Harlie is pumped to have Tawny Weber (no relation) back to the blog to talk about her SEAL’s. A SEAL’s Surrender is her USA Today bestseller and A SEAL’s Seduction is still free for the Kindle. If you are looking for some SEAL’s that are knocked about by two very strong women, don’t miss out on these two books. 🙂 No one writes SEAL’s better than Tawny…just saying.
*all images and text is copywrited from Harlequin Enterprises*
A SEAL’s Surrender
by Tawny Weber
Miniseries: Uniformly Hot!
ISBN: 9780373797431 (#739)
Back of the Book
Subject: Lieutenant Commander Cade Sullivan
Status: On leave
Mission: He’s home to take care of some family business.
Obstacle: Eden Gillespie. The girl who always lands in trouble…has landed in his bed!
Lieutenant Commander Cade Sullivan is the job. His commitment to the Navy SEALs is absolute—almost. Worse still, he’s been summoned home, where his family is the town royalty and women vie to be one of Cade’s conquests. One of them in particular….
Ever since they were kids, Cade has been rescuing Eden Gillespie. Now she’s decided she owes him one heck of a thank-you—one that involves a bed, naked bodies and sweet satisfaction. But when their sexy trysts are discovered, Eden becomes a bit of a town sensation—and not in a good way. Can she convince her SEAL to risk one last rescue operation?
A SEAL’s Surrender
by Tawny Weber
I wish for a guy who worships my body, is great at sex and makes me feel like a goddess. Someone who loves me, for me. Inside and out. And is really, really good at it.
And if he could be six foot two, with sandy blond hair and dreamy green eyes, a body that made nymphomaniacs weep and a smile that melted her panties, that’d be cool, too.
Eyes scrunched tight, Eden Gillespie let that visual play out for just a second. Then, with a deep breath, she opened her eyes wide and blew.
The flame went out. Thankfully. Because she’d blown so hard, the candle toppled from its perch on the chocolate cupcake. Good wishes did that, she told herself as she scooped up a fingerful of frosting and grinned at the woman sitting across from her.
“So? What’d you wish for?” Bev Lang leaned forward, her wild red curls bouncing like springs around her cheerful face.
“It’s a secret. If I tell, it won’t come true,” Eden said primly before bursting into laughter. Yeah. Like she was gonna lose out on her body-worshipping lover because she put the word out that she was waiting? Still, she pulled her cupcake closer and, since it was filled with molten chocolate, used a fork to enjoy the next bite…and fill her mouth so she didn’t blurt anything out.
Because you never knew with wishes.
“I can’t believe you won’t tell me. How long have we been friends?” Bev asked, putting on her best ‘affronted’ expression. It wasn’t very effective since she still looked like she was waiting for a white apron and her boyfriend, Raggedy Andy.
“Eleven years?” Eden guessed, counting back to the first day of high school. That’d been the year her dad had died, leaving her mom too broke to keep paying the exorbitant tuition to the private school Eden had always attended. Secretly terrified, Eden had put on a brave face in hopes that the public school kids would accept her more than the private school snobs had. Bev had been the new girl in town, unaware that Eden wasn’t acceptable because of her zip code. By the time she’d learned the ins and outs of Ocean Point social politics, she and Eden had been too good of friends for it to matter.
“Then as your best friend since ninth grade, I figure it’s my job to help you with the wish,” Bev decided, leaning back in Eden’s faded and frayed Queen Anne dining chair and digging into her own cupcake. “I think this should be your year for sex.”
“An entire year, dedicated to sex?” Eden asked with a laugh. She was sure there was nothing more than dust motes and the faint air of neglect floating through the formal dining room. But, still, it was all she could do not to look over her head to see if the wish was written there in the candle smoke.
“You should dedicate this year to the pursuit of sex.” Bev scrunched up her nose. “I don’t want to hurt your feelings or anything, but it might take a little effort on your part,” she added.
When was the last time she’d had sex worth the effort? Definitely not with Kenny. Not with any guy, if she were being honest. Eden swirled her fork in the gooey rich chocolate, using it to make a design on the Meissen plate. After all, what better time for brutal self-truths than a girl’s twenty-fifth birthday.
Kenny, the last guy she’d had sex with, had broken his foot trying to prove his manliness by doing it against a tree. Instead of accepting that he just wasn’t he-man material, he’d blamed her.
No wonder her love life sucked. Look at what she had to work with.
“So I know why I should want good sex,” Eden said, standing to clear their plates. “But why is my personal life on your radar?”
She didn’t have to look to know Bev was following her to the kitchen. The rat-a-tat-tat of her high heels was a giveaway.
“Janie was in the shop yesterday,” Bev said, sounding like her cupcake had been bitter lemon instead of rich chocolate. Bev owned Stylin’, the best salon in town. And despite her penchant for wearing her own hair in rag doll fashion, she worked pure magic on everyone else. Enough magic to lure in the well-paying Oceanfront set.
“Ah.” Eden didn’t need to hear any more than that. She wasn’t sure of the what, when and where, but she was sure she was the who the chatter had revolved around. That’s how Janie and company worked. They wouldn’t check in with Eden directly—they’d go to her best friend and mine for gossip.
“Don’t let her get to you.” Eden set the plates next to the sink.
“I’m just so tired of them talking about you,” Bev grumbled, throwing the cupcake wrappers in the trash so hard that they bounced right back out. “They are all so snooty and rude, with their perfect lives bought and paid for by someone else.”
“You think they have perfect sex, bought and paid for, too?” Eden asked, keeping her tone, and her expression, serious. She lost it, though, when Bev glared. Laughing, she asked, “What? You think I should get upset because they are talking about, let me guess… My love life, or lack thereof?”
“Well, it’s not like they are saying nice things.”
Eden shrugged, so used to pretending she didn’t care that it pretty much came naturally to her now.
As if realizing she’d brought the bummer cloud to dim the party atmosphere, Bev clapped her hands together and exclaimed, “Presents! I’ll be right back. I’m going to get your gift from the car.”
Eden kept a cheery smile of anticipation on her face until the wooden screen door clapped shut behind her friend, then let it drop. She sighed, tossing the forks into the dishwasher and squirting liquid soap on a sponge.
Hot, happy sex.
Her chances of finding that were about as small and slender as the half-melted candle she’d just blown out.
What a waste of a wish.
She should have used it on her career.
Only out of veterinary school six months, she still had student loans and now a substantial mortgage on this house. It’d taken every bit of daughterly influence she had to convince her mother to let her buy it instead of putting it on the market. It’d also taken her entire savings account and the tiny trust fund left to her by her grandfather, but Eden loved her home and her heritage too much to see it sold to the highest bidder. And then there was the fact that there was enough property for her to set up her veterinary clinic.
With a shake of her head, she carefully dried the china and walked over to place it in the ornate cabinet with the reverence her great-great-great-gramma’s plates deserved. Like most of the furnishings in her childhood home, the glass-fronted hutch was an antique. Rattling around here alone all the time, Eden sometimes felt like the house was just waiting for her to join the ranks of antiques so she’d better fit in.
It wasn’t that she minded being alone, really. But like sex, sometimes a girl got tired of going it solo.
“The postman drove by when I was at my car,” Bev said, returning to the room with a huge polka-dot box with a ribbon as curly as her hair. “I brought your mail in. Look, I think there are a couple of birthday cards here.”
More because Bev was looking worried again than because of any curiosity to see who’d remembered her birthday, Eden took the stack of mail. Before she could get to the telltale bright envelopes, she noticed one from the bank. It was addressed to both her and her mother.
“What’s up with this,” she muttered, tossing the others on the counter and sliding her fingernail under the flap. She and her mother had no bank business together. And since Eleanor was tooling around the country, following the craft fairs in a new RV, Eden didn’t hesitate to open the missive.
“What the…” She had to wait for the room to stop spinning and the buzzing to clear from her ears before she could read the letter again.
Nope. The words hadn’t changed.
“I’m going to kill her,” she muttered through gritted teeth.
“What? Who? Where’s a shovel so I can help you bury the evidence.”
“My mother took out a loan against the house.” Fury pounded at her temples like a gorilla with a sledgehammer. Knowing the words wouldn’t change, no matter how many times she glared at them, Eden crumpled the letter in her fist and threw it against the wall.
“I thought the house was yours,” Bev said quietly. “I thought you bought it from her.”
“My cousin Arnie is a lawyer. He wrote up a legal document that said the house was mine once I took over the mortgage, and then added my name to the title. But he’d advised against transferring it out of my mom’s name at that point because I was still carrying student loans and needed the bank to approve another so I could start a new business.”
But why hadn’t he checked for loans against the property when he’d changed the title?
“She didn’t warn you? Talk it over with you before taking out the loan? Give you a heads-up that you were about to get hit with a big ole bill? Nothing?”
“Warn me? She didn’t even call to wish me a happy birthday,” Eden said, her laugh only a little bitter, wishing she could be as shocked as Bev. “To her credit, she probably forgot.”
“About the loan?” Bev scoffed, her freckled face furrowed in fury.
“About my birthday.”
And how sad was it that the fact that her mother forgot her birthday hurt more than a bill for thirty grand. Eden reached for the phone, then curled her fingers into her palm. As much as she wanted an explanation, an assurance that the payment-infull had been mailed to the bank, she knew better.
Eleanor Gillespie didn’t worry about little things like money. She was too flaky to let the mundane rain on her creative lifestyle.
Glancing at the bank’s letter, Eden cringed. Flake or not, her mother had made a mess of things. And, as usual, Eden was the one who had to figure out how to clean it up. Because if she didn’t find some money quickly, she could lose the house. The property that’d been in her family for five generations. Her home, her place of business.
As if reading her mind, Bev asked, “What are you going to do?”
Eden blinked fast to clear the dampness from her eyes. What she wasn’t going to do was cry, dammit.
“I guess I’m going to find thirty thousand dollars.” Where on earth was she going to find that on top of her other debts? And why hadn’t her mother arranged for a repayment plan? Coming up with that kind of money in one fell swoop was close to impossible. Eden rubbed her fingers against the sudden pounding in her temple, then walked over to retrieve the letter. She’d have to study it, contact the bank, so she understood all the details.
“You’re really going to take on your mother’s loan?”
“It’s against my property. I have to take it on. At least, until she turns up again and deals with it herself. But she’s tooling across the country from craft fair to art show right now. I have no idea when I’ll hear from her. Or when she’ll come home and clean up her mess.”
“How are you going to get the money?”
Hell if she knew.
Every penny she earned was earmarked. Despite her fancy address, she was living a ramen noodle lifestyle here.
There was nothing of value to sell. Oh, sure, she still had her great-grandma’s china and there were a few antiques left floating around. But they were all she had left of her family. Well, those and her mother. And right now she was pretty sure the china was worth more.
Eden took a deep breath. There had to be a way through this. She just had to think. Think, Eden.
Her eyes fell on a square envelope embossed with ivy and roses. The monthly garden club meeting. She wrinkled her nose, wondering if they resented having to send her the invitation as much as she hated getting it.
Because she was the last person the socially upstanding ladies wanted invading their exclusive get-togethers. But the Gillespie name guaranteed her an invitation.
“The Oceanfront set,” she exclaimed, snapping her fingers.
“What was the question again?” Bev asked with a confused look.
“I’ll hit up the country club ladies.”
Eden cringed. Handouts? Oh hell, no. She was nobody’s charity case.
“For clients. They are all big on their designer pets. I just have to get two, maybe three of them to start using my veterinary services, and more will follow.”
“How much are you going to charge?” Bev asked, her eyes huge with a horrified sort of glee.
“Just enough that they consider the services exclusive. All it will take is a few of them using me as their vet, a little behind the scenes hype and pretty soon I’ll have a well-heeled clientele. I might not be able to pay off the entire loan at once, but if I can get enough of a down payment and show the bank that I have the potential income, I’ll bet I can swing a deal.”
And maybe was all she needed.
Eden reached for the phone again, quickly dialing the head of the Garden Club.
Five minutes and three grimaces later, she hung up with a triumphant smile.
“Why’d you RSVP for two?” Bev asked, pulling her head out of the pantry to give Eden a suspicious look.
“Because you’re going with me.”
“Oh, no,” Bev declared, emptying an armload of bins and jars onto the chipped tile counter. “I’m not a member. They won’t let me in.”
“You’re my guest.”
“They aren’t going to want me there,” Bev predicted.
“They don’t want me there, either.” Eden shrugged. “They’ll just have to deal with us. Because I need you with me.”
“For moral support?”
Eden wasn’t sure how much good moral support would be when faced with forcing a tight-knit group of women to accept an outsider at one of their chichi meetings. But she did need someone to play off. Someone who could talk up her veterinary skills and give her the verbal setups she’d need to spike home her point if this plan was going to work.
“What are you doing?” Eden asked, eying the eggs and butter that had just joined the flour, brown sugar and peanut butter.
“This is clearly a cookie situation,” Bev said, digging a bag of chocolate morsels out of the freezer.
Before Eden could decide if the two of them eating what, if the butter and eggs were anything to go by, would be a double batch of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies was a good idea, there was a rumbling outside.
Company? Or another birthday surprise? Maybe her mother had found a way to send the plague by UPS.
Or, Eden squinted, in a shiny new Jaguar.
“Hey, cool. It’s like the birthday fairy heard your wish,” Bev joked, joining Eden at the door to see who was pulling up the weather-pitted driveway.
Recognizing the car, Eden frowned.
Even though they were neighbors, Robert Sullivan never visited.
So the only way the birthday fairy was playing into this particular arrival was if his son, Cade, had hijacked the Jag and was driving up to make all of Eden’s fantasies come true.
Tall, blond and gorgeous, with hypnotic green eyes and more charm than a proud momma’s bracelet. The sexiest guy to ever set foot in Ocean Point. High school quarterback. Class president. Navy SEAL. Her hero.
Copyright © 2000–2013 Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All Rights Reserved.
by Tawny Weber
Miniseries: Uniformly Hot!
ISBN: 9780373797424 (#738)
Back of the Book
Subject: Navy SEAL Lieutenant Blake Landon
Current Status: Two weeks of enforced leave
Mission: Distract himself in any way possible
Obstacle: A woman who tempts him to break the rules…including his own!
Navy SEAL Blake Landon (aka “Boy Scout”) knows the rule book inside and out. Checked. Rechecked. But when a mission ends badly, his entire team is ordered on leave. And that’s when Blake sees the tall redhead whose dark eyes suggest that the rules—especially those in bed—are made to be broken.
Scientist Alexia Lane has sex on the brain—partly for work, but mostly because she needs a man who makes her girly parts do the happy dance. Her only no-no? No military dudes. But Blake’s rockin’ bod promises delicious pleasures, and Alexia is halfway to sexual Nirvana before she can find out he’s actually a Navy SEAL.
And where one rule is broken, more are sure to follow….
A SEAL’s Seduction
by Tawny Weber
A loud blast filled the air as seven guns exploded in succession. Once, twice, thrice. Twenty-one shots. Faces implacable, the honor guard shouldered their guns and stood as tall and rigid as the oaks lining the cemetery.
The echoing silence broke when the bugler sounded taps. Lieutenant Blake Landon stood at attention, his eyes narrowed against the bright morning sun. The chaplain’s words of honor, bravery and sacrifice rolled over him like the gentle breeze, teasing, hinting but not really making an impact.
There was no mention of Phil’s sense of humor, of how he always carried a rubber snake on missions to break the tension. That he’d hit a McDonald’s the minute they were stateside for a bagful of French fries. The chaplain didn’t know that before jumping from a plane, Phil always kissed his mother’s picture, then rubbed a rabbit foot. He wouldn’t mention Phil’s love for the beach. It didn’t matter how godforsaken hot their assignment might have been, the minute he was off duty, he’d hit the beach—sun, surf and girls in bikinis. He’d often said those were his reward for getting shot at on a regular basis.
But that wasn’t the Phil they were honoring right now.
Here, at Arlington National Cemetery, Lieutenant Phil Hawkins was a soldier. Here, the sacred tradition of honoring the noble warrior focused on service, dedication and sacrifice to country.
The entire SEAL platoon in attendance, Blake stood shoulder to shoulder with his team. His squadmates. The men he served with, fought with, trained with. Prepared to offer up the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Later tonight, they’d all celebrate Phil, the man. Their squadmate, buddy, friend. The Joker.
He clenched his jaw, his eyes glancing off the flag-draped casket, then shifting to the distant trees again when the captain began the ritual of folding the red, white and blue material. As the chaplain offered his final words of comfort, the captain gently placed the folded flag into Mrs. Hawkins’s hands.
Blake’s focus locked on that triangle of fabric and didn’t waver as the funeral finished. The people around him moved, shifted, left. He didn’t. He couldn’t.
They’d gone through BUDS training together. He, Phil and Cade. All cocky as hell, all determined to push their limits, to be superheroes. The Three Amigos, the rest of the team had called them. Inseparable.
Now permanently separated.
A large, beefy man joined him, scattering his thoughts. Grateful for the distraction, Blake directed his attention to the admiral. His hair as white and gleaming as his uniform, the older man topped Blake’s own six feet by at least two inches.
“Lieutenant,” Admiral Pierce greeted quietly. “I know this is a hard loss for you and your team. You have my sympathies.”
“Thank you, sir,” Blake said, his words stiff as he watched Phil’s mom softly smooth her fingers over the folded flag, as if running her fingers over her son’s cheek. Blake cringed when she lost it, her slender shoulders shaking as she sobbed into the triangle.
Desperate for distance, he ripped his gaze away. He looked at the trees. Oaks, mighty and strong, stood tall. Symbolic, probably. But he was having trouble finding solace.
“It never gets easier,” the admiral said.
“Should it?” Blake asked, looking at the older man. His superior. His trainer. His mentor.
“No.” The admiral glanced over at the trees. He sighed, then looked at Blake again. “No. But it’s something you’ll revisit. One way or another. Make sure you don’t let it get in your way.”
Just like that? Blake wanted to protest. To call bullshit on it being that easy to simply push the loss of his comrade, his friend, aside. But years of training, the respect he had for the man who’d recruited him to the SEALs, eliminated that thought almost before it formed. Instead, he inclined his head to indicate he’d handle it.
Clearly expecting exactly that, the admiral nodded. Then he cast an assessing glance around the graveside.
“Lieutenant Commander,” the admiral called, his words carrying over the gentle grasses and soft murmur of the milling crowd.
Cade Sullivan, Blake’s team commander and the third amigo, subtly came to attention. With a quiet word and a brush of his hand over Mrs. Hawkins’s shoulder, he turned and strode across the lawn.
“I’m assigning your men leave.”
Blake and Cade exchanged looks. All it took was two seconds, a slight furrow of the brow and a shift of their shoulders to know both men were in perfect accord. They didn’t want to go on leave.
“Two weeks R&R, effective immediately.”
For the second time since joining the navy—and both in the space of the last few minutes—Blake wanted to protest an order. He didn’t want time off. He needed distraction. Work. A mission. Preferably one that included blowing up large buildings and letting loose vast amounts of ammo.
Fury was like a storm, brewing and stewing inside him.
It needed an outlet. The shooting range would work. Or the base gym.
As if reading his thoughts, the admiral inclined his head, offered a stern look and added, “You’ve just finished a tense mission, and lost one of your own. I hope you have places off base to stay, as I’ll be leaving word at the gate that you’re on inactive duty until September seventeenth.”
For a second, Cade’s usual charming facade cracked, the same anger Blake was dealing with showing in the other man’s vivid green eyes. In an instant, it disappeared, and his smile—the one that lulled friend and foe alike into thinking he was a nice guy—flashed.
“Looks like it’s time for a trip home. My father will be thrilled. Thank you, sir. I’m sure the team will be excited about the R&R.”
You had to admire Cade’s talent for lying. The man had a way with sincerity that, when added to that smile, was pure gold. At least it was if you weren’t the one he was conning. The truth was, the team was going to be pissed, Cade hated visiting home and his father hated having him there. Yet the guy still smiled as if he’d just been pinned with the Congressional Medal of Honor.
That’s why Phil had always called Cade Slick. Blake was Boy Scout. By the book, a goody-goody, his whole life was focused on being prepared. On being the best SEAL he could be. And Phil? He’d been the Joker. The last thing he’d said before that bomb had blown him in two? Knock knock.
Jaw clenched, Blake glared at the sleek black lines of the casket.
Cade excused himself to inform the other men of their spiffy little vacation, leaving Blake and the admiral standing alone. The rest of the mourners were dispersing, civilians leaning against each other, shoulders low as they made their way across the lawn.
“Landon?” the admiral prodded. As if there was any option. Cade, like the admiral, was Blake’s superior. He’d accepted the order, so it was a done deal.
“I’m sure I can find something to do,” he said quietly. Not go home. He was less welcome in the trailer park he’d been raised in than Cade was at his big fancy mansion.
The guys were meeting later at JR’s, the local bar and dance club Phil had favored. After that, Blake would go back to California. Drive up the coast, check out Alcatraz, the Golden Gate. Anything.
“I’ll see you on the fifteenth.”
Blake frowned. “I thought we were ordered off base until the seventeenth.”
Had he misunderstood? Hell, it was only two days, but he’d take them.
“My retirement party. I expect you there. You can meet my daughter.” With that, a stern smile and a clap to the shoulder that would have put a lesser man a foot into the ground, the admiral strode off.
Leaving Blake to contemplate those last words.
Meet the admiral’s daughter?
Hot. Hot. Hot.
There were a lot of things to be grateful for in life. Good friends. A healthy body. Chocolate-covered caramel.
But not nearly as good as the sight of a gorgeous, mostly undressed man. The kind of man who made a woman very aware of all her girlie parts.
The one striding along the water’s edge was that kind of guy, Alexia Pierce’s girlie parts assured her. Gorgeous, built and, since he seemed oblivious to the women he left panting in his wake, as humble as he was hot.
Tall, she’d bet his body lined up perfectly with her five-ten frame. Long legs ate up the sand as he strode toward the ocean, his deliciously broad shoulders straight, his flat belly framed by a tapered waist. He had that sleek, muscled look that said he could kick some ass, but didn’t have the bodybuilder bulk that screamed mirror-whore.
Dark hair, a little too short for her taste, had just a hint of curl. She wrapped her finger around one of her own ringlets, figuring a guy who fought the wave would have a little sympathy when humid days made her look like a demented poodle. She couldn’t see his eyes from this distance, but he had those dark, intense brows that made guys look ferociously sexy. Either blessed genetics or the summer sun had washed his body with a pale golden hue.
She wondered if he was just as golden beneath those summer-blue swim trunks. Was it too much to hope a big wave would help out in giving her a peek?
The guy was a potent combination, guaranteed to make a strong, independent woman whimper with desire. At least, in her own mind.
As she mentally whimpered, Alexia shaded her eyes against the bright arcs of sunlight reflecting off the Pacific and interfering with her view of the gorgeous specimen of manhood as he dived into the ocean.
She actually envied the water as it slid over that rock-hard body.
“Want a towel?”
“Hmm?” she murmured, absently taking the soft fabric that was handed to her. Frowning, she glanced at the red beach towel, then at her brother. “What’s this for?”
“To wipe your chin.”
“Goof.” She laughed, tossing the towel back at him before sitting back on her beach chair, her toes digging into the warm sand. “That’s sweat from the sun. I’m not used to it being this warm the second week of September.”
Or, admittedly, to seeing a man sexy enough to make her sit up and drool.
“Right. It’s the heat.” Michael was a master at sarcasm, his words as dry as the sand beneath their feet. “Aren’t you in a relationship?”
Even as Alexia waved that question away with a flick of her wrist, she yanked her gaze from the water. She didn’t know why. Even if she were in a relationship, looking wasn’t cheating. And at this point, she and Edward were just colleagues who’d dated a few times. Friends—without benefits. Buddies, even.
“Not so much in a relationship as considering one. Dancing around it, maybe,” she admitted. More like trying to justify pushing herself into taking a handful of dates and a solid friendship and making them something more.
Something bigger. Of course, she’d been trying to talk herself into it for three months now. If there was one thing Alexia was good at, it was talking. “I don’t know what we are, to be honest.”
Michael tilted his red sunglasses down to peer at her. His eyes were the same dark, depthless brown as her own, but he was blessed with thick lashes while she was stuck relying on volumizing mascara. It’d be so easy to hate him for that. “You moved across the country for a guy. That says relationship to me.”
Alexia lifted her bottle of water and sipped, her eyes sliding back to the ocean. All she could see of the swimmer was the occasional elbow. Why did that turn her on so much more than the idea of seeing all of Edward, naked?
Which was the problem in a nutshell. She liked everything about Edward. The man was brilliant, one of the foremost scientists specializing in psychoacoustics. She’d studied under him for two years when he was in New York, before he’d moved to California to take over the Science Institute. They had a lot in common, enjoyed each other’s company and always had a ton to talk about.
The only problem was, she wasn’t sexually attracted to him. And she couldn’t imagine a relationship without sex. Without heat. Excitement and orgasms and spontaneous wall-banging releases. Those were as high on her relationship list as honesty and communication.
“I moved across the country for a once-in-a-lifetime job. That says career to me,” she said as she dug her bottle back into the sand. “This position is off-the-charts exciting. I’ll be doing in-depth research into correcting and enhancing sexual recovery for abuse victims by means of subliminal messaging, neurolinguistic programming and brain-wave technology. And get to be the face of the Reclaiming Yourself project. I’ll meet with investors, promote the project and make a difference in how it’s perceived by the press.”
“You’re an acoustical physicist with a minor in psychology. How does that translate into PR shill?”
Alexia grimaced at her brother’s irritated tone.
“Show a little more enthusiasm, why don’t you,” she said, swiping her towel at him. “It got me back to California, so you should be grateful. Investors want to talk to someone directly involved who is working on the project. I’m better at the social stuff than Edward is, and since the project focuses more on female sexuality, it’s better to have a woman front and center.”
“In other words, Dr. Darling isn’t as good at talking sex as you are?”
Alexia grinned, but as the words sank in, her smile dimmed. Yeah. Edward was great at the science of sex. But talking about it? Doing it? She wasn’t so sure.
“I’m just giving you a bad time. I really am excited that you’re back home,” Michael said, patting her shoulder. He gave her a cheeky look. “With you here, publicly talking sex all the time, the heat’s going to be off me with the parents. So thank Dr. Darling for me, ‘kay?”
Alexia’s smile disappeared completely.
“They’re going to have a fit, aren’t they?” she murmured.
By the time she’d started third grade, Alexia had known three things. One, that she was much, much smarter than the average bear. Two, that she didn’t quite fit in anywhere—not with kids her age, not with the agenda her parents lined up for her and not with what her child psychologist had deemed society’s norms. And three, that her father would never love her. After a few years of exploiting the first while trying to hide the second, she’d finally realized that there was nothing she could do about the third. At thirteen, with a slew of academic awards, a couple of skipped grades and a social calendar filled with normal, acceptable, shoot-me-now-I’m-going-crazy boring activities, she’d done a tight one-eighty.
She’d stopped socializing and started failing classes. She’d turned to fatty food and sugar for comfort. She’d explored more ways to numb herself than she liked to remember. And to this day, she wasn’t sure if her father had noticed any of that.
But he had noticed when, at sixteen, she’d been picked up by the base MPs, drunk and half-naked with an ensign thirteen years her senior. That’d been the second turning point in her short life. Her father’s fury hadn’t mattered. His blustering and disgust had barely dented her hangover. Seeing that, the admiral had proceeded to show her once and for all where she got her brains. In an ice-cold voice, he’d promised that the next time she stepped out of line, she’d be out of his house and no longer a part of the family. She’d shrugged, saying that she didn’t care. He’d nodded, as if he’d expected exactly that response, before adding he’d then send Michael to boarding school overseas.
Michael. The one person who loved Alexia. Who accepted and celebrated her. Who she’d be cut off from until he was eighteen, if their father had any say in it.
Yep. The admiral was a scary man.
“Don’t stress about it,” Michael said quietly, clearly tracking her trip down memory lane. “Mom’s thrilled you’re back and Dad will come around eventually. They might not like what you’re talking about, but the prestige of seeing you on TV, hearing you’re at the big fancy billionaire parties like any good socialite will bring them around.”
“Sure, as long as they ignore the part about me publicly talking sex.” Alexia sighed. As much as she wanted to be tough and emotionless when it came to their parents, a part of her still craved—with the desperation of a small child—that approval. But she couldn’t—wouldn’t—change who she was to get it.
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Top ten things you don’t know about me:
1. Cotton or Silk?
Silk, baby! I love the sleek softness and how great it feels.
Can I have tequila instead? Harlie here…tequila is the official liquor of Texas and I love it. Bring it…
Plotter with a capital P, pantser with a lowercase p <g>
Before I start a story, I have to have a general plot, ie: the story premise (what’s going to happen), the hook (what makes it fun and sexy), the characters (their personalities, internal / external / emotional conflicts) and the dark moment. With that, I can write the first three paragraphs. And rewrite them. And usually re-rewrite them. It takes me a few passes to get a solid feel for all of the elements. Once I have them, at that point I’ll create a scene chart and fine tune my character Venn, and I’ll fly through the rest of the book. My scenes tend to be plotted along the lines of ‘go here’ and ‘do that’. Nothing too detailed or specific, as it always changes as the story evolves.
4. Describe your workspace
I have an office just off my bedroom with purple walls, a super cushy chair that swivels and rocks, and a big farmhouse style table as a desk. There are the mandatory bookcases and shelves, because books are like air –gotta have ‘em. And I have framed pictures of al of my covers on one wall to keep me going. It’s as comfortable as I can make it since I spend an awful lot of time sitting here LOL.
5. Sports fan or just tolerate it?
Will everyone hate me if I say I avoid sports altogether 😀 Harlie here…to each his own. I live in Texas so football is king. For me, its baseball and hockey. Go figure. J
6. Who is your biggest influence on writing?
The author who made me want to write was Nora Roberts. She’s inspired me so much, as a reader by her amazing stories and the incredible characters she’s created. And later as a writer by the power of her writing skills and her stellar work ethic. She’s fabulous.
The second biggest influence has been my editor, Brenda Chin. She has such a gift for guiding an author to find their voice, to embrace their strengths. She’s been the biggest guide in teaching me to become a better, stronger writer.
7. Favorite food –
Chocolate. Hands down, always and forever, I love chocolate!
8. When did you start writing?
I started in 2002 and sold my first book in 2006.
9. If money were no object, where would you like to live?
I love N. California, so I’d probably stay here. The weather is great, the scenery stellar and the people are fun. I might shift to the coast, though, and find a place with an ocean view.
10. What’s next for you?
My book, MAKING IT (http://tawnyweber.com/books/making-it/ ) is a part of the launch of the brand new Cosmo Red Hot Reads line. It’s out September 15th, and is a very, VERY sexy hot read with a sassy cast of characters, a fantasy-inspired makeover, and a wild weekend in Vegas. Harlie again…I so can’t wait for the series. Just saying…
Then in December I’ll have another Blaze hitting stores, titled NAUGHTY CHRISTMAS NIGHTS about two rival lingerie companies and the lengths they’ll go to in order to get an eccentric billionaire’s exclusive contract. Can you so hot already?
USA TODAY Bestselling author, Tawny Weber has been writing sassy, sexy romances since her first Harlequin Blaze hit the shelves in 2007. A fan of Johnny Depp, cupcakes and color coordination, she spends a lot of her time shopping for cute shoes, scrapbooking and hanging out on Facebook.
Readers can check out Tawny’s books at her website, www.tawnyweber.com, or join her Red Hot Readers Club for goodies like free reads, complete first chapter excerpts, recipes, insider story info and much more.
A SEAL’s Seduction:
Book Video: http://youtu.be/IrFdY9–1AM
A SEAL’s Surrender
Book Video: http://youtu.be/A3fT2d-fEDo