Reader’s Edyn

I always felt like I could do something more than just read. Finally, I have found both a creative outlet and a chance to do something meaningful with my reading. This blog was created in appreciation of and tribute to all of the authors who have brought me joy through their books. These reviews are my way of giving back to authors and providing recognition for the hard work that each one completes every day!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Book Spotlight: The Zurian Child by Jessica E. Subject

Book Spotlight with Author Jessica E. Subject

Hello my lovelies! Another treat has been planned for you all. Thanks to the rockin’ Sizzling PR, I have the opportunity to tell you about Ms. Jessica E. Subject. Ms. Subject is yet another new-to-me author, but I will definitely be checking her out in the future. I have had a crazy amount of new-to-me authors lately and their books all sound to good!!! I mean, how would anyone ever run out of books to read with so many fabulous authors out there? Yeah, I k now, some do. *whispers* I used to be one of those people. *nods* Tragic, I know. I had those few authors I really enoyed and once I read all of their books multiple times, I had to wait every year for the new release. I was insane just sitting around waiting. Then I saw exactly what I was missing and BAM! A whole new world and reading experience that I will not ever miss again … like EVAH! Be sure to check out the excerpts … I have more than one excerpt to share with you! Enjoy! But first, here is a bit about Ms. Subject.


Jessica Subject started writing to encourage her daughter to read. Now she writes to keep herself grounded. Although she reads many genres, she enjoys writing Science Fiction Romance the most and believes everyone in the universe deserves a happily ever after. She lives Southwestern Ontario, Canada with her husband and two kids and loves to hear from anyone who has enjoyed her stories.

**Mark of the Stars, #1**

 Published by Silver Publishing


Lindsay Beckett longed to be reunited with her first love, Quinn Montgomery, until she learns the secret that sent him fleeing from her in the first place. He's an alien, a Hemera, and she's half-Hemera herself. As if that wasn't enough to ruin her dreams of a perfect life, when their child is born, they discover she fulfills a prophesy told twenty light years away and many years ago. Lindsay wants to ignore it, until her husband is murdered and suddenly believing becomes a matter of survival.

Lindsay and her young daughter are forced to rely on another Hemera, her husband's partner and best friend, Bryce Beuermann as more and more of the Hemera are slaughtered. Bryce will do anything to help his best friend's widow—including suppressing his own deep feelings for her. But he must prove they can trust him, even pretending he doesn't want her with all his heart.


When Bryce and Lorne removed their socks and set their feet on the coffee table, she flushed. She'd had many opportunities over the summer to look at his feet, particularly when he wore only his swim trunks. But she’d kept her distance, catching only the occasional glimpse of his broad, bare chest or other parts of his body, wondering if they matched what she’d seen in her visions.

Both Bryce and Lorne's toes remained held apart by skin, noticeable skin. Unlike the translucent and pliable tissue which formed between her own toes, theirs appeared thicker, widening the total width of the front of their feet.

"We are not from around here," Lorne said. He removed his feet from the table and brushed them across the plush carpet. "Your mother, Quinn, and your father, Lindsay, as well as Bryce and I, are from another planet located twenty light years from Earth."

She turned to her husband, waiting for his reaction. They were his guests telling the ridiculous story. If they were friends of hers, she would have told them to leave.

Quinn only raised his eyebrows. She couldn't read his expression as he stared at Bryce. "This is not the time to be discussing this. We've just returned from out holidays, our honeymoon at that."

"No, this is the time. We should have talked about this long ago."

Her gaze shifted between the two of them. This has to be some kind of gag, but this is more likely to come from Michael and Francis, not Bryce, not based on anything Quinn had ever said about him. The punch line didn't come and Quinn gripped her hand tighter. This is no joke.

Maintaining his dry expression, Bryce continued. "I've known all along. I remember my trip to Earth and being placed with the Beuermanns. I don't remember my parents though." His chin fell to his chest. "It's not easy living with a secret like this. I figured my best friend should know."

Bryce told what he believed to be the truth, but despite her belief in aliens, she refused to accept anyone in the room came from anywhere but Earth.

"I'm sorry, Lindsay." Quinn refused to look at her, but maintained his hold on her hand.

She'd never felt more uncomfortable than this moment. What did Quinn believe? That he's an alien?

(adult content)

He and Bryce crept further and further away from the house with their flashlights panning the yard for suspicious objects or activity. Nothing appeared different, so they set to work cleaning up from the barbeque. Rain started to fall as they folded up the chairs and set them on the deck.

As he reached for another chair, the bushes to his left began to rustle. He focused on Bryce. "What the hell was that?"

Bryce shrugged. "I checked that area. There was nothing there."

He drew his gun and crept over to investigate.

The bush rustled again. A wet, black and white cat leaped out of the bush. It ran through his legs, heckling toward the property next door.

He jumped back and laughed at himself. Harnessing his gun, he said, "I can't believe I was frightened by a cat."

"Quinn, behind you!"

Lightning flashed through the sky.

As he turned around, his eyes watered from the stench of rot. In front of him stood an eight-foot tall creature. Fuzz resembling moss covered a trunk of burnt toast with multiple tentacles curled at the ends like emerging ferns. A black hole oozed the same tarry substance found beside Tabitha's plate. Blood red eyes pierced through his body.

"What the fuck?"

He fumbled to grasp his gun. Before he could draw, a tentacle as hard as a baseball bat, collided with his stomach. Reeling back, he clenched his mid-section and dropped the sidearm. He reached out to claim his gun again, but another tentacle wrapped around his leg. Within seconds he hung upside-down. Blood rushed to his head. His ears rung. He caught sight of Michael and Francis at the door, eyes wide.

The creature lifted him further up. Air rushed past as his body slammed onto the cement. He landed on his back. His head bounced off the patio. He heard and felt the crack of his skull. Rain poured onto his face, but he couldn't move.

So what do you think? Sound like the kind of book you would enjoy? If so, here is the buy link:

Click Here to Buy Now!

I hope you enjoyed getting to know a little more about Ms. Subjects’ writing.

Until next time…

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Book Promo with Author Babette James

Book Promo with Author Babette James

Hello my lovelies! And yet another treat has been planned for you all today. I have been rockin’ special treats for everyone a lot lately. Thanks to the awesome Bewitching Book Tours, I have the opportunity to tell you about Ms. Babette James. Ms. James is yet another new-to-me author that I plan to check out in the future. And just so you all know, I never feature books that do not interest me in some way. If I am not interested in a book, I don’t ask for the feature to be scheduled. If I am unlikely to read it, I feel that most of my readers will be unlikely to read it as well. Therefore, if I am featuring a book, it a safe bet to assume I plan to read it at some point as I make my way through the abyss that is my TBR list. Be sure to check out the excerpts … I have more than one to share with you again today! *claps hands wildly* Enjoy! But first, here is a bit about Ms. James. 


Babette James writes contemporary and fantasy romance and loves reading nail-biting tales with a satisfying happily ever after. When not dreaming up stories, she enjoys playing with new bread recipes and dabbling with paints. Babette is a member of New Jersey Romance Writers, where she has served on the Board. She is also a Pro member of Romance Writers of America, and the Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal, Celtic Hearts, and ESPAN Chapters of RWA, Liberty States Fiction Writers, and Romance Divas. As a teacher, she loves encouraging new readers and writers as they discover their growing abilities. Her class cheers when it’s time for their spelling test! Born in New Jersey and raised in Southern California, she’s had a life-long love of the desert and going down the shore. Babette now lives in New Jersey with her wonderfully patient husband and three extremely spoiled cats.

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 Published by The Wild Rose Press
Contemporary Romance


Want to know more about CLEAR  AS  DAY? 
Check out the trailer by clicking here


What’s a girl to do when her summer lover wants forever?

Haunted by dark memories of her parents’ volatile marriage, artist Kay Browning keeps her heart locked behind a free-spirit facade and contents herself with the comfortable affair she has every summer with easygoing photographer Nate Quinn.

The only trouble with her plan? 

This summer Nate’s come to Lake Mohave to claim the lover he can’t let go. He’s done with the endless traveling and settling for temporary homes and temporary loves. Kay’s always been more than just a vacation fling, and now he must convince this woman, who sees love as a course to certain heartbreak, to take that leap of faith and learn how safe love with the right man can be.

(adult content)

“Kay!” That male voice was not her imagination.

“Oh, shit!” She twisted and dropped into the water, sinking neck-deep.

Mother always said, among other things, that a lady never goes skinny-dipping and must always wear a proper hat. Kay was only half skinny-dipping, but she fervently wished she’d worn something a bit more substantial than a baseball cap and the bottom half of the quintessential teeny-weenie yellow polka-dot bikini.

Shit, oh, shit, oh, shit. She so hated when Mother was right.

Okay, time to find out who’d just gotten an eyeful. The guy had called her name, so she should know him. Oh boy, if she’d flashed old George…

She wiped water from her face, sucked in a breath against her pounding heart, and peeked around.


She must be sun-dazed. Nate? With a beard? Hair curling over his ears? No way.

Just because a familiar slouchy fishing hat topped those unruly, sun-bleached blond curls and just because this guy possessed the same deep-water tan and footloose taste in clothes as Nate with his electric blue Hawaiian shirt, bright orange swim trunks, and beat-up deck shoes didn’t mean—

“Hey, babe. Now that I’ve finally caught your attention, how about a hug from my girl?” He opened his arms. “Am I coming in after you or are you coming out?” Only Nate’s voice held that mellow timbre like chocolate for her ears.

“Nate! What…” Giddy delight flushed over Kay, clearing her shock. She dashed from the water and into strong arms, a wonderful hug, and a better kiss that launched her mind into a blissed-out whirl of oh, yes and why?

The oh, yes won out until the need to breathe forced them apart.

Nate gave her a long look, his usually easy gray eyes holding a new, simmering heat.

Wow. Whoa.

(adult content)

She trailed her fingers over his collection of pebbles on the table, polished by sand, wind and water. Be happy. Be happy. How could she feel so happy and terrified at the same time? You’d think one would cancel out the other.

She would be happy. They would talk. She would sort out her mind.

Don’t worry, be happy.

She slipped on her leather sandals and picked up her sunhat, sunglasses and beach bag. “All set.”

As Kay and Olivia arrived at Spider Camp, Nate was talking and taking casual shots of Dave sitting on his boat. Dave waved. Nate stopped talking the moment she came into sight, his attention fixed on her in a way that rushed heat through her and kicked a happy tumble in her heart.

He waved. “Hey, babe!” He raked his gaze over her. “Stop right there.” He raised his camera and made swift adjustments. “Okay, move.” Rapid shutter clicks followed his order. “Oh, yeah. Beautiful. Slower. Perfect.”

He met her halfway and kissed her hot and hard. “I was about to track you down. You look great.”

“And you look happy.”

“Life is good.” He gave her another quick kiss. “I took some awesome shots today.”

Be happy. Kay smiled. She just needed to practice. Starting now. “Want a beer then to celebrate?”

“Sounds great.” Nate slid an arm around her waist and whispered in her ear, “Damn, I love this suit on you. Why does it always make me want to peel you out of it?” He caressed his hand down over her bottom, holding her close. He softly nipped her earlobe. “Between this one and that yellow-dot one, I am one happy man.”

Desire twisted and heated through her. Wanting him was so easy. That, at least, she never doubted.

“Let’s go swimming, so I can play. Hmm?” he murmured, with more little nips. “Please?”

Go on, practice being happy. Go swimming. Play. Relax. Enjoy. Love.

What was so hard about all that?


Kay tugged the knot of her pareu free and tucked the wrap into his hand. “Okay.” She pulled away from him and strolled off, slipping off her shirt and tossing it, her sunglasses and hat on a chair as she passed, kicking off her sandals as she reached the damp sand.

Running feet pounded up behind her, and Nate scooped her up in his strong arms. He charged laughing with her into the water and threw them both in, the cool shocking splash against her sun-heated skin driving a giggling shriek from her.

Laughter and friendly catcalls rang behind them from their friends.

Nate tugged her to her feet, his body hard and warm against hers. He shook the water from his hair. A big smile, alive with affection and delight, lighted his face. Mischief danced in his eyes. “Come on, follow me.” He swam with lazy strokes toward the moored boats and flipped around, floating on his back, waiting. When she followed, he kicked farther on, putting Lloyd’s and Dave’s boats between him and the shore. She caught up with him. The water here was breast deep. He snagged her wrist and drew her close.


“Alone at last.” Nate chuckled and kissed her lightly, dry-brushing his lips over hers. She softened into him with a smile. Pleased to hold her, he slid his hands over her back. The cool lake water lapped about them, the current swaying them together.

What a day. Life was good. The sun was shining and he had a smiling Kay in his arms. Life was damn good. He grinned and kissed her shoulder, licking at the sparkles of water on her skin, grazing up to nibble and taste and just tease her wild. Her hands caught at his shoulders, fingers gripping. He liked when she held on tight.

Taking her mouth again in a deep, all-the-time-in-the-world kiss, he let his hands caress over her until he clasped her bottom’s sweet curves, pulling her close, riding his hard-on against her, easy and lazy, tantalizing them both.

Just hold me tight, babe, don’t let me go. I’ll make this work. Just give me a chance here.

Well I definitely want to give this one a try. Sounds like there will be two things I really enjoy ~ conflict and passion. So what do you think? Sound like the kind of book you would enjoy? If so, here is the buy link:

Amazon                                 Barnes and Noble

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into Ms. James’ writing.

Until next time…

Book Feature with Author Annie Seaton

Book Feature with Author Annie Seaton

Hello my lovelies! Another treat has been planned for you all today. Thanks to the rockin’ Coffee Beans and Love Scenes, I have the opportunity to tell you about Ms. Annie Seaton. Ms. Seaton is yet another new-to-me author, that I will definitely be checking out in the future. I have had a crazy amount of new-to-me authors lately and their books all sound like great reads!!! The list keeps growing y’all! Seems like I am adding more everyday ~ faster than I can read them ~ but I keep adding because eventually I am going to wipe out that TBR list! *nods* *narrows eyes* It will be done, oh yes, it will be done. Be sure to check out the excerpts … I have more than one excerpt to share with you! Enjoy! But first, here is a bit about Ms. Seaton.


Annie Seaton lives on the edge of the south Pacific Ocean on the east coast of Australia. Recently retired from the world of full time work, she is fulfilling her lifelong dream of writing, and has had instant success! Her first two books were both published on the same day.

She writes across genres: steampunk, historical  and paranormal romance, romantic suspense but her favorite genre is contemporary romance

She lives with her own hero of many years. Their two children are now grown up and married, and two beautiful grandchildren have arrived. They share their home with "Bob" the dog and two white cats, Boycat and Girlcat.

Annie’s working life was spent in education from early childhood through  to teaching trainee teachers at university. She has worked as librarian, teacher, technology consultant and university tutor.  She has now retired and spends her days writing down all the stories in her head.

When she is not writing she can be found in her garden or walking on the beach... or most likely on her deck overlooking the ocean, a chilled glass of sauvignon blanc in hand as the sun sets.


 Published by Entangled Publishing
Contemporary Romance


Want to know what everyone is saying about HOLIDAY AFFAIR? Check out the reviews by clicking here


Nothing more than a holiday fling…until he moved in next door!

Staid professor Lissy McIntyre believes that choosing a mate should be based on common sense, not runaway passion. And Lissy would certainly never pick a rolling stone like Nick Richards for long-term love. But a red-hot, tropical romance? Oh, yeah. He’s got a body just made for sinning and his sizzling kisses leave her senseless.

When Nick blows into town, he’s stunned to discover that his no-nonsense new neighbor and co-worker is the same sultry creature he seduced for one night of forbidden island pleasure. He’s unaccustomed to staying in one place for long, but he just can’t seem to keep his hands off the multi-faceted Lissy. Will Nick break loyal Lissy’s heart or will she be the one woman he simply can’t walk away from?


“Hi, Tom. Hi, Nicky. Hi, lucky ladies with Tom and Nicky,” a giggly champagne-fueled hiccough escaped her lips and Jenny dragged her into the rest room.

“Melissa!” exclaimed Jenny. “The professor is a hunk. Tell me all…you called him by his first name. Have you been out with him, or do you just know him from work?”
“Nuh, juss from work,” slurred Lissy. “He’s a nightmare to work with, very full of himself…not very nice at all.”

“What about Tom? Are you still seeing him?”

“Huh—” said Lissy “—thought he was different, but they are tarred with the same hairbrush.”

Jenny burst out laughing. “Oh, you are so funny with a few drinks under your belt. You mean brush, not

hair brush!”

Lissy tried to be serious for a minute, and had to hang on tightly to the basin to keep her balance. She squinted into the mirror and saw that her curls were out of control.

“Woo…a bit giddy,” she said. “And I’m hungry.”

Jenny pulled a chair over and sat her down in front of the mirror. “Okay, let’s fix you up.” She stood behind Lissy and tried to tame her curls down with her hand. “Speaking of hairbrushes, did you bring yours, hon?”

Lissy fumbled in her bag and tipped it out onto the bench. The contents of the bag rolled around and fell over the edge, just as the two glamorous women who were with Tom and Nick entered the restroom. She dived to the floor to catch lipstick, brushes, keys, and coins as they hit the floor.

“Oh, hello,” she said giggling. “Your legs match the rest of you.”


She put her tea on the windowsill and looked outside for a long moment. The sun was dropping behind the trees and the late afternoon sunlight darkened the room, making it difficult to see his expression.

“Why…why? I came to you last Saturday and you threw my feelings back in my face.”

“I was ashamed of my behavior all week. I was scared you would take it as a commitment if I responded to you.”

“Did I ask you for commitment?” she asked, her voice frosty. “Me. This is me. Remember, I don’t do commitment, Nick. You know how I feel about that. I don’t believe in the sort of physical attraction we seem to have for each other ending up in any long lasting relationship.”

“I know,” he replied. “But I didn’t trust you. I thought I could avoid hurting you, but I think I did the opposite.”

He watched as she wrapped her arms around her chest and appeared to go into self-preservation mode.

“Not at all. I barely gave you a thought. I was busy all week with the research. It’s not long till we go the Cook Islands and I have a heap of writing up to do. I will admit I was a little embarrassed about my behavior at the restaurant, so I kept a bit of a low profile at the university.”

He knew she was not being honest with him and it amazed him how well he could read her, but he didn’t want to push his luck and upset her even more. She turned away from him and looked out the window, her arms still crossed in front of her. There was also no way he was going to let her know that all he wanted to do was come over and hold her. Not sex, just comfort.

So what do you think? Sound like the kind of book you would enjoy? If so, here is the buy link:

Amazon                                 Barnes and Noble

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into Ms. Seaton’s writing.

Until next time…

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Book Feature with Author Serenity Woods

Book Feature with Author Serenity Woods

Hello my lovelies! It is a double treat day for you all! Thanks to the wonderful Coffee Beans and Love Scenes, I have the opportunity to tell you about Ms. Serenity Woods. Ms. Woods is another new-to-me author, but I will definitely be checking her out in the future. She is published by Samhain. For those of you who don’t know, Sanhain is an auto-buy for me. I have had crazy good luck with Samhain authors, so I don’t have to even think twice about buying a book from any of their authors. Did I say my luck with Samhain authors was crazy good? It is crazy good like WOAH! *nods* So naturally, even though I haven’t read Ms. Woods, I had to feature her book on the blog. I hope that you find this feature as enjoyable as I did. And check it out … I have more than one excerpt to share with you! Enjoy! But first, here is what other have to say about Ms. Woods book, AN UNCOMMON SENSE.


4.5 Stars – Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

This is my first book by Serenity Woods, and I can honestly say I will be reading more.

This is a great story with a little mix of everything you would want from a romance, a little paranormal with one of the main characters being a medium, and a teenaged daughter going through the adjustment of dealing with her dad dating for the first time after her parents’ divorce, the death of her mother, and a skeptical woman who has been hurt by the crazies she has dated in the past.

First we have Grace the tenth grade high school teacher, with absolutely no verbal filter on her mouth, who dresses like a Victorian spinster on the outside with racy lingerie underneath. Then we have Ash Rutherford the Viking lookalike father of one of her students, picture in your head Eric from True Blood (yummmmmm). Ash is a doctor turned medium, meaning he can communicate with the dead. He is a local celebrity doing shows similar to John Edwards. Grace is the ultimate skeptic, until she attends one of his shows with her two best friends, and receives a message from her dad.

This is not your typical sappy romance; you get a full range of emotions from laughter to almost tears. I honestly just really liked these two people, and want to see them get their HEA. There are some really hot sex scenes including one on a 1970’s sheepskin rug, but also a lot of heartwarming scenes. I really liked the paranormal aspect of this book. It was done without being cheesy. What I like most about this book was that the fact that Ash's daughter was not thrown into the back ground. Jodi was not just a sprinkled in character. She was as important to the romance as Ash and Grace.

I can’t wait to read the rest of the books for this series.

Here s a little about Ms. Woods:


Serenity Woods lives in the sub-tropical Northland of New Zealand with her wonderful husband and gorgeous teenage son. She writes fun, flirty, and sexy contemporary romances for the modern woman who likes intelligent, spirited heroines, and hunky but approachable heroes. She’s won several romance writing competitions and is a member of the Romance Writers of New Zealand. She would much rather immerse herself in reading or writing romance than do the dusting and ironing, which is why it’s not a great idea to pop round if you have any allergies. You can check out all her books at

**Sensual Healing, Book 1**
 Published by Samhain Publishing
Contemporary Erotic Romantic Comedy


All six senses tell him she’s the one.

High school science teacher Grace Fox doesn’t believe in any of that woo-woo stuff. So it’s easy to laugh off her friend’s prediction that she’ll have swear-out-loud sex with the next man who walks through her classroom door.

Who knew that local celebrity Ash Rutherford would have the time to attend his daughter’s parents’ night? Or that the Viking lookalike would trigger an attack of klutziness? He may or may not see dead people, but he certainly got a good look up her skirt.

A doctor turned medium, Ash spends his days communicating with unseen spirits. When it comes to his moody daughter, though, he hopes down-to-earth Grace will give him some insight. The racy lingerie she hides beneath her prim and proper clothing is an added bonus he didn’t expect.

Their attraction is instant and blazing hot, but Ash has been burned before. His ex-wife didn’t believe in his abilities, and no way is he going down that road again. At least not until Grace accepts the possibility there might be life after death. And the ghosts of his past are laid to rest. 

Product Warnings:  Contains a real live Viking, proof of life after death and sex on a 1970s sheepskin rug, but absolutely no Barry White. 

(adult content)

“You are going to have wild, passionate, swear-out-loud sex with the next man who walks through the door.” Mia read the prediction aloud from the astrology section of her magazine.

“Even if I did believe the position of the stars could tell my future, I’d know you made that up.” Grace continued to study the latest batch of science exams. “And anyway, that doesn’t sound remotely like something I’d do.”

“Have sex?”

Grace put a big red cross against the answer she’d just read. “Very funny. I meant swear. I would never swear during sex. Very unladylike.” She read the next question. What happens to your body as you age? And then the answer. You get intercontinental. Massaging her forehead, she drew another red cross. Jodi Rutherford barely appeared to have retained enough information from her biology lessons over the past ten weeks to fill a postage stamp.

“That explains a lot.”

Grace shot the teacher sitting next to her an exasperated look. “What’s that supposed to mean? And will you please stop trying to distract me? I want to get these finished before I go home.”

Mia grinned. It was nearly seven o’clock on a typically cool New Zealand October evening, and moths had started to flit around the strip lighting. Even though the parents’ evening had been the busiest of the year, the stream of visitors to the auditorium was starting to wane, and the teachers sitting at the rows of tables were beginning to pack up their laptops and books. Neither she nor Grace had seen a parent for fifteen minutes, and she was quite clearly bored. “I meant that your reaction to my prophecy accounts for why you’re still a spinster at the ripe old age of twenty-nine. If you’ve never been with a guy who could make you swear out loud during sex, it would explain why you haven’t come close to settling down.”

“Don’t call me a spinster,” Grace grumbled, turning over the page. “And anyway, I’m only a year older than you. You make me sound like I’m eighty-five.”

“You dress like you’re eighty-five,” Mia said impatiently.

“What’s wrong with the way I dress?” Grace frowned as she looked at her clothes. Her neat pencil skirt and white shirt were hardly retirement-age clothing. Okay, maybe the flat, sensible shoes, hair in a bun and glasses were a bit more “traditional schoolmistress meets university librarian”, but she hardly looked as if she should be vacationing with the over-fifties.

“You’re practically Victorian.” Slim and pretty, with thick, shiny black hair, Mia always wore the latest fashions.

“Because I don’t have a skirt above my knees and my shirt unbuttoned to my cleavage?”

“Grace, honestly. You’re beginning to worry me. You really should try to have sex at least once each decade, you know, or you’ll forget how to do it.”

Grace stared at the floor in front of her desk and tipped open her hands in protestation. “Mia…do you mind?” When her colleague remained quiet, she tried to concentrate on the paper in front of her. Then she groaned. “God, listen to this. ‘If conditions are not favourable, bacteria go into a period of adolescence.’ I mean, honestly.”

Mia laughed. “Whose paper is that?”

She put another red cross on it. “Jodi Rutherford’s.”

“Ooh.” Mia perked up. “The medium’s daughter? I didn’t know you taught her.”

Grace sighed. “Oh Lord, don’t you start. What is it with the women in this school? One mention of that guy and I swear their bodies undergo some kind of chemical change, turning them into goo.”

“Grace Fox, seriously, have you not seen him? What the hell is wrong with you?”

Grace put her pen down impatiently. “Of course I’ve seen him. Well, a photo of him. You can’t avoid it. His picture’s been plastered over half of Wellington for the last week, for crying out loud. But he’s just a guy. Two arms, two legs. Nothing that warrants all the mooning about.”

Mia shook her head. “Now I know there’s something wrong with you. Sweetheart, Ashton Rutherford is sex on legs. Seriously. He’s, like, six-foot-four and played lock for the Hurricanes.”

“That means absolutely nothing to me, Mia.”

Mia rolled her eyes. She was an avid Rugby Union fan. “They’re the tall ones who jump up at the line-outs.”

“Is that supposed to impress me?”

“Don’t you find him a little bit intriguing? A rugby-playing doctor who became a clairvoyant—don’t you think that warrants even a little bit of interest?”

Grace snorted. “Any man who gives up a serious profession after years of training to become a fortune teller needs his head tested.”

“He doesn’t tell fortunes. He’s a medium. He speaks to dead people.”

Grace gave her a look. “This conversation does not sound like something I’d be even vaguely interested in. I’m packing up now. It’s nearly seven.”

Mia sighed and started logging off on her laptop. “I can’t believe you didn’t tell me he could have been coming to see you tonight.”

“I honestly didn’t expect the guy to turn up. I’m sure interest in the welfare and progress of his only daughter is way beneath such a superstar. On my to-do list, informing you which students’ parents were coming tonight was right at the bottom.”

“He wouldn’t be at the bottom of my to-do list,” Mia mumbled.

“Mia, honestly.”

“You sound just like your mother when you talk like that.”

Grace shuddered. The ultimate insult. “Thanks.”

“Don’t mention it. You seriously need to get laid, though.”

Tell me about it. She didn’t say that, however. Instead, she said, “For the love of…will you desist?”

“Next guy that walks through the door, I’m telling you. Look—the door’s opening…”

“Please don’t let it be Professor Michaels,” Grace muttered as she got on her hands and knees to pull the plug of her laptop out from underneath the wall heater, making Mia laugh out loud at the mention of the overweight, balding, officious deputy principal who drove them all to distraction.

Mia’s laughter turned abruptly into a gasp. “I don’t believe it.”

“What?” The lead was stuck. Grace pulled it hard, but it had somehow got wedged against the plug of the heater and refused to come out.

“Well, this is going to be interesting.”

Grace took the plug in both hands but it still failed to move. “Sweetie, I don’t care if he’s Robert Downey Junior, I am not having sex with him.” She leaned all her weight on the lead, and all of a sudden, it gave and pinged out of the wall. She fell backward, banged her head and ended up sprawled in a most ungainly fashion facing the parent who was waiting at the foot of her desk.

“If you’d turn down Robert Downey Junior I guess I don’t stand a chance,” he said, amused.

Grace looked up at the face of the man she’d seen plastered on billboards all across town and then turned slowly to face Mia, whose eyes were practically falling out of her head. Mia stared at her and made a slight gesture with her hands, bringing them together, making Grace realise she was facing the guy with her legs open, giving him a splendid view right up her skirt.

(adult content)

His stormy-blue eyes met hers. This time, there was something other than amusement in them. Grace’s cheeks grew warm at the sparkle of interest glittering in their depths.

“There’ll be none of that,” she said before she could think better of it.

“Of what?”

“Any funny business.” Her cheeks grew even hotter. “I’ll help you, but it will be purely a business relationship.”

“Of course.” The amusement was back.

“I’m sure you usually only have to bat your eyelids at a girl and she turns into mush, but I’m not that kind of girl.”

“Actually, I beg to differ. I’d known you precisely two seconds and you swooned at my feet.” He winked at her.

“I did not swoon.”

“There was definite swoonage going on. You were practically Victorian.”

“That’s the second time tonight I’ve been called Victorian,” she said indignantly. She patted her bun self-consciously. “Mia thinks I dress too conservatively.”

He ran his gaze slowly down her and then back up again. “On the surface, maybe.”

She frowned, not understanding, then realised when he grinned he was referring to what he’d seen when she’d sat on the floor before him, legs apart. Her stockings and garter belt. And maybe even her black, silky teddy. Oh God, I hope the teddy was covering everything.

“Oh.” Her cheeks burned again. “You did see.”

“Sorry, but you were right in front of me—it was difficult not to see everything.”

“You didn’t have to mention it. That was extremely impolite.”

His eyebrows rose. “You’re giving me lessons on being polite?”

She thought about it. “Touché.”

Smiling, he tapped her nameplate. “Are you really a Miss? Or is that just school-teacher licence?”

“Are you asking whether I wear nice underwear for a partner or whether I wear it for myself?”

He hesitated. Then he grinned. “Yes.”

“Then just ask, for God’s sake. I hate having to rummage around in people’s words looking for the true meaning behind them.”

He nodded. “Duly noted.”

She zipped up her laptop case. “I’m single. I happen to like pretty underwear.”

“So do I. So that’s two things we have in common.” Smiling, he pushed himself to his feet. “We’d better go. I think you’re getting the evil eye.”

Grace looked up, surprised to see they were the last two people left in the auditorium. Professor Michaels was standing in the doorway, tapping his foot impatiently, waiting to lock up. “Oh.”

“Come on. I’ll walk you to your car. It’s dark outside.”

She put the register and pen in her bag, slipped on her jacket and walked with him out of the auditorium, nodding to the professor as they passed and apologising for keeping him waiting.

“Jeez,” said Ash as they went out into the cool night air and walked down to the main road. “What a weird guy.”

“I know. Mia told me I was going to have swear-out-loud sex with the next guy who walked through the door. I was terrified it was going to be him.”

He stopped walking and looked down at her, smiling. “And instead you got me.”

She glanced up. She was five-feet-eight, hardly short for a woman, but he still towered over her. He was like essence of man. She was acutely conscious of the way his shirt sleeves stretched across his generous arm muscles. “You’re not Robert Downey Junior,” she said, a little breathlessly.

He smiled. “No.” His eyes glittered in the light from the street lamp.

 “You are gorgeous, though.”

He gave a short laugh. “You really have no control over what comes out of your mouth, do you?”

“Not when I’m nervous. It lands me in heaps of trouble.”

“I kind of like it. I don’t have to worry about what you’re thinking.”

“I can see how that might be appealing.”

They studied each other for a moment. An impish smile gradually spread across his face. “Swear-out-loud sex, huh?”

Her cheeks grew hot. “Mia’s words, not mine.”

“It sounds like an interesting prediction.”

“I don’t believe in predictions.” She swallowed. His eyes had turned quite hot. “Or swearing.”

“You don’t swear?”


“Not even during sex?”

Her eyes widened. “Mr. Rutherford!”

“Yes, Miss Fox?”

“I…” For once, words failed her. He was a man who thought he could speak to dead people. He was certifiable, almost certainly delusional, and quite possibly an outright fraudster.

He was also the most gorgeous guy she’d ever met in real life, and the way he was looking at her made her knees go weak. She wrapped her arms around the laptop case as if it were a breastplate that could protect her.

“You’d be surprised how many predictions I’ve made that have come true,” he said, his deep voice husky.

She swallowed. “Well, for a start, Mia made up the stupid horoscope, and she’s usually about as accurate as a stopped watch.” Her voice was faint. “And secondly, there’s no such thing as the ability to see into the future. We exist at a fixed point in time. It’s not possible.” She lifted her chin determinedly.

He smiled. “Even a stopped watch is right twice a day.” His gaze had settled on her mouth. Ohmygod, he wants to kiss me.

She gave a little shake of her head. “You’re flirting with me.”

“Am I?”

“Men don’t flirt with me.”

“I can’t believe that.”

“I scare them off.”

He laughed. “Now that I can believe.”

“Don’t I scare you?”

He stepped a little closer to her. “Not in the least.”

She looked up into his dark blue eyes. Her skin prickled with his nearness. She desperately wanted to kiss him. But she knew she couldn’t. It wouldn’t end well. She couldn’t bear to see the disappointment in his eyes.

“Don’t,” she whispered. “I’m not your type of girl.”

“Oh? And how do you know what type of girl I like?”

She moistened her lips with her tongue, not missing the way he watched her. “I know. I’m sure you like confident women, who’ve read the Kama Sutra from cover to cover and know massage techniques and own special equipment.”

“You mean like power tools?”

“Don’t make me laugh. I’m trying to be serious. I meant…” How on earth had she got herself into this conversation? She’d only just met the man, for crying out loud. “I mean, I’m sure the women you date are sexy and very good in bed and I’m…not.”

His eyebrows rose. “What makes you say that?”

“I…I’ve been told.” Her cheeks grew hot again.

He stared at her. A frown marred his forehead, and something like anger shone in his eyes. Then, gradually, his smile reappeared. “Maybe you just need more practice.”

“I’m a schoolteacher who dresses like she’s stepped out of the Victorian period. How good in bed do you really think I am?”

His smile widened. “Dresses on the outside.”

He was talking about her stockings again. She moistened her lips once more. “Silky underwear doesn’t make a woman sexy.”

He gave a small laugh. “Oh, I beg to differ.” He gave her a curious, amused glance. “You are an exceptionally sexy woman, Miss Fox. And I am sure that, given the right location, the right encouragement and the right man, you would be exceedingly good in bed.”

Holy cow! Did you see that product warning? LMAO! I frickin love the Samhain product warnings! I really do! So what do you think? Sound like the kind of book you would enjoy? If so, here are the buy links:

Samhain                                                   Barnes and Noble

I hope you enjoyed getting to know a little more about Ms. Starke’s writing.

Until next time…