Let @MtnMoxieGirl Amber Lea Easton Transport You into A World of #Romantic Adventure with #Proximity

Friday Fantasy Free For All

 

Welcome to Behind Closed Doors and Friday Fantasy Free For All. Today I have a special treat for you. My friend, editor extraordinaire and fellow author Amber Lea Easton has asked me to share in the celebration of her new release Proximity (Wanderlust II). The Wanderlust series started with Anonymity. Amber wrote it for fun—for herself and for readers. We loved it so much, we wanted more of the same. While some of the characters may make cameos in the other books in the series, each one stands alone and can be read out of order if you choose. Each one transports you on a brand new adventure with another couple as the battle the elements, natural disasters and the lust they feel for each other. It’s a MUST read series you don’t want to miss!

 

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Book Two of the Wanderlust Series

Genre: Contemporary romance adventure

Author: Amber Lea Easton

Heat Level: Steamy

 

Blurb:

Love sometimes hides in plain sight.

Savannah is one of the boys—fun loving, adventurous, a general contractor, and dive master extraordinaire. There isn’t much she takes seriously about herself, or at least that’s the impression she likes to give off. Women often misjudge her based on her looks so she’s gravitated toward a group of men who accept her ‘as is’—her Scuba diving club.

Bill has known Savannah’s wild side for years and has been comfortable playing the role of best friend. As part of the Dallas Divers, he’s shared many adventures with the group from diving the Blue Hole in Belize to exploring the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. When the team heads out to Costa Rica for a series of cave dives, he knows something is off but can’t justify his nerves.

Catastrophe happens shortly after their immersion in the cave. With the entrance blocked from an earthquake and separated from the rest of their team, Savannah and Bill are forced to find another way out while battling aftershocks, rising tides, and an undeniable attraction that they’ve ignored for too long. The question becomes, what’s more dangerous…the earthquake or love?

**The Wanderlust Series consists of stand-alone adventure romance novels. Occasionally, characters from previous novels may make a cameo, but each story truly does stand on its own merits.

 

Excerpt:

 

She’d had a bad feeling about this trip before agreeing to go and should have gone with her gut. Instead, here she sat thousands of miles from home with friends who normally elevated her mood rather than sunk it.

She had just opened the door to her private balcony facing the canopy of the jungle when a hammering of knocks fell against the front door. Sighing, she ignored them, needing time to regroup.

Focus on the dive. That’s why you’re here. Look at that monkey staring at you. She squinted at the howler monkey perched in an adjacent tree. Gee, I hope he doesn’t throw shit at me.

“You didn’t lock the door. That’s probably not safe.” Bill stood behind her.

“You’re certainly brining the drama on this trip.” She sipped her Mai Tai and waited while he adjusted his long frame into the chair next to hers. “Emily told me that Lexi had an issue with our lunches and talks. I know you said that you didn’t care what people said—and you know I don’t—but it must be eating you up to leave the group. I’ll quit, if that’s what this is. You stay with them. Pretty soon the other guys will have similar issues with me, I’m sure. You’re all too damn polite to say anything.”

“Savannah—”

“Don’t lie to me.”

“Don’t be a martyr.”

She twisted in her chair to look him in the face. “We’ve been through snake bites, hurricanes, wicked currents, and years of shared secrets. Do. Not. Lie. To. Me.”

He gritted his jaw but didn’t look away. “Fine. I won’t. Yes, I’m leaving the group because of you.”

Well, damn, that hurts.

She felt like he’d slapped her. She’d been holding out hope that her insecurities were getting the best of her. She ripped her gaze from his and stared into her drink, absently poking the pineapple stalk into the alcohol before taking a big bite from it.

“I can’t do this anymore. It’s killing me,” he said.

“What is?” She couldn’t look at him. Sudden tears had blurred her vision.

“Choosing and never being chosen in return.”

“What are you choosing? We’re not playing a game of pick-up basketball. That’s what you sound like—a child who isn’t being picked for the right team.” She rubbed a stray tear with the back of her hand. “What does that mean—choosing and not being chosen?”

“Nothing, Savannah. It doesn’t mean anything.”

“Now you’re patronizing me.” Goddamn it, he was pushing her buttons like never before.

“I’d watch that monkey if I were you…he’s eyeballing your drink.”

“I can handle the monkey.” She slid him a gaze that she hoped melted him in place.

“You’re overreacting to my announcement.”

“Announcement? Stewart was right when he said you’re treating us like your employees. What happened between my house and here? What aren’t you telling me? Be straight, don’t give me some bullshit story you’ve obviously made up on the fly. What is killing you? Your word…killing. Me? How? We’re—”

“Stop it, Savannah. You’re making everything worse.” He stood and squeezed her shoulder. “Come back out with the guys. They’re all pissed at me for driving you away. Let’s hit restart on this adventure of ours and have a good night.”

She’d rally because that’s what she did—what she was known for, rallying and never breaking. Even after her fiancé had killed himself, she’d gone on with life and succeeded. She rallied. But right now she didn’t want to laugh this off and be one of the guys. She wanted to drink her Mai Tai, order room service, and spend the rest of her night staring at the jungle surrounding them. Alone.

“Go do that then. I’m not coming.”

“Savannah…this isn’t about hurting you. You and I—”

“—Are such good buddies that you can’t confide in me?” She met his gaze then, eyes devoid of tears, a skill she’d mastered over the years. “We talk every night. I thought we told each other everything, and here you have this resentment toward me—”

“—I don’t resent you at all, couldn’t, that’s not—”

“Then tell me the truth because I know you’re lying.”

He shoved his hands into the back pockets of his jeans and stared at her as if weighing the pros and cons of confession.

“So it’s true? You’re still lying?” She stood then and poked him in the chest with the remainder of the pineapple stalk. “We are dive partners! I trust you with my life and you trust me with yours every damn time we go down. What could you possibly want to hide from me?”

“If I tell you, I’ll lose you.” He clenched his jaw but didn’t break eye contact. “That’s what you do, Savannah. Yes, we know each other really well, which means I know what I can and can’t tell you.”

“What do you mean that’s what I do? Do what? You showed up at my house with Chinese take-out, all smiles and wanting to make plans to go to Denver for Alyssa and Luke’s wedding—then wham you’re suddenly moving to California.” She gestured wide with her hands, more confused than she’d ever been about anything in her life. “Did you get bit by some Costa Rican bug and it’s causing you to lose your fucking mind?”

Without hesitating, he grabbed the back of her head and ground his mouth against hers until they stumbled back against the chair and onto the railing of the balcony. The ferocity of his kiss weakened her knees and shocked her to the core.

She clenched at his shoulders for balance, conscious of leaning precariously against a bamboo railing thirty feet above the ground. Every inch of her trembled at the unexpected passion rolling from his lips and against hers.

But she liked the way he felt against her, enjoyed the way his fists pulled as he wrapped them tightly into her hair, liked the way he ground his mouth against hers until she kissed him back, thrilled at being thrown off balance and needing to cling to his strong shoulders to remain upright.

When she opened her mouth to deepen the kiss, he moaned his appreciation. The sound electrified her blood with a million tiny pinpricks of awareness that pulsated beneath her skin.

As suddenly as he’d kissed her, he let her go.

She sagged against the railing, hands searching for something to hold onto as she watched him walk away. Anger replaced desire in the blink of an eye.

She strode after him and caught him as he was stepping out the front door. “What the hell was that?”

He looked at her, his slow grin adding fuel to the fire burning in her gut. “If I need to tell you, then I guess I didn’t do it right.”

“Bill, I swear to God you’ve lost all sense,” she whispered.

“Maybe it’s the opposite.”

She frowned. “I don’t know what that means.”

“There’s the problem. Right there.” He grabbed her by the shoulders, kicked the door closed and ground his mouth against hers again. Reckless desire communicated itself through the ferocity of his kiss.

She pressed against him, overcome with need and confusion. She matched his passion with her own, no longer thinking about what was right or wrong. Every inch of her skin quivered with awareness.

They fell against the wall, tripped over a low table, and collapsed against the floor in a tangle of limbs. Body heat ignited from the inside out, making the short dress she wore feel constricting even as it rode up her thighs. She writhed against him, peeled his shirt up his back and sunk her fingernails into his skin.

He moved his mouth from hers and trailed kisses down her neck. The weight of him pressing her against the wooden floor combined with the heat of their bodies and the feel of his mouth on her skin while surrounded by wild sounds of the jungle overloaded her senses.

“Savannah, I’ve wanted this for so long,” he muttered against her shoulder.

His voice snapped her back to reality. She dropped her head back against the wood and closed her eyes. The pleasure of the moment conflicting with common sense.

“We can’t do this,” she said with a catch in her voice. “You’re Bill.”

“Glad you know who I am.” He rose up on the palm of his hands and stared into her eyes. “Why not? You’re the only woman I’ve ever thought of as a soul mate—look at how we are together. Friends, confidantes…why not lovers? Why not have it all?”

“Stop it. Soul mate? Where is this coming from?” She wiggled from beneath him and straightened her dress. Breaths came like tortured streaks of air ripping through up her throat. “This is because of your fight with Lexi, isn’t it? She said something about me, about us, and it has you all stirred up. I am not going to risk our friendship for a good fuck.”

“You want me as badly as I want you.” He jumped to his feet.

She couldn’t look at him with his hair a mess from her hands, handsome face dark with desire, and shirt half-up his hard chest without thinking of how good it had felt to have his body on top of hers. Her mind raced for an excuse that wouldn’t damage their relationship.

She needed his friendship more than she needed a lover.

“You’re Bill.

“We’ve got that covered! Why the hell do you keep saying that? What does my name signify to you? Is it that I’m your lap dog and nothing more? Have I been segregated into some weird place in your life where I am permanently in the friend-zone?”

Words failed her. She faced him and shrugged. The hurt in his eyes stabbed her in her heart.

“Bill, wait,” she said when he opened the door again. She grabbed his arm, not knowing what to say but terrified that a crack had formed in their relationship that would never heal. “I need to understand.”

“If I need to spell it out to you at this point, then maybe I’ve been wrong about us for a very long time.” He met her gaze. “That’s why I need to go. You confuse me. I want a life with a wife and kids and big family barbecues and all of that and I’m starting to think this…friendship we have…is standing in the way of the rest of my life. It’s you, always you in my head when I’m with anyone else.”

“You’re my best friend,” she whispered, fear making her voice quake. “That’s always been enough.”

“That’s what I thought, too.”

“Then what changed? We’re Savannah and Bill, we have fun, we’re each other’s go-to person…Why complicate it? Why can’t you have a wife and kids and everything you want with me as your best friend?”

“Is that what you want? Really?” He leaned close enough where the gold flecks in his hazel eyes were only an eyelash away. “Do you want to watch me marry someone else one day? Because I can honestly stand here and say that the idea of you being some other man’s bride tears my heart out.”

She cringed at the idea of being anyone’s bride. “Why are you doing this? Now? Here? Before a dangerous dive?”

“It came up, that’s all.”

“Like hell it did. You’re my partner and now you threw this—”

“Let it go, Savannah. Pretend I never came to your room.”  He twisted free of her grip and walked onto the suspended bridge.

Talk about a serious mind fuck.

Deciding to let him have his nervous breakdown on his own, she slammed the door closed and stomped toward the bed. Her dive buddies were her safe haven from the nutty men in the world—or at least they had been before Bill decided to go bonkers. She fell back onto the bed and blinked at the thatched ceiling. Absently, she touched her lips that still throbbed from his kiss.

Okay, so maybe she’d fantasized about him now and then. Perhaps she’d been guilty of comparing other men to Bill and finding them lacking. But crossing that line had never been an option for her. Couldn’t be.

Mae West had once said that a man’s kiss was his signature.

Savannah grinned against her fingertips. Now she knew what Ms. West had meant by that and had to agree. Damn, no man’s kiss had ever curled her toes and boiled her blood like that.

Too bad it could never happen again.

 

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Purchase Links:

Barnes and Noble: http://goo.gl/x4qmGC

Amazon: http://myBook.to/Proximity

All Romance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-proximity-1795070-153.html

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/539624

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About the Author:

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Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published author of both nonfiction and fiction. Smart is sexy, according to Easton, which is why she writes strong female heroines           who encounter their fair share of challenges but ultimately persevere. In addition to being an author, Easton is also an editor, speaker, and mother of two                      exceptional young adults. Find out more about her books by visiting http://www.amberleaeaston.com

 

#OhMY! Monday: Author @DakotaSkye69 Shares Her New #Paranormal #EroticRomance

Oh My! Mondays Banner For Behind Closed Doors

 

Welcome to Behind Closed Doors! Today I’ve brought out the Oh My Monday banner to welcome a new author to the world of erotic romance. Dakota Skye just released her very first erotic romance novel. Blurred Lines is a paranormal tale filled with one hot love triangle—with a ghost in the middle of it! Check out the blurb.

Letting go is like a death. Sierra never thought she would be caught in a love triangle between her writing partner, Alex, and the love of her life, Shane—especially because her ex-fiancé is now a ghost. Tormented with both guilt for moving on with someone else and a desire to be free of the past, she’s pulled between both men. Shane struggles with accepting his death and seeing the woman he loves with someone else. Alex is determined to free Sierra from limbo and change their relationship from casual to serious, but the bond she has with Shane transcends death. One of the three needs to let go.

Only the good die young. When Shane Weston is murdered before prosecuting a key member of the Mexican drug cartel, he can’t accept the idea that all of the plans he had had for his life will never come true. More than that, he can’t let go of the love he has for his fiancée.

Love never dies. Sierra Daniels is crushed after Shane’s death. Head writer on a successful television series, she can’t get back into the groove of life. All enthusiasm for work is gone. Ready to quit everything, she travels to her cabin in Lake Tahoe in hopes of escaping everyone’s expectations and disappearing for a while.

The lines between right and wrong often blur. Alexander Blaine has risked his future on a career change from DEA agent to lead consultant and writer on hit television series. Sierra’s grief has shadowed everyone around her, including him, and jeopardizes both of their careers. Unwilling to accept defeat, he follows her to Lake Tahoe determined to break through the barrier enveloping her and make her see that life is still worth living. 

EXCERPT

 

BlurredLinesDakotaSkye6Murder. The word still didn’t roll off her tongue with ease. ‘My fiancé was murdered…” she doubted she would ever get used to saying those words. Ironic, in a twisted way, that she wrote about crime for a living.

Shane had been killed during a high profile trial of alleged members of the Mexican drug cartel. Some teenager had been arrested for the crime, but she knew he’d been a punk hired to do the deed. Of course he wouldn’t talk, was probably a folk hero south of the border.

Sierra and Shane…that’s how she’d come to think over their four-year relationship. Always a duo, their names always said as one entity.

Palms against the door, she pushed herself away and forced herself into the room. She needed to make a fire, unpack, settle in…her gaze landed on the framed photograph above the mantel. Shane and Sierra, arms around each other and laughing, with Lake Tahoe as their backdrop—joy and love captured in a snapshot. Now he would always be forever tan and young.

She had been in a downward spiral ever since…now she clung by her fingernails to a career she’d fought and sacrificed for all these years.

I miss you, Shane, she thought with tears in her eyes.

She shook off the dark thoughts and resumed starting the fire.

“Sierra…” Her name whispered through the house, a memory of Shane saying it so long ago.

A tingle went up her spine, lifting the hairs on the back of her neck, before caressing her skin with a feather-like touch.

Shane’s touch.

If only, so many if-onlys.

She poked at the kindling, wishing they had bothered to install a gas fireplace when they’d originally bought the property.

Her cell phone sounded with the horror movie music indicating it was the dreaded Alexander calling again. How many times did she need to hit ‘decline’ before he got the message? Didn’t the man have a life beyond work?

He thought he was some kind of god simply because he was former DEA turned writer. She snorted again and poked at the sticks in the hearth. Ass. Know-it-all. She had a Masters in Creative Writing from Berkley, not to mention three Emmy’s on her desk, and an Oscar nomination for a documentary she’d produced. She was a writer, not Alexander Blaine who bragged about ‘stumbling into it.’

Ignoring the phone, she started the fire, knelt back on her heels, held her hands up to the warmth, and grinned with satisfaction.

Shane had called her a certifiable city girl. Well, look at her now.

She searched the kitchen for the supplies Mary had stocked before her arrival. Grabbing a bottle of wine, she smiled.

“Mary, you know me too well,” she muttered as she turned the bottle around in her hands before reaching for the corkscrew.

“You’re so beautiful,” Shane’s voice echoed through her memory. “I’m the luckiest man in the world to be loved by you.”

She squeezed her eyes closed and indulged in remembering him holding her, kissing her, making her believe in fairy tales and love stories.

BlurredLinesDakotaSkye6“I’m here. See me.” The voice startled her from indulging. Clear. Deep.

Dropping the corkscrew, she swiveled around and glanced across the room. No one. Only the empty kitchen with its clean marble countertops and gleaming pans met her vision.

“I really am losing my mind,” she muttered as she skipped the glass and drank straight from the bottle.

Endless days of work on the set of a hit television series took its toll. The stress of having to mesh with a partner had given her anxiety attacks, not that she’d ever admit that to anyone. In show business, writers were only as good as the ratings of the most recent show. Fickle. Not exactly the safe life in academia she’d once envisioned for herself.

She dropped her iPhone into the stereo after making sure to put it on ‘do not disturb’, scrolled down to her favorite playlist, and kicked off her shoes. Music filled the room, drowning out any imagined ghost voices. Settling onto the sofa with the bottle nuzzled against her chest, she watched flames snap and crackle.

She could see Shane without closing her eyes. Often she’d imagine seeing him in a crowd, his tall silhouette a head above the others on the street. Sometimes she would see him at their favorite restaurant sitting at the bar while she picked up her take-out after another late night at the office. She’d always do a double take only to find him gone, a figment of her imagination.

Dreams were the most vivid. She would wake up and swear she’d been touched, her skin tingling where she had imagined his fingers to be.

“I miss you so much,” she whispered, allowing the tears to fall. She suppressed them most of the time by staying busy and immersed in her career. But now—in this place that had once been their hideaway—emotions bubbled to the surface despite the pills designed to keep them buried. “Without you I’m just a stressed out work-a-holic. No one’s ever going to love me like you did.”

“You’re wrong, Sierra.”

She took another swig from the bottle, in a way resenting that she still heard his voice in her head. People nagged at her to snap out of it, let him go, move on; but how was that possible when she saw him in her dreams and heard him in her head?  The therapist told her that it was okay to talk to the deceased, that she could still have conversations if that made her feel better. Of course, she’d neglected to tell the doctor that often she heard a response.

Just my imagination.

“I’m here.” Shane’s voice.

“If only…”

A surge of energy rushed through her like an electrical shock. She closed her eyes and sighed.

A caress against her lips. She opened her eyes and saw Shane leaning over her. Despite being a lawyer who could wear a suit like an Armani model, he’d had the surfer dude look down to a tee. She grinned at the lock of blond hair falling across his tanned forehead.

“Always too handsome for your own good,” she whispered to the image. “I miss you so much.”

“I’ve never left you,” he said.

She covered her eyes with her hand and shook her head. “You did, they took you from me, too young, never should have happened…”

“I’m here, Sierra. See me.” He touched her hand. She felt it. Heavy. Warm.

Impossible. Too much work and too little sleep had pushed her over the edge, add pills and wine to the mix and everything felt unreal.

“I’m losing everything, you know. I can’t function. The show has dropped in ratings despite some damn DEA expert slash pain in my ass who was supposed to save us from going in the ditch. I can’t write anymore. Period. I can’t do anything anymore, not like I used to, not without you. Now I’m going crazy.”

“Believe.”

“You’re not here.”

“I’m here, I’ve never left you. Look at me. It’s taking all I’ve got to do this.”

One finger at a time, she lifted her hand from her eyes. She swallowed disbelief despite the warm energy rippling through her body.

Shane leaned over her, contagious grin in place, body heavy on top of hers. She reached up, simultaneously scared and fascinated. When her fingers touched his hair, she froze.

“I don’t believe in ghosts,” she whispered.

“I’ve noticed. Do you know how hard I’ve been trying to connect with you?”

Frozen with fear yet driven by curiosity, she forced a whisper from her lips, “Why here? Why now?”

“You’re so sad, I don’t want you to be sad anymore.”

Tears slipped from the corners of her eyes despite his words. “How can I not be sad? You were my world.”

“That’s not true.” He kissed her, the touch like a breeze over her lips. “You had it goin’ on when I met you, don’t you remember? You ignored me because I looked like an uptight lawyer in my suit. You were at that restaurant with all of your artist friends and I couldn’t stop staring. You avoided going out with me for a full month, always too busy working. Don’t you remember? You never needed me. You wanted me. There’s a difference.”

She shook her head, unwilling to remember. Hanging onto sorrow had protected her from living without him. She didn’t want to remember life pre-Shane…and she didn’t want to think about life post-Shane. Limbo felt like a safer place to hide from reality.

Now she had conjured him up from memory; that had to be the only explanation. She’d taken talking to the void a step further.

BlurredLinesDakotaSkye6“You’re not real.” She touched her fingers to his face even as she said the words.

“Want me to prove it to you?”

She shook her head ‘no,’ even as her thumb moved along his chin. The energy rippling beneath her fingertips zapped like electrical shocks, rather than a solid form. Maybe she had lost her mind, which was the only explanation she could believe.

“I see you everywhere,” she whispered.

“I am everywhere.” His smile made her heart ache with longing.

She slid her fingers over his lips with fascination and relaxed against the sofa cushions. Eyes narrowed, she stared at the image above her. She wanted to believe, but her imagination had gotten her into trouble in the past.

“You’re not here,” she said. “I just want you to be so badly I’m seeing things.”

“Believe.”

“You ask a lot.”

She closed her eyes and shuddered with the need pulsating through her body. Her hand moved beneath her sweater, fingers tracing over her abdomen before sliding over her bra. Where her hands drifted, ripples of energy followed, creating a trail of sensation over her skin. Desire warmed her blood.

“I miss being loved,” she whispered.

“I love you.” Shane’s voice against her ear. “Let me touch you.”

“I wish you could.” She ached for him, for the love they had shared, for the laughter, and the partnership.

With a sigh, she set the wine bottle onto the floor and pulled her sweater off. Another shudder went through her body, ripple after ripple of intensity. Closing her eyes to submit to fantasy, she moved her hands over the swell of her breasts.

She felt his lips against her neck, breath against her skin. Shane’s blond head bent over her, the familiar scent of his shampoo overwhelming her senses, his voice whispering about how much he loved her.

She missed making love, holding a man against her, tasting him on her tongue, feeling him move between her thighs.

“Believe in this, Sierra. I’m really here,” the whispered command made her squirm against the seat and reach for the zipper of her jeans.

But the zipper slid down without her fingers touching it. Her eyes snapped open.

“Is this really happening?” She choked out the words from a throat swollen with fear while her heartbeat raced with hope.

“Do you want it to be?” He loomed over her, a solid form, yes, but one zapping with an electrical current. “You see me.”

“I see you.”

He kissed her; energy sizzled between their mouths as he shoved her jeans down her legs. Where he touched, her skin reacted with an intensity born from loneliness and need.

 

About the Author

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Dakota Skye is an author fascinated by the paranormal. After having several personal “unexplained experiences” in her life, she started exploring the idea of the “other side.” Ghosts, angels, Spirit Guides…what are they and do we interact with them more than we know? In her stories, she incorporates that fascination with fantasy while always focusing on the love.

Author Contact information:

http://www.facebook.com/DakotaSkye

http://www.twitter.com/DakotaSkye69

http://authordakotaskye.blogspot.com

 

Where to Find Blurred Lines

All Romance Ebooks: goo.gl/M9PLhF

Amazon (all countries): myBook.to/BlurredLines

Barnes and Noble: http://goo.gl/XHzZME