A new adventure…
Camellia “Cam” Saxon struggles not to pinch herself. Is she really here, as a guest in the castle of the world’s most mysterious royal family, working on the only western film crew allowed on the island of Arcadia? A year ago, she was the girl who finished college with a sigh instead of a bang, moving on to a safe job and a steady suburban routine without a blink. Until she receives a call from a film graduate buddy that will change everything.
A dangerous desire…
Cam’s excitement turns to dread inside one instant–as soon as she lays eyes on Evrest Cimarron. Beautiful, chiseled, commanding, and regal, he turns her logic into ash and her blood into fire–making it damn near impossible to remember the crown on his head. As an Arcadian alone, Evrest must be thrust onto Cam’s don’t-even-go-there column. As the leader of the kingdom, he must also be the face on her delete key–a fantasy never to be fed…ever.
A journey to the forbidden…
A mishap lands Cam in Evrest’s most secret chambers, surrounded by luxury beyond imagination–and seduced by a creature who is no longer charming host and alluring king but powerful, passionate man–who craves nothing but her in his arms. Beneath Evrest’s touch, Cam learns she has new identities, too, The sensible girl is abandoned for a woman of dark and sinful desires . It’s the most incredible night of her life. The most perfect man she’s known. The most flawless fit for her soul. A mistake she can never make again.
Cam Saxon has a mostly satisfying life with her good job, a boss she really does like, a good car and, a retirement plan in place despite her youth. Cam also has an ex-boyfriend she can’t seem to say no to, a pool of virtually untapped talent in the filmmaking department and, an opportunity to work in a place that few Westerners have ever been granted access to. Acradia is a small island run by the Cimarron family, men and women who constantly grace the covers of all the gossip magazines yet remain intensely private. Heading up the family is Evrest Cimarron, Arcadia’s king, the man who is trying to pull his home and his people into the modern world and, star of many of Cam’s naughtiest fantasies.
From the moment Cam arrives on Arcadia, she is enamored. The island, secluded and mostly cut off from the rest of the world, is a hidden treasure with a stunning landscape, cultured and sophisticated residents and, an actual castle that is home to the royal family. In an effort to foster good relations between Arcadia and the rest of the world, the Cimarrons have agreed to allow Cam and crew to live in the palace while filming is ongoing. Thinking the dream couldn’t possibly get any better, Cam is blown away the first night when she is introduced to King Evrest Cimarron. In the moment their hands touch, everything Cam thought she knew about her life changes and the course of a once isolated nation is altered radically.
Bound by tradition and the law, Evrest Cimarron will choose his bride from a highly specific group of women who have been chosen to live with him for an extended period of time until he chooses from among the group. These women are among Arcadia’s most beautiful, well-educated and cultured citizens yet none among the group effects Evrest in the way Cam Saxon does. His introduction to and contact with Cam is something Evrest never intended nor imagined but from the moment he meets her, Evrest is determined to have her. It’s good to be king but even a king has responsibilities and though Evrest certainly meets all of his responsibilities, he also takes a very real interest in the film being made on his island. Every available moment away from his job is spent with the crew (and by that I totally mean Cam) or with Cam alone if at all possible. It takes very, very little time for Evrest to realize that Cam is so much more than a distraction and being with her becomes a need more than a want.
Cam was warned explicitly about interacting with the royal family and in any way compromising the enormous honor of being allowed to film on the island. The consequences for any infraction are severe and Cam has no interest in being sent home in shame. She works hard to keep her head down and stay out of the way but an unfortunate wrong turn late one night puts Cam in the direct of line of Evrest Cimarron. Not only does Cam stumble into one of Evrest’s most private rooms, she stumbles in at a most naughty moment. The sparks were already there but when the two come together for the first time a full blown explosion occurs. The meetings between Cam and Evrest are illicit, smoldering hot, the stuff fantasies are made of and, completely wrong on so many levels. Cam and Evrest are undeniably attracted to one another but anything beyond their late night encounters is absolutely forbidden. Cam has no desire to be a dirty little secret and Evrest feels honor bound to do what is best for his country and his people. As filming continues, Cam and Evrest do their best to hide their feelings for one another but some things are simply too big and too difficult to hide. As events begin to unfold, a few among the chosen take exception to Cam’s presence, Cam’s life is threatened more than once and, Evrest must decide if following his heart is worth what it could cost him.
The Bottom Line: In the interest of full disclosure, I came so very close to DNFing this book because of its first several chapters. Damn, I’m so glad I didn’t give in and give up because the rest of the read was so worth the somewhat crappiness of the first several chapters. Once Cam and crew make it to Arcadia, the story takes off at breakneck speed and doesn’t slow down one bit. Payne has created a beautiful if isolated world on Arcadia that is completely different from anything Cam and her friends have ever encountered. The backstory of Arcadia is woven into the plot and makes the circumstances surrounding Cam and Evrest all the more interesting. These two may be smoking hot and so very clearly made for one another but there are many, many factors that each has to consider before taking their union beyond the bedroom. I found each factor to be as interesting as the next, I found some surprises in this read and, I found all of the characters (except Cam’s ex, he’s a tool!) to be entertaining, interesting and, fully developed. The sex is great but it doesn’t overshadow the plot or the characters and is certainly appropriate to the overall story. It’s good and dirty in case you are wondering 🙂 In all, if you can hang on to this read until the crew gets to Arcadia, the read is well worth it!
He stopped me with another blood-melting kiss. And a lot more.
The second our mouths slammed again, he hauled me up from the mattress, molding my body against his, stopping our clutch long enough to growl out a single directive. “On your knees, Camellia.” As soon as I curled my legs in compliance so our upright torsos were smashed tight, he claimed my lips again, growing our passion with longing, plunging sweeps of his mouth. New position? Definite thumbs up. I now had the chance to explore the sinewy plateaus of his back before scratching down the slopes of his shoulders.
Gaaahhh. He was…breathtaking. A living work of art, captivating me anew every time he moved. I longed to beg for a whole day of just touching him—though now, with his cock fitted against my cleft, the request got shoved to the bottom of the priorities list. Impatience, almost anxiety. Hell, how I craved him inside me, hot and huge and—
Only my jeans remained between us. Not an issue for much longer if I could help it.
I slipped my hands from his shoulders to take care of it, but had only the button twisted free when Evrest grabbed me by both wrists, wrenching them over my head.
My fingers collided with something…metal? I looked up. Sure enough, he wound my grip around a shiny steel rod, suspended on chains from the bed’s sturdy canopy support system.
Okaayyy. Interesting. My pulse tripled, easily acknowledging a fresh flood of sensations. Fear. Excitement. Fear again. What the hell now? The stare I shot to Evrest yielded what I anticipated—his alpha wolf eyes at their strongest, his rugged jaw at its stoniest—conveying his low command before he even uttered it.
“Keep them there.”
My chest pumped as his just had. What a difference a few minutes made. I thought of how he’d surrendered his erection into my hands, trusted me with the most vulnerable part of his anatomy, allowed me to pleasure him…and now, stretched into a similar position, breasts jutting and body stretched, questioned why it was so hard for me to do the same.
Because this reminds you that your body isn’t the only thing bared to him right now? Because with every passing moment, in bigger and bigger chunks, your spirit is investing in this, too? Perhaps even your heart?
I got rid of the thoughts by plunging back into humor. “Ah. So this is the part with the handcuffs.”
One side of his mouth lifted. Not in a smile. “No handcuffs.”
My chest tightened a little more. Another battle between anticipation and trepidation. “Well, where’s the fun in that?”
“No handcuffs. Not needed.” His hands skated down my arms until curving in at my waist. He brought his face closer, angling over me. “You’ll simply obey me, Camellia—because you want to. We both know it.”
“Because I’m a good little girl?” I teased.
“Because you are not.”
He was so close again. His breaths were full of pepper, paprika, and a touch of nectar, a blend of spicy and sweet making me a little dizzy—and a lot aroused. What he demanded of me, with this position alone…the openness, exposure, honesty…exposed so much of me in other ways. My skin was pure electricity. My muscles flexed with readiness. And my sex…hell yes, more than ready. Needing. Clenching.
And wet. So damn wet…
“Your blood sings in the key of naughty, Camellia. And your body…fuck, I can feel it…your sweet, beautiful body hums with the vibration of wicked. And your spirit longs to free it all but you have kept it locked away, in that cage deep inside your soul, simply praying somebody will find it and open the door.” As his hands slipped lower, finding the waistband of my jeans, he fit his head into the curve of my neck. “I am going to open your door, Camellia. And you shall step from that cage, free to show me who you really are. Free to give flight to that creature at the backs of your eyes, restlessly pacing, wanting her dark sky to soar in. I am going to light the stars in that sky for you…then watch in awe as you make them all shiver as you pass.”
Hi there. I’m Angel: book lover, writing addict, hopeless romantic, pop culture geek and avid shoe lover. A bit about me… I’ve been hooked on books since I was a kid but it got worse in my twenties, when I discovered romances–the hotter, the better. Growing up in Southern California, with lots of surfer manliness surrounded me, was certainly a good boost for reading about delicious alpha guys and the women who adore them. When I learned I had a knack for telling these stories too, I guess you could say I was doomed–though my path toward romance novelist took a few detours via a concert-reviewing gig for my college newspaper (free show tickets…backstage passes…that was a no-brainer), artist interviews for a Beverly Hills dance music mag, personal assistant work for a record producer, dance club disc jockey, and a lot of fun in the hospitality industry. These days, I still live in California, and have found an amazing alpha guy of my own who was brave enough to marry me. We live on a street that looks like Brigadoon, with our beautiful daughter. I have the best life ever, and never forget to thank the Big Guy Upstairs for it, either.