After a devastating trauma, Zeenie attended a college mixer and experienced powerful Crainesian pheromones between herself and Turk. Unprepared for the life-mate call, she panicked and fled. Turk has waited and yearned for Zeenie for years while staying dialed in to her recovery. Finally, rumor says she’s ready to date again, and he’s determined to make her short list, even if it means resorting to a little trickery.
Zeenie’s plan is to ease back into the world of dating, not dive in heart first. Especially not with the hunk who’s supposedly bedded half the women in Dallas since she rejected him. On a blind date, he surprises her with patience and maturity when she fights against their pheromone bond, then shows tenderness and consideration when phantoms of her past arise.
As she learns more about Turk, Zeenie entertains heated fantasies of what could be and makes tentative forays into his sensual world. But her initial rejection broke with Crainesian custom and continues to cast a dark shadow on their future. Can she embrace her sexuality and summon enough courage to claim her man in true Crainesian style, or will their growing love be tainted forever?
EXCERPT from Zeenie and Turk’s first date:
Inside him lay the knowledge of their rightness together, he and Zeenie. Ever since their brief meeting during her sophomore year in college, he’d known. If it hadn’t been for the rape she’d experienced and Zeenie’s titanium padlocked receptors at the time, she would know it too. He’d been in his senior year, looking forward to graduation and entering the work force. For weeks his libido raged out of control, drawing him to a life mate who, under normal circumstances in the Crainesian world, should have been pursuing him.
He’d turned to the myriad of available human co-eds ready and willing to sate his sexual appetite. Heady stuff, but he’d tired of never finding complete fulfillment. Only Zeenie would do.
The tap, tap of her very sexy, high heels on his hardwoods told him she had returned.
“What would you like me to do?”
If I told you it would blow your mind and you’d be blowing mine. He retrieved the defrosted chicken. “There’s a bag of prepared salad in the fridge, along with several other vegetables. Include whatever you like. I’m going to put the chicken on the grill.” Turk made the mistake of glancing over his shoulder.
Zeenie stood in the fridge doorway. Reaching to open the vegetable bin with one hand, she pulled on the hem of her miniscule dress with the other. She succeeded in keeping her butt covered, but the expanse of long well-toned legs had him staring. Would he ever know how it would feel having them wrapped around his waist, him buried deep within her soft moist heat? Adam’s apple bobbing convulsively, he forced himself to return to the heated grill before he did something completely stupid. Like that whole lip-lock scenario that kept teasing his mind.
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Praise for Phantoms & Fantasies:
highly recommend I very much enjoyed Phantoms and Fantasies. Ms. Rayburn has a fantastic imagination. Her books and characters come to life making it hard to stop reading at bedtime! Keep ’em coming, Carol. I want to read them all. ReaderMax, 5/5* (B&N)
Unique and sensual! I love Annie Rayburn’s stories and this one definitely delivers on the sensuality and emotion. I truly felt for Zeenie because of the trauma she’d suffered in the past. Turk is the perfect hero. He’s patient and understanding. And he’s loved Zeenie, his life mate, for years even though he couldn’t be near her. The sexual tension explodes off the page and so do the intense emotions! I loved this story and I can’t wait to read this author’s next story, Bittersweet Obsessions. – Anon., (B&N) 5/5*
Interesting Premise! Enjoyed the sexy read, the new world Ms. Burnside created, and look forward to reading many more! – Terry Spear Urban Fantasy 5/5* (B&N)
“Phantoms and Fantasies is a touching tale of healing and love mixed with passion. Kudos to Ms. Rayburn for broaching such a sensitive topic and hitting the perfect balance between Sci-fi and Romance. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a story about survival and love after tragedy.”—Shyla The TBR Pile. 5 STARS, Highly Recommended
“Annie Rayburn expands her Crainesians’ world with Phantoms and Fantasies and gives women, human and Crainesian alike, a satisfying glimpse into a erotic relationship that begins in the mind. Trust me, you’ll love how Ms.Rayburn turns dating and mating rituals on its head with her Crainesians.” – Pamela V. Mason (Smashwords review)
“I love Annie Rayburn’s stories and this one definitely delivers on the sensuality and emotion. The sexual tension explodes off the page and so do the intense emotions! I loved this story and I can’t wait to read this author’s next story, Bittersweet Obsessions.” – n22v (Amazon 5-star review)
“Annie Rayburn has created an amazing world. Her alien race of Crainesians blends easily with their human neighbors and share a large number of similarities. The traits that do make them different are what makes these books so tantalizing. This was an breathtaking story. Ms. Rayburn has totally created a world that is both believable and sexy. I could see myself living next door to a Crainesian and am envious of the link the life mates have with each other. I read this story in one sitting, it was that good. I think the author has a definite keeper with this new world and I can’t wait to read more.” – Tami Brothers, (Amazon 5-star review)
“An intriguing, erotic story full of romance and an emotionally satisfying ending.” —Morag McKendrick Pippin, author of Blood Moon Over Bengal
“Phantoms and Fantasies is a magical story of love, passion, and healing that will have readers hanging on to every word.” – Tammy, Fallen Angels Reviews. 5 Angels, Recommended Read
“Annie Rayburn has penned a wonderful book and interesting characters, which will have readers looking for more of her books.” –Angel Brewer, Romance Junkies. 4 Ribbons