I wanted to share an excerpt of the first book - Hostage to the Sheikh. The entire boxed set is available Christmas Day for Amazon buyers but up now at Barnes and Noble, ARe and other good e-tailers.
Lexi Galvin stifled yet another yawn. The monotone voice of the university professor who rambled on and on would soon have her in a coma. She glanced at the wall clock and squirmed. Tonight was the night, and she could barely wait. But although it was the last class of the day, it seemed as though the lecture would never end.
In every school and university she’d attended—and there’d been many—she’d never been a top-of-the-class student or ever really fitted in. Her short attention span incapacitated her at the best of times and she just wasn’t equipped to care too much beyond the next week.
She was a live-in-the-moment kind of girl and right then all that filled her mind was the fact that today she was twenty-one and would never see that milestone again. She should be out celebrating, not pretending to care about the psychology of top sports stars.
Her mother despaired over Lexi’s wild side. But Lexi figured since she’d stayed at a number of universities these last four years to please her, even though it felt as if something slowly withered within at the restriction, then she’d more than compromised.
The professor had barely ended his lecture when Lexi swiped up her unopened textbooks and bounded to her booted feet, the other students following suit.
“Lexi, may I have a moment of your time?” the professor asked drily, one sandy-colored brow arching.
She gritted her teeth in what she hoped passed for a smile, before thrusting aside a wayward strand of her upswept hair. Guess she shouldn’t have expected brunette warmth or blonde coolness when her untamable, fiery red-gold hair matched her temperament perfectly.
She resisted hopping from foot to foot while other students surged past, chattering about the coming night’s activities. Damn. She wanted nothing more than to share in their excitement. It wasn’t just her birthday, it was the end of the week. Friday night was party night, but that wasn’t the only reason her whole body quivered with anticipation.
Harley would be meeting her later and she was determined she wouldn’t put off his advances any longer. She was twenty-one and wanted to be a woman in every way. He could have just about any girl he wanted, Lord only knew they threw themselves at him at any opportunity. His blond Adonis good looks along with his family’s money and a future career in law were apparently irresistible.
Guess she’d taken a little longer to see his appeal.
But he’d had enough of her flirting and she didn’t really blame him. Tonight her teasing would progress into foreplay and then…
She shivered. Tonight, she’d discover just what passion she was capable of.
Even her mother would be surprised to know she was still a virgin.
Deep down Lexi had harbored the hope her first lover would be someone truly amazing. As much as she enjoyed Harley’s company, she wasn’t convinced the world would shift the moment she was underneath him. But she’d come to the conclusion that what she yearned for wasn’t probable and it was beyond time to let go of her dreams and embrace reality.
“Is everything all right with you, Lexi?”
The professor’s now husky voice dragged her out of her daydream. “Everything is fine,” she said, before blinking and adding sweetly, “or will be once I get out of here and let my hair down.”
He frowned at her, though he was anything but intimidating. He was no more than a decade older than she and yet to master the arrogance he was clearly gunning for, despite the fact he was also the football coach and could bench press weights with the best of his team. “I hate that I’m taking up your valuable social time, but I’ve wanted to catch up with you for some time now.”
Despite her frustration at being kept back, her inner vixen broke into a purr. “Oh?”
It was strange how attuned she was with her body since deciding to take the final step and give up her innocence. Her every thought centered on sex, as though her brain was hardwired to some late night porn channel.
The professor’s blue eyes flared. “I want to get to the bottom of why you’re having so much trouble with this subject.”
Just this subject?
She couldn’t resist an inelegant snort. “I’m sure I’m not the only student to raise a red flag.”
“No, you’re not. But I care about you…your grades,” he said hoarsely, as though the fact pained him. “You’re a shining light, far brighter than you pretend.”
Oh, she knew she wasn’t stupid. Her mind raced a million miles an hour at its most placid. It’s why sleep had never come easy. It was another reason she loved to party and expend at least a little of her energy.
She sucked in a shaky breath, her body heating up from the inside out. Soon she’d find out if sharing a bed would be the solution to her insomnia.
“Why professor, I believe you really do care.” She stepped toward him with a little smile, pushed onto her tiptoes and slanted her mouth across his in a kiss that was nothing short of chaste. It didn’t stop his whole body from stiffening, most especially his cock going by the sudden bulge pressing against her belly.
She pulled back with a hot, tingling face. Dear god, what had gotten into her? She’d barely even kissed Harley let alone one of her lecturers. Never mind that half the girls in the professor’s psychology class had wet panties when he so much as looked their way, she wouldn’t be the one doing extra curriculum workouts between the sheets.
“I’m sorry.” She pressed a shaky hand to her mouth, even as she resisted tugging down her cut-off top that bared her midriff. “It might be my birthday but I…I shouldn’t have done that.”
Heaven help her, she was a fool. She’d instigated something forbidden, something not even close to what she wanted.
But once again she’d acted on impulse, and once again she had no doubt it’d get her into trouble. The professor’s interest might well develop into something far more invested now she’d made the first move.
The professor’s eyes didn’t leave her mouth. “Happy birthday, Lexi.”
“Thanks.” She cleared her throat. “And, um, thanks too for looking out for me. But I really have to go.” She swung away and headed for the nearest set of doors.
“Lexi, wait.” The professor’s voice cracked with need.
She walked faster, feeling his eyes on her every step of the way. It was just a little, spontaneous kiss, she told herself, nothing to feel guilty about.
She scraped a hand over her face. Was she already subconsciously trying to sabotage her night ahead?
She shivered, but it was no longer guilt or even the professor’s stare that caused the reaction. She rubbed at her arms and glanced around the empty lecture hall. Her imagination must be getting the better of her, though Lord only knew this wasn’t the first time she’d experienced the prickling sensation of being watched.
This past week in particular she’d had a heightened awareness of something not quite right and she’d been feeling a little more restless and on edge than usual.
Still, she’d managed to brush the feeling aside. This time though, her senses screamed danger. She sucked in a breath and turned back to the professor, searching for him with quiet desperation. Fuck. He was gone now too, evidently taking the side door allotted to the lecturers.
That was when she heard the lightest footfall.
A hand clapped over her mouth as impossibly strong arms held her still. Her textbooks crashed to the ground and her heart raced in a frantic gallop as she fought to breathe through her nose. Though each of her breaths was shallow, the man’s rich, exotic scent permeated the air and filled her entire being.
Every instinct told her that he wasn’t British. But even as dread filled her from the inside out, she knew better than to fight. The man was foreign and dangerous, and she had a frightening suspicion he was about as unpredictable as a man could get.
“Scream and I’ll make sure you don’t wake until the desert dust fills your nostrils.”