Three passionate novellas from The Secret Library range that offer essiential, sensual reading.
One Long Hot Summer – Elizabeth Coldwell
Lily’s looking after her friend, Amanda’s, home on the Dorsetcoast, hoping it will ease her writer’s block and help her get over her ex, Alex. What she doesn’t expect is that Amanda’s 21-year-old son Ryan will arrive at the house, planning to spend the summer surfing and partying – or that he’ll have grown up quite so nicely. Ryan’s as attracted to her as she is to him – but surely acting on her feelings for a man 14 years her junior is inappropriate? And when Alex makes a sudden reappearance in her life, wanting to get back together, should she follow her head or her heart? How can she resolve this case of summer madness?
Just Another Lady – Penelope Friday
Regency lady Elinor has fallen on hard times. The death of her father and the entail of their house put Elinor and her mother in difficulty; and her mother’s illness has brought doctor’s bills that they cannot pay. Lucius Crozier was Elinor’s childhood friend and adversary; and there has always been a spark of attraction between the pair. Now renowned as a womaniser, he offers a marriage of convenience (for him!) in return for the payment of Elinor’s mother’s medical bills. Reluctantly, she agrees. But Lucius has made enemies of other gentlemen of the upper echelon by playing fast and loose with their mistresses, and one man is determined to take his revenge through Lucius’s new wife ...
Safe Haven – Shanna Germaine
Kallie Peters has finally made her dream come true – she’s turned the family farm into Safe Haven, an animal sanctuary. But financial woes are pressing in on her, and she’s worried that the only way to keep the farm is to allow her rich ex-boyfriend back into her life. When a sexy stranger shows up in her driveway with a wiggling puppy in his arms, she knows it’s her chance for a hot rendezvous before she gives up her freedom.
The sex is hot, wild and passionate – the perfect interim before returning to the pressures of real life – but something else is happening between them. Can they find a way to save their dreams, their passions and their hearts, or will they have to say goodbye to all they’ve come to love?
I hadn’t expected to be asked to house-sit, but the more I thought about it, the more the idea made sense. Everything in this flat still reminded me of Alex, even though we’d split up over six months ago now. The lease was up at the end of next month, and I’d been wondering whether or not to renew it, prone to nagging doubts that staying here, with all the memories of the times we’d shared together – good and bad – was contributing to my writer’s block. How could my work move on if I couldn’t? Amanda was offering me the perfect excuse to cut the ties that appeared to be holding me back, maybe even get out of London for good.
‘I’d love to,’ I told her.
‘Wonderful, so it’s sorted, then. Thanks, Lily. You’ve really got me out of a fix.’
Lying in bed that night, I couldn’t help wondering whether I’d agreed to Amanda’s surprising proposal too hastily. Cautious by nature, I liked to weigh up any potential situation, making a list of all the points for and against before I came to a decision. I’d done that when I hadn’t been sure whether I was doing the right thing by giving up my job to write full time, and though Alex had never known, I’d done the same thing before moving in with him. How very different would my life be if, in both those cases, the column of cons had stretched further down the list than the pros?
Without meaning to, I found myself thinking back to the day Alex and I had moved into this flat, six years ago. One of the reasons I’d had on the list in favour of taking the plunge was that I’d been almost 30 at the time, that significant birthday looming like a milestone on the road ahead, impossible to ignore. Time to grow up, I’d told myself. Time to take some responsibility for my life. Another, far more important reason was that I couldn’t bear to spend any more time apart from Alex than I had to.
His handsome, familiar face swam into my mind, crowned by unruly dark hair that fell into his soft hazel eyes, and with a slight dusting of stubble on his pointed chin. Impulsive and spontaneous, he’d been the one who’d suggested we take our relationship to the next level by finding a place together. When I’d agreed, he’d literally swept me off my feet in a huge hug, covering my face with kisses.
Almost without meaning to, I pushed back the bedcovers as the memory grew stronger, slipping a hand down to raise the hem of my nightdress up around my waist. Now I saw us on the day we’d moved in. We’d searched long and hard before finding what we considered the perfect home, a sunny garden flat close to Hampstead Heath. Newly refurbished, it boasted a brand-new, king-sized bed, and we hadn’t been able to resist christening it before we’d even unpacked our possessions.
Alex carried me into the bedroom, placing me down on the bed. Only a couple of inches taller than me, he was deceptively strong, holding me in his arms as though I weighed nothing. ‘Can’t wait to make love to you,’ he’d murmured. ‘No distractions, no annoying flatmates. Just you and me, able to do whatever we want …’
Elizabeth Coldwell joined Xcite Books in 2011. Formerly the editor of the UK edition of Forum magazine and co-founder of the Guild of Erotic Writers, she has been writing erotic fiction for over twenty years and her work has been widely published in the UK and US. She enjoys writing across the spectrum of erotica genres, from m/m space opera to girl/girl messy fun, vanilla to BDSM, paranormal to contemporary.
Shanna Germain claims the titles of Leximaven, Wanderluster, Girl Geek, Vorpal Blonde and Schrodinger's Brat. Her work has appeared in places like Best American Erotica, Best Bondage Erotica, Best Erotic Romance, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Romance and many more. Visit her wild world of words at www.shannagermain.com
Raunchy Reader on
6th May 2012 4:12PM
Another cracking three novellas in this book.
If toyboys are your thing then the title story, One Long Hot Summer, should be right up your alley. A romantic cottage in a remote spot near the coast, sunshine and a fit toyboy,well isn't that every girl's fantasy? I know it's mine! Ryan is gorgeous and Lily gives up resisting. Ahhhh.
The regency novella in the middle was a refreshing change and not quite what I expected. Hot sex (I was expecting that as it's Xcite) and a sinister plot line running through it. Excellent read.
But Safe Haven, what can I say? A romance with puppies thrown in. My two favourite things. Men and puppies. I loved, loved the animal sanctuary background.
This edition of The Secret Library is fab.