I love meeting new people and Renee has been so wonderful to work with. Please give a warm welcome to my new friend…
Renee Leigh is the author of contemporary romance novels. She’s always been a sucker for a good romance movie or novel – a happy ending, everything tied up neatly into a bow! She only writes stand-alone novels.
In her “spare” time, she is also an attorney, wife, and mom. She enjoys reading, researching, writing, and college basketball.
She lives in the South with her husband, children, and dogs.
“You should smile,” I heard him say.
Unsure, I squinted my eyes from the sun, used my hand as a shade, and turned toward his voice. “I’m sorry?”
“You should smile,” he stated louder. “It’s a beautiful fall day. Summer’s wrath is left behind. So smile.” He stepped out from the shadows and into the sun where I could see him clearly. My lord. I’d heard the phrase ‘sex on a stick’ before, but never knew what it really meant. I did then.
A smile slowly crept across my lips. “You’re not supposed to tell women to smile. It can be offensive,” I said, teasing him.
“But you are smiling now, aren’t you?” he teased back.
“True. Any more advice for me?” I met his eyes. They were deep blue.
He nodded his head slowly. “Yes. Ditch that guy and come with me….”
Graduate student Shay Elliott gets hit on by a sexy stranger in a gas station parking lot – and the sparks fly immediately. She’s there with her boyfriend, though, so she declines the man’s invitation to leave with him. She thinks she’ll never see him again….
She was wrong.
He’s just been hired as a professor at her university – and she’s about to become his student.
An Erotic Retelling of Maid Maleen, an old German fairy tale:
Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived a beautiful princess named Maleen. Maleen fell in love with a handsome prince named Channing, son of the king in a nearby kingdom. He asked her to marry him, giving her a small golden bracelet to wear as proof of their impending nuptials.
Maleen’s father, King Beauregard, however, believed that Prince Channing was not good enough for his lovely daughter because his kingdom was not important enough to unite the two powers. He refused to give his blessing to the union.
One night, Maleen snuck off to run away with her beloved prince. King Beauregard’s men caught her, however, and had her and her faithful servant, Betsy, imprisoned in the tower until he could find her a proper suitor.
For seven long years, Princess Maleen and Betsy stayed imprisoned in the tower with no contact from the outside world, but enough food to stay alive. During those years, they used an old stone brick to whittle away at the cell walls. Night after night, day after day, year after year, they would beat the brick against the stones. One summer day, when a small sliver of sunlight finally peeked through the wall, they knew they had finally found freedom.
Yet something was wrong. The kingdom had been destroyed. Skeletal shadows of ghostly ruins remained where grand buildings had once existed. The people had abandoned the city. Nary a soul could be found – even the evil King was gone.
Princess Maleen couldn’t find it within herself to shed a tear for her father. Her first thought was getting to her one true love, Prince Channing.
With Betsy by her side, she set off to the next kingdom to find her prince.
As she entered the kingdom, people were bustling about all around them. A voice called out to them immediately. “You! You there! Servant girl!”
Maleen looked up to find a heavyset older woman marching toward her. “You’re perfect! Let’s go. NOW!”
The woman grabbed her arm and half-dragged her toward the castle.
Betsy cried out and the older woman screamed over her shoulder, “Hush! She’ll be back in an hour or two! The Queen-to-be needs her now!”
Maleen looked back at Betsy and mouthed, “It’s okay,” as she followed the woman inside.
The woman took Maleen up to a chamber room and yelled out to the nearby servants: “Give her a bath! Clean her up! Then put on the dress. Send her down to the chapel when she’s ready. NOW!”
Maleen watched in awe as the servants scurried to obey. The woman left the room quickly, leaving Maleen with them.
As they stripped her clothes and filled the tub with warm water, she whispered to one of the young women, “Excuse me, but what in the world is going on?”
The servant girl whispered back, “Where have YOU been? The prince is getting married today to Hideous Hilda of Armagon. Don’t you know?”
Maleen’s heart fell. Married? To someone hideous? The tears pricked her eyes and she tried to stifle a cry.
The servant girl went about her task unaware of Maleen’s heartbreak.
“But why are you bathing me?” Marlene asked.
The girl looked around for a second to see if anyone was near before responding. “We’re not sure, but we think that Hilda needed a replacement to get him I marry her, so Old Barb was told to find the prettiest girl in the kingdom as a stand-in. If he lifts the veil and sees you, he’ll go through with it. If he lifted it and saw her, though…Well, let’s just say she was given that nickname for a reason.”
Maleen’s pulse quickened as she thought about being near the prince again. This might actually work! Oh, what good luck!!
The servant girl looked around again and whispered even lower, “I’m sorry you were chosen.”
Maleen looked at the girl’s face and there was genuine sincerity and sadness in it. “Wh-What do you mean? Sorry???”
The girl looked at her with pity. “What do you think Hilda will do once you’ve stood in for her and gotten her married to him? She won’t be able to keep you around once he’s seen you. She’ll have to…you know…get rid of you.”
Maleen then realized what she meant. Of course, once she was no longer useful, she’d have to be removed. Maybe imprisoned, but that left loose ends, so likely killed. She swallowed quickly.
“Thank you for telling me…What’s your name? Mine is Maleen.”
The girl’s eyes went wide. “I’ve only heard of one Maleen and that was a princess who disappeared. Everyone says she’s dead.” She paused and looked at Maleen curiously…
Then a din of commotion occurred as Old Barb stomped back in.
“Is she ready? It’s time!!!”
Maleen didn’t even have time to formulate a plan as she was whisked off yet again, half-carried, half-dragged to the chapel.
The ceremony went by quickly. Maleen kept glancing over at the prince through her thick veil, willing him to look at her, but he wouldn’t even turn her way. When the time came to lift the veil, he shook his head at the priest and growled, “Just get on with it.”
Maleen barely even heard the words, “Now I pronounce you…” before the Prince grabbed her wrist and pulled her toward the chapel door, nudging her down a long dark tunnel toward the castle. She looked behind her at the surprised face of Old Barb who was screaming for her to return. The celebratory screams of the crowd outside began to fade as they proceeded farther into the tunnel.
“Where are we going?” Maleen finally asked quietly.
The pull on her arm became tighter as the Prince nudged her along. He finally responded angrily, “To get this over with. You won. Are you happy now, you hideous woman?”
Maleen still hadn’t a clue as to what was going on. “What are you talking about?”
They finally made it to a heavy wooden door and he slammed it open, pushing her in ahead of him.
“Oh, come on, Hideous Hilda. I know all about you. I know you conspired with King Beauregard years ago to kill my Maleen so that you could marry me. I got my revenge on him by destroying his kingdom and killing him, but you disappeared, didn’t you?”
He turned toward her and the sneer and anger on his face made her step backward. She gasped.
“You conspired to take everything from me and I knew that all along, Hilda. I would’ve done anything to avoid marrying you. Anything! But the drought and famine have left us all devastated. My subjects are starving. Your kingdom is the only one left that we can unite with to save ourselves. I need an heir to carry on my name and solidify my power.” He sighed heavily and looked down to the ground. “You finally win, Hilda.”
Maleen began to speak. “No, it’s not…”
Prince Channing screamed out, “Enough! Enough of your lies! Just keep your damn mouth shut and let’s get this over with. Do. Not. Say. A. Word.”
He mumbled under his breath, “If I’m going to be able to do this, you’re going to have to shut the fuck up.”
Maleen rolled her eyes from under her veil. What a stubborn ass. She reached up to take her veil off to reveal herself to him, but he grabbed her hand abruptly before she could reach it.
“Do. Not. Take. The. Veil. Off.! For fuck’s sake, woman, don’t you know I’ve heard about your face? If we’re going to do this, you’re going to have to keep your veil on.” He looked up at her and his face seemed stricken, as if he were in physical pain at the thought of being with her.
Maleen tried to remind herself that he was speaking to someone else in his mind. Not to her.
How many nights over the years had she dreamed of being with him, though? How many nights had she touched herself at the thought of him finally inside her?
She had spent so much time dreaming about it that she’d do anything, even keep that damn veil on, if it meant it could actually happen.
So she nodded, acquiescing to his request.
He seemed surprised she would give in so easily. “I just…I need to pretend like you’re someone else…” He cleared his throat. “Please, let’s just get this over with.”
He began to unbutton his coat slowly. She reached up to begin untying her corset and he peered over at her.
“No need for all that. Just take your pantaloons off. This should go as quickly as possible.”
Nervous and excited, she shrugged and pulled down her pantaloons and under layers.
“Just lie on the bed,” he ordered.
She went to bed and did as he said, nervously spreading her skirts around her.
He untied the top of his pants enough that she could see a dark trail of hair there. His body was tight and thick, all sinewy muscled strength as he strode toward the bed. She could feel her own wetness as he approached.
Crawling over top of her, he reached for her skirts and pulled them up abruptly.
When his face hovered over hers, through the thick veil, he whispered, “No sense in lying anymore, so tell me the truth. Is this your first time?”
She nodded, her body shaking with the fear of that unknown experience.
He saw her body’s reaction and a look of compassion went across his face. Looking to the side, he said, “Okay. I’ll try to be gentle.”
Closing his eyes, he leaned back and reached down to pull his dick out. She glanced down at it in his hands as he stroked it to get it hard. He chuckled slowly at her breathing gasp. It was huge.
“Don’t worry. It’ll fit.”
He leaned back over her and then his hands disappeared between her legs. She felt his finger enter her quickly and a huge moan resonated from her chest.
“Looks like you’re ready,” was all he said as he pulled his finger back out.
She whimpered at the loss of sensation, about to beg him to put it back in, when she felt his now hard dick at her opening.
“I’ll go slow,” he grunted as he pushed in, bit by bit, until she felt that barrier tear and a small scream erupted from her throat.
Refusing to look in her face, he put his head down and mumbled, “Fuck. You’re tight.”
He opened his eyes finally as he began to move again, looking down at her finally. “Okay?” He asked gruffly, still showing reluctant concern for this woman he thought he hated.
She nodded. It was feeling much better. The pain had subsided and pleasure began to take its place. She moved her hips slightly and he groaned again.
So this is what it was like, she thought to herself. Having this connection? This power over your own pleasure, along with someone else’s? She lifted her hips again and he began to move inside her at a faster pace, thrusting his own hips a little harder with each push.
He was biting his bottom lip, looking to the side. The look in his eyes was one of pain, though. Sadness. Like he was fighting whatever the demons were inside his head.
Without even thinking, she reached up to stroke his cheek, longing to see his smile again, the smile she fell in love with years ago. As her hand brushed across his face, he grabbed it tightly and mumbled, “Don’t…” He looked down at the wrist in his hand and noticed the gold bracelet.
He pulled out of her suddenly. “Where the fuck did you get this?” He screamed.
She opened her mouth to respond, but the words were lost as he reached up and ripped the veil from her face.
Her beauty took him by surprise. He blinked, repeatedly, willing his mind to comprehend the sight before him.
“Maleen?” His words were choked and full of confusion.
She smiled up at him. “I’ve been trying to take that damn veil off for an hour but you wouldn’t let me. Hell, you wouldn’t let me explain, either.”
His look of confused shock still flashed across his chiseled features as he tried to process her words.
She reached up to touch his cheek again and said, “My father put Betsy and me in the tower to keep me away from you. We weren’t dead! We finally escaped, but the kingdom was in ruins. I came to your kingdom to find you, but the minute I entered, I was whisked away by that horrid Old Barb woman, who forced me to pretend to be Hilda,” she smiled at him shyly. “Hilda had ordered her to find the prettiest woman in the kingdom to put the dress on. I guess she thought you didn’t know how ugly she was. She thought you’d marry me, thinking it was her, and then it’d be too late. The entire kingdom would believe she’d married you and then she’d have me killed and replace me.”
She took a breath, intent to keep explaining.
“Stop talking.” His voice was low and deep. A slow grin began to stretch across his face.
She looked back up at him. “Wha…?”
She didn’t have time to react as he leaned down to kiss her lips, his tongue begging entry as he mumbled against her mouth, “We can talk later. I’m going to fucking finish what I started.” He bit her bottom lip with his teeth. She moaned out loud.
He moved his own lips to her neck, kissing, licking, nipping against it. He whispered, “But this time, I’m going to do it right.” He paused to look up at her. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know it was you.”
She smiled back. “I know you didn’t.”
He bit his lip. “Was it okay? Did I hurt you?”
She shook her head. “No. You were gentle. It was starting to feel really good…It was…” She paused, trying to find the words.
He grinned again. He understood. He always had understood her.
He resumed kissing her neck lightly, nipping his way down.
“Now I regret not letting you take all of your clothes off,” he teased. “But we’ve got all night, my love.”
He reached between her legs again, his fingers tracing her wetness.
“And if I read your responses earlier, I think you really liked this part.”
She moaned again as he stuck his finger inside her, slowly pulling it out it, then pushing back in. He kept up a torturously slow rhythm with his hand while kissing her neck in tandem. Then he moved his thumb up and stroked her clit and she lurched upward off the bed.
“Y..Yes,” she whispered.
“You’re going to come for me first. Then I’m going to make you mine – properly.”
And as he whispered all of the dirty things he wanted to do to her in her ear, she came violently – thrashing, screaming, as the sensations overtook her.
When her body relaxed from its high, she opened her eyes to find him stroking himself again. He looked down at her with a smile.
“You’re so beautiful. I missed you so much,” he whispered.
“I missed you, too, Channing. You’re alI I ever thought of those seven years.” She bit her lip, watching his hardness grow. “May I?” She looked up at him as she reached out to touch his dick.
He nodded, groaning when her hand wrapped around it.
“Holy shit,” she breathed. “It’s huge.”
A throaty laugh escaped from him. “And getting ready to explode if you keep doing that.” He grabbed her hand and kissed her wrist as he positioned himself between her legs.
She felt him enter her again, but this time he whispered words of love.
Their hips began to move in sync as he slid in and out, her wetness making it easier – and more pleasurable – this time.
“You feel so fucking good,” he groaned as he moved in her.
She screamed out in response, words suddenly foreign.
“I won’t be able to hold back much longer,” he grunted. “’cause when you scream, it makes me want to fill you up.”
That only made her moan louder. “Why, Prince Channing, I didn’t know you were such a dirty talker.”
He grinned down at her as he slammed his hips into her. “You have no idea.”
The force of his thrusts made her scream again. The orgasm ripped through her, catching her unprepared for its impact.
“Aahhhhh!” She yelled into the barely lit chamber.
His hips thrusted faster, harder, as he reached his own completion, coming into her with a loud, final groan.
“My Lord,” he mumbled as he fell against her chest. “That was…intense.”
Maleen laughed. “To say the least. It was everything I’d ever imagined.”
He smiled up at her. “You imagined it?”
She blinked her eyes at him, giving him her best coy look. “Why, my Lord, I had to keep my mind busy for seven years somehow.”
His laughter rang out across the room. “Fair enough, fair maiden.”
He leaned down to kiss her lips again. “I love you.”
She didn’t hesitate. “I love you, too.”
As he reached to pull her skirts back down around her, he said, “Maybe we made an heir today.”
The meaning of his words hit her. She’d forgotten she was really married, much less trying to make a baby.
“But what about Hilda? Your marriage certificate has her name on it, not mine.”
“We’ll go straight to the priest and tell him of this fraud. I’ll marry you immediately. No one needs to know we’ve already consummated our union,. He smirked at her. “And then we can consummate it again later…and after that, too…”
“I like that idea,” she replied.
“Well come on, then, my Queen. We’ve got a Priest to find…”
Upon learning of the fraud, the Priest annulled the invalid marriage and married Maleen and Channing right away.
When they found out that Princess Maleen was not dead and now their Queen, the kingdom and the subjects across the lands rejoiced. The two kingdoms were now united and economically stable. Most important, the townspeople and all servants, including dear Betsy, were finally safe.
Hideous Hilda was captured and imprisoned in the tower indefinitely. Old Barb was sent to keep her company.
King Channing and Queen Maleen did consummate their ‘real’ marriage later…and then again…and again.
Nine months later, the joyous news spread ‘round the kingdom: A baby boy had been born, a new heir.
Blue eyes and dark hair, just like his father.
Prince Garrett was his name.
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