Title: Thrills Ten Places
Series: Sexy Ten #2
By: Kariss Stone
Publication Date: January 13, 2018
Can love break through the walls? Intimacy in a grocery store, on the back of a bus, in the surf, a nightclub, a cable car. Just for starters! Businessman Eric Madison takes his and Charlotte’s ‘thrills’ sex to an all new high. But Charlotte Castle’s feelings for him grow to the point where a casual affair is no longer enough. Even though she risks losing him, she has to let him know how she feels. Will Eric overcome his fear of love and commitment or will Charlotte have to walk away from the only man she’s ever loved?
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He trailed a slow path of kisses over my stomach. My muscles clenched in toe-curling anticipation until he was there, massaging my slick, aching cleft with his hot tongue. “Come for me, angel,” he murmured against my flesh, his words uttered in that soft, lilting Brazilian accent that got me every time.
I gripped his hair as he sent me to the brink of ecstasy with every slide and twirl he made. I inhaled sharply, arched into him, wanting more, needing more. He glided his tongue around the lips of my sex, lapping at my clit until my body trembled.
His tongue went deeper into my slit, lapping and sucking and swirling while I moaned louder. My grip on his hair tightened, my body melted as I reached the pinnacle, about to soar―
A deep voice sliced through my erotic dream. I blinked hard trying to recall where I was and realizing through the lust haze in my brain, I’d been asked a question.
Paul, my colleague in the Physics faculty readjusted his too-big spectacles as he stared at me, silent, waiting for my response. “Sorry, what was that?” I didn’t know why I was having this daydream in the staff room.
“I asked if you wish you were overseas again.”
Clearing my throat, I sat up straighter in my chair, hoping the heat in my cheeks and my no doubt dreamy look wouldn’t give me away. “Yeah, it would be great to travel again.”
“And sailing around the Greek Isles. Lucky you.” Paul turned his attention to their other colleague. “When are you going overseas again, Harold?”
While the men conversed, I thought about the amazing time I’d shared with businessman Eric Madison. It had been a whirlwind two months of mind-blowing sexual experiences with desserts in Australia and exotic locations around the world. But our affair had ended three weeks ago, after our last tryst―an orgy in a spa bath filled with jelly. Eric had promised to call the following week, keen to begin a new fantasy adventure. But he hadn’t called, and hurt swamped me.
“What do you think Charlotte?”
Paul again. It was nice he always included me in his conversations. “Sorry, what do I think about what?” I hadn’t meant to be distracted, usually I’m good at listening to people.
Harold’s piercing grey gaze met mine before he grinned, as though he could see inside my head and was enjoying the show. “It seems your mind is a million miles away today. We wanted to know what you thought of that Fluid Dynamics article.”
Oh yes, I’d read that. “The results are remarkable. It’s certainly caught the attention of the public eye.” I rose from my place at the lunch table. “Will you excuse me for a moment, gentlemen?” Tightness coiled in my chest. I needed fresh air.
Once outside the Physics building, I let out a deep breath. Eric Madison. Thinking about him had caused me to flee the suddenly claustrophobic lunchroom. The radio silence was probably his way of giving me the hint he’d changed his mind, no longer keen to meet up for the next sexual adventure he had in mind. Well, I got the hint.
Unless he’s been busy and hasn’t had time to see you the rational part of my brain reasoned. Don’t forget he runs a successful renewable energy company, not to mention his BDSM clubs. And there was that embezzlement drama.
Of course, but not even a quick text to say Hi. I’ve been crazy busy but will call you very soon? Maybe I was asking too much.
Hurt bloomed within me. I was taking it harder than usual because I’d fallen in love with him, despite knowing he wasn’t looking for a long-term relationship. His fear of commitment hung between us like an impenetrable metal sheet, yet I had no idea why. His heart remained a closed book. I could only assume he’d been betrayed by a woman he loved. Or was there another reason to explain his commitment phobia?
Frustrated and angry, I decided as hard as it would be, I’d have to close that chapter of my life, even though a part of me would always love him. I didn’t like these feelings. Experiencing sadness and disillusionment when my ex boyfriend broke my heart a couple of years ago had been enough. I needed to protect my heart and not fall deeper. I would send Eric a text tomorrow and leave it at that, getting the closure I needed. Hopefully. I wouldn’t send a text now, choosing to wait until I was in a better head space. I didn’t want to lash out and be a total bitch, out of respect for all the wonderful things he’d done for me, all those amazing experiences…not to mention the fact he’d saved my life…
I switched off my computer after a fourteen hour day overseeing the production of a new type of solar panel, the first of its kind in Australia. It would revolutionize the energy industry. Rolling my head and shoulders, I rose to my feet, exhausted and in need of a good sleep. I hopped into my Audi and drove off into the busy Sydney traffic, thankful it was only a short trip to my apartment down by Circular Quay.
Twenty minutes later I slumped on the leather lounge with a beer in hand, switched on the TV and placed my feet on the coffee table, that same laid-back position I always adopted when not in my office. Yep. The bachelor life was great, no woman to tell me to get my shoes off the table.
I flipped channels. The Simpsons. Charlotte laughing at one of Homer’s funny reactions. Memories of her flooded my mind―times we’d watched the show together. I’d been comfortable with her from the moment we’d met, but falling in love, being in a committed relationship were things I avoided, thanks to my parents. Even though she’d agreed to casual, never asking for anything more, I suspected Charlotte’s feelings for me ran deeper than she admitted to. But there was no way I was getting caught up in a serious relationship.
As I got ready for bed, a text message sounded on my mobile phone. It was from Charlotte.
‘Hi Eric, hope you’re doing okay. I just wanted to say thanks for everything and I wish you all the best.’
I jerked up straight, my heart skipped a beat. This sounded like she was ending things with me. ‘Where’s this coming from?’ I texted back.
‘Now that we’re back in the real world and busy with our lives a new sexual adventure is probably not on the cards.
Okay, I didn’t know women that well, but was this veiled anger? ‘Do you want me to call you?’
She texted her reply. ‘No. There’s nothing to discuss. I just wanted to say thanks again for the amazing time we shared, and I wish you well. I hope you got that embezzlement drama sorted out and found the guy. All the best with everything. Bye.’
I surged to my feet, off-kilter, in unfamiliar emotional territory.
Frustrated, I slumped back down on the sofa and shoved a hand through my hair. A big void opened in my chest. Loss swamped me like a tidal wave. I was the one who did the dumping. What do I do about this?
A part of me knew if I’d called her I would have been tempted to see her straight away. I’d be vulnerable, and my control over my emotions could slip. I was always planning on calling her though. But I’d needed more time to deal with the various work issues. Still…I twisted my lips together. I could have at least sent her a text, even a quick ‘hi, am really busy but will contact you as soon as I can’.
Now she was saying goodbye. Something I wasn’t expecting. Would it be better if I let her go?
Could I let her go?
Okay. I could do two things. Call her and try to get us back on the same page, but I’d have to keep my deeper emotions in check. Or I could accept her wishes and let her walk out of my life. But God, I didn’t want that. She was too special to me.
Don’t make a decision now. Sleep on it.
Just then my mobile rang. My best mate Martin who was always there for me.
“Hey, mate, you still up?” Martin never worried about what time he called.
“So I ended up asking Liz out, and she said yes.”
Liz. Martin’s personal trainer. “That’s great. She seems really nice.”
“Yeah she is. But I’d like you to meet her for more than a minute. Can you come to the pub Friday night?”
“Um … yeah … yeah I guess…”
“Are you okay? You sound flat.”
Rubbing my tired eyes, I pondered how I should reply, not wanting to dwell on my emotions at ten-thirty at night. “Nothing’s wrong. Sorry, just tired.” Well that was true. “But I’m happy for you, Martin. I’d love to meet her, too.” Even though Martin’s ex-fiancée, Priscilla, had broken his heart six months ago, he still believed in love. I meant it when I said I was happy for him.
“You’ve heard from her, haven’t you?” Martin asked bluntly.
I knew he was referring to Charlotte. Were guys meant to be this perceptive?
“And I bet she’s not happy you haven’t called her.”
Exactly what I’d thought. I couldn’t lie to my best mate. “Yeah I heard from her. She sent me a text saying ‘thanks, it was nice knowing you, have a good life’, words to that effect.”
“Yep, she’s pissed. You should have called her by now, like I said.”
“Man, I’m too buggered to get into this with you. I’ll talk to you later. Bye.” I disconnected the call and switched off my phone.
Lying awake in bed, I wasn’t able to get Charlotte out of my mind and heart despite the wall I’d built. But that didn’t mean anything. I simply missed her because I enjoyed her company. She’d become special to me, but past experiences prevented me from being in a committed relationship. I couldn’t open up to her. She wouldn’t get it. I only had to remember that night a year ago. I’d been drinking at the pub with my brother and his girlfriend and after a few beers told her why I’d sworn off love and serious relationships, thinking she’d understand. She’d been that type of person. Instead she’d given me this weird, puzzled look like I had rocks in my head, before laughing. ‘That’s a ridiculous reason. It makes no sense. You’ve got issues, man.’ If she could make me feel like a loser then any woman could, even Charlotte. No. I couldn’t give my heart to any woman. It was better to keep things fun and light with her and while I didn’t do commitment and love, I wanted to keep being around her. I loved her energy, and her personality. But I’d understand if she still wanted to walk out of my life because I couldn’t give her promises and roses and the happily ever after.
And with her text she’d pretty well done just that.
This is the second book in this series but it can be read as a stand-alone book. I haven’t read the first one. I didn’t feel confused or lost but I did wish that I had read them in order. Eric and Charlotte had a wonderful erotic set of adventures but now they are back in the real world. Its been two weeks since Charlotte has heard from Eric and she is beginning to think that he doesn’t want to see her now that they are back to their everyday lives. So, she lets him off the hook. Charlotte has developed feelings for Eric even though he said he just wanted something fun. When Eric lets her know that he still wants to see her Charlotte keeps her feelings to herself and prepares for more adventures with Eric. How long will she be able to keep her feelings to herself before she tells Eric how she truly feels? How will Eric respond to her feelings for him? Could it be possible the Eric has feelings for Charlotte that he is trying to figure out himself? This book was interesting. Charlotte and Eric go very steamy adventures together. This book isn’t just about the steamy adventures though. Both Charlotte and Eric have been hurt in the past and continue to let it affect their present and future. They both are learning how to process and overcome those hurts to allow them to move on and find love again. I have put the first book on my TBR list and I am eager to read it. This is the first book I have read by Kariss Stone and I look forward to reading more of her books.
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