Lucas works hard at the all-female PI firm Brash & Brazen, and
after a brush with death, she’s determined to play hard
too—preferably with a certain detective on the Ann Arbor police
was stuck at a frenemy’s wedding, playing bridesmaid in a
mustard-yellow monstrosity, when chaos erupted. First the bride’s
ex tried to stop the wedding. Then someone really put a damper on the
big day by sending a bullet through a stained glass window and into
one of the groomsmen. At least her ugly dress came in handy to stop
the bleeding . . .
the poor guy is rushed to the ER, Jess gets grilled by a gorgeous cop
who’s not thrilled to learn she’s part PI and part pit bull. But
he has to admit she’s highly observant . . . and he observes that
she’s pretty hot, too.
thing is, Jess was walking up the same aisle as the victim, and Sam
suspects she was the real target. It’s more than professional duty
that makes him want to protect her—if he doesn’t arrest her first
for interfering in his investigation . . .
Ann Smith became hooked on romance at age fourteen when she stayed up
all night to read The Flame and The Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss. Her
own writing journey happened much later, when one afternoon she ran
out of books and decided to write her own. Previously, she has
published five sexy Regency novels and one novella with Berkley in
her School for Brides series.
Enough laughs to satisfy fans of Bridget Jones. Enough sparkly shoes and breathtaking ball gowns for fans of Cinderella…
Twenty-eight-year-old Tessa Sharpe, a.k.a. The Royal Watchdog, hates everything about Prince Arthur. As far as she’s concerned, he’s an arrogant, lazy leech on the kingdom of Avonia. When he shocks the nation by giving her the keys to the castle in an attempt to boost his family’s dismal public approval ratings, Tessa has no choice but to accept and move in for two months. It’s lust at first site, but there’s no way she can give in to her feelings—not if she wants to have a career or a shred of pride left when her time at the palace ends.
Ultra-private, ultra-hot Crown Prince Arthur has always gotten by on his charm. But that won’t be enough now that the royal family is about to be ousted from power once and for all. When Prince Arthur has to rely on the one woman in the kingdom who hates him most, he must learn that earning the love of a nation means first risking his heart…
Can two natural enemies find their forever in each other’s arms, or will they ruin each other to save themselves?
Get your copy today and be part of the feel-good fairy tale!
When we reach the vault room, there are two guards standing at the door. Normally there is just one, sitting on the inside; but for nights like tonight, there are a total of six. I nod, and one of them opens the door.
“Good evening, fellows,” I say.
“Good evening, Your Highness.”
Once inside the room, we go through the same routine with the other four men. I go to the keypad and press the code, then hold my face in front of the camera for a retina scan. When I look down at Tessa, she actually looks impressed.
“A little Bond-esque, no?” I ask.
“Come on, Moneypenny, let’s get you something for that beautiful neck of yours.” I tug her hand and pull her in with me before she can say no.
She’s already shaking her head, but I hold up one finger. “I can see those Sharpe family brains of yours going to work on ten different reasons why you won’t borrow a necklace, but I have already prepared counterarguments, and since we are now twelve minutes behind schedule, please allow me. One, they’re already paid for, some of them hundreds of years ago, so it’s not coming out of anyone’s taxes. Two, like the books in the library, they’re going to waste in here. Three, for the first time in my life, I want to share something with someone else—someone who deserves to feel like a queen, even if she’ll only allow herself that for one measly little evening. Four, I have this fantasy of seeing you in only the jewels. Maybe the heels could stay.”
Tessa laughs and her cheeks go pink. “All right. One necklace, but make it a cheap one.”
I raise one eyebrow. “Define cheap.”
“Less than a kitchen stool.”
“How about less than a car?”
“I said ‘queen.’ Would a queen really wear a sofa around her neck?” I reach up and run my fingertips along the base of her neck.
“Would she wear a car?”
“Good point.” I lean down and kiss the crook of her neck. “How about this? You choose whichever one you like the best, and I won’t tell you how much it’s worth.”
I continue to brush my lips along her skin, then move up to her earlobe. The other night, I discovered a little spot at the base of her ear that turns her to putty. After a moment of some careful work, I get what I want. A breathy, little ‘okay’ escapes her lips.
Meet the Author
MJ Summers currently resides in Edmonton, Canada, with her husband, three young children, and their goofy dog. When she's not writing romance novels, she loves reading (obviously), snuggling up on the couch with her family for movie night (which would not be complete without lots of popcorn and milkshakes), and long walks in the woods near her house. MJ also spends a lot more time thinking about doing yoga than actually doing yoga, which is why most of her photos are taken ‘from above’. She also loves shutting down restaurants with her girlfriends. Well, not literally shutting them down, like calling the health inspector or something. More like just staying until they turn the lights off.
MJ is a member of the Romance Writers of America, as well as the International Women's Writing Guild.
MJ would love to hear from you! She does her best to respond to all inquiries and emails personally. If you would like her to attend a book club meeting via Skype please contact her to book a date.
When a man tells you who he is, believe him
Billionaire entertainment investor and resolute bachelor Derek Damon Wright learned at a young age women were trouble. He’s unprepared for dancer Samantha Rose who walks into his thirteenth, Washington DC nightclub opening with an authenticity and passion for life that quickly rocks his jaded, albeit privileged, world.
Samantha, an aerial artist and dance studio owner, hasn’t been lucky in love, and falling for the charismatic and Dominant Derek won’t draw her closer to her greatest dream of having a baby. Yet she’s helpless to resist his charm and sophisticated world of private jets, Caribbean islands and the sexual pleasures of dominance and submission.
As their whirlwind romance progresses, past mistakes rise up to threaten their future. Only when they rely on each other for safe haven do they find the answer to their dreams.
Writing erotic romance is the most fun I’ve ever had. (Well, except for the research.)
Many of my books are set in Washington, DC, where I lived and worked many years, running a public relations firm. In my PR career I’ve been fortunate to encounter or represent some of the city’s powerful insiders. I write, tweet and post under my pseudonym, Elizabeth SaFleur, since my clients might be a little shocked at how their counselor spends her free time. Then again, perhaps they’d fear they provided inspiration. (I’ll never tell.)
Today, I live in Virginia with my husband and furry child. Occasionally I’m separated from my laptop to indulge in dance classes and visit wineries and hiking trails with family and friends. If there were a house fire, I’d grab my dog, laptop and five foot-long, regulation, Sally Rand ostrich feather fans — in that order. (Hubby knows the way out.)
I’m a member of the Romance Writers of America, Washington Romance Writers, and an ongoing student of fiction writing, as well as avid reader of general fiction and romance, especially the erotic kind.
If you’d like to connect elsewhere, please circle me on Google+ or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Goodreads.
A dark Journey into the light is an interesting and thought provoking read for anyone who has questioned urges and desires familiar to us all. I spent sixty years of my life in “limbo” trying to understand what was driving me to explore every fantasy I could find. We all enjoy sex but the book provides interesting insights into the workings of the mind of a sex addict. We are much more than what we feel, and less than what we think. This book explores what is possible when we find balance between the two. This is not a story of finding redemption through “finding God”. It’s simply the story of finding myself.
A Dark Journey into the Light was a lifetime in the making and more than 2 years in the writing. One of the biggest issues in life is sex and people usually make a choice. They either follow their desires, or they don't. This book looks at the issues that arose, and the conflict of emotions I had to deal with when I chose both, although it more correctly felt like they chose me. Life became an exercise in learning about myself by exploring what "lies beneath" as it reared it’s head and found it’s way to the surface. There was no way around the exploration because the battle for supremacy raging between the two was inside me. What was the war all about and what would become of me? This book is about my journey of continuing self-discovery as I move through the mystery we call life.
The book is an autobiography so it's pretty much all about me and who I am. I suppose there are a few small things that aren't covered. For instance, I like dogs and horses and I love gardening. I'm a country boy and grew up with spiders and snakes, and although I'm not keen on spiders if one crawls up my trouser leg they don't freak me out either. A snake up the trouser leg though would be a different story! Think “a hillbilly version of River Dance.” I love long hikes over the mountains or across the plains. Just as long as I'm walking somewhere, but at times I wonder if I'm just trying to leave something behind.
A Dark Journey into the Light is an interesting and thought provoking book for anyone who has ever questioned urges and desires familiar to us all. It provides interesting insights into the workings of the mind of a sex addict. We are much more than what we feel, and less than what we think. This book explores the healing that is possible when we find balance between the two.
This is the story of my life. It has not been fabricated, exaggerated, or embellished in any way. It’s the raw truth and I’m not really sure why I’m writing it, but my therapist thinks it’s a good idea, and I can understand her reasoning about that. Writing down my life’s story might simply be a part of the healing process, so I can finally move on with my life and live it like a normal person.
All my life I’ve wished for nothing more than just to be normal, as I’ve looked around and envied other people’s untroubled lives. At least that is how they appear on the surface. We can all be quite certain that most people harbor some secrets in their lives. Those secrets might be small things they regret or feel ashamed about. I wish people did not need to have secrets and live in fear and guilt about their lives, because most things people hide from are not worth the stress, but I guess I’m the same.
Maybe I should be able to shout from the rooftops, and tell the world I’m not afraid or ashamed of my life, but in my heart I know many people will stand in judgment of me. At the same time, I know deep down a lot of people would applaud my courage if I did so, even if their own fears prevented them from supporting me publicly. Therein lies the problem.
If you stand outside society’s norm you stand alone, through social judgment and fear. Maybe I should just include it all in the category of fear, and leave judgment out of it, considering all judgment has its roots in fear.
Fear; the prime mover for almost every expression in our lives. What would it be like to be free of fear?
Everyone has their problems, and people go through a great deal of pain and suffering. I personally know people I would not trade places with for anything on earth. We are all plagued by similar run-of-the-mill issues, such as marriage breakups, financial problems, health issues, and everything else that goes with living on this planet, as we try to coexist with a whole lot of people. With most of them we have almost nothing in common, except a pattern of similar reactions that maintain a reasonable level of “sanity” in society. And it is all bound in fear.
It doesn’t sound like much of a way to live, but if you question people about their lives and propose the idea that they are living in fear, almost all of them will disagree. Some will even become angry, and possibly violent, if you dare to start a debate with them on the issue. The cruel irony is they won’t see, even then, that their reaction to the idea of their lives being based on fear is in itself a fear-based reaction.
So why don’t I tell people about my life? Why don’t I stand up, step out of the shadows society creeps around in, and put my trust in people to accept my life?
Simple. People cannot be trusted.
Everyone knows this because everyone has a secret. The only variable is the size of the secret, and mine would attract a massive excess baggage fee if I packed it in a suitcase and boarded a plane.
I’ve experienced, or still do to some degree, all those problems I spoke about: divorce, health, finance, and so on. I’m not saying my life is difficult in the main, and in fact I often count myself lucky, giving thanks for my life and the many things I enjoy, because unlike some others, at least I have my health. I can walk, talk, eat, see, and hear. I also have a brain that works well enough, which gives me the opportunity to make something of myself, and do something with my life. I really cannot complain, so what makes my life so different my therapist thinks it’s a good idea to write it down?
I don’t think the aspect of my life in question is particularly unusual, or different, from that of a large percentage of the population, so I guess it comes down to a question of degree and scope. When I consider those factors I can’t help feeling my life has been a little unusual to say the least, and a lot unusual to “say the most”.
There’s no doubt my life could, and would, be summed up by a lot of people with words like sick, deviant, gross, pathetic, abhorrent, disgusting, depraved, and so on.
These words are not new to me. I’ve tarred myself with every one of them over the years, and nobody else could project the depth of feeling in them more strongly than I have against myself. That projection evoked feelings of shame, guilt, unworthiness, and self-loathing that cannot be imagined. Even if I told you it’s impossible to imagine the things I’ve done, and then gave you a hint, you still would not guess at the depth and breadth of my life experience.
I’ve written about this in a way that tries to depict how I felt at the time and how I feel now, and can only use words or terms that make that possible. This book is not for the prudish or faint-hearted, so if you like your reality painted over and sugar-coated, then this is not for you, and I suggest you make a nice cup of tea and watch re-runs of Days of Our Lives instead.
I’m not complaining about my lot, and in some strange way I have even come to appreciate it after all this time. All I want now is to make some sense of it and possibly enrich the remainder of my life, and maybe even help someone else with theirs.
It all seemed to begin harmlessly enough as a young child in primary school but when I was a young teenager, an innocent conversation with my mother raised the idea in me that my turbulent, obsessive journey had actually begun when I was just a baby. I explore this in chapter 5.
In time I had no doubt about this, and it often led me to wonder whether it was some kind of karmic load I was unloading, or if I was building up a karmic load that would crush the life out of my soul.
This question would plague me throughout the decades to come, but whatever the explanation, I was powerless to do anything about it. All I could do was hang in, and hang on, as I plunged headlong through a chaotic world of sensory self-gratification.
Where do I even start to give someone an idea of the duality of the life I have lived for as long as I can remember? There is that old cliché about starting at the beginning, and it may be right, but let’s just skip ahead for a moment, because honestly, if I’m going to write this down I don’t have time for norms or clichés.
Skipping ahead will also give me a clear reminder of why I’m writing this, and what I’m writing about. I’ll come back later and try to join some dots to give a clearer picture of what it always felt like to me: a life unlived. Is that too dramatic, to call it a life unlived? I lived something, didn’t I?
We all have some notion of what life should be like, or what we wish it was like, but in my mind and heart my life never measured up to any of my wishes. It just never felt like living. It felt like I was trapped in some kind of time warp, or parallel universe, where I could only watch my life happening around me as though it was someone else’s. But it is what it is.