Thanks so much for visiting! I’m Kilby. If you’re ready to add a more sexy to your TBR list, you’ve come to the right place…
For those of you who don’t know me, I write award-winning multi-genre erotic romance. Whether I’m writing contemporary, rom-com, or romantic suspense, all of my books have these four things in common:
Strong, independent heroines. Critics laud my work as feminist and sex-positive.
Super-sexy, super-woke heroes. Sorry. No alpha-holes here.
Villains who have it coming. Comeuppance? Revenge? Good, old-fashioned justice? Yeah, I love that sh*t.
Complex, realistic predicaments. No dense, melodramatic people getting in the way of their own happiness. My characters are working through dilemmas that are much bigger than them.
I have one-and-a-half freebies for you today. One is the full version of my four-time award-winning erotic rom-com novella, The Art of Worship and the second is an extended excerpt from my eleven-time award winning debut novel, Snapdragon. Like what you read? Join my newsletter. It’s the best way to stay on top of what's going on in my world. I also do AMAZING giveaways for my fans!
READY FOR YOUR FREEBIES?
“THE ART OF WORSHIP”
OH, MY. THAT’S AWKWARD…
Teen virgin Reed Whitney stands to inherit lovemaking wisdom passed down through generations. There's only one problem: the knowledge is given from father to son. Can he survive the embarrassment of sex lessons from his dad, and learn the art of worship?
THE RULES ARE SIMPLE…
...unattached companionship, toe-curling sex, and a clean break whenever it ends. Either one can say the single word that will break it off: Snapdragon. But soul-deep sex is just the beginning. Compromising her ambition is the one thing she said she’d never do. And Darby must fight hard not to fall in love.
Here. Read a bit of “The Art of Worship”…just to give it a try.
“Reed, may I see you in my study?"
My father’s casual tone is displaced, as if he invites me into his study with regularity. Which he doesn’t.
"I thought that since your mother was out, we might have a talk, just the two of us."
As we walk silently toward the east wing of the house, I wonder what this could be about. I’m eighteen, a senior in high school. My grades are excellent. I never stay out past curfew or get in trouble. And if he ever found the small stash of pot I keep in my underwear drawer, I doubt he’d care.
But there are some things my father takes seriously—like anything that happens in his study. And I’m curious to know why he’s summoned me. It’s a distinguished space. The handcrafted wood shelves that stand from floor to ceiling hold first editions of classics and other rare books. The furniture has been passed down through generations, along with mementos from across the globe. A fire blazes brightly in a hearth nearly as tall as the two of us. An old phonograph playing Chopin crackles and whines.
Every time I’m here, I get the feeling that I am stepping into another century. I half expect the portraits of Whitney men that hang on the walls, to come alive. These men are more serious versions of my father and me—oceanic eyes stare down past haughty cheekbones. One day it will be my own son and great-grandson who stand in this room inspecting a portrait of me.
"Scotch?" he asks, closing the door needlessly before striding to his liquor trolley.
It places me on alert. He only likes us to drink together when he has something to get off his chest. The last time he called me in for a man-to-man was the night they gave me the Jeep. We'd gotten through a third of a bottle of Blue Label before he'd said his peace on the privilege of driving a car and the responsibilities that go along with it.
"Thank you," I accept, in a tone as cordial and controlled as his. For as much as I’m just a kid, I’ve been well-trained in the protocols of high-born men.
I take a seat on the leather chair that faces his direction just as he pulls out a well-aged Laphroaig. I study him, for clues, as he drops a single ice cube into each tumbler, pours us each two fingers of whiskey, and travels to join me in the chair opposite mine. He gives away nothing and, as usual, I don't know whether to resent his distance or to respect the hell out of his discipline. No teenage kid wants to admit to idolizing his dad, but in many ways, I do.
He settles in next to me, resting the bottle on the table in between us as he places one of the tumblers in my hand. I meet his eyes, and we raise our glasses in a silent toast, before turning our gazes to the fire. The whiskey tastes good and I make a mental note to raid his supply. The cheap stuff is fine for the flask I bring to school, but I wouldn't mind enjoying a nip or two of this in the privacy of my own room.
"You and Aubrey are close," he finally begins, after a few minutes.
Hmmm…he wants to talk about Aubrey. I don't give an answer because I can tell he doesn’t expect one.
"Your mother seems to think you two are—being intimate—with each other."
Brilliant—now they're speculating on my sex life.
I feel his eyes slide back to me. I keep my face neutral, my eyes on the fire.
"Yes, we're very close," I say calmly.
“But have you been intimate with one another?"
To anyone else, his voice would have sounded perfectly even, but I sense his slight annoyance. He doesn't like how good I’ve become at his subtle brand of insolence. The corner of my mouth quirks upwards in amusement as I look back over at him. I think about apples and trees and things that don’t fall far from one another.
“Are you referring to the special way a man and a woman hug when they love one another?”
Yes, it’s wicked of me, but he’s asking for it. He’s a doctor—can't he just come out and say S-E-X ?
"You underestimate me, Reed," he retorts evenly. "Even if you can't believe that I was your age once, at least give me credit for living closer to reality than the other parents in this town. Remember, I'm the one prescribing their kids birth control and helping them figure out what to do when they don't use it."
I want to tell him not to underestimate me, to give me credit for not being one of the incompetent brood I go to school with but I think the better of it. I distill my thoughts into a more diplomatic response.
"Don’t worry, Dad. I know that the pill is over 97% effective if taken as directed. I know that condoms and abstinence are the only ways to reduce the risk of STDs, and that condoms must be applied properly—with the tip pulled up flat and empty—in order for them to work."
See how I threw in that shit about abstinence? It never hurts to keep your parents guessing.
"I know you know those things. I know you'll take measures to protect you and Aubrey and I hope you know that if anything unexpected happens you can trust your mother and me enough to come to us for help."
And I know it’s true. My parents are decent people, and I’ve got it better than a lot of kids. They'd be pissed if I got Aubrey pregnant, but they wouldn't freak out, and I respect them for that.
Conceding, I say "I appreciate that…but, Dad…why are we here?"
He swirls his glass again, the remaining sliver of ice a mere shard floating in honey-colored liquid. I followed suit as he looks back toward the hearth, patiently waiting for him to reveal the purpose of our conversation.
“Have I ever told you how much your grandmother Eleanor disapproved of your mother?"
I shake my head and straighten in my seat a little. He almost never speaks of his parents, who were killed in a small plane crash years before I was born. I am surprised, and intrigued, that he speaks of them now and that any of it has to do with my mother. For years, I’ve been eager to know more about them.
"She wouldn't even give me her engagement ring to ask for your mother's hand. Even though Kate came from her own money, she came up with every excuse for why we shouldn't be together. She thought Kate was after our money, that she was pursuing other men simultaneously for their money, that she was sleeping with other men…she named every conceivable charge you could level against a woman trying to marry into a family like ours.”
“Why she believed this about your mother was a different story, a misunderstanding I’ll share with you at another time. But your grandfather, my father, never believed a word of it. He knew not only that your mother loved me, but that she was loyal, and would be a faithful wife. He knew I never had to worry about her straying from me because our love was real."
Preston turned back to look at me pointedly.
"He knew I could satisfy her every need."
He can't mean—
When my father raises a confirming eyebrow, I can only gape in mortification.
As he lets his subtext fully sink in, I am flushed with embarrassment.
"Son, you are here to receive a precious gift. It is one that my father bestowed upon me, and that his father bestowed upon him—one I will pass on to you now and expect that you give to your own sons when it is time."
What. The. Fuck?
"You are a Whitney, and were therefore born with certain natural—endowments—that predispose you to success with women. But, there is a beauty in sex which, if you could only grow to appreciate it—an art which, if you could only commit to learning it—will bring you and the women in your life such divine fulfillment as most mortals never know. It is the art of worship, Reed, and it has very little to do with sex."
His gazeis intense and I can barely breathe, let alone process my surprise that such a cache of Whitney family wisdom exists. My father is subtle most of the time, but when he isn't he can be quite intimidating. It doesn't help that he’s hit the nail on the head about my need for some, erm…guidance. The truth is, I’ve been consumed with worry about pleasing Aubrey.
"So, I’ll ask you again, son. Have you and Aubrey been intimate with one another?"
I shake my head in sheepish truth.
"But, you plan to be."
"Very good…" he smiles, polishing off the rest of his glass, "…then, there's still time."
Want a taste of “Snapdragon”? Here’s a Chapter 2 excerpt…
Darby and Michael just met at their mutual friend, Ben’s, wedding and have strayed from the reception to take a walk on the resort’s secluded beach. Though they both know Ben, they’ve never met. Darby is an up-and-coming psychopharmacologist; Michael is a lauded architect. Both have tremendously busy careers. At this point, each has admitted to an abysmal dating life. The following conversation ensues:
Cut to Scene
“So what do you do…for company?”
For the first time, he hesitated.
She lifted her hands in a peaceful gesture. “I don’t mean to pry. Really, I’m asking because I could use some advice myself.”
“That would be like the blind leading the blind. You could probably give me some pointers.”
She nearly snorted. “Don’t take advice from me. I’m days away from paying for it.”
“And here I thought you were a nice girl,” he kidded.
“Come on, Michael, we both know nice girls finish last.”
He cocked his head and narrowed his eyes in disbelief. “You mean to tell me the good doctor doesn’t get what she wants? Somehow I find that hard to believe.”
“I can assure you, the woman-of-fortune-and-fame fantasy is much sexier than the reality.”
“So’s the one about the most eligible bachelor.”
“Touché.” The quickening breeze had blown her hair across her face, and she smoothed it back. “So what do you want that you can’t have?”
“Companionship.” He said it as if the answer were obvious.
Darby quelled her temptation to dismiss the sentiment, however improbable it sounded. “I’ll bet you could find that if you wanted it. You recruited me easily enough.”
Something in his gaze sobered. “You want the truth?”
“I always want the truth.”
Trepidation crossed his face. He took a breath before he spoke again. “The truth is, I like you. I think you’re the kind of girl I’d like to have dinner with and take to social functions. I think we’d have more good conversation, some fun times, and sizzling hot sex.”
He paused long enough to measure her reaction. In the dark, he wouldn’t have been able to see the goosebumps that prickled her flesh.
“I’d give a lot for a real shot at an uncomplicated relationship with an interesting, worldly woman. But I don’t need to start something with you to know how it’ll end. Not for lack of trying, I’ve stopped wanting what I can’t have and dating women who want what I can’t give. Sooner or later, smart women always want it all.”
Darby let out a measured breath. “Wow, that’s…” Presumptuous, she wanted to say. Instead she settled on, “Perplexing.”
“It’s not, Darby.” His tone was disarming. “It’s what happens when you’re a thirty-year-old guy who doesn’t want a twenty-year-old girl. Women our age want more. It’s a biological instinct.”
The tops of her cheeks grew hot, and her eyebrows rose. “Says the man who commiserated with me over my friend asking when I would find a husband.”
But the repentant look she expected from having placed his foot solidly in his mouth never crossed his face. “Look,” he began. “I get that not all women want huge diamond rings or white picket fences. But just because I know that projecting those expectations on people is wrong doesn’t mean I think women want to be alone.”
“And men do?”
“No. But companionship looks different to men than it does to women.”
Darby shook her head and looked out toward the water. He wasn’t entirely wrong, but he wasn’t right, either. The assertion that wanting unattached companionship was a guy thing was ludicrous. “I know my share of women who are obsessed with getting a man to commit,” she admitted.
She swung her gaze back to his face. He smiled cautiously, seeming to sense an unfavorable reaction.
“But your view of women is short-sighted.” And borderline sexist. She bit her tongue again. “Biological clocks and maternal instincts aren’t something all women have. If you think there aren’t plenty of single women who want to stay that way, you’re sorely mistaken. My parents’ marriage was a disaster. The career I love has me working just as many hours as you do, probably more. The last thing I need is to come home after a hard day to a man who’s biologically incapable of not needing his ego stroked.”
The widening of his eyes and subtle slacking of his jaw showed he was without retort.
Darby went on, bent on driving home her point. “And because I can’t find a man who wants nothing more than to give me four toe curling orgasms twice a week and then get the hell out of my house…” She trailed off.
His Adam’s apple bobbed. What other reactions had her words caused? His silence felt like victory, and she pulled the champagne bottle from his loosened grip to pour them what was left. It took him a moment to remember to hold up his glass.
“Do you honestly expect me to believe that you can’t find a guy who only wants to have sex with you?” he finally recovered. “Because I don’t believe that.” His voice had turned low, nearly husky. It wiped out any doubt that the attraction was mutual.
“I expect you to believe girls like me have only two options: one-night-stands and Romeos. I don’t do one-night stands because the world is full of psychopaths who like doing bad things to pretty girls. And I stay away from Romeos because I find it insulting to watch someone go through the pomp and circumstance of ‘dating’ me because he thinks that’s what it’ll take for me to sleep with him.”
By the time she finished, his eyebrows had knit into his first frown of the evening. Men could be fragile, especially the better-looking ones. What emotion had she triggered?
“So, paint me a picture,” he said, “of someone who’s different.” His voice had that huskiness again. It made her body hum with the awareness of how quickly they were leaving the realm of the hypothetical.
“How would that someone come into your life?” he prodded when she didn’t answer.
“It’s complicated.” Her gaze wandered to the water again. For Darby, there could be no innocent flirtations, no absent-minded affairs, no tawdry trysts. Her father was a public figure, and she had her own respectable career to protect. She wasn’t like other women her age who could take to Tinder when they wanted a good time.
“I like complex things.” His breath near her ear caused a tingle that morphed into a chill that traveled down the back of her neck.
“He couldn’t be a complete stranger.” Hearing the words issue from her lips felt strange, as if she were creating a different persona. As if she were pretending some alternative to her reality could exist. “I’d have to know that I could trust him. And the attraction would have to be real.” Darby swallowed thickly.
His voice was gentle patience, but for a note of something bold—something that dared her to claim this fantasy that she didn’t believe could exist.
“He’d respect me enough to be honest about our arrangement and respect himself enough to be mature, conscientious, and discreet.” It took focus to calm her voice lest it betray her vulnerability. “And I, uh…wasn’t kidding about the orgasms, either. They need to be toe-curling, and there’d need to be at least four, every time we…”
He closed his eyes for a moment, too long for it to be a blink.
WHAT CRITICS SAY
Deeply meaningful, desperately sexual, and inevitably bittersweet, Snapdragon deals with the quandary of choosing love over career, the weight of adulthood and the complexity of modern work-life. It rewrites the book on what a 21st century relationship should look like and keeps the reader wondering how it will end.
Snapdragon rips open a new chapter in the romance genre, presenting complex characters, intense attraction, complicated choices and modern love for the real world. It is for anyone who struggles with competing priorities and demands on their time, but who wants to believe that everybody deserves a happily-ever-after. It will cause readers to sigh in satisfaction, ache in empathy, and quiver in anticipation, eager to read the next page. And the next. And the next.