Monday, January 21, 2019

Hot Read for a Cold Winter Day

These winter days are long and cold. Need something to help you warm up? Grab a mug of hot chocolate, a fluffy throw blanket, and a good book.

Days fueled by desire . . .

Annabelle Lee is content to spend her days as a quiet and staid librarian, revealing her true desires only at night, when she indulges in the rich erotic life that lives only in her fantasies. It is there she dreams of Mike Sloan, the rugged handyman who stirs her passions and ignites her erotic nature.

Nights filled with pleasure . . .

Mike has always yearned to get a peek behind Annabelle’s demure nature, knowing there is far more there than she shows. When he finally gets her alone, they unleash a passion beyond any late-night fantasy. Limited only by their imaginations, they set out to explore even their deepest desires, with Mike hoping to win Annabelle’s heart in the process.

This is a fully revised edition of a book originally published in 2004 as Annabelle Lee.


“I heard you were hot.”

At the sound of the deep, masculine voice, Annabelle came up from the floor behind her desk so fast she smacked her head on the corner. “Ouch.” She sat back on her heels and rubbed the back of her head as she glared at the man standing in front of her.

Mike Sloan. She groaned inwardly, resisting the urge to dive back under her desk and stay there. Might have known. It seemed that she was doomed to be at her worst whenever he was around. He leaned against the side of her doorway, all six feet three inches of rugged male perfection.

At least in her mind he was perfect. His face wasn’t classically handsome, but strong. The bump on his nose suggested that it had been broken, maybe more than once, and his soulful brown eyes were deep-set. His hair was a rich brown and just a bit too long for fashion. He usually kept it tied back with a leather thong. And his lips. Yum. Not too thin and not too thick. Just right for kissing.

Oh, Lord, she was just sitting here on the floor, staring at the man. What was it about him that made her lose all common sense?

He’d asked her a question. Hadn’t he? “What was it you said?” She strove for her best librarian’s voice. The one that said “I’m in charge of the situation.” It worked well for six-year-olds. But from the way Mike was grinning, it obviously wasn’t working with him. She sighed, totally disgusted with herself.

His deep voice washed over her. She loved the sound of it, so well suited to seduction. She should know. It was the same voice that seduced her in her dreams several nights a week. She could sit there all day and contentedly listen to him recite the phone book. In fact, she was enjoying listening to him speak so much she’d missed what he’d said yet again.

Striving for dignity, she smoothed back any errant strands of hair that had escaped the strict confines of her bun and tried again. “I’m sorry. The knock on the head must have shaken me up. What was it you said?”

“I said I heard you’re hot, Annabelle.” The half smile on his face was knowing, as if he were somehow privy to her lascivious thoughts.

She could feel the blush cover her cheeks and resisted the temptation to slap her hands over them to hide the telltale color. Oh, my Lord. Had he noticed her watching him whenever she’d run into him in town?

Had he guessed that she thought he was the sexiest man she’d ever laid eyes on? His brown eyes sparkled as they swept her from head to foot. Was it her imagination or had his eyes grown darker since last time she’d seen him? His gaze seemed to linger on her mouth. On her lips. The memory of what her lips had been doing in her dreams hit her full force. They were suddenly parched, and she licked them, trying to ease their dryness. It didn’t help. Her gaze dropped to the front of his jeans before she jerked it back to his face.

Mike stood stock-still in the doorway, his eyes intently following the progress of her tongue across her lips. His entire body tensed. He closed his eyes and exhaled heavily, seeming like a man nearing the end of his patience. Shaking his head, he opened his eyes again and his body relaxed into its former pose. As she continued to stare, that little grin of his curved up once again. The tension-filled moment passed as if it never happened.

She was getting herself worked up over nothing. There was no way he could possibly know about her dreams—hot, steamy nighttime fantasies that ended way too soon and left her drenched in sweat when she woke. No, he couldn’t know about those. She’d never told a soul. She hardly even let herself think about them, at least not in the daytime. When she crawled into bed at night was a different story.

She knew he was still waiting on her, so she summoned up her frostiest smile. It had been tried and tested and was guaranteed to let a man know she wasn’t interested or amused.

“What do you mean by that comment?

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N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.

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