Monthly Archives: October 2017
Much more likely than actual alien abduction.
Significantly more likely than impending forced nuptials with a giant primitive alien whose society never evolved a sense of humor.
But life in a horny space-barbarian’s cave isn’t all bad…
Did I mention that he vibrates?
I clenched my now working fist. Not that I itched to fight a magical warrior but I wasn’t helpless. Who escaped from Alien people smugglers? Who led a hundred woman to freedom? Who now risked her life on the planet of scorching heat, to make sure they stayed safe? “I’m perfectly capable.”
“Knowing wife is capable.” His brow rippled.
My gaze snapped up to his.
His fingers tightened just a little around mine. Not much, but enough. Enough for my muscles to seize, for my body to know—he could grind me to a pulp without even exerting an effort. He didn’t need to issue a single statement about his strength.
“This not mean capable, not capable. This not mean worthy, not worthy.” He opened his hand, and matched my palm against his. “This mean safe.”
Something popped in my chest like a jack-in-the-box.
My fingertips barely reached the start of his fingers. The difference as startling as a babies hand in a bears paw. How much smaller, more delicate than him I was.
The image made my whole body feel light.
He might not understand some things, but he’d just explained something else in a way that sent butterflies off in my belly.
“This mean different responsibility.” He placed his other hand on top of mine. “Tend. Protect. Cherish.”
Shivers rolled over me. Wow. Those words repeated again in my head. Tend. Protect. Cherish. Like vows. Yet, as much as he liked to call me wife, we’d made no promises.
Hell, I hadn’t agreed to anything, let alone marriage.
And yet this was as close as I’d ever come to believing that someone meant their promises.
I placed my other hand on top of his, and touched his over-sized knuckles.
He was bigger than big, and stronger than strong by human definition.
And yet so gentle with me.
“How make wife very angry?” He stared at me, close and intense and way up in my personal space.
“How?” Heat flushed in my cheeks. “You said something very offensive.”
I slid my hands free, not quite able to keep looking him in the face. “It’s rude to ask a human woman you are attempting to…” I coughed, searching for the word to describe our unusual relationship. “…court, if she wants anal—” I cleared my throat again. “—back passage sex.”
“Oh.” He remained studying me, gaze dropping down to my lap where I just knew he was thinking about whether or not my asshole were fuckable. “Human not make mate in back passage?”
“No.” Holy crap. Explaining anal to a horny alien. Thing that can never happen item number eight-hundred-and-sixty-nine. “I mean, it’s not for procreation but some people do it for fun.”
“If fun, why offense?”
Oh, boy. I rubbed my cheeks. “It’s just rude, Thor. Very rude.”
His frown wrinkled. “If not asking, how husband know human wife want make mating fun?”
“Because…” I exhaled. “Human marriage generally follows a period of courtship.” I squeezed the blanket around me at the reminder of what was actually going on here. In this situation which was very much not dating, honeymooning, or any other form of human romance. “Human men don’t just snatch woman and keep them captive in their cave, they court them. They earn their affection, they get to know their desires and preferences, and they attain their confidences so that those kinds of conversations can be comfortable and appropriate.”
He tilted back, but all his attention remained glued on me.
“You have not done any of those things.” I pointed my index finger at him. “You have not earned what is meant to be earned. You are trying to steal what is meant to be given.”
His eyes widened. Didn’t he like that? Good. I liked it even less.
“So when you ask me if I think you are without honor, yes, Thor, I think you are completely without honor.”
He flinched—actually flinched. The giant indestructible warrior that he was.
My chest heaved. “Where I am from, taking what is only mine to give, is the greatest dishonor.” I poked my finger right into his chest. “The biggest shame.”
I almost felt guilty for the look on his face, but then I was the one having to explain consent to my would be forced-husband.
“Punishable by law and a very serious crime.”
He remained frozen, staring at me for so long, I wasn’t sure if my little explanation was giving his primal mind an aneurysm.
Then he leaned in again. “Is crime, shame, and dishonor, because not complete human courtship ritual?”
I let out a long breath that made my body want to collapse in on itself. Something about the way he phrased that made it clear that he didn’t get it, get it. Not the important bits. Like the consent is critical part.
I rubbed my forehead, then froze. Maybe he didn’t need to actually understand.
Maybe he only kind-of needed to understand.
“Yes…” I breathed in again. “It is essential to humans that the very important courtship ritual take place before mating.”
He straightened, and looked at me a long while. “Must knowing this wife—is not Baratican practice to observe wife mating custom.”
Clearly… If the instantaneous mating attempts were anything to go by, the Baratican practice was to not wait long enough to find out.
“However, sometime when can not barter for wife, or war not desirable in taking wife, Baratican will preform custom requirements.” He slid off the bed. “Has been done before.”
“And you would do that?” I sat straighter. “You would observe the human courtship ritual?”
“Will consider.” He collected his loin cloth.
A thousand tiny muscles un-cleanched in my chest.
“Already taking the Kakaki juice to subdue mating rage-lust, for protect wife in sickness not fit for mating.”
No wonder he’d seemed so aggressive—rage-lust. Geez.
I tucked the blanket tighter under my arms. But, this was him with a libido suppressant? What the sweet-baby-Jesus was he going to be like when he stopped taking it?
My tongue scraped the roof of my mouth.
He stood, shoulders back, pecs out, abs firm as a freaking heavy-duty-washboard. Had he always been this Adonis with a side of Jason Momoa?
I shook my head to clear it.
“Explaining ritual.” He drew his hands behind his back, his stance so warrior it was all I could do not to snort. Where was his cape now? A cape would be perfect. But A red cape. And his helmet. His GIANT hammer.
“Umm.” I blew out. The ritual. God damn. If I’d paid more attention to medieval folklore I might’ve been able to ace this bluff. “The courtship ritual is about demonstrating affection.”
His loincloth twitched. His smirk twisted.
After spending years imagining fictional adventures, Amber finally found a way to turn daydreaming into a productive habit. She now spends her time in a coffee-fuelled adrenaline haze, writing romance with a thriller edge.
She lives with her husband and children in semi-rural Australia, where if she peers outside at the right moment she might just see a kangaroo bounce by.
Amber is an award winning writer, Amazon Bestselling Author, and member of Romance Writers of Australia, Melbourne Romance Writers Guild, and Writers Victoria.
About the Book:
I’m Ivy Clarke. Bartender, best friend, and disbeliever in love.
And now I’m in over my head, trying to flip a house all by myself.
I’m not too proud to admit I need some help. Too bad the only one who can help me is the same man I want to throw out this house’s second-story window.
Jackson Gamble and I can’t be in the same room together for more than a minute without devolving into a sparring match.
Except for that one time…
But enough about that. Jackson’s looking for forever, and I don’t believe in love, remember?
Get in. Renovate. Get out. Keep my heart firmly in tact.
Because it’s much easier to fix up a house than a broken heart.
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Jackson wandered around the corner—apparently, he couldn’t wait fifteen minutes to argue more with me. Seriously, the guy could start an argument in an empty house. He lifted the mini-notebook that was forever tucked into his back pocket. “Thought you might need the measurements.”
Damn. He came for a nice reason, which made me the jerk. I told myself to force out the words I knew I should say—words that didn’t come easy, yet I’d used them quite often on him lately. “Thank you.” I extended my hand. “Tape measure, please.”
He placed it in my hand, his fingers brushing my palm, and then I was back to thinking about them on my thigh.
I bent to measure the vanity.
“That one?” he asked, all incredulous-like.
I fired a few eye daggers over my shoulder, and Jackson clamped his mouth shut. For two seconds.
“I mean, looks like a great vanity. The measurements are usually on the box. And by usually I mean always.”
I tucked the edge of the yellow tape on one corner and ran it across the length of the top. “I prefer the hands-on method.”
“Oh, I know.” He swiped his hand across the stripe of skin between my shirt and the back of my pants, and I fought to act unaffected. With him it was all heat, the angry I’m-gonna-lose-my-temper kind one second, and then the I’m-so-turned-on-I’m-going-to-jump-you-in-public kind the next.
“It’s just that…” He settled his hand on the small of my back. “I’m sure that’s going to be too big. Even if it technically fits, it’ll look cramped in that tiny downstairs bathroom. If I were allowed to give my opinion, I’d say you should stick with a pedestal sink.”
I rolled my eyes. “You’re allowed to give your opinions.”
I straightened and spun to face him, the whir of the tape measure retracting ending with a loud pop. “It would make it easier if they were the same as mine, but I realize that’s beyond unrealistic when it comes to you and me.”
He hadn’t moved his hand away when I’d turned around, and now it was on my hip, radiating heat. “And tell me…?” The swipe of his thumb just under the hem of my shirt sent my hormones into overdrive. “How bored do you get with all the guys who agree with you?”
I opened my mouth. Then closed it. Then opened it. “Depends.” Great come back, Ivy.
Bored was one thing I’d never been with Jackson around. I just wasn’t sure semi-irritated-and-constantly-turned-on was the gold standard.
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Meet the Author:
Cindi Madsen is a USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels.
She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier.She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long.
She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.
Get in the spirit of Christmas with this brand new, Stand-alone romance from Donna Grant!
ABOUT DONNA GRANT
Donna Grant is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the sizzling Dark King series featuring dragons, immortal Highlanders, and the Fae.
She was born and raised in Texas but loves to travel. Her adventures have taken her throughout the United States as well as to Jamaica, Mexico, and Scotland. Growing up on the Texas/Louisiana border, Donna’s Cajun side of the family taught her the “spicy” side of life while her Texas roots gave her two-steppin’ and bareback riding.
Despite deadlines and voracious reading, Donna still manages to keep up with her two children, four cats, and one long haired Chihuahua.
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