Length: Novella (~23,320 words)
Setting: New Orleans
Subgenre: Erotic contemporary
Heat level: HOT
Warnings: Graphic sex and adult language
Collection: Den of Sin
Leave your inhibitions at the door…and turn the page.
New Orleans’s Hotel Beaudelaire isn’t just a critically acclaimed 5-star establishment. For New Year’s Eve, it becomes a Den of Sin, and its owner extends invitations to a few discriminating guests to help make their sexual fantasies come true.
Most come to The Beaudelaire Hotel a select few times a year merely to indulge in sexual fantasy, but the stakes are higher for Karen Freeman and Paul Beaudelaire this New Year’s weekend. Karen is nine years post-op from a double mastectomy, and her vain ex-husband hadn’t agreed with her decision to remove her remaining good breast or to eschew reconstruction. In the end, that decision cost her. She lost her marriage, but she’s certain the move has prolonged her life.
Returning to a normal dating and sex life has been difficult. She hasn’t made love fully unclothed since the demise of her marriage, and her most significant relationship occurred right after her surgery. When she was still recuperating, she had an affair of the heart with a Marine amputee who’d also been her Ph.D. classmate.
Paul Beaudelaire once led a charmed life as a ladies’ man who had his pick of women in the upper echelons of New Orleans society. He’d been satisfied to continue in that vein, until a Marine recruiter wooed him from LSU with tales of valor, courage, and commitment. His career in the corps cut short by the loss of his left leg, Paul returned to New Orleans with the best prosthesis Johns Hopkins orthopedics experts could fit him with. The problem was, he’d left his heart in Baltimore with a beautiful former model, whose crippled marriage was the only deterrent to his waning honor. Will this fantasy weekend at his Uncle Henri’s hotel give him a second chance with his contemporary Amazon, or will her fear of rejection be a barrier to their reconnection?
“What just happened? We were in a good place until all of a sudden, we weren’t.”
She shrugged like a gawky, inexperienced teen, afraid to go all the way with the boy she liked she wasn’t sure would still like her in the morning. He hated that the cancer had done this to her. Robbed her of her confidence.
“Karen, I would never hurt you.”
She smiled. He’d been going for intimacy, for sincerity, but apparently his heartfelt declaration struck her as funny.
“You know I won’t take advantage if you let me in,” he said, giving her a glimpse of his own vulnerability. This was as much about him as it was about her. Then he realized this statement was innuendo-laden as well, when her grin broadened.
“Exactly how do I know this?”
He would not let a moment of levity steal the inroads he was determined to make. “Because you know I’ve been where you are, even though on the surface it looks like I’ve dealt with and overcome all my issues with body image. Will you take a chance and go places with me intimately that you haven’t with anyone else?” He hoped like hell she could trust him. She hadn’t backed out when she found out he was her partner for the weekend, so there had to be something to her acceptance.
“How cunning. You knew the one thing—the only thing—that makes living inside our imperfections so difficult. I’m not surprised you get it.”
She smiled that same smile he saw in his fantasies. The one that says more than her words. She squinted, and laugh lines seemed to appear from nowhere. There was no guile or arrogance in it, just the tentative smile of a woman who was once very self-assured and was again trying it on for size.
It was that smile Paul had responded to first, before he’d discovered other interesting things as he’d continued to watch her. The way she walked with such grace, one might believe she was floating. The way she saw through bullshit as if she had a built in meter for it. Even his. The intensity with which she viewed life was even atypical, a study in contradictions for one who’d stared death in the face and made it back down.
“If we do this your way, I’ll have one rule.”
Desperation made him reckless. “Anything.”
“The lights must be off.”
“Except that…” He stood and paced. “Karen, we’re supposed to leave our inhibitions at the door.”
“Okay. Suppose I were to blindfold you instead?”
He stopped in his tracks and smiled involuntarily. “That sounds promising, but if we get any kinkier than that, we might have to change floors.”
“Let’s just get the mechanics down now, shall we?”
“That doesn’t sound particularly sexy.”
Her expression challenged him. “I’m going to make you rue that statement before this weekend is over.”
“Game on,” he said.
More From This Series
On December 6 the authors of the Den of Sin Series invited you to indulge in a new erotica or erotic romance novella each Friday until December 27. Each had a different couple (or trio) and different kinks:
December 6: Forbidden Rendezvous by Mel Blue
Seraphina orchestrates fantasies, but this year she’ll create one of her own. It’s against the rules for an employee to participate in the weekend-long sex-capade but she’s willing to risk it for Luke. The man’s a mystery, but in a sea of CEOs and Fortune 500 billionaires, he stands out. His past and connection to her boss is clouded in intrigue, but she knows what he wants, and she plans to star in one of his voyeuristic fantasies.
December 13: Ménage à Troys by Holley Trent
At the Den of Sin anything goes, so instead of two newlyweds letting down their guards to finally consummate their marriage of convenience, three people desperate to be touched forge bonds. That’s all well and good for the weekend, but what will shake out of their tentative ménage à trois when it’s time to go home?
December 20: Wicked Surrender by Ambrielle Kirk
Kris is tired of spending her nights playing with hard plastic and silicone. She wants a real man for a night, and expects to find him at the Den of Sin. She doesn’t expect to meet one of the World’s Most Eligible Bachelors there, and this isn’t the first time she’s met him. Unfortunately, Travis Brenden doesn’t seem to remember her.
December 27: Redeeming the Amazon by L. V. Lewis
Karen hasn’t made love fully unclothed since her double mastectomy and the subsequent demise of her marriage. Her most significant relationship occurred right after her surgery when she connected with a former Marine, amputee classmate. Paul once left his heart in Baltimore with a beautiful former model, whose crumbling marriage was the only deterrent to his waning honor. A fantasy weekend at his uncle’s hotel may give him a second chance with his contemporary Amazon…if her fear of rejection doesn’t become a barrier to their reconnection.
To learn more about this shared world series and its authors, and to access purchasing information, please visit DenofSinSeries.com.