All Tied Up
Need the job done right? Get a handyman with the right...tools.
Interior decorator Lindsay Bell jumped at the chance to help restore the old inn at Mason Creek. What could be more fun than letting her imagination run wild on an unlimited budget? Eagerly she plans to turn her assigned room into a fantasy BDSM playground.
All she expected from her newly hired handyman was to help her tear down a support wall. She certainly didn't expect Brad Caldwell to be so drop-dead gorgeous in a tool belt. When he proves to be a steady, hardworking, stand-up guy—unlike the men she's dated—Lindsay has a new and wicked idea.
To take her new creation on a test drive down the road of their deepest, darkest, most delicious desires—and seduce her way into his heart.
Pamina moved farther into the room, the mysterious stranger shadowing her movements. Captivated by Pamina's new friend, Lindsay scraped her teeth over her bottom lip and watched his strong, athletic body move with self-confidence and assuredness. When he circled Pamina and came around to face Lindsay, their gazes connected and locked. In that moment something sparked between them and a weird tingling began in her bloodstream.
Lindsay didn't believe in love at first sight, nor did she believe in fate or destiny, but this guy, wow, this guy with his mesmerizing blue eyes could suck her under like a tsunami wave and make her believe in anything.
He smiled and Lindsay's pulse leapt in her throat. Her lascivious, sex-deprived body immediately shifted into overdrive. One seductive look from him had her hormones firing at jet speed in record time.READ MORE
His long athletic gait closed the space between them. As he stood before her, she tipped her head and pulled his spicy, panty-soaking aroma into her lungs, letting it wrap around her, letting it arouse all her senses. Lord, the man just oozed sexuality and testosterone.
Her gazed panned the length of him, stopping to inspect his broad shoulders, trim waist and rock-hard thighs. She wondered for a second if anything else under those snug jeans was rock hard. Damned if she didn't want to find out.
Had the temperature in the room suddenly skyrocketed?
Once again her hungry gaze traveled back to his face, taking in his dark features, unkempt shoulder-length hair, with bangs that swished to the side, square jaw and unshaven face. The guy had bad boy written all over him. Lindsay knew his type well. A Casanova who was, undoubtedly, so very, very good. Just the kind of guy she knew better than to get involved with.
Despite that, lust rose to the surface, clamoring for attention and all she could think of was men. Sex. Men and sex. And not necessarily in that order. Forget nailing jelly to the wall. She wanted this guy to nail her to the wall.
Of course, this is what she got for going without sex for the last two months. It appeared that a quick trip back to Toys4Gals to pick up extra batteries and maybe even a few new gadgets was definitely in order. She made a mental note to put that at the top of her to-do list.
Mr. Slurpalicious gave her a sexy, predatory smile that screamed of the big bad wolf—and of even bigger and badder things they could do together. Libidinous slut that she was, she pondered for a moment if he would gobble her up like a frosted cupcake. Or if he'd lay her out like a buffet and take his time to savor her like a rich, decadent dessert.
After a thorough inspection of his tall, brawny body, her gaze went to his big hands. Damn, there was just something about a man's hands that got her juices flowing like a broken dam. She noted that he had a working man's hands, different from the soft, pampered hands of the good-for-nothing bastards she had a habit of attracting. Lindsay afforded herself a minute to visualize how those rough, callused palms of his would feel on her naked flesh, on her breasts, between her thighs. Oh yeah! She shivered. Almost violently.
A man like him could make her abandon her vow to stay away from men. She furrowed her brow and sifted through her memories. Why again was it that she'd made that vow?
When Pamina touched his muscular arm and he turned, giving her his undivided attention, a weird pang of jealousy cut through Lindsay.
"I'd like you to meet Lindsay Bell," Pamina said. "She's the brilliant interior designer I hired to turn this space into a BDSM room for lovers."
Lips curved up at the corners, he angled his head, clearly intrigued. "Oh yeah?"
Heat arced between them as he stepped closer and held his arm out. Her body responded to his proximity. Pleasure raced through her and she became hyper-aware of dampness between her thighs. Had she been wearing panties, they'd have been soaked.
She attempted to rein in her desire, to pull herself together and abandon her lusty thoughts, she really did. But so far her efforts were proving futile.
His sensual mouth slanted and the gleam in his eyes held all sorts of promises. "A BDSM room. How interesting. I look forward to seeing the end results."
She made one more attempt to gather control over her wayward thoughts, but his deep sensuous voice shattered all her efforts. In fact his rich tone sent her tortured, hormonal body into convulsions. Her nipples tightened painfully, heat and hunger lapped at her thighs.
It suddenly occurred to her he was waiting for a handshake. With little finesse, she thrust her arm forward and slipped her hand inside his. His huge palm practically swallowed hers up. As her flesh absorbed his heat, her libido roared to life in a way it never had before. Christ, she knew she had a healthy sexual appetite, but the sudden cravings for this man both frightened and excited her.
She schooled her features into polite interest while her hormones danced to the beat of that eighties AC/DC song "You Shook Me All Night Long".
"I'm Lindsay," she said.
He grinned and shot her a wolfish look. Assuring her, that with a huff and a puff he could blow her house down. Except it wasn't a house Lindsay was interested in him blowing. Damn, this celibacy thing was definitely playing havoc with her body…and her mind. She needed to get her thoughts off sex and on to the conversation at hand.
"I'm Lindsay," she repeated.
"I know," he said. "Lindsay Bell."
"How do you know my name?" Looking for a distraction, anything to get her mind off Mr. Sexy Pants, Lindsay grabbed the overstuffed chair and began to slide it toward the doorway. Damn, the thing was heavy.
"Pamina already introduced you." His slow smile licked over her thighs and filled her mind with wild and wicked images.
Right! Damn. She was making a total ass of herself, which was something she never did. Christ, no man had ever had that effect on her before. She'd always maintained a cool, in-charge demeanor.
She strived for normalcy and tried not to stumble over her words. "And you are?" she asked, expecting his name to begin with big and end in wolf. Expecting? Okay, okay, maybe hoping was a better choice of words.
"I'm Brad Caldwell."
His gaze roamed over her and his deep, big-bad-wolf tone sent shivers skittering down her spine, making her suddenly wish she was draped in a red cape and covered in icing.
"Pamina asked me to stop by to chat with you."
"Oh?" Lindsay turned to face Pamina, heavy chair forgotten.
Pamina waved one delicate hand through the air. "I thought Brad could take down that wall and open this room up for you."
Lindsay glanced at the papered wall and considered that option. Not a bad idea. "That would certainly beat the hell out of peeling all that paper off."
Face locked in concentration, Brad stepped up to the wall and ran his fingers over the aged paper. Lindsay's stomach tightened and her knees weakened as she envisioned him running his hands over her body just like that.
Common sense dictated that she decline the offer and make do with the small room. Yeah, that's exactly what she'd do. Decline Pamina's suggestion to take down the wall and just make the best out of the cramped quarters. Because having him around for the next week or so would simply distract her and play havoc with her hormones. And since she'd sworn off men, it was a distraction she didn't want or need. No way. No how.
Brad turned to face her. "So, what do you say, Lindsay? Would you like me to hang around and take down that wall for you?"
Take down the wall.
Strip her naked.
Have his wicked way with her.
With casual nonchalance, he rolled one broad shoulder. "I could even help you out with the bondage equipment, if you'd like."
Help her out? As in try it out with her?
Hell yeah, she liked.
Brad picked up the overstuffed chair and with little effort moved it into the hallway. "You know, in case you need a strong arm to lift things." His words said one thing but the heat in his eyes told an entirely different story. One that could easily get her into trouble with another bad boy. She quickly reminded herself why she'd sworn off sweet-talking playboys in the first place.
"So what do you say?" he asked again as her mind reeled.
Say no, say no.
Laura J wrote:
4 1/2 Stars from The Romance Studio
Lindsay, Anna, and Candace are interior decorators and their new job is to turn an old inn into a more modern inn, one with sexually inspired theme rooms. Lindsay's room is to be BDSM themed, and she eagerly jumps into the task. Thanks to a recommendation from the inn's owner, Pamina, Lindsay hires Brad, the sexy handyman. He inspires Lindsay even more and soon they are testing the waters in the newly designed BDSM room.
This book is a mixture of great characters, true friendships, sinful fantasies, and the erotic possibilities when you meet the one person who is your true love. The characters were described in such a way that the reader immediately knows their personalities. The author has written about three friends who are vastly different yet the reader knows their friendship will stand the test of time. Lindsay is the focus of this book and she is very loyal to her friends, both male and female. Her sexual attraction to Brad was immediate and their relationship developed gradually for this to be such a short book and was believable because of the way the author wrote it. Brad is the quiet hero that sneaks up on your emotions. He is the kind of guy that will be there for you through the good times and bad, and that makes him the perfect hero for Lindsay. Also perfect was Brad's intuition on what Lindsay likes which leads to some very erotic lovin' and light BDSM play. I can't wait to see what the author has in store for Lindsay's friends, Anna and Candace and I can't help but wonder about Pamina and her cat, Abra.
The Good, The Bad and The Unread: LauraJ's review Grade 'A'
How does she do it? Cathryn Fox is able to create stories in a short amount of space and you still feel like you have read a regular full length novel. I have heard authors say that it's much harder for them to write a novella than a novel because they have so much they want to say or they need to say to convey the entire story. In all the novella's I have read by Ms. Fox I have never left feeling that I have missed any part of the story.
Now this is the first of what I'm assuming is going to be at least 3 stories. There are two other characters that are introduced in this book that you can tell have their stories waiting in the wings and so there are "parts" missing but nothing that I know won't be resolved in these other books, assuming of course, I'm right about the next two. As for the hero and heroine in this story I do feel that I got their whole story.
Lindsey, Candace, and Anna are three long time best friends who own their own interior decorating business. They are offered a job to fix up rooms in an old Victorian Manson in the town of Mason Creek for a woman who wants to turn the home into a place for lovers to indulge their fantasies. Each girl is asked by the owner to design her room based on her deepest fantasy.
In this first story, Lindsey decides to decorate her room in a BDSM theme. While she is trying to figure out how to make everything work and fit into the small room, the home's owner introduces her to Brad is a handyman she has brought in for Lindsey to consider hiring to tear down a wall to make the room larger. Sparks fly immediately between the two despite the fact that both Lindsey and Brad have had relationships in the past that have made them wondering if there is "the one" for them. Lindsey has had several relationships where the men take from her without giving her anything in return but heartache. Brad is tired of women only wanting to bed him and not get to know him.
The story does have a bit of a paranormal tone to it with the two secondary characters, Pamina and her cat, Abra, who "guide" the girls who have given up on men to finding their heroes.
I don't know how long I'm going to have to wait for the next two stories, but I hope it's not too long. The was a great, fast, and very sexy read and I'm looking forward to seeing how Candace and Anna's stories play out.