Wednesday, December 04, 2013

A Taste of Bayou Water

By Lynn Shurr
Contemporary Romance, 395 pages
Cover art by Trisha FitzGerald

Billionaire Jonathan Hartz arrives in Louisiana seeking a place for his new business but finds Celine Landry. His personal assistant and her brother object to the match and form an alliance to keep the lovers apart. Hartz is undaunted. He will win his lady even if it means becoming Cajun.

As they danced in the moonlight, Jonathan kissed Celine's brow, her cheek, lifted her hair again and kissed the back of her neck. He slid his hands down her back and cupped her buttocks mimicking her brother with Miss Stone during the last dance.

He worried that she could feel his urgent need through the snugness of her dress, but she responded to it as if she had her own long suppressed desires by pressing her pelvis closer to his. She kissed him on the lips using teeth and tongue, and he returned both with pleasure. The thud of the gangplank being thrown to the deck startled the lovers, and they jumped apart, then laughed at themselves for being so absorbed in each other.

Jonathan led her to the captain's cabin, closed the door, and turned her around in the celestial light to lift her heavy hair and untie the straps around Celine's neck. Loosening the straps got him no closer to seeing this lovely woman naked. Boggled by a dress that seemed to have a will of its own, he tugged and pulled while planting small kisses on her spine until at last, the gown peeled off. He was so out of practice.

Hartz placed two fingers in the strings of the midnight black thong, discarded it, and then turned to his own wardrobe, scuffing off the expensive Italian shoes and fumbling with his buttons and zipper. He'd hoped Celine would turn and undress him, but she'd vanished under the captain's quilt.

With the quilt drawn up to her chin, Celine peeked out from the blanket, her dark eyes wide and unsure. Hartz made an executive decision to leave his briefs on even though they weren't hiding much at this point and to stay in his undershirt because of the scar some women found repellant. He slipped into the box bed beside Celine.

"I haven't done this very often," she confessed, staring up at the beams of the cabin. "Just with Jack in his van. I tried one other time, but it didn't work out."

"So, you could say you are almost a virgin."

"If there is such a thing."

"No problem. I've had instruction from the best."

"Who's the best? Miss Stone?"

"Lord, no! When your little boy turned four, I was still a virgin, a virgin with a college degree and millions of dollars, so I went to Vegas. They had a place back then called The Ranch. All the women lined up, and you took your pick. Some wore harem costumes, some were in see-through nighties, some had on bustiers and spiked heels. The madam offered every size and color of woman a man could want, and they were all gorgeous. I asked for one who could show me what to do. I got Lorraine, though she called herself Lola back then."

As Hartz told his story, he smoothed Celine's body with his hands, turned her over and rubbed her back in a soothing circular motion. "I went back every night for a week, and then I asked Lola to come to Seattle with me and be my mistress as I still had a lot to learn."

He could feel her beginning to relax under his hands as he quietly told his story. "She did. She had a child to support, kept her in a private school. That's why she was in the business. Sweet Lorraine. We stayed together for nine years. She was my age now when we first met. When she turned forty and her daughter graduated from college, she told me the time had come for both of us to move on. 'Jon', she said, 'find yourself a young woman to love and give you a family.' I've been looking ever since."

He turned Celine toward him. She reached up, took off his undershirt and touched the scar on his chest. The thin red line started just below his collarbone. Then it thickened and widened in the center of his chest and puckered as it narrowed again.

"Does it hurt?" she asked.

"No. It itches sometimes."

Pleased that she touched him rather than turning her head or pretending not to notice as most women did, he rejoiced that she was not like the others. Even though he could feel only the pressure of her fingers through the thick tissue as they traced the incision's length and not the warmth of her hand, the heart beneath the scar beat harder.

He began to make love to her again, kissing the tops of her breasts and working downwards from nipples to toes. Coming back up as if returning from a long voyage, he found her wet and pliant.
Eyes closed and breathing in small pants, she uttered only one word, "Condom." She'd evidently learned her lesson at the age of seventeen.

He groped in his pants pocket where he had placed three condoms handily purchased in the Bayou Belle's men's room. "Let's see, I have bold gold, passionate purple, and neon orange. What's your pleasure?"

"Any, any at all."

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