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Authors: Christine d'Abo

Sexcapades

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Sexcapades
By Christine d’Abo

Petra Clark’s blog Sexcapades inspires women to embrace
sexuality. What readers don’t know is that her advice isn’t based on
personal experience. Despite erotic fantasies about the hot guy at her local
coffee shop, social anxiety keeps Petra from connecting with real men in the
real world. She’s more comfortable as PC, sparring online with her nemesis, the
cocky D. Williams.

Counselor by day, blogger by night, Darcy Williams gets
a thrill countering PC’s female-friendly advice with a macho slant. And
when both blogs are nominated for an award, he’s intrigued by the chance to
finally meet the woman who’s been driving him wild with her Sexcapades.

When Petra runs into her coffee-shop crush at the awards
party, sparks fly—and so do their clothes. Only after multiple orgasms
does she realize who Darcy really is: the competition. Now they’re facing
accusations of fraud, with stalking and blackmail thrown in. But perhaps most
frightening of all are the feelings growing between them...

51,000 words

Dear Reader,

I’m writing this just after having returned from Disney World. It wasn’t my first trip to Disney and it won’t be my last. Even though I’m not fond of big crowds, I get sick if I even look at a twisty ride (though I still like to ride a few) and by the end of our visit we’re all invariably cranky, I still love it there. Disney truly has created something magical.

Luckily, for those of you who don’t have a trip to Disney in your future, they’re not the only ones who can create something magical. Every month, Carina Press authors deliver us books that transport us to new times, new places and new adventures. This month is no different!

I’m pleased to introduce
New York Times
bestselling author Stephanie Tyler’s new series, launching this month. This romance, set in post-apocalypse America, centers around the survival of the fittest: the motorcycle gangs of the future. Dark, edgy and steamy,
Defiance
is the first in this can’t-miss new series.

Another
New York Times
bestselling author, Marie Force, is back with the next installment in her bestselling romantic suspense series. An error on the baseball field leads to murder in
Fatal Mistake.

And I’m happy to welcome Victoria Davies to Carina Press with her newest paranormal romance,
Seducing the Demon Huntress.

Joining these three is a lineup of fantastic authors returning to Carina Press. Don’t miss the latest installment of
Love Letters Volume 3:
Wicked Whispers.
Verbal foreplay goes a long way in these four steamy stories. From author Christine d’Abo comes
Sexcapades.
Sparks fly between two rival internet bloggers in this erotic contemporary romance.

Our last erotic offering for the month of June is the long-awaited sequel to Dana Marie Bell’s
Blood of the Maple
. In
Throne of Oak
, dark forces are converging on Maggie’s Grove, and a horde of hunters stalk supernaturals from the shadows.

If you’re looking for more paranormal romances, Sheryl Nantus, PJ Schnyder, and Eleri Stone all have releases this month. Check out the new installments from Sheryl and Eleri respectively,
Family Pride
and
Witch Bound.
Meanwhile, join PJ on a new adventure as she kicks off her London Undead series with
Bite Me
. Zombies have taken over London and a werewolf finds himself protecting a woman who seems determined to put herself in harm’s way.

Still in the “other world” genres, we have two releases: Fae Sutherland’s
Sky Runners
, a delicious male/male space opera; and the conclusion to Vivi Anna’s steampunk romance trilogy.
The League of Illusion:
Destiny
wraps up with sorcerer Sebastian Davenport’s story.

If you’re a fan of
Downton Abbey
, you’ll want to make sure you’re not missing out on Julie Rowe’s War Girls books. World War I generated many heroes—only some of them were men. Check out
Enticing the Spymaster
, her newest release, and go back and catch up with
Saving the Rifleman
, the first in this series. And while you’re in the past, why not stay there? Wendy Soliman’s
Beguiling the Barrister
also transports readers to a past time in this regency romance.

Last but not least, two powerhouse authors have new releases to center you in the here and now. HelenKay Dimon explores love and lust in her return to Holloway with contemporary romance
Just What He Wanted.
Sexy Travis is the story we’ve all been waiting for!

Adrienne Giordano rounds out our month of magical releases with
Opposing Forces.
In this romantic suspense, when a pharmaceutical distribution manager uncovers secret drug shipments at work, she and a savvy executive with political ties must risk everything—including their hearts—to stop the criminals and stay alive.

No matter where your reading tastes take you, whether it’s the past, the future, or an alternate world, we’ve got an extensive catalog to help give you a magical experience without ever leaving the comfort of your own house (or needing to stand in line!).

We love to hear from readers, and you can email us your thoughts, comments and questions to
[email protected]
. You can also interact with Carina Press staff and authors on our blog, Twitter stream and Facebook fan page.

Happy reading!

~Angela James
Executive Editor, Carina Press

www.carinapress.com
www.twitter.com/carinapress
www.facebook.com/carinapress

Dedication

To Mark. We built the pyramids.

Acknowledgements

As always, there are many people who have helped me along the way. Thanks first and foremost to JK and Del for being the best critique partners a girl could ever ask for. Your insights and comments are always spot on.

To my editor, Alissa. I know this is our first book together, but the ride so far has been a lot of fun! Thank you so much for taking me on and being so awesome to work with. I know this will be the first of many books together.

And as always, I have to thank my family. From my parents and sister who are always cheering me on, to my daughters who are just awesome, to my husband who is the best hero a girl could ask for. I love you all!

Chapter One

Ladies, don’t let men fool you—they want to
be wooed as much as we do! Break out the wine and flowers along with that
action movie. And when it comes to sex, don’t be afraid to do things their
way once in a while. It makes it easier for them to reciprocate when you
want to set the rules.

—PC,
Sexcapades

sex advice for women

Screw the flowers.
We want blowjobs.

—D. Williams,
Mantastic

advice for REAL men

“He’s nothing but a damned ignorant Neanderthal!”

Petra knew her anger at the mysterious D. Williams bordered on
irrational. But given how the owner of
Mantastic:
A
Blog for Real Men
had contradicted her at every
turn, twisting her female-friendly advice into something base and crude that
perpetuated the idiocy of the immature man, she really didn’t give a shit.
Glaring at the computer screen, she knew that simply putting a retort on her
blog wouldn’t be enough to satisfy her annoyance. Once again it was time to take
things up a notch.

She furiously typed out a snarky retort in the comments section
of
Mantastic’s
latest post about the top ten things
a man can say that will get him dumped. It was time for her to give him another
taste of his own medicine. Petra wasn’t going to back away from the opportunity
to needle him.

Sure, this particular post probably wasn’t her best option for
fodder given he was mostly right—the jerk—but beggars couldn’t be choosers. She
knew the moment she hit Send she’d immediately be jumped on by at least thirty
adolescent man-children trying to defend what was said in the post. That was
part of the fun for her—that and seeing what teasing comment D. Williams would
come back with.

Alice scooted up onto the desk, bumping her hip against Petra’s
keyboard and jarring her fingers off home row. “Yes, but he’s an ignorant bully
with a gazillion followers, which has helped increase
your
blog’s popularity. People can’t get enough of the two of you
ripping each other up.”

“That’s not why I do this, and you know it. He’s arrogant. I
hate that.”

Alice let out a huff. “You’re delusional. Face it, Pet, you
can’t stand the idea of a man who might actually be good with this relationship
stuff. Especially because he happens to have a PhD in psychology and
occasionally does give out sound advice to his followers.”

“If that’s even
true
. There’s no
way he can prove his credentials without outing his real identity.” Petra shoved
the keyboard away, crossed her arms and turned to face her friend. “A real
psychologist works in an office with patients and, you know,
ethics
. They don’t hand out dime store advice on the
internet.”

“You do.”

Petra growled. “I run an
advice
column
. I don’t pretend to be something I’m not.”

“What’s to say he’s pretending? You don’t know the guy or what
he does for a living.”

It was an old argument, one Petra didn’t feel like getting
into. “I know men like him, Alice.” Petra shoved aside her too long bangs from
behind her glasses. “He probably thinks he’s God’s gift to women and knows
everything because
he’s the man
. I bet he spends
every night at a bar trying to pick up women because he can’t figure out how to
be in a real relationship. The women who come to my blog need honest, uncensored
advice. They don’t need to have their fears and insecurities perpetuated by his
chauvinistic views.”

Turning back to her computer, she rattled off a few more words
before hitting Send. “Done.”

Pinching the bridge of her nose, Alice shook her head. “Why do
you do this to yourself?”

“Every jerk like D. Williams needs a counterweight. I happen to
be his.”

Petra wasn’t about to admit she enjoyed their little sparring
matches. It was an odd sort of online flirting, and she doubted it was entirely
healthy, given their relationship. Still, rereading her comment pulled a small
smile from her. She’d pushed the limits once again and couldn’t wait for the
reaction.

I
don’t think you could handle a proper blow job
,
Williams.
Would you even know one if you got it?
Just for your education
,
it
would require me stripping you naked while teasing your skin and kissing
your nipples before I’d press you against the wall and lick you
senseless.
I
might even use a cock ring.
No way you’re man enough for that.

Naughty, naughty Petra.

As much as she accused him of being a past-his-prime
chauvinist, Petra had always envisioned him as a sultry, devious sex-god. A
sex-god who wanted to put her through her paces and do some of her racier ideas
with her. Dildos, nipple clamps, dirty talk that would get her salivating for
more, We Vibes...

Alice reached across the desk and grabbed the empty coffee mug.
“Anyway, I came by to see if you wanted to head out for a coffee. You’ve been
stuck in here for days.”

“I can’t, sweetie.” Petra bunched up her shoulder length hair
and twisted an elastic around the unruly mass. She knew Alice wouldn’t be
fooled, but it was a hard-wired deflection technique. Outside, no matter how
beautiful the day, wasn’t really her favorite place to be. “I have to send out
ad invoices for next month and see if I can get another sponsor. Oh, did I tell
you I’ve got some new products to feature on the blog next week? I still need to
finalize Monday’s post and do a bit more research, but it’s going to rock.”

“What’s the topic?”

“‘Love Thyself—Creative Uses for Vibrators.’” Petra smirked.
“Or, ‘Rev Your Engines—When a Man Just Isn’t Enough.’ I can’t quite decide on a
title.” She couldn’t wait for D. Williams to read this one. Petra had added in a
few lines she knew he wouldn’t be able to resist commenting on. Not that she’d
ever admit to purposely baiting him. “I still need to look up a few brands of
lube and get some additional model numbers.”

Alice laughed. “I’m surprised you don’t have diagrams.”

“I do! And I even found some photos I can use.” While her blog
always skirted the borders of risqué, in most circles of society her topics were
considered vanilla. The women who most frequently visited her site were in the
discovery phase of their burgeoning sexuality. Petra was more than happy to get
them started. No one needed to know she hadn’t had the opportunity to personally
explore some of the more avant-garde things she posted on her blog. Hell, she’d
done little more than the missionary position the few times she’d been with a
man. Sad, but true.

What she wanted was to take her own vanilla life, douse it in
chocolate sauce and roll around in the sprinkles. Yeah, like that would ever
happen. The moment she put herself out there Petra knew life would find a way to
give her a smack and send her running for the safety of her condo. She’d love to
know what D. Williams would think about
that
.

Alice jumped to her feet and pulled Petra along with her.
“You’re coming out for coffee.”

“But I—”

“You get more excited about dildo pictures than the idea of
ogling men,
real
men, at the coffee shop. Move your
ass, Pet.”

* * *

Well damn. She hated when Alice was right.

The warmth of the summer breeze surprised her when they stepped
out from her condo building, and Petra took a moment to stop and let the day
soak into her body. Heat from the asphalt rolled over her bare toes, up her
legs, until every inch of her skin was quickly covered in a fine sheen of
perspiration. The summer heat that had eluded Toronto residents in June had
arrived with a vengeance in July.

“Why are we out here again?” Petra wiped a hand across the back
of her neck, thankful for her sleeveless top. “I don’t think I can handle hot
coffee in this weather.”

“Iced cappuccinos.” Alice tugged her arm to get her moving
again. “Plus, I want to see if our mystery man is back.”

Oh yes, how could she forget
him?
Petra patted her tangled ponytail as she squinted into the coffee shop windows
for a glimpse of the mystery man. Dammit—she’d lost an earring. Or maybe she’d
taken it off during that last phone conversation. God, she’d lose her head if it
was possible.

She cast a quick glance at Alice in her cute summer dress with
matching sandals and two—not one, but two—earrings, and took a few steps
sideways, hoping her bunched denim shorts and general disarray wouldn’t look so
bad if she stood farther from Alice’s fashionable self.

“I don’t know why you don’t go talk to him. You’ve been
drooling over the man for months.”

Alice clicked her tongue. “Because he’s not interested in
me
.”

Petra shook her head and chuckled. Why Alice thought the
caffeine-addicted god who graced their local coffee shop wanted her, she hadn’t
a clue. Every time Petra had tried to catch his eye, offer a smile, he quickly
vacated the premises.

Yeah,
really
interested.

“Alice, I love you, but you’re delusional.”

“And you’re an idiot.” Alice bumped her shoulder to get her
moving. “You don’t see what I see.”

“So you say. Look, I’m going to melt before I get there if we
don’t move.” Petra pushed her messenger bag to lie along her back and picked up
the pace, the weight of her textbook inside keeping it in place. “Plus, I’ll get
an air-conditioning headache if we don’t get back into the cold quickly.”

The welcoming electronic chime of the door opening was
accompanied by a blast of freezing air as they stepped inside. The small seating
area was packed with sweat-soaked business folks who were looking for a cool
refuge against the oppressive heat while they drank in their caffeine. Petra
hoped she didn’t have the same look of relieved desperation.

As they slipped into the back of the line, Alice leaned in and
whispered, “Damn, he’s not here.”

“I don’t know why you thought he would be. It’s too hot for
coffee.” Petra looked around to confirm the lack of one hunky coffee
drinker.

At least she could hurry back to the dildos.

“He’s usually here Thursday afternoons. I hope he’s okay.”

“Alice White, I think you have a crush.”

Her friend’s snort was enough to put that argument to rest.
“You know my type. Tall, dark and works at my law firm.” She winked.

The young barista Kimmie waved at them from behind the counter
when she saw Petra standing there. One of the joys of being a regular—your order
was ready when you got to the counter. “That may be, but I thought he was
interested in you the last time I caught him staring.”

“He wasn’t looking at me.” Alice smirked. “And with any luck,
someday I’ll be able to prove it.”

She was about to ask how when the door chimed and their mystery
man moved into the line three people behind them. Petra spun back around and
faced the girl, who held out her double sweet iced cap with chocolate
drizzle.

“How’s it going, Petra?” A blush covered the girl’s face even
as she grinned. “Thanks for pointing me to that blog site about using dirty talk
in bed. I’m going to try a few of the examples next time my boyfriend comes
over.”

Someone behind them snorted, causing Petra and Alice to turn
around. No one stood out as the culprit, but her man was looking up at the menu
board above the counter and avoiding her gaze.

It couldn’t be...

Petra glared at him for good measure before turning back
around. “I hope they help, Kimmie. A guy likes to hear a bit of nasty from his
girl.”

Another soft snort, but this time Petra ignored it. The girl
smiled and tucked her black hair behind her ear. “That’s three-twenty,
please.”

Claiming their usual spot in the corner of the coffee shop,
Petra sat with her back to the rest of the store.

“You can’t look at people if you sit there.” Alice grabbed the
back of Petra’s chair and moved her a quarter turn as she passed by to take up
residence on the far side. Now she had no choice but to look at the other
patrons.

And of course their mystery man had slipped onto a stool facing
the window, perfectly in her line of sight as he flipped through a newspaper and
drank his coffee. Petra hated that she couldn’t keep her gaze off him whenever
he was in the room. As much as she might be tempted to do more than a little
light flirting, she didn’t think she’d be able to follow through. She was a
giant chicken.

“So,” Alice whispered, only to pause as she slurped her drink.
“Dildos?”

Back to the matter at hand.

Petra grinned. Leaning in, she lowered her voice, not wanting
to offend any of the more conservative patrons. The store really did make
excellent iced caps.

“There’s a new manufacturer of dildos for the
classy lady
.” She couldn’t help but make the air
quotes, even though Alice couldn’t have missed the emphasis. “The products are
actually pretty good, though I prefer my glass one. But I didn’t just want to
make this about dildos. I thought if I could help women who are nervous about
trying dildos, give them a little push, that it would be a great tie in.”

“Who would be nervous about using a dildo?” Alice was cute when
she frowned. “They’re like the least intimidating sex toys out there.”

“Are you kidding me? Do you remember the first time you went
into a sex store to buy one? You totally freaked!”

“Actually, that was you doing the freaking.” Alice cocked an
eyebrow and leaned back in her seat. “I was happily looking at floggers if
memory serves.”

Mystery man shifted and for a moment, Petra swore he was trying
to listen to them. Shit, was that a bulge in the front of his pants?

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