Welcome to the Romance and Erotica Reader Appreciation Giveaway!
We’re so glad you stopped by! A lot of great authors are giving away a HUGE Amazon Gift Card to one lucky Romance and/or Erotica reading fan! (Yes, we check, and only true romance book worms qualify to win! But there WILL be a winner, which will be publicly announced in the Facebook Party HERE on December 2nd!
Here are a couple of sneak peeks from the EPIC Romance and Erotica Group with Rebecca Hamilton!
How To Catch Crabs by Demelza Carlton
I smelled smoke faintly on the wind and knew Mum wasn’t the only one brewing up a morning cup of tea.
When my basket was empty, I slipped under the lines of washing until I reached the outermost rank. A quick touch told me that these were far from dry, so I returned to the lean-to laundry to finish up the last load of boys’ clothes. I’d already scrubbed these once, but they were so dirty, I’d given up and decided to soak them for longer.
I wound them around the copper stick – actually an old cricket bat of Dominic’s – and dumped the mess into the rinse water, praying that I wouldn’t have to scrub them again. It wouldn’t kill the boys to wear grey shirts to school, especially after they’d turned them that colour.
I shoved my arms into the tub of water, weaving my hands between the shirts and shorts in an effort to untangle them. The smell of smoke intensified as I touched the bottom of the stone tub. No, this wasn’t the clean, sharp smell of burning jarrah from a neighbour’s chimney. This was the fug of tobacco that shouldn’t be anywhere near my laundry.
“Nick, if you’re smoking again, I’ll tell Mum!” I hissed, glancing over my shoulder.
The masculine silhouette in the doorway was too muscular to be my fifteen-year-old brother. As if to demonstrate this, he removed the cigarette from his lips and blew a stream of smoke at the ceiling. “Who is this Nick, streghetta? Your brother, I hope.”
Giorgio’s deep voice stopped my heart for a moment, before it stuttered back to beating. How could one man have such an effect on me? I only hoped he didn’t notice.
“None of your business,” I snapped. “What are you doing, trespassing here?”
He laughed softly. “I am driving my sister-in-law to see her friend. My brother didn’t trust me to mind his shop, so he gave me his wife and truck instead. So, this friend. Is she your friend, too? Or your sister, perhaps?”
“My mother. And my father is pruning the grapevines, but he’ll be back for lunch any moment, so you should get out of here and leave me to my work.” I deliberately turned my back on him, concentrating only on the task at hand. I willed him to leave.
“But you have bewitched me, streghetta. I’ve thought of nothing and no one else since I met you in the market last week.” I heard the crunch of footsteps on the hard-packed clay as he entered the lean-to.
He’s right behind me, but I won’t give him the satisfaction of paying him undeserved attention, I vowed, lifting a shirt from the suds so I could scrutinise it for stains.
Something warm touched my neck and I dropped the shirt with a splash. Whirling around, I glared at Giorgio. “How dare you touch me without my permission!”
“This new fashion of short hair drew my eyes to your neck, as I’m sure you intended, and I could not resist you, streghetta.” He touched two fingers to his lips. “Your neck tastes of soap and salt, the products of your hard labour. Do your lips taste sweeter?”
I drew in a sharp breath to shout at him again, but he seized my shoulders and kissed me. His lips were warm as he took me by surprise, taking advantage of my open mouth to mingle his breath with mine, before his tongue darted in to dance. It was a kiss that spoke of passion, longing and a desire for more as his body pressed mine against the sink. He tasted of ash and smoke, coupled with the warmth of a fire that could melt even the iciest heart. Even mine, I realised, as my knees weakened. I groped for the sink behind me to stay on my feet and my fingers closed on the copper stick.
All those years of backyard cricket with my brothers was worth it, I decided, as I brought up the bat to hit the rogue for six. Cold, soapy water doused us both, but I didn’t care because I heard and felt the satisfying thunk as the bat made contact with his head.
Immediately, he released me and backed up, touching a hand to his head to see if he was bleeding. Sadly, I hadn’t hit him hard enough for that. My arms were too tired from a morning’s worth of washing.
I brandished the bat. “Don’t do that again.”
He laughed and I almost hit him again. “Only if you promise not to bewitch me any more. Tell me your name.”
“You’ve never had the good manners to introduce yourself, so why should I?” I retorted. I could still feel the heat of his mouth on mine. Heavens – I almost wanted to feel it again.
Courted by Jennifer Chance
When the man looked up and shouted something she didn’t understand, yet another wave of mortification crashed through Emmaline. Oh God, we’ve drawn a crowd. Why hadn’t she realized there were people around them? Of course there would be people. It was a public beach. With people on it.
“I’m so sorry, I’m fine,” she managed, though she could barely understand her own words, she was shaking so much. “If you’d let me get up—I just need to walk around. I’m sorry.”
“Do not apologize. You have done nothing wrong.” The man’s words were harsh with the crack of command, but Em was beyond responding to any more orders. “I’m calling for my men. You’re frozen.” And with another curse, he pulled her into his lap, surrounding her with his heat.
His men? Was he in charge of that little group of navy guys?
“Why are you so cold?” he continued, and though her brain seemed to be on the verge of shutting down, Em knew he thought she was going into shock. “It is a warm and sunny day. We have only sunny days here in Garronia, didn’t you know that? It is a kingdom of sunshine and joy.”
He was talking to her like she was a child, and Em closed her eyes in humiliation. Seriously, this was not happening.
“I just—I get the shakes sometimes. It’s okay, I—get cold, it’s—” Now did not seem to be the best time to talk about poor blood circulation, but Em couldn’t help her rat-a-tatting teeth as the man’s rough arms encircled her, his thick biceps and corded forearms covering her chest and waist. He dropped a soft kiss on the crown of her head, as natural as if they’d been dating for years, and murmured something else to her.
Wait, what? Had he seriously just kissed her?
Warmth snaked through her now, all right, but that was mostly because a man was actually holding her. She hadn’t had that happen in so long that she’d practically forgotten what it felt like to have someone pressing against her, skin to skin, chest to back, lips to ear, surrounding her so completely that she had neither time nor breath to think about anything else, anyone else, anywhere else…
Whoa, there, girl. Dial it down a notch.
Only now the man who was making such insane, impossible images dance through her head murmured something else, his voice rich with Mediterranean sun and spices and, God, his arms around her felt amazing.
Settle down! She implored her newly reawakened libido, which was beginning to thrum with anticipation at a real, live man holding her real, live body in his real, live arms…
Her newly reawakened libido was apparently not to be deterred.
“The water is treacherous,” Sexy Navy Adonis was saying. “I tried to warn you, but I did not do a good job. For that, I am sorry. Perhaps I can help by doing…this.”
Your Chance to Win a Limited Edition Poldark Tote!
Signed by Eleanor Tomlinson and filled with books!
How? Just click the link below and find out in next month’s newsletter!