Monday, March 25, 2013

Guest post with Susan Taylor (+Review)

Today I have romance author Susan Taylor with me as she promotes her new release, Secret Desire. Susan was asked one particular question about romance, now let's see how she responds. :)

Question: What the hardest scene to write in an erotic romance?

Susan: The last one. The ending is perhaps the only point that keeps me up at night. I don’t suffer from writer’s block except at this point. I end up writing and rewriting the parting words that my characters speak. Knowing this is the last time they get to say something to the world…to each other, it can’t just be, “Pass the salt, won’t you?”

Some books I’ve tried to keep it up beat. Some stories get to spin a play on words. I’ve even tried a surprise at the end with a pregnancy in one book. Spoiler but then again which one? Right?

I’ve read, and reread more ending words and some authors are masterful, poetic. Wordsmiths.

It’s all hit or miss for me. And I think that those words aren’t necessary the most memorable, at least not for me as a reader. It’s the totality and essence of romance and the creation of a realistic emotional relationship that I draw from into the future. But as a writer, I’m sweating the moment I begin writing, knowing that eventually, the words and a particular story world must come to an end. What will be the last thing two lovers say to each other?

Melissa: Excellent answer, Susan! I think you are right on the money as well. The final parting words of lovers are absolutely so important.

Susan will be on tour from March 25, 2013 to April 15, 2013. Be sure to click the tour banner to visit her.

Author Bio: "I love the concept of falling in love. The type of romantic journey that is so intense, it's borders on insanity."--Susan D. Taylor

After growing up in Miami, she moved to Nashville where she taught biology and special education. No longer a public school teacher, Susan now writes about consuming passion, how attraction plays out, and characters that are either going to incinerate or meld like warm caramel.

Susan lives with her husband, two blue heelers, two cats, a gecko and a snake. An RYT 200 (Yoga Alliance) practicing in vinyasa flow when she's not writing her next hot romance.

Be sure to visit Susan atWebsite

Blurb: The problem with twins is that they look so much alike…

By day, Claire Robertson is a staff writer for a small publication in Seattle. But when the lights go down, she writes sizzling and oh-so-naughty erotica. She keeps these stories safely tucked away, hiding her secret fantasies of her hero, Dustin Murray. The man who stole her heart six years ago. And then jumped into bed with her twin sister.

Dustin never forgot Claire, or her twin sister’s lies that tricked him into sleeping with her. Nor has he forgotten that her sister’s threats have kept him silent for six years and cost him the woman he loved. Now that Claire’s returned home, Dustin isn’t about to lose her again. But it’ll be another thing to convince Claire he’s prepared to do whatever it takes to win her back.

When Claire accidentally sends the wrong story to her editor, things really heat up. With hot the new black in publishing, her editor thinks he’s struck gold and queues the story for publication. The last thing Claire needs is for everyone to learn that she’s got secrets of her own…

Excerpt: "The man’s gaze fell to her legs still carelessly strewn across her desk. Her heart thundered in her ears. Warmth from his sharp exhale caressed the skin at her ankles.

She bit her lip and decided—no regrets for trying “And?” She returned his mocking raised-brow expression in an eye-for-an-eye stare down.

“I’m Thornton Maxwell…your attorney.” He turned away, but not before she caught his look of displeasure. “God. Woman, do you even know what a mess you’ve got on your hands? We need to talk. A real pressure cooker is about blow.”

Cynthia froze. This wasn’t part of her erotic fantasy. What was he talking about? Should she just come out and admit she had no idea of what was going on or get him to divulge what demanded damage control?

She pretended unconcerned boredom in an attempt to buy some time to think. “Someone’s got his panties in a real twist.”

This wasn’t the first time she’d needed legal. But if he was her new go-to man, she was tempted to screw more things up.

This was a conundrum. He was too damn good-looking. This type of man didn’t appreciate a dumbbell. Did he know how hard she worked or that sometimes contracts needed to be bent? “Explored” is what she liked to call it. Wasn’t that why McGavock Publishing hired a boatload of first-year attorneys anyway? Shoot, he was probably upset because his weekend golf game was about to be rained out.

He paced in front of her desk while raking fingers through his thick, dark hair. Cynthia noticed the way he flexed and moved his arms, his muscles pumping and expanding. He stopped, spun around, and marched back to her desk. 

“Lewis, when you cross out clauses and write your own notes into a publishing contract, we don’t have a legal leg to stand on in court when an issue is disputed. The things you’ve included to get an author to sign without consulting legal is tying us in knots. The next time you promise a writer the moon, you better consult me first and NASA second. Not whatever pops into that pretty little head of yours. You need my help with this lawsuit, and I expect your cooperation. You might as well know now that’s going to mean during office hours as well as evenings and weekends.” 

His finger was pointed directly in front of her face. She imagined sucking the tip until her sex-crazed brain finally grasped his message. 

What? She was floored. Her stomach felt punched, the fist of surprise still lodged in her ribcage. Her mind reeled. It wasn’t possible. She was being threatened with a lawsuit for a couple of silly additions to a contract, and now this man expected her to drop everything. Was he joking? Slowly she inhaled.

“I’m innocent.” She stared back at him. “Sure, I’m not beyond bending the rules, but a lawsuit? No, that’s not possible; it’s impossible. You’ve got to help me.”

“We definitely need a sit-down. Not your usual brush-off and expectation for legal to jump through a hoop. This one is serious.” His gaze swept over her face and downward. The space between them crackled with static energy. He was more than steamed. But he was ready to step in and help her. A spasm of pleasure trilled in her veins. He was her knight in shining armor. She wasn’t the enemy. Not his at least. With all that pent-up fury of his, it was a shame to let it go to waste. He was handsome beyond belief…another time, over cocktails or at a party, she’d not think twice about what her body wanted. His dark eyes weren’t all anger…passion brewed there, pulling the cords to her attraction, making her skin tingle. Oh, my. He wanted to school her good. But maybe she could teach him a thing.

“Thor…Thornton, sit down.” She recouped her confidence. He was in her dominion. The door was closed. Her assistant always knocked before entering. The glass panels were mirrored. He was so near…all she had to do was reach out to him.

She met his bad-boy stare with excitement screaming in her ears.

“Please.” She was almost purring, beseeching him over the rim of her eyeglasses.

“Fine, I’m all ears.” He pulled up a chair closer to her desk. “Well?”

She studied him. If the man ever smiled, he’d be drop-dead gorgeous. She let the papers slip out of her fingers, and she pushed her glasses up on top of her head. Cynthia rubbed her ankles together, and his eyes fixed onto legs.

Ding, ding. Johnny, she had a winner.

She lifted her legs and stood, acting as if arranging her papers was vital. She felt, rather than saw, that his gaze was upon her.

“Client-attorney privilege?” She rounded the desk, trailing her fingers along the surface. 

"Yes, whatever you share. Go on.”

“Where shall I begin?” She stopped and leaned back on her desk, directly in front of him. Eighteen inches of space separated them.

“Haven’t you ever longed for something to the point of breaking a few rules? Just once?”

He held his spine erect. He gripped the armrests. She noticed the fine hairs on his fingers, but no ring. She placed the toe of her shoe on the corner of his chair, her ankle only an inch away from his grasp. Her silk skirt lifted, sliding up her thighs, and his gaze shot to the revealed set of black lace Agent Provocateur garters.

She licked her lips and unbuttoned a pearl button. He flared his nostrils ever so slightly. He stared at her fingers. She undid another button. He became a statue. A rather alluring, attentive one. She continued unbuttoning the rest of buttons. She didn’t open her shirt, hoping he’d notice her breasts were unhampered by a bra. The only sound in the room was their breathing.

“Don’t stop now.”

She opened her shirt, revealing ample cleavage. Her nipples hardened at the thought of his mouth teasing her skin.

She rubbed her leg against his thumb. He touched her ankle, lightly at first, before running his fingers up the back of her calf. She pushed her hips forward, her skirt lifted further up and over her thighs.

He made a low, primal sound, melting a reserve within her.

“Do you like what you see?”

Their eyes locked and she smiled. She traced a finger along the bottom of her lip. She stuck just the tip into her mouth and sucked, playfully removing any doubt of where this was going.

“Hmm,” she whispered. “What do you want?”

He closed his eyes and moved his hand over her knee. She went beyond merely teasing him to wanting to feel him deep inside her body. "

Review: So obviously you guys know how I received this book, as part of the tour of course. :) Totally voluntary though. I read the blurb and really liked the sound of the book. 

I thought this was a nice, quick read. It had a lot of sweet and steamy scenes that were well done. Actually, the entire book was well written in my opinion. In the first half, we get a lot of insight into the heroine's mind - her emotions, what makes her tick, her struggles and fears. Also at one point, there is a story within a story that I thought was well executed. 

Later, once our hero is introduced, the two have an instant connection. Well since they share a past, I suppose that's to be expected. But in the second half, I loved getting more insight into Dustin's mind. It's quite sweet when you realize these two have been pining after each other for years. Many of the actions in their lives have been shaped by each other and their pasts together, rather consciously or not. 

My only complaint was the timing. At times, I felt the timing was off. Things seemed to happen extremely fast so much so that it had me stopping to question how long she'd actually been back home. Of course, I'm a bit of a weirdo, so that could've just been me. 

All in all, I really enjoyed the book and thought Ms. Taylor had a strong writing voice that I would love to read more of. So, if you enjoy "second chance" stories with sweet characters and a good dose of steam, give Secret Desire a try. 

Available for purchase at: Amazon


  1. Hey Melissa,
    Truly appreciate this post and your review of Secret Desire. Thank you.

  2. My pleasure, Susan. I look forward to reading more from you. :)

  3. What a fantastic blurb! Definitely made me want to read more.

    Congrats on your release!

  4. Great post. Liked the excerpt and the review.

  5. Love the excerpt & your review Melissa. I am a big sucker for second chance stories. Throw in steam & sweet characters & you know I can't resist! I'll have to check this one out. Thanks for bringing it to my attention! :)