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Authors: Bertrice Small

Forbidden Pleasures

BOOK: Forbidden Pleasures
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Table of Contents
Praise for
Private Pleasures
“One of the best erotic novels I have read this year ... [it] introduces a contemporary heroine who could easily be anyone’s next-door neighbor. With her trademark savvy, sass, and sensuality all wrapped up in one seriously beguiling package, Ms. Small has delivered a winner with this one.”

A Romance Review
“A complete success ... gritty, truthful, and of course, extremely sexy ... Kudos to Ms. Small for once again daring to push the envelope and giving us something different and thought-provoking.”

“An intimate journey into one woman’s risque fantasies ... intensely satisfying. This sensual page-turner seduces.”

Romantic Times
“[A] XXXX tale ... fans of erotica will enjoy
[Private Pleasures].”

Midwest Book Review
And for Bertrice Small
“Bertrice Small doesn’t just push the limits—she reinvents them.”

Literary Times
“Ms. Small delights and thrills.”

“Bertrice Small creates cover-to-cover passion.”

Publishers Weekly
“Readers know they can count on Bertrice Small for a passionate ... romance.”

Romantic Times
Until You
The Last Heiress
Private Pleasures
Forbidden Pleasures
Skye O’Malley
All the Sweet Tomorrows
A Love for All Time
This Heart of Mine
Lost Love Found
Wild Jasmine
Darling Jasmine
Just Beyond Tomorrow
I Love Rogues
A Distant Tomorrow
The Kadin
Love Wild and Fair
Enchantress Mine
Blaze Wyndham
The Spitfire
A Moment in Time
To Love Again
Love, Remember Me
The Love Slave
The Innocent
A Memory of Love
The Duchess
New American Library
Published by New American Library, a division of
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,
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Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Auckland 1310, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)
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Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:
80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England
First published by New American Library,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
First Printing, July 2006
Copyright © Bertrice Small, 2006
All rights reserved
Small, Bertrice.
Forbidden pleasures / Bertrice Small.
p. cm.
eISBN: 9781101153352
1. Women novelists—Fiction. I. Title.
PS3569.M28F67 2006
813’.54—dc22 2005035061
Set in Sabon
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.
The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

For E. G., Paid in full.
he woman in the billing department looked at the record she was typing into the computer, and giggled. “Don’t you ever wonder what Emily Shanski uses the Channel for, Gail?” she said to her fellow worker at Suburban Cable.
“Hey, like all the rest of us,” Gail answered. “Long, unhurried, incredible sex. I don’t know who invented this network or whatever it is, but I’m sure as hell glad they did.” She looked at her companion. “What do you think it really is, Doreen? I mean there isn’t another channel on the television that actually lets you dream up your personal fantasy, and then lets you physically enjoy it. Do you think it’s magic? Or something worse? Ah hell! Who cares? Well, maybe my old man might if he knew what I was doing when he’s on the night shift,” she cackled.
Doreen laughed. “Yeah, I guess it’s better we don’t know,” she said. “And I sure as hell wouldn’t want my husband to find out about it. The men would either try to close the Channel down, or they’d want it for themselves. It’s a woman thing.” She hit the print button, and when the bill had rolled out of the printer already folded she put it in the preaddressed stamped envelope. “Lot of women in Egret Pointe using the Channel these days,” she noted. “Hey, it’s noon. Let’s break for lunch, Gail. Too bad the Channel isn’t available now.”
“Nah,” Gail replied. “It’s better the way it is. If we could get it all the time instead of just between eight p.m. and four a.m. no one would get anything done. Where do you want to eat? How about the Chinese buffet down the street?”
“Yeah, Doreen agreed. “I like that place. Get your coat, and let’s go.”

’ve got bad news and bad news. Whadaya want first?” Aaron Fischer looked across the large mahogany desk at Emily Shanski, a.k.a. Emilie Shann. He was a stocky man in his sixties who wore impeccably tailored Armani suits, and had beautifully manicured hands. His gray hair, what was left of it, was nicely barbered around his balding pink pate. On the third finger of his left hand he wore a gold band engraved with a Celtic knot. The gold tie pin in his silk tie echoed the same design.
“You dragged me in from Egret Pointe for bad news?” Emily grumbled. She didn’t like the look in Aaron’s usually warm brown eyes. Those eyes were serious today. It did not bode well. “Okay,” she sighed dramatically. “Gimme the worst of it first. Then the not so worst.”
“I’m not sure which you’ll consider the worst,” he said slowly. “Kirk!” he called to his business and life partner. “Come in here a moment, will you?”
Kirkland Browne appeared like a genie from a bottle. Actually his office was directly next to Aaron’s, and they had connecting doors that were usually left open. He was a tall, slender man who seemed to be all angles. He was as well dressed as his partner, and wore both the same ring on his left hand and tie pin in his cravat. “What?” he demanded impatiently, his light blue eyes peering myopically over his gold-rimmed reading glasses. “I’m working on the Scofield contracts, and they’re a bitch.”
“Emily wants to know which news is worse,” Aaron said with a little shrug.
“Stratford won’t renew your contract after this last book unless you write sexier,” Kirkland Browne said bluntly. “Now, Aaron, you tell her the rest.” He turned and was gone back into his office before Emily’s surprised gasp died.
“What? What does he mean, they won’t re-up? I’ve written for them for eleven years, Aaron. My books don’t lose money. My returns are modest, and I have a very large and loyal fan base,” Emily protested.
“They want sexier. Sexy is in. Kick-ass heroines are in. What can I tell you, Em? It’s the nature of the business now. You’ve got to go with the flow, or retire,” he told her with a little shrug. “You’ve made a lot of money these last years.”
“I’m thirty-one years old,” Emily said. “I’m too young to retire, damn it!”
“Then you gotta write sexier,” he replied implacably.
Emily’s brow furrowed, and she wrinkled her straight little nose. Write sexier? Impossible! Maybe not for some writers, but for her. “Aaron, I have written for Stratford my whole career. I get great reviews. The readers love me. I have a reputation to uphold. Shit! I’m called the American Barbara Cartland. I fill a niche.”
“Cartland’s dead, and so are her sales,” he said sanguinely. “Besides you’re a much, much better writer than Cartland ever was, Emily. And you write bigger books with better plots, more textured prose, and interesting characters. But you gotta write sexier on this book you’re starting or I can’t guarantee another contract. I wish it weren’t so, and I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said, but there it is, sweetheart. You write first for Stratford, and Stratford wants sexier.”
“So much for loyalty,” Emily muttered darkly. Then she remembered: bad news, and bad news. “What else?” she asked him nervously. Could there possibly be anything worse than what he had just told her?
“Rachel Wainwright has retired,” he said, bracing for the outburst that was going to come with this news, and wondering if he should get out the smelling salts in his desk.
“I talked to Rachel late on Friday morning, Aaron. This is Tuesday. She said nothing about retiring. I think my editor would have mentioned that little fact,” Emily responded in measured tones. “They pushed her out, didn’t they? J. P. Woods pushed her out. She’s never liked Rachel, the bitch.”
BOOK: Forbidden Pleasures
3.9Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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