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Archive for April, 2012

Liz’s Review:

Table for One by Ros Clarke
Contemporary Romance released by Entangled Publishing on February 13, 2012

When food critic Claudia Thomas gets dumped on Valentine’s Day, she finds herself occupying a table for one at London’s hottest new restaurant. If her job wasn’t on the line, she’d skip the whole affair, but her editor’s waiting for a review—and with luck, an interview with sexy chef Ward Nicholls. Ward, intrigued by the single woman in a restaurant full of couples, sets out to tease her palate. Claudia has never tasted anything so luscious as the special meal Ward prepares for her, but when the seduction moves from the restaurant to his bedroom, Claudia discovers the only thing more tempting than his food is the chef himself. Their connection is instantaneous, sizzling, and spicy—until Claudia comes clean about her job, reopening a wound Ward had thought long-healed. Could one accidental lie of omission end a delicious relationship before it even has a chance to start?

This short story revolves around the idea of one lie of omission being the thing that potentially destroys a relationship before it gets off the ground.  There is nothing new to the premise, and unfortunately, the author fails to bring anything to the table but the occasional witty bit of dialogue.

Claudia is spineless and weak.  She makes the wrong choices time and again and then is surprised when she loses the person she most wanted to have.  While her bossiness is funny at times, it grew stale quickly, and she appeared to be a very one-dimensional character.

Ward is the stereotyped overworked chef who takes an opportunity to seduce a woman with his food and then changes his mind when he finds out her occupation.  Ward has past demons to battle so it’s no surprise when he flies off the handle about Claudia’s selective truth.  He’s a shallow character at best, taking something that happened to his parents as a child and using it as a shield.  While that does happen in real life, it feels tacked on and trite so his reaction to the truth seems over the top and childish.

There is little more that annoys me in books then when characters do something so patently stupid just so that it creates tension in the story.  Claudia has several inner monologues about revealing her occupation as a reviewer to Ward, knowing that it is important to share it, but each time she decides to leave things as they are.  The very little bit of drama in the story was created by the heroine herself and left a lot to be desired.

The story could have been helped a great deal by adding to the length.  It’s quite a short book, and by choosing a shorter length, the author didn’t give the characters depth and time to shine, and to go further into their relationship.  The book is a quick read with a happy ending, but no surprises.  While I didn’t hate the book, I certainly won’t be reading it again.

Grade: D

You can read an excerpt of the book here, or buy it here.

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A sleep deprived Lime is a tardy Lime. Something to do with not going to bed until 5, 6, or even 7 AM does that. Especially since the rest of the world refuses to pause, or even accomodate my sleep schedule. Or lack thereof. Which is so very inconsiderate, and yet how the world works. Le sigh.

There are things I want to talk about. Like all the crazy plagiarism stuff going on in Bloglandia. (Prominent YA blogger plagiarized but handled it incredibly badly, dust ups and dramallama galore.) Then more of the same with reviews and backlash and my view is the only view despite me being so very openminded and loving everyone and everything.

I think we’ve made it clear I’m not one of those people who believes that “if you don’t have anything nice to say you shouldn’t say anything at all.” Of course sometimes that fits, but others… no. If there’s something out there that needs to be addressed, even if it’s difficult, or possibly ugly, it needs to be talked about. My little soap box moment.

But I know why you’re all here. You want to know who won what?! And I’m going to tell you. Well, who won. You (if you won) need to tell me what you get. (And huh – I didn’t do too badly… only 9 posts, and I did say nobody/nothing would be going up on the 14th…) I hope y’all made your proper offerings to the randomizer.org gods. 😉

Cat Grant visited and talked about N’awlins. Her winner is caitymack.

Jessa Slade came and shared an awesome post with us about her pets! Really – if you missed it, check it out. Her winner is Carolline!

My rant about my life – ish. And my discussion of RebeccaRemember that? The winner is Portia Da Costa!

Yet another fabulous post from Theresa Romain – complete with chart! – and the use of crazysauce was all sorts of winAretha zhen, you’re the winner!

I have a major soft spot in my heart for my Weddings of Doom post  – well really Laura Hunsaker’s. Randomizer.org chose lucky number one! JenB! You win!

Then we had Stefanie Sloane here, and her winner is… candymorton!

And… friend Ali F guested as a part of her month long birthday bash! Lucky luck Mich, you win!

Cassandra Carr was nice enough to include a giveaway with her Teaser Tuesday excerpt, and Patti Williams, you benefit!

Definitely not least, although last, I finally got Kris Cook here to visit! And the last but not least winner is… JoAnne!

Everyone please email me by 11:59 PM EDT on May 5, at the latest. Please include what you won, and relevant information. (If you won a print book, send your address. If you have a choice of books, please pick on. If in ebook and you have a format preference, state it!)

Cheers and I hope everyone’s having a great weekend!

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Hi friends! A pleasant surprise for us all! Double the fun with double the authors! Please welcome Gayle Donnelly, and Robyn Mackenzie! I’m especially pleased because they interviewed themselves! This sick, and sleep deprived Lime can’t tell you how grateful she is about it. Se’s even speaking in third person! I’ll stop now. (But really – aren’t they adorable?!) Don’t miss the giveaway at the end!

As readers ourselves, there are always certain questions we want to ask authors when we meet them or read a blog with an interview.  What we would like to do today with Limecello, is answer those questions for you.  We hope you enjoy our story and hope to see you at Authors After Dark!

  1. How did you get into writing?

We are both English majors and always enjoyed writing in college.  Once life started getting in the way of enjoying reading (both of us are married with two children and have full time jobs) we fell out of it.  Believe it or not, like so many readers, Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Saga brought us both back to reading.  Since then, we are never without a book and probably go through 3-4 a week each.

One afternoon, we were sitting outside by the pool, kids splashing and playing and we started talking about a book that we both mutually did not care for (and yes, we will leave the name of the book out!).  We couldn’t understand how it had gotten published with so many errors both plot as well as grammar.  Robyn looked over at me and said, “You know, we could do this!”  And basically…that was it.

We came up with a story line and went with it.  I did an outline and we then proceeded to meet at Starbucks every Sunday morning.  It was “our” time and we loved it.  It took almost two years but we finished Infinite Betrayal and took it with us to Lori Foster’s Reader/Writer event in 2010.  We pitched to Liquid Silver Books and they took it.  We were very lucky!

  1. What is the most important aspect of your writing?

Honestly, we just think about what we would want to read about.  It HAS to include Alpha males and great sex but most importantly…the STORY has to be there.  One great piece of advice we received was “If you like the story without the sex scenes, then the story isn’t just based on sex.”  Those are the stories we like.  Solid plot lines, good characters, and meaningful relationships.  Once we get that, the sex is just a bonus!  And a good one too!

  1. What is the writing process when there are two writers involved?

Well, everyone is different but for Robyn and I, we take each storyline that we come up with and determine “ownership”.  In Infinite Betrayal, Mina and Mathias were Mine from minute one.  Once we developed that story, Robyn immediately owned Chloe and Talon.  The “owner” of the characters comes up with the outline of the story and begins the writing process.  The writing partner then comes in with suggestions, corrections, enhancements, and editing.

There are several times when we don’t agree with each other in where a story goes and when that happens, we are close enough to each other to accept honest feedback and really step back and take a look at the story as a whole.  As long as we remain TRUE to the original story we have created, we pretty much listen to each other and remain open to constructive as well as positive feedback.

  1. Do you read reviews of your book(s)?  What did you think of them?

Not usually unless we have sent our work to the reviewer.  For review and blog sites we have solicited for reviews, we usually comment on them as well.  Thanking the bloggers and reviewer for the attention given to Infinite Betrayal.  We truly appreciate everyone’s opinion and if they loved our story, we are soooo very thankful for it.  But if they didn’t, everyone is entitled to say what they believe and in our eyes, our story just wasn’t for them.

Really, any review is pretty good in our minds because it means our story reached a reader.  Honestly, we were extremely pleased with the reviews of our story and were shocked to have been nominated as one of the best Indie Paranormal novels of 2011 by Romantic Times.  For us, that was a HUGE deal!!

  1. Who are some of your favorite authors?

We are pretty much the same on this one:  JR Ward, Larissa Ione, Lora Leigh’s Nauti Boys, Shannon Stacey, Jill Shalvis, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunters, Jaci Burton, Shelly Laurenston, Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander series, Erin McCarthy’s Fast Track series….we could go on and on!!!

  1. What do you want to get out of attending Authors After Dark?  Why this conference?

Well, first of all, paranormal work is our favorite genre and we wanted to go to a con that was dedicated to it.  Second…it’s taking place in the paranormal capital of the US!  New Orleans is one of our favorite places to visit and we haven’t been in about a year.  We cannot wait to be back in the Big Easy!  Third and finally, we want to meet all of the readers and authors in the genre.  We have so much in common and we felt that this was the one conference to meet some wonderful readers and incredibly talented authors….all while enjoying the city of spirits (both alcoholic as well as paranormal!)

  1. What’s coming next from you both?

Well, Infinite Surrender; Book 2 of the Infinity series is in the final editing phase and we hope to have that out soon.  Book 3/Infinite Desire has been outlined and we will begin the writing process as soon as Surrender is out.   Desire will have Tremayne as the main character.
We are both also working on independent projects and hope to be publishes with single works as well.

Thank you so much Limecello for having us and we would like to give away an E-copy of Infinite Betrayal to one of your commenters.  See you at AAD!!!

So what questions do you have for Ms. Donnelly and Ms. Mackenzie? What’d you think of their interview?  Obviously I liked it. 😀 (Giveaway/contest rules can be found here, and as usual I’ll do my best.)

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Hi friends!

I only just learned it’s International Pay It Forward Day. 🙂 So… nothing hugely organized – but, I wanted to ask – is there anything I’m able to do for you?

I asked on twitter too.

If so – just let me know. I’ll do my best.

Did you know about it? Will you try to do anything? (I’m being lazy and staying in…)

Somewhat along those lines… National Make a Difference Day is coming up in the fall – and I always have a Social Media for Social Good fundraiser. I’m still trying to pick a charity. One that does something that matters, is a 501c3 (at least in the states), is well run, and ideally, international. If you’ve got suggestions I’d love to hear them.

Also – I know charities can send a lot of mail. Like a lot of solicitations. I’ve gotten so much mail from Save the Children, from last year and previous years. And other organizations. (I’m sorry about that.) I wanted to know then – if I started a collection on paypal or something – would you be more or less interested in donating? (That way you wouldn’t get the email/paper mail solicitations.) Paypal would take a slight fee, so it wouldn’t be a 100% donation – and all the other issues, but it would save you the junk mail.

Thoughts?

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This topic has been playing -swirling around- in the back of my mind for a while now. I generally consider myself as someone with a bit of publishing knowledge. Definitely more than your average Joe off the street. But there are still things of course that I as solely a reader don’t know. Some things I prefer that way. (And even think it should be thus.) Others… I think it’s good to know.

And obviously these aren’t really secrets – but give me a break here – I have fun with the subjects (if/when I can), and the tags. Cuz that’s how I roll here at ALBTALBS. And… it’s more interesting. We all know that matters, so there’s no point in being disingenuous and pretending otherwise. It’s almost like a secret though, much of this list, considering the lack of awareness/knowledge out there.

For example, it wasn’t until 2010 I learned the switch from paperback (trade or mass market) to hardcover was a publisher decision. It makes sense when you look at it from a business perspective, but prior to a conversation with Shiloh Walker I thought the author decided or at least had a say. (It was the time when a number of big series were going hard cover – the Psy/Changeling books, Shannon McKenna, JR Ward… I know I’m missing some.) I have to mention that because this was something I knew before other people who do have a lot of publishing savvy. My one gold star. 

Anyway, Larissa Ione also seems to get … well, a lot of interesting characters from real life who make assumptions about publishing. And her part in it. So… I figured this would be a good place to start and hopefully clear some things up. She’s really nice about it and speaks in general terms. That’s because she’s a professional. (I don’t have to be like that. ;))

Who knows. It might become a sort of feature here. (Wouldn’t that be fun?) 😀 And uh – if it wasn’t clear, the purple text is always me. And the black is from the guests. Because… black is professional, and… purple isn’t?

People are always asking me what authors and publishers have control over when it comes to all aspects of publishing, so when my buddy Limecello asked me to write a post about it, I happily agreed. So if you’ve ever wondered how much input authors have over their covers or how much control we have over release dates, this post is for you!

Here we go…

PEN NAMES: I’m often asked if authors have to take a pen name/change their name. The answer is…sometimes. My Demonica/LOD publisher didn’t ask me to take a pen name, but my ACRO publisher did because I was writing with Stephanie Tyler, and they wanted a single name to publish us under. There are a lot of reasons a publisher might ask an author to take a new name. For example, an author is going to publish books in another genre, the author isn’t doing well under their current name, or a publishing house wants a name that’s more genre-centric.

COVERS: The amount of input an author has in regards to their cover varies from publisher to publisher and author to author. Some publishers ask for art sheets, and then the author doesn’t see the finished product until it’s up on Amazon. Other publishers will show the author the mockup and get an opinion before finalizing. Ultimately though, the publisher gets the final say in the cover.

RELEASE DATES: Most authors have absolutely no say in when a book releases. You can ask for a certain timeframe, but for the most part, the publisher will schedule a book for when they think the timing is best.

EDITING: I have to admit, I sometimes get frustrated when I see comments about a book that amounts to, “Where was her editor????” Because here’s the thing; some authors don’t get edited. Yup, it’s true. There are authors who actually demand no editing in their contracts or who simply won’t do them. Personally, I don’t understand that, because I freely admit that I need it. Not only that, but I’m nowhere near big enough as an author to demand something like that. My publisher would laugh at me. Also, some publishing houses are notorious for light or no edits, and others are known to be heavy on edits. Others sit in the middle. Same with editors.

AUDIO BOOKS: People often ask me if I’m going to have any/all of my books made into audiobooks (and who I’m going to get to do the voice.) The truth is that my publishers own the audio rights, so it’s up to them to decide if putting my books into audio format will be worthwhile. It’s a financial decision on their part, and I have no say in the matter. In some circumstances, authors own the rights, and they can then sell or contract out the rights in order to have their books made in audio. Mind you, this isn’t exactly easy. If done on your own, it’s expensive. If you want an audio publisher to do it, they must want it. They won’t take just anything.

SIMULTANEOUS DIGITAL/PRINT RELEASE DATES: This is an issue that has given me the most grief in my publishing career. Why? Because for a long time, my print books released on the last Tuesday of a month, while the digital book released on the first day of the following month. Generally, that meant a 2-3 day lag between the print and digital editions of the same book. But when the print book was released on a special, earlier Tuesday, there could be up to two weeks delay before the digital edition released. The hate mail and harassment from readers was, shall we say, soul-sucking. Okay, so why does this happen? I can tell you that it’s not because publishers want readers to buy the print books instead of digital books. Publishers and authors make slightly more money on the digital books, so why would they want to discourage readers from buying them? They don’t. The problem has been with legalities within the company — internal contracts that need (and may still need) to be changed. Publishing is slow, and every change has to go through multiple channels, multiple lawyers, and multiple countries if the publisher is international. So yes, publishers are working on this, and some have already made the change. Yay!

PRICING: This is another one of those things that authors have extremely little control over unless they are self-published. Behind the scenes, we do have conversations with our publishers over special offers, ebook pricing, etc., but what it comes down to is that the publisher makes the final decision. And please don’t think that pricing isn’t a concern for authors. We need to make a living off our work, but we also want to reach readers with reasonably priced books. Stephanie Tyler and I recently were able to convince our Sydney Croft publisher to decrease the price of our ACRO ebooks to less than the print price, which, at some retailers, was lower than the digital price. Our print books are now trade paperback priced (around $15) and our ebook editions are now between $7.99 and $8.99). We’d have liked to go lower, but it’s better than nothing. (*I didn’t know that! Awesome – and go you and Stephanie! This reader thanks you!)

NAME SIZE ON COVERS: Yes, people actually criticize authors for having big heads if the authors “are now making their names bigger than the title.” Trust me, while seeing your name grow larger and larger on book covers makes you giddy, authors don’t make that decision. The publisher does, based on sales.

GEO-RESTRICTION: This issue is a close second when it comes to the amount of angry email I’ve gotten over the years (right behind the simultaneous digital/print release dates.) First of all, what is geo-restriction? It’s when digital versions of books aren’t available in certain countries. Now, contrary to popular belief, publishers aren’t the ones doing the restricting. Publishers want to sell books. They aren’t conspiring to keep anyone from reading ebooks. So…why does this happen? To summarize: International Trade Laws. Publishers can’t sell ebooks in countries where they have not been able to sell the rights to particular books. Why? Because if a country has a physical book publisher, most likely that publisher needs to buy the rights to produce and distribute the books so that they are the ones making the money instead of the U.S. publisher. This is why ebook-exclusive publishers can sell their books internationally — they don’t have the publisher-equivalent in other countries, and if they do, the publisher popped up after the internet legalities were all in place. So, you ask, why doesn’t an author keep the foreign rights and make the books available herself? Good question. But the answer is complicated. First of all, it’s not always easy to keep the rights. The publisher will fight HARD, and it can be a deal-breaker. But let’s say that an author does manage to keep the foreign rights. Now the author herself has to sell the rights to publishers in other countries. He or she can’t just snap her fingers and put books into bookstores or into ebook format in other countries. Not unless he/she self-publishes, which you can’t do with a book whose domestic rights belong to a publisher (though I suppose it’s possible to wrangle the digital rights away from a publisher, but we’re talking a major deal-breaker here, most likely.) So, in short, this is a complicated issue, and it’s going to take time to work out as the world adjusts to an internet marketplace.

THE MOVE TO HARDCOVER: Moving to hardcover from mass-market paperback is the dream of many authors…or at least, it used to be. Now the move is full of more uncertainty than ever, and authors who move to hardcover run the risk of losing readers who either can’t afford to buy the more expensive book or who think the author is trying to screw the reader. The truth is that authors have absolutely no say in whether or not their books are printed in hardcover. The publisher makes the decision based on sales, marketing plans, author popularity with a worldwide audience, etc.

TITLES: In my experience, the author has a lot of input into book titles. Oh, the publisher might not like anything you suggest because you suck at titles (I might be talking about me here,) but titles tend to be a team effort. Lots of brainstorming happens until everyone agrees on a title. At least, this has been my experience, and most authors I know have had the same. (*Interjecting here, I think this has to do with publisher – or… I knowhear that that at Harlequin author input isn’t as imperative/key to titles.)

MOVIES/TV SHOWS: The question I think I get most is, “Are you going to make your books into movies?” Man, I WISH! But the thing is, authors can’t just “make movies.” A Hollywood-type person with lots of contacts and money has to be interested. Then they have to acquire the rights to the books, and at that point, lots of negotiation happens. VERY rarely does the author have any say in the script, casting, etc.  So yes, I’d love for my books to be made into movies or a TV show, but I just can’t seem to get Spielberg on the line! *g* (*Also, I want to say/I believe that, even if a book is optioned it doesn’t mean it definitely will be made into a movie. Still, just being optioned is a big deal!)

Okay, I think that’s it for now. Hope that answers some questions for you, and thanks to Lime for having me!

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So many fun people, going to so many fun places that none of us are going to!!! 😡 But, we can be happy for them, right? Now that I’ve scared you all away, let’s welcome Kris Cook! I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting him, but I hear he’s all around awesome. In fact, it’s more like I kinda wish he wasn’t so great, so I wouldn’t feel like I’m missing out by not knowing him. Alas, such is life. But! We all get to meet him virtually! That’s got to be a close second, right? … Right!?!?

Limecello, thank you for this opportunity to be on your blog.

I’m writing this at 7:11am in Chicago. (Perfect! Cuz I’m scheduling this at 2:37 AM! I don’t know why but it’s fitting in my brain. Probably because of the time.) I couldn’t sleep very well last night. I never do when I’m away from home. So, please forgive me if this sounds like rambling, but I’m going to do my best.

The first thing I want to share with you is what it was like to finish my very first book. I’d always written plays and screenplays prior to that. Attempting a novel was overwhelming to me. So many words. It took years of prodding by my very dear friend Shayla Black to complete Perfection: Eternally Three, but I finally did in early 2009. I actually have two copies of it with me that I’m giving to two friends here in Chicago—Liz and Michelle. Even now, 2 ½ years later, I am so happy I wrote Jared, Bradley, and Micki’s book.

The next thing I’d like to share with you is what it was like to get published for the first time. Well, that can’t be hard to fathom for anyone. I was stunned, thrilled, and amazed… and more. The emotions were all over the map. I felt like I’d arrived. Since, I realize that moment was just a step on a road that is sometimes difficult, often surprising, but mostly wonderful.

I’d also like to share with you what it has been like since I was able to go full time as an author. September 16, 2011, I left the Fortune 20 company I’d been at for 13 years. My very first thoughts – “Why the hell did I quit a perfectly good job?” and “What if this writing thing flat lines on me?” followed by the adult word that begins with the letter ‘F’. It took me about two months to really let go of my old life and grab my new life with both hands with the help of my three wonderful friends: Melissa Schroeder, Sophie Oak, and Shayla Black. Much of my success is because of the love and support I get from them.

Finally, please know that whatever your dreams are you should reach for them. I’ve always been a dreamer, but like many people, would sabotage myself with doubt, fear, and whatever else I could put in my way to hold me back. Thankfully, I had enough courage to begin telling people I was writing long before I was published. I shared with friends, family and others my dreams of being a full-time author. Yes, there were nay-sayers and dream-smashers along the way, but the more I said it the more it felt real to me. Now, it is definitely my reality. I encourage you to embrace your dreams. Say them to people, especially those you love and trust. Don’t hold back. I bet your dreams are begging to be released into the world to change your life in ways you can’t even imagine. You might be like me with old tapes in our head saying it’s best to be satisfied with what you have, that you don’t deserve the very best. I say to you that you deserve everything you dream and more.

My very last two words to you – Dream Big!

BIO – A military brat to the core, Kris Cook never put down deep roots in any particular geographic location. Until Texas. Why? Kris loves the sun.

A voracious reader, Kris loves many genres of fiction, but this writer’s favorite books are romances that are edgy, sexy, with rich characters and unique challenges.

Kris’s books have been in the top ten on several bestseller lists, including a few of Amazon’s Best Seller lists. The latest books by Kris are Primal Desire: Texas Wolf Pack 2 and Lea’s Menage Diary.

WebsiteFacebook Fan Page (Brand New), Twitter

What a great post, right?! Kris is also generously offering a digital copy of any of his books to one lucky winner. And in the format of your choice! So tell us – what’s your dream? Have you read any of Mr. Cook’s books before? (I’m so witty in the wee hours…) Share! Have fun! There’s a prize up for grabs!

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As you see – an exclusive excerpt from Cassandra Carr‘s newest, Collision. I can’t believe it’s the fourth Tuesday of the month! Someone hit “pause” on time, kay?!

Olympic Gold medal-winning figure skater Leah Fitzpatrick, dubbed “The Ice Queen”, is on the down slope of her career when she finds herself roped into a joint promo gig on the professional bull riders’ tour. She’s paired with “The King of Rodeo”, Brady Parrish, and although his looks could stop traffic, she’s got a future to worry about that doesn’t leave room for knocking boots with the sexy bull rider. No matter how hot he is.

Brady is living the good life. He’s at the top of his profession, and has no idea something is missing until the cool Leah is thrust into his life. But he sees something in her that hints at an underlying fire, and sets out to prove her nickname wrong. In the midst of their steamy affair, he falls hard. Blindsided by the potent combination of beauty and vulnerability Leah displays, Brady is determined to melt “The Ice Queen’s” heart.
Leah made it to her room in record time. Once there, though, she sank onto the bed. She was sure this wasn’t a good idea, but dammit, she was tired of being the good girl, tired of being the one who dated only the guys she was “supposed to date”. Brady made her feel things she’d thought were impossible. Unrealistic. Things like red-hot lust, and that lust didn’t seem to hinge on who she was or what she could do for him. When he’d pulled her into the alcove and kissed her she had melted right away—it was simply too hard to fight against the tide of arousal he stoked in her. Though she knew getting involved with him wasn’t a smart idea since she was leaving in a few short weeks and would never see him again, she was tired of denying what she really wanted.

Biting her lip, she wondered what he meant when he said to be ready for him. Did he want her to undress? She looked down at her clothes. Shrugging, she took off her shirt, leaving her lacy, black La Perla bra on and then removed her boots and socks. Rising again, she shimmied out of her slacks. She took her clothing to her bag of dirty clothes and deposited everything inside, then grabbed her robe, wrapping it around herself.

She ducked into the bathroom to check her appearance and was brushing her hair when she heard a brisk knock at her door. Knowing he was probably standing on the other side of the door vibrating just like she was, she scurried to answer.

He ducked past her and turned around, his mouth dropping open when he spied her. “Holy mother of… Open the robe.” His tone brooked no argument. She noticed his Adam’s apple bobbing. Slowly, to tease both of them, she parted the sides of the robe and let it fall to pool at her feet. He closed his eyes briefly, and when they opened they were shining with a heat she’d never seen before from any man she’d slept with. She took a small step back. “Oh no, you don’t,” he warned, crooking his finger. “Come here.”

She moved toward him and when she got close he reached for her, bringing her into the circle of his arms, his hands resting possessively at the top of her butt. He kissed her and she latched on to his bulging biceps like a lifeline as his tongue plunged into her mouth, taking what he wanted from her. With a groan from deep in his chest he lifted her to press into his insistent hardness. Feeling just how big he was, she pulled away from his lips with a gasp.

“You’re so… I don’t even know what, Brady.” She glanced down at his arousal.

His features went taut with excitement as he rubbed his erection into her stomach. “Oh yeah, darlin’, that’s what I want. I won’t hurt you, though, I promise. You can take me.”

He walked them both backward to the bed and pushed her onto it, following immediately after, covering her with his leanly muscled body. Pushing one thigh between her legs, he forced hers apart and she eagerly opened for him with a welcoming rise of her hips. “You’re so hot, baby,” came his raspy whisper, tickling her ear. “Do you have any idea what you do to me?” He pulled back and grasped the sides of her face in his big, rough hands. His eyes held so much heat that Leah felt herself melting from the outside in. Her sex heated and contracted around his thigh and her breasts scraped against their lacy confines.

“Touch me,” she begged him. She’d hardly gotten the words out before his mouth had descended on her neck, pulling strongly on the sensitized skin and forcing a huff of breath out of her mouth. “Brady…” His lips moved down to her collarbone as his hands swept down, pulling her breasts free from her bra before he palmed them, cupping and kneading in turn. Her overwrought brain could hardly keep up with the sensations bombarding her, but she knew she wanted to touch him. She needed to feel his bare skin against hers. “Take off your clothes.”

He looked up at her, the glazed expression in his eyes clearing. Sitting back on his haunches, he gestured to himself and then leered at her. “Do it for me.”

Copyright 2012, Cassandra Carr

Cassandra is also giving away a set of romance trading cards of the first book in the Buckin’ Bull Riders series, Impact. So what’d you think? Have you read this book yet? Or anything by Ms. Carr before? Do you read ebooks, or books from Elora’s Cave? 

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