April 1, 2013

Tour Stop Review: Secret Desire by Susan D. Taylor

Series: Stand-alone
Format: Digital
Release Date: February 1, 2013
Publisher: self-published
Source: Author
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | All Romance
The problem with twins is that they look so much alike…

By day, Claire Robertson is a staff writer for a small publication in Seattle. But when the lights go down, she writes sizzling and oh-so-naughty erotica. She keeps these stories safely tucked away, hiding her secret fantasies of her hero, Dustin Murray. The man who stole her heart six years ago before becoming involved with her sister, Fran.

Dustin never forgot Claire or the extent that he hurt her. Nor has he forgotten that her sister’s threats have kept him silent for six years and cost him the woman he loved. Now that Claire’s returned home, Dustin isn’t about to lose her again. But it’ll be another thing to convince Claire he’s prepared to do whatever it takes to win her back.

When Claire accidentally sends the wrong story to her editor, things really heat up. With hot the new black in publishing, her editor thinks he’s struck gold and queues the story for publication. The last thing Claire needs is for everyone to learn that she’s got secrets of her own.
This book and the review is recommended for readers 18 and up due to its strong sexual content.

SECRET DESIRE by fellow Tennessean Susan D. Taylor is a short and sexy story about sibling rivalry, first loves and fantastical sexcapades drummed up by upcoming erotica author Claire Robertson. The story opens with Claire's parents dying from an unfortunate road accident leaving Claire devastated and left to take care of funeral arrangements and handling their estate because her twin, Fran, wasn't interested. Her homecoming not only brought so much fond memories growing up and her bitter rivalry with Fran, it also unearthed her secret desires for her neighbor and childhood crush, Dustin Murray, who is incidentally Fran's ex-boyfriend. And as things have changed since high school, Claire and Dustin finally found the courage to act on their long standing attraction to each other but not without complications. 
This is who I am. Claire Robertson and I write hot, steamy sex scenes. I'm one of those writers, and if you'd care to read one of my stories, I'll share.
The hotness factor of SECRET DESIRE is high playing Claire's reactivated sex life side by side with her upcoming erotica novel which I want to read as well. But aside from having a story within a story, Claire's crush and fantasies about Dustin had me enamored. The tension, the longing, the hesitation and its eventual fulfillment was well played off and very relatable to an extent. We all had big crushes and to read it vicariously fulfilled through Claire was satisfying. 

For a short novel I liked that the character list was short, it gave the story depth in terms of character introductions and such. Claire and Fran, though twins, are polar opposites. I want to yank Fran's hair and slap the living shit out of her. She's such a Bitch with a capital B and Claire too, got on my nerves for not standing up to Fran's manipulative ways! Dustin was your typical guy next door and I liked how he stood by Claire and stayed focused on her. Loyalty is well rewarded on my book and Dustin deserves the grand prize.

The only thing that I wasn't a big fan of was the conflict. The way Fran behaved was a little out of character for her considering she's this high powered broker in New York, sophisticated and such and what she pulled was something very trailer park. The big confrontation was a let down, to me it didn't feel like it flowed very well because Claire heard/saw how it all played out and she saw that Dustin was the innocent party. It was a little too dramatic and basically I was just waiting for her to bitch slap her twin. Both Claire and Fran are intellectuals and it would've been great to see Claire just dish it out to Fran, stand her ground and not back down. Instead she said her piece and ran off much to Fran's delight. The ending was also overdone or didn't match the sequence of events and to me, it didn't fit the story as a whole.

But overall SECRET DESIRE is a great short read. It's character driven, very sexy, unapologetic and a straightforward emotional and sexual story about a woman on the road to self-discovery and rebirth. I'm not sure if there will be a sequel and if there is, I'm hoping SDTaylor will write Fran's story next. That girl needs a rude awakening and it would be really interesting to see her do a 360.

Secret Desire
All Rights Reserved by Susan Taylor

The man’s gaze fell to her legs still carelessly strewn across her desk. Her heart thundered in her ears. Warmth from his sharp exhale caressed the skin at her ankles.

She bit her lip and decided—no regrets for trying “And?” She returned his mocking raised-brow expression in an eye-for-an-eye stare down.

“I’m Thornton Maxwell…your attorney.” He turned away, but not before she caught his look of displeasure. “God. Woman, do you even know what a mess you’ve got on your hands? We need to talk. A real pressure cooker is about blow.”

Cynthia froze. This wasn’t part of her erotic fantasy. What was he talking about? Should she just come out and admit she had no idea of what was going on or get him to divulge what demanded damage control?

She pretended unconcerned boredom in an attempt to buy some time to think. “Someone’s got his panties in a real twist.”

This wasn’t the first time she’d needed legal. But if he was her new go-to man, she was tempted to screw more things up.

This was a conundrum. He was too damn good-looking. This type of man didn’t appreciate a dumbbell. Did he know how hard she worked or that sometimes contracts needed to be bent? “Explored” is what she liked to call it. Wasn’t that why McGavock Publishing hired a boatload of first-year attorneys anyway? Shoot, he was probably upset because his weekend golf game was about to be rained out.

He paced in front of her desk while raking fingers through his thick, dark hair. Cynthia noticed the way he flexed and moved his arms, his muscles pumping and expanding. He stopped, spun around, and marched back to her desk.

“Lewis, when you cross out clauses and write your own notes into a publishing contract, we don’t have a legal leg to stand on in court when an issue is disputed. The things you’ve included to get an author to sign without consulting legal is tying us in knots. The next time you promise a writer the moon, you better consult me first and NASA second. Not whatever pops into that pretty little head of yours. You need my help with this lawsuit, and I expect your cooperation. You might as well know now that’s going to mean during office hours as well as evenings and weekends.”

His finger was pointed directly in front of her face. She imagined sucking the tip until her sex-crazed brain finally grasped his message.

What? She was floored. Her stomach felt punched, the fist of surprise still lodged in her ribcage. Her mind reeled. It wasn’t possible. She was being threatened with a lawsuit for a couple of silly additions to a contract, and now this man expected her to drop everything. Was he joking? Slowly she inhaled.

“I’m innocent.” She stared back at him. “Sure, I’m not beyond bending the rules, but a lawsuit? No, that’s not possible; it’s impossible. You’ve got to help me.”

“We definitely need a sit-down. Not your usual brush-off and expectation for legal to jump through a hoop. This one is serious.” His gaze swept over her face and downward. The space between them crackled with static energy. He was more than steamed. But he was ready to step in and help her. A spasm of pleasure trilled in her veins. He was her knight in shining armor. She wasn’t the enemy. Not his at least. With all that pent-up fury of his, it was a shame to let it go to waste. He was handsome beyond belief…another time, over cocktails or at a party, she’d not think twice about what her body wanted. His dark eyes weren’t all anger…passion brewed there, pulling the cords to her attraction, making her skin tingle. Oh, my. He wanted to school her good. But maybe she could teach him a thing.

“Thor…Thornton, sit down.” She recouped her confidence. He was in her dominion. The door was closed. Her assistant always knocked before entering. The glass panels were mirrored. He was so near…all she had to do was reach out to him.

She met his bad-boy stare with excitement screaming in her ears.

“Please.” She was almost purring, beseeching him over the rim of her eyeglasses.

“Fine, I’m all ears.” He pulled up a chair closer to her desk. “Well?”

She studied him. If the man ever smiled, he’d be drop-dead gorgeous. She let the papers slip out of her fingers, and she pushed her glasses up on top of her head. Cynthia rubbed her ankles together, and his eyes fixed onto legs.

Ding, ding. Johnny, she had a winner.

She lifted her legs and stood, acting as if arranging her papers was vital. She felt, rather than saw, that his gaze was upon her.

“Client-attorney privilege?” She rounded the desk, trailing her fingers along the surface.

“Yes, whatever you share. Go on.”

“Where shall I begin?” She stopped and leaned back on her desk, directly in front of him. Eighteen inches of space separated them.

“Haven’t you ever longed for something to the point of breaking a few rules? Just once?”

He held his spine erect. He gripped the armrests. She noticed the fine hairs on his fingers, but no ring. She placed the toe of her shoe on the corner of his chair, her ankle only an inch away from his grasp. Her silk skirt lifted, sliding up her thighs, and his gaze shot to the revealed set of black lace Agent Provocateur garters.

She licked her lips and unbuttoned a pearl button. He flared his nostrils ever so slightly. He stared at her fingers. She undid another button. He became a statue. A rather alluring, attentive one. She continued unbuttoning the rest of buttons. She didn’t open her shirt, hoping he’d notice her breasts were unhampered by a bra. The only sound in the room was their breathing.

“Don’t stop now.”

She opened her shirt, revealing ample cleavage. Her nipples hardened at the thought of his mouth teasing her skin.

She rubbed her leg against his thumb. He touched her ankle, lightly at first, before running his fingers up the back of her calf. She pushed her hips forward, her skirt lifted further up and over her thighs.

He made a low, primal sound, melting a reserve within her.

“Do you like what you see?”

Their eyes locked and she smiled. She traced a finger along the bottom of her lip. She stuck just the tip into her mouth and sucked, playfully removing any doubt of where this was going.

“Hmm,” she whispered. “What do you want?”

He closed his eyes and moved his hand over her knee. She went beyond merely teasing him to wanting to feel him deep inside her body.

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  1. Have I ever mentioned that I have an oddly severe dislike of the name Dustin? No, I'm sure I haven't, why would I have mentioned such a silly thing? But, I digress...I like that for a shorter book the characters were still fleshed out well. I always worry about that in shorter books.

    1. LOL Then maybe you shouldn't read this because you don't like his name already.

  2. Not sure I can read an erotic book where the main character's name is Dustin. My best friend in high school was Dustin and the whole thing kinda squicks me out. But for a short read I might be able to do it....maybe.

    Thanks for the honest review. Knowing there was a breakdown in the conflict at the end makes me think I may pass on this one, but you never know...


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