Today’s guest is the most fabulous Denise Agnew whose book MAJOR PLEASURE releases today from Ellora’s Cave.
Several years ago, I proposed an anthology featuring military men to Ellora’s Cave. Within a short time I came together with Kate Hill and Arianna Hart to write the BY HONOR BOUND anthology. To make these stories even more interesting, we linked them together with family ties. The first story His Sister’s Kiss by Kate Hill features Vietnam veteran Master Sergeant Abraham Forbes. Major Pleasure, my story, features the son of Abraham, Major Blayne Forbes, Army Special Forces. The third story, Charming Annie features Major Annie Forbes, Blayne’s cousin. I’m very happy to say that MAJOR PLEASURE will be released again January 27 as an ebook only at Ellora’s Cave www.jasminejade.com. MAJOR PLEASURE features a theme I continued to touch on in my HOT ZONE series at Samhain Publishing www.samhainpublishing.com of a soldier coming home from war and how he handles the challenge of returning to civilian life and the woman that helps him find that courage.
I’ve always enjoyed series or linked stories, just as many other readers do. I believe authors can write a series to death, and I’ve stopped reading a series if I feel the stories are starting to sound all the same. It takes considerable work for an author to write a series and keep it fresh. Do you like series and if so, why? If not, why?
Click the “more” jump to read an excerpt to spark your appetite for more major pleasure.
He’s got the military command…
Army Special Forces Major Blayne Forbes has always desired Jemma Teagan, but knows she’s off limits for a casual relationship. The last thing he wants is involvement with a forever kind of woman. Jemma’s desire for the diamond-in-the-rough soldier has never faded, and when he tumbles into her arms, the tough guy sends her heart rate into orbit. She doesn’t want to love a man destined for danger, until he challenges her to a display of hardware she can’t resist.
Jemma saw the big man walking toward her with confident strides. Her heart leapt in surprise and happiness, then thundered with excitement.
She couldn’t restrain how her breath quickened and her body hummed whenever she saw him. It didn’t matter that months of separation parted them, or that he traveled the world keeping freedom, hope, and democracy intact. No, she responded to him with unadulterated pleasure and a full-on lust she couldn’t control.
Then reality intruded. What was Blayne doing home? She almost called out to him in greeting, until she saw his slight limp and the tired expression on his face. Pale, with five o’clock shadow and a haunted look in his eye, he didn’t appear like the tough, indomitable soldier she’d known for almost two years. He caught sight of her and his trademark sultry smile started, then came to a dead stop. His mouth opened but instead of greeting her, he put one hand out to prop against the doorframe.
“Damn,” he muttered as his eyelids started to flutter.
Worried, she reached up to cup his face in one hand. “Blayne, are you all right?”
The dazed look in his eyes retreated. “Yeah, I’m okay.”
With instincts honed by years of growing up with brothers who didn’t see the doctor unless their parents hogtied them, she shifted her touch to his forehead. “You’re feverish. What’s wrong?”
He blinked as if someone had just told him he’d jumped out of a plane without a parachute. “Nothing’s wrong. I’m good.”
A little surprised by his gruff tone, she withdrew her hand. His stubble-roughened jaw scratched against her palm, and though he looked tired, he could still make the molecules in her body come to a standstill and take notice. No doubt about it, in her personal dictionary under the word hunk, the description said Blayne Forbes. From the first time Graham introduced them, she had a gut-level reaction to the man. Blayne’s unique combination of gallantry combined with a dangerous edge intrigued her. So did the soulful, sexually charged nuance in his thickly lashed dark eyes. A short, military cut restrained the curls in his lustrous, thick ash-colored hair. His somewhat crooked nose and strong jaw line added to the craggy image. His incredible, conditioned body spelled sin. In the recipe book of life under delicious there should be a picture of Major Blayne William Forbes.
For too long, steamy, sexy dreams of being with him haunted her. It didn’t help he looked delicious enough to eat.
Swirling heat filled her loins and mixed with her extreme pleasure at seeing him. God, the man is gorgeous.
Today he wore a black leather bomber jacket, thick red turtleneck sweater, and butt-loving jeans showcasing his long, muscular legs. But it didn’t matter what he wore because every time she saw him, her libido caught on fire whether she liked it or not.
More often not.
After all, getting involved with a footloose, rough-and-tumble Special Forces officer didn’t define her idea of safe and secure. He had a risky job. Chances are one of these days he’d come back from a mission in a flag-draped coffin.
Right now, though, he looked anything but tough and it worried her.
He kept his hand on the doorjamb. “Sorry, Sweets. It’s been a long day.”
Sweets. Only Blayne could get away with calling her something like that. And she’d been too damn chicken to ask him why he’d pinned her with the nickname not long after they’d met. He never said it in an insulting manner, but always in a warm, teasing tone.
“I didn’t know you were coming home,” she said. “I figured Graham would have mentioned that your unit was back.”
A grim, almost sarcastic smile spread over his face. “Graham may not have heard. I’m back alone.”
Clutching at the doorjamb, he shrugged those mile-wide shoulders. “Long story.”
Her eyes narrowed as she frowned. “I saw you limping. Is that why you’re back?”
His mouth thinned, his gaze sharpening. “Among other things. Is Graham here?”
“I stopped by to see if he wanted to go out to lunch, but he apparently ran out to do some errands.”
“I should have called first.” He released the doorjamb gingerly, as if unsure he could stand without the support. “It doesn’t matter. I needed to come on post anyway.”
His gaze centered on Jemma again and this time the way he looked at her brought wild, rushing feelings back to her. Warm and appreciative, his attention caressed her face. Her cheeks flushed under his unbridled interest. As her nipples tingled in response, she wanted to reach up and hug him. Every so often she thought she caught two emotions running across his expression and it always caught her off guard.
Lust and tenderness.
Tingling built in her belly, moistening forbidden areas deep between her legs in a shocking rush.
The man knows how to turn me into mush every time.
“You look good, Jemma.” His smile went brilliant, a touch of the old Blayne in his grin. “How are you?”
“I’m great.” Before she could thank him, he closed his eyes a second and winced. That did it. She clasped his arm. “I think you should sit down a minute.”
“It’s no big deal.”
“Right. You almost fainted in my arms a moment ago and you look like the semi from hell plowed over you and then backed up and did it again.”
He placed his palm over her hand, effectively trapping her fingers against his arm. Big and well-shaped, his hands always inspired some pretty interesting fantasies for her.
He resurrected a wolfish grin. “Big, bad Special Forces officers don’t faint.”
She rolled her gaze to the sky a moment, then sighed. “Oh, excuse me. You don’t faint, you pass out.” She tugged on his arm and started to pull him along. “Well, Major Forbes, what am I going to do with you if you fall flat on your face right here? I’ll have to call for EMS and that would embarrass you, big bad Special Forces officer or not. Why don’t you sit in my car a minute and take it easy.”
To her surprise he allowed her to guide him to her Taurus. She opened the door and he slid into the passenger seat. She got into the driver’s seat.
When he leaned his head back and closed his eyes, she asked, “So what’s wrong? Why did you come back early? Were you injured during the mission?”
The thought of him hurt at any time made her heart drop into her shoes.
He opened his eyes but kept his head back on the seat. “Maybe I should have taken a nap before I drove straight to the post.”
“You just got back? No wonder you’re out on your feet.”
“I changed clothes and came right over. I need to talk with Graham.”
“Well, in lieu of my big brother, I can be a pretty good listener.”
He shook his head.
She grinned and crossed her arms. “Oh, is this one of those I’d-love-to-tell-you-but- then-I’d-have-to-kill-you things?”
“Yeah, some of it is.”
She sensed an undertone in Blayne’s voice, something dark and serious beneath the evasiveness.
Go for it, Jemma. “Since my dear brother stood me up for lunch, maybe you could have lunch with me.”
He looked at his watch. “You don’t have to go back to work?”
“I’m on two weeks’ vacation.”
He grunted. “You know, I think I’m going to go home and crash.” He flicked a warm, almost sensual look her way before opening the door and starting to get out. “Good to see you, Jemma. I’ll talk to you later.”
Fine. Be that way. She didn’t care if she had lunch with him anyway. He probably has a girlfriend waiting for him at home. The thought made unwelcome jealousy rise inside her.
Instead of leaving the car, he came to a stop and put his head in his hands. She reached out to touch his broad shoulder. “That’s it, Forbes. You’re telling me what’s wrong. If you’re ill, you’re going to the doctor.”
He removed his hands from his head and managed a crooked grin. “Forbes?”
“Okay, Major Forbes.” She blushed. “Blame it on my brother. He calls you that.”
Although he looked weary, he smiled. “I figured that’s where you got it.” He shook his head. “I’ve told you to call me Blayne.”
Resistance to the idea remained steady in her psyche. “Tell me what’s wrong. You’re not healthy. I can see that.”
He rubbed his hand over his chin. “I’m getting over the flu.”
“I think you should see a doctor,” she said. “Then I’ll take you home.”
His gaze cleared long enough to rake over her with a sudden, blazing energy. Flickering with sensual awareness, his gaze locked with hers, then drifted to her lips.
“Yeah.” His voice came soft and sensual. “Maybe I need some nursing.”
Jemma’s belly fluttered and tingled. My, oh my. She couldn’t deny the innuendo, and she knew he realized what he’d said. She dared search his eyes, probing for his intentions and enjoying the heated way his gaze moved over her. With any other man, the blatant once-over might have seemed insulting. When Blayne looked at her like this she felt uninhibited and willing to take a dare. Hell, she felt devoured.