August 4, my first contemporary for Berkley Heat releases – Laid Bare.
I know I’m biased since it’s my book and all, but this cover steals my breath. I love it. It captures so much about the story – Erin is perfect and I love the tattoo, it’s spot on to the one she has in the book. The only thing missing is that the book is a menage – but Ben comes into the story, and the relationship later than Todd does, so it really does work.
Blurb: Unexpected Desire…
It’s been ten years since clean-cut, sexy-as-hell police officer Todd Keenan had a white-hot fling with Erin Brown, the provocative, wild rocker chick next door. Their power exchange in the bedroom got under his skin. But love wasn’t in the cards just yet…
Now, life has thrown the pair back together. But picking up where they left off is tough, in light of a painful event from Erin’s past. As Todd struggles to earn her trust, their relationship takes an unexpected and exciting turn when Todd’s best friend, Ben, ends up in their bed—and all three are quite satisfied in this relationship without a name. As the passion they share transforms Erin, will it be enough to help her face the evil she thought she had left behind?
How about an excerpt? Ben is back in Seattle after leaving for Boston ten years before. A lot has happened to both of them…
Words behind the text jump, a few of them are bad, in a good way of course.
LAID BARE by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2009, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, The Penguin Group
Erin didn’t know what to think. No one had ever gotten to her as deeply as he had. Not even Jeremy had touched that spot deep within her, let it uncoil. At one point she’d just figured it was that memory thing where you tend to make the past better than it was.
But Todd did that to her then, and he affected her still.
Her hands shook a bit as she steamed some milk and absently made small talk with a customer. But when she looked up, she saw him watching her.
Their spark hadn’t been her imagination. His invitation was more than just a hey, let’s hang out and grab a beer. While she was on board with a little reliving of old times in bed with him, it wasn’t going to happen if he was married.
She ladled soup, poured out tea and coffee until everyone had been served, and there he was again, waiting patiently, his eyes moving over her body like a caress.
Erin hadn’t been so sexually on edge or so needy and out-and-out horny in years, it seemed. He hadn’t propositioned her. He hadn’t even touched so much as a breast, but her body thrummed with excitement and anticipation. It seemed wrong to hope he was divorced, but she did anyway.
He sat in the corner, drinking his tea while she worked. She said a few words here and there, but it had been busy, as it sometimes was so near to closing. All he’d said to her was “I’ll wait.”
He’d wait. Lovely. The tension inside her was nearly painful, something she poked at as she worked, like that spot inside your cheek you bit earlier that day. She examined it, stroked over it, thought about it, enjoyed it even.
Finally at three she moved through the place toward the door, and he’d simply stayed like a stray cat she’d made the mistake of feeding. When she locked up and flipped the sign, he finally moved, standing to his full height.
She stood, rooted to the spot as she looked up his body. The width of his shoulders seemed to blot out the light. Erin was tall; at five-eight she didn’t often get the experience of looking up and then up some more at a man.
“Erin, I’d like to know you again. Can we do that?” He brushed the back of his knuckles down her cheek.
Once the sensual shivers subsided enough that she could find her words again, she swallowed hard. “Are you married? Because if you are, we can know each other but we can’t know each other. I don’t do that.”
He smiled, one of the most genuine smiles she’d ever seen from him. “I’m not. Not for the past eighteen months. I’m glad to know you don’t do that, because I sure as hell don’t either. You’re not married or with anyone?”
She lost her train of thought for a moment when he slid those same knuckles down her neck and into the hollow of her throat.
God, that felt good.
“No. Not for a long time now.”
“So, we’re both free.” He looked at her. Into her. She felt bare to her bones. His scent rose from his skin, heady and warm. He smelled different than she remembered. This was . . . She leaned in just a bit, giving in to her needs . . .deep and dark. A man who worked with his body; clean sweat, sex, alluring, something she wanted to lick.
He waited as she watched his pulse jump at his throat. So close that if she moved just a bit more, she’d touch his skin with her lips.
Suddenly she wanted that so much, it hit her in a wave, bringing a slight disorientation in its wake. Instead she reached out, sliding her palm up his arm, over his biceps. “Looks that way.”
His pupils enlarged, the color of his irises deepening. “I have a few errands to run. Why don’t I come to your place. Or you to mine, I don’t care which. Would six work for you?”
She loved his voice, had forgotten how sexy it was. Erin grabbed a pad of paper and wrote down her address. “I’ll let the doorman know you’re coming. Use that code and you can park inside the garage.”
They stood very close in the quiet cafÃ©. Neither spoke, but they both looked at each other. The tension thickened, tautened until Erin wanted to groan.
Finally it was as if he’d made some sort of internal decision. He slid his palm around her neck, cupping it at the nape. “I’m going to have to kiss you.”
She smiled up at him, raising a brow. “You never used to need to ask.”
His face hardened and his mouth found hers. The taste of him bloomed through her, opening her up, softening her in the right places, hardening her in others. The seam of her jeans pressed with delicious friction against her sensitized clit, even better when he rolled his hips and ground his cock into her.
Oh, they still fit and he still had it going on. Only now he seemed more confident with it. A delightful thrill coursed through her at the thought of a confident Todd, a man who owned his dominance.
On the surface, the kiss was exploratory. He tasted her easily, his tongue sliding back into her mouth like it hadn’t been over a decade since he’d done this last. But beneath that, there was no angst, no guilt or hesitance. The kiss was sure. He knew he wanted to be there and, god knew, she wanted him there too.
When he caught her bottom lip between his teeth and nipped, her knees buckled and she held on to keep standing.
He chuckled then and pulled back slightly. “You still taste like sin, Erin. I can’t wait for more.” One more brief kiss and he headed to the door. “See you in a few hours.”
She nodded, her fingers pressed against her lips, her heart beating wildly.