Contemporary Erotic Romance, Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Loose ID
Dreams are the perfect shelter for our fantasies, safe havens to step inside without changing our daily lives. For Lark Braithwaite, all that is about to change. During the last six months, Lark has dreamt of a mysterious Irish lover who knows what she wants and gives her exactly what she needs. In her waking life in busy London, things aren’t as ideal, as her long-term relationship with Charles, her controlling fiancé, has hit a dry spell.
When Lark is called home to Oregon for her father’s funeral right in the middle of a high-stakes corporate merger, she heads back to face the demons from her past. What she doesn’t expect is to meet her dream lover in the flesh. Niall O’Hagan steps straight out of her fantasies and right into her life, and the powerful connection they share rocks her foundation. Although she’s dealing with the bitterness of being betrayed by Charles and his jealousy, Niall soon stirs Lark’s awareness of the superficiality of her existence and reawakens not only her sexuality, but her soul.
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She bit her lower lip, trying to get on solid ground, but from the hunger on his face, she shouldn’t have done that. The imprint of last night’s dream was still fresh in her mind, and she went for a bitchier approach, hoping to deter him. “Oh, please, Niall. My dad was more of a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do type of parent. So right now, I need these more than I need to be lectured, thank you very much.”
He shrugged a shoulder, and a wayward dark curl fell over his left eyebrow. “Fair enough. Could I make an observation, though?”
Lark put the cigarette between two fingers and played with the lighter in her other hand, prepared to take it outside. “Could I stop you?”
The corners of Niall’s mouth twitched. He glanced down, and she moved in for the kill.
“What? Oh, I’m sorry, are you intimidated by strong women?”
His gaze shot back up and fixed on hers. “Oh, no. On the contrary; I find it alluring. I find you, in particular, extremely alluring, though it’s unethical.”
Panic shot through her. What in tarnation was she doing? She should tell him she was with Charles, discourage him. But the way his eyes caught the hallway light, turning them a deep viridian, reminded her of their tryst in the cottage. She said nothing, but her nipples peaked and pressed against her shirt like hard pebbles. He glanced down at them and moved toward her until she found herself pushed up against the wall, trapped. She wasn’t an expert at reading people or anything, but I want you might as well have been written on his forehead in permanent marker. He dropped his law books on the floor without preamble and cupped her face in his hands, leaning forward to kiss her, with no uncertainty this time.
Stunned, she dropped her smoking items as his mouth claimed hers. She let out an involuntary whimper as he touched his tongue to hers, and it appeared to be all the encouragement he needed. With a groan, he fisted the lower back of her shirt and tugged her toward him as his other hand sought the side of her neck.
She sucked on his tongue, twining one of her legs around his as she devoured his mouth. He rubbed his cock against her tentatively and then pressed harder, rubbing it into her pussy through their barrier of clothes.
She should push him away—she should, this was insane—but he tasted like her dreams, warmth and earth and mint, and she craved to feel that again, needed it. She brought her arms up to his shoulders, unsure. He covered her hands with his own and placed them around his neck as he dived into her mouth again, groaning. She kissed him back, the tentativeness fading away with each pull of his lips, each stroke of his tongue.
Liquid warmth rushed to her pussy as his hands slid beneath the back of her shirt, exploring her skin. The amount of passion she got from this single kiss trumped anything she’d ever experienced. She shivered as he rocked against her, hard and hot in the cradle of her hips. He grabbed her bum, tugging her closer as he rubbed against her, his staggered breath against her mouth. Oh yes, he wanted her.
Copyright © Roxanne D. Howard
About the Author:
Roxanne D. Howard is an Army veteran who lived throughout Germany and England, where she met her British husband. She has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and English, and enjoys reading classical literature and Stephen King. She is also an avid musical theater nut and loves everything related to marine biology. She is the proud mother of two beautiful girls, several pets, and loves to spend time with her husband and children when she’s not writing. Roxanne loves to hear from her readers, and she can be contacted at email@example.com. To find out more, please visit her website at www.roxannedhoward.com.
When did you start to have a love for books?
From the time I could read!
What was your favorite book as a child? As a teenager?
As a child it was a toss up between Little Women and Anne of Green Gables. I’ve had a strange addiction to classical literature from an early age. As a teenager, I was naughty and I read Flowers in the Attic. That book messed me up. I wish The Hunger Games had been available then!
What was that turning point that changed you from a reader to a writer?
When I realized I was actually writing a novel instead of being idealistic. I just started writing it one day, as I often do with projects, and an alarm in my head went off and I was like, “Wait a minute. I’m writing a book…” I’ve written stories from the time I was a child, though.
Inspiration can often be found in the oddest people, places, and even situations. In the past, what has inspired you?
Drill Sergeants. I know that’s kind of an odd answer, but seriously. They have a reputation for being as hard as they come, and they are, but beneath it all, they’re very good, inspirational people who care about making a difference in the lives of soldiers. Some of the coolest characters I’ve come across and implement into my work are from Drill Sergeants I’ve encountered.
What has been your favorite book to write so far? Why?
At the Heart of the Stone. I’ve written three books, and I’ve loved all of them, but I simply felt like Lark and Niall’s scribe the entire time I was writing it. They sort of took over and I sat down with a pen and watched them, so to speak.
What about your favorite character or characters? Which characters from your books do you think readers will really feel a connection to?
I think there are a lot of characters in ATHOTS that people can relate to. For me, I relate really well to Pam, Aaron, and Niall. They’re all just down to earth with a grounded-type of wisdom. Pam most of all, though. I tend to be the Yoda of whatever group I’m in, and Pam is the same. She’s kind of the maternal sage. Hopefully lots of readers will connect with Lark, and with Niall. I’ve had some reviewers say that they totally knew what Lark was going through with Charles, that they could relate to her ambitions and career goals.
So far, what has been your greatest moment in your writing career?
It was really amazing to get published, but what I take away as the greatest moments are when I get feedback from someone who the novel really, truly touched. That’s the best complement you can get as a writer, that your work resonated with someone so deeply that they loved it.
What can readers expect from you next?
Within the next six months, I hope to publish Embodiment, a paranormal romance I wrote about a ghost soldier in St. Augustine. I am also working on a longer novel, Finding a pulse. It’s an interracial contemporary romance, and I’m loving the journey it’s taking me on.
Nobody knows your books better than you! In your opinion, readers of what genres will enjoy your books the most?
Romance, erotic romance, paranormal romance. Heck, anyone who enjoys sizzling love scenes that are only part of a much bigger story. Like mashed potatoes and gravy, we as romance readers enjoy proper mashed potatoes, but the gravy’s the best part, and in ATHOTS, the potatoes are all fluffy and delicious, but the gravy is all about the story of Lark’s journey of self-discovery, and how she comes to be with Niall.
Now that we’ve talked about the books, let’s get to know you as the author! What are your favorite books now as an adult? Television shows? Movies?
As an adult, I love to read anything and everything. I’m currently reading Life of Pi. I love Suzanne Collins and lots of dystopian novels, but I read many different things. TV-wise, I like Agent Carter, and I’m a Walking Dead addict (Richonne for life!). I love the Star Wars movies and anything with a good plot. I’m all about the plot, ha ha!
If you could meet one author–from any time era–who would it be and what would you talk about?
Oh, Stephen King! I’m a tremendous fan of all his work (only not in a creepy, Misery type of way). I’d love to just tell him how his writing has impacted my life, how useful I found his advice in On Writing, and I’d just ask him for any advice he had, really. He’s a very gifted author that I’ve always admired.
How would you describe your life in ten words or under?
GAH (That doesn’t count!) “She took stumbling blocks and turned them into stepping stones.”
What is your favorite place to visit?
London. That’s where I met my husband, and where we lived for a good while. I love London.
What words do you live by?
Never give up.
Anything else you’d like to share with readers?
I hope you all check out At the Heart of the Stone and enjoy the amazing journey with Lark and Niall. I wanted to write something readers could literally fall into and lose themselves in, and when I see people posting reviews that that’s exactly what happened, it’s more rewarding to me than a bucket full of money could ever be (though that would be nice, too!) Thank you kindly for your interest! Please feel free to add me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter. Best, Roxanne!
Thanks for letting us interview you, Roxanne!