Dance of the Crystal
Ex-Marine and bar-owner Soren, the quiet loner of the Thorvald brothers, reluctantly offers himself at a Take a Bachelor to Dinner Auction for charity. But when the minx who “won” him seems to be making a quick getaway under the table, a humiliated and angry Soren hoists her over his shoulder and storms from the ballroom.
So begins a rocky love affair between two unlikely people.
But when thirty-year old Crystal D’Angelo’s talisman tells her that Soren is The One she’s been waiting for, she’s ready to give him everything—heart, soul…virginity.
Soren, whose “man-woman skills” are almost nonexistent, finds he is unable to stay away from the innocent but sensual Crystal, who unleashes a sexual side of him he never knew existed.
But convincing Soren—who learned as a child that love hurts, and no woman can be trusted with his heart—that what she feels for him is about more than magic, is a tough battle she won’t give up on.
As things heat up between them, a psychotic stalker takes exception to Crystal’s relationship with Soren and violently turns her world upside down.
“Ms. Anson knocks you for a loop with such memorable characters that she will have the readers coming back for more. Dance of the Crystal has an alpha hero that you just want all to yourself and a strong innocent heroine that goes after what she wants. Ms. Anson will surprise you in the end with this hot romance. She has just the right amount of mystery to keep you reading and a lot of hot sensual romance that you will need an air conditioner just to cool down. Awesome job, Ms. Anson!”
— 5 angels, Sonya, Fallen Angel Reviews
“Ms. Anson’s Dance of the Crystal is a great contemporary erotic romantic suspense. The characters are three-dimensional. The dialogue is superb. The plotline is a lot of fun because of the protagonists, secondary characters, and the antagonist… . If you like your romances HOT and with an element of suspense, then pick up a copy of Ms. Anson’s Dance of the Crystal. It’s definitely worth reading.”
— 5 stars, KayleeMarie Walker, Just Erotic Romance Reviews
“When Crystal and Soren interact, they are both nervous wrecks: her clumsiness surfaces while his foot is constantly in his mouth…when they get together, wow! The sex scenes are so downright hot that toys are a must. I enjoyed the complexity of both main characters and found that they are perfect for each other…A definite keeper!”
— 4/5 stars, Tallyn Porter, Just Erotic Romance Reviews
“Dance of the Crystal made me melt. Actually, spontaneous combustion might be more along the lines of what I felt reading this book. ... Dance of the Crystal, the third book in the Dance series by Cris Anson, is just an all around, highly erotic, wonderful read.”
— Talia Ricci, Joyfully Reviewed
“DANCE OF THE CRYSTAL is the third book in Cris Anson’s scorching Dance series. This was a great read that really touches on many of the fears and worries that come with falling in love. ... Cris Anson has successfully written another beautiful and tumultuous love story.”
— 4/5 Blue Ribbons, Sarah W., Romance Junkies
“...Dance of the Crystal is a fantastic story with characters who I’ve found to be unique and irresistible! Cris Anson’s third installment in the Dance series is the best yet! Filled to the brim with humor, steamy erotic scenes, passionate emotions, and thrilling action, Dance of the Crystal is a truly magnificent tale, with a depth that I don’t see very often! This is definitely one series that everyone should keep an eye on!”
— 4.5 stars, LindseyAnn Denson, Ecataromance
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An Excerpt From: Dance of the Crystal
Copyright © CRIS ANSON, 2006
All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.
“So tell me, Anne Dubois, who is Crystal D’Angelo?”
Crystal flinched, and hoped in the dim light he hadn’t seen her reaction. She flicked her unmanageable hair behind one ear and looked yearningly in the direction where the waiter had disappeared.
“Are you a writer?” he persisted.
She glanced at him from out of the corner of her eye. “What makes you ask that?”
“I thought Anne Dubois was, you know, a pseudonym. To keep your professional life separate from your day-to-day life.” He shifted closer to her on the soft leather.
She tensed. She couldn’t move away from him without being obvious.
“Here you are, ma’am, sir.” The waiter rested the tray on a corner of the table and placed a delicate china cup and saucer before her, then a matching teapot and honey jar. The cognac came in a bulbous glass set atilt in a holder over a low flame.
Grateful for the interruption, Crystal poured her tea and dribbled honey into it, then stirred. “So you were in the Marines?”
She worried her lower lip with her teeth. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.”
Lifting her cup to her mouth, Crystal paused then set it back down. “I was embarrassed, so I made up the name.”
“A woman like you, what do you have to be embarrassed about?”
That innuendo got her back up like a cat about to unsheathe claws. “‘Like me’?” Did he think she was accustomed to baring her breast before strangers? “What does that mean?”
“Man magnet. As beautiful as a sunset. Sexy as all get-out.”
Crystal felt her mouth drop open. “I’m afraid you need a lot more light.”
“I saw just fine from up on stage. You zapped me with those eyes. You looked like you wanted to eat me up.”
“I didn’t…I mean, Grandma told me to look at you, so of course I did. You were so big, I couldn’t wrap my mind around it. But you were The One, so…”
She trailed off at the tender smile on his face. “Funny,” he said. “I thought the same thing when you looked at me. I thought, if any dame there at the auction was going to win an evening of my time, it might as well be you.”
“Really?” Her eyes grew huge and she groped for the crystal around her neck.
He leaned closer, casually slid his arm around the top of the banquette. “May I?”
“What?” He was too close. She wasn’t ready for this! She needed some time to accept the fact that this was the man she would marry, whose bed she would share. Fighting panic, she dropped the crystal to press a protesting hand to his chest. Then couldn’t bring herself to touch him.
He reached up to her shoulder, trailed a finger to her collarbone and the gold chain. He traced its path down her chest to the hollow between her breasts. She couldn’t contain the little breathy sound that escaped her.
His knuckles brushed the warm swell of skin pushed up by her bra as he wrapped his fingers around her crystal. “This is lovely.”
Crystal swallowed. She dared not look at him. He was too close. “It-It’s been in the family for generations.”
“I noticed that you played with it while you were bidding. Made me want to see what it was.”
“Um.” She could feel the soft puffs of his breath as he spoke, smelled the hint of coffee and cognac and some elusive scent she couldn’t place. Her brain went foggy. “Now you know.”
The whisper of her real name from his tongue made her shiver. Grandma was right. She would know when she met The One. She turned her head just the slightest bit.
Just enough for his lips to graze her cheek.
“Soft. So soft,” he murmured, nuzzling near her ear.
Heat sizzled through her, heat as strong as what she’d felt from the crystal when she’d first seen him. She couldn’t help it. She leaned into him.
Soren’s cock roared to life at her capitulation. She looked so innocent and sexy at the same time. He dropped the crystal and traced his fingers over the swells of her breasts, then up her throat to her jaw. He turned her face towards him and brushed his lips against hers. Once, twice. So soft, so pliant.
He shifted his angle and deepened the kiss. Her eager yet unschooled response sent flames to his groin. His tongue licked the seam of her lips.
“Oh.” Her breathless sigh opened her mouth just enough for him to delve into that delectable cavern.
He wanted to drown in her, wallow in the scent of her hair, the femininity of her. He let his tongue taste the inner softness of her mouth, felt the rasp of her tongue, the sharpness of her teeth as he explored. Wrapping an arm around her shoulders, he nudged her closer to him and felt her tilt off-balance. Instinctively she planted a small hand on his thigh, much too close to his zipper. Heat exploded into fire in the vicinity of his cock.
Danger signals blared across his mind even as he drove more deeply with his tongue. What the hell was he doing? These were the actions of a seducer, not a businessman supporting his community. Not a man who didn’t even want a woman. He was just supposed to have dinner with her, for God’s sake.
The heat of her small hand on his thigh intensified his lust as she kneaded his flesh in uncoordinated, jerky movements. Without breaking the kiss, he skimmed his hand down her shoulder, her arm and wrist, until his fingers covered hers. Without a thought of where he was, Soren nudged and prodded until she covered the unbearably hard bulge under his jeans. Vaguely he wondered how long it would be before the tablecloth burst into flames from his raging erection.
He felt a jolt run through her as she realized what her hand was caressing. He opened his eyes in time to see her eyelids flutter upward. She looked at him, eyes unfocused, mouth all ripe and wet and soft, breath coming in short gasps. Damn, he had to reach hard to find the gentleman lurking behind the seducer, but he managed to release her hand.
“Oh.” She blinked as if coming out of a trance, still rubbing his cock like the magic lamp that would produce a genie to do her bidding. “It’s so…hot.”
Through gritted teeth, he hissed out, “Baby, I’m barely two seconds away from spontaneous combustion.”
Oblivious to his pain, she continued rubbing his cock in soft, squeezing motions. Her eyes took on a dreamy quality. “It feels like…”
“Ah, there you are, young lady. You left your wrap on your chair. I was hoping I could catch you before—”
Crystal jumped to her feet at her grandmother’s voice. And bumped the table with her hip. Her teacup clattered in its saucer, then toppled over, spilling its contents over the edge of the table. Soren didn’t move quickly enough to avoid having the lukewarm liquid drip smack-dab on his jeans-imprisoned cock.
“Oh dear,” the young woman said. “I’m so clumsy. Here,” she grabbed a linen napkin, “let me wipe it off.”
Soren grimaced. Not bloody likely. At least not with your chaperone watching. “It’s fine,” he said hastily. “No harm done.” Yeah, right. If he was lucky, he’d be able to walk in about an hour.