Smoke and Mirrors
Once in a while it's fun to revisit one of my favorite stories that's been out for a while. Since this week's theme was magic, I thought I'd share the cover and blurb - ok, and maybe a short excerpt, from my Ellora's Cave novella, Smoke and Mirrors. The story of Alex, a magician, and Gabriella has always been one I loved, reunited lovers with a secret or two between them.
Love is nothing but an illusion.
Heiress Gabriella Winslow learned that lesson years ago when her magician boyfriend abandoned her, sick and alone, hundreds of miles from home. In the years that followed, she’s tried to forget him and the erotic bondage games they used to play. But the life she’s made for herself since then still leaves her restless and yearning for something more.
Now a successful illusionist, Alexander Black has returned to settle an old score. And to seduce Gabriella. With a blindfold and handcuffs and blood red roses, he entices his former lover and magician’s assistant back to his Las Vegas penthouse. Alex is an expert at smoke and mirrors. If all goes according to plan, she’ll never even know she’s his prisoner.
"...Ms. Moore creates scenes that are as spine-tinglingly erotic as they are romantic, and I definitely felt the heat level rise in the room as I read. I Joyfully Recommend Smoke and Mirrors. It’s an enchanting, entertaining reunion romance filled with lust, love, and inventive uses for scarves. Simply magic!"
--- Shayna, Joyfully Reviewed
"...Smoke and Mirrors is an erotic foray into obsession, bondage and exhibitionism. The setting, a limo and a magician's lair, along and the rags-to-riches premise are interesting backdrops for this quick erotic adventure."
--- Vee, Night Owl Reviews
Alex absently rubbed Gabriella’s tiny feet and pondered his next move. He’d always prided himself on his ability to seduce the audience. But this was Gabriella. And he wasn’t sure how to proceed. This might be his only chance.
If he made the wrong move, she’d slip through his fingers like an illusion gone terribly wrong.
He was sorry he’d scared her tonight, but his body hardened again as he pictured the panic that had overtaken her earlier, the way her body had strained against her bonds. Her chest had heaved as she twisted and turned, her breasts nearly spilling out of that tiny excuse for a dress. And when her skirt had ridden up her shapely thighs, giving him a peek at her lacy panties, he’d almost come in his trousers right then.
Those had been his favorite illusions. The ones where Gabriella would be bound and perhaps blindfolded or gagged as well. And then she would struggle for the appropriate amount of time before they’d play out the rest of the illusion. Most men attended the performances just to see Gabriella struggle. Oh, they’d never admit it out loud, but Alex knew it was true. A few more months and they would have hit it big, he was certain of that. They’d been a dynamite combination.
And he’d been just as certain his career would take a nosedive without her. But Gabriella had taught him his trademark seductive moves during their time together. The sexually stimulating moves on stage that drew the women in. That still drew them in. And they brought their spouses or boyfriends. More and more each year.
And now he was about to open his own theater in Las Vegas. He was going to stop traveling and settle down. At least, that had been his plan.
Gabriella stirred beside him. “Remember curling up like this in the van?” she asked sleepily.
Alex’s fingers froze and he dropped her foot into his lap. “The van?” Rusty and noisy and leaking oil like a sieve. Alex stared at Gabriella. Was that actually a smile on her face?
She nodded. “I’d wrap up in a blanket and stretch out in the back just like this and you’d rub my feet. It was like we were the only two people in the world. Remember?”
“I remember.” Bitterness churned in his stomach. He’d like to forget they’d ever been so poor that they’d sometimes had to sleep in his old beat up van. Like to forget there was a time he hadn’t even been able to bring in enough money to pay for a burger and fries. He’d vowed a long time ago that he’d never be in a situation like that again.
“It felt like this. Warm and cozy.” Her voice was so soft now he could barely hear it. She was nearly asleep. “And when I breathed in the air, it smelled like you.”
“No,” he whispered after a moment, when her breathing had become slow and regular. “It smelled like you.”
Smoke and Mirrors is still available if you'd like to enjoy a sexy story of reunited lovers and the magic they make together.