Published By: Ellora's Cave Publishing Inc.
Published: Oct 22, 2010
ISBN # 9781419929786
Available in: Epub, HTML, Microsoft Reader, Adobe Acrobat, Mobipocket (.prc), Rocket
Categories: Romance>Erotic Romance
With persistence, Ryan draws Kat into his world of dominance and submission, where quiet commands and lengths of rope awaken needs and desires she never knew she possessed. But Ryan’s intimate, erotic shibari sessions frighten Kat as much as they excite her, for each simple knot requires infinite trust and inspires complicated emotions.
When a family crisis tests their love and threatens to snap the fragile ties that bind them, will fortune ever smile on this unlikely couple, or will fate tear them apart?
Reader Advisory: For those who subscribe to a “more the merrier” philosophy (*cough* we do *cough*), this story contains a scintillating m/f/f/m scene.
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An Excerpt From: FORTUNE
Copyright ? ANNABEL JOSEPH, 2010
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing,
Kat looked back at the bouncer by the stairs and found
him looking at her. Not just looking at her. He and his friend were talking
about her. The bouncer looked away, caught, but the friend kept on staring.
She didn?t like the way he stared, as if he were judging her. Kat pulled
the lollipop out of her mouth and made some suggestive licking motions
before plunging it back between her lips. If he was going to stare, she
would give him a show for shits and giggles. She could still feel him
watching even though she?d looked away.
Kat had seen the guy here many times actually, hanging
out with the bouncers. He always looked at her in that same reproachful
way. She supposed he knew what she got up to every week, not that it was
any of his business. Since she didn?t sleep with bouncers or their
bouncer-wannabe friends, she didn?t really care if he thought her slutty or
undesirable. He was nice to look at though. Tall, bronze, dark-haired like
her. He was muscular, not in a beefy-bouncer way, but in the way of a guy
you knew would prevail in a fight just because he was so alpha.
She looked back to find him still staring. I know why you?re here. I don?t approve of it. Somehow Kat knew
he was the one in one hundred who would turn her down if she propositioned
She looked away, lifting her chin, sucking on her
lollipop. Stare all you want, fucker.
I don?t give a fuck. Stupid eye-contact games. She could play them too.
Whatever. She came here to have
fun, not get all bent out of shape over the one guy in the bar who put her off her game.
But she still watched him out of the corner of her eye,
so she knew the moment he headed toward her. He took the stairs two at a
time. Broad shoulders, long thigh muscles flexing as he ascended. She
looked away, pretending total disinterest. He was probably coming upstairs
to see someone else. A moment passed and then she felt a touch, featherlight, on the small of her back. Just light
fleeting contact, but she almost shivered. He leaned next to her on the
banister, not close like he was hitting on her, nor too far away. He leaned
over a perfect distance from her and pinned her with dark brown eyes.
?Candy will rot your teeth, you know.?
His smile was breathtaking. He was all tan healthiness,
white, straight teeth and sensual lips. She slowly pulled the lollipop out
of her mouth, determined not to react to his hotness or his proximity.
?I like candy. It?s an addiction.?
He pointed to her glass of ice water. ?But you never
?How do you know I don?t drink??
?Because I see you here every week and you never drink
anything but water.?
?You?re monitoring my vices??
?Should I be??
He raised his eyebrows. She didn?t know whether to laugh
or run away. He was flirting with her and as much as she liked it, she had
a panicked sense of the tables being turned. He was in control right now,
not her. She sucked the cherry-red lollipop back into her mouth and chose
not to reply, trying to gain the upper hand.
?What?s your name?? he asked. ?Why do you come here so
?What?s your name, and why do you come here so much??
?I asked first.?
She stared into his eyes, saw
the corners of his lips quirk. Then he totally caved.
?Okay. My name is Ryan.? He held out his hand and she
shook it. He was a big man. It was so much more apparent close up than when
he was standing beside an equally large bouncer at the bottom of the
stairs. His hand completely engulfed hers. ?And I am here a lot because I
do training for the bouncers now and again.?
?What kind of training??
?Martial arts. Safe takedown. Things like that.? ?Safe takedown.? Why did that sound so
sexy when he said it? She pictured him rolling on a condom before he
pulled her to the floor. Probably not what he meant by safe takedown. She
ran her gaze up and down his body. He was fit all right. Maybe early
thirties. God, his eyes? They were killing her. They were such a rich, deep
brown, fringed by dark lashes, but that wasn?t what really captivated her.
It was the alert intelligence in his gaze. It was ten times more seductive
than his biceps. And ten times more threatening to her. She rolled the
lollipop around on her tongue, pretending polite indifference.
?So you?re like, one of those karate sensei guys??
He laughed. ?No. I?m a brain surgeon, but I do karate
She rolled her eyes. ?A brain surgeon. Right.?
His crooked, easy smile unnerved her. He was so
damn?healthy. So solid and nonrandom. She didn?t really know how to relate
to that or how to deal with the feelings he aroused in her. No. No bouncers. Or bouncer trainers.
?So I told you my name and why I?m here so much,? he
said. ?Your turn.?
?My name is Kat and I come here to watch people.? She
threw him a flirty glance and smacked suggestively on the lollipop, only to
receive another one of those reproachful looks.
decided to head back to the dance floor. She didn?t come to Masquerade to
get the third degree from a fine man who didn?t approve of her. Where was
that fucking idiot earnest-faced pretty boy when she needed him? Stupid
brain-surgeon-bullshitter with his huge warm
hands and his creepy stare. She infused as much flounce as she possibly
could into her ?well, bye? and started down the steps before he could say
?Hey, baby.? A gruff voice and clammy hand stopped her
near the bottom. Arms fastened around her waist, pulling her against a
pudgy torso. She pushed away, rolling her eyes at the drunk
guy, but he didn?t take the hint. He tightened his arms.
?Hey, gorgeous. I?ve been watching you all night. Come
dance with me.?
?No. I don?t want to dance. Let go of me. I was just
?You don?t have to leave here all alone.?
?Believe me, I want to.?
?Oh, baby, come on. Don?t be like that. I can put a
smile on those lips. I?ll give you something really sweet to suck on.?
Then he leaned in so fast that she didn?t have time to
stop him, otherwise she would have punched him in the face. He laid a kiss
on her, stabbing his tongue between her lips. She pushed him away with all
the strength she had.
?Ewww!? she said in a voice
loud enough to shame him. She put the lollipop back in her mouth to take
the sour alcohol taste of his kiss away. Blech, no kissing. No. She didn?t even kiss the ones she liked. She
wouldn?t even have kissed tall, dark and handsome karate guy, staring down
at her from the top of the stairs. Okay?
his expression seemed to ask. Everything okay?
not okay. Everything?s so fucking sucky I can
barely stand it.
She wiped off her lips and pushed past the kiss-stealer.
She was done for the night. ?Just fucking leave me
alone,? she yelled back over her shoulder. She didn?t know if she yelled it
at dark eyes or icky lips.
As she stormed off, she wondered if Ryan was watching her