Evey: Thanks dear, but I can do my own promoting.
Carrma: No you can't. You suck at it. Besides, people think a fuzzy white Lipizzan horse is so much more endearing than, well, another human.
Evey: If you say so...
Carrma: I do say so. I'm smart like that. So my human has this new book, Levade, now out from Loose Id. And to celebrate, she's going to give away both that book and the previous book, Capriole, to whoever sends me the biggest bag of horse treats.
Evey: Not that again! All they have to do is leave a comment.
Carrma: Trade is better than simply giving something away.
Evey: Right...trading a comment for a couple of e-books.
Carrma: Human says you might like to read an exerpt, so I found this one. I have a cameo in which I use my amazing staring powers to try and tell the human something important, but he's too busy playing with the stupid stallion. -sigh-
In the afternoon, Lukas went out to longe Max. The five mares and one gelding in the arena all watched him, heads high, ears pricked. Aria, the oldest mare he didn’t have a particularly strong bond with, usually kept to the rear of the herd, but she’d wrangled her way near the fence and stood staring at him with atypical intensity. She wanted something, but what it was Lukas wasn’t sure.
Graciela crooked her leg, her way of begging for attention. “Sorry, darling. Not right now.” A scratch behind the ear and a sugar cube did little to placate her, especially when Grady nudged in to demand a treat of his own. “Enough.” He flicked the gelding on the nose and went to visit his stallion.
Inside Max’s pen, Lukas wrapped his arms around the great neck, breathing in the stallion’s musky scent. With his Sensitivity, he knew the stallion was calm, content, and happy to have his human visit.
Caprona whickered from across the way. At once the stallion was alert. A surge of lust hit Lukas with the impact of one of Max’s hooves. He leaned against the fence, breathing hard, trying and failing to suppress the hormonal urges.
This had happened once before when, at sixteen, he’d been preparing to leave
and had arranged to breed Graciela before he did so. He’d been so deep in rapport with her he’d been sick for days afterward, unable to separate his mind from hers. Vienna
Remembering that time—and grateful to be remembering it—Lukas thought of how easy it had been to be Graciela. Watching Max, who stomped and snorted in reaction to the mares he couldn’t reach, he wondered what it would be like to merge with the stallion, and if, in doing so, he could escape the troubles plaguing him.
Caprona lost interest and wandered off. Max, his prize gone, returned his attention to Lukas. With the firm, heavy head in his hands, Lukas pressed his forehead to the stallion’s and loosed his Sensitivity to the utmost.
The raw maleness was so different from Graciela, enough like his own it was easy to slip beneath Max’s skin and revel in everything which made him Lipizzan and proud. In an effort to be even closer, Lukas stripped and pressed against the stallion, skin to shining white coat.
Max sniffed, hot breath tickling Lukas’s back. Close, but not close enough. He tangled his fingers in Max’s mane and pulled himself astride the stallion’s back. Muscle rippled beneath him. Lukas closed his eyes, absorbing every breath, every flicker of movement Max made.
Yes. Like this. Together. Always. The way it had been when he was a child, safe and comforted by his equine companions.
He let himself drop completely within the stallion, abandoning all attempt to be human.
* * * *
Felipe watched Collins set the receiver down, his face showing an unaccustomed surprise. Collins cleared his throat. “Well. That was one of the men I have posted at the ranch. It seems Lukas has decided to take the stallion for a bareback ride. Naked.”
Carrma: So there you go. The humans in this book seem to be naked a lot.
Evey: Well, it is a romance. Being naked is kind of a requirement.
Carrma: Whatever. I'm always naked unless it's really cold out and then I expect you to come put my blanket on. Anyway. If you want to read about a lot of magnificent Lipizzan horses including me (and I don't know why you wouldn't) you should buy the book.
Evey: Or leave a comment for a chance to win both books! Carrma will choose a winner on 11/9.
Carrma: And don't forget to send me some horse cookies.