Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Cover Reveal : Make Me: Twelve Tales of Dark Desire

Bad Boys, and Why We Love Them

My name is Annabel Joseph, and I’m a bad boy addict.

I know it’s wrong. I know they’re bad for me, but I can’t quit ’em. It’s probably because my first book boyfriend was Leo Kovalensky in Rand’s We The Living. (Yeah, I grew up in a weird home. But I digress.)

I remember getting into it with some authors on a romance chat board about how heroes “should be.” Kind, protective, responsible, loving, romantic. I raised my digital hand and said, “I like heroes who are mean sometimes.”

Jaws dropped, tongues lashed, lectures ensued. “Romance heroes can’t be bad, Annabel! They have to be heroic or you’re doing it WRONG.” I backed out of that argument because I wasn’t going to convince any of them otherwise, but in my heart I knew there was a place for bad boys in romance. I knew because I’d written a bunch of them, and those books (and bad boys) were the ones my readers talked about the most.
I can’t explain the Bad Boy mystique, I just know there’s something about a man who’s not perfect, who’s rough around the edges, who doesn’t always know the right thing to do or say. There’s something about watching a bad boy dig himself deeper into trouble with the heroine, and then seeing him realize that, bad as he is, love is badder and stronger than any of his faults.

I suppose that’s the key to it all. Love always prevails.

If the hero’s perfect and love prevails, yeah, sure, it’s sweet, but what else was going to happen? He’s perfect, for God’s sake. But when a bad boy finds love…well, that’s something special. There’s extra effort, a pressing need for redemption that makes my heart ache and worry, and then swell with joy when the bad boy finds his way to his Perfect Girl, the one who understands and accepts him, flaws and all.

The hero of my book, Jeremy Gray, is a Bad Boy Extraordinaire: selfish, haughty, demanding, sexually deviant. But he’s one other thing too…a damaged, scared man who really just wants love. I hope you’ll order MAKE ME: Twelve Tales of Dark Desire to meet my bad boy Jeremy, and many other bad boys who’ll make your heart ache and swell. As well as some other parts, hopefully. Thanks for reading!

Make Me: Twelve Tales of Dark Desire 

Boxed Set
(The Dark Duet #1)
Publication date: March 3rd 2014
Genres: Romance
Goodreads: Click
           Amazon | B&N
Take a trip to the dark side with 12 books by some of the hottest names in edgy romance, including USA Today Bestselling authors CJ Roberts, Eliza Gayle, and Aleatha Romig!

Pam Godwin – Beneath the Burn
Skye Warren – Wanderlust
Claire Thompson – Enslaved
Cari Silverwood – Take Me Break Me
Annabel Joseph – Comfort Object
Aleatha Romig – Consequences
Shoshanna Evers – The Man Who Holds the Whip
Annika Martin – The Hostage Bargain
Jasmine Haynes – Take Your Pleasure
Eliza Gayle – Play With Me
Pepper Winters – Tears of Tess
CJ Roberts – Captive in the Dark

These e-books would cost over $40 if purchased separately. This set will only be available for a limited time, so order your copy now!

All of these books are 18+, some are new adult romance, some are erotic romance, but all feature dark themes.

As I kissed and tasted the tears that had leaked from under the blindfold, I said in a harsh whisper, “I enjoyed seeing you scream and try to escape, loved seeing you dancing away from the cane. Your ass – I’d declare it a work of art. Yeah…” I touched our foreheads together and looked down over her face, stared into her blindfolded eyes, and at her trembling full lips and those amazing tears. I traced my finger down the wet track on one cheek.
My murmur was soft but as deadly, I hoped, as a knife thrust. “I never thought I’d say this, but I enjoy this. You might be in trouble.”
Truth and mind fuck rolled into one scorching bundle. Yes, she was in trouble, but then so was I.
I wanted to do it again. I’d saved her and cared for her so many times. She was a beautiful woman, with a mostly beautiful heart, and I wanted to hurt her and swallow those screams. God, I was so fucked up.
* * *
At the upstairs bathroom he pulled me into the room and got the shower on, then pushed me under the water with my clothes on. He unlinked the wrist cuffs. I’d had the shower redone, tiled beautifully, and it was large enough for two. My ass stung briefly but oh my God it was good. The water sluiced away all the dirtiness, all the craziness of the past few hours. Eyes closed, I reached to undo the front zip.
No,” he growled.
I cracked open my eyelids.
The man had gotten naked and he stepped in with a very nice erection pointing my way.
I grinned. This was more like it.
No,” he repeated. “Don’t touch anything. Don’t speak. Do not take your clothes off.” Then he crowded me with his muscled body until I was pressed up against the tiles with his cock poking into my stomach. The water poured down us both.
I couldn’t help moving against him. Inside me, now, I wanted to demand. I groaned. I couldn’t say that. The cane kept me silent.
Good. Quiet is good. Stop humping me.”
I stopped, held my breath while we locked eyes.
While he pinned me there, he shoved his hand to my throat and jammed me into the wall even more. I could breathe but couldn’t move. With his power demonstrated in every movement, and in every word, he leaned in until his warm breath brushed my ear. “Now you will make yourself come. Now. Not in one minute or one hour or tomorrow. Now. Put your hand between your legs.” He gave my neck a shake.
Crap. I was stunned. Before this, he’d beaten me, given orders, done all sorts of things that had aroused me, but this…this had tipped me into some new land where Klaus was more than a man, something far more. This was not some role-player, this was him, his desires, and his sole aim was to master me. My willpower crumbled beneath his iron-hard stare.
* * *
Big. He was big, muscular, and cross. I swallowed.
The garage floor was concrete with chips of rock and grit. I didn’t hesitate a second longer. I dropped and prostrated myself in obeisance, and I waited, shaking.
Did I shake from fear or some sort of adrenalin high? Even I wasn’t sure.
He knelt on one knee beside me and gently, with his hand under my chin, encouraged me to raise my head. “Been bad, pet?”
His gray-green eyes looked somehow puzzled, yet the longer I met his gaze the more it changed to that familiar sadistic and evil one. The one that he wore when he walked about marking me with the crop or the cane.
On cue, the tingles of arousal trickled straight to my clit.
Yes-s.” I was a mouse. A mouse with goosebumps prickling cold down her arms, and with heat gathering in her groin. Whip me, beat me, I’ve been bad. “I’m sorry.”
You will be.”
The promise in those words made me inhale sharply and bite my lip.
I just nodded as I pulled the door shut. I didn’t say goodbye. She wasn’t going anywhere for four weeks. The little window in the solid door had a sliding cover. After one last look, I shut it too. Up above on the wall to my right, the light on the camera blinked green at me.
All set.
The back verandah of her house looked out over the forest toward the sea a hundred feet below. The timber of the rail was warm under the grip of my palms. Wings spread, a sulfur-crested cockatoo sailed across the sky – white against the backdrop of gray-green foliage – a perfect metaphor for freedom.
If I sign this you are giving me carte blanche –” He frowned. “– to make you a captive in your home up there on the hill. No neighbors. No contact but me for four weeks.” The corner of his mouth twisted. Oh noes – I was in for one of his bursts of silliness. He leaned in and whispered conspiratorially, “I will have you washing my dishes naked in a week.”
God.” I groaned. The fucking dishes. That had driven me crazy when we were together. “Klaus, the nakedness is a no-no. You are the one who made me put it in the contract. But no dishes either.” No sex, of course, even though I hoped otherwise. No nakedness. No physical damage. His face was to be blurred out. A copy of what we were doing was in a deposit box at the bank. Neither of us wanted Klaus arrested if something weird happened – like the cops showing up.
But needing money was one thing. Washing the dishes was another.
No dishes, Jodie?” He shrugged. “A bad bargain. Slaves should do dishes.”
I raised my eyes to the underside of the mango-colored beach umbrella and prayed for deliverance. Of all my friends and acquaintances, Klaus was the only one I could ask to do this. The only one I trusted to do this. Still, he was being a bastard. While he waited for me to reply, with one finger he slowly turned his shiny stainless steel pen around and around on the table.
I’d never ever done dishes for him. I detested housework to the core. A dishwasher I could load, sure. Hand washing, carrying meals out to a man at a BBQ – all those womanly chores made me shudder. I liked my equality. Women weren’t slaves. My fantasies only went so far.
* * *
He hadn’t budged. While I’d run through the encyclopedia of my worries, filed them alphabetically, and then set them alight, he’d barely shifted an inch. His hands lay loosely on his trouser-clad upper thighs. From the corners of my eyes, I dwelled on one of his best aspects. The heaviness of his thighs was all muscle. Being a black belt in judo since his twenties meant Klaus had the musculature of a very fit man despite being almost forty. They’d felt good between my legs when we’d made love.
Thoughts out of the gutter. “Fine.” I closed my eyes and shook my head in mock despair. “But I’m not guaranteeing I will. If you can get me to do the dishes it’ll be a mind-fuck of Olympic proportions.
I haf my ways, fraulein.”
I groaned. That mock German accent drove me nuts too. Almost as much as the dishes idea. Then he signed the contract, finally.
Relief swept me like a cool breeze, only it sank farther and chilled my bones just a little. Done it. But…yeah, there were limits and rules, but still this was the weirdest thing I’d ever done. And the strange little look he’d given me after I’d agreed to do the dishes had jarred me.
Jeez. The dishes?

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