[Siren Classic: Erotic Contemporary Romance]
Cara Manning has worked very hard to get to the top of her career. Staying on top is going to be the hardest work she has ever done. Running with the current trend in cooking shows, she pitches 'Spice It Up!'. Now all she needs is a sizzling chef to host the show.
She definitely finds that in Jack Monroe, an aspiring restaurateur who has a flair for haute cuisine, a scandalous reputation, and a killer smile that makes Cara's knees melt like butter. From the moment they meet, their heat is evident.
Jack can see beneath Cara's uptight exterior is a woman with passion. But can he shake the rumors of his "bad-boy" escapades to be with an uptight, corporate executive?
Can Cara take a chance with a man who, technically, works for her, without risking her career or losing her own identity?
"What wouldn't I give to be strong like Cara and throw caution to the wind for a chance at love? I spent so many years climbing the corporate ladder that sometimes I forgot the complete woman I am. Spicing It Up! is the indulgence of my inner woman's life-long dream to become an author and fulfill my every fantasy." ~ Mia ~
A Siren Erotic Romance
5 HEARTS: "Ms. Mia Bailey has written a detailed, strong plot with quite an interesting storyline. She made her characters literally come to life. She perfectly described the typical adverse circumstances a woman has to face when climbing the ladder to the top in a corporate setting. The details of working with people who were aware of a previous on-the-job romance gone badly were emotionally explored and the frustrations examined. The underlying suspense of a stalker was realistic. Convincing Cara that life was more than just working her way to the top was Jack's goal. These two characters were brought together by Liz, friend of both, who, throughout the entire book was a tried and true friend and a positive in the horrible torments Cara suffered. This writer demonstrated her incredible writing ability by the way in which she told this phenomenal story. I especially enjoyed that the book went into details and explored their relationship. It is not only a quick-starting affair. It is credible how they relate to each other and the outside forces which threaten them. And the astonishing ending was a real surprise. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys conflict, suspense, and a very sensual read. This is not for the faint of heart." -- Brenda Talley, The Romance Studio
5 STARS: "Cara Manning had her dream job, Program Director of WROK. She wanted to take the station in a new and broader direction. Her proposal was a cooking show. Focus audience would be couples that enjoyed spending time together in the kitchen. Both a male and female would co-host Spice-It-Up. Jack Monroe would make the perfect co-host. He had that special appeal she was looking for, both on the show and off. The broadcasting business is a brutal one. Cara and Jack must learn to trust no one. Spicing It Up! has a great plot. This book is filled with hot passion and will keep the reader steamy. The lead characters, Jack and Cara, work well together. Mia Bailey's Spicing It Up! will encourage more couples to find passion in the kitchen." -- Debra Gaynor, Review Your Book
4 STARS: "The sexual tension is as thick as molasses and the actual lovemaking is emotional and as spicy as the dishes Jack creates. Ms. Bailey gives the reader an insight into the political games that happen in the big bad world of broadcasting. I thoroughly enjoyed being at the back of happenings instead of just sitting in front of the TV watching a show. The secondary characters spice up the tale and the readers are left to find the vindictive ones and their reasons for wanting Cara's pound of flesh. The plot was interesting enough to hold the reader's attention. Spicing It Up! takes you on an entertaining and engrossing journey through one woman's life who fights for her right place, and learns to love despite obstacles. Nice Work!" -- Mahaira Fatima, Just Erotic Romance Reviews
“Good evening, Cara. You look lovely,” he expressed sincerely.
She blushed at his murmur of admiration. She couldn’t believe she actually blushed like a schoolgirl at a comment as mundane as her appearance. She wished she had changed before coming straight from the office. She smoothed a hand over her skirt, and then brought it up to her hair, which she had taken down thinking she would be having a quiet evening with Liz, as well. She knew that it was politically incorrect to be warmed by his appreciation of her looks, but somewhere deep inside of her, a spark glimmered that made her feel warm and so delicately feminine.
Jack’s ego perked up at her modest reactions. She was such an intriguing mix of strength and gentleness. When they were at her office, she was a take-charge, no bullshit dynamo, ready to take on the world. But sitting here in the restaurant, with the soft lights haloing her hair cascading about her oval face, she looked beatific. She exuded the picture of a worldly goddess, yet her responses were that of an eager neophyte impatient to learn. And he was a willing teacher.
“Thank you, Jack.” She lowered her gaze for only a moment before she raised it to meet his, the glow of the candles flickering in his eyes’ amber depths, their appearance warm like Scotch whiskey in a glass. Although she was sitting, she felt his gaze roam over her body. She should be piqued, but instead she was enflamed. A strange sort of melancholic desire passed through her that she couldn’t name, an unsatisfied thirst she feared could not be quenched as her rational mind chanted again, Don’t let yourself fall for Jack Monroe.
“I have a feeling that you were expecting Liz tonight for dinner. I hope that I’m not too much of a disappointment.” Why did I say that? “What I mean to say is that I hope you don’t mind having dinner with me instead to go over the contract,” she hurriedly corrected.
Jack smiled slowly. Cara was so composed, so self-possessed in the office. It was almost humanizing to see her fumble over her words. He liked to think that the way he looked at her played a part in her nervousness, as well. It made him speculate to how she would be outside the office. She had already let her hair down, and it was damned beautiful. And he could envision how beautiful she would look with that hair spread across his pillow. He could feel his dick throb as the picture of Cara, naked and writhing in his bed, filled his mind. His balls ached as he thought of the ways he would pleasure her body and bring her to climax.
Damn, he cursed. He needed to get a hold of himself. They would be working together. He needed to get a grip on his growing fascination with Cara. There were other women in the world, women who threw themselves at him, fawned over him, and seduced him. Any one of them could fulfill his need to fuck. What was it about Cara that made him want her so badly that it made his teeth sweat?
But he didn’t care. He may be working with Cara, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t willing to spend some of their time together in bed. And if he took his time with her, she would feel the same way. Her body was already responding to him. It was just her female logic he needed to win over to his side.
“I don’t mind, Cara,” he burred, “in fact, I’m looking forward to it.” He flashed a brilliant smile and she felt that strange sensation again, the one that made her feel like he only had eyes for her. And she found herself smiling back at him, the tension in her shoulders rolling away.
The crew had all left for the night. Another half hour and the cleaning crew would show up. She tied up the garbage bag and decided to leave it for the cleaning crew. Where is Jack?
Her heels made a click-click-click as she walked across the floor.
He held his breath, waiting, waiting…come on, baby, just a little closer.
“Jack?” she called out again as she passed where he hid in the shadows. His hand snaked out and grabbed her wrist, causing her to wince and gasp. He pulled her behind the scenery and pressed her back against the wall before surrounding her with his body. One hand settled on the wall beside her head while the other immediately covered her breast. He molded it in his hands, letting his thumb brush over her eager tip through her shirt, her bra beneath, causing her to moan.
“You like that, don’t you, baby,” he whispered hotly into her ear before running his tongue over the shell like portion, licking down to her lobes where he nipped it gently between his teeth. “You like it when I stroke your nipple, getting it all hard, tight.” He continued laving and sucking her throat column.
She couldn’t find the words, couldn’t find the voice to say the words, so she nodded furtively while tilting her head to give him better access to her neck. He chuckled, pressing his body harder against her. She whimpered trying to move her pelvis against him, trying to ease the throbbing that connected her aroused nipple to her dampening pussy. He continued to eat at her, licking and biting her neck, forcing her head to the other side so he could feast on the other side of her throat.
“Say it, baby. Tell me how much you like it when I taste you. Tell me.” He emphasized his request by biting her neck, causing her to moan.
“Yes,” she ground out hoarsely, “please, more.”
Her senses were swamped with her escalating desire to press against him to ease the fire he was building while she also felt with his uncontrollable ardor that competed with his desire to dominate her. And she loved it, craved it. He growled and bit harder, licking and tasting, drinking her in, every movement, every sound, every taste.
He pressed her against the wall, where she could not raise her arms to touch him, her hands trapped between them, where she could barely move beneath his weight, the strength of him holding her in place. In the darkness surrounding them, she couldn’t see what he was doing. She could only hear his labored breathing as he flattened himself along her willing body. She could do nothing but accept every touch, as he wanted to touch her.
And he wanted to touch her.
His hand gripped her breast, tweaking the nipple between his thumb and forefinger, pulling and tugging as he pinched it. He knew he squeezed her too hard, hard enough to leave bruises, but he didn’t care. His cock surged against his pants at the thought of her carrying his mark. Her moans were all the encouragement he needed, another factor that fed his need for dominance. The fact that she wanted it.
With every reaction to his touch, she begged for more. In the way that she leaned into his hand, encouraging him to clutch at her harder. In the way that her hips undulated, trying to press intimately against him. In the way she groaned her frustration as he held her at bay. She had her way earlier this morning, and now it was his turn to play.
“No, you don’t, baby.” She whimpered her annoyance, trying harder to align her body against his. She already knew what a perfect fit they were, and she wanted him to press his body fully against hers, making her feel the same way he did last night. But she was no match for his strength as he held her at bay, refusing her need to touch him. Her brows furrowed as she conveyed her need through a moan, trying once more desperately to push against him.
He growled deeply, a combination of desire and exasperation, of impatience and pain. His cock stretched the length of his leg, and each move she made had his member straining, as if trying to reach her through the fabric. She was hell on his control! And her moan coupled with her sinuous moves against him had snapped that thread that he used to subdue himself.
Grabbing hold of her wrists in one hand, he quickly spun her so that she faced the wall. He wedged his knee between her thighs, her crotch rubbing on his knee eliciting a sharp gasp, first from shock and then from need. He slipped his other hand into her shirt, beneath her bra, where he could taunt her distended nipple. His body crowded her, pushing her against the wall. She couldn’t push away, couldn’t resist. Didn’t want to resist, her traitorous body was clay being shaped and formed by a master sculptor.
“Oh, no, baby. Not this time.” He nibbled and nipped her tender flesh, causing slight shivers to run up and down her spine. “You’re not in charge now, I am.”