Celebrating Hot Summer Romance

From The Playboy’s Proposition:

I wanted to be swept away in a grand and passionate love affair. I wanted it to wrap itself around me and raise me out of the monotony I had made of my life, of myself. I needed that perfect love to vindicate my past.

Hot_summer_romance_giveaway_hop_graphicMy past was an embarrassing cliche. Raised by parents who lost interest in me around the time I began to form my own opinions of the world, I sought reassurance of my worth from others. When I discovered the appeal of my youthful sexuality, I believed men could provide that worth.

It wasn’t long before I discovered how mistaken I was in that belief. By the age of eighteen, I was pregnant. I thought my boyfriend was more than gallant when he proposed marriage, and it made me love him. When I miscarried the baby not long after our wedding, I stayed with my new husband.

Not that I had much choice, really. My parents had kicked me out when they learned I was pregnant, attacking me with accusations and character affronts which assured I wouldn’t speak to them for years. I was on my own. No money, a high school diploma, and a husband who believed he would be a rock star one day.

I learned how to survive, took shitty jobs that barely kept a roof over our heads and food in our mouths. And because I needed to believe that I could have a better future, I took night classes at the local community college.

By the second year of my marriage, I learned why my husband actually married me. It hadn’t been for the sake of our baby, or to provide for us; it had been because he wanted someone to take care of him.

I remember him storming around our one-room apartment, berating me for not making enough money for him and his band to go on the road. It was all my fault, he said. All my fault because I hadn’t listened to him, hadn’t done what needed to be done.

He wanted me to give up night school and become a stripper. Better money, he said. I didn’t need school, he insisted, because he would be a star soon, and you didn’t need a college degree to be the wife of a rich rock star. All I had to do was to sacrifice for him now, and I would be repaid later.

I was actually proud of myself for telling him no, that I wanted to stay in school, that I would stay in school no matter how much he yelled at me. I told him to get a day job to make the money to go on the road. He kicked the furniture and stomped out of the apartment. I didn’t see him for a week.

I find it hard to accept, now, that I was proud of telling him no. I’m disgusted with my past self that I allowed him back into my life, let him stumble back into my bed, drunk and stinking after a week on the streets doing God knew what. I should have thrown his ass out the door.

I could say no to his demand that I become a stripper. I couldn’t say no to the marriage.

So many wasted years, supporting a man I loathed, and who loathed me in return in spite of my efforts to appease him. Not his fault, though. My fault. I knew the truth by year two of my marriage. That it took me eight more years to finally unload him … well, that was on me.

I desperately needed to shake the blame for those ten years of bad decisions and lost chances. I longed to banish the taint of my failed marriage, of failed dreams.

I was now twenty-nine years old. I had a college degree, a decent job, a place of my own, and a sense of urgency to claim a different destiny. Divorcing my husband was only the first step. I needed something more than a job and an apartment. I needed what I had never had.

A great love, a great passion. That was what I wanted. To float away in undeniable desire. Love could do that for me. And if not love, then passion alone could surely do, for now.

Two men offered me passion, Michael Weston and Gibson Reeves. Michael, tall and lean with the charm of a continental playboy. Gibson, who I still thought of as The Businessman, tall and muscular, with a handsome but inscrutable face.

Both of them, dominant males who saw something in me I hadn’t known was there. A sexual submissive, driven to be taken by their power. Me, into BDSM. Were they right about me? I didn’t know, for certain, but I wanted them to help me find out, was more than excited by the prospect of their special assistance.


First love doesn’t always turn out to be the best love. I think Nonnie, the protagonist of my The Power to Please series, longs for what many women want: a second chance at love and passion.

The Hot Summer Romance Hop is celebrating romance in all it’s different forms. So whether you’ve already found that perfect passion or if it’s still right around the corner, this is the place to celebrate all the possibilities of love.

I’m celebrating by giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to be chosen at random. So drop by Amazon and pick up a copy of The Businessman’s Tie to start the first step of Nonnie’s journey. Enter the Rafflecopter below to win a $10 Amazon gift card. Then check out the other blogs in The Hop for more fun giveaways celebrating steamy romance.

The Insatiable Reads Book Tour is giving away a couple of smashing grand prizes: #1 is a Kindle Fire. #2 is a $50 Amazon.com gift certificate. You definitely want to stop by a lot of blogs and enter for your chance to win. The Grand Prizes will be chosen at random from all the comments on all the participating blogs so give everyone a little comment love.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

40 thoughts on “Celebrating Hot Summer Romance

  1. Shannon says:

    My husband gets me flowers from time to time for no reason. I like the small things than are unprompted and thoughtful like that

  2. Trix says:

    I’m usually the one making the gestures, but I have gotten a mixtape or two in my day…


  3. JOYE says:

    My old flame once gave me a rose in his violin case which he had left at my door. Surprised and elated. It was so unusual I have never forgotten it. He also took me to dinner that time at a very nice restaurant. And there were men strolling around playing the violin.

  4. I have the absolute worst memory so I’m going with last Valentine’s Day. My husband hates buying presents, he’d rather give me the money and I go buy what I want. This time though, he came walking in the house with a bottle of my favorite Gordiva Chocolate Vodka with a rose tied on it. He was so proud of himself. 🙂 It was sweet. Thank you! heather1974 at gmail dot com

  5. Dawna Newman says:

    My dh showing up at my work with a big balloon and roses for my bday.


  6. carly says:

    getting roses at work carlywood@comcast.net thanks for the giveaway

  7. Nara says:

    Getting some flowers on my birthday!
    Thanks for the giveaway

  8. Karina V says:

    Not something particular.. it’s in the way someone treats you, like a gentleman, I think it’s really romantic 🙂

  9. Makaela says:


  10. Cassandra Hicks says:

    I had an ex write me a poem one time because he knew how much I love to write my own 🙂
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!
    dixiedukegurl2 AT yahoo DOT com

  11. Kyla Patton says:

    My husband leaves me little love notes around the house or surprises me with a romantic bath when I am coming home from a chiropractor appt. and he knows I’m going to be sore! Thanks a bunch for the hop/giveaway! Kyla Patton- kamclauc AT gmail DOT com

  12. Jessi S says:

    My husband took me across the country to a place I hadn’t been just to propose.

    jess820 at gmail dot com

  13. Mer says:

    Just because flowers! It definitely made me feel special and cherished.

    dancingcelt at gmail dot com

  14. Valerie Rhodes says:

    Hmm most romantic… I’d say one of my ex’s flying me to Chicago for a lovely dinner following a play, then whisking me back home in Texas. Crazy night that was.. 🙂

    vals_hemi at yahoo dot com

  15. Natasha says:

    Nothing yet.
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  16. Ada says:

    I got a gift that I didn’t think I could afford but I talked about for ages.

  17. Anita H. says:

    Can’t really say anything’s happened that would be the most romantic yet

    thebigbluewall77 at gmail dot com

  18. dv8 says:

    A girlfriend got a band to surprise me with a serenade of “Kiss the Girl”.

  19. Stacey says:

    I loved the time he send me flowers at work! I think it’s always sweet and he always remembers my favorites ~ which aren’t roses! LOL


  20. jennifer mathis says:

    i got flowers once from an ex from years before to say he was thinking of me … if only he had ever thought to send them to me when we was together

  21. JanD says:

    A friend got me breakfast during a stressful day.
    bituin76 at hotmail dot com

  22. Sebella Blue says:

    I was walking through the mall with my current guy, just window shopping. When we walked past the florist, a man in a tuxedo gives me a bouquet of white roses and sings The Way You Look Tonight. I have no idea how he arranged all this, but he got VERY lucky.

    blueshedevil32 at gmail dot com

  23. Christina T says:

    Learning to dance to surprise me when he took me out to a romantic dinner.


  24. Eva Millien says:

    The most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me. I can’t really think of anything. I think the men around here needs to read some romances and take lessons or maybe I need to move. Thanks for sharing the awesome giveaways. evamillien at gmail dot com

  25. Daniel M says:

    none, not any romance here

  26. Judy Peterson says:

    That would be bring me a rainbow rose. Each petal is different colors. I had never seen anything so beautiful.


  27. bn100 says:

    can’t think of anything
    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  28. Janhvi says:

    Nothing yet 🙂

    justjanhvi at gmail dot com

  29. Mel Bourn says:

    My husband is always doing things to remind me of how much he loves me. Recently he gave me a handmade spoon ring after sharing a touching story about his grandfather bending a spoon for him so that it wouldn’t fall into his bowl of cereal.
    bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

  30. Krista says:

    A guy once attempted to serenade me with “You’ve Lost That Lovin Feelin” like in the movie Top Gun. Thanks for the giveaway!
    pinkbonanza{ AT }gmail{ DOT }com

  31. Rachel says:

    The most romantic thing is when my family gives a quiet day alone to read. Now that I think on it that sounds kinda sad, but I hardly ever get quiet time.

    dragon5174 at gmail dot com

  32. Amanda D says:

    My husband makes me breakfast in bed for no specific reason which is even more romantic than doing it for a special occasion.

  33. BookAttict says:

    Getting surprised with a couples spa day!

    Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com

  34. Jessica Martin says:

    Well the most romantic thing my hubby has done (now mind you my husband wouldn’t know romance if it kicked him in the ass lol) was coming home after a loooong deployment taking the kids and dropping me off at the spa for the day. It was much needed and I enjoyed every peaceful minute!! Thank you so much for being a part of this hop and for giving me the opportunity to win! usmcwifey1(at)live(dot)com

  35. Joy F says:

    Nothing as of yet.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

  36. Froggy says:

    Taking care of me when i am sick!

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  37. Wanda Dixon says:

    Everything my hubby does for me is sweet and special
    thanks for the giveaway

  38. Tiffany Drew says:

    My husband sent me flowers at work 🙂

    Thank you!


  39. Shadow says:

    Hi! I dont really have anything romantic to share. Thank you for the fun hop and giveaway! 🙂

  40. Deena says:

    Thanks for all your terrific answers, everyone! And congrats to the lucky winner, Karina!

    Hope everyone enjoyed the hop. 🙂

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