A few weeks back I got sent two books by a brand new to me author. I was very quickly sucked into the heroine’s story and her journey of self discovery. This was very different from what I normally read, but it was very much worth it. We’re giving away a copy of this book and an arc of the second book in this series.
Outside in the brisk winter’s night, Will threw his coat around my bare shoulders then pressed my back against the window of Three Muses, unable to wait any longer to kiss me. And kiss me he did. He kissed me deeply, whole-heartedly, stopping every once in a while to see if it was actually me who stood in front of him shivering in his embrace. I wasn’t cold. I was waking up, my body shuddering to life in his arms. It is one thing to be gazed upon by a man you desire, quite another by one you love. But wait! I had to ask, even though I wasn’t sure I wanted to know the answer.
“Will… about you and Tracina…?”
“It’s over. It’s been over for a while. It’s you and me, Cassie. It should have always been you and me.”
We let some tourist pass while I took in this heart-stopping information. You and me and me and you. A few steps further, Will stopped me again, this time pressing me up against the red brick wall of The Praline Connection, where a couple of the wait staff raised their eyebrows, as though to say, Will Foret and Cassie Robichaud? Kissing? On Frenchmen?
Will’s hands, his smell, his perfect mouth, the love I think I saw in his eyes, all made such sense. There was no more fight in me. I wanted him, all of him. He was already in my head and heart and I now wanted him in my body, too. When he stopped me in the street and held my head in his warm hands, searching out my eyes for an answer to his question, I knew he heard me say yes, wordlessly. We practically sprinted the half block back to the Café Rose, Will’s hands shaking so much he couldn’t unlock the doors without dropping the keys twice.
How is it possible he was more nervous than me? How come I wasn’t nervous at all? The Steps. They cascaded in my mind. I could surrender to this, finally, to this man I had resisted from the beginning. I felt fearless, brave, generous and confident enough to accept him. I trusted Will, which gave me courage to face whatever our future held. And I was so curious to find out what this man was like in bed, what we would be like together. A new feeling rose inside me, exuberance, the ultimate promise of Step Nine. We were joy in action.
We stumbled into the restaurant, giggling and kissing, tripping over the clothes we kicked off in our rush up the stairs, where we collapsed on the dusty mattress, in a room that would never feel lonely again.
What happened between us was mostly wordless. He was far from the timid lover I had imagined him to be. He was ferocious and gentle all at once, and I reached to match him. I pulled him, kissing him with full force, leaving no mistake about my longing. This man was mine. He took in the length of me, shaking his head as though he could not have imagined the moment more perfectly. Then he hovered over me, showering me with kisses, gentle, then more deliberate, beginning an achingly slow trail from my neck, down to my clavicle, lingering at my breasts. I couldn’t contain more giggles as he inched his way down me, his stubble tickling my skin, stopping every one in a while, his eyes searching mine, making me beg for him. I was about to have sex with Will Foret, my boss, my friend, my man. I pick you.
Cassie Robichaud’s life is filled with regret and loneliness after the sudden death of her husband. She waits tables at the rundown Café Rose in New Orleans, and every night she heads home to her solitary one-bedroom apartment. But when she discovers a notebook left behind by a mysterious woman at the café, Cassie’s world is forever changed.
The notebook’s stunningly explicit confessions shock and fascinate Cassie, and eventually lead her to S∙E∙C∙R∙E∙T, an underground society dedicated to helping women realize their wildest, most intimate sexual fantasies. Cassie soon immerses herself in an electrifying journey through a series of ten rapturous fantasies with gorgeous men who awaken and satisfy her like never before. As she is set free from her inhibitions, she discovers a new confidence that transforms her, giving her the courage to live passionately. Equal parts enticing, liberating and emotionally powerful, S∙E∙C∙R∙E∙T is a world where fantasy becomes reality.