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.
My 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.