Welcome to Naples, Florida! Where the beaches are perfect and every day is a vacation. But in this small town paradise that serves as a playground for the rich and elite, not everything is as beautiful as it first appears on the surface.
Offering an irreverent, and often sarcastic, glimpse into all the sexy scandals that go on behind closed doors, Paradise Coast, delves into the shadows of another way of life and proves that money doesn’t always buy happiness. Following five couples as they navigate their way through love, expectations and revenge, this story explores how different personalities react when faced with unsavory realizations about their current states of affairs.
Authors Note: This is not a romance. There are no alpha heroes who swoop in to save the day, or brooding bad boys who are easily converted into marriage material. If that’s what you’re searching for, then keep looking. Inside these pages is an unparalleled drama with many happy endings, but not so many happily-ever-afters. At least, not in the traditional sense… It’s a story about quick-witted women who find creative ways of empowering themselves and rising above their conflicting situations.
Formerly a freelance journalist, Novelle has found placement of her pieces in both online and print publications since 2008. Additionally, she has written multiple screenplays, and contributed her writing to many non-profit and for profit organizations. She has launched several blogs over the years, which garnered international attention.
In 2013, Novelle returned to her first love – fiction. Writing under the names Renee Novelle and R.S. Novelle, she has a publication schedule that includes Psychological Thrillers, Suspense, Paranormal Fiction, Contemporary Women’s fiction, Chick Lit, and New Adult.
Though she received her Bachelor’s of Science in Communication,summa cum laude, she considers herself a constant student of the written word. She’s an avid reader, an enthusiastic quote poster, and rarely takes “no” as a final answer. She has an unhealthy obsession for theater, dance, music and art, and strongly believes that wine is simultaneously the beginning of, and resolution to, all of life’s problems. She believes in following dreams, and that in the end, you always end up where you’re meant to be.
Welcome to the Dreams and Nightmares Anthology Blog Hop! We are celebrating the release of our anthology with a few friends so get ready to hop along and win fabulous prizes all week long. Each author featured in the anthology is giving away a copy of one of their books. But that’s not all. The Grand Prize is a signed print copy of The Dreams and Nightmares Anthology! What do you love? Erotic, Sweet, Paranormal or Contemporary Romance? Take your pick, this is where your dreams come true. Leave a comment with your email address for a chance to win and hop along to the next blog for more chances to win!
Drop by our Facebook Launch party, it’s a free-for-all over there too! Don’t miss it, a chance to play games and win prizes every hour on May 27th from 12:00 PM – 9:00 PM.
The Dreams and Nightmares Anthology
Dreams and nightmares are like twilight; that misty place between fantasy and reality.
When your mind takes you on an adventure you didn’t sign up for and you become someone or something else, it can be delectable, terrifying, or both.
Dreaming of that sexy bad boy who seems out of reach? Be careful what you wish for, sometimes dreams really do come true. If you have the time, we have the past life to seduce you. Whether your fantasy is a lustful mermaid, an irresistible incubus, a vampiric predator, or an insatiable ghost hold on tight. You are on the most erotic ride of your life.
When your desires blend so thoroughly with the truth that you don’t know the difference, that’s when romance is but a dream.
Sofie is a singer, baker and a serious planner. When she finds her rocker boyfriend up against the wall in a vocal booth with a back-up singer, her five-year plan for a home and family is dubbed over like a bad music track.
Gray, a lusty ghost who acts like she is his long-dead fiancée invades her dreams and works her body over, night and after night. It isn’t long before Sofie’s plans include her beguiling lover, a ghost man with a plan of his own; be with me. Nice plan if you call that living…
He came up behind her at the island as she was kneading dough for the beignets.
The spacious kitchen should have been cold in the middle of the night but the hard body against her back enveloped her in warmth. She curled into him. At five-foot-four, her head only reached his chest. His pecs were a firm pillow.
In the seductive veil of the dream, her peripheral vision blurred so that she felt more than she saw. The only light on in the kitchen was the overhead light which pulsed above them. A thought teased her consciousness that maybe it was not the overhead light at all, but something more.
“Ah, Sweet Sofie.” He shifted until he was nestled between her legs. “I am drawn to you like a moth to a flame.” His arms came over her and as he helped her knead the dough, his shaft slid in and out between her legs.
She sighed her pleasure and leaned her head against his chest. Watching his big hands over hers with flecks of the flour and sugar mixture coating the hair on his knuckles was an erotic vision of teamwork. She wondered how those hands would feel as they kneaded her flesh.
Their hands worked in time to the rhythm of his slide, in and out. Their fingers clenched onto the mound of dough as he pushed forward, and released as he slid out from between her thighs. Their heavy breathing was the only sound as they clenched and released, clenched and released…
A lazy heat flared between her legs, warming her to the core and making her hips rock back and forth. Her legs were giving way and she spread them wider to stay upright. She stopped kneading the dough to lean over and hold onto the island.
He grabbed her hair, wrapping it around his hand so that she had to lean her head back against him. “Don’t stop,” his gentle scolding tickled her ear. “I have not had a decent beignet since I arrived in these United States.” He released her hair and pressed closer. She was now trapped between the island and his lean hips. “I’ll hold you up.” His low chuckle was a hot vibration between her thighs.
Susan will be awarding a notebook perfect for journaling to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. But first, Susan answers my ten in a fun interview. 🙂
Danita, thanks for inviting me to come today! It’s so nice to stop here and chat for awhile about writing.
Woohoo! You are a published author. Describe a strong character trait you possess, good or bad, and how it helped you become a published author. Becoming a published author, for me, was a matter of reaching out to New York publishers (this was back in the late 1980’s) and trying to find one who would pay me to write a young-adult series book (which is what I was most wanted to write at that time). I’d grown up on all those Scholastic Book Club books – still read them – and wanted to find a house that was still doing them. (Lots of them, in case you’re wondering. Spend an hour with Literary Marketplace in your local library and look up Book Producers.) A small house that produced book series for large publishers hired me, mostly because the first one happened to be about girls who were training for Olympic dressage, and I just happened to be riding English saddle every week at the time. Perfect synchronicity! I wrote a sample, got a contract, produced a manuscript in a month (panting all the way down the wire), and got another two contracts immediately to write young-adult bios of Abraham Lincoln and Amelia Earhart. From there I just kept going, as we all tend to do. Wrote a book about baseball, one about pre-teen fashion, a bio of Clara Barton, then after a lapse of a few years (during which I got married and had children), I went back to it. Two bios of Ray Charles, a history of Alcatraz, some girls’ series fiction. Great fun!
I suppose you’d say the strong character trait I had was perseverance. I actually never bothered writing editors; I picked up the phone and called them. (Fortunately I’d worked for some years for a literary agency in L.A., so I could sound professional when I spoke to them.) They couldn’t get rid of me – I kept calling back every three or four weeks – and finally the right circumstances came along.
Sometimes an author begins writing a story before they are aware of its genre. Did you choose your genre, or did it choose you? It always chooses me. I never think about genre when I get an idea for a story, never consciously try to fit into one, though most of them have elements of history, or mystery, or romance, because that’s what I like to read. Mine are always ‘what if?’ situations – ‘what if I could travel back in time to save JFK from assassination in Dallas?’– that kind of thing. STEALING FIRE, my new novel, is the one exception I can think of – that story is a love story between an older guy and a younger woman, and at the time I began writing, that situation was happening to me. I couldn’t make sense of it and I wanted to try, so I started writing, but the characters and the novel just took off of their own accord, and I just kept writing.
The plot thickens, or does it? Which one are you, a pantser or a plotter? Depends on what month you meet me! 11 months a year I’m a plotter – I do like to have some idea of where I’m going when I start, though with STEALING FIRE I had no idea – I sat down at the typewriter (yes, folks, it was that long ago – I started this novel, I blush to admit, in 1983!) With more complex stories, like FORWARD TO CAMELOT (which will be re-published this fall), I actually plotted every important detail with my co-author, Kevin Finn, before we wrote the first draft. It was really necessary, because so much was happening at once we really needed that structure to lean on.
On the other hand, if you meet me in November, while I’m doing Nanowrimo – well, all bets are off! I have an idea I start with, probably very little beyond that, and every day I’m flying by the seat of my pants. No idea where I’m going. It’s totally exhilarating! I’ve done it 7 times, won it 6 times (crossing the finish line at the end of the month with 50,000 written words) – I recommend it to all writers, just because it’s such a great way to shed your inner editor and make things happen creatively – wonderful!
Fear 101: As writers it is our duty to make our characters face their fears. Have you ever included one of your own fears in a storyline? I really hate to admit this – but since you asked – ???!! – while I write in different genres and tell different kinds of stories, the one constant seems to be that the heroine is some version of me. (I just figured this out about a year ago.) In STEALING FIRE it’s the young me; in FORWARD TO CAMELOT it’s a highly glamorized, idealized version of me; in my upcoming novel THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL it’s an older, more realistic version. I’ve often included my relationship with my mother in novels – it wasn’t easy, though we love each other – but as far as having a real fear I can’t get over, I don’t usually mention those in books. (Hey, as the writer, I think it’s a perk of the job to make stories come out the way you want them to – which is a brave heroine who saves the day!)
Fear 102: Yes, deadlines are terrifying. Have you conquered the juggling act between writing and the rest of your life? What do you do when it feels like the balls are dropping all around you? That happened a lot more years ago than it does now. I think I’ve really reached a point in my life where I decide what’s the priority and then am lucky that I can work my life around that priority. This year, with THREE novels (that is not a typo) in production and ready for publication this fall, the juggling act is at a premium – trying to finish and support all 3 has been ridiculously hard. I sleep a lot less, do a lot more writing and editing a lot faster than I ever thought I could, and since this time missing deadlines has critical consequences, I don’t dare fall behind. Fortunately my kids are a lot older and don’t mind a lot of meals at MacDonald’s!
Switch positions with one of your main characters in a scene. What is the outcome, disaster or divine intervention? If I were to switch places with Amanda from STEALING FIRE, I suspect a crucial scene in the story, where she’s being rejected by the love of her life who’s trying to do ‘the right thing’, would be very different. Instead of being hurt and feeling horrible, at this point in my life I’m a lot more secure about who I am. I’d probably confront him and say, “Listen, dude, we both know you’ll never feel like this again about a woman. How can you be so stupid as to let me go?” Let’s face it, when you get older you realize there’s no point in not speaking up, and you also realize you’re likelier to be respected if you do. Not sure how he would react in the scene – but I’ll bet there’d be some serious laughter involved (and then possibly some even more serious lovemaking!)
Where is your favorite place to write? Add that one comfort food that you can’t do without. Right now I’m writing mostly at my kitchen table, which at least gives me a balanced surface but isn’t always comfortable. During Nanowrimo one year, I discovered that I actually enjoyed taking my laptop into bed with me, and it was quite easy to balance it on my knees and get a lot of work done. Having learned that, I suspect I’ll go back to it at some point; I can write in pajamas, support my back and not be bothered, because everyone thought I was still asleep – hah!
I don’t usually eat while I’m writing, because it’s just too distracting enjoying a meal while you’re trying to come up with clues for your murder. And if the murder is interesting enough, honestly, I don’t get hungry. I do, however, admit to drinking a lot more Diet Pepsi than is good for me (decaffeinated, at least). I get thirsty after several hours at the desk.
One of my few healthy habits is to make time for exercise whenever possible – either before I start my writing day or taking some time off in the middle for a walk or a short exercise or dance tape. It helps get the blood flowing again!
Writing inspirations? Anything can inspire me, but probably the most inspiring is re-reading my favorite authors. I’m one of those readers who reads the same book again and again, and I really can’t understand people who enjoy a book once and think they’re finished with it. Seriously? Don’t you know how much more you get out of it a second, third, twelfth, hundredth time? (Yes, I have read books a hundred times.) I get wonderful ideas from them about how to structure a book (Leo Rosten in CAPTAIN NEWMAN, M.D. interspersed very serious and sad chapters with very funny ones – I thought that was a great idea and noted it down to try myself), how to write simple, highly readable prose (try any Dick Francis mystery), how to tell a true story warmly and movingly (KAREN and WITH LOVE FROM KAREN). Max Allan Collins is particularly inspiring – and irritating – no one should be that prolific! – but I love his historic research and love how he takes an historic event and turns it into superlative fiction. (However, when he described Walter Gibbs, who wrote THE SHADOW novels, which became the famous radio show with Orson Welles, and he said that Gibbs had written something like twelve 50,000-word novels in the first 10 months of 1938, I almost busted a gut!
You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them? It would have to be Dick Francis, and the question would be, “How’s life in heaven?” since he’s no longer with us. Okay, I’m kidding. I know I’d ask a question about his career as a jockey – he almost won the Grand National in 1956 until his horse, Devon Loch, fell on the straight just a few hundred yards from the finish. Totally inexplicable. I’d love to know his thoughts about that, and since he went on to have a tremendous career as a novelist, I’d like to ask if he thought that disappointment with Devon Loch might have given him that much more impetus to succeed as a novelist. (I have a theory that being really disappointed in one area of your career can give you that kind of impetus to try again.) I think most of us, if we love an author, are convinced he/she knows everything about how to write brilliantly all the time and would reveal it if asked nicely, but in my experience, most writers who can pull off magical writing aren’t always sure how they do it. The same, I hear, with actors.
I’ve gone mad – why don’t you come with me? Some people just don’t understand us writers. Name a quirky, writer-thing you do that friends wish you didn’t. Probably the most annoying thing I do with friends that you might consider writer-like is to quote favorite lines from movies or books at what I feel are appropriate times in the conversation (ie, when the talk seems to be moving in that direction). It’s embarrassing that while my short-term memory seems fried, the movies I’ve seen many times – or books I’ve read many times – are stuck in the old cranium, and reminders of them pop out at the worst moments! What’s even worse is if you have a great, appropriate line but it takes a long time to set up. By the time you get to the punch line, your friends are looking at you cross-eyed!
Danita, this was so much fun! Thanks for having me!
“How do you recognize your soulmate?
In glittery 1980’s Los Angeles, Beau Kellogg is a brilliant Broadway lyricist now writing advertising jingles and yearning for one more hit to compensate for his miserable marriage and disappointing life.
Amanda Harary, a young singer out of synch with her contemporaries, works at a small New York hotel, while she dreams of singing on Broadway.
When they meet late at night over the hotel switchboard, what begins will bring them each unexpected success, untold joy, and piercing heartache … until they learn that some connections, however improbable, are meant to last forever.
STEALING FIRE is, at its heart, a story for romantics everywhere, who believe in the transformative power of love.”
STEALING FIRE was a Quarter-Finalist (Top 5%) in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest.
Oh, God, it was him, the bastard who had upset the switchboard operators and bellowed through the lobby loudly enough to alert all five boroughs. At three o’clock in the morning, asking for room service. Unbelievable.
Amanda leaned back in her chair. Her stomach was tightening inexplicably. “I’m sorry,” she said finally, when she could control her voice. “Room Service closes at midnight.”
There was a pause. “Oh. What time is it now?”
She looked at her watch. “Ten after three.”
“Then whom am I speaking to?”
“I’m the night operator. This is the main switchboard.”
“Well, main switchboard, you must all sound alike down there. I could swear I talked to you earlier tonight.”
Well, how about that. “You’ve got a good ear, 704. I was on duty earlier.”
“Good Lord. How long are the shifts around here?”
“Eight hours for everybody else. I’m working a double today.”
“Maybe I just love it here.”
“I guess you do. But I hope you’re well compensated.”
Trust a man to think of money first. “That’s not my major concern.”
“Glad to hear it.”
Okay, enough’s enough. It’s been a long day, made even longer by him. No reason to shoot the breeze with this guy. “Excuse me, I have other callers. Sorry I couldn’t help you.”
“Well, better luck with them.”
“Look, if you’d called earlier—”
“Absolutely. My fault entirely, for falling asleep after a cross-country flight, a time change and a screw-up in hotel administration. Forget I even mentioned it.” The phone clicked in her ear.
She sat for some moments before she noticed she was trembling. This was the second time he’d undermined her—and it bothered her.
Susan Sloate is the author of 20 published books, including FORWARD TO CAMELOT (with Kevin Finn), an alternative history of the JFK assassination, STEALING FIRE, an autobiographical love story, and REALIZING YOU (with Ron Doades), for which she invented a new genre – the self-help novel. FORWARD TO CAMELOT was a #6 Amazon bestseller, took honors in 3 literary competitions and was optioned for film production by a Hollywood company. STEALING FIRE was a quarter-finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. Susan has also written young-adult fiction and non-fiction, including RAY CHARLES: FIND ANOTHER WAY!, which won a silver medal in the 2007 Children’s Moonbeam Book Awards, AMELIA EARHART: CHALLENGING THE SKIES, a perennial Amazon bestseller, and MYSTERIES UNWRAPPED: THE SECRETS OF ALCATRAZ, which led to her appearance on a special for The History Channel in 2009, as well as books for five girls’ fiction series. As a screenwriter, she has written an informational film for McGraw-Hill Films and optioned two scripts to Hollywood production companies. As a sportswriter, she’s covered the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Mets. She’s also managed two recent political campaigns, founded the East Cooper Authors Festival (which put 18 professional authors in 17 area schools in one day) and serves on the Culture, Arts and Pride Commission of the Town of Mount Pleasant.
Click the button to visit other weekend writing warriors.
Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. I am featuring 8 sentences of my new paranormal romance Love Entwined, A Cardiff Novel Book 2. Here are Roman and Amelie, warrior and witch, their first meeting in this lifetime.
“…and I would like you to work on the designs.”
“Me?” She was close enough to hear him chuckle under his breath.
Maybe it was three months of pent up anger at being—for lack of a better word—manipulated in her home. Or, maybe it was three months of the best sex—real or imagined—she’d ever had in her life with a phantom who chose to introduce himself at this very inconvenient time when she was trying to quit her exhausting job. It was also just as likely the fact that her warm and generous dream lover was actually a pampered and conceited heir who probably had more woman than the time required to service them. Whatever the reason, she had reached her limit.
She faced Mr. Cardiff. Folding her arms, she acknowledged what had passed between them and accepted his dare. “It would be my pleasure.”
Love Entwined is on tour. Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card. Grand prize: $25 Amazon gift card.
My new paranormal romance Love Entwined, A Cardiff Novel Book 2 releases on Monday, September 9th. To celebrate I am showcasing 7 sentences for our weekly blog hop My Sexy Saturday. Enjoy!
Last night, she dreamed they were in a ship’s cabin. Her dream lover rocked her as gently as the ship swayed. His eyes were the color of a storm-tossed ocean when he slid his hand between her thighs. The warm glow of the lantern on his chest illuminated black curls that created a delicious sensation against her breasts. Her lips caressed his shoulder when he covered her. She’d smelled the ocean on his hot skin…“Âme Soeur.”
It is always a great time at Romance Lives Forever. I am so excited to join the party with my upcoming release Love Entwined, A Cardiff Novel Book 2. Remember Angel of Falcon’s Angel, Book 1? Well, in Love Entwined, Angel’s parents battle a demon from their past. Amelie and Roman, witch and warrior. Evil and good together in lust. Both have wicked ways, can they stay together in love? Click the link below and come along for the sinfully good ride.
Prize is a copy of “An Easy Dare (Big Easy Series #1)” from Rosalie Rousseaux. Contest is tour-wide. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
Cat loved Gabe from the time she was five years old. She thought it would be easy: fall in love with your childhood sweetheart, get married and live happily ever after. But as the years go on, the fairy tale soon falls apart. At twenty, Gabe – penniless, unable to find work, and drinking himself into a bad reputation – leaves New Orleans, believing that Cat is better off without him.
She doesn’t hear from him for three years.
Not until her bachelorette party, when he sends her a $400 bottle of Champagne the night before she’s set to marry Cort Belrose, a wealthy restaurateur that Gabe despises.
It seems the past three years have treated Gabe well. He’s now mysteriously wealthy and the picture of a perfect Southern gentleman – a gentleman who is quietly seeking vengeance on the man who forced him out of the city, took three years of his life, and stole the woman he loved.
With Gabe’s return, the sweltering heat of New Orleans becomes even more stifling as Cat struggles with the truth about her malicious husband and her consuming lifelong love for the vengeful and troubled Gabe.
Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.
This was our place, the park. This was our bench. When we were kids we would stand on it and throw bread crumbs to the ducks. When we were teenagers we exchanged kisses here – secretly at first, then openly because we didn’t care. I dare you to kiss me in front of everyone, he’d say, and I would. It was an easy dare.
In the wayward days after high school, when we had nowhere important to go, we would sit here, under the sweltering heat of the New Orleans sun, and lay against each other until our longing led us to his backseat—an unromantic bed in theory, but a passionate scene in practice. I remember how his sweat felt against my body. I remember how his dark hair glimmered in the afternoon heat. There was nothing about Gabriel Augustine that didn’t burn itself into my memory and linger there, even after he left me.
Things should have been easy. You fall in love with your childhood sweetheart. You give him your first kiss, your heart, your virginity. He loves you back. You get married and live happily ever after. That’s how I thought it would be. But there are other things that make up a real life—things that aren’t in the fairy tale. Things like fathers, expectations, obligations. Families and money and futures. Love gets tucked away somewhere and forgotten. Love is for movies and books. Love is for fairy tales. Instead of happily ever after, your childhood sweetheart loses a job, drinks too much, becomes a victim of his own unhappiness and disappears, thinking you’re better off without him when you know that’s not true. When you know—in your heart—that love could win. Would win if he would just let it. But he doesn’t believe enough. Despite what he said on those mornings when you’d wake up sweaty and tired and euphoric from lovemaking, or on the nights when your face was wet from his kisses and your body breathless from his love, he didn’t believe enough.
And you decide: I don’t believe, either.
Because you have to in order to survive.
About the Author:
Rosalie Rousseaux is a proud Louisiana girl who thinks New Orleans is the most enchanting city on Earth. This is her first novel. Visit http://rosalierousseaux.wordpress.com for book trailers, contact information and more about AN EASY DARE.
Welcome to the Charming Hero Hop! Join us authors this weekend, August 3rd and 4th as we share our heroes in a Facebook hop. Tell me what kind of man is your hero for a chance to win my giveaway, a $5 Amazon gift card. Remember to leave your email address and a comment, and then click on the picture above to visit other Charming heroes on the hop.
Dreaming of Prince Charming? Your Knight in Shining Armor? You’ve come to the right place. Yorkshire, England to be exact.
At times, Roman Cardiff is the charming hero. This Englishman can be a gentleman, or not. At the helm of Cardiff Jewels, he rarely hears the word no. He gets what he wants and now he wants jewelry designer Amelie Laurent. He’ll do anything to have her.
Whisking her away to the wilds of Yorkshire on assignment feels like kidnapping to Amelie, but to Roman it is more of a melding of the minds. She’ll come around.
However, fairytales often have a dark side. At St. Clair Manor in Yorkshire, Roman and Amelie are in the heart of an ancient battle. A warrior and a witch. Which one of them is a killer? Which one of them will stay alive? In this jewel war, the blood will tell.
Love Entwined, A Cardiff Novel Book 2 releases with Liquid Silver Books on September 9th. Like ghosts and demons and undying love?
Love Entwined Blurb
Run, little witch…
AMELIE LAURENT is on her way to the top of the jewelry designing world with no time for men. Her orderly life is about to come undone when playboy and jewelry tycoon ROMAN CARDIFF steals her away on assignment to a remote English estate. Roman wants Amelie all to himself but St. Clair Manor’s resident ghost has been waiting for her much longer than he has.
An unseen gunman takes a shot at Roman and he blames a business rival. But Amelie and Roman are to blame, for falling in love 200 years before in a time neither of them remember.
From the heartbreak of pre-Revolutionary France to modern day corporate wars, Amelie and Roman uncover a history of blood jewels, lust and demons.
Good witch, bad witch, you must decide…
When Amelie discovers her inner witch she learns the real reason she was summoned to St. Clair Manor. Il Dragone will kill to get her back. Amelie will kill if they do.
Catch up on the Cardiff series. Read an excerpt of Falcon’s Angel, A Cardiff Novel Book 1 here.
MVP (Sequel to “For the Love of the Game”) by Rhonda Laurel Contemporary Romance Categories: Interracial/Multicultural Publisher: Etopia Press Release Date: June 21, 2013 Heat Level: Sensual Word Count: 35,930
Prize is a $25 Gift Card from Rhonda Laurel. Contest is tour-wide, open internationally and ends Sept 6. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
Morgan Reed-Blake discovers that being the wife of MVP quarterback Seth Blake has its perks…and its challenges. Thrust into Seth’s high-profile world, she must wade through the celebrity, status, and the ghosts of girlfriends past. So when Seth takes Morgan home to his ranch in Texas and introduces her to his family and friends, she’s not surprised when his high school sweetheart comes to call. Morgan suspects she wants to rekindle the flame, and how can she blame her? Distraught over the changes their relationship has caused for Seth, Morgan wonders if maybe he’s better off without her.
Pro quarterback Seth Blake is elated that his wife Morgan is giving their “fake” marriage a real chance. But he doesn’t anticipate running into the woman who broke his heart years ago. He hasn’t told Morgan about the complicated relationship with his ex, but as he guides Morgan through the maze of his celebrity lifestyle, can he convince her the past is in the past? The MVP does not accept defeat, and he’s determined not to lose. But winning Morgan might be the most difficult game of his life…
Morgan Blake took one more sip of her wine before placing the glass back on the silver tray. She looked out across the five-thousand-acre ranch from her seat on the veranda, but her view was suddenly obstructed by two strong hands covering her eyes.
“I’ve got another surprise for you,” Seth purred in her ear.
Another surprise? They’d only been in Texas for six hours but she’d taken a tour of the Twelve Horse Shoes ranch, met Seth’s mom, Teri-Lyn, and got her first riding lesson on her new horse, Reed’s Fire. Then Seth had suggested they stay for the rest of the week. What more could he give her?
“Will it be better than finding out the ranch hand I was talking to earlier was actually your mother?”
“Don’t worry, you’re gonna like it,” he drawled, as he led her into the bathroom. Candles surrounded a huge claw foot bathtub that sat in the middle of the room, filled with bubbles and rose petals.
“Want to take a bubble bath with your husband? Take your mind off lunch with momma tomorrow?”
“Only if you wear the hat.” The minute she had seen him wearing that Stetson on the ranch, her heart had skipped a beat.
Morgan shivered at the feel of Seth’s big, strong, calloused hands as he undressed her. Seth took his time removing each piece of clothing from her body before removing his own. He then gathered her into his arms and placed her into the tub, without getting a drop of water on his Stetson.
The hot bath felt like heaven, soothing her aching muscles and washing away the dirt from touring the ranch. But it was all worth it, especially getting to ride her brand new horse for the very first time.
“Reed’s Fire is a beautiful horse. I think we made a connection.”
“Well, that’s what I was going for, a love connection between you and the horse.”
“I read this book…”
Seth’s chest rumbled against her back. “What a surprise.”
“About animal totems.” Morgan flicked bubbles onto his nose. “It was interesting. Animals come into our lives at different times as a way to teach us a life lesson. It’s a very interesting and spiritual topic. I’ll bring a book home for you to read. Your bookcase could use a little diversity.”
“Hey! I have some pretty good biographies.”
“And they’re excellent reads, if you want to be a general in the military or a pro athlete.” Morgan rolled her eyes at him.
“I can’t remember the last time I had the time to just read a good book.” He kissed her shoulder.
“Well, you could read at night before you go to sleep.”
“Reading a book is the last thing I think about when I’m in bed with you.”
“Good point. But when you come to the bookstore, you browse around and I never see you reading anything.”
“That’s because I’m distracted by the owner. She’s really hot. Can’t take my eyes off her.”
“I’m serious. There’s so much we don’t know about each other.” Morgan sighed. She had agreed to give their relationship a chance but the nagging doubt still lingered in the back of her mind that she would wake up one day and it would all go away. Seth didn’t want to talk about their differences and insisted their whirlwind romance wasn’t a flash in the pan. She wished she had his unwavering confidence in their marriage.
Seth nibbled on her ear. “We have plenty of time to learn those things about each other.”
“What genres do you like?”
Seth thought about it for a moment. “Hmm. I like spy thrillers. And I am a history buff. What about you?”
Morgan picked up her wine glass and took another sip. “Spy thrillers, absolutely. History, yes. I also like horror but it scares the crap out of me.”
Seth chuckled. “So why read it if it scares the crap out of you?” “Because a good horror book is supposed to do that.” She shrugged.
“Well, those nights you get scared, I’ll make sure to check all the closets and under the beds.”
“What did I tell you? We have a lot in common.”
“I’m glad you like taking baths but I never pictured you as a claw foot bathtub kind of guy.” Morgan put the glass back on the tray and relaxed against Seth’s chest.
“I am not a claw foot bath guy. You love the tub in the penthouse so I had one installed here.”
“You what?” Morgan splashed water on the black marble floor with her lightening quick turn. Seth assailed her with kisses to mute her practical protests about the tub. His hands ran along her rib cage, palming her breasts, then torturing her with his thumbs making lazy circles around her taut nipples.
“Why did you do that?”
“Because I knew it would make you happy.” Seth held her in place so she’d stop squirming.
“It did but—”
“Morgan Blake, are we going to fight every time I try to do something nice for you?”
“You finished fussing with me, woman?”
“Yes,” she sighed. “That was very nice of you to have the tub installed.”
“Glad you’re beginning to see things my way,” he drawled as he continued his sensual exploration of her body.
About the Author:
Rhonda Laurel is a contemporary romance writer whose two great loves are writing and landscape photography. She uses both as a vehicle to convey the complexity of the human spirit and the beauty of the world around her. Her writing career has recently gained momentum in 2012 with her debut novella, Ebb Tide. Contemporary, multicultural/interracial romance is her ‘thing’ in the form of short stories, novellas and novels, but the author also writes poetry, inspirational quotes, designs greeting cards and the occasional essay. Ebb Tide, For the Love of the Game and Masquerade were released in 2012. Shutter, Memories of You and Star Crossed in 2013. MVP, released June 21, 2013. The print anthology, ‘The Rhonda Laurel Collection’, featuring Ebb Tide, For the Love of the Game and Shutter released June 2013. California Bored and Tourism will be released July 2013. The author is happily building her backlist.