Grab your favorite beverage, relax, and let me tell you a story…

After Midnight - Black Phoenix #1

Re-edited, revised edition October 2013

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Dangerously Sexy Suspense

July 31, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday 7/31

Welcome to another Six Sentence Sunday! Thanks for stopping by. Between 55 hours work weeks, prepping for my upcoming blog tour and family, I have very little spare time on my hands right now. So I've decided to take a hiatus from SSS. Don't worry it'll only be a few weeks, I promise. ;-)

I'll leave you with this last bit from After Midnight.

Noah plucked the CDs from the bar without taking his eyes off her face. He didn’t understand that she clung to the slippery edge of control.

But then, he didn’t need to understand. He needed to leave her.

Then he did. Just like she’d wanted.

So why did she suddenly feel empty?

Don't forget to visit www.sixsunday.com for a complete list of participating authors. But be warned...your to-be-read list will expand! I know mine always does.

July 29, 2011

Hearts in Darkness Treasure Hunt!

Two strangers. Four hours. One pitch-black elevator.

It’s National Talk in an Elevator Day (seriously!) and what better day to celebrate Hearts in Darkness? This top-rated contemporary romance is about two strangers who find acceptance and dare to find love while trapped for four hours in a pitch-black elevator.

And, did you know…???

Hearts in Darkness has been a Top 10 Bestselling ebook at Fictionwise.com for seven weeks running!

So, we’re celebrating all this elevator-related goodness with a Treasure Hunt Giveaway! Here’s how to play:

1) Find the hidden word on each of the participating sites, usually 1 page off the main page
2) Keep track of the sites/words as you search
3) Email your findings to laurakayepromotions AT gmail DOT com and put Treasure Hunt in the subject heading. Entries accepted through 12 noon PST Saturday 7/30!

What can you win???

Here’s where the treasure is buried:

1) For the Love of Books   http://fourtheloveofbooks.blogspot.com/

2) Book Wenches   http://www.bookwenches.com/laurakayestreasure.htm

3) My Eclectic Bookshelf   www.myeclecticbookshelf.blogspot.com

4) MyVampFiction   www.myvampfiction.com
5) Where’s my Muse?   http://csmaxwell.blogspot.com/

6) Author AJ Nuest   http://www.ajbooks.blogspot.com/

7) Author Jill James   http://www.jilljameswrites.com/blog

8) Author Joya Fields   http://joyafieldswriting.blogspot.com/

9) Author Sarah Grimm   http://www.authorsarahgrimm.blogspot.com

10) Author Sharon Buchbinder   www.sharonbuchbinder.com/blog

When you’re done, stop over to Laura’s own blog for another fun giveaway opportunity!

Thanks for reading and playing!
Laura Kaye
Hot, Heartfelt Romance – Because everyone longs to belong…
Laura is a multi-published author of paranormal, contemporary and erotic romance with five books releasing in 2011

Read the reviews here!
Buy from amazon! | Buy from DigiBooks Café!
Follower Laura Kaye on twitter | facebook

July 28, 2011

Welcome Guest Blogger Jennifer Ann Coffeen

I bolted up in bed this morning with a single thought, “What would a regency dandy wear as undergarments?”

Such is the life of a Historical Romance writer. History and research is a big part of my writing day, along with drinking tea and lots of window staring. For instance, in my regency story Lover’s Gamble I centered Sophie and Hugh’s love story around the notorious French card game Vingt-et-un. I went a bit further in my novel Priceless Deception, using the heroine’s quest for the infamous French Blue diamond (today known as the Hope Diamond) as the backdrop to a tale of mystery and romance.

I love blending history with great characters and romance. Still curious about the dandy’s unmentionables? Check out my Facebook author page for the answer!

The full length novel Priceless Deception is due out August 12th, but don’t despair! My short story Lover’s Gamble is available now

Special thanks to Sarah for hosting me today!


Sophie Hartlend likes to play with fire.

Raised by an all too indulgent uncle, she's spent her young life doing whatever she pleases without much consequence, except that one night when passions went a little too far with the maddeningly handsome Lord Rayburn.

Months after their encounter, Sophie's reckless behavior has landed her in trouble again, threatening her precious independence. Lord Rayburn gallantly offers to help, but this time he insists the wild Miss Sophie do things his way and once again they find themselves in an erotic embrace.

Their battle of wills results in a sensuous struggle where Sophie learns she must let down her guard to win a man's heart.

Hugh shook his head, forcing his vision to clear. It couldn’t be. He simply had to be mistaken… but no, when he looked again there was no doubt. It was none other than Miss Sophie Hartlend, chattering away like she’d been gambling in Newbury House for years.

What the hell does she think she’s doing? It’s nearly two in the morning, and not a chaperone in sight! He had to admit she looked as stunning as he remembered her. Her long hair curled artfully around her high cheekbones, like a long-worshipped Grecian goddess. He had a sudden vision of releasing that cascade of hair from its heavy pins, watching it flow down her naked back in waves.

With a sharp pang Hugh remembered the feel of it through his fingers as he kissed her that hot August night—nearly a year ago now, but a night he’d never forgotten. He’d fallen in love after that single night of passion and, stupidly, assumed she had felt the same way. The next day he’d laid his pride at her feet, making an utter fool of himself over a woman.

Hugh’s hand tightened into a fist. After that day he’d never seen her again, until now. And suddenly here she was, in the most inappropriately low-cut gown he’d ever seen, gambling like a common bit of muslin.

And apparently quite bad at it, too.


July 26, 2011

After Midnight Blog Tour

So I'm setting up a large blog tour that will kick off about a week before AFTER MIDNIGHT'S release on September 30 and I have to ask you...have I lost my mind? Honestly, I'm worried I have. So far I've scheduled 29 30 blog stops!

I know, I know, a lot of authors have done bigger tours than that, but I'm not a lot of authors. Let me tell you, if I sit and think about it too much, I hyperventilate. 29 30 blog stops means 29 30 unique blog posts I have to write. 

Does anyone have a brown paper bag?

Seriously, I'm one of those authors who struggles with every post and I'm going to write twenty-nine thirty of them?!

deep breath.

Sorry. Get a little freaked out there for a minute. Back on topic here... I'm putting together this blog tour, brainstorming a few exciting giveaways (you won't want to miss these, trust me), and overall attempting to make a big splash with the release of my hot contemporary, After Midnight. I'm so excited about this book! I'm already receiving positive feedback:

"You will fall in love with Isabeau and Noah and share their angst as they fight their way to love. A great read."

"...a beautiful love story that will long live in my memory."


"...I am blown away by this story. I wish there was a rating higher than a 5. I would give it you to."

I can't tell you how happy I am that readers/reviewers are loving Isabeau and Noah's story as much as I do. Now all I have to do is get my act together and write those 29 30 blog posts. Oh, and prepare for my Twitter release party, order more swag, organize the author donations I'm putting together for two of my prize packages... I'd better stop before I panic again. :-)

Stop back and check out all the give-aways I have planned, will you? I'd love to see some of these prizes go to you.

Thirteen years—that's how long Isabeau Montgomery has been living a lie. After an automobile accident took her mother's life, Izzy hid herself away, surviving the only way she knew how. Now she is happy in her carefully reconstructed life. That is until he walks through the door of her bar...

Black Phoenix singer/front man Noah Clark came to Long Island City with a goal—one that doesn't include an instant, electric attraction to the dark-haired beauty behind the bar. Coaxing her into his bed won't be easy, but he can't get her pale, haunted eyes nor her skill on the piano out of his head.

Can Noah help Isabeau overcome the past? Or will her need to protect her secret force her back into hiding and destroy their chance at happiness?

July 24, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday 7/24

Just two more weeks of this scene from After Midnight, then it's a couple of weeks off as I prepare for it's September release and corresponding Blog Tour.

“Leave.” She paused at the emotion in her voice. “There’s nothing for you here.”

Desperate to have him gone, to quiet her painful memories as much as her mind, she shoved the compact discs across the bar top. The stack tipped, one slid off the other and spread out as she’d arranged them a few moments ago. Three unblemished, cherubic faces looked back at her, reminding her of how much she’d lost. “Please go.”

For more fantastic authors visit the Official Six Sunday site. And as always, thanks for stopping by and commenting.

July 18, 2011

Ghosts and Angels and Demons, Oh, My!

Today it's my pleasure to host author, Minnette Meador. Minnette is in the middle of a blog tour promoting her new book, A Ghost of a Chance. Welcome, Minnette.

Minnette will be giving away a Kindle at the end of her promotions campaign and anyone who comments on her tour, or on her blog, will be entered into that drawing. One randomly drawn commenter from the tour itself will-- in addition-- win a $100 Amazon gift certificate.

Reggie shrugged and rubbed his nose with a long forefinger. “The succubus is drawn to powerful men…psychics.”

“That’s horseshit, Reggie. I’m no psychic.”

Reggie nailed him with a cold gaze and chuckled under his ghostly breath. “Let’s see…you see dead people. Not only do you see them, but you talk to them as well. As a matter of fact, some of your best friends are dead. Sounds rather psychic to me. But what do I know?”

Keenan licked his lips. “Oh.” - A GHOST OF A CHANCE (Resplendence Publishing - June 2011)

Writing about ghosts, angels, and demons was not what I originally set out to do, but then sometimes books take on life (or death) of their own. Keenan arrived fully-grown one fateful evening when I was trying to sleep and I just had to get him down. His problem: He sees ghosts… lots and lots of ghosts…

They were costing him a fortune. The TV, the radio, and even his computer were always on. Lights went off and on constantly. The heat would soar to eighty degrees in the middle of the summer and then plunge to fifty when the winter freeze set in. He couldn’t keep any pets; the instant they came into the house they hissed or yelped in terror and ran away. The neighborhood was full of cats that had once belonged to Keenan.

He couldn’t keep girlfriends either. The closer they got, the more convinced they were that he was on drugs, a serial killer, or terminally cracked. He hadn’t had a girl at his house in years; for some reason they got all heebie-jeebie on him when things started flying around or cold blasts of air unexpectedly lifted their skirts. One girl even had her panties removed, but not by Keenan. He was in the kitchen at the time.

Friends? Forget it. They had a tendency to search for the exit when he told them he saw dead people…and not in the good way. Moviemakers had it all wrong. These weren’t people who wanted release; they were freeloaders who wanted nothing more than to torture the living, especially those who could see them. Keenan had lost count of how many pranks he had endured over the years. Somewhere in the thousands, he was sure.

But this book became a culmination of things I love: ghost stories, Catholic mysticism, psychic abilities, and even history. Add steaming sex scenes, reluctant heroes, a kick ass heroine, and a very special HEA, mix well and you’ve got a modern story of ghosts meet boy, boy meets girl, boy loses girl and ghosts, boy dies, boy gets girl and ghosts back, boy and girl save the world.

I hope you will take a look. I think you might laugh a bit and maybe even cry. Thanks so much to Sarah for sharing her amazing blog site. I’m honored to be here.

A Ghost of a Chance
by Minnette Meanor


Keenan Swanson is your typical, everyday graphic designer. Well, except for the hundreds of pesky, prank-loving poltergeists that make his life interesting (in a Chinese curse sort of way). He finds his situation precarious yet manageable—until witty, smoking-hot coworker Isabella enters the scene and Keenan decides he wants her all for himself. With a horny succubus who has other ideas, a burly city cop determined to lock Keenan away, and an evil entity who’s hell-bent on using Keenan’s seed to create a living demon, the reluctant psychic realizes he just might not come out of this alive—or with heart intact.

Keenan headed down Thirty-second Street, turned left onto Hawthorn, and ran like an antelope with a lion biting his tail.

When he hit the crowd outside Taps at full speed, he came to a crashing halt and sailed to the ground, taking down two brawny beer drinkers, their respective girlfriends, and an innocent table that was sitting there minding its own business. Four obviously filled pints of stout flew through the air and the contents rained down on the struggling quintet in a dark brown shower, soaking all of them. Two of the empty pints hit Keenan squarely on the back of the head, one after the other.

The tangled pile of human beings and beer began to disentangle itself, but Keenan’s head was spinning wildly. So wildly, in fact, that he didn’t feel himself roughly yanked to his feet and then off of them, or see the swollen fist appear out of thin air until it was too late. All he heard was a distant son of a bitch and the sound of meaty flesh striking cheekbone.

The sparklers that gleamed in front of his eyes reminded him of the Fourth of July on the coast. He found himself down on the ground again.

“…you stupid prick!” The words soaked into his stupor and he squinted up to see six-foot-six of angry male mountain, a pleading red head attached to the man’s arm.

Not that it would have stopped another blow, but Keenan forced his hands into the submissive position and tried to find his voice. “Oh, man…” he said to the mountain. “I’m really sorry. Are you all right?”

July 17, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday 7/17

Thank you to everyone who keeps coming back to read and comment on my excerpts every week.

Last week Noah asked Isabeau about the truth.

He couldn’t possibly know of the lie that burned her tongue like acid. “Since when does anyone care about the truth?”

“I care.”

She shook her head in denial. He sounded so sincere she almost believed him. Almost.

Visit http://www.sixsunday.com/ to find out who’s participating in Six Sentence Sunday this week or follow the #sixsunday hashtag on twitter.

July 14, 2011

Welcome Guest Blogger Vonnie Davis

Help my welcome my very special guest, Wild Rose Press author Vonnie Davis. Welcome Vonnie!


When Two Writers Marry

I met my husband on match dot com. Calvin sashayed into my mailbox on a jazzbeat and a smile. Three months later, we met at a Starbucks. He was holding a bouquet of red roses and beaming a dazzling smile—and I was smitten.

We had a lot of similarities—both English majors and lovers of Shakespeare, old books, goofy comedies and sentimental movies. We both adored and took pride in our respective grown children. We also possessed differences. There was a sixteen-year span between our ages. Calvin is black; I have that pasty white German skin. He is tall and thin; I am short and …he is tall and thin.

But we shared a dream: to write. Calvin, already retired from teaching, was actively working on his dream. I was frozen in my dream state and had been for many, many years. Excuses, I had a million of them.

We were married a year to the date from that first email. I moved from south-central PA to the DC metro area with my new husband. Calvin wrote daily while I found places for my things in his already crammed house where he’d lived for over thirty years.

Adjusting to married life again was not a smooth transition. I’d been on my own for twelve years—independent and used to doing things my way. I was also used to working and having my own money. Calvin wanted me home with him, his philosophy being I’d worked outside of the home long enough. If he was retired, I should retire, too. And, so, at the age of fifty-five, I left the corporate world. Sounds like a dream come true, ladies, but I had some serious adjustments to make. I missed the girls at the office, their chatter and the sharing of our lives.

Then the unthinkable happened: Calvin insisted I write. “Enough with the excuses,” he said. “Write. I want you to have your dream, too, while I work on mine.”

The day I showed him the first chapter of my first book was a dark day, folks. A dark day, indeed. Calvin, his forehead furrowed, his eyes squinted and a #2 pencil gripped in his hand, crossed out paragraph after beautiful paragraph. On page seventeen, he proudly announced, “Ah, here, HERE is the beginning of your book.”

I snatched the chapter from his hands and retreated to my writing room. This red-haired German was in “major snit mode.” Or, mad as hell.

I’ve grown a lot since that day two years ago. And Calvin, bless his heart, has learned to be more gentle with his critiques. We are a writing couple. We both write everyday in our own private spots. He in the den with both the TV and stereo playing and me in the quiet living room reclined on my recliner with my laptop.

His third book, a love story, not a romance, was released two weeks before my first romance.

Although we have the same agent, we have different publishers. Smart man that he is, Calvin readily admits my pub is superior, especially after meeting Rhonda and RJ at TWRP writers retreat in May.

Calvin has cheered me every step of the way toward achieving my dream. He is my cheerleader, my supporter, my hero. His carefully worded phrase regarding my first sex scene was “spot-on”—it did read like assembly instructions for a bookcase. Can you spell rewrites?

Nurse Rachel Dennison comes to Texas determined to prepare her new patient for a second round of chemo. What she isn’t counting on is her patient’s twin brother, Storm Masterson. Despite her initial attraction, Storm has two things Rachel can’t abide: a domineering personality and a fiancée. Half Native American, with the ability to have "vision dreams," Storm dreams about Rachel for three nights before her arrival. Both are unprepared for the firestorm of emotions their first chance encounter ignites. Ultimately, it is Rachel’s past—an abusive, maniacal ex-boyfriend—that threatens to keep them apart…and Storm’s dreams that bring them together again.

Chapter One

Someone swaggered out of the moonlit night toward Rachel. Exhausted from a long day of driving, she braked and blinked. Either she was hallucinating or her sugar levels had plummeted. Maybe that accounted for the male mirage, albeit a very magnificent male mirage, trekking toward her. She peered once more into the hot July night at the image illuminated by her headlights. Sure enough, there he was, cresting the hill on foot—a naked man wearing nothing but a black cowboy hat, a pair of boots and a go-to-hell sneer.

Well, well, things really did grow bigger in Texas. The man quickly covered his package with his black Stetson. Rachel sighed. The show was evidently over. Should she stand up in her Beetle convertible and applaud? Give a couple cat calls? Wolf whistles? Maybe not.

She turned down the music on the car’s CD player. Sounds of crickets and a lonely bullfrog in the distance created a nighttime symphony in the stillness of this isolated stretch of country road. Lightning bugs darted back and forth, blinking a display of neon yellow glow.

The naked man strode toward her car, and Rachel’s heart rate kicked up. Common sense told her to step on the gas, yet what woman wanted to drive away from such a riveting sight? Still, life had taught her to be careful. She reached into her handbag and extracted her chrome revolver. Before he reached her car, she quickly slid her gun under the folds of her skirt.

Just let him try anything funny—I know how to take care of myself.

Both of his large hands clasped his hat to his groin. His face bore annoyance and a touch of chagrin. “I need a ride.” By his bearing and commanding tone of voice, she guessed the man was used to giving orders and having them followed.

Her eyes took a slow journey across his face. Even in the moonlight, she could see traces of Native heritage. His shoulder-length ebony hair, too long for her tastes, glistened against his bronzed skin. Proud arrogant eyes sparked anger.

Because Rachel believed in indulging herself, she allowed her eyes to travel over his broad shoulders, muscular chest and tight abdominal muscles. She saw a thin trail of dark hair starting below his navel, knowing full well where it ended, and fought back a groan. Her eyes slid back up to lock on his. “You need a pair of pants, too.” Knowing her voice hummed with desire, she cleared her throat, hoping the naked man hadn’t noticed.

He looked up at the sky for a beat. “Just my freakin’ luck! A birthday party gone bad, and now I’m bein’ ogled by some horny kid with damnable blue eyes.”

What the heck was wrong with her eyes? She quickly glanced in her rearview mirror and saw nothing amiss. She narrowed those “damnable blue eyes” and sneered. “Look, buster, I’m not the one prancing around Texas naked as a jaybird. I’ll have you know I’m hardly a kid.” She glanced down at the black cowboy hat. “And, furthermore, stop hiding behind that big ol’ Stetson. From what I saw, a French beret would do the job.”

There, let the arrogant fool stew on that while he strutted back to whatever rock he crawled out from under. She slammed her car in gear and sped off.

She swore she wouldn’t look in her rearview mirror. Nope, she would not look. Like a magnet emitting a powerful homing signal, her eyes slowly slid to the glass surface. He was standing where she’d left him,… Gee, ladies, I’d love to share more, but I’ve already used up my word count quota…**wink-wink**

You can find Vonnie here:

Calvin's Website: www.calvindavisbooks.com

July 13, 2011

We Have a Winner (or Three)

Before I announce the winners from Skyrockets in Flight Blog Hop Delight, I want to thank everyone for stopping by. I put in over 55 hours at work last week, so I didn’t get to participate as much as I wanted, but your visits and wonderful comments were very much appreciated. Now, onto the fun stuff…

The winner of the autographed copy of Not Without Risk is Beverly (comment #3). Yay Beverly! Send me your snail mail address and I’ll get it out to you!

The two winners who will each receive a beautiful heart keychain and some additional goodies are StephB and JoAnna (comment 10 & 47). Again, send me your snail mail addy and I’ll get them out to you.

Don’t forget to join me and my fellow Summer Scorcher Blog Tour authors for some scorchin’ hot fun beginning August 1. I’ll be highlighting my HOT contemporary romance, After Midnight, which releases September 30th, and giving away…well, I haven’t decided yet. I guess you’ll have to stop back to find out!

July 10, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday 7/10

Welcome to Six Sentence Sunday! Last week Isabeau questioned Noah's honesty. But as you see today, it is she who is being dishonest.

“I don’t play anymore because the music is no longer inside of me. It’s gone.” Except it wasn’t. It cantered through her skull like a caged beast finally set loose. “Now if you want to know anything else, you’ll have to go back to your source.”

“What if I want the truth? Will I find it there as well?”

As always, thank you to everyone who keeps coming back to read and comment. Make sure to visit
to discover who is participating this week. Or follow the #sixsunday hashtag on Twitter.

July 8, 2011

Skyrockets in Flight Blog Hop Delight

Lush Book Reviews

For today’s Skyrockets In Flight Blog Hop
I’ve decided to do a character interview.

Most interviews I’ve read are of the heroine, but since NOT WITHOUT RISK is actually the hero’s story, I chose to interview Sergeant Justin Harrison.

What is Not Without Risk about?

Murder. Proving to myself and my colleagues that I was fit to return to active duty after a .38 punctured my lung. And how a sexy brunette, with the longest legs I’ve ever had the pleasure of having wrapped around my hips, changed everything.

What did you think the first time you saw the heroine, Paige?

That she was stunning—and that it had been far too long since I’d been with a woman.

What was your second thought?

She could be a killer.

Why did you become a cop?

I have no stomach for people who take advantage of others weaknesses or misfortune for their own gain. I can’t stand violence against others, especially women. And when bad things happen, someone needs to help restore order, solve the puzzle and uncover the identity of the bad guy. I’m very good with puzzles.

What do you like most about Paige?

Her courage and strength. Even injured and bleeding, facing the knowledge that someone wanted her dead—would stop at nothing to see it happen—Paige didn’t break.

If you could change one thing about her, what would it be?

Why would I want to change her?

What is your biggest fear?

That I won’t be able to protect Paige. I pushed myself, my body, too hard in order to get back to the job—the thing that defines who I am. Then I met Paige, and discovered something more important than being a cop. Injured, exhausted and facing one of the toughest cases of my career…I don’t know if I can do it, if I can solve it before the killer gets his hands on her. But I have to. I can’t lose the woman who’s shown me I have worth other than the job—the woman I’ve come to need as much as my next lung full of air.

Make sure to leave me a comment that includes your email addy and you’re automatically entered to win an autographed copy of Not Without Risk. But that's not all, I will also pick two additional commentors to send some bookmarks and a beautiful heart keychain. Want to double your chance of winning? Become a follower of my blog and receive a second entry.

Have fun with the blog hop and good luck!

For a list of other blogs participating on this hop go here:

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July 7, 2011

Can’t Get No Satisfaction

My guest today is fellow Wild Rose Press author Alison Henderson. Welcome, Alison!


Can’t Get No Satisfaction – The Joy of Sexual Tension

These days, erotic romance is a hot subgenre in more ways than one. In response to increasingly jaded readers, sexual acts of every imaginable description are depicted with graphic gusto, and there’s certainly a place for that. One of the best things about our genre is that there’s something to appeal to every taste. But even if they love their stories flaming hot, many romance readers want more than just a Penthouse letter. We all know that Tab A goes in Slot B (or perhaps C or D, but that’s beside the point). Good writers at every heat level work to meet their readers’ wishes.

In romance fiction, much of the conflict that keeps readers turning pages stems from sexual tension. Reading romance is all about vicarious thrills, both physical and emotional. Readers want to feel the excitement and arousal along with the characters, and frustration merely serves to heighten the sense of anticipation. Will they or won’t they? (Of course, we know they will, but when, and how?) Every heated glance, sexy double entendre, and interrupted physical encounter pumps up the sexual tension.

And after all, what is sexual tension but The Big Tease? We torture our characters and tease the reader every time we draw the hero and heroine together only to jerk them apart. Every love scene is a reward for the characters and the reader who has suffered along with them.

An erotic novella knows its purpose and gets right down to business, but a longer story has the luxury of allowing the reader inside the heads and hearts of the characters as well as their bodies. The reader can travel with them down the long, winding road to fulfillment, and the more twisted the journey, the better.

In this excerpt from my new Western Historical release, A Man Like That, the heroine has caught up with her errant fiancé who left town hours before their wedding. She’s determined to bring him back, but he resists (for the noblest of reasons, of course).

Jessy awoke early the next morning, just before dawn. At first she couldn’t feel anything. She tried to straighten her cramped legs and realized she’d never been so cold or sore in her life. Every inch of her hurt, from the roots of her hair to the heels of her feet in their heavy boots. She had never slept on the ground before, and she swore she wouldn’t do it again, even if she had to ride straight through the night dragging Morgan behind her all the way home. She tried to roll over, and a groan escaped her lips.

“You all right?” a husky, morning male voice asked.


Morgan’s blankets rustled, and his footsteps crunched across the grass behind her back. His hand touched her side, and painful needles speared her flesh.

“What’s the matter? Sore?”

She winced. “And cold,” she confirmed in a small voice.

“We can’t have that.” He punctuated his observation with a light swat on her backside before rising to his feet.


He laughed, and she heard the sounds of him tending the fire. Soon the popping and hissing tempted her with thoughts of blissful warmth.

“Don’t worry,” he said. “You’ll be all right. We’ll have you back on your horse and on your way home in no time.”

“I doubt it. I can’t even move.”

“Then I’ll have to move you, won’t I?”

He knelt behind her and drew the blanket aside. Jessy shivered hard and groaned again. She felt his hands on her body, both of them this time, and his touch was neither playful nor sharp. It was strong and slow and infinitely tender. Starting at the back of her neck, he massaged the stiff, painful muscles and sent the circulation rushing back to her chilled flesh.

When she could move her neck again, he slid his hands to her shoulders and worked them with slow, sure strokes until she arched into his touch. His hands moved down her back until he encountered the thick, stiff edge of her stays beneath her shirt and hesitated.

“What the...what have you got on under here?”

“My stays.”

“You slept all night on the hard ground trussed up like a rabbit on a spit?”

“Not exactly,” Jessy said. “I’m sure the rabbit would have been much warmer.” She tentatively straightened her legs.

“Take that infernal thing off now.”

“I can’t.”

“What do you mean you can’t? You sure don’t need to worry about the way these clothes fit you.”

She winced. She should have changed into her riding habit when she saw his campfire last night instead of appearing dressed like this. No man would be overcome with love at the sight of his fiancée dressed like a shabby boy. But last night she hadn’t been sure it was Morgan until it was too late.

She tried to roll onto her back, and the movement brought an involuntary grunt of pain. “I can’t take it off because I can’t sit up.”

His single word response expressed his feelings succinctly, but his hands were strong and gentle as he lifted her into a sitting position. He began to unbutton her shirt.

“I can do that myself,” she said, slapping him away. But she soon found her fingers were too stiff with cold to work the small bone buttons through their holes.

“I’ll do it.” Morgan’s gruff reply was at odds with his tender touch. He brushed her hands aside and finished the job.

When he slipped the warm flannel shirt off her shoulders and down her arms, violent shivers wracked her body. He swore again and pulled out his knife. With one quick motion, he sliced through the laces of the corset all the way up the back until the offending garment split open like a clamshell. He dragged the blanket around her quaking shoulders and pulled her into his arms and onto his lap.

Now if you guessed this encounter ends in a sweaty roll in the grass, guess again. These two have many miles, and many pages, to go before the urgings of their hearts catch up with their hormones. But the stage is set for a building wave of sexual tension that sweeps readers along until they ache for the culmination as much as the hero and heroine.

Thank you so much for joining me today! To learn more about Jessy and Morgan’s battle of will and desire in A Man Like That, I invite you to visit me on the web at www.alisonhenderson.com. And be sure to check out the pre-quel, Harvest of Dreams.