The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Love Me Like You




Valentine's Day is coming! And with that is the Season of Love. Last year, I completed a set of eleven short stories to comprise a collection, one of which became Coming Around Again - with Stella the Stern and Niels the Naughty. This year, I'm going to try and do one per day from 1 February until the big day. I say try because... Well, I've got stuff to do in February, including sort out my next jaunt abroad. But yes, let's give this a go again! It was fun last year. I'm all about enjoying myself, after all...


Sunday, 25 January 2015

Drink Up!



No we're all up to date! Best Laid Plans is back out and you can find it here:
If you haven't given this story a go, then let me convince you...


Best Laid Plans on Amazon
Best Laid Plans on ARe


Antipasti Blurb


If someone is too good to be true, it’s usually because they’re trying to keep the doors shut on a closet straining with skeletons. That has always rung true with Francesca Abbey, even though she doesn’t want to be a sceptic. It doesn’t help that she’s in the wrong profession, her past relationships have been disastrous and her mother? Hardly a cuddly TV show personality. But there’s something about Luca, a gentle giant who enters her life stage left, as if he was just waiting for the right time. He’s ridiculously gorgeous with questionable taste in shirts but impeccable taste in food. Every woman’s walking fantasy. He makes her want to believe life can be the Disney Channel every day with all the sensual, explicit and downright dirty parts of HBO thrown in.

Gianluca Caristo likes to think he’s a practical man. It comes with the territory of his current profession and certainly helped with his former. He isn’t given to flights of fancy or madcap ideas, but he would never forget the vivid dream he had after being locked up on the lies of his ex-girlfriend. When he comes face to face with his dream girl two years later, he’s sold on fate, karma, serendipity—all of it. Francesca is his future. His reward in exchange for his solemn vow to never do violence again. It’s a shame that everyone is testing the limits of that promise.

As everything pre-Luca and Francesca does its best to derail their fledgling relationship, a future they’ve only imaged happens a lot faster than either of them intended.

The fourth in the Italian Knights series is a front-row seat to fools rushing in, enjoying it far too much, ignoring all advice and knowing you’d do it all over again if you had the chance.

Cena Excerpt

Francesca,” he called, and the whole restaurant went quiet. A flush stained Francesca’s cheeks when she saw him. He held out a hand to her, and she surprisingly took it. Not allowing any of the waiting staff to help her sit, he eased her into the chair opposite him and then took his own seat.
“Scrub up well, don’t I?” she mocked. Luca winced, realising that he’d probably been just staring at her again.
“No scrubbing needed,” he insisted, catching her eyes again. “Thank you.”
“For?”
“Coming here.” The whole evening smacked of déjà vu. The familiarity of Francesca’s dress, the restaurant, and his strange certainty that she was going to tease him any minute, all scattered over him. A glance at his arms saw the gold hairs were raised.
“I’ll try anything once, Gianluca.” She shrugged, picking up her menu. Over the top he could see the smile in her eyes. “I’m guessing the same is true for you, judging by that shirt.”
He glanced down. “What’s wrong with it?”
“It’s got more work going on than my desk.”
He rubbed his fingers over his forehead, where the razor had caught skin rather than hair. Sometimes he could still feel the cold sting of metal. “I don’t like shopping.”
“You know you can hire people to help you.”
“You obviously have excellent taste. You can help me,” he suggested, in all seriousness.
She put her menu down. “Is that where you think you know me from? A bad shopping experience?”
He laughed. “No. Not at all. And you should call me Luca.”
“Okay, fine. Luca. So?” She circled her hand in an encouraging motion.
Like he was going to play his best card before they’d even had a drink! He leaned back and called for a waiter. “Would you like a cocktail?”
“That’s not what I asked.”
“I’d have a cocktail first, if I were you.”
With a sigh, she picked something that looked fruity and was probably more lethal than anything else. As soon as their order was taken, Francesca started again.
“Was it on a bus? Did I fall over in a gym? Did you fall over in a gym? Was I roasted at a comedy gig? Did I throw popcorn at you in the cinema?”
“You do that? On a regular basis? That’s how you generally meet people?”
She shrugged. “More sociable that way.” Her eyes suddenly narrowed on him with a thought. “Are you a police officer?”
Luca wondered if he’d visibly paled. “No. Why?”
“Then maybe you saw it in the paper.”
“What?”
Francesca accepted her tall pink-coloured glass and stirred it aimlessly with her straw. “My ex-boyfriend tried to have me convicted for smashing a glass bowl over his head...”
Of course I’m in love with a woman who has a violent temper. Why wouldn’t history repeat itself?
“...only seven stitches and in my defence, he was going to hit me again, so...” She paused and took her bottom lip into her mouth. “It’s best you know now.”
“You defended yourself and you think I’m going to leave?” he asked. “Did any of that glass hit you in the head?”
She gawped at him for a moment before bursting out laughing. It was the most beautiful sound he’d ever heard. “It, er,” she swallowed a giggle, “it tends to send normal men running screaming into the night. They think I’m going to emasculate them.”
“With a glass bowl,” he added. “What makes you think I’m not normal?”
“You’re still here, aren’t you?”
“I am. That would be because I have no intention of laying a finger on you in anger.”
He felt her gaze on him. “I’m not into BDSM. Not like that anyway. I don’t like blood. Just in case you thought the hitting with the glass bowl was a regular thing. I used to own some pretty dodgy things, but before professionals started digging around, it was best I got rid. Jesus, lord, what the hell is in this drink?”
“Truth serum apparently,” Luca drawled, taking the cocktail from her, placing his lips exactly where her lipstick had left an earthy rose stain to take a drink. For a moment, he had the briefest vision of her leaving the same rosy stain on his cock. He sipped a little faster than intended to calm himself. It was a girly drink. Too much fruit and sugar…oh, and the alcohol punched him in the back of the throat. “Vodka. And a lot of it.”
“Unintentional drunk,” Francesca said brightly. “You can add that to your list when you name this as the disastrous date of all disastrous dates.”
“Francesca, I’m going to ask you this only one time. Stop it. You know exactly what I’m talking about,” he talked over her when she parted her lips to protest. “I think you are beautiful and sharp and your sense of humour is more than fucked up. If no one else finds that attractive, that’s all the better for me. It’s saving lives.”
She shook her head. “I’m serious—where did you come from? Where have you been hiding? I could’ve done with that pep talk last year.”
Her little outburst gave him free reign to take her hand in his and squeeze gently. “Hiding in a kitchen. Perfecting cooking sud vide.” Trying not to go mad. “Can we eat now? I’m starving. I feel food is a good idea.”
“I tend to be more sensible after food,” she replied, rubbing her thumb over his fingers.
“I doubt that, nice try though.” The smile she sent him was a reward that could never be given any financial value.
“Do you want to talk about normal stuff then?”
“How will we talk about you then?”
“Oh ho, comedian in the house! You won’t find it so funny when we’re talking about what TV show you’re most likely to end up on.”
“Easy, BBC News.”
She nodded. “Same.”
He lifted her hand and gave it a lingering kiss. “Best date ever.”


Saturday, 24 January 2015

Fate and Destiny


I loved writing about Frankie and Luca. All fate and destiny and supermarkets at night. As much as they want to take things slow and have a perfect relationship, it overcomes them like a wave. Family, exes, work, all of it big fat, Shard high barriers to normal, decent paced, let's be together for three years before we take a leap, relationship. For them, everything happens at once. And it's all the more beautiful for it. So for Frankie and Luca, this is the soundtrack to their story:

Best Laid Plans on Spotify

  1. Deco Child Pray
  2. Gomez We Haven't Turned Around
  3. Tinie Tempah ft Eric Turner Written In The Stars
  4. Chase & Status ft. Plan B End Credits
  5. Emeli Sande Heaven
  6. Skunk Anansie Charlie Big Potato
  7. Jamie Cullum Frontin'
  8. Sugababes Stronger
  9. Labrinth Beneath Your Beautiful
  10. Plan B ft. Kano Live Once
  11. Michael Kiwanuka I'm Getting Ready
  12. alt-J Breezeblocks
  13. Wretch Don't Go
  14. Rihanna We Found Love
  15. I Break Horses Empty Bottles
  16. SBTRKT Hold On
  17. Emma Hewitt State That I'm In
  18. Ellie Goulding Anything Could Happen
  19. Kanye West All Of The Lights
  20. Bjork All Is Full Of Love
  21. Lykke Li Love Out Of Lust
  22. Portishead It's A Fire
  23. The xx Angels

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

New Flame



If you knew what this month is doing to me! And it's still not over!

But I shan't complain. I haven't the time to be honest with you. Here's the delightful cover for Luca and Frankie's story - formatted and soon to be re-released. Missing a few things, though. This was one of them. The interview for the next Italian Knight is right here, and like the other re-releases will be in the back of this sparkling new version. Just so you get to know them a little bit better. Well, it would be if it wasn't like pulling teeth with one of them... What? Oh, nothing Durante! Nothing at all. (Awks). Here's Durante and Ella (Emmanuella) of IK6, Verde, Bianco, Rosso.

·         Who are you closest to?

Durante

No one. That’s the beauty of self imposed isolation. What about Massimo? He lives in another country! How is that close?

Ella

My beautiful, sweet, darling son, Rufus. He may look like his dad, but the brains, the spirit, the fire? That’s all me.

·         What’s your earliest memory?

Durante

My brother, carrying me through our family’s olive farm in Napoli. Just before he showed me a snake, and tried to put it in my arms. My mother never forgave him for it.    

Ella

We went to Hamleys. Me, my mum and my sister. My mum told me to hold onto my sister’s hand, but Angela being Angela wanted to walk by herself. I may have let her go, and she may have walked into the path of a number 19 Routemaster and she may have almost got herself run over. I don’t think my mum’s quite forgiven me for that.

·         What’s your biggest fear?

Durante

Never being allowed to atone for my sins. Ecco, Billy. Self imposed isolation or not, everyone wants to be happy. In their own way.

Ella

Rufus deserves the world. And I’m scared rigid sometimes that I won’t be able to give him everything he does deserve. That I’m not enough as one parent, let alone substitute for two.

·         What are you best at?

Durante

Patience. Yes, I said patience. Yes, I am well aware of my surname. The answer remains the same.

Ella

I can cook, pretty well. I can speak several languages. Oh, yes, fluently. Maths. Horse riding. Swimming. Socialising. Not committing murder. Forgiving. Everything really.

·         Tell us something that will shock us.

Durante

Every tourist who has visited my estate has left alive. Barely counts. They’re still alive.

Ella

I’m really not that grieved by my husband’s death. Guilt? Yes. Grief? No. I’m evil aren’t I?

·         What do you value in a partner?

Durante

Brain cells.

Ella

Normality. I need someone to ground me. I’ve had more than enough excitement for a hundred lifetimes.

·         Describe the last time you felt happy.

Durante

Happy? God knows. Content? My first year in Tuscany. For the first time, I felt I’d done something I could be proud of. And I felt content. You can feel content without smiling. I’m smiling on the inside.

Ella

Me and Roo in Sicily. Just me and my baby boy. Building sandcastles. Eating lemon cakes. Perfect. I’ve never had a better time since.

·         What’s your biggest regret?

Durante

Don’t you mean who? That answers the question in its entirety.

Ella

Shouldn’t that be who? Well, it’s a tossup between dear departed David, the late hubs. And Angela. I should have pushed her in front of that bus... But then I’d have to change my list on things I’m best at. Regrets... I’ve had a few... Oh shush, I can sing!

·         What’s the one thing you’d change about yourself?

Durante

I’ve done enough changing. You have to take me as I am.

Ella

I’d really like to be less flaky. I’m a mum. I should behave like one once in a while.

·         What item can’t you live without?

Durante

My coffee machine. It saves lives. By the hour.

Ella

My amazing bicycle! Because cycling through Lucca town is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Apart from the bum ache.


Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Sweet Mother




It was Lady London's birthday yesterday! She cooed over her flowers (a lot of flowers), her cards, telephone calls from around the world, visits, Marks and Spencer cake and scones (her bloody favourite) and tea made by my fair hand. As opinionated as we both are - we had a bit of a barney about holidays but we were sorted before the African News at 8 - we can still talk to each other. She's still here for me to have barneys with and make tea for and to take her Kelly Hoppen cast offs. So many of my dearest friends no longer have that luxury, and regardless of the relationship enjoyed or endured with their mothers, the loss of a parent cuts to the core, a wound that never quite heals. Now, I haven't beaten about the bush about challenging mother/daughter relationships - the two most difficult - Rose Asare's with Lily in Kissing the Canvas, and Joanne Abbey's with Frankie in Best Laid Plans. Yes, I need a moment...
Okay, African women have a reputation of being hard. Sometimes it's a result of being the only parent in a child's life, as in both Joanne and Rose's case, or they've experienced poverty, abandonment or similar parenting during their childhood. Both women take matters too far into their own hands, but I understand their motivation, wrong as their actions may be. And as many times as their daughters call to the Holy Trinity for help, they wouldn't be without their mothers. Don't lie to me Francesca. I know you, heaux. Conflict is easily written. Resolution is the more difficult of the two. It all takes a continuation of conversation and never let it be said Ghanaian women can't talk! When the love is there, however deep down it is, there is hope that there can be a new start and something that will leave no regrets, only the best of memories for what has been shared.
All in all, Happy Birthday Lady London! Keep the stories coming - they're working!


Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Raise Your Glass


Happy New Year! I was ill (again) over most of the holidays so felt rather sorry for myself. While in some cases a bit of illness spurs some goodness - you're welcome Niels - other times, it sucks any and every bit of energy I have. Let us all play the tiny violin for the trials of Billy...

And refrain. So, 2015. I've got to get busy. Seriously, I really have to get busy with things. I need them off my laptop so I can get on with the rest of my days. So the plan is:


  1. Two knights (a Durante and a Beppe - one is closer to the finish line than the other by miles! How easy is it to write torture and murder after some Night Nurse and a Batman trilogy marathon?!) 
  2. Two witches (the trial by fire of NaNoWriMo which still isn't finished! and to get Helena and Auden's story back into the loving arms of the public) 
  3. A shifter or two (there's a dragon who has been languishing in his thirty thousand words of unfinished story whinging at me. An actual dragon, not a metaphor for something else.)  
  4. Then, I'm definitely going to Morocco. For a much needed break. For some research because I need to work my way through my Season of Love Vol One, start on Season of Love Vol Two (basically to make up for nothing new over Christmas) and what better way that to be in the gloriousness of Marrakesh in the month of lurve! 


I'd like to have it all done by yesterday but the day job, my brain and life won't allow. But I'm doing it. With the might of Hans Zimmer and the unopened packets of Celebration chocolates and Foxes biscuits, it shall be done! Oh crap, diet. Hold on, no one's seeing me in a bikini for at least four months! Yaaaaas! Pasta and writing is what I am made for!

I am on it people! I am on it!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Christmas Connection




Last post before Christmas, but hopefully not my last post of the year. A small gift, for newbies who haven't read it before, Christmas Connection.

Christmas Connection© by Billy London

If one more person asks me why I haven’t got a boyfriend, there will be a turkey fork in their eye, Christina thought, smiling with gritted teeth. She really should have skipped Christmas this year, but her lame-as-hell twin sister had begged for her support.
“It’s my first one serving the masses as a vicar’s wife,” Caroline had said. “It needs to be perfect.”
“You’re married to God’s servant on earth, why wouldn’t it be?” Christina had drawled, distracted by the game of elf bowling.
“Chris, help.”
The one word that never emerged from her sister’s mouth had convinced her that this would be a good idea. It was not a good idea. Caroline was supposedly shackled to the kitchen, but Christina caught her mid-kiss with her husband. “Stop it,” Christina fumed at them both, Caroline hiding behind her husband like a child. “You, get out there and start preaching the benefits of silence to your relatives,” she pointed at her brother-in-law. “And you, hurry up and cook so I can go home.”
Brendan beamed at her. “You can’t go home. I’ve got your present coming.”
“It’s Christmas day. If I haven’t got it now, it’s not turning up.”
For a vicar, Brendan had the most devilish of smiles. “Yes it will.”
“Door!” Caroline yelled, turning back to the oven. “Quick, I think we’re ready to sit down.”
“Now I’m God’s servant on earth?”
Caroline grinned. “Think a little lower.”
With a huff, Christina stomped to the front door and opened it to her mother. “Hello spinster daughter.”
“Oh my God, get out. Just turn around, get back in your cab, and get out.”
“What? It’s true. I thought this year you may sort yourself out, but still nothing. Not even a boyfriend at the least. What are you doing? Where is he?”
“If Brendan has his way, that would be me.”
Christina looked for the owner of that voice and saw a bulky chest. She looked a little higher and saw beard. Farther up and her gaze slammed into a bright green-eyed one. Her whole body did a little internal explosion at the full realisation that lust at first sight was not a complete and utter myth. Jaw. Meet. Floor.
“And you are?” her mother said, all girlish excitement.
“Cole. I’m Brendan’s friend. We studied theology together at Cambridge.” That Cole? The one who travelled all over the world, like the Littlest Hobo, helping people wherever he went? He was divine!
“Are you a vicar too?”
“Good lord, no.” Those green eyes turned on Christina. “Hello, Christina.”
“Hi,” Christina squeaked before clearing her throat and lowering her tone. “Hey. Come in.”
He shuffled past her, making the large corridor seem like a mouse hole. “Brendan could have put a little bow on you at least,” he murmured. “Oh no, wait, there’s one on your bra.”
Christina slapped a hand over what she thought was a modest amount of cleavage—but hell, at that height, he could probably see what colour her panties were. “I’m not that desperate for a man,” she retorted, slamming the door after him.
Cole gave her a very slow smile. “I’ll have to see what I can do about that.”
Help.
Caroline came into the corridor. “Who needs help? Cole, hi!”
During the flurry of hellos and drinks, Christina sat down in the corner and tried to pull herself together. Brendan and Cole chatted away and over one another, glancing in Christina’s direction every so often, before Caroline announced that dinner was served. Unsurprisingly, Brendan made a show of seating Cole with his sister-in-law as he topped up glasses with the veritable off-licence of booze Brendan and Caroline had bought for the day. Cole, bold as brass, caught her little finger with one of his huge digits and didn’t let go. The roughness of his fingers started to turn her on to the point where she really could have dunked her head in a bucket of ice.
I’m overreacting, Christina told herself. Calm down. Her mother, obviously delighted by the idea of having another Cambridge graduate as a potential son-in-law, furiously argued religion with him and everyone else. “I’m saying there should be women priests because it was women who discovered the empty tomb first. Not men. Who spread the word then?”
“No religion at the table!” Caroline demanded, much to her husband’s amusement.
“That’s my job, darling.”
“It’s just too fractious. Like politics. Talk about something else.”
Cole rolled his big shoulders, “Fine by me. Christina, what were you saying about how many babies you want us to have?”
Christina sprayed wine across her plate. Everyone stared at her. Grabbing a napkin and explaining through coughs, she got to her feet. “Just going to clean up.”
“I’ll help,” Cole offered, following her into the kitchen.
“You. Cut. It. Out.”
He smiled at her, and hell, she felt it right to her toes. “No. This would have happened much earlier if I’d been at your sister’s wedding. I was committed to a water project in Cambodia. Sorry.”
Christina frowned at him, excited and horrified that he could be playing with her. “You can’t go around saying things like that.”
“Why not?”
“You don’t know me, so you obviously can’t mean it.”
He gave a shrug, humour sparkling in his eyes, “Brendan told me you’re a more mental version of his wife, so I’m game if you are.”
“I hate that man,” she muttered. “And look, I’m not just for Christmas. Like that puppy appeal. It’s not all for show—I need proper taking care of.”
“And what makes you think I can’t handle that?” he asked softly, catching her chin on the edge of his hand.
Help.
Caroline called from the table, “Oi! Stop sucking face. Get back in here and eat!”
“Good point,” Cole agreed, resting a hefty arm over her shoulders. “The faster we eat, the faster I can find out if that little bow comes undone or not.”
God, help me.
“He’s busy!” Caroline yelled.
“Stupid twin,” Christina muttered, heaving Cole’s arm from her shoulders. “Stop encouraging her.”
He gave her hair a childish tug before passing her on his way back into the dining room. “It’s not for her benefit at all, Christina.”
She let him leave the kitchen. Looking toward the ceiling, she sighed “It’s because I made threats about the turkey fork, isn’t it?”
A burst of laughter from the table was more than enough of a sign that this was just one big heavenly joke.

***

Everyone had the itis. Too much turkey, too many potatoes, too much damn stuffing—and Caroline had made four different types. Show-off. Cole, or “new bro” as Caroline was now referring to him, had gone for a shower to wake himself up.
“Is he staying with you guys?” Christina demanded of her sister when he and Brendan were washing the huge tins and pans that wouldn’t fit in the dishwasher.
“No, he’s staying with you.”
“What?”
“Well, Mum’s staying here. How are you going to jump on that ride without some alone time?”
“You could have asked me!”
Caroline closed her eyes. “I’m doing you a favour. You’ll thank me somewhere around orgasm number fifteen. Now go away. I’m tired. Damn Christmas, I feel like I’ve done a full day’s work.”
Stepping over the various bodies scattered across the living room, on easy chairs, tucked up in blankets, as Wallace and Gromit blasted across the screen, Christina went up to the spare room. Normally, usually, all right, every time she went to her sister’s house, she’d end up in the spare room, in a t-shirt, wishing she hadn’t found that last glass of wine so necessary. She opened the door, hoping for alone time before she had to sacrifice what little sanity she had left to Cole inside her home. Good. God. On. Earth. She was aurally assaulted by her mother’s snores.
“God’s sake,” she muttered, closing the door.
“Christina, can you grab me a towel?” a voice rumbled in the corridor. Whipping around, she saw Cole, all dripping wet, one shoulder of muscle upon muscle steaming with heat as he leaned on the doorway.
“What now?”
“A towel,” he repeated, rubbing a hand over his face. Oh lord, he’d shaved off the beard. He looked less Bear Grylls and more… Good God, he was just beautiful.
“Um, yeah.” She reached for the airing cupboard and handed over two. He caught her arm and pulled her inside the steamed room. Waving away white fog, she caught the barest glimpse of what made Cole walk like he was straddling a log.
“What do you think?” he asked as he shrouded all that gloriousness in towelled mystery. “Beard or no beard?”
“You’ve already done it, so why ask me?”
He smiled, all white teeth and impure intentions. “Because as you’ll be spending a lot of time in close proximity to my face, you should get a say.”
Christina quirked a brow, more at herself than him. It wasn’t wise by any stretch of the imagination to be in a hot room, with a hot guy when she was producing enough heat to power the whole city. “I was worried you’d be able to serve a second Christmas dinner from that hairy plate.”
He caught her by both arms, bracing her against the wall of fragranced, steamy male. The tingle between her thighs that had started when she’d opened the front door to him now turned into a three-act Stomp performance. “Beardless, yes or no?” Lightly, he kissed her mouth, his tongue brushing just the tip of her own, before his mouth traversed a path to her neck. “I thought you’d be ticklish here,” he murmured, stroking his smooth jaw over her collarbone.
Christina shuddered. “All the same smug face to me,” she retorted.
He lifted his head. “Why are you being mean to me? You’re my present.”
“I am not. You’re mine!”
His grin was triumph defined. “See? Isn’t it much better when you agree with me?”
Her top was soaking up the droplets of water on his bare chest, and his towel was beginning to smuggle a rising tree trunk. “Um,” she said intelligently. “Look, is this a bet with Brendan?”
“Don’t talk about him when I’ve got a hard-on,” he warned her, lifting her up to his height and pressing her against the door. “You’ll scare it away.”
Her giggle danced in his mouth just as his tongue slipped between her lips. God, this man had not spent all those years travelling around the world. He’d stayed in some sex school studying how to make a woman do exactly what he wanted. Her skirt had gravitated to her waist, and despite the kisses that were inducing a complete haze of lust, she was very aware that his towel was slipping, leaving one tiny piece of silk between her and sexual Armageddon.
He growled. It made her laugh. Anything that was like kissing the ground in the middle of an earthquake had to be amusing. She felt his lashes lift.
“What’s so funny?”
“It’s like kissing a Ferrari.”
He kept her pressed to the door with his thigh, and then began flicking the buttons of her top. Her breath quickened as each one popped open. “How’d you know?”
“I own one.”
“Oh God,” he moaned, pressing his mouth to her cleavage, “did you really have to make yourself more fucking sexy?”
She wanted to start fanning the steam away and look for the cameras. Was this guy absolutely for real? “Because I own a Ferrari?”
“Because you’re a woman with impeccable taste. Right down to your underwear. Buy that yourself?”
“I like having nice things.” Her voice trailed off when that huge, hot palm of his cupped one lace-covered breast.
“I’m a very,” he pressed his mouth to her neck, “nice,” he unsnapped the front clasp of her bra, “thing. Have me.”
He had far too much control over her body. How was that even possible? What the hell had Caroline and Brendan told him? “And you’re fucking up my hair!” she added out loud. Cole allowed her breast to slip from his mouth. He didn’t bother looking at her hair, just in her eyes.
“Are you truly that upset, or do you want me to really fuck it up?”
“Big words,” she challenged. Those green eyes darkened briefly in acceptance. The towel completely fell to the floor, and Christina realised his words weren’t the only big thing in the room. Bracing himself on the edge of the bathtub with her legs on either side of his waist, he cupped her completely in one huge hand, from pussy to arse, rubbing her clit with the heel of his palm. Fine, she thought. You’re not the only one who can do this dance. His hair was still silky wet to the touch, making it near impossible to keep a grip on. Her mouth not leaving his for a second, she ground herself against his hand, only to immediately regret such wantonness. One thick finger slipped under the silk of her panties and deep into the equally silky heat of her pussy. She gave a groan under his lips that could have been heard in the Sahara.
“Hold onto me,” he demanded. Not even waiting for an answer, his finger was replaced by an even thicker thumb, her arse filled with a slick finger at the same time. No. Man. Had. Ever. Dared. To touch her there. She was burning from the frizzing tips of her hair to her curling toes. Oh God, they’d never be the same again. She’d have to wrap her feet like a geisha. Her brain didn’t obey the command to scream about her feet. If her feet were named Cole, however...
“Too loud,” he warned her. A knock sounded on the bathroom door.
“Occupied!” Christina yelled. She blinked away steam, still shaking, her fingernails deep into both of his bulky biceps now.
“Sorry!” her mother blustered. They heard her steps move away from the door.
“I am loud. Get used to it, or get out.”
He smiled against her neck. “I need to fuck you. But I looked in the cabinets. The good reverend has nothing to help.”
She was going to hell anyway. “I’m assuming you did all your tests before fingering me?”
“Clean hands,” he promised. “As such.”
“It would shut my mum up if I got pregnant before Caroline.”
“Game on.” He shrugged, ripping the gusset of the panties and shoving his dick deep inside her. She strained against him, almost lifting away from that monster, he filled her so completely. Her legs were straining from the width of his body.
“Oh God, hurry,” she moaned, hardly able to take any of it. She was half surprised her head hadn’t exploded in joy.
Without moving an inch from inside her, he lifted her up, anchored her against the door once more and rattled it. That door shook as if he was going to fuck her right through it, and carry on when they landed on the floor. It trembled just like Christina to feel him powering inside her pussy, raging a bonfire in her that wouldn’t go out until the next Christmas even if she didn’t ever see him again.
“No, not letting you out of my sight.” Her voice increased in volume each time his balls pressed tightly against her swollen pussy lips.
“You’re coming around.”
“No, just coming,” she sighed, losing her breath to the climb of another orgasm. He was so good. Too good. Just the best present she had ever been given in her life, including the time Caroline had dropped over emergency batteries. He started to withdraw from her and she gave a growl of protest, wrapping her legs under his tight buttocks, keeping him inside.
The heat around her was nothing compared to the heat within her pussy as Cole came and came. She collapsed against him, limp between the rock of his body and the seemingly indestructible door.
Again knocking ruined what was a perfectly sated mood. “You’ve been in there for ages, Christina, now come out.”
“Occupied!” Cole drawled.
Christina’s mouth dropped open when she heard her mother gasp and exclaim, “My daughter’s a slut.”
“If you weren’t so desperate for me to get a boyfriend!”
“This is your sister’s house!”
“This was her idea!”
“You come out right now!”
Christina untangled herself from Cole’s body. “But I look like a slut. I can’t go out there.”
He exhaled deeply, washing his hands in the sink before picking up the discarded towel. Wrapping it around his lower half once more, he opened the bathroom door at a crack. She pressed herself to his warm bare back, peeking around him. “Mrs. Lowe? Christina and I are just talking about our future. Would you mind leaving us alone for five minutes?”
“Five minutes,” her mother responded. Had it been anyone else but a half-naked Cole, there would have been an acrylic nail in each eye. Luckily, her mother was swayed by a pretty body. Cole closed the door and slid the lock across. Reaching around his own body to catch her arm and pull her in front of him, he pressed her to the door once again and pushed her frizzed hair from her forehead.
“Mmm, you smell like me now. By the way, Brendan and Caroline can have your mum next year as well.”
“You’re rushing ahead of me. What’s happening next year?”
“Preferably we’ll have a three-month-old, a house near a park and a second set of keys to the Ferrari.”
“You’re saying that like it’s a joint asset.”
“Come on. I’ll make it worth your while...”
Help. Cole wasn’t anywhere near her mouth when a thunderous banging on the door made him jerk his head up. “Christina Lowe, you put your clothes on, get out of that bathroom and go and bang your man at home. Don’t defile my Christmas with sinful behaviour.”
“Hey, hey, hey! Enough with the slander.”
“It’s all right, Caroline,” Cole said soothingly. “We’re going home.”
You’re the slut,” she muttered at Cole. He simply pressed a kiss to her neck, and then picked up her left hand and did the same to her ring finger.
“I’m not sure Brendan would be happy saying that as a vow. But we’ll blackmail him.”
“Actually, yeah. Setting me up and expecting me to take it lying down.”
He made a face. “Well. You weren’t really lying down as much as you were just screaming for…”
“Finish that sentence and there will be no next year. Not for you.”
He grinned, hustling her out of the bathroom. “Course there will be. You don’t know that I can cook.”
The heavens opened and the angels did sing. He cooks. Thank you God.
“What about me?” Caroline asked as Cole shut the door behind them. “Don’t I get any thanks?”
Caroline had enough thanks for one year. Christina had turned up, helped cook, played nice and had respectfully not kicked the turkey to the floor and ridden Cole on the dining-room table. Her sisterly obligation was all square.
They exchanged looks, Cole reading her mind perfectly. Let’s go to yours and do this some more. Looking back at Caroline, they said in gleeful unison, “No.”