This is the first of The Naughty Literati’s boxed sets of stories and it’s filled with fabulous winter-set stories. Look for the excerpt from my story, Prelude to a Most Unusual Marriage, at the end.
Best of all – it’s JUST 99 cents!
THE NIGHTWIND’S VISIT – Charlotte Boyett-Compo
Be careful what you wish for. The NightWind hears every whisper, every sigh, every need and he’s coming to grant your every wicked, wanton desire.
DEAR SANTA…I WANT A MAN FOR CHRISTMAS – Marianne Stephens
Frustrated with untrustworthy men, Melissa orders a man doll. When delivery guy, Nick, shows up, she has second thoughts about how to satisfy her needs.
PRELUDE TO A MOST UNUSUAL MARRIAGE – Katherine Kingston
Guilty secrets torment widowed Elizabeth Fitzhugh. A Christmas visit to the Earl of Chisenham offers redemption, if she can find the courage to grasp it.
NO GENTLEMAN – Francesca Hawley
Librarian Abby Kelly comes west finding a roguish shapeshifter who desires her. Will Goldwolf is no gentleman, but Abby discovers he’s just what she wants.
JEWEL’S MENAGE CHRISTMAS – Berengaria Brown
The excitement has left Jewel, Donovan, and Oscar’s relationship. Jewel plans to spice things up, but will Donovan and Oscar rise to the challenge?
TUNE ME UP – Lainey-Jo Charles
Jason catches Dani having an intimate moment with a recording of him singing to her, and is ready to move them from friends to forever.
ON THE EIGHTEENTH OF JANUARY, ’78 OR, A NIGHT AT VALLEY FORGE – Regina Kammer
During the infamous winter of ‘77-‘78 at Valley Forge, two soldiers fanboy over their
charismatic leader, General George Washington.
THE CHRISTMAS LEOPARD – Lynne Connolly
Two gorgeous Italian hunks save art restorer Sandi when she accidentally summons an ancient evil from a mosaic. Their methods are unconventional—and scorching hot!
CHRISTMAS BAD GIRL – Trinity Blaico
She only had one wish this Christmas. To find the one man who was strong enough
to master her in bed and out.
HOW THE ALIEN STOLE CHRISTMAS – Belle Scarlett
On board a deep space station Christmas Trent learns her sexy cyber lover,
who may not be human, wants to steal her for his own.
MERRY CHRISTMAS, KITTEN – Nicole Austin
Sirena Petra wants one thing for Christmas—an orgasm. And sex toy expert Kenyon Fort has exactly what the lion shifter needs to find more than just her happy place.
VIKING IN TARTAN – Suz deMello
Medieval romance from the Highland Vampires series. A Viking raider brings change to little Clan Kilbirnie, especially to the chieftain’s daughter, Rhona.
HOLDIN’ ON – Alexa Silver
Rock star Max is terminally ill. When Aislin falls into his life, rocking his world,
everything changes. Is she his Christmas miracle?
Excerpt from Prelude to a Most Unusual Marriage by Katherine Kingston
Copyright © Katherine Kingston, 2014
After an hour or so they stopped at a stream dappled with shadows from overhanging trees. It sang merrily as it plopped over rocks and a fallen log half-drowning in its clear course.
“It’s a lovely area,” Elizabeth said.
“Made all the more so by the company.”
“You are ever the flatterer,” she said.
“No, my dear, I’m honest.” He stared at the stream rather than at her when he said, “Except that you appear far too melancholy. Do you still grieve for Henry?”
She drew a breath. It started now. “I do, some. But more I grieve for all the ways I wronged him.”
That silenced him for a moment as he turned to flash a glance her way then looked back at the stream. “How do you believe you wronged him?” It came out sharper than the earlier question.
Elizabeth straightened her spine, gathering her courage. “In many ways. I was a poor wife to him. I tried but I wasn’t the woman he needed.”
“What do you believe he needed that you couldn’t supply?”
She sighed. “I’m not entirely certain. I think perhaps someone gentler, more understanding, more tolerant of his faults, yet one who could be subtle enough and smart enough to curb some of his excesses.”
He turned back to her again, his features pulled into a troubled expression. “Excesses?”
“He drank more than was wise. Gambled. Spent every farthing he could get his hands on.”
Richard’s frown turned even darker. “Did he leave you penniless?”
“How have you lived this past year?”
“Carefully,” she admitted. “But I have managed.”
“Why did you not tell me this?”
“My lord, Richard, we are not related by blood. It was not your responsibility.”
“As I was Henry’s guardian, I naturally feel responsibility for his family.” He took another step toward her. “Which brings us to the question of your future. I should be happy to take a hand in finding you another husband.”
“No.” It came out without thought and more sharply than she expected. “No, please, Richard. I’m not ready to be wife to another yet. I’m not fit.”
“Because you were unable to restrain Henry? Or unable to understand him as perhaps you thought you should?”
“No, there’s more,” she admitted, “But I…” She dropped her face into her hands as she struggled to get out the damning words. Breath refused to form them. “No, I can’t,” she said.
“Not right now. I will, I promise. But not right now.”
A finger pressed beneath her chin, forcing her face up. She hadn’t heard him get so close and was surprised to look up directly into Richard’s gray eyes. “If it’s related to what you’ve told me already, I doubt it could be so horribly shocking and unforgivable. Did you have an affair?”
This time her eyes widened. “No. Of course not.”
“Then I doubt it will be so awful.”
Elizabeth tried again to tell him, but the words caught in her throat. His closeness was doing strange things to her. Her blood seemed to bubble and froth within her. Her heart pounded hard against her chest. His aromas of leather and horse and man surrounded her, drawing her toward him.
His fingers stroked down the side of her cheek and the warmth of it sent a thrill careening down her spine. When he leaned toward her, she watched the blade of his nose, the hard planes of cheek, the well-shaped lips move closer and closer. His mouth came down on hers, all sweet softness and delicious heat. She closed her eyes, the better to soak in the sensations that contact roused. Glorious tingling heat rushed from her lips to settle down deep in her womb.
Her mouth opened in a soft moan. His tongue swept in to explore the depths and recesses. Excitement frothed her blood and bubbled through her. Desire rose, making her want to open more than just her mouth to him. She wanted to feel his hands on parts of her body below her face. Her breath sped up and she reached up to cup her hands in his thick, soft hair.
A few exciting moments later, he broke away and took a step back. “Elizabeth… I’m sorry. I should not have done that.”
She collected her breath. “Why not, Richard? We are both free of other promises.”
“But we must find you a husband who’ll treasure you as you deserve.”
“As I deserve,” she echoed softly. She shook her head. “That is the issue. I deserve nothing. But what about yourself, Richard? Surely you mean to marry again. You’ve a title to pass on.”
He swallowed hard. “I do mean to marry. Perhaps soon. I’m hopeful.”
“She is a most fortunate lady then.”
“Perhaps not,” he said. “I have a title and some fortune, but I am no easy man to live with.”
“Even so you’re a worthy match.” She grinned through the remains of her tears. “I think you would ever be a challenge, so your wife would rarely be bored.”
He looked startled, then a wry grin spread across his face. “You may be right. But it will take a special woman to see it that way. And to accept the challenge I present.”
“Are you really that hard to accept, Richard?”
“Yes, I am. Much more so than you can guess.” He stopped and backed up another step. “I suppose we should be returning before someone begins to wonder where we are.”