Sun, Sea and Satisfaction Guaranteed
What's a vacation without a fling?
The last place Clio Reed wants to be in the middle of July is on a cruise ship in the Caribbean, but when the matriarch of the Reed family calls for a family vacation, everyone listens. Clio figures this vacation will be an exercise in annoyance and frustration, but she didn’t count on her great-aunt’s new husband—or his son…
Fox may be her new step-cousin, but after one look at the dark-haired, green-eyed hottie with the perpetual grin and amazing forearms, her feelings for him are anything but familial.
Maybe this cruise won’t be such a drag after all.
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This book was written in response to a submission call by my publisher, TEG, for their summer collection. The call was for “sexy, engaging reads to enjoy by the pool…with characters fully embracing the summer”. But confession time: I don’t really embrace summer. I embrace air conditioning. And I don’t really like vacations, unless it’s the kind of vacation where I can sleep half the day, read for several uninterrupted hours, eat food someone else made and drinks someone else mixed, then have sex and fall asleep. So when it came time to write a book to celebrate summer, of course I wrote a heroine who’s, well, more like me than most of my characters. Clio doesn’t want to be on this family cruise, and the only thing she’s interested in doing on this vacation is Fox.
My kind of girl. I hope you like her as much as I do!
“Do you want to sleep with me?”
Fox had to grin. “It was the Ohio State thing, wasn’t it?”
“No, it was the fangs that came out when I said, ‘that’s why we have sex toys’.”
He blinked. “Fangs?”
“Metaphorical ones,” she explained before he could give in to the urge to run his tongue over his teeth. “I like knowing you have a dark side.”
He gave into the urge to laugh. “Okay.”
She arched an eyebrow. “Is that a yes?”
“Oh, that’s a hell, yes.” He noted with interest that the pulse point in her throat was fluttering like a hummingbird. He wanted to lick her, right there, but instead he forced his eyes back up to hers. He was pleased to see they’d grown darker, and just a little wary. “Ground rules?”
“No sleeping over,” she said promptly, her body tensing as though she was bracing for an argument.
“Fine,” he said amiably, unwilling to give her the fight she was primed for, and hid a smile when she blinked at his easy acquiescence. “Birth control?”
“On it, but we still need to use condoms. I don’t mess around with unwanted pregnancies.”
“Girl, same,” he said with perfect sincerity, and surprised a laugh out of her. He could get addicted to making her laugh. “What else?”
“This is a one-time deal. No repeats.”
“You sure about that? It’s a long week.”
“Don’t remind me,” she muttered.
She narrowed her eyes, and he could practically see the wheels turning in her head. “Are you kinky?”
“Somewhat,” he said, keeping his voice mild, “but I can keep it strictly vanilla if that’s what you prefer.”
“How kinky? On a scale of one to ten.”
He shook his head. “I can’t answer that unless you define the scale.”
Her brow furrowed in thought. “One is lights out, missionary, no talking.”
Even if he could manage that, he doubted she could. There was too much energy in that curvy body. “And ten?”
“Hanging upside down, naked, in the fancy dining room during dinner, getting spit-roasted by one guy in a gorilla suit and another in a T-Rex costume while playing Three Little Maids on the accordion. Oh, and the accordion gives a mild electric shock to the genitals with every note.”
“That’s pretty fucking kinky,” he decided after a full five seconds of stunned silence. “Am I one of the guys in the costumes, or am I playing the accordion?”
“Does it matter?”
He thought about that. “For the purposes of this discussion, no.”
“Probably a six?” He pursed his lips. “Maybe a seven, under specific circumstances.”
He waited while she processed that. “I can work with that,” she finally said. “As long as you back off if I tell you to.”
“Always,” he assured her. “Anything else?”
“Yes,” she said, eyes still narrowed on his. “I want a kiss first.”
He studied her face. She was scowling, but the heat in her dark eyes was unmistakable. “Not that I’m objecting to kissing you,” he said, “but why, exactly?”
She gave a sniff that he could only describe as haughty. “If you suck at kissing, you probably suck at the rest of it.”
“Oh, so it’s a test.”
“You sound like Fran,” she said. “Of course, it’s a test.”
He’d never felt quite this level of lust and amusement before. “What if you suck at kissing?”
“I am excellent at kissing,” she informed him, still haughty, but with a little pissed off to go with it.
“If you say so.”
“I do say so.” She folded her arms across her chest and glared at him. “Are you going to kiss me or not?”
Her folded arms forced the loose shirt tight against her chest, giving him a much better idea of the shape and volume of the breasts beneath. He allowed his gaze to linger in a way he wouldn’t if they weren’t literally negotiating sex, not bothering to hide both his interest and appreciation. When he lifted his gaze back to hers, the heat in her soft brown eyes was blazing.
“How’s the nausea?” he asked.
“Gone,” she said with a touch of surprise. “I guess that little patch works.”
“Good.” He stepped forward. “I don’t want to get puked on.”
“Ha,” she said sourly, but there was a hint of nerves in her voice, and she edged back slightly at his approach in what he knew was an instinctive reaction to his invasion of her space. But the railing was at her back, and he saw in her eyes the moment she realized she was trapped, a brief flash of panic that was immediately swallowed by a bright flare of lust.
He’d planned to keep it light, to tease her into the kiss, but that flare of lust had him reevaluating. “Put your hands on the railing.”
Unsurprised, he just raised an eyebrow. “So I can kiss you.”
“You don’t need my hands on the railing to kiss me.”
“Do it anyway.”
“Do you want to fight with me or get laid?” he asked, letting his exasperation show.
She paused for a moment, and mirth sparkled in her eyes. “Can’t I do both?”
He refused to laugh. “Hands on the railing.”
She sighed heavily, clearly humoring him, and unfolded her arms to reach behind her. “There. Happy?”
The position thrust her breasts forward, pushing against the thin cotton covering them. He could see more clearly the pale pink of the shirt she wore underneath—probably a tank top—and the outline of her nipples, which…is that a piercing? “Getting there.”
She cocked her head, a knowing smile taking the place of her habitual scowl. “See something you like?”
“Yeah.” He clamped his hands over hers on the rail, pressing firmly when they flexed against his hold. If she’d pushed harder, he’d have let her go, but after that first instinctive resistance, they lay still. He leaned over her, so close now that he could feel her breath puffing out against his chest. “Now shut up.”
And just like that, the scowl was back. “Don’t tell me—”
He covered her mouth with his, cutting her off mid-sentence. Her mouth was already open to yell at him so he took advantage, sliding his tongue across her lower lip before dipping inside. She gasped, tensing against him, and he braced to let her go at the slightest indication that she was no longer willing. Then her body relaxed against his, her breasts pressing into his chest, and she slid her tongue into his mouth.
He tightened his grip on her hands, mostly to keep from grabbing her, and angled his head to take the kiss deeper.
She followed, tangling her tongue with his, nipping and scraping at his lips with her teeth. She took control of the kiss, and he let her because she’d been right. She was an excellent kisser, and he was more than willing to let her prove it over and over again.
When he lifted his head, she was flushed and panting, that ridiculous hat knocked askew. She stared at him, eyes wide with surprise and dark with lust.
“Damn.” He wanted to reach down and adjust his cock in his pants, but it would’ve meant letting go of her.
“Right.” She licked her lips and nodded her head once, as though she’d come to a decision. “You can fuck me.”
This is a contemporary romance, and in my opinion, very high heat. There’s a lot of sex (including anal play, with both Clio and Fox receiving). Clio also has a complicated relationship with her mother, but it’s not abusive. Also, Fox and Clio are related by marriage: Fox’s father recently married Clio’s great aunt, which technically makes them step-cousins. Or I guess step-cousins once removed. Step-second cousins? I never remember how all that goes. Regardless, it’s not incest. There is no familial relationship, and no history between them—they just met.
Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions about the content of this book.