Just Erotic Romance Reviews loved Love Storm, the third novel in my Dream Marked series! In celebration, I’m posting a first chapter excerpt! From the review:
Ms. Leaf certainly knows her way around some insanely erotic sex scenes that sometimes make you laugh and sometimes make you groan in wishful thinking.
I hope you enjoy reading about Zoe and how she meets her mates: Sean and Charlie!
Zoe Brooke found her life in art, trying to exist on her own terms. Sean Adham found it in work, knowing that money couldn’t provide what he truly desired. Charlie Aponivi found his in study, never expecting more. With dreams their only guide, how will they find each other?
Zoe, Sean, and Charlie know they must bond to survive, but kidnappers are out for their blood. Sean knows he needs his bondmates, but even with his money and influence, he finds no trace. Zoe knows who Sean is, but fears how her life will change if she surrenders to a biological compulsion. Charlie risks everything to meet his lovers and almost loses his life.
How will they come together when Charlie is captured and Chicago is bombed? When they confront the couple behind it all, will they be able to control their power? Or will the storm they call destroy them?
A Siren Erotic Romance
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Sean closed his eyes and decided he had just enough time for a nap. Outside his office window, the heat-baked Las Vegas strip glittered in the sunlight, the neon signs and bustling tourists as frenetic now as they would be late tonight or early tomorrow morning. He rubbed his forehead, willing the headache to subside. He knew he would be here until at least midnight and possibly a few hours past that time. He sighed and stood up, stretching his back. He walked over to the windows and pushed the button that dimmed the light streaming into his office. As the electrochromatic glass turned a deep blue, he walked over to his office door.
“Beth? I’m going to take a nap. Could you hold my calls?”
The young woman sitting at the glass cube outside of his office looked up and smiled. “Sure thing, Mr. Adham. You don’t have any more meetings scheduled until after six.” Concern darkened her face. “Are you okay? You look tired.”
Sean smiled at his assistant. “I’ll be okay. I’ve got another headache, and I’m hoping that a quick break will help.”
“You’ve been working too hard.” Beth shook her finger at him.
Sean smiled, amused by the concern from a woman ten years his junior. He glanced at her swollen midsection, hoping yet again that she wouldn’t go into labor in the office. He knew how to handle a lot of things, but a woman in the throes of childbirth wasn’t one of them.
“You’re already acting like a mother, Beth.” He grinned at her as she wrinkled her nose. “Please don’t go into labor at your desk. Please. I don’t think my heart could take it.”
She laughed and patted her rounded stomach. “I have two months to go yet. Don’t worry! And I’m only twenty-five and in perfect health. No risk factors at all.”
He shrugged, unconvinced. “I am definitely giving you extra maternity leave. That way you can get out of here early enough that I don’t have to worry about being the one who has to catch your infant at birth. I’d probably drop him, and then your husband would kill me. And I need my head of R and D working, not serving time for murder.”
Beth rolled her eyes at him, and Sean ducked back into his office with a chuckle, closing the polished door with a click before she could come up with a suitably acerbic response. Not for the first time, he wondered how much of their joking filtered through the bond to Beth’s husband Ira. He hadn’t expected his extremely pragmatic assistant to fall in love last year. And he certainly didn’t expect the falling in love to include a mating bond while she was vacationing in New York, but that’s exactly what had happened. He thought about the delicate tattoo that marked her wrist, bemused at the idea of his logical, efficient assistant falling prey to so impulsive a situation. On the other hand, he was happy if she was happy. And her husband Ira was a fine man. Sean didn’t regret for an instant giving the man the job running research and development at his main technology company. Beth had fallen in love with one of the foremost scientists in the world, and Sean was delighted to have the man working for him instead of one of his competitors. Physics was a widely varied discipline, but Beth’s husband had a knack for determining which of the theoretical proposals presented to Sean in the course of his work would bear fruit as a useful product. More importantly, Ira knew how to implement his proposals in practical terms.
Sean shook his head, dismissing thoughts of Beth as he moved across his office. Speculating about her situation wouldn’t help him. He took off his suit jacket and loosened his tie, sighing with relief. Half of the room was taken up with his desk, and the wall of windows behind that impressive piece of antique furniture. The other half was divided equally between an extremely comfortable leather sofa and a gorgeous table hand carved with an abstract design under glass. A small door on the far side led to a fully functional bathroom. He had all the amenities he could want both here and in his well-appointed apartment, not that he really thought about it much anymore. He owned the building, after all. Hell, he owned several of the buildings in Las Vegas, two of them brand-new casinos. His other business holdings were worldwide. It wasn’t even an exaggeration to say that he couldn’t calculate how much money he had. He’d inherited a small sum from his father and turned it into a very successful venture capital empire in ten short years. Sean sank down onto the soft leather and contemplated his good fortune. He knew that a lot of it was luck, even as he knew that his hard work was what made the random occurrences of luck pay off. He was content, except for the damnable headaches he began suffering from several weeks ago.
You know why you’re getting headaches, an inner voice whispered to him, treacherously. Shut up, you. Sean grimaced and closed his eyes, exasperated. Now I’m reduced to arguing with myself? Bah. He settled deeper into the sofa and hoped his nap would be dreamless. Somehow, he knew it would not.
* * * *
The ground rumbled underfoot, but Sean didn’t care. It was only a 4.2. Not nearly enough of an earthquake to bother a native Californian. Instead of worrying about the earth moving, his eyes focused on the woman at the far end of the faire. It was hot out, but she looked cool and beautiful. What was he doing here again? He hated these kinds of things. Why in the hell this dream kept planting him down in the middle of a Renaissance festival was beyond his comprehension. People in outlandish costumes gyrated past him, some of them clutching monstrous turkey legs. Others sloshed warm beer out of ridiculously large mugs. Sean resisted the urge to join them. Some part of his psyche liked the wildness of the people here, but he knew that for all their supposed freedom, many of the artists and revelers had all-too-mundane jobs that they would get back to at the end of the weekend. He squinted, willing the crowd to part so he could see the woman more clearly.
As if she could tell he was staring, she looked up, her gamine face confused. When she caught sight of him, she frowned. Clearly she knew who he was. Sean strode through the crowd, enjoying the sun-baked warmth of the dusty ground on his toes. Bare feet again? He didn’t let it bother him this time, not even grimacing at the sensation. This wasn’t the first time he’d dreamed of this faire. It wasn’t even the second time. When the dreams first started, he was quite disconcerted by the lack of shoes. After the third or fourth time, he had resigned himself to the fact that he was always barefoot. At least this time he was able to move closer to the woman without waking up. He needed to get closer still.
It was only when he found himself edging into the shade of her open tent that he allowed himself a small glimmer of triumph. He’d never yet made it this far. Always before, in every other one of these dreams, she’d fled before he could get to her. He stepped in closer. She was thin. Strong. Older than him, maybe forty years old but still beautiful. He liked the way she carried herself, as though the years had burned away any sense of foolishness. This was not a woman who would be easy to know. She would be a challenge. He stepped closer. For the first time in one of these dreams, she held her ground, gripping the edges of the rough wood table fiercely enough to make the tips of her fingers go white.
“Who are you?”
Sean watched her bite her lip as he pondered how to answer the question. He was sorely tempted to say “I am your destiny,” but he had a feeling that she wouldn’t appreciate the joke. “My name is Sean. Who are you?”
“Why are you stalking me?” The woman ignored his question, frowning at him, and Sean felt a pang of lust surge through him. The stern expression on her face didn’t detract at all from her luminous beauty. From the pale green of her eyes to the sharp blue streaks she’d had painted into her short, dark hair to her wiry build, Sean knew this woman was more than a match for him. His body approved, even if his mind hadn’t yet caught up to that realization. He felt his jeans tighten, and her eyes dropped to his groin then fled like startled birds back up to his face. Sean smiled.
“Why ever would you think I’m stalking you? This is just a dream,” he said quietly, hoping to dispel her fear.
She pressed her lips together, and Sean sensed her apprehension boil over. He didn’t need to touch her to know that her body would be taut with worry. He stepped closer, then stopped, looking beyond her thin shoulders. There was another person here, a man, dark as shadow in the depths of her tent. “Who is that?”
She frowned harder, searching his face, for what, he did not know. When she turned abruptly, Sean moved in right next to her. The noise of the crowd faded the closer he got. She gasped, and the shape behind her materialized into a young man with dusky skin and long, straight dark hair. Sean tried to make out his features but couldn’t. Strangely, he felt a kinship with the stranger, a deep pull on his senses that went beyond the surface. He wanted to touch this man, see if he felt real. The ground rumbled again but none of them paid any attention. Outside the tent the wind picked up, and Sean tasted the scent of water in the air.
“Where am I?” the man asked, his voice light and steady. He looked around. “This is a desert. That makes no sense.” He moved closer, and suddenly Sean could see the man’s face. He was young, maybe in his early twenties. He had dark eyes and possibly a bit of Native American blood in him, a sharp contrast to Sean’s pale skin and deep blue eyes. The woman clenched her hands together then rubbed at her arms as though she had an itch she couldn’t get to. Sean frowned. He’d seen that action before.
“I have no idea what the hell is going on,” the woman gritted out. The young man looked at her, his face so open and compassionate that Sean felt another pang of lust course through him, this time for the man. What the hell?
“My name is Charlie. Charlie Aponivi. I know I’m dreaming. I went out to the forest to see if I could complete a dream journey, like my ancestors, but I didn’t expect to end up in the desert. That’s just weird.” The man ran his hands through his hair. Sean watched the woman watch Charlie do this and recognized her sudden attraction in the way her body swayed toward the young man. Sean was fairly perplexed himself. He wanted to take his hands and run them through that dark waterfall of hair, too. He’d never before felt an attraction to a member of the same sex, but the throbbing in his jeans certainly convinced him of it now.
“I’m Sean,” he said, reaching out a hand unthinkingly. The other man took it reflexively. The moment they touched, Sean blinked at the torrent of emotion he could feel coming from Charlie. The ground rumbled then lurched suddenly. The woman gasped and stumbled against them. Suddenly, she was touching both of them, trying to keep from falling. The bare skin of her palms scorched theirs.
“Zoe,” Sean breathed, trying to keep his feet while a torrent of emotion, much of it conflicting, poured into him from her. “Your name is Zoe Brooke.”
Her name sounded familiar, but before Sean could figure out why, Zoe licked her lips and he lost his train of thought. She nodded, eyes closed, and took a deep breath. Sean nearly went down at the sensation of desire, confusion, and inner strength channeling from her to him and Charlie. Charlie locked his knees and held all three of them up.
“We’re fucking bonding.” Disbelief colored Charlie’s voice. “Holy shit!”
“That’s why you’ve been stalking me!” Zoe exclaimed.
“I’m not stalking you! I wouldn’t do that,” Sean protested. He had no control here—no control over his dreams. Didn’t she understand that?
Zoe grimaced, and for a moment Sean thought she wasn’t going to believe him. Then she nodded. “If we’re really bonding, this is how it begins. I know. I have bonded friends. I just—” She clenched her fists and looked away. “This isn’t something I wanted. And how can three people bond, anyway?”
“Zoe, we don’t really get a choice in this.” Charlie stretched out a hand to her. Sean watched her contemplate refusing his touch, but she tentatively reached out. The moment their palms touched, Zoe’s rigid stance collapsed. She took a deep breath and stepped closer to Charlie, letting the smaller man take some of her weight.
“This is all just a dream, anyway. What the hell does it matter?” Zoe sighed.
With that, Sean let go of the last of his internal barriers. He immediately felt better. Zoe relaxed even more, and the emotions zooming into him softened. He opened his eyes and caught Charlie looking at him. Sean didn’t know what to do. What did he want? He couldn’t decipher his fluctuating emotions properly. Then Charlie leaned in and touched his lips to Sean’s cheek, lingering. Sean stared, shocked as his cock twitched. Zoe shuddered, pushing into him so that her small breasts rubbed against his arm. She wore a small black tank top. No bra. The pebbled tips of her nipples scraped against his skin.
Sean tried to make sense of what was happening. He felt dizzy, but the emotions kept intensifying. He lost his balance and crashed against the table. A dozen small tiles clattered to the floor, and he flinched, hoping none had broken. Somehow he knew Zoe was an artist. She had hand-painted those tiles, and he didn’t want any of them to shatter. She shivered and rested her forehead on Charlie’s arm. More tiles fell, the noise deafening. Sean pulled back, trying to steady the trio against the rickety table. If none of this was real, if it was all a dream, he wouldn’t even remember it when he woke up. He wouldn’t remember the sensation of Zoe’s hand on his arm or Charlie’s lips against his cheek. A stab of grief tore through him.
“No, no, don’t pull back.” Charlie got a hand in Sean’s short, wavy hair and hung on, preventing the larger man from escaping. “It’s real.”
“This is a dream,” Sean ground out, trying to ignore the insistent way his cock disagreed with him.
“If it’s a dream, I don’t want to wake up,” Zoe said, her voice low and raspy. Behind her uncertainty, Sean sensed an aching loneliness and a need for companionship. He turned to her, touching her lips. She gasped, and Sean’s arousal ramped up even higher. Charlie grinned, then bit Sean’s neck. Sean felt his knees go. Zoe grabbed him and pivoted, her small, strong hands clenched in his shirt. A button popped, but he didn’t care. She shoved him back, and he fell onto a chair at the back of the tent.
“If it’s a dream, I’ll deal with that when I wake up. Right now I’m going to take advantage of the fact that two men are here with me, and want me. I haven’t even had a date in years.” Zoe stepped back, and Sean made a grab for her, missing as she sidestepped. “I don’t want an audience.”
Sean looked across the tent. Outside, the crowd continued their revelry, oblivious to what was happening in the dim recesses of Zoe’s craft stall. He didn’t care even if they did see them. He groaned and grabbed for Charlie, but the smaller man went down onto his knees. Charlie grinned up at him and licked his lips. Sean’s mouth went dry. He couldn’t think or focus. Suddenly the interior of the tent darkened, and he tore his gaze away from Charlie’s luscious mouth to see Zoe yanking at the wall ties. She pulled, and the last roll fell down, plunging them into darkness. Tiny pinpoints of brilliant sunlight glittered in the seams. It was hot as fuck inside, and Sean didn’t give a shit. His dick was aching, and Charlie’s hands were too goddamn slow on their way to his fly.
“Charlie, please,” Sean managed. His eyes closed and his head fell back. Charlie teased at the bulge in his jeans, scraping his nails up and down the taut fabric.
“I think he wants more, Charlie,” Zoe said, walking over to the two men. Sean forced his eyes open just in time to see her toss her tank top aside. Her small, pert breasts were gorgeous. Even more beautiful was the tattoo of a wave that crashed across her torso in brilliant blues, greens, and black. The tip of the wave curled around her left nipple, which was pierced. The wave touched the glittering blue gem threaded through her skin as though a single drop of water hovered on that tender flesh, just about to fall.
“Oh my God,” Charlie breathed. He stood up, catching Zoe around her slim waist. “You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”
Sean palmed himself, pushing against his throbbing cock. Charlie bent his head and licked Zoe’s nipple. She gasped and pushed against him. Sean squeezed himself, wondering if it was normal to feel so frantic so quickly, just from watching them. Zoe squirmed, grabbing Charlie’s hair. She pulled his head back and deliberately rubbed the younger man’s stubble against her nipple. That’s it, I’m a goner, Sean thought. He undid the buttons of his jeans. He felt like he was going to explode. A trickle of sweat rolled down the side of his face. Fuck, it’s hot in here.
Zoe glanced at him as Charlie licked at her. Sean could barely breathe. Her eyes were dark, the light green of her irises swallowed up by her arousal. He bit his lip, and she shivered. Suddenly, the scent of water fell over him. It felt like a storm was moving in.In the desert? The tent walls wavered in the breeze. There’s a breeze? What the hell? Zoe closed her eyes and swayed. Charlie grabbed her ass and swung her over to Sean, settling her on his lap. Sean went rigid as her soft backside pressed against his dick. He forgot all about the weather.
“Jesus, fuck, Charlie! A little warning next time,” Sean gasped.
Charlie smiled and stripped off his T-shirt. “That implies you think there’ll be a next time? I thought this was just a dream?” he said teasingly. Sean tried to frown, but the lean, muscular strength of Charlie’s bare torso distracted him. Sean’s dick jumped again, not caring that there was nowhere to go. Zoe wiggled on his lap, and Sean thanked God she was wearing soft leggings. The heat of her ass enveloped him, and he jerked his hips, futilely trying to force his cock deeper. Damn jeans. When Charlie dropped back to his knees, Sean’s eyes locked on the other man’s erection, clearly visible as the younger man leaned back, resting his ass on his feet. Charlie was certainly flexible.
“Charlie—” Sean pleaded. He wanted to see more bare skin.
Charlie smiled and slowly undid his pants. He wore nothing underneath, and the way his thick cock sprung out made Sean tremble. Zoe clenched her fingers on Sean’s thighs in an unmistakable demonstration of lust. “Like what you see?”
“Stop teasing us, Charlie,” Zoe said. Sean wholeheartedly agreed. The last of his reservations about being attracted to another man melted in the face of his burning desperation to see, to touch.
Charlie smiled and peeled his jeans wider, and then he palmed himself, thumbing the pre-cum beading over the head of his cock. He shuddered and pumped his hand a few times before stopping. He ignored the way his dick bounced against his abdomen. “I would rather touch you.”
Sean grunted and opened his legs, wincing at the way his jeans pulled. Zoe’s legs dropped between his and she stood up. Before Sean could even blink, Charlie was stripping her leggings down, dragging her thin panties along with the stretchy fabric. He helped her step out of them, tossing her flip-flops aside. Sean looked at her. Zoe’s ass was perfect. He reached out and palmed her softness, letting his fingers glide then massage her perfect curves. She shivered and backed into him, but Charlie pulled her away.
“Sean. Stand up.” Charlie poked Sean’s jean-clad knee. “I want these off.”
Sean closed his eyes and fought for control. Charlie poked him again.
“You’re kind of bossy.”
“I may be young, but I know what I want.” This time Charlie yanked on Sean’s pants.
“Okay, for fuck’s sake. Okay.” Sean stood up and let his jeans drop.
“The underwear, too,” Charlie said.
Sean rolled his eyes. Like he was going to leave those on? He gingerly stretched the soft elastic out and around his cock, sighing with relief at the lack of constriction. He let Charlie pull them off and sat back down on the chair, stark naked. The cool wood felt great on his bare ass, but he had little time to revel in it as Zoe settled back on his lap. Sean closed his eyes and tucked his face into her neck, relishing the cool scent of her hair. She smelled like saltwater and the beach one moment and like a fresh spring in the middle of the woods the next. He licked her neck, and she shivered. Sean smiled into her hair and bit her, worrying at the skin with his teeth. Zoe trembled and opened her legs, propping them on either side of his thighs.
When she jerked, nearly falling off, Sean lifted his head and looked down over her body. Charlie was biting up the inside of her thigh. It only took Sean a split second to realize that Charlie’s mouth was going to be on his balls if the younger man kept going. Charlie kept going. A moment later, it was Sean’s turn to jerk and moan. Zoe was thrashing on his lap and Sean snaked his arms around her waist in an effort to hold her still. His right palm landed on her nipple, and she arched her back, shoving her ass into his dick, but Sean had no time to focus on that. Charlie was licking at him. Sean had never felt anything so amazing in his entire life. Pity this was nothing but a dream.
“Charlie, oh my fucking God, don’t stop,” Sean ground out, his voice hoarse. He couldn’t string two thoughts together if he tried. Zoe grabbed his hand and forced it down. Oh. Wow. Sean slipped his fingers between her slick folds and teased at her clit. She panted, and he moved his thumb faster, enjoying the way she wriggled on him as Charlie slid his hands up under her ass. What was he doing now? Sean bit down on Zoe’s shoulder then Charlie grabbed Sean’s cock. He pulled it out so that it lay against Zoe’s pussy. The younger man tugged Sean’s hand away. This forced Zoe to stillness.
“Charlie? What are you doing?” Zoe asked. Sean didn’t speak. It took everything he had not to orgasm right away as Charlie shifted his weight.
The younger man just grinned and leaned down, not bothering to answer. Sean clenched his teeth. He knew what Charlie was going to do even if Zoe didn’t. He held her tighter, grabbing her hips and forcing her to remain motionless. She struggled briefly, then Charlie’s fucking amazing tongue touched Sean’s cock, and she went rigid. Sean bucked, grunting at the exquisite sensation. Charlie smiled up at them and scrubbed his tongue right beneath Sean’s cockhead. Zoe moaned as Sean tried to breathe. He couldn’t help himself. He began thrusting, desperate to get Charlie’s mouth down around him. Zoe shuddered as Sean’s erection, slick with her juices and Charlie’s saliva, rubbed against her clit. Charlie pressed closer and licked her, too, taking Sean in his mouth at the same time his tongue teased along her slit. Zoe whimpered, and Sean knew she was close, but what about Charlie? He forced his eyes down to see that Charlie had his dick in a punishing grip.
“Charlie. Charlie, come up here.” Sean forced his fingers into Charlie’s hair. It took every ounce of willpower he had to tilt Charlie’s mouth up and away. Sean tugged and Charlie stood up, his cock an angry red where it poked out from his fist. Sean felt Zoe’s tiny thrusts against his erection falter as she caught sight of Charlie’s arousal. Suddenly, startling Sean, she leaned out and sucked Charlie’s cock into her mouth, forcing Sean’s erection down. He moaned at the intense pressure, biting the inside of his cheek as he willed himself under control. He watched Zoe manhandle Charlie, who grunted in shock as she grabbed him. When Zoe bit down gently, Charlie froze, and Sean tugged his head down until he could kiss him.
The moment their lips met, Sean knew that this was real. It might be a dream, but what he was feeling now for these two individuals would last beyond this fleeting piece of wishful dreamscape. He nibbled at Charlie’s full lower lip, and when the other man gasped, opening his mouth, Sean dove in, licking and sucking in a way that he hoped would convey the enormity of what was happening. He could sense pieces of Charlie’s childhood, kites flying and his mother. From Zoe he sensed a great betrayal from her teenage years, her father beating her mother, grief and survival. He discovered Charlie’s deep intelligence, his gift for math and languages. He absorbed Zoe’s inner strength and determination, her artistic talent and her struggle to support herself. He kept kissing Charlie, unable to stop himself. The torrent of information mixed with his insane arousal, making him desperate. He felt the memory of his father’s death leave him and suddenly knew they were getting as much from him as he was from them.
When Zoe struggled, he finally broke free. For a moment, all he could do was pant, then Zoe sat back up and pulled Charlie’s face to hers. When he turned and yanked Sean close, the three of them met in a kiss so explosive he thought he would die if it ever stopped. Zoe’s small tongue licked at his. Charlie trembled and Sean’s lungs seized as the three of them toppled into a climax as devastating as it was pleasurable. Sean moaned as Charlie’s spunk jetted over his lap and Zoe clamped her thighs around his. Sean’s cock jerked and spurted in an orgasm so hard he saw stars. For a moment he scented fresh water. A hot wind tore through the tent and he blacked out, falling through his dream into wakefulness. When he wrenched open his eyes, he was alone in the silence of his office. His pants were soaked. His headache throbbed behind his forehead with an insistence that finally convinced him that what he was experiencing wasn’t a brief indisposition. Sean slumped into his sofa with the realization. He was in the throes of a bonding heat. And he had no idea how to find his bond-mates.