Anne Holly's Dark Side

A Short Excerpt from"Good for the Goose"

"Care for a coffee?" a soft, thickly accented and rich voice drifted over her shoulder, followed by a paper cup of steaming brew held in a masculine yet graceful hand.

Natasha turned to see her assistant, looking disgustingly youthful and fresh despite the ungodly early hour. "Ah, Raphael," she whispered. "You are a godsend!" Gratefully popping off the plastic lid, she took a long, deep draft and prayed it would revive her enough to make it through the next several hours. Now how did he know exactly how she liked her coffee - with two shots of cream and one sugar?

Raphael Salazar was a godsend, she thought. He was one of the finest grad students who had ever worked for her - bright, eager and stoic, he had not once whined under the heavy work load, and always seemed able to anticipate the needs of the class. Even when Patricia, her other assistant, had been called away to her grandmother's funeral just yesterday, Raphael had immediately replied to the flurry of emails with a simple, "Don't worry - I will do what is needed. God bless your family in this time of loss." And there was no doubt that he would do what was needed. He just had that aura of competency about him, which was so rare in young graduate students.

Almost certainly, Natasha thought, he came from a wealthy family, as he bore all the marks of breeding and advantage, but he clearly was not adverse to hard work, a trait common enough among the wealthy American-born students she knew. Hailing from Spain, Raphael may have been brought up rich, but not spoiled.

She took a surreptitious look at him from the safety of her podium, hidden under the lowered fan of her eyelashes. It was little wonder why office rumor had it that every single female (and more than one male) grad student in the history department lived and breathed for Raphael. At 5'11", he was not overly tall, but his lithe form was terrifically well built, and his face was of a fallen angel - black brows like dark wings spread above intensely black, long-lashed eyes, and topped a long, aristocratic nose, which settled harmoniously above a distractingly sensual Cupid’s bow mouth. When he spoke, his face was charming and mobile, and that lovely mouth moved to reveal a perfect row of impeccably white teeth, and his ready smile brought out such a warm glow and engaging dimples that it was difficult not to swoon. Even his smell, a rich, masculine mixture of coffee and spice, caused rational thought to fly out of one's head. Yes, she nearly chuckled at the thought - he was likely causing a great deal of fluttering in the student offices. And more than his fair share in the professors' rooms, as well, she reminded herself with a grimace of discomfort.

She often had the notion that Raphael considered her in ways that she should probably discourage. Once, she noticed him appreciating the slide of her legs against one another has she changed position in her chair during a meeting, and felt an odd prickly heat at the intimate gleam in his dark eyes. Seeing the look he was giving her, she had stopped talking in mid-sentence, but he had not looked up in guilt like your average grad student - instead, he had slowly pried his gaze from her legs and traveled up to her face, with a calm yet wolfish look on his handsome face.

It was totally inappropriate, she thought. Inappropriate, but also extremely arousing.

It was a good thing, she told herself, that she was a mature, steady person who would never consider hitting on a student, unlike that rat Jeffrey.

A very good thing.


A Short Excerpt from "Waking Kara"

His hair was a crowning glory, long and wild, with pitch black curls tangled together, as if he had just come from a fight or a session of wild sex. Or as if he had just fallen from the sky.

He seemed very real. And she wanted him.

"Are you a demon?" Suddenly, the realization that she should probably be scared for her life occurred to her.

His sudden smile was nearly a sneer as he drew his lovely, plump lips up over even, white teeth. "Some might call me that, yes," he answered. "But I am older than that mythology, I believe."

"What do you call yourself?"

"Myself," he shrugged with disinterest, smoothing a palm over her blanket-clad hip. "Mortals are so obsessed with labels and designations," he sighed. "It would be amusing if it didn't make for such dull thinking."

She sighed as his hand slid to cup her buttocks.

"Some have called me Eros. Others, Lucifer," again he shrugged. "I am both of those things, and neither. I am what you want me to be. I am whatever is needed by the woman I serve."