Professor Stephen Worthington’s life makes perfect sense. He teaches classes on Tuesdays and Fridays. He has dinners with his parents on the weekend. He goes to the gym with his comically crass stepbrother, Matt, a few days each week. And every night, he heads home at a reasonable hour, alone. There’s only one thorn in Stephen’s perfectly organized side: Ms. Julia Wilde. Never has Stephen dealt with a more unruly student. She’s rude, provocative, infuriating—and she dresses in a way that is completely unbecoming for a lady. Stephen can’t wait for the semester to be over, and then he’ll never have to see her again. That is, until Stephen finds himself out of the classroom and in Julia’s apartment. Suddenly, the student/teacher roles are reversed, and the professor receives a much-needed lesson between the sheets. Stephen thought his life made sense, but after his tryst with Julia, he finds himself changed in more ways than one. Maybe he’s coming down with something.
Or maybe, something a little out of the ordinary is exactly what this stuffy professor needs to really live.
My Rating: 4½/5 stars
Dr. Stephen Worthington has a very ordered and organized life. He has a tenured position teaching American Literature, he has a home he owns and loves, he has a step-brother who drives him slightly crazy with his wantonness, and he has that one student who is going to push him over the edge into total and complete madness if the semester doesn’t end soon. That student upsets his order, his perfect organization, and makes him twitch every single time he encounters her.
Julia, that is Ms. Wilde is exactly that, wild! She come into Stephen’s class each and every day in the most outrageous and revealing outfits, she speaks out of turn on a regular basis, she calls Stephen by his first name no matter how many times he corrects her, and she is frustratingly intelligent and confident. As far as Stephen is concerned, Ms. Wilde is the complete antithesis of the type of woman he needs in his life and the semester simply can’t end soon enough. Me thinks the good professor doth protest too much. His step-brother, Matt thinks the so too. As Matt so brashly points out, Stephen spends an awful lot of time talking about a woman he has absolutely, positively no interest in. As always, Stephen ignores Matt.
And then, one night in a bar . . . .
Don’t all good stories start out with “one night in a bar?” That’s exactly how Stephen’s life gets turned upside down and Ms. Wilde becomes inextricably linked to his unravelling. Turns out, all Matt’s comments about the lovely Ms. Wilde have been rolling around in the back of Stephen’s brilliant mind and when he finds her stranded outside a bar, he simply can’t help himself. All Stephen intends to do is drop Ms. Wilde at her apartment and return to his calm and ordered life. He certainly never intended to go into her apartment and dear Lord, kissing her was never, ever, not ever in the cards but wowsa is she a good kisser. As these things often go, one thing leads to another and before Stephen can think with both heads, he has crossed a serious line and slept with one of his students.
Julia is very clear about her arrangement with Stephen, it is sex and only sex and no one will know of their affair. Stephen simply can’t believe his good fortune. He has never had a serious girlfriend/relationship, he is relatively inexperienced sexually speaking yet Ms. Wilde wants to be with him. Not only does she want to be with Stephen, she revels in his inexperience and delights in teaching him new things. As an added bonus, Stephen is a sweet and caring lover as well as a most willing student. For Stephen’s part, the sex is beyond amazing (so are the sandwiches J) but the real surprise is how much he genuinely enjoys Julia’s company. She is intelligent, confident, brash, strong, often crude, and quickly becoming someone Stephen doesn’t want to be without. If only Julia felt the same way and there wasn’t that nasty little issue of her being one of his students.
The Bottom Line: After seeing the overall star rating for this read on Goodreads, I find myself somewhat confused. Absolute Beginners isn’t just a well-written read, it is also full of good characters, an interesting dynamic between Stephen and Julia, some fine naughty bits and, just the right amount of drama. I very much enjoyed the total role reversal of Julia being the sexually experienced character and Stephen being the older yet far less experienced partner. This role reversal is a fine example of the student becoming the teacher. Furthermore, both Stephen and Julia are totally engrossing characters. Stephen’s naiveté is both refreshing and humorous and Julia’s strength and confidence are refreshing. Finally, I was thrilled to discover the author didn’t throw in the drama I would have expected to find in this read. I don’t want to say there is a cliffhanger to this book but it is clear the by reads’ end that it is meant to continue. And so it does, in Absolute Lovers.
Disavowed by those he swore to protect…
Tennessee Smith is a wanted man. Betrayed by his government and hunted by his former employer, he’s been stripped of everything he holds dear. If the CIA finds him, they’re sure to take his life as well. His only shot at getting it all back is taking down the man who burned him. He knows just how to get to Senator Hank McDonald and that’s through his daughter, Faith. In order to seduce her, he must become something he never thought he’d be—a Dom.
Overcome by isolation and duty…
All her life, Dr. Faith “Mac” McDonald has felt alone, even among her family. Dedicating herself to helping others and making a difference in the world has brought her some peace, but a year spent fighting the Ebola virus in West Africa has taken a toll. She’s come home for two months of relaxation before she goes back into the field. After holding so many lives in her hands, nothing restores her like the act of submission. Returning to her favorite club, Mac is drawn to the mysterious new Dom all the subs are talking about, Master No. In the safety of his arms, she finds herself falling head over heels in love.
Forced to choose between love and revenge…
On an exclusive Caribbean island, Ten and Mac explore their mutual attraction, but her father’s plots run deeper than Ten could possibly have imagined. With McKay-Taggart by his side, Ten searches for a way to stop the senator, even as his feelings for Mac become too strong to deny. In the end, he must choose between love and revenge—a choice that will change his life forever.
Excerpt from Master No (Book #9: Masters and Mercenaries Series):
“Do they really call you Master No?”
He chuckled. “Apparently. But you’re not going to call me that. Are you?”
He was right back to staring at her lips. Actually, it was nice to see the horny side of Tennessee. She loved his name. It fit the man. Enigmatic. “Why do they call you that?”
He scooted closer to her, so close their chests almost touched. “Because I don’t play around. Not with women who don’t mean something to me. I have my duties at Sanctum and I fulfill them, but I’m not indulgent with women who don’t belong to me. I tend to be very much the opposite.”
Another thing she didn’t understand. Even in their texts and Internet conversations, he’d been indulgent with her. He seemed to want to see her do things that pleased her. He’d ordered her to eat chocolate one night when she said she shouldn’t because she was worried about her weight. He’d watched as she’d had her first real chocolate in almost a year. “You’re not that way with me.”
“I have a contract that states very plainly you do belong to me.” He stared at her for a moment, and she had an unnerving thought that he could see right through her. “You’re not afraid of what could happen to you after yesterday. You’re afraid of what could happen between the two of us.”
Well, he wasn’t pussyfooting around the situation. “Like I said, it feels different than I thought it would. I feel more than I thought I would.”
He moved in and she could suddenly feel his heat all over again. Not just his heat. Something really big and really hard was resting against her thigh. It was fairly close to where it should be. Could be. Might be soon.
“There’s nothing wrong with that, Faith. Did you really want to sleep with a man you didn’t know?”
That three weeks had been the difference. She supposed she’d expected they would get in touch but not a lot more. They would come together to play and have sex. It felt like more than sex. Being so close to Tennessee felt more intimate than actually having sex with Roger. “No. I thought I did. I thought it was kind of the right thing to do. Real relationships are hard for me. My career is kind of demanding.”
His fingertips brushed over her collarbone. God, he was killing her. “Yes, it’s demanding, but you know what I think?”
He leaned over and kissed the tip of her nose, a sweet gesture.
He was being so tender with her and she wanted to scream at him to jump on her and have his wicked way. Her body was getting primed. Her nipples were so hard. They might climb off her body and try to get between his ridiculously sexy lips. “I don’t. I don’t know anything right now.”
Except the fact that she wanted him. It was probably a bad idea, but she wanted him.
“Then let me help you out, darlin’. You don’t have to think for a while. Let’s both stop thinking and follow our instincts for once.” He moved in and his lips caressed hers.
Easy, thoughtful, at first he simply pressed his mouth to hers, letting them rub together as though taking stock of the feel of her. Ten didn’t overwhelm her. He started slow. He let her sigh against him as he brushed his lips over hers and let her taste the mint on his mouth.
She gasped and pushed against him. “You already got up and brushed your teeth.”
The most devilish look went over his face and he stopped playing. He rolled over and his body was on top of hers, his hips coaxing her legs to open wide. Before she really knew what he was doing, his cock was right on her core. “Yes, I did. I woke up and brushed my teeth and my poor sub slept the morning away. I came back out here and climbed into bed with you and waited for my moment. I’m going to eat you up, Faith.”
About the author and where to find her:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance that she found success. She likes to find humor in the strangest places. Lexi believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome or foursome may seem.
Sign up for Lexi’s free newsletter here and receive the free novella Sweet Child o’ Mine, the story of Ian Taggart becoming a dad!
Guest post by Andrew Joyce:
My name is Andrew Joyce, and I write books for a living. Leisha has been kind enough to allow me a little space on her blog to promote my new book, MOLLY LEE. The story is a female-driven account of a young naive girl’s journey into an independent, strong woman and all the trouble she gets into along the way.
Now you may possibly be asking yourself, What is a guy doing writing in a woman’s voice? And that’s a good question. I can only say that I did not start out to write about Molly; she just came to me one day and asked that I tell her story.
Perhaps I should start at the beginning.
My first book was a 164,000-word historical novel. And in the publishing world, anything over 80,000 words for a first-time author is heresy. Or so I was told time and time again when I approached an agent for representation. After two years of research and writing, and a year of trying to secure the services of an agent, I got angry. To be told that my efforts were meaningless was somewhat demoralizing to say the least. I mean, those rejections were coming from people who had never even read my book.
“So you want an 80,000-word novel?” I said to no one in particular, unless you count my dog, because he was the only one around at the time. Consequently, I decided to show them City Slickers that I could write an 80,000-word novel!
I had just finished reading Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn for the third time, and I started thinking about what ever happened to those boys, Tom and Huck. They must have grown up, but then what? So I sat down at my computer and banged out REDEMPTION: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer in two months; then sent out query letters to agents.
Less than a month later, the chairman of one of the biggest agencies in New York City emailed me that he loved the story. We signed a contract and it was off to the races, or so I thought. But then the real fun began: the serious editing. Seven months later, I gave birth to Huck and Tom as adults. And just for the record, the final word count is 79,914. The book went on to reach #1 status on Amazon twice, and the rest, as they say, is history.
But not quite.
My agent then wanted me to write a sequel, but I had other plans. I was in the middle of editing down my first novel (that had been rejected by 1,876,324 agents . . . or so it seemed) from 164,000 words to the present 142,000. However, he was insistent, so I started to think about it. Now, one thing you have to understand is that I tied up all the loose ends at the end of REDEMPTION, so there was no way that I could write a sequel. And that is when Molly asked me to tell her story. Molly was a character that we met briefly in the first chapter of REDEMPTION, and then she is not heard from again.
This is the description from MOLLY LEE:
Molly is about to set off on the adventure of a lifetime . . . of two lifetimes.
It’s 1861 and the Civil War has just started. Molly is an eighteen-year-old girl living on her family’s farm in Virginia when two deserters from the Southern Cause enter her life. One of them—a twenty-four-year-old Huck Finn—ends up saving her virtue, if not her life.
Molly is so enamored with Huck, she wants to run away with him. But Huck has other plans and is gone the next morning before she awakens. Thus starts a sequence of events that leads Molly into adventure after adventure; most of them not so nice.
We follow the travails of Molly Lee, starting when she is eighteen and ending when she is fifty-six. Even then Life has one more surprise in store for her.
As I had wondered whatever became of Huck and Tom, I also wondered what Molly did when she found Huck gone.
I know this has been a long-winded set up, but I felt I had to tell the backstory. Now I can move on and tell you about Molly.
As stated earlier, Molly starts out as a naive young girl. Over time she develops into a strong, independent woman. The change is gradual. Her strengths come from the adversities she encounters along the road that is her life.
With each setback, Molly follows that first rule she set against self-pity and simply moves on to make the best of whatever life throws her way. From working as a whore to owning a saloon, from going to prison to running a ranch, Molly plays to win with the cards she’s dealt. But she always keeps her humanity. She will kill to defend herself, and she has no problem killing to protect the weak and preyed upon. However, when a band of Indians (for instance) have been run off their land and have nowhere else to go, Molly allows them to live on her ranch, and in time they become extended family.
This is from a review on Amazon:
“A young female in nineteenth-century rural America would have needed courage, fortitude, and firm resolve to thrive in the best of circumstances. Molly Lee possesses all of these, along with an iron will and an inherent ability to read people accurately and respond accordingly.”
I reckon that about sums up Molly.
I would like to say that I wrote MOLLY LEE in one sitting and everything in it is my pure genius. But that would be a lie. I have three editors (two women and one guy). They kept me honest with regard to Molly. When I made her a little too hard, they would point out that she had to be softer or show more emotion in a particular scene.
I set out to write a book where every chapter ended with a cliffhanger. I wanted the reader to be forced to turn to the next chapter. And I pretty much accomplished that, but I also wrote a few chapters where Molly and my readers could catch their collective breath.
One last thing: Everything in MOLLY LEE is historically correct from the languages of the Indians to the descriptions of the way people dressed, spoke, and lived. I spend as much time on research as I do writing my stories. Sometimes more.
It looks as though I’ve used up my allotted word count (self-imposed), so I reckon I’ll ride off into the sunset and rustle up a little vodka and cranberry juice (with extra lime).
It’s been a pleasure,
About the author and where to find him:
Andrew Joyce’s latest novel, MOLLY LEE, is averaging 4.9 stars on Amazon.
How it all started…
One day I was a high school teacher on summer break, leading a relatively uneventful but happy life. Or so I told myself. Later, I’d question that, as I would question pretty much everything I knew about me, my relationships, and my desires. It all began when my neighbor thrust a key to a storage unit at me. She’d bought it to make extra money after watching some storage auction show. Now she was on her way to the airport to elope with a man she barely knew, and she needed me to clear out the unit before the lease expired.
Soon, I was standing inside a small room that held the intimate details of another woman’s life, feeling uncomfortable, as if I was invading her privacy. Why had she let these items so neatly packed, possessions that she clearly cared about deeply, be lost at an auction? Driven to find out by some unnamed force, I began to dig, to discover this woman’s life, and yes, read her journals—-dark, erotic journals that I had no business reading. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I read on obsessively, living out fantasies through her words that I’d never dare experience on my own, compelled by the three men in her life, none of whom had names. I read onward until the last terrifying dark entry left me certain that something had happened to this woman. I had to find her and be sure she was okay.
Before long, I was taking her job for the summer at the art gallery, living her life, and she was nowhere to be found. I was becoming someone I didn’t know. I was becoming her.
The dark, passion it becomes…
Now, I am working at a prestigious gallery, where I have always dreamed of being, and I’ve been delivered to the doorstep of several men, allof which I envision as one I’ve read about in the journal. But there is one man that will call to me, that will awaken me in ways I never believed possible. That man is the ruggedly sexy artist, Chris Merit, who wants to paint me. He is rich and famous, and dark in ways I shouldn’t find intriguing, but I do. I so do. I don’t understand why his dark side appeals to me, but the attraction between us is rich with velvety promises of satisfaction. Chris is dark, and so are his desires, but I cannot turn away. He is damaged beneath his confident good looks and need for control, and in some way, I feel he needs me. I need him.
All I know for certain is that he knows me like I don’t even know me, and he says I know him. Still, I keep asking myself — do I know him? Did he know her, the journal writer, and where is she? And why doesn’t it seem to matter anymore? There is just him and me, and the burn for more.
Excerpt from If I Were You (Book #1: Inside Out Series):
Chris maneuvers the 911 into the drive of a fancy high-rise building not more than four blocks from the gallery. Before I can question the fancy location being home to a pizza joint, as he’d called it, a valet is already opening my door.
“I’ll come around to get you,” Chris says with a touch on my arm. He doesn’t wait for a reply, climbing out of the vehicle and disappearing from full view.
I am both charmed and embarrassed at the prospect he believes the extra wine has made me a helpless lush. Worse, it wouldn’t be an assumption completely without merit, and this night is exactly why I never let myself lose control. It always backfires.
I unsnap the seat belt about the same moment Chris appears at my door. Holding my skirt down, I slide my legs to the ground, all too aware of his scorching gaze on my legs.
His hand appears in front of me, and I hold my breath, preparing for the impact of his touch, as I press my palm to his. He pulls me to my feet, onto the sidewalk beneath an awning, his hand settling possessively on my hip. The rich sensation of desire spreads through my limbs. I have never in my life reacted to a man this intensely.
Behind me, I hear the car door shut, and the engine rev, before the 911 pulls away. “This doesn’t look like a place that serves pizza,” I comment, but I am not looking at the building. It is Chris who has my full attention.
“Two blocks down,” he explains. “We can walk there if you want, or we can go upstairs to my apartment.”
Chris lives here, at least when he’s in the States. The implications of our location are clear.
His long fingers curl around my neck, under my hair, and he lowers his mouth to my ear. “Be warned, Sara. I’m no saint. If I take you upstairs, I’m going to strip you naked and fuck you the way I’ve wanted to since the moment we first met.”
The shockingly bold words ripple through me, and I am instantly aroused, squeezing my thighs together. He has wanted to fuck me since we first met. I want him to fuck me. I want to fuck him. Yes. Fuck. I want to give myself permission to forget good, proper behavior and fuck and be fucked. Wild, hot, uncontrollable passion, with no worries during and regrets in the aftermath. I’ve never let myself feel those things. When in my life have I ever experienced such a thing? When has any man ever made me think I could?
I press against his chest and lean back, my eyes seeking his. “If you’re trying to scare me off, it’s not working.”
“Not yet,” he says, dark certainty to his tone, to the lines etched in his handsome face. It is as if this is simply a seed already planted that cannot be stopped.
“Not at all,” I counter.
He doesn’t immediately respond, and his expression is a mask of hard lines, his jaw set, tense. Slowly, his fingers slide from my neck to caress a path down my arm until his fingers lace intimately with mine. “Never say never, Sara,” he murmurs, and starts walking, pulling me with him.
Anticipation sizzles through me as we walk toward the automatic doors to be greeted by a man in a dark suit with an earpiece and buzz cut.
“Evening, Mr. Merit,” he says, and glances at me. “Evening, miss.”
“Evening, Jacob,” Chris replies. “Pizza coming our way. Don’t frisk the delivery guy.”
“Not unless he’s a delivery woman, sir,” Jacob comments, and I get the sense these two are familiar beyond the casual exchange.
I lift a tentative hand at Jacob. “Hi.”
“Ma’am,” he replies, and there is a slight shift in his gaze I’m certain he doesn’t intend for me to notice, but I do. I read it as surprise at my presence, and I can only assume I am far from Chris’s normal choice in women. It isn’t hard for me to imagine Chris being a blond bombshell kind of man, and where I hadn’t felt insecure moments before, I suddenly do now. I am angry at myself for feeling such a thing when I’ve promised myself no more self-doubt. When I crave the escape, the freedom, I was so close to experiencing only moments before.
The elevator is right off the fancy lobby and past a security booth. Chris punches the button, and the doors open immediately. I follow him inside and watch as he keys in a code. The doors shut, and he pulls me hard against him.
My hands settle on his hard chest, inside the line of his jacket, and warmth spreads through me. “What just happened?” His hand brands my hip.
My breasts are heavy, my nipples aching. “I don’t know what you mean,”
“Yes. You do. Second thoughts, Sara?”
I scold myself for being so transparent. “Do you want me to have second thoughts?”
“No. What I want is to take you to my apartment and make you come and then do it all over again.”
Oh . . . yes, please. “Okay,” I whisper, “but I think you should feed me first.”
His lips curve into a smile, his eyes dancing with gold specks of pure fire. “Then you can feed me.”
The bell dings, and the doors begin to open. Chris wastes no time pulling me to the edge of the elevator, and I watch in surprise as a gorgeous living room appears before me, rather than a hallway. Chris has a private elevator, and I am entering his private world, a world very unlike my own.
Chris releases my hand, our eyes lock, and I read the silent message in his. Enter by choice, without pressure. On some level I sense that once I enter his apartment, the decision to do so is going to change me. He is going to change me in some profound way I cannot begin to comprehend fully. I think he might know this, and I wonder why he would be so certain, what is etched with such clarity to him beneath the surface.
He has misplaced doubts of me in this moment, as he’d doubted me at the gallery. I can see it in his eyes, sense it in the air. I refuse to allow his lack of confidence in me, or anyone else’s for that matter, to dictate what I can or cannot do ever again. I’ve been there, and I ended up on the sharp edge of a cliff, about to crash and burn. I’d recovered, and I am beginning to see that locking myself in a shell of an existence isn’t healing. It’s hiding. Regardless of what happens at the gallery, I’m done hiding.
My chin lifts, and I cut my gaze from Chris’s and exit the elevator.
My heels touch the pale perfection of glossy hardwood floors, and I stop and stare at the breathtaking sight before me. Beyond the expensive leather furniture adorning a sunken living room with a massive fireplace in the left corner is a spectacular sight. There is a floor-to-ceiling window, a live pictorial of our city, spanning the entire length of the room.
Spellbound, I walk forward, enchanted by the twinkling night lights and the haze surrounding the distant Golden Gate Bridge. I barely remember going down the few steps to the living area, or what the furniture I pass looks like. I drop my purse on the coffee table and stop at the window, resting my hands on the cool surface.
We are above the city, untouchable, in a palace in the sky. How amazing it must be to live here and wake up to this view every day. Lights twinkling, almost as if they are talking to one another, laughing at me as they creep open a door to the hollow place inside me I’ve rejected only moments before in the elevator.
I swallow hard as the song “Broken” from the band Lifehouse fills the room, because Chris doesn’t know how personality is to me. I’m falling apart. I’m barely breathing. I’m barely holding on to you.
This song, this place with the words, and I am raw and exposed, as if cut and bleeding. Who was I kidding with the refusal to hide anymore? This is why I’ve hidden. The past begins to pulse to life within me, and I am seconds from remembering why I feel this way. I refuse to process the lyrics and shove them aside. I don’t want to remember. I can’t go there. I squeeze my eyes shut, trying to seal those old wounds, desperate to feel anything but their presence.
Suddenly, Chris is behind me, caressing my jacket from my shoulders. His touch is a welcome sensation, and when his arm slides around me, his body framing mine from behind, I am desperate to feel anything but what this song, no doubt aided by the wine, stirs inside me.
I lean into him and hard muscle absorbs me. There is a strength to Chris, a silent confidence I envy, and it calls to the woman in me.
His fingers, those talented, famous fingers, brush my hair away from my nape, and his lips press to the delicate area beneath, creating goose bumps on my skin. And still, I barely block out the words to the song and their meaning to me.
As if he senses my need for more—more something, anything, just more—he turns me around to face him, and his fingers tangle almost roughly into my hair. The tight pull is sweet, dragging me from other feelings, giving me a new focus.
“I am not the guy you take home to Mom and Dad, Sara.” His mouth is next to mine, his clean male scent all around me. “You need to know that right now. You need to know that won’t change.”
But the song does change, and this time to another track on what must be a Lifehouse CD. “Nerve Damage” begins to play. I see through your clothes, your nerve damage shows. Trying not to feel . . . anything that’s real.
I laugh bitterly at the words, and Chris pulls back to study me. And I am not blind to what I see in the depths of his green eyes, what I’ve missed until now but sensed. He is as damaged as I am. We have too many of the wrong things in common to be more than sex, and the realization is freedom to me.
I curve my fingers on the light stubble of his jaw, the rasp on my skin welcome, and I have no idea why I admit what I have never said out loud. “My mother is dead, and I hate my father, so don’t worry. You’re safe from family day and so am I. All I want is here and now, this piece of time. And please save the pillow talk for someone who wants it. Contrary to what you seem to think, I’m no delicate rose.”
A stunned look flashes on his face an instant before I press my lips to his. The answering moan I am rewarded with is white-hot fire in my blood that he answers with a deep, sizzling stroke of his tongue. He slants his mouth over mine, deepening the connection, kissing me with a fierceness no other man ever has, but then, Chris is like no other man I’ve ever known.
His tongue plays wickedly with mine, and I meet him stroke for stroke, arching into him, telling him I am here and present and I’m going nowhere. In reply to my silent declaration, his hand cups my ass and he pulls me solidly against his erection. Arching into him, I welcome the intimate connection, burn for the moment he will be inside me. My hand presses between us and I stroke the hard line of his shaft.
Chris tears his mouth from mine, pressing me hard against the window, and I know I’ve threatened his control. Me. Little schoolteacher Sara McMillan. Our eyes lock, hot flames dancing between us and some unidentifiable challenge.
Some part of me realizes the window behind me is glass, and all things glass can break. He knows this, too, it’s in the dark glint of his eyes, and he wants me to worry about it. He’s pushing me, testing me, trying to get me to break. Because I slid beneath his composure? Because he really believes I am out of my league? And maybe I am, but not tonight. Tonight, as the song has said, I am broken, and for the first time perhaps ever, I am not denying the truth of all of my cracks. I am living them.
I lift my chin and let him see my answering rebellion. His fingers curl at the top of my silk blouse and in a sharp pull, material rips and the buttons all the way down pop and clamor in all directions. I gasp, in unfamiliar territory, and burning alive with the ache I have for this man.
He turns me to the window, and my hands flatten on the glass. Wasting no time, Chris unhooks my bra, and it and my blouse are off my shoulders in moments. He is behind me again, his thick erection fit snugly to my backside.
“Hands over your head,” he orders, pressing my palms to the glass above me, his body shadowing mine. “Stay like that.”
My pulse jumps wildly and adrenaline surges. I’ve been ordered around during sex, but in a clinical, bend over and give me what I want kind of way I tried to convince myself was hot. It wasn’t. I hated every second, every instance, and I’d endured it. This is different though, erotic in a way I’ve never experienced, enticingly full of promise. My body is sensitized, pulsing with arousal. I am hot where Chris is touching me and cold where he isn’t.
When he seems satisfied I’ll comply with his orders, Chris slowly caresses a path down my arms, and then up and down my sides, brushing the curves of my breasts. He’s in no hurry, but I am. I am literally quivering by the time his hands cover my breasts, welcoming the way he squeezes them roughly, before tugging on my nipples. I gasp with the pinching sensation he repeats over and over, creating waves of pleasure verging on pain, and the music is fading away, and so is the past. There is pleasure in pain. The words come back to me, and this time they resonate.
His hands are suddenly gone, and I pant in desperation, trying to pull them back.
Chris captures my hands and forces them back to the glass above me, his breath warm by my ear, his hard body framing mine. “Move them again and I’ll stop what I’m doing, no matter how good it might feel.”
I quiver inside at the erotic command, surprised again by how enticed I am by this game we are playing. “Just remember,” I warn, still panting, still burning for his touch. “Payback is hell.”
His teeth scrape my shoulder. “Looking forward to it, baby,” he rasps. “More than you can possibly know.”
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About the author and where to find her:
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT SERIES, and is now in development by Suzanne Todd (Alice in Wonderland) for cable TV. In addition, her Tall, Dark and Deadly series and The Secret Life of Amy Bensen series, both spent several months on a combination of the NY Times and USA Today lists. Watch the video on casting for the INSIDE TV Show HERE
Since beginning her publishing career in 2007, Lisa has published more than 40 books translated around the world. Booklist says that Jones suspense truly sizzles with an energy similar to FBI tales with a paranormal twist by Julie Garwood or Suzanne Brockmann. Prior to publishing, Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by Dallas Women Magazine. In 1998 LRJ was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine. Lisa loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at on her website and she is active on twitter and facebook daily.
Strap in, get ready to start your engines and see where it all began.
From an early age, Declan Reede’s only goal was to race in the ProV8 Championship Series. One thing he couldn’t anticipate was that a blistering kiss shared with his best friend, Alyssa Dawson, might derail his plans.
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 27th August 2015
Cover Artist: Soxsationalcoverart
Principal photography by: NSP Studios
Cover models: Ashleigh Johnson and Jarah Armstrong.
Michelle Irwin has been many things in her life: a hobbit taking a precious item to a fiery mountain; a young child stepping through the back of a wardrobe into another land; the last human stranded not-quite-alone in space three million years in the future; a young girl willing to fight for the love of a vampire; and a time-travelling madman in a box. She achieved all of these feats and many more through her voracious reading habit. Eventually, so much reading had to have an effect and the cast of characters inside her mind took over and spilled out onto the page.
Michelle lives in sunny Queensland in the land down under with her surprisingly patient husband and ever-intriguing daughter, carving out precious moments of writing and reading time around her accounts-based day job. A lover of love and overcoming the odds, she primarily writes paranormal and fantasy romance.
Release Date: 8/25/2015
Cover Model: Lance Jones
Cover Image: Kruse Images & Photography (https://www.facebook.com/KIPmodelsandboudoir)
You’ve heard from Colt and Hunter Stone, and now it’s time for Slade’s story. You thought the other two were tough bad boys? Just wait. Slade Stone needs to straighten out his life. It’s time, he decides, to get a real job, steer clear of trouble and think about a future. But his good intentions go completely awry when Britton Henley stumbles into his life and his heart. Now, like it or not, Slade is in deep. Britton Henley is out for one thing– revenge. The last thing she expected on her path to avenge her twin sister’s death was to lose her heart to Slade Stone.
About the author and where to find her:
TESS OLIVER: Tess Oliver is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Freefall. She is a former teacher, who now dedicates her morning caffeine rush to writing romance instead of teaching math and reading. Tess lives in California, the land of perpetual sunshine and traffic, with her husband, kids and five dogs. She is a longtime romance junkie, who likes her hero to be an alpha with a twist of compassion and if he has long hair and rides a horse or a motorcycle all the better. She writes young adult, new adult and adult romance in both contemporary and historical settings. When she’s not reading or writing romance, she can be found hiking, vacuuming up dog hair or baking goodies for her family.
Heart and Sole
One step at a time…
Maddie Kingston just walked away from everything in order to take over her family’s struggling shoe business. And she’s in some serious trouble. The majority of the company’s shares have been bought out by none other than Maddie’s ex-boyfriend, self-made billionaire Nick Holter. Now Maddie needs his help…even if it means buying Nick from a charity bachelor auction.
After the Kingstons destroyed his grandfather’s career, Nick vowed to take over their company. He’s inches from victory when he finds himself bought and paid for…by his sexy ex-girlfriend who’s hell-bent on saving her family’s company. Between their families’ feud and their own unfinished business, tempers – and emotions – run hot. Too hot.
Because kissing with the enemy is a guaranteed shoe-in for trouble…
We played a game of This or That with Miranda…let’s see what she had to say…
Heels or Flats?: (You do know you’re talking to a woman who writes in her sneakers all day long, right?) But honestly, what woman doesn’t feel that heels make you feel pretty and confident, help you express your style, and make you taller? My heroine Maddie would definitely agree!
Here are a few quotes that seem to echo this—see if you agree:
“You put heels on and you change.” –Manolo Blahnik.
“The higher the better. It’s more about an attitude. High heels empower women in a way.” –Christian Louboutin
“When I wear high heels I have a great vocabulary and I speak in paragraphs. I’m more eloquent. I plan to wear them more often.” –Meg Ryan
Black or colors? I started to wear a lot of black when my kids were small and I had to throw clothes on quickly. There’s something sheik and comforting to me about wearing black.
Neutral décor or colors? On the other hand, my house is all about color. Probably because I live in the fifth cloudiest city in the U. S.!
Dogs or Cats? Both. My dog for when I need unconditional love 24-7 and my cat when I want to be mostly left alone (except for when she sits on my keyboard☺)
Coffee or Tea? Coffee all the way. But in a strange twist, I have migraines and can’t have caffeine! So I drink Starbucks decaf and fantasize about the caffeine high! (Tragic, because there is nothing as good as that start-your-day-off-caffeine boost.)
Coke or Pepsi? Diet Coke with lots of ice from McDonald’s drive through. Don’t ask me why, it’s just so much better—colder, more bubbly, tastier!—than home.
M and M’s or Skittles? For me, it’s all about the chocolate. Need I say more?
Airplane or Train? Car. Like the autonomy and airplane travel is constant hassle.
Thor or Loki? Two words—Chris Hemsworth.
Print or eBook? Both. The books I love I buy in print because as an author I study them and it’s easier to do that with a hard copy. Whenever I go away anywhere, I can never decide which books to bring! My e-reader has let me hoard all the books I want in one simple, thin package! Miraculous!
Summer or winter? Summer all the way! I will never complain about heat!
Same vacation spot or different? I love going to the same place over and over. Comforting, familiar, beautiful. Drives my hubby crazy.
About the author and where to find her:
Lacy Denvers has lost her job, and lost her way. All she wants to do now is get her career back on track and find some stability again, but first, she wants to mark something off her bucket list: She wants to learn to ride a horse. Her dream vacation to the Crawley Creek Cattle Ranch turns into a lesson in patience when the North Dakota winter proves unpredictable as ever. Wrapped in a cocoon of snow, Lacy finds the ranch to be a hidden treasure trove of cowboy eye candy, and her mouth is watering even as her brain is telling her to run.
After a devastating tragedy, a young Drannon Russo ended up fostering with the Crawley family, and found a home. He’s only moved away once and had to lean on family for support when his dreams were shattered. Being a cowboy on a ranch is a pretty lonely existence. When a beautiful redhead shows up looking for a fresh start he’s determined to give them both what they want.
Will this vacation into the heart of cattle country turn out to be a mistake, or will Lacy and Drannon find their future in each other?
Warning: Explicit romance
Excerpt from Forget Me Knot (Book #1: Crawley Creek Series):
Cowboys don’t cry, but Roman “Romeo” Freemont certainly has enough tragic history to spend his days teary-eyed. Instead he’s turned to women and liquor in an effort to soothe his aches and pains, but when a petite brunette with a feisty temper comes crashing into his world, he realizes what he’s been missing.
Francesca “Franki” Scott has walked through fire herself. Nowadays she just isn’t a people person, and she’s definitely not interested in a wannabe playboy ranch owner either. She has a mission and it could mean life or death for someone close to her if she gets distracted.
Closing the gap between these two wounded souls could mean surviving yet another tragedy. Will their determination to hide their pain from themselves be their downfall, or will they come through this rough ride together?
Warning: Explicit Romance
Excerpt from Rough Ride Romeo (Book #2: Crawley Creek Series):
** Pre-order Claiming His Cowgirl (Book #3: Crawley Creek Series) : Releasing August 25 **
About the author and where to find her:
Best-selling author, Lori King, is also a full-time wife and mother of three boys. Although she rarely has time to just enjoy feminine pursuits; at heart she is a hopeless romantic. She spends her days dreaming up Alpha men, and her nights telling their stories. An admitted TV and book junkie, she can be found relaxing with a steamy story, or binging in an entire season of some show online. She gives her parents all the credit for her unique sense of humor and acceptance of all forms of love. There are no two loves alike, but you can love more than one with your whole heart.
With the motto: Live, Laugh, and Love like today is your only chance, she will continue to write as long as you continue to read. Thank you for taking the time to indulge in a good Happily Ever After with her.
The zombie apocalypse was Alexis Winter’s first challenge. It won’t be her last. Life on S-Island hasn’t been easy, but Alexis and her fellow survivors are making the best of their new lives in a post-Z world. Every day is a struggle, a struggle to find food, to keep the zombies from their door and to prepare for anything this new world might throw at them. There is no room for heartache, there is no room for mourning the lost, there is only one focus: the fight for survival. And there is definitely no room for love. At least that is what Alexis keeps telling herself.
The second installment in the NOLA Zombie series by Gillian Zane. Be warned, there will be monsters, living and dead, there will be very intense sexy-time and there will be a third book.
*Available on Kindle Unlimited*
** ALSO AVAILABLE ON PAPERBACK **
About the author and where to find her:
Gillian Zane has been writing fiction stories since she was first able to put pen to paper. She has published a few non-fiction books in her field of study, which is Art, but finally, after all, these years her first fiction novella is being released. Gillian is obsessed with anything that gives her a thrill and feels adding romance to any storyline is a good thing. She was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. She lives with her husband, too many animals in a little house that has way too many books.
VIP- Where sexy alpha males hook up with single ladies …
VIP Companion: Cole Bradley.
✔Hair: Copper brown
✔Weight: 225 lbs.
✔Physical activities: Anything stimulating
When we meet, Cole Bradley makes his intentions clear. I, Renee McKnight, belong to him.
I want Cole. I do. But our past wasn’t based on truth.
The way he gives me pleasure. And the promises he makes for our future, brings me closer to exposing my heart, along with my naked desires.
And just when you think you finally have it all… Secrets, lies, and deception follows you from the past and destroy everything.
About the author and where to find her:
Rhyme Devereux is a pseudonym of an American writer of erotic and contemporary romance. Her stories are sexy, emotionally driven, and a whole lot of kink. Even though her passion for reading began in her tween years, and her favorite author at that time was Judy Blume, Rhyme never imagined herself writing as a career. But looking back, it makes sense. As an only child, she would spend some days entertaining herself with happily-ever-after stories. For decades, Rhyme dabbled in writing one chapter story ideas before she got the courage to self-published her book, At Your Mercy, which was released in 2013. She started out writing short romance stories in hopes of getting the courage (and patience) of writing a full-length novel. Rhyme lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, children (some are adults and they made me add this bit of info.), and two dogs. Rhyme is addicted to anything that tastes sweet, hair and makeup products, and naughty love stories. She is also an avid reader of all sub-genres of romance fiction. Thanks for wanting to get to know Rhyme better. But by far, her books are much more exciting.