This is all kinds of awesome, starring my all-time favorite hero, Han–I mean Flan–Solo. Enjoy!
Am I the only one who was deathly afraid (and half hoping) he was going to start singing “C is for Cookie”?
This is all kinds of awesome, starring my all-time favorite hero, Han–I mean Flan–Solo. Enjoy!
Am I the only one who was deathly afraid (and half hoping) he was going to start singing “C is for Cookie”?
I love hearing about authors’ writing processes, don’t you?
In a world filled with books about controlling, dominant men, I set out to write about a female that was a match for them. It was a difficult puzzle at first, to figure out how an ordinary woman could compete with a high-powered billionaire, and hold her own against all his attempts to manipulate her.
Then it hit me. My childhood hero, Lois Lane, stood up to Superman on a daily basis.
Both in and out of the bedroom.
While my billionaire businessman Malcolm Cage is not a superhero, he is wealthy enough that he might as well have superpowers, along with the ego that follows them. But Victoria has a superpower too: her sense of justice and unshakable resolve ensure that she will never let this handsome CEO destroy her and trample her heart. Her self-esteem and values make her invulnerable to his cruel games and emotional torture.
It has bothered me how much erotic romance focuses on humiliating and belittling the female for pleasure. While Victoria is placed in many uncomfortable predicaments that are downright mortifying, her strength of mind and character will take her through them all unscathed. Her focus is on her goals and purpose, and while she struggles with sexual distractions and emotional fragility as much as anyone, she tries her best to conquer her weaknesses and push forward in a man’s world.
My goal is to write books that are sexy as well as empowering, and I know that I have finally succeeded with this one. The chemistry between Victoria and Malcolm is sizzling and off the charts, but both characters are headstrong and challenge each other to be constantly better. Sometimes, it warms my heart when I see the fire and tenacity of Lois Lane rising to the surface in Victoria’s stubbornness. I really wanted to create a brave and ballsy female character for modern women to look up to, and I hope that my readers will find her inspiring. She definitely inspires me, and I love writing about her.
Olivia Noble is a romance writer who likes to keep things steamy and sweet. Check out her first book, Just a Fling, featuring a handsome billionaire and a tropical island.
Club Luxe 1: The Private Room
by Olivia Noble
(Billionaires Underground #1)
Publication date: September 18th 2014
Genres: Adult, Romance
Victoria Chase is Chicago’s hottest new reporter, looking to make the scoop of the century. Rumor has it that in the bowels of the city lies a private sex club for the wealthy elite. Willing to do anything for a story, she infiltrates the club, determined to uncover this urban legend. She didn’t expect to run into him: Malcolm Cage.
The famous billionaire bad boy is the king of Club Luxe. Every Friday night, he reigns supreme over untold sinful pleasures in his underground kingdom. His one rule? He never participates and only watches—until he sees Victoria.
She sets his body and soul on fire, and Malcolm does not plan on letting her go. Can Victoria keep it professional and get her story? Or will her heart betray her under Malcolm’s smoldering gaze?
First book in a new series!
Illicit Desire Synopsis:
Raphael is everything I should run away from…
Cora Milan came to Miami to get a fresh start, away from the memories and stigma that followed her and her brother at home. When she’s mugged, Raphael Ortiz rescues her. He’s sexy, successful, and dangerous—Miami’s most eligible bachelor and it’s most elusive. A cartel lord who lives on the wrong side of the law, with only a veneer of respectability. He is the exact opposite of a clean slate, and he makes no apologies for wanting her.
When Raphael forces his way into her life, Cora knows she should run. But the attraction between them is undeniable, and Raphael is a man accustomed to getting what he wants. The more she loses herself in him, the deeper she is drawn into Raphael’s criminal world.
But when her past and his present collide, both of them will be left grasping for the only thing that can save them from the darkness around them—each other.
Illicit Desires is a short read with a great deal of steam. It’s also the first book in the series, and ends with a definite cliffhanger…if you’re the type of person who doesn’t like to wait, the next installment doesn’t come out until 2015–just a friendly warning.
Both Raphael and Cora have some pretty heavy-duty baggage, relationship and otherwise. We spend much of this novel figuring out some key things about their backgrounds, things that might bring them together or tear them apart. In fact, in the final pages we see an element of Raphael’s life causing their separation while moments later a threat from Cora’s past ensures that she’s not going to be completely rid of him anytime soon. Did I mention a cliffhanger?
Raphael and Cora move pretty quickly into a very intense relationship; for him at least, it’s lust at first sight, literally from page one as Cora walks past his building and has her purse stolen. What he does from there has elements of a fairly frightening fairy tale as he swoops into her life and solves a lot of her immediate problems for her. Suddenly she has money, a job, and a sexy billionaire interested in her; however, that billionaire makes his money as the head of a cartel. One that she’s now working for.
The jury’s still out on this one. I’m not sure how I feel about a hero who truly is a bad bad boy. He has people beat up. He deals in drugs. Mention is made of dealing in even darker trades. Sure, he’s an attractive, powerful man, but….
Cora is a strange blend of too much innocence paired with worldliness. On the one hand her past does have some very frightening stuff that she’s lived through, making it somewhat believable that she’d want the protection that a guy like Raphael could offer. On the other hand, she stood across from two of his associates from Columbia and said, “Raphael didn’t tell me we had Columbian business partners. What do you import?” Um,really? She’d already Googled him–and the grandfather who started the business and handed it to him–at that point and should have known exactly what they were talking about.
This was a quick and steamy read. If you like more than a hint of danger in your romance and you feel that our criminal underworld is largely misunderstood, give it a try.
Rating: 3 stars / C
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Taylor Michaels is the pseudonym for Nazarea Andrews. Her books tend toward dark adult romance. She still likes chocolate and wine and book boys a little sexier than they should be. She can be found on Twitter and Facebook and loves hearing from readers. When not writing, she can most often be found playing taxi driver for her three daughters, hanging out with her husband at their small business, or burning dinner. She lives in Georgia.
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Today is the bonus reveal for LOVING EDEN, the sequel to KISSING EDEN by T.A. Foster! It features an interview with the characters. This is a New Adult contemporary romance. This title will be released on September 25th.
When we last saw you two, Grey had made a trip to North Carolina to deliver a lost suitcase. What have you two been up to since then?
Eden: I graduated from Carolina in May and then spent the summer in Chapel Hill with Taylor.
Grey: Same ole, same ole for me. Just been working at the Palm Palace, trying to keep the summer guests happy.
No summer trips across state lines?
Eden: After Grey’s visit we talked on the phone all the time. Hours everyday.
Grey: And texted.
Eden: Right, and texted, but once we made the decision I was moving to South Padre, there was just too much to do to get ready to squeeze in a trip.
And how did that decision happen? Eden, did Grey ask you to move?
Eden: I think we realized right away that we aren’t the kind of couple who handles long distance well. I wanted to be with him all the time. The timing is actually perfect. I just graduated and I hadn’t found a job yet, so it made the most sense that I go to Texas. Besides, I love it. I couldn’t ask Grey to give up the Palm and move to North Carolina.
Grey: Yeah, I did ask her, but it was a mutual decision. We both wanted that from the beginning. And she’s completely right. We work best when we’re together.
All of that sounds intense. When is the big move?
Eden: Well, I had to finish out my lease and then my parents insisted I spend some time with them before moving. So, I’ll be headed to Texas the first part of September.
Grey, are you flying up to help Eden move?
Grey: I wish, but she wants to do it on her own. I’ll be getting things ready for her to move down.
Eden: It’s not that I don’t want Grey on the trip, but it’s important to me I do this on my own. I hope that makes sense. Of course my parents think I’m crazy.
Moving in together is never an easy adjustment. Any last minute jitters before the big move?
Grey: Absolutely none.
Eden: Aww, that’s sweet. I’m a little worried about where I’m going to fit all my clothes and shoes, but I think we can figure something out.
Grey: Darlin’, you don’t have to worry about that. I have a surprise planned.
Eden: Surprise? You have to tell me now. Did you add another closet in your room?
Grey: You’ll see when you get to Padre.
Sounds like you two have a lot of exciting things ahead of you. Good luck on the move!
Have you ever thought of packing up everything you own and moving halfway across the country?
I’m talking about leaving your entire life behind—friends, family, school—with no turning back. No? Me either, but that was before a week of spring break changed my life forever. Before I did something I never thought I’d do at twenty-two. Before I fell in love with Grey.
Sometimes happily ever after isn’t always what you think it will be.
T.A. Foster’s Bio:
T.A. Foster once spent a monthlong spring break on South Padre Island, where she soaked in the Texas sun, beach, and learned what real Texas country music is. Sometimes fiction does spring from reality.
She grew up catching rays and chasing waves along the North Carolina Outer Banks and now resides in the state with her adventurous pilot husband, two children, and two canine kiddos.
T.A. has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a graduate degree in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. When she’s not chasing her two-legged and four-legged children or trying to escape for date night, you can find her reading, writing, or planning her next beach trip.
Author Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/
Grace Kendall knows what it’s like to have life knock you on your butt. She’s been through hell and made it back. She’s fine with trusting no one and expecting nothing until a night wind blows something quite unexpected onto her doorstep in the rain.
The scruffy, yet gorgeous enigma known as Nathan Henley steps inside her apartment and brings with him all those feelings Grace has tried so hard to tuck safely away. Beneath his bruised and damaged exterior, she senses all the dark and beautiful secrets lost within the tarnished diamond of his lonely heart.
Like everyone before him, he must be too good to be true. She resists his mystery as long as she can, but she knows that any woman would gladly throw themselves against his rock hard chest and shatter helplessly into a million lustful pieces.
When Grace finally decides to trust again, her ex-boyfriend Jack returns to her life with his crooked grin and the past comes crashing down. With the world spinning all around her, Grace must do more than trust, she must fight for the salvation of her own lonely heart.
He raises my chin with one finger and smiles at me with a sincerity that is worrisome rather than reassuring. I’m not sure what game he’s playing, but everything in me screams that this is indeed a game.
“You’re so innocent,” he says.
“You mean naïve?”
He shakes his head, staring deep into my eyes. The smell of his tanned skin is intoxicating. My heartbeat increases making me feel faint.
Control yourself, Grace, is all I manage to think. He’s not the man I kissed at the library. I take a breath and pull myself away from the physical and emotional closeness he’s trying to build between us.
This will never happen. It cannot happen. I’m not bad looking, but I’m not exactly calendar material. There’s no way a man like this could be interested in me. Taylor is the one who’s always gotten the attention when we went out together or met new people. Whatever Nate’s issues are, they have nothing to do with me and I don’t need another troubled man in my life.
“This has been interesting, but I think it’s time for you to go,” I say. “It’s getting late and I’m exhausted.”
He looks frustrated. “I haven’t said what I came here to say.”
“Well, just say it already.” This might have come off as a little aggressive. I try to soften it up. “Or don’t say it.”
“Will you be my friend again?”
His meaning escapes me. “Are you asking if things can go back to normal?” I say, shrugging my shoulders. “Sure, why not?”
“I want us to go back to that moment when I invited myself for dinner,” he says slowly. “I want us to start from that exact moment.”
I get up and lock my eyes on his. “Why, Nate? I mean, we had no problems being shelter buddies and getting along in our strange way. That seems to be our most peaceful state. Why do you need to make it something more? You sound a little crazy wanting to go back to a moment in time. Why?”
“Because you’re the most curious person I’ve met in a long time.”
“Me? I’m the curious one?” I laugh in an exaggerated manner.
“It’s more of a curiosity I feel when I talk to you, when we’re close, when we kiss, when my body feels your warmth,” he says almost scientifically.
I make sure to give him my most incredulous glare. “Really? If it was the kisses and warmth you were after you pretty much fucked that up.”
“I know I did,” he says like a sad puppy. I sincerely want to jump his bones, but resist. “That’s why, Dear Grace, I am asking to be friends only.”
“Silly Nate,” I say. “Forgive me, it’s Nathan, right?”
“Nate’s fine,” he says. “Anything your voice says is fine by me.”
“What girl can be only friends with you?” I say weakening.
Instead of an answer, he puts one hand behind my head and pulls me back down to the couch with his face close to mine. “I don’t care about any other girl,” he says.
My whole body loses the will to resist as he parts my lips with his tongue. He tastes like honey and cinnamon. He tastes like happiness. He gently bites my upper lip, letting a finger trace my ear ever so slightly.
His arm tightens around my waist sending splintered pulses along my spine. I fight to keep a simple truth from him, that he could make me do whatever he wants. I hide a thousand yeses from him, desperate that if they all spill out at once there would be nothing left of me to love.
BEAUTIFUL RUIN RELEASE PARTY AND GIVEAWAY!
WELCOME to the Release Day Party and Giveaway for BEAUTIFUL RUIN. BEAUTIFUL RUIN is a New Adult contemporary romance, by Alison Foster.
We’re celebrating the release with an awesome giveaway with lots of gift cards and books.
To make things even better, the book is on sale for $0.99 for THREE days only! Go get your copy today.
Alison Foster loves reading a good love story almost as much as she loves writing one. She spends her time dreaming up strong heroes and even stronger heroines and she enjoys finding unexpected strengths within her characters when they are in the most unexpected places.She believes that passion makes the world go round and that a sexy grin is as sweet as candy. She loves interacting with readers, so feel free to drop her a line.Follow Alison on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAlisonFoster
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When seventeen-year-old Natalya’s dreams of being a ballerina are killed in a car accident along with her father, she must choose: shut down—like her mother—or open up to love.
Last year, Natalya was attending the School of Performing Arts in New York City. Last year, she was well on her way to becoming a professional ballerina. Last year, her father was still alive.
But a car crash changed all that—and Natalya can’t stop blaming herself. Now, she goes to a regular high school in New Jersey; lives with her onetime prima ballerina, now alcoholic mother; and has no hope of a dance career.
At her new school, however, sexy soccer player Antonio sees a brighter future for Natalya, or at least a more pleasant present, and his patient charms eventually draw her out of her shell.
But when upsetting secrets come to light and Tonio’s own problems draw her in, Natalya shuts down again, this time turning to alcohol herself.
Can Natalya learn to trust Antonio before she loses him—and destroys herself?
The shortcut to the lake from our home is a dirt road that isn’t well lit, but I know the way by heart. I hurry down the path, tuning my iPod to Chopin’s happier music. But I can’t drown out Mama’s voice. It resonates in my head. It’s my fault! I know she’s wrong because she’s not the one who killed him. I did. If only I didn’t get into an argument with him in the car. If only I had warned him about the truck. I bite back a sob and rip off my knee brace to walk even faster. At first, my knee is stiff, but at least I can extend my leg much better now.
Seeing the lake calms me down, soothes me. This place is always crowded in the summer, but on this crisp September night, there’s no one. The lights surrounding the area flicker, the tall trees leave interesting shadows on the ground, and a discarded pink umbrella stands next to the bench by the grilling area. I turn up the volume of my iPod even more, settle on the bench, and search through my backpack. My pointes show the wear and tear of the last years, and no matter how much I scrub, there’s one smudge that doesn’t want to go away.
Memories flash back when I slip them on: my father handing me a bouquet of lilies after each of my recitals, the crew from the School of Performing Arts sneaking out to get ice cream, the summers I spent on the raft at the lake with Becca and my babushka, the hours at the barre.
Dancing’s always been my escape from reality: from the fights my parents had more and more often, from my babushka passing away all alone at the hospital because no one told me she was sick, from my fears of letting anyone get really close.
Dancing’s always been my future.
Dancing’s always been who I am. So even if I can’t dance like I used to, even if I can’t put too much pressure on my knee, I’m convinced I’ll train my way back to the top, that I’ll show Dr. Gibson and the rest of them that they got it wrong, when they said it was very unlikely I would ever go back on stage. Juilliard postponed my audition and the director of the School of Performing Arts said he was holding a spot for me if I wanted to come back. If I could come back.
I use the bench as my own personal barre, slowly bend my knees, keeping them over my toes. Grounding my heels on the ground, I stretch down as much as I can, but I don’t make it past a demi-plié. I warm up for ten minutes, losing myself in the familiar movements. The stars reflect on the water; it could be the perfect backdrop for a production of Swan Lake. I wish I could position myself for a grand jeté, feel the wind surround me as I fly into the air, but I know better than to jeopardize the progress I’ve made. The last time I tried, my kneecap almost snapped again. Both my knees were smashed in the car crash, but my pivot leg suffered the most.
I angle my feet for some small pas de bourrée. I go faster and faster, until I bump into a rock. Fear steals my breath away. I avoid landing on my leg and instead fall on my ass.
Elodie Nowodazkij was raised in a tiny village in France, where she could always be found a book in hand. At nineteen, she moved to the US, where she learned she’d never lose her French accent. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Modern Language & Linguistics, and later earned master’s degrees in German Cultural Studies and European Studies. Unbeknownst to her professors, she sometimes drafted stories in class. Now she lives in Germany with her husband and their cat (who doesn’t seem to realize he’s not human), and uses her commuting time to write the stories swirling in her head. She’s also a serial smiley user.
Lane Bennett’s life as a small town cop is pretty close to perfect. He’s got his dog, a pretty date when he needs one, and plenty of time to fish on the weekends. No other place can compare to his hometown and he’s happy to devote his life to keeping the folks of Liberty safe. When Marie passes away, Lane knows one of the best parts about living in Liberty is gone, along with the old Carnegie library. It needs repairs the city can’t afford and the city managers won’t pay the new flood insurance. It’s too bad, but safety comes first.
When Daisy comes home for Marie’s funeral and hears the only safe place she knew as a child is going to close, she refuses to let it happen. She hatches a plan to save the old library, run the summer reading program, and keep Marie’s legacy alive.
She once vowed never to come home and he’s vowed never to leave. Daisy and Lane discover together that true love happens when you least expect it and you should never say never in Liberty.
A very sweet, very clean romance about forgiveness, second chances, and love. With a library. And a book quilt
Daisy is back in the town she grew up in–and hated–for one reason only: the funeral of her mentor and friend, Marie, the town librarian. She doesn’t want to see her father, she doesn’t want to catch up with her former classmates, she just wants to pay her respects, get the quilt that was left to her, and go back to her home in Fresno, California.
Lane loves his hometown of Liberty, and he’d never dream of leaving. He grew up here, and his younger sister and her family are here too. His parents moved away, sure, but they visit a lot and he returns the favor because his family is as important to him as his hometown and his job as a police officer. He’s already been burned by love once, when he fell for a woman who didn’t appreciate his ties with his family and wanted something more in life than Liberty had to offer. He knows better to be tempted by Daisy–no matter how sweet and lovely she is. He’s a great example of a beta hero–he’s got a “hero complex” as Daisy points out more than once, but it’s mostly because he’s a genuinely nice guy who just wants to help people.
Daisy and Lane spend a lot of the novel tiptoeing around each other–they start out on opposite sides of the save-the-library issue, but Lane comes around to her point of view on that issue fairly quickly. Or at least he stops actively opposing her on it…his biggest concern for much of the book is the deadline to her stay in town and the grudge she’s held against it and her now-sober, once the town drunk father. They share an amazing kiss, but then not much more for a while.
When they finally come, the “I love you”s are pretty quick; I was kind of expecting a bit more drama to prompt them than actually did. Their time together afterwards was very sweet, and I’d like to have seen more of them in “cute couple” mode.
It seemed a little odd that Daisy had no one back in Liberty that she was close to growing up except for the town librarian–not one friend in school? No one?–that part struck me. She didn’t give off the loner vibe that you’d expect from someone who had absolutely no friends, and she has a very close friend now as an adult who we see toward the end, so that part didn’t feel quite right. I expected a bit more from the plotline with her dad as well–there was a measure of forgiveness there, sure, but then it felt as if that thread were dropped for the remainder of the book.
Overall this was a nice, light read from a new-to-me author. One of her historicals, All the Blue of Heaven, is excerpted at the end and definitely has my interest.
If you don’t hear from me for a while, check under my out-of-control TBR pile, ‘kay?
Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
This sounds adorable!
Emily Charles knows how to run away. Away from her overprotective, agoraphobic mother. Away from her biology-obsessed, autistic sister. Away from her quiet sheltered claustrophobic homeschooled life. When Emily’s escape plan involves starting her junior year at Kennedy High School, she realizes she’s no longer running away. Now she’s running towards. Towards her quiet thoughtful cross-country teammate, August. Towards her zany enthusiastic lab partner, Miles. Towards friendship, love, independence, and life.
Thanks to her sister’s special interest in biology, Emily knows all about the birds and the bees. Boys are a lot more confusing!
Readers who enjoyed Counting to D will enjoy Scott’s second title, also set at Kennedy High School.
Today we are revealing the brand new cover of the New Adult novel LOST IN YOU by New York Times Bestselling author Heidi McLaughlin. If you haven’t had a chance to read this one, you have to pick it up! The book will be re-released on Tuesday, September 23rd. A novella from the series will be coming out next month, so be on the lookout for that!
Ryan Stone is a less than average teenager. He doesn’t have fancy clothes. He doesn’t carry around the latest smartphone and he definitely doesn’t have an MP3 player. Instead, he goes to school, does his chores and dreams of a new life away from Brookfield where he’s expected to follow in his blue collar family’s footsteps.
Hadley Carter is America’s Pop Princess. A successful recording artist living her dream with a sold-out tour and a handful of Grammy’s there isn’t much that she wants for, except love. But finding love on the road is near impossible when all she longs for are romantic dinners, a nighttime stroll on the beach and holding hands with someone who isn’t going to exploit her.
When a chance encounter introduces Ryan to Hadley, will he be like her adoring fans looking for a way in, or will it be Hadley who pursues Ryan even though it might cost her the only career she’s known.
Lost in You is a story about following your dreams, taking risks and getting lost in love.
Excerpt from Lost in You
Her body visibly relaxes. I step closer, my body happy being this close to her. Her eyes close as she breathes in. Is she remembering what we had? Are her memories as vivid as mine? My hands cup her cheeks and I can’t resist the temptation to kiss her.
The moment our lips touch, I know. The fire is back. The electric energy coursing through our bodies making us one is stronger than anything I’ve ever felt. My tongue seeks out hers and is met with the same heat and emotion that I remember so well. I know without a doubt that she is the one who can ignite desire within me.
I slow things down, careful not to open old wounds. I kiss her once more, before resting my forehead against hers.
“I’m sorry,” I whisper. I should’ve asked if she had a boyfriend or a husband before I did that. For all I know, she’s taken and I just assaulted her. “I just had to know,” I say, pulling away from her.
“Know what?” she asks.
I don’t hesitate this time. I’m not taking any chances. “If you’re the one.”
A smile breaks out across her freshly kissed lips and I fight every urge to kiss her again. But I hold back. If someone told me that I was going to end up kissing Hadley Carter after running into her, I would’ve laughed.
With utter reluctance, I let go of her. The connection is lost and I hate the feeling that I’ve had to suppress for so long. It’s amazing what one person can do to you with just a simple touch. Hadley is my drug and for the past four years I’ve been jonesing for just the smallest taste.
“Do you want to come in?” she points to the apartment behind her. “We can talk. I think we should talk. I have so much I need to tell you.”
I look at the doorman who’s watching me like a well-paid hawk. The question still plagues my thoughts. “Are you married?”
“No, I’m single.”
Those are the answers that I was looking for. “Okay,” I say.
“Okay.” She turns and I follow her up the stairs. The doorman opens the door for us and she nods as we pass them. We stand side by side, waiting for the elevator. When we step inside, she presses the button for her floor and we ride in silence.
Why I changed the cover
Since its release, I’ve heard over and over again how much people love the cover, but they’re not fans of “country western” novels. It’s hard to convince people that the novel was about something else. With this story being near and dear to my heart, I went back to Sarah Hansen (months ago) and we started brainstorming. It wasn’t until she found the absolute most fitting image did we start moving forward.
Now some of you know I’ve changed a cover before and when I did, I offered new content. This is the same case. I have Lost in Us coming out in October which is the epilogue to Lost in You.
I hope you love the new cover as much a I do and love the cover for Lost in Us just as much.
About the author:
Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper Beagle/Jack Russell and two Parakeets.
During the day Heidi is behind a desk talking about Land Use. At night, she’s writing one of the many stories planned for release or sitting court-side during either daughter’s basketball games.
“She sat beside me on the bus – and she changed my whole life.”
“Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”I turn in my chair and give Vera a curious look. Yet another English saying that I don’t know. “I’m afraid I don’t understand.”She gives me a soft but tired smile and sits down on the arm rest. I immediately wrap my arm around her waist and pull her down into my lap, where she comes to a rest with a giggle, her hair obscuring the impish smile on her face. No matter where she is, I can never stop touching her and now more than ever I need her to relax, to feel safe, to know I’m going to get us out of this. “Explain,” I demand. “Or I will punish you with kisses.”She raises her brow. “Followed by punishment by penis?”I shrug. “That can be arranged. Now, tell me, my Estrella.”She sighs and buries her lips into my neck. I can’t help the small moan that escapes from me, nor my hardness building beneath her plump, round ass. I close my eyes and fight the urge to pick her up and take her to the bedroom, the only other way I know how to make her feel safe and sated, the only way I know how to escape. “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” she says against my throat, “is a saying. I don’t know where it’s from but it means, well, nothing is scarier than a pissed off bitch.” She pauses, sucking in her breath and I know she fears she’s said the wrong thing. “Sorry,” she quickly adds and I feel her body tense up beneath my fingers. “I didn’t mean that Isabel is a bitch.” She is still so skittish over her words, the way she blurts things out, but it’s one of the reasons why I love her.I cup the back of her head with my hand and let the softness of her hair sink over me. “I know you didn’t,” I assure her. “And, well, she is being a bitch.”“Can you blame her though?” she asks, her voice rising a pitch and when she pulls away from me, her eyes are wet.It breaks my heart. I’m getting tired of my heart breaking and I know that this isn’t going to change anytime soon. Every day there is another weight on us, another crack appears. “No,” I tell her honestly. “I cannot blame her.” A silence lapses over us, heavy like a wool cloak. It does this sometimes. What we’ve done, it coats us.Finally she clears her throat. “She’s going to hurt for a long time,” she says. “She’s going to be angry. This isn’t going away. I thought everything was behind us now, that she’d move on. You’ve been divorced for a year, if she’s still this mad a year out…”“She is mad because I am going back to Atletico,” I tell her. “She is mad because of the paparazzi, the way they are hounding us again. She is mad because she feels she is being made to look like a fool. If I had just stayed with my head down, she wouldn’t be doing this.”“But you can’t live your life in fear, Mateo,” she tells me.I smile at her and brush her sunset hair from her face. “And neither can you.”She settles back against my body, sinks, conforms, melds. She is second skin. She is a part of myself I can’t bear to separate from. I pray I never have to. I pray we can survive whatever is coming our way. And I can feel it coming, that tension, that storm rolling in the weeks and days.I pick her up in my arms and for all her pillowy curves, she weighs nothing more than a feather. I take her down the hall to the bedroom, throw her on the bed.She glows in the afternoon sun that streams in through our window and it isn’t long before we are both naked and I am climbing over her, pinning her arms above her head and drinking in her body like the most beautiful, decadent wine. I will devour her until all of this is gone. I will consume her until we are all that’s left. I push inside her and let my hunger take over.
LOVE, IN ENGLISH
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