Authors: Emily Ryan-Davis
Dial M for Ménage
Katrina Holland began the new year by waking up with two men
in her bed. Introducing marine Hunter Croft into her marriage was passionate and
her husband Liam. But now
that the honeymoon period is over and they’ve returned to the real world, can
this arrangement ever work?
Liam Holland thought he had it all—a beautiful wife, great
home, and a solid career. Only one thing—one man—eluded him. When he saw an
opportunity to grab Hunter, Liam reached out with both hands, determined not to
let go. But as the first rush of passion fades, Liam must identify exactly how
far he’s willing to go to keep Hunter a part of their lives.
Hunter needs something only Liam and Kat can give him. But
while he’s willing to change some aspects of his life to be with the couple,
he’s a marine before all else. When a reassignment means relocation, he’ll need
to move on—with or without his two lovers.
See how Kat
Liam and Hunter’s love began in
Ménage on 34th Street
I know many of you have been waiting for the next installment of
New York Times
bestselling author Marie Force’s thrilling romantic suspense series.
is finally here, and Nick and Sam are as good as ever!
But that’s not all the great storytelling we have in store for you with the March releases. This month, we introduce debut author Matt Sheehan and a book that had the Carina Press acquisitions team in hysterics. Be sure to check out
Helmut Saves the World
, in which there’s magic, fistfights and one-liners with the best, most handsome and, of course, humble detective Helmut Haase and his apathetic sidekick Shamus O’Sheagan.
If you’ve been longing for a great historical romance, we’ve got two this month. Juliana Ross finishes up her erotic Improper trilogy. In
, a lonely young widow learns to live—and love—again as she and her ambitious publisher, the most captivating man she has ever met, work on a forbidden guide to sexual pleasure. It’s
An Heir of Uncertainty
by Alyssa Everett and it’s also the answer to Colonel Win Vaughan’s prayers when he learns he’s the heir to the newly deceased Earl of Radbourne—but the beginning of a deadly mystery when he arrives to claim his inheritance, only to discover that the earl’s lovely widow is carrying a child who could displace him.
If you’re looking for something hot, with an unusual hero, Solace Ames releases erotic romance
The Submission Gift
this month. A young husband offers his wife an unusual gift—to fulfill a fantasy she’d always set aside. But what starts out as a onetime session becomes something precious shared between three—one of them a male escort. Solace Ames brings something new to this story and if you love erotic romance, you’ll want to check this out.
Also in the hot category is
Up in Knots
by Gillian Archer. Still bruised over the death of her boyfriend two years ago, Kyla Grant is determined to get back into the kinky dating scene, and bad-boy top Sawyer is just the man to help her. Joining Gillian, Juliana and Solace in the erotic romance category, Nico Rosso’s
Slam Dance with the Devil
, from his Demon Rock series, brings entertainment to a new level. Wild rock star Kent Gaol’s dark past goes back even further than private investigator Nona Harris could’ve imagined, and one night onstage surprises them both by slamming her into his supernatural world.
March shapes up to be a good one for erotic romances because Emily Ryan-Davis brings us the follow-up to
Ménage on 34th Street
, which she coauthored with Elise Logan. In this next installment,
Dial M for Ménage
, it’s a new year and a new way of life for Katrina Holland, who started 2014 by waking up with two men in her bed. Now, she, Owen and Hunter struggle to define, and redefine, their relationships with one another after the first rush of newness fades.
Paranormal romance author Lorenda Christensen follows up her funny, entertaining
Never Deal with Dragons
with the next in the series,
Dancing with Dragons.
If Carol Jenski knows anything, it’s fashion—and it’s in fashion to consort with dragons, even though they’ve coexisted with humans since WWIII. Still, she would never have agreed to take part in a plot against them. Now a dragon lord has called for her head, her boyfriend is MIA and she’s been abandoned in a foreign country.
Stacy Gail’s paranormal romance miniseries, The Earth Angels, comes to an exciting conclusion in
, where the heroes and heroines from all the previous books combine their efforts to avert a demonic apocalypse. In Kathleen Collins’s
, Realm Walker Juliana Norris hunts a serial killer targeting Altered children while an enemy from her past closes in.
This month we have two titles in the science-fiction genre. First, join the adventure
At Star’s End
! A galactic treasure hunter and an astro-archaeologist race across the galaxy in pursuit of the last remaining fragment of da Vinci’s
in this space opera romance from Anna Hackett.
And we’re pleased to welcome T.D. Wilson with his debut,
The Epherium Chronicles:
Set in the mid-twenty-second century,
is the first book of an exciting new space opera series where Earth’s newest warship, the
, must make contact with fledgling colonies in nearby solar systems amid the threat of an alien attack.
If you’re ready for a cozy mystery to keep you guessing as to whodunit, look no further than Julie Anne Lindsey’s latest release. Most islanders celebrate the reprieve of summer tourism with cider, mums and cocoa, but sharks, birders and a possible serial killer seem intent on ruining autumn for Patience when
Murder Comes Ashore.
Anne Marie Becker returns with another suspenseful installment in her romantic suspense series. In
, SSAM security expert Becca Haney is hiding a past that could hurt her ex-lover, NYPD detective Diego Sandoval—but the true threat comes from a “fan” whose conscience urges him to kill.
Coming next month: contemporary romance
Taken with You
New York Times
bestselling author Shannon Stacey. Also, sports week and six irresistible sports romances!
Here’s wishing you a wonderful month of books you love, remember and recommend.
Executive Editor, Carina Press
Special thanks to Shari Slade, expert trouble-shooter, hand-holder, and ego-stroker; and to Sabrina Darby and Aimee Gilchrist, dear friends who get it.
The sound of the front door closing woke him. Groggy, Liam Holland tried to focus on the digital alarm clock’s blurry readout. No matter how hard he squinted, the numbers refused to take shape. Panic flared briefly before the thinking part of his brain woke up and he remembered stripping lacy white panties down Kat’s legs. He had passed the silky scrap to Hunter, who’d flung the thong aside seconds before he and Liam fulfilled Kat’s fantasy of being ravished by pirates.
God damn, the woman knew what to do with a pair of planks. Liam grinned in the dark and his blood rushed to his dick. He reached over and brushed her panties aside, hoping it was early enough to initiate a repeat performance before Hunter had to leave.
Four thirty-seven. Hunter had just left. Fucking crazy military hours.
Suppressing his disappointment, Liam rolled to wrap himself around Kat and found nothing but cool sheets. The bed was empty. Outside, a car door slammed shut. Seconds later, the sound repeated. An engine rumbled to life.
Liam’s pulse leaped and his heart started to race. He threw back the comforter and lunged out of bed, adrenaline spiking through his bloodstream, chased by a terror that had begun stalking him about three weeks earlier.
Bed empty. Hunter gone. Kat gone. And him, alone in the dark, silent house.
* * *
Sleepy, warm and still tingling from a predawn orgasm, Kat watched through her living room window as the giver of that orgasm strode to the car he’d left parked on the street. His military-issue camouflage pants hid what she knew to be a fine ass.
many levels. Her thighs clenched at the memory of him pumping into her body, long, deep thrusts powered by that terrific ass. Too bad it had to walk away at four-thirty in the morning in order to get back to the part of his life that didn’t include her.
God. Hunter Croft. As she watched him open the rear driver door and toss his duffel onto the backseat before getting behind the wheel, she felt another one of those pangs of disbelief that he had come back. That moment in December when she’d walked into her kitchen wearing nothing except scarlet lingerie and curious anticipation, only to come face-to-face with a man she hadn’t seen in a decade? It was burned into her memory. Something she hadn’t even known was missing had fallen into place that day.
When Hunter pulled away from the curb, Kat sighed. Another farewell. She wanted Hunter under her roof and in her bed full-time and secretly counted down the days until he would receive his new orders, the first step toward making that desire a reality.
Leaving the window, she went back upstairs to wrap herself around the warm, naked man still sprawled in her big king bed. As she reached the landing, Liam burst through their bedroom door, naked, wild-eyed and pale. He stopped in his tracks when he saw her. She imagined her expression mirrored his—utterly shocked.
He spoke first. “You’re still here.”
“Of course I am. I went downstairs to lock the dead bolt behind Hunter.” She took a cautious step toward him and held out her hand. “I was just coming back to bed. Where did you think I’d gone?”
“I thought...Jesus, I don’t know what I thought.” He blew out a breath and raked his hands through his hair. “I don’t know.”
“Maybe a bad dream? You’ve been having them recently.”
Liam nodded and shrugged at the same time, a vague response that wasn’t yes or no. Kat swallowed. She had a feeling he did know, but an even stronger feeling that he needed something besides pushing.
“It’s still dark. And it’s cold out here. Let’s go back to bed.” Taking one of his hands in both of hers, she drew him toward the bedroom.
He followed without speaking. When she released his hand to reach for the tie of her robe, Liam didn’t move. His arms hung limp at his sides, his entire body motionless.
Kat draped her robe over the upholstered chair in the corner on her side of the bed. She was biting her lip, trying to figure out how to ease his freak-out, when she realized her “motionless” assessment was inaccurate.
Liam still stood at the foot of the bed, but his air of shocky disorientation had vanished, giving way to blatant hunger. Heat bloomed deep inside and she felt her nipples tighten as she took in Liam’s coiled readiness. The light from the hall threw shadows across his planes and hollows, emphasizing the blaze in his eyes and the rigid length of his cock.
Not taking her gaze off him, she hooked her thumbs in the elastic of her panties and shimmied them down her legs. The sound that caught in Liam’s throat electrified her. Skin tingling with desire, she crawled onto the bed. Liam sprang into motion, following so close behind her, she felt the heat of his body seconds before his arms looped around her waist.
He bore her down onto the mattress and shoved his knees between her thighs. As Liam hauled her ass into the air and notched against her pussy, she braced for discomfort, expected it with so little preparation. She was tender and swollen after Liam and Hunter had taken turns during the night, and Hunter had fucked her in a quick, silent interlude on the bathroom vanity before leaving. Soreness didn’t scare her. She looked forward to the promised twinge of pain, the reminder that this thing she, Liam and Hunter had could be raw and sweet and everything in between.
Liam drove into her without pausing, but the edge didn’t manifest. He glided in easily, sliding through the wetness her body had worked up in that millisecond of anticipation. Moaning, Kat clutched a pillow to her chest and dropped her forehead to the bed. Liam rode her with savage energy, grunting with the effort expended to maintain his crazy pace. His sweat dripped onto her lower back, his fingers dug into the soft flesh of her thighs and he fucked her like his life depended on it. With one deep, hard thrust, he powered across her G-spot. An honest-to-God scream escaped before she could control it. She buried her face in a pillow to muffle the wail elicited by the second connection.
Behind her, Liam jerked to a stop. His stillness emphasized the spasms that racked her body, wringing him dry. He panted and cursed as he came, and he was still clinging to her hips when he sagged, draping his damp chest across her back.
Kat turned her head so she could breathe and closed her eyes, savoring his weight on top of her. A smile curved her lips. She couldn’t help it. With three in one bed, sex was orchestrated more often than it was spontaneous. She’d missed the surprise, passion-blind delight of encounters like this with Liam. They fought so infrequently, they rarely had opportunity for fucking driven by something other than love and mutual desire.
“Jesus,” Liam muttered, his breathing still ragged.
“Mmmm.” She squirmed and readjusted until she found his hand where it had landed beside her head. “We need to do that again sometime.”
Liam huffed but didn’t say anything. He especially didn’t say he was sorry, which made her heart glad. She didn’t ever want him to feel like he had to apologize for the kind of fear she’d seen in his eyes in the hall, that had hurled him into her in search of comfort.
“K-K. I love you. You remember that, right?” Liam’s voice rasped, his throat raw from the morning’s exertion. He pushed his fingers between hers and lifted her hand to his lips. Their wedding rings gleamed in the light shining from the street lamps outside their bedroom window.
“Always.” The word came from so deep inside, her breath caught on it.
Liam made soothing noises and rolled them until he was spooning her. “Shhh. Go back to sleep.”
Liam’s breathing soon deepened, fanning the hair at her nape. She remained awake long after he drifted off, wondering about Liam’s fear, preoccupied by her two men and the connection she, Liam and Hunter shared, one-on-one and as a unit.
. Understatement of the year. More like raging inferno. The three of them burned for one another. They always had. If Hunter had walked away again after their scorching reunion, Kat suspected she and Liam would have been hollow versions of their former selves. Hunter...well, even he had admitted he was little more than a shell without them. Not even the Marine Corps could completely fill the needy spaces.
She made a face at the thought. As a United States Marine stationed at 8th & I in Washington, D.C., Hunter had limited time to devote to their triad, but he gave everything he could. She couldn’t wait until he was able to give more. Unfortunately, she had no other option except to wait.
The waiting killed her and even though Liam tried not to dwell on the days Hunter couldn’t be with them, Kat suspected that limbo was driving Liam’s mercurial moods. Fear, doubt and stasis. They were all suffering while they waited. Neither Liam nor Hunter said so, but she knew both men harbored doubts about the long-term viability of their relationship. Their feelings for each other weren’t an issue but circumstances—distance, Hunter’s desire to separate his unconventional poly relationship from his traditional military career—those things left them all on shaky ground. The longer they continued living separate lives outside the bedroom, the deeper their doubts took root.
Liam and Hunter thought she saw their future through fairy-tale-colored glasses. Hell, maybe she did. But this was one fairy tale she was determined to make true.
* * *
Later that morning, Kat delivered coffee to Liam at his desk. He sat with his back to her, talking into the mic attached to his headset and taking notes on a pad of paper. A lamp threw soft yellow light that made Liam’s mussed hair look more red than blond. Suppressing an urge to kiss the back of his neck, she reached around to deposit his mug in front of him. Liam flashed a distracted smile but didn’t stop writing. The sharp tip of his fountain pen made a soft, scratchy sound on the paper.
Kat leaned against the corner of his desk and waited to catch his eye. When he pulled his credit card out of his wallet, she started to pay attention. He read off the digits on his business credit card, made a few more notations and ended the call.
“Las Vegas or the Keys?” Kat asked when he looked up.
“Vegas. Owner’s in a panic because his construction crew has raised questions about the structural integrity of a few design elements. He wants a face-to-face team meeting.” Liam grimaced. “On Friday.”
“Two days from now, Friday?” She suppressed a twinge of disappointment. Between Hunter’s upcoming training weekend and Liam’s unexpected business trip, she was going to have a lot of solo time on her hands.
“You know how it gets at this stage in a project. Everybody has money tied up, anxious to finish on time so they can start bringing money back in.” He ran his hands through his hair until the short strands stood on end. Reaching for his coffee, he shot her an apologetic look. “Sorry, babe.”
“It’s fine, I’ll find something to keep me busy.” Her to-do list was as long as the Bay Bridge. She worked from home, like Liam, and there was nothing laid-back about owning one’s own business. And then there was the matter of moving when Hunter’s orders came through. As far as that was concerned, well, her lists had lists.
Liam pushed his chair away from the desk, only to wheel it close again, this time trapping her legs between his knees. “Come with me. We’ll get Hunter to fly out Friday night. The three of us haven’t had a weekend away yet.”
“He can’t come. Training weekend, remember?”
Kat started to tease him for the memory lapse but something in Liam’s expression stopped her. Flashing back to the morning, she traced his eyebrows with her fingertip. “What’s wrong?”
He caught her hand and nipped at her fingers. “A little disappointment. I’m a big boy, I can handle it.”
Suppressing a shiver from the love bite and her intimate familiarity with exactly how big he was, she said, “Maybe we can all go to Atlantic City soon.”
“Maybe.” But he didn’t sound convinced.
She frowned but didn’t push. She knew Liam well enough to recognize his masks. Now that she was thinking clearly, she recognized their predawn encounter might have been another facet of the whole. This particular disguise had been making random, sporadic appearances since shortly after Christmas and as much as she wanted to know what was bothering him, Liam wouldn’t let her in on the problem until he was good and ready. Even that morning, he’d held his silence once he exorcised the demon and calmed down. Separation from Hunter was still her best guess. Liam hadn’t invited Hunter to take a permanent place in their life solely for her benefit. Probably not even partially for her benefit, considering she hadn’t been looking for emotional ties beyond her connection with Liam. Hunter’s new orders couldn’t come soon enough.
With a sigh, Kat leaned down to kiss him.
“I’m sorry,” she said, nuzzling his jaw. “I wish we could all go. I wish
could go, but I really do need to deal with things here. I want to be ready to move as soon as we know where Hunter will be stationed.”
Liam blew out a breath and leaned his head against the high back of the chair. A faint smile danced at the corners of his lips and lit his blue eyes. “Well, if you won’t turn your back on your responsibilities and run away with me next week, we should go right now.”
Kat tilted her head. “What do you have in mind?”
“We could throw some things in a bag and drive up to Longwood Gardens. If we leave now, we’ll get there with a lot of daylight left.”
“Oooh. We’ll catch the orchids before they’re gone.” Kat bit her lip, considering his suggestion. She loved the gardens. When Liam was still a junior architect with a small firm downtown, and she worked her assorted shift jobs, they made the drive to Pennsylvania anytime they had a day off together. Ironically, when they made the leap to self-employment and started setting their own hours, they lost some of that drop-everything freedom. She couldn’t remember the last time they had taken a spontaneous minitrip.
“Your eyes just lit up, K-K.” He raised her hand to his lips, brushing a kiss across her knuckles. “Stop thinking about everything you’re not going to get done and just say yes. You’ll regret not going with me more than you’ll regret not getting to the post office today.”