Today, I'd like to welcome fellow author Julie Shelton. Julie stopped by to tell us about Loving Sarah, her new Siren-Bookstrand novel.
Eight years ago Jesse Colter fled his small town, leaving behind eighteen-year-old Sarah Marshall. Now a retired Navy SEAL, he’s back and he wants only one thing—Sarah Marshall—bound, naked, and kneeling before him.
Sarah has never forgotten Jesse, the object of all her sexual fantasies since she was fifteen, as well as the star of nightly dreams that have become increasingly erotic over the years. So when he suddenly reappears in her life, she warily agrees to let him introduce her to his world—the world of BDSM. When he also introduces her to his best friend, Adam Sinclair, Sarah faces the challenge of submitting to two powerful, Dominant men.
But Sarah has an even bigger challenge. A stalker. Someone from her past, determined to destroy any chance she has at happiness. Can Adam and Jesse love and protect her? Or will her world explode in betrayal and violence that will destroy them all?
His lips quirked in a smile. “How about the collar?”
The collar. Her hand lifted to touch the place where it had encircled her throat. “It made me feel…I don’t know…safe. Protected in a way I’ve never felt before. Like, as long as I was wearing it, nothing could ever harm me. I felt beautiful. Honored to be chosen by you. As if I truly did belong to you.”
“You truly do belong to me,” he reminded her. “And, trust me, sugar, the honor is all mine. A collar is a symbol of the unique bond between Dom and sub. I had that one made especially for you, but it’s only temporary. Just a trainin’ collar. Eventually, I want to design a permanent collar for you—a gold or platinum necklace that you would never take off. I’d like to present it to you at a formal Collarin’ Ceremony, where I accept you as my sub, and you accept me as your Dom.”
She was quiet for several minutes, trying to picture such a thing, hardly daring to think the word that was forming in her mind. “You mean, like—a wedding?”
Whoa! Did she actually say the W word?
Jesse held his breath, waiting for his body to break out in a cold sweat. Even as little as a week ago, the word wedding would have filled him with panic. But now…In a blinding flash of revelation, he realized that, as much as she belonged to him, he belonged equally to her. She had crawled into his heart and stolen his soul. She lit the darkness within him and chased all his shadows away.
And he realized something else. Something so searing it closed his throat and stung his eyes. He never wanted to live without her. She made his heart complete. And he would do whatever it took in order to keep her with him for the rest of their lives.
Burying his face against the nape of her neck, he pressed a kiss to the damp silk of her skin.
She knew he was struggling, but she wasn’t going to settle for less than she herself was willing to give. She wanted him. But she wanted all of him. Heart hammering in her breast at the chance she was taking, she drew back, lifting both hands to frame his face. Looking him square in the eye, she asked, “Are you asking me to marry you, Jesse?”
He cleared his throat. “I—”
“Do you love me, Jesse?”
“I don’t know, Sarah.” Anguish twisted his features, roughening his voice, making it sound…rusty. As if it had been left too long out in the rain. He shook his head. Honesty, remember? “I don’t know what love is. What I do know is that I want to cherish you, protect you, spend the rest of my life with you. I know you’re afraid that this is just about sex, but, trust me, this is wa-a-a-ay more than just sex. You are the very air that I breathe. I need you, sugar, not just for sex or companionship, but for my very existence.”
He swallowed hard, lifting his hand to caress the side of her face. “You make me whole, sugar. I can’t live without you. I don’t want to live without you. I don’t know what you call that, but I don’t think it’s love. What I feel for you is so much deeper than that. It goes all the way to my soul.”
She held herself very still, hardly daring to breathe as hope blossomed inside her. Hope that illuminated the shadows in her soul and led her out into the healing sunlight. Jesse Colter was not the boy next door. In fact, he was as close to being the boy next door as the Terminator was to being Ward Cleaver. And that’s precisely what made him the man for her. A man she needed as much as he apparently needed her. Not just, as he said, for sex or companionship. But for her very existence.
“Jesse…” Lifting her hand, she touched his cheek reverently. “Those feelings you just described? That’s love, sweetheart. True, deep, abiding love. The rare kind of love that builds and grows over a lifetime.”
His eyes narrowed. He looked at her appraisingly, one black eyebrow raised. “So, what’re you tellin’ me? That this heart-stoppin’, soul-destroyin’, all-consumin’, I’m-gonna-die-without-you feelin’…?”
She laughed as pure joy exploded inside her, making her feel as though she were flying. “Is love, Jesse. The Happily-Ever-After kind of love. The kind of love I’ve felt for you since I was thirteen years old.”
He stared at her, his eyes flickering with the stunning power of her revelation. The love he saw in her eyes leveled him. It soaked into his battered soul like spring rain soaking into parched winter earth. Threading his fingers through the silk of her hair, he cupped the nape of her neck. He drew a ragged breath deep into his lungs. “Then I do love you, Sarah Madeleine Marshall,” he said hoarsely. “I love you to the bottom of my heart and soul. And yes, I am askin’ you to marry me.”
“Don’t you think this is a bit sudden?” she teased. “A proposal after only one date?”
“Not after only one date,” he corrected as he moved his big body to roll her over onto her back. “After eight long, excruciatin’ly lonely years.”
“And the date’s not even over yet,” she continued as if he hadn‘t spoken. “That has to be some kind of new world record.”
“I’ll check with the Guinness people first thing in the mornin’,” he promised, spreading her thighs wide as he came up onto his knees between them. He rose over her, a roguish grin on his face. Placing his hands flat on either side of her shoulders, he braced himself above her, never taking his eyes off hers. His black gaze drilled into her as he flexed his hips, notching the head of his cock just inside her entrance, preparing to penetrate her. “So, is that a yes I hear?” he prompted.
Julie's book is available now at Siren-Bookstrand
An award-winning, international bestselling erotic romance author, Destiny Blaine writes under several pen names. She lives in East Tennessee and spends a lot of time in Connecticut and Virginia, where her granddoll resides.