Shameless Behavior: Brazen Stories of Overcoming Shame, which features work by erotic luminaries such as Sommer Marsden, Stella Harris, and Kyoko Church, is a collection of 12 stories that are not only sizzling hot, but also tell adventurous tales of triumphing over shame. So naturally, we’re thrilled to be hosting a free giveaway of Shameless Behaviornext weekend (March 3rd – 4th, 2014), when you can blaze a trail to Amazon and download the e-book absolutely free!
For a clearer pic of what we’re talking about, you can check out Mia Hopkins’ review of the e-book, which includes these words: “Intelligent, steamy, and thought-provoking, this collection celebrates that moment when, no longer alone, we feel safe enough to bring our deepest secrets into the light only to discover how beautiful we never knew they were.”
That also shows you what an amazing writer Mia Hopkins is, which we, at GDP, well know! But I digress…
To give a taste of what is in store for you, here are the first few sizzling pages from Kyoko Church‘s Wet, which is featured in the collection:
There were things Beth would always remember about that first time with Jeff: the blue of the ocean out of the honeymoon suite window glimpsed from the bed over her new husband’s shoulder, the faint smell of bleach that the Caribbean cleaning staff used before each new guest, a few small cracks in the plaster ceiling, and the intensity with which her normally jovial and easy-going boyfriend of ten months and spouse of twelve hours said, “Okay, let’s do this.”
The other things, honestly, she didn’t try to recall. But they played like a damning loop in her head—a recording she switched on every morning after that first time, one she would painstakingly add to with only the most searing words from each subsequent and progressively awkward coupling. In the end, she would have a highlight reel of the worst moments, a “greatest hits” from those years of shame, a humiliation compilation.
She didn’t play it willingly, exactly, but out of a masochistic need to remind herself each day:
This is who you are. A woman whose husband finds her repulsive.
“I like to read,” Beth said on her first date with Drew, as they sipped their Starbucks coffees amidst the smell of new books.
She knew how trite it sounded, but it was the truth. She’d always loved reading but as her marriage crashed and burned, she escaped into the fantasy of books even more. When her life was miserable and it was difficult to raise her head to face her reflection in the mirror, she placated her damaged heart with fiction.
She read not on a park bench or a coffee shop or while sun tanning on the beach, leisurely and with easy enjoyment—no. She read like she did certain other things: furiously, furtively, with guilty pleasure. She wasn’t reading Dickens or Tolstoy. No Atwood or Kingsolver or Ondaatje for her. You couldn’t say the plots were masterfully handled, subtly crafted, or slowly unfolding. The books she read had brash covers. Two dimensional characters. Books to be read in one sweaty afternoon. She gulped down each delicious morsel and then searched frantically for more.
“I’m a King fan, myself,” Drew said. “Stuart Woods, Linwood Barclay, that kind of thing. What are you reading right now?”
“Oh,” she said, fighting a blush. “Oh, nothing. Just some…romance stuff.”
“Ah.” He smiled. “The ubiquitous rise of dirty e-books, right? Suddenly everyone and her grandma’s into BDSM.”
Then she really did blush. At first glance, Drew looked about as straight as they came, like a guy who read the Bible on weekends for a good time. And yet here was this straight-laced, possible Bible-reading type perfectly at ease saying…those letters.
“Hey, I was just kidding,” he said, noticing her reaction.
But something about the way he said it, with one eyebrow cocked and a twinkle in his eye that was anything but innocent, made her pulse jump a little. It was a look that reminded her of all her favorite male characters in the books she read. Confident. Knowing. Teasing.
God, she thought, as a realization dawned. He’s totally sexy. Certain telltale signs threatened inside of her, below. Parts she tried not to think about began to pulse, and she blushed even harder, squeezing her legs together, which only made things worse.
She wanted to stay. The more he talked, the more she liked him. She liked his bright eyes and his easy, wide smile; his quirky sense of humor and the way he opened up to her, so easily. And she liked that—despite his choir-boy appearance—a shadow of someone not quite so innocent lurked. But those things, in the end, were why she had to leave.
She made her excuses and walked away, desperately wanting to run back at the same time as wanting to put as much distance as possible between Drew and the way he made her feel.
Drew persisted. They spent countless hours on the phone and IM, and, God, did she love talking to him.
He was smart and witty and kind. They could discuss everything from family and friends, to politics and favorite TV shows, to the latest cancer research and the psychology of sexuality…and everything in between. Safe in the confines of her apartment, things could get a little heated over the phone or chat. They had more than one naughty conversation that, after it ended, pushed Beth to resort to those furious and furtive pleasures she was more than used to providing herself, no brash-covered books necessary. But whenever they met in person and things started to turn intimate, Beth fled.
One night at his place, Drew rented the movie A Dangerous Method. He said it was about Freud and Jung, so she relaxed on his couch, preparing to be enlightened on perhaps the Oedipus complex or the collective unconscious. Instead, she froze in her seat, staring at the screen—Keira Knightley’s Spielrein confessed her secret yearnings to Michael Fassbender’s Jung—thinking she might spontaneously combust. She squirmed and willed her body not to betray her. Drew noticed her squirm and put a comforting arm around her.
When Fassbender trussed Knightley’s wrists up to a door while the brunette, standing and bent at the waist, offered up her ass to be flogged from behind, it was too much for Beth. Wracked with self-consciousness, she shrugged out from under Drew’s arm.
“Hey, are you okay?” Drew asked. “Yeah, I’m just a little tired, I guess,” Beth said. “I—I might get going.” “But the movie isn’t done,” Drew said. “Is it too over the top? It’s just…we had all those psychology chats. Or is it me?” he continued in a rush. “Did I do something?”
“No! No, it’s not you,” Beth said.
Drew sighed and looked down for a moment. When he looked up at her again, his eyebrows were peaked in concern. “Beth,” he sighed. “Look, I’m just going to be really honest with you, okay? I like you. A lot. You’re smart and funny and, God, sometimes you’re so sexy, I really have to stop myself from….” He flushed and smiled. “Sorry. I just—I think you’re really attractive.”
Beth could barely contain her pounding heart. If Drew was feeding her lines, then he deserved a best actor award. She didn’t care. She’d been lost in the desert for too long, and now she wanted to drink in the look in his eyes—the one that said he wanted her.
“And,” Drew continued, “I know you like me, too. I mean, the talks we’ve had! I’ll admit, I’ve needed a cold shower after more than one.” Beth blushed with her own private memories, but kept quiet. “When we’re together, though, every time I sense a connection between us— something happening—you pull away.”
Unexpectedly, Beth felt tears spring to her eyes. “Am I wrong?” “You’re not wrong,” she whispered. He moved closer to her on the couch, placed a hand on her knee. Gently, he took her chin and placed a small, delicate kiss on her lips—their first. “Sweet Beth,” he murmured. “What has he done to you?”
Her breathing caught. “What?” she gasped.
“It doesn’t take a mind reader to know that someone has you believing you are less than the amazing, sexy, beautiful woman you truly are,” he said softly, and then kissed her again, moving his arms to encircle her small frame.
“Oh,” she sighed, deflated that her insecurities were so plain, weakened by how his words nudged her deep-seated wounds.
She let herself be swept away then. Swept away by all the things he was doing, the things she’d wanted for so long: his lips on hers; the knowing way he kissed her; the feel of his strong, warm hands running down her sides, then stroking her thighs. When he cupped her breasts firmly, and even when he pinched her nipples, sending jolts of sensation straight down between her legs, she was able to push aside all of the shame and fear and loathing. She wanted this so badly.
He reached his hand up under her skirt and momentarily teased his fingers over her panty-covered mound. The sensation was fleeting and all the sweeter for being so. But when he deftly hooked his thumbs into her panties, tugged them down and off, and with a waft of coolness finding its way to her moistened cleft, her ex’s words clawed through, unbidden.
You always get so wet. It’s so…messy. I don’t want to get it on my fingers. And the worst one. I can still smell it. She flushed hard. Her head spun, and she felt slightly nauseous. She stood. “I—I’m so sorry, Drew. I have to go.” “Beth, please, let’s talk about it.” But she was already grabbing her purse. In her car on the way home, she tried to talk herself into going back. She couldn’t stay like this forever. Closed off. Unfulfilled. Ashamed. But Jeff’s words, those memories of her ex, they lived inside her like a thing, like a python that had insidiously wrapped itself around her heart and refused to let go. All starting with that first time…. [Read the rest of the story during our free Kindle giveaway on March 1st and 2nd 2014, or buy the book at Amazon today!]
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