Friday, December 20, 2013

Venice Nights is Available!

When most people make their romantic relationship official, they update their Facebook. When billionaire Jacob Whitmore announces to the world that Leila Montgomery is his girlfriend, all hell breaks loose.

Leila is thrown headfirst into Jacob's affluent, paparazzi-filled world. She has no doubt that she loves him, but can their relationship survive when everyone wants a piece of the billionaire's new girlfriend?

~Venice Nights is a prequel to The Billionaire's Girlfriend (Part Five of the His Submissive Series), chronicling Jacob and Leila's time in Italy before they return to the United States.~

Venice Nights is available at:
Barnes and Noble
iBooks (processing)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Venice Nights Soundtrack

"True Affection" by The Blow

"Starstruck" by Santigold

"Fade Into You" from Nashville Soundtrack

"Cold" by Aqualung and Lucy Schwartz

"99 Problems" by Hugo

"Fire in the Water" by Feist

"Roll Away Your Stone" by Mumford and Sons

"Sex on Fire" by Kings of Leon

"Fix You" by Coldplay

"Love Story" by Taylor Swift

2 more days!
Venice Nights cover reveal tomorrow at Sammie's Book Blog!!! <3

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

An Interview With Leila Montgomery

If you read the excerpt from yesterday, you saw that Leila's first run-in with the press after Jacob announced that they were dating didn't go so well. :(

Before heading back to the US, Leila decides to give a gossip site an exclusive interview. Read below to find out if she fares any better with!

I lowered myself into the patio chair, pushing aside my last minute reservations. Jade Simone, a blogger with, would be calling any minute for an exclusive interview--my first since the train wreck in front of Rachel Laraby’s hotel a few weeks ago. Jacob had his reservations about it, but I knew I needed to do something to warm me up for what was waiting after the Whitmore jet touched down in the States.
My cell hummed in my palm, the vibration amplifying the rattle of my nerves. It was her. 
I brought it to my ear, gulping. "Hello?"
"Hi Leila!" Jade’s voice sounded like cotton candy, sticky and sweet. It matched the picture on the website: bleach blond hair, deep brown tan, and freakishly white teeth. "Is it okay if I call you Leila?"
I nodded, forgetting that she could not see the confirmation. "Yeah, Leila is fine."
"Awesome," I heard rustling on her end, like she was pulling up, ready to get to work. "Thanks for responding to my email. Ever since Jacob announced that you were a couple, everyone's been dying to sit down with you. I'm so glad you picked us for your first interview." She took a breath. "So--who is Leila Montgomery?"
I shifted uncomfortably. "Well, I grew up in Douglas Heights--"
"Douglas Heights?" she interrupted. "That...quaint neighborhood outside the city?”
She said ‘quaint’ like she really meant ‘poor’. I grit my teeth. “Yes, that one.”
“Wow,” she whistled. “I guess there's hope for us little people after all then, huh?"
A slight warning bell rang in my head but I ignored it. I’d met people like her before. Absolutely zero tact. Completely oblivious of the power of their words. You should get used to least she didn’t ask if Jacob was as great a lay as he seems.
"I graduated with a degree in public relations,” I said after taking a breath. “I’m the assistant to the CEO of Whitmore and Creighton."
"An assistant to the CEO?” She parroted back, a frown running beneath the words. “You work for your boyfriend, right?” She didn’t wait for me to confirm the obvious. “That must be really awkward. Especially with all the rumors about you sleeping your way into the job."
Our interview had taken a turn down a road I had wanted to avoid, but I kept my voice measured. "Well, I'm here to put those rumors to rest, once and for all. My professional life and personal life are separate."
"But how is that possible?” she probed. “Your boyfriend is your boss. Isn't that kind of a conflict of interest?"
My nostrils flared indignantly. "Ask me anything you want about my professional life, Jade. But my personal life is just that--personal."
She chuckled, a haughty thing with an edge that made my stomach drop.  
It had been a mistake to answer her email. 
I had expected fluffy, easy questions about my hobbies or if Jacob was a good kisser. The front page of Celeb Goss was filled with stories about the latest Kim Kardashian sighting and red carpet triumphs and failures; celebrity gossip and fashion. I was not looking for hard hitting journalism. The fact that Jacob’s attraction played a role in me going from a research aide to personal assistant still made me feel guilty.
I clutched the phone, pulling my knees to my chest. Just drill the talking point home. "I'm not going to talk about my personal life. Period."
There was a long, gut wrenching silence. It was so quiet that I made out the notes of the wind rippling across the pool. I felt the creak of the house behind me, like it was leaning in, waiting with bated breath. Blood screamed in my ears as my pulse raced.
"Well," Jade said finally, all cordiality gone from her voice. "I can assure you that no one cares about anything except why Jacob Whitmore is dating someone like you. Some people may call you Cinderella, but I'm not into fairytales. I think you're an opportunist."
My hand trembled as the word hit me like a blow to the face. She got her soundbite. 
Leila Montgomery, the Opportunist. 
"This interview is over." I ended the call, slamming the phone onto the table beside me. 
How could I have been so stupid? 
The patio door swung open, solid steps moving toward me. I cast a look over my shoulder, locking eyes with Jacob and shaking my head.
His voice was warm, stroking me as gently as a caress. "That bad, huh?"
I slowly rose to my feet. "Can't we just stay here?" I groaned. "The local press seems to have found something more interesting than us." I roped my arms around his neck. "We can live off the land."
He smirked, blue eyes sparkling. "As appealing as that thought is, we can't run from them forever." He leaned down and pressed a kiss against my lips. A kiss that almost erased all the worry in my heart. 
As delicious as his lips were, there was still no denying the fact that the Italian press were only a fraction of what I had to look forward to back in the U.S.
He read me like an open book. "Just give it time. Once they see what I see, they'll love you." 
I melted into his arms, wanting to believe that so badly. As long as I had him--everything would be okay. 
It had to be.
"Alright, love birds," Isabella's sharp voice sounded behind us. She cocked her head toward the door, dark locks flapping in the breeze. "Your car is here."
I moved back to the scene of my second press failure, picking up my phone from the table. The screen was illuminated with a text.

Jade Simone

Your story will be live just in time for your return to US. Good luck, Mrs.'ll need it.


Stay tuned tomorrow for the Venice Nights soundtrack and Thursday, the cover reveal is being hosted by Sammie's Book Club. Be sure to like their page so you don't miss the first look at the steamy new cover! :)

3 more days!!! <33

Monday, December 16, 2013

Venice Nights: Excerpt

5 more days until the release of Venice Nights! :)

Here's an excerpt from Venice Nights...enjoy! <3

In a celebrity soaked world, I was no stranger to the tight grins of stars nor their bowed heads and glares as cameras documented every movement. The camera's flash was how I got to gush over an actress glittering on the red carpet; smirk at the drunken antics of some party-loving actor as they left a bar. 
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be on the receiving end of those bright lights.
“Leila! Over here!”
“I need a window!”
“How long have you and Jacob been dating, Leila?”
“Who are you wearing?”
I stood before the throng of photographers, rendered speechless. 
Who was I wearing? I was just in a pair of skinny jeans and a blouse. I had no idea who I was wearing. 
You have to tread very carefully. If a designer recognizes an item you’re wearing and you flub your response, you could be blacklisted. None of the big names will touch you.
I blinked into the blinding lights, a conversation I’d overheard popping in my head. One of the publicists at Whitmore and Creighton had been prepping a budding actress before a premiere, schooling her on red carpet etiquette.
How did I get here? How did that conversation become relevant to me
“I...” My chest tightened as a question sliced through softball ones about fashion.
“How’s Jacob in bed, Leila?”
My body went rigid. The obnoxious leer on the face of the man who asked the question turned my stomach. 
I knew the game the photographer was playing. He was probably one of the world-class jerks who screamed inappropriate questions at the children of celebrities. Questions about broken marriages and rumors too old for their young ears. He wanted a reaction.
I knew better than to feed the monster but I ignored my better judgment, moving dangerously close to the wall of cameras. I locked eyes on the offensive paparazzo. 
“That is none of your goddamn business!” I snapped, letting the anger take over. It raised my temperature until I felt like I could breathe fire. “How dare you ask me that? You're an ass--”
“Not here.” Jacob’s voice cut through my tirade. His grip on my arm was firm. Undebatable. 
But it was too late. The creep had struck a nerve--and they all saw it. 
There was blood in the water. Who was I wearing? Please. The new questions they hurled had teeth.
“What do you say to the rumors that you slept your way into Jacob’s heart?”
“What did you have to do to go from an entry level position to assistant to the CEO?”
I balled my hands into fists at my side, wanting to punch every single one of them. I saw Rachel Laraby, Jacob’s conniving ex, in every question. In every smirk I saw a mirrored image of the lingering worries in my heart. 
You did cheat. 
You slept your way to a promotion.
You don't deserve any of this. 
You don't deserve him.
I gripped Jacob’s hand like a lifeline as the crush of bodies and insulting questions about sexual favors whipped around us. The car was only a few feet away but it was the longest five strides of my life. 
The driver sprung into action, pulling open the back door. Jacob was a shield between me and the photographers, helping me into the car before pulling the door shut behind us. The photographers were unrelenting, light streaming through the glass windows. 
My throat closed as an irrefutable truth rang in my head. You just bombed your first interaction with the press. 
If I could breathe, it would have been ironic. Amusing even. I had a degree in public relations and I knew all the tools one was supposed to use in a hostile press environment. I knew you had to keep your composure or they’d eat you alive. 
When it came down to it, all it took was one rude question and I crumbled.
The driver fought through the crowd and the car rocked into motion. I dropped my head in my hands, tears spilling between my fingers.
Jacob’s arms circled me, neither of us taking the time for seat belts. Safety was the last thing on my mind.
I just wanted him to hold me.

Stay tuned--tomorrow is an interview with Leila! Hopefully it'll turn out better than her first run-in with the press. :/

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Venice Nights Giveaway

Have you missed Leila and Jacob??? :)

Here's the description for Venice Nights, a prequel to The Billionaire's Girlfriend (His Submissive Series, Part Five):

When most people make their romantic relationships official it's along the lines of updating their Facebook. When billionaire Jacob Whitmore announces to the world that Leila Montgomery is his girlfriend, all hell breaks loose. 

Leila is thrown headfirst into Jacob's affluent, paparazzi-filled world. She has no doubt that she loves him, but can their new relationship survive when the whole world wants a piece of the billionaire's new girlfriend?

To celebrate it's release on December 20, I'm doing a giveaway--and I have lots of fun things planned for release week!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Venice Nights by Ava Claire

Venice Nights

by Ava Claire

Giveaway ends December 22, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Release Week!:

Monday December 16: Excerpt from Venice Nights
Tuesday December 17: Interview with Leila
Wednesday December 18: Soundtrack for Venice Nights
Thursday December 19: Cover Reveal
Friday December 20: Release Day!!!!
Saturday December 21: End of Goodreads Book Giveaway

I can't wait to share more Leila and Jacob with you guys <3 Thanks for your patience and support!!!!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Quickie Giveaway!

I was approached to take part in a quickie mega-giveaway and I couldn't be more flattered or excited about all the fun prizes!

Here's the prize list:

Signed paperback of Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye
Paperback or ebook (winner's choice) of The Big Book of Orgasms: 69 Sexy Stories by Rachel Kramer Bussel (US only for paperback)
Ebook set of the Take A Chance Series by Diane Alberts (Try Me, Love Me, Play Me, Take Me)
His Submissive T-Shirt by Ava Claire (US only)
2 Ebook sets of Doing It by Clarissa Wild
2 Ebook Sets of The Billionaire's Bet by Clarissa Wild
7 Ebooks of Just One by Emily Hemmer
5 Ebooks of The Marriage Diaries (Vols 1-4) by Erika Wilde
5 Ebooks of Elite by Rachel Van Dyken
3 Ebook sets of The Breach Series by K I Lynn
5 Full-color Cover Flats + stickers of The Story Guy by Mary Ann Rivers
2 Ebooks of First Dance With You by Clarissa Wild
2 Ebooks of The Wager by Rachel Van Dyken
Ebook of the Love in the City Box Set by Liv Morris
Ebook of Night Owl by M Pierce
Ebook of Tease by Missy Johnson
Ebook of Seduce by Missy Johnson
Ebook of Holidays with the Walker Brothers by Nicole Edwards
Ebook set of The Girl Next Door Series by C C Wood
Ebook of 3:AM Kisses by Addison Moore
Ebook of Something's Come Up by Andrea Randall & Michelle Pace
Ebook of One to Hold by Tia Louise
Ebook of Used by Kate Lynne
Ebook of Confused by Kate Lynne
Ebook set of His Submissive by Ava Claire
Ebook of One Night With Him by K S Smith
Ebook of Pieces of Perfect by Elizabeth Hayley
Ebook of Sex Snob by Elizabeth Hayley

Along with lots of other awesome prizes, there's also a chance to win the His Submissive Series Complete Collection ebook (for anyone that hasn't picked it up yet ;) and a His Submissive t-shirt!

Go here to check out their Rafflecopter and enter to win! Feel free to comment on this post with any questions~ <3

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Poll Results and Updates!

The results are in...

An overwhelming number of yall would like to read the spinoff with Megan and Cade first!
77 want to read Megan and Cade and 7 want to read Chance and Cass.

Your wish is my command--after Venice Nights release, Megan and Cade's story is next!!!

As far as His Dark Lessons/Chance and Cass, I'm combining the three parts of His Dark Lessons into a single collection (like I did with the His Submissive Series Complete Collection) and releasing it so you can read up in preparation for their prequel release. The His Dark Lessons Collection will be released in ebook and paperback on November 29.

If you picked up a copy of the His Submissive boxed set, you're aware of the tentative release schedule I posted at the end of the book (as well as the Upcoming Projects page on this site). To allow for editing/beta-readers/promotion-y type stuff and put out the best books possible, everything has been moved back a month.

Here's the updated schedule:
December 20: Venice Nights
January: Megan and Cade
February: His Dark Lessons Prequel

I'm sorry for the delay...but I'm just trying to give you guys the awesomest stories that you deserve. And *hopefully* it's worth the wait! Thanks for your patience and support. I heart every single email, facebook share, and comment! #bestfansever <3

Any questions? Comment below or shoot me an email.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Venice Nights...and a poll!

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile. I've missed yall...and I'm still in awe of how many people have been spreading the word about the release of the His Submissive series boxed set. Words can't adequately express how grateful I am. Thank you so much!!! <3

October has been a whirlwind month of writing and editing and things have had to be moved around. If you've subscribed to my newsletter, you're already know that I decided to release Venice Nights (Part 1 and Part 2) as a single book instead of as a serial (like I released the His Submissive series). Venice Nights will be out in late November. 

Which brings us to the poll.
As far as December, would you like to read the His Dark Lessons prequel or Meg and Cade's story first? Answer below:

Which book would you like to read after Venice Nights free polls 
Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Again, sorry I've been a little MIA. I do want to say that I read every comment and email and I appreciate them all! xoxo

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Winner Announced and the His Submissive Series Complete Collection!

Thanks to everyone that participated in the His Submissive series Mega-Giveaway! 616 entries...definitely the biggest participation level I've had for a giveaway and it means a lot to me that y'all took the time to follow, tweet, and share what you'll miss about Leila and Jacob. <3

Without further ado, here are the winners of the giveaway:

$50 Amazon Gift Card: Envy (#181)
His Submissive Hoodie #1: Claudia Liu (#306)
His Submissive Hoodie #2: Sam Stettner (#463)
His Submissive T-shirt #1: Kayla Orton (#199)
His Submissive T-shirt #2: Neria McCoy (#492)
His Submissive Prize Pack (Mug/Button/Sticker) #1: Tammy Spowart Rollo (#262)
His Submissive Prize Pack (Mug/Button/Sticker) #2: Stephanie Ann (#465)
His Submissive Complete Series Paperback #1: Victoria Jade Kelly (#71)
His Submissive Complete Series Paperback #2: Linda Robertson (#599)
His Submissive Complete Series E-book #1: Siobhan Ioannou (#113)
His Submissive Complete Series E-book #2: Maura Gutierrez (#56)

I'll be emailing all the winners today! Congrats and thanks to everyone that participated!!!


Y'all asked for The His Submissive Series combined into a single (ish) volume, and your wish is my command! :)

Here's the e-book cover:

Here's the paperback cover(s):

The His Submissive Series Complete Collection is available in e-format at the following retailers:

Amazon (ebook)
Barnes and Noble
iBooks (pending)

Snag your copy of the complete series in e-book format for 2.99 for a limited will go up to 9.99 soon!

And for those that want your L+J in glorious paperback format, the links to volume 1 and 2 are below!
Volume One
Volume Two

Monday, September 16, 2013

Updates and Happenings

So things are moving along and I can't wait until I have the entire His Submissive series ready for yall!

I've hit a few hiccups. The entire series in paperback clocked in at a whopping 950 pages.

Apparently, the longest book Createspace will print is 850 pages, so I had to split it up in two books for the paperback version.

Book One will have parts 1-7
Book Two will have parts 8-12

I'm so sorry yall...I was really hoping to have one big book full of L+J, but the series was just too full of awesome apparently. The e-copy of the complete series will still be one huge book though, so yay for that.

The giveaway is still going, so check out the blog here to enter to win loads of stuff. Gracias to everyone that has participated. You guys are the bestest. <3

**p.s. Those that win a copy of the His Submissive series in paperback will still receive the entire collection (Book One and Book Two)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Throwback Thursday

Not exactly a photo, but it's still a yummy blast from the past. :D

from The Billionaire's Contract:

"What do you think you're doing?" he asked, an edge to the question.
"Leaving," I said icily. “You know, that thing that one does when they no longer want to be someplace.”
His foot was on the hem of my skirt and when he didn't budge, I shot him a look of warning. He stepped back, but didn’t lose the infuriatingly sexy command in his voice. "We both know you're not going anywhere, Leila."
"Is that right?" I said sarcastically, sliding my skirt over my hips.
"That's right," he said matter-of-factly. "The starting salary of a research aide at Whitmore and Creighton is more than generous, you'll get behind the scenes access to the meatiest public relations catastrophes in the world, and we have an excellent benefits package."
I let out a snort as I zipped up my skirt. "So it's a good job. And my interview involves spreading my legs? You dangle a check and health insurance like a bone and I'm just supposed to have sex with you?"
"No," he said, eyes burning into me. “You haven’t earned sex. But you’re going to submit to me because you want to.”
Submit to him? “I’m pretty sure I just said I wasn’t interested,” I said stubbornly, not looking him in the eye because he might see that couldn’t be farther from the truth. “I’m not a whore.”
“I never said you were,” he said smoothly. “But I do think you’re curious.”
“Curious?” I snorted.
He nodded. “That’s right. You’re going to submit to me because you're curious."
"No, I'm not." But I'd stopped redressing.
"I can tell you're a woman that's used to being in charge. A leader." He was back in front of me, invading my personal space in the most delicious way. "You're going to submit to me because you're curious about what it would be like to give everything over to someone else.” He leaned in and his virile scent flooded my nostrils, making me close my eyes as I breathed him in. "You're going to do what I say,” he continued, sending a wildfire of passion over me. “Because secretly, you wonder what it's like to be on your knees."

Still editing and finalizing the complete collection! I'm shooting for an Oct 1 release date and will keep yall posted.

I also extended the end of the giveaway. You can now enter to win His Submissive swag until Oct 1 at 12am! There are loads of ways to enter on a daily basis, just by commenting on the blog and tweeting about the giveaway. Thanks for everyone for participating! <3

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Billionaire's Forever is now available!!!

Everything has come full circle...

An overzealous mother-in-law. A jaded ex with Leila's personal and professional life in her crosshairs. Paparazzi determined to snap a picture of the modern day Cinderella.

Can Leila Montgomery become Mrs. Whitmore without losing herself?

From stairwells and private jets to love and proposals, The Billionaire's Forever is the conclusion of the His Submissive series. 

It's available at the following retailers:
Barnes and Noble

I can't wait to go into how much fun I had researching this story--but I can't really go into details without getting spoiler-rific. :)  Stay tuned for a post full of pictures and the roller-coaster of emotions I dealt with while writing the conclusion to the His Submissive series!

Also, if you haven't entered the His Submissive mega-giveaway, you're missing out on a chance to win really cool prizes like--
Awesome swag (t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, buttons etc!)
The complete His Submissive series collection in e-format
The complete His Submissive series in paperback
Check out the deets here.

Thanks for all of your passion about this series. It means the world to me.
I <3 yall!!!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

His Submissive Mega-Giveaway

I've said it before and I'll say it again--yall are the best. Telling Jacob and Leila's story and hearing how much you love their story and wait for each release with bated breath...I'm really the luckiest author ever. I heart each and every one of you!

I'm running a mega-giveaway for the His Submissive series as we pull closer to the release of part 12 and also the release of the complete series in paperback and e-book in late September.

Here are the prizes:
  • $50 Amazon Gift Card
  • 2 His Submissive Hoodies
  • 2 His Submissive T-shirts
  • 2 His Submissive Prize Bags (Mug, Button, Sticker)
  • 2 His Submissive Complete Series Paperbacks
  • 2 His Submissive Complete Series E-books
And here's the Rafflecopter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Most of the entries can be done daily (tweeting, commenting, etc.)

Any questions? Comment below!

Good luck! <3

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Swag, Giveaway, and Updates!

So much is going on as we inch closer to the release of the final part of the His Submissive series!

As far as t-shirts/swag for the His Submissive series, here are the final designs:

Design 1:

 Design 2:

Design 3:

 Design 4:

 Design 5:

(My Mr. created the Whitmore and Creighton logo!)

Starting tomorrow AM, I'm offering a chance to win all sorts of t-shirts, hoodies, coffee mugs galore (as well as free e-copies and paperbacks!) stop back by to get your Rafflecopter on.

As far as the giveaway goes, tweeting and commenting about your favorite parts and things you'll miss is all you have to do to enter to win. Full details will be posted when the Rafflecopter goes up. Since this is a mega giveaway, it'll last until the release of the complete His Submissive series in paperback, which will be late September.

As far as the release of The Billionaire's Forever (His Submissive, Part 12), a release date of August 23 is just cutting it too close.
The updated release date is August 30. It's the culmination of everything, so I want to do their HEA right! Also, it'll include a first look at a surprise project...

Venice Nights!

In the His Submissive series, I picked up part five (The Billionaire's Girlfriend) after Leila and Jacob had already come back stateside after some steamy good times in Italy. I've decided to do a small prequel project giving you more background into L+J falling in love with the backdrop of the Italian countryside (and Jacob's yummy playroom!).

It'll be a two part series. The first will be released in October, the second in November.

For those that are Leila and Jacob-ed out, you can pass on this addition. It only expands on their story and you know how it ends if you've read parts 5-12. But for those that love the dominate-y bits and can't get enough of this couple, you won't want to miss this! :)

That's all for now...if you have any questions at all, email me or leave a comment below.


Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Billionaire's Trust is now Available!

First comes love, then comes marriage...

Leila Montgomery has everything she wants--her dream job, her dream guy, and ulterior motives aside, a future mother-in-law who seems to be trying to accept Leila's relationship with her billionaire son. But Alicia Whitmore's way of rebuilding bridges is dominating the wedding planning process, determined to put on the event of the century-when all Leila wants is something small and intimate.

On top of that, Rachel Laraby is hatching a new plot against Jacob and Leila's relationship. Love, trust, and drama collide in the eleventh installment of the His Submissive series.

The Billionaire's Trust is available at the following online retailers:
Barnes and Noble

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Winner of Billionaire's Trust Giveaway! And Updates!

First off, a HUGE thanks to everyone that shared your favorite quotes from the series! Glad to see everyone else loved the scenes where Jacob is achingly romantic (and ones where he's deliciously naughty! mmm...:) 
 Can't wait to share mock ups of the t-shirts! Picked via Rafflecoptor, the winner of the $26 Amazon gift card is Kelly Y! Congratulations!!! Keep your eye on your email, Kelly so I can get your prize to you. 

As far as The Billionaire's Trust, part eleven is currently up on Smashwords and should be live on Amazon and Barnes and Noble in the AM/afternoon tomorrow. I apologize for any delay and I'll update the post along with links as soon as they go live. To tide yall over, here's the cover for The Billionaire's Trust along with an extended excerpt!Enjoy. <3 

Excerpt from The Billionaire's Trust

"You ready for this?"
I should have been the one asking him that because he didn't sound remotely ready for what was waiting on the other side of the door.
Jacob's usually authoritative voice was unsteady. Nervous. The man had taken on squirrely investors, paparazzi and Rachel Laraby like a Spartan charging into battle, but he paused at the entrance to The Vineyard. He paid no mind to the staff, perky and already springing to action as they pulled open the heavy oak doors to the restaurant. He looked beyond them warily, like he could already see his mother, smiling brightly as she secretly plotted some way to break his heart all over again.
To the outside world he was the picture of cool sophistication. His dark waves were tamed and pushed back, highlighting his good genes. There was no missing his signature, strong jaw, bright blue eyes and lips that would make any woman's cheeks redden as she thought up ways to put them to good use. His crisp, two-piece suit commanded attention and if it wasn't for the staff providing a buffer, the paparazzi were more than willing to oblige. Usually, he'd trade barbs since he knew most of them by name, but not today.
"If I didn't know better, I'd think you were trying to chicken out," I said, my lips curling at the sides. Comic relief--that’s what this situation needs.
He gave me a single look that would have reduced anyone else to a bumbling mess, but I didn't even blink until he dropped the hard ass routine and his mouth tilted into a smirk.
"Chicken out? No--there's just other things I'd like to do..."
I felt every single dot dot dot as blue eyes worked their way around the curves of my body before settling back on the weakening resolve in my eyes. I was pretty sure I knew where the conversation was headed. Other things he'd like to me.
And I wouldn't put up a fight. We'd already spent most of the morning in some manner of undress and all it took from him was a single look, heck, a single word and I was quivering and wet.
He roped a hand around my waist and I didn't even have time to say a word before he gripped my ass.
The cameras went wild.
My face was already on fire but I didn't look up to nonverbally ask if he really wanted our picture of the day to be one where he was copping a feel; we were both nervous as hell about this meeting so I considered making another joke or stepping it up a notch and really giving them something to photograph, but my face fell when I saw his.
His expression was a raw, exposed nerve. One look into his sea-blue eyes and I learned it was much more than jittery nervousness. He was like a man about to walk to his execution.
Jacob's apprehension was understandable. It had only been a few days since Alicia pulled the stick from her ass and handed over his grandmother's ring. After awkwardly going our separate ways, we'd speculated how things would change. His money was on Alicia acting like nothing happened, stepping into our lives as if she hadn’t been adamantly against our relationship. Mine was on her judging us from a distance. She was worthy of sainthood since she deigned to give up the ring, and now she would suffer in near silence until we learned our lessons.
Unfortunately, Jacob was right.
Not even twenty-four hours after the apology a barrage of texts, calls, and emails bombarded us both. It was like she was literally trying to make up for lost time. She was always apologetic, but after finally letting it go to voicemail it was obvious that she wasn’t going anywhere. When she’d suggested meeting for lunch to talk about the wedding I said yes before Jacob could get a word out, mostly because I figured it would be an hour or so that I wasn’t staring at my cell, waiting for it to light up with some new concept she wanted to share.
Now that we were here, I entertained thoughts of coming down with a spontaneous bug. Or maybe I could use the paparazzi; there was always one that went too far and made their subject snap. I could go all Bjork on their ass and then lunch with Mommy Dearest would definitely be canceled.
The owner of The Vineyard hustled out, dressed in a two piece suit of her own with stars in her eyes--and she drew a good number of eyes to the front entrance.
There'd be no backing out now.
"Mr. Whitmore," she gushed, her teeth as blaring white as the platinum blond hair pulled into a high bun on her head. "It's truly a pleasure." She shook his hand, lingering, like she was trying to savor the contact. She remembered herself and glanced at me with embarrassment setting fire to her cheeks. When she held out her hand, her face apologetic and slightly worried I'd be pissed, I shook hers with a smile. In the past it might have made me roll my eyes or bring my defenses up as I moved closer and marked my territory, but I felt no need. He put a ring on it and I knew when Jacob made a commitment, he meant it. Besides, we'd survived too much for me to act the fool just because some random woman had a crush.
"Mrs. Whitmore is already inside," the owner said, back in business mode. "If you need anything at all, please don't hesitate to ask. My staff and I are at your disposal."
Jacob gave her a crisp nod and looked down at me, slipping the mask of armor back on. "Shall we?"
Stepping inside of The Vineyard made my heart swell in my chest. The rich colors, the walls lined with wine bottles, the rustic furnishings--everything about it took me back to Venice. I didn't miss the parallels: Venice was me and Jacob’s beginning. Alicia was trying to make this our new beginning.
Our host guided us to our table and I took a deep breath as Alicia saw us and rose to her feet. An older woman was beside her, plunking out a final word on her iPhone before she gave us a quick smile and her face went serious. Alicia was gushing like she hadn't seen us in months. I shook Alicia’s hand and watched as the Awkward O-Meter ticked up to ‘run and hide’ as she moved to hug Jacob and he took a step backward, giving her a look that made me shiver.
Surely she didn’t expect that to go over well, but the crestfallen look that flashed across her face said otherwise.
Never one to stay down, Alicia recovered from the slight like a pro, turning back to the silver haired woman. “I’m so glad you two agreed to come.” She began the introductions. “This is Macy Scott. She’s the best wedding planner in the city.”
“Oh Alicia,” Macy said with a haughty chuckle. “You’re exaggerating just a smidge.” From the smile she had slathered on her lips at the compliment, she was loving the praise--and believed every word. “Best in the city? That may be a little bit much.”
“You orchestrated Mika Sanchez’ last minute nuptials to that Saudi prince, made Oz Claiborne’s sixth wedding look like a storybook romance instead of a lecherous old man’s end-of-life crisis and even I was impressed when you turned Liza Jackman’s rehab romance into a goth’s wet dream. She talks about you like you’re the second coming of Christ,” Jacob paused, cool eyes locked on her. “I think you know exactly how good you are.”
The three of us women just gawked at Jacob. He had the strong, silent thing down pat five seconds ago and now he was striping away the BS before we even sat down.
He pulled out my chair and waited for me to sit before easing into the seat beside me. His mother still had this gray eyed, deer in headlights thing going. Macy was just as stunned.
“What?” Jacob shrugged. “I do my research as I’m sure you’ve done your own.”
Alicia sat down without a word, polishing off the rest of her wine like she knew we were in for a bumpy ride. But Macy--there was something different when the initial shock faded. Her eyes brightened, her whole demeanor going from professional with a hint of ‘meh’ to downright interested. “You read up on me, huh?”
Jacob took a long swig of his water before answering. “I know as much about you as you know about me. Surface information easily garnered from a google search.”
He said it easily. Coolly if you really knew him and could see past the almost bored way he skimmed the menu. He was Jacob Whitmore, head of Whitmore and Creighton, one of the most prestigious PR firms in the world. Google was for amateurs and we were the big leagues. If he wanted, he could have had a dossier filled with everything from her first kiss to the date and location of her first heartbreak. Research was our thing, knowing every minuscule piece that made a person who they are so we could find a way to make them better. Saying he Googled her proved how little he thought of this whole thing. One word and he’d just given her the ultimate diss.
“I’ve done my research too,” the planner said smoothly. “I know that you’ve had relationships with models, actresses and other personal assistants, but none of them compared to her.” She sat up a little taller. “You weren’t expecting her. In fact, you fought it and kept her at arm’s length.”
I felt the gasp ripple in my throat and pressed my lips together to keep it inside. At arm’s length--she was talking about the contract! Words and phrases and liability--all ways to regulate and control his emotions. To control me. Good thing I didn’t let the gasp go because Macy wasn’t done, turning to face me.
“You loved Jacob the moment you saw him.”
My lips weren’t pressed together anymore because my jaw was on the table. I couldn’t believe that her clear, far-from-soft voice was carrying our conversation to several tables around us and now I was in her sights.
“I’m sure you didn’t know it was love at the time since every woman with a pulse lusts after Jacob Whitmore.” She glanced at him, not missing a bit. “No offense.” She didn’t wait for his reply before returning her attention to me. “But I think you knew there was something different about him. About the two of you together. I know what the media’s calling it, ‘A Real Cinderella Story’ and ‘The Billionaire and His Secretary’.” She dismissed that with a scoff. “It’s unimaginative and cliche and now that I’ve seen you two together, I know there’s nothing cliche about the way you look at each other.”
Jacob and I exchanged a look and for a few seconds, we were the only two people in the room.
“Like that,” she said with a toothy grin that blinded me. “Real. Passion. Sex. Love that leaves you breathless.” She smoothed her hair back away from her face. “I don’t know what other wedding planners would do with your story, but I know that I could take that--” She held her hands out and framed us, “--and make it shine through. I could get people to look past the glitz and glamour and see the thing that’s uniquely you.”
Alicia could barely sit still. “Tell us more about your vision for the ceremony for my son and daughter-in-law. I know you have something amazing in mind.”
Hearing my in-law call me ‘daughter’ for the first time and mean it should have been a moment, but it just made me feel...queasy. She was really laying it on and it made my stomach twist and knot because I still wasn’t sure if this was all real or just a part of a larger plan. I tried to push it aside, at least long enough to hear what Macy had planned for us.
“Nothing gaudy and over the top,” Macy continued. “You’re marrying a billionaire so people are expecting horse drawn carriages and a guest list that stretches as long as the train of your elaborate wedding gown. So I was thinking something small and intimate would be the way to go.”
And just like that, I’d found our wedding planner.
The excitement that colored Alicia’s face a few minutes ago devolved into confusion. “Small and...intimate?”
Macy nodded. “I think that would really capture the essence--”
“We’ll be in touch, Macy.” Alicia sliced in, shutting her down.
I opened my mouth to tell her to wait, but Macy didn’t linger. Alicia offered to pay for her drink, but she whipped out a twenty and dropped it on the table before she strut toward the exit. Another point in her favor. She knew she was good and didn’t have to beg for our business, despite the groom’s net worth.
“Don’t worry,” Alicia said, the borderline scary chipper voice clearing out me and Jacob’s surprise and replacing it with uneasiness. “We’ll find someone that can give you two the wedding you deserve.
I hoped Jacob would speak up and state the obvious--that what she really meant was the dream wedding SHE wanted for us, but he said nothing, reading his menu in silence. I followed suit, but committed Macy Scott’s name to memory.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Billionaire's Trust Giveaway!

Here's the rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
To win:

  • In the comment section of this blog post, share your favorite quote/lines from the series!
  • Tweet about the giveaway!
The giveaway is live until August 4 @ 12AM.

Can't wait to read yall's favorites <3

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Billionaire's Trust (Part Eleven) Update

I have some not-so-great news--The Billionaire's Trust (Part Eleven) due out this Friday (July 26) will not be out on Friday.  The new release date is August 3, 2013.

I know yall are really looking forward to the final parts of Jacob and Leila's story and I want to give it to you and make it as awesome as you deserve! I sincerely apologize for the postponement.

I will be hosting a rafflecopter giveaway here on my blog, starting on July 26-August 3 for a $26 Amazon Gift Card (as an apology for the delayed date--and also 'cuz I just like giving stuff away!) so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for that.

I've decided that my final giveaway for this series when I release Part Twelve in late Aug will be:

-$50 amazon gift card
-T-shirt with quote from book
-Free full series e-copies 
-Free full series paperbacks

Speaking of, what are some of your favorite lines from the book? What would you love to see on a t-shirt? :)

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Billionaire's Past is now available!

When Leila Montgomery finds out Whitmore and Creighton's newest client has attempted suicide, it shakes her--but not as much as Jacob's cold reaction to the young starlet's actions.

When he opens up about his past, Leila will discover a new layer to the pain that haunts the man she loves...

The Billionaire's Past is available at the following retailers:

I can't believe there's only two more installments in the series! :(  I'm planning on doing something fun to celebrate...maybe a series of t-shirts/coffee mugs etc with quotes from the books? Mega giveaway? Will post more about that and ask what tickles yall's fancy in the coming weeks! :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Excerpt from The Billionaire's Past!

Here's an excerpt from The Billionaire's Past (His Submissive: Part Ten)! Usually I give you a chunk from the beginning but I decided to switch it up. :)  The excerpt below is after Leila visits Mia in the hospital and is trying to recount what happened but Jacob is acting funky.


“I've never wanted to hurt someone so much in my life. So I reached over the counter, swiped a pair of scissors from her pen cup and jabbed the blade into her neck.”
I waited for the horror. For Jacob to look up at me like I was a woman possessed before his delicious mouth split into a smile when he saw I was joking. If he was listening, that would have been his response after I told him what happened at the hospital. How pissed I was when I went back to the lobby to get Missy and Nurse Deadwood came down with a case of amnesia, politely asking us to leave before she called security.
But Jacob wasn't listening.
He brought the rim of the wine glass to his lips, gave me an absent-minded smile and promptly went back to pretending he was taking in every word that came out of my mouth.
“So she’s fine then.”
“She was after I administered mouth to mouth.”
His brow furrowed as he put the wine glass down. “What?”
I threw my napkin on top of my barely eaten dinner, suddenly not so hungry but plenty annoyed. I’d spent the past thirty minutes telling Jacob about Mia. How I thought she was ready to make a change. How I wanted to literally murder Scott with a vase when he had the nerve to say he was looking out for Mia while he profited from her demise. Right around the time I started talking about the huge sketch factory the guy was and Jacob’s replies interchanged with interesting and cool, I realized I was basically talking to myself.
“Is there a reason you’re ignoring me?” I crossed my arms tight against my chest. “Especially after you asked me how it went?”
“Don’t be ridiculous, Leila.” His eyes did a complete 360 before they settled back on me. “I just have a lot on my mind. And I asked about the Mia situation because its in my best interest to know.”
“Is that right?”
“Yes,” he answered coolly. “If the girl is that far gone, she’s in need of a psychiatrist, not Whitmore and Creighton.”
I was familiar with the cold, indifferent tone of the businessman. He was at the head of a multi-billion dollar enterprise and when it came to business, Jacob Whitmore wasn’t someone you wanted to trifle with. But using that mechanical, emotionless approach when it came to a girl nearly committing suicide, especially given his own past? That was too much.
“So what are you trying to say?” I could feel my voice rising along with my temperature. “You’d drop Mia because of what she did?”
“If she proved to be more trouble than she was worth, absolutely.”
Before I even knew what I was doing the napkin covering my food was a white ball sailing toward Jacob’s head. 
He swatted it away effortlessly. “Thank goodness there’s no scissors handy.”
“That’s not funny,” I snapped, feeling the indignation flare in my cheeks. So maybe he was listening, but now I was the one wishing there was a mute button. Or maybe rewind...back to before my fiance said the most jackassy thing I’d heard in awhile.
“You didn't mean what you said.” I wrangled the anger boiling in my veins and took a few deep breaths, trying to calm myself before I said it again. “You didn't mean that.” I knew Jacob. And when Natasha blurted out that Mia OD’d, something flashed across his face. I’d been sure it was sadness but now that he was calm and unaffected like he hadn't just said we might toss Mia overboard, I wasn't so sure.
“I don’t see what the issue is, Leila. If the Rachel Laraby situation has taught us anything--”
I gripped the edge of the table, feeling that flash of anger spark a flame. “I know you’re not going to compare a sick, sad girl to a grown ass woman who isn't happy unless we're miserable.”
The calm was nowhere to be found when his eyes darkened. “I wasn't, actually. If you’re done, I can finish.”
I did a flourish with my hand. “By all means.”
His jaw tightened. Even mad as hell the flare of anger in me was met by one of lust. That look--stern, powerful, in charge--it was one he wore well. Jacob owned that look...and it turned my insides into jelly. But I could tell he wasn’t about to throw me over his shoulder and discipline me.
Not yet anyway.
“What I was trying to say is that we can’t get too close to our clients. It clouds our judgment.”
I flipped a mess of brown curls over my shoulder haughtily. “How interesting. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure you told me that my ability to connect and empathize with Mia Kent made me uniquely qualified to work on her case.”
“Don’t do that,” he said brusquely, throwing his own napkin over his plate. “Don’t patronize me.”
“I’m not trying to patronize you, Jacob.” I leaned forward, reaching for his hand. “You’re stressed out because of work, right? That’s why you’re talking crazy?”
“No, crazy is what Mia Kent is.” He snatched his hand away, face storming with fury. Not anger, not annoyance. No--this was something he’d been holding onto. Something that had been eating at him.
I fell back in my chair, not sure what to do with that statement. It was more than inappropriate. It was downright cruel.
I opened my mouth. Closed it. His words took me back to the hospital. I could still see Mia’s eyes. Wide. Piercing. But her hands shook beneath her restraints. She was terrified.
I’d never attempted suicide, but I knew what it was like to be tired of your life. Going to school day after day and dealing with girls that picked me apart--my weight, my hair, hell, my very existence. Feeling like my mother didn’t understand. Couldn’t really because her idea of making me feel better was reciting the old ‘stick and stones’ mantra. I wouldn't wish that loneliness on anybody. And it wasn’t something to joke about or trivialize by calling Mia crazy.
He dropped his gaze to the tablecloth then closed his eyes like he couldn’t believe he’d gone there either.
“I’m sorry.”
It was a start. When he looked at me, I saw the words plain as day and the remorse was real. I gave him a small nod, but I wasn't going to just let it go.
“Why would you even say that, Jacob? That’s not like you.” It was the Jacob Whitmore people probably expected. Coldly handsome. Flippant. Obnoxious. He’s freaking gorgeous so somehow, it works. But that wasn’t the real Jacob. Sure, the domineering, air going out when he came in the room thing was incredibly sexy, but I knew that he was kind. And generous. So this was something else.
He picked up his glass and threw it back.
“It’s just been a long day," he said after polishing off the rest of the wine. "I know what I said was out of line and I apologize.”
He picked up his napkin and dabbed at his mouth. When he discarded it, I saw the familiar hunger in his gaze. “Let’s go to bed.”
There was a part of me that wanted nothing more than to have loud, kinky, after argument sex with him, but there was a bigger part that knew something else was going on here.
I didn’t budge. “What’s going on, Jacob?”
One side of his mouth curved deliciously upward. “I’m gonna take you to bed, love. Tie you to it maybe.”
That wasn’t even fair. A need of my own was building and I blurted out my concern before it won. “We need to talk about what you said. Something is going on with you.”
The smile evaporated. “You’re not gonna drop this, are you?”
I shook my head slowly. “We’re partners, remember? We have to talk about things. The hard stuff, the uncomfortable stuff. Not just the things that come easy.”
He gave me a guarded look. Even though I felt like I knew him so well, there were still moments when I felt like he was good at hiding his emotions.
Too good.
He could tell me I was imagining things. That it was all in my head. And I had no proof otherwise. What would I do if he started hammering home the ‘so tired’ excuse? I couldn’t make him tell me.
But I had hope. That we’d been through enough that he knew he could tell me anything, no matter how horrible or difficult and we’d work through it together.
He pulled his tie loose and ran a hand through his dark hair before letting out a sigh. “I hate that I’m letting it affect me. I wish I could just turn it off.”
“Turn what off?”
“My mother.”

Oh god. If Alicia Whitmore was involved, I knew it was horrible. I reached for his hand again and this time, he didn't pull away.
The Billionaire's Past will be out in two days! Woot woot! :D

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I'm alive! And Updates!

Been awhile, huh?

Sorry I haven't been blogging...I had some relatives that were visiting for a few day and I ended up catching the worst cold I've ever had in my life. That's no exaggeration either...I got sick on my birthday (May 30) and I just got over it a few days ago. :/

I didn't let the cold keep me from writing though...The Billionaire's Past (His Submissive: Part Ten) will still be out this Friday, June 21!

I've started this new thing where the books are released a day early, but that won't happen this time around unfortunately. My cover designer is out of town so she won't be able to get the cover to me until June 20...which means it probably won't be available on Amazon until 2pm PST/5pm EST on June 21 unless by some sort of magic Amazon sweeps it through without the big production that usually occurs.

I *will* be posting an excerpt on Wednesday to tide yall over though. :D

Sorry for any inconvenience...and I'm sorry I haven't been posting. Thanks for reading and your emails!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Billionaire's Desire Cover Reveal...and a surprise!

Check out the cover for The Billionaire's Desire:

The shoes are all kinds of sexy, right? ;)

If you follow me on Twitter you might know what the surprise is...
The Billionaire's Desire is live a day early!!!!

It's available at the following retailers:
Barnes and Noble

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Billionaire's Desire Description!

Here's the description for The Billionaire's Desire:

When billionaire Jacob Whitmore asks Leila Montgomery to marry him, her reply is a resounding yes. On cloud nine, Leila can't believe it's happening.

She's engaged to the man of her dreams.

But Rachel Laraby has a question of her own: where's the ring?

The answer reveals a dark chapter of Jacob's life and why it's so important that Leila wears his grandmother's ring. His story breaks her heart...and brings them even closer. 

There's only one problem. 

Alicia Whitmore has the ring--and has no interest in supporting Jacob and Leila's union by handing it over.

The Billionaire's Desire is part nine of the His Submissive series.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Billionaire's Desire Excerpt!

Here's an excerpt from The Billionaire's Desire (Part Nine).

Enjoy! :)


"So...where's the ring?"
The conversations around us ground to a halt as the attention flickered toward the lazy drawl of Rachel Laraby’s voice.  The crowd parted slightly, revealing her standing on the outskirts. Wearing that blood red dress, her eyes flecks of emerald, her mouth an angry line of barely hidden resentment.
For a moment, the silence took center stage and I almost believed that she’d said something else. Something a little less obnoxious. But this was Rachel Laraby we were talking about—and ‘obnoxious’ was damn near her middle name.
“Rachel…” Jacob began, his voice a warning that she’d be wise to heed.
“That’s me,” she said sweetly, dismissing him with a patronizing grin. She took a step forward, drinking up the attention of the crowd like someone that was used to all eyes being on them. That lived for it.
Tonight was our night. Me and Jacob’s. He’d just asked me to marry him for crissakes. This moment belonged to us—and she couldn't stand it.
The heat started in my cheeks and worked its way outward as the eyes that gazed at me and Jacob like we were a romantic movie unfolding right before them dropped to my hand. To my left hand. And my bare ring finger.
Just to cull the herd and remind them that the stage was hers, she repeated her question.
“Where’s the ring?” The lighthearted, nonchalant tone she’d used before was gone and in its place was an edge that reminded me of the haughty actress I’d met months ago in Venice. The glittering celebrity who should have been on top of the world but couldn't seem to wrap her mind around the fact that Jacob Whitmore, billionaire CEO of Whitmore and Creighton, wanted nothing to do with her.
The looks that passed back and forth between us and Rachel were different now. They weren't sure where it was safe to land. Instead of the shock her question had originally garnered, the tone had become markedly more uncomfortable.
“I mean, it was a lovely proposal,” Rachel gushed, attempting to smooth over her transparent jealousy. “I’m just wondering if that was just an appetizer and Mr. Whitmore’s seconds away from pulling out a tiny black box with a big ole rock in it.”
Jacob tensed beside me and I knew that he was dangerously close to saying something that would make matters worse. He was usually the picture of calm, cool, and collected, but Rachel had swooped back into our lives declaring war. Her question, not even five minutes after I said yes to his proposal, was a heavy pill to swallow. I'm pretty sure Jesus Christ himself would have had trouble turning the other cheek after the blow she’d just delivered.
She sauntered closer, eyes locked on Jacob with a smirk that told me she knew he was creeping towards boiling point.
“It’s a valid question,” she said with an innocent shrug. “I’m just curious is all.”
I saw bloody freaking murder raging in his eyes, but I just held tight to his hand. Gripped it until I saw the fire die down to embers and smoke. She wanted a blow up. She wanted to ruin our moment. We couldn't give her that satisfaction.
Once I believed that I could speak without my voice cracking or calling her something that would make my mother gasp, I turned back to face her, pulling on a smile.
"The ring--"
"--is none of your business," Jacob finished tersely, glaring at her like she was a piece of gum on the bottom of his leather oxfords. Mouth twisted like she was a sip of alcohol, closer to paint thinner than anything refreshing. Body so painfully taut that the slightest movement would be enough to make it snap.
A murmur rippled across those gathered around us, the buzz of happiness officially snuffed out. Just like she wanted.
I sighed inwardly, knowing she was tallying up the score. I was struggling to hold onto my smile, trying desperately to pretend like everything was fine. I wanted to say something funny, to alleviate the tension that electrified the air around us, but I had nothing.
And of course, Rachel wasn't done.
“It’s a fair question,” she continued, batting her eyelashes as she scanned the crowd, looking for some confirmation that she wasn't the only one wondering. When she realized they were far more afraid of Jacob than excited at the possibility of gaining her favor, she changed tactics. “It’s just that I know that your little soiree will be breathtaking and jewelers will be knocking off your ring all over the world. I was just hoping for a sneak peek.”
The smile on my face twitched, the nerve beneath my eye going haywire. If I was being honest, I didn't even think about the lack of an engagement ring until she brought it up. I was still stuck on everything else. The melody of the song pouring into my ears. Recognizing the bars immediately and remembering Megan telling him that it was my dream to have that song playing at my wedding.
And then there was the look on Jacob's face as he dropped to one knee and asked me to spend my life with him. It was the look of someone that had never loved anything or anyone as much as he loved me. There was no room for anything but sheer bliss. It was a high so powerful that I could barely feel my feet on the ground. But her animosity crapped all over that happiness. It anchored me, poisoning one of the most beautiful moments of my life.
No, I told myself firmly, not giving that thought any weight. I wouldn't let her take this away from me. From us. I didn't care about a diamond. I just wanted him.
I swallowed the burning anger that knotted my throat and leaned in, pressing my lips against Jacob's cheek. I could tell from the way he barely responded to the touch that he was expecting me to tell him to relax. To ignore her. But I had something more important to say than any of that. More important than Rachel’s efforts to spoil our memory.
"I love you."
He stopped flinging daggers in her direction and tilted his chin toward me. I watched as everyone else in the world washed away and every swirl of blue crashed into me. 
His lips spread into a grin that made my heart skip a beat. "I love you too."