Serena's Song (MF)
Editors' Retro Pick: Outstanding Book
[Siren Classic: Erotic Contemporary Romance]
Finn "Riff" Logan's band blasted to the top of the rock charts fifteen years ago with the bittersweet single, Beautiful Girl, and has dominated the music scene ever since. Riff has it all-except the woman he left behind.
Widow Serena Jeffries isn't the same sweet, young thing who lost her heart-and everything else-to the local bad boy. Her life is filled with family, friends and the satisfaction of knowing she's earned her success. And if her love life is less than sensational--well, something's gotta give.
When Celebrity magazine splashes an old photo of the young lovers on newsstands across the nation, revealing that Serena is the inspiration behind Beautiful Girl, Riff seizes his chance to win her back.
Can Serena get over the pain of the past to build a future with the man she never stopped loving?
Click here to see a video of Serena's Song.
"Riff and Serena's story came to me while I was listening to Photograph by Nickelback about a musician reminiscing about where he grew up and how much things have changed. It made me wonder what would happen if a musician's closely held secret about his inspiration for the song that launched his career is suddenly revealed." ~ Raina ~
A Siren Erotic Romance
5 ROSES: "Serena's Song is a heartwarming and tender tale of second chances, and if you enjoy books of this type then you need to read this well-written romantic gem. I REALLY enjoyed this modern story of unfulfilled love finding a second chance. The story was well-plotted, the characters both sexy and likable, and the passion burning between them blistering hot, while still being tender and caring." -Pam, My Book Cravings
5 STARS: "I loved this story! I was a little disappointed to see it end. Riff's character is a perfect alpha with just a touch of bad boy. I love those bad boys! Serena's character is reminiscent of every woman who has ever loved and lost. This story flows well, often alternating between past and present, allowing the reader to become familiar with the characters as they have changed over the years. There were several secondary characters, all of whom helped to build a believable storyline. Derek "Dick" Randall's character was a bonus, adding a bit of jealous mystery to the plot. His character was easy to dislike, as he searched out ways to profit from other peoples misfortune. Overall, this was a good book with a solid storyline and great characters. I would absolutely recommend Serena's Song as a summer must read." -Stefani Clayton, Just Erotic Romance Reviews
5 CHERRIES: "What a pleasure it was to get to know the characters in this book. They are so beautifully crafted that I felt I was experiencing life through their eyes rather than reading words on a page. I was so immersed in Finn and Serena's tale that I finished it in one sitting and was sad to see it end. I viewed Serena as a welcome inspiration with her level-headed responses to confusing and chaotic situations. She is a soccer mom who is active in her quiet community when she is thrust into mayhem that she never asked for and doesn't want. She is understandably upset by the fact that the media are dogging her, but does she have a cow? No. Does she throw blame on Finn for the mess? Nope. Why? Because she's a rational, intelligent woman and can analyze an event in a logical manner to draw an appropriate conclusion. No whining for days, no stomping off in a huff, no misplaced anger, no drawn-out misunderstandings. I find that so refreshing! Serena is confronted with doubts, fears and insecurities, sure, but the unique thing about her is that her concerns don't get blown out of proportion. She handles them without the protracted drama and I was so grateful because I was able to adore her from beginning to end. My absolute favorite aspect of this novel is the intimacy between Serena and Finn during the love scenes. They are steamy, yes, but what makes them extraordinary is the power of the emotion; the sense of reverence that they have for one another is breathtaking, and it didn't matter the point of view I was experiencing; each worshipped the other with the same level of wonder and awe. I was blown away by their intensity. Serena's Song is a sensory indulgence by a gifted writer. According to Raina's website - yes! I was looking for more - this is her first published work and all I can say is wow! I am already impatient for her next release." -Chamomile, Whipped Cream
4 STARS: "Serena's Song is an entertaining read. Riff and Serena play well off of each other. Riff Logan is a rock star and songwriter. Years before, he was inspired to write Beautiful Girl. The song shot up the charts. Fifteen years later, a reporter discovered the identity and where about of Serena Jeffries. Now, the paparazzi were hot on her heels. Serena was a widow with two teenage children. Riff still loved her and wanted her to be a permanent part of his life. It would not be that easy. The spark of their love grows, and so do the obstacles. I enjoyed this book and recommend it to other fans of romantica." -Debra Gaynor, Review Your Book
4 BLUE RIBBONS: "If you love stories about long lost love then you have to read this book. It gives you an inside look into the life of a rock star, but also shows that they have a history like everyone else. Riff is a great hero and the fact that he wants to make things right with Serena will really curl your toes. Serena is still in love with Riff and some things just never change. It just goes to prove you can move on with life, but you never really stop loving someone. I cheered for Serena and Riff to get back together and it is obvious from their moving love scenes that they belong with each other. Raina James is an author to watch and after reading Serena's Song, I will be on the lookout for more of her clever writing." -Angel, Romance Junkies
Serena startled as the doorbell's chime jerked her out of her musings. She considered ignoring the summons, then reconsidered. Better to face the questions now, while the kids were safely away from home, than later when they might be upset by a confrontation. Maybe the reporters would leave her alone if she said "no comment" enough times. She smiled to herself at that. Who said you couldn't learn anything from primetime TV?
The faint smile was still on her face as she approached the front door. Remembering the big TV cameras, Serena ran a smoothing hand over her hair and did a quick inspection in the hall mirror to make sure she was presentable. Good enough. She could see the silhouette of just one person—a man, she thought—standing on the other side of the glass. Maybe she'd get off easy and not have to face the whole pack of them.
Bracing herself, she pulled open the door. The faint, cool smile fell off her face. All she could do was stare. Finn seemed just as stunned.
The sound of his voice galvanized her. Without thought, she slammed the door, cutting him off before he could say more than her name. She was surprised to notice her hands were trembling.
After a moment, the bell sounded again. Serena glared at the door and, through it, the man standing on her porch. A man she hadn't seen in over fifteen years. His choice. Not hers. At first. Howdare he?
She slumped against the wall and crossed her arms over her chest, thinking furiously. Now what?
* * * *
Riff stared at the door Serena had just slammed in his face. That went well. What the hell am I doing here? I don't need this!
He turned to storm off the porch. Muttering a succinct curse, he spun back before he'd taken more than a step. He growled in exasperation, tipping his head back as if searching the cloudless blue sky for answers. He hadn't flown across the country to give up and go home after two seconds. Damn!
He pressed the doorbell button, held it down longer than necessary. The sound of the cheery ring made him grit his teeth. He glanced around to see if there were any witnesses to the sight of Riff Logan cooling his heels on Serena Jeffries' front steps—after she'd slammed the door in his face. He peered in the hazy window. If she was there, he couldn't see her, only a blur of indefinable shapes.
He was just reaching to punch the button a third time, determined to hold it down until either she answered or it blew a fuse, when the door was yanked open. She looked both ways down the street, which was devoid of both traffic and gawkers, then grabbed his arm.
"You'd better come in before someone sees you."
He let her pull him into the foyer and flick the deadbolt behind him.
"Too late," he said, not bothering to hide the perverse satisfaction in his voice. At the questioning lift of her eyebrows, he clarified, "Your neighbor. She waved at me as I was coming up the walk."
"Oh, Sheighlah. That's okay, then. She won't say anything."
Serena looked away and his eyes fastened on her teeth, which were busy worrying her bottom lip in that way he remembered so well. It was surprising how much he wanted to taste that lip himself.
"What are you doing here, Finn?"
For a moment, the name gave him pause. It had been a long, long time since anyone had called him anything but Riff. He'd chosen the name himself when he was twelve and guitar crazy. He'd refused to answer to anything else until everyone gave in and started calling him Riff. But not Serena. As soon as they'd gotten together, she'd insisted on using his "real" name. From her, he hadn't minded it.
The sound of his name coming from those worry-reddened lips drove his gaze up to meet hers. It was just another blow in a barrage of many to realize the deep, dark blue eyes had the same mesmerizing effect on him. Suddenly, he wanted nothing more than to snatch her up, press her close, chest to breast, hip to hip, thigh to thigh.
He jammed his hands back in the front pockets of his jeans, both to deny the impulse and give his constricted flesh a bit more room to move without being obvious about it. He hoped.
Riff's chest heaved as he watched her flick the front catch of her bra. It let go with a small snap. The pretty lace fell away, leaving her breasts shivering in their freedom. Serena, staring into his rapt face, took his hands and put them square on her breasts. She pushed until he cupped their weight fully. Her nipples were hard points against the seam of his fingers. Automatically, he widened his grip enough to let them slip between his fingers, then tightened it to trap the tight buds with exquisite force.
Serena gasped. "Yes. Much better."
For a few moments, she sat without moving as his hands moved over her breasts, massaging, tugging, pulling, soothing. Each sudden tweak pulled a low cry from her throat. With every sound, Riff felt his own breath catching in his chest.
Finally, Serena returned trembling fingers to his waist. The zipper opened with a quick rip of metal. He groaned at the instant relief, then bit his lip when Serena wrapped her fist around him. The cooler air of the room breezed over the tip of his swollen cock. All teasing gone, Serena's hand glided over him in long, firm strokes.
Dimly, he realized she was following the rhythm of his hands on her breasts. Experimentally, he rolled her nipples between his fingers. Immediately, Serena circled her thumb around the sensitive head of his cock. His thigh tensed as she pressed against it, her hips churning lightly in time with the movements of their hands on each other. He could feel her wetness soaking through both layers of clothing, hers and his.
He was focused so intently on the duet they were playing, each matching the other's moves, that he didn’t notice her other hand until she cupped his sac and gently rolled his balls in her palm. His hips surged off the couch, pushing himself harder into her palm.
"Serena," he gritted out. "Serena, baby, stop."
She leaned into his hands, grinding her nipples into his palms. He felt the first tremors begin where she was pressed tight against his thigh, rocking in a short, quick rhythm. Riff clenched his teeth, determined to hang on. Serena threw her head back and gave a low, thoaty moan that rose to a satisfied cry. He let go of her breasts and held her hips, helping to push her harder against his thigh. He saw the orgasm ripple through her body with silent power. Her hands went limp around his cock and balls, making him want to curse with disappointment at the same time he appreciated the moment it gave him to regain control. He wanted to be in her so bad he could taste it.