Authors: Allyson Young
Running to Love 3
Rowan Scott is the fantasy librarian. She wears tailored suits on the job, her hair restrained in the quintessential bun, and appears every inch the academic, except for the sexy lingerie hidden beneath her staid clothing. Rowan has discovered the world of erotica and is seeking to explore it and find her place.
She attends a meet and greet at a local club and meets Jace McEachern. Jace takes great pride in his ability to avoid commitment while bringing women the best sexual pleasure. He believes he has hit the mother lode in Rowan and is unmanned when she makes him lose his famed control. Rowan is confused and questions her own appeal because of Jace’s strange reaction.
They both run hard from the other, only to hide in the same place. It’s a fresh start and a love story that evolves, with a little kink, of course.
Running to Love 3
Siren Publishing, Inc.
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IMPRINT: Erotic Romance
Copyright © 2012 by Allyson Young
First E-book Publication: June 2012
Cover design by Harris Channing
All cover art and logo copyright © 2012 by Siren Publishing, Inc.
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For Briana and her Irishman….love ya, Bri.
Running to Love 3
Copyright © 2012
It was almost time for her to get over to the ceremony. Rowan Scott studied her reflection in the full-length mirror that hung on the wall in the bedroom of the compact suite she had rented upon moving to Morrisville. She was certain that no one could see past the nicely tailored gray suit with the severe white under blouse, certain that no one could see that her heart was fractured and her soul scalded... She had softened the look subtly with a pair of small twisted silver hoops that displayed well because her hair was caught up in a knot on the back of her head. All she needed was a pair of horn-rimmed black glasses, and the look would be perfect. She shook her head gently and the light caught the little earrings and reflected back at her, the only illumination piercing the depths of her brain. Her vision was perfect, and she didn’t need glasses as an affectation. No one could miss who she was supposed to be, the archetypical, if somewhat modern, librarian. She would never give anyone reason to wonder or speculate if she was anything else or had
been anything else. That part of her had escaped once and caused nothing but heartache and turmoil, and the faint scar on her right hand had long since ceased to tingle a reminder. She would be content with her job and the ever-changing world of the written word. With the advent of the Internet, the world of books as she knew it had evolved, and she had embraced the change, moving forward in her continuing education when others with her training bemoaned e-books, online access, and the like. Rowan had made herself invaluable at the university and flourished in her job, rising through the ranks until she had attained assistant head librarian status. That very rank had allowed for her to obtain this position in the much smaller center of Morrisville, a satellite learning site, given her the opportunity to run and hide until she could heal. It had also given her the opportunity to avoid running into Jace McEachern again, in any context, anywhere.
She had used her accrued holiday time to apply and interview for the position and, upon being the successful candidate, find a place to live and move there, all within the space of three weeks. Her new employers had been as anxious as she to fill the position, and it had felt like a blessed escape, a lucky one, and if she felt gutted and less than herself, well, that was the price one paid when one took risks, insane risks, and hoped for more than she deserved.
Reading books had gotten her into the whole situation, Rowan mused, barely able to appreciate the irony. Reading erotic books, to be more precise. She was the much youngest child of a pair of professors, both teaching and researching in the sciences. Her older siblings had both made their careers in the same area, and Rowan had baffled everyone by her love of literature, both fiction and nonfiction. She had been able to read by age three, and moved past the ubiquitous
See Dick Run
to chapter books within the next year. Math and science didn’t appeal to her, although she could handle the course work with little effort. It was the sweeping vistas of imagination that Rowan lived for, from the visual painting of far-off places to the uncharted territories of the human heart. She read anything and everything and her parents quit censoring her choice in literature before the age of ten.
Probably because Rowan was constantly immersed in books, much of everyday life passed her by. Fashion and friends didn’t interest her, and while she was well-read, most of what she read didn’t apply to present-day living. Subsequently, Rowan lacked the experience of peer influence and her social skills were somewhat delayed. She was perceived as being odd. The private school she attended was studded with individuals such as herself, so how different and unworldly she actually was didn’t matter until she graduated and went on to post-secondary education. Rowan loved higher learning. She took every class in literature that she could, as well as continuing her study of French, because she believed that French was the true language of love, although Italian ran a close second. And while she thought she lived and breathed through the characters in the books she devoured, there came a time when she realized she hadn’t even begun to do so. Rowan picked up the
Story of O
one day. It was on the remainder shelf in the bookstore she frequented, just a short walk from the college.
Rowan could feel her body flush with the memory of her reaction to O. It was as if a switch had been thrown, and she couldn’t stop reading that particular genre. Romance had been such a sweet, high-minded thing before, something she aspired to and dreamed about, longing for a knight in shining armor to find her and carry her off. Rowan was secretly ashamed of her new obsession but was highly titillated by it. She began to look at men differently, and to pay attention to the gossip of the other girls on campus. She had been close to graduating at that time, and she winced even now to think of how she had preferred to read erotica rather than study for her exams and write her thesis. In the end she graduated with honors and her thesis only marginally impacted by her burgeoning libido. Who would ever have thought that seventeenth-century romantic poets might have been referring to deeper, darker sexual acts than they seemed to present? Rowan thought it. And slept it. She became worried that people would sense it in her, and looked for ways to hide it, and then explore it, ways to fit in. She soon realized that most of the other young women her age were on equal terms with her insofar as their interest in sexuality went, if not the darker side. Rowan hesitantly struck up a few acquaintance-type friendships in her final year, and her eyes were opened further.
Several months earlier…
Jackie examined her manicure and yawned, prettily covering her mouth with those beautifully painted fingernails. “We need to do something tonight, Rowan,” she said. “I’m sick of studying and living at the library. What do you say we hit a club?”
Rowan, who privately thought the library was a perfect place to live, if only it had a kitchenette and a shower, nodded cautiously. Jackie and Michaela were two of the girls she felt a little comfortable with and appreciated that they had seen her as an opportunity to play dress up with, instead of teasing and ostracising her. “I’ve never been to a club,” she confessed.
Jackie laughed. “No shit, Shakespeare! I never would have guessed. That’s okay. Micki and I’ll get you fixed up and your own momma won’t know you.”
Rowan was a bit wary of the whole idea, but just being with the other girls, listening to their sexual exploits and soaking up the ambiance of their decadence, made her decide to take the chance. She had been warned about peer influence of course, except she’d been given the talk in junior high, along with the sex talk, and neither meant squat at that time. It didn’t have any impact now, and she nodded eagerly. Jackie stretched her petite little body in a gesture that was curiously feline, and one that drew the most attention to her perky breasts, much of what were exposed above the neckline of her scoop-necked top.