Natalie E. Wrye

Writer of Sexy Romantic Suspense.

Friday Fave Excerpt #5

#KissesandCrimesTWO has a title:

What happens when a long-awaited lust and a rogue love goes UP IN SMOKE?

Exclusive Excerpt from Up in Smoke: A Kisses and Crimes novel



I had to figure something the fuck out.

And that’s when it happened. She crossed my mind. She always did at the weirdest fucking times. This just happened to be one of my most reasonable ones. Because, well, she was a lawyer… and technically, I had one heated cabbie who wanted to sue my ass.

But, speaking of asses…

I got up from my desk, strolling over to my open front door before closing the soundproof wood quickly.

I settled back in my seat, stressed, and let my mind play with the one stress reliever that never disappointed.

It had been fifteen years, and she was still my go-to, a fact that should have bothered me, but never did.

She was soft, firm in all the right places, and the skin I had once caressed had only gotten softer with time. Teenage muscle had melded into tight, delicate curves, sloping lines that flared out enticingly at the ass and hips.

Sinewy arches had turned into handfuls that I could sink my fingertips into. She was a runner. Always had been. And her body had shown the marks of her hard work.

That mouth, lush and scathing, was another beast when it was opened in the ways I liked most. When it was receptive. Receiving whatever I had to give…

I unzipped my black slacks.

Her kiss was as intense as everything else about her. Her attitude. Her passion. Her love-making.

I released myself from the unzipped hole, gripping my growing cock with a tightening fist. I stroked.

Her hair, strawberry-colored and cool to the touch, had strands that were made for pulling, and pulling is exactly what the fuck I did. As often and as hard as I could to let her know one thing.

That she was mine.

Versions of her—young and older—flashed through my mind. Swapping places. Switching faces. And every one of them was beautiful.

Fifteen years ago. Four years ago. Two months. It was all the same to me… because hers was a rejection I never forgot.

I wanted to hate her, love her, fuck her and then repeat.

And in my mind, I could. So that’s what I did. Pumping my dick into a fist that had magically become her tight center.

And it shouldn’t have been happening. I should have been imagining bending over a newly-single Mrs. Dozzier, the coffee girl at the local shop, any-fucking-body but her.

I was insane. You weren’t supposed to dwell on women you had been with a decade and a half before; you were supposed to forget them. I’d been with more women than I could count, using them to scrub the memory of her from my body, and it never fucking worked.

I still couldn’t get fucking rid of her.

She had worked her way under my skin and I tried to convince myself that the passion I felt for her was only disdain.

That goddamned Penelope. Warm—soft in all of the places that mattered. Her New York resolve meant nothing in my bedroom. In there, her tenacity melted. She melted… and I remembered what it was like to test and feel every wet inch.

I stroked so hard I thought I might explode.

And when that drop of moisture appeared at my tip, signaling the intensity of my arousal, I took my thumb and rubbed it around the head. Now slick around the tip, my cock slid smoothly between my fingers, pulsing as it prepared to reach its well-earned peak.

I felt Penelope’s name on the edge of my lips… and I didn’t hold it back.

And just when I felt myself begin to come, just when my climax threatened to crash and ruin me, that fucking office phone rang.

I growled so deep that it was animalistic. Enraged, I snatched the black oblong headpiece from my office phone off the receiver.

I had to tell myself to take it easy on the Chinese delivery man.

“Man, I’m telling you, Wu… my lunch better be piping fucking hot.”

There was a pause on the other end.

“Sadly, darling… This isn’t Wu and, even more sadly, this isn’t lunch. But I don’t think you’ll mind in a few minutes.”

Surprise stole my voice. For the first time in a long while, I faltered for words.

A feminine voice—breathy and genteel—spoke on the other line. It definitely wasn’t Wu, and I didn’t recognize it. But I did recognize the immediate reaction it gave me.

It was something about that voice.

Maybe it was the intonation—proper and regal. It spoke of power, barely-concealed patience and a smugness that I knew all too well. The woman on the line had a smokiness in her voice that reminded me of Mable… and a latent threat that could only be the working of a Bureaucrat.

The hairs on the back of my neck began to prickle.

This was the type of voice I’d been used to… back when I was in “the Agency.” And I didn’t need another Fed fucking up my life. Hell, I wasn’t even going to let one fuck up my afternoon, let alone delay my next order of General Tso’s Chicken.

My reply was as short as I could make it.

“Ahhh, another agent. Well, you’ll pardon my French, ma’am, but I’ve already spoken to you boys—and girls—enough now. I don’t know anything about what happened to Bishop. So, you’ll appreciate my frankness when I suggest that you and the Bureau quite literally suck a cock. I have nothing else to say to anyone.”

She laughed. It was a warm, curious sound, surprisingly without snootiness. I prepared to hang up the phone, but as soon as I begin to replace its receiver, she called out.

Her next words shocked me. In fact, they were downright chilling.

“You’re still a southern gentleman, aren’t you, Mr. Reed? Sixteen years removed from Georgia, and, still, you call me ‘ma’am’ while you’re insulting me. Amazing. But this call isn’t about Mister Bishop, Mr. Reed. I’m not interested in fugitives. I’m interested in you.”

I balked, narrowing my eyes at nothing in particular. What did this woman know? And why did I have this overwhelming feeling that she already had the upper hand?

“What about me?” I gritted.






Friday Fave – Excerpt 4

An oldie but a goodie…

Ringing any bells?

Saturday led her group to the next display, and then she saw it.

A pair of emerald green eyes appeared next to the nearest display case, and then disappeared just as quickly, vanishing behind a white wall. She was pretty sure she glimpsed brown hair and stubble framing the sight, but there was no mistaking the eyes that she saw. Wow.

Saturday continued roaming the halls of the gallery with her tour group: motioning, gesturing, and explaining. And yet, half of her was focused on the beautiful man with the piercing eyes.

Every time her gaze was diverted for a second, there were those eyes. Around a corner. In the background. There. Gone. Back again. For over an hour. Then…nothing.

He disappeared behind a large display and did not reappear. Saturday secretly scanned the crowd for the next 30 minutes, but she didn’t see him again.

She re-focused on her spiel about the current sculpture in front of her. Forty-five more minutes, and Saturday was navigating her last group through the gallery. Almost there. Her feet were killing her. Whyyy did I decide to wear heels? She had just been relieved of her duties, and was eager to get some well-needed time off of her feet.

Finally. Saturday plopped down on the nearest bench, gingerly rubbing her now heel-less (Thank Heavens!) feet. Focused on soothing her poor, fatigued soles, Saturday did not notice the tiny moan that escaped her mouth, nor did she notice the shadow that was now descending upon her.

“That good, huh?” said a familiar voice from above her.

Saturday glanced up…and surprisingly into the direct gaze of Green Eyes, AKA Mr. Bossy-in-Black, the produce market guy. Well, not quite into his gaze. Green Eyes was now fitted with another baseball cap that eclipsed half of his face, but it was him, alright…complete with stubble, brown hair and full lips.

Saturday let out a sheepish laugh.

“Uhh..yeah. It’s just that…I’ve been on my feet all night…in these heels. And now I have to hike it to my stop before I miss the last bus. It’s been a loooong night.”

Green Eyes gave a slow side smirk.

“And it’s going to get even longer…”

Saturday froze in stunned silence, giving him an inquisitive look that turned into one of horror when she followed his stare to the glass gallery front.

Coming down outside was a sheet of torrential rain, and she had neither the patience nor the clothing to deal with that sort of weather.

Her attention was diverted from the window when he started to speak again.

“I’ll take you. Wherever you need to go.” He stared at her, barely blinking.

Saturday raised an eyebrow. Is he serious? He looks serious.

She skimmed her eyes up and down the length of him in careful appraisal. Mmm…

He was built, that was for sure. He had broad shoulders with a wide chest that lowered into a tapered waist and tight hips. He was pretty tall; at least to her 5’5” frame. Six-two…she wagered. He had long-ish brown hair that swept past his ear and a little down his neck.

Saturday swallowed hard. His face was just…all types of yes. His strong jaw wore something closer to a 6-6:30-ish o’clock shadow. What he wore was modest: white t-shirt, faded jeans, brown leather jacket.

Huh. Funny. She didn’t notice before. The gallery’s exhibit was a formal event. She realized that everyone was dressed in sophisticated attire…but him, and somehow, he oozed sophistication.

He took his hat off. And those eyes…man, those eyes. He was looking intently at her now, fixing her with a steady and questioning gaze.

Question. Oh…yeah. Didn’t he just ask a question? A suggestion, of some sort. What was it…? OH, right, right. Take me to my bus stop. Or home. Or to bed…Down, girl. He seems innocent enough…but so did Ted Bundy. Yeah, but…Ted Bundy was never THIS cute. Cut it out, Saturday.

He seemed to sense her internal debate, and spoke up, extending his right hand towards her.

“I’m Mark Rich… art-lover… and helper of the sore and stranded.” He grinned slowly.


Friday Fave – Excerpt #3

It’s that time again…

This one’s a newbie.

#KissesandCrimesTWO is coming.

Someone was in the room.

I withdrew the knife carefully from the edge of the desk, locking my limbs. The study was bigger than I thought, and I was stupid enough not to have checked it first.

I cursed myself quietly, damning to hell my impatience, my sloppiness, and whatever fucker was currently in the room with me.

I waited.

I waited so long that my boots began to grow roots into the floor. Because that’s how you flushed out an enemy. You smothered him with patience, lulling him into an ill-conceived comfort until eventually he slipped up.

He made a move. He touched an object. Or he breathed. And when he did, you were there to pounce on it, snuff it out. Eliminate the threat.

 It was a lesson that my threat would soon learn… because he had done all three. Unable to hold position, he wandered carelessly towards the center of the room from the side bathroom door.

He had assumed that the threat was gone. He had assumed oh so fucking wrong.

I counted his footsteps, measuring his distance by their sound.

Ten feet. Seven feet. Five feet. Two.

He was practically on top of me. But the room was pitch black. Moonlight barely filtered through the darkened curtains, and he couldn’t see me, hunkered behind the oversized desk, my hands ready, my breathing steady.

By the time he recognized the danger, it was too late. I descended like a tsunami.

I struck outwards, reaching with all ten fingers until I felt smooth skin. Once my fingertips brushed the tip of the spine, I slide them upwards.

I was always good at this part.

In less than a second, I was capable of taking total control of the neck. I compressed it between my palms. Victorious, I squeezed, slamming two hands around the stranger’s throat until I could feel the air escape.

I never squeezed to harm. No. Not at this point, at least.

I squeezed enough to stun, to sink the threat into the depths of submission. I never killed for pleasure, but I had killed. I was a coffee man, so it wasn’t exactly my “cup of tea”… but my tastes did vary when it called for it. And with the pressure of tonight’s mission on my shoulders, my appetite was positively whet.

I growled quietly into a face that I knew could barely wheeze. My voice was pure gravel. It never occurred to me how soft the body beneath my fingers actually was. I was so close my teeth could almost graze the person’s lips.

“Who the fuck are you?” I demanded.


Friday Fave – Excerpt 2

Can you guess the story or scene?

Hint: It’s a NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN passage.


The stove was hot to the touch. Smoke filled the room.

I slapped at rising flames, trying to smother the blazing grease fire I had just started. Waving a dishtowel, choking on the acrid smell of carbon dioxide, I couldn’t believe how perfectly a kitchen accident was mirroring my life.

I was going to die.

I was going to die of smoke inhalation and a potential heart attack because the one person I never expected Bishop to tell… he told.

 I instructed Bishop not to tell anyone and he tells…him.

And now I’d stubbed my toe, dropped my food on a gas stove flame, and nearly singed my eyebrows off because in the middle of my lunch hour, during the one peaceful time I’d managed to sneak to myself all day, I’d been rudely interrupted.

And not just by anybody…

It had been ten years. Ten years since I’d seen Jackson Reed and he had waltzed right into my apartment as if he belonged there.

He was taller than I remembered—broader. His dark blonde hair was buzzed into a military cut, and a layer of scruff had covered the lower half of his face that hadn’t been there when he was just a teen.

I’d been just a teen… when I loved him. At twenty-seven, I should have been immune to his charms. I should have kicked him the fuck out. I should have done anything besides what I had done.

He smiled at me. He told me “Hi.” 

And you know what I did when I saw him…?

I said “Hi” right back.

And that’s when the phone rang.

My body was jolted, ripped from a dream that was more memory than anything else. I raised my head up off a pile of papers on my desk.

Dazed, confused about where I was, it took me half a second to realize that I was back in my office. That I wasn’t back in D.C. and that I wasn’t in the apartment that I had nearly burned down four years prior.

That was back in Washington. Back when I was just starting out.

Making it in D.C. had been a dream, and back then I felt like I was living it. The apartment I now lived in, in Manhattan, was much bigger than that… and ten more times more lonely.

I was only reminded of it on nights like this.

Nights when I secretly waited for his call.

And as had been customary for the past half of a week, my heart skipped a beat when I realized my phone was actually ringing.

I reached for it, clearing my throat behind my desk, as I prepared myself for what undoubtedly would be a hard conversation. I didn’t even check the caller ID.

If I had… I would have never picked up.


Friday Fave – EXCERPT 1

Starting a new Excerpt series for my readers and my favorite Romantic Suspense-loving ladies.

EACH Friday, I’m going to post a fave excerpt/passage from one of my novels.

About HALF of these “Friday Faves” are going to be NEW never-before-scene excerpts, (some from new works and some from old).

Can you guess which scenes or stories some of these wild, funny or steamy passages are from…?


I’ve been too stubborn to call, too pig-headed to even pick up the phone. I’d probably be more apologetic if she hadn’t slapped the hell out of me.

It’s pretty useless now, though. She’s back in Memphis, and I’m stuck here in Tampa. There’d be no point in reaching out.

Foxx’s wedding is several months away, and with the exception of Anastasia’s graduation party, there’s no reason for us to even see each other again.

I stop suddenly, hunching my shoulders amidst a cold breeze.

Ana’s party. I nearly forgot.

The youngest Lexington is graduating with her undergrad degree from the University of Central Florida.

As soon as she does, she’s being whisked out of Orlando and into Tampa so she can attend the surprise party that Kat and Elena are throwing.

Good fucking grief, this little clique of ours loves surprise parties.

Foxx and Kat are holding the party at their house. I’m expected to come. I snort at the thought—it’s the last place I’d rather be—but when I turn around to walk back to the office, I feel a twist in my gut.

Who the fuck am I kidding? I want to go to this party. I want to see Elena again.

But why?

She’s been nothing but a pain in the ass since the day we first spoke—a fucking wrecking ball to my personal and professional life.

Even now. If I concentrate hard enough, I can hear her voice. Her deep, breathy sighs. That throaty laugh. It’s a voice that was made for radio… or a phone sex operator.

There’s underlying lust in each breath she takes, evoking images of a slow undressing behind a closed door, heavy pants and hard strokes—sex in hotel hallways as the neighbors listen in.

Her voice is a hand under the skirt, a caress below the belt—a whisper in your ear. It seduces you without your knowledge, dropping your barriers before you know what hits you.

That’s Elena.

She’s the embodiment of silent seduction… and me? I fell right into it. But I was no victim; I was a willing participant, eager for more—and I still need to see… I need to see if our one night was a fluke—if it’s been worth a month of waiting.

I stop before I re-enter our office building, looking down at what used to be my dick. Is that what you’ve been doing? Waiting for her? You useless piece of shit. I can’t believe you. It was just sex. She’s not even your type.

And besides, if you haven’t forgotten… we don’t even like her!

MJB - sliding dress down Susan

BLURB REVEAL – #KissesandCrimesTWO

★$10 Amazon Gift Card BLURB REVEAL Giveaway★

UNTITLED: A Kisses and Crimes novel TWO releases in early February, peeps, and I’m running a Facebook giveaway to celebrate the release of its official blurb!

Enter the giveaway on Facebook


#Passion, #Action and #Thrills combine when Jax Reed, playboy P.I., reunites with his worst nightmare…and wettest dream.



Jackson Reed knew the only thing harder than his head was his insatiable dick.

Sandwiched somewhere between following the law and his own instincts, he made up his own rules in the game of “private investigations”: his sacred version of the Holy Trinity.

And more sex.

He towed the delicate line between the “three” until Penelope Castalano—a former flame he equated to the plague—re-enters his life…and obliterates it.

Fresh from Paris, his best friend’s attorney breaks the only deal they’ve ever made, sauntering back onto the Manhattan scene at a costume party with more to hide than just her face.

And now one fugitive best friend and two broken promises will ignite a new Holy Trinity in Jackson’s hazardous life.

Caught in the midst of a government scandal, an unlikely lust, and an even more unlikely partnership, Jackson will discover that the scales of justice aren’t black or white.

They’re money-green
And all that glitters isn’t gold.

#KissesandCrimesTWO – The Prologue

Have you read Fool’s Gold: A Kisses and Crimes novel?

You haven’t…?

You might want to start. Kisses and Crimes TWO is coming up next…


PROLOGUE (Raw and unedited)


Jackson Reed

There were very few things in life I hated more than myself at the moment.

Peas. Peas used to be number one.

I hated them since I was kid, and when my mother tried to make me eat them, I tried to sneak them under the table to the dog.

Didn’t work much, though. He hated them, too.

I hated cats. Abhorred the fuck out of them, actually, and when my high school girlfriend had once left me alone with her cat, Katie, while she made a store run, I’d been this close to launching the scratching bitch out of the window.

Katie the cat, of course. Not, you know… my high school girlfriend. In fact, the girlfriend was the one who launched me in the end.

But still… there used to be things I hated. Things that ticked high up on the “Fuck-you-meter,” and currently?

I was sitting at number one. I was one big fucking mash of peas-cat-Katie-ness.

 All because I couldn’t stop looking at her. Touching her.

And it wasn’t that she wasn’t great as hell to look at…because she was. It was because every time I looked at her, I saw him. I saw the man whose life we ruined.

I saw the face of the man we’d murdered.

In all actuality, I’d seen him often. At the grocery store. On the street. At the local bookshop and at the corner café.

He had the face of the “everyman,” immortalized by what we had done to him. His presence was sprinkled across my daily life, seared into the fabric of every interaction I had with the one woman who I truly blamed for all of this.

The one woman who I’d thought I’d never have to see again.

Up until now.

And now, at this very second, the only thing I can see… is her.

Her bare legs. Her long neck. Her peach-colored hair and even peachier skin.

Nothing has changed in the four years since I’ve seen her. Nothing. She’s just as fucking gorgeous as she was when I’d last left her, and if I hadn’t just smelled her, touched her… kissed her, I’d think that it was all a dream.

I’d think that she was a dream. Or a nightmare come back to haunt me just one last time.

She was always pure sin. Swathed in innocence. Decadent and guileless all at the same time. Somewhere, somehow, I knew it had to be illegal to look the way she does, talk the way she does, feel the way she does.

There had to be something in the law against it. Not that I’d ever been good with the law. Not even when I was enforcing it…

I didn’t like carrying a badge, following rules wasn’t exactly second nature to me, and the only place I liked using handcuffs was in the bedroom.

I had the scratches on my bedposts to prove it.

There were certain things you couldn’t do with a badge. Handcuffing innocent people was supposed to be one of them. But I’d handcuffed her anyway.

I’d made her mine for five days. But she will only remain mine for the next five minutes…

And though I’ll never see her again, though I’ll never run my fingers through that red hair and tug that flippant mouth of hers to mine one last time, I have no regrets.

I’ll keep what we had in this No-Tell Motel a secret because when you really think about it…

Isn’t that exactly what you’re supposed to do?


FOOL’S GOLD (A Kisses & Crimes novel) is LIVE!


I can’t tell you how freaking excited I am!

FOOL’S GOLD (A Kisses and Crimes novel) is a Sexy Suspenseful Mystery & Standalone.

It is FREE on Kindle Unlimited and $0.99 for RELEASE WEEK ONLY!

Fool’s Gold (US)




The G&D series is on the move!

Ok, guiseee.

The THIRD and FINAL round of the Games & Diversions series has been released from its temporary KDP-Select prison (and don’t get me wrong; I LOVE KDP Select, but…):

It’s OVER.

Minute by Minute is available NOW on iTunes and iBooks–and soon, Kobo.

Minute by Minute teaser

Am the only one excited…?

YEAH, don’t answer that question.

Just click the links! 😉


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