Cover of the new book "Champagne Rules" - a black man and a white woman kiss in deep wine-coloured light

Champagne Rules


Warning: This excerpt contains adult content. 18 and over only, please.

Chapter 1

“So, tell all, Suze.” Jenny leaned forward, elbows on the table, pink flamingo earrings dancing. “What’s the best sex you ever had?”

Around their outside table at Las Margaritas restaurant, three flushed female faces grinned at Suzanne.

It was Jenny Yuen who’d launched the topic, with her description of hot sex in her boyfriend Pete’s double Jacuzzi. “It was the best sex of my life!” she’d exclaimed, brown eyes flashing. “I swear, Korean men beat Chinese, hands down.”

“Ssh,” Suzanne had said, used to the fact that Jenny’s personality was twice the size of her petite body, but wishing she didn't always have to be quite so out there.

She wished she’d kept quiet, though, when Jenny turned the question on her.

“I, um…” Best sex? Suzanne barely suppressed a nervous giggle. That would have to be with her dream lover.

Jenny rolled her eyes, turned a pink sweatshirted back to Suzanne, and said to Rina Goldberg, “So, what's the best sex you’ve ever had?”

“Not with Marty, that’s for sure.” Tonight, at the Awesome Foursome’s regular Monday dinner, Rina had already told them she’d called it quits with the man she’d been seeing for the last several months. Her heart definitely didn't seem broken.

“The best sex,” she murmured. Looking like a gypsy with a fringed burgundy shawl over her usual black clothing, she pulled a wayward lock of curly black hair behind a multi-ringed ear as she sipped her second margarita and considered the question.

The others waited, munching from the platter of nachos locos — laden with everything yummy and fattening you could possibly imagine — and working on their own second margaritas.

Rina began to smile, and nodded her head firmly. “Yeah, I know exactly. The summer I turned eighteen, I went to a music school in Banff. There was this other student, Giancarlo, from Italy. He was a pianist and he had the most awesome hands.”

The others ooh'ed and aah'ed as Rina described the things Giancarlo had done with his hands, including making her come three times in a row atop the grand piano in a student rehearsal room.

Somewhere during the recitation, a third round of margaritas got ordered for everyone but Suzanne, who had a strict two-drink limit.

When Rina finished, Jenny turned to Ann Montgomery. “Your turn,” she said, talking around a guacamole and sour cream-laden chip.

“You know I'm a conventional gal.” But Ann’s eyes were twinkling. “I'm not much into Jacuzzis or pianos. I like big, comfy beds. And a man who wears a tie.”

“A tie? Bo-ring,” Jenny scoffed.

“Not when there are four of them, all silk, and they’re tying you to a four-poster bed.”

“Bondage?” Suzanne frowned. “Ann, that’s — ”

“No, no!” Ann held up a hand to stop her. “I totally consented. And they were tied really loosely. He made slow, beautiful love to me, and all I could do was respond.”

Jenny gave a skeptical frown. “I can't imagine you surrendering control to anyone. You’re the control freak to end all control freaks.”

Ann stuck her tongue out, then shrugged. “Okay, I concede your point. And yes, it surprised me too.” She smoothed her short brown hair and straightened her shoulders inside the jacket of her navy suit. “I’ve never come so hard in my life. It was a little…scary.”

As Suzanne glanced around the table she thought how lucky she was to have found these women. They’d met last year at an introductory yoga course. The bonding began when, after the second lesson, they decided food, chat and alcohol were far better tension-relievers than contorting their bodies into pretzel shapes. The four didn't have a lot in common, but that made the conversations even more stimulating. Strong ties of friendship had formed, and now the Foursome members were deeply loyal to each other and their Monday nights.

She stopped feeling lucky when Jenny turned to her with an evil grin. “Didn't think we’d forget you, did you, Suze?”

Oh God, after her friends' sexy tales, how pitiful to have to confess that her own sex life ranged between boring and nonexistent.

Except for her cave-sex lover.

The thought sent a thrill of excitement coursing through her. She slugged back the last of her second margarita and took a deep breath.

“Remember me telling you how I treated myself to a week package deal on Crete, after second year university?” They nodded. “Okay then…” She closed her eyes, letting the scene form.

“It’s my last afternoon. I'm walking along a beach and this man comes toward me, and it’s like we’re both struck by lightning. Immediate chemistry.”

She opened her eyes, saw she had their rapt attention. “Did I mention” — she paused deliberately — “that this is a nude beach?”




[con't from bottom left column]

“Suzie!” Rina gasped, heedless of the salsa tumbling from her chip to the table.

“Our Suze on a nude beach?” Jenny said.

“We’ve established the man was nude,” Ann said. “So get to the good stuff. What does this guy look like?”

“Tall, muscled, handsome. Absolutely perfect in, how shall I say this? Every dimension.”

“In other words, he’s hung,” Jenny said, shoving up her sleeves and resting her pointy elbows on the table.

“You can say that again! I’ve never seen — ” Suzanne broke off, then continued in a lower voice. “Yeah, definitely hung. Anyhow, then, somehow, we’re holding hands, walking together, not even talking. Me, not talking. How weird is that?” She reached for her margarita glass and brought it to her lips, only to find it empty.

“Go on,” Ann prompted, shrugging out of her suit jacket and leaning forward.

“We follow a path that leads uphill, through scrubby bushes. There’s a zillion pretty little wildflowers dotting the ground.”

“Skip the travelogue,” Jenny demanded. “Like Ann said, cut to the good stuff.”

“I'm shooting him these sideways glances, checking him out. And he’s getting aroused.” She grinned. “What a turn-on.”

“Oh man!” Jenny said.

“We come across a cave. We step inside the mouth and suddenly we’re kissing. He lifts me up, I hook my legs around his waist and we make love right there, standing up.”

“Oh, my, God!” Rina fanned herself with the fringed end of her shawl.

“It’s fast, explosive.” And she’d had an orgasm, for the first time in her life. Not just an orgasm, but a mind-shattering one.

“Afterwards we lie down on my beach towel and explore each other’s bodies with our hands, lips, tongues. He makes me come with his mouth and I, you know…”

“Give him a blow job,” Jenny finished, at the same moment Ann said, “perform fellatio.”

Suzanne felt her cheeks grow hotter. “He stops me before he comes, then he’s inside me so hard and fast and deep, and it feels so amazing that I come again before he does.” She cleared her throat and fiddled with her margarita glass, almost wishing she'd broken her two-drink rule. Even as she remembered the reason she never would.

“Jesus, girl, I didn't know you had it in you,” Jenny marveled, reaching for another cheese-coated chip and shoving it into the guacamole.

Suzanne closed her eyes, remembering watching as their bodies joined, separated, joined again. “Did I mention he’s black?”

“You mean African-American,” Ann corrected.

“Or African-African,” Suzanne said. “Or from England. Lots of English people holiday in Greece. No accent, though. Yeah, probably American, you’re right.” Damn, doing this analysis had thrown her out of the moment, away from Crete and back to the restaurant.

“But definitely gorgeous, eh?” Jenny said. “And hung.”

Suzanne nodded. “Yup. He was this delicious shade of dark chocolate and he had short dreads. His face was so striking. A sexy little goatee. His eyes were chocolate too, and sparkly. Vibrant.”

“Wow,” Rina breathed. “A chocolate man. How yummy.”

“He was.” Even now, she could remember that taste.

“And of course he was a fantastic lover.” Rina sighed dreamily.

“He was a stranger, yet sex with him felt like the most intimate act I’d ever committed. For a moment I even found myself wishing our love-making would create a child.” Suzanne gave a shiver. “Is that insane or what? Especially given my, uh, rather traditional feelings about marriage and kids.”

“Traditional!” Jenny hooted. “Try archaic. Any woman whose deepest aspiration is to marry Ward Cleaver from Leave it to Beaver…”

“Well, he was awfully good to the Beaver,” Rina said softly, wickedly, and this time they all hooted.

Ann sobered quickly, though. “Suze, what you said about creating a child? You did use a condom, right?”

Suzanne swallowed hard. She hadn't meant to reveal that particular bit of idiocy. “I was on the pill, but I know it was utterly stupid. I plead insanity. Plus too much wine, and I’d been out in the sun for hours and had sunstroke. That’s why I — ” She broke off abruptly, realizing she hadn't told them the rest of it.

Rina said, “Is that why you have a two-drink limit?” just as Ann demanded, “Why what?” and Jenny said, “So what was this demon lover’s name anyhow?” The three of them burst out laughing, then turned challenging gazes on Suzanne.