So time, it is passing, and release day for Healer's Touch approacheth with a speed I can hardly credit. Between now and August 19th, I plan to run a contest or two (provided I can think of a contest or two, because how lame am I that my editor had to suggest the Purple Title contest back in May?) and post a few fun snippets.
For those of you not in the know, here is yon blurb:
She’s determined to break his eight centuries of celibacy—at any cost!
Darjhian healer Aru has been in exile for eight hundred years, barred from the Deathless Land and parted from his wife. Now fallen from grace and no longer immortal, he can never return to her.
Yet he cleaves to his marriage vow and holds himself apart from everyone—especially Viera, the former prostitute whose sexual energy provides the power needed for his healing work. She presents a temptation he must constantly hold at bay if he’s to keep to his vow.
Viera isn’t interested in fighting temptation. She wants Aru. He wants her. What could be simpler? After three frustrating months working with him, her need for him has reached the breaking point. He claims he can never touch a woman again, but Viera isn’t the type to take no for an answer.
Over four glorious nights, she shows Aru everything he’s denied himself for eight centuries. But a shadow hangs over their passion. Aru is keeping secrets about the nature of his mortality. And now he faces a terrible choice…
Break Viera’s heart, or risk destroying her with the knowledge of what he truly is.
Warning: This title contains: graphic sex, including anal sex, f/f and m/f/f; bad language; inappropriate use of a kitchen work surface; flagrant tickling of ivory; and a wagon-load of good, old-fashioned voyeurism.
So there you have it. The whore and the 1200-year-old almost-virgin. And now, behold! The first excerpt:
***Warning! Mom, you can just skip this part if you like, because it's...ah...well, just go back and read the warning, won't you?
Aru let himself in and shut the door silently behind him. Creeping through the front hall to the infirmary, he assured himself that Inella was well, and took note of the two children asleep in the second bed. He stood and listened to the snores emerging from the salon.
Something brittle inside him cracked and fell away at the thought of what Viera had done, how she had welcomed these people into his home. His eyes burned, his breath coming swift and hard, and he paused, holding his head in his hands until he was once more in control of himself.
His limbs were steady as he crossed to the stairs. He had half-carried Gil back to his own apartment in a state of inebriation bordering on coma, but it took a very great deal to intoxicate a Darjhan—even a fallen one. Aru’s coins had vanished one by one down Aliannet’s bodice until his purse was empty, and still, he was lamentably sober this night.
Sober and in pain. Even before he reached the top of the stairs, he was achingly hard, as if all it took was being in the same house with her. On the landing, he stood and stared at her door, then deliberately turned and entered his own room.
Gods, it was hot up here. With a muttered curse, he opened the window, jerking at the ties of his shirt. He tugged it off over his head and leaned on the window frame to let the chill spring breeze caress his bare torso. Across the street, a pair of whores plied their trade, calling offers to passers by, flashing their breasts at those who showed interest. There was a time when Aru would have watched their games, but he had no stomach for it anymore. His erection was like a steel rod, but it had nothing to do with any woman outside.
Crossing to the bed, he reached for the buttons of his trousers, but his straining cock reacted with a bolt of pain and a wet surge of fluid.
"Paldir help me," he muttered, flopping facedown on the mattress. He closed his eyes, but she was there waiting for him, her pale skin dotted with freckles, her auburn hair like a river of silk pouring over his white hands, her breasts peaked with the dusky pearls of her nipples. Gods, he had seen her naked in all her glory, had sat beside her, one hand on her belly as she writhed and screamed in the extremity of her arousal. He had seen it. He had caused it! It was but a tiny step further down the road to madness to imagine her breasts filling his hands, her nipples pressed between his lips as he suckled her, his cream-slicked fingers sliding high up inside her heat. He groaned at the thought of that pink tongue of hers lapping at his chest, licking a wet trail across his belly and down to his shaft. Her face, smiling up at him as she took him between her sweet lips and sucked him in, hard and deep, her hair spilling across his torso and between his legs.
Damn. With a start, he realized he was grinding his cock into the mattress. Sitting up, he rubbed his hands up and down his face, hard enough to chafe his skin. He’d never be able to sleep. Downstairs in the kitchen, he had a large cask of mead—the closest thing to hennath he could find in Anduni lands—but he couldn’t fetch himself any without risking waking Inella or her family. And to be honest, he doubted even a river of drink would soften his cock tonight.
Damn, damn, damn. Rising, he tiptoed to the door and peeked across the landing to Viera’s room. Her door stood ajar, a bar of candlelight slanting across the floorboards. She always left one burning next to the bed, in case a patient needed her in the night. Before Aru realized what he was doing, he was standing just outside her door, peeking in.
She slept, her hair like a dark cloud against the stark white of the sheets. She wore no shift—the dusky tip of one breast peeked at him over the edge of the blanket, and one long, curvy leg thrust out from the covers. Her bare toes enthralled him—so mundane, yet so delicate. He thought about taking them in his mouth, one by one. She stirred, shifting so that her other breast emerged from under the blanket, and he felt his shaft thicken in response, hardening until he thought his trouser buttons might end up permanently imprinted along its underside.
Heat flowered from the root of his member to spread its licking fingers all along his limbs. He pressed a hand to it, closing his eyes on a wave of need that left him dizzy. When he opened them, he was somehow standing right beside her bed, looking down on her face.
And she was looking back up at him, confusion etching a delightful crease between her brows. Her eyes flicked down to his crotch, widening as she took in the state of him. Her gaze might as well have been her fingers—his organ leapt in response and he let out a long, shaky breath.
So you can never touch a woman again? Gil’s earlier words resounded in his mind as he stared down at Viera in an agony of longing.
But what if he didn’t touch her? What if he didn’t touch her at all?
His hand pressed against his shaft through the wool of his trousers, stroking upward the way he wanted her to do. He stared into her eyes, willing her to understand what he needed.
As if she read his mind, she drew the blanket slowly down, baring herself for him. Her nipples tightened as his gaze raked them, and she drew her fingertips across them, plucking them gently as her breath quickened and deepened. With shaking fingers, he slipped his buttons loose and his cock fell free. He moved to encircle it with his hand, but she shook her head.
"I want to see it."
So there it is. One stubborn, stubborn man, and one very determined woman. Oh, what on earth will they get up to?
No, really. What?