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August 19, 2015

When Players Stop Playing: Acts of Creation by Elisabeth Staab

Acts of Creation
Evergreen Grove 2
Elisabeth Staab
August 18, 2015
New Adult Romance

He’s living a lie.

Dante Ramos: Champion. Ladies’ man. Party animal. Women want him, and men either want to be him or put his lights out for sleeping with their girlfriends. It’s all an act. Inside, he’s so full of self-loathing he’s on a fast-track to self-destruction.

She’s living in the shadows.

Meeting Michelle at a support group for assault survivors shows Dante a new world of possibilities. Finally, someone in his life might understand him, and she creates in him a fierce need to protect. Trouble is, Dante lives his life in the spotlight, and the only thing Michelle wants is a place to hide.

Early release price! 99 cents – regular price – 3.99.




I guess it's an accepted fact that there's a certain allure to dangerous, elusive, emotionally unavailable, and/or playboys. So I thought I'd ask Dante for insight on how a good girl can wrangle a bad boy like him for keeps. Below's his answer:

Aw, hell. I’m no expert. I’m no damned bad boy player, either. Not really. I mean, I go out, I drink, I smile, I pretend I’m fucking every hot piece of ass because that’s what a guy like me is supposed to want. At least I used to do that stuff until I met Michelle. For the first time I’ve got a girl in my life I can reach out to, and show the ugly shit underneath my mask without her running away screaming. She hasn’t yet, anyway. I mean, maybe it’s a fucked-up blessing in disguise that she’s been through her own shit, so she understands my dark parts. She gets how I’m all messed-up, at least in theory. 

So maybe there’s your big secret answer. Maybe there’s no converting a player. Maybe there’s no such thing. Maybe inside we’re all just scared little boys who wish we could still curl up in our Ma’s warm kitchen for comfort, and the girl who sees the real us without flinching—she’s the one who’s got the power to hold us in the palm of her hand.






I plod down the church steps, taking my time heading into the parking lot. A quick summer storm must have passed through while we were all inside, and the evening is cool and damp with the smell of fresh rain. I love that scent. I love the electricity in the air before a big storm, and the way it makes everything smell fresh and brand-new after.
I’m so busy lifting my nose to the sky to take a big whiff, wishing the rain could make me shiny and clean like the streets, that I don’t at first notice Dante standing by his car. I jump a little. He’s so big that I can’t believe I missed him.
Mental head smack, Chelle.
He looks apologetic when he says, “Didn’t mean to catch you off guard.”
“You didn’t.” My mother always said I should never sell used cars. I don’t agree with her about much, but she’s right that I’m not a good liar.
With my face burning, I expect him to call me out on the fib. He doesn’t. He only gives me a winning smile and pushes away from the car. He’s got two takeout cups in his hand. “Okay. So I couldn’t make it to the meeting tonight, but I didn’t like the idea of you out here waiting alone for the bus. Wanted to make sure you got home okay. Also…” He holds out one of the cups. “I broke down and picked up a milkshake, and I hate to drink alone.”
Wow. That’s either a little weird or really nice. Under the circumstances, I decide to go with option B. I’ve always thought Dante was a player, but I’ve never thought he was a bad guy. After the last couple of weeks, I’m not even sure what to think. “What kind of milkshake?”
“Double chocolate cookies and cream. Unless that’s not your thing, in which case I’m willing to trade you my birthday-cake flavored. And I don’t give up my rainbow sprinkles for just anybody, Michelle.” He leans in and whispers that last part with a gravelly suggestive something in his voice, and even though he stops short of touching me I’m surprised at the flush of heat his nearness and his words bring to my body.
“That’s…” Ooh. Maybe he is a player. I don’t know why else he’d be acting flirty with the likes of me. I know my loose clothes and long, un-styled hair don’t do much to attract guys. I dress the way I do for a reason.
I recover and grab hold of the first cup he held out to me. “Thanks, but I wouldn’t dare ask you to make that kind of sacrifice. Anyway, chocolate is one of my favorite food groups.”
“For you, I would. But I’m glad I made the right choice.”
His eyes gleam when he smiles and leans into my space. My snap-fleeting thought is that he’s definitely being flirty. The idea nearly makes me snarf my first drink of shake. No way. “I… Hey, this is really good,” I say, pointing to the cup. Maybe I’m being a dork. Probably.
I’m not sure what surprises me more. The idea that he could possibly be making a move on me, here of all places, or the idea that I kind of would like him to be.






Elisabeth Staab loves passionate stories and happy endings. Her books have been called “emotionally delicious,” “action-packed,” and “gloriously snarky.” When not writing romance, she enjoys date night with her husband, reading Harry Potter with her kids, and marathoning her favorite books or TV series.

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Talk Supe




58 comments:

  1. I like the sound of Acts of Creation Braine... The player can be tamed *wink*

    Naomi @ Naomi’s Reading Palace

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    Replies
    1. For the right person, anything's possible. ;)

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    2. This may be contemporary, but you're still giving us "fantasies" Elisabeth!!

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  2. Ok Braine I'm drinking the koolaide girlfriend :)
    I love dark pretender heroes

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    Replies
    1. You won't be sorry! Staab has yet to disappoint me when it comes to romance.

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  3. Oh I loved Dante's answer and I think maybe he is right, maybe they all just want that "right" person for them that makes them whole and complete like we all want in the end.

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    Replies
    1. I think it goes both ways...

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    2. I think Braine's right, I think we all do. Thank you so much for checking out Acts of Creation!

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  4. Oh that's an interesting answer there! I'm curious about Dante now.

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure he'd want to meet you ;)

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    2. I always try to write an honest hero, but I think Dante is one I'm most proud of. I hope you'll enjoy his story. <3

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  5. Be still my heart!!! And then someone call an ambulance for sure :P

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    Replies
    1. Book boyfriend material, right?!?!

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    2. Dante definitely gets the heart going!

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  6. Replies
    1. You and the rest of us, my friend ;)

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    2. Dante's a wonderful guy once you get under the surface. I hope you enjoy Acts of Creation!

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  7. There is really something about those emotional unavailable or emotionally scarred men, it's true. We see it all the time in romance novels. Loved the excerpt.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, they appeal to our motherly instincts. We just want to fix em lol

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    2. There really is! I hope you enjoy Acts of Creation! <3

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  8. Yes, this is the kind of "bad" boy I do like to read about. All farce on the outside. I think that is the only way it works. I agree with him. :)

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    Replies
    1. Ooh it's time for you to meet Dante properly then. Grab the book!

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    2. Yep. They have to be redeemable inside, and they have to be ready to change. :) Thank you for checking out Acts of Creation!

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  9. I don't get into the genre much, but it does sound good. :)

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    Replies
    1. I know, me too, but Staab is one of those trusted authors so I know I'm in good hands with her even if she's taking on a very emotional piece.

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  10. He might be onto something with that insightful answer. I like the sound of the story.

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    Replies
    1. I hope you enjoy. THank you for checking out Acts of Creation!

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  11. Scared little boys ... yeah, I can get behind that. lol. Nice excerpt! And .99 cents, yay!

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    Replies
    1. Yes! On sale until next week. :) Happy reading!

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  12. there's no converting a player, he must want to change. I think he is on to something...

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    Replies
    1. It's the difference boys and men ;)

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    2. Not just a pretty face, my Dante. :) I hope you like Acts of Creation. Happy reading!

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  13. Ooh, I like the way Dante answered that question! Plus, I'm curious about Michelle's dark past. I need to finally check this author out. :)

    Sarah @ One Curvy Blogger

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    Replies
    1. She has PNR, this NA series, and a contemporary romance. She's awesome!

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  14. I don't know what it is about broken men that is great to read about. It's nice to see some insecurities or something, I guess. I'm also curious about Michelle and her past.

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    Replies
    1. I think it's the part where they get "fixed" up that's the most alluring. To me anyways

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  15. OOOOoo me likey! He sounds hot and it makes me bothered!!!!

    Heather | Random Redheaded Ramblings

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  16. I've been wanting to try other MC books, and this sounds interesting

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    Replies
    1. She has an MC werewolf series too!

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    2. Dante is a boxer, but like Braine said I do have a shifter series with motorcycles and lots of guns and stuff. And the first one is free. ;) http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Nights-Lone-Wolf-Book-ebook/dp/B00UDCMBFM

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  17. Ahhh love the ones who are total fakers when it comes to that. lol

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  18. Oh goodness! I'm going to have to meet Dante! ;) I liked what he had to say about taming him...I do kinda think that most bad boy/players are just insecure little boys deep down. Maybe that's why they're so alluring. :)

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    Replies
    1. I feel you. When you have boys, you sorta understand where men like Dante are coming from.

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  19. Sounds like a good book! I liked that answer, maybe the whole bad guy image is just that, an image and there is no taming them, just seeing the real them and accepting that. Great post!

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    1. I think some men do it to posture. Chest puffed and all that. But for the right girl, the toughness meltss away :)

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    2. Thank you! And thank you for checking out Acts of Creation!

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