Mercurial and charming, Tate Larson is a rising author and playboy who has a different woman on his arm every night of the week. Focused on his work, Tate has no plans to settle down any time soon. That is until he meets his pretty new assistant, Piper Donovan.
Desperate to escape the promise of backwater living, Piper ditched her Alabama hometown and never looked back. That was almost two years ago. Now that she is out of a job and her bank account is running on fumes, she’s desperate to find a job, fast. She finds the break she is searching for when she lands a position at Bookish Temptations. A little dancing and a lot of drinks with the girls seem the perfect way to celebrate. After a brief but explosive encounter with a man she was never supposed to see again turns out to be the same man she will be bending over backwards to please, her every instinct tells her to run. But when running means leaving the life she has struggled so hard to create, Piper decides her only option is to continue working for the devastatingly sexy Tate Larson…even if it kills her.
Unable to deny their growing attraction, they struggle to keep their distance in a relationship that requires anything but.
“To Piper!” Raising their drinks, Piper and her best girlfriends clinked glasses and downed the shots. They grimaced as the tequila blazed a path down their throats.
“Yeah, baby! Another round over here!” Lynn shouted down the bar.
Tipping his head, the yummy tall, dark and handsome behind the counter finished serving a couple of dimly attractive men then returned to their corner of the bar and poured another series of short glasses.
Lynn flashed a large bill. As the young bartender reached to take it, Piper watched in mild amusement as her friend yanked her hand back at the last-minute then knelt on the bar stool. Leaning forward, Lynn motioned him closer with a crook of her finger, said something she didn’t catch, and a moment later was locked in a searing kiss that made Piper press her own knees together. Only then did she fork over the dough.
She, like her friends, was on the prowl. Also like her friends, she didn’t mind taking what she wanted. Life was too short for anything less.
To celebrate her being hired on as an assistant to a famous—or nearly famous—author, they planned to get drunk and get laid. Hey, if men could do it, there was absolutely no reason in the world that they should have to sit home on a Saturday night eating buckets of ice cream and watching reality TV reruns when they could be getting hot and heavy with a perfect stranger.
Jules passed her another shot glass and Piper wasted no time tipping it back. Normally, she preferred the lighter taste of beer, but tonight was all about getting wasted, and there was no quicker way of achieving that goal than through multiple shots of tequila.
It didn’t take long for her body to heat and her brain to fog, but that didn’t stop her from accepting yet another drink from her bestie. Sure, the drinks were costing her a small fortune and rent was coming due, but now that she had secured herself a job and a reliable paycheck, she wasn’t the least bit worried about it.
Vacating the crowded bar, Piper tripped her way over to one of the empty booths dotting the edges of the dance floor and slid inside. Right behind her, her equally tipsy friends crowded in as they waited for another round of drinks to be delivered.
“Oh, my feet are killing me!” Shelia shouted over the thumping beats of Flo Rida.
Shelia was gorgeous at five-foot-nine with a thick mane of vibrant red hair. Tonight she shined in a silver sequined mini dress and matching six-inch heels that would be better suited to the mannequin that had modeled them. It didn’t surprise Piper in the least that they were pinching the ever-loving crap out of her friend’s feet less than two hours into what she hoped would be a very long night. By the time they left the club, they would all likely look like something out of a Thriller video.
“That’s why you should have worn those cute wedges I suggested,” Piper told her. She had decided on a nice pair of sensible four-inchers with a peep toe, because there was nothing cute about hobbling around the dance floor with a guy unless an overabundance of alcohol was to blame.
Shelia made a face while reaching under the table to peel off the offending shoes. “Wedges are so last season,” she said in her best Valley girl voice.
A brief hush fell over the table when one of the waiters approached. After he finished depositing their drinks in the center of the table, Lynn jumped on the opportunity to flirt, winking and smiling prettily at him. “Thanks, cowboy.”
“Cowboy?” Reaching for her appletini, Piper laughed.
Lynn shrugged. “When I picture him in my bed, I see a Stetson and a saddle.”
Something well-known among their group, ever since she watched John Travolta in Urban Cowboy, she was on a mission to secure herself her very own cowboy.
“I bet you see a branding iron too,” Jules snickered.
Lynn’s thoughtful, lust-filled gaze trailed after him as he returned to the bar for more drinks.
Piper grinned around her straw, loving the easy connection she shared with the women around her. As a kid, she didn’t have many girls as friends, but the few that she had couldn’t occupy the same space for longer than five minutes without tearing into each other over something petty. She was glad that in her adulthood she was able to find a classy group of women who could hang out for hours, if not days, without ripping the extensions out of one another’s head.
Patti, the smallest and arguably the prettiest of the bunch with her rich blue eyes, pale hair and flawless skin, leaned across the table. “So how hot is your new boss?”
“Seriously,” Lynn chimed, pointing the straw from her long island tea at her. “Dish. You didn’t really think we were going to let you get away with that crap detail you gave us, did you?”
Actually, she had hoped a short listing of how her interview went would be enough, because it made her slightly uncomfortable just sitting there picking apart every little morsel of yummy male hotness that was her boss when she shouldn’t be looking at him as anything other than her employer. Really. But he was hot, and she was only slightly opposed to a closer examination of that which was Felix Sinclair. Besides, if a girl couldn’t dish the dirt with her gal pals, then who could she dish it with?
As she divulged everything, lingering on certain details and embellishing on others, Piper couldn’t shake the feeling of being watched. The fine hairs on the back of her neck prickled and she found her gaze straying toward the dance floor where the music was loudest and the sexual energy pulsed like a living thing, heavy and impatient for a body to unleash its fury on.
Warmth crept across her skin as she caught the blue-eyed gaze of a man leaning against the wall near the entrance. Even across the room, she could see the heated look flash in his eyes. The connection was instant, a visceral reaction that needed no words to convey what the other was thinking. Instant arousal spiked her blood faster and stronger than the liquid courage she had fueled herself with.
“Damn,” Lynn said, drawing the word out appreciatively. Piper wrenched her eyes back to her friends, who were now tracking where she had looked moments before. She could tell by their wide eyes that they had found their mark.
One by one, each of the women pinned her with expectant looks. Sheila spoke first. “Seriously hot piece of ass.”
“I’d do him,” Patti confessed unabashedly. “All. Night. Long.” She made an obscene gesture that Piper was glad no one else could see.
“I could see him in a cowboy hat,” Jules said cheerily.
Piper smacked her arm playfully. “You are so bad,” she stage whispered.
“Seriously, if you don’t go over there and scoop up that hottie with the body, one of us will.” Looking extremely serious, Sheila motioned to herself and the others. “Believe me, if you don’t want him, one of us will be more than willing to take one for the team. Besides,” she continued, swirling the last of her drink, “you need to get laid.”
She couldn’t disagree there. It had been ages since Piper had hooked up with a man. Not since ditching the best apartment she had ever lived in after leaving her no good, lying, cheating ex-boyfriend begging on his knees for her forgiveness while his white trash floozy and her former roommate zippered herself into a skin-tight dress that flashed her disease-ridden goodies to the world. Nearly two months ago and she still fumed when she thought back on it. What she needed was someone who was capable of pounding that particular vision into oblivion.
Peering toward the door, she was disappointed to find an empty wall where her mystery man had been.
An hour and two appletinis later and Piper and her friends were ready to hit the dance floor. As a group, the women bounced and swayed to the music, heedless of the beat and lacking any rhythm whatsoever—fun was the goal of the night.
Skin flushed and blood pumping hard, Piper soaked in the delicious feeling of a carefree night. Her head felt light and a little swimmy, her mood elevated—she was on top of the world. When the hard body mashed into her from behind, Piper went with it, grinding her ass against the hard ridge pressing against her backside.
Strong hands enveloped her waist, pulling her firmly against a broad chest. Body heat seared her back, sending shivers of excitement shooting through her. Her lungs constricted as her breaths grew shallow. She couldn’t see who she was dancing with, but she didn’t care. She was lost to the feel of the male body wrapped around her, to the heavy beat of the music vibrating in her chest, the way his hands and hips guided hers into a smooth, sensual rhythm. Leaning her head back, Piper closed her eyes and let the feeling of his arms around her and the constant pulse of the music lure her toward a state of bliss.
Existing in their own little world, the song playing overhead about an electric touch was the only thing that penetrated. Piper concentrated on the fiery sensation of strong hands drifting over the curves of her body, the spicy scent of liquor on his breath as it left his lips to caress her ear and neck. The gentle scrape of stubble against the curve of her shoulder teased her sensitive skin, and when one hand left her hip and pressed into her belly, forcing her hips to fit tighter against his, all rational thought fled from her mind.
His breathing grew heavier as Piper swirled her hips, rubbing him in all the right places. She let out a startled yelp when his teeth nipped the side of her neck, and when he followed the playful bite with a swipe of his tongue, her legs trembled. His throaty laugh did inexplicable things to her insides and she couldn’t resist reaching back to grab his firm ass and hold him to her.
This man, whoever he was, was driving her crazy. In a brief moment of clarity Piper realized that if she didn’t break their connection soon, she may never be able to.
When the upbeat music switched to something slower and more sinful—what Lynn referred to as baby making music—half the dance floor emptied out. Piper straightened, preparing to break the connection, thank her partner and head back to the table, when she was abruptly spun around. Gasping, Piper found herself face-to-face with the hottie with the body.
Up close, he was even better than she had envisioned for the last hour. Wild dirty blonde hair, crisp blue eyes, a wide jaw and a straight nose made him the perfect male specimen. And when he smiled, hot damn! The man had two perfect dimples that she had the urge to lick. She didn’t, of course, because that would be creepy, but she could do whatever she wanted in her mind, and she was licking his face like it was the last creamsicle on the planet.
He pulled her into his chest and wrapped his arms securely around her waist and as he looked down at her with those piercing blue eyes, she was powerless to stop him. Draping her arms over his shoulders, they started dancing. While she didn’t recognize the song playing, it was the perfect setup to a night of drunken debauchery, and judging by the heated look in his eyes, he was thinking the same.
Wedging his knee between her thighs, Piper felt an immediate burst of heat flood through her as the denim rubbed against her exactly where she needed it to. Before she knew what she was doing, Piper was grinding against his leg and working herself into a fervor rivaling a dog in heat. Had she thought for one second that he wasn’t enjoying the spectacle she was making of herself, it was instantly dispelled by the rigid bulge riding the inside of her thigh. Like her, he was breathing heavily, and when she tipped her head back, the wild, hungry look in his eyes told her she wasn’t alone.
Stepping away from her, he took her by the hand and led her off the dance floor and down the hall toward the bathrooms.
― J.C. Valentine, That First Kiss
Reviewed by Rachel
BOOM! This book starts off fast, hot, steamy and very yummy! This is book 2 in the Night Calls series, but can be read out of order.
Piper Donavan is from a small town which she is desperate not to stay in. She lands herself a job as a personal assistant to a promising author who she knows is a bit of a bastard to work for and has had a lot of assistants which he has fired, but she is willing to try and keep this job. On a night out with friends to celebrate her new job she spots a hottie in the club they are in and ends up in a very hot encounter in the club loos with the mystery man ……….
Tate Larson is a demanding, stubborn, confused hottie author who is a complete ass to work for! Also he is a one night stand kind of man now…….
So from that you can kind of guess how the book starts to read 😉
I hate to give away to many spoilers but I enjoyed how the book was written , it was put together well with humour, attitude and had believable and likeable characters. I thought Pipers friends were amazing, I loved the whole friends relationship. And the way that Tate and Piper try their hardest to resist each other, loved Pipers feistiness …. and poor lovely Tom I liked him a lot.
Will definitely be reading more from this author very soon.
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J.C Valentine is the alter-ego of Brandi Salazar, whose enjoyment of erotic tales of romance spurred her to branch out and create her own.
Brandi Salazar lives in the Northwest with her husband, their wild children, and far too many pets. As a university student, she studies literature, which goes well with her dream to become an editor. Brandi entertains a number of hobbies including reading and photography, but her first love is writing fiction-in all its forms.
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Two (2) winners will receive signed paperback of That First Kiss, signed paperback of Stranded (the first book/novella in the Night Calls series), plus $10 Amazon gift cards and signed swag (i.e. bookmarks & pins).
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