Romances to make you blush…
Divorced three times, Noelle St. James knows there’s something wrong with her. She’s incapable of monogamy, and she’s even started to believe she’s incapable of love. That’s when she becomes a courtesan, to satisfy her need for excitement and sexual adventure but also as comeuppance for her crimes against her husbands.
Which is exactly what she gets when Dax Deacon becomes her client. Dax takes pleasure in having her do sexual things she never thought she’d want to try and certainly didn’t think she’d enjoy. He savors making her push her limits, and many times, he’s not the only one he wants her to test herself with.
But the deeper she goes, Noelle wars between humiliation, submissiveness, loss of control, and jealousy. And her greatest fear is that Dax will bring another woman into their sex games. Now she has to ask herself the question, does a woman like her deserve to have happiness?
“Haynes is Simply the Best!” 5-Star Review
What Readers Are Saying:
© 2016 Jasmine Haynes
“I feel like I’ve been eating too much vanilla ice cream.” Noelle St. James toyed with the rim of her double nonfat caramel latte. The barista art in the foam, a maple leaf, was starting to disintegrate. She hated to destroy it completely by drinking. “I need something exotic.” She tipped her head, her long hair falling across her shoulder. “Like Pistachio Crème. Or Blue Moon. I don’t know”—she rolled her eyes—“something new.”
“How about a bukkake?” Isabel sipped her tea. According to her philosophy, tea should be served in bone china cups and made only with boiling water. She’d found a San Francisco café willing to cater to her needs.
“What’s a bukkake?” With her maple leaf finally melting away, Noelle tested the delicious brew. Yum.
It was ten in the morning, and despite the cool of an early March day, the sidewalk tables were packed, hot air blowing from vents beneath the striped awning. The street teemed with passersby. Isabel lowered her voice so she couldn’t be heard by the college students to the right or the two middle-aged businessmen to the left. “You get five or six hot guys to stand over you while you’re naked. They jack off and come on you.”
Noelle almost spit out her latte. “I can’t believe you just suggested that.” Noelle was joking, of course. Over the years, she’d come to consider Isabel a friend. They could say anything to each other. Which was one of the reasons Noelle had asked for this little face-to-face. She’d need Isabel’s help in redirecting her energies.
Isabel made a face. An elegant blonde, she still had the slack-jawed “duh” look down pat. “You’re a courtesan. What’s wrong with something outrageous? You said you wanted exotic.”
Noelle had become a courtesan about two months after her last divorce, when a male friend suggested she’d make a perfect companion. A client of Courtesans, he’d made the introductions. In the ensuing two years, Noelle had done a lot of things, some she’d loved, some she’d decided once was enough. But this was a new one. “There’s no personal connection if you’ve just got them masturbating on you.”
“Think about this. It’s five men hot for your naked body.”
“True.” Noelle knew she was still attractive even at forty. With long silky black hair, dark almond-shaped eyes, a slender build, and standing five-nine in her bare feet, she’d been called striking. Part of the courtesan thrill was being desired by men. She needed validation as much as the next girl.
Isabel fluttered her lashes, set her elbows on the table to lean close enough for Noelle’s ears only. “And five times the guys is five times the tip.”
Noelle had to laugh at that. Isabel was always about the bottom line. That’s why she was the brains behind Courtesans. “You’re right about that. But it’s more than the money. I need . . . something.” Noelle just couldn’t define, even for herself, what that was. “Something new, something else. I feel like . . .”
“I know. It’s too much vanilla ice cream when you’re craving pistachio.”
“It’s not boredom,” Noelle tried to explain. “It’s excitement.” She frowned, then immediately caught herself. She preferred relaxation over Botox to banish the wrinkles from her forehead. “That’s not the right word either.” Closing her eyes, she visualized what she was searching for. “It’s that giddiness when you’re with someone new and hot and delicious. How you look forward to seeing him with a fervor that takes you over, makes you breathless even when you just think about him.” She craved it. She knew she was desired, she had great orgasms, but the kick was missing. The thrill of getting paid for sex was no longer enough.
“Noelle.” Her eyes popped open at Isabel’s sharp tone. “You’re a courtesan.” She set her teacup down with a clink of china. “It’s not good to get your emotions involved.”
“Our emotions are always involved. But I’m talking about the illusion, Isabel. I know it’s not real. I like to think myself into it. I like to pretend. I just haven’t been with anyone I want to pretend with.”
“It’s dangerous to want these things. You think you can handle it, but you’ll only get hurt in the end.”
Noelle understood just how dangerous giving in to her needs could be. She’d been married three times. She knew how badly it could end. But she was an infatuation junkie. She loved living dangerously. She thrived on those first few weeks of a new relationship. She freely admitted it was her greatest flaw. So she’d decided after the last divorce that marriage wasn’t for her. As a courtesan, she wouldn’t hurt anyone, not ever again.
“Why don’t we just go a little kinkier than your usual fare?” Isabel suggested. “That should give you excitement.”
“Kinky’s great, but I want something personal, intimate.” Where meeting a man’s eyes carried her away with that giddy, trembling sensation.
“I’ve been searching out just the right match for a new client I’ve got.”
“What are his details?” Noelle squirmed in her seat.
“He’s a wicked one, I’ll say that much for him.”
If Isabel thought he was naughty, he liked way more than your normal level of kink. Noelle didn’t hold it against him. “What’s he look like?”
Noelle snorted softly. “That says a lot.” Sometimes what Isabel thought was hot didn’t match Noelle’s idea.
“He’s a Viking. Six-four, two hundred pounds, blond and blue-eyed.”
She loved a man who wouldn’t be intimidated by the five-inch heels on her gladiator boots. “What’s his name, Thor?”
Isabel laughed. “Dax Deacon. Forty-five. I know you don’t mind the older guys.”
Older men were hot. Two of her husbands had been ten years older than she was. Her first, her high school sweetheart, was a year younger. They were married right out of college, but it lasted only a year. There was something to be said for the yearning of a long-distance relationship, especially when you were lusty twenty-year-olds.
“So what are his kinky desires?” Noelle was intrigued. She liked his stats. She wanted his fantasies.
Isabel glanced to the right. Their college groupies had stopped talking and conspicuously concentrated on their mochas. Eavesdroppers. Turning slightly to put her back to them, she lowered her voice. “He likes to watch. He’ll want you to do things for him with other people.”
Noelle shivered. She was the ultimate exhibitionist. She loved to be watched, to be told what to do. It made her performance spectacular. She didn’t fool herself into thinking she was a good person. She wasn’t. She’d hurt people in her past, badly. She lived with the guilt and strove never to cause that kind of pain again. She kept the vow by doing what she excelled at, giving men their wildest fantasy, their greatest desire. “More than one person?”
“He did mention threesomes and foursomes. Perhaps a party.”
Group sex. She’d tried those things, but again, the connection was missing in a mass of bodies. With two or three partners, though, especially with a man watching, that could definitely work. “He doesn’t want to participate?”
“Sometimes, but he’ll choose his timing for jumping in. He’s more the organizational type, getting off on setting up scenarios designed to drive a woman insane.”
Noelle fought the urge to bite her lip in her excitement. Beneath her warm sweater, her nipples pebbled. A man directing her pleasure, planning, watching, perhaps joining in, but still making everything about her. She’d fantasized about having a husband give her to another man for one night.
None of them ever had. She’d never had the courage to ask. But with each of them, she’d imagined him sitting in the corner, observing everything, then taking her hard and fast after the door closed behind their visitor. Oh, the thought of him getting so excited as he watched her that he had to have her the moment they were alone.
Her panties were warm and wet with her fantasies.
She raised one eyebrow and smiled. “I could get into that.”
“He might be perfect for you, darling,” Isabel murmured like a wicked devil on Noelle’s shoulder. “If everything clicks, he wants to make it an ongoing relationship. That might give you the connection you’re looking for.”
She did have repeat clients, but they lacked the indefinable something. Lacing her fingers and leaning her forearms on the table, she bent closer. “Maybe he could be the answer.”
“It’s worth a shot.”
“I’m excited just thinking about it.”
Isabel winked. “That’s half the battle, isn’t it? Thinking ourselves into arousal before we even meet him.”
“Except”—Noelle laughed—“when you build it up in your mind then find he’s a total dud.” She’d been known to do that, too.
Her smile sultry, Isabel settled back and crossed her legs. “I assure you, he’s no dud in the looks department.”
“Then it’s a date.”
Anticipation could often be way more than half the battle, plus a great big bite of the fun. But you also risked a bigger bite of disappointment. That had been her problem over the past six months. The anticipation had been the best part.
If Dax Deacon lived up to Isabel’s description, though? Well then, he might be Pistachio Crème and Blue Moon on a sugar cone with sprinkles on top.
With her usual aplomb and attention to detail, Isabel arranged everything for the following Friday evening. She catered to Noelle’s need for surprise and excitement. The Lincoln Town Car arrived at her San Francisco flat at seven. She lived near the marina, and the driver took her across town to Market. Noelle loved the city—the lights, the sounds, the rush, always busy, always moving. It made her feel alive.
At the downtown high-rise hotel, the driver—mid-thirties, sharply dressed in his pressed black suit, white shirt, and black tie—held the car door for her, offering his hand as she climbed out. His eyes dropped to her thigh revealed by the long slit of her elegant calf-length dress. Emerald green. She favored vibrant colors. She liked the slight flare of his nostrils, the compliment in his brief glance down her leg. The night air would have cooled her if it weren’t for the heat of his gaze. She liked big Latino men. All right, she liked all men, for the most part, if they dressed well. The one thing she couldn’t abide was sloppiness.
Noelle smiled her gratitude and palmed him a tip. His hand was hot, big, a tight grip that lasted a moment longer than necessary. Then he handed her a card. “Please call fifteen minutes before you’re ready for me.”
She had such a dirty mind, imagining a double entendre in his businesslike words. “I will.”
He handed her off to the doorman, who directed her to the express elevator for the restaurant on the top floor of the hotel. She stepped inside and expected to see walls. Instead, the elevators were all glass, looking out over the lobby. Alone in the car, she hung close to the windows. As she was whisked skyward, the lobby, with its fountain and fern garden in the center, fell away, growing smaller until the people were like ants.
She remembered times in her life when she’d felt like the ant, scurrying everywhere, worrying. Those feelings had ended with Isabel and Courtesans. Until recently, when a strange longing for something indefinable had struck her once more. A damn good thing she’d sworn off marriage or she’d be in danger of hurting someone all over again.
The elevator dinged and slid to a smooth stop, the doors opening onto a marble entry. The maître d’, a short man with a goatee and a fast walk, led her into the restaurant, which was famous for its three-hundred-sixty-degree view of San Francisco and the Bay as it circled atop the hotel. Noelle always felt a moment of disorientation as she passed from the entryway to the rotating floor.
“Your gentlemen friend has reserved one of our private balconies for you.” The goateed man swept his hand in front, bidding her to enter. Approximately one-third of the restaurant’s circumference was given over to balconies open to the sky.
Noelle stepped into a jungle. Ferns and exotic flowers bloomed from pots on the concrete floor, climbing the walls, an explosion of color and scent. On one side, two crystal glasses and a bucket with champagne already icing adorned the center of an elegantly laid, glass-top table. Dax Deacon adorned the rattan sofa on the opposite side of the intimate balcony.
Meeting his brilliant blue eyes, Noelle felt a moment of dizziness much as she’d had stepping onto the revolving floor.
He was all Isabel had said and more. With gentlemanly aplomb, he rose to his feet. His height stole her breath, his tailored black tux fitting him like he’d been born to wear it.
Behind her the maître d’ closed the frosted sliding glass door, leaving her alone with Dax. She was oddly nervous. “I thought it would be cold, but it’s toasty warm out here.”
“Heaters.” He raised a hand to indicate two standing electric torches. “And a windbreak.”
“It’s a perfect design.” Outside the wind howled, yet the clear canopy above diminished the wind but not the sparkle of stars, and the heaters pushed back the cold. Damn, she felt totally inane talking about the architecture.
He was just so . . . hot. With short blond hair, he made her think of Peter Graves in the old Mission: Impossible TV show—strong features, square jaw. And his hands . . . big hands, long fingers. She hadn’t felt tongue-tied with a man in ages. After all, she was a courtesan.
Then she recognized it—the breathlessness, the quickened pace of her heart, the butterflies in her stomach. Infatuation. Lust. It was his looks. It was the things Isabel said he wanted. It was her own fantasies seducing her.