COVER REVEAL! - Loving You Easy

The cover for LOVING YOU EASY, the next book in the Loving on the Edge series, is here!

Loving You Easy by Roni Loren

And here's the blurb:

Three lovers really click in the latest from the New York Times bestselling author of Call on Me— 

Cora has an amazing sex life. She’s beautiful, daring, and the most popular submissive in Hayven. Too bad none of it’s real... 

IT specialist Cora Benning has figured out the key to her formerly disastrous love life—make it virtual. In the online world of Hayven, she’s free of her geek girl image and can indulge her most private fantasies with a sexy, mysterious master without anyone in her life discovering her secrets. Until her information is hacked and she finds herself working to fix the breach under two very powerful men—one who seems all too familiar...

Best friends and business partners Ren Muroya and Hayes Fox were once revered dominants. Then Hayes was wrongfully sent to prison and everything changed. Ren wants to get back to who they were. Hayes can’t risk it. But when they discover the new IT specialist is their online fascination, and that she’s never felt a dominant’s touch, the temptation to turn virtual into reality becomes all too great…

This one will be out in September. What do you think? I love the colors of the cover and that it's fiber optics, which ties to the meeting online theme of the book. :)

The book can be pre-ordered from Amazon and B&N. Other retailers should be available soon as well.

My Books Are On SALE! Woo-hoo!

Hello, hello. So I'm just getting back from a cruise and am playing catch up (along with trying not to fall out of my desk chair because apparently my brain is still swaying even though I'm no longer on a rocking boat.) It was a great vacation and involved a lot of this:

Turns out staring at the ocean for hours is very rejuvenating. :) I spent most of that time either reading or brainstorming book two in the Pleasure Principle series. But now I'm buried under a pile of laundry and emails. So, though I don't have an official blog for you today, I wanted to pass along an unexpected sale. Looks like a number of my books have dropped in price from 9.99-12.99 to 6.99-7.99! I have no idea how long the sale will be, so I just wanted to share the news in case you wanted to grab any while they're a couple of bucks under normal prices. Here are the ones that are currently on sale:

Nothing Between Us is $6.99, which is a great discount because it's been sitting at $11.99 lately. This is a m/m/f menage romance with a heroine who is quite the Peeping Tom and two men who don't mind being watched. :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crash Into You and Melt Into You are $7.99 (normally $12.99) so if you're new to me and want to start the Loving on the Edge series from the start, here's your chance to get book one and two!

 

Caught Up In You is also $7.99 right now. A geek hero, a former stripper, and a private island. What more do you need to know? ;)

 

That's all from me for now. Have a great rest of the day!

 

FIRST LOOK: Read Chapter 1 of BREAK ME DOWN!

First, a quick reminder in case you didn't see it yesterday. YOURS ALL ALONG, my m/m novella, is on sale for 99 cents! I'm NEVER on sale, so this is like a unicorn-type of event. ;) Grab it while you can. I'm not sure how long the sale is running.

BUY ITNook | Kindle | Kindle UK | Kindle Canada | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play

 

Next, drumroll... The first chapter of BREAK ME DOWN is now available in full! This one comes out Oct. 20th and features Gibson (Kade's brother) and Samantha (Tessa's BFF.) AND is my first novella with a female domme and male submissive. 

Pre-order for a mere $2.99 ;) Nook | Kindle | Kindle UK | Kindle Canada | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play

About the book:

The New York Times bestselling author of Call on Me invites you to discover the thrill of control as one couple wrestles for power in and out of the bedroom…

Samantha Dunbar needs to forget Gibson Andrews. When he trained her to be a domme, she experienced just how hot things could get with the sexy executive. She was ready to hand him everything—including her heart. But Gibson backed away, declaring them incompatible. He’s a dominant, and Sam’s no submissive.

But after an attack shakes Sam to her core, Gibson tracks her down at her family’s rundown farmhouse and makes her an offer. He’ll stay the week and be hers in every way—a helping hand for the renovation and a willing lover in her bed. He swore he’d never give up control to anyone again, but he hasn’t been able to touch another woman since Sam. Maybe a week alone with her will cure him of his relentless craving. 

But one taste only makes them want more, and Sam and Gibson are drawn in deeper than ever. The man who won’t give in has just met the girl who won’t give up…

 

Here's CHAPTER ONE (This is an early copy so may contain typos. Feel free to let me know if you find any). Copyright 2015 Roni Loren, All Rights Reserved Berkley Books.

Excerpt for 18 and over. 

Chapter 1

“Are you trying to torture me? I thought your husband was the sadist.” Samantha dropped the tray of clean glasses onto the rack behind the bar and gave her best friend the stink eye.

Tessa frowned. “Kade didn’t tell me Gibson was coming along. You know I would’ve suggested another bar if I’d known, but I wanted to see you before we left for Bermuda.”

Sam sighed and tightened her high ponytail as she snuck a glance at the table where Tessa’s husband, Kade, was chatting with his stepbrother. Gibson didn’t look her way, but she got the distinct impression he knew she was watching him and was purposely not turning her way. Good, she didn’t need to see those gorgeous blue eyes, didn’t need to remember how their color had darkened to a summer storm when she’d put him on his knees. “Does he have to look so goddamned good in a suit? It’s ridiculous. Who gets to look that hot after a whole day of work? By the time I’m out of here, I look like I’ve been rolled around in a pile of sweaty bodies and beer. He looks like he’s ready to pose for an Armani ad.”

Tessa’s pink-glossed lips curled into a knowing smirk. “You know, pining isn’t good for your health.”

Sam scoffed. “Please. I’m not pining. I just went on a date two weeks ago, and last weekend, I scened with Julian at the Ranch. This girl”—she swept her hand over her black T-shirt and jeans—“is moving on.”

Tessa lifted a brow, clearly not buying it. “If the date was two weeks ago, that means it wasn’t worth a second date. And you and Julian are friends. I bet you didn’t even see him naked.”

Okay, so she hadn’t. Julian was a fun submissive to practice with and more than a little hot, but Sam had never taken it very far with him. In fact, none of the submissives she played with at the Ranch ever inspired her to take it to that level. It was sparring with friends—fun, exciting, but not all that sexual. The submissives didn’t touch her, she kept her clothes on, and she didn’t get off in sessions. It worked for her. Well, it had worked for her until the man sitting at the table a few yards away had come into her life. She’d let him touch. Once. Thoroughly. And the minute she’d crossed that boundary with him, things had gotten complicated, and he’d bailed like she had some virulent disease.

Shit, maybe she was pining.

“All right, the date was a bust. But I really am moving on. If Gibson wants to pretend that what happened between us was a fluke, that’s his business. I deserve a guy who’s not ashamed or afraid to be with me. I don’t have time for games.”

Tessa leaned against the bar. “If it makes you feel better, I think he’s pretty miserable over it, too. You should’ve seen his face when he found out we were coming here.”

“Good.” She gave a terse nod. “In fact, since he’s here anyway, I may as well enjoy his suffering. What are y’all ordering?”

“A Blue Moon, a Crown and water, and a dirty martini.”

Sam grabbed a few glasses and started pouring the drinks. “Give me a minute, and I’ll bring them over. How’s my hair?”

“Uh-oh.” Tessa laughed. “It’s a perfectly executed messy ponytail, but what are you up to?”

Sam adjusted her shirt, letting the V-neck show off a little more cleavage than she usually revealed at work. “Torture.”

“Sadist.”

“Yep.”

Tessa shook her head, still smiling, and headed back to the table. Sam finished up with the drinks and carried them over on a tray, making sure to put a touch more sway in her walk. She’d learned how to do it early on to get tips before she’d become the manager of the place. She hadn’t lost the skill, and she wasn’t afraid to use it to torment the man who’d walked away from her. No, not walked—bolted like his ass was on fire. She moved from sway to full sashay. Suffer, Gibson Andrews. Feel the burn.

When she stopped at the table, Kade looked up, all blond hair and broad smile. Effortlessly gorgeous like his stepbrother but without the dark and brooding vibe that Gibson seemed to be gold-medaling in at the moment. Or always. “Hey, Sam, long time no see.”

“Right. It’s been ages.” She’d just seen the couple a few days ago, when they’d all gone to a music festival together. “So, stalker boy, I presume the dirty martini is yours.”

He took the drink from her, not blinking at the nickname she’d given him last year when he’d doggedly pursued her best friend like a bent knight on a quest. She set the beer in front of Tessa and then finally turned to Gibson. She kept her smile poised, but it took everything she had to keep her composure when Gib looked up. He’d let his jaw go a little scruffy, and the dark shadow of a beard only made him more edible. But the look in his eyes was what sucked the air right out of her. So this was what a gazelle must feel like when a starved lion caught sight of her. Hunger had flared in that deep blue gaze—open, naked, and without apology.

God. A jolt of desire went straight downward, like a rope being tugged. Hello. Lady parts officially engaged.

She must’ve reacted, showed some chink in her expression. Because as soon as that look was there, he shuttered it, glancing away and offering a flat “Hey, Sam.”

Everything inside her deflated—the pin of reality popping the balloon of hope. Ugh. Stupid, stupid man. She wanted to grab that thick, dark hair and make him hold the gaze, force him to show her the truth. To be real with her. But of course, she couldn’t touch him anymore. And, well, that would look a little weird in the bar. Sexually frustrated manager grabs customer by the hair, makes demands. She swallowed past the tightness in her throat, completely forgetting her plan to look seductive and so over him. “Crown and water.”

She plunked the glass on the table without grace, causing some of it to slosh over the top.

“Thanks,” he said gruffly.

Silence ensued and Tessa cleared her throat. “Um, do y’all still have those potato things with the bacon? I’m starving.”

Sam snapped out of her daze and turned to Tessa. “Potato skins. You bet. I’ll tell Angie to put in an order. She’ll be handling your table. I just wanted to come over and say hi.”

Gibson took a long gulp from his glass and then brushed a hand over his wavy hair, trying to smooth the unsmoothable. A move she’d learned was his sign of discomfort. God, this was so ridiculous.

And she was done with it. So things had gotten a little out of hand during that last training session. He’d been helping her out, bottoming for her so she could learn how to use a whip. They’d been through a few weeks of lessons and everything had gone well. All had been done under the assumption that he was a fellow dominant who would be guiding her from the bottom—a friendly exchange. He wasn’t supposed to get hard when she whipped him. And she wasn’t supposed to get so turned on at the sight of him. And they weren’t supposed to kiss. And she definitely wasn’t supposed to let him push her against a wall and put his hand beneath her skirt to get her off.

But all that had happened, and when she’d tried to wrest control back and take him to bed as her submissive, everything had exploded in her face. He’d snapped out of whatever spell he’d been in from the whipping and had told her that nothing could happen between them because they were both dominants. That he had a masochistic streak, not a submissive one. The training had ended right there. And she might’ve been able to let it go, to buy that he was just a dominant with a taste for pain, but her instincts were telling her it was far more than that. Not that it mattered what she thought. For whatever reason, he wasn’t going to take the submissive role. Period. End of sentence.

She wasn’t worth the risk to him.

Fine.

“Is there anything else I can get y’all for now?” she asked, her voice coming out a little too bright, too twangy. Damn, she was going Dolly Parton on their asses. Usually that only happened when customers pushed her to her politeness breaking point. Of course I’ll get your hamburger recooked a third time, sugar. I should’ve known when you said medium you meant fossilized.

Tessa’s brow went up, seeing right through Sam’s act.

“No, I think we’re good, Sam.” Kade cut an annoyed look his brother’s way.

Sam hustled back to the safety of the bar, cringing at how easily she’d gotten knocked off her plan. Damn that man. But the crowd was picking up, and she didn’t have time to waste trying to figure out the indecipherable Gibson Andrews. She had a job to do. So for the next hour, she managed her bartenders, poured drinks to help them keep up, and made rounds of the floor to greet customers and drop off food. By the time she made her second walk around the place, every table was taken and the noise of all those different conversations reverberated off the walls.

This was her favorite part of her shift. Managing the bar wasn’t always the most glamorous of jobs—okay, try never glamorous—but when the crowd was buzzing and the energy pulsed around her, she couldn’t help but feed off it. She cruised by the back corner, checking on tables, and a sharp whistle caught her attention.

She fought the instinct to ignore it. Nothing ticked her off more than being summoned like she was a dog that needed to come to heel, but a customer was a customer. She turned around and forced a tolerant smile at the two guys swigging cheap whiskey at a back table. Dolly Parton made an appearance again. Well, if Dolly Parton had B-cups, too much black eyeliner, and an eyebrow piercing. “Can I help y’all with something?”

“Hey, sweetheart,” one said, tipping his ball cap up and revealing narrow green eyes. “I dropped my keys. Mind getting them for me?”

She looked down at the floor and the keys at her feet. She bent over, swiped them from the ground, and tossed them on their table. “Here ya go.”

His friend grinned her way and pushed the keys onto the floor again. Clank. “Maybe bend down a little slower this time, darling. I didn’t get a good view the first go-round.”

She straightened, the customer-is-always-right attitude falling away and fuck-off-redneck-asshole mode replacing it. “This isn’t the champagne room. I’m not here to give you a show. Do you need a drink or what?”

Idiot number one smirked and leered at her chest. “Yeah, how about two buttery nipples? Are they pierced like your eyebrow? I bet they are. You look like that kind of girl.”

She wanted to reach over and bang their two skulls together. It’d probably make a hollow sound. Usually guys got over the buttery-nipple joke by the time they were out of high school, but clearly these two hadn’t moved beyond that maturity-wise. Next they’d be ordering a Sex on the Beach. “Two drinks coming right up.”

She strode off and told one of her male bartenders to bring the drinks over to the guys. She’d be damned if she’d let any of her staff get harassed. Flirting from customers was part of the deal. People got tipsy, and their tongues got loose. But Sam didn’t put up with idiots who took it too far.

Sam slipped back behind the bar and started clearing empty glasses. But only a few minutes passed before idiot number one made a reappearance. He leaned against the bar, snapping his fingers at her. “Hey. I need to talk to you.”

She clenched her jaw and turned. “Is there something wrong with your drink?” I could spit in it if you’d like.

He slid the drink across the bar. “Yeah, you didn’t serve it to me. What? You’re too good to talk to your customers?”

“I’m managing the place. My staff serve the drinks.”

“You’re a stuck-up bitch is what you are.”

“Hey.” A knife-edged voice came from behind him, slicing through the din around the bar. “You watch your goddamned mouth.”

Sam’s attention jumped to the spot behind the guy. Gibson’s face appeared out of the crowd like a vengeful apparition as he shoved his way closer to the bar.

The guy turned toward Gibson, his features twisting into a scowl that made him even uglier. “Who the hell you think you’re talking to?”

Gibson was the picture of cool rage, completely unruffled and terrifying in his calmness. “You. Disrespect the lady again, and we’re going to have a major problem.”

“Fuck you, man,” the guy said, words slurring. “This cunt’s job is to serve me my goddamn drinks, and she’s not doing it.”

With lightning-fast movement, Gibson grabbed the guy by the shirt collar and jammed him against the bar. “Wrong answer, asshole.”

“Shit.” Sam hurried around the counter and yelled for Angie to get their bouncer, Herb. “Gib, stop. Let us handle this guy.”

But it was too late. The drunk idiot was already taking a swing at Gibson, and his equally idiotic friend was heading their way. The punch missed wide when Gibson ducked out of the way. A glass broke. Gib looked smug at the guy’s failed attempt and knocked him hard against the bar again, rattling all the bottles and glasses nearby. Soon it’d be the guy’s teeth. But before it could turn into a full brawl, Herb got in between to break it up. He dragged the drunk away and told him and his friend to get out.

The two men continued cursing and throwing insults her and Gib’s way, but they weren’t dumb enough to try to fight Herb. If they did, she’d have the cops on the phone before they could blink, and they’d be sleeping it off in the drunk tank down at county lockup.

The customers in the bar had stopped to watch the ruckus, but as soon as the two jerks were out the door, all the conversation kicked back in, like hitting Play after pausing a movie. Sam released a breath and turned to Gibson, who was straightening the cuffs of his shirt.

She shook her head. “I could’ve handled that, you know.”

He looked up, frown lines between his brows. “No one gets to talk to you like that. I saw them giving you a hard time earlier and could tell he was headed up here to cause trouble. What did they say to you earlier? You looked pissed.”

She shrugged. “They kept trying to get me to bend over and pick up things off the floor. Then they ordered buttery nipples while leering at me. Juvenile stuff. Dumb but probably harmless.”

His jaw flexed. “Customers or not, they don’t get to disrespect you like that.”

She smirked and stepped around him to return to her spot behind the bar. “Getting respect around here is hard to come by. I have to go other places to get that.”

“Too bad you can’t bring a single tail to work.”

She laughed. “No kidding. That’d get people’s attention. Talk back to me, and I’ll paint a stripe across your ass.”

His gaze flared at that. “That could make it worse. Some people might misbehave for that privilege.”

She cocked a brow. “People like you?”

He frowned.

She sighed and grabbed a rag to start wiping up the drink they’d spilled during the altercation. “Sorry. Guess we haven’t reached the point where we can joke about everything with each other yet. Want to talk about the weather?”

He rubbed the back of his neck. “Sorry. It’s fine. I just hate that things are weird between us now. I miss hanging out with you. And my brother’s married to your best friend. We’re going to run into each other.”

She focused on cleaning the bar top, using a little too much vigor to wipe up things. Out, damned  spot. “Doesn’t have to be weird. We can be friends.”

“Hard to be friends with someone you want in your bed.”

She looked up, something tightening low inside her when she saw the invitation in his eyes, that rope tugging again. Tug. Tug.

God, it would be so easy to give in and let him have the control. Sex with him in whatever form would probably be like winning the orgasm lottery. But it’d taken her so long to get to this point. She knew what she wanted, had finally figured out what flipped her switches, and she was tired of doing things halfway. “You know the price of admission for my bed, Gib. You’re not willing to pay it.”

Gibson leaned forward, bracing his arms on the bar and getting way too close for her to concentrate on anything but his dark eyelashes and full bottom lip. He kept his voice low enough for only her to hear. “We don’t have to be in any roles at all. We could just do things the old-fashioned way. Hot skin and cool sheets.”

She closed her eyes, a hint of his scent hitting her—rain-soaked earth. He’d always smelled like spring rain to her, something in his laundry detergent probably. But not until she’d had him under her whip did she get the rest of it—earth and man and hot need, who he really was beneath that polished exterior. She could smell it on him now. And that scent brought her right back to those sessions in the training room at the Ranch.

Never before had she felt such an utter need to make a man hers like she had when Gibson got into a scene. Something about him stirred those dark desires she’d only toyed with in fantasies before then. But the sessions had been her own kind of torture because they’d kept it so businesslike. He’d never taken off anything more than his shirt. There’d been no sex. He’d guided her from the bottom as her trainer and never gave over real control. Not until that last session, when she’d somehow broken through that outside layer, had she gotten a glimpse of what things could be like if they ever did those things for real, without restrictions.

And she knew without a doubt that if she agreed to an old-fashioned hookup with Gibson, physically she’d probably be over the moon, but deep down she’d be left unsatisfied afterward because she’d gotten a peek at what she’d be missing. She was done compromising. In her endless search to find Mr. Right, she’d spent too many years of her life dating guys who she’d jumped through hoops to please. No more. Even if Gibson was stupid beautiful and looking at her like he’d light her world on fire.

She poured a Crown and water and slid it his way. “Gib, let’s not pretend that either of us would be satisfied with old-fashioned. You don’t pay that exorbitant fee at the Ranch for nothing.”

The grooves around his mouth deepened and he straightened to full height, taking the drink in his hand. “I can’t be what you want me to be, Sam.”

“Why?” The word slipped out before she could stop it. But she’d seen how he’d reacted after that flogging. It hadn’t just been the pain. She’d been practicing dirty talk that night, dressing him down with her words. That had been the difference that night. He hadn’t just gotten hard; he’d been fighting subspace. Submission did something for him. She hadn’t imagined that.

His gaze slid away, the doors to his expression slamming shut. “Because it’s not who I want to be.”

She pressed her lips together, considering him for a long moment. She knew some submissive guys struggled with their desires. Many thought big, strong alpha men weren’t supposed to be anything other than dominant. But Gibson was so confident in his everyday life, she couldn’t imagine he gave a shit what societal norms or traditional gender roles called for. But for some reason, this was a no go for him.

She needed to accept that. Move on. She reached out and put her hand on his arm and squeezed. “Hey, that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends. Friends who are not weird with each other. Or at least only weird in an awesome way. Because, let’s face it, neither of us has any shot at normal.”

His lips tilted up at the corners, but his eyes didn’t hold the same humor. “Yeah, guess we’ll have to get some practice at that.”

She nodded. “Definitely. We’ll go have lunch or something soon, okay?”

“Sure.” He grabbed for his wallet. “What do I owe you for the drink?”

“It’s on the house for trying to protect me from drunk assholes. Thanks for that, by the way. I would’ve handled it, but seeing his teeth knock together when you shoved him against the bar was pretty entertaining.”

His mouth curved into a full smile then. “Anytime, sunshine.”

After one last look, he headed back to his table, and she didn’t talk to him again until he and her friends said good-bye for the night. When he walked out of the bar, all the starch drained out of her. She tried to stay busy, keep her energy up, but as the crowd thinned and the night stretched on, the finality of her and Gibson’s situation weighed on her. When the last customer headed out the door, she sagged back against the counter and closed her eyes, rubbing her brow.

“Everything okay?” Angie asked.

Sam opened her eyes to find her current manager-in-training cleaning a glass and giving her a concerned look. Sam shook her head. “I’m fine. Long night.”

Angie nodded toward the back. “You should get out of here, then. Billy and I can lock up. I’ve got the hang of the closing procedures by now.”

Sam stretched her neck and glanced at the empty bar. Usually she stayed and helped to put things back in order, but she’d worked every night this week preparing for her time off, and the thought of staying any longer suddenly felt like a prison sentence. “You sure?”

“Of course. Your vacation can start now. Go. Get some rest.”

Sam smiled. “Why haven’t I made you assistant manager yet?”

“Because you’re too much of a control freak. But I’ll be more than happy to accept that promotion when you get back.”

Sam pushed off the bar and patted Angie’s shoulder as she passed. “Consider it done. And if anything happens this week, you can call me—”

“I’ll call Marvin,” she said, cutting her off. “You’re on vacation, not on call. Forget about us for a while.”

“You’re a bossy thing.”

“Hello, Kettle, you’re black. Love, Pot.”

Sam rolled her eyes. “Fine. Point taken. I’m out of here. Don’t forget to lock up the safe and check—”

“The side door. I know. Go.” She shooed her with her hand.

Sam didn’t protest this time and went into the back room to grab her purse and keys. The spring night was cool and dry as she exited the side door and headed through the alleyway toward the parking lot. Her worn Vans were silent on the pavement and after the constant roar of the bar, she welcomed the quiet night around her. But despite the peacefulness, she held her little bottle of mace in her right hand.

This area of downtown was pretty safe, but she didn’t take that kind of thing for granted. You were never really safe. She’d learned that the hard way bouncing around foster homes and group homes, running into people who thought her petite size and vulnerable circumstances made her an easy target. Danger pounced when you let your guard down.

It’s why her first semester in college, she’d taken a Krav Maga course and learned how to protect herself. It’s why she always carried mace. And it’s why when she turned the corner around the building and saw a familiar face heading her way, she didn’t hesitate to raise her hand and aim.

Idiot number one from the bar fight was glaring back at her, but he lifted his hands. “Easy, now, darling. I’m not here to cause trouble.”

“Bullshit,” she said, finger on the trigger of her mace, her heart trying to pound out of her chest. She dipped her other hand in her purse, blindly feeling around for her phone. “You need to back off and go home.”

He smiled. “I was just coming back because I left my wallet at the table. I need to get back inside.”

“You can come back tomorrow. I’ll let the staff know to put it aside for you.”

“I can’t wait that long.” He took a step closer.

“I said back off, asshole.” She put more pressure on the trigger and stepped back.

And ran into something solid . . . and warm.

Her body jolted at the impact and her finger slipped off the trigger, but it was too late to react beyond that. A hand came around and clamped over her mouth. Another arm banded around her chest, knocking the mace out of her grip and dragging her back into the alleyway

“Well, hi there,” a voice said against her ear, stale whiskey breath burning her nostrils.

Everything went cold and electric inside her, and she wrenched her body, trying to break the grip and screaming behind the hand. Frantic. She’d been through self-defense. She knew there was a way to break this hold, but none of the moves would come to her. All she could think of was to stomp on his feet. But when she tried, her tennis shoes did little damage and her body wouldn’t cooperate. Everything trembled.

The first guy followed them between the buildings and moved closer, invading her space and dominating her vision. His smile was one of triumph. “You know, we never did get those buttery nipples. But how about I taste them without the butter for now.”

He reached out and grabbed the collar of her T-shirt and yanked it down, ripping it and exposing her bra.

Tears jumped to her eyes, and she kicked and writhed like a wildcat. This was not going to happen. These disgusting men were not going to touch her. After a few failed attempts, her shin connected with the guy’s crotch and he doubled over, crying out in pain. She felt the small surge of victory, but then he hauled up and slapped her hard in the face, making stars appear and sending her ears ringing.

“You stupid fucking bitch,” he seethed, still hunched over, one hand cradling himself. “You think you’re so high and mighty, but you’re not going to be anything when we take you to the van and fuck that attitude right out of you.”

The man who was holding her tightened his grip, and her throat closed up, air whistling through her and her vision blurring. Other voices filled her head. Voices she hadn’t heard in years interspersing with the present ones. Her eyes closed and all that was there behind her lids was blood spattering, the violent Texas sun blinding her. Hands on her. Trapped. Held down. Not again. She would not go through this again. She forced her eyes open and shook her head with a violent, sudden motion, breaking free of the hand over her mouth and letting out a piercing scream—one that seemed to come from a place so far inside it her, it made her body quake.

Idiot number one’s eyes went wide, and she hoped to God they would run, but he just looked out toward the street. “Come on, get her to the van. Hurry.”

But before they could drag her a few steps, the door to the bar opened and Angie ran out. When she saw what was happening, Angie lifted her arms and pointed a gun their way, hands steady as stone. “Let her go or I swear to God I will blow your fucking balls off.”

Sam knew Angie could damn well do it, too. The girl had grown up in the country, and her daddy still took her hunting.

The guy holding Sam tensed behind her and then let her go like a sack of grain. Her knees hit the ground hard and the two men ran off, shouting at each other to move faster.

Angie raced down the back stairs and toward the parking lot, and Billy came running behind her, cell phone to his ear. He stopped at Sam’s side. “Jesus, are you okay? I called the cops.”

Sam braced a hand on the pavement, panting and trying not to hyperventilate, and held her torn shirt to her chest with her other hand. Her brain seemed to flash through present and past all at once, a scrambled channel of images that made her want to scream again and not stop. But she forced deep breaths into her lungs. It’s okay. It’s okay. You’re okay. “I’m all right. Check on Angie.”

But Angie stepped back into the alley a second later, face red with exertion. “I couldn’t get a license plate, but I saw what kind of van they were driving.” She hurried to join Sam and crouched down next to her. “God, honey, you’re bleeding. Billy, get some ice and a new T-shirt.”

Billy jogged back into the building, and Sam sat back on her calves, tentatively touching her lip. It felt swollen but not split at least. “I’m fine. They didn’t get a chance to do more than hit me thanks to you.”

And no thanks to Sam’s own instincts. Every goddamned lick of training she’d gotten had gone down the tube in an instant. She’d felt so strong and confident after arming herself with all those self-defense tools. Had felt like she’d beaten those demons. But when she’d needed them most, she’d been useless. She was just as vulnerable as she’d always been. A victim waiting to happen. The thought shook her down to the core.

You’re never safe.

Angie put her arm around Sam. “Come on. Let’s get you inside. You’re trembling.”

Sam let Angie lead her back into the bar, and Billy brought her ice and a new staff T-shirt. They were babying her, but Sam didn’t have it in her to protest at this point. She just wanted to give her statement to the police and get the hell out of here so she could put herself back together.

The cops arrived a short time after that and took all of their statements. Sam doubted they would be able to find the guys by description alone, but she hoped the van may give them a good lead. Either way, she didn’t think the men would come back to the bar. They were dumb but not brain-dead. The staff would recognize them. Everyone had seen at least one of them during the altercation with Gibson. But she’d ask Marvin, the bar owner, to pay for extra security for the next couple of weeks anyway.

By the time she got in her car to go home, she felt numb. Hollow. But as she drove toward her place, that numbness gave way to anger. Anger at the men who’d attacked her. And anger at herself for panicking so completely. She was not that person. She was the girl in her Krav Maga class who had taken down an instructor twice her size. She was the domme at the Ranch who had men willing to kneel at her feet. She was not going to be the girl to go home to her empty apartment and cower behind the locked doors and jump at every sound. That wasn’t who she was anymore. She couldn’t go back to that.

So when she got to her apartment, she grabbed the suitcase she’d packed for her vacation and added another black bag that was meant for only one place.

Tonight she didn’t need to be alone. Tonight she needed to be in charge.

She tossed the bags in her trunk and got on the road. The Ranch was only an hour away. She couldn’t get there fast enough.

Pre-Order:  Nook | Kindle | Kindle UK | Kindle Canada | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play

 

Who's ready for Gibson? Want to see how I picture him? Check out the Heroes page for pics.

 

 

NOT UNTIL YOU: The Complete Novel is here!

 

The complete edition of the NOT UNTIL YOU serial is now available in an omnibus edition! You can get it in ebook or you can get the "enhanced" paperback, which includes a brand new short story in the back!

About the book:

NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED * THE COMPLETE NOVEL

Cela knows how to be good. She's had a lifetime of practice. But on the night of her college graduation, she decides she's earned one wild night before she has to move back home to her overprotective family. So when the hot neighbor she's been quietly fantasizing about for a year suggests a game of Never Have I Ever, she's ready. But what starts out as a simple game takes an unexpected turn. Because Ian Foster doesn't play games he can't win.

Foster knows his desires aren't for the faint of heart, especially not for someone as sweet and innocent as his pretty neighbor. But when Cela shows up at his door with an invitation that surprises him, he can't resist indulging. Cela has no idea what she's in for. The secret dark side of this man's need will both intrigue and terrify her. But Cela has a secret of her own--and a new game to see just how far they're both willing to go, and how much they're willing to risk by crossing every boundary of desire.

Paperback Edition Only: A New Loving on the Edge Short Story

 

Buy the ebook: Kindle | Nook | Kobo | Apple/iTunes | Google Play

Buy the paperback: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | IndieBound | Powell's | The Book Depository 

 

And if you have read this one already, I'd love you forever if you'd leave a review on one of the book sites. You'd be amazed how much reviews help. : )

Also, don't miss out on the contest where you can WIN the ENTIRE Loving on the Edge series signed. Enter here.

Thanks and hope y'all have a great rest of the week!

 

Cover Reveal for NOTHING BETWEEN US!

 

It's finally time for Colby to get his own story. Ready to see what his cover looks like?

 

 

 

Here's the blurb:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Need You Tonight comes a steamy Loving on the Edge novel that proves watching is only half the fun...

Unlike the heroine of her popular thriller series, Georgia Delaune can't afford to take risks or push sexual boundaries--unless you count spying through her neighbor's bedroom window, and never missing a single move he makes.

Colby Wilkes is more than willing to put on a show for the alluring woman next door. But his dominant side aches to show her the pleasures of submission up close. As a counselor, Colby is sensitive to Georgia's fears. As a Dom at The Ranch, a private BDSM retreat, he's the perfect teacher to unleash her passion.

But just as Georgia lowers her emotional barriers, an unexpected complication arrives: a bad boy musician from Colby's past who adds fuel to her heated imagination. Now, the lonely author has two gorgeous men eager to fulfill every fantasy she's ever written--and one she's never dared to dream....

~~~

So what do you think? I love that it fits the story. Georgia watches Colby through her window so this is perfect. I also kind of like that it's not obvious that it's an erotic romance. Subtle.

What say you? Who's ready for Colby (and Georgia...and maybe someone else)?


The Faster I Write, the Better the Book?

Sign at the New York Public Library (my pic)So a while back I talked about being a Slow Writer Reformed. After being a slow writer for years, I had a deadline that ended up being crazy tight because my editor and I changed the concept of the book at the last minute (a few times). Well, it resulted in me writing 97k in 55 working days and revising in 5 days. So basically, 60 days from start to finish (minus weekends since I don't work on weekends.) It was definitely a revelation to me that I could write that fast. But there was one LOOMING question. Was it any good? 

When you write that quickly under that intense of a deadline, you can't stop and think or analyze. You lose perspective and can't really tell if something rocks or sucks. You're too close. (And it's not like I had time to send it to beta readers to get feedback before I sent it to my editor.) So I was happy that I'd accomplished the goal of writing faster. But I was scared that the whole thing was a pile of crap and that my editor would hate it or require a total rewrite.

Well, this past week I went to NYC to meet with my editor and guess what? She loved CAUGHT UP IN YOU and said it was her favorite thing I've ever written. AND, get this, no big edits--she didn't even send it back to me, just sent it straight to copyedits (which for those of you who don't know, the copy editor is the person who doesn't change content but checks for grammar, spelling, and logic mistakes.) SO, the fastest book I've ever written and the one I was most insecure about turns out to be her favorite. (!!!)

And to give you an idea of what a crazed, fugue state I wrote it in, when my editor told me her favorite scene of the book, I couldn't even remember what scene that was, lol. I had to look it up later and was like--oh yeah, I DID write a scene with a such and such. o.0  Seriously.

And this isn't a one time occurence. Previous to this, I talked about losing perspective because with FALL INTO YOU (the book that's out now), a couple of major revisions had to be made on that book in a very short amount of time. It made me super insecure about the book because I had to just fix it ASAP and didn't have time to think over the changes. But then it came out and got the highest rating you can get in Romantic Times magazine (higher than my previous two books) AND it's by far, gotten the strongest response/reviews from readers--many declaring it their favorite of the series.

So what I'm coming to realize about my process is that my internal editor is a dangerous bitch. When I write slower, I over analyze, I overthink, and I suck out some of the magic of the creativity. When I don't have a choice but to keep writing, writing, writing, and not look back, then something wonderful happens and my right brain truly takes over. (And for the record, at the time, it doesn't *feel* like that. Even when I'm writing fast, it's always hard work. Rarely do words just fly from my fingertips with abandon. It's a very deliberate process of "must hit xxxx word count today" but it cuts out my inclination to go back and rework previous stuff to death. I have to keep moving forward to hit that daily number.)

Now, this doesn't mean that I'm going to wait until a deadline is close to start working (let's not talk crazy), but I am going to give myself my own self-imposed tighter deadline so that I work faster. And I'm going to stop worrying about if I don't feel super-confident about a book before sending it to my editor. I almost never feel confident about a book, and that's okay. I'm going to embrace that writer insecurity. It seems to mean that I've pushed myself and the story to a good (and maybe out of my comfort zone) place. It means I've taken risks. They might not always work--and that's what editors are for--but it's easier to dial back after the fact than it is to add.

So does this mean that writing faster is BETTER? For me, maybe. However, everyone's writing process is different. Some people write super fast but then have a mess on their hands and edits are overwhelming. Let's face it, most NaNoWriMo novels are not ready for primetime for a long while, if ever. Some people write slower and need that time to get the story the way they want it. If it's your first or second novel you've ever written, I can almost guarantee that a quickly written book is not ready. I know I needed my time with Crash Into You to get it right. But as you write more, you learn more and get better at craft. (Caught Up In You is the 8th book I've written.)

And most of all, realize that your current process isn't sacred or set in stone. Be open to trying new schedules or methods. If you had asked me two years ago, I would've said I was a slow writer who needed a minimum of 6 months to write a book (and that'd be pushing it.) I'd tell you that I was a pantser who could never do any pre-planning. I'd tell you I couldn't write a synopsis before writing a book. Now I'm writing 3-4 books a year, and though I'm still a pantser, I now pre-plan using the Save the Cat Beat Sheet and the Michael Hauge character profiles, which has been a tremendous help. And I write synopses to sell my books before they books are written (and kind of like writing them now).

Always, always be open to trying things a new way. If you write slowly and want to see if you can write faster, give yourself a do-or-die deadline, no cheating, and hold yourself to a daily word count. Train up like I talked about in the previous post. And don't let writer insecurity or that relentless internal editor stop you from writing. Just keep going. If you have a mess at the end, so be it--you can fix it in revisions. But maybe pushing yourself past your normal limits will inspire that one, shining scene that never would've come to you if you'd been painstakingly looking back at previous chapters deciding if her dress should be red or purple.

Anyone else discover interesting things about their own process? Do you feel like you're stuck being a "slow writer"? 

Want a Peek Inside Grant's Head? New Excerpt from FALL INTO YOU

First, I want to congratulate Kristi for winning the contest from last Monday. Congrats!

I'm busy-busy trying to organize myself for writing the e-serial. Good grief this is a whole new beast. Figuring out where to divide the parts and what to write where is interesting to say the least. As of right now, I'm planning five chapters for each section since that equates to about 50 pages for me. I want to make sure you get a good chunky read for each section. I'm really excited about how the first segment turned out, so today it's on to part 2. (Titles are coming soon btw!)

And now today, since we're about six weeks out from FALL INTO YOU's release (squee!), I thought I'd give you a brand new snippet of Grant and Charli.

From FALL INTO YOU:

Copyright 2012 Roni Loren | All Rights Reserved Berkley Publishing Group

“Are you meeting someone?” The hostess’s voice drifted across the room, pulling Grant’s attention toward the main door.

His glass thunked onto the table as the muscles in his forearm forgot to work. He stared at the redheaded beauty murmuring to the hostess. Well, I’ll be damned.

Charli peered into the dining room, her fingers worrying whatever she was holding in her hands. She looked lost. And unsure. And completely, jaw-hit-the-table gorgeous.

Grant rubbed the back of his neck, suddenly feeling hot all over. Damn. He’d known without a doubt that Charli would clean up well. Not many women could still look beautiful in relaxed-fit jeans and a ponytail like she did. But he hadn’t expected her to channel a Hollywood starlet or something.

The hostess leaned over and pointed to Grant’s booth. Somehow he managed to raise his hand in greeting and not smile like some goofy teenager who’s realized he’s landed a date with the prom queen. He straightened his shoulders, trying to regain his mental balance. He was supposed to be the cool and in control one here. Since when did he get like this over a pretty woman? He had beautiful subs offering themselves to him on a regular basis and it barely registered on his radar. This should be no different. She should be no different.

As Charli got closer, Grant saw what she was holding in her hands. Shoes. A pair of sexy black heels he’d picked out for her earlier today. A perfect complement, Kelsey had assured him, to the dark green strapless dress he’d chosen for Charli. His gaze went to her stocking feet, then slid up her long legs, to the hem of her short dress, and not stopping until he reached the column of her bare neck.

Not bare for long. The collar tucked into the inner pocket of his suit coat seemed to warm against his ribs at the thought. Soon.

He stood as Charli walked over to the booth. She set the shoes on the seat, put her hands on her hips, and arched a newly manicured brow at him. “Broken ankles or bare feet. Those are your choices.”

He smiled down at her. “Already giving me orders, freckles? That’s not how this works.”

She released a breath and then leaned in, keeping her voice low. “Look, it’s been a long day. I’ve been through what I think may be considered cruel and unusual under my constitutional rights as an American citizen. I’ve been waxed and plucked and exfoliated and . . . ironed, I think. Some woman whose name I can’t pronounce has now seen more of me than my gynecologist ever has. And this dress is . . . drafty. You gotta give me something here.”

He stared at her for a moment, a bit stunned by her rapid-fire speech, then laughed, loud and open, not caring that it drew the attention of the other guests. He raised his palms. “Fine. Point taken. Sit down. We’ll save the shoes for later.”

“Thank you.” She took his offered hand and stepped up into the raised booth, obviously forgetting she had a dress on as she climbed in. He got a delicious glimpse of the bottom curve of her ass.

He palmed her waist and moved behind her to block anyone else’s view. “Lesson one, freckles. When wearing a dress, you need to be more aware of yourself. Giving half the restaurant a Basic Instinct moment is not that big a deal here. But back in town that may be a bit embarrassing.”

“Shit.” She grabbed her hem, clamped her thighs together and hurriedly sat. “You shouldn’t have made me wear such a short dress. I feel naked.”

“You look beautiful,” he corrected, then slid into the spot across from her. “And be thankful. As my sub, I could’ve requested you to come to dinner only wearing those shoes.”

Blurb:

He’ll do anything for you. But you’d better say please.

When tomboy sports reporter Charli Beaumonde loses a dream TV job because she’s not girly enough for primetime, she’s determined to land a big scoop and prove her boss made a mistake. But when she gets too close to a football scandal and finds her life threatened, Charli accepts an offer from family friend Grant Waters to hide out at his place—even if Grant predicts nothing but trouble from his buddy’s hard-headed, uncompromising, irrepressible, younger sister. There’s one more problem…

Grant’s “place” is The Ranch, a BDSM resort in Texas, and he’s used to being in charge —even if that means trying to keep Charli in line. But much to Grant’s surprise, she’s intrigued—even envious—of his trainees. They’re the epitome of what she’s never been: sexy, beguiling, and totally irresistible to a man. Still, Grant doesn’t believe for a minute that the sharp-tongued Charli has it in her to be anyone’s submissive. But Charli’s already on her knees vying for the chance to prove that even the Master can be wrong sometimes.

Out on New Year's Day! But it's now available for Pre-Order if you want it the day it's out. ; )


Book Deal Squee-ing: More Loving on the Edge On the Way!

 

My awesome new stamp for bookplates

 

Every day I realize how lucky I am to do this whole writing thing for a living. But it's one of those jobs that's always a bit of a crap shoot. You never know how people are going to receive your stories or if they're going to be successful or if you're going to keep getting to do it.

Therefore, each time I get to sign on the dotted line to write more books, I don't take it for granted. So thank you to each and every one of you who have bought my books and enjoyed them. You're the reason I'm going to be writing more stories from The Ranch all the way through 2014. : )

Books five and six have sold! 

October 3, 2012
   
   Fiction:
Women's/Romance 
  Roni Loren's next two books in her LOVING ON THE EDGE series, revolving around The Ranch - a private BDSM club in Texas, again to Kate Seaver at Berkley Heat, for publication in 2014, in a nice deal, in a two-book deal, by Sara Megibow of Nelson Literary Agency (World).

 

This means that 2014 will bring you the stories of both Kade Vandergriff (who you meet in STILL INTO YOU and get to see more of in FALL INTO YOU in January) and Colby Wilkes (who shows up subtly in almost every book and has a bigger role in FALL INTO YOU). I can't wait to write the stories for these two. Dates are still floating around but Kade's story will be first, most likely in the Spring of 2014 and Colby's story will be in the fall. (And to see what celebrities I imagine for Kade and Colby inspiration, check out the bottom of my Ranch page.)

AND for those of you who may not be in the States or Canada, rights to CRASH INTO YOU and MELT INTO YOU have sold in the UK and CRASH has sold in France. Woot! So hopefully those editions will be on shelves in the next year or two. : )

Also, big cover news is on the way. I've been talking about it on Twitter, but I'm hoping to share the new covers with y'all in the next few weeks!

That's all for now! 

Cover Reveal for FALL INTO YOU!!!

It's that time again. Cover reveal time!!! I've been dying to share this one and finally got the word that I could release it out into the world.

Releasing January 2013

Here it is, Grant's story...

 

 

Isn't it the smexiest thing ever? I love that it looks like it's in the setting sun--which fits since Grant's a cowboy and so much of the story takes place at The Ranch.

Also, I think the theme of my covers is creative hand placement. They all seem to have that. I bow down to the art department at Berkley Heat. They rock. And how about that tag line? It gives me the hot shivers. :)

And now do you want to know what this one is about? Here's the back cover blurb reveal as well:

He’ll do anything for you. But you’d better say please.

When tomboy sports reporter Charli Beaumonde loses a dream TV job because she’s not girly enough for primetime, she’s determined to land a big scoop and prove her boss made a mistake. But when she gets too close to a football scandal and finds her life threatened, Charli accepts an offer from family friend Grant Waters to hide out at his place—even if Grant predicts nothing but trouble from his buddy’s hard-headed, uncompromising, irrepressible, younger sister. There’s one more problem…

Grant’s “place” is The Ranch, a BDSM resort in Texas, and he’s used to being in charge —even if that means trying to keep Charli in line. But much to Grant’s surprise, she’s intrigued—even envious—of his trainees. They’re the epitome of what she’s never been: sexy, beguiling, and totally irresistible to a man. Still, Grant doesn’t believe for a minute that the sharp-tongued Charli has it in her to be anyone’s submissive. But Charli’s already on her knees vying for the chance to prove that even the Master can be wrong sometimes.

 

I can't wait for everyone to read this story! :) 

So what do you think?

Got Rhythm? Finding It In Your Story #atozchallenge

So I had the best of intentions, but I've come to the conclusiong that book deadline + weeklong conference out of town next week (RT Con) + blogging challenge is a bit of a deadly combination. To write seven posts before I leave on Tuesday is uh, a little too ambitious. So, instead of just slapping up some filler post where I post a music video or something, I'm going to rerun some of my popular posts from my former writing blog. I hope some of these will be new to you and that you find them worthwhile.

Photo by Thebigo (click pic for link)

 

Looking For the Rhythm In Your Story

As I wade through my editing for FALL INTO YOU, I'm discovering that one of the big things I pay attention to when doing my read through is cadence, or the rhythm of the words. I think it was Margie Lawson's workshop where I first heard this term used in relation to writing.

We all know about voice and style, but cadence is more the way the words sound in your head as your read them. It's the flow and the music of the prose. It's why I may use a one-word incomplete sentence somewhere instead of something longer. Part of that is my style, but a lot of it has to do with making sure the rhythm works.

And one of the best ways to see if your story has good cadence or rhythm is to read it aloud. A lot of times when we read our own work in our head, our brain naturally skims. Hell, we've written it, we know what's there and what's coming. But this can hurt you because you may be missing places where a reader with fresh eyes may stumble on a sentence. Even in our heads we need places in prose to "take a breath" while we're reading.

Maybe your crit partners point this out, but most likely it's such a subtle thing that many will intuitively feel the little stumble but not really get hit over the head enough to mark it down and bring it to your attention.

So I literally sit in my office and read passages of my book out loud. Pretend you're the narrator doing the audiobook. Does it flow? Does the scene sound how you want it too--pretty, ethereal, hard and fast-paced, sensual, etc?

Not every scene is going to have the same cadence, nor do you want it to. If they're in the middle of the car chase, the words better not read like poetry. So know what your intention is and then see if the rhythm of the words fits what you were going for.

So here are my opening lines of my prologue in MELT INTO YOU - out in July. (And yes, I know, a prologue! *gasp* But well, it's there. I like it. And so did my agent and editor. So see, "rules" can be broken.)

Most of the time temptation climbs onto your lap and straddles you, demands you deal with it immediately. Give in or deprive yourself. Choose your adventure.

Jace’s general stance: deprivation was overrated.

But he’d never faced this kind of temptation. The kind that seeped into your skin so slowly you didn’t even notice until you were soaked with it, saturated. To the point that every thought, every breath seemed to be laced with the desire for that thing you shouldn’t have.  

 And right now that thing was nibbling flecks of purple polish off her fingernails. 

So okay, see where you'd take the breaths (hint: breaths happen at commas and periods)? And we're in a dude's head so the thoughts start off short and to the point, but then he gets wrapped up with how much this is getting to him. If you read it aloud hopefully it flows. It did when I went through it.

But do you see where I'm going with the cadence thing? Do you think about this when you're going through your work? Do you read it aloud either to yourself or to a writer's group?

An Exclusive Peek Inside MELT INTO YOU

Hey, y'all. I'm still mired in deadline craziness, so today I thought I'd share a brand new excerpt from MELT INTO YOU, book two in my Loving on the Edge series. For those of you who have read CRASH INTO YOU, this is Jace's story. But there's also another hero involved in this book, so today I thought I'd give you a little peek of Andre--Jace's roommate and uh, close friend. ;)

Excerpt from MELT INTO YOU
 All Rights Reserved Berkley Publishing Group
Copyright 2012 Roni Loren

Location: A hot tub at The Ranch

Evan took a deep breath—as if that would do a damn bit of good—and nodded at Andre. “Sure. Come on in.”

He flashed an easy smile and grabbed the tray of sandwiches off the lounge chair and set it on the side of the hot tub. “Start eating, bella. I have a feeling Jace has big plans for you, and he won’t put up with you skipping meals. Don’t want you passing out.”

Something about the way he said bellabey-yah—made her all fluttery inside. Like her female genes were wired to be a sucker for the way that spice-laced accent rolled off his tongue. Made her want to find out if those lips tasted as good as his words.

She reached over and grabbed one of the sandwiches to give her shaky hands something to do. Her normally voracious appetite had been non-existent all day, but after round one with Jace, she was already feeling a little weak. Sustenance wasn’t optional. She bit into the sandwich right as Andre peeled off his t-shirt. 

Bad idea. She nearly choked on the first bite.

Hot damn, he was beautiful—hard, well-honed muscles, naturally tan skin, and a faint trail of black hair tracking from his navel down. Her gaze traveled up his torso and paused at silver glinting in the moonlight. Nipple rings. She’d almost forgotten that sexy little detail from the night in South Padre. There was something so darkly enticing about that kind of piercing on a man. A blatant, unapologetic pronouncement of sexuality.

She bit her lip, wondering what it would be like to run her tongue over one of the rings, to tug it with her teeth. She shoved another bite of sandwich into her mouth before she did something stupid. Like gave Andre permission to do whatever the hell he wanted to her.

He hooked his thumbs in the waistband of his shorts and then glanced down at her. She must’ve looked like a deer in headlights—she certainly felt like one. He chuckled. “Sorry. Habit. I’ll keep these on.”

She didn’t know if she was relieved by his decision or damn disappointed. God, what the hell was wrong with her? She already had an equally potent man to herself for the weekend. How could she even be tempted to want more than that? She barely knew if she could handle Jace without melting into a puddle of uselessness.

Andre straddled the side of the tub and then slid into the water, taking a seat on the opposite side from her. “Ahh, that’s nice.”

Hell yes it was. She was suddenly very happy for the water concealing her body because she was certain her nipples had hardened as soon as he’d gotten near. Ugh. This had to be a side effect of long-term abstinence.

He stretched his arms out along the edge of the tub and sank lower, letting his head rest against the side, but keeping his eyes on her. “Relax, Evan. Jace wasn’t kidding. I’m not going to make a move on you.”

Unless she asked. He didn’t say it, but the rest of the sentence hung in the steam-filled air between them. She set her sandwich down.

Hope you enjoyed it! Have a great Monday!

A Sneak Peek from STILL INTO YOU

First, want to give y'all a heads up that I've been interviewed for Elise Rome's March Madness extravaganza and I'm giving away a copy of CRASH INTO YOU. Would love it if y'all stopped by.
Secondly, I'm taking a break from Made of Win Monday today to bring you the first peek into my novella, STILL INTO YOU, which releases in ebook in June. The cover isn't final yet, so I'll post that soon, but it's SO pretty. Can't wait to share. 
This is the first story I've written where the hero and heroine are already married. I never realized how much of a challenge that could be, but I love how the story turned out. I hope you do too. :) For those of you who've read CRASH, this story is about Jace's older sister. (You'll see her a little bit in MELT too.)
So here's the first look at STILL INTO YOU:

Her throat closed and she looked away, ashamed and devastated. He had heard. The hurt in his voice was almost too much to bear. So this was going to be it. The end of her marriage. And it was her fault. “Seth, I—I’m so sorry. I—”

“Do you love me, Lei?” he asked, his tone hard.

She looked back at him. “Of course I do. I just—”

“Do you want a divorce?” 

Tears filled her eyes. Divorce. The word itself made her want to lean over the bed and hurl. They had a life together, a house…the kids. Almost a decade of memories. She thought of Myra and Preston. Imagined telling their hope-filled faces that mommy and daddy weren’t going to be together anymore. That sometimes love wasn’t enough, that sometimes relationships faded. 

But staying in something that was dying wasn’t going solve any problems either. She’d seen how her own parents had grown into more business partners than husband and wife. Leila had sworn to herself that she would never let herself stay in that kind of relationship. She and Seth were too young to sentence themselves to a life of empty smiles as they passed each other in the hallway.

A vice grip wrapped around her lungs, the writing on the wall impossible to ignore. “I don’t know what to do. I love you, but we’ve lost something. You’re never here—”

He sighed. “I have to work, Lei. You know that. I know the hours are hard, but I’m so close to getting a regional position. If I get that promotion, we could go buy one of those farmhouses you’ve always talked about. I see all those clippings you pull from magazines. I know they’re not for your clients.”

She shook her head, thinking of the kind of house she’d dreamed of since falling in love with interior design. A place she could renovate from the ground up, land the kids could play on, and... She sucked in a haggard breath. Suddenly, the image she’d always had of Seth converting space to play his music in again wouldn’t materialize. Like even in her fantasy house, her husband’s image had faded.

Seth watched her intently. “But I’ll take some time off, okay? I have a week’s vacation I can use.”

“I don’t know if we can fix it,” she whispered, the sad reality almost choking her. “Or get whatever it is back. This…us…feels empty. Don’t tell me you don’t feel it, too.”

He closed his eyes, her words obviously paining him, and took a long breath. When he opened them again, the lines of his jaw had hardened. “Why were you tempted tonight? What was it about him? His money? His looks?”

She looked down, his words stinging her.

“Tell me.”

She shook her head. “It was the way he looked at me, Seth. Like he wanted me. Like I was worth wanting.”

He winced like she’d slapped him. “I still want you, Lei.”

“No, you don’t. Not like that. Neither of us looks at each other that way anymore.”

He took a deep breath. “Give me a weekend.”

She swiped at the tears that had escaped down her cheeks. “Seth—”

“Three days,” he said, propping himself up on his elbow, a resolute look gliding over his stricken features. “No work. No kids. You give me complete control over what happens with us for the next three days and let’s see how things go. After that, we can call an attorney if that’s what you want.”

Confusion swamped her. “Three days to do what?”

“That would be up to me and not you,” he said, his tone firmer than she’d ever heard it. “You give me the control. If you want to pull the parachute cord at any point, you say ‘Austin’ and I’ll walk away.”

She had no idea what he was planning to do, but the implication of using her maiden name as her “out” word was not lost on her. “I don’t understand.”

He reached out and touched her damp cheek. “You don’t have to. But if there is any part of you that wants to see if there’s anything left between us worth saving, you’ll say yes.”

The look in his big, brown eyes broke her heart all over again and for a second, she saw a glimmer of that college boy she’d fallen in love with. The one who had looked at an awkward art student as if she held life’s greatest secrets. She didn’t have much hope that they could find what they’d lost, but she owed Seth the chance to try. And she owed it to herself. 

She put her hand over the one he’d used to cup her cheek and nodded. “Okay. Three days.”

***

If you want to know more, here's the blurb...

Blurb:

Seth and Leila used to have trouble keeping their hands off each other. Passion, desire, love—it was all there. But eight years after their whirlwind marriage and kids, they’ve settled into a life where choosing Letterman over Leno is considered a wild night.

Seth knows things need to change. But when he hears his wife call into a relationship radio show and admit she’s been tempted to cheat, he realizes how far off course they’ve gotten. 

He comes up with a dramatic plan. Three days. No rings. He’ll take Leila to The Ranch, a resort where any sexual fantasy can be had, and gives her the freedom to have whatever or whomever she wants. 

However, Seth doesn’t intend to simply stand by and watch other men fulfill Leila’s dark desires. He has a lot more bad boy in him than his wife could ever suspect. There’s only one man who can give her what she needs. Now he has to show her why that man is him.

You can add it to your Goodreads if you like what you've read. (Yes, I'm not above blatant promo on occasion. ;) )

Hope you enjoyed it! Have a great Monday!