Derrick Collins owns a resort catering to couples in the BDSM scene on a private island in the heart of the Florida Keys. When Elaina steps off the boat onto his island, he finds himself longing for the opportunity to dominate the stunning woman. Her wide grey eyes and quiet demeanour call to a part of his soul long thought dead. Circumstances work in his favour when a little misunderstanding has deposited Elaina right at his feet and not in the arms of another Dom.
When a week of exploration and discovery turns into love the pair must make a choice. To stay and experience a lifetime of pleasure in paradise or return to their former existences.
Excerpt: Elaina leant over the side of the mahogany launch that had taken her from Key West to her destination on a small, private island. The sight before her was one of fantasies. Sculpted ridges glistening in the sun, the scent of coconut oil in the air, and the heat that caressed Elaina’s skin as the man captured her hand to assist her onto the dock made her insides quiver with anticipation. The landscape wasn’t anything to sniff at either. White, powdered sand floated across the land, palm trees swayed in the warm, gentle ocean air and turquoise water lapped at the shore as if it was a lover’s tongue.
“Ms. Roman? My name is Lucas. I’m the resort manager.”
Elaina realised that her hand was still within Lucas’ grasp, but his touch felt too good to relinquish just yet. “It’s nice to meet you. Thank you for the personal service. It’s not something you see much anymore.”
Lucas smiled. “We strive to make every service we provide personal.”
Elaina thought the line was a little cheesy but Lucas’ smile was magical.
“Will your Master be joining you later?”
What Master? She didn’t have a Master. She’d ventured here looking for the right man to fill the role, however temporary. Elaina didn’t want this sun-kissed vision before her to kick her off the island before she could experience all it had to offer, so naturally, she fibbed. “Yes. I was instructed to come early and prepare our room.” That sounded like something a submissive would say, didn’t it?
Lucas smiled and tightened his hand around Elaina’s. “Then let’s get you checked in. I’ll show you to the reception lodge.”
They walked along a sun-bleached boardwalk. Bluer-than-blue water lapped at the pillars sunk into the foundation of the island. The warm air caressed Elaina’s skin, and lifted her thick hair from her shoulders. The tropical heat sank into her muscles, loosening the tightness, which had invaded with the anxiety of taking on such an adventure. The tops of thatched roofs from the private bungalows dotted the horizon. Every available space between them seemed to be filled with green foliage shielding the island from the skies above.
The reception building emerged from the thicket. It was two stories tall with wooden verandahs that begged for moonlight strolls with a lover. Gauzy white sheers floated in the breeze, tempting passers-by to investigate the welcome found within its walls. The entire setting was so idyllic Elaina had a hard time reconciling it with the reputation the island had for catering to couples who lived a BDSM lifestyle. The one image seemed almost the antithesis of the other.
As they entered the lodge, Elaina saw what she assumed was the reception desk. Lucas stepped in front of her before she could head in that direction.
“I regret that I must leave you here as I have other duties to attend to. I hope your stay with us lets you experience everything you desire.”
“Thank you. Maybe I’ll see you around.”
“I’m quite sure you will. I’m a very hands-on manager,” Lucas finished, smiling.
Elaina squared her shoulders and headed for the reception area. It was time to find out just what this place had to offer. Time to see if it held the answers to her questions about herself and her desires.
“Was that her?” Derrick Collins asked Lucas when the man joined him on the verandah outside his office.
“Yep. When I asked whether her Master would be joining her later, she hesitated for a second, then smoothly said she’d been sent to prepare their room.”
Derrick’s hands tightened on the railing. The rope lashing the joints together bit into his skin and he looked out to the ocean. “Reporter?”
Lucas joined Derrick at the railing. “I don’t think so. Her expressions were so open and genuine. I think she truly wants to be here, but maybe didn’t realise that this was a couples’ resort. What do you want to do with her?”
“Play it by ear. If she starts to snoop we’ll ship her off with the first high tide, but if…did you see the way the light hit that mahogany hair of hers? How her pale skin glimmered in the sun? Is it as soft as it looked?” Derrick asked softly.
Lucas smiled. “Oh yes. And she has the most incredible dove grey eyes you’ll ever see. So large you can read everything within their depths.”
“Hmmm. Then to blindfold them would be a shame. I wonder how that soft skin would mark?”
“Derrick? What are you thinking?”
“Nothing,” he responded, quickly.
“No, it’s something. Talk to me.”
He turned to face Lucas, his long-time friend and manager. “Well, we want to keep an eye on her, and we know she has no Master. I’m without a sub—”
Lucas crossed his arms and stared at Derrick. “And that’s the only reason?” He arched one eyebrow.
“Of course, what other reason would there be?”
“Maybe you like what you saw? Maybe you want to spend time with her? Ever since Caro—”
Derrick threw up his hand. “Don’t say it. I’m not looking for a permanent sub. We saw how that turned out last time. I’m content mingling with my guests and providing them with what they need.”
Lucas placed a hand on Derrick’s shoulder. “I don’t want you to spend your life content. I want you to be happy. We both know that you’ll never find that mingling among your guests. You need a sub of your own. You need someone to belong to you. Someone to fill the emptiness inside you.”
He shrugged off Lucas’ hand. “Have you been reading Hallmark cards online again? Besides, I don’t see you all worried about being alone. You’ve never had someone permanent.”
Lucas turned away and stared out at the horizon. “You know I want to live the lifestyle twenty-four/seven, and it’s more difficult to find the right person willing to be soul mate and slave all wrapped into one.” He leant against the wooden railing of the balcony. “So many slaves have come and gone from my life. Eventually, they each wanted to pursue a normal lifestyle and ended up leaving. I don’t begrudge them. Everyone needs to carve out the life that’s right for them. This doesn’t mean I’m not lonely, though.”
Derrick had never heard his friend talk about his needs in such a long stretch. The man portrayed the consummate playboy Dom with such aplomb that Derrick never realised Lucas was lonely. Living and working on this island didn’t help. All the guests who came here were already paired up. That was how they’d designed the resort. Derrick didn’t want this slice of heaven to become another meat market, but a haven for those of like-minded inclinations. Maybe this was Lucas’ chance? This Elaina person was without a Master, Lucas without a slave. Could it be fate?
“What about Ms. Roman?”
“What about her?”
“You said she’s beautiful, and we both know single.”
Lucas shook his head. “She’s stunning, no doubt, but not the right one. I’d love to play with her, but I can already tell she’s new to the scene. Maybe even searching for her identity as a sub. I sensed excitement and anxiety. I need someone who’s experienced, who’s comfortable in their skin as a slave.” Lucas turned his head to see Derrick standing beside him. “Besides, I think she already has her eye on someone, and I’d never willingly be a consolation prize.”
“Who?” Derrick growled.
Derrick ran his hand through the thick strands of his dark brown hair. He really should cut it in this heat but never quite found the time to take a trip to one of the bigger islands. Why the fact that Elaina already had her sights set on someone on the island bothered him, he had no idea. He’d never even met the woman. His only exposure was the registration questionnaire she’d submitted. That, and seeing her lithe body stroll down the boardwalk to his island, watching the gentle sway of her hips, her hair glinting in the sun. Derrick had frozen when their eyes had met for the briefest of seconds. She’d been standing beneath the verandah, looking up into the palms swaying above her head when her gaze had landed on him standing in this exact spot. The large almond-shaped lids had widened in surprise, then the moment had passed.
“That’s right,” Lucas said, smugly. “You, my friend, are her choice du jour. Now, she’s downstairs checking in as we speak. May I suggest you haul your ass down there and introduce yourself before some pair tries to wheedle her into a three-way.”
Derrick spun on the ball of his foot and raced through his office with the sound of Lucas’ laughter as his soundtrack. He leant over the balcony inside the reception area hoping to spot his prey. When he didn’t see the dark, brownish-red tresses he began to panic, until…there! A hint of bare leg flashed in his peripheral vision. He had no idea why he was convinced that particular leg belonged to Elaina, but some part of him knew only one person had skin so smooth and toned. He gathered his wits since it was unseemly for the top dog of a BDSM resort to appear so discombobulated over a potential sub.
He slowly walked down the wide-planked wooden steps then strode across the reception area in complete command. Several of his employees and one couple, who’d been repeat guests, nodded to him as he entered the open-air bar on the lower level. There, sitting at the bar with a look of dejection was the first woman who’d sparked something deep inside him in many years. Maybe Lucas was right—god forbid the man actually hear him say that—maybe it was time to move on. Time for him to find the right woman for whom he could be both a lover and Master.
Elaina Roman, could you be her?