I've taken a little break lately, but am getting back in gear with my writing. In doing so, I like to check out what's going on that I might have missed. A biggie it seems. My last Christmas novella with Changeling Press, Red Velvet Christmas: Hearth and Home, received 4.5 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies! How sweet is that?
The reviewer, Chrissy, says, "Ayla Ruse’s HEARTH AND HOME is so reminiscent of what many human women face – the unending battle between career and home – that it brought a smile to my face just imagining Nikki’s frustration, especially in light of being paired up with two virile men."
Check out the full review, then find out more about this lively menage of a Christmas tale. It's available everywhere fine ebooks are sold; the links are at the bottom of this post. Because, hey, who says you can only celebrate the holiday in December, right? ;-)
Hearth and Home
Red Velvet Christmas
by Ayla Ruse
Genre/Theme: Christmas, menage (m/f/m), novella, erotic romance, elves
What’s an elf to do when she finds herself between Hearth and Home?
Santa strives for peace and harmony, not only on Earth, but in the Otherworlds as well. This year proves that peacekeeping is no easy task. First, he has an unhappy elf on his hands. Nikki runs one of his gift departments, but the corporate world is not making her happy. She wants a husband and her current elf pickings are slim. Second, Santa’s received a request from two of Bindoal Dimension’s most prominent males…Kobol Home and Braun Hearth need a wife. Santa’s easy solution? Put the three together and let them find a happily ever after.
For Nikki, Kobol and Braun, however, Santa’s gift comes with unexpected surprises. Nikki believes this is a one-night stand. Braun does not care for elves, and Kobol’s afraid Nikki will want to return to the corporate world.
Even though sparks ignite between the three, will this be enough for them to create a happily ever after, or will their expectations make for a regrettable Christmas Eve?
Nikki stirred the zigzag straw through her drink, mesmerized by the swirling colors. She sipped, trying to catch the sparkly green bits. Those were the sweetest and she loved the way they popped on her tongue. Elven bars should serve something this delicious.
"Want another, sweetie?"
Without removing her lips from the straw, Nikki glanced at the bartender. He was handsome, she supposed, for an Otherworlder. His four arms mixed drinks as he spoke, and she briefly wondered what it'd be like to make love to a being with four arms. He could touch her everywhere.
But could he handle a house full of kids? And would she like their father working in bars every night?
She shook her head no, both to the bartender and in answer to her silent questions, and sipped her drink.
The party was growing louder and even sitting at the bar, she was bumped and pushed. She wanted to leave but couldn't.
Santa knew her secret desire for a husband, but as an elf, he also knew their libidos ran high. She'd become depressed recently, and Santa had noticed. He'd said this invite tonight would satisfy her, with no one at the North Pole the wiser.
In the past, she'd had her share of affairs, but affairs did not lead to matrimony. As well, in her position as CEO of the Otherworlders Gift Department, other elves were not willing to become attached to her. In fact, she'd not had a good bout of sexual release since the summer slump. So, Santa had sent her the Otherworlder Christmas Party invite for a night of sex with these instructions: Wear red and cover her ears -- as elves typically weren't allowed at this gathering.
Another drink was set before her, and she realized hers had gone empty. The bartender had fixed her another after all. She mustered up a grin in thanks then guiltily ducked down to the new drink. Instead of drinking all this Otherworlder alcohol, she should look for the male from the Bindoal Dimension Santa had set her up with.
In all honesty, she figured he'd hope she'd get laid fifty ways to Sunday and would tear up the letter of resignation sitting on her desk. Fat chance. She wanted more than a high-level career. She wanted a husband and lots of little elf children. Maybe if she traveled, she could see what other elves there were in the world and find someone special to settle down with.
So why did I come here tonight? She sighed with her internal answer. To get laid.
Despite her longing for a family, her neglected sex drive was desperate. It'd been too many months to count since she'd been with another, and Santa's invite, even though it wouldn't give her the husband she wanted, should at least make her body happy. Too bad, she thought for the umpteenth time, Santa couldn't have given her the husband she wanted.
She glanced around the bar, not for the first time, and tugged on the velvet bow in her hair, making sure her ear tips were covered. Between the dark hair she'd let loose and the obnoxious red bow, she doubted anyone would call her out. Still, she knew to err on the side of caution.
"You're wearing red."
The voice came from behind and to the left of her, and a delicious tingle ran up her spine at the deep timbre. She sat up straight on her raised bar stool, turned his way and still had to tilt her head up to see the speaker.
He appeared human. He was taller and thicker than any elf she knew, and scruffier looking as well. She shivered under his piercing gaze. Strong and sexy, he might make a good husband, but she was undecided as to his fatherly capabilities.
Then she remembered how he'd addressed her.
"Yes, my dress is red," she answered while wondering if the man was color blind.
"I'm sorry for my friend," another voice said from her right. His breath smelled sweet, like a warm sugar cookie, and he had to lean close to be heard over the demon band that had started playing. She turned to see another human-looking man. This one, though, seemed more clean-cut.
Maybe this was the man she was to meet? He was quite sexy.
She gave him a quick study and decided he'd make a handsome husband. He seemed nice enough, at first appearance, and would probably make a good father.
He grinned down at her and she shook her head. What was wrong with her? She was here for sex, but habit had her looking at every man she spoke to as a potential mate. Jeesh.
"It's okay," she yelled back. "Are you from Bindoal?"
He leaned even closer, his lips against the material covering her ears. "Yes. And Santa sent you, right?"
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As always, thank you for stopping by. You'll be "seeing" more of me soon. ^.^
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