Stranded in a storm, inside a car, with a gorgeous stranger? That's the kind of trouble I like, baby!
I couldn't say no to such a naughty premise. Honestly, I was really curious as to what would transpire between two strangers that would breed sexy romance. That's the outcome I was hoping for, at least. And let me tell you, it was a funny, sexy story that I wanted to devour.
It's the perfect excuse: two people forced to share a small space in a truck along with confidences and body heat. Don't let your thoughts run ahead of you. There's no easy sex in here. But, oh the spontaneous sensuality of hands and a little extra is something you don't want to miss. I loved that scene!
There's life beyond those close quarters though. That first 25% of the story was almost my favourite as the first stages of the relationship take place there. How Storm and Evelyn meet, their tender banter, their accidental heat, their first glimpses into the other's life. From the moment they get out, their growing bond starts to strengthen. Even though I missed the private bubble they'd had in the truck, what follows is just as gripping.
I was mesmerized by the audacity of Storm's attraction to Evie, how sweet and thoughtful he can one minute and then go hot and intense the next. He poses a threat to Evie's safety. She's not changed her life in years and now is faced with a real challenge to her fears, her insecurities. Can she be happy with her old life or is her future in the sinfully tempting hands of a famous rock star?
The wooing is quite romantic. There are plenty of scenes when Storm opens his heart to besiege Evie to give a chance to what is growing between them. A heart-wrenching tragedy in his past is a shadow that marks all his actions, something we can glimpse during a family reunion. That's when we can also find out about this incredible bunch of musicians who I'm sure have their own story to tell.
Part of the magic is due to Evelyn's reluctance to believe she's worthy of Storm's interest or that he will be loyal to their relationship in the future. This causes many romantic or dramatic moments between them. I understand her doubts because she hasn't been loved deeply and she mistrusts the possibility. Storm, on the other hand, finds solace in the fact that she's not after his fame and money. Ironically, they're after the same thing in each other, they want their trust to be justified and they want true love.
They make mistakes while trying out their friendship-that-could-be-more, and they're raw, sexy and emotional. I loved everything about it. The talks, the dreams, the sadness, the heat. It was weird, but in an interesting sort of way, to have him court her while she's with another man while sorting out what she feels for Storm. It made the whole situation all the more daring, intense, and life-changing.
So many favourite moments! The family trip, the talks, the bunny thing (OMG!!!!!), Halo the cat, the first intimate scene in the truck. At the end, it really comes full circle and the beautiful romance had all the nuances I've come to love in this kind of books. STORM is a sweet, sexy story about finding trust and love where you least expect it. This is definitely a series I don't want to miss.
Storm (Ashes & Embers, #1)
Author: Carian Cole
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 30, 2014
The calm before the storm…
I lived in the quiet stillness.
I felt the wind rustle, warning me, telling me to get out of its path.
But I didn’t.
I never stood a chance.
A series of weather and road mishaps leaves me trapped in the middle of a blizzard with a complete stranger. In the back of a pickup truck. For forty-eight freakin’ hours.
A stranger with long hair, tattoos, and rippling with muscle.
A stranger with an insanely sexy voice and a wicked smile that turned my insides to jelly.
A stranger who held me in his arms, calmed me, and then set a fire in me that I couldn’t put out.
Storm lives up to his name. Beautiful. Dangerously inviting. Tumultuous. Dark. A clash of hot and cold.
He’s used to getting everything he wants.
And now he wants me.
Some people chase storms for the beautiful thrill. What happens when the storm chases you?
THIS IS SUCH A HOT, HOT EXCERPT. AND I READ THE NOVEL!
We move to the couch, and I take the bow off the gift carefully. I want to save it. Soon, it will live in a box in my closet with all things precious to me, little memories I’ve collected. Wrapping off, I lift off the lid. Whatever it is, it’s buried in tissue paper. I move it all aside and lift whatever it is out...
Holy. Wow. I gently turn it over in my hands, and my heart just soars. I can’t even form words as I hold this amazing gift in my hands. It’s a snow globe, and inside is a tiny miniature pick-up truck with two little people holding hands and a dog, all surrounded by trees. The little man even has long hair. Obviously, he paid someone with quite a bit of talent to make this for me.
“I remember you said you love snow globes,” he explains. “I thought one with us in it would be cool.”
I hold it between us as I watch the snowflakes fall around the little ‘US’ inside. It’s so unexpected and sweet. I want to climb inside and live in this sweet scene forever.
I lay it on my lap and throw my arms around him. “I love it so much. Thank you. It’s one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.” I don’t want to let him go. I know I cling to him for too long, but it feels so good in his arms.
He holds me just as tight. “I’m glad you like it. I’m not usually good with gifts.”
I pull away reluctantly. “It’s the best, really. I can’t tell you how much this means to me.” I kiss his cheek. “I just love it.”
I stand and walk to the mantle and put it next to my mom’s little gingerbread house. “I’m going to keep it out all year round, you know,” I tell him.
“Good. Hopefully, it will remind you to call me when you’re supposed to,” he teases.
I shake my head at him and grab my coat. “I call you when I can.” Taking my coat from me, he holds it out for me to slip into, then puts his arms around me from behind, pulling me against his body, his arms crossed in front of me.
“Where’s my bow?” he whispers.
My body instinctively sinks back against him. “You promised to behave.”
“I lied.” His lips are on my neck, kissing softly. “I didn’t know you would look so delicious.” The slight scruff on his face tickles me. “Tell me you’ve been thinking about me,” he says as his hand travels down my side, over my hip, and rests on my outer thigh, pulling my lower body against his.
“We promised no more of this, Storm.
His lips are all over my neck, kissing, licking, and sucking. My mind starts to spin and twirl, blurring the lines between right and wrong, good girl and bad girl.
“I don’t like that promise anymore.” His hand grips my leg tighter, inching between my legs now, his lips moving down to my shoulder, my sweater pushed aside. His other hand finds my scarf, and slowly wraps it around my neck, tugging it slightly, pulling my head back to him. A tiny moan escapes me, and I try to pull away, but he tugs it harder, not choking me, but holding me there against his lips.
“I like you just like this. You can’t get away.”
His hand moves between my thighs and his finger slides over me, pushing the fabric of my jeans against me.
“I can feel how wet you are,” he whispers.
I am lost in his sensuality. I have no defense against it. I am clueless as to how to respond to it. Twelve years of mundane sex has left me a perpetual virgin. I am stagnant, scared, frozen, trembling. Aching. I want to turn around and just let him do anything. Everything. I want to unravel beneath him and be nothing but his. His, his, his.
I turn in his arms to face him. His eyes are dark with lust, his hair falling over his face in the way that I love. I grab his shirt with my hands. It’s unbuttoned almost to the middle of his chest. Not really appropriate for Christmas dinner, but definitely hot. I finally allow my lips to touch his chest, my first kiss to him. His hands come up and hold my head against him.
“Yes, baby...” he breathes. “Let yourself want me.” His breathing is ragged, his hands tangling in my hair, yanking my head up toward him, his lips crashing down on mine, devouring me.
It’s he who pulls away. Steps back slightly. But his eyes still hold me... caress me... wanting me.
★ About Carian ★
I have a passion for the bad boys, those covered in tattoos, sexy smirks, ripped jeans, fast cars, motorcycles and of course, the sweet girls that try to tame them and win their hearts. My debut series, Ashes & Embers, follows the lives of rock band members as they find, and sometimes lose, the loves of their lives.
My first novel in the Ashes & Embers series, Storm, will be available in September of 2014.
Born and raised a Jersey girl, I now reside in beautiful New Hampshire with my husband and our multitude of furry pets and spend most of my time writing, reading, and vacuuming.
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