Today’s excerpt comes from vintage Beth Kery, well, 2008. 🙂 It’s from Exorcising Sean’s Ghost, an erotic contemporary romance. I’m also adding in that for those who love the experienced, dominant alpha and innocent heroine trope (which I also love), this might be a fun full length novel for you to try, currently bargain priced at 2.09. I’m giving away a PDF ebook copy of Sean’s Ghost OR I will gift a Kindle version to one commenter here at my blog or retweeter of my post at Twitter this weekend! (Oh, and I should add, this cover is not my favorite and not very representative of this m/f erotic romance).:/
Belle is forced to mourn in secret after her lover, Attorney General Sean Ryan, is murdered in a terrorist plot. When she has an irrational, intense sexual response to the mysterious stranger Jack Caldwell, Belle wonders if it’s due to delayed grief for Sean. Sean was the only man she’d ever responded to so completely, after all. When she finds herself submitting wholly to Jack’s dominant, demanding manner in bed Belle begins to live on the sharp edge of doubt and certainty…even to the point of questioning her own sanity.
Because Belle can’t let go of the crazy, impossible idea that Sean Ryan and Jack Caldwell are one and the same man.
If Belle persists in her obsession about Sean, Jack will have no choice but to cut all ties with her. He wants Belle for his own… and Jack refuses to share her with a ghost.
The large bar at the Peninsula Hotel had a clublike atmosphere with several conversation areas consisting of leather chairs and deep, decadently comfortable couches. When they arrived Clay expressed his surprise at the number of people who were already there. Belle knew by then that Clay was a social creature by nature.
“Clay looks like he’s in exceptional form tonight,” Angela Winthrop, one of Clay’s peers whom Belle had met several times before, commented with a wry grin. Belle followed Angela’s glance at Clay. They’d only been there for fifteen minutes but he was already half finished with the second of the stiff martinis that he favored. He was standing a few feet away joking loudly with several of his friends and coworkers— other brash, gifted young men.
“To be honest with you, I’m not sure that he is,” Belle said. As a psychologist she knew that the frenetic, almost manic mood that Clay exhibited likely was more a sign of emotional turmoil then genuine happiness. “I think he’s worried about the new partner. He’s going to be working for him a lot and for some odd reason Clay is convinced that the new guy hates him. It’s got him on edge.”
Angela took a sip of her drink and shook her head. “He’s not imagining things, Belle. We’ve all noticed it. The guy really does seem to have singled him out. Clay can’t do anything to please him.” Angela’s brown eyes widened when something caught her attention at the entryway to the bar. She leaned over and whispered, “Speak of the devil.”
Belle began to take a casual sip of her wine as she nonchalantly followed Angela’s gaze. She lowered her wineglass without ever taking a drink.
“That’s the new partner?”
“Yeah, I know. Gorgeous, isn’t he?” Angela whispered conspiratorially close to Belle’s ear. “You’d think that scar would make him ugly but it just seems to highlight the perfection of everything else. Not that he’s exactly a pretty boy to begin with. Rough-hewn, if you know what I mean. I’m willing to bet he’s got a cock bigger than Zeus’ in those pants. And that scar… He’s really got that sexy pirate thing going on, don’t you think? Belle? Belle? Belle, stop! You’re staring! Jeez, he’s staring right back,” Angela murmured in amazement before she choked back anxious laughter.
Belle tried to drag her gaze away but only succeeded in turning her head. Her eyes stayed locked in the trap of Jack Caldwell’s stare.
Her heartbeat escalated to an alarming rate as she finally succeeded in ripping her eyes from his and turning around. She took a long, very unladylike draw on her wine. After a moment she dazedly noticed that Clay and his group had also noticed Jack Caldwell’s entrance into the bar. His friends watched their new boss with covert interest while Clay cursed quietly under his breath.
“Shit. What’s he doing here?” Belle heard Clay mutter to one of his friends.
“Shut up, Clay. It’s his welcome dinner, isn’t it? Christ, he’s coming over here,” his friend John McNair whispered in surprise.
Belle felt like she couldn’t breathe. The ten or twelve young people who sat around her all seemed aware of the man who approached even though they tactfully avoided staring at him and continued their conversations. After a few seconds, however, even their forced conversations ceased as they looked over with surprised speculation to the spot just behind and to the right of Belle. Belle noticed how Clay’s mouth fell open in stark disbelief.
She stood slowly and turned to face Jack Caldwell. He stood less than two feet away from her. Even with her heels on he seemed to tower over her.
“Hello.” Her voice sounded calm enough. Thankfully her back was to Clay and his friends, so they couldn’t see how flushed her face had become. But Jack noticed it, Belle was sure. She doubted those piercing blue eyes missed much of anything.
“We met the other day in the park,” he said.
“I haven’t forgotten.” Her blush deepened at her statement. As if she was likely to forget Jack Caldwell or the fact that she’d let him play with her nipple after knowing him for five minutes.
“How is Copenhagen?” she asked abruptly, trying to rid herself of the embarrassing, arousing memory.
His grin was as potent as she recalled but far too brief for Belle’s liking.
“Eating me out of house and home. Although I have to admit he has been moping around a lot ever since he met Ellie.”
Belle laughed. “You know, come to think of it, Ellie has been a little moody too.”
“You left so quickly. It disoriented Copenhagen and me. Were you okay, Belle?”
Her laughter stilled at the intensity of his quietly asked question. He’d leaned
forward when he spoke. She doubted that any of the people behind them had heard what he said. His eyes were like searchlights on her, demanding an honest answer. Her lips opened to give it.
“I guess there’s no need for me to make introductions.”
Belle blinked and glanced over at Clay who was suddenly standing by her side. She didn’t even notice that Clay put his arm around her waist in a casual gesture of possession until she saw Jack Caldwell’s eyes lower. When he met her gaze again briefly his expression was impassive but his eyes were like ice.
“Brilliant assumption, Rothschild.”
“Damn,” Clay whispered bitterly a few seconds after Jack turned and walked away. He grabbed Belle’s arm and forced her to sit down. “Why didn’t you tell me that you knew him?” he hissed as he came down next to her.
“You’re hurting me. Let go of my arm, Clay,” Belle insisted in a no less irritated voice.
He complied but his focus on her didn’t lessen. “Belle?”
“I don’t really know him.” When she noticed his look of disbelief, she added, “I mean I do. But I just met him briefly a few days ago. It’s not a big deal.”
“You could have fooled me. He arrowed over here like you were his only friend in a room full of strangers. Are you sure he’s not a crony of your father’s or something?”
“Of course not. Or at least not that I know of. I told you, I just met him briefly a few days ago. It was in Lincoln Park. Our dogs had a thing for each other.”
Belle took a sip of her wine and followed it with a deep breath. She needed to slow down her racing pulse. Jack Caldwell was gone now. Surely she wouldn’t have to speak with him again for the rest of the night. The vague emptiness in her chest made her remind herself forcefully that not seeing him again was a good thing.
Heated romance, raw emotional appeal and unexpected humor… a book that is sure to keep you enchanted for hours.
5 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies.
At last, good erotica that gives you a story along with it.
A- review from The Good the Bad and the Unread
Beth Kery is tops in writing erotic and sexy love scenes./strong>
5 stars from Joyfully Reviewed
Comment here or mention on twitter with @BethKery to enter for the book!