If you are over erotic romance or haven’t found one or a GOOD one you need to pick up The Art of Desire by Cherie Feather in June. It is a Berkley Heat and is a contemporary erotic romance with a historical twist. And it fucking rocks.
The book is amazing. You NEED to read this book. Trust me. Cherie will be here to guest in June and we will have more of an excerpt later but here is the trailer, which I liked and a small taste…
The Art of Desire… write it down… you can thank me later…
Museum director Mandy Cooper has always been obsessed with nineteenth-century artist Catherine Burke—and the artist’s erotically charged relationship with Atacar, her enthralling American Indian lover. But Mandy’s link to the legendary couple runs deeper than she knows. She’s having a heated affair herself—with Jared Cabrillo, Atacar’s perilously handsome great-great nephew. And the consuming passion Atacar once used to seduce Catherine is now being engaged by Jared. He knows precisely what it takes to move a woman…
He’s in possession of Catherine’s wildly explicit journal. He knows every intimate detail of what she wanted and needed. But he also knows how desperately Catherine had loved Atacar and how dangerously he’d loved her. The journal is timeless and tragic, and the secrets contained within its pages can bring Mandy and Jared together, or just as surely destroy them both—desire by shocking desire.
Texas, 1895The first time I saw him he was naked, morning-dappled water lapping at his skin, swirling around tendon-tight calves. His rifle, a gun he’d probably stolen from a rancher, was at the edge of the stream, well within his reach.A hawk soared above his head, screeching like a red-tailed devil, creating a strangely spiritual arc. Mesmerized, the Indian followed its every move.I knew he was unaware of me. Although I was no more than twenty to thirty steps away, I was crouched amongst a copse of cottonwoods. Earlier I’d been napping there, and upon awakening, I’d lifted my head and spotted him through a branch-scattered gap in the foliage, a stunned gasp locked in my throat.
Was this my punishment for dozing in the sun? Or my reward? I’d gone to that location to work, to sketch the scenery.
I longed to draw him instead. But I couldn’t find the will to move, to do more than stare. Curiously handsome, his bluish-black, cheekbone-length hair framed the hollowed angles and mysterious shadows that sculpted his face. Muscled ridges and flat planes defined his body, with wide shoulders and a powerful chest. His thighs, I decided, had been built for striding the horse that grazed nearby. A stolen mount, no doubt. A prize that went with his rifle.
Taking a swift breath, I centered my gaze, filling my vision with his penis. I measured the length and fullness, but I imagined how it would look fully erect, with his testes drawn tight, his foreskin pushed back and the sensitive head exposed.
Queen Victoria shame me.
In my own country, I was a rumored bohemian, London-borne, Paris schooled, an artist seceding from conventionality, an upper-class girl who’d cast her morals to the wind, who’d stroked many a cock with her hands, even with her ruby-red mouth.
But the gossip wasn’t true. Not completely. I fantasized about those carnal acts, but the only cocks I dared stroke were with a collection of Asiatic marten brushes.
The hawk flew away, abandoning its circling post. The Indian snapped out of his trance and continued his bath. My heart pounded like the drums of his people. I knew who he was. He was an Apache prisoner of war who’d escaped from a military fort in Oklahoma Territory. Last week U.S. Army soldiers had scoured this area in search of him. They’d ridden into town with a photograph, asking if anyone had seen him. They’d gone to ranches and farms, too. When they’d come to my house, I’d gazed curiously at his picture.
And now here he was.
I should have remained motionless until he went away. But somewhere in the peril of my soul, I found the strength to sit upright, to lift a piece of charcoal from my ready-made paintbox. The paper clamped to my stretching board was cold-pressed, better suited for rough effects than a detailed portrait of a bared man. But I was willing to compromise. Desire burned like a hot-wick candle beneath the folds of my skirt.
I had moved to America to study its ethnic, geographic, and religious diversity, to paint its fading frontier. So why not study him? Make him my secret project?
“Atacar,” I whispered his name. It was of Spanish origin, and in English it meant, “to attack.”
Suddenly he went still, his dark gaze shooting through the trees like an obsidian-tipped arrow. He couldn’t have heard his barely audible name on my lips, yet he’d found me out.
The charcoal slipped from my fingers; my paper remained blank.
Our eyes met, and he reacted like a hound on the heels of a fox. Before I could blink, he grabbed the rifle, jammed it against his water-damp shoulder and aimed it at me.
I did the unthinkable. I looked at his penis again, challenging the air between us. His face remained an indiscernible mask, devoid of emotion, of any kind of lust. But in his fire-ready stance, his stomach muscles jumped, giving him away, making his cock stir.
From there, neither of us moved.
Finally he motioned with his chin, ordering me out into the open. I didn’t hesitate. I lifted my arms in surrender and walked toward him.
Praying he would take me.
Dirty sex with a dirty boy.
That was all Mandy Cooper, the proper, professional, highly organized director of the Santa Fe Women’s Art Museum, could think about.
She was addicted to Jared Cabrillo, Atacar’s great-great nephew, a man who sizzled in the art scene, who was notorious for having public liaisons, who wielded his celebrity like the party-on-the-edge charmer he was.
Mandy could feel him watching her from across the museum. She and her staff were hosting a summer reception and he’d crashed the event.
She tried to avoid him, but she couldn’t. His gaze was too strong, too persistent. She gave up the fight and looked at him, too.
Their eyes met, and he lifted his wine and toasted her before he put the glass to his lips and drank the blood-red liquid.
She gripped the silver chain on her evening bag, locking it around her wrist like a handcuff. He was drop-dead, imprison-a-woman gorgeous. There was no other way to describe him. He walked toward her, and her panties stuck to her skin, making her want to rub her thighs together.
“Nice party,” he said, as they came face to face.
“It’s going well.” She’d been sleeping with him for almost a month, yet she couldn’t stop herself from staring.
He sported a retro-style, black western shirt, decorated with white piping and tucked into crisp jeans. His face, diamond-blade dazzling and stone-quarry tough, mirrored his heritage. Both ears showcased tiny silver hoops. He had an intimate body piercing and tribal tattoos, too.
He was everything she shouldn’t want. At thirty-eight, she was supposed to know better. He was ten years younger than she was, but he wasn’t her boy toy. He controlled their affair, enticing her into carnal situations.
He set his empty glass on a nearby table. “You look beautiful, Mandy.”
“Thank you.” Her black dress scooped modestly in front and the delicate silver-and-turquoise cross around her neck offered a hint of adornment.
Aside from their naked urges, they didn’t know each other very well. They didn’t have meaningful conversations. But at least she knew he wasn’t seeing anyone else. He didn’t cheat on his lovers. Of course that didn’t change who and what he was. He treated monogamy like a courtesy, not a commitment.
Needing a diversion, Mandy turned toward a famous portrait of Jared’s ancestor. They were standing in front of Atacar’s exhibit.
He was the museum’s most prized possession, a Catherine Burke treasure, a portrait remarkable for its depth and passion, for its stunning realism. But Atacar was more than Catherine’s greatest work. So much more. The nineteenth century artist was rumored to have loved him, just as he was rumored to have loved her.
But no one knew for sure.
Catherine had abandoned her Texas home, never to be heard from again, and soon after she’d disappeared, Atacar had been shot and killed by a trio of soldiers.
As Mandy looked into his eyes, an air-conditioned chill blasted from the ceiling, sending goose bumps along her arms.
He was an imposing figure, his head cocked just so, his expression dark and serious. Positioned in a straight-back chair, he gripped the barrel of a Winchester rifle. She tried to imagine him sitting for Catherine while the daring girl painted his image. His clothes consisted of Anglo gear, reminiscent of ranchers and farmers, but he was Chiricahua Apache, an enlisted army scout who’d become a prisoner of war.
Mandy blinked, but Atacar’s gaze remained constant. The museum had acquired his portrait nearly forty years ago. Prior to that, it had been hidden inside the walls of the farmhouse where Catherine had lived.
Upon its discovery, their romantic legacy had begun. Rumors spawned that they’d been lovers. That she’d disappeared because of him. That their desperate hearts would remain forever entwined.
But once again, no one knew for sure.
The only ray of hope was that Catherine had kept a secret journal, writings that had never been found.
By now, most of the art world thought the journal was a myth. But Mandy chose to believe otherwise. She had the museum historian searching for it.
Suddenly Jared moved closer, close enough to invade Mandy’s space, to attack her senses. She could smell the spicy notes of his cologne. She turned to face him, his ancestor fading into the background.
“Why did you come here tonight?” she asked.
He smoothed the front of his hair. He wore it plaited into a single braid, leaving the hardened angles of his face unframed. “To fuck you.”
Her addiction jabbed her hard and quick, like a needle to a starving vein. “I’m working, Jared.”
“That’s what makes it so fun.” Fun or not, he didn’t smile. He just looked at her with the same driven expression as when he’d toasted her with his merlot or cabernet or whatever he’d been drinking. “Like when we do it at my work.”
She didn’t respond. He was a highly successful breeder, trainer, and showman who managed his own horse farm. Banging each other’s brains out in his barn wasn’t the same as getting naked at the museum.
His gaze turned darker, more intense. “You could take me to your office. You could make me do things to you.”
Hedonic chills vibrated her spine. By now, they were just inches apart. He kept moving closer, drawing her into his seductive sphere, doing what he always did.
“What things?” she asked.
“You could take off your panties, order me to my knees and lift your dress in front of my face. You could make me taste how sweet you are.”
The room started to spin. She wanted his mouth between her legs. But envisioning herself standing in front of him, making him do it was almost more than she could bear.
“Does that excite you?” he asked.
“What else turns you on? What other games do you want to play?”
“I don’t know.” Her voice shook. “I honestly don’t know.” At the moment she just wanted to crawl all over him, to fall like a sugared gumdrop at his feet.
“I’ll bet she did it,” Jared said.
“Catherine.” Jared moistened his lips. “I’ll bet she lifted her skirts in front of Atacar’s face. I’ll bet she came all over him.” His voice was soft and low, dangerously demanding. “Do it, Mandy. Be bad for me.”