Denial — House of Rae Book 3

Martin Bernard has spent his life becoming one of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful men. But that’s not helping him now that his criminal son-in-law Ned Argenta has gone rogue, putting Martin’s empire on the block in order for Martin to ensure his daughter Marie’s safety. Weeks, months fly by as Martin tries to control this nightmare, leaving his lover Mohana in the sidelines. He just wants to get control of things and then he’ll make it up to her.

Mohana James isn’t waiting any longer. At her friend Giselle’s urging, she visits the Paris House of Rae to find some pleasure. The pleasure partner there doesn’t disappoint, but the entire experience stirs up her grief about Martin. Is he ever going to call? Should she forget him? If she does hear from him, is she going to slap him and walk away? She’s pretty sure that’s all he deserves. But her heart is breaking and she’s not sure she can forget him.

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EXCERPT:

Shortly after, a man approached. She’d been staring at her hands, fighting her fear, and only noticed him when she saw his legs. Her gaze slowly lifted, taking in the tight fit of fawn-colored breeches over strong thighs and the notable bulge at his groin. A thrill shot through her before embarrassment overwhelmed her. Swiftly shifting her gaze up to his face, she found no relief from the heat scorching her cheeks as she met his amused expression.

Christ, he was gorgeous, dark expressive eyes watching her as his cruelly sensual mouth curled in a smile. He bowed, shocking her with a mocking lift of his eyebrow.

“Mademoiselle,” he said. “Bonjour. I am Henri, here to serve you. Shall we?” He waited while her mind stumbled through a thousand refusals, excuses, and worries. Finally, she placed her hand in his. He helped her stand then lifted his elbow, waiting for her to accompany him.

She licked her lips, searching for a suitable reply. She didn’t have to reply.

“Yes, merci,” she said stiffly, placing her hand on his forearm. How odd, this sampling of a former time when gentlemen served ladies in exactly such a manner. But of course it wasn’t the same. Now it was the woman who determined the partner, the time, and the nature of the exchange.

All she could think as they entered the elevator then walked down a hallway was how stunning he was with his powerful masculine physique. His dark blue cutaway coat fit him like a glove, the seams straining to enclose his wide shoulders and broad chest. A gold satin waistcoat fit snugly across his lean stomach. His high white cravat brushed his clean-shaven jawline and covered his neck, making her hungry to see the line of his throat.

All of it was silly, this entire charade of play-acting another time, an amusement for women with sufficient fortunes to pay the price not to mention sufficient brass to contemplate such an encounter. As he entered a keypad code to the door where he’d led her, she took a deep breath, fighting panic and a renewed urge to run.

Cherie, let me ease your mind,” Henri said, his voice a rich baritone that sent chills down her arms. “I am here to serve you. Whatever desires you have named, I will fulfill them. And some perhaps, that you did not name, oui?” He winked, his lips twitching with another curbed smile.

He motioned her into the room and closed the heavy door behind them before guiding her further into the room. From the far wall, muted sunlight filtered through sheer white curtains framed on either side by heavy dark gold drapes. An enormous bed with mounds of pillows and pristine white bedding perched high off the floor, its massive corner posts and headboard of dark wood. Lush carved rugs in shades of pale gold lay on either side of the bed while a sitting area around yet another rug included a settee and chairs of dark wood and gold upholstery. A large oil painting hung over a small regal fireplace featuring a nude man and woman entangled in each other amid a mass of sheets.

Mo was afraid to move. Even if she wanted to move, she didn’t know whether to just rip off her clothes and fling herself onto the bed, or wait for some instruction. Or what. She chewed her lip, aware that her hands were perspiring. Hell, she was probably perspiring all over.

How seductive, she thought bitterly. This had been a truly stupid idea.

“May I?” Henri said, taking her purse from her sweaty grip and placing in on a small table by the door.

“Oh, yes, of course,” she said, hardly aware of what words came out of her mouth.

“You are nervous,” he said softly, coming behind her to grip her shoulders with big warm hands. “I will help you relax.”

“Oh, but…”

He nuzzled her neck, holding her long dark hair to the side as he kissed under her ear. She shivered. Would she enjoy this? Or would the entire experience end up haunting her with humiliation for the rest of her life?

She stepped away from him and turned, her hands tightly clasped against her stomach. “I have never done this before,” she said in a hoarse voice. “I’m too old, I think. I should leave.”

“Too old?” Crinkles appeared at the sides of his eyes as he smiled. “Who told you that? You are perfect. Beautiful, in the full blossom of your life.” He touched her cheek then the corner of her mouth. Each spot he touched burned and tingled. “I will make you smile, ma cherie. If you will let me.”

“I – I don’t know…”

“Come. Sit with me for a moment.”

He led her to the settee then walked to a nearby chiffonier where he splashed some amber liquid into a small stemmed glass.

“This will help,” he said, handing her the glass then sitting beside her. His scent came to her, a whiff of cedarwood and perhaps a hint of lavender, but underlying that wafted a fragrance that surely was Henri alone, musky and pungent in ways that caused heat to curl down her belly.

Well, that was unexpected. Her mind stumbled for something to say. Her hand shook as she lifted the glass to her lips. The liquid rolled over her tongue and burned a path to her stomach. Sherry, one of the best she’d ever tasted. She took another bigger sip, savoring.

He brought up irrelevant subjects, whether it would rain, the latest movies. A short time later, after she had drained the glass, he took it and set it aside, then lifted her hand to kiss her palm. Little tingles of excitement raced to her stomach. She could only stare at his golden skin and long fingers, nicely manicured nails cut square and blunt.

“I’m sorry, I’m just…”

“Hush now,” he said, placing a finger on her lips. “You are wonderfully desirable. Your lips are lush, begging for my kiss.” He leaned forward and brushed his lips over hers, leaving little kisses at either corner of her mouth.

“And your breasts. So beautiful,” he said, his voice lowering as he traced a finger down the front of her blouse to slide across the tops of her breasts. “I want to taste you, Mohana. May I?”

Reprieve — House of Rae Book 2

House of Rae franchisee Marie Argenta is on the run after her estranged husband Ned inflicts unimaginable tortures. Leaving her Paris House to hide out in the U.S., she ends up at the San Francisco House to serve as temporary manager. The very first day, her gaze lands on the most arrogant man she has ever seen, Adrian Velasquez. He’s also the most compelling devastatingly attractive, over-the-top pleasure partner the universe could ever conjure, which makes her think twice about the rules forbidding employee relationships.

Adrian knows what he likes and this new House manager Marie ranks above and beyond anything he’s ever imagined. Too bad his life is already crammed too full of family troubles, work overload, and finishing his law degree to even consider stretching the rules with this irritating woman. But a touch here, a kiss there, might be too delicious to refuse and she’s, well, she wants him. He knows it.

What Marie and Adrian are soon to discover is that Ned knows where Marie has fled and plans to take her back no matter what.

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EXCERPT:

As she rounded the court in her return route toward the entry, a couple of men splashed to the edge of the pool, evidently completing a race from the other end. Laughing, they grabbed the steel ladder at the same time.

Water sluiced from the first man’s body as he slung himself up the steel ladder and onto the deck at the same moment she tried to hurry past. They slammed into each other and if he hadn’t grabbed her arms to steady her, she would have fallen. His wet chest crushed against the front of her tidy gray suit. Her pulse fluttered in her throat like a captured bird. Adrian.

Struggling to catch her breath, Marie tried to speak. But words did not form. Water dripped from his dark eyebrows as his glittering blue eyes stared at her. Her mouth went dry as she stood immobilized against the virile lines and planes of his muscled body. He was wet. Heat poured off him, warming her through every point of contact.

She wrenched away from his grip and stepped back, trying to regain her composure. But her mind blanked as her gaze haplessly skimmed down his body. Then back up. Impossibly wide shoulders tapered to trim hips. Tendons wreathed his forearms from his hands up to his bulging biceps, and from there his broad chest tempted her to touch its scattering of dark hair and tiny brown nipples. His abdomen rippled with waves of muscle, taut and smooth before leading her eyes inexorably to the tiny strip of black cloth stretched over his … Mon Dieu, son encroyable excitation.

She licked her lips at the thought of tasting him, and the monstrous prize encased there grew even larger until its continuing entrapment in that band of black fabric defied the laws of physics. Her eyes flicked up to see him watching her, a brooding fire of awareness burning in his blue eyes. Her body instantly responded with a rush of liquid heat to her center.

Gasping, she put a hand to her flaming cheek and without uttering a word, turned to hurry past him.

He grabbed her arm, his grip burning through the fabric of her clothes. “Did you see what you needed to see?” he growled, his voice vibrating through her body.

Monsieur, s’il vous plait.” Her words came out thready and weak, as if she already lay under him with nothing but hot skin between them. Her mind had reverted utterly to the French language, unable to stumble through the process of translation. Really, she seemed unable even to think of what to say next, or of how to extricate her wrist from his iron grip, or of even whether she could possibly tear herself away from him when she wanted nothing more than to be pressed against him. He was hot, hard, and towered over her like a conquering lord, his blue eyes glimmering down at her, his nostrils flared.

The corner of his mouth curled in a seductive half smile. “Do you like it?”

Mon Dieu, he must have such an ego to brag like this, to think just the sight of him would cause a woman to swoon. Never mind that she was in fact in a kind of swoon. She would not let him take advantage of the situation. This time when she jerked her arm away, he let go. She took a step back and brushed down the front of her clothing where the dark gray marks of his wet embrace remained.

Marie leveled her most chilling gaze on him, eliciting his amused grin.

“Well played,” she said, hot anger rushing up her cheeks. “That is, for someone who needs constant adoration, évidemment.”

He laughed, a deep robust laugh that sent chills down her arms and peaked her nipples. “So you adore me?”

She huffed, straightening her jacket and aligning the cuffs of her blouse. “That is not what I said,” she sputtered, “but of course you will hear what you need to hear. Coureur de jupons,” she finished under her breath as she turned to walk away.

Salvation — House of Rae Book 1

Rae Stewart, whose mid-21st century sex houses for women have become a worldwide phenomenon, has a problem. His name is Lucas, and he is her second in command – among other things she’d rather not think about. His green-eyed potent appeal sits like a burr under her saddle especially when he tries to override her decision about a new hire, Josh Carter, who – she admits – violates all the House security protocols. She wants Josh anyway – he’s young, gorgeous, and carries exactly the kind of explosive masculine arrogance that House clientele adore.

Lucas Haverson also has a problem – how to keep Rae from endangering herself and her enterprise. He’s ready to walk away, leave Rae and their embattled relationship behind him. Forget his regular clients who depend on his intimate services and park his life in a remote cabin somewhere far away from this constant aggravation. Just a few more days and he’ll have the Homeland Security investigation he needs to expose young Carter for what he is – a terrorist.

But what if he’s not?

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EXCERPT:

He threw the rest of the whiskey down his throat and carefully set the glass on the table as her words washed through him. “Why is that Rae? Isn’t your life complicated enough? Do you truly not understand the risk?”

Predictably, her chin lifted, and he couldn’t help noticing fine lines creasing her throat. It wasn’t what he wanted to see. Maybe it was the fucking light making her look old. He’d never thought about her getting old. But shit, if he was feeling the tick of the clock, she had to be getting there, too. Her blue eyes shot fire as she stared at him. That was Rae, hot and ready to fight.

He had to admire her strength, even if she took stupid risks. Nobody needed that kid on this trip. Except Rae, of course. Rae and her unending need for conquest. Or whatever it was.

“What fucking risk?” She spread her hands on the table. “I’m satisfied he’s not a terrorist. Will you get over it? What’s he going to do?”

His temper boiled over. “What about everything else?” he shouted. “The new hit list. New Orleans. Does any of this add up for you?”

She slammed her glass down, splashing whiskey over her hand and onto the table. “Lu, I’m not here to get permission. I’m not going to be a fucking prisoner in my own house. The sons of bitches have no idea where I’ll be from one day to the next.”

She stood up with an angry jerk, stalked to the sink, and grabbed a paper towel. “I just need to get on the highway and watch the miles slip by. I need it, Lu.” She shoved the towel under the glass and cleaned the spill. She stood there with the crumpled towel in her hands, her body rigid in anger. “I have my gun. I know how to use it. Okay?”

“No!” He jumped up, knocking his chair over backwards as he stalked toward her. “Not okay. You’re being stupid. Stubborn. Why? Is it about fighting with me, like you have to have total control?”

“Ha! Only you would come up with that.” She leaned toward him, her face flushed. “It’s not about you, Lu. I know that’s a concept you might find difficult to understand. And I’m not Sara, okay?”

He felt the blood drain from his head. A roar started in his ears. “How dare you bring Sara into this?” His words came out strained.

“She’s always in it, Lu. You carry her around like some kind of fucking armor.”

“Really? Then what is this?”

He grabbed Rae’s arms, dragging her against him and crushing her lips under his as she squirmed to get away from him. “Did you forget about this? Is Sara in this?”

She cursed him, jerking her mouth away, but he took her again, his tongue pushing for an opening, forcing its way into her mouth. He stroked the velvet of her tongue in long slow thrusts.

He shuddered as his body responded to the feel of her soft breasts pressed against his chest. She softened, melding to his form. A quiet moan—his? Hers? He had no time to think, no capacity for it as he let go of her arms and pulled her tight against him. His hands roamed down her back, over her hips and soft buttocks. The kiss changed, meeting her as she responded, their lips coaxing, caressing.

He could feel the heat of her body, knew without doubt that she was wet, ready. Pressed against her belly, his cock had gone hard as granite. He shook with the need to lay her down and plunge deep into her slick warmth.

Her hands came up to his shoulders, stroking his neck, threading through the long strands of his hair. Every fiber of his body strained toward her, aching with a need that he’d tried for so long to deny. What the fuck was he doing?

He thrust her away from him, panting.

“Why Rae? Why can’t you just listen to reason? Please.”

She jerked away, wiping her mouth with the back of her wrist. “Was that just to soften me up? Goddamn it, Lu, I don’t answer to you.”