A Soldiers of Fortune Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Military Romance,
New Adult Romance, Billionaire Romance,
Alpha Male, Bad-Boy
Date of Publication: 8/11/15
Number of pages: 237 (kindle)
Word Count: 58,000
Cover Artist: Aubrey Irons
Five years ago, that cocky, egotistical a**hole played me like a fool and broke my heart.
Hudson Banks; the dominant, tattooed, womanizing, ex-Marine-turned-billionaire who runs God-knows-what at my late father’s company.
Oh, and he’s sexy as all f**k, and he damn well knows it.
He’s like a gasoline fire; a scorchingly hot disaster, and if I’m not careful, I’m going to get burned.
I’m on track to be the youngest New York State Senator ever elected; the bright, gutsy, good-girl media darling. Except my campaign funding just went dry, and it looks like the only solution is coming from the last person on Earth I’d ever want to take anything from. Oh, and it turns out bad-boy, tough-guy Hudson will be shadowing me 24/7 after he makes it clear that he’s in charge of "protecting the investment".
Yeah, just perfect; a reckless, irresistible d*ck like Hudson Banks is the last person I need being “in charge” of anything to do with me.
Especially when I still can’t forget the taste of his lips or the feeling of that massive hardness I know he’s packing between his legs. It’s not fair that he’s even hotter now than he was back then. It’s not fair that those smoldering, arrogant eyes and that cocky, panty-melting grin still make me warm in places they shouldn’t. And it’s definitely not fair that five years later, I still can’t get him out of my head.
So it looks like I’ve got two races on my hands: the one for election, and the one against the burning heat threatening to tear us both apart. But on the sprint to the finish line, what happens when the man who has everything comes up against the one thing he can’t have?
**This is a standalone, HEA novel**
Available at Amazon
My heart is pounding as I slam the door shut to my room. I’m pacing the floor, the blood roaring in my ears and hot across my face as I bring one of my fingers to my lips and chew at the cuticle; a habit I’ve been trying to kick since I was a kid. Shit; I just walked in on Hudson totally naked with those absolutely insane abs, those grooved muscles of his hips and that holy-fucking-shit HUGE cock. I can feel the blush bloom hotter through my face as I think of that particular part of him again; the part that had me staring and frozen like I was under a spell of some kind. It’s the part of him that has me wetter than I’ve ever been as the mental image of it sears itself into my brain.
I’m used to living alone, but I can’t believe I just barged in through a closed bathroom door. And I stayed! Why on earth hadn’t I just turned on my heal and bolted as soon s I’d seen him, instead of staring at him and his- his cock like I was some sort of sex-starved, tongue-tied weirdo! And what was I thinking letting him get that close to me, so close that I actually felt him against my thigh like that.
‘Say the word, Reagan’
My breath comes shaking as the desire floods through me, and I stop pacing to lean my forehead against the door. I have no idea where I possibly found the ability to say no, and as I feel my pulse throbbing in my ears and between my legs, I almost wish I could go back in time and try a different answer.
The knock at my door makes me jump, makes my heart leap into my throat; “Go away, Hudson.” I croak out. It takes every ounce of my control to keep my voice level and not betray the quaver I’m trying so hard to contain; “And learn to lock the damn door!”
I can hear him growl in the hallway; “Will you just open this one and we can ta-“
“There’s nothing to talk about.” My eyes are clenched tightly, my fingers digging into my palms as I chew at my lip, not sure if I want to will him to walk away or break the door down and take me right here and now. I can hear him swear under his breath on the other side of the door and then I jump at the sound of a palm slamming flat against the doorframe.
“Damnit, Reagan, open-“
“There’s nothing to talk about, Hudson.” I saw quietly; “Just lock the door next time.”
Please don’t ask me to open this door again or I know I will, I think, chewing at my lip with my eyes closed tight. I’m so close to the edge that I know if he asks me again there’s no way I’ll be able to say no. I clench my eyes closed even tighter, feeling my body shiver with desire and feeling the heat pulsing between my legs. Please, ask me-
The door to the guest room slamming shut down the hallway makes me jump, and I let my breath out suddenly, realizing I’ve been holding it. I count to three, and then ten, and then fifty before I open my door. I poke my head out to see that the hallways is clear, before I slip out and pad barefoot to the bathroom.
It’s still steamy in here from him, though I guess he never got a chance to take a shower before I barged in. There’s a bottle of aftershave lying on the sink next to a razor, and before I can stop myself, I’m holding the bottle to my nose and smelling his scent; letting it fill my senses as the steam of the room swirls around me. His aftershave hasn’t changed, and the smell instantly has me back there, back where we came so close. His hands are on me again, pushing me against the stone behind us as he kisses me; his hardness pressing hotly against my thigh through his pants.
I blush crimson, knowing that as of seven minutes ago, I know exactly what that hardness looks like.
I shake my head to clear it as I reach to turn on the water, trying to shake him out of my thoughts. The aftershave hasn’t changed, and as much as I want to think the man who wears it has with this whole new sober, healthy, helpful and positive Hudson, I know it’s just a new facade. People don’t change, not like that.
But when I step under the hot spray of the water, he’s still in my head; all of him. And as much as I want him gone from my thoughts, as the water teases electrically over my skin, the vivid image of his rock-hard body and his big cock standing a foot away from where I stand now invade every corner of my brain. I’m wet; far wetter than I’d be just from standing under a shower head, and before I can stop it, I’m pushing my hands down over my hips and over my stomach, and sliding them lower. My fingers roll over my aching clit, making me gasp quietly as I lean my forehead against the tile wall. A moan as soft as the steam rising around me escapes my lips as I rub myself there, picturing Hudson standing hot and ripped and naked right in front of me, so close that I can feel the heat from his body, and then closer still as I feel the throbbing heat of his erection press against my thigh. I picture myself letting him go further then, instead of pushing him away like I did. His mouth is on mine, sliding down to suck one of my nipples into his mouth before he slides lower still until he’s sliding his tongue deep into my wetness as I buck against his mouth. I moan again, louder this time as I slide a finger over my entrance and push it inside. I’m squeezing my eyes shut tight, already feeling myself start to tumble as I rock my hips to grind my clit against the palm of my hand as I picture Hudson wrapping my legs around his muscled waist and sliding that big, hard-
The bathroom door slams open; “Is my toothbrush-“
“Hudson!” But its not a cry of anger or shock, or even surprise; its me crying out his name as I come. And gasping out his name as my body begins to shatter pushes me tumbling over that sweet edge as my climax explodes through me.
“I- uh-“ His voice is choked, and as I look up through the semi-frosted clear shower curtain, I see him staring at me as he backs out of the room; “Sorry.”
The door shuts, and I slump against the wall, feeling like I want to turn to liquid and let the water pelting down on top of me carry me right down the drain along with it.
It’s a frosted shower curtain, so- no, there’s no way-
The water and the steam swirl around me as I slide to my knees in the tub and curl my legs up to my chin as I rock myself. He couldn’t have; God he couldn't have.
Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I wrote my first "book" at age five. It was about a squirrel and a rabbit who became best friends over their shared love of acorns. Years later, after I'd learned that rabbits do not, in fact, eat acorns, I wrote my triumphant sophomore work at the age of thirteen. Book 2 was actually my first borderline foray into romance; a short story about a vampire queen and a Crusades knight. It was extremely steamy and, well, quite graphic. When my mother found it, she told me I was being "filthy", and then took away my MTV privileges. The seed was planted...
Ages three through ten I think I actually wanted to be a Disney princess, varying between Cinderella, Jasmine, and Tinkerbell. After that, I was dead-set on being a female Indian Jones discovering hidden archaeological wonders and kicking bad-guy butt. I went to college for the career I ended up choosing, while keeping writing as just a “sometimes”-hobby I did here and there.
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
I want to say “when I published my first book”, but that’s a bad way of looking at things or measuring success. I know plenty of amazing chefs who are otherwise moms and lawyers, or stunningly incredible musicians who are otherwise high-school teachers and volunteer firefighters. That said, I think I finally was like “hey, I’m a real writer” when my husband pointed out that I’d just finished a 60k word novel.
How long did it take to get your first book published?
Eight hours. I’m a huge proponent of the way self-publishing has changed the way we write, read, and discover new books, and I think things like Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program are the best thing to happen to books since maybe the printing press. Writing my first book was one thing, but actually publishing it took 15 minutes on Amazon followed by seven hours and forty-five minutes of review time before it went live.
Do you do another job except for writing and can you tell us more about it?
Not anymore! I went full-time as an author about a year ago, and I haven’t looked back. The boring old day job we’ll just refer to as the “Job-Who-Will-Not-Be-Named” from here on out ;).
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
Scorch is my latest, and was actually both a challenge and a blast to write. The series is three men and the three daughters of the man who saved them from their demons and made them who they are in the world. But, the series is also four books, which means I threw a monkey wrench into things with book three.
The hero of Scorch is actually the bad guy from book 2, and he was quite the bad guy. Turning him into the tortured, broken hero of Scorch was a challenge, but a ton of fun once I got going.
Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?
Self publish all the way!
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
I’m a real task-master to myself; well, at least I try to be. I try and make myself get from concept to finished book in under a month.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I’m finishing up the final book in the Soldiers of Fortune series right now. After that, I’ve got a few standalone novels already planned, and then I’m working on brainstorming a spin-off series from book four of the Soldiers of Fortune series.
What genre would you place your books into?
My books are about bold, sassy, and inteligent women and hot, cocky, and quite typically forbidden bad-boys. So far, my books are firmly in the Military and Contemporary romance genres, but I have plans for both a Motorcycle Club series and a few standalone Stepbrother Romance books.
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
My books take on a mind of their own once I get going with the idea. I came up with the original character ideas for Hudson and Reagan for my first book, and from there, the story just evolved into this whole series of these dark and broken ex-marines and the women they fall for.
Do you have a favorite character from your books? And why are they your favorite?
So hard to choose! I have a soft spot in my heart for Hudson, the hero of Heat, but I have to say I loved writing Logan and Javier in Burn and Scorch, respectively. Javier was a real challenge since he was the seriously bad bad guy from Logan’s book and I had to turn that dark character into someone the reader could love in book three.
How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I guess to a certain degree, I’ve been a “writer” for almost as long as I can remember; from strange picture books about squirrels as a little girl to horrendously cliched poetry in high-school. I decided to become a full-time professional writer about a year ago, and I guess that was a decision born of a few things. For one, I think I finally decided to listen to all the people saying “hey, you know, you should write”, and for two, I hit the breaking point with my boring day job. I’d had a fairly successful fan-fiction blog going for a few years as a hobby (fan of what, I will carry with me to the grave; embarrassment overload ;) ), and I guess I finally decided to take it to another level. I took a page from the E. L. James book and turned some of my fan-fiction into short erotic romance stories and self-published them. When they did way better than I could have ever imagined, I wrote more, and then more after that. Eventually, I decided to go big, and started writing my first novel. After that, I was hooked.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I have very strangely found Taylor Swift to be my go-to writing music; no idea why or how since I’d never listened to her before. It’s that or the “productive morning” mix on Spotify, or my own “sexy writing mix”. I plant my butt in my chair by the window at my computer, and do writing sprints of 25 minutes with 5 minute breaks for as long as I can manage.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Absolutely! I love reading reviews; good or bad! Feedback makes you a better writer, and if you’re not trying to get better, what’s the point?
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I have the hardest time with titles, so definitely book first. Heat came about as a dual reference to the obvious sexual and romantic connotations, but also since the heroine of the book is running a political race; i.e. “heat.” From there, the whole series took on that dual-meanings of fire references.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
Most of the books in my series so far are predominately set in New York City, since I live here and know the place. The character names have been anything from baby names my husband and I liked but found to be way to “sexy” to actually name your child, to even waking up in the middle of the night with a name on my tongue. Javier, from book three though, is pretty much named directly after Javier Bardem, because YUMMM.
Are character names and place names decided after their creation? Or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
For me at least, having the name is the gateway to just exploring the character. I really like my heroes and heroines to become real people; friends of yours that you don’t want to say goodbye to when the book ends. A name is the anchor of who someone is, and after that, I just let the character develop his or herself. I’ve only changed a character name once after starting a book, when my husband and I fell in love with the name for a possible baby-name, and there was no way I was going to name my child that after the racy things the character was going to get up to in the book!
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
Same answer as the previous question. I let my characters become who they will once I start writing. I find that trying to mold them into who I want them to be is counterproductive. They’ve got a will of their own and a story to tell, and it’s my job as a writer to let that happen.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
If you read the books backwards and upside-down, there are hidden directions to the location of the secret Knights Templar treasure I’ve buried.
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
Ugh, such the hot topic these days! I am very nostalgic, and I honestly own entirely too many gorgeous, well-loved and well-read hardcover and paper books. But honestly; those things get heavy. I used to be quite the snob about people reading ebooks, but I have to admit, I’ve been converted now; I love them. I’ve got a Kindle with something like 80 books on it right now that fits in my purse. I mean, that’s sort of hard to beat. If a book is just stunning though, the nostalgic in me still goes out and at least gets the paperback too.
What is your favorite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
I’ve read The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway about once a year ever since my dad gave me a copy for my 16th birthday. I’ve also cried every time I’ve finished it.
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favorite/worst book to movie transfer?
So depends on the movie and the book! There have been some truly amazing books turned into truly terrible films, and some fairly mediocre books turned into stunning movies! I think the Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings movies are utterly perfect film versions of the truly great books they came from.
The there are books like The Golden Compass books which are truly beautiful stories. The movie version is just heartbreaking to watch, and not just because they stopped at one, but because they missed the feel of it entirely.
Your favorite food is?
Chocolate, obviously. Also salmon, though separately.
Your favorite singer/group is?
I love Americana and bluegrass music, especially a lot of the older country stuff like Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings. I could also melt into a happy puddle for the rest of my life listening to Ray Lamontagne’s voice.
Your favorite color is?
Your favorite Author is?
Aubrey Irons. *Cheesy Grin* Other than that, unabashedly Ernest Hemingway.
Aubrey Irons enjoys writing about bold, sassy, and intelligent women and the hot, cocky, and quite typically forbidden alpha males who love and lust for them; gripping stories, happy endings, and enough heat to keep things extra steamy!
In the real world, Aubrey is kept plenty entertained by her own tattooed Marine husband, their precocious and adorable three year old, and one very ill-behaved puppy.