This book is a Harlequin Spice publication and it's now available from stores in the US and from online retailers including Amazon.com. You can preorder the ebook version for download on the 1st and print copies will be at Amazon.co.uk soon. I've just received my contributor copy and it's a gorgeous anthology, packed with steaming hot stories!
In this sizzling new treasury, erotica maestro Alison Tyler has assembled over two dozen titillating tales of couples taking each other to new heights of happily bedded bliss. Imagination and experimentation are the watchwords as sexy spouses live out fantasies both intimate and elaborate: naughty new settings, new toys ... even new partners. There are virgin brides, wicked wedding nights, impetuous swingers and some kinky couplings that give "tying the knot" a whole new meaning! Seductively spun by such genre luminaries as Kate Pearce, Kristina Wright, Cheyenne Blue, Portia Da Costa, Rachel Kramer Bussel and Janine Ashbless -- plus a teasing little tale from the editor herself -- these stories prove that the honeymoon is just the beginning!
Here's an excerpt from my story, One Last Time:
Why have you come back, Frank?
The last customer had left and I slid the bolts home, closing the world out. We were alone. Turning my back against the door, I stared across the pub at him. He sat at the bar as he had done all evening, brooding and watchful. When I’d gone about my business serving the other customers, he’d followed me with possessive eyes, making no attempt to hide the fact he wouldn’t be leaving when time was called. I’d requested space and yet here he was, back again—and on a Sunday night when he knew it would be quiet and I’d be locking up alone. Frustration welled in me. Why did he have to make splitting up even harder than it already was?
As I walked back to my post I was unable to stop myself noticing the breadth of his shoulders through his worn leather jacket, the way his thick, dark hair brushed his collar, and the outline of his buttocks through snug jeans.
“What do you want, Frank?” I stepped behind the bar, picking up the bar cloth as I went. Moving quickly, I rubbed the cloth across the polished wood surface of the bar, trying to ignore him, but his hand shot out and closed over my wrist, halting me.
My back stiffened, tension beading up my spine. The demanding grasp of his hand on my wrist made my heart trip. I silently cursed myself, because this is what he did to me, so easily. I was aroused by this simple action – an action that merely hinted at the immensity of his power and self-control. My resistance faltered, as he knew it would. My hand fisted inside his grip.
“I want you,” he whispered.
I tried to tug my hand free, but couldn’t. “I told you, it’s over.”
I’d told him that the week before, and he’d stared at me for the longest moment, then nodded and left. Not even a goodbye kiss. I’d shoved my emotional amour into place, but deep inside I was hurting, badly. And now, a week later, he was back. Did he want to say goodbye, properly, or did he think I’d buckle and give in to him?
“Mel, you also told me that you loved me.” His eyes blazed across the bar at me, so intense that I couldn’t look away.
My chest tightened, my hand slackening inside his grip. I did love him, and I knew that would never change, but Frank’s a long distance trucker and he loves the road.
“I need a man who is there for me at the end of the day,” I responded, as levelly as I could, “not someone who passes through every couple of weeks to show me a good time.”
“One last time, here and now,” he said. It was a statement of intent, not a request.
Our eyes remained locked, and everything that had been between us surfaced in my memory. This man knew me, inside and out. He could tell what I was thinking, and his thumb stroked the side of my hand. Even though I knew it was wrong, heat pooled in my groin, my body anticipating him. I opened my mouth to object but my core clenched, showing me how much I needed him, and I couldn’t deny it. Instead of words, I heard only my own labored breathing.
Taking charge, he pulled the cloth from my hand and cast it aside.
Reaching into his pocket, he brought out his handcuffs and put them down on the bar between us.
“Frank…” It came out on a whimper, because I knew that if he restrained me I’d be begging for him. That’s how it was. I tried to level my breathing, closing my eyes for a moment, before glaring at him. He knew my weaknesses far too well. When I looked back at him, he nodded at me. I withheld a plea.
He clasped both my hands and drew them across the bar towards him, making me lean forward onto my forearms. Threading the cuffs through the decorative brass rail that ran along his side of the bar, he made ready to tether me to it.
“You may think that you can deny this thing between us,” he said, and I felt the cuffs slide into place. He paused, and I heard one click and lock, before he moved his attention to the other hand. “But I noticed the way you were looking at me tonight, and I know that you want this as much as I do.” He clicked the second cuff into place.
Frustrated by his ability to be so sure when I was awash with doubt, I blurted out my feelings. “Of course I want this, but that doesn’t mean this is good for me. This is stopping me from meeting another man, a man I could settle down and make a decent home life with.”
He didn’t respond to that.
Instead, he put his thumb on my lower lip to stop it trembling. I glared up at him, half in anger, and half in pent-up desire. One corner of his mouth lifted and he stroked his thumb over my chin in a tender, affectionate gesture. Then he stepped away, and as he walked the length of the bar and joined me behind it, I swallowed down the mental resistance, because I did want him. Badly. That was part of the problem. When it came to Frank, I was an addict.
Closure, this would give us both closure. I twisted my head and looked back at him. “Promise me, this is the last time.”