Jealousy’s a real bitch, but so is his ex-girlfriend.

Maxwell Penn is my lover, my boss and my Dom. He pushes me emotionally as well as sensually, in all the ways a girl should be pushed by the man she loves. Sure, some days, I still swing back and forth between wanting to strangle him and wanting to straddle him, but I wouldn’t give him up for the world. Oh, did I mention there’s talk of him taking me to a Swingers’ Ball at a local lifestyle club?

So yeah, our relationship is positively sizzling. At least, it is until Boudoir Fashion Week, when Max’s college girlfriend explodes back into his life, and everything goes south. Giselle Dubois is tall, svelte, and so stunning that I feel the need to wear sunglasses whenever she’s around.

Using her sensuality and intimate knowledge of Max’s past, Giselle embarks on a mission of manipulation to acquire something Max “took” from her years ago, but it’s not just knowledge of his past she has in her arsenal. She knows my past. My family’s secrets. The dark stain that has marred my family since I was a child. But Giselle isn’t the only threat facing us. There is another monster in our midst, one far more cunning and deadly.

Publisher’s Note: This steamy contemporary romance contains elements of power exchange.

Excerpt

I nodded, trusting him to do as he’d promised.

Max turned to Brock. “Would it be possible for Bree and me to have a few minutes alone here to talk before we leave?”

“Of course,” Brock answered. “Just stop by my office on your way out and let me know you’re leaving.”

After a round of goodbyes, Brock and Viv left us alone. I expected Max to launch into an immediate diatribe of what I thought, had I changed my mind about the Swingers’ Ball, etcetera, but he only took my hand in his and led me to what Viv had called the Dark Side.

“I’d forgotten how much I missed this place.” He slowed our pace and ran his free hand along the crossing beams of a St. Andrew’s cross. “I’ve been to many clubs around the world, but this one’s one my favorite. I can’t wait to make new memories here with you.”

“Presumptive much?” I said with a smile. Of course, he’d picked up on the shift in my feelings about this place. Yes, I wanted to come here again. The Swingers’ Ball was another beast altogether, though.

I was about to bring up Viv’s suggestion about forgetting the Swingers’ Ball and having Max bring me here on a “regular” night when he turned to me, cupped my cheeks in both his hands, and with nothing more than his gaze, pinned me to the spot.

“When it comes to your sexual appetites, Breanne Jennings, I know you, probably better than you know yourself.”

He was probably right. Max had the ability to read my sexual moods as easily as he read the pages of a business contract, and it was a sixth sense I didn’t exactly dislike.

“I want to come here again,” I admitted. “I think the ball is still too much, but the idea of hanging out with you here certainly isn’t the worst idea I can think of.”

He chuckled and pressed his lips to mine in another kiss that was over far too soon.

Max led me farther into the Dark Side. We didn’t speak again until we stopped beside a sawhorse, an A-frame piece of furniture with a padded beam connected to four legs. Although Max didn’t have this piece of furniture at his home, I knew what it was and how it was used.

Max padded the leather-covered beam. “Get on.”

“Are you serious? I thought we had to—”

“On. Now. Don’t argue again, little sub.”

His last two words served as a warning. The dynamic between us was changing. I was no longer looking into the eyes of my lover, my friend, or my boss; I was looking into the eyes of my Dom.

I swallowed hard. You have your safe word, that little voice said. You could always use it. But I didn’t want to, which surprised me.

“Yes, Sir.” Careful to keep from wrinkling my silk dress as much as I could, I assumed the position. The beam was firm between my breasts and torso, as if the padding had to do more with aesthetics than actual function.

“Gorgeous.” Max gave my ass a good, firm slap. “I never tire of seeing you laid out before me.”

“I never tire of being laid out before you, Sir.” In fact, this position was reminiscent of the night we first became lovers.

He knelt in front of me and took my lips in a hard, possessive kiss, pressing his tongue deep into my mouth. He took hold of my hands and pulled downward until my arms were flush with the front legs of the sawhorse. His tongue performed its usual magic, and like Odysseus to the Sirens’ calls, my body succumbed to his spell.

Heat coursed through me, starting at my core and expanding outward in continuously increasing waves. I lifted my hand, planning to press my palm to his clean-shaved cheek, but he stopped me.

“Don’t move,” he whispered, his lips moving against mine.

“We’ll be late.” Hadn’t we had a similar conversation yesterday?

“I don’t care.” Hadn’t he said that, too?

Faster than my hormone-flooded brain could comprehend, he fastened my left hand into one of the cuffs attached to each leg of the sawhorse, and he was well on his way to securing my right before rational thought caught up with reality.

“Max, as much fun as this might be some other time, you know we must go, right?”

“My speech has been postponed.”

“What? But you just said—”

“Forget about work and speeches and everything that doesn’t involve this moment. Focus only on the things I make you feel when I touch you. Do you understand, little sub?”

Sometimes, I didn’t get this man. He had a business empire to run. He was too smart to throw off an important business function for some sexual escapade. He hadn’t gotten to where he was by thinking with his dick, and I loved him too much to let him do this to himself.

But when I opened my mouth to tell him just that, nothing came out. I closed my mouth, swallowed, and tried again, but the same thing happened. This man held a power over me I couldn’t seem to fight. He didn’t have to use physical force or emotional manipulation. He merely whispered a command, his amazing blue eyes intent on me as if I were the only person visible in his universe, and I turned to putty.

Apparently, I was thinking with his dick, too.

“Yes, Sir,” I whispered, every muscle in my body softening as I awaited his next command.