Cara Nelson Books http://caranelsonbooks.com The Home of Riotous Dialogue Tue, 05 May 2015 15:57:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.2 Simon (The ProVokaTiv Rockstar Series Book 3) http://caranelsonbooks.com/simon-provokativ-book-3/ Thu, 26 Mar 2015 15:05:47 +0000 http://caranelsonbooks.com/?p=106
Simon is now available atAmazon!
Part of the Kindle Unlimited Program. 
Simon Jefferson is more than just the delicious drummer for world-famous rock band ProVokaTiv. With a net worth of $500 million, his obsession with business shows no signs of stopping. So when beautiful, blond-haired Jessie Martineau asks him for help with her humanitarian cause, he sees a chance to build his new record label through a charity concert in Africa. He just didn’t expect Jessie to challenge every business decision he makes, every dollar he spends, or the mask he’s built to protect himself..After years of hard work, Jessie Martineau is shocked when her master’s thesis is rejected. To prove her professors wrong, she’s determined to make a difference and help eradicate Ebola in Africa. With help from Simon and his star power, her goals are finally within reach. She may not agree with his impersonal approach, but she can’t help being distracted by his piercing blue eyes and hot body. As she fights to keep the focus on the humanitarian side of the concert, Simon tempts her at every turn.Jessie can’t deny her attraction to the drummer, but as their sexual tension boils over, Simon will have to learn to look beyond his bottom line. If she can’t convince him there’s more to life than profit, she’ll have proven her professors right and lost Simon forever.

330 Pages – Full Length Novel.

Download from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

Available through Kindle Unlimited!

Book 1 in the series available for $0.99 or FREE through Kindle Unlimited.

​Excerpt

My eyes darted across the page of my computer screen, still unable to believe it could be real. All of my hard work on the thesis had boiled down to my lame professor’s two words:
Impossible.  Redo.
“Jessie? Did you even hear me?” Brynn’s voice in my ear startled me back to reality.
“Ummm…That’s great about Gauge’s new song,” I said, hoping she’d still been going on and on about Gauge this and Gauge that.
“You’re obviously preoccupied,” Brynn sighed. “What is it?”
Clearly my attempt at easing into the conversation with friendly banter wasn’t working. I dove into the heart of my call to Brynn. “I need some help.” I loved giving help more than asking for it, but this was an emergency.
 “Oh no, I’d better sit down,” Brynn said.
“Why?”
“Whenever you give that set-up to your request it means that you’re stressed out about something.”
“That journalist in you is astute once in awhile,” I conceded. “I got back my thesis draft from my advisor and she thought I was setting up an impossible premise. I want to prove her—and the committee—wrong.”
“The plant and Ebola thing, right?”
“Yup, Brynn.”
“You’re a natural in the lab, straight As and all those scientific accolades that I can’t spell, much less say, so what did they think was impossible?”
“That I could go over there, raise awareness, and work in that environment,” I confessed. Suddenly I was beginning to doubt myself, not cool.
“Not following,” Brynn began, “I can’t help you in the lab and I know damn well that you know that. What can I help you with?”
“Well, I was thinking that maybe your and Trinity’s connection to ProVokaTiv might help me out,” I finally confessed. “Do you think you could talk to Gauge about seeing if it’s a cause he’s interested in?”
“No,” Brynn said bluntly.
“Okay. Great. Thanks for the help,” I said, feeling a bit stung by the brutal honestly.
“Now hold on, Jessie. I’m not trying to be a bitch. It’s just—I’ve finally learned how that guy of mine works and knowing Gauge, he’ll automatically say no—that’s always his knee jerk reaction to anything new. And everyone hits him up for things all the time. It makes him pissy, but that’s an entirely different topic.”
“What about Hunter?” I asked.
“His main angle is drug abuse so I don’t think this would really be his thing… but Simon, I think Simon would hear you out.”
“Simon? But—who’s going to sweet talk him into it?”
Brynn laughed. “You are! When you get all Rambo on your humanitarian missions, it’s the best. I love it! And you always make the most convincing arguments when you get like that.”
“I don’t know. I mean, it would be amazing if he would, Brynn, but… do you really think he’ll listen to me? I thought maybe if I talked to Gauge, or Hunter, you or Trinity could—”
Brynn laughed again. “I’ll send you over Simon’s cell number, okay?”
“You don’t think he’ll mind?” I asked. “I’m so just desperate to do this and don’t want anything to stop me. I can just sense its potential and I’ve put a lot of thought into it, not to mention research.”
“No, I don’t think he’ll mind. He gave me his number, so…”
“That’s not what I’m worried about.”
“Just trust me, he’s your best audience for this. The guy is so business driven and he’ll evaluate it, even if it’s just to see what’s in it for him.”
I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. I couldn’t guarantee much of anything in it for Simon, other than the thrill of supporting good deeds, but logically speaking, I knew that it took money to make humanitarian causes flourish. Money comes from successful people and hence, business minded people exist.
“Great, thanks, Brynn. Owe you one.”
“No way, Jessie the world’s savior, friend to man and butt kicker of Ebola,” Brynn said, half sarcastically and half seriously. “But I’ve got to roll, got a staff meeting to get to.”
This was good. I had a possibility. I wasn’t dead in the water. If I could get Simon on board, get financial backing, how could Ms. Richards say no? As inspired as I was, I was going to wait and call Simon in the morning. I had to go over everything and think about what I was going to say. It had to be presented perfectly. I could already feel the butterflies fluttering in my stomach.

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Book 1 in the series available for $0.99 or FREE through Kindle Unlimited.

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PRIDE (The Bareknuckle Boxing Brotherhood Series Book 3) http://caranelsonbooks.com/pride-the-bareknuckle-boxing-brotherhood-series-book-3/ Tue, 03 Mar 2015 10:55:48 +0000 http://caranelsonbooks.com/?p=100 Pride bareknuckle boxing
PRIDE is now available at Amazon!
Camila Saunders is in Ireland for one reason: to sell the pub she inherited from her absentee father.

But she’s about to have a fight on her hands – a real one. When she finds an illegal bareknuckle boxing ring in the pub’s basement, Camila realizes she’s got to shut it down before she can sell the place. But standing squarely in her way is prizefighter Bronny Dolan: 200 pounds of pedigree muscle, danger and Irish wit.

Bronny Dolan is a lawyer, not that his family cares about that–they’re all about the next boxing match. The Dolan name means victory and they’re not about to let him forget it. But when loudmouthed Jersey girl Camila inherits the local and threatens the town’s generations-old traditions, Bronny will have to face his toughest fight yet. Will Bronny help Camila sell the pub and go back to the States–or will he sabotage her freedom for the sake of his own heart?

Either way, this Middle-of-Nowhere Irish town is about to see the biggest fight of its history, and this time, it’s winner takes all.

222 Pages – Full Length Novel.

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Available through Kindle Unlimited!

​Excerpt

He was shadow-boxing, throwing jabs with his left. He paced as though dissatisfied, and she bit her lip. He was fine, and watching him work out was something she could have done all night.
When he got down on the mat to do pushups, she felt a twinge in her belly, a hint of primal hunger that surged. His muscles pumped and flexed smoothly, and she couldn’t help imagining him on top of her. He was at a hundred and thirty when she started clapping.
“Didn’t hear you come down,” he said, getting to his feet.
“Impressive. I used to practically die doing the presidential fitness test…I could do like six push-ups.”
“You’re a girl.”
“You noticed? Must be the lipstick.”
She fiddled with her sweater hem and straightened the gold and blue scarf looped around her neck. Her skirt swished as she leaned against the doorway.
She could feel his eyes. They pierced her, evaluating her. There was a sense of distance between them, for a moment, and she felt strangely lost. She was a stranger in a strange land. He—he was an Irish bruiser like her father, a lug meant to win fights, settle down with a nice local girl from church and start having big healthy sons, who would, in turn, win fights and settle down. What would his parents think if he dragged home some Italian-American…slut? The word was unwelcome, but there it was.  And his indecision was plain on his face.
Then, all at once, Bronny climbed from between the ropes and took her hand. He did it as casually as he could, as if out of habit, and led her up the stairs. They were at the door when she stopped.

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Hunter (The ProVokaTiv Rockband Series Book II) http://caranelsonbooks.com/hunter-the-provokativ-rockband-series-book-ii/ Mon, 26 Jan 2015 17:54:58 +0000 http://caranelsonbooks.com/?p=85
Hunter is now available at Amazon!
Hunter Martinez, bassist for mega rock band ProVokaTiv, has had more than his share of sold-out shows, outrageous parties and all-too-willing women. So a little downtime is just what he needs to finally put out a solo project. When it comes to his first music video, he knows exactly the woman he wants: Trinity Vanders. The wild, exotic model left a lasting impression on him when she met up with the band in Milan, and Hunter hasn’t been able to forget her since.After years of mediocre modeling gigs, Trinity is ecstatic to try her hand at acting. Problem is, she’s flat broke and her new career is going nowhere fast. When she gets a call to star in a music video for Hunter, she can’t believe her luck. Not only will it be the break she’s been hoping for, but the laid back rocker is smoking hot and she’s always ready for a good time. When she arrives in LA, it doesn’t take long for things to ignite both on and off set.With no desire for something serious and a chemistry that’s off the charts, they should be the perfect match. But while Hunter realizes he may be ready for a real relationship, Trinity refuses to acknowledge that their connection is anything more than physical.

320 Pages – Full Length Novel.

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Available through Kindle Unlimited!

​Excerpt

We slid into the cab and I crossed my legs, angling my body toward his. While he gave directions, I took another moment to appreciate him physically. He was a fine specimen of a man. He was fit, good looking, a bit rugged, and basically yummy looking. Kind of like a shot of Fireball, shocking and energizing all in one.
“It’s a good break that you were available for the job,” Hunter said out of nowhere.
“I suppose so. I’ve always wanted to work on something like this. I’m excited. What’s the general storyline of the song and video?”
“It’s kind of hard to explain. We can dive into all of that on Monday when we start. For now, let’s have some fun. No business, just pleasure.”
“I happen to be a master of pleasure,” I said as I met Hunter’s gaze. His eyes were smoldering, almost smothering me with their desire. The air was thick—sexy hot thick.
“My apartment is on the way to the club. Want to take a detour and see it? I could probably use a bit of decorating advice.”
“Decorating advice?” I raised my eyebrows at him. “You’re inviting me to see it for decorating advice? Too bad, I thought you were a bit bolder than that.”
“Okay, you busted me. I’m taking a nude drawing class and am luring you to my apartment so you can be my model,” Hunter said.
I was watching as he spoke. He was so matter-of-fact that I almost wanted to believe him. Instead, I laughed. A few seconds later, he did, too.
“So, are you a pick-up line master, Hunter?”
“Nope, not any more. No need to be,” he replied.
“Used to getting what you want, huh?”
“Just like you. I think we have a lot in common,” Hunter said playfully. Then I saw him look at my chest and then he looked back at me, blushing at me catching him so blatantly staring at my chest.  “You’re really beautiful,” he said.
“Thanks,” I said. He was a bit embarrassed and covering up.  Kinda sweet.  Although, I had to admit, they were one of my more outstanding features. Then I wanted to get bold and push his buttons a bit.  “You’re looking at me like you’ve never seen a chest before.”
“Not like that. Do you mind me being bold?” Hunter asked.
“I don’t mind,” I replied, instantly curious.
“Are they real?”
“What’s your guess?”
“They look real but you’re so petite.”
“Maybe you’ll just have to find out for yourself,” I countered playfully. If we were going to go with the suggestive talk, I might as well go full out. It had been long enough since I’d had any action, and a guy like Hunter promised to be a fun adventure. As for my chest, it was the topic of many conversations throughout my life because it was a healthy size in comparison to the rest of me. Truthfully, it was the one physical trait I’d inherited from my mother’s side that I was thankful for. My mom had the huge breasts, too, but she also had a pretty big butt and the hips to go along with it. Dad’s frame, mom’s chest. Thank you for being kind to me, DNA.
I could hardly wait to get inside Hunter’s apartment, which was substantially more beatnik than Gauge’s. There were things strewn everywhere and he was very casual with what he had. I saw an ashtray with a half-dozen cigarette butts in it on a black-glass coffee table, a large couch with thick chains for legs, which only accented its black leather cushion and backrest, and a stack of newspapers in the corner. “It’s a bit messy. The cleaning lady doesn’t come until tomorrow.”
“Cleaning lady?”
“Why not? I’d rather have a cleaning lady and a smaller place than clean a huge apartment myself. No thanks. I can think of a lot better things to do with my time; one of them standing in front of me at this very moment.”
I leaned back against the backside of his couch and stared at him. He walked up to me, not hesitating or looking awkward like when he’d first seen me that night, and put his hands on my hips, leaned in and kissed my neck, then blew warm breath along my throat.

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My Billionaire Stepbrother http://caranelsonbooks.com/my-billionaire-stepbrother/ Thu, 22 Jan 2015 12:31:29 +0000 http://caranelsonbooks.com/?p=79
My Billionaire Stepbrother is now available at Amazon!
Cocky. Rude. Gorgeous.Those are the words Sasha Miles would use to describe the best man at her mother’s wedding. Before the ceremony begins things are hot and heavy between her and the infuriatingly handsome stranger. But it doesn’t take long for her to realize that not only is the man she was making out with a big, fat jerk, he’s also her new stepbrother. How could things get any worse?

If Solomon Jacobson has to endure another of his father’s weddings, at least he has the beautiful maid of honor to distract him. And what a distraction she is…pretty, sexy, and endlessly intriguing. Learning their going to be family isn’t ideal, but he’s willing to work with it for another taste. Until she walks into his office Monday morning.

When fate throws another curveball at the new step-siblings, they’ll have to figure out a way to get along while battling an attraction that could jeopardize everything. ​

30,000 words – A novella.

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Available through Kindle Unlimited!

Enjoy!
Cara Nelson

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WRECK (The Bareknuckle Boxing Brotherhood Series Book II) http://caranelsonbooks.com/wreck-the-bareknuckle-boxing-brotherhood-series-book-ii/ Thu, 22 Jan 2015 12:22:44 +0000 http://caranelsonbooks.com/?p=76
WRECK is now available at Amazon!
 Download from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.
Shea Granger has a thing for alpha men and she isn’t afraid to go after what she wants. Sparks fly when she sets her sights on deliciously sexy Kyle while taking one of his self-defense classes, but she can tell the chiseled bad boy is holding something back..Kyle Dolan has a secret. While everyone thinks he gave up the ring to run a self-defense school with his brother, he craves the thrill of bareknuckle boxing too much to ever walk away. He still spends his nights steeped in the violence and excitement of the underground fight scene.When a woman from Kyle’s past drops a bomb that changes everything, he finds himself drowning in even more secrets. He turns to Shea for help and the two soon develop a connection deeper than they could have expected.Shea knows she’s falling hard, but can Kyle move beyond his past and embrace his new reality? One thing is certain, neither of their lives will ever be the same.

35,000 words – A novella.

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Available through Kindle Unlimited!

​Excerpt

Kyle slunk in the back alley entrance, blood pounding with anticipation, barely ten minutes before his fight time. He opened his locker and changed, kissing his crucifix necklace and hanging it on the hook before he shut the door and spun the combination lock. In the ring, his ears rung with the roar of the crowd, the hot lights beating down on him. Everything else receded—the sickly green paint peeling on the walls, the sticky floors, the smell of stale beer and unwashed bodies crowded together.
There was nothing but the dust on the mats, the blood beading in the cut below his opponent’s lip, the rush of his breath and the distinctive crush against his knuckles as his opponent’s cheekbone gave way beneath his fist. The challenger slumped against the ropes to a cacophony of beery shouts in the crowd. Kyle’s wrist was seized and thrust into the air to signify victory. His face split into a grin as the atmosphere rushed back in on him. He was at the center of the throng, triumphant, with a check in hand and a couple of good-looking ring bunnies hanging off his arms. He accepted a pint and threw it back in one to the further cheers of his fans.
Kyle basked, there was no other word for it—in the attention, the surge of dominance in the ring, the adoring gazes of young women in sequined bodysuits, dazzled by his strength and prowess. They had been hired to hold the signs between bouts, but they were usually fight groupies. He had enjoyed his share of them…maybe his share and someone else’s as well, to be truthful. Tonight, he had his eye on the brunette, just for a change from the regular blondes. Sighing with satisfaction at the moment of his glory, he accepted a towel and wiped the sweat off his face and neck.
“I need to talk to you, Dolan,” came a stern female voice.
He squinted in the bright lights to see who had intruded and took in a woman, too skinny and haggard-looking. Her hair was lank, her dark eyes, familiar. Frowning, he shrugged off the ring bunnies and stepped forward.
“I’m afraid I haven’t had the pleasure?” he said with his automatic charm.
“Yeah. You have. We know each other. Biblically,” she said ruefully.
Kyle gave her a harder look, but he still couldn’t place her face. “Let’s sit over there.” He gestured to a rickety table that was vacated as he approached. “Obviously you know my name, but I regret that I don’t recall—“
“Ashley Framm. It was Ashley Delany when I was a ring bunny,” she reminded him.
“Ah, Ashley,” he said, trying to sound like her name rang a bell.
“Look, I went to a lot of trouble to track you down, so don’t waste time trying to act like you remember me. I’m here on business, family business.”
“Okay… How can I help you?” he asked smoothly.
“You can give me your family medical history,” she said flatly.
“Excuse me?”
“I need to know if there’s kidney disease in your family,” she said.
“Why would you need to know that?”
“Because… Listen, there is something you need to know. Let’s sit down.”

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Enjoy!
Cara Nelson

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Billionaire’s Christmas Vixen http://caranelsonbooks.com/billionaires-christmas-vixen/ Sun, 28 Dec 2014 11:29:22 +0000 http://caranelsonbooks.com/?p=63

All Brea wants for Christmas is to make it home for the holidays, but a chance knock at a stranger’s door may give her more than she wished for.

Brea Nelson is used to her family’s prickly attitude, but she’s determined they be together for the holidays. Unfortunately, a serious storm and car trouble quickly complicate her plans. When she finds herself at the door of the cutthroat CEO whose name is all over the news, she’s taken aback by his strong body and striking good looks. However, his rudeness promptly douses what’s left of her holiday cheer.

Business always comes first for billionaire George Clark, but a near-death experience has forced him into hiding on Christmas Eve. When his solitude is disrupted by a shy stranger who isn’t even aware of her own beauty, he’s less than thrilled at the interruption. But something about Brea quickly works its way beneath his arrogant exterior.

One night may be all it takes to ignite a spark between the two strangers, but will it be enough when they go their separate ways?

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FIGHT (Bareknuckle Boxing Brotherhood Book 1) http://caranelsonbooks.com/fight-bareknuckle-boxing-brotherhood-book-1/ Tue, 02 Dec 2014 14:15:24 +0000 http://caranelsonbooks.com/?p=57 ‘Fight’ by Cara Nelson is now available at Amazon for $2.99!
Aaron Dolan’s world is scars, calloused hands and chipped knuckles. The life of a bareknuckle boxer. Look at him the wrong way and you’ll find out why they call him an animal.
Dragged into his world, Zoe Daniels, broke art graduate, is tricked into filming the very violence she hates. Night after night she watches him pound men’s faces into bloody pulps. He’s a monster.
Around him she can feel herself plummeting, down the rabbit hole, into love with the worst kind of man. And it’s getting harder. Harder to keep the camera steady, when all she can think of is climbing between the ropes and running her hands over his bare chest, licking the sweat from his neck.
Violence, strong language and sexual content. 18+
Part of the Bareknuckle Boxing Brotherhood series. Can be read as a standalone.
Book II out Christmas Day.

35,000 words – A novella.

$2.99

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Available through Kindle Unlimited!

Excerpt

Zoe watched, biting her lip. This was the sort of pugilistic display she had always ridiculed—all that testosterone and all that macho posing. Now it was strangely thrilling, the sweat glistening off taut muscles, the tension and conflict, the broad power of his shoulders and back, the wet look of the blue-green ink of his tattoo. She shrugged out of her jean jacket, feeling suddenly overheated just watching him. She tried to hold the camera steady but all she could think of was climbing between the ropes and running her hands all over his bare chest and arms, licking the sweat from his neck and kissing his mouth. It was primitive and visceral, the sexual tang of battle coursing through her as she watched him fight.
Within seconds, the opponent was back on his feet but breathing hard. Sweat and the rusty tinge of blood were thick in the air. The crowd that had been rowdy had grown more silent, hanging by the tension. Saxon circled Aaron, trying to get close enough for a hit. Aaron toyed with him in another series of long jabs, exhausting his shorter opponent. He swung at Saxon’s side and barely connected, a calculated miss that drew the man in closer. Aaron attacked him savagely, striking his eye and nose in a quick pair of hits, then landing a vicious set of body blows. Saxon fell to the mat, curling in on himself for protection as Aaron continued to pound him. He was dragged off by an official and two bouncers and declared the victor. The audience screamed wildly, and the gamblers collected their winnings on successful bets, buying rounds of drinks for the room.
Aaron wiped his face with a towel and downed a bottle of water, reveling in the adulation of his brother, his boss, the crowd. Baylee and Mia, the ring bunnies, hung on him for a picture and people whipped out their phones to capture his victory. Zoe fought her way through the crowd to his side. Holding up her camera to indicate her need for an interview, she waited, tight-lipped, for his comment. She wanted to hit Baylee and Mia in the face with her own forehead. She didn’t like them touching Aaron, especially not when touching him was all she could think about. Her very fingertips tingled with the longing to trace the lines of his tattoo, the curve and bulge of the muscles on his chest. Chewing her lip, she stood in an agony of silence, recording.
–​
$2.99

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Gauge: Rockstar Romance (The ProVokaTiv Series) http://caranelsonbooks.com/gauge-rockstar-romance-the-provokativ-series/ Wed, 05 Nov 2014 14:26:26 +0000 http://caranelsonbooks.com/?p=50 ‘Gauge’ by Cara Nelson is now available at Amazon!
Gauge Bronson has a simple rule: never mix business with pleasure. As the lead singer and guitarist of ProVokaTiv, he has his fair share of girls throwing themselves at him, but he refuses to get involved with clingy groupies or women he works with.When beautiful, beguiling Brynn joins the tour, though, he can’t deny there’s something about her he finds irresistible. It’s been a long time since a woman didn’t fawn over him. He’ll have to keep his appetite in check and keep her at a distance if he’s going to remember that she’s off limits.Aspiring journalist Brynn Morgan has been given the chance of a lifetime to interview a rock band for a new magazine and launch her career. When she learns her assignment is the band Provocative, whose music she’s never liked, any disappointment is overshadowed by her excitement and determination to write a killer story.

Plus, the fact that she’s not a fan will make it that much easier to keep things professional. One look at Gauge, though, and she feels an instant attraction to the cocky, tattooed rocker. But despite the sparks flying between them, she’s got a job to do.

As Brynn heads out on a world tour with the band and tries to get them to spill their secrets, the sizzling chemistry between her and Gauge becomes harder and harder to ignore…

50,000 words – A novel.

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Excerpt

I opened my eyes and saw Gauge looking at me.  So much energy was in his dark eyes that they almost seemed to turn hazel, lighting up as he released his inhibitions and allowed his desires to take hold.
Gauge lowered me onto his bed and slid next to me.  I could feel his heart racing as much as mine. Our hands were roaming each other’s bodies with urgency, exploring what we’d only seen previously—had been within inches of, but never dared to touch.
Soft hands slid up under my t-shirt and felt my stomach.  When Gauge’s pinky slowly teased my hip line I felt myself rocking toward him, ready to experience more.  I was undeniably aroused and ready to pursue whatever avenue this moment took me.  I was vulnerable, and it was exciting.
A soft moan came from within me. Gauge pressed his lips on my ear now, gently nibbling it.  My hands were on top of his t-shirt. I felt his arousal pressing into my leg. We continued to entwine our bodies into each other, melting together like two lit candles next to each other, slowly becoming one.
I felt his hand underneath my back, pressing against it and trying to get me to sit up, which I immediately did.  With my hair half covering my face, I raised my arms, eager for his hands to slide my t-shirt off and continue our exploration.
Our eyes locked. I don’t know how or why but something had suddenly changed.  The exotic trance was gone and I was staring at Gauge, who had gone back to his cautious, self-preserving persona.
“I’m sorry,” he said.
My face turned red and I immediately lowered my arms, wrapping them around me protectively.  I felt like such a heel.
“I got carried away.  I shouldn’t have done that,” he added.
“Yeah, you’re probably right.  Not a great move.”
Despite him being right next to me and practically on top of me, I managed to roll away, gaining a safe distance by standing up at the opposite side of the bed.  Not one to handle embarrassing situations very well, I smiled and said, “So, I guess you forgive me?”
Gauge smiled, but it was robotic.  His thoughts were clearly somewhere else now—almost like he was in damage control mode.
OMG—was I damage control?“Well, I have some work to do.  I’d better get going,” I said.  The words sounded so awkward as they rolled off my tongue, making me feel even more ridiculous.
“I’ll see you later,” Gauge said.  He was still sitting on the bed. I could see his chest moving in and out, his one hand rubbing his head like he was trying to force a thought out.

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Someone To Steal http://caranelsonbooks.com/someone-to-steal/ Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:14:00 +0000 http://caranelsonbooks.com/?p=44 ‘Someone to Steal’ is now available at Amazon!

Riley Stanhope has a secret. She spends her nights stealing jewels from the rich to finance charities…and the occasional trip to Costa Rica. When she learns of a priceless collection at the home of a reclusive, dangerously handsome dealer who recently snubbed her, she knows it’s a challenge she can’t refuse.

Art dealer and notorious master thief Cain Booth is in a bind. After one uncharacteristic slip up, he’s indebted to the Ukrainian mob. He needs a plan to get them off his back so he can head south and retire on the beach somewhere. That plan walks straight into his life when he catches fearless amateur burglar Riley sneaking into his apartment. With no choice but to agree to his demands, Riley’s just become Cain’s ticket to leaving his old life behind.

Teaming up to steal from the mob is going to require training and careful planning. As Cain puts Riley through her paces, they’ll have to ignore their unexpected chemistry and stay focused on the job.

With one chance to pull off the heist of a lifetime, and both of their lives on the line, what could possibly go wrong?

37,000 words – A novella.

Download from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Available through Kindle Unlimited.

Excerpt

    Cain Booth knew he shouldn’t have involved the girl.
    She was too fierce, too unpredictable. The truth was, he was already playing with fire on this job. Drafting Riley Stanhope into the mix was like pouring kerosene on his hands. He knew she was young, impulsive, brilliant, and more than a little bit of trouble.
    I knew the first time I saw you that you were a devil, he thought, watching her bargain for the earrings. The kid was ballsy; he’d give her that. Full marks for audacity.
    Out of the stillness, a very small part of him, something like the ghost of his conscience, pulled at him. He actually thought about letting her go. He might have, too, if he hadn’t wanted her so much. Sure, it was a potentially lethal job, but if she’d wanted a safe, predictable life, she should have stuck to medical coding instead of stealing people’s shit.     He crushed the last of his principles like a smoldering cigarette butt and decided if he were going to hell, he might as well have a bombshell date for the party.
    Cain told her to go straight home, to report to him in the morning at five. He exerted himself to sound menacing. She seemed unmoved by his theatrics, which amused him. Most people, men as well as women, were intimidated by him. This girl with her two-bit earring thefts, thought she was his equal and negotiated for diamonds. It made her damn near irresistible.
    When she was gone, he dumped the gun back in the drawer beside the bullets he’d never bothered to load, laughed, poured himself a drink. His winter was about to get a lot more interesting.
    He sat down in a chair beneath his wife’s painting of the green face. The face she’d said was her portrait of him; his acquisitiveness, his consuming greed. He liked to sit underneath it so he didn’t have to look at her reproach.
    Cain had been in his late twenties, ready to settle down and focus on his legitimate business. He wanted a wife who valued beautiful things as he did, who had an artist’s eye. By the time he got caught by the Russian mob, she was already disenchanted with Cain and had rekindled her affair with a gallery owner downtown. The distorted goblin face remained on his wall as a cautionary talisman, a reminder of how the would-be angel on his shoulder had seen him. Their relationship hadn’t been perfect, but her loss still ached.
    This girl wasn’t like Caryn. She was as arrogant, as bold, but wilder. She was the knife he could throw into the heart of the Russian mob. The instant he’d seen her turning flips in the narrow hotel gym, he’d known she was exactly what he needed. He’d just have to remind himself that he needed her in a bank vault in the Ukraine, not tangled up in his black cotton sheets.
    Cain retired for the evening, distracted but determined.
Oo00oO
    His doorbell rang before he had the coffee made in the morning. Grumbling to himself, he opened the door to her. She was clad offensively in a virulent citron green. Her workout wear lacked a certain sophistication. So did the contents of her tote bag, which moved.
    “I hope you don’t mind. I brought Tico,” she said, releasing a hissing, spitting ball of evil into his immaculate and very expensive home.
    “Is that a cat?”
    “That’s what the shelter said he was. I wonder sometimes if he isn’t part demon.” She watched him careen around the room, testing his claws on the dense pile of the velvet sofa, wincing slightly at the violent scratching sound. “I couldn’t leave him locked up all alone.     Frankly, if I leave him in the apartment for more than a couple of hours, he shreds stuff.”     She shrugged. “Anyway, here I am. You don’t have to bother hunting me down.”
    “Coffee. Then we run.”
    “Okay,” she said, sitting down. The angry feline pounced into her lap, stropping his claws on the hideous green nylon leggings as she petted him.
    Cain returned with cups of scorching hot coffee. She sipped with a grateful noise and set the mug on a table. Cain picked it up automatically and transferred it to a less valuable surface.
    “Sorry,” she muttered, clearly offended at his fussiness.
    “We don’t set drinks on Louis Quatorze,” he said instructively.
She looked around the apartment in daylight and strolled over to the rosewood chest, lifting the lid carefully. The earrings were gone.
    “You didn’t imagine I’d leave them where you could find them?”
    She nodded with something like agreement and trailed her fingers over a long necklace of amethyst beads.
    “You could try it on, but not with that lime green you’re wearing. It would risk searing my retinas.”
    Riley rolled her eyes and replaced the lid on the chest. He bit his lip to stifle a smile, and quashed a thought that she was adorable.
    “Are you ready to run yet? Or do men your age need more time to wake up?” she taunted, leaning over the back of the sofa lazily.
    “Men my age?” he asked, one eyebrow cocked at her. “We’ll see if you can keep up with me, missy.”
    She trailed after him out the door and down the hall. “We’ll need to hurry. I don’t want Tico to get restless around your antiques. You do have a litter box, don’t you?” she asked slyly.
    “No, I do not. Get back in there and rig something up. I will not have feline excrement polluting my Turkish carpets.” He pointed back at the door, and she snorted.
Download from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Available through Kindle Unlimited.

 

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The 5-Year Plan (Friends to Lovers Romance) http://caranelsonbooks.com/5-year-plan-friends-lovers/ Mon, 20 Oct 2014 16:29:49 +0000 http://caranelsonbooks.com/?p=38
Victoria is sticking to her five-year plan: get married, have children, and become the youngest vice president in town. Problem is, she’s four years in with no husband or kids in sight. She’s sure her coveted promotion is right around the corner, though. All she has to do is impress her boss by catching the person responsible for leaking confidential information.
Trent may be the head of the IT department, but he leaves himself plenty of time to have fun with no strings attached. Too bad his best friend Victoria is still following the ridiculous plan she created in college—she’s beautiful, smart, but far too uptight for his lifestyle. When Victoria takes the blame as the leak at the office, he’s determined to help clear her name and expose the person getting past his security measures.
Suddenly out of a job, Victoria is desperate to get her life back on track. When her childhood friend Trent—funny, good-looking, and completely wrong for her—suggests they team up to catch the culprit, Victoria jumps at the chance.
As the pair sorts through suspects, their mutual attraction becomes undeniable, and they find themselves struggling to remember that they’re just friends.
Sometimes life has other plans…

Approximate length: 50,000 words (a novel) 

Available on Amazon.com  and Amazon.co.uk

Excerpt

She heard him shift and turned to face him. He shook his head and said, “You really thought you could catch the thief single-handedly?”
“Why not?” She strode over to him and faced him. “Don’t forget that I intend to make vice president this year.”
“Ah!” He leaned back. “No so noble after all. I’d forgotten the five-year plan. Marriage. Child. And a promotion. How is that going for you, Victoria? Isn’t it, what, four years down the line and you’re not even married. The math’s not adding up to a kid by next year. Looks like your ambitious venture isn’t going to work out as well as you envisioned.”
Damn him to hell and back! “Why did I ever tell you about that?”
“Let me see.” He rubbed his jaw. “Might have been those five tequila shooters on grad night.”
Victoria cringed. Straight out of college, she’d gotten a job at TerraDyn, one of the best manufacturing companies in the entire city. She’d been certain the rest of her plan would fall into place. Unfortunately, as far as relationships were concerned, her life sucked. With no man in sight, she could kiss away her fantasy of getting hitched and producing a baby. She’d dated—well, a little. She’d been busy at work, so all she had to look forward to now was her promotion to the position of the youngest VP in town. She wasn’t letting go of that. “I am getting there. You watch and see!”
Trent stood. Walking over, he put a hand on her shoulders. “Don’t worry, dear. If it doesn’t work out, I’m here for you. You’re not that bad looking. You haven’t let the pounds stack on, and with that all-American package of honey-blonde hair, blue eyes, and that cute dimple that pops out when you pout like that, we could make a beautiful baby.”
“Agh!” She stepped away. “Why do you have to be so annoying? And I’ve told you before—that’s never happening.”
“Why not?” He pointed at his chest with a big grin on his face. “All the girls want a piece of this. And there’s no denying I am way better than the macho apes you date.”
“Bob wasn’t a macho ape.”
“No, he just had the IQ of a goat and the body of a Greek God. The man was obsessed with his looks.”
“As if you aren’t vain down to your core? I’ve seen you check out your reflection when you think no one’s noticing.”
“Ah, darling. I didn’t know you watched me so closely.”
She tilted her head to the side and narrowed her eyes. “Not that it’s any of your business, but I’d take Bob’s brain over that computer you have in your head any day.”
Trent touched one knuckle to her chin. “Loosen up, smart ass. You should be so lucky to ever get under the sheets with me.” He grinned.
She growled and ran a hand through her hair, pulling half of it out of the ponytail. “Don’t you ever think about straightening up your act, Trent? Sometimes it’s important to get serious in life.”
“Hey, you’re serious enough for both of us. Always have been.” He yawned. “Anyway, let’s just get out of here. There is only one way left to catch this thief and that’s to run a trace through the IT system. If someone’s not taking files out the old fashioned way, it’s got to be going out though a leak.”
“I thought you said that was impossible with your system?” Victoria followed him toward the door. She switched off the office light, and locked the door behind them with the keypad. Her plan was shot to hell, but she wasn’t ready to give up as yet. Trent might think he could track down the thief through his computer network, but she wasn’t sure he was right. He did have good security in place. So there had to be a better way. She just had to figure it out. “Want to grab a drink?” Trent spun his car keys into the air and caught them.
Victoria checked her watch. “It’s after nine.”
“So? You planning to do your turning into a pumpkin at this hour act?”
She shook her head. Arguing with Trent was like hitting her head against a wall. “I have to be in office at seven to review a file before submitting it to Peter.”
“Uh—Pete Iverson? Ivo the Terrible? That’ll be loads of laughs. Face it, darling, you work too hard. It’s not worth it. Learn from the master.” He patted his chest. “Have some fun before you’re so old you can’t even remember that concept.”
Victoria lifted a hand to flag down a cab. “Life isn’t about fun, Trent. Some of us like to accomplish things—not that you’d understand that.”
“You’re right.” The cab stopped. Trent stepped out and opened the door for her. “I never will get your driven ambition and your obsession with goals. So are you going to Betty’s dinner on Saturday?”
She slipped inside the cab and glanced up at him. In the streetlight, the wind blowing his hair, he still looked like that kid she’d met in college—the guy with the too-attractive, too-wild streak. For a second, she was tempted to take him up on his offer of a drink, but she reminded herself she had to stay focused. “Yeah. You?”
“I’ll see you there.” He closed the door and waved. The cab took off.

Available on Amazon.com  and Amazon.co.uk

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