CARNAL WHISPERS: MIND STALKER
Book 3 of the Carnal Series
Genre: romantic suspense with BDSM and paranormal elements
To know another’s mind is to revel in the depths of truth, cringe in the face of past and imagined horrors, and suffer their dreams, all while searching for balance and serenity.
Daniele— a young woman, mysterious, gentle, and loyal, cloaks knowledge that could destroy millions while thumbing her nose at fate and hiding in plain sight. Concealing her talent means isolation despite her fantasies of a normal life.
Marc—owner of Ambrosia, a BDSM club, is determined to coerce his way into her life and her confidence, adapting unique scenes to free her from the shackles of fear and low self-esteem while staying one-step ahead of a psychopathic stalker and a branch of the government that answers to no one.
Each must rely on the other to survive a world where betrayal and deception, desire and trust, weave a fabric that transcends time.
Pushing open the door on the far right granted a jaw-dropping view framed by French doors and more large windows. Beyond the sand dunes, an offshore breeze stirred dazzling white caps as far as the eye could see. Each wave’s backwash created filaments that floated on restless air currents above tumultuous waters. Waking up to a salty breeze, all cuddled up with Marc Crofton, would star in her dreams for many nights to come.
A massive, ornate iron headboard stood against the far wall. Woodsmen style bedspread and soft, satin sheets covering the king-size bed with storage cabinets underneath provided the perfect stage for exciting nighttime activities. Surely, the occupants rarely slept.
Her life, like the cottage she’d occupied, remained Spartan and utilitarian, unlike this room designed for a man with particular tastes and who could afford the best.
When Pete nudged her forward, she choked on the images flashing through her mind on a continuous, lascivious reel of orgiastic play. Both headboard and footboard contained vertical iron spindles in their grills, perfect for bondage. Would Marc use silken scarves or fur-lined handcuffs?
Several steps in, she stumbled over a plush rug of geometric shapes in neutral shades, thicker than anything she’d ever felt. Ambient light reflecting off the mirror on the tray ceiling dared her to move forward as she envisioned herself bound and at Marc’s mercy.
More pieces fell into place as her gaze took in the leather vest and pants hanging from a hook beside the closet, mirrored sliding closet doors hiding untold devices, and deep storage drawers under the mattress. The entire scene left her speechless. Yet, she should have expected it all. He owned Ambrosia, a BDSM club, and this was an extension of sorts. The darkest fantasies in the farthest reaches of her mind couldn’t conjure such a rich, luxuriant setting tailor-made for any depravity conjured.
How long she stood there, she didn't know. Soft footfalls announced his advance and jarred her mind even if her feet couldn’t budge. It wouldn’t do to have him witness her gawking like a star-struck kid. No wonder he unnerves me. With a few toys added, this would be the perfect stage for a theme room at his club according to her erotic romances.
Refolding the blankets let her size them for the injured shepherd. In hurried motions, she arranged a comfortable bed in the corner.
“Hey, looks good. Thanks. Do you mind bringing in his water bowl?”
His tongue sliding along his bottom lip was captivating yet devastating, like being flogged and discovering you’re a masochist, though she wasn’t. Was she? Despite holding Darius in his arms, the combination of potent virility and standing in what she imagined to be a well-used bedroom stretched her nerves beyond capacity to think clearly.
“S-sure. Be right back.”
The soft tilting of his lips on one side defined her entire focus as she staggered back, turned, and stumbled away. Grateful for the tall ceilings allowing more air to circulate, she plucked at her shirt to fan the heat from her chest. Claustrophobia wasn’t an issue in the great room without Marc’s presence.
Two ceramic bowls sat on either side of the kitchen’s alcove, one blue with black paw prints, and the other green with black paw prints. Each had a chew bone and ball beside it. Maybe those leathers were for horseback riding…
The chew toy and rubber ball slipped from her grasp twice before she’d secured it along with the blue and black dish. Filling the bowl only two-thirds full ensured she wouldn’t spill as she carefully made her way back to his bedroom, probably the last place she should go. Jeez, he owns Ambrosia, for God's sake. What the hell do you think he rides?
“Here we go.” Setting the bowl in front of a groggy Darius, she groaned as a little water sloshed over the sides. She couldn't resist a slow caress of his soft coat after setting his bone and rubber ball beside the bed within easy reach. “I'm so sorry you got hurt, boy.” When she stood and pivoted, Marc loomed over her, his overwhelming presence knocking her off balance both mentally and physically. “I brought his rubber ball.”
“Yes, I see.” He took a small step forward, a few scant inches separating them. Again, his infuriating smile let her know he realized and exploited his arousing effect.
“Y-you don't give them tennis balls. I'm glad…because the felt is extremely abrasive on their teeth. It contains a glue…” How can the room lack oxygen?
“Yes. It does.” A half step.
Only her quickening breaths separated them. His predator’s smile widened.
“I-I've seen canine teeth worn down to nubs before the owners got a clue. They worry and wonder but don't bring the dogs in to figure out what's causing it.”
“Yep, I believe it.” His warm breath fanned across her cheek, minty from the candy he seemed to favor. They shared the same space, the same air, intimate in a way previously unknown.
“I…I'm glad you take good care of your ball, ah, your dogs.”
“I always take care of what's mine.” His gaze could command the very devil himself.
So why did her gaze keep returning to him, like a moth playing with fire? She gulped, looking around frantically for an escape. His close proximity blocked out everything, including her ability to think or decipher anything other than the intense hunger disseminating from him in waves. Maybe spontaneous orgasms aren’t a myth.
This was an interesting book. I've never really thrown myself into the BDSM world before. And even though this book gave a very good introduction into that world, I don't believe it's a world for me. I enjoyed the mystery side of Dani and Marc. I haven't read the other books in the series so it took a little doing to figure out the characters and how the puzzle pieces fell together. As that though I did enjoy that aspect of the book but was still a little "off'd" by the BDSM side. Since that came down to a personal preference I'm giving this book a solid 4 out of 5 stars. I would give more that last star, but I believe that the story could have given a little more background info about the last two books.
Reily’s employment as an ICU nurse, private investigator, and work in the military police has given her countless experiences in a host of different environments to add a real world feel to her fiction.
Though her kids are her life, writing is Reily’s life after. The one enjoyed…after the kids are in bed or after they’re in school and the house is quiet. This is the time she kicks back with laptop and lapdog to give her imagination free rein.
In life, hobbies can come and go according to our physical abilities, but you can always enjoy a good book. Life isn’t perfect, but our imaginations can be. Relax, whether it’s in front of a fire or in your own personal dungeon. Take pleasure in a mental pause as you root for your favorite hero/heroine and bask in their accomplishments, then share your opinions of them over a coffee with your best friend (even if he’s four legged). Life is short. Cherish your time.