[BookStrand Futuristic Paranormal Romance, shape-shifters, HEA Sensual]
While vacationing on Gambler’s Folly with her husband, Trae, Karianna O’Brien’s life is ripped apart when he loses her to Damiano Leone in a game of chance. Within two days, she is divorced, widowed, and married to Damiano, the darkly desirable, powerful, and dangerous lord of the underworld.
Irresistibly drawn to Damiano, Karianna enters a world of wealth and glamour in his casinos, while he teaches her the meaning of pleasure and sensuality in his bed. Though married to Trae for four years, she’s never experienced true seduction, or sex so exquisite it could become an addiction. Is he really human, or something else?
As Damiano’s enemies threaten Karianna to leverage his vote in the syndicate, he gambles all he’s worth in a dangerous game of skill. Will his plans pay off in time to save Karianna? Or will he lose both his business and his soul mate?
It was entirely too early when Damiano woke her the next morning. Karianna had no idea when she’d finally gone to sleep, but she didn’t feel rested.
“Come on, Kari,” she heard him say, “If you want coffee before your workout, you should get out of bed.”
Not Carl, not today, she thought. She had one man who was overwhelmingly attentive to her, and one who was a fiend in the gym. Between the two of them, she was going to go mad.
“Some honeymoon,” she murmured to herself.
“We can relax and have fun later,” she heard right next to her. Opening her eyes, she saw Damiano, in black silk pajama pants and no shirt, stretched out on her bed. Head propped up on his hand, he had an amused smile, as he watched the succession of expressions on her face. “When you decide what to do, cara, let me know,” he said. “But if you choose coffee and Carl, you should get up soon.”
“What are my other choices?” she asked grumpily.
“You have two choices, mia amore. Your husband or Carl.”
“And if I choose my husband?” she asked.
“Well, then we can stay in bed for a while and see what happens. Like this.” He reached over lazily and slowly drew the sheets from her body. “Nice, cara. So lovely on you,” he commented on the wisp of sheer lace she’d worn to bed. The only lingerie she had was ideal for newlyweds, and very sensual even then.
His eyes slowly moved down her body, taking in the sight. While she tried to sort out her feelings, his hand found the slit in the side of the gown, caressed her thigh, and then swept up and over her behind. Moving closer, he cushioned her head on his arm and slowly kissed her.
Now thoroughly awake with her body at full alert, she knew exactly what she wanted. She wasn’t sure if it was what she should do, though. Part of her was shocked that she would even consider sleeping with this man. Of course, it was difficult to reason with a strong, warm hand taking a tour of her body, having now reached her breast. They were married, after all, she thought, and Trae was gone. It wouldn’t be cheating. Besides, she was stuck with him for two years and he was attractive, to say the least. She might as well get something out of the arrangement.
Damiano decided to help her make up her mind by tracing her ear with his tongue, nibbling her ear lobe and leaving a trail of tiny kisses down her throat. His hand massaged her stomach and abdomen, then pressed in deeply, to massage just below her navel. The explosion of white-hot energy sent her right over the edge.
As her arms reached up to pull him to her, her mouth sought his hungrily, like someone who’d been starved nearly to death invited to a banquet.
“Slowly, cara. We have all morning,” he said, gently taking her in hand, while teasing her even more. Pinning her wrists to the bed and positioning himself between her thighs, but not entering her, his mouth teased her throat and shoulders as she became more and more aroused, aroused beyond anything she had ever imagined.
When he had reached the top of her gown, Damiano shook his head. “Cara, why do you have on so many clothes?” As if see-through black lace actually covered anything.
First the straps came off her shoulders, and then the bodice was smoothed down to her waist, the elastic stretching enough not to be a hindrance.
Continuing where he’d left off, her breasts received his full attention, until she thought she would burst. “Damiano, please, I need you. For heaven’s sake, take me.”
As if he’d not heard a word, his lips continued their caresses down her body, occasionally nipping her skin lightly with his perfect teeth. Letting go of her hands, his fingers stroked her body, squeezed her breasts gently, and nearly drove her mad with desire. Clutching the sheets in clenched fists, her body performed an exotic dance, directed by the caresses of her new lover.
“And here we are again with the clothes,” he said. “This will not do, cara.” Pulling the gown down past her hips and off onto the floor, he shook his head again. “What is this, cara mia?” he asked, his finger beneath the top of the panties matching the gown, teasing her sensitive skin. “No, these we will never see again. Not in my bed.” One quick movement tore the lace from her body and pitched the panties into a corner of the room. “Much better. Now where was I?”
By the time he’d sampled her entire torso, Karianna was beyond begging. With each new sensation, she gasped or whimpered in anguished bliss, each touch of his lips or hands sending her body into a higher and higher state of need and desire.
“So, cara, are you nearly ready for your husband?” he asked, finally.“Dear god, Damiano, don’t make me wait any longer. Please…”