NSFW content: please note that our ‘hot toddies’ series contains explicit language and (very) adult situations.
Here in Australia, the weather is getting colder. We’re dragging out the blankets and brewing up the cocoa, but it’s not doing the job. We need something hot.
Luckily, Escape artists have come to the rescue. They’ve provided some of the most scorching scenes from their books for us to enjoy. As the cold winds blow outside, we’ll be heating up with some ‘hot toddies’.
Winter is coming. And so our are heroes and heroines.
From Limbo by Amy Andrews
He was overwhelmed suddenly by the urge to pull her in close and just sit here with her in quiet companionship. God knew he’d learned some pretty hard life lessons himself — they made a good pair.
But that wasn’t a wise move. Companionship would last all of about ten seconds before he started to notice other stuff. Like the press of her thighs and the squash of her breasts against his ribs.
‘So,’ she murmured, their gazes still locked, ‘are we seriously just going to sit here and not talk about the elephant in the room?’
Dash gave a few seconds consideration to feigning ignorance but it just wasn’t the moment for that. Joy had just told him that her ex had shared her with his friend. If ever there was a time for being honest it was now.
He swallowed. ‘I thought I might incriminate myself by saying anything so I decided to shut the hell up.’
‘Because you didn’t like the nudie pic but you didn’t want to offend me by telling me?’ Her brown unwavering eyes didn’t leave his for a second.
Didn’t like the picture? Was she mad? He’d gone into the bathroom and jerked off while he’d looked at it. But that would definitely incriminate him.
And he didn’t think he could use a goldfish pheromone defence in court.
‘You thought it was inappropriate,’ she interrupted. ‘Look, I’m sorry. Clearly you’re pissed about it. It was just a stupid, spur of the moment thing and I thought, you know…you’d seen them before and we’re both adults so it wouldn’t be a…thing. It was meant to be just a bit of fun. But I should have thought it through a lot more. I really do sincerely apologise for putting you, putting us, in an awkward position.’
Dash blinked. Inappropriate? Pissed? Hell, did she have the wrong end of the stick. He was depositing that image into his spank bank permanently.
He sighed. ‘Joy —’
‘I know,’ she interrupted again. ‘It was…unwise.’
Unwise? For someone who had slept with him within a couple of hours of getting reacquainted with him and led a bit of a fast and loose life in a hillbilly-punk band she was surprisingly straight. Surely she’d know how much something like that turned a guy on?
He’d bet good money grubby Chris Maddox had been into nudie pics big time.
‘Joy…no. Well yes…it was in some ways. Putting my cop hat on here you do know it’s not advisable to send pictures of yourself like that over unsecure networks, right? Well, at all really…you never know who could get hold of that image. Hell I could have forwarded that to anyone.’
She sat up a little straighter. ‘Oh my god, you didn’t, did you?’
‘No. Jesus. What do you take me for?’ Dash was not a good sharer. ‘Absolutely not. I deleted it.’ Almost straight away.
She narrowed her eyes at him. ‘Really?’
She dropped her hands from her knees and shifted into a cross-legged position again, tucking the folder with all his research safely under her knee, as she held out her hand palm up. ‘Show me your phone.’
He raised an eyebrow. ‘Really?’
‘Yes.’ She wiggled her fingers at him.
Dash rolled his eyes and pulled his phone out of his back pocket, keyed in his security pin and slapped it in her hand. He watched her quickly navigate to his messages with several thumb swipes.
Her gaze flicked up to meet his. ‘Okay,’ she said as she handed it back, settling herself into the comfy corner of the couch.
Things shifted nicely beneath her shirt and he noticed her nipples were erect again as he absently put his phone in his back pocket. He realised he’d been staring a bit too long and pulled his gaze back to her face. But she’d well and truly sprung him.
She raised an eyebrow at him. ‘You taking a brain picture now?’ she asked.
Dash cringed. Fuck. Classy, man. Real classy.
‘Sorry,’ he said. ‘I have…breasts on the brain today. I think the fish have been secreting some wild…pheromone or something…and then you sent the picture and…’
‘So…’ she frowned. ‘You didn’t mind me sending the picture?’
Dash raked a hand through his hair. ‘Joy, I’m a guy. Of course I didn’t mind. Guys like breasts.’
‘Even miniscule ones?’
Dash dropped his gaze to her small, perfect breasts. To the large nipples that were practically poking through her shirt. He couldn’t help himself. ‘Yes,’ he said, his voice all kinds of husky as he glanced back at her.
She bit down into her lip again and there was a sudden shift in the air between them. A vibe. A pulse. It swirled around Dash and tugged at his groin.
‘I thought you didn’t approve.’
‘Oh I approved,’ he murmured. ‘I just don’t think it’s…a good idea for us to go down this track again. It’s not like it was last time, you know?’
She nodded and even that motion was enough to rub her shirt against her breasts. ‘And yet there you are, taking brain pictures again.’
‘Oh god.’ His eyes flew to her face as he ran a shaky hand through his hair. ‘I’m sorry.’
She shook her head slowly, the slightest smile touching her mouth. ‘How about I give you some help with that?’ she murmured. The she grabbed the hem of her shirt and pulled it up.
All the air hissed out of Dash’s lungs as he stared at the very things that had been on his brain all day. Her slight breasts sat high and perky, the large nipples scrunched into tight little berries. Begging for a warm tongue. Ho. Ly. Fuck. If she’d reached for his zip and yanked it down, his dick couldn’t have come to life any faster.
She peered over the top of her shirt. ‘Better in real life?’
He dragged his gaze off her nipples to that knowing little smile on her face and his inner caveman roared to life.
‘You really ought to not tease a man so close to the edge.’
Her gaze locked with his. ‘Who says I’m teasing?’
Pregnant seconds passed as Dash’s common sense warred with his common erection, his gaze drifting back to her nipples, his mouth as dry as day-old toast.
‘Jeez-us, Dash. You want me to beg?’
The erection won.
Dash grabbed her closest ankle and yanked her unceremoniously down the couch.
Six Feet Under meets Stephanie Plum in Amy Andrews’ fresh, funny, sexy urban-family noir about a country singer who almost made it, a private investigator who’s seen too much and a mother who will cross all barriers to save her child.