IMMORTAL SECRETS by Tawny Taylor, containing the novel LIGHT MY FIRE and novella SPELLS AND SEDUCTION
An excerpt of LIGHT MY FIRE
Bailee Boyd, secretary by day and struggling fantasy artist by night, needs to win an art contest. Only problem is, she's finding it hard to concentrate. Someone's sending her emails about local fires...before they've started! After a nearby chemical plant goes up in flames, she goes to the fire marshal's office to report the mysterious messages and meets a man who kindles some serious heat of an entirely different kind. Her troubles have only just begun.
Alec Somner, fire investigator and Guardian Protector, wants to stop the devious arsonist. But he’s been trailing the Hunter for years and hasn’t been able to stop him. In fact, he’s set the latest fire under Alec’s nose. And now, Alec has an unwanted distraction in the form of one blonde who has to merely flutter her eyelashes to spike a blaze in him. She’s in danger and he must protect her. But oh, the agony.
Neither Alec nor Bailee know what they’re up against--a cold-blooded killer who will stop at nothing to finish what he’s started...and passion so scorching it will set their souls on fire.
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An Excerpt From: IMMORTAL SECRETS: LIGHT MY FIRE
Copyright © TAWNY TAYLOR, 2005.
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
Grumbling to herself about stubborn men who knew what they wanted, but didn’t go after it, she squeezed herself into her black lacy teddy and then tossed on a satin robe that barely covered her butt. Granted, the man had agreed to give her a safe haven from the crazy, fire-lighting email-sender, so she probably owed him a little more respect and appreciation than she was giving him. But she was horny! And he was too. And this was silly. Childish. Frustrating. Unnecessary.
“Gotta go potty?” she asked Lilla. Her baby tucked into her arms, she padded barefoot down the hall, listening for Alec, wondering where he was, what he was doing.
She didn’t have to wonder long. She found him sitting in the kitchen, a file folder open, reams of papers spread across the polished wood top. He looked up at her with tired, bloodshot eyes as she entered the room. They didn’t look so tired once they got a gander of her.
She smiled, opened the French door and let Lilla out to do her duty. “You look worn out,” she said to Alec. “Maybe you should call it a night?”
His palm fell to the papers, striking them with a smack. “There’s not a damn thing here.”
She tipped her head. “Hmmm? What’re you looking for?”
“A clue to how the bastard started the fire. There’s nothing in these reports. No mention of a footprint. Not a tire track. A visitor. Not a goddamn thing. And I can’t get in the factory until Wednesday at the earliest as it looks.”
“I’m sorry.” She gave him an expression as close to sympathy as she could drum up, not easy, considering her insides were having a party to celebrate the barely masked hunger she saw slowly building in his eyes. Thanking her lucky stars that she’d been wrong about him being gay, she caught the loosely tied belt to her robe on the back of a chair and shifted her weight to force the knot to untie. Naturally, she pretended not to notice when the robe’s front fell open. She left it, wound around the table until she was directly behind Alec’s studly, tense bod, then set her hands on his shoulders.
“Don’t be sorry,” he said. “It’s not your problem.”
“Yes, but I hate to see anyone so stressed out. Anything I could do to help you relax a little? Maybe give you a shoulder rub?”
My, my, my, his muscles were rock hard, like concrete sheathed in velvet. Her fingers traced the defined lines of his muscles. Her girly parts started screaming for action, demanding she bring them closer to Alec’s manly ones. She did what she could, leaning into his back, and massaged his shoulders and neck.
A deep growl rumbled from the man in front of her, the low vibrations humming along her nerve endings and making her yammering girly parts get even more vocal.
“I’ll take that as a yes,” she said. Still rubbing his shoulders, she glanced down at him, admired his hair, the curve where his neck met his impressive shoulders, the way the tops of his ears stuck out just a bit. She wanted to nibble on those adorable ear lobes, nip at his collarbone, then wiggle herself underneath him and watch those shoulders work as he held himself above her.
“We shouldn’t…ohhh yeah. Right there,” he said as she worked her way down his back, hitting a hard knot between his shoulder blades. His head flopped forward.
“What was that?” she teased. “We shouldn’t what?”
He groaned in response.
“That’s what I thought you said.” She used her knuckles to really work the knot and he didn’t protest a bit. Tough guy. Quite a pain tolerance for a male. Most men she’d known in her life were wimps when it came to pain, even good pain like this.
“God, you’re good at that.” He shifted forward, setting his arms on the tabletop and resting his head on them.
“You know, it would be easier to really get at those knots if you took your shirt off,” she offered, not expecting him to oblige. To her surprise, he shucked his shirt in two seconds flat then resumed his position.
What a glorious thing his back was! Wide at the top, tapering to a narrow waist. Smooth, tanned skin stretched over developed muscles. It was almost enough to inspire poetry. She decided she’d write an ode the minute she found herself a pencil and piece of paper.
“Since you have to wait until Wednesday to investigate the fire, maybe you should give yourself a little unwinding time?” she suggested. “After all, it’s only Monday.”
“There are still several reports to go over. And tomorrow I need to get with my computer buddy, see what he can find out about those emails.”
“That’s tomorrow. You’re not going to get in contact with him tonight, are you?”
“No,” he said to the table.
She ran her hands down his arms. Like his back, they were amazing. Muscular, sexy, drool-producing. She couldn’t wait to see his chest. She just knew it would be amazing. “So, then how about taking the rest of the night off? You can call it a mental health holiday.”
He sat back, giving her a bird’s eye view of the precise part she had only begun to fantasize about. The reality was every bit as awe inspiring as the fantasy. Strong, with well developed muscles. She indulged in a google-eyed sigh of appreciation.
His gaze wandered over her face as if he was searching for something, some answers to questions he was afraid to ask. The tip of his tongue slipped between his lips and moistened them. He turned in the chair until his body was just shy of facing hers. His gaze dropped to chest level and hung out there for a few moments before climbing north again to her face.
She gave him an it’s-yours-if-you-want-it smile.
Lilla scratched at the door, begging to be let in. Bailee quickly let the dog inside, making sure to bend over so that her robe slid up, exposing most of her backside. The dog scampered inside and started investigating the room. Content she’d be okay, Bailee turned her attention back to Alec.
He visibly swallowed.
“Where were we?” she asked. As if she could forget! “Oh yes. I was suggesting you take a little mental health holiday. That was it.” She toyed with the robe’s collar and gave him a come-hither eyebrow waggle.
Maybe a drink of cold water was needed? If the fire engine-red hue of his face was any indication, she guessed it was.
“Are you suggesting what I think you’re suggesting?” he croaked.
“Yes. I’m pretty sure I am.”
His eyebrows soared to the top of his forehead. “Yes?”
“Yes,” she repeated.
“But wouldn’t you think I’m an ass for taking advantage of you in your…er…vulnerable state, considering the scare you had with that email tonight?”
“Vulnerable state? What vulnerable state? Sure, I was scared out of my mind when I read that email, don’t get me wrong. But I’m here now and I’m safe, and I have all the faith in the world that you’ll find out who is setting the fires and stop him…” She paused when she thought she heard him say something then continued, “and I’m nervous being in someone else’s house. I’ll be the first to admit I’m stressed. I could think of a number of ways to relax, but none of them would be more fun or conducive to complete stress relief than getting naked with you and doing the horizontal mamba.”
His mouth flopped open. Closed. Dropped open again. “Are you sure?”
She let the satin robe slide off her shoulders and fall on the floor. The cool air, along with the searing heat of his gaze, made goose bumps pop up all over her body. “How’s this for an answer?”
“It’s a good one.”
Before she could drag in her next breath, he had her in his arms, his hard body grinding against hers. Her back smooshed up against the wall.
It was a glorious position to be in!
Tawny Taylor singes the pages with Light My Fire. Get ready for a wild ride full of action and adventure with some sizzling sex and one hot dragon! Bailee’s curiosity leads her into danger and love. Her free spiritedness allows her to accept the unbelievable and love a dragon. Holly, Euro Reviews
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