Posted by Leslie at Nov 13, 2012 6:00 am
Sadly, the wonderful Blazing Bedtime Stories series within Blaze is coming to an end. I’m so glad I got to lead off the last anthology, titled LET IT SNOW, which comes out next month.
If you’re a regular reader of my books, I’m sure you’ve heard of my fairytales of Elatyria stories. I have done Blazing versions of Little Red Riding Hood, The Princess & The Pea, The Prince & The Pauper, Sleeping Beauty, and this last story, which is a sort of twist-up of The Nutcracker + that Eddie Murphy movie Coming To America.
I’m really surprised these fairy tales didn’t sell better than they did, considering the popularity of the show Once Upon A Time. If you like that show, and you like sexy contemporaries, I can almost guarantee you’ll like these. They’re pure fun, very sexy, and (I hope!) clever, with tips of the hat to the original, classic stories.
If you read Sleeping With A Beauty (February 2012, in the ONCE UPON A VALENTINE collection) you might remember the end of the story, when the heroine is kissed not by the hero but by a very sexy, spoiled prince. That prince, Phillip of the Dry Lands, is now ready to find true love of his own. His kingdom needs him to marry and produce an heir, but he’s determined to try one last time to find a woman who will love him for himself, not for his kingdom. So, accompanied by his closest friend–a spoiled royal wannabe, and his bodyguard–a huge guy named Teeny who really likes making delicate pastries, he heads to New York City. It’s Christmas time, and he finds himself living in a run down apartment above a candy shop, owned by Claire Hoffman. Claire has lots of troubles, including trying to keep her spoiled-rotten little brother, Freddy, out of the hands of a mob enforcer known as The Nutcracker.
And the rest…well, you’ll have to read the story to find out what happens. I promise it’s very romantic, very sexy, and quite delicious (FYI: What I did for cannoli in OVEREXPOSED happens with melted dark chocolate in this book. Decadent!)
The book is already available for purchase at www.eharlequin with 20% off the cover price. It’s also available atÂ Amazon and Barnes & Noble and should be showing up in stores right around Thanksgiving.
Add my story with a fairy tale by the hilariously funny and talented Jennifer Labrecque and you’ll have a great holiday read.
Want to read an excerpt? Click below to check out the start of the chocolate scene…warning, it’s spicy!
Realizing the ice cream was probably soft enough to scoop, went over to the other counter. Philip watched her as she cut two healthy pieces, put them into deep-dish bowls, then plopped heaping spoonfuls of ice cream on top. When she headed over to get the chocolate sauce, however, he joined her.
â€œThis I want to do.â€
â€œYou really are a chocolate fiend.â€
â€œMost guys think chocolate addiction is a chick thing.â€
â€œDo you think Iâ€™m like most guys?â€
Watching him drizzle the chocolate over the ice cream, his hand strong and steady, muscles flexing in his forearm, she shook her head. â€œNo. I donâ€™t think youâ€™re like anyone Iâ€™ve ever met.â€
Realizing sheâ€™d grown too serious, she helped herself to half as much chocolate as heâ€™d taken, then carried the dessert back to the counter. Philip joined her, and for the next few minutes said nothing. He savored every drop of warm chocolate, creamy ice cream, and soft brownie. Sheâ€™d swear the manâ€™s expression was orgasmic and he moaned pleasurably as he ate.
She had never imagined it would be a complete turn-on to watch a man eat dessert. But the way he so carefully and thoroughly tasted everything, closing his eyes and letting the cool cream glide down his throat or licking the last bit of chocolate off his spoon, soon had her shifting on her seat. Her pulse was rushing through her veins and it had nothing to do with sugar and everything to do with spice.
He was just so damned hot and exotic, so different from any man sheâ€™d known before. He held nothing backâ€”not his appreciation for her, not his enjoyment of his food, not his delight in the crowds and the noise and the frenzy of the city. He was…sensual. That was it. The man was entirely in tune with his senses, and she found that incredibly sexy.
Claire wasnâ€™t quite sure what was happening to her. Sure, sheâ€™d had relationships before, mostly brief but one long-term one that had lasted through two years of college. But sheâ€™d never felt so totally in tune with another personâ€™s sensual responses than she did right now, with him.
â€œYou have chocolate on your mouth,â€ he said.
â€œDo I?â€ She licked her lips.
â€œNo,â€ he told her, leaning across the counter until his face was inches from hers. â€œItâ€™s here.â€
He didnâ€™t wipe it off with his hand or a napkin. Instead, he moved his mouth to the corner of hers and kissed her, his tongue flicking out to sample the smudge sheâ€™d left behind.
â€œMm,â€ he murmured as their lips brushed. â€œYou taste good.â€
She knew it wasnâ€™t smart, knew it was too soon and that sheâ€™d only known him a week, but common sense seemed to have departed for the night. So, without a word, she reached up and put her arms around his neck, parting her lips against his, inviting him to deepen his kiss.
He did, his cold, sweet tongue tangling with hers in slow, hungry thrusts. He tasted so delicious, made the chocolate more rich, the ice cream more sweet, the brownie more decadent. Claire tilted her head, wanting their mouths locked more tightly together, and the kiss deepened, grew hungrier, hotter, wetter.
Before she realized what was happening, Philip had gotten up, reached over and begun pulling her up, too. He dropped his hands to her waist, lifted her off her stool and up to sit on the counter, pulling her across the flat surface toward him.
Claire didnâ€™t resist, she was puttyâ€”or molding chocolateâ€”in his hands. He moved her easily, handling her like she weighed nothing, like she was some tiny woman who men could sweep off their feet and carry around. His strength boggled her mind.
He pulled her close to his big, hard body, until she was sitting directly in front of him, her legs dangling off the edge. Dropping his hands onto her parted thighs, he stepped between them and proceeded to kiss her again.
The hunger erupted. She felt his heat, his breadth, his strength, pressed against her, and desperately wanted to feel all those things without the barrier of clothing. The kiss was devouring, demanding. He lifted both hands and sunk them into her hair, cupping her head, keeping her where he wanted her.
It was a long kiss. When it ended, he said, â€œYou taste better than the chocolate.â€ His voice was thick with want.
Feeling drugged, intoxicated, she replied, â€œSo do you.â€
Without saying another word, Philip reached into his bowl, smeared with melted chocolate and ice cream, and swiped his finger across the surface. He traced his fingertip down the side of her neck, from just below her ear to the hollow of her throat.
â€œOoh, cold,â€ she said, knowing she wouldnâ€™t be for long.
â€œIâ€™ll warm you,â€ he promised as he bent down and kissed her neck. And he did, sparking a flame as he licked away the chocolate and the cream, sampling her skin, tasting her all the way down until the sticky sweetness ended. He devoured her with the same care and deliberation heâ€™d used on his dessert, and all she could think was how very much she wanted him to do it again.
â€œHmm, my bowlâ€™s wiped clean,â€ he muttered, sounding disappointed. He cast a look across the kitchen at the stove. The melting pot still sat there, off the heat, probably cool and congealing by now. Perfect for playing with. â€œDonâ€™t move.â€
Claire held her breath, watching as he jogged over to get the pot, tested it with his fingertip, then carried it back. His steps slowed as he returned, his stare never leaving his face, his eyes darkening, growing heavy-lidded with passion.
She knew where this was going. Knew what he wanted. Knew what he intended to do. And she wanted it. All of it.
He stopped a few feet away, lifting a brow in question.
She reached up and brushed the tips of her fingers over the hollow of her throat, then traipsed them downward until stopped by the deep vee neck of her sweater.
That was all the assent he required. Philipâ€™s smile was sultry, his movements deliberate and seductive as he moved in front of her. He put the pot down beside her, then swirled his fingertip in the thickening mass of slick, dark sweetness.
This time, the line of chocolate he drew on her skin went from her throat all the way down below the neck of her sweater, traveling the same path her fingers had, disappearing just between the plumped-up curves of her breasts.
â€œOh,â€ she sighed, incredibly aroused by just that touch, knowing his hands would soon be replaced by his mouth.
He moved to her throat, growling as he licked the chocolate and moved down…down…until his face was pressed into her cleavage. She was trembling now, her hands clenching his shoulders as she anticipated so much more.
She didnâ€™t even pretend to resist when he reached for the bottom hem of her sweater and drew it up and off. Sitting there in just her pants and a lacy, sexy red bra sheâ€™d donned just in case she might have reason to take her sweater off tonight, she watched him study her. Watched his dark eyes grow nearly black and his mouth open to release an unsteady breath.
Want dripped off the man. It was a physical, tangible thing, his desire. And all directed at her.
â€œI like this.â€ He ran a knuckle over her bra strap.
â€œYouâ€™ll like it even more when itâ€™s where it belongs.â€
â€œWhere does it belong?â€
â€œOn the floor.â€
He licked his lips, reached for the front clasp of her bra and flicked it with his thumb and forefinger. The fabric fell apart, her full, aching breasts nearly revealed to his covetous stare. She saw the way his jaw clenched as he stared and knew he very much liked what he saw. But instead of pulling the bra the rest of the way off, he reached for the pot again.
Trembles turned to quivers. This time, he used two fingers to scoop up a heaping helping of the chocolate. Claire held her breath, not sure where heâ€™d move them, wondering if he intended to ice her body like a cake and devour her completely.
Sheâ€™d be okay with that. This man could call her his own personal Devilâ€™s Food for as long as he liked.
He finally moved his hand back to the moist spot between her breasts where heâ€™d last had his mouth. He slowly drew a swirling infinity sign, his talented fingers edging the bra out of the way as he painted a trail over each breast, around each areola, leaving just the puckered tips uncovered by the warm chocolate.
â€œThose are sweet enough, they donâ€™t need any topping,â€ he murmured, staring at her distended nipples.
She shifted on the countertop, her sex throbbing and wet. She was so hot for him it was painful to sit on the hard surface.
He began to lick away the trail heâ€™d created. Claire curled her fingers in his hair, needing to keep herself steady as he sampled her skin. The brush of his sandpapery cheek against the side of her breast made her groan. When his lips came close to an un-covered nipple, she wanted to beg. But he moved past, followed the chocolate, leaving her nipples pouty, full, untasted.
â€œOh, God, please,â€ she whimpered.
He didnâ€™t relent, licking every spot of chocolate off her breasts before making the slightest move toward the most sensitive tips. She was ready to cry by the time he finally gazed hungrily at one pouty nipple, and cried out when, without warning, he moved his mouth there, covered it and sucked deeply.
â€œYes!â€ she groaned.
As if knowing how sensitive she was, and how badly she needed his attention, he lifted his hand to her other breast. He squeezed lightly, stroking the nipple between his strong fingers, tweaked it, toyed with it, all while suckling her. Waves of heat plummeted from her core down to her groin and she had to wriggle on the countertop. The seam of her tight cords was pressed right against her clit, which was swollen, a bundle of nerves.
â€œLie back,â€ he ordered, his lips still against her breast.
She sucked in a breath, unsure for a moment. This man wanted her to lay herself out like a feast? He desired her that much?
â€œI do have a bedroom.â€
â€œThatâ€™ll take too long. Let me adore you, here and now.â€
Adore her? The manâ€™s voice was velvety and assured, his expression hungry and passionate. He wanted her to let him adore her, when, by all rights, she should be on her knees begging him not to stop.
As if stopping was even in the realm of possibility.
Maybe for the sensible Claire, the one who always took care of everyone else, it would be. But that Claire had disappeared tonight. Sheâ€™d never imagined she would like strong, overprotective men, but somewhere between his insisting that he take her out, admitting heâ€™d been watching her, tossing that obnoxious barker out of her path and urging her to let him, sheâ€™d realized she wanted nothing more than to give over control to someone else for a change. Maybe not for longâ€”perhaps just for tonightâ€”but she was ready to let go, to be taken care of.
To be adored.