peter asshole do to you that’s now set up residence in our bed?”

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