Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Something inside me melts – #EroticNoir #Suspense #MFRWHooks #MFRWAuthor

Exposure Sale Banner

For today’s MFRW Book Hooks blog hop, I’m treating you to an exclusive (romantic!) excerpt from my newly release suspense novel Exposure. The book is on sale for only 99 cents through the end of March (hey, that’s tomorrow!) so don’t delay!

Blurb

Sex, blood and betrayal: it's all in a day's work.

I strip for the fun of it. Don’t let anyone tell you different. It’s not the money. I could make nearly as much working at the mill and keep my clothes on, but then I’d have to suck up to the bosses. Up on stage, I’m the one in charge, and I like it that way.

Tony Pinelli hired me for a private dance. I was determined to give him his money’s worth. I didn’t expect to be caught in the cross-fire of a double murder. When his widow shows up at my door, I know I’m in way over my head. Now I’m everyone’s target. I can’t trust anyone – not even the police detective who was sweet on me in high school. My only chance at survival is to shift through the lies and expose the truth.


The Hook

I jump when the phone rings. The sudden movement sends a jolt of pain through my ankle. For a moment, I consider not answering. Maybe it’s another threat. Or another “opportunity” like the one that White offered me. I don’t want to deal with either one. The ringing doesn’t stop though, and finally I give in and pick up.

Stella! Are you all right?” Something inside me melts at the sound of Jimmy’s voice.

I’m fine, tired and a bit sore, but basically okay.”

When you didn’t answer, I was worried...”

Sorry. I was in the bathroom. Really, I’m doing okay, Jimmy. There’s no reason to worry. Your man is outside. My doors are all locked and chained. I’m perfectly safe.”

You can see the policeman who’s on guard?”

Yeah, he’s across the street, under a tree.”

Jimmy swears under his breath. “He’s supposed to stay out of sight. In case anybody else is watching you.”

I shiver, the hair rising on my bare arms. “I thought the man outside might be your partner, Bill, though on a night like this I couldn’t see well enough to be sure.”

Bill Dougherty? He’s a senior detective, same rank as me. We wouldn’t send him out on routine surveillance duty.”

The chill deepens.

Oh well, I might be wrong. It’s pretty dark out there.”

There’s an awkward silence. I can hear Jimmy’s breathing on the other end of the line, and my own heartbeat, speeding up. I’m beginning to feel warm again. Even hot.

So, what are you doing?”

Not much. Reading, watching TV. Trying to relax.”

Would you like some company?”

Loneliness slams into me and runs over my body like a ten ton truck. Do I want company? God, I’ve never felt so alone in my life.

Be careful, I tell myself. You can’t trust anyone.

I don’t know, Jimmy...” I begin.

It’s okay, I understand. I’m sorry that I asked.” He sounds so lost, so forlorn. So sexy.

Screw being careful. “Yes, I’d love some company. I’m going crazy here, all by myself.”

Really? You don’t mind?”

Really. I’m not up to my usual form, but I’d love to see you.”

I can imagine Jimmy’s ear-to-ear grin. “Well, then. I’ll be right over. See you in about fifteen minutes, okay?”

Great, Jimmy. See you.”

I know I’m being weak, but I’m really too excited to care. Fifteen minutes. Just enough time to change. Should I put on those black satin lounging pajamas I got on sale at Victoria’s Secret? Or maybe the embroidered silk kimono? On the other hand, maybe that’s coming on too strong. Jimmy finds me scary enough already. Perhaps the long hippie dress of Indian cotton is the right look. It’s casual and understated but still kind of exotic...

In the end, I don’t have the energy to climb the stairs to my closet. I figure that Jimmy’s an old friend, and he’s already seen me naked. I don’t have to put on a costume for him. I sit there on the sofa, wearing the lightweight summer bathrobe I put on when I got up from my nap. It’s that peach color that sets off my skin so well. It will have to do.

There’s a soft knock. I hobble over to the door and peer through the peephole to confirm that it’s Jimmy. It seems to take hours for me to unfasten the chain and retract the bolt, but I finally get the door open.

Hi, Stella.” His voice is soft, concerned. It feels like a caress. “I didn’t want to ring the bell. Figured your nerves were kind of shot, the last thing you need is the jangling.”

Jimmy looks a bit rumpled. His sandy hair is in his eyes. His white business shirt is damp, wrinkled and untucked in the back. He needs a shave.

He looks good enough to eat.

Come on in out the rain. I’m so glad to see you.”

Not as glad as I am to see you.” Jimmy wraps his arms around me in what begins as a brotherly hug. He buries his face in my hair, breathing deeply. “I’ve been so worried about you, Stella. This whole thing with the murders...”

Shush, let’s not talk about that.” I am enjoying the feel of his lean, strong body pressed against mine. I ignore the dull ache from my bruised ribs. I want him to be my only reality. He smells clean, despite his disarray: soap, menthol, some kind of lemony aftershave. Just a hint of sweat, enough to blend the other scents into something organic and distinctly Jimmy. Breathing him in, I feel a bit light-headed, like he was some kind of drug.


 

Buy Links (Ebook)

Only 99 cents until the end of March!

Kinky Literature: https://www.kinkyliterature.com/book/100-exposure-urban-erotic-noir/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09V19MLDR

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09V19MLDR

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/exposure-lisabet-sarai/1141122670?ean=2940165803093

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1136224

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/exposure-urban-erotic-noir

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60574045-exposure

Buy Links (Audio Book)

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Exposure-An-Erotic-Murder-Mystery/dp/B079K627T3

Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/Exposure-Audiobook/B

Follow the links to visit the other authors participating in Book Hooks, and find your next read!


6 comments:

Daryl Devoré said...

Great last line - the effect of everything on her -like a drug.
Tweeted.

Janet Lane Walters said...

What an interesting premise for the story.

Anita Verebes said...

"I don’t have to put on a costume for him." - I love how this really highlights how comfortable she is with him. Such a powerful line!

Tena Stetler said...

Loved your excerpt. Intriguing story line. Thanks for sharing!

Ornery Owl of Naughty Netherworld Press and Readers Roost (Not Charlotte) said...

This sounds like an intense erotic suspense story. Tweeted.

Fiona McGier said...

Now I have to read this one!

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