First, the bad news — I bumped the release date for First Strike back to Oct. 22 after some people expressed concerns about the month-long wait between the prequel and Striking Distance. There is a significant cliffhanger at the end of First Strike. With the Oct. 22 release date, there will be only two weeks between the two stories.
For those of you who missed it — this novella was kind of a surprise to everyone, including me — here’s the scoop on how this story came about:
By the time I finished Striking Distance, I had perhaps two discarded pages of text for every manuscript page I sent to my editor. While some of the material is going to find its way here as little blog extras, some will never see the light of day. The story’s original prologue, however, has been transformed into an erotic novella.
First Strike tells the story of how Laura Nilsson and Javier Corbray meet in Dubai City—and lose themselves in a weekend of no-strings-attached sex. Since unmarried sex is illegal in Dubai, their time together comes at a risk. But the bigger risk may come in the form of feelings they didn’t expect.
Here’s the book’s blurb:
Just a weekend…
Laura Nilsson knows what she wants: a successful career as a broadcast journalist—and a little fun between the sheets now and again. What she doesn’t want is marriage or kids. When a ripped and sexy stranger intervenes to stop a couple of drunks from harassing her in a hotel bar in Dubai City, all she can think about is spending the rest of the weekend with him—in her bed. There’s just one little problem. Unmarried sex is illegal in Dubai.
… of no-strings sex …
Navy SEAL Javier “Cobra” Corbray is on his way home from a rough deployment in Afghanistan when he finds himself having dinner with “the Baghdad Babe.” What she wants from him—sex with no strings—could land them both in prison. Still, he’s more than happy to oblige her. She’s confident and sexually assertive, and he’s secure enough to lie back and let her make the first strike. But, as she’s about to find out, he’s more than her match.
… or the beginning of something more?
Yet, neither Laura nor Javier has any idea what lies ahead—or how this weekend of mind-blowing sex will impact their emotions. Will they act on their new-found feelings in time, or will they let something special slip away… perhaps forever?
First Strike will be available as an ebook only through the usual ebook retailers. At 17,000 words, it’s too short to justify publication in print. The cost to readers would truly be unfair. Fortunately, both Amazon and Nook have downloadable applications that enable people without e-readers to read stories on their computers.
Now how about an excerpt?
I thought you’d never ask! Here you go.
From Chapter 1 of First Strike: The Erotic Prequel to Striking Distance
What was it about men who gave off that “don’t fuck with me” vibe that made Laura want to do just that?
“You didn’t like Jumeirah Beach?” For a man who’d come to Dubai City to see the sights, he didn’t seem very impressed.
“Nah, not really.” He raised his beer mug and finished the glass, Laura’s gaze drawn first to his flexing bicep, then to his moist lips. “Growing up, I spent summers at my grandmother’s place in Humacao. You want to see a beach, come to Puerto Rico.”
So he was Puerto Rican—probably a mix of Taíno Indian, African, and Spanish.
“I’m sure it’s beautiful.”
He nodded, smiled, looking into her eyes. “A lover’s paradise.”
A bolt of heat shot through her belly, her pulse skipping.
He made the words sound erotic, pronouncing every syllable slowly, the warmth in his eyes signaling that he wanted her as much as she wanted him.
Surprised by the intensity of her own physical reaction, she raised her glass to her lips, only to find it empty.
“Let me buy you another.”
She set the glass down. “I’d like that. Thanks.”
She watched as he made his way through the crowded restaurant toward the bar to get another glass of wine for her and another beer for himself, his perfect, muscular ass shifting beneath the denim of his jeans as he walked, his movements sleek, confident.
People stepped aside for him, as if they knew instinctively that they shouldn’t cross him.
But he wasn’t arrogant. Most men who were ripped and sexy like Javier had egos to match, standing at the center of their own vain little worlds. But Javier hadn’t shown a hint of swagger. Instead, he’d asked her a half-dozen questions about her job, seeming genuinely interested in her answers. He even knew about some of her bigger stories—her exposé on the Pentagon’s failure to supply soldiers with body armor, her investigation into the group of servicemen who’d been running a protection racket in Baghdad. She sensed something deeper in Javier, something that went beyond his good looks and charm, something real.
God, he turned her on.
From the moment he’d sat at her table, her mind had begun spinning sexual fantasies of the two of them together. Everything about him seemed to draw her in—his smooth skin, his voice, the stubble on his square jaw, his clean scent, those full lips. What would they feel like when he kissed her, tasted her, went down on her?
The very thought made her wet.
She’d always been careful about the men she allowed into her bed, sometimes going months and even years between lovers. Her job put her in the public eye, and the last thing she wanted was to leave a trail of men who would watch the news, point to her, and say to their buddies, “Yeah, I slept with her. I fucked the Baghdad Babe.”
Her career didn’t leave a lot of time for men, anyway. She had dreams of one day being a news anchor or perhaps even hosting an evening news program. She had no desire to get married, settle down, and have kids, and that meant she needed to steer clear of men who might mistake her interest for something more than sexual.
She watched as he paid for the drinks and then started back toward the table, another glass of chardonnay in one hand, a mug of beer in the other.
Would he be good in bed?
Pondering that question made her ache inside.
Oh, yes, he would be.
She couldn’t say what made her so sure of that. Maybe it was the way he paid attention to every word she said. Maybe it was the way he moved, so in control of his own body. Maybe it was the heat in his eyes when he looked at her. But she had a feeling that if she ended up in bed with him, he would make it well worth her while.
She crossed her legs, squeezed, trying to appease the ache, but that only made it worse, the feeling of arousal between her thighs impossible to ignore.
Pull it together, Nilsson.
Of course, there was no way for them to hook up—not here. Unmarried sex was illegal in Dubai. It was even illegal for unrelated men and women to be alone together. They couldn’t just get into the elevator, head to her room, and get it on. If they were caught, they’d go to jail, maybe even be flogged.
And wouldn’t that make for a nice news teaser?
Laura Nilsson arrested in Dubai for illicit sex with man she barely knew. Hormones to blame. Film at eleven.
She ran the words through her mind and found herself wondering again what Javier did for a living. Was he Delta Force? An Army Ranger? A Green Beret?
Most U.S. servicemen trusted her enough to tell her what they did for a living, but Javier wasn’t one of them. That meant the work he did was highly classified—or that he worked for a private contractor that specialized in covert ops.
He could be an arms dealer for all you know.
There was no doubt. He was dangerous.
Somehow that thought left her feeling even more aroused.
You need to buy a battery-operated boyfriend.
Even if she’d had one, she wouldn’t have been able to bring it along on her travels. She was pretty sure she’d get into less trouble if she were caught smuggling an AK-47 into Dubai than if she were found in possession of a vibrator.
Javier handed her the wine glass, his warm fingers grazing hers, striking sparks off her skin. He slid into the seat across from her. “This place gets crowded.”
She glanced around them. “It’s Friday night. Most of the city is shut down. Expats have to do something with themselves.”
“Cheers.” He raised his beer glass and drank.
Her gaze locked with his, desire for him driving all other thoughts from her mind.
She set her glass aside, leaned toward him, lowering her voice to a whisper, her pulse spiking as she shared what she was thinking. “Will this conversation get awkward if I tell you how very much I want to fuck you?”
(c) copyright Pamela Clare 2013
All rights reserved