Surrender to the irresistible …
Start your summer with three sinful
romances from Natalie Anderson,
Nikki Logan and Amy Andrews!
Waking Up in the
Once A Rebel…
and the Deep
Possibly the only librarian who got told off herself for talking too much, NATALIE ANDERSON decided writing books might be more fun than shelving them—and, boy, is it that! Especially writing romance—it’s the realisation of a lifetime dream, kick-started by many an afternoon spent devouring Grandma’s romances … She lives in New Zealand, with her husband and four gorgeous-but-exhausting children. Swing by her website, www.natalie-anderson.com, any time—she’d love to hear from you.
For June—thank you for giving us such a great port in our ground-shuddering storm.
SOME wicked time beyond midnight, Ellie darted along the hallways of the luxury lodge in an almost sheer slip. The plush carpet absorbed the rapid beat of her bare feet. The puff of air-conditioning didn’t cool the mad heat blushing her skin. She was on an indulgence mission and, imprisoned by hedonistic—champagne-riddled—impulse, sanity didn’t stand a chance.
She danced down the stairs to the next level, to where she knew he was sleeping. She counted the doors—one, two, three—and opened the next.
But his bedroom was empty. The dim light of an almost moonless night invaded through open curtains, revealing no body-sized lump in the bed. In fact it was so smooth it looked like a perfectly iced cake.
Disappointment dashed her spirits—because she wasn’t hungry for cake. She was starving for something way more meaty than that. She’d gone fun-free for too long. So, inspired by the fabulosity of the location, she’d decided to hell with it and to take what he’d been offering for weeks. Until now she’d parried his flirtatious invites, unsure of his integrity. But here, in this most seductive location, what did anything matter but the moment? And this moment she wanted to enjoy some male, physical, attention. In a place as beautiful as this, surely fantasy could come true?
Yes. Having finally got the courage, she wasn’t going to let fate confound her. Reckless joie de vivre bubbled again and she slipped back out to the hall. Maybe she’d counted wrong, or had the wrong side of the corridor? She pivoted one eighty and counted again. One, two three. Carefully she turned the handle of the fourth door.
Her over-wired senses instantly assimilated the signs—warmth, gentle, regular breathing, a light spiced scent. She quietly closed the door behind her. A couple of steps in she nearly stumbled over the shoe. The size said it all—a man’s boot. This was the one, then.
The ten-inch gap in the curtains let in what light that waning moon threw. A gap that wide had to be deliberate—he must like to see the sun, moon and stars too. Smiling, she blinked to adjust her vision. Then, yes, in the wonderfully huge bed, she could just make out his laid-back shape, right in the centre. His dark hair contrasted against the white pillow, his face turned away from her. Then cloud crossed the moon, dulling the room to nothing but shades of black.
But she crept forward, heated inside and out.
‘Hey,’ she whispered. ‘Are you asleep?’
Dumb question when she could hear the regularity of that breathing for herself.
‘Hey,’ she murmured again as she stretched across the bed, her hand out to touch...skin.
Oh, he was hot.
She snatched her fingers back, suddenly shy. Her heart bashed her ribs as adrenalin flooded, forcing a too-fast beat. She took a second to breathe, because never before had she slipped into the driver’s seat like this. Her throat blocked, she could think of nothing else to say. But sensation—temptation—drove her closer. Despite the goosebumps popping over every inch of her skin, she burned.
She knelt on the bed, boldness returning the closer she got to his heat. Slowly, she slid her hand towards the point where the bed was depressed by the weight of one big, warm male. Her seeking fingers hit the boundary from cool cotton to hot body, but she pushed through her last nervousness, sliding her fingers up and over his hair-roughened skin.
Every cell inside her squeezed. The hit of pure pleasure from that smallest of touches surprised her. She’d not expected such excitement from so little. But perhaps this was about risk as well and she, who’d always been risk averse, was beyond excited already.
In daylight she found him perfectly resistible—they’d never even kissed. It had mainly been talk and suggestion—a way to help pass the boring bits at work. And there’d been more dull moments than anything recently—all paperwork, no perks. She’d hoped for job satisfaction this weekend, knew this was part of why she’d been offered the trip. But this place had her thoughts turning to the personal. Yes, now, up this close to his heat and that scent she’d never before noticed, she couldn’t wait to discover him in this dark night.
His skin was warm, the breadth and obvious strength of his muscles another surprise. Who knew that beneath his customary too-trendy suits was a body of awesome size? Clutching one hand to her chest, she gently swept the other over his stomach, sliding the sheet down as she searched him out. He was completely naked and as a result only one word remained in her brain—amazing.