I vow. I crave. I give in.
I used to be a nice, normal girl. I had dreams. Good, happy dreams of white picket fences, 2.5 kids, and a fairytale love that lasts forever. Nobody warned me the prince dies three weeks before the wedding.
Like any addict, I swear this time is the last….
Now, I go through my days, a shadow of my former self. I pretend I’m okay, and the people in my life pretend to believe me. But, sometimes, when I can no longer stand the craving my dead fiancée left behind, I roam an underground sex club looking for my next hit. It’s dirty and wrong, but I can’t stop, and my only line of defense between them and me, is the rules I’ve designed to keep me safe. With free, no-strings attached sex; men always abide by my rules. Until I meet him.
And, like any addict, I’m wrong.
I don’t question the instincts that tell me to run. One look at him, standing there, power radiating off him in waves, tells me all I need to know. He will make me forget. And that’s not an option.
Author bio: Jennifer Dawson
Jennifer Dawson grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from DePaul University with a degree in psychology. She met her husband at the public library while they were studying. To this day she still maintains she was NOT checking him out. Now, over twenty years later they’re married living in a suburb right outside of Chicago with two awesome kids and a crazy dog. Despite going through a light FM, poem writing phase in high school, Jennifer never grew up wanting to be a writer (she had more practical aspirations of being an international super spy). Then one day, suffering from boredom and disgruntled with a book she’d been reading, she decided to put pen to paper. The rest, as they say, is history. These days Jennifer can be found sitting behind her computer writing her next novel, chasing after her kids, keeping an ever watchful eye on her ever growing to-do list, and NOT checking out her inspiration.
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Barnes & Noble (available June 1st)
Ready for a teaser?
A shift of movement catches my eye and I peer past a group of men who look like they’ve just come from a board meeting. Past a woman gyrating her hips over the lust dazed guy sitting underneath her, and a couple making out.
And, then, I see him.
My heart slams into my chest, my pulse kicks up, and something akin to panic rushes across my skin.
He’s staring right at me.
My throat dries up like the sierra and every cell in my body knows he’s the one.
I imagine his gaze skimming over the lines of my back, the curve of my hips, the length of my bare thighs.
He is not safe.
The bartender walks past me delivering another knowing wink on his way to service another customer and suddenly his safety and simplicity doesn’t seem so bad. My one night rule isn’t for men like him. He’s not a risk.
I bite the inside of my cheek. I want to look back. At him.
Chapter One Excerpt:
Two months.Five days.Twenty-one hours.
It’s my new record although I have no sense of accomplishment. No, I’m resigned as I walk down the dark, deserted alley. The heels of my knee-high, black patent boots click against the cracked concrete in echo of my defeat. The distant sounds of the bass thuds in my ears in time to the heavy beat of my heart.
My own personal staccato of failure.
I’m not sure why it’s always a surprise. Maybe because, at first, my conviction is so strong. By now my pattern is long and established—I vow, I crave, I give in.
But, like any good addict, I always swear this time is the last.
Of course, I try. My therapist has given me “management tools” to get me through the hard times, and like a good patient, I follow her instructions to a tee—I meditate, do yoga, and write all my crappy feelings in the journal she insists I keep.
Only, it’s backfired and become part of the ritual. When the cycle starts, it’s a matter of time before I end up here.
I’m sure when John brought me to this underground club the first time, he’d never envisioned I’d be back on my own, wandering through the crowds, looking for my next fix. The club reminds me of him, and I wish I could go somewhere else so I wouldn’t be confronted with my betrayal, but I don’t have a choice. There aren’t ads for places like this. Or maybe there are and I don’t know where to look.
Swift and sudden, anger clogs my throat, and for a split second I hate him for changing me so irrevocably, and leaving me so permanently. Fast on the heels of anger, the guilt wells, so powerful it brings a sting of tears to my eyes. In the pockets of my black trench coat, my nails dig crescents into my palms.
I push away the emotions. Exhaling harshly, my breath fogs the air as I spot a hint of the red door that signals both my refuge and my hell. I hear the muffled hum of music that will crescendo once I’m inside to pump through me like a heartbeat.
My pace quickens along with my pulse.
As much as I hate giving in, I can’t deny my relief. Once I step through that door, I don’t have to pretend. I don’t have to be normal.
The tension, riding me all day, distracting me in meetings, making me wander off in the middle of conversations, ebbs . A twisted excitement slicks my thighs as the bare skin under my skirt tingles.
I haven’t bothered with panties. It makes things easier, quicker. Less about getting off and more about taking care of business.
I have on my usual club fare: short, black pleated skirt that leaves a stretch of thigh before my stockings start. A sheer, white silk blouse that’s unbuttoned low enough to show the lace of my red demi-bra. My lips are slicked with crimson and my dark chestnut hair is a tumble of shiny waves down my back.
My outfit is carefully orchestrated. I leave as little to chance as possible.
No leather or latex. I’m not into bondage. Chains and rope do nothing but leave me cold. Once upon a time I loved to be restrained by fingers wrapped tight around my wrists, digging into my skin, but now I can’t handle even a hint of being bound.
I reveal plenty of smooth ivory skin, my clue to guys into body modification or knife play to stay away. I like fear, but not that kind. I want my bruises and scars hidden away, not worn like a badge of honor for the world to see.
My wrists and neck are free of jewelry so the Masters don’t confuse me with a slave girl. I tried that scene once, thinking all their hard play and intense scenes would focus my restless energy and make me forget, but there is no longer anything submissive about me.
I don’t want to obey. I want to fight.
1 US Winner will receive gift basket that contains a signed copy of CRAVE
Prize package contains:
Decorative reusable storage trunk
Signed copy of CRAVE
$25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
4 Premium Chocolate Truffles
Argan Oil Sugar Scrub w/shower scrunchie
Pink & black Pillar Candle
Black & Pink Chalk Board Flower Pot
Hanging chalk board
Candle Holder with pink sparkly battery votive
3 INT/US winners will receive an e-Copy of CRAVE