So I know a lot of writers tend to write about characters that they can relate to, characters that reflect a lot of the writer. But I have to admit that Juliette Mason and I are nothing alike.
Juliette is reserved, sophisticated, goal orientated and responsible. I on the other hand am none of those things. No, really.
Sure I can be sophisticated if the situation requires me to be, but reserved? Nah-ah. Stubborn? Yes. Am I goal orientated? If you consider me always getting my way goal orientated, then sure. Responsible? Maybe – but I think it's more of an OCD tendency than being responsible. I have a certain way of doing certain things and tend to freak out if it's not done the way I like it. Well I call it a freak out session; my husband calls it a tantrum. It's a matter of opinion.
Okay, so one thing that Juliette and I do have in common is the big brown eyes. Other than that – nada. And she's got long curly hair I so wish I had.
Anyway, Juliette is the opposite of me and I chose that kind of character because I already had Knox all figured out. Big bad-ass guy with a temper and dangerously smoldering blue eyes – what better match for him than an uptight, sophisticated, woman who lived her life according to a daily schedule right?
So I had these two very complicated and complex characters who I knew would just be perfect for each other. But since I love ‘complicated’ so damn much, I tossed a very handsome, very ambitious and highly successful fiancé into the mix. Why? Because what is love if not complicated? And would love be cherished and appreciated if it just fell out of thin air right into your lap? I think not.
Right, so back to the brooding sexy as hell bad boy – Knox Taylor. Now that's where a little of me gets mixed into the story. I have a soft spot for bad boys who intimidate the hell out of me – and then have me think a hundred dirty thoughts at once. Knox is dangerous, wild, and a man who hates complications. He doesn't give a flying fig about anything that doesn't result in him getting his way with minimal fuss and zero to none effort. So imagine the rude wakeup call he gets when Juliette waltzes into his life and throws him one big curveball by being the one complication he really, really wants but just can't have. Yup, those two characters just scream drama, passion and loads of sexual tension – the perfect recipe for a Resplendent Ruin.
So of course I had to write about them. I was just too damn curious and had to find out where these two characters would end up. And the end result was.... well, you'll just have to wait and find out for yourselves *wink*
Juliette Mason had it all—the perfect job, the perfect home, the perfect fiancé. She lived the perfect life. Until everything slowly started to fall apart.
Daniel, her attractive and success-driven fiancé, was the love of her life. For years she wanted nothing more than to finally walk down the aisle, to be Mrs. Daniel Clarke. But as time went by, the cracks in their relationship started to come to the surface, and Juliette found herself in a place she never imagined she would be. It was a place where she started to question everything about her life and her dreams, a place where nothing about her life made sense anymore—a place where she found Knox Taylor.
Knox didn’t count on falling in love. In fact, Knox didn’t count on anything really. He was blissfully happy living a fast life of reckless behavior, impulsive decisions, and beautiful women. He lived the perfect life of a flourishing bachelor—but then she happened.
“Why are you in my room?”
Juliette yelped and jumped at the same time. She dropped the cuff which was still clutched in her hand, and the sound echoed through the room as it clashed against the bedpost.
“Oh my God,” she breathed, holding her hand against her chest. Her heart was beating a hundred miles an hour, and she could feel all the blood drain from her body, rushing to her burning cheeks.
“Why are you in my room?” His voice was right behind her now, and she swallowed hard. Not wanting to turn around and let him see the embarrassment on her face, she kept her back to him.
“I’m sorry,” she muttered and tried to scurry past him. But before she was able to make a getaway, he reached out and grabbed her wrist. A shockwave of extreme undiluted need shot up from his touch, through her spine, straight to her core. Holy crap, she couldn’t breathe.
His stare burned through her skin and her body felt like it was on fire. Startled by what she felt, she looked up at him.
His midnight hair was damp and unruly as ever, and his face slightly flushed.
There was no stopping her gaze from moving down.
“I, um…I…” She couldn’t think of a single thing to say, not one damn thing as she stared at his incredibly well-built, unbelievably toned chest with the faint dusting of black chest hair.
Down, down, down—like Alice in the rabbit hole—her attention went, until they reached the very prominent, very masculine V. Or what Lexi would call it, the “penis-pointer.”--Oh no, she didn’t? Did she just think about his…
Yes. Yes, she did.
“Up here, sweetheart,” he said, still clutching her wrist.
Her gaze shot up, another wave of embarrassment making its way to her already burning face. He had that damn arrogant grin he wore so well on his face. He knew the effect he had on her. He knew every dirty little thought that flashed through her mind during the last five seconds. Smug bastard!
She jerked her arm out of his hold and her skin instantly mourned the loss. “I just came to return your jacket.” It was a miracle that she didn’t stutter since she couldn’t form a single sentence in her head.
His arm dropped to his side and her eyes followed the movement. That’s when she noticed the white towel wrapped around his waist. For a split second the thought of what was behind that flimsy white towel made her thighs clench and her stomach tighten.
He cocked a brow. “And you needed to put it in my room?”
“Well,” she searched for words, or an explanation, or something, “I just wanted to make sure you got it back safely.” Well, I certainly aced that explanation.
He looked at her suspiciously, and then his eyes went dark. “Whatever. You can leave now.” He dismissed her.
Oh hell no!
She gave a step forward. “Do you think that women actually find this whole jackass approach of yours attractive?” she spat out.
“I don’t know, do you?”
Struggling—yet again—to think on her feet, she just stared at him, completely blank. Nice.
He gave a step toward her, traces of the darkness in his eyes she saw a second ago gone. What she could only interpret as a sexy-as-hell grin crossed his face, showing off his ridiculously distracting dimples.
I want to trace those dimples with my tongue… Stop!
All of a sudden the entire atmosphere between them changed from awkward, to angry, to--electrifying. Her skin tingled, and she was suddenly painfully aware that except for the flimsy towel wrapped around his waist, he was completely and utterly naked.
With somewhat furrowed brows and the corners of his mouth pulled back just enough for her to wonder if he was about to smile or frown, he slowly started toward her. With each step he took, she instinctively gave one step back. This was probably what trapped prey felt like being stalked by a wild, hungry predator. Adrenalin would pump through the prey’s veins as it prepared to run for its life or brace itself for impact. The only difference was that the adrenalin pumping through her veins was for an entirely different reason than wanting to escape her predator. In fact, she wanted to run to the predator.
Stupid, stupid prey!
She inhaled sharply when her back hit the wall. Her body started to shiver as he leaned into her. Heat burned through her skin while her heart beat wildly inside of her chest.
He placed his hands flush against the wall just above her shoulders and looked down at her, his eyes a frenzy of heat and seduction. Every inch of her body felt electrified, like it was leaning over the edge of unadulterated lust in search of ecstasy.
He cocked his head to the side and he stared at the soft, exposed skin of her neck. She was pretty sure he could have seen the vein pulsating to the rhythm of her heart. She felt completely intoxicated by the way he moved, the way he smelled, and the way it felt having him so close up against her. She closed her eyes and felt him slowly trace the edge of his nose up her neck, all along her jaw until she could feel his lips brush against her ear.
“Tell me, Jules,” he whispered, the words coated with sheer unmistakable allure.
“Tell you what?” she asked dazed. She could not remember what the hell they were talking about.
He focused all his attention on her lips while he kept his mouth mere inches from hers. It was complete agony having his lips so close to hers and not being able to feel it.
“Do you find my jackass approach attractive?”
His warm breath waved over her wet lips and an inferno of flames erupted inside of her, leaving her incapable of thinking about anything else than what his lips would feel like pressed firmly against hers.
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