Opening Lines

Snippets from the opening of each book, collected in one convenient location!

Solo Books

BDSM Drama

By His Rules

“Then Daddy’d take your shorts down, put you over his knee, and give you a good old-fashioned spanking. You’d listen to Daddy then, wouldn’t you?”

“Mmm. Yes, Sir.” Aiden Cole tried to signal the bartender for another gin and soda, making it obvious he was only half listening to Daddy.

He’d seen Daddy around here before and had always felt privately grateful that the heavyset, bearded top never approached him. Until tonight.

"Stranger than Stars" from the Take A Chance anthology

Sometimes the stars make no sense to me.

Most nights, I look up at them and think, yeah, that looks about right. The sky’s just like every painting and photo I’ve ever seen.

But other nights, I look up and think, what are you fuckers doing up there? What are you? I know what you are—I remember sniggering about ‘balls of gas’ in fifth grade science—but just…why? One thing leads to another, and pretty soon, I’m thinking how weird trees are. And dirt, and granola, and shih tzus.

BDSM Comedy/Serio-comic

Wacky Wednesday (Wacky Wednesday #1)

I woke the morning of Luciana Diamente’s dungeon party excited. But my excitement felt different from my excitement—if that makes any sense. For one thing, when I wriggled against the sheet to express my joy at being awake, alive, and only twelve hours away from Wellston’s biggest—okay, only—BDSM event of the year, my body was heavier than usual. My limbs felt thicker, my abs more powerful, and my jaw opened wider when I yawned. I saw my foot peeking out from under the covers. The foot was familiar, but there was something not quite right about it. I rolled over, and that’s when I really freaked out.

Because I was lying beside me.

Calling the Show

“Chicken pox?” I said, not ready to believe the words. “Chicken pox?”

Audra nodded. The Zazu to my Mufasa, she was often the first to hear the morning report at Findlay Theater, since she worked box office from nine to eleven Mondays. I was unable to arrive until nine thirty, when my bioethics class let out.

Springer was probably composing an e-mail to me at this very moment, offering her perspective on the situation.

Dear Jesse,

I imagined it read.

The unthinkable has happened. The kid with the tumor was voted off American Idol. Stephen Sondheim has turned to crime writing. Woman has walked on Jupiter.

Grady Herzgod has chicken pox and won’t be running lights for A Bluer Sky.

The Brat-tastic Jayk Parker (Wacky Wednesday #2)

I was lying in bed on a Saturday morning while my partner—well, fiancé if you wanted to get technical—sucked lazily on my cock, when I accidentally leaned on the TV remote. The channel guide popped up, reducing the porn we were watching to a tiny square in one corner of the screen. 

I grabbed the remote, intending to exit the guide, but I got distracted by my viewing options. Zirconia Mania on the home shopping channel. Cartoons. The family network was showing Babe: Pig in the City. 

“What’s up with animal sequels?” I asked. 

Amon slid his lips off my dick. “What?” 

He blew lightly on my spit-covered balls. I squirmed. 

“Why do sequels to animal movies always involve the animals getting lost in the big city? Babe: Pig in the City. Homeward Bound 2: Lost in San Francisco. Even the second Jurassic Park has a T-Rex loose in L.A.” 

Amon glanced over his shoulder at the TV. “Why don’t you concentrate on coming before my jaw locks?” he suggested, taking me down his throat once more. 

The Subs Club (The Subs Club #1)

Skrillex was blaring when Miles, Kamen, Gould, and I walked into Riddle—one of two BDSM clubs in the city, and the only one we bothered hanging out at anymore. Riddle’s owners had a real hard-on for dubstep. Even tonight, at the Kink by Candlelight party, which had the potential to be a wonderfully atmospheric event if someone would just swap the violent sub-bass for some monastic chanting or Vivaldi. Or Enya. Bitches love Enya.
The place was already packed. The couches were full, so we had to stand. Most people weren’t even using the changing area; they just peeled off their street clothes there in the lounge and put on their harnesses and corsets and . . . capes? Yep, someone was definitely wearing a cape. Candles had been set up in the three playrooms as well as the lounge, and we were just waiting for the DMs to light them and turn off the overheads so we could get to the fun. Or at least what I hoped would be fun, though I was already starting to doubt it.
At the very least we might get to see a cape catch fire.
Pain Slut (The Subs Club #2)

I was lying in dishabille on a steel exam table, my feet in a pair of stirrups, a hypodermic needle on a stand beside me—when my phone buzzed.
And kept buzzing.
My wrists were cuffed to the table, so I called to Bowser, who was sterilizing a scalpel over by the sink. “Can you hand me my phone?”
Bowser turned. Under his white lab coat, he wore a THE DOCTOR IS IN tee I’d given him years ago. “Now?”
“I’m expecting an important call.” Mind fogged. Wrists sore. Rubber tubing tied tight around my balls. How I thought I’d be able to carry on a phone conversation in this state, je ne savais pas.
Manties in a Twist (The Subs Club #3)

“Behold.” Amanda stepped back from the wall where she’d just hung Ryan’s and my newest amazerbeam piece of art.
Ryan and me, we couldn’t even talk for a minute, that’s how glorious this painting was.
It was of a hare dressed in a black and gold shirt with puffy sleeves, like from Shakespeare times, and a floppy cap and striped pants. The hare had a gold watch in his pocket and a serious look, and was just a generally very regal and well-dressed rabbit. The background was a sky blue that really made the brown fur pop.
“You’re so talented.” Ryan had this voice that was sort of like Boots, the monkey from Dora the Explorer. It was, I mean, a little deeper than that, but not much. He was super short—almost legit midget short, and I got that maybe midget wasn’t the right word anymore, but you know what I mean. He spoke really aggressively though, so you still took him seriously even though he sounded like a cartoon. “It goes perfectly with the walls.”
24/7 (The Subs Club #4)

I stood naked in the kitchen and reached into the cloth bag that used to hold Scrabble tiles. I scooped a handful of marbles then let most of them fall. Used my thumb to roll the remaining two against my palm until one dropped. I made a fist around the winner and drew it out of the bag. Slowly uncurled my fingers.


Well, fuck.

Slave Hunt (The Subs Club #5)

When I woke up, there was a Hemsworth sitting on my face.

Don’t ask me how long I’ve wanted to say that.

Okay, fine, it wasn’t Liam or Chris or even Luke—it was my dog, who’s an Italian greyhound mixed with a Chinese crested and is seriously weird as shit. He has these nightmares where he shakes and makes these little murfing noises and then wakes up suddenly and climbs on my head. Ryan was always like, Ignore him and maybe he’ll nut up, but I couldn’t ignore Hemsworth. I always picked him up and sang him his favorite songs, which were “Amanda” by Boston—because Hemsworth was big into Ryan’s friend Amanda—and “Don’t Fear the Reaper.”

The Subs Club Shorts (A Collection of Deleted Scenes and Original Fiction from the Subs Club Universe)

The sign on the side of the large white picnic shelter read PREPARE THYSELF FOR MERRIMENT.

I was fully prepared for merriment. I had lube, condoms, some of that jojoba gel that relaxes your sphincter, a comfortable and effective cock ring, cigarettes and a thank-you card for later, and I was ready to bend over and get fuckin’ pounded by merriment.

D, I was not so sure about.

Non-romance/Romantic Elements

Take the Long Way Home

I’m messaging Evan when my mom starts screaming downstairs—a long line of howls, like she’s auditioning for the part of the stabbed cheerleader in a slasher film. 

Of course I think something is majorly wrong, like Babykate is dead, or Gunner’s gotten maimed in a training exercise, or I don’t know what. Why’s she screaming unless it’s bad, right? Unless someone’s dead or almost there? But the thing is she didn’t scream like this when she found my dad six years ago. She was quiet then, creeping closer to the couch like she didn’t want to wake him. I was behind her, and all I could see was his shoe—worn, reddish-brown Steve Madden—and part of his pant leg sticking out. It was like this book I’d read where a bunch of kids accidentally killed their teacher and had to keep it a secret, and all you saw on the cover was the dead teacher’s leg, and he was wearing, like, a serviceable loafer. I’d spent a lot of time thinking after I read that book and decided if I ever accidentally killed someone, I’d just admit it. Because it was an accident. 

The Grand Ballast

The night the snake charmer broke his wrist, Bode stopped taking his pills.

The show was sloppy—an unexpected performance Kilroy had added after the first two sold out. Kayak, the contortionist, couldn’t get his own cock into his mouth. Roulette and Sibyata nearly missed a catch on the trapeze. The snake charmer toppled from the bench while playing his pungi and landed wrong on his arm. He screamed. Members of the audience clapped weakly, unsure whether the tragedy had been staged for their benefit, while the mechanical snake slithered toward the exit, rattling its steel tail.


Know this: I am not a warrior.

I am a disease.

If I go down in history a hero, it will be someone scraping half-truths off the floor and the undersides of desks, sculpting something ugly and defiantly off-center. It will be a careful rearrangement of facts, and it will involve so many lies of omission that the truth will end up amputated from me like a limb. I’ll stagger around, a lopsided idea of who I was, everyone too polite to discuss what I’m missing.

The Silvers

They bleed the same as humans, but they are more satisfying to cut, thinks B. Something about the way the silver skin tears, like cloth, like the fat ribbon his mother used to wind around the Christmas tree back home.
This place is called the Silver Planet because of them, and because the lakes are like soldering metal and colors look accidental, like stains on the land. And they are called Silvers, though they aren’t shiny, aren’t metallic. The hue of their skin is an all-over bruise that hasn’t yet settled into those deep, wounded colors—blacks, purples, yellows.
They are bruised only on the surface, a cold, smoky gray.
"Beauties" from the All in Fear anthology

At a presentation celebrating the public opening of Carnificiality, Lester Usole watched Dr. Anne Cullom fuck a pair of twin Beauties.

Dr. Cullom didn’t remove her clothes, but she used plugs, dildos, and rope to demonstrate how the twins responded to various types of sexual stimulation. The female Beauty had never been tied down before, and it scared her. Several members of the audience laughed at her wide eyes, her attempts to pull away, her repeated cries of “What is that?” when the rope was brought near. But most were silent. The woman next to Lester had tears in her eyes.

Books Co-written with Lisa Henry

BDSM Drama

The Good Boy (The Boy #1)

The stone that had gotten caught in his shoe as he trudged up the shoulder of the road was digging into the ball of Lane’s foot by the time he reached the gentle incline of the hill. He kicked the gutter to try to dislodge it, or at least shift it under the arch. Nothing. He limped a few steps up the hill, leaned on someone’s letter box, and pulled his shoe off.

The shoe was a canvas lace-up. Nothing special. A thin canvas lace-up that wasn’t fashionable enough to pass as retro or hipster or whatever. Just cheap. 

The Boy Who Belonged (The Boy #2)

Derek Fields opened the door to find his sister standing on the doorstep, looking more harried than usual. 

“It’s Paul,” Christy announced breathlessly, shaking her head and scowling. “He’s booked a trip to Fiji for us for Christmas! Fiji, Derek!” 

“Um,” Derek said, opening the door to let her in. “The bastard?” 

Christy elbowed him as she stepped inside. She dumped her overflowing shoulder bag on the floor and headed through to the kitchen. “Your sarcasm isn’t helping!” 

When All the World Sleeps

“Hey, Harnee’s kid,” Daniel Whitlock said, and the smile lit up his whole face.
Bel resisted the urge to plant his fist in it. “Officer Belman to you, Whitlock.” He took his flashlight from his belt and shone the beam in Whitlock’s eyes. The guy’s pupils had almost swallowed his hazel irises entirely. “What’d you take?”
Whitlock turned from Bel and shoved his hands in his pockets, pulling his jeans tight across his ass. “I’m going home. You coming with me?”
They were in the parking lot of Greenducks, a rundown bar wedged between a former beauty salon and a mortgage firm. You had to go down a flight of half-rotted wooden stairs, and then you were in a basement full of cocksuckers. And not the kind you saw in gay bars in movies. No tanned and toned bodies, no goddamn angel wings or leather shorts. These guys stank, and they smoked, and they’d do anything for drugs. Bel only went into Greenducks when he was desperate enough to pretend not to notice the exchanges that went on.
Non-romance/Romantic Elements

Another Man's Treasure

A bright sting. The zip of satin across Ilia’s skin. Pressure on the rings so great that for a second Ilia thought they’d rip out. Then the pain faded to a throb, and the guy started threading the ribbon through the next set.

“All right?” the guy asked.

Ilia nodded.

“I’m pullin’.”

Ilia closed his eyes.


They were past the middle of Ilia’s back now. Each time the piercer pulled the ribbon taut, Ilia experienced such a mess of agony that he couldn’t think about anything else. But in the moments between, he could concentrate on the strangeness of the sensation. His skin was laced like a corset. A row of steel rings on either side of his spine. Black satin ribbon crisscrossing his back. He could feel blood trickle from some of the holes.


Mark Cooper Versus America (Prescott College #1)

Rush week. 

Deacon hated it. Working at a bar this close to campus meant that sooner or later some little asshole with a fake ID would saunter up to the bar, trying his best to look casual, and attempt to order a shitload of beers for his buddies--who would be clustered around a table in the darkest corner they could find, also trying to look casual. 

Except this guy didn’t look casual. 

He looked pissed. 

Brandon Mills Versus the V-Card (Prescott College #2)

“An hour,” Mark Cooper said. Brandon watched as Mark flopped onto Deacon’s neatly made bed and stretched, rumpling the covers. “I can stay an hour, and then I need to go back to Alpha Delt. It’s our mixer tonight as well, you know.”

Brandon raised his brows at the open window. From the Alpha Delta Phi house next door, music was blasting and it wasn’t even dark yet. Brandon already had a headache. “Oh, trust me, we know. The whole campus knows.”

Deacon Holt snorted from his desk. He balled up a piece of notepaper and threw it at Mark. “Are you guys going to be the neighbors from hell again this year?”

“Shut up, nerds.” 

Fall on Your Knees (The Rated XXX-Mas Anthology)

“So.” Asa held the phone tighter and leaned back in his chair so he could see out to the office floor. From this angle—slightly perilous, though worth the risk—he could just make out the slump of Drew Harper’s shoulders. His very nice shoulders. Not too broad and not too scrawny. Just about perfect, from what Asa could tell from his avid studies over the past few months. Those shoulders tapered down to narrow hips and an ass that looked especially inviting when Drew bent over the copier. Asa had plotted most of his workplace fantasies around a combination of Drew’s ass, lips, and what, in his imagination, was a totally gorgeous dick. 

“So?” The smile was evident in Javier’s voice. 

“So Drew is having a really bad day.” 

The Two Gentlemen of Altona (Playing the Fool #1)

Mac was first on the scene, if you didn’t count the local cops. Which Mac didn’t. It was all very well for Val to go on about fostering a spirit of cooperation blah blah blah, but Mac had been after Dean Maxfield for months now, and no local cop was going to fuck it up for him. Also, it was one in the morning, and Mac hadn’t had coffee in eight and a half hours, and he was feeling it. So cooperation was very much off the table.

The Merchant of Death (Playing the Fool #2)

Henry Page took the bus up 65 toward Zionsville. All around him, people stared ahead or out the window or at the floor. Never at each other. While Henry preferred cars—not always his own, and not always legally obtained—he liked the anonymity of public transport. All these people crowded together, heading in the same direction, and they spent most of the journey trying not to notice anyone else.
That was also one reason buses and subways were great places to pickpocket—so many people looking the other way. A crowd, but no witnesses.
Tempest (Playing the Fool #3)

Thunder cracked as Mac turned onto Holloway Road. A few seconds later, rain slammed the windshield.
Mac glanced at Henry, who sat rigid in the passenger seat, staring straight ahead as water poured down the glass and the wipers pushed it away.
“We won’t see the worst of it,” Mac said. “It’s heading west.”
“Thank you,” Henry said tersely. “That was Special Agent Ryan McGuinness with the weather. Over to you, Viola, for sports.” He turned to his sister. “Vi? How ’bout them Hoosiers?”

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