All The Queen’s Men
he hallway was a long one; on the small screen, it seemed to stretch endlessly, with the guard becoming bigger and bigger as he approached. Niema found herself counting his steps. Nineteen, twenty, twenty-one…
“Don’t lose your cool,” John cautioned softly but didn’t look up from the list of files. “Almost finished here.”
The guard strode past, never even pausing outside the door. Watching him on the screen hearing his footsteps pass by the office, gave her an odd sense of reality because the sound came from a different direction than the activity she watched on the screen.
“That’s it.” Quickly he punched the release, and the disk popped out. He slipped it into a protective sleeve and put it in his inside jacket pocket. Then he turned off the computer, restored everything on the desk to its original position, and touched her elbow. “Ready?”
She turned to go to the door, but suddenly he grabbed her arm, pulling her to a standstill. “More company.”
She looked back at the monitor. The hallway door was opening again. Someone had stopped in the doorway, half turned away as if he were speaking to someone on the other side of the door. The tiny figure on the screen had long dark hair.
“Rosnard,” she whispered, a cold twist of panic tightening her stomach. He wouldn’t be in this long hallway unless he was coming to his office.
John exploded into motion, literally lifting her off her feet. In two long strides he was beside the sofa. He set her down and began stripping out of his tuxedo jacket, carelessly dropping it on the floor. “Take off your underwear and lie down,” he ordered, his tone low and urgent.
They had only seconds, seconds before Rosnard would be coming through that door. Her hands shook as she pulled up her skirt and reached under it for the waistband of her panties. Pretending to have sex was such a cliché, trotted out in hundreds of movies, that no one would believe it, especially not someone as sophisticated and savvy as Rosnard. That was precisely why it just might work, because he wouldn’t believe Temple (the man John was impersonating) would be so hokey.
Of course John, being John, wouldn’t depend on a torrid clinch to give the impression he wanted. No, he wanted underwear off, clothes disarrayed, as if they truly were just about to make love.
Her heart was pounding so hard she could feel her pulse throbbing under her skin. She skimmed her panties down her thighs and let them drop, then hurriedly kicked them away and lay down on the sofa.
Leaning forward, John tugged her skirt up to her waist and pulled her legs apart, kneeling between them with one knee on the sofa while he tore open his trousers. She went numb with shock.
— Excerpt from All The Queen’s Men (CIA’s Spies #2) by Linda Howard, Gallery Books, copyright © 1999. Parenthesis added to the excerpt for clarity.
Although published back in 1999, Howard’s All The Queen’s Men still delivers a one-two punch of suspense and erotic romance.
Most romance sub-genre lists include the familiar terminologies, Erotic Romance and Romantic Suspense. Somehow another sub-genre has snuck up on us: Erotic Romantic Suspense.
The Erotic Romantic Suspense novel genre has some dynamite authors in addition to Howard such as Lisa Marie Rice and Maya Banks, to name a few. And it seems that readers can’t get enough.
According to a 2014 report from Romance Writers of America (RWA), romantic suspense was the top sub-genre in both print (53%) and e-books (48%). Not far behind was erotic romance (third spot at 33% in print) and second spot (44% in e-books). Considering that according to BookStats total romance book sales for 2013 topped $1.08 billion, the market for the Erotic Romantic Suspense novel is a healthy one.
So if you have a good, fast-paced story with strong characters, lots of suspense and sizzling love scenes, readers are looking for you.
Our latest Erotic Romantic Suspense novel, Harm’s Way, by Bobbi Cole Meyer is the second book in the Men of Passion series and has just been released in paperback. See below for more information.
— RT Book Reviews
HARM’S WAY: MEN OF PASSION BOOK 2
The touch sent another surge of electricity through her. With a quick intake of breath, McKay inhaled Harm’s clean, musky scent and savored it for just a moment, her eyes sliding appreciatively to the red heart tattoo with the “yes” inside barely visible on his arm. She smiled because she knew it meant he was up for anything—and ready for it.
McKay McLemore is the best there is at her job—finding people who don’t want to be found. But when the super-sexy, Harley-Davidson rider, Harm Pranston, pays top dollar for her to locate a woman and her teenaged son she becomes suspicious. What are his motives? Is he stalking the woman who is running scared? Yet despite her trepidation, and against her will, McKay aches to feel Harm’s tough-as-nails body against hers.
Harm has his reservations about hiring the sharp-tongued McLemore to locate a woman he hasn’t seen in 16 years. First off, the red-headed investigator treats him like a suspected criminal, and secondly he has to fight his urge to lose himself in her. Just recovering from a gut-wrenching break up, the last thing Harm needs is a dragon-tattooed Amazon who makes him want to drag her off to a cave somewhere…
But when McKay’s investigation turns deadly, their trust in each other is put to the test—and failing could cost them their lives.
“Gripping and enticing, the story pulls you in right from the first page! You are left with no choice but to eventually fall in love with Harm…”
—Romance Addict Book Blog
HARM’S WAY IS AVAILABLE IN E-BOOK FORMAT FROM:
- All Romance eBooks
- Kobo Books
ALSO AVAILABLE IN PRINT FROM:
Ask for Harm’s Way at your local bookstore and library.
MORE NEW RELEASES
SOFTLY, AS I LEAVE YOU
by Candy Caine
Ever since Alisha Houston runs into Daniel Mason on the ski slope it seems that they are destined to be together. At first, mad at the leggy, dusky- skinned skiing disaster, Daniel is sure he should keep a safe distance from her. But their paths keep crossing and he is puzzled how he can be so annoyed at a woman and still be so attracted to her. And she definitely turns him on.
Alisha is mortified that the one, sexy man she is fascinated with at the ski resort is the one she sends to the hospital! Then one shattering, unexpected kiss launches them into a love affair that brings red-hot passion and deep caring. Until Alisha’s estranged father dies, leaving behind a secret that devastates her.
A secret she cannot, and must not share with the man she loves. Even if it means leaving him without warning or explanation. Even if it means breaking his heart.
SOFTLY, AS I LEAVE YOU IS AVAILABLE IN E-BOOK FORMAT FROM:
- All Romance eBooks
- Kobo Books
- OverDrive — Coming Soon
Scroll down to read an excerpt.
A Psychotherapist’s Memoir of Food Addiction, Mental Illness, Obesity and Recovery
By Natalie Gold
“Natalie’s story teaches us how her interminable suffering as a child translated into the deep suffering of her eating disorder. Her feisty and witty personality makes for a vivid narration of her long pathway to recovery. This is a very worthwhile read for anyone who would like to deepen their understanding of food addiction.”
— Nancy Christie, Psychotherapist
If you or someone you know struggles with weight and/or eating-related issues, Binge Crazy is a compelling read. It offers both an experiential and professional view of what does and doesn’t work in the treatment of binge eating and overeating, along with valid insight into the disorder’s psychological and sociological origins.
In Binge Crazy Gold’s story moves from a Toronto mental hospital to a taping of the David Frost show in London, England, spanning more than fifty years on two continents. “Binge Crazy is a true story of how I lost my mind and ultimately came to my senses,” says Gold, who has a private practice in Toronto and has led workshops on eating-related issues for more than ten years. “I now know I blamed binge eating and my mother for my misery. But really, my compulsion to overeat was just the symptom of a deeper unrest.”
Gold, a Registered Psychotherapist, is a graduate of Ryerson University, Toronto, holds a graduate certificate in Addiction and Mental Health, a post-graduate certificate in Gestalt Therapy, and is a member of the Ontario Association of Consultants, Counsellors, Psychometrists and Psychotherapists (OACCPP), and the Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy (AAGT).
“Binge Crazy leads the reader from misunderstanding to understanding, from feelings of being ‘crazy’ to finding health and well-being and from despair to hope.”
— Keris Jän Myrick, MBA and MS and Leading Mental Health Advocate,
Former CEO, Project Return Peer Support Network
BINGE CRAZY IS IS AVAILABLE IN E-BOOK FORMAT FROM:
- Kobo Books
- OverDrive — Coming Soon
ALSO AVAILABLE IN PRINT FROM:
Ask for Binge Crazy at your local bookstore and library.
SOFTLY, AS I LEAVE YOU — EXCERPT
Alisha watched as Daniel put the bottle between his lips and sucked. She wondered how those lips would feel on hers. How she wished his beautiful hands were caressing her instead of the bottle. She pulled her mind away from such provocative thoughts. “I’m relieved that you won’t have to struggle to go to work.”
“Me, too. And if I have any complications, now that I know you’re a nurse…”
She smiled and shook her head.
“I do have a hard time working with the crutches. They definitely not as flexible as ski poles.”
“If I could turn back time and undo everything I’ve caused—” She was still upset about crashing into him on the ski slopes.
“Stop beating yourself up, Alisha. Things are supposed to happen for a reason. In this case, I think it was for us to meet,” Daniel said.
“Wouldn’t it have been a great deal better if we met at dinner?”
He shrugged. “Perhaps. But then there would have been no drama.”
“You know, you have a great laugh.”
“You’re the first one to tell me that. Thank you.”
“How long are you staying? Daniel asked.
“Til Sunday.” Alisha noticed that he had finished the bottle and asked if he wanted another.
“Not just yet,” he said. “I’m leaving on Sunday, as well. Tell you what, why don’t you and I spend tomorrow in town together. I heard about a great seafood place and I’d like to have some lobster before I go home. How about you?”
“Are you really up to doing so much walking?” She asked with a concerned look on her face.
“Is that the nurse speaking or the woman?”
“Well don’t you worry. I’m a big boy.”
“You certainly are,” Alisha said, eyeing him up and down with exaggerated lasciviousness.
“And you’re a big girl, too,” he said, lifting his eyebrows up and down in an exaggerated manner, “and will be there to help me should I get into trouble.”
They both laughed. It seemed to sweep away any lingering anger or guilt.
The noise got louder and they could hardly hear one another, so Alisha moved closer still. Close enough for Daniel to inhale her pleasant scent of wildflowers. An Instagram picture of him kissing her on the ski slope in the middle of nowhere flashed in his mind.
They planned their outing. A guitarist joined the pianist and people were now on the dance floor. A wistful smile appeared on Daniel’s face.
“What?” Alisha asked.
“Can’t dance with this cast and crutches.”
She bit down on her full bottom lip. “Another thing to feel guilty about.”
Daniel placed his hand on hers. “Sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. It upset you. We’ll go dancing when my cast comes off.”
“But we’re both leaving on Sunday.”
“Have you forgotten we’re neighbors?” Daniel reminded her.
“Duh.” She slapped her forehead.
He squeezed her hand gently. “I intend to see a great deal more of you. Unless…”
Alisha smiled broadly. “I’d certainly hope so.”
They chattered until the bar was closing. His friends came to retrieve him, but wanting to spend more time with Alisha, he decided to go back to the Lodge with her. Emma and Josie had hooked up with two guys so it was just the two of them.
Alisha helped Daniel into her car. He quipped, “I usually help the woman.”
“I’ve leveled the playing field, bro.”
“Indeed you have,” he said and leaned over to gently kiss her. He went back for seconds and when
Alisha parted her lips, he slipped his tongue inside. She put her arms around him and the next kiss lasted longer, enough for both their hearts to accelerate. The kisses had been telling and they both felt something. Realizing that they never going to get back to the Lodge if they continued, they reluctantly pulled apart, breathless.
“Which is your cabin, Daniel?” Alisha asked as they approached the Lodge.
Alisha parked the car and got out. Then she helped Daniel out. When he was balanced on the crutches, she walked him to his door and opened it. It appeared empty.
“Are you going to be all right on your own?”
“Alisha, please stop worrying. Kiss me good night instead.”
“See you tomorrow,” she said and tilted her head so their lips could meet.
The kiss was pure dynamite and Alisha could feel the imprint of his mouth long after he hobbled inside his cabin. Then she drove to hers which was close by.
As she undressed, two thoughts occurred to her: her strange dream had been about Daniel and might be coming true; and she had a wonderful feeling that this was going to be the most enjoyable Christmas she’d had in a very long time.