Luke Harper was finally starting to settle into his life – a life that had previously been full of more heartbreak and pain than most people ever experienced. He had a job he loved, and was blissfully content in his on-again, off-again relationship with the striking, and highly sexual, Holly. But, life throws Luke another curveball with the arrival of the alluring April, a woman stuck in a tumultuous, violent marriage to a famous athlete. Luke soon finds himself torn between what is safe, familiar, and right, and what is dangerous, unknown, and forbidden.
I stood up too and walked over to her side. She was looking down into the water.
“You know, if I knew you better I would probably push you in,” she said very nonchalantly, as if letting me know the water temperature.
“If I knew you better, I would probably beat you to it,” I replied.
She turned to me, her eyes full of mischievous energy.
Her hands quickly went up and grabbed my shoulders, and mine instinctively grabbed her waist. I could feel her grip tighten when I touched her, and her eyes widened.
“If I go in, you are going in with me,” I said, shuffling my feet closer to the edge.
Her hands moved along my shoulders and her feet edged closer to mine.
“I’m a grown woman,” she said. “Threats involving water don’t scare me.”
Her bottom lip curled up under her teeth as she smiled, repeating what I had said earlier. Or mocking me, perhaps.
I tightened my grip on her hips and flinched, pretending I was about to throw her in. She gasped slightly, hands grabbing my shoulders tightly again. Her hips arched forward and she leaned up on her toes as if in reflex.
“I thought you weren’t scared,” I said, pulling her closer to me. “People usually don’t gasp when they are ready for what’s about to happen.”
She was less than a foot from me, her face getting much closer to mine.
“It depends on what’s happening,” she said, looking up into my eyes.
I wasn’t thinking about throwing her into the water anymore. Everything within me wanted to pull her tightly in and kiss her right there, in front of the pool in the house her husband bought with all the millions of dollars he had made throughout his career. Kiss her on the spot where he probably threw numerous parties. Kiss her on the lips I wished were mine, and not his.
The look in her eyes told me she wanted the same. At least I thought they did. I hadn’t been in a position where I felt like this for someone in a long time. Thankfully, my hands were around her waist or I surely would have been able to feel them get clammy, nervous, like a high school kid on his first date with the prom queen he never thought he could get.
She is calculating, remember? I thought to myself. If she hadn’t wanted it to get to this point she never would have asked you over to her house. She wants this as much as you do.
I wasn’t sure which shoulder angel was feeding me that line but whoever it was, I knew they were right.
My hands pulled her closer until her feet were between mine; our legs and waists touching.
“You have really strong shoulders,” she said. Her voice was soft and she tilted her head up toward mine when she spoke.
Do it, I told myself. Kiss her.
My heart was racing, and I could hear the beating in my ears. My hands moved up her body and found her neck. My fingers laced in her hair behind her head and I pulled her up.
I have a great interview for you between JJ and his Salted Hazelnut Rossumatos!
:Questions from SHR:
-If you were on a deserted island who is the one person you’d want by your side?
Someone with a radio. Or a background in survival skills.
-Was being a writer something you aspired to, or was it something you fell into ?
I have always enjoyed writing. I wrote some of my best stuff in high school. But it wasn’t ever something I thought I would do as a career. You don’t really ever think people are going to want to read something you’ve written.
-How do you like your nuts to taste? Salty, roasted, honey roasted, coated in cocoa, etc
.Honestly, I like them all. But not at the same time, obviously. A little salt is always the best though.
-In your creative process: silence or music?
Definitely silence. No question about it. I wish I could write to music, but I’d get as much work done if I just smashed my computer with a sledgehammer.
-There are books we read that set the bar for all future books. Something that impacts us so greatly it never strays too far from our mind. What is that book for you?
It was a little book called Einstein’s Dreams. I was a teenager, and I read it in one sitting. And then started reading it again. It just unlocked so much of my imagination I had to read it again to soak it all in.
-When you imagine your perfect woman…does she resemble someone in your books or someone you know? Who would that be?
God, what a tough question. I would have to be a little vain to say one of my characters resembles the perfect woman 😉 But, having said that, Holly is pretty great.
(I have to agree, Holly’s are pretty great lol)
-Why the pen name?
Why the anonymous question?!
-What’s it like working in an industry that is predominantly women? Do u think it’s hard for a man to get into it?
It’s obviously a challenge. There are quite a few serious talents in the industry. But, challenges are always good. I think it’s been more difficult for me to actually convince people I’m a man.
-What do you hope readers will take away from your books, writing and the male pov??
I think I am just hoping that readers take away a sense of authenticity when they read. I feel like the best stories come from real life and the best characters aren’t the perfect ones. Genuine stories with people who actually think and speak like real people do.
-Are you more excited to write a 2nd book now that the 1st one is done?
Yes, I am. But I am also a bit more nervous. Already, I have been reading so many different expectations for how the 2nd book should go. But, I had a plan from the beginning and a story to tell and I am sticking to it, whether it flies or crashes and burns.
-Is April really a conniving bitch or misunderstood?
I like to think she is a little of both.
-How much of yourself do you see in your character Luke?
I think Luke and I approach life in mostly the same way. He is very much like me in a lot of ways, but we definitely have our differences.
-Will your next book be about the same characters or at least one of them?
At the very least, you’ll see Luke. 🙂
-Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Maybe 50/50? A lot of it was real, yet slightly manipulated to become fiction.
Book 2 will be much more real though.
-Who is more your type? Holly or April?
I’d like a healthy mix of both. Maybe 69% Holly, 31% April.
-How long are you going to make us wait to find out what’s up with the craptastic April??
I love that I think I know who asked this question 🙂 Not too much longer.
Love or Lust: Love
Structured or Organic: Structured. Then proceed organically.
Beach or Mountains: Beach. But it’s damn close.
Dirty Martini or Sex On the Beach: Martini.
JJ Rossum traveled the world as a child, and called many places “home”. Currently, home is Portland, Oregon, where he is at work on other novels that were hatched while people watching during many airport layovers.
· 10 ebook copies of TSN