About the author:
MJ Nightingale, MaryAnn Jordan, Laramie Briscoe and Susan Stoker are the authors of the books in this anthology. They are all on facebook and would love to connect with new readers.
What inspired you to write your book?
I wanted to continue to write romance and erotica, but wanted to add depth to my characters and love suspense. I combined all three of these genres into one. I have met many authors in the Indie community and with three other authors who write in similar genres, we decided to put out an anthology of the first book in each of our current series in the hopes of expanding our readership.
Here is a short sample from the book:
from the Prologue of Beautiful Bounty
One year earlier . . .
Ronnie knew she was drunk because this was just feeling so good. She needed to stop him. But somehow she couldn’t. He smelled so damn good. The cologne, the sea breeze, the wind, and his tongue trailing down her neck had her senses spiraling. That and the three glasses of champagne she had consumed. His lips and teeth nuzzled her neck, little nips that felt like tiny explosions. His hand slid up her rib cage. She felt the timeless exploration under her breast as he tested its weight. He gently squeezed, and then flicked her nipple beneath the thin material of the bridesmaid gown she wore. He pulled the cup down and a cool blast of night air hit her before his mouth descended on the tiny bud. His mouth was hot. Oh yes! His tongue divine as it titillated her even further. She was the opposite of senseless. She was on fire.
Nikko couldn’t believe his luck. The blond beauty had given him the cold shoulder whenever their paths crossed. But, the little ice princess had warmed up to him. All it had taken was a few drinks, a few dances, and a few suggestions whispered in her ear. He murmured his appreciation around the mouthful of the most amazing breasts he had ever seen in his twenty six years. This little spitfire with the snapping brown eyes had continued to ignore him throughout the ceremony. But at the reception, she loosened up. Let her hair down so to speak. Once he got her on the dance floor, and showed her a few moves, she came undone and began to relax. He liked her like this. Very much.
“Oh God!” she whimpered as he circled her nipple with his tongue and then gently pulled on it with his teeth. She was tugging on his dark hair, pulling him closer, showing him her true nature. She wanted this, and he was more than happy to comply.
They met two weeks ago at the rehearsal dinner for his cousin’s wedding. From that moment, he knew he wanted her, underneath him, on top, he didn’t care. She was every man’s wet dream even though it seemed like she didn’t know it. And right now, she was making one of his fantasies come true, up against a palm tree on the beach in a relatively secluded alcove. She was pushing against him, craving the contact. There was no denying he relished it. And he thanked his lucky stars, because he wanted her, badly. His cock had been at attention all through their dances. Now, it was straining against his black dress pants needing its own gratification.
But, he meant to please her first. She was leaning against the coarse bark of a skinny palm, on the beach where hours earlier his cousin, Victor, wed his lovely bride, Monica. His free hand snaked up her thigh. It was shapely. The girl’s legs were defined, hard under the smooth surface. He could feel her muscles tremble under her silky skin as he slid his hand up the inside of her leg. He cupped her, and again she pushed into his touch. Not one to deny anyone their pleasure, least of all himself, he felt Ronnie part her legs and slid a finger inside. She was already aroused, and wet. He began to flick her clit as she squirmed in time to his ministrations.
“Oh God, Nikko . . .,” she murmured, “that feels so . . .” Her words were lost as he left her breast to claim her sweet mouth. He explored and used his tongue to plunder it. She tasted sweet, and he liked it. He couldn’t wait to explore her further. Ronnie continued to respond to him, grinding her tight little body closer and using her tongue to match him stroke for stroke.
“Have you seen Veronica?”
They both froze when the night sounds were suddenly broken by her mother’s worried voice. Although they were in a clump of palm trees along one of the winding paths that ran along the beach, and it was full dark, the lights along the path could reveal them if she continued to come forward. He and Ronnie had come out for a breath of air, and wandered several hundred yards away from the tent that had been set up for the reception. The alcove was well out of the way of passersby or so they thought. Nikko was frustrated and so damn angry at himself for not taking her to his car, or going even further down this stretch of private secluded beach owned by the hotel that hosted the wedding.
“Your daughter?” another voice responded, a bit further away but getting closer.
“You’ve got to stop!” Ronnie whispered, pushing his hands away and pulling up the top of her dress, covering herself.
Great! Nikko fumed. Just perfect! He began to adjust his clothes quietly, yet inside he fumed.
“Yes, I saw her leave with Nikko about twenty minutes ago. They haven’t returned,” a nervous Louisa murmured, her voice carrying on the night air.
“I just came from the restrooms and I didn’t see her over there,” Brenda, Monica’s sister’s new mother-in-law, replied. “Shall we go look the other way? I’m sure they just went for some fresh air. They seemed to be getting quite a workout on the dance floor.” Brenda’s voice took on a positive note trying to ease Ronnie’s anxious mother.
Yes, go look the other way, Nikko thought. His cock was still hard, and the beautiful blond before him with that crazy purple streak in her hair just might consider letting him finish what they had started. He began to push her back towards the tree. His hand found her breast once more and his lips found her mouth. He began to use his tongue to make magic again.
The two older women’s voices began to fade.
Hearing her mom’s voice echo in the darkness brought a moment of clarity to her fuzzy mind, but just a moment. Nikko was that good. He knew what he was doing and soon Ronnie found herself focusing only on the sensations he evoked in her.
Ronnie loved how this amazingly hot man made her feel, but a small part of her mind, the part that was coherent, knew her mother would be back. The paths did not go that far, and once her mom searched all the way down to the south beach, she would double back and go north. Reluctantly, Ronnie pushed Nikko away from her and broke the kiss.
“We can’t. . .” she started to speak and then she saw the pained expression on his face.
He pulled back a few inches and looked at her to see if she was serious. She was. “You’re kidding me, right,” he fumed. Her expression remained firm. “Just wonderful,” was his frustrated response. His hand whipped to his head, pushing back a stray lock of black hair.
She was about to say, we can’t, not right now, but he had turned from her by then and she could hear the disappointment in his sighs as he began to once again readjust his clothing.
“I’m sorry Nikko, but I know my mom. She will come back,” she muttered irritably. Didn’t he realize she wanted this too? Selfish jerk, she thought. Just like a man to only think about himself.
Her annoyance dissipated like vapor the moment Nikko turned to her. His blue eyes, tanned face, and chiseled features took her breath away. Gone was his earlier look of irritation. No man should be that gorgeous. That was the problem she had with him from their first meeting. He was one of those guys who was unbelievably hot, and knew it. She watched him flirting with numerous girls prior to the wedding, batting those incredibly long eyelashes at several of Monica’s friends. No man should have lashes like those.
“Sorry Ronnie,” he grinned, and dimples appeared in his chiseled cheeks. Fucking dimples, too! What the hell kind of genes did this guy have in his genetic pool? His three older brothers were also drop dead gorgeous. “I’m just frustrated. Maybe . . .” he started to say as they got onto the path before being interrupted by a voice as rough as gravel.
“Veronica, holy shit, your mom is having a conniption fit. She’s looking everywhere for you.” The voice belonged to Jay, her mom’s boyfriend, um, well fiancé now, apparently. He had proposed earlier. Her mom and her crazy friends had made Monica’s wedding truly memorable with all their announcements and surprises this evening.
“Hey, Jay,” Veronica, aka Ronnie, called out clearing her throat and giving Nikko one quick glance that was meant to silence him. Looking to Jay again, she gave him a smile, preparing her excuses as they approached. She liked him, and hated lying to him, but felt she had no choice. He was a hoot, made her mom laugh, and he loved her. She was thrilled that they had found each other. Her mom had finally gotten this relationship thing right. “Um, Nikko took me for a walk to help me clear my head. I had a bit too much to drink I think, and was feeling over heated.”
Jay stared the younger couple down, a telling expression on his face. He used one of those grimaces that said, you little liars, but I’ll go along with that story if you want me too. Then, he said just that. “You want to use that story, fine, but you’d better let her see you soon or she’ll freak the fuck out. I know your twenty one now, but you know your mom,” he told her contritely, winking at Nikko and shrugging his shoulders.
“Yes, I know my Mom,” Ronnie sighed resignedly as she gave Nikko a sad look and shrugged her shoulders too, in apology.
Nikko had calmed down and knew this opportunity was lost, but hoped there would be another. He wasn’t ready to let this one escape just yet. Smiling, he brokered, “Well, let’s get back to the reception then.” Nikko took Ronnie’s hand. All three of them made their way back the last dozen or so yards.
As they slipped inside the white flap of the massive tent, Ronnie noticed that Nikko turned his charm back on rather quickly. He hid his frustration well. The sound of the music soon drowned out her other thoughts as they followed Jay to the rear of the tent where the wedding party was seated.
Nikko trailed behind, and seeing Louisa approaching, he gave her his most innocent of smiles. Ronnie’s mother did not look pleased.
“Found her babe. Nikko walked her to the restroom.” Jay winked at Nikko who smiled and nodded his appreciation. Nikko stayed long enough to make polite small talk with Ronnie’s suspicious mother, and soon had her laughing and blushing as he pronounced her too beautiful and young to have a twenty-one year old daughter.
Ronnie took a sip of the water Jay thrust into her hand, and watched as Nikko worked her mom over. Damn, he was good. She couldn’t help but smile though, when he grabbed her mother and pulled her onto the dance floor. Yes, the man was better than good.
When he returned minutes later, he hastily made his goodbyes to Jay and Louisa, saying he wanted to check in on his brothers and aunt; he kissed Ronnie on the cheek, and whispered a promise to return for another dance later. Yes, why not, she thought, the butterflies in her stomach swarming again at his closeness. You only live once.
One hour later that dance never happened. The reception winding down, Ronnie began her search for Nikko. She had seen neither hide nor hair of him since he left. About half of the guests had said their goodbyes and Monica and Victor were about to announce their departure for their honeymoon in Cancun.
Even Jay and Louisa were making preparations to leave, and she told them that Nikko had promised to give her a ride home. She’d braved her mom’s cool look, and now she couldn’t even find him. Where the heck was he? She wanted to finish what they started. She thought he did too.
Ronnie searched high and low. He wasn’t in the reception. She signaled to her mom to go ahead and leave, that she would be fine, then ducked outside after she saw Lou nod her understanding.
She began to make her way around the tent. There were people outside, but not one of them was Nikko. She went to the restrooms, and he wasn’t there either. She began the trek back to the tent, disappointed that her summer fling apparently was not to be. Even though the summer had just begun, she had been excited by the possibility of starting something new. Nikko had not taken the hint apparently. Resigned that tonight would not be the night, she began to walk back to the reception, in the hopes that her mother had not already left. She wasn’t too concerned though. Many of the guests were friends of her mom and would be willing to give her a ride home. Maybe she could get his number from Victor when he and Monica returned from their honeymoon in a week, she thought glumly.
Just a few feet from the tent’s entrance, she heard something. Nikko’s laugh; she stopped short. Her heart leapt. The parking lot! She turned in that direction and saw his head just over the top of a black SUV. Yes! Score! Her plans were not ruined after all. She quickened her pace. His head disappeared from sight, but she could still hear him.
“Really?” His deep, sexy laugh floated across the lot. Her steps faltered when she heard a woman’s voice.
“Yes.” In Veronica’s mind, that sound came out like a seductive purr.
Her pace remained slow, but she walked softly not wanting the sound of her heels on the pavement to give her away. She wanted to surprise the couple. Surely, she thought, he wouldn’t. An hour later? She took those last few steps around the corner of the vehicle. Then she knew. He would!
All was silent for a moment and then the blood rushed into her ears like a tsunami. She lost it.
“You ass!” Ronnie hissed at Nikko and the scene she stormed upon.
Nikko’s blue eyes widened in surprise and shock as Ronnie began to turn on her heel. He was at a momentary loss, but recovered quickly. “Wait!” Nikko tried to explain as he pushed the other woman’s hand off of the fastening of his slacks again, but Ronnie had already fled. The red head, Nancy, was still trying to clutch his waist band with her greedy hands. She pulled him back to her with a strength he didn’t know a woman could possess all the while laughing. By the time he wrestled Nancy’s fingers off of him and freed himself from the drunken woman’s clutches, it was too late. He wanted to give chase to the beautiful bounty he truly desired, but Ronnie wasn’t anywhere to be seen.
Minutes later Ronnie saw him still searching for her, and fumed as she sat in the back of Francine and Tom’s car. She was lucky she had seen them just pulling out. She bummed a ride home from them since her mom had already left. Nikko looked upset as his eyes scanned the parking lot, and she sunk lower into her seat to avoid him seeing her. Great, just ab-so-lute-ly great, Ronnie thought. That image of him and the red head with her raspy laugh would plague her all summer long! Even though it seemed he had left the willowy vixen to come in search of her, she was disappointed. Her earlier judgment of him had been correct all along. Nikko Marino was a dirty dog, slime-ball Casanova who chased anything with tits and a skirt. Although she wanted a summer fling, wanted to experience a bit more than her limited world, she didn’t want to be just another notch on his bed post. Good riddance, she thought as the car slipped out of the parking lot along Pier Sixty. As mad as she was at herself for even considering him a possibility in the first place, albeit briefly, she couldn’t help but turn and gaze one more time at the fine specimen of a man that was Nikko Marino.