(Alexa Reed #1)
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Set against the steamy and sultry world of South Beach, Florida, a modern romance unfolds in Stay.
Alexa is beautiful, independent and hard to resist for serially unattached Julian. Neither one is looking for a relationship, but their palpable chemistry and instant emotional connection is too strong to ignore. For the first time in years, Julian is interested in more than just sex. He wants a relationship with intoxicating Alexa, but it’s not that simple. Not only are Julian and Alexa struggling with the intensity of this new relationship, but they also have to contend with Luke, Alexa’s best friend, whose own love for her leaves him willing to do anything to convince her that Julian is not the man for her. Luke’s determination and Alexa’s secret past threaten to tear Julian and Alexa apart as she struggles to open her heart to love. Julian and Alexa embark upon a roller-coaster ride of emotional and physical passion that both pulls them apart and holds them together. Despite their affinity for each other, Alexa fears that Julian will leave when he learns about her past and Julian is unsure he can love a woman who in so many ways remains a mystery, a woman who keeps threatening to run, a woman who can’t decide if she is going to STAY.
“Better?” I pick up my drink and take a sip. I need something to cool me down. My whole body starts to overheat when he touches me.
“I prefer your hair this way. Es muy sexy.” He keeps twirling.
Um. Okay. This is seriously hot. I love when he speaks to me in Spanish.
“I’d rather take this woman to bed than the one with the ponytail. I can picture you straddling me, and I can see your beautiful hair floating across my chest as you make your way slowly down my naked body.”
I’m in the middle of taking another sip of my drink when he says this to me, and his comment makes me choke. Holy shit! What a visual. And so quickly too. We’ve only been talking for a few minutes, and he’s already talking about getting naked? Apparently he thinks my ‘discomfort’ is funny and laughs out loud.
“Something wrong with your drink?” he asks through a sly smile.
I try to recover by putting my lips seductively on the straw and taking a slow sip. “Mmm, no, it’s perfect.”
He arches his brow at me, intrigued by my not-so-subtle response. Hell, I can play this game too. This is fun.
“Good, because I always try to give it the way it’s wanted.”
“I bet you’re very giving, Julian.”
He pauses, narrows his eyes and looks serious for a moment. “You have no idea, Alexa.” I love the way my name rolls off of his tongue. He caresses it when he says it.
His eyes are locked on mine and the way he is looking at me is making me squirm in my chair. I think we are both imagining “giving” something to each other. I try and break the tension with some more teasing.
“Do you give this hard of a sell to all the ladies, Julian?”
Julian chuckles and shakes his head slightly. “Oh, Alexa, you’re the only lady I want to give anything hard to at the moment.”
Well, he’s definitely not shy or sexually repressed.
We’re talking pretty quietly, but I still look around to see if anybody else heard him. This conversation has taken an X-rated turn. The couple sitting next to us at the bar are totally engrossed in the beginning stages of a hook-up and seem totally oblivious to anything around them. Nobody else is paying any attention to us either. I look down towards the other end of the bar and catch Luke staring intensely at me. He’s shaking his head. I’m not sure if Julian sees him do it, but I don’t want Luke to come down to where we are. His presence last time caused Julian to walk away, and I don’t want that happening again. I nod and smile at Luke and give him a little wave to say I’ve got this. He scowls at me but doesn’t come closer. I turn my focus back to Julian and take another sip.
“Okay, Julian, I’ll play this game with you.”
“I assure you, corazón, this isn’t a game.”
“Really? You’re not just trying to see how much you can shock me?”
That makes him smile. “Well, unless you have a really good poker face, I haven’t shocked you very much yet.”
The truth is I do have a pretty good poker face. I am a little shocked by how “descriptively” he talks to me. I’ve never met a man who is more overtly sexual. It just oozes through his pores. He’s incredibly sexy and confident without being creepy. No doubt he has been perfecting his craft over the years.
I’m doing my best to play it cool because I like how he’s talking to me, and I don’t want him to stop. But I also don’t want him to think I’m “that girl”; the one who makes a habit of picking up men in bars. I don’t want him to think I’m a prude either. I tell myself to get a grip. I can’t believe I’m so concerned with what a guy I don’t even really know thinks about me. How did this happen? I try to play itall off and give him a fake, shy little smile.
“Oh, I’m a little shocked … and kind of scandalized.”
“Only a little?” Julian shakes his head. “I guess I need to up my game.”
His comment makes me laugh nervously. If he ups his game I’m in serious trouble.
I look down at my drink for a moment and swirl my straw. When I look up, Julian is staring sointently at me it sends shivers through my body.
“I thought this wasn’t a game.”
Julian has been leaning up against the bar the whole time we’ve been talking. He straightens up and takes a step backward. I can feel my eyes widen. Wow. It is impossible to miss the erection straining through his jeans, and I can’t help but stare. I bring my straw up to my lips to take a sip. I’m suddenly feeling very hot all over again.
With a tone that is serious rather than cocky he asks, “Still look like I’m playing?” Oh my God, he is shameless.
I continue to look at his crotch and shake my head. “Nope, looks like the real deal to me.”
“Oh, Alexa, it’s very real. Let me know if you need any more proof.”
I’m seriously so flustered right now I don’t know what to say. So, I do the only thing a respectable girl can do in a situation like this. I thank him for my drink, get off the barstool and turn to walk away. I can feel his eyes on my body, and I hear the laughter under his breath. Damn. Round two definitely goes to Julian in a knockout.
Have you ever woken up one day and said, “Today’s the day I’m going to do (insert thing here)?” Well, I did, and the result is my first novel, Stay. I always thought of myself as a decent writer, and then a trip down memory lane through my ninth grade book of poetry confirmed it. I realize that I have always had a romantic side and a way with words. With support from my husband and kids (and an unspoken agreement to leave me alone for a few hours every night), I embarked on this incredible writing journey.
I’m originally from sunny Southern California and spent my summers in South Florida. I attended college at FSU and received my Masters in New Mexico. I finally settled in the Washington, DC area. My happy place has always been anywhere near the water.
When I’m not writing, I help run a business with my husband, watch an inordinate amount of sports (my kids play something 365 days a year), indulge my competitive spirit on the tennis court, and spend time with my awesome family and friends.
I am an avid reader, but find my characters feel neglected when I hang out with other author’s characters for too long. When I do read, historical fiction is my favorite genre. I love traveling and experiencing different cultures, places, and times.
I feel so blessed that my love of books inspired me to finally do something that I forgot I had always dreamed about doing.
My someday has arrived!