In case you hadn’t noticed the last couple of blogs…I’m thrilled to announce Three Of A Kind is now available.
This is the print anthology of two of my novellas from the Three Of A Kind Series: Raising The Stakes and Full House.
Since you know I’m gonna be posting this at the Down Under Divas in a few hours, what I thought I’d do is share an excerpt from Raising The Stakes here, and one from Full House over at the Divas.
Three Of A Kind: By Jess Dee
Know when to hold ’em…
Raising the Stakes
Des could kick himself for introducing his best friend Megan to his poker buddy, Alex. The perfect woman was by his side all this time! Her innocent prodding about why he’s suddenly so distant only increases his hunger for her. Then she gets one step too close—and his self-restraint snaps.
Megan had given up waiting for Des to notice she loves him. Now, God help her, she wants both him and Alex. It may sound greedy, but she has a wildly sexy proposition for her two men…and she hopes they agree to play by her rules.
It took a six-week business trip to make Max realize he’s ready to take the next step with his lover. Except when he gets to Trev’s place, there’s someone living in the spare room. A woman with the face of an angel.
Trev wants more than a standing Friday-night “date” with Max. He also knows he’s falling hard for Grace. But Grace is poised to run. While Trev is vibrating with lust for the delicious possibilities, he has his hands full trying to hold the two loves of his life together…before they both slip through his fingers.
Product Warnings: If you’re looking for a cool game of poker, you won’t find it here. There’s sex. Lots of sex. Hot sex, sweaty sex, gay sex, straight sex, ménage sex. Oh, and romantic sex. Lots of romantic sex. Hot romantic sex, sweaty romantic sex…you getting the picture?
Raising The Stakes: An Excerpt
“Desmond? Where are you?”
“Go back inside, Megan.” His voice came from behind the blue gum.
Megan? Des never called her by her full name.
She walked over to him, making out the profile of his body below the canopy of branches. “Enjoying your cigarette?”
He didn’t answer.
“You don’t smoke.” What a bullshit excuse.
“I don’t want company either.”
Crikey, what crawled up his ass? “I don’t care.” She strode over and planted herself in front of him. “What’s going on with you?”
“Nothing you need to worry about.” He didn’t move, just leaned on the tree, one foot resting against the trunk.
“Listen up, mate.” She poked a finger at his chest. “I’m getting sick of you pushing me away. You got a problem, tell me about it.”
“I’m not in the mood for talking.”
She bristled at his tone. “Yeah? Well I’m not in the mood for leaving you out here to brood. It’s not your style, and it freaks me out. So why not cut the crap and spill your guts?”
He shook his head. “Go away, Meg. I need to be alone.”
“Or else what?” Yes, she goaded him, but she had no choice. If she walked away now, she’d never get through to him. He’d just carry on shutting her out, and she’d have no chance to help him. Rather push him until he cracked. Get whatever troubled him out in the open. She couldn’t bear seeing him like this. So tense and so edgy she hardly recognized him.
“Or else someone is going to get hurt.”
She snorted. “Did you just threaten me?” The idea of Des getting violent was laughable.
He glared at her.
“Oooh, now I’m scared. The big, bad Desmond wants to hit me.”
“I’m not going to hit you. You’re being ridiculous.”
“Oh, really? Then why do you look as if you want to smash your fist into something?”
“Megan!” Her name was a warning.
“Will hitting me make you feel better? Will it help get your frustration and anger out?” He needed to get it out. Whatever else he had bottled up inside needed releasing too. He was wound so tight he could snap any minute.
She opened her arms wide, turning herself into a standing target. “Go ahead, take your best shot.” As if he could ever lay a hand on her.
His arms remained at his sides. “Don’t be an idiot.”
“Me?” She laughed out loud. “The only one being an idiot is you. Now, I’m going to count slowly to three, and when I reach the magic number, you’re going to tell me exactly what’s going on in that head of yours.”
Emotion radiated off Des in waves. Anger, aggravation and a million other things she couldn’t identify.
“You ready?” She paused, waiting for him speak.
He didn’t say a thing.
Nothing. No confession forthcoming.
Des shifted against the tree, the stilted action a clear sign of his agitation.
“Two and half…”
“Megan,” he growled.
“You wanna say something?”
“Two and three-quarters.”
“Do not say three.” His words rang clear through the dark night.
“Because you’ll regret it,” was his gruff promise. “We both will.”
“Is there something you want to say before I finish counting?”
“No!” His breath sounded heavy. Labored.
“Okay. Fine.” She shrugged, glared at him then smiled. “Three.”
Des snapped. “Jesus fucking Christ. You just don’t get it, do you?”
“Get the fucking reason I cannot talk to you, cannot be with you.”
“How can I get it?” she snapped right back, matching his tone and aggression. “You won’t fucking tell me.”
“That’s because it’s you,” he snarled.
Oh, well that cleared up everything, didn’t it? “What’s me?”
“You’re my fucking problem!”
She froze. “Me?”
“Yes, you!” He punched the tree. “I can’t get bloody far enough away from you.”
His answer hit her like a giant breaker, throwing her off balance and tumbling her, ragdoll style, through the sea. “Wh-what do you mean?”
“I mean back off. Do not come any closer.”
She shook her head, instantly denying his response. He hadn’t said that. He couldn’t have. Not Des. “Why not?”
“Because you’re driving me fucking crazy.” Each word was clearly enunciated, as though he forced them out one at a time.
Spots danced in front of her face, blinding her. Oh, God. He had said it. All of it. To her. She stepped forward, waving an arm in front of her, seeking something to hold on to before she fell. A branch, anything. She found nothing.
“I said stay away,” he hissed.
Tears rushed her eyes as shock gave way to reality.
Desmond’s issue was her. She was the problem.
Dear God, how could she have been so dense as to not realize it before? He hadn’t stayed away because of some abstract crisis that had nothing to do with her. He’d stayed away because he didn’t want to see her. It was that simple.
A lump the size of China settled in her throat. She couldn’t swallow it down; couldn’t breathe over it. A sob gurgled in her chest and burst out her mouth.
Des hated her.
“Meggy!” Her name was a soft cry of pain. “Christ, please don’t cry.”
What else did he expect her to do? For all intents and purposes she’d just lost her best friend. “You hate me.” The fact burned her throat.
He emitted a sound like a wounded animal. “I could never hate you.”
Semantics. “You don’t want me anywhere near you.” In her mind it meant the same thing.
“You just told me to stay the fuck away.” The muscle in her cheek ticked furiously.
His shoulders sagged as though he’d lost the will to fight. “Only because I don’t have the strength to stay away from you anymore.”
“I don’t understand,” she told him helplessly. “You’re talking in circles.”
Des said nothing.
She had no idea what she’d done to deserve his ire, couldn’t fathom where their friendship had gone so wrong. All she knew was she couldn’t stand here any longer. Not when her best friend hated her and her heart was breaking in a million pieces.
She held up her hands in defeat and took a step backwards. Tears ran down her cheeks, spilling into her mouth. Her hurt was too deep to fathom, too endless to comprehend.
Alex. She needed Alex.
She backed away with another step. Alex would make her feel better. “So you can find another way to tell me to get out of your life?” She shook her head, confounded. “I don’t think so. Have a happy future, Des. I, uh…” The cheek muscle ticked. “I enjoyed being your friend.”
He let out a fierce snarl. “Damn it, I told you you’d regret this.”
Des moved so fast she had no time to register his actions. One second she was edging towards the house, the next her back was flattened against the tree and his arms were around her, holding her so tight she could hardly breathe.
There was no time to think, no time to object. His mouth crashed down on hers, claiming her lips with savage intent. He kissed her like a man starved for a woman, ravenous for a taste of that which had been denied him forever. It was a feverish kiss that went on eternally, scalding her lips and blowing every one of her defenses out of the water.
She whimpered beneath the assault, stunned not just by Des’s action—so at odds with his words—but by his intensity and demand.
Her thoughts tumbled together in confusion. How could someone who hated her, someone who couldn’t get far enough away from her, kiss her like this?
Ah, I love that scene.
If you wanna finish reading the book, you can purchase your copy of Three Of A Kind at:
Barnes And Noble