Thank you to T.D. for inviting me to share my just-released sizzling hot story from Liquid Silver Books, The Caretaker’s Lady. While the story sizzles, it’s set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia where the cool weather has begun and the trees are donning their autumn cloaks. The area boasts magnificent mountain vistas, orchards and farms, and year-round festivals celebrating harvests, arts and crafts, and mountain life.
While writing The Caretaker’s Lady, I needed a magical place for famous romance author Cathy Morrow to rediscover her muse. Where better than a mountain resort? So… In a luxurious resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia where the trees stand cloaked in fall colors, the apples and pumpkins are ripe for harvest, and pots of apple cider simmer beside the fireplace, a couple in the autumn of their lives surrender to lust and discover love.
Pass the grits and call me y’all. Jasmine Bloom, queen of the bodice rippers for three decades, never thought she would become a victim of writer’s block. When family stress causes Cathy Morrow, who writes as Jasmine Bloom, to miss a deadline, Blaylock Publishing accepts a mysterious invitation for Cathy to visit The Mountain Ridge Resort to revive her muse.
Divorced for two decades with three grown children and two grandsons living in her home, Cathy can’t find the inspiration she needs to write the sizzling-hot romances that gained her fame and fortune. At the resort, Cathy meets a hot maintenance worker who warms the cool nights. Will she be content to role-play his favorite scorching-hot love scenes from her novels then return home to her dull routine?
The caretaker’s job at the resort allows billionaire John Murdock to live the life he loves in the Blue Ridge Mountains and keep a centuries-old family vow. When Cathy Morrow arrives at the resort, she lights a fire he’d banked years ago. Will she look beyond his white hair and menial job to appreciate what he offers—passion with the prospect for love?
Cathy sipped her cider. “It gets chilly up here, doesn’t it?”
“Cold enough to freeze your nuts.” John started. “Shit, Cathy. I shouldn’t have said that. I’m not used to talking to ladies. I apologize.”
“Apology accepted. I might save that one for one of my novels.”
“Really? I have all of them. I’m used to talking to men. The content of men’s conversations is different and the language more graphic than women.”
Very perceptive of him. “I try to reflect that in my novels.”
“Come to think of it, that’s probably why we liked them so much.”
“Julia and I read all your novels together. We even played out some of the scenes.”
He moved away. “I shouldn’t have mentioned that either. I’ve never told anyone before. It was personal between us. I’m sorry I brought it up.”
She crawled across the mattress and sat beside him. “John. It’s okay. Remember what we said about people our age having histories? You were married to Julia for years. Being her husband is part of what and who you are. No one should take that away from you. For your information, it’s not all that uncommon for couples to role play scenes out of novels. When I do book signings, you would be amazed at some things people confide while I’m autographing their books.”
She moved closer and rested a hand on the inside of his thigh. “For now, though, I’m far more interested in the present.”
* * * *
The shell he’d built around his heart to protect himself from being hurt again shattered. Cathy understood him. Understood that Julia would always own a piece of his heart. She didn’t consider his past with his deceased wife a personal insult to herself or a danger to her present with him. He pulled her into his lap and crushed her against him.
Cathy patted his cheek. “John. John. Are you okay?”
He kissed her palm. “I’m much better than okay, Cathy. See?” He guided her hand to his cock straining against the soft fabric of his jeans.
“Very impressive, sir. Do you have anything in mind?”
“Absolutely. How about sex outdoors in the Georgia sunshine, my lady of the mountain?”
She bit her bottom lip. “Are we alone here? We wouldn’t be giving anyone a show?”
Cathy was a walking contradiction—an author of scorching hot romances who was often shy and overly concerned about propriety. Maybe she might be up to a game. “As I recall that’s exactly what happened in The Forest Queen.”
She brightened. “You really have read my books. But the forest queen was bathing in a river when the Earl of Shelton discovered her on his way to meet his betrothed.”
“As I recall, she disappeared after they made love, and he spent months looking for her while Lady Celeste, his betrothed, sat on her ass waiting for him to claim her.”
Cathy laughed and clapped her hands. “He finally gave up and returned to meet Lady Celeste, who was also his forest queen. They lived happily ever after. A silly story.”
“What’s wrong with a happily ever after, Cathy?”
“Nothing, but I don’t want to put on a show for anyone. I’m no—”
He wasn’t getting anywhere with her. Maybe he would need to share more information “There won’t be a show. The area beyond the locked gate is off-limits to guests and staff. It’s reserved for the use of the owners.”
“And you brought me here because…”
“I’m the caretaker. I have free run of the resort and all its properties. No one would ever come here. It’s one of the few grounds for immediate termination.”
“So you, my lady of the mountain are my captive.” He hugged her close. “Mine to do with as I will.”
She slapped his chest. “I don’t write bodice rippers anymore. There’s not much of a market for them.”
He kissed her cheek. “All right, darling. You’re mine to do with as I will, with your permission.”
Her hand drifted to his cock. “Permission granted. Do you have anything in mind?”
“Many things, my lady. But how about some hot sex with a cool view?”
Rita Bay happily writes sizzling contemporary M/M and M/F stories (Liquid Silver Books, Secret Cravings Publishing); historical romance sagas (Siren BookStrand); and shapeshifter stories, vampire tales, and humorous mythology-based erotic romps (Champagne Book Group). Her stories are set near her home in Atlanta, along the Gulf Coast, and in picturesque locales across Europe. Her webpage/blog (http://ritabay.com) offers more info about Rita and her stories, as well as risqué, macabre, and extraordinary posts about the history and culture of Western Europe and the United States.