She’s his completely…but only for the weekend.
When a rock star Dom is asked to teach a lovely woman to submit, she turns out to be his sister’s best friend—the woman he left behind years ago. Can he show her the ropes and watch her walk away this time, or will she leave him yearning for more?
When Jane Jacobs flies to Las Vegas for a blind date with a Dom, she’s expecting a stranger who’ll show her how to submit sexually—but she’s not expecting him to be masked. Or every bit as powerful, magnetic and sexy as the man of her dreams, rock drummer Vincent O’Connell. Her volcanic response to this commanding stranger shocks her, and leaves her daring to hope she’s finally free of her obsession with Vincent. Until her Dom reveals the man behind the mask.
Vincent knows agreeing to dominate Jane is a calculated risk. But the innocently sultry blonde has figured in his own fantasies for years, and he’s damned if he’ll let another man explore her submissive depths. When their encounter flames hotter and more satisfying than any in his memory, he knows that to keep her, he must tell her the truth. But that means revealing more than just his face.
It means showing her his heart.
God, it was hot.
The desert wind blasted Jane’s hair back from her face as she walked out of the sliding doors of the Las Vegas airport. Heat soaked through the base of her heels to sear her toes, and she imagined the sudden sweat popping out on her forehead looked nothing like the “glistening” most women claimed they did in the heat. No, she was definitely sweating. And hot. Really hot.
But at least her dress was cool.
The Marilyn Monroe lookalike was intended to give her confidence, and it certainly did that. The halter top left her shoulders bare, the nipped-in waist made her feel incredibly sexy, and the filmy skirt flitted teasingly in the air, reminding her of the scene in The Seven Year Itch where Marilyn stopped over the subway grate. Vegas didn’t have subway grates, but at least if the skirt hit the air in similar fashion, her new lacy underwear wouldn’t leave her embarrassed—much. Since she wasn’t in the habit of showing strangers her underwear, some embarrassment was inevitable, but not the ratty-panties kind.
You’re about to show a guy a lot more than your panties, Jane. Remember that.
The sudden flush in her cheeks had nothing to do with the air temperature. She wasn’t letting it stop her, though. She planned to do a lot in Las Vegas that would have her blushing; she might as well get used to it now.
The sudden sound of crickets chirping came from her purse. Her cell phone. More specifically, Kennedy’s ringtone—inside joke, since when they got together there was never any silence. Her best friend was probably running late, like always. Too many irons in the fire and not enough hands. Jane fished her phone out while she peered around the area. Where were the signs she needed?
“Are you here?”
Jane grinned. “Just walked out of the airport.”
Jane could hear Kennedy shifting the phone around. Her voice was breathless, like she was hurrying somewhere. Definitely not in a car. A sinking feeling settled in Jane’s stomach. “You’re not out here waiting for me, are you?” she asked.
“You know me very well,” Kennedy said. “We had an unexpected crisis with a VIP event—it’s missing its VIP. But I sent James with the limo. Things should be settled by the time you get here.”
Kennedy had been at the Sovereign Resort and Spa for six months now, assistant manager of event planning. Jane couldn’t be more proud of her, even though it meant Kennedy no longer lived nearby. This was the first chance she’d had to fly out since her friend moved to Nevada.
Kennedy was half mumbling to someone near her and half instructing Jane where to go. Jane squinted at a sign to her left, but the letters blurred into a white blob on a blue background. With a sigh she fumbled her prescription sunglasses out of her purse and onto her nose. The utilitarian frames didn’t go with her fifties dress, more fitting her everyday image—stuffy librarian—but the instant they were on, everything went from fuzzy to crisp and the sign became readable.
“So where do I find the limo?” she asked Kennedy.
A few hushed, impatient words reached her ears, then, “Go to the reserved pickup area.”
The sign in front of her didn’t help, so she glanced around for another farther down. “I qualify for something reserved?” she asked.
“Of course! Now which door did you come out of?”
Jane told her.
“Good. Go left.”
She did, a little laugh escaping. Kennedy knew exactly how directionally—and optically—challenged Jane was. Being talked through the maze that was McCarran International would save her numerous trips backward when she got lost.
Heat waves curled up from the sidewalk despite the overhead canopy protecting it and her from the sun. The crowds, seeming unaffected by the heat, mingled in clumps, blocking her way as they waited for buses to take them to their respective lodging. Her heels added three inches to her height, just enough that she wasn’t swamped and blind in the swarm of people, but it was Kennedy’s directions that led her to reserved pickup without a hitch. Hopefully her friend had been equally successful finding what Jane needed for this visit.
Jane wasn’t sure she wanted to ask. Yes, she’d made this decision on her own—the Big Decision, capital letters—and what Kennedy had offered to do was the linchpin in this being a success, but a part of her hoped Kennedy hadn’t found anyone. After all, if Kennedy didn’t succeed, Jane wouldn’t have to put herself out there, so to speak.
All of me. Everything.
She stepped to one side, out of the flow of traffic, her grip on her phone making her fingers ache.
“Um, Kennedy, did you—”
“No, that won’t work!” Kennedy yelled in her ear. Jane jerked the phone far enough from her face to stare at it, as if the device could explain the problem. It stared silently back at her, but when she returned it to her ear, Kennedy was apologizing. “I’m sorry, Jane, but if I ever want to get away, I have to deal with this. I’ll see you in a few.”
The line went dead. Kennedy was gone.
Jane wasn’t sure if that was a relief or not.
Just ahead, a section of the curbs on both sides of the road were labeled RESERVED. Since the area was empty, no limo in sight, Jane took her time, letting the swish of her skirt against her legs and the faint kick of wind soothe her rioting nerves. Lane, her ex, had hated this dress when she picked it out. Of course, he’d hated a lot of things, including what she’d suggested to spice up their mundane sex life, which was why he was her ex. She was twenty-six, not sixty; she shouldn’t have the sex life of a middle-aged woman. She’d suspected for a long time that what she needed couldn’t be had from Lane anyway—or any other man she’d dated, for that matter. They were all too…nice. She didn’t want a nice sex life. Passion, yes. Fire, definitely. To be controlled—at least, she hoped that’s what she needed. Otherwise this was all going to be a complete clusterfuck.
Her thoughts drifted without permission to the one time she’d experienced that fire. The memory stirred more nerves, though, and she shoved it forcefully away.
A black stretch limo turned the corner ahead. As it prowled toward her, Jane’s glasses allowed her to see the white square sign in the front window: JACOBS. That was her. Hitching her overnight case higher on her shoulder, she moved forward and raised a hand to gain the driver’s attention.
Before the vehicle could reach her, a hotel bus zoomed around the bend. Jane was close enough she could see the driver’s eyes go wide at the obstruction directly in front of him. To avoid rear-ending the limo, he whipped into the second lane. The rush of wind from the passing bus caught the hem of her skirt and, just like in The Seven Year Itch, threw the material into the air before Jane could put her hand down to catch it. She knew exactly how unsuccessful she was by the sudden coolness bathing her upper thighs—and the limo driver’s expression as he pulled to a stop at the curb.
A wolf whistle sounded behind her, then another one. Smoothing a hand over her bottom to be sure it was now covered, Jane chanced a look over her shoulder. Several tourists had dropped their bags and stopped their conversations to gawk in her direction. The awful rush of heat up her neck returned, damn it. How was she going to get through a night with a Dom if she couldn’t get down the street without blushing to death?
And then, just for a moment, she saw something that sent the blood in her cheeks back so fast Jane thought she might faint. A man, walking away from her, the details of his body obscured by the sudden glare of sunlight as he moved beyond the covered walkway in front of the airport. All she could make out was that he was tall, his shoulders broad and heavy and—her heart thudded—seemingly familiar, as was the glint of ginger in his hair. She caught a hint of sunglasses and pale skin as he turned to look at something nearby, and then he moved around the end of the building and was gone.
Not from her mind, though. Her heart was beating the inside of her ribs like it wanted to break out and follow the man, which was ridiculous because he couldn’t be who she thought he was. He couldn’t. Kennedy would’ve told her if Vincent was visiting Vegas at the same time. And Jane would’ve stayed home to avoid him, like she’d been doing for the past seven years, ten months, and she-really-needed-to-forget-how-many days.
But he wasn’t here. Weekend Washout, the indie rock band Vincent was a part of, had become a huge success several years ago. Kennedy had bragged just last night that V. was on the road again. Probably a different city every night. A different girl. Not that Jane was thinking about that. Or him. Ever again. Even if he was the reason she’d started on this godforsaken road down exploration lane.
Of course, the road would feel much less bumpy if she didn’t see his ghost around every corner. There was more than one sexy redhead with broad shoulders in the world. She just needed to get over what had happened and get a move on. Her future was waiting.
A throat clearing behind her dragged Jane’s attention back to the present. “Hello, miss. You wouldn’t happen to be Ms. O’Connell’s guest, by chance?”
She turned from staring after her mystery guy to find the driver of the limo standing in front of her, proper black uniform, cap, and all. His accent was even proper English. She didn’t know if it was real, but it was charming, as were his smiling blue eyes. Appreciative blue eyes, even if he was nearer fifty than twenty-five. Apparently her lacy underwear could be relished at any age.
She scrambled to get her thoughts together and held out her hand. “Yes, Jane.”
“Nice to make your acquaintance, Jane. I am James.”
James, really? She barely held back a home, James!
The chauffeur didn’t seem to notice her sudden amusement, or maybe he was used to it. “Ms. O’Connell described you perfectly.” The man took her hand and actually bowed over it briefly. Did they teach that in chauffeur school, along with the accent and the proper name to use? Everything in Vegas was a show, it seemed. “May I take your bag, miss?”
An enjoyable show. She gave James her sweetest smile and a thank-you.
Her overnight case was summarily stored and Jane escorted to the rear passenger door of the limousine. Before she stepped inside, she couldn’t help one last glance at the spot where the mystery guy had stood. The yearning she’d fought for so many years bubbled up, aching for a single glimpse of his face, his smile, his eyes, but the crowd was empty of anything familiar. The man, so much like Vincent, was gone, leaving her behind just like the real Vincent had.
Jane slid into the seat and adjusted her skirt over her knees. V. might’ve left her behind all those years ago, but this weekend it was her turn—and she intended to do exactly the same. She had a life to live, and she was about to learn exactly how to live it.
This series was intended to be a single book (Hank's story) that would bridge the Secrets To Hide series and a series featuring Harley's former band, Aftershock. Hank and Aftershock make their appearance in Naughty Little Christmas.
Of course, once I started plotting Hank, I knew there had to be other men in his life who weren't quite so "vanilla." That's when Vincent's story came along. And V.'s sister Kennedy is such a sass, I knew she needed a story (which will eventually be book 3).
Who knows what else will happen in this trio's little world! But one thing's for certain — they will still be the bridge to the naughty, sexy, dominant boys of Aftershock and the women who surrender everything to them.