Hold ’Em

Hold 'Em by Katie PorterHold 'Em by Katie Porter Seal of Excellence

 

 

 

A man with handcuffs. A woman with a paddle. Both fly F-16s.

Vegas Top Guns, Book 3
Samhain Publishing

Digital Release: September 25, 2012
Digital ISBN: 978-1619210875
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Print Release: August 6, 2013
Print ISBN: 978-1619213562
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Daughter of a world-famous motocross champion, and head-on competitor with three brothers, Captain Leah “Princess” Girardi was born with a need for speed. No one tells her what to do, especially not men with chauvinistic “girls can’t be fighter pilots” attitudes.

That’s what ended her brief relationship with Captain Mike “Strap Happy” Templeton. Now, six years later, he’s been assigned to her squadron, and whoa damn, he’s filled out nicely. Plus he’s cultivated a Zen-like chill factor that pulls at her hormones.

Even after four tours, Mike’s the new kid in the 64th Aggressor Squadron. That’s not the only thing new. Since he last saw Leah, he’s learned a few things about himself. A female who outranks him still makes his teeth grind, but in the bedroom he craves the rush of pain inflicted by an adoring, powerful woman.

Their reunion is an explosive revelation. Leah is the beautiful mistress he’s been searching for, and she takes to her new role like a natural. But Leah’s aware one thing hasn’t changed. Loving him is still an all-or-nothing proposition. She’s not sure her reckless streak is wide enough to risk her career—and her heart.

Warning: This book contains a hot stud on his knees, a woman wielding a paddle, and filthy-gorgeous femdom sex. Also: dangerous rock climbing, two amazing motorcycles and some bad tequila.

***

“…The writing team that is Katie Porter adds unexpected nuance to the stanard BDSM genre. [Mike] and Leah’s maturation are well written and, in an odd way, very sweet. Surprisingly poignant, this is a worthy addition to the series.” ~ RT BookReviews 4½ Star TOP PICK

“Mike was amazing. A sub who is Alpha outside of the bedroom? Sign. Me. Up.”
~ Scorching Book Reviews

“Sexy, aggravating, sadistic, emotional, but best of all, Hold ’Em rocked my world!”
~ Delighted Reader

BONUS CONTENT: Leah, Mike, and a Sex Show…

***

Excerpt

Leah shared the mirth. She was just plain fun. Six years ago, her every waking breath had been plans and strategies and the hard edge of ambition. In truth, it had left Mike cold. Now he could almost forget what awaited them both come Tuesday morning. Him in a simulator. Her in charge.

She shrugged into her flight jacket, as if unconsciously reinforcing Mike’s realization. Pilot. Colleague.

Boredom was making them both fools.

“Leah?”

Pausing, her hands wrapped around her helmet, she tossed loose hair over her shoulder. God, she’d do that if she were riding him—that sharp flick. He swallowed back a groan.

“What?” she asked. “Chickening out? That doesn’t bode well for your future as an Aggressor.”

He grinned at that. She had no idea.

Screw it. Tuesday was a long-ass ways away.

Jacket on, helmet on, he gunned the throttle. One of the valets gave him a thumbs-up, which made him grin all over again. He angled his bike around the semicircular driveway. Leah’s little squeal of an engine revved in reply, right on his tail.

The Strip was almost painfully bright, all neon and shimmer. Leah rode beside him. Her posture was taut and low as if she’d been the professional Motocross racer, not her dad. Did she take nothing by half measures?

For the sake of their evening together, Mike hoped not.

The traffic thinned as they continued back toward base, giving him time enough to wonder if he’d read her wrong. Maybe his hard-up arousal had been feeding him signs that weren’t there. She was just fucking with him. It wasn’t like she had any idea what really awaited her at his place.

No whips, unless you counted the corded tassels on his flogger.

No chains, unless you counted the locks on his wrist restraints.

And none of that was meant for her.

The tiny pink terror of a bike zipped past him. Leah flipped him off then gunned it again. Mike laughed. He couldn’t hear it and could barely feel it, but his laugh was deep and rich. Doubt fizzled to nothing. If ever there were a woman who liked being in charge, it was Princess Leah.

He leaned low over his Harley and let the engine get its growl on. Easily he pulled alongside her and even edged ahead before backing off. The power was there. The sheer blunt muscle. He didn’t need to blow her out of the water to make the point.

A minute later they hauled ass out of the city. The environs around Nellis shrieked military housing, tidy and small. Mike turned onto a side street, amused when Leah had to double back to follow. A few wan streetlights seemed like caveman times compared to the glare of Las Vegas Boulevard.

He steered into his driveway. Leah killed her engine almost in tandem, leaving the night air of that tiny neighborhood suddenly quiet. Her laugh followed as she stripped off her helmet. “Shit, that was fun.”

Mike banked the hard shudder brought on by her satisfied words. “Keep it down, will ya?”

“Says the man on the Harley.” She eyed the little single-car garage as if she’d never seen one before. “Really? Like, a real house?”

“Why not?”

“Your secret isn’t whips and chains, Michael. It’s a wife and three kids.”

“You keep hedging like this and I’ll assume I was right.”

She went toe-to-toe with him, chin up. Although she wasn’t a short woman, she barely came up to his collarbones—more to do with his height rather than her lack of stature. “Right about what?”

“About you being scared.”

Daring her was like cutting a line for an addict. She seemed unable to resist. Her baby-doll eyes took on that heavy-lidded condescension, telling him he wasn’t worth noticing. He stifled the urge to back down and apologize. After all, he stood a better chance of getting what he wanted if she were slightly…pissed off.

Just a little.

“I don’t get scared, Templeton. You should know that about me.”

“Everyone has limits. Secrets. Dark places.”

“Well, that is why we’re here, isn’t it? C’mon then, dungeon master.”

She led the way up to his front door. She led him. Mike hid a grin behind his fist.

He flipped on the overhead light in the entryway, groping around in the unfamiliar space.

“So why the full-on house? Most single guys go for the bachelor pad deluxe.”

“Complete with locker-room-stank smell? Not my style.” He hung his helmet and jacket on a couple of pegs and nodded for Leah to do the same. “You want something to drink?”

This was a test, even if she didn’t know it. If Leah ordered a double Jack and Coke, he’d give up on the idea of anything too elaborate. Rules were important. Rules like no drinking. Both parties needed to know the boundaries and when to stop. He wouldn’t hand his keys to a girl drenched in alcohol, and he wouldn’t hand over his body either.

Leah slipped out of her flight jacket with a shrug. The scent of warm leather clung to her. “Just a soda. Whatever.”

“Cool,” he said on an exhale. “Come on in.”

She followed him through the near-empty rooms, looking everything over. He didn’t have curtains yet. No blinds. The best he’d managed in the bedroom was a heavy blanket over the curtain rod. Their footsteps echoed on the hardwood. The nearly empty house was fit for ghosts to haunt.

Mike grabbed two cans of Coke Zero out of the fridge, which didn’t contain much else. Half and half for his morning coffee. A jug of milk for cereal. Lunch meat and condiments. His cabinets didn’t look much better. “I’d offer you a glass but I can’t remember where I put them.”

“No problem.”

She tabbed it open and took a swallow. Mike found himself staring at the flex of muscles along her throat. He wanted his mouth right there, sucking.

“But no, seriously,” she said. “Why a house?”

He leaned against the countertop, stretching his legs. “Maybe how I was brought up. You know, the rhythm of seasonal chores.”

“No mowing here.”

“You have no imagination. I bet I can get some grass going.” He swigged a few gulps of Coke, glad for a moment to regain his composure. If he could breathe, he could do this right. “Owning is out of the question, obviously, but I like something that sort of pretends to be normal.”

“A man’s bungalow is his castle?”

“Sure. Why not.”

And he waited. No way was the first move going to be his. Her frustration and slight edge of confusion showed in her nervous energy. She was an active, buzzing sort of woman anyway, but without purpose she turned downright fidgety. “So?”

“So?” he echoed.

“You got me here.”

“True.”

She took a deep breath that showed off her rack. Nipples still tight. Goddamn.

“So why haven’t you tried to kiss me yet?”

Mike pinched his fingers around the lip of the countertop. “Because you haven’t told me I could.”

The hauteur was gone. So was any obvious frustration. She narrowed her eyes, using her gaze as a pickax to dig into his brain. He opened up to her inspection. He had nothing to hide. Not anymore.

“What is this about?” she asked carefully. The tone of her voice was soft, slightly awed, as if she perched on the edge of understanding.

Mike’s throbbing dick was begging for her to make that leap.

“Come on. Let me show you something.” He pushed away from the counter and walked with stiff legs to his bedroom. Sitting on the bed, he forced his body to unclench. Breathe.

She stood in the doorway, casually leaning against the frame. But she teased the ends of her hair—a nervous tell. “Mike, talk to me.”

He resisted her command, instead nodding to his bedside table. When he’d unpacked his gear that morning, he certainly hadn’t thought he would be using it so soon. “Open it.”

After a moment’s hesitation, she sauntered forward. “Ah. Your proof, I suppose?”

“Sure.”

Leah slid open the drawer. Her mouth opened on a quiet noise. Eyes wide, she flashed him a questioning glance. He only shrugged.

She reached in, hands unsteady, and removed a length of leather studded with decorative rivets. A tiny padlock dangled from one end.

His wrist restraints.

Mike swallowed. Hard. He could barely hear past the rushing whirl of blood in his ears. That pulse matched the throb in his cock. For what he hoped would be the last time that night, he took the lead. When Leah turned to him once more, her expression a mess of questions, he lifted his arms and presented her with his wrists.