Posts tagged romance
Cover excitement!
I got a new cover today, but it might look familiar...okay it's not entirely new. It's the print cover for One Wicked Night, which will be out September 4. But there is one difference...look closely...I'll make it nice and big...  :-)

Yes! It's a quote from Carly Phillips!  I can't tell you how exciting this is for me!
You can read about how this happened here at the Plotmonkeys.

Kelly Thinks about BDSM Part Deux

Continuing from Part I of Kelly Thinks about BDSM at Nine Naughty Novelists, where I talked about BDSM and the importance of trust, and how BDSM intensifies the need for trust between partners and thereby deepens the relationship…

 Now, I want to touch on fiction's portrayal of those in the BDSM lifestyle as people with psychological issues. In FSOG, Christian tells Anna he is "fifty shades of fucked up". I only read the first book of the trilogy in which there are vague references to what exactly happened to him in his past, but I gather it was something quite traumatic. I also recently read "Bared To You" by Sylvia Day, a book that is so similar to FSOG it was somewhat jaw-dropping. In that book, both hero and heroine have encountered abuse in their pasts — like Christian, in this first book Gideon’s history of abuse is only alluded to, but heroine Eva asks her therapist at one point whether two abuse survivors can ever have a functional relationship.

In my own book Power Shift, Gabe is a survivor of war. As a young solder in Bosnia, he was required to do things abhorrent to him, things that scarred him, things that caused him to carry a lot of guilt around all his life. He turned to BDSM because of his dominant nature, but also because of the control that is required of a Dom — with a woman's life in his hands, he wants to prove to himself that he can give her what she wants and needs but always, always stay in control, unlike when he was required to obey orders or else face horrific consequences.

I can see how this may cause readers to think that those who practice BDSM always have some kind of trauma in their pasts that has damaged them. But here's the thing: as storytellers, our characters always have to have something in their past that they learn to overcome. Even in my non-BDSM books this is the case.

In my upcoming release, Sweet Deal, which features TWO people and NO kinky stuff (okay, yes, still some hot sexytimes) hero Jake was abandoned by his mother and sisters when he was young. They left him with his not-so-nurturing father, and Jake grew up believing women would always leave him — so he always leaves first. When he did get into a relationship, and the woman he loved left him for his best friend, this only confirmed his belief that he's not worthy of love and women will always leave him. It takes a woman who willingly opens her heart (maybe too willingly!) to show him that love is worth taking that risk.

In real life, some of us are perfectly normal, some have hang-ups and obsessions and compulsions and baggage and scars. But to create a powerful story, writers tend to write about the characters with baggage and scars and how they overcome those, both in BDSM and non BDSM stories.

This week I shared a smutty  sexy excerpt from my BDSM book Rigger at The Good Smut Event on Tuesday May 22 - stop by to check it out, and I'm posting more about why I write BDSM there on Tuesday May 29. 

Release day: One Man Advantage

Today my book One Man Advantage is out!

One Man Advantage is my third book to feature a hockey player hero. Lest you think that hockey players are big and ugly and have no teeth, behold a few of the Winnipeg Jets:

Blake Wheeler

Zach Bogosian

Andrew Ladd

Evander Kane

These days the younger players mostly have their own teeth because they have to wear mouth guards. But some of them clearly don’t like it, as you often see them with the mouth guard hanging out of their mouths as soon as the whistle goes.

Andrew Ladd

But of course, it’s not looks that make a hero, although big muscles and a sexy smile do help! Qualities of determination, passion, loyalty, dedication, sacrifice and courage are important for heroes too.

Even a professional athlete can have insecurities. In One Man Advantage, Logan Heller grew up in a family with four boys, all who play hockey. Oldest brother Tag (Faceoff) was drafted by the NHL while in college and left college early for his pro career. He’s captain of his team, a natural leader. Next oldest brother Jason (Breakaway) played major junior hockey and also was a top draft pick. They’re both considered top players in the league. Younger siblings often struggle with living up to the accomplishments of their older siblings, but it might be especially hard to follow those kinds of achievements.

When Logan meets Nicole, he discovers they have a lot in common. Both their families are considered “hockey royalty”, Logan’s because of the three brothers playing in the NHL, Nicole’s because her father is Jacques Lambert, a hockey legend and now owner of an NHL team. They both love hockey. Nicole played too. And they both grew up feeling that they might not live up to their family’s expectations of them. (They also have some things in common they like in the *ahem* bedroom.)

But a hero is brave enough to face his insecurities and flaws and steps up when life is difficult. In One Man Advantage, Logan gets traded to a new team and even though he knows it’s part of the business and not personal, it still feels like a punch in the gut. He’s faced with starting over, with a new team, in a new city. He feels bitter and resentful and some guys might let that affect their performance. 

Here's an excerpt from One Man Advantage:

He took off his jacket and laid it on the floor. He looked at her as he sat on the floor, leaning against the wall opposite the windows. “Take off your jacket.”
“Because I said so.”
She snorted. “Hah.” But pleasure expanded inside him as she unwound her scarf from around her neck and removed her jacket, laying it on top of his on the floor. Beneath she wore a pair of low-rise jeans that hugged her hips and legs all the way down to the beige Ugg boots. On top, a black long-sleeved T-shirt clung to her full breasts.
“Come here,” he said.
She walked over and slid down the wall until she was sitting on the floor beside him.
“It’s a nice view,” he said.
“Yes.” She stretched her long, jeans-clad legs out in front of her and crossed her booted ankles.
Logan had always thought Ugg boot were the Uggliest thing ever invented for women to wear on their feet. Give him a pair of pointy toed stiletto boots any day. But he found himself unaccountably charmed by her chunky fleece-lined boots.
He turned his head to look at her, and she too rolled her head against the wall. Their eyes met.
Lust slammed into him like a body check.
They looked at each other. Moments accumulated. Heat built.
He dropped his gaze to her mouth, so lush and soft looking. His gaze dropped lower still and observed her breasts rising and falling with her quick, shallow breaths. She was affected by him too. There was something there.
He would never move in on another dude’s girl, but she’d only dated the guy once and he’d eat a hockey puck if he was wrong about her being as attracted to him as he was to her. He leaned in closer, slowly. Her eyelids dropped, her lips parted and then he closed his own eyes as he brushed his lips over hers. Once. Twice. And then he opened his mouth on hers and kissed her deeper.
He lifted a hand and dragged his fingertips over the soft skin of her jaw, then cupped her face and held it while they kissed. And yeah, hell yeah, she kissed him back, opening for him, and when he slid his tongue into her sweet mouth, she made a soft little sound in her throat that encouraged him. Her tongue moved against his and his brain shorted out, heat sizzling over every nerve ending in his body.
“Don’t do this,” she murmured, shifting her mouth away from his. He kissed her cheek instead.
“Say it like you mean it,” he murmured back. She groaned and triumph flared inside him. With his thumb on her chin, he tilted her head back toward him and kissed her again, longer, deeper.
“I can’t do this,” she whispered. “I can’t.”
“Why, sweetheart? It feels like you want it as much as I do.” He nuzzled her hair, her ear, breathed in her scent, something fresh and clean, green and citrusy. Heat pounded through his body with every beat of his heart, building in his balls.
“I... câlisse.”
“Hmm, what?” He opened his mouth on the side of her neck and sucked, so gently.
“I don’t want to want you!” she cried, but her hands grabbed his arms and her fingers dug into his sweater, holding on to him, not pushing him away.
“Why?” he asked again. “What’s wrong with it? Christ, Nicole, there’ve been sparks flying ever since we met.”
She moaned.
“Right?” He was pushing, because if she really wanted him to stop, he had to stop. He wanted to be sure of what was going on.
“Right.” The word sounded dragged out of her. He smiled and moved in for another kiss, another hot, mind-scrambling, sense-robbing kiss.

One Man Advantage out Wednesday! Here's a sneak peek and some info about purchasing One Man Advantage. 

So many readers have emailed me asking if there was going to be another hockey story to follow Breakaway and Faceoff. The answer was yes! And now it’s finally here! I’d always intended there to be at least three books and it looks like now I have to write four,  because I have one more brother to find a happy ever after for, and, you’ll see when you read One Man Advantage, I also have one big, dangling loose end to tie up… 
I had inquiries from a couple of readers who buy from Amazon, because One Man Advantage isn’t available there for pre-order. Unfortunately this particular publisher doesn’t upload books to Amazon until after release day and it takes a while for Amazon to get them on their website.

However, if you want to buy One Man Advantage on release day, or soon after, you can buy it directly from the publisher’s website. . They do have all formats but if you have problems or questions, they also have a good help page

He has a one man advantage – he knows what she really wants…

After her ex trashes her reputation in front of the media and it quickly goes viral, Nicole vows she’ll never get involved with another hockey player. Too bad her job with the Minneapolis Caribou puts her in contact with sexy hockey players on a daily basis, including the newly traded center, Logan Heller. Logan’s pretty sure Nicole is the perfect woman for him and he’s determined to have her—in and out of bed. Nicole is equally determined to never date another hockey player. But Logan has a one man advantage...he knows what she really wants. 

Here's a sneak peek - Nicole is taking Logan around to look at condos for him to move into:

“Are you sure you don’t want to look at more? It’s a big decision. You might want to check out other neighborhoods...”
“I’m hardly ever home,” he said. “We’re on the road a lot. In the summer I go home. It doesn’t really matter where I live.”
“As long as the ceiling will support a swing.”
A surprised laugh popped out of him. His dancing eyes met hers. “Noooo,” he said. “Don’t be silly.”
She lifted one eyebrow.
“I’m not really into swings. But I do need a hook for suspension bondage.”
Her pussy immediately gave a warm squeeze. She kept her smile in place and her tone light. “Oh stop. You’re getting me all hot and bothered.”
His eyes widened. “Really?”
“No.” She rolled her eyes. “I’m joking. As were you.”
But some kind of intuition told her he wasn’t joking. And as their eyes once again met and held, her intuition told her that he knew she knew that.
“Damn,” he murmured.
Heat swept over her body, a tiny ache developing low down inside her. She gazed at him in the late afternoon dusk as they stood on the sidewalk outside the last building they’d looked at and licked her lips. “Okay! Well, enough kidding around. That makes my job easier, if you’re going to decide that fast. I’ll leave it up to you to contact the agent and get things started.”
“Thanks for finding these. They were all great.”
“It’s my job,” she said dryly. “Other duties as assigned.”
        “Okay. Would it be other duties as assigned to have dinner with me tonight?”
         Her hand paused on the door handle as she went to open the door of the SUV. “What? Again? You’re asking me out again?” Tabarnac? Not again! She closed her eyes briefly. Why was he doing this to her! She could let her imagination run wild and picture them having a romantic dinner somewhere, eating by candlelight, talking (about hockey) and laughing and then maybe going back to her place, and her belly did a little flip of lust at the thought of hot, athletic sex with him...oh holy Virgin Mary.
“No!” he said. “I’m not. Definitely not. This would totally be a business dinner.”
She snorted. “Bullshit.”
She caught his eye, the amusement glinting there, the tug of the corners of his lips, and she went all melty inside. But at least this time she had a built-in, ready-to-use excuse, an impermeable defense strategy against his charm. Thank god. She really couldn’t go out with him that night. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I can’t. I have a date tonight.”
His eyes shadowed. “Oh. I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you were seeing someone. I...” He shook his head. “Never mind. Okay. I’ll drive you back to the arena.”
They’d left her car there earlier.
The easiness that had developed between them throughout the day had disappeared, replaced with a stiff awkwardness. Nicole clasped her hands on her purse on her lap as they drove. She’d accepted that date with Paul, who she’d met on the plane, because it was time for her to move on, to date someone outside the hockey world. Nobody was ever going to insult her again because of dating a hockey player. She was sticking to her resolution on this, no matter how tempting the big, charming man beside her was. But damn, it was hard! Especially since he seemed to like her too. It was enough to make her melt like a skating rink in the spring.

Release Date!!
Seems like I just announced this contract and already I have a release date! One Man Advantage will be out April 25! Yay!

Here's the blurb:

After her ex trashes her reputation in front of the media and it quickly goes viral, Nicole vows she’ll never get involved with another hockey player. Too bad her job with the Minneapolis Caribou puts her in contact with sexy hockey players on a daily basis, including the newly traded center, Logan Heller. Logan’s pretty sure Nicole is the perfect woman for him and he’s determined to have her—in and out of bed. Nicole is equally determined to never date another hockey player. But Logan has a one man advantage...he knows what she really wants.

Sadly I don't have a cover yet! But I'll  put it up here as soon as I do.

I do have a cover! Here it is!

I'm so excited about this book coming out because I've had SO many emails from readers wanting to know when the next "hockey story" will be out. Here it is!  As you can see from the blurb, this is Logan Heller's story. He's just as big and strong and sexy as his older brothers Tag (Faceoff) and Jase (Breakaway) but it's not easy being the little brother of two such successful pro athletes. And I found a great girl for him - Nicole is also strong and sexy and I think she's the perfect match for him.

New contract!
The first book - Jason's story
I don't have the contract actually back yet but I think it's safe to announce this new sale to Ellora's Cave, since we're already done the edits! Just waiting for a cover and release date, which I'll share here as soon as I know!

One Man Advantage is my third "hockey" book, and features the third Heller brother, Logan. I think I found a great woman for him! (You'd think I'm a matchmaker not a writer, LOL!)

The second book - Tag's story

Here's the unofficial blurb for One Man Advantage:

After her ex trashes her reputation in front of the media and it quickly goes viral, Nicole Lambert vows she'll never get involved with another hockey player. Too bad her job with the Minneapolis Caribou puts her in contact with sexy hockey players on a daily basis, including with newly traded center, Logan Heller. Logan's pretty sure Nicole is the perfect woman for him and he’s determined to have her. Nicole is equally determined to never date another hockey player. But Logan has a one man advantage...he knows what she really wants.
What I'm Reading Wednesday
I just finished reading My One and Only by Kristan Higgins. I'd reviewed a review of this book that wasn't so great, and I was worried that maybe there was a Kristan Higgins book I wouldn't like. But I'm happy to say that was not the case! Also happy I didn't let that review turn me off of reading this.

This book has all the usual humor and quirky charactes of a Kristan Higgins book, but I'm a sucker for a reunion story. I'm also a really big sucker for a story where the hero falls in love with the heroine at first sight and loves her forever. He knew the moment he met her he would marry her and he did. Their marriage didn't last, and I could see how they both contributed to that, and also how they were both in denial about their role in the breakdown. I loved Nick and I loved how her loved Harper.

I just started reading The Sweetest Thing by Jill Shalvis, which as it turns out, is another reunion story!
What I'm Reading Wednesday
This week I finished Sweet Possession by Maya Banks. Great characters in this story. I liked how Connor has things pretty together and Lyric is the one with "issues". He's so steady and solid for her.

I just started reading Explosive by Beth Kery. I've wanted to get my hands on this book ever since it came out but it wasn't available to me at the Sony Store. But when I recently discovered the Kobo store, this was on my list!
WIPs and Chains
The WIP is progressing nicely albeit slowly the last few days because...I'm working on a sex scene.

I'm generally a very fast and prolific writer, overall, but I have to say that sex scenes slow me down considerably. Why is that?

I've heard of readers who skip over the sex scenes in racy romance novels and I recall hearing about an author (I WISH I could remember who) who said, please don't do that, I spend a lot of time on my sex scenes.

I agree.

Even for those readers who aren't comfortable with the bedrooom door open sex scenes (who probably aren't reading my books, aside from possibly my MIL) I would really appreciate if you read them in my books. In my books, the sex scenes are pivotal. They're important turning points in the book, often, points where the characters are at their most vulnerable, when they share things they otherwise wouldn't. I want these scenes to be emotional, moving, and yes, erotic - because arousal is another emotion.

I spend a lot of time not only on the mechanics of the scene - who touches whom, where, and how - but the emotions involved, the visceral feeling, the thoughts each person is having while this is going on. I spend a lot of time describing their deepest fears, their most intense emotions. Let's face it, these are often some of the most emotional moments of our lives, especially when it comes to the love stories of our lives. Yes, there are other emotional moments in life - moments of death, betrayal, suffering. But love and sex are definitely up there with those intense emotions and I want readers to experience that along with my characters, which is why I take so much time to make every movement, every word, every emotion the best it can be.

So please don't skip the sex scenes because yes, I spend a lot of time making them the best I can.
What I'm Reading Wednesday
When I do this Wednesday post about what I'm reading, I'm always painfully aware that the authors I'm talking about could be reading this. I know how ferocious other authors get when one of their own is criticized. And I'm not a reviewer, I'm just a reader who happens to also be an author. So I try to keep my comments positive and talk about what I liked about the books I read, but the truth is, I don't like everything I read. So sometimes I just don't say very much. This week I want to share my thoughts but I'm not going to name the book, nor will I name the author. I will say this is my first purchase from Carina Press.

I had a lot of problems with this book and ended up mostly skimming it because it just didn't engage me. The point of view jumped from character to character several times within scenes, which may have been part of the problem. Although it was an erotic romance with some very hot scenes, they didn't evoke any kind of emotional response in me and I realized the writing is very cold and sterile. The characters themselves don't feel any visceral reactions, so neither did I. The story itself was hugely disappointing. In the middle of the story a second hero appears, and he has his own point of view, which was a bit jarring. Turns out he's the man heroine has the HEA with, after very little conflict, I have to say - except he's not. He dies. In a completely meaningless, random way. The other thing that was extremely disturbing was one of the BDSM scenes that was so much like a scene from my own book, Rigger, that it really freaked me out. Similar actions, similar words...I still feel really unsettled by reading something so like one of my own scenes. It must be coincidence but, whoa.

I also read Board Resolution by Joey W. Hill. I can see readers having mixed feelings about this story, the heroine spending much of the book restrained and at the mercy of five men. Ultimate fantasy or abuse? It took me aback at first, until bits of back story were filtered in and I realized that the hero and heroine actually knew each other a lot better than I'd first thought. And it was hot!I'm going for ultimate fantasy, with a heroine who learns a lot about herself through the process.

Right now I'm reading Tequila Truth by Mari Carr. I love this book! It's exactly the kind of story like to read.
What I'm Reading Wednesday
Last week I finished off Simply Irresistable by Jill Shalvis. It's not my favorite of her books but it was still pretty good. Then I read Afterlife by Joey Hill.  I think I may have read one of Joey Hill's books a long time ago (wait I'll go look) I"m back. I can't find it. So this is sort of like a new author to me and I've heard so many good things about her. I really did love this book, though I started to get a little impatient with Rachel and her continued thinking she wasn't good enough and didn't deserve Jon, but loved the writing!! So now I'm reading her Board Resolution - smokin' hot!
WIPs and Chains
And a contest!

To celebrate the release of our print books on the same day, my friend Erin Nicholas and I are having a "friends" contest at The Romance Studio. You can win a copy of each of our new print releases Love 2 Love U and Just Right PLUS a copy to give to one of your friends! Check it out here. Contest goes until January 31/11.

I've been working hard this week on "Gabe's story". Yes, I really need a better title. I've been thinking about it off and on and have come up with numerous titles that I thought were okay, but then changed my mind. I guess I can worry about that once it's finished.

I have to say Gabe is a very complicated man and he is giving me a hard time! He's also giving Reagan, my heroine, a hard time. It also appears, despite my careful planning, that the story may be longer than I planned. I'm now up to 44,000 words and it's time for a crisis but Gabe's not ready for that - I haven't hurt him enough yet!

This is interesting to me, because recently I've been trying to write longer books and struggled a bit with it. I took a couple of workshops and I've read a few books to try to help with that and what is actually quite cool is that it's the books on character that have helped with my plotting. Now, I know I write character-driven stories, but it quite amazes me how much the plot can grow based on deeper characterization.

Now...back to Gabe.
Friday sneak peek
Okay! I have news! I just can't share it right now! But...I'm going to share a sneak peek from my "hockey story", as I've been calling it, Breakaway:

“I don’t know much about hockey,” she admitted. “But I think it’s very rough.”
“It can be.” He smiled at her. “That’s the fun part.”
“Do you fight?”
He laughed. “I have been known to mix it up a bit. But not often. There was a time back when I was a junior player and I was headed to goonsville. I was big and I liked to protect the other guys, but sometimes I tended to jump in and get physical without thinking about the consequences. I had a great coach, though, who really got me to work on controlling those impulses and to think about things.” He tilted his head. “You should come to a game.”
“Oh. Yeah. Maybe.”
“I’ll get you a ticket. I’ll get you two tickets and you can bring your friend…what’s her name…?”
“Yeah. She didn’t seem too impressed with me the other night. I think I should make it up to her.”
“It wasn’t you she wasn’t happy with, it was me.” Remi grimaced. “She’s the one who wanted me to find a guy that night and get lucky. Then when I did, she freaked out and got all paranoid that I was leaving with a serial killer.”
Jason choked on a mouthful of beer. “Good to know she has a high opinion of me.”
Remi laughed. “She didn’t even know who you were. She would have felt that way if I was going home with the Pope.”
“Ha. Be glad it was me. You wouldn’t have gotten three orgasms with the Pope.”
Now it was her turn to choke. “I didn’t get three! We were interrupted…”
“Damn. That’s right.” His eyes went even darker. “I guess I owe you one more, then.”
What I'm Reading Wednesday
It's actually been two weeks since I blogged about the books I've been reading. At that time I'd started Something About You by Julie James. I loved it! So of course I had to read everything she has! I've now also read Practice Makes Perfect (loved it too!) and Just The Sexiest Man Alive (another win!). I could be really picky about a couple of tiny POV problems in Just The Sexiest Man Alive but I knew she was doing it to plant a seed for somethign coming later. Loved the characters, though and great dialogue. Can't wait til her next book is out.

Currently I'm reading Simply Irresistable by Jill Shalvis. I've seen a lot of people "discovering" Jill Shalvis recently. Meanwhile I've been a big fan of hers for years. I'm so glad for her people are finding her because I love her writing!
What I'm Reading Wednesday
Happy Wednesday! This past week I read Trust Me, by fellow Naughty Nine author Sydney Somers. It was such a great book! Syd writes awesome gargoyles stories too, but my first love is always a straight contemp or romantic suspense and this one delivered just what I like - kick butt heroine, alpha but tender hero who can take abuse from said kick butt heroine and love her anyway, a suspense plot that was simple enough to make sense (sometimes they're so complicated I'm not sure if it really makes sense) and oodles of sexual tension and hot sex. Some great secondary characters and I feel the makings of a hot series coming on!! (I also liked the Canadian setting - Tim's is in this book!)

Now I've started Something About You, by Julie James - a new to me author. So far, so good!
What I'm Reading Wednesday
Okay I'm prepared to spill the name of the book I read last week. It all turned out pretty good. It was What a Rogue Desires by Caroline Linden. The frist scene, told from David's point of view, ends when he leaves the room, but the POV immediately switches to his brother's wife's POV, a character who never appears in the book again. My initial impression was headhopping all over the place, but looking again at that opening scene it was just that one change of POV. Call me picky. Anyway the story was good, and kept me wondering how the two of them were going to end up together. So in the end I enjoyed it.

Now I'm reading another Kristan Higgins book, Fools Rush In.
Sneak peek Friday
This week I finished a manuscript and put it away to rest. It was HARD to put this one away! I got very close to these characters and I...miss them. Sniff. I hope that means it's good, but what the heck do I know *rolling eyes at self*

Anyway here's a tiny peek at the finished manuscript:

“Dude,” Dylan said. “Your girlfriend is smokin’ hot.”

“She’s not my girlfriend,” Matt automatically replied. “We’re just friends.”

Dylan lifted an eyebrow. “Just friends? That’s why she was asleep in your bedroom? Just sleeping?”

“Okay, yeah, friends with benefits. But still, just friends.”

“Oh ho.” Dylan grinned. “Mondo, dude.” He held up his empty bottle. “Beer me.”

Matt laughed and headed to the kitchen. When he returned with two more bottles of ale, Dylan said, “So you two sleep together but you’re just friends.”

“Yeah.” Matt popped the top of his bottle.

“How’d you luck into an arrangement like that, man?”

Matt shrugged and frowned a little. “Well. It just kinda happened. We were friends for a long time. We worked together at Pancho’s, and we had some classes together at UCSA. It was never more than that, because I was living with Lysett, and Corey was going out with some asshole who treated her like crap.” He made a face. “Corey finally got smart enough to dump his ass, and then Lysett dumped me, and Corey and I started hanging out more.”

“Just friends.”

“Yeah.” Matt huffed out a laugh. “You know that’s what girls always want from me. I’m not a chick magnet like you, stud.”

“Bullshit. That’s not all girls want from you.”

Matt shrugged. “Whatever.” He’d heard it enough times in his life. Women regarded him as a nice guy, friend material but not red hot lover material. “You’re too nice.” “Let’s just be friends.” Yeah, he’d heard it a few times. He and Lysett had been together for years but in the end, she’d dumped him for a guy with two ex-wives and three kids, who’d decided to quit his job to play in a rock band, buy a Harley Davidson, and who she said “rocked her world”. Matt wasn’t a world-rocking kind of guy, and after that he’d decided maybe friendship was the best he was going to get with women.
What I'm Reading Wednesday
I started a new book this week but I'm not sure if I'm going to name it here because it got off to a very rocky start for me. This is the second time I've purchased a book by a "new to me" author based on a great review at one of the "big" review sites and been disappointed. Not sure why that is. I guess readers and reviewers (and I guess some editors, since they publish the books) are less concerned about the technical aspects of writing than a writer might be. Which is food for thought and what it means to my own writing, given a number of disappointments lately.
Friday Sneak Peek

Edited to add: Blogger failed me again! This was supposed to post Friday morning!
Last Friday was release day for Taming Tara so I thought I'd share another small excerpt from that book:

Christ, she was smart. That itself was a huge turn-on, never mind the sexy sparkle in her eyes. Heat curled inside him. “So which is it?”

“What do you mean?” She frowned as she looked back at him. His eyes moved over her smooth, golden skin, her cheeks lightly tinged peach, her eyes framed with thick lashes. Her full mouth gleamed, like yesterday, with a pale shiny peach gloss.

“I mean, which do you want to focus on? The niche market, producing small quantities of high quality olive oil; or expanding your production using new planting methods like high density planting and producing larger quantities of oil.”

Her frown deepened. “I…I want to do both.”

He met her gaze. “You think you can do both? Really?”

She blinked at him. He could practically see the wheels turning in her head. “Increasing production doesn’t necessarily mean giving up those high quality oils, those niche markets.”

He kept looking at her.

“Does it?” Her mouth turned down and her eyes narrowed.

“Well, you just said you have high production costs here, compared to Spain and Italy. That limits how much you can produce. Why not focus on the specialty markets then? Do what you can do well.”

She shook her head. “No. I don’t believe we have to limit ourselves to that. I think with new planting methods and mechanical harvesting, we can do both.”

“Show me.”

Her eyes widened. “What?”

“Show me. Show me how you can do both.”

“Well, I…I…just know it.”

He almost laughed. “Not good enough, Tara,” he said softly. “If you want me with you when you try to convince Tyrone that high density planting is worth the investment, and let’s face it, it’s going to cost up front, you’ve got to convince me first. I need facts and figures and cost-benefits analysis. You’ve got to prove to me you can do both.”

She stared at him and the hint of deference in her amber eyes and soft mouth sent lust slicing through him, making him hard. Oh, man. This was bad.

Then her gaze hardened. “No.” Her brows drew together and she shook her head. “No! This is insane. I don’t have to prove anything to you. Who the hell do you think you are?”

He still just looked at her, using the power of his gaze. It always worked.

She jumped to her feet and stood there. He leaned back in his chair, linking his hands behind his head.

“I’m going to talk to Grandpa right now,” she muttered and stalked out of the office. He watched her go, her cheeks flushed a deeper hue of peach, her back stiff, long slender legs striding across the room.

Adrenaline sizzled through his veins. Holy fucking shit. She wasn’t going to give in without a major battle. He smiled. Anticipation tingled over every nerve ending. She had to be the most difficult woman to master he’d ever met. She was smart and strong and, Jesus Christ, she had him dangerously on the edge of losing control.

He could physically dominate her. He was bigger, stronger—he could restrain her and he could show her that. Too bad that wasn’t appropriate behavior for the office. No, here he had to rely on his wits—intellect, experience, instinct. He had to know her triggers…and he was definitely getting to.
What I'm Reading Wednesday
Not a lot to report this week since I'm still reading the same book - Cowgirls Don't Cry by Lorelei James.
This is very unusual for me to take a whole week to read a book! I usually do several in a week. It's not that's it's not a good book either, I'm enjoying it. But I have been writing a lot (I finished my WIP! Yay!) so maybe that's why. And I've got so many good books lined up to read next!