“Spend the night with me, Crystal.”
One college hook-up with Ryan Anderson ripped Crystal LaRusso’s emotions wide open and hot-wired her to the world around her. After gaining control of her new abilities, she rebuilt her life and started a business as a sensual psychic. She’s bold, fearless and, admittedly, a little freaky. Black leather, exotic makeup and a reputation for only dating women keeps the world at a necessary distance—distance she can’t maintain when Ryan reappears in her life.
Ryan has spent the last ten years wondering what went wrong between them, and now that she’s back in his life, Crystal has a lot of explaining to do. The chemistry is just as potent as it was ten years ago, so why does she keep running away? One night won’t be enough to satisfy Ryan’s need for her, but it might take the edge off. At the very least, he can ask her why she broke his heart—and this time he’s not leaving without an answer.
“Don’t leave yet, Crystal! You’ve got to meet the best man. Hang on, I just saw him,” she said, glancing around the room. Mark searched with her, a self-satisfied grin on his face, but then, he always looked smug these days. Crystal wondered if he was ever going to remember they had gone to college together. God, she hoped not.
“His plane was late. That’s why he missed the rehearsal.” A happy smile curved her lips. “There he is. Don’t move.” Alisa darted across the room.
Crystal watched her approach a man with blond hair. She could only see his back, but dread began to spiral inside her. No, it couldn’t be. Her heart beat faster, egged on by the tense excitement of Mark, standing close beside her.
The man turned to greet Alisa. Crystal gasped. A bolt of fear, then longing, coursed through her, freezing her muscles in place. A kaleidoscope of emotions bombarded her as her mind and heart rioted, urging her to run. She stood, paralyzed, soaking up the changes in his appearance. The college boy buzz was gone. His sun-streaked hair was brushed back from his forehead in an unruly mass that reached his collar. He was broader now, harder. His white shirt contrasted sharply with his deep tan, giving him a piratical look despite the classy suit. A wreath of lines bracketed his eyes, probably caused by the quick grin Crystal had never forgotten. He looked like the frat boy she had known, gone predator.
Crystal struggled to surround herself with a wall of cool calm. She couldn’t run, at least not yet, but she could hide in plain sight.
Ryan looked directly at her and his emotions blasted across the room, burning through her defenses. Desire. Resentment. Heat. Longing swept through her again, stealing her breath. His dark eyes absorbed the light in the room and reflected it back at her. Mahogany eyes, warm, like bittersweet chocolate. He was braced over her, waiting, holding her gaze with infinite tenderness. Her soul opened, enveloped him. Her consciousness spun out around them.
Crystal jerked back from the memory. Her feet felt rooted to the floor. Her heart pounded as Ryan and Alisa moved toward them.
Beside her, Mark chuckled. She turned to glare at him.
“What?” he asked. “I figured turnabout was fair play. You introduced Alisa and me, after all.” His usually reserved blue eyes were full of fun. Mischief. Memory. Satisfaction. Now she understood why he’d been so smug all evening.
It felt like a cosmic joke that Mark had finally remembered they’d gone to college together just in time to reintroduce her to the man who had ruined her life. Crystal was grateful for the anger that reminded her she wasn’t vulnerable anymore.
Mark cocked his head, looking down at her, eyes suddenly wary. “I thought you might enjoy a blast from the past.”
The irony made laughter bubble up in her throat, so she released it in a breathy chuckle. Laughter was excellent camouflage, better than leather, ink and the color black. She slid one arm around his waist and leaned up to whisper in his ear. “I’m positively thrilled, darling.” Mark didn’t know, no one did—and if she could hold it together through the wedding weekend from hell, no one ever would.
Q: What would you like readers to know about the book before they read it?
A: Crystal, my bisexual psychic, ends up with a guy! *gasp* In the previous books in the Come Again series, she hooks up with women, and I don’t want readers to feel like I’m pulling a bait and switch. As she says to her hero, “Sex is sex, Ryan. Love is love. The rest is just anatomy.” Everyone in the Come Again world has their own kinks and is on their own journey – just like the rest of us.
Q: What do you hope readers will take with them after they’ve read the book?
A: I want readers to have a good time while they are reading. I read for fun, and I want to write fun books. I hope my readers take my books to bed…and I hope they don’t go to sleep after they put them down! I suppose I should also say Hook Up has deeper themes of honesty, trust and personal growth. *G*
Q: Who is your favorite character in this book?
A: Crystal! Because of her empathic abilities, she was very mysterious in the first two books. I wanted Crystal to keep her mystery, yet allow the reader inside her heart and head. Mostly, I wanted to do right by her since she was the character who inspired the whole series. No pressure! Nope, none at all. I was so relieved when my genius editor loved Hook Up!
Q: Is there a character who gives you fits and makes you want to go ninja?
A: Honestly, since I write erotic romance, I find myself wanting to sleep with my characters more than I want to kill them. Occasionally, I want to go ninja on myself because, really, who else is to blame when characters misbehave? Thank God for my aforementioned genius editor who takes away my throwing stars.
Q: You may have noticed we like to include our favorite quote in our reviews of the books we read. What is your favorite quote from this book?
A: I like this bit because it conveys how hot Crystal and Ryan are for each other. As a reader, I love knowing that although the hero and heroine are trying to resist, eventually they are going to lose control and have wild, crazy-hot monkey sex…
“On the surface this was innocent—just a dance. Dig deeper and the embers were burning red-hot, banked below the soft, gray ashes of ten years. All it would take was one stiff breeze and they would both go up in flames, right in the middle of the dance floor.”
Q: What’s up next for you?
A: I have the first book in a paranormal series coming out in January – Power Trip. I jokingly call it “The Shocking Adventures of Super Dom.” Think BDSM, super powers and electricity. HOT! After that, I need to polish Bonita’s story, Book Four of the Come Again series. My favorite submissive lesbian deserves a happy ending!
Enter to win:
One winner will receive a free download of Bottoms Up, Book One in the Come Again series.
Giveaway is open to all. You have until end of day Nov. 2 to enter, winner will be announced soon after.
Giveaway sponsored by: Miranda Baker
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