Unleashed by Caitlin Crews

Unleashed

Book 1 of The Hotel Temptation Series
HEAT LEVEL:
Down & Dirty

She’s had fantasies…
…now he’s bringing them to life!

Notorious seducer Thor Ragnarsson runs the scandalous Hotel Viking in Reykjavik, where tourists go to fulfil their wildest fantasies. When strait-laced American professor Margot Cavendish gets snowed in while studying Icelandic sex culture, Thor challenges her inhibitions with some very hands-on research—soon, she’s exploring every inch of his delicious body. It’s only one night of passion, but when the snowstorm clears they’re left aching for more…

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“I’m sorry,” the overly polite receptionist said from behind the polished surface of the gleaming marble desk in Hotel Viking’s iconic lobby. “The weather has turned foul. There will be no possibility of returning to Reykjavík tonight.”

Professor Margot Cavendish squared her shoulders as if the woman had taken a swing at her, and forced a smile. It wouldn’t do to let her irritation get the better of her, especially when she was mostly—okay, entirely—annoyed with herself.

She’d seen the weather with her very own eyes. She’d known that coming all the way out to this remote village was a risk, especially when there’d been no indication that the man she’d come to see would take a few minutes out of his busy schedule of sin and temptation to meet with her. He hadn’t condescended to answer her emails or bothered to return her calls. And yet she’d gone ahead and come all this way anyway.

This was what she got for being spontaneous, she told herself darkly.

“It was snowing on the way here,” she said, as if she could argue her way back to the little flat she was renting in central Reykjavík during her semester sabbatical. “It was a little slippery, but fine.”

That wasn’t entirely true. The road over the mountains had been treacherous. The snow had been coming down much harder up high than it had been in the city. But her taxi driver had been undeterred. And Margot was used to blustery Midwest winters at the University of Iowa where she’d taught in the humanities department since completing her doctorate a few years back.

She wasn’t afraid of a little snow. But she’d never spent a winter this close to the arctic, either.

“It’s a developing storm, I’m afraid.” The woman typed ferociously on her keyboard as if she was transmitting that same information to the public as she spoke. The tag on her chest read Freyja. “These winter storms are so unpredictable. It might very well clear up by morning.”

“By morning?”

Margot’s voice was too loud in the hushed, expensive lobby, which made her want to cringe. There was something about this place that got under her skin: its epic pageant of ice and fire on display wherever she went; elves and trolls and sagas wherever she looked, in one form or another. Like this hotel, a monument to sin that its reclusive owner somehow made seem attractive when Margot thought it should all be seedy. She could imagine the sort of things that must go on here, even if she hadn’t seen much of it besides this damned lobby.

She forced her shoulders down an inch from where they’d crept up toward her ears. “You can’t be suggesting I stay here overnight?”

She might or might not have emphasized the word here a bit too much.

The previous owner of the famous Hotel Viking, larger-than-life Daniel St. George, had died in a dramatic car accident in Germany some months before. His will had divided up his boutique hotel properties to the sons it had always been rumored he’d littered about the globe, though he’d never acknowledged them while alive. One of those assets had been Hotel Viking, the remote Icelandic hotel and resort that billed itself as the first and last stop in international fantasy. And it was only a couple of hours outside Reykjavík in good weather, so Margot had decided she had to go see it for herself.

Her current research project was all about Iceland and its reputation as the most feminist country in the world. Specifically, she was interested in sex and how Iceland’s famous and highly alcoholic hookup culture intersected with those feminist principles—because to Margot’s mind, those things didn’t go together. She’d been in Reykjavík for almost a month already, consulting with colleagues at the University of Iceland and conducting interviews with as many locals as she could convince to talk with her on any given late night out there on Laugavegur—the famous street where so much of Reykjavík’s nightlife happened—as they stumbled from bar to nightclub in the cold.

The name that kept cropping up was Thor Ragnarsson, the brand-new owner of the iconic Hotel Viking and the eldest of Daniel St. George’s sons and heirs. Thor, who they whispered personally practiced all the many wicked things his guests got up to at the hotel. Thor, who seemed to embody all the things Margot liked least about men—in bed and out.

Overtly sexual. Too physical.

Not that it mattered what kind of sex the man had in his private life, of course. Margot wanted to know what he thought about sex in general, that was all.

Of course that was all. Even if she was trapped here.

His secretary had politely refused all requests for an interview when Margot had started calling instead of emailing. So she’d decided to just show up today and see what happened.

But she hadn’t gotten past the lobby. Freyja had been polite but firm. The hotel proper was accessible only to its guests because complete privacy was its central promise, and Mr. Ragnarsson was unavailable for even a five-minute chat. It had been foolish for Margot to come here.

And now she had to pay for it.

“There are worse places to be snowed in,” Freyja was saying. “After all, we’re a hotel. There are those who get stuck in the snow out on the roads in these conditions and must hope for rescue.”

“Yes, but…”

“Why don’t you go and sit in our bar,” Freyja suggested. “Have a drink. Relax. And I’ll see how we can accommodate you tonight.”

It wasn’t as if Margot had a choice. She could see the way the snow was beating down outside. It swirled around on the other side of the glass entry doors with visibility of about an inch, leaving her well and truly trapped. She’d let herself grow complacent this past month in Reykjavík, clearly. She’d imagined that she could handle the snow the way the locals seemed to so easily.

And it had certainly never occurred to her that she could find herself stranded in a sex hotel. The whole building felt swollen with dark passions, with an undercurrent of sensuality weaving in and around everything, even the cheerful flower arrangements that adorned all the tables.

It was…disconcerting.

Margot had always viewed her body as an afterthought. She was a woman of intellect, not rampant, unchecked desires. She liked sex the way anyone did. Meaning, she enjoyed it. At its best it was fun. But she didn’t hunger for it. She certainly wouldn’t check into a special hotel to have particular kinds of operatic sex—mostly because she didn’t like opera that much when it was sung, much less acted out in the flesh.

But Margot kept her thoughts on sex hotels and operas to herself. She nodded stiffly at Freyja, then made her way from the reception desk across the lobby toward the great, high doors on the far side that looked like they belonged on a Viking longhouse and led into the bar.

Hotel Viking was beautiful, as befit the exorbitant cost of even a single night’s stay. It married the typical Scandinavian starkness of this part of the world with opulent details better suited to something more traditionally European and decadent, and somehow made it all work. And Margot found the hotel itself seemed to soothe her as she walked, not unlike a cool caress from a—

Get a grip, she ordered herself. She was not going to succumb to the sensual promise of this place. She wasn’t a guest here. She didn’t need a pageant with her orgasm when she could come happily and quickly and move on. She was an academic observer, that was all.

And she didn’t like the fact she had to remind herself of that.

Almost as if she was afraid of what would happen if she surrendered to this place. As if the lure of it was that powerful, even while she was doing nothing more salacious than walking across a lobby.

Margot dismissed that notion almost in the same instant. She wasn’t afraid. She was a tenured professor back home, a position that had required single-minded determination to achieve. She was a strong and capable woman, wholly self-reliant, to the point that her two last attempts at relationships had complained bitterly about her independence on their way out the door.

Good riddance, Margot had thought, once the sting of each departure had faded. Because she didn’t believe that independence was anything to be ashamed of.

And she certainly didn’t think that finding herself snowed in for the night in a sex hotel was any reason to fear she might lose that independence.

Annoyed with herself, she pushed through the double doors that looked like something out of Beowulf and walked into the bar. She couldn’t remember a time she’d ever needed a glass of wine more.

Inside, it was far more ornate than the lobby. Deep reds and golds somehow merged with a kind of industrial feel that, once again, shouldn’t have worked as well as it did. The light was dim and suggestive. There were seats grouped together in intimate little clusters, taking advantage of the deep shadows. Unearthly Icelandic music played while various configurations of hotel guests talked. Flirted. And maybe did more than that under the stout wooden tables where no one could see.

Stop seeing sex everywhere, she ordered herself.

Margot ordered a drink from the friendly bartender and carried a gratifyingly large glass of wine to a little booth facing the windows on the far side of the bar, where she couldn’t begin to figure out the relationships on display at all the other tables even if she wanted to. Instead, she had a front-row seat to the storm wreaking havoc outside.

Every now and again she saw glimpses of the surging sea far below, pounding against the obsidian volcanic rock the way it had done forever on this remote, northern island. But everything else was the snow. The wind rattled the windows, but it wasn’t threatening now that she was sunk deep into a comfortable seat, safe and warm.

And yet a kind of threat seemed to roll over her anyway, making her skin prickle.

“Excuse me, I—”

Margot stiffened. She lifted a hand without looking up, stopping whatever was happening before it started.

“Thank you,” she said coolly. “But I’d prefer to be alone.”

“You are trapped in an isolated hotel in the middle of a blizzard,” came the amused, decidedly male voice again, English spoken with an Icelandic accent that kicked its way down her spine like another caress. “It would be difficult to find more solitude than that.”

“I understand that this is a sex hotel,” she said crisply. She turned as she spoke, twisting around in her seat. And then looked up. And up further. And then still further, until she found the face of the man towering over her like a Viking god of old. “But I’m afraid I’m not a sex tourist. I’m just an accidental visitor.”

The man standing beside her seat laughed. Loudly and deeply, as if he might break the windows in another moment if he let himself go. And Margaret was surprised to discover that his laughter seemed to move in her, too. It washed down her back, then spiraled even lower, settling like a fierce heat between her legs.

“This isn’t a brothel,” he said, all that laughter a kind of honey in his voice, and pooling in her, too. It made her feel almost…sticky. It made her very nearly wish that she really was a guest like everyone else. Like him. “What dark tales have you been reading?”

“The reputation of the Hotel Viking speaks for itself.”

Margot was used to traveling alone. It rarely took more than a few cool words and an unapproachable expression on her face to deter unwanted male advances. Especially in Iceland, which prided itself on its civility. But the man standing over her was…different, somehow.

He was so big, for a start. Iceland was filled with tall men, broad of shoulder and long of leg as befit the descendants of Viking raiders. This man was all that, but something else besides. Something more. Every inch of him was packed with lean muscle, as if he carried a leashed danger in every sinew and held it in through sheer force of will.

And yet the way he stood there was easy. Lazy, almost.

Margot was meant to be a clear-eyed observer of humanity in all its complexities, damn it, so she was forced to acknowledge the simple fact that this man was easily the most striking she’d ever seen. He was beautiful, in fact. His hair was a tawny gold, worn in a careless length that looked as if he spent his days raking his fingers through it—or more likely letting others do that for him, if he spent time here.

And he had the face of a saint.

Nordic cheekbones. A carnal mouth.

And eyes so blue they burned.

Good lord, she burned.

“Exactly what have you heard about the hotel?” he asked in that same boneless, effortlessly suggestive way.

Margot tried to school her expression to her usual academic disinterest, but she couldn’t quite get there. Her pulse seemed to be everywhere, too hard and too fast. She fingered the stem of her wineglass and sat back in her chair, hoping she looked as irritated as she wished she felt.

“The hotel is the premiere international destination for extremely high-class pursuits of pleasure,” she said, well aware that she was practically quoting from the website. “In whatever form they might take.”

“Perhaps you misunderstand the word ‘pleasure,’” he replied, but Margot doubted it. Not when she was looking at his mouth, hard and sensual. “A ‘sex hotel’ suggests a certain lack of consent. Prostitutes, for example. There’s none of that here. The Hotel Viking caters to consenting adults.”

“And of course there are no blurred lines,” Margot said, as if she was auditioning to be a Puritan, all pursed lips and clutched pearls, when all she really wanted to know was how he made the word consent sound so hot. “Not in such a fine establishment as this.”

“Some lines are better blurred.” There was a gleam in the wild blue of his eyes that made her think of the northern lights that danced in the skies here, unworldly and impossible all at once. “But lines are not laws. Laws, you will find, are taken very seriously here.”

She felt breathless, which was ridiculous. As if something about the simple fact of this man standing next to her table had reached inside her and scraped her hollow. Margot felt something like…jittery.

It was the storm, she told herself. The unpleasant novelty of finding herself stranded when she couldn’t fix it. She couldn’t walk away. She couldn’t simply call a cab. There was no amount of intellect or cash that could beat back the snow.

Of course she didn’t like it.

Margot told herself that was why she was reacting to this man the way she was. As if he was electric, when she didn’t believe in that kind of thing. She didn’t want it—it was messy and she hated opera and she had no interest in sex hotels on remote Icelandic peninsulas. She had too much work to do.

It was more than time to send him on his way. “It wouldn’t matter if this was a convent. I’m not interested.”

He laughed again, louder and longer than before. And once again, Margot could feel it everywhere, licking all over her like flames against her skin.

“I admire a woman who speaks her mind so distinctly. So there can be no mistake. You would be surprised how many people do not possess that particular talent.”

“And yet here you still are.”

“Forgive me,” the man said, and that mouth of his curved into a smile that Margot absolutely did not feel directly in her breasts. Or in between her legs. Because she liked sex that was fun while it was happening but didn’t interrupt her life afterward. Or even her schedule. She did not like…this. “I didn’t come over here to ask you for a quick little fuck while the snow rages down, as diverting as that sounds. I am Thor Ragnarsson. I believe you’re here to see me.”

He pulled out the seat beside her and settled himself into it, while Margot couldn’t seem to do a single thing but stare in shock.

Her heart was pounding in her chest, and her mind was spinning, desperately trying to figure out how she hadn’t recognized him, while her body was getting a little too…operatic for her peace of mind. It was the angle, maybe. She’d seen pictures of him straight on, not from below, looking up. She might as well have been kneeling before him, head tipped back to receive his cock—

She sat up straighter, ignoring the fact her ears felt red and singed with the force of her embarrassment.

It had to be embarrassment that made her flush like that. It couldn’t be anything else.

“Yes,” she said, stiffly, casting around for her lost professionalism. “Mr. Ragnarsson, of course. I’ve been trying—”

“This is Iceland. We are not so formal. Call me Thor.”

He was watching her intently and she told herself that was why his name seemed to sit there on her tongue like sugar. It wasn’t an unusual name, not here. But there was something about him that made her think less of Icelandic naming traditions and a whole lot more about his namesake. The god of thunder.

The god of sex, they’d called him back in Reykjavík, with those suggestive little laughs.

She fought back a little shudder.

“Thor, then,” she corrected herself. “I’ve emailed and left a number of messages. I am—”

“I know who you are. The American professor who wants to talk about sex.”

There was no reason that should have sounded the way it did—intimate, suggestive—when it was the simple truth.

“Sex in a cultural sense, not a personal one,” she clarified. “In case that’s unclear.”

His mouth curved again and its effect was even more pronounced when she was this close to him, tucked away in these high-backed chairs that concealed them from the rest of the bar. It was impossible not to notice how beautiful he was, there next to the howling storm outside. As if they were made of the same fury.

“Noted,” he said, those eyes lit with suppressed laughter.

And something else she chose to ignore, because it felt a little too much like a kind of aria, lighting her up from the inside out.

Margot fumbled with her bag, reaching for her notebook. “I have some questions to ask you. I’m mostly interested in how you think this hotel complicates the feminist reputation of Iceland’s women, particularly in a sexual sense.”

But when she wrestled her notebook to the table and looked up again, Thor was only sitting there in the same lazy way, studying her as if she fascinated him. As if she was the subject under consideration, not him.

Which she should not have found at all sexy.

“That is a very boring question.”

She’d been staring at his mouth, so it took too long to process his actual words. “I beg your pardon?”

“Is that really what you want to know? You could have put that in an email. Instead, you took it upon yourself to drive out from Reykjavík. You tried to argue your way past my reception desk. All this because you wanted to know such a tedious thing?”

There was something fluttering deep inside of her, making her entirely too aware of the growing heat and softness between her legs.

“So your answer is that you find feminism silly?”

“Not at all. I celebrate it.”

He lounged there in his seat as if it was a throne and she was entirely too aware of him. The way his shoulders fit in the jacket he wore over a T-shirt that clung to the sculpted planes of his chest. How very long his legs were, thrust out before him. The way his hands moved on the arms of his chair, his fingers long and clever. He looked like what he was: a very confident, even arrogant man, who clearly imagined himself the winner in any game he chose to play.

But Margot had never been very good at losing.

“How exactly do you celebrate feminism?” she asked, her gaze steady on his, because she was the professor and he was the pervert, no matter the odd little scenarios that kept playing on repeat in her head. If she really did kneel. If he moved a little closer, here where no one could see. If he pressed into her from behind, her skin flushed and hot against the cold glass of the windows… But she had to stop this madness. “Is it by throwing one of your sex parties?”

“There’s nothing I love more than a woman who knows her own mind and every inch of her own body,” Thor told her, his teeth flashing in a grin that was much too dangerous for a man who looked so at his ease. Or maybe it was just too dangerous for her, because she couldn’t seem to breathe past it. “I find nothing sexier than equality, particularly in bed.”

It took everything Margot had not to squirm in her seat. She didn’t want to think about him in bed.

And she couldn’t seem to think about anything else.

“By your response, am I to assume that you think feminism is a sexual act?”

“It is when I do it,” he said, amusement flickering over his face. “But perhaps not for you, of course. You have my condolences.”

“I would prefer if you keep things professional,” she said, but for the first time in her academic life, she wasn’t sure that was true.

“I know all about your research, Dr. Cavendish,” he said, and Margot was certain she detected a mocking inflection to the way he said her name. Because, of course, Icelanders did not use titles or even surnames for that matter. “I’ve been receiving reports of you almost from the very moment you set foot on our little volcanic island.”

Margot frowned. “Reports?”

“If it had appeared that your questions bothered my customers, I would have had to encourage you to conduct your experiments elsewhere. You understand.”

Margot’s frown deepened. “You can’t think—”

“But all you have collected are stories.”

There was something in the way he said that that made her stop protesting. She found herself leaning forward, as if compelled against her will, except that couldn’t be right. Margot made it a point never to do a single thing she didn’t want to do.

Did that mean she wanted this? Him?

Because when Thor smiled at her, all thunder and heat, she just wanted to melt.

“Have you ever asked yourself what would happen if you stopped recording secondhand stories and found out for yourself?” he asked idly.

Though there was nothing idle about the way he looked at her.

She sat straighter, because it was that or succumb to the madness coursing through her veins, making her imagine…all kinds of things. Operas and perversities, decadent and lush, and his hands all over her while they did them. “Let me guess. This is where you offer to get into my pants, for the good of my research.”

“Icelanders fuck, Dr. Cavendish.” He lounged there, as intent and watchful as he was boneless. “They do not waste all this time talking. Fuck first, then, if it is any good, perhaps talk a little. Haven’t you already discovered this in all your research?”

She nodded, trying to pull herself together. “It’s that exact permissiveness that interests me.”

“There are some things that intellect cannot help you with. I think you’ll find that sex is one of them.”

Margot sat back in her chair. “I see no one has told you the most powerful sexual organ in a woman’s body is her brain.”

“You say that,” Thor said, a rich vein of laughter in that deep voice of his. “But I’ve had a remarkable amount of success with the clit.”

Which meant she could do nothing but feel that laughter in hers.

“Exactly what are you offering?” she asked, perhaps more harshly than necessary, crossing her legs against the intense throbbing sensation where she least wanted it. “If you wanted to hit on me, you should have said so from the start.”

“This ‘hitting’ on you,” he said, as if he was unfamiliar with the term. “As if attraction is an assault. Is that how you see sex? Is that an American thing—or is it you?”

Margot didn’t like that his comment landed, hard. It made her feel a little dizzy. “It’s a figure of speech.”

“Surely an academic such as yourself loves nothing more than to dig her claws into figures of speech.”

“Because you have a vast interest in academic pursuits, of course.”

“In pursuits, yes. Not necessarily of the academic variety.”

“They told me at the reception desk that I was trapped here for at least the night,” Margot said crisply. “Possibly more than one night, if the storm rages on. Is this the price of a room? Sex with you?”

The amusement in his gaze shifted, growing darker and more focused at once. For a long moment, he didn’t speak. He only watched her, and she thought she could see a muscle tense in his lean jaw.

Holding her gaze, Thor reached into the pocket of his jacket and drew out a key. It was an old-fashioned key with an exuberant flourish on its end. He placed it on the table between them with a decisive click.

“This is your room key,” he told her quietly. She was riveted by the thunder that stormed around beneath those seemingly soft words. “There is no price. You may stay until the storm blows itself out, with my compliments.”

“Did I…did I offend you?” she asked, not certain why that possibility seemed to tilt madly inside of her, as if she was on some kind of roller coaster.

“It is my mistake,” Thor said, with a faint smile. “This is a cultural thing, I think. Icelanders talk very openly about sex. Having it, not having it. Who they wish to have it or not have it with. Offers are made, accepted, rejected. This happens all the time. I would have thought you’d know this, given your field of study.”

Once again, Margot felt off balance, and she hated it. “Is this the part where you try to make me feel badly, as if I’m somehow unsophisticated and repressed for calling you out?”

“You can call me whatever you wish,” Thor said, his voice deeper, somehow. Or maybe that was just how it felt inside her, where her body was acting as if it belonged to someone else. Someone who wanted sex to be a whole lot more than enjoyable. “I do not require payment for kindness. It insults me that you might think otherwise, but I understand. You come from a place where sexual politics are significantly more adversarial. You cannot help but fight, no matter what it is that you want.”

Margot didn’t know which was drier, her lips or her throat. Especially when he shrugged as if she was that easily summarized. That easily understood.

“And I suppose you’re here to tell me what it is that I want?”

“I don’t think it’s accidental that you chose to come to my sex hotel.” And the way he said those words, sex hotel, were like sharp blades. “On the day of a storm.”

“You think I planned to strand myself in a snowstorm?” Margot laughed and told herself it wasn’t the least bit forced. “For this? For you?”

He didn’t laugh. “I like sex. I’m not afraid of it.”

“I’m not afraid of sex.”

But there was something in the denial that made her wish she could snatch the words back. Especially when his blue gaze seemed hotter. Wilder.

“Maybe you are and maybe you’re not.” He shrugged. “What I know about you is that you have done nothing but watch. What I can offer you is the opportunity to do a little fieldwork.”

“Fieldwork?” She blinked. “Is that a joke?”

“I never joke,” he said, deadpan. “I’m far too perverse. Do you need to get to know someone before you sleep with them?”

“You say that as if it’s a bad thing.”

“Not at all,” Thor said. “But in Iceland, that’s back to front. I could sit here and tell you my life story or you could come to my rooms with me and I will show you. It will be there in the chemistry between us, or not. Every answer to every question you have, laid out before you clearly and inarguably.”

“Because you’re that good in bed.”

Thor laughed, though it was quieter than before. And somehow, she thought, more volatile. “I don’t believe in ‘good in bed.’ Either people connect or they don’t. One woman’s sex god is another’s dud. It is all chemistry.”

“What if we have no chemistry?”

He smiled at that and it felt like fire. Then he leaned forward, putting his hand on the table, his palm up.

“Maybe we don’t.” He nodded at his hand. “Why don’t you touch me and see.”

Margot ordered herself to remain calm. She couldn’t remember the last time a man had tied her into knots the way this one was doing so effortlessly.

Was that chemistry? Or was she in over her head with this latter-day Viking?

This was her opportunity to put them back on proper footing. Before things spiraled even farther out of control.

But Margot wasn’t one to back down from a challenge. Instead of turning it over and over in her head the way she probably should have, she leaned forward and slid her hand over his.

She expected him to be strong. For his hand to be warm and to envelope hers the way it did. But the contact jolted through her like a flash of lightning, and she had to bite back the involuntary little noise she made.

Not that it mattered. She could see from the burning thing in his gaze that he felt it too. And more, that he had heard her.

As if he could feel that same lightning. As if it crackled in them both.

“Here is your opportunity to be less American and more Icelandic,” Thor said, his voice rougher than before. Lower. “You’ve been trying to talk to me for weeks now. This is your opportunity. “

“You’re not offering to talk.”

“Oh, don’t worry,” Thor murmured. His palm slid against hers as he flipped her hand over. “I’m fluent in all kinds of languages.”

Margot fought the urge to yank her hand away from his. Because there was too much sensation, suddenly. Because she’d completely lost control of this interaction. Because there was a part of her that didn’t quite know what to do with all the wild things she could feel storming around inside of her, competing with the swirling snow outside the window.

Be practical, she ordered herself. Think this through.

It was unorthodox, certainly. But she would be lying if she tried to pretend that she hadn’t wondered what it would be like to be one of those Icelandic girls, casual in ways she had never quite managed to be.

Margot had never had sex with a stranger. She wasn’t the kind of woman men tended to pick up in bars. Because she was generally unimpressed with drunken attempts at conversation. And because she preferred to spend her time in libraries and classrooms. The men in her life had always been like her, academic and intellectual and more interested in an intense conversation than sex.

Not so intensely physical and overwhelming that she’d forgotten they weren’t alone in the room.

Maybe it was time to see what all the fuss was about. And who better than Iceland’s god of sex?

“It would be for research purposes only,” she heard herself say.

Thor’s impossibly carnal mouth curved. But his eyes were like flame. “Of course.”

“Just sex,” Margot said. “And only during the storm.”

“If you insist.”

“I do insist.” There was something about the way he was regarding her then, leashed and ready, as if he knew something she didn’t. As if he knew her better than she knew herself, which Margot didn’t like at all, no matter how wet the notion made her. “And no kissing.”

She wasn’t sure he would agree to that and the more she stared at his mouth, the more she wondered why she’d said it in the first place. Because the urge to lean forward then, to crawl across the table between them and set her mouth to his, was nearly overwhelming.

But that half smile of his only deepened.

“No kissing,” he agreed.

“Great,” she said brightly, as if they were discussing the kind of sex she studied, not the kind she was going to have. “I’m sure one round with the self-styled king of fantasy will be a perfect experiment.”

Thor took his time standing up from his chair. He didn’t let go of her hand, so Margot found herself standing with him. For a moment it was awkward, and then he pulled her toward him until she was this close to falling against his big, broad chest.

And worse, wanted to.

“I do love an experiment,” he said, in a kind of drawl, all command and blue fire. “But prepare yourself, Professor, because it won’t be just once.”

End of excerpt

Print: Oct 4, 2018

eBook: Oct 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0263932362

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