Destination: Loveby Christi Barth, Eliza Knight, Misty D. Waters and Piper J. Drake, and Christina Elle Publication Date: August 1, 2017 Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Boxed Set
Go the distance, fall farther than you planned… Don’t bother with your passport – you can watch our HOT couples fall in love from the comfort of your couch! USA Today bestsellers Christi Barth, Eliza Knight, Misty D. Waters and Piper J. Drake, and Christina Elle take you along on sexy, romance-drenched vacations all over the globe. Enjoy the exotic settings, the steamy vacation flings that become something more. Take the plunge with five couples as they throw caution to the wind and give in to temptation. The final destination in this itinerary is love, and you’re in for the trip of your life.
Eliza Knight is a USA Today bestselling author of sizzling historical romance, time-travel, contemporary and erotic romance. Under the name E. Knight, she pens riveting historical fiction. While not reading, writing or researching for her latest book, she chases after her three children. In her spare time (if there is such a thing…) she likes daydreaming, wine-tasting, traveling, hiking, staring at the stars, watching movies, shopping and visiting with family and friends. She lives atop a small mountain with her own knight in shining armor, three princesses and two very naughty puppies.
Piper J. Drake is a bestselling author of romantic suspense and edgy contemporary romance, a frequent flyer, and day job road warrior. She is often distracted by dogs, cupcakes, and random shenanigans.
Christina believes that laughter really is the best medicine, which is why in her stories she blends a healthy dose of hilarious hijinks with gritty suspense. When she’s not writing fun contemporary romance or quirky romantic suspense, Christina can be found devouring books in every genre, watching Chris Hemsworth on TV, playing board games with her family, working out, checking out Chris Hemsworth on Facebook, napping, stalking Chris Hemsworth on Instagram, and shopping…for Chris Hemsworth’s latest DVD. Christina lives near Baltimore with her husband and two sons, who give her an endless supply of humorous material to write about. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Maryland Romance Writers.
Christina Elle // ANYWHERE WITH YOU // 400 word excerpt
Wes must have sensed her discomfort because he released her hand to wrap a tight arm around her, pulling her against him. She wasn't even going to process how much she liked the way she fit into his armpit. Mostly because fitting into another person's armpit didn't sound like something one would revel in. Under arm? Lower shoulder? Upper oblique?
Her brain forgot about the holding her up part and the various vocabulary choices, and instead registered how much she liked being sandwiched against his warm frame. She melted into him, her arm instinctively wrapping itself around his waist.
Damn he was hard. And full of muscle. Just like she'd imagined.
Without being able to stop herself, she gave his side a good, sturdy squeeze, testing the firmness. Then she splayed her fingers wide, taking in more terrain, and glided her hand up and down his bubbly side.
Bubbly? Would we call it bubbly?
Well, it certainly wasn't smooth. It had bumps and ridges to it, each one harder than the next. The density was like the long tubes of bologna her father used to get at the meat counter back home.
Good Lord, Teegan. Really?
Yeah, because when one's arm was around a hot man, it was natural to think about deli meat.
No wonder you've been dateless for so long.
She nearly rolled her eyes and would have if Juliet hadn't been staring at her like she could read every one of Teegan's moronic thoughts.
"Juliet," Wes said in a purposeful tone. "You remember Teegan."
"Of course." She leaned forward to give Teegan a small hug. The kind that only required half an arm and a pat on the back. "It's nice to see you. With Wes, no less."
"Yeah, well…" Teegan glanced up at the tall, mountain of a man and tried to flutter her eyelashes at him. But she must've done it too fast because her vision went wonky, causing her to sway a little and nearly lose her balance. Shifting her weight, she planted her feet firmly and looked back at Juliet. "We're in love.”
Smooth? You call that smooth?
She could've sworn she heard a groan next to her, but she wasn't sure because Juliet's sharp intake of air drowned out just about every sound on the beach.
"Love?" Juliet’s gaze zipped to Wes, searching for what seemed like confirmation.
There was a slight hesitation—Juliet hopefully didn't catch it—before Wes once again wrapped a tight arm around her. "What can I say? When you know, you know. It just kind of hit me." He sent a cryptic look Teegan's way, and his jaw seemed to lock down. "Out of nowhere."
Teegan simulated an explosion with her hands, taking her fists and blasting her fingers open wide. “Boom.”
Excerpt: Crusing Toward Love
"The sky is blue," said Nate, his face separated from hers by only a breath.
Huh? "Is that a military thing? Are you talking in code?"
"The sun rises in the east. Play with fire and you’ll get burned. These are all absolute truths. Indisputable facts. Well, there’s one more absolute you need to file away in your mental card catalog."
Nate brought the lower half of his body so close Zoe felt the heat radiating from his legs. Despite the heat, her goose bumps had goose bumps. The anticipation of his touch brought her every sense to high alert. He raised his arms up, planted his hands on either side of her head to cage her in place. Then he tilted so his forehead bumped hers. Her field of vision narrowed to the indigo sea of his eyes, pupils flooding black in the shaded darkness of the narrow turret they shared.
"I want you, Zoe." He forced the words out in a heavy rasp. "I wanted you the day we met. You wore a red ribbon in your hair, dropped a stack of books on my foot, and apologized adorably for ten minutes. All I could think of was wrapping the ribbon around my hand to pull you in for a kiss. I wanted you the first time we kissed, on the bridge in a storm. One by one, I licked off every raindrop that clung to your skin. I wanted you when I saw you covered in mud last Friday. Wanted you badly enough to crawl right into the mud to be with you. I want you now, and I will always want you."
Zoe let her eyes flutter shut in preparation for a kiss. Such a heartfelt, utterly romantic speech could only end one way. Just as whipped cream hungered for a cherry, his words demanded to be topped off by a kiss. She didn’t care about the past. With a handful of sentences he’d put her insecurities to rest. Nate dazzled her, and she was ready for more.
What was taking him so long? From beneath her lashes she snuck a peek. No Nate. Hoping the knees he’d melted to jelly would hold her, Zoe scrambled out onto the dirt path. Twenty strides ahead, Nate bellowed at her over his shoulder. "Hurry up. We don’t want to miss the reading of the clue."
From confusion to relief with paper hearts dancing overhead...right back to confusion, all in less than five minutes. Zoe trudged after him with one thought uppermost in her mind—now what?
Wherever You Are by Eliza Knight…
After life takes a heartbreaking turn, Calista Adams indulges in a fling while on vacation. But that steamy encounter fills her heart with something she thought never to have again. Maxwell Dane can’t stop thinking about Calista, but he’s home in Paris, and she’s an ocean away. Until Calista takes a nine-week sabbatical to travel Europe. With a second chance in sight, Max won’t let her push him away. This could be the forever kind of love, and there’s only one way to find out.
“What are you doing out here?”
“Staring at the stars.” She shrugged.
Max laughed softly. “No, I mean, here in Grand Cayman.”
“Vacationing like everyone else.” Calista turned away. What little part of her had felt the need to open up to this stranger tightened. Talking with a handsome stranger was one thing, relaying the melancholy that was her life was another.
“I don’t mean to pry,” Max said softly.
Calista’s lips curved slightly as she flicked her gaze at him. “Yes you do.”
Max laughed and tapped his hand to his chest. “You got me. I do.”
A little flip of her belly, and she found herself letting her guard down again. “Forgetting.” Though, she was doing a better job remembering and wallowing than anything else. And she had every right, didn’t she? “Forgetting,” she said again quietly, as if hoping to convince herself to do so.
He nodded but didn’t ask any more, as if he could understand the need to forget. He lay down beside her, stretched his legs out so the waves touched his feet and tucked his hands beneath his head. “Have to admit, this is a nice view.”
And it was. But Calista wasn’t looking at the stars anymore. She was staring down at Max. At his lean, cut body and the chisel of his features, dark reddish-brown hair that resembled the color of an old, lucky penny. He was handsome. Hot. Looking at him, a spark of desire flashed inside her, coursing its way along her limbs, making her breasts feel heavy, achy. God, she hadn’t felt like that in a while. Not even with Randy.
Desire. Need. Yearning.
If she were anyone else, she might have taken the opportunity that was being presented to her. Might have taken the chance and jumped this hot hunk’s bones. But she wasn’t any other person. She was Calista Adams. Jilted bride.
Tearing her gaze away from him, she flopped back onto the sand, her arm over her eyes.
“Can’t see the stars like that,” he murmured.
A smiled snaked over her lips, and she tried to stifle it. But all that kept running through her mind was the way she felt so at peace with Max here, lying beside her in the shallow water, waves lapping at their feet. And how wrong that had to be. Right? She shouldn’t feel like this. Not yet.
She’d not felt at peace since her life was inexplicably torn apart. Not since she’d lost—
“Do you live near the beach?” Max asked.
Calista cleared her throat, thrusting her sadness away. “No,” she whispered.
“Why do you ask?”
“Because of how comfortable you are just lying here. Sand in your hair. Clothes rumpled. As though it’s part of a routine you couldn’t live without.”
A routine she couldn’t live without. Warm water slicked up her legs, a gentle breeze soothed her soul. And this man… He was making her think of things that she’d not yet touched on. What she couldn’t live without. And that was affection, kissing, companionship, love.
Excerpt from FINDING HIS MARK by Piper J. Drake
Michael nodded, then took Sushar's hand from his elbow and instead placed his hand on her lower back. The heat of his palm warmed her skin through the gauze of her delicate cover. "Well, I took our discussion from yesterday to heart. I'd like you to meet Su. She's an old friend who agreed to join me even though I invited her last minute."
"Very kind of you." The man's gaze settled on Sushar and pierced right through her, assessing.
"I was surprised." She decided concise and honest was best with this man. "But if Michael called, it was important to him."
Which was absolute truth.
The man's eyebrow lifted in response to her statement and the corner of his mouth twitched in a hint of a smile. "Michael, you continue to impress me."
Michael chuckled. He was comfortable with this man. "You recommended I establish a life, a real one beyond my work. Su might be a past acquaintance, but she's also the only part of my history worth bringing back into my life now."
Her heart skipped and stuttered, almost stopped. She knew all his tells. Either he'd become a much better liar over the years or he meant what he'd said.
Michael's boss truly smiled then, the laugh lines creasing an otherwise serious face. "Ben Ward. You are very welcome here."
He extended his right hand.
Sushar took it and gave him a firm handshake. "Sushar Sakda. Thank you. Please call me Su."
Michael turned her to introduce her to the others in Ben's close circle of trusted advisors. Those men had waited for Ben to welcome her, and she noticed only a few of them introduced their ladies. Wives were given introductions. The others were very possibly temporary companions or perhaps mistresses.
It'd been significant, then, for Michael to introduce her to Ben. It mattered in this group of people. The question was, had it mattered as much to Michael as he'd implied?
She shouldn't wonder, but she did.
Palms freshly oiled, Josh
made a quick pass over her calf and began kneading deep grooves into her thigh.
He started on the top, watching her face as he worked. She'd closed her eyes
but bit her bottom lip. He was really beginning to love when she did that.
Lia let her leg remain
slack as he shifted his focus to her outer thigh and hip. He hooked an arm
under her knee to give him better access to the curve of her ass. That area he
flattened his palm for. Caressed. Her glut tightened and relaxed.
Josh returned to her
thigh, this time opening her hip. He let her knee rest against his chest and
stroked her inner thigh from the top down. Didn't stop until his thumb reached
the edge of her suit bottoms.
Jesus. He was so close.
All he had to do was shift his fingers over a half inch.
With a rough swallow and
deep inhale, Josh put his hand in reverse and earned a disgruntled moan that
made him grin. This was good. Exactly what he’d planned. She’s the one who
wanted delayed gratification, and he meant to give it to her in more ways than
he laid her leg down on the table, hip open, keeping it at the angle. It took
all his self-control not to drop his mouth to her creamy skin. Later tonight,
he wasn't going to leave a single inch of her skin unmarked.
“Comfortable?” he asked.
She nodded. “Try not to move.”
He switched to her other
leg. Began as he had the last time. Calf and shin. Knee. Top of thigh. Then
lifted her pliable leg to work on the outer thigh. Hip. Again, he stroked her
butt, this time eliciting a warm sigh. He was beginning to think of her sounds
as his favorite music. He could listen to her on repeat.
At long last, Josh found
her inner thigh. She laid open to him but for the length of white sheet
bisecting her center. Giving her an added layer of protection from his gaze.
His imagination was enough. For now.
He grazed her suit’s edge
on the inside of her warm thigh, and her hips rocked gently toward his hand.
“I thought I told you to
lie still,” he said, chuckling.
“Sorry. It’s not as easy
as you think.”
He could imagine. If he
were in her position, he'd have already been to the point of taking control of
the situation. "Just lie back and enjoy."
Josh refocused on kneading
her skin. Memorizing the way her muscles shaped her hamstring and calf. The
exact place her leg dipped inward toward her sensitive, covered flesh.
On the third rotation, he
dipped his hand under the sheet. With her hips spread, she lay open and perfect
for his cupped hand. Moist heat radiated under his palm. She was ready.
He placed pressure on her
clit using the heel of his hand and began a gentle rotation.
Lia's body spasmed
once, but then accepted the new massage.
About the Authors
Christi BarthChristi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance, including the Naked Men and Aisle Bound series. Christi can always be found whipping up gourmet meals (for fun, honest!) or with her nose in a book. She lives in Maryland with the best husband in the world.
Misty D. Waters
USA Today Bestselling author MISTY D. WATERS lives with her family in Maryland. When she isn’t steaming up the pages to a good romance, abusing her muse, or random dancing, she's writing edge-of-your-seat science fiction thrillers as M.D. Waters.Her first novel, ARCHETYPE, was nominated for a RT Reviewers’ Choice award, on the Texas Library Association’s 2015 Lariat Reading List, listed on Popsugar.com’s The Best Books of 2014, and voted “Best Sex” by the A.V. Club’s Pages Most Likely to Succeed: Our Favorite Books of 2014 (so far). Her other works, ANTITYPE & PROTOTYPE, are available now.
Piper J. Drake