A Wish Granted

On this 24th of December I find myself continuing a tradition I started six years ago with a little Christmas story from my Blackstone Affair world with a single Brynne Bennett in London doing some Christmas shopping on a blustery, wintry day.  You never know what will happen, or who my characters might meet but you can be sure they will be somewhere along their journey together as a couple at the holidays.   This year I am happy to bring you back to celebrate with some very special newlyweds up in Scotland for their first Christmas as Mr. and Mrs. McManus.  If you don’t remember where we left off with Neil and Elaina you can catch up with a previous Christmas story from 2013 about them here:  A Scottish Christmas.  This year’s Christmas story continues where the previous one left off as if time has been standing still for five years.  I love to do that as a writer.  For me, my characters don’t age and time doesn’t pass for them until I want it to.

I get asked about the follow up to Cherry Girl all the time.  “When is the sequel coming out?”  “Are you going to give us more Neil and Elaina?”  “When is My Captain coming out?”

I’m working on finishing up the book right now.  Release date details and preorder links for My Captain will be coming shortly so look for that in an upcoming newsletter.  If you aren’t subscribed you can do that here:  Email Sign-up.

I hope you enjoy where the Captain and his Cherry Girl are headed.

Merry Christmas to each and every one of you and hope for a most blessed New Year in 2019.

xoxo Raine


A Wish Granted

24 December~

I kissed him long and hard.  Neil backed up a little, giving me a bit of side-eye for whatever I was up to.  He had such a keen sixth-sense.  He could tell whenever something was stirring around in my head.  He sensed it right now with zero effort.  Me trying to surprise him was going to be a constant challenge for the rest of my life.  But still, I was determined to pull this one off if it killed me.

“Careful now,” he scolded, “Or we won’t get to the rest of the presents and I’ll have to take you upstairs and ravish you again.”

“Of course you would imply that I—your devoted wife—cannot focus on anything other than the prospect of being ravished by you day and night, but I am determined to give it a hearty try.”  I made a fist and rocked my arm like I was march stepping.  Teasing him was my new favorite.  Probably because he loved it as much as I loved doing it.  His threat was pointless because he’d ravish me later either way.  Happy Christmas to me. 

“It’s okay, Cherry, I can wait until the presents are over before ravishing you again.”  He gave me a deceptively sweet kiss that started off gentle but clearly demonstrated his intentions for later on.  His lips…  They worked magic on me as always, holding me captive pressed against his hard chest.  I wasn’t complaining because being held and kissed by my man was exactly what I wanted to be doing as often as possible.  Whatever came later was just an added bonus.

“I was waiting for you to say that, because we both know you can’t keep your hands off me.”

“So true, Cherry,” his fingers dug into my ribs for a tickle, “and that is something which will never change.”

I shrieked.

The puppies protested our rude disruption, yawning widely and blinking up at us from our laps where they’d been sleeping.  “Sorry, little fellow.”  I gave the boy pup a few soft pets on his silvery fur before setting him down on the floor to stretch his legs.  “What are we going to name these two gorgeous beasts, Neil?”

“I was just thinking the same thing.  We need some good strong names because they’re going to become big strong dogs.”  He held the girl puppy up to his face and studied her thoughtfully for a minute.

My puppy had now strolled over to explore around the massive, twinkling Christmas tree and the wrapped gifts beneath it.  Since this was our first Christmas as a married couple, Neil had spared no expense, giving me way more presents than we’d agreed on and even insisting on ordering duck for our Christmas Day dinner.  He was feeling festive for sure.

“Definitely something noble,” Neil said as he set the now squirming girl puppy on the floor to join her brother.  “Great Danes are as noble-looking as they come.”

“Something classic would be fitting…”  I thought about the stories from Greek mythology I’d learned in school and it came to me in a flash: “I’ve got it!  The boy and girl twins of Zeus…Apollo and Artemis.  Those are their names.”

The puppies, now wide awake, had begun to play and chase each other around the tree and through the presents.  Freaking adorable.  I reached for my phone and got a video of Neil playing with them on the floor and being double-teamed with puppy kisses.

Neil grinned up at me and held out his hand.  “Apollo and Artemis it is then.  Cherry, come down here and save me from these excitable beasts, please.”

I put down my phone and joined my husband on the floor, bombarded with puppy kisses every time Neil kissed me.  They became the most excited whenever he tried to get close to me or kiss me.  It was hilarious.  Our two little cock blockers, Apollo and Artemis.

“Ready to open another one, Captain?”  I pointed to our small pile of artfully wrapped boxes and bags.

I zeroed in on the small, plain wrapped box I’d placed on the top of the pile.  The most important gift I could give him.  Ever since I done the test, I’d been waiting anxiously for this moment.  Hardly concerned with all the pomp and extravagance of Christmas, other than that getting to spend it with Neil, all that mattered to me was that I got to see his face when he unwrapped that little box.

“Which one?”

“The small brown paper one sitting on top.”   He picked out the little package, glancing up at me for confirmation.  I nodded, my breath catching in my throat.

This is it.

He tore through the bow and paper a bit roughly.  If he knew what was inside, he probably wouldn’t set about the task like a kid getting through a wrapper to find the sweet.

The very second his eyes laid on it, I knew.  His dark eyes drooped, then widened, then went to mine. “Is this right, Cherry?”

I only smiled.

“But—the doctor,” he protested, “said it’d probably take months, maybe even a year…”

I told both his hands, smiled even wider. “It’s true, Neil.  I’m finally pregnant.  All of your dedicated work paid off.”

The bellow that emerged out of my man was part disbelieving cry, part triumphant roar as he swept me up and swung me round.  “Cherry, we did it.  We did it, my beautiful girl.”

Apollo and Artemis started up with the chasing and barking again.

Holding my face in his big hands, he stared at me.  Those deep brown eyes of his that looked like melted chocolate grew a little glassy as he smiled widely.  “After our wedding, I thought I’d never have another day nearly as happy, but now…”  Another goofy grin.  “Boy was I wrong.”

His hands went to my belly as he stared.  His face darkened.  “Let’s not tell anyone.  I want to keep it just for us right now.”

As sudden as his change had been, I understood.  Nodding, I settled my hands over his. “You don’t want to jinx our good luck.”

Neil’s hands tensed beneath mine. “Almost seems too good to be true.”

I laid my head against the reassuring muscled valley of his chest. “Don’t say that.  We’re entitled to good luck just as much as the next person.  You’ll come with me to the first doctor’s appointment?”  I tilted my head in question and winked, needing to distract him from worrying thoughts.  I knew where his mind might go.  He’d had a lot of disappointments growing up and tragic losses along the way.  It was time for him to accept the good in life and enjoy it…with me.

“Like that’s even something you need to ask.  Nothing could keep me away.”  He laughed and shook his head.  “We’re going to have a baby, Elaina.  I can hardly believe it.”

“We are, Captain.  You’ll be adding ‘Daddy’ to your list of titles and you’re going to be the best daddy ever.”

He kissed me on the lips again, and then bent down to kiss my belly.  “I’m really happy.”

“I can see that, my love, but what are we going to do with all these presents still unwrapped?”

Neil transferred his gaze to the stack of presents and chuckled.

“I may have overdone it a bit this year.  Sorry, baby, I’ve already been blessed with the best gifts ever; you and now our baby.  I don’t need or want anything else.”

“I love you, Captain.”

“I love you, Cherry.”

Scanning them, I realized, with a bit of a guilty thrill, that three quarters of those were from Neil to me. “Thought we agreed to five gifts each.”

He frowned.  “Not my bloody fault.  Every damn time I went shopping for you, a bunch of other items called out to me.”

I gave him a sweet kiss on the cheek, which slid over to his ear.  “Know what present I’d like to unwrap most, more than all of these?” I whispered.

His hips were close enough that I felt his cock twitch into me.  “I think I’d like to find out,” he said with a wolfish grin.  “Wait a sec.”

He hurried over to the pile, returning with a small box of his own.  “We’ll be needing this later when I show my appreciation and love for the mother of my children.”

“Oh we will, will we?”

He gave my bum a squeeze and kissed me again.  “Mark my words, beautiful.”


A Scottish Christmas

I like to do a short story for Christmas every year.  Last year I did one about Brynne shopping on Christmas Eve in London, and her chance meeting with a very special lionfish–aaaaand a certain delicious smelling Brit in a nice coat.

This year I thought it would be fun to highlight the holidays for Neil and Elaina’s first Christmas together as a married couple, from my newest book, Cherry Girl.  If you haven’t read the book yet, it won’t ruin it for you.  (Unless knowing they get together in the end and married, ruins it for you.)  LOL

Blessings to all for a beautiful holiday season.


A Scottish Christmas


24 December~

The Scottish winters were quite a step up from London’s constant wet.  The only difference was several degrees colder temperatures.  And constant wet.  I couldn’t complain too much though, and I never would, because I was blissfully happy being up in Scotland were it was very cold, and very wet, because I had my man to keep me warm when I felt the chill.  He never let me get chilled anyway.  I smiled secretly and thought about just how warm he’d made me in our bed this morning when he woke me up.  And last night before we fell asleep.

No, Neil was a dedicated husband when it came to seeing to his wife’s every comfort and pleasure.  Or, more accurately—pleasures.

We’d only been married for eleven weeks, but were still newlyweds in our heads where it mattered.  Just a little more than a year ago, we’d come crashing back together after so long apart.  I’d learned to accept that we were meant to be—and that in the end, nothing could have kept us from our fate.  We were truly destined to be together.

Our journey to get to this point, had been a painful one, but that was all in the past now. Neil and I had both learned so much along the way.  Like when you get a second chance, you hold onto it with everything you have in you, and thank God you were given the gift.

Which reminded me—I needed to sneak out so I could pick up Neil’s Christmas gift.

I hoped I could manage it without him discovering and trying to come with me.  He didn’t like me driving alone.  Maybe it was his job in the security field that made him so protective of me, but my man was a tad too overdone in that department sometimes.  I was working on training him out of it though.  I had my methods.

I hated to hurt his feelings by saying no, but this was an errand, which needed to remain solo.  My only partner in crime was Batesman, the man in charge of running this place.  I think in the olden days, such a person was called a steward.  I thought of Pride and Prejudice, probably my favorite novel of all time, and how Mr. Darcy had a steward to run the estate for him when he was away on business.

Batesman lived here in Scotland and took care of the place when we were in London working at Blackstone Security International, and he looked after us when we were here visiting, which was mainly at the weekends.  Neil tried to get us up here at least one weekend a month, but since it was the holidays, Neil and Ethan, had ordered BSI closed through New Year’s, with only a skeletal staff on hand to secure any events.  The bosses were on holiday for the holidays.  We had ten more days before work called us back home to London.  Glorious.  Ten.  Days.

Neil said this was our place to make up for all the years we had lost.  And my man was determined to do that for us.  He told me all the time.  He also liked to have me all to himself, just the two of us alone, spending time together doing the simple things that we had both learned not to take for granted.

I cracked an even bigger smile, thinking about how he’d taken his time with me this morning, waking me up from a sound sleep in the most delicious way, or I should say—his tongue.

Neil didn’t hold back with me in the bedroom.  If he wanted to try something, he told me, or sometimes he just did what he wanted, and then asked me if it was okay.  Typical man.  Go for it first, ask later.

But I didn’t mind his tactics.

I was okay with everything my man did for me.  And my body had the luxurious aches and marks on my skin to prove it this morning.

He liked to mark me.  He also wanted me pregnant.

Maybe it was his lack of a normal family life growing up that made him crave the stability of a family.  Neil wanted kids.

We were working on it.  Very diligently.

I grinned as I rounded the corner at the bottom of the stairs and ran smack dab into a hard chest that carried the scent of my man.

“I’ve got you now,” he said, as his arms came out to snatch me.  He picked me up and I wrapped my legs around his waist.  “Mmmmm, I like that, beautiful wife.”  He walked us up to the nearest wall, set me against it, and proceeded to kiss me senseless.

“I like it too.”  I managed to mumble behind soft lips and an even softer tongue that continued to own me.  He was seriously dangerous with those lips of his.

“I want to take you back up to our bed and do some more things that I know you like.”  He thrust his hips forward and hit me right where it counted.  My man’s stamina for sex was astounding to me, and something I hoped never changed, but it wasn’t happening right now.

“Nope, Captain.  I can’t.”

He pulled away from my lips and gave me his soulful chocolate eyes.  “But why not?”

“I have important work to do and an errand to run.”  I hoped he would take my explanation, but accepted the likelihood of that happening to be about nil.

“Where are we going then?” he asked, still pressing that impressive erection right up against me.  Yeah, he knew what he was doing all right—tempting me with his body and the promise of more explosive orgasms.  Resisting him was not going to be easy, but right now, it had to be done.

We are not.  I have somewhere I need to be—”

“I’ll drive you wherever you want to go,” he interrupted, “where is that, Cherry?”  The look on his face made it difficult for me to say the next part.

“I have to go alone on this errand.  You can’t come along.”  I stuck out my bottom lip and mimed a sad face.

He reached around to the back of my thighs and set me down from the wall, but still kept me completely penned in, his big arms on either side of my shoulders.  He shook his head at me, a full-on frown set on his face.  “But I don’t want you driving alone on the roads—”

I brought my hand up to his cheek and looked into his eyes.  I’d learned that touching my man on the face soothed him when I needed to get my point across, and he was less than thrilled with the situation.  Me driving around Scotland on my own in winter and along country roads?  More than qualified as one of those situations that made my husband less than thrilled.

He grew still and waited for me to explain, his brown eyes searching my face.  When I was not forthcoming, he tried again.

“Why can’t I drive you?  I won’t be a pest.  Promise.”

“You can’t come along because I am going to get your Christmas present.  I won’t be long at all.”

Silence.  Pouty face.  A heavy sigh with a bit of eye narrowing.

“Do you know that you have the most adorable pouty face that is possible for a man to have, and not look like a little girl?”

“Is it working?” he shot back sarcastically.

“’Fraid not, Captain.”

“Well then, it’s utterly useless to me then, now isn’t it?”

God, he was hard to resist when he sulked and made the metaphorical knife twist into my heart.  And beautifully handsome and smelling like man-heaven.  Evil torture is what he was doing to me.

Didn’t matter. I still wasn’t letting him come along with me.


Later that evening~


“You look like butter wouldn’t melt in your mouth, Mrs. McManus.”

“Is that so, Captain?”

“Very much so.”

“Well you look nearly back to normal after your pouty fit from earlier,” she said with that sexy sass that made my cock sit up and beg.

“And I know just what put me back to normal, as you call it.”  And I most certainly did know.

As soon as she’d arrived back to the house after her gift errand, I’d carried her upstairs and kept her in bed for the rest of the afternoon.  Having Elaina all to myself was something I didn’t think I would ever get enough of.  All of those years without her made me an overbearing arse sometimes, I know, but she seemed to put up with me without too much complaint.  And I knew exactly how to keep her content.  I gave her my best lecherous grin.

She ignored me.  “I want to give you your Christmas gift tonight if you don’t mind…I just can’t stand waiting until tomorrow morning.”

“Hmmmm…isn’t that sacrilege?”  Secretly, I was more than pleased by her suggestion. Exchanging gifts tonight would work even better for me as well.

“Maybe it is, but my gift can’t wait until tomorrow.  Like literally can’t wait—”

I kissed her on her puffy red lips, made that way by me earlier, and nibbled on the bottom one.  I liked seeing the evidence of me on her skin, the little markings and flushes where I’d been giving attention during our long afternoon sex session.  Neanderthal or not, it comforted me to know she was mine and wasn’t going anywhere that I wasn’t going.

I nodded against her lips.  “Okay.”

“Well, that was easy.  You must really want to know what I’ve gotten for you then.  I hope you like it.”

“Of course I do, but even more than that, I don’t want to wait to give you your gift either.  I say let’s do this, and I know I’ll love anything you’ve chosen for me.”

The smile she gave me then, lit up her face, making me want to kiss her some more.

“Okay, deal.  I need to go get it.  Be right back.”  She sailed out of the room, and I took the opportunity to go off in search of Batesman.

He’d been helping me with my gift for Elaina.  The man was seriously capable of just about anything and everything.  And he did it all so fuckin’ well.  Boggled the mind how some people could be so damn good at such a variety of things.  I knocked on his door in the east wing and called out in case he’d already turned in for the night.  Tomorrow was going to be a long day, as we had guests coming in early to stay with us.  This place would be transformed into a madhouse for certain with so many people coming up to Scotland to spend the holidays with us, but what in the hell was a big house for if you never used it for anything…  “Batesman?  Is it ready to go now?  My wife has decided to exchange gifts tonight instead of in the morning.”

He poked his head through the door crack and addressed me in that formal voice of his. “Sir, I have madam’s gift right here.”  He shoved a basket at me and then closed his door again.

I frowned.  “Thanks.”  Weird.  Maybe Batesman hated Christmas or something.  Some people had such bad experiences growing up; they found holiday festivities difficult to stomach.  I’d had mostly good ones growing up, a few bad ones when times were not so nice, but didn’t everybody?  Everything was golden now.

I took my basket and walked carefully back with it to the great room.

Elaina was already there, and sitting on the sofa, looking at the Christmas tree.  I still think she trumped the tree.  I knew she did.  Any day.  Any time.  My Cherry Girl was the most beautiful thing in the room.

She frowned at my basket though which didn’t please me.  She probably was going to hate the gift, but I really hoped not.  It sure seemed like a great idea at the time when I thought of it, and Batesman had assured me that she would be thrilled.  I was suddenly struck with how strange of an idea that was…  How in the hell would Batesman even know what Elaina liked or didn’t like?

“Who wants to go first?” I suggested, feeling more worried now than a moment ago.

“I think you should,” she said decisively.  “Sit down beside me, my darling.”  She patted the couch right next to her.

It’s now or never.  I sat down and placed the basket on the floor.

“Close your eyes, beautiful wife.”  She complied as she always did so easily.  Made my cock rock hard when she got submissive like that.  Later, lad.  I reached into the basket and took out the soft, warm, sleepy bundle, setting it carefully onto her lap.  “You can open your eyes now.”  Boy puppy

“Oh.  My.  God.”  Her hands reached down to pick up the puppy and bring him up to her face for closer inspection.

“Not a god, just a little pup,” I teased.  “Blue Merle Great Dane to be exact. “Happy Christmas, darlin’, I hope you like him.  I thought we could use a dog around the place, you know, for protection.”

“Did you now?” she asked absently, as she nuzzled the puppy, which was now a little more awake than he’d been just a minute ago.  “My turn, Captain.  Close your eyes, please.”

I did as she asked and heard the shuffling around of movement as she rose from the couch, and then felt something warm set down in my lap.  Could it be possible?

“You can open up now.”

I opened my eyes to find another puppy looking up at me with blue eyes and a cocked head of inquisitiveness.  This one was a bit darker in the face than the little male I’d picked out for Elaina earlier, and wearing a Christmas plaid ribbon around its neck, but was clearly from the same litter of Blue Merle Great Dane puppies.  Batesman’s odd behavior suddenly made a ton of sense.  The old coot must have been enjoying himself immensely over our little newlywed spectacle we’d provided for him the last days.Girl puppy

“It appears that we have very good taste in dogs, beautiful wife.”

“Obviously, Captain.  We always have good taste.”

She leaned forward to kiss me, the two pups between us.

“Happy Christmas, my darling.”

“Happy Christmas, Cherry.”



Cherry Girl

Cherry Girl

Cover by Marya Heiman, Strong Image Editing http://www.strongimageediting.com/

This might be news to a lot of you because I’ve kept it pretty much under wraps, but I have a new book coming out next month and you’re looking at the cover for it.

Cherry Girl is my Blackstone Affair spin-off novel about a couple of characters you’ve already met in those books.  Neil McManus, Ethan’s number one partner in his business and a fellow British Special Forces officer from their army days, and Elaina Morrison, the receptionist at Blackstone Security International, helping Brynne with wedding plans and talking smutty romance novels with Gaby at dinner parties.  LOL

Neil and Elaina have quite a history together and you’ll get that story in Cherry Girl.  The main portion of the book is set in time about one year before the events that take place in Naked.  Ethan Blackstone is very much in this but it’s not about him.  This is Neil and Elaina’s story and I hope you’ll fall for them and spread a little of that magical Blackstone Love around and send some their way.

Look for Cherry Girl to release by the end of November.  *yeah, I know I’m being vague but it’s the best I can do*

xxoo R

#NeilLovesCherry   @Raine_Miller on Twitter


I stayed in Neil’s bed for another moment and tried to take everything in.  I was definitely a mess on the outside, but inside where my heart pounded, I was absolutely floating on cloud nine.

He loved me.  Neil really loved me, but damn if I’d allow him to kiss me again before I got clean and comfortable.  I felt utterly gross and hideous and still had trouble believing all that had just happened in the span of a very few hours.

I left his bed and headed into the bathroom.  The shower was already hot and steaming up the small space.  He’d set out his toothbrush and paste for me to use and even a soft black T-shirt with The Jimi Hendrix Experience in white letters across the front.  I knew Neil was a Hendrix fan and I’d even seen him wearing this very shirt on occasion, and yet the fact he’d picked it out for me in particular, touched me.  I reached for it and buried my face in its softness, inhaling deeply.  Neil’s scent has always been heavenly to me and I’d been addicted to it for years.  Hard to describe, but absolutely lush on my sensibilities.  Like fresh air and forest spice and pure water all combined into the perfect blend of male fragrance.  And I’d been restricted from indulging in it for most of my life.

But not anymore.

I shut the bathroom door, stripped out of my bra and knickers, and got clean in my boyfriend’s shower.  I so love the sound of that!

I’m sure I wore a ridiculous grin on my face the whole time I scrubbed.  Once I was finished in the shower and out brushing my teeth with his personal toothbrush, I still kept grinning into the mirror like an idiot, glad the door was shut and Neil couldn’t see how much of a lovesick fool I was being right now.  Pointless indeed.  He would know it the moment I stepped out anyway.  He probably already did know it.

I left the bathroom dressed in his shirt.  It came down on me to mid-thigh and I’d already decided I was keeping the thing.  Yeah, Neil’s beloved Hendrix shirt would forever belong to me.  I had absolutely no qualms about my thievery either.  I didn’t want to have to be without the scent of him once his leave from the army was over.  That meant his shirt wasn’t getting washed anytime soon.  If ever.

My inner ramblings distracted me to the point I wasn’t thinking about what might be waiting for me when I came out.  But the sight that greeted me upon my return to the bedroom in nothing but my clean skin and Neil’s shirt, was so not what I was expecting.  I stopped dead in my tracks and stared, the towel I was using to hand dry my hair slid from my grip and onto the floor with a soft thud.

Neil was waiting in the bed for me.

Holy Hell he was beautiful, sitting up against the headboard, his wide chest bare for my eyes to drink in.  The cuts and angles of his hard muscles and golden skin in contrast to the white sheets nearly made me break down again.  I could see that his nipples were hard and his gaze on me was deep with liquidity.  Mysterious and sensual with a bit of an edge.  I could only imagine what he might be thinking about right now.

My nipples were hard too, and I felt an involuntary shiver roll down my spine.

I’d seen his body before.  I knew what Neil looked like without his shirt on, and I knew very well about the washboard abs, and how they tapered into a V at his hips that made my insides a quivering mess whenever I was lucky enough to get a decent look at him.  Which wasn’t often, unfortunately.

Neil was blessed with an earthly form that screamed ‘sex god’ for a man.  But I’d never been in a position to think of  him in that way.  Those times I’d seen him had been when he was working out with Ian or roughing ’round with boys at football.  This right now was completely different.  Neil was like this for me and me alone.  He was offering himself to me—his body for my eyes to see, for my hands to touch, and for my lips to kiss.

“You dropped your towel,” he said softly, splaying a hand out over the sheet.

“I know.”  I struggled to breathe through the pounding in my chest and began to reach down for the towel.

“Leave it.”

Neil’s voice was harder, different—a command really.  I froze in step, flipping my eyes up so I could see his face and understand what he meant.

His long muscled arms were stretched out.  “Come here, beautiful,” he said softly.  “Don’t think about anything that scares you right now.  It’s just you and me here.”

Neil kept his arms out, his eyes glittering at me in a way I’d never experienced coming from him before, but thrilling and wonderful at the same time.

“Come to me.  My beautiful Cherry Girl…come over here and let me love you.”

I started walking.


Elaina Morrison ~Cherry Girl