The Man in the Black Suit – Another Masterpiece by Sylvain Reynard

The Man in the Black Suit-Promo Photo

It’s Here at Last!

The Man in the Black Suit

Author: Sylvain Reynard

Publisher: Argyle Press

Genre: Contemporary Romance-Suspense, Standalone

Release Date: December 19th

Format: eBook, Paperback, Audio

Synopsis

Front Cover, The Man in the Black Suit, by Sylvain ReynardAcacia Santos excels at her job as concierge at the prestigious Hotel Victoire in Paris. When her superior, Marcel, is attacked in a supposed random mugging, she is tasked with serving one of the hotel’s most mysterious and attractive guests.

Nicholas Cassirer checks into the hotel under an assumed name every three months. Usually, he stays in the penthouse suite with a beautiful female companion but on this occasion, he arrives alone and is displeased in having to deal with someone new. A match of wits ensues as he tests Acacia’s expertise with a series of almost impossible demands. Her intelligence and creativity rise to the challenge, earning his respect.

They strike a tenuous accord until Acacia discovers a famous stolen painting in his suite, she contacts a former boyfriend who works for the elite BRB, a unit of French law enforcement that deals with art thefts.

Nicholas is questioned by police and released when it is revealed the painting is a reproduction. Irked with her behavior, Acacia’s supervisor demotes her threatening dismissal and the cancellation of her work permit.

But Acacia has already attracted Nicholas’s attention. Remorseful that she may lose her job on his account, he offers her a choice – she can wait until her supervisor dismisses her, or she can leave the city of lights behind and become his personal assistant.

Acacia initially refuses his offer, but Nicholas is persistent. He reveals himself as a man who quietly acquires stolen art in order to restore it to its rightful owners. Faced with mounting familial debts and the possibility of dismissal and deportation, she agrees to work for him.

Nicholas opens up a whole new world of beauty and intrigue to Acacia as they travel the globe. Soon the line between employer and assistant is blurred, and the two lonely people embark on a passionate relationship.

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Buy The Man in the Black Suit — Available today on Amazon

AUDIO: hyperurl.co/6qlz7i
Amazon eBook: hyperurl.co/r1flgr
Amazon Print: http://amzn.to/2BypEUN

other platforms to follow…

My Review of The Man in the Black Suit

The Man in the Black SuitThe Man in the Black Suit by Sylvain Reynard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As much as I love to read books by this author, words often fail me when it comes time to write a review. I never feel up to the task. But reading, recommending, and promoting his work is such an honor and a pleasure that I am compelled to do my best to capture the intensity of the reading experience and the inspiration I feel every time I pick up one of his novels – to read for the first time or to re-visit them, as I often do when I need to feel fully alive.

That being said, his latest novel, The Man in the Black Suit, is a triumph: an intricate, complex romantic journey that seamlessly weaves history, art, culture, suspense, and romance into a visual, visceral reading experience that will stay with you long after you finish the last chapter. I’ve been anticipating it for nearly a year, finished it in a day, and I already long for more. It was, in a word, stunning. I don’t know that I’ve ever used that descriptor before, but it’s the first word that came to mind when I closed my Kindle. I had–and still have–a book hangover that will last through the New Year.

As with all of Sylvain’s body of work, TMITBS deals with our deepest human failures, urges, and complex emotions: guilt, fear, shame, hate, racism, the desire for vengeance and the desperation for redemption. It exposes our greatest conflicts and darkest weaknesses; but ultimately highlights the very best traits humanity has to offer: hope, strength, courage, compassion, forgiveness, passion, tolerance, and abiding love. It is impeccably researched and flawlessly written in third-person, lyrical prose that is uniquely Sylvain Reynard. It is the best standalone I’ve read in 2017, and I would love to see Nicholas and Acacia again in a future story.

View all my reviews

About Sylvain Reynard

NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY AND #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR

I’m interested in the way literature can help us explore aspects of the human condition – particularly suffering, sex, love, faith, and redemption. My favourite stories are those in which a character takes a journey, either a physical journey to a new and exciting place, or a personal journey in which he or she learns something about himself/herself.

I’m also interested in how aesthetic elements such as art, architecture, and music can be used to tell a story or to illuminate the traits of a particular character. In my writing, I combine all of these elements with the themes of redemption, forgiveness, and the transformative power of goodness.

I try to use my platform as an author to raise awareness about the following charities: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation, WorldVision, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and Covenant House. For more information, see my Twitter account.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sylvainreynard (@sylvainreynard)
 
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Dirty Rich One Night Stand — A HOT New Standalone from Lisa Renee Jones!

Lisa Renee Jones is back with a sexy, stunning STANDALONE:

DIRTY RICH ONE NIGHT STAND!

GENRE: Contemporary Steamy Romance

RELEASE DATE: October 18, 2017

 

DIRTY, RICH ONE NIGHT STAND.

That’s all it was supposed to be. Her. Him. Pleasure. And then a fast goodbye. He’s a stranger. And yet, he’s not. She knows him even though he doesn’t know her.

He’s the powerful attorney, now world-renowned after coming off the trial of a century which was publicized across the country. And I’m one of the reporters that sat in his courtroom.

I watched him, studied him, got to know him from afar which isn’t hard since I know his exact brand of confidence, arrogance, and wealth.

I know his type. I’ve dated his type. Which is why when I happen to come face to face with him, when sparks fly and heat simmers between us, I know what happens if I say “yes” to Reese Summer.

I know he’ll taste like sin and sex, even before he kisses me.

I know he’ll feel like pleasure and passion, even before he touches me.

I know he’ll demand more than I wants to give, and yet, because I dare to give myself to him, the result will be deliciously hot.

I know that I will not leave his bed without being utterly, completely sated.

And I know that I will leave the next morning anyway.

And so, I do.

And so, he follows.

And as chase begins my question becomes: Is Reese Summer THE one or is he really just a dirty, arrogant lie that should have stayed a one night stand?

teaser for Dirty Rich One Night Stand

 BUY LINKS

Special Release Day Price — 99 cents — will go up to $4.99 shortly after release!

Amazon US ➜ http://bit.ly/DirtyRichAmazon
Amazon CA➜ http://bit.ly/DirtyRichAmazonCA
Amazon UK ➜ http://bit.ly/DirtyRichAmazonUK

EXCERPT

“You’re as perfect as I knew you would be,” he says, his voice managing to be both sandpaper and silk on my nerve endings, as he adds, “and almost as naked as I want you to be.”

The idea that he has wanted me as much as I have wanted him does funny things to my stomach, but more so, delivers an unexpected wave of illogical vulnerability. This is sex. The end. I don’t want or need to feel anything more. I want and need him naked and fucking me now, fast, hard. That’s safe. Desperate to find that safe place, to shift the control from him to me, I push to my toes, my breasts molding to his chest, and press my lips to his lips. They are warm, and he is hard everywhere I am soft.

And his response to my kiss, the answering moan I am rewarded with, is white-hot fire in my blood that he ignites further 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 some part of me has known from moment one that he is like no man I have ever known. Which explains why he is everything I want. And nothing about this night is what I expected, any more than this man is anything I can control.

But there is something intensely arousing about the idea of trying.

As if claiming I am reaching for the impossible, he molds me closer, his hand between my shoulder blades, his tongue playing wickedly with mine, but I meet him stroke for stroke, arching into him. He cups my ass and pulls me solidly against his erection. He wins this one. Now I am the one moaning, arching into him, and I welcome the intimate connection. I burn for the moment he will be inside me.

But I also want him to burn for this just as much as I do, and I need to touch this man. Really, really, need to touch him. My hand presses between us, and I stroke the hard line of his shaft. Reese tears his mouth from mine, pressing me hard against the pillar supporting the window again, and when his hands leave my body, when his palms press to the concrete above me again, I sense his withdrawal is about control. I was winning. I confirm that as reality when our eyes lock, and the dash of fire in his eyes is lit by one part passion and one part challenge.

“If I slide my fingers between your legs right now,” he says, “are you wet for me? Are you ready for me?”

“Why don’t you find out for yourself?” I dare him, testing him, pushing him.

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT series.

In addition to the success of Lisa’s INSIDE OUT series, she has published many successful titles. The TALL, DARK AND DEADLY series and THE SECRET LIFE OF AMY BENSEN series, both spent several months on a combination of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling lists. Lisa is also the author of the bestselling the bestselling DIRTY MONEY and WHITE LIES series. And will be publishing the first book in her Lilah Love suspense series with Amazon Publishing in March 2018.

Prior to publishing, Lisa owned a multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by the Dallas Women’s Magazine. In 1998 Lisa was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.

Lisa loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at www.lisareneejones.com and she is active on Twitter and Facebook daily.

SOCIAL LINKS

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLisaReneeJones

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Temporary, by Sarina Bowen and Sarah Mayberry: Review and Author Interview

Two fantastic authors deliver one wonderful standalone Romance…it’s

Temporary

by Sarina Bowen and Sarah Mayberry

Front Cover, Temporary

Synopsis

The most beautiful man I’ve ever seen is the one who can ruin everything…

The first time I lay eyes on Callan Walker, I know he’ll be trouble. With his smug grin, hot Aussie accent and thousand dollar shoes, he’s just the kind of rich guy who always gets what he wants.

And he wants two things: a night of sin, and my cooperation as he outmaneuvers his powerful mother to take control of his uncle’s estate.

I can’t afford either one. I’m the only thing standing between my little sister and the foster care system. He may have money and charm on his side, but I have something even more powerful — pure desperation. This temp job at his mother’s company can become a full-time job for me. It has to.

But when Callan’s eyes rake over my body, sometimes I forget my obligations. His piercing gaze finds the fun, optimistic girl I used to be and not the tired person I’ve become.

And it works–if only for a moment. Our night together was a mistake. I can’t afford to get sucked into his high-powered family’s treachery. But the closer I get to Callan, the more layers I find beneath those expensive clothes. Though I can’t forget this is temporary. He’s temporary. I have too much to lose.

Too bad my foolish heart didn’t get the memo…

Links

➜ Amazon: http://geni.us/TEMamazon
➜ iBooks: http://geni.us/TEMibooks 
➜ B&N: http://geni.us/TEMnook
➜ Kobo: http://geni.us/TEMkobo

Review: 4.5 Stars

Temporary is a sweet, contemporary Cinderella story that will sweep you off your feet, but also hot enough to melt your glass slippers!

In this hot new stand-alone romance by Sarina Bowen and Sarah Mayberry, your Prince Charming is Callan, a hot Aussie playboy and the estranged black sheep in his family’s cattle dynasty, Walker Holdings, Inc.

Grace, our Cinderella, works as a temp in Manhattan by day, raises her teenage sister–Olivia–by night, and desperately hopes her current assignment will secure her future with Walker Holdings.

The primary source of conflict is Callan’s cold-blooded, manipulative, power-hungry mother, Victoria, who hires Grace to inventory the holdings of her deceased brother, Callan’s beloved uncle, who lived in New York until his death. Victoria Walker is a classic fairy tale villain archetype, a greedy, heartless woman you’ll truly love to hate.

Like any fairy tale, there’s a beautiful message underneath; and like the Cinderella story, it’s all about family. There’s the dark side: greed, sibling rivalry, money, and power. But there’s also the bright side: love, honor, self-sacrifice, and humility. The plot is driven by the pull of sexual attraction (which, by the way, is a very powerful attraction); the struggle between what the head wants and what the heart needs; and the vulnerability that results when you risk it all for the sake of a love that may turn out to be only a fantasy. It’s heart-warming, mildly suspenseful, emotional and unexpectedly inspiring.

If you’re looking for a sweet, sexy, funny, poignant story that will allow you to escape into your most tempting romantic fantasy, lose yourself in Temporary this weekend. It’s a decadent delight.

An Interview with Sarah & Sarina

What do you enjoy most about collaborating/co-writing a book? What are the possible pitfalls and how do you handle them?
Sarah: The magic of having someone else write the book while I was sleeping never got old! And I got to wake up every morning to a Sarina Bowen scene. Doesn’t get much better than that!. There weren’t any major pitfalls that I can think of.
Sarina: The time difference was the only hard part. I confess to sending at least one email reading: Wake up! I had an idea. Poor Sarah. We had a lot of fun with the culture clash.
Is there one character you’ve written that has special meaning for you? Who’s character traits and/or arc changed you in some way as you wrote him or her? Who is it and why do they stand out as your favorite?
Sarah: There are two brothers who both had their own books – Tyler in The Last Goodbye, and Jon in One Good Reason. They were both survivors of an abusive father, and I found them both very moving books to write because one of my close friends had a difficult childhood and I wanted to really honor the truth of that.
Sarina: Corey from The Year We Fell Down will always be close to my heart. She taught me how to write a fierce heroine.
Is there a character from a book by another author that had a similar effect on you – or is generally unforgettable? Who is it and why?
Sarah: One of the first strong heroines who really stayed with me was Lessa, from Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonflight. She was such a difficult, determined, complicated woman, and at the end of the day she risked everything to save her world.
Sarina: Some of Alice Hoffman’s female characters are still close to me even twenty years after I’ve read them. Nora Silk from Seventh Heaven is so wonderfully unique.
What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?
Sarah: Don’t worry about what any other writer is doing or what’s happening in their career. I didn’t understand that when I first heard it, but now I do. You write the books you write, and you have your own career, no one else’s. You’ve got to run your own race.
Sarina: Give your characters internal yearnings that they can’t yet articulate on page one. It hasn’t failed me yet.
What would you like your readers to know about you new story? What do you hope they take away from it?
Sarah: I want them to know we had so much fun writing it. I would literally giggle with glee when I woke up and read what Sarina had written that day. I would love for readers to have as much fun reading Temporary as we did writing it.
Sarina: I want them to know that Callan is a very unique hottie. You won’t want to miss him.

Release Day: One Night, by Aleatha Romig

One Night…

Front cover, One Night, by Aleatha RomigA sweet, fun, and sexy stand-alone romance from New York Times bestselling author Aleatha Romig.

One night to remember

Is that too much to desire?

One night for fun, passion, and a chance to remember what it’s like to be a woman.
I’m not looking for love.
There’s a man in my life who loves me with all his heart. He has beautiful blue eyes, is three feet tall, and calls me mommy.
He’s my whole world and I’m his. Fate stole his daddy way too soon.
What would happen if I allowed fate another chance, just for one night?

One night to help a friend

Why did I agree to this?
Blind dates are disasters. If I weren’t helping the friend of a friend, I wouldn’t go.
I’m not looking for romance, love, or even a one-night stand.
After all, the man my friend knew is gone. I’m no longer the hockey star known for his “pep” on the ice and in the sack. I have a new life, and a new career—a new passion. I’m not looking for more.
When the blind date is a bust, could fate change everything?

One night doesn’t end with a kiss—it begins with one.

Be ready to laugh, cry, and fall head over heels as you meet Leatha, the lighter side of Aleatha in this new sweet and sexy stand-alone romance, ONE NIGHT.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks

An Excerpt from One Night…

Mandy

When we finally pull apart, before I can speak or even contemplate what happened, Malcolm’s blue eyes shine down on me, taking me in and reading me.

His voice rumbles through the background commotion of the bar. “You taste like sweet wine and smell like perfume and desire.”

Warmth fills my cheeks. “You taste like good beer.”

“Good? You’re a beer connoisseur?”

I shrug. “Mostly, I know cheap beer.”

He lifts my chin, bringing his indigo eyes into focus. The room disappears, making those blue orbs all I can see.

“I’m a connoisseur,” he says as his thumb gently rubs over my bruised lips. “And you, beautiful Mandy, if you were a beer, would never be a cheap one. No, you’re a rich custom craft brew. I see it in your eyes, feel it in your touch, and smell it in the air. Kissing a stranger isn’t something you do, is it?”

I try to move my eyes away, but Malcolm’s grip of my chin is unrelenting. Meeting his gaze, I reply, “No. I won’t even bore you with how long it’s been since I’ve kissed a real man.”

His eyes sparkle. “You kiss fake men?”

“Boys. Well, only one actually.”

“You kiss boys…” And then, as if the reality of his statement hits home, he asks, “You have a son?”

My heart flutters, its speed increasing by the second. “I do, but I don’t want to talk about him. Not because he isn’t important for he is—he’s my world—but because tonight isn’t about him. It’s about me.” I can’t gauge Malcolm’s reaction. I can only guess that he’s assuming that I’m some needy woman trying to get a man to take on the responsibility of a kid who isn’t his.

I reach out and splay my fingers over his chest. His heart is beating to match mine. “I don’t want to talk about him,” I continue, “because he’ll never know about you—I’ll never tell him and never introduce you. Don’t worry. I’m not after a man to rescue me. I’m perfectly content with my life as a mother. I just wanted to remember what it felt like to be a woman…for just one night.”

“I’m not anti-children—”

I shake my head. “Stop. That doesn’t matter.” It’s then that I notice the filled glasses on the table and laugh. “When did the waitress come?”

Malcolm bows his head until our noses touch. He inhales deeply, his eyes closing as his hand falls to my lap. “I’d say just after you.”

More heat floods my cheeks. “I-I didn’t…”

“Then we need to do something about that.” He looks again at the full glasses. “I think the drinks came while my tongue was busy getting to know your sweet mouth.” His hand splays over my thigh.

My breathing hitches. “Malcolm?”

“You said you want one night. One night doesn’t end with a kiss. It begins with one.”

About Aleatha Romig

aleatharomig1Aleatha Romig is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author who lives in Indiana, USA. She grew up in Mishawaka, graduated from Indiana University, and is currently living south of Indianapolis. Aleatha has raised three children with her high school sweetheart and husband of nearly thirty years. Before she became a full-time author, she worked days as a dental hygienist and spent her nights writing. Now, when she’s not imagining mind-blowing twists and turns, she likes to spend her time a with her family and friends. Her other pastimes include reading and creating heroes/anti-heroes who haunt your dreams!

Aleatha released her first novel, CONSEQUENCES, in August of 2011. CONSEQUENCES became a bestselling series with five novels and two companions released from 2011 through 2015. The compelling and epic story of Anthony and Claire Rawlings has graced more than half a million e-readers. Aleatha released the first of her series TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE, INSIDIOUS, in the fall of 2014. These stand alone thrillers continue Aleatha’s twisted style with an increase in heat.

In the fall of 2015, Aleatha moved head first into the world of dark romantic suspense with the release of BETRAYAL, the first of her five novel INFIDELITY series that has taken the reading world by storm. She also began her traditional publishing career with Thomas and Mercer. Her books INTO THE LIGHT and AWAY FROM THE DARK were published through this mystery/thriller publisher in 2016.

2017 brings Aleatha’s first “Leatha, the lighter side of Aleatha” with PLUS ONE, a fun, sexy romantic comedy.

Aleatha is a “Published Author’s Network” member of the Romance Writers of America and PEN America. She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

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New Release: The Wright Mistake, by K. A. Linde

Release Banner, The Wright Mistake by K A Linde

Available NOW: THE WRIGHT MISTAKE

front cover, The Wright Mistake by K A LindeA new stand alone enemies-to-lovers romance by USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde…

I spent six weeks screwing Austin Wright’s brains out and all I got was this broken heart.

He can’t be trusted. Not with my body or my heart. Yet, two years have passed and I still crave him like an addict needing a fix.

The last time we tried this, it nearly ruined me. I know I should run and never look back. But his dark haunted eyes and razor blade smile speak to my soul. His touch sets my body on fire. And we all know what happens when you light gasoline. Someone is bound to get burned.

A second chance might destroy us both.

Because everyone knows two wrongs don’t make a Wright.

BUY IT TODAY

Amazon US  ✦ Amazon UK  ✦ iBooks  ✦ B&N  ✦ Kobo  ✦ Google Play 

 

About the Author

KylaK.A. Linde is the USA Today bestselling author of more than fifteen novels including the Avoiding series and the Record series. She has a Masters degree in political science from the University of Georgia, was the head campaign worker for the 2012 presidential campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as the head coach of the Duke University dance team. She loves reading fantasy novels, geeking out over Star Wars, binge-watching Supernatural, and dancing in her spare time.

She currently lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband and two super adorable puppies.

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / INSTAGRAM

Cover Reveal: Hard Wood, by Lauren Blakely – Pre-Order Today!

HARD WOOD is coming October 23, 2017!

A standalone romance told from the male Point-of-View, HARD WOOD is the final hot and hilarious book in the Big Rock series. Pre-order your copy today! Kindle users—stay tuned for the pre-order right before release! And don’t miss the hot, new cover below!

Front Cover, Hard Wood by Lauren Blakely

Cover Design by Helen Williams with Photography by Wander Aguiar Photography

About HARD WOOD:

Women often say a good man is hard to find. And a hard man is even better.

That’s why I’m quite a catch— good, hard, loaded, and wait for it…I’m ready to settle down too. But the woman I want to pitch my tent with is precisely the one I need to stay far away from.

After that fantastic night with Mia Summers, I’m ready to give her many more. But there’s a hitch in my plans — she just hired my company. If there’s one thing I’m committed to, it’s running a squeaky clean adventure tour business. One of the iron-clad rules?

Don’t screw your customers.

I can follow my own guidelines. After all, it’s only a week-long trip with Mia and her employees over the trails and down the hills I guide them on. I can obey the rules—even if it’s hard in the woods.

I’m about to give myself a badge of honor when the storm of the century hits, sending everyone else running for cover, but us—my biggest temptation and me, alone for a long weekend. You don’t screw the client, especially when you’re already in love with her . . .

But what’s a guy to do when she’s so hard to resist?

PREORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!

✦ iBooks ✦ Barnes & Noble ✦ Kobo ✦ Google Play ✦ Amazon 

✦ Kindle Preorder alert (via Lauren’s newsletter) 

✦ Goodreads 

About Lauren Blakely:
A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than eighty times, and she’s sold more than 2 million books. In September, she’ll release MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY, a standalone sports romance. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter

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Release Day: Wicked Grind, a Wicked Sexy New Standalone from J. Kenner

About WICKED GRIND…

Book Cover, Wicked Grind by J KennerSometimes it feels so damn good to be bad

Photographer Wyatt Royce’s career is on the verge of exploding. All he needs is one perfect model to be the centerpiece of his sexy, controversial show. Find her, and Wyatt is sure to have a winner.

Then Kelsey Draper walks in. Stunning. Vibrant. And far too fragile for a project like this. Wyatt should know—after all, he remembers only too well why their relationship ended all those years ago.

Determined to break free from her good girl persona, Kelsey wants spice. Adventure. And she’s certain that Wyatt is just the man to help.

But when Wyatt agrees to give her the job only if he has complete control—on camera and in his bed—Kelsey can’t help but wonder if she’s in too deep. Because how can a good girl like her ever be enough for a man like Wyatt?

All Wicked novels stand alone.

Buy WICKED GRIND here…

Amazon | Print | Audible | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | iBooks | iBooks UK | Kobo |

Kobo UK  | B&N | Google Play | Google Play UK

 

A Sexy Excerpt

She was driving him crazy.

The way she held his eyes while she moved, so bold and flirtatious, as if she was just daring him to pull her into his arms and kiss her senseless.

Daring him? No, strike that. She wasn’t just daring him, she was throwing down a goddamned gauntlet. But was she challenging him to claim her? Or was she goading him that he couldn’t have her?

Damned if he knew. Right then, Wyatt was certain of only one thing—his body was tight, his cock was hard, and he wanted to be somewhere other than here. Someplace without other people.

Someplace with a bed.

It was the dancing that did it. Because Kelsey Draper and her dancing had always been his downfall. After all, that was what had started everything all those years ago. He’d seen her dancing to a bouncy pop song, her interpretation elevating the music and lyrics. He’d seen passion and precision, sensuality and seduction. She’d enchanted him. Cast a spell over him.

He’d seen the magic in her, so much larger than the quiet, subdued girl he’d met before. The Kelsey he’d watched dancing had surprised him. She was vibrant. Alive. Unexpected.

He’d fallen hard, and then she’d broken his heart.

He wouldn’t make the same mistake again.

He might want her—hell, he did want her. For his bed. For his show.

But he damn sure wasn’t going to trust her. He’d already learned that lesson, and he really didn’t need a refresher course.

As he watched, she dropped to the floor, then used one hand to rip open her shirt before letting it fall down her arms. She writhed on stage, her seductive movements making him ache inside, all the more when he imagined taking it further. Her wrists bound not with a tattered blouse, but with silk ropes. And not just her wrists, but her legs as well. Red ropes, the only color in an otherwise black and white image. Her body twisting, and the audience unsure if she was fighting the bonds or reveling in her own rising passion.

She was exactly what he needed for the show. The complete package. Hell, he’d known that from the moment she’d walked into his studio.

So why was he hesitating?

Because he wanted her?

Or was it because he wanted to punish her?

Or maybe it was even more insidious than that. Maybe it came down to how much was riding on this show. It was his shot, after all. The apex of all his work and sacrifice. The chance to escape from under the black cloud his father had left hanging over him.

The chance to prove himself to his family.

To live up to the goddamn Segel name.

But that would only happen if the show was a success.

So maybe that was why he was hesitating. Because the moment he committed was the moment the truth crept toward him on little cat paws, and it would either curl up and purr, or rip his heart out.

On stage, Kelsey rose, then did some sort of pirouette, twirling as she pulled off one of those transparent, colored scarves that served as a barely-there skirt. Wyatt imagined his hands on her waist, the brush of her skin against his palms as she spun. He could imagine her heat. The way she shivered under his touch.

So help him, he wanted that. Wanted to hear her sighs. Those little moans he remembered.

Another scarf went flying, and he straightened so that he was no longer leaning against the pillar. Instead, he shifted his weight from foot to foot as he tried to tamp down the rising lust. The violent need. To not only have her, but to have her in his show.

He wanted her, yes. But she was an indulgence he couldn’t justify. An indulgence and a risk, because he knew damn well that she’d run if things got too intense.

And damn but his show was intense. That was the point, after all.

He couldn’t take a chance on her, no matter how much he might want to. Couldn’t even bring her in only long enough to test her out. Not on such a tight schedule. Not when there was no way to ensure that she wouldn’t bolt.

Kelsey was a risk he simply couldn’t take. He had to get it right. There was too much at stake for him to be wrong about her.

The final scarf fluttered to the ground, and Wyatt’s pulse pounded in his throat as he moved closer, his mouth going dry as she reached for her bra, pulled it over her head, then tossed it aside.

The music faded out, and the dim, colored stage lights made the flesh-colored G-string blend into her pale skin, enhancing the illusion that she now stood before the entire room not just topless, but one hundred percent, birthday-suit naked.

She took a bow as the lights came up, and the men in the audience actually stood to applaud her. She’d blown away the competition, and even though Wyatt wanted to rush the stage and wrap his jacket around her, he couldn’t deny the swell of pride he felt for her victory.

 

Meet J. Kenner 

julie-j-kenner-author-photoJ.Kenner (aka Julie Kenner) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and #1 International bestselling author of over seventy novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.

Though known primarily for her award-winning and international bestselling erotic romances (including the Stark and Most Wanted series) that have reached as high as #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, JK has been writing full time for over a decade in a variety of genres including paranormal and contemporary romance, “chicklit” suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal mommy lit.

JK has been praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations” and by RT Bookclub for having “cornered the market on sinfully attractive, dominant antiheroes and the women who swoon for them.” A five time finalist for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award, JK took home the first RITA trophy awarded in the category of erotic romance in 2014 for her novel, Claim Me (book 2 of her Stark Trilogy). Her Demon Hunting Soccer Mom series (as Julie Kenner) is currently in development with AwesomenessTV/Awestruck.

Her books have sold over three million copies and are published in over twenty languages.

In her previous career as an attorney, JK worked as a clerk on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and practiced primarily civil, entertainment and First Amendment litigation in Los Angeles and Irvine, California, as well as in Austin, Texas. She currently lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and two rather spastic cats.

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