A legendary family estate.
A mutual longing.
A bargain struck.
Carmen Shelby wants what's been left to her—the valuable estate that she once called home. Rex Carruthers is the heir to Burlington Manor, a ruthless playboy who enjoys playing games, and all he wants is for Carmen to surrender. There can be only one winner...
"Walker deftly spins a captivating tale that will have readers holding their collective breath until the last page is turned.”—Publishers Weekly on The Libertine
"Saskia Walker is one on the top erotic writers of the millennium." - Alison Tyler
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"As the kiss deepened, her body trembled—which only made his grip on her tighten. He wanted to keep his little bird…make her sing out with pleasure." –The Burlington Manor Affair, Saskia Walker
“The trouble with this arrangement,” Rex commented as he walked across the room, “is that I’m enjoying it rather too much.” He watched her reaction.
Carmen stopped dead, standing on the patterned rug in the middle of the room. “What are you saying?”
Rex sat down in a winged armchair. “For a month you do everything I want, every weekend, absolutely anything and everything.” He paused, allowing his message to sink in. “And in return for that you get my half of the property.”
“I told you I’d pay.”
Those eyes of hers, such defiance. How delicious it was to see her fire.
“That won’t be necessary. You will have earned every tiny part of the property by the time I hand it over. Don’t worry about the money.”
She knotted her fingers together. “You’re trying to embarrass me. That wasn’t part of the bargain.”
“I don’t agree. Mostly because I don’t seem to have to try very hard before you get embarrassed. I think you’re embarrassment trigger and your arousal trigger are very close together.” He lifted his shoulders in a shrug. “I can’t help that, and neither can you.”
She pressed her lips together. She was clearly annoyed, and yet he could also see that she was acutely aroused. The hands-on treatment he’d given her out in the grounds had her poised for action. She was taut and watchful, barely waiting to be instructed.
Rex took a deep breath and savored the heady atmosphere of sexual anticipation.
When she noticed, she hissed as if in objection.
Rex lifted an eyebrow. She lowered her eyelids, but watched him from beneath her lashes. Rex laughed. Had Carmen Shelby always had these withheld submissive desires? It hadn’t been obvious before, of that he was certain. And the constant battle she was having with her needs—was that part of the package? Or was this dilemma of hers because she’d revealed her trigger to him, perhaps inadvertently? Whatever the reason, neither of them could put it back in the box now. No way. Now that he knew her little kinks and foibles he intended to play them out to their full extent.
“So what is the problem?” she demanded after he left her standing there in silence while he admired her.
“A month might not be enough.”
She glared at him.
“It’s day two and I’m loving every moment,” he continued. “Seems such a shame to put an end date on it.”
“You’re winding me up.”
“I’m being honest.” He was. This was too good.
“In which case you lied to me. If you don’t intend to stand up to your end of the deal, I’m walking out of here right now, and if I have to do that I promise you I will only deal with you through a solicitor!”
Angry Carmen was hellishly hot.
“Is this the ballsy businesswoman speaking now, or are you saying you can’t handle more than a month of this?”
Her eyes blazed.
“Seriously, aren’t you enjoying our time together?”
“You know I am, in some weird fucked-up way.” She folded her arms across her chest. “But I want a limit on it, for the sake of my sanity.”
Sanity? What did that really mean? He’d find out, all in good time. He knew he’d pushed her on the terms. “Fair enough. I suppose I’ll have to stick to my word.”
“It’s only sex,” she blurted, as if it was an afterthought.
“It is…and I must say I’m liking these kinky sex games of yours.”
“Yes. Yours. Okay, let’s begin.”
She rolled her eyes.
“I’d like you to prove to me how much you want the house and how hard you’d work to get it.”
“Now you really are trying to humiliate me.”
“Not at all. You said it made it easier for you when I took charge. Although I do think there’s a part of you that likes that…the humiliation.”
Oh, how her cheeks flamed.
Rex smiled. “Strip for me.”
Award-winning British author Saskia Walker first dreamed of writing her own stories when she discovered a handful of romance novels stashed away in her school library. An avid reader, she lapped up the adventures and the life-affirming emotion of these stories, but always felt dismay when the bedroom door closed the reader out. She vowed that in her stories all the passion would be right there on the page!
Saskia began writing in the late 1990s. By that time she'd traveled the world, gained a B.A. in art history, an M.A. in literature and the visual arts and she'd worked in several diverse careers—but the stories in her head simply had to be written.
It is the combination of potent eroticism and strong storytelling that has become the leading characteristic of Saskia's work. Fascinated with seduction, she loves to explore how and why we get from saying "hello" to sharing our most intimate selves in moments of extreme passion. She writes across genres, often incorporating elements of history, the paranormal and the fantastic in her work. As well as many novel- and novella-length publications, Saskia's work has now appeared in more than seventy international anthologies. Her debut novel received the Passionate Plume award for the Best Contemporary Erotic Romance of 2006, and two of her novels have been nominated for a RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Award.
Nowadays Saskia is happily settled in Yorkshire, in the north of England, with her real-life hero, Mark, and a houseful of stray felines. You can visit her website for more info.
Erin O'Riordan's Note: Saskia Walker and I have stories in an anthology together. That anthology is Strange Love, edited by Selena Kitt. My m/m paranormal romance between a priest and an angel is called "Angels Would Fall." Saskia's story is called "Where the Heart Is."
Find it here: Strange Love