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The Dragon Tamer

Diversion Books (new eRelease) | December 2014

Widowed, alone, and penniless, Eleanor Rayburn is devastated when she learns that her late husband sold his shares of the ship before he died. Desperate to take back what she believes is rightfully hers, she sets out to fight back against the handsome but arrogant owner of the whaler.

Marine naturalist Dante Templeton survived a hard life, and has found success as an activist against the killing of whales or any marine animal for profit. But it’s his own personal grudge against an enemy from his past that fuels his disdain for Eleanor, and his determination to keep her from reclaiming her share of stocks in the whaler.

As the feud heats up between Dante and Eleanor, so does the blaze of passion. But is Dante’s love for Eleanor enough to smother his fiery hatred for her husband?


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An Excerpt...

June 1860 - Boston

He was a carnal man. Sleek. Polished. Every movement, every word, every look was drenched with an animal heat that made a woman weak. The way he looked at her, his eyelids heavy and sensual as he slowly moved his gaze over her, resting at places no decent man would. The way he walked toward her, all loose limbed and dangerous. Then he stood before her, the unasked question in the lift of one raven-wing eyebrow. His voice was the final seduction, for when he was in the mood, the words oozed out like warm honey, making a woman's blood thicken and her skin come alive. He was both wild and tame, and no woman on earth could refuse him.

It was his indifference that drew both men and women to him, for each wanted to believe they would be the first to charm him. Coax him to put money into a failing business. Lure him into an affair. Few realized that Dante could not be bought or enticed. Fewer yet knew that he had little respect for most men, finding them braggarts and bores. And to him, women were a nuisance. A hazard to be avoided. A complete and total waste of time, for anything other than his animal needs.

The woman, his current mistress, studied him as he read the newspaper, his rich black hair falling forward to cover part of his face. His arms were thick, the muscles sculpted beneath his bronzed skin, the veins standing out like rivers of granite. He had beautiful hands, large with square palms. His fingers were long and strong, yet the power in his touch could be gentle and seductive when he wanted it to be.

She looked at the strange tattoos that covered his body. Only those who knew him as intimately as she did would ever know they were there.

She had hated them at first - the coiled snake, the soaring hawk, the masterful ship with the skull and crossbones banner on the mast.

The largest one was a green and yellow dragon with nostrils that licked flames up Dante's neck. It covered his chest and stomach. Once she had seen that enormous, fierce looking dragon, the other tattoos were nothing. Beneath it was a mass Of whip-like scars that looked like part of the dragon's corded skin. She had traced those scars many times with her fingers and her tongue. When she had asked how he had gotten them, she had been met with a taciturn, icy stare. She had never asked again.

He was still reading, ignoring her. She wondered if he remembered she was in his bed.

Her gaze wandered to the far wall, which displayed one of his many collections of erotic art. Every woman she knew and most men as well would blush at what Dante considered art. He had a fine, rosewood corner cupboard with glass doors that held Greek and Roman objects d'art, all of which were, as far as she was concerned, lewd and immoral. But that was exactly what excited her.

The cup bearing the image of a bearded Greek male entering the smiling, compliant female from behind, the da Vinci cross-section of a couple making love, in which one can see the huge, erect penis as it enters the female body, the stone relief of ancient Indian temple art depicting a fornicating foursome in which the man is somehow, miraculously, able to make the three women who surround him happy - two with his hands and one with his enormous, oversized penis. All of them were, of course, male fantasy pieces, but the mistress became aroused just the same.

She opened her eyes and, with a finger, traced the dragon that slid over the muscles of his chest, appearing to move each time he took a breath. "Put down the paper, Dante."

His gaze was held captive by an article in the newspaper and she knew that at least for the moment, she had lost him.

Suddenly he scowled. "I'll be damned."

He folded the newspaper back and smiled a cold smile and kept reading.

She loved his face. His cheekbones were sharp as glass, and deep grooves bracketed his sensual mouth - a mouth that could usually bring her to the heights of ecstasy. But even when it did not, she feigned pleasure, for she didn't want to vex him.

"What's so interesting that you can't put the newspaper down?" Her waspishness began to show.

"The obituary of a man I wish I'd killed myself. Ah, but it's fitting that he died in a whaleboat trying to slay a whale."

The venom in his voice startled her. She looked at the page. "Amos Rayburn?"

"Yes." His voice was clipped.

"I met him once. And his wife. Eleanor, I think he called her." She laughed.

Dante turned toward her, one eyebrow raised, his brilliant blue eyes glittering dangerously. "What is so amusing about Amos Rayburn's wife?"

Marguerite kicked off the bed linens so her whole body was available to him. "We met them at a party." She ran her fingers over her stomach, threading them through her pubic hair. Her stirrings deepened. "She spent the entire evening either sitting in a corner by herself or cleaning up after the guests."

She pressed her thighs together to stem her desire, then turned and propped her chin on her hands, her body pressed against his. "She acted like the hired help. Truthfully, she was so plain I don't think I'd recognize her if I bumped into her again. I just remember brown eyes, brown hair, and a shapeless brown dress."

Marguerite knew she had lost him again, for his expression became hooded, his jaw tensed, and he tapped the paper against his hand.



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