Publication date: November 9th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Erotica, Romance
What happens when everything you ever thought you wanted…isn’t?
Noel Carter had her life all planned. She moved to the right city and got a job in a restaurant above a kink club. She spent her nights down there, watching, learning. Being a Domme is all she’s ever wanted. Until one night, she catches the eye of the owner of the club and most infamous bachelor in town. Suddenly all her dreams get turned upside down.
One look. That’s all it took for Dane Vincent’s life to veer drastically off course. Everything he wants. Everything he desires. Everything he’s told himself he can never have may have just walked into his club. He’s made his fortune. He’s set aside his lifestyle. Is he willing to change all that for a woman? A woman who has no idea who he really is or the secrets he’s worked so hard to keep hidden.
She’s mysterious. She’s deceptive. She’s stunning. If Dane can untangle her desires…she may just set him free.
Noel turned the old-fashioned brass handle and swung into her apartment twenty
minutes later giddy and exhausted. She was filled to bursting with excitement and
questions, fear and uncertainty. Luckily, Gabby appeared at her door not ten minutes
later, stealing her off to sun and salt water of the beach, ready to help her process in the
way only Gabby could.
“Okay, tell me everything, right now!” They lay side by side on Noel’s large beach
blanket, slowly drying off after a swim.
Noel took a deep breath and tried to find a way to put her night with Dane, the swirl
of emotions, the shared glances, the sensation of his skin on hers, into words. “Where
do I even begin?”
She grinned wider as her friend’s head threatened to explode.
It took nearly a full hour to take Gabby through the date, her friend not even
allowing her a break from storytelling when they wandered up to the coffee stand on the
boardwalk to get iced drinks. When Noel was finally recounting their conversation at the
cafe as they settled back onto the blanket with their coffees, Gabby interrupted.
“So, he is like a prince trapped in his ivory tower or something?”
“It was strange, like he only just realized it, but yeah. That’s the feeling I got.”
“Girl, you gotta bust him out!”
Noel laughed. The thought of her doing anything to Dane was doubtful. She was
barely keeping her own shit together, so it seemed unlikely that she could offer any help
to someone else. And, despite how it seemed, despite some of his comments over the
course of their date, Dane must be in control. Quietly, calmly in charge of everything
around him. How else could he have gotten so far? How else could the businesses be
so successful? Noel wanted to allow this to be the red flag she needed to walk away.
The last thing she needed was to get caught up in a crush on a dominant man, but
she knew damn well she would push forward with whatever this was between
them—red flags be damned. It was too good, too enticing. And besides, the world he
controlled was one that she dreamed of entering. If only she could get a handle on what
it was that she actually wanted, and then get the nerve to ask for it. Noel sighed at the
thought. Fat chance of that ever happening.
Dane tightened his grip on Noel’s waist, bringing her body in close to his. Dane
had been holding himself back from touching her, pulling her to him, all night, all month,
but now seemed like the perfect time. The darkness of the rooms, the electricity in the
air, it made Dane feel like they were in another world. Noel stiffened briefly with surprise
at his touch, but then relaxed into him. Dane glowed in the feeling of her warmth, her
softness pressed against his body.
“That’s Deidre,” he said softly into her ear.
Noel turned her head to meet his gaze for a moment before turning back to the
Dominatrix scene in front of them.
“She’s amazing,” was her breathy answer.
Such a reaction from Noel was a surprise, but not unwelcome. Dane had been
wondering what she would gravitate toward. He was ready to watch the beautiful Shibari
rope bondage and other mild forms of men dominating women all night, having
assumed that’s where she would head. This was another ball game entirely.
Dane tried to keep himself in the moment, enjoying the scene in front of him and
the feeling of Noel’s body in his arms, but his mind was racing. If she wasn’t going to
just submit to his whims, to titter shyly and allow him to take charge in all things kink,
like so many women did, then this could actually work. Don’t get ahead of yourself,
Dane. But he knew it was too late.
The idea that he had found this creature, who lit him up in every sense of the
word, who had interests in the kink world that didn’t involve anything from his past? He
could work with this. Honestly, it was such a perfect situation, Dane had to put the reins
on his excitement, to remind himself to calm down. Take this slow, you don’t know for
sure what’s going on here. He was a lot of things, but a mind reader was not one of
them, as handy as that would be.
When he could hold back no longer, Dane leaned down to whisper in Noel’s ear.
“Tell me you have a pair of boots like that in your closet.”
Noel started and turned her head to him, a surprised laugh escaping her lips.
She shook her head quickly. “What?”
Dane smiled back at her, learning more from the flush of her cheeks than her
answer. “I was just wondering, you seem pretty taken with this whole thing, I thought
maybe…” he drifted off, looking back to Deidre. Noel’s gaze turned forward as well, but
Dane heard her softly reply.
“I don’t.” Her chest filled and emptied before her next words. “I mean, I do.”
Another pause, Dane didn’t dare to even breathe, “but I’ve never put them on.”
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Lore writes spicy, inner demon battling love stories. She loves tackling big issues in relationships and watching her characters struggle with their pasts and their visions of the future together.
A PNW girl through and through, Lore lives in Seattle with her husband. She enjoys cloudy weather (thank goodness), escaping the cold in February, and audiobooks of all kinds.