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Under the Mask

 

Publisher: Twisted E-Publishing

May 2017

ISBN #:

Genre: Contemporary/Interracial

 

 

 

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A Spartan, a gypsy—masks for a night pure sex—and the birthmark which throws all anonymity out the window.

Finally free after a nasty year-long divorce, Kailey Cox attends a masquerade party with the intention of one thing—remaining anonymous and finding a handsome man to bed. She discovers a Spartan warrior to accommodate her.

Rand Paxton is drawn to the sexy gypsy he takes to his room. Seeing her birthmark, he believes he knows who the woman is. Confronting her, any doubt fades. Problem: For a man often in the spotlight and a woman who now prefers anonymity, can they make it work?

Rand’s up for the challenge—he’d wanted her long before he discovered Kailey was Under the Mask.
 
Excerpt

Content below is not suitable if under 18.

 
You are officially divorced now and get to find some fine ass stranger to shake out the cobwebs.”
She almost snorted her drink. “Cobwebs?”
Behind her headgear, which obscured most of her face, Karma winked. “You’ll remember. It’s like riding a bike.” She waved a hand around. “Have fun.” Karma blended into the crowd, leaving her alone along the outskirts.
Part of her wanted to retreat further, like to her room. This wasn’t her anymore. Brazen and outspoken had not been her for a while. She preferred the sidelines, the shadows. But she didn’t run, didn’t hide. She wore a costume. No one would know her. This was her night.
She had plans to make the best of it. A smile tipped her red-glossed lips in a satisfactory manner. First, she would explore this room and mingle. After all, like Karma said, this was her time now. She was free.
The hotel was magnificent. Lavish ornaments from Asia added an exotic flare to the place. She mingled, chatted, danced, and drank. Finally, needing some time to herself, she stepped outside to get a breather. She stood along a balcony, trailing her fingers along the smooth marble balustrade. The night air cooled her heated flesh yet didn’t chill her.
“Pray tell, what’s a lovely gypsy woman doing out here all alone?” A deep voice questioned from behind her.
She’d gotten many compliments on her outfit and tried to ignore why it was this one, spoken in a seductive and alluring tone, that affected her more than the others had. Turning her head, she hesitated, unable to make anyone out. Maybe she’d had too much to drink and it was her imagination.
Pity, for the voice was nice. Deep and raspy, it stroked along her skin. The reaction it created in her only solidified the knowledge of her dry spell.
“Looking for me?”
She licked her lips and tilted her head to the side. Definitely wasn’t her imagination. There was someone out here with her.
“Well, yes. Unless you are here as the Invisible Man.”
A decadent chuckle. “No.”
“So, are you remaining in the shadows or do I get to see you?” Seriously, if his body matched his voice, she’d have died and gone to heaven.
“You’re the gypsy. Can you not tell what’s in my future?”
She smiled and trailed a polished tipped finger along the rim of her champagne flute. “Of course I know. I don’t give away fortunes for free, however.”
“Oh, I’m willing to pay.”
She dragged her tongue along her lower lip, set her drink down, and walked toward where the voice came from. The dark corner of the balcony. Her gold coins tinkled with invitation every step she took. She paused and blinked. “Step into the light.”
There was a whisper of sound and she found herself staring up at a tall, powerful man clad in a warrior costume. Her breath left her in a rush as she tried to stifle her instantaneous and lustful reaction.
A gold helmet covered his head, which, courtesy of the cheek and nose guard, obscured his features. Muscles were there, muscles she wanted nothing more than to touch and to feel surrounding her. A red cape, secured with a gold emblem at his right shoulder, left his arm bare with the exception of leather cuffs. He wore no shirt, and she could see his well-defined abdominals and pectorals. Leather sandals with wide straps crisscrossed up his powerful calves.
Hot damn!
On one side, she could see a shield and a sword hung from the other. He had smooth copper skin and obsidian hair. Men in skirts weren’t supposed to look so good. Well, technically it wasn’t a skirt; it was a wrap, part of his tunic. Either way, the man looked delicious.
He flowed toward her, stopping when their feet were touching one another. “Hello, gypsy woman.”
Her belly exploded in a flurry of want and lust. She reached out and rested her hand against his bared chest. His skin was warm beneath her palm.
“Hello, Spartan.”
“You know the costume?” He sounded suitably impressed.
“Oh yeah. I came with Artemis, she informed me who everyone was.” Why tell him she had seen a lot of movies with Spartans in them when using Artemis as a reason for her knowledge seemed viable enough? The emblem holding his cape was a remake of the Spartan shield that bore upon it the letter lambda, which stood for Lacedaemon.
He stepped closer, brushing more of his hard body against her. “Interesting.”
“What is?” She had a hard time focusing on anything but him.
“That a gypsy would hang with a Greek goddess.”
She tucked a loose curl behind her ear with her right hand while her left touched his chest. “I am no fool. When she extended her invitation for me to walk with her, I took it. I had no wish to be turned into something small and slimy. I know how to play nice.” He chuckled, a deep and tempting sound. Her other hand joined the first. Goodness, he was solid. All over. “Although, I am curious about something.”
“Which is?”
She swallowed and licked her lips again. “I know about kilts, but what do Spartans wear under their wraps?” Her fingers smoothed along his sides enjoying the taut skin, the heat of him, and the feel of a man.
“I could tell you. Or.” He leaned down, brushing her cheek with his own and continued, “I could show you.”
 

Copyright © Aliyah Burke, 2017.

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