Today we welcome Lily Harlem with
Breathe You In
Soul-aching desire was only the first layer of emotion around a secret I had to keep for all of time.If the road to heaven starts in hell, then I was ready to start climbing my way out and Ruben Strong was the man to accompany me. With his devastating good looks, seductively sexy charm and lust for adrenaline, he was sure to make it a sensual and erotic experience as well as one to re-awake the passionate, throw-caution-to-the-wind woman I’d once been.
I’d given Ruben something, though, without him realizing, and that gift had come from the man I’d loved before. But I couldn’t tell Ruben. I had to keep that a tight secret even on the nights our naked bodies wound together, sought out pleasure and hit the dizzy heights of ecstasy—because Ruben had my husband’s heart, literally, and that heart was still in love with me, so it seemed, and now I was in love with Ruben.
Emotions tangled with bliss and fears were locked away as I surrendered to the touch of Ruben’s hands, the taste of his skin and the sounds of his pleasure. I couldn’t deny that Ruben had brought me back to life the same way I had him, and there was no way I was giving up that feeling, not for anyone.
Publisher's Note: This book was previously self-published. It has been expanded, revised and re-edited for release with Totally Bound Publishing.
I was out of breath as I hunted for my key and climbed the one set of stairs to home. It was hard to even see into my bag—water was streaking down my face and my hair was hanging in rats’ tails around my eyes. Eventually I found the key and shoved it into the lock.
“Phew, thank goodness,” I said, stepping into my flat.
Ruben hurried in behind me and shut the door.
“I’ll grab us some towels,” I said, dashing to the laundry pile. I retrieved a couple of freshly washed pink towels that smelled of fabric conditioner and passed one to Ruben.
He took it and dropped it over his head, rubbed vigorously. I did the same to mine and toed off my sandals at the same time. I dabbed my face, collected an oasis sitting in the groove of my throat and patted beneath my eyes, hoping I wasn’t displaying a panda look. Ruben buried his face in the towel then dropped it to one side. “I don’t think I’ve ever got so wet so fast,” he said, trying and failing to flatten his now fluffed up hair.
“It was fun,” I said. “I’d forgotten how much I like to splash through puddles or how much I enjoy a good storm.”
As I’d said the last word a tremendous boom, accompanied by white light, filled my flat. I jumped and let out a slightly hysterical squeak. “Well, that’s maybe a bit too close for comfort.”
Ruben smiled, but then the smile fell. His gaze dipped and he stepped up to me. “Did you know your blouse is see-through?”
“Is it?” I glanced down, automatically pressing my arm over my breasts.
He caught my hand, tugged it to my side. “The best type of blouse as far as I’m concerned.”
My white blouse had indeed turned transparent, highlighting my white cotton bra and the small pebbles my nipples had become in the cool rain. I could just make them out, dark disks beneath white material.
Suddenly I was face-to-face with him. He’d picked me up, arms tight around my body and our chests pressing together. My bare feet were dangling.
I put my hands on his shoulders and stared at his face. His eyelashes were still heavy with water and had become tiny triangular points. A large drip was rolling from his right temple into the fuzz of hair by his ear.
“I think it’s time,” he said, his lips almost touching mine. “To pay my debt.”
Beneath his wet clothes, his body felt hot and hard. There was also a seriously sexy glint in his eye that held determination and lust—a delicious combination.
I pushed my hands through his damp hair and kissed him. Was vaguely aware of him walking, heading to my bedroom, as our tongues weaved together. I slanted my head, deepened the kiss, and he moaned gently, feeding me more of what I wanted.
He set me on the edge of the bed, his mouth not leaving mine. I was wet, turned on, scared and excited. It was like living in a cloud, someone else’s life. But it was mine. My life. And I was here with Ruben, gorgeous Ruben who was acting like he was more than ready to give me what I was owed.
He kissed across my cheek, at the same time his caress roaming down my chest and my stomach, seeking out my fly button.
I tugged at his top, wanting the wet material out of our way.
He paused to fist it between his shoulder blades and drag it over his head.
His chest was beautiful, the hair damp and flat with rain, his nipples, like mine, taut and hard. I looked at the scar, smooth and pink, and the neat trail of hair that feathered across his stomach then disappeared into his jeans.
“Say yes,” he said, kissing my right breast through my top and bra. “Katie, say yes.”
“Yes,” I murmured, laying fully back and trying to push at my trousers. “Yes, Ruben, yes.”
He kneeled between my legs, helped me drag my jeans past my hips and over my buttocks, peeling away the tight material that was clinging to my skin. He worked fast, his hands gripping and tugging the denim downward.
Eventually they bunched at my ankles, and with a final jerk were off.
He shoved them aside and kissed my knee then my thigh, his lips and hands warm on my cool, damp flesh.
I dropped back on the bed again, folded my arms over my face. This was the first time I’d been this intimate with another man. Matt had always said he loved giving me oral, but would Ruben? What if I wasn’t what he expected? What if all those supermodels and glamorous girls had been his type and I just wasn’t up to his standard?
“Lift,” he murmured, his breath a hot breeze on my lower stomach. He gripped the waistband of my little white knickers.
I did as he’d asked. Let him pull them down my legs then over first one foot then the other, my arms still over my face.
“Katie, look at me,” he said, running his hands up my inner thighs, his thumbs sweeping very near my intimate folds.
I gasped, tensed.
“Katie.” He stilled.
I pulled my arms away. Looked down.
He was staring up at me from between my legs, his eyes wide, pupils dilated, and a hint of redness on his cheeks. “I’ve been thinking of this moment for days,” he said. “Giving you the same pleasure you gave me, but if you don’t…”
“Yes,” I said, touching his cheek, the one with the mole. “I want you to, it’s just…different.”
“I know.” He dropped a kiss to my inner thigh then shifted upward and set one over my small strip of pubic hair. “But you know you talked about we, us?”
“Then let’s be us.” His eyes were earnest, his longing almost tangible. “Let me make you come, Katie.”
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A note from the author:
Music and Me
Thank you for inviting me today, it’s great to be here. I have brought my new book with me Breathe You In. It’s a sexy romance with a twist and set in England. People often ask me if I listen to music while I write, well the truth is I have to have absolute silence so that I can immerse myself in the story and the characters. If I’m listening to a happy piece of music yet the scene is angst ridden and tense then the overall ambience of my words will not hit the note I intended them to.
That’s not to say don’t have a theme tune to my novels. I do. Sometimes two or three songs that either the lyrics, or the beat or the video get to me. With Breathe You In, it’s two songs that really got to me. Breathe You In is about falling in love again after tragedy, looking to the future and finding the person who can make you feel whole again.
The first is With or Without you by U2. A golden oldie for sure.
I LOVE Bono’s haunting voice, the awesome guitar work and the ghostly video. This song is special to me, Mr Harlem took me to see U2 when we were first dating and I remember sitting on his shoulders swaying to this – oh those were the days ☺ It’s prominent in Breathe You In too, Katie’s got a strong connection to U2 as her husband – who tragically died – was crazy about them.
The other song that works so well with my new novel is The Police Every Breath You Take. I agree, it’s another golden oldie. I have never seen The Police or Sting live but oh, I would jump at the chance.
I hope you’ll check out Breathe You In, below is an excerpt to whet your appetite and do follow the other posts on my blog tour for more details of this super sexy and very unusual novel.
More about Lily Harlem:
Lily Harlem is a multi-published, award-winning author of contemporary erotic romance. She lives in the UK and writes for several publishing houses including Ellora’s Cave, HarperCollins, Xcite and Total-E-Bound. She also features in numerous UK and US anthologies, some of which all proceeds go to charity.
Her books are a mixture of full length novels and short stories, some are one offs, some are sequels or part of a series (all can be enjoyed as stand-alone reads).
What they all have in common are colourful characters travelling on everyone’s favourite journey — falling in love. If the story isn’t deliciously romantic and down and dirty sexy, it won’t be written, at least not by this author. So with the bedroom door left well and truly open you are warned to hang on for a steamy, sensual ride - or rides as the case might be!
Promotional post. Materials provided by the publisher.