Finally, the post is up! My apologies for the delay, peeps.
Thanks to Julie for hosting the blog hop! Winter Heat, my word, what a topic. Here in Australia, we’re slowly slipping into summer, though the chill of winter isn’t yet gone. So, to warm you up, I’m treating you to a spicy excerpt from my newest story, SLUMBER (releasing tomorrow!)
Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom, there’s a giveaway and links to other fabulous opportunities to win.
The Tailor has been tasked to find the princess…
Upon decree from his king, Sebastian, Tailor to the entire kingdom of Dormiraa, embarks on the mission to fetch the Princess Thalia home, her seven year Royal Tour over. He didn’t expect to find her working with clockwork and gears, encased within a coffin of glass. He did not expect the sight of her wild black hair to set his heart to pound, or the flash of her dark eyes would heat his blood. He did not expect he would want her so badly, not when he could never have her.
The princess must become the Queen…
Thalia has always known she must return to the capital to prepare for the throne. She did not expect her father to send the Tailor to fetch her, or that this man with his extravagant clothes and subtle cosmetics would intrigue her so well. There was something about him, something that spoke of danger and secrets, even as his wicked mouth and knowing eyes made her yearn.
However, not everyone desires the princess’s return. When they are attacked, they can only turn to each other. Will they overcome status and secrets to discover a love for all time?
Sunlight played across Thalia’s closed lids, and, reluctantly, she admitted defeat. Sleep had fled, and she’d no recourse but to begin her day. Opening her eyes, she turned from her side to her back, the sheet tangling about her as her arm fell on the empty space next to her.
Surprise had her struggling to sit. Sebastian sat in the chair opposite the bed, the sketchbook balanced on his drawn-up knee. He wore only his trousers, his pale chest golden in the early morning light. Brow creased in concentration, his strong hand feathered the pencil over the page.
She watched him for a time, delighting in the play of smooth muscle. “What are you drawing?”
A ghost of a smile danced over his lips, showing he’d known her gaze had been upon him. “Nothing.”
“No, what are you drawing? Let me see.” Tugging at the sheet to ensure it came with her, she awkwardly walked on her knees to the edge of the bed and then stumbled to his side.
Smile firming, he watched her progress. “Have a care how you step, Princess.”
She ignored him. Ensuring the sheet was gathered over her chest, she looked at what he’d drawn. “Oh.” Her throat worked, strange emotion choking her. “You’ve drawn me.”
He’d drawn her asleep, her cheek against the pillow and the sheets draped around her. He’d drawn her with a gentle glow about her. He’d drawn her so she looked…beautiful.
Glancing at him, she found him regarding her, a half-smile tugging at the corner of his mouth as he watched her reaction. “I’ve also started your gown,” he said.
“For your Confirmation.”
Still swamped with emotion, she swallowed. “Oh?”
“Here.” Moving the book, he tugged her into his lap. Arms encircling her, he held the book before them and flipped to the page holding the design.
Breath shallow, she tried to focus on the sketch, but the feel of his strong arms about her distracted her to no end. Beneath her, she could feel the beginnings of his arousal, his shaft growing solid and thick. He did nothing about it, though, and she fought to do nothing, too.
He pointed, the move brushing his arm against her side. “See this brace? It’s to be of leather, and mimic the harness of your gearsmock.” Lips whispered against her cheek as he spoke, and her breath seized in her throat. Her heart roared in her ears.
He traced a line just under her collarbone. “The neckline will rest here, following the natural slope, while the bodice’s fit will be snug enough to show your shape, but loose enough to be comfortable.”
His hand curled around her ribcage, his fingers dipping into her waist. Fire followed in the wake of his touch, and she bit back a moan.
His hand made a path over her belly. “I’m not certain of the waistline. Should it be natural? Raised? Drawn to a vee?” He traced out each one, his fingers dancing over her flesh.
She could stand no more. Turning in his arms, she took his mouth with hers.
He dropped the sketchbook and, pushing the sheet aside, he covered her breast with his hand, his thumb worrying her nipple. She gasped, pushing herself into his touch, wanting more, needing more.
His hand trailed up her thigh. “I’m glad you decided to show me the difference.”
“What?” she managed, focused wholly on the progress of his hand.
“The difference.” His fingers feathered over her core.
“What?” Gods, what was he talking about? Shifting, she let her legs fall open and pushed herself against him.
“Between not intending to seduce me”—he pushed through her wet folds, finding the center of her pleasure—“and intending to.”
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