Hi Pants Off readers! We're Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane, here to share a steamy scene from our new book The Druid Stone, out today from Carina Press. We're also giving away a free copy to one lucky commenter, so read on!
The Druid Stone is the story of Sean O'Hara, a young American who has inherited a terrible family curse and travels to Ireland to have it lifted. The man for the job is Cormac Kelly, druid-for-hire and prickly bastard. The two quickly catch the attention of Finnbheara, king of the fairies... and each other, in a hot-as-hell love/hate relationship.
Sean never asked to be an O'Hara, and he didn't ask to be cursed by one either.After inheriting a hexed druid stone from his great-grandfather, Sean starts reliving another man's torture and death...every single night. And only one person can help.
Cormac Kelly runs a paranormal investigation business and doesn't have time to deal with misinformed tourists like Sean. But Sean has real magic in his pocket, and even though Cormac is a descendant of legendary druids, he soon finds himself out of his depth...and not because Sean's the first man he's felt anything for in a long time.
The pair develop an unexpected and intensely sexual bond, but are threatened at every turn when Sean's case attracts the unwelcome attention of the mad sidhe lords of ancient Ireland. When Sean and Cormac are thrust backward in time to Ireland's violent history—and their own dark pasts—they must work together to escape the curse and save their fragile relationship.
~~~So are you looking forward to The Druid Stone? Have a thing for Irish mythology or maybe just Irish accents? Buy the book now from Carina Press, Amazon, or ARe, or add it on Goodreads. Other retailers are listed on the book's website, www.knockmanovel.com, which also has links to the rest of the blog tour and chances to win copies. You can also drop us a comment here for a chance to win a free ebook copy!
And now, how about a sexy taste of the book? Things get heated for Sean and Cormac after they walk through the Beltane fires...
~~~"Hey, you think I can run a load in the laundry tonight? I'm getting short on jeans. I thought these would last another day." He gestured to the splatter across one thigh helplessly, trying on a shrug and exasperated smile. Charming, that was the verdict. Cormac felt himself caught between two warring, equally absurd, urges: the one to gather Sean into a headlock and take his knuckles to the top of his head, and the other to bend him backward over the kitchen counter and strip his jeans off then and there. He rubbed at the top of his own thigh, reflexively mirroring Sean's gesture.
He defaulted to the tried-and-true method of pulling Sean's leg. "You're not allowed to wash your trousers on Beltane."
"You're fucking with me." He loved that little flash of uncertainty in Sean's voice, the way that challenging statement seemed to teeter on the precipice of having a question mark tacked to the end. He could get a lot of mileage out of fucking with Sean. Or just fucking him.
"I am," Cormac said, and he tried not to show his teeth when he smiled. Beltane's magic was working on him, getting under his skin, making him hyperaware and predatory. He felt a little like the big bad wolf. "Do you know how to run the thing?"
"Yeah, but I don't know where the detergent is," Sean said, no trace of any of his earlier uncertainty. A quick recovery there.
"The hallway closet—here, I suppose it's on my way so I'll just show you, so." He turned, pacing abruptly down the hall in a last-ditch attempt to avoid looking at Sean any longer. Sean's throat. Sean's jaw. Sean's mouth. Sean's narrow hips. It was already taking all the willpower Cormac had to keep his hands off Sean, keep from exploring every tempting inch of him.
Cormac opened the door for him, gesturing to the shelves: detergent, softener, dish soap, towels, silver polish, an empty carton of light bulbs, all the detritus of home maintenance. He turned.
Sean stood there, just stood there, right in Cormac's personal space, looking like he was lost, scarcely breathing but smiling faintly. Cormac felt like there was a magnet in his chest, vibrating electric, and Sean was being drawn to it, too subtly for an outsider to notice maybe, but Cormac could sense it, the way Sean's body leaned imperceptibly forward. Maybe Beltane was working on him too. His eyes were dark, huge, pupils reflecting the single light that did its piss-poor job illuminating the narrow hallway.
Maybe, maybe—he was caught in a surge of possibilities, the most appealing one being that if he had Sean tonight, just got it over with, got it out of his system, this unnameable thing would go away, let go, leave him free to do his work without the weirdly protective fussing or overlong stares. And God, he was hard just from that, just the sight of Sean, just the thought of finally giving himself permission. Yes, it made sense.
All he had to do was take half a step forward.
He cupped Sean's shoulders, shoving him back against the wall, hard, because he couldn't afford the risk of making this slow or sweet. Sean never stopped looking in his eyes, an intense not-quite-bewildered stare, not even when Cormac pressed up against him close, pinning him with hands and chest and hips.
The muscles of his body were tense under Cormac's hands, not necessarily uncomfortable or nervous, more like...waiting for something. Waiting for Cormac, maybe, to show him what to do, invite him in, barrel him over and take him, maybe. Cormac felt a matching tension in his own body, taut as a bowstring waiting to release. He realized he was panting, aggressive—desperate, even. And the only relief was to press his hips forward, grind himself against Sean, feeling the heat of his body even through the stiff fabric, wanting to know if he was hard too, aching like Cormac was...
The smell of wood smoke was intoxicating.
"Tell me to stop," he growled into the hollow of Sean's throat, tasting the smoke, and he didn't know whether he was daring Sean or begging him.
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- Contest runs until August 11th 11:59pm EST