Can You Vague That Up For Me?

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Archive for the category “Contest”

Happy accomplishments to me! And to you, too! (Giveaway)

This post is a bit late. My actual ten year publishing anniversary was on March 30th, and I’d planned to do a giveaway to celebrate. However, my mother-in-law died the day before, and understandably, I just didn’t feel like celebrating anything. I was just trying to make it through the visitation and funeral and hold it together for my husband. And though we miss her, we’re comforted by the fact that she was ready and she’s no longer in pain.

While my MIL wasn’t a romance fan–she prefered “spy thrillers”–she was very proud of me. And my husband pointed out recently that she’d be pissed if she knew I was blowing off my anniversary, so here I am…with a celebratory giveaway.

On March 30th, 2007, Ellora’s Cave (before it became the utter train wreck it was to become) published my first novel. And now, ten years and twenty-eight days later, I’ve had 32 published novels and novellas, 72 flash fiction stories, and 988 blog posts (not including guest posts).

I know I’m not as prolific as some, but I am pleased with what I’ve managed to accomplish in the last 10 years. I think that women are sort of societally programed to downplay their accomplishments. (See? I did it right there in the opening of this paragraph. Damnit, Bron! But you know what? I’m leaving it, because it proves my point.)

We’re conditioned not to be too proud of things we’ve done lest people think we’re bragging or too full of ourselves. But fuck that! Women’s accomplishments are just as valid as men’s. No offence to any men who might be reading this, but this whole downplaying of accomplishments definitely skews toward women.

So, to celebrate ten exciting and tumultuous years in this business, I’m going to give away my four print ARCs from the Bound series  that I write with my girl Jessica Jarman, as well as some swag, to the grand prize winner. I’ll also be giving away a few other print books and more swag to other winners. All you need to do to enter is comment on this post and tell me about your accomplishments that you’re most proud of–no matter how big or how small. Let’s celebrate each other!

Please either leave your email address with your comment or email me at with a copy of your comment so I can reach you if you win. Everyone has an equal opportunity to win, and winners will be chosen old school (my kids picking entries from a hat) because rafflecopter hates my blog. Contest closes at 10 PM EST on May 1st.

So, c’mon! Tell me what you’re proud of!


Pssst! Wanna Win a Kindle Fire HD 8?

Of COURSE you want to win! And here’s your chance…or chances since you can enter several times!

What are you entering to win, exactly? A Kindle Fire HD 8 PLUS 13 ebooks!

The Bound Series

London Bound by Jessica Jarman
Drawn That Way by Bronwyn Green
The Professor’s Student by Bronwyn Green
Nothing Serious by Jessica Jarman
Out of Sync by Bronwyn Green
In Bounds by Bronwyn Green
Safeword Protected by Jessica Jarman

Albion’s Circle series by Jessica Jarman

The Deepest Cut
In My Veins
Edge of Darkness

Rising Blood by Bronwyn Green
Finding You by Bronwyn Green
Tempted to Death by Jessica Jarman

So, enter early, enter often! The more you enter, the better your chances of winning!

Good luck… Ádh mór oraibh!

Bron & Jess

Click link below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We Have a Winner! (Late, because I suck.)

Hey Everyone,

Happy Non-Apocalypse!

In all of my running around yesterday, I totally forgot to post the winner.

But without further delays, the winner is…


Huge Congrats, Debby!!! You’ll be receiving your gift certificate shortly.

Meet Ninette Swann and Enter to Win!

 Hey Everyone! 

I’d like to introduce you to debut author Ninette Swann whose first book, Hit and Stay, comes out today! Ninette has kindly agreed to give away an ebook to one lucky commenter. All you need to do is comment and leave a valid email address before Tuesday, May 29th at 7pm.

 How did your writing path evolve?
— My writing evolved as my life evolved. As a young woman, I wrote a bunch of schlocky, meaningless crap that I thought was “really deep and lyrical.” I’ve since learned that just because it doesn’t make sense doesn’t make it poetic. I got off that path by running out of time to write, by giving up any dream of becoming a writer, and living life instead.

What type of research do you do for your books?

— It depends on the type of book I’m writing. I do only as much research as I have to, to get the facts correct. I don’t want to read too many police cases covering my plot line, in case I then can’t get my fiction rolling after that, with all the real life happenings swirling in my head.

From what or where do you derive the most inspiration for your stories?

— I’m a mother, a journalist, an editor and then a writer. My inspiration comes from those facets of my life, in that order.

Tell us about your upcoming releases?

— Hit and Stay will be my first romantic suspense. A police officer, mired in an internal investigation for one of his previous cases, finds himself on the scene of a hit and run. The victim is a high-powered politician’s fiancee. She discovers her fiance is involved with some incredibly shady business and makes a break for it while recovering from her crash in his home. She calls on the ex-cop for his detective skills, and they go on the run. Together they piece together the events of the crash, finding out a good deal more about the past, and each other, than they expected.

What are you working on at the moment?
— I’m working on a collection of re-told fairytales from the point of view of the step-mothers / parental figures. I swear when I started it, no one was doing it. Curse my slowness, and the two shows and the billion movies and books that have come out since I had the idea. You’ll just have to take my word for it, I guess. Hah.

What do you like best about being a writer?  What do you like least?

— It’s fun. It’s incredibly freeing. To think something, then write it down, then have it read is an amazing validation in its own right; one that’s often forgotten. As far as what I like least? For creative writing, I hate the lack of deadlines. Having been a journalist for so long, it’s very hard for me to write something that’s not due on-air in OMG 90 SECONDS. That’s just bad habit, though.

What would you do if you weren’t a writer?

— I have no idea. Everything I’ve ever done has involved writing on some level. If I hadn’t had my kids, and moved away from my job, I’d probably be doing public relations or producing television news, still.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
— My kids are still quite small, so I spend the majority of my time playing with, going to parks and libraries and museums. It’s a very tough life, but somebody’s got to do it.

Of all of the characters you’ve created, who is your favorite and why?
— Burt is my favorite character. I cut him out of Hit and Stay by more than half from the original because he was stealing all my scenes. I love a good, chintzy, crass reporter.

Do you find it difficult to keep love/sex scenes fresh and interesting?— Yes. There are only so many words for penis.

What genre of books least appeals to you and why?

— Well, having young kids, I read a lot of children’s books, so my standards for those have gotten pretty high. You’d never think that children’s books could really be bad, but so many are. Just because children are small doesn’t mean they should be talked down to, or told inane things. I want my kids introduced to good writing right off the bat.

Do you listen to music when you write or do you need quiet?  If you listen to music – what kind?— I listen to children’s television programming. Not the most conducive for writing, but we get by.

What makes a man sexy?
— Intelligence, broad shoulders, squared jaw, glasses, humor, confidence.

Do you family and friends know you write erotic romance – if so, how have they reacted?

— Yes. I’m using a pseudonym for two reasons. One, for the categorization, so as not to confuse the audience. So that if I write something of a different genre, it doesn’t jar them. And two, in case romance still carries the stigma it has today, I would like to spare my children any possible teasing should their friends find a romance book with my name on it and decide that’s laugh-worthy for some reason.

What’s your favorite food?
— Cereal.

Do you have any bad habits?
— I bite my nails.

If you were stranded on a desert isle, what five things would you want to have with you?
— a fresh water source, a machete, rope or twine, flint, lighter fluid

Do you have any pet peeves?
— Being asked something more than a million times in five minutes. Thanks, kids.

What do you like about where you live?
— That family is here. I’m not so much a fan of my current location but they make any place worth it.

If you could travel back in time, would you? If so, what time period would you visit and why?
— I wouldn’t want to go back in time. Every time period that is romanticized in my mind–like the 1950s or the 1920s–in reality must have been a very difficult time to grow up as a woman. I would never give up my rights, not even for all the heels and martinis in the world. Plus, we can still do that today, right?

Getting to Know Elise Hepner

I know it’s been interview central around here lately, but hey! There are fun new authors to meet and books to win! Today, we’ve got Elise Hepner and she’ll be giving away a copy of her new book, Roped Emotions. All you need to do for a chance to win is leave a comment for Elise and your email address – easy peasy! I’ll draw a winner Sunday evening.

Now, on to the interview…

What type of research do you do for your books?

Normally, I start by heading to my local bookstore in the mall and look up the sexual positions books in “Health and Wellness” section for inspiration for my sex scenes, since they most often come to me first before anything else in the book. From there, depending on what time period my story takes place, I use my Google-fu to check out images of the time period including houses, clothes, and any other relevant details.

But my favorite kind of research still comes from books in the library where I have to cross reference the back appendixes and fit all my information together like a piece of a puzzle. I don’t get to do very often because I don’t write many historicals, but I did get to do it with a steampunk work in progress and it was so much fun!

I habitually research—as a hobby. My husband loves it because he can use me to find any information he’s too lazy to find himself.
Tell us about your upcoming releases?

My new release is with Ellora’s Cave and it’s titled Roped Emotions. It’s a bondage fairytale novella based on the story of Rapunzel. Here’s the blurb:

Rapunzel is trapped by the harsh, inescapable reality of her prison, so she builds vivid sexual fantasies where she has full control and no one can take it away. If nothing else, at least she has command over her thoughts.

When Prince Samuel climbs into her tower it’s a small, satisfying excuse to break the rules—until his gentle touch coaxes her trust. But it’s not enough. No longer can she keep her dark, sexual secrets inside. Rapunzel yearns for rough, passionate sex—a way to unlock her sensual freedom for good.

Vulnerable but unable to turn back, Rapunzel leads Prince Samuel on an intimate journey to define their sexual limits, while twisting their definitions of control forever.

What are you working on at the moment?

Currently I’m working on edits for an erotica novel with EC entitled Not So Pure. It’s a modern day re-telling of Snow White with drugs, sex, and a Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer look-a-like.

What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like least?

I love that I can make my own hours and entertain myself throughout the day without ever leaving a chair. And the rush of getting an acceptance letter is an indescribable feeling that sort of becomes an addiction after a while.

I don’t like the waiting or my editing process. But those are two things that won’t ever change, haha.
What would you do if you weren’t a writer?

I would like to think that I could pick up a job at an e-pub somewhere since before I started writing professionally I worked for two small presses as an intern and acquisitions editor. Hopefully a job where I would be able to stay in publishing.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

There is nothing I adore more than watching junk TV like Real Housewives shows, Vampire Dairies, and Teen Mom. I thrive off of TV because it makes my brain shut off and I need that working 12-14 hour days every day with not many weekends off. I also love any Sims game and—well, duh, of course I read!

What genre of books least appeals to you and why?

I’m really not a high fantasy or sci-fi kind of girl. I do read them, but it takes a lot to not make me stop in the middle and put the book away. Although there are exceptions to this rule because I’m really liking a lot of steampunk right now which could be categorized as an off-shoot of sci-fi. Also big on The Game of Thrones books by George R.R. Martin—just hoping that they will get happy—and soon.

What makes a man sexy?

Complete and utter cockiness and an ability to banter smartly and verbally play with a woman.

Do you family and friends know you write erotic romance – if so, how have they reacted?

My grandfather apparently reads my work. That was a conversation I wish I could have dodged.

What’s your favorite food?

Mac and Cheese and Olive Garden Breadsticks.
Do you have any bad habits?

I’m a really bad procrastinator only because I have way too much going through my head at any given time that I’m bound to push something off to the side just so I can breathe.

If you were stranded on a desert isle, what five things would you want to have with you?

My Nook, my husband, my two cats, Ian Somherholden, and paper.

If you could travel back in time, would you? If so, what time period would you visit and why?

Oh I would totally take that chance and travel back to the premiere of Gone with the Wind to seduce Clark Gable.

Where can readers find you?




How about an excerpt of your new book?

“What in Christ’s name…”

I must be hearing echoes from the town nearby, where Mother sells her herbs and braided goods. No one ventures this far toward my tower because Mother’s gone to great lengths to see that they don’t—bear traps are her new favorite method of discouragement. Once one life is claimed, I imagine word spreads fairly quickly to stay away from the area. Why then are there hoof beats that make my head pulse with a slight pain?

There’s no understandable excuse I can delude myself with any longer. Before I can focus on the consequences, I swing my head out the window into the oppressive, humid summer air. Just the very top of his head is visible, his hair brushing past his cheekbones, glowing from the sunshine and shot through with gold. Never have I seen a color so close to my own before—not that I see many people.

For a few moments I can’t quite come to terms with his presence and it’s not for a lack of staring that my pulse inevitably echoes inside my head like an overbeaten drum. This is my chance. Mother won’t be back for quite some time with her wares. He’s circling the tower, slouched over a horse who looks a bit like a nag. Certainly not a proper horse for a man with such fine clothes in gorgeous colors and sumptuous fabrics.

There’s no going back from this moment. It’s a certainty that makes my teeth chatter in a wash of cold fear, despite the heat, and my hands clasp around my middle as I try to hold myself together. He hasn’t looked up yet, more intent on studying the free-standing structure than noticing my shadow plastered across the grass. My mind is desperately working out what I’ll cry out to him. Even as my throat closes with an infusion of happiness that makes me rock on my feet.

“Excuse me?” A tentative question I’m not sure he will hear because it can’t be any louder than a frightened whisper. “Sir, you’re really not supposed to be here.”

Somehow, I’ve managed to make this part louder because he glances up—and his slack-jawed expression is a blow to my chest. He possesses the most gorgeous cobalt blue eyes. Underneath my ribs, the pain grows until taking a full breath is hard. Mother is right, he hasn’t even overcome his shock as my heavy plait of hair rests down the stone side of my prison. He’s not to be trusted.

What am I thinking? He won’t even come near me to aid my escape and his eyes are swamped in confusion—and there’s a flash of unreadable emotion that I refuse to question. He must leave here now and I must somehow convince him to bring no one back with him. I won’t be paraded around for anyone’s amusement. This man has made a mistake coming here.

Yet, there’s still a part of me that grips the windowsill until my palms are numb and that clings to the hope that he will at least acknowledge me. So long since I’ve had any kind of normal conversation. One that didn’t revolve around my hair, my rules or my mother’s day. Won’t he say anything? I’m as trapped by his thick silence as I am by the beauty of his face.

“Please, you must go and tell no one about what you’ve seen. You shouldn’t have ignored the traps. They are there for a reason.”

I don’t know how I’ve gotten that all out because my main focus lies on the foreign stirrings of heat in my cheeks as the pulsing sensation twists lower in my abdomen. What is happening to me? With a certainty that surprises me, I find myself clenching my thighs together, only to have the subtle touch of flesh-on-flesh be more than I can bear. He has yet to take his gaze from mine and a shudder slips up my spine.

“How long have you been here?” His voice carries the strain I hold back and I’m slightly put at ease that at least we are on similar ground. “Who did this to you?”

“For a man who is about to leave, I don’t believe it matters.”

The words barely tumble out of my mouth before I clamp my hand over my lips. I hadn’t meant to be so harsh and instantly regret it. He is so handsome—and these sudden urges, they are overwhelming and confusing to the point where I wish to completely remove the problem. My lips part in an apology and I watch a jovial grin span from ear to ear as he laughs at me until I can’t hear anything but the frantic beat of my heart.

Who is this man? Now he stares at me with a playfulness that washes a wave of goose bumps across my flesh. He doesn’t seem offended, merely amused at my suggestion that he leave. To further that fact, he quickly dismounts and ties his horse to a nearby tree branch. While I can only stare at the way his tight riding boots and breeches hug his muscular body from his calves all the way up to his perfectly rounded buttocks.

Though I’d learned of desire from my mother—and all its wicked principles—I never expected it to rear its head in my lonely, simple world.

However, now my life spirals out of control quickly enough that I tilt back against the wall to my left and watch with trembling hands. This mysterious man climbs the wall of my tower as if it had been built to be climbed so easily—without any aid from my hair. One strong, sun-kissed hand and booted foot at a time. When he offers up his hand to me to pull him over the side, what choice do I have? Even a man that strong would eventually grow tired and plummet to his death—and I want him tucked close to my body, not on the ground.

“I was beginning to wonder what it took to get some assistance.”

He softly grunts and clasps my hand hard enough that I gasp as I shift my weight to pull him over the side. Muscles I didn’t know existed inside me burn with sharp pain from disuse because of my isolation. His touch radiates heat all along my arm. If it wasn’t for his precarious situation, I would fight to pull away on instinct—but as it is, he manages to throw himself into my home with as much grace as a charging boar—and he trips, falling on top of me and sending us to the hard, stone floor.

His surprisingly soft hand brushes the hair out of my face and lingers, gently stroking, down my cheek. Should I be frightened? Probably. At the moment I can’t bear the thought that my first sincerely gentle touch from a man would be anything but special. His sharp leather scent surrounds my tingling skin.

“Isn’t this a day for surprises?” His gaze cuts through all the fear inside me and his mouth holds the subtle curve of a half smile. “I should move myself off you, this isn’t proper at all when we’ve barely been introduced.”

Yet he doesn’t move an inch.

A realization whips through my mind and would have left me on the floor if I wasn’t already pinned there by a gorgeous man who touches me with such reverence I might weep. When will this happen again? After this twisted, meandering path of fate, there is no doubt I will be alone again—and I want a loving memory to cling to at night when my old fears tighten my chest until I can’t breathe. This is a choice I can make for myself. And I won’t live the rest of my ordinary, sheltered life not knowing true passion when it burns across my skin.

“They call me Rapunzel.”


His inviting smile lights up my whole world.

New Contest – Anna Mayle’s Lullaby for a Stolen Child

You might remember, almost a year ago, when I raved over Anna Mayle’s book, Bedtime Story for a Stolen Child. Well, Lullaby for a Stolen Child, the second book in the series, is out!

Get ready for another heart wrenching story involving the cruel fae, the human that falls into their clutches and the changling who changes everything. And this is your change to win your very own copy!

All you need to do to enter is leave a comment between now and and Friday, September 9th at 7pm. So, so easy!

Check out the blurb and cover art!


Stolen Child Series, Book Two

They steal them away as children, drawn to their short but vibrant lives. They use them as dolls, slaves, entertainment of every kind, tasting the fierce brevity of human life through their captives. But there are times when a taste is not enough.

Where is the boundary between hate and love, love and lust, love and hate? Where do you draw the line between jealousy and longing? Is the passion of a killer the same as that of a lover?

And how can a human man hope to understand the ways of the two Fae who have turned his captivity upside down?

Three Fantastic Authors and a Contest!

I’m still away on vacation, but through the wonder of blogger and preposting, I actually have a blog today. Let me tell you about three wonderful women who are also wonderful writers – Charlotte, Jessica and Rachel. I am so freaking thrilled that we were all chosen to participate in the Sultry Solstice Collection.

I’d like to share a little bit about each one of them so please sit back and enjoy my fellow faery authors! And one lucky commenter will win all three ebooks in my Celtic Fire Series! (A winner will be chosen on Sunday, August 1st, at 7 pm EST)

So please, comment, ask questions, help me welcome my victims, I mean…interview subjects! I’ve had the extreme pleasure of reading all three Sultry Solstice stories and they’re FANTASTIC! I highly recommend them all!

1.) Why did you want to take part in the Sultry Solstice collection? What appealed to you about it?

Charlotte: Everything. Fairy stuff, magic, summer sensuality, Zachary Quinto’s bare ass, Labyrinthy stuff, magic, writing more things for Total-E-Bound…

Interviewers note: Zachary Quinto’s bare ass is indeed motivational. Just sayin’

Jessica: Anything about faeries intrigues me. My first published book was the start of my faery series, The Fey. So a collection centered around faeries definitely appealed to me.

Rachel: It was a cold, rainy day in January. I saw the words “sultry” and “summer” and knew that if I didn’t immediately start writing about gorgeous people having al fresco naughtiness in a forest glade I was going to go crazy from the winter blahs and order an ill-advised novelty sun-lamp off Amazon. And then I was fortunate enough that the editors at Total E-Bound were clearly trying to avoid sun-lamps too. So, win-win, especially since it’s been so great getting to know the other writers in the collection!

2.) When you started this book, what was the one scene that was the clearest in your mind – the scene that you knew you had to have in your story?

Charlotte: The hero running naked through a green, wavering field. The feel of something dark and blazing behind him, at the end.

Jessica: The first time the 2 heroes and the heroine make love. That was what was in my head from the very beginning. Not so much the physical aspect of it…though that’s just swell….but the emotions and thoughts of the characters’ heads were so clear to me from the get go. As a result, I didn’t write the story from beginning to end the way I normally do. I started with that scene and bounced around. Then I had to go back and “sew” it all together. LOL

Rachel: The scene that fuelled the story for me was definitely Mira’s discovery ofthe captive Johnny. I wanted to explore her shock, her arousal, her confusion. And, of course, the aesthetics of a desirable young man spread
out across an ancient oak! His vulnerability, her conflict, the otherworldly setting…I loved writing the chemistry between them.
3.) Do you have a faery inspiration? Feel free to share pictures if you have them.

Charlotte: The world of the movie Labyrinth has always been a strong influence on me, and particularly its idea of what fairies are really like-cruel little imps that bite you. And I think we’ve discussed the work of Brian Froud before, which definitely inspires. It’s hard not to look at his work and be inspired. All the hidden little ugly-beautiful things…that’s what I imagine when I think of other worlds.

Jessica: I love David Delamare’s faery art. Amy Brown and Jessica Galbreth are 2 other artists whose work I stare at while plotting my faeries.

Rachel: I was looking through some old pictures taken at the Latitude music festival and rediscovered this beauty. When I saw the Sultry Solstice call I thought it would be great to mix the idea of someone dressing up like a fairy at a festival with actual fairies (who probably wouldn’t appreciate that very much).

Interviewers note: I’m thinking that would definitely piss off the faeries!

4.) What five words would you use to describe your writing?

Charlotte: Ridiculous. Fun. Dirty. Love-suffused.

Jessica: Oh boy…I don’t know. I hope it’s fun, engaging, emotional, sexy, and hot.

Rachel: “The perfect amount of cock.” (Note to self: What eloquence did you expect when you asked your tipsy dinner guests for their thoughts on this question?)

5.) What shiny new projects do you have coming up? Share!

Charlotte: Oh, I’ve got loads coming up. More than I ever thought I’d have coming up. Got a lot of sci-fi coming out soon- Past Pleasures is out August 9th from Total-E-Bound, and it’s all dirty threesomes and time travelling and strange woman-less future worlds. Then there’s The Horizon, which will be my first release with Ellora’s Cave. That’s out September 10th, and it’s about spaceships and lust drugs and it’s built on my love of funny sci-fi like Firefly and Red Dwarf. Oh, and I’ve got a novel coming out in November, about a woman who has to choose between a dominant and a submissive. Busy busy!

Jessica: I’m currently working on the next book in my vampire series, Into the Shadows – Seth’s story. I’ve got a lot more “in the works”–the final 2 stories in my faery series, The Fey–and hopefully will be able to announce
some new releases soon!

Rachel: I’ve been quite into threesomes lately (who isn’t?), and I’ve got several in the works, including a very-enjoyable-to-write Victorian-era BDSM story. At the moment I’m working on a free read that’s a prequel to the events of The Festival Spirit (three days of hot sex in a swanky NYC hotel!), and if all goes according to my devious plan, that’s not the last you’ll see of Lee, Johnny and Mira.

Check it out!

I’ve been interviewed by the wonderful Blackraven over at The Blackraven’s Erotic Cafe and I would absolutely love it if you dropped by and said hi.

Also, there’s a contest. 😀 It closes at 12 Noon CST, tomorrow December 18th. The prize is any two books from my backlist – that’s 12 to choose from!

Missed an anniversary…

On March 30th, 2007 something momentous happened, (well, momentous in my world) my first book, Overlord’s Vessel, was published! Well not my first book – no one wants to read that. Seriously.

I was insanely nervous, and excited but mostly terrified. I was so worried people wouldn’t read it – or worse hate it. But I have the best friends in the world who kept me distracted until the reviews started coming in. For the record, they were pretty darn good!

To celebrate, I’m giving away a copy of Overlord’s Vessel to one lucky commenter. So…all you people that read and never post, post something. Hopkins, Michigan – I know you’re out there. Finland, England, Germany, Pennsylvania, Australia, Brazil, Florida, Georgia – where ever you are – don’t be shy! Drop me a line and possibly win a free book. I’ll draw the winner on Friday.

Here’s an excerpt and the inspiration for the story.
Cold iron closed around Elizabeth’s skin. Distantly, she realized the guardian stretched her arm upward and secured the other manacle. Her wrists already ached where Micah had squeezed them when he pinned her against the tree this morning. Was it only this morning? It seemed a lifetime ago.
With her hands secured above her head, she panicked. Gripping the chain, she lifted herself into the air and kicked savagely at whichever man was closest. They were going to have to work harder than this to shackle her. Her foot caught the guardian in the temple, nearly toppling him. As she drew back to kick Micah, he wrapped his arm around both legs, immobilizing her.
“Enough!” he thundered.
Unforgiving metal clamped around each ankle and her legs were spread apart and bolted to the floor. Panic choked her throat. With her arms secured to a chain that hung from the ceiling and her feet to cuffs attached to the floor, she’d never felt so vulnerable. The fight drained from her. What was the point? She wasn’t going anywhere. The magic she had would be of no use in this situation. She had to rely on her wits. So far, they’d only gotten her chained up.
The guardian studied her intently but she looked away. His power coursed so strongly she felt it as soon as he’d approached her in the courtyard. Locked in this room with him the sensation was even more acute. He’d discover her secret soon and she’d be dead. She wished she’d had time to gather the herbs needed to render herself unconscious before they burned her.
He lifted her chin so she had to look into his deep-green eyes. She caught her breath as his gaze seemed to penetrate her. It was as if he could see into her soul but if he saw any of her closely guarded power he said nothing. Instead, a small smile curved his lips and he brushed his thumb over her mouth.
“Asher,” Micah said, his voice like a warning.
So, that was his name. He turned to Micah and grinned, his long chestnut hair shimmering like silk. His smile was dangerous, provocative. If not for Micah, she would have thought him the most handsome man she’d ever seen.
Both men were tall and broad across the shoulders but she couldn’t tell if Asher was as muscular as Micah. The shapeless, black robe hid most of him. His fair skin was sun-kissed but still pale next to Micah’s beautiful, brown body.
What was she doing thinking about their bodies? They had her trussed up and were going to do who-knew-what with her. She had a sinking feeling she knew exactly what they would do.
Her gaze darted between the hulking men who stared at her like they were starving. She closed her eyes, willing the ordeal to be over. “Just do it quickly.”
“We’re not going to hurt you,” Asher murmured, his voice soothing.
Her eyes flew open and her anger spilled out. “I’ve been taken from my home and imprisoned. Do you really think I’m going to believe you?”
Ignoring her outburst, they slowly circled her body. Every now and again, one of the men would reach out and caress her with teasing touches. She stiffened, vowing to fight them. But fear warred with desire as they gently stroked her skin, making her want more than a fleeting touch.
What was the matter with her? These men would likely be her death and she wanted more?
Someone stepped close to her back. Micah. She knew his scent already. Heady, enticing, arousing. The gods help her, she wanted him closer.
“We’re not going to hurt you,” he murmured. “But it won’t be over quickly.”
What did he mean it wouldn’t be over quickly? They planned to draw this out indefinitely? “Just finish it,” she said between gritted teeth.
Micah’s hot breath skated along her neck and a shiver worked through her body. The damp ache between her legs intensified. Why did she have to respond this way? Why had her body turned traitor?
“I’m going to take my time with you,” he whispered against her ear.
As if she’d forgotten to breathe, she sucked in a harsh breath, turning to face him. Lust burned bright in his eyes as he held her gaze.
The flutter of material falling to the floor drew her attention. Asher had stripped off his robe and stood clad in snug-fitting black braes and a green tunic. Micah nuzzled her ear and neck before moving to stand beside the guardian.
He still wore the black breeches but he’d removed his tunic. The wounds she’d inflicted were painfully apparent. Somehow, she knew he wouldn’t let her offenses go unpunished. Besides the scratches that marred his beautiful skin he had several jagged but healed scars. She couldn’t suppress the thought that she could have cured him with far less damage to his perfectly-sculpted body.
Asher arched a speculative brow at her. Had she spoken aloud? No, she knew she hadn’t but it was as if he heard her thought. He couldn’t do that could he? She’d heard rumors of men with that kind of power but that’s all they been. Rumors.
His curious expression vanished as if it had never been there. Side by side the pair studied her, their eyes hot and hungry. Micah pulled a wicked-looking knife from a sheath at his side and stepped toward her.
“Don’t move,” he warned.
The blade trailed along her collarbone and she gasped from the cold metal and colder fear. Her breath stalled in her throat as he brought the point to rest between her breasts.
This was it. She was going to die. Somehow, they must have figured out what she hid and decided not to bother with the stake. Surely stabbing would be better than burning to death.
Catching the thin fabric with the tip of the weapon, he tugged, slicing through the front of the gown. The cloth fell open, exposing the tops of her breasts.
His gaze dropped to her chest. When it rose again, she realized that he wasn’t going to kill her. Not yet, anyway. She glanced downward at the straining evidence of his arousal and her body clenched. How could she still want him?
Sheathing his knife, he slipped his hands inside her dress and cupped her aching breasts. She wanted to tell him to leave her be, to take his hands off her but she couldn’t find the words. Even if she could, she didn’t want to say them.
Her nipples hardened against his skin. It felt so good to finally have his hands on her. So much better than she’d imagined. And she had imagined it. Repeatedly.
Heated shame rushed to her cheeks but she couldn’t keep herself from arching into his touch. He swirled circles with his palms over her almost painfully tight flesh, drawing a cry from her parted lips.
She was pathetic. A simple touch had her crying out. Practically begging him for more. She was no better than her sister.
Micah slipped his hands free of the fabric and dropped to his knees in front of her. What now? She couldn’t tear her gaze from his. Even when Asher moved behind her, she remained trapped in Micah’s hot predatory stare. Shamed as she was to admit it, she missed the sensation of his hands on her body.
The guardian stroked down the sensitive skin of her arms, his fingertips coming to rest on either side of her breasts, pushing them gently forward, toward the man who would be her mate.
Without warning, Micah gripped the fabric of her dress and wrenched, splitting it from neck to hem. The tearing sound seemed to echo for endless moments as he gazed at her exposed body. His chest rapidly rose and fell as he surveyed her.
Unable to bear his scrutiny, she closed her eyes. She would never be beautiful like Maureen. She was just plain old Elizabeth. She didn’t belong here as Micah’s mate. If she could have she would have covered her nakedness with her hands. Instead, chilled air assaulted her skin and she jerked away from him. That only served to push her against Asher, his erection flush against her bottom.
“Open you eyes, little one,” Asher murmured into her ear. “See how much he wants you.”
As if hypnotized by his voice Elizabeth complied, nearly drowning in the blistering heat emanating from Micah’s gaze. For a moment, he glared at Asher.
“Don’t think this will be a regular occurrence,” he growled. “Once the ritual has been performed, her body is mine alone.”
“Until then, it’s both of you?” she squeaked.
Micah looked at her, his golden-brown eyes heavy-lidded and determined. “We’ve been known to share.”
Share? They shared women? Both of them together? With one woman? She reassessed her earlier insight. They were going to kill her. It just wouldn’t be the painful, bloody massacre she feared.
“But you’re mine, Elizabeth,” he breathed. With a half growl and half groan, he lunged for her, devouring first one nipple then the other. Suckling then biting, he drew her into the wet, scalding heat of his mouth.
She’d never felt anything like it. Sensation, centered at her breast, pulled a taut fiery line to her core. If he didn’t stop the moisture collecting at her center would begin dripping down the insides of her thighs.
“Please,” she whispered.
Asher plucked and twisted the opposite nipple, his hips rhythmically thrusting against her. “Please, what?”
A pounding at the door drew her from the sensual haze that had enveloped her.
“It’s time,” Asher said.
Fear streaked through her, pounding in time with the fist on the door. Time for what?

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