What She Needs
Welcome to the Hotel Erotique, where sex is the main amenity.
Mild-mannered Jenna Banks has never considered sex a recreational sport, preferring instead to share herself one-on-one with a man she respects and loves. Then a friend secretly enters her in a contest—and to Jenna’s dismay she wins. It’s a two-week stay at the notorious Hotel Erotique, where every sexual fantasy comes true—in room after room, with stranger after stranger.
Even more unnerving for Jenna is Brent Powers, her wildly sensual personal guide, who can’t wait to put his degree in sexual psychology to work—by tapping into Jenna’s unspoken fantasies, and by allowing her to surrender her inhibitions and discover her true sense of freedom. But with the slow and steady seduction of Jenna come feelings that neither of them expected. And now where the final fantasy takes them depends on how far Jenna and Brent are really willing to go.
“A mouth watering treat for the erotic love story fan.” ~Michelle Buonfiglio, Barnes&Noble.com
“One very hot, sexy and erotic book. Full of sexual fantasies that will have you flipping the pages to see what will happen next!” ~Annette Stone, Fresh Fiction
“Lacey Alexander has created a book which literally "wows" the reader. Buckle up and hold on tight. Impossibly hot!” ~Lynn, Fallen Angels Reviews, 5 ANGELS, RECOMMENDED READ
“Prepare to be swept away on an erotic journey of sexual awakening! The imagery and attention to detail will thrust you right into the sensual fantasies and erotic adventures. I can honestly say this book grabbed my attention from the first chapter and kept me captivated until the final page. This author does a great job writing sex scenes where the reader actually feels the emotion between the characters, even when the emotion shouldn't be there. What She Needs is very sensual, erotic and will open your mind to infinite possibilities!" ~Lisa Freeman, The Romance Studio, 5 HEARTS
“Each sex scene is more varied -- and hotter -- than the last in this delightful read. Fans of heroes with tragic pasts will swoon over Brent.” ~Rhomylly Forbes, Romantic Times, 4 STARS
“An ultra-heated erotic romance. The heat is on …” ~Harriet Klausner, Genre Go Round Reviews
“WOW!!! This book sizzles from the very first (page). As Jenna grows more comfortable with her own sexuality, Ms. Alexander challenges her readers to think about their own fantasies. I love that this book provides more of a story than just random sexual encounters … (about) two people moving out of their comfort zones and finding a better fit with each other. Ms. Alexander explores the spectrum of the human sexual experience without embarrassment or ridicule.” ~Erotica Romance Writers
Warning: This excerpt may feature sexually explicit material not appropriate for young readers. By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age.
If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary to stop reading here.
Following the map she’d been given upon her arrival, she took in the beach to her right, the sky turning blush-colored as the sun began its descent. And as she started across a long wooden boardwalk, sea oats sprouting up from the sand beneath, she spied a gazebo in the distance – which her trusty map marked as the spot for her orientation dinner.
She’d worn a pretty pink sundress with a low-cut halter neck – like the bathing suit, sexier than what she’d choose at home. Because she didn’t want Mariel to think turning down the sex part of her prize meant she was prim, or repressed, or anything else. She wanted Mariel to see her as a confident woman who had made the right decision for herself, so she wouldn’t question it.
She walked slowly to ensure not losing her balance on her sexy, strappy cork wedges – and again couldn’t stop herself from thinking about sex. How many people were having sex right now somewhere on this island? She felt warm in her panties, imagining, wondering, as vague, shadowy images of sweaty bodies moving together wafted through her mind.
Damn – she’d finished her last rum punch nearly an hour ago, but she still felt it. Otherwise, she surely wouldn’t be thinking about sex so much – or suffering the response between her thighs.
But don’t worry – this really will be okay. Eating would help sober her. And after dinner, she could turn in early, then get up and enjoy a lazy day on the beach tomorrow.
The lowering sun cast shadows over the interior of the gazebo as she approached, but she stepped boldly inside, ready to show Mariel how self-assured she was. Until she saw a completely scorching hot guy sitting at a table for two – and flinched, halting in place on her wedge heels. “Um, sorry – wrong gazebo.”
His dark hair was thick but well-kempt, contrasting slightly with the sexy stubble on his chin – and a slight smile made him even more handsome. Everything about him looked strong, confident, powerful – like she wished she really felt right now. “No – right gazebo, Jenna.”
Oh, shit – he knew her name. She stood up straighter, her spine going rigid. “I’m supposed to meet Mariel. And you’re … not her.”
His smile deepened – he looked amused at how flustered she appeared – and she couldn’t help noticing, even in the dim light, that he possessed deep gray eyes, sexy and captivating. He stood and walked around the small table – set for dinner, complete with ensconced candles and wine glasses – to pull out the chair on the other side. “Sit down,” he said, “and I’ll explain over some pinot grigio.” Her favorite wine. Had that been on a questionnaire somewhere?
She couldn’t figure out a graceful way to not sit down, even though her impulses immediately told her to run, to extract herself from this situation. But for heaven’s sake, calm down – he’s only an incredibly hot guy, not a demon from hell or anything.
Although she feared she was probably looking at him as if her were indeed Satan himself. Because she’d had a plan, and whatever it was he had to explain, this changed it. And suddenly everything felt different. Despite how calm she’d been through the afternoon, now she sensed sex all around her, in a pervasive way.
But then, wait, no – maybe it was only … him. His eyes. His body. He dripped sex. He made her tingle between her legs even amid her unaccountable fear. He looked like a guy who could steal a woman’s soul.
“Sit,” he urged her again. “I won’t bite. Promise.” Then he winked.
And there it was again, that undeniable pulse at the juncture of her thighs.
Jenna sat. Because she didn’t know what else to do. And since she’d already acted totally weird in front of Mr. Soul-Stealing Hottie, she now experienced the urge to make him see what she’d wanted Mariel to see – a confident, in-control woman. With Mariel, it had been to prove she didn’t need the sexual offerings here – yet with this guy, it was simply to redeem herself.
After pushing in her chair, he returned to his own. Which meant they were face to face again and it was time to meet his gaze. Her chest tightened as she forced herself to do so. She simply wasn’t accustomed to dealing with a man so attractive. In a world designed for sex. Where had her pleasant sense of intoxication gone? It’s departure left her feeling vulnerable, for reasons she couldn’t understand.
“First,” he said, still smiling that sexy smile, “congratulations on winning our grand prize, and welcome to the Hotel Erotique. I hope you’ve enjoyed your stay so far.”
“Thank you, and yes, it’s lovely.” Get to the point already.
Before continuing, though, he paused to lift an open bottle from an ice bucket to pour two glasses of wine. “Second,” he finally went on, “I have some unfortunate news. Your guide, Mariel, has just been called away on a family emergency.”
Oh God. I know I should feel bad for Mariel, but right now, I’m more worried about me. “I’m … sorry to hear that. Nothing too serious, I hope,” she managed to add.
“Her father had a heart attack, and he’s expected to have a complete recovery, but she still needs to be with him.”
“Of course,” Jenna replied, nodding.
“And as luck would have it, the only other female guide on site this week is already very overbooked. We have two more, but both are on vacation.”
“I see,” was all she could say. So what did that mean? Well, maybe she should simply go ahead and tell him her decision and this wouldn’t even matter since she didn’t actually need a guide. But before she could figure out how to broach the topic of sex – he went on.
“I know our literature promises a same-gender guide for each guest, but these are unusual circumstances, so I apologize and hope you won’t mind being stuck with me.” His enticing grin widened, making her thighs melt even as her jaw went slack.
“You,” she repeated numbly.
“Brent Powers,” he said, extending a hand across the table.
She forced herself to shake it. It was big. Strong.
“And I can assure you that, despite this being unusual, I’m committed to ensuring your stay with us exceeds your expectations,” Brent went on. “I’ve been with the Hotel Erotique for fifteen years and have spent ten of those as a guide. I have a B.S. in Social Psychology and a Ph.D. in Clinical Sexology. I’m also part owner of the resort, so I hope all that will convince you you’re in safe hands.”
Clinical Sexology, huh? And he even had a masters in it. Which she supposed made him an official doctor of sex. It was strange to know she sat across from a man who was not only hot as hell but who also knew more about sex than she could possibly fathom.
But none of that mattered. What mattered was … “Actually, I was planning to tell Mariel that … I’d like to decline the, uh, sex portion of my prize. So I don’t really need a guide. I’d just like to enjoy the rest of what the resort has to offer.”
Across from her, Brent Powers blinked, looking truly surprised. “May I ask why?”
She sucked in her breath. This part would have been easier with a woman. Or even with a less-attractive man. She found she couldn’t quite meet his eyes as she spoke. “Well, I simply decided I’m not comfortable having sex with strangers. No offense – I’m sure it brings many people a lot of, um, pleasure – but I just don’t think it’s right for me.”
Only when he didn’t answer right away did she manage to lift her gaze from his white button-down shirt to his face – to see him appearing unduly concerned. So she rushed on. “Maybe I should have given the prize back – I’m sorry if that’s what you would have preferred. But I really could use a vacation, and when I discussed this with some friends, they suggested I simply enjoy the other aspects of the prize – like the pool, and the spa.” She decided to blame at least part of it on Shannon and Kevin since this was actually all their fault. “Is that okay? Or should I leave?”
At this, Brent Powers reached out to touch her hand, where it rested on the table near her untouched glass of wine, and – yikes, the simple connection sizzled through her like electricity, skittering all the way up her arm. “Jenna, we would never ask you to leave. But I’d like to talk more about your decision.”
Oh boy. She finally took a drink of her wine. A big one. She needed it. “What’s to discuss?” she asked, trying for an easy, confident expression.
Brent lifted his wine for a sip, too – then smiled that killer smile again. “Well, to begin with, what we do here is more than ‘sex with strangers.’”
Oh? Could have fooled her.
He went on. “People come here for a lot of different reasons, and we welcome them all, but by and large, I see what we do here as being therapeutic.”
Hah! Was he serious? It was truly hard to hold in a sarcastic laugh, but she contained it somehow.
“There are many reasons people seek out new sexual experiences, and I’m sure you know we design a series of individualized fantasies based on what we’ve learned about each guest from our questionnaires. And we usually fine-tune it a bit after the guest arrives. If we saw our job as nothing more than supplying ‘sex with strangers,’ we wouldn’t go to so much trouble, nor would be have a full staff educated and trained to give our guests the optimal sexual encounters while helping them attain their sexual needs and, in some cases – like yours – resolve their sexual issues.”
She hadn’t thought about that, she supposed – they truly did seem to take great care in creating each person’s fantasies. Except … wait. Sexual issues? What was he talking about?
“If people just want casual sex, there are other resorts that offer that, with less expensive price tags. When people come here, we know they desire more – we’re unique in the service we provide. And I’m not telling you this to change your opinion of the Hotel Erotique so much as to suggest you reconsider your decision.”
Okay, so it was official – he was trying to talk her into going through with the sex part. Which she really hadn’t expected. Kevin had been so sure they’d be happy to let her skip it – damn him.
“The thing is,” she began, “I don’t have sexual issues. I think you just said I do, but I don’t.” Maybe clarifying that would make Mr. Sexology back off.
Across from her, though, his eyelids lowered slightly, shading his gaze and making him look even more seductive. “Jenna, I’ve read your questionnaires, as well as the profile Mariel prepared after receiving them. I was under the impression you realized …”
“What?” she asked when he trailed off, her heart beating too fast.
He tilted his head, peering at her as if they shared a secret. “I know you haven’t had sex in over a year,” he said, his voice so smoky that he made even that sound alluring. “Although you characterize the sex you’ve had as ‘good,’ nothing in the way you described it was very convincing. And I know, too, about your parents’ view of sex – and also about your cousin.”
All the blood drained from Jenna’s face. Sexy voice or not, she couldn’t have been more dumbfounded. He, or Mariel, or both of them, had taken bits and pieces of information scattered throughout those online forms and cobbled them together in such a way that … oh God, they thought she had sex hang-ups! They thought that was why she’d come here, why she’d entered their stupid contest. If she’d felt vulnerable a few minutes ago, it was nothing compared to now.
Just then, a handsome, dark-skinned waiter entered the gazebo bearing a large tray and Brent looked up. “Good evening, Rico.”
“Mr. Powers,” the waiter said with a nod, then also smiled politely in Jenna’s direction – which made her blush. Because it was one more person who thought she’d traveled here for sex – and now it was worse, now it was assumed she’d come here to solve sexual problems!
Rico lowered two dishes – fine china from the looks of it – overtop the larger plates already on the table. Glancing down at hers, Jenna saw chicken cordon bleu and didn’t remember choosing it from a menu at any time, despite it being one of her favorites. Unless it had been on some questionnaire she couldn’t remember – she’d filled those out weeks ago.
By the time Rico departed, Jenna had grown irritated enough that it finally superseded her nervousness with Mr. Hottie Sexologist and allowed her to look him squarely in the eye, ignoring her food. “You think you know a lot about me, don’t you?”
Because she was beginning to get the picture here. He not only thought he knew about her in sexual ways – he was also showing her he knew what she liked to eat, to drink. Were they meeting here because he’d somehow discerned that she found gazebos quaint and loved sunsets? She felt … utterly invaded upon.
“You told me a lot about you, Jenna,” he reminded her matter-of-factly. “In the questionnaires.”
“I told Mariel,” she corrected him.
“And I’ve apologized for not having another female guide available right now, but that’s not really what this is about.”
“What what is about?”
“I’m not angry,” she snapped – then realized that she, indeed, sounded pretty angry.
“We consider it a large part of our job to learn as much about you as we can, in order to provide the experience you need here. And you freely gave us the information necessary to do that,” he pointed out.
Which pissed her off even more, because he was right. She’d stupidly filled out the forms, not thinking anyone was going to analyze them that closely – simply thinking it would be fun to find out if she was more Type A or Type B, more creative or analytical, that sort of thing. “True, I did. But you keep using the word need, and I assure you I don’t need anything. If I needed it so badly, why would I be turning it down?”
“Because you’re afraid of it, Jenna,” he answered without missing a beat. “Which is perfectly understandable considering your profile.”
She lowered her chin derisively. “So just what is it you think you learned about me? What is it you think I need so badly?”
Her sexy guide simply tilted his head, the move making him appear almost arrogant. “If you don’t know, then I can’t tell you, Jenna. You have to find out along the way.”
“Along what way?”
“By experiencing the sexual fantasies we’re going to create for you here over the next two weeks.”
“That’s another thing,” she said, her dander rising even more. “You and your brochures call them fantasies – yet you design them? That doesn’t make any sense.”
“Sure it does,” he claimed. “We use only data you give us to design your fantasies. Many people tell us that what they experience here mirrors their own fantasies exactly. Others say we help them live out fantasies they weren’t bold enough to create in their own minds. Either way, we feel the term ‘fantasies’ is a good way to describe the experiences.”
Jenna simply gave her head a short shake. She couldn’t believe this. Getting out of the sex part had sounded so easy. But Brent Powers was making it pretty challenging – and upsetting her in the process.
Until she suddenly remembered: It didn’t matter what he said, or what he thought he knew, or even if some little part of her wondered if, or feared, he could be right – she didn’t have to anything she didn’t want to. So that’s what she told him. “I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to.”
“Of course you don’t,” he said smoothly. “But you will want to, Jenna.”
She sat up a bit straighter, unnerved. “What makes you so sure?”
“Because I’m going to make you want to.”
For a second she couldn’t breathe. Because she was pulsing in her panties again. Just from looking into his dark eyes and listening to his seductive voice and over-sure words.
But then she pulled herself together – again. Damn it, this man possessed the ability to make her come undone at a glance. “I don’t think so,” she simply said.
And at this, a small smile formed on her guide’s face. “Tell you what,” he suggested. “How about you just eat dinner with me, and if I haven’t proven to you I’m right by the time it’s over, you win – you’re free to just enjoy the beach and the spa and I won’t bother you with this again. How’s that sound? Fair?”
Frankly, it sounded unsettling. Since it meant he’d spend the next hour trying to talk her into something she absolutely wouldn’t, couldn’t do. But she was a big girl – she could just keep saying no as she had so far. And if she stormed out of the gazebo in a huff, it was going to make it difficult to stay here and have a relaxing all-expense-paid vacation. She could put up with the arrogant ‘sexologist’ over dinner if it meant she could enjoy her vacation with his blessing. And besides, she was determined to convince him he didn’t know as much as he thought. And whatever needs he thought she had … well, he’d clearly over-analyzed her. “All right,” she finally said. “Fair.”
“Good,” he said with a short nod. Then he lifted his wine glass in a toast. “To … what I suspect will be an enlightening meal.”