I'm really glad to host the "In The Firelight" Blog Tour.
This cute romance written by Sibylla Matilde, who will make you smile as Shea and Rhys will hotly engage in a bad-tempered sexy quarrel before falling madly in love.
Here are some awesome gifts for you... Rhys POV and a Excerpt of this novel.
A crackle from the fireplace pulled Rhys from a deep sleep, and he immediately had the feeling that something was missing. All around him he could smell her… smell them. But his arms were empty.
He opened his eyes to see Shea sitting on the hearth staring seriously into the flames. The deep russet tones of her hair haloed by the golden light. She had a blanket tucked up under her arms, and the warmth of the blaze glowed on her flawless skin.
She was beautiful.
She was amazing.
And she was going to hate his guts.
He leaned up slightly, bracing himself on his elbow. The sounds of his movement drew her attention, and she slowly turned her head towards him. Her teeth caught her lower lip as she gave him a troubled look. For a moment, they just were motionless, unspeaking. After all the strength she had exuded, all the bravado she had displayed, she suddenly looked fragile. She looked vulnerable.
A fierce protectiveness arose in him. But what did he want to protect her from? Himself? After all, really, he was her biggest threat. A tight twist self-reproach ripped through his chest, and gut felt heavy, like he had swallowed a stone.
This wasn’t supposed to happen. This regret was unfathomable. Unsettling.
And a little voice in the back of his mind kept whispering, Tell her…
Rhys wrapped the blanket around his hips and stood, walking over to her at the hearth. His heart pounded apprehensively. But, he knew he had to do this. He wasn’t sure why, but he had to come clean.
It was surreal, this need to confess. Never had there been the slightest inclination in the past. Not once had his conscience weighed heavily on his heart. He sat behind her on the hearth, wrapping his arms around her and burying his face in her hair, breathing deeply to take her sweet scent into his lungs. Eyes closed, he could see her coming apart beneath him. He could feel her tremble and shake, hear her soft cries as she blissfully shattered around him. As he poured himself into her with a mind-numbing release.
“We really need to talk,” he began.
Shea whispered back quickly. “I don’t want to.”
“Shea,” Rhys murmured against her neck, “something happened here tonight. This makes things complicated. You have no idea how complicated.” Really… God, she was going to hate him.
“No,” she continued to stare ahead, not looking at him, but resting her head more firmly on his shoulder. “This is just… this. Tonight. It’s not forever. It’s not life-altering. You’re not staying.”
Rhys frowned down at her. “Shea—”
“No, Rhys,” she turned slightly to face him. “Tonight was beautiful, but I’m a realist. I know this isn’t happily ever after. I don’t believe in fairy tales. Tomorrow, we just go back to… whatever. In a few days, you leave. It’s done. I don’t want to talk about it.”
Whatever? What the fuck? The gnawing ache inside him grew. The torment of wanting her to know the truth, but not wanting her to hate him. The desire for her to be strong and not be hurt by him, yet wanting to know that this had meant something to her… because these emotions swirling through him were bewildering. “Shea, sweetheart, there’s something more going on here.”
“But there’s not.” Her voice was soft, yet flat. Quiet. Her expression was serene and cool. “There can’t be. You know that. You’re not staying here. You’re here to do your report, and then you’ll be gone.”
That fucking report. The lie that would ruin her town. Rhys ducked his gaze.
Yeah, about that report.
“But that’s—” he murmured.
Shea’s fingers pressed against his lips, hushing his argument. “Rhys, all I want is right now. I want to sit here with you in the firelight. I want you to kiss me and to hold me.” She lowered her voice and whispered, “I want you to fuck me.”
What the fuck was wrong with him? This was tearing him to pieces. Damn, he wanted her. He’d have to be dead not to. But, while this all felt so right, everything suddenly felt so incredibly wrong. His part in all this was shit. She had let him inside her, she had trusted him and made him come so fucking hard.
But she would have never touched him had she known the truth.
He shook his head. “Shea—” he uttered through the heavy weight in his chest.
Abruptly, Shea turned and rose up before him, tossing her blanket to the floor. The warm firelight made her bare skin glow, threw shadows across her naked body. The desire became painful as he felt her hands tangle into his hair. Her vulnerability disappeared, and she was suddenly all powerful before him, eradicating the guilt and the regret and replacing them with passion and need.
“Fuck me, Rhys,” she whispered, and her lips crashed down on his. She wrapped her arms around him as her tongue darted into his mouth, sweeping across his.
His hands lifted to her hips. The slightest fragment of his mind still screamed. Tell her. But with her soft, smooth skin beneath his hands, with her warmth and her fevered kiss, she quieted the last shred of his conscience. Her hands sifted through his hair and came forward to cup his jaw, scraping her nails across the unshaven angles, and he surrendered himself to her exquisite touch with a shuddering moan.
Shea lifted her head. “Please, Rhys,” he heard her softly moan. “I ache. I burn. Don’t talk. Please… just taste me.”
Her hands sifted back through his hair, pulling lightly to guide his lips to her delicious breasts. He ravenously sucked and nipped, feeling a tremulous shiver run through her at his touch. Shea cried out as he drew deeply, massaging one breast with a rough, callused hand as he devoured the other, then switched. She was so soft, so sweet. Her skin was heavenly in his mouth. Her moans made him throb painfully with a need to lose himself again inside her.
Suddenly, she pulled away. He began to reach for her, but she slipped down to her knees before him and tugged at the blanket he had wrapped around his hips. For a second, she stared at his length, and his heart stopped as she licked her lips and smiled up at him with a heated gaze. She lowered her head and her tongue darted out to sweep along the head of his cock. Her breath caressed him before she licked again, her lips closing over the tip and suckling firmly.
Rhys was pretty sure he had found Elysium.
He watched her as her tongue started at the base and laved up his length, her hand bracing him firmly. Again, her soft, hot lips closed over him and took him to the back of her throat.
“Oh fuck, Shea…” Rhys groaned.
“Your mouth…” he could barely form words. “Your hot little tongue. Oh fucking hell. That’s… Oh…”
She ran her tongue along him again, exploring the smooth, hard shaft with precision, intensely savoring the taste of him… of herself on him. She slipped her hand across her breast and down her stomach to her own sex as she drew him deep down her throat again. He watched her fingers delve into her wet depths and her moan vibrated against the head of his dick, causing him to nearly detonate right then and there.
“Oh, yeah, sweetheart… play with your pussy,” Rhys whispered.
“Do you like that?” Her breath was hot as she whispered against him, over him, around him. “Do you like when I touch myself there?”
“Jesus… fuck… fucking hot.”
Her deep inner muscles were still contracting from her orgasm, and they tightened around him. As he pushed into her, she drew him deeper. She gripped to keep him as he withdrew.
The friction was awesome.
“Oh, you feel so good, sweetheart. So hot and wet. So tight.” Rhys reached for one of her ankles, pulling it up to his shoulder, and she compressed around him even tighter. “Fuuuuuuuck, yeah… clamp down on me,” he breathed out with short labored gasps. Their wet skin slapped together, and she began to tremble and convulse beneath him. He watched her as she came apart again, crying out and sobbing incoherently. Seeing her so free, seeing her expression soften and her eyes flicker open to look deeply into his. A fierce shudder ripped through him and he groaned. “Shea… I can’t hold it…”
For a moment, Rhys felt like his heart stopped beating, as though he was dying from the intense rush of pleasure that surged forth from him. He collapsed on top of her, still buried deep inside, still feeling the contractions of her beautiful pussy tightening around him.
He would have sold his soul at that moment to stay right there, a part of her, forever. Shea attempted to draw a breath, and the struggle roused him enough that he lifted up above her a little, putting his weight on his elbow.
He looked down at her, at her dark lashes fanning across her cheeks. The rise and fall of her soft breasts as she relaxed, bathed in the dancing light of the fire. She was practically listless… spent.
She was heaven personified.
Little by little, the poisonous guilt crept back into his heart.
She barely responded as Rhys lifted her and the blanket and carried her back over to the couch. He tucked her along the back, pulling the soft blanket over her. Moving quickly, he placed another piece of wood on the fire and stoked the blaze a bit before he joined her, pulling her close and tugging the blanket over the top of them.
He had to tell her.
He breathed a heavy sigh and pressed his lips against her forehead. His arms tightened around her and nuzzled his face into her hair.
“Shea, we really should talk about this…”
“No,” she breathed sleepily against his chest. Sated and fulfilled. “It will just ruin it. Sleep… we really need to sleep,” she yawned heavily and closed her eyes as she curled into his embrace. His fingertips traced the softness of her skin, along her shoulder and down her back.
“Shea…” he murmured again.
Shea didn’t respond. She was out cold, sleeping soundly against his twisted, tortured heart.
“Fuck, Shea,” he whispered against her hair. “What am I going to do about you?”
Rhys knitted his brow thoughtfully as their waitress came over to get their order. Shea looked up and muttered a very unladylike, “Aw, shit,” at the young girl who appeared at the table. Rhys looked up.
Hmm, she looked relatively familiar. He’d met her at the store, and again at the bar. What was her name? Brittany? No, wait… Trinity. And her eyes were wide as she took in the sight of Shea and Rhys at the table before her.
“Um, hey… Shea…” and turning to Rhys, she flushed deeply. “Rhys… You guys are, like… on a date or something?”
Shea groaned and planted her forehead in her palm, causing Rhys to smile.
“Um, yeah… took me a while, but I finally talked her into dinner. Gotta feed her now and then, you know. I can’t just keep her tied to the bed all the time.”
Shea’s head shot up in shock, and Trinity looked as though she was about to faint.
“Shea,” Rhys continued as though he hadn’t just said anything remotely scintillating, “do you know what you’d like?” He looked over at her stunned expression. “New York steak or filet mignon? Or, what’s the special tonight?”
“Um…” Trinity gasped, “Prime rib.”
“Sounds good to me. How about you, sweetheart?” he grinned back over at her. She was still stunned, but he could see a flicker of anger beginning to burn in her eyes. God, she was fun to rile up.
“Prime rib is fine,” she said shortly. “And a Glacier Select Ale, please. No glass…”
Rhys nodded at her selection of the local microbrew. “Same for me, please.” He shot Trinity a smile as she rushed off to the kitchen. “Why are you always doing that to me?” Shea demanded as soon as the young girl had left their table. “Is it like your goal in life to mortify me in front of that girl?” Rhys chuckled and reached across the table for her hand, smoothing his fingertips over her painted nails. Remembering how these hands had clenched against his shoulders, tangled in his hair, stroked his cock. Beautiful little hands. “Honestly?”
“No, I want you to lie to me,” Shea sarcastically ground out. “What the fuck? Yes, honestly.”
“I love to see your eyes sparkle like they do when you get all feisty. The flush in your cheeks.” His voice lowered. “The way you draw in a deep breath and it pushes your tits out so beautifully. You’re incredibly sexy when you’re mad.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sibylla lives with her husband and hero who saved her from her own calamitous, young-adult self. He makes her laugh daily, even when things are tough. He's proved to her that love really can heal a shattered soul. In 18 years, they have never had a fight, although argue regularly with their two teenage kids who have, unfortunately, inherited their father’s quick wit (unfortunate as it is a quick wit that Sibylla, herself, definitely does not possess – there is a reason she is a writer & not a stand-up comedian). They live a quiet life with their two weird little rescued Chiweenies. Wait… teenagers & little yap-dogs? OK, maybe not so quiet.
IN THE FIRELIGHT BY SIBYLLA MATILDE
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