Blog Tour: Ready to Love by Franca Storm
Ready to Love by Franca Storm A Damaged Hearts Novel #1 Publication Date: August 10, 2015 Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Purchase on Amazon.She is the one woman who is always off limits… College rocker and infamous playboy, John Kingston, has screwed his way through most of the women on campus. But there’s one woman he will never touch: his best friend and band mate, Nicki. For four years, he’s been her protector and her confidant. When arrogant frat guy, Axel, attempts to make a claim on her, John suffers a painful wakeup call, quickly realizing that his feelings for Nicki are not purely platonic. Recognizing that Axel’s intentions are anything but innocent, John’s possessiveness spirals out of control, sparking a dangerous feud. Nicola Lewis can’t bear to be touched. Haunted by an awful past that she has been unable to escape, she has kept her distance from the opposite sex. And she’s been just fine living her life that way: safe and uncomplicated with no chance of getting hurt again. Until an unexpected kiss changes everything… But John and Nicki must decide whether the burgeoning desire between them is worth the risk. Is this a case of love conquers all, or a huge mistake that could destroy everything?
About Franca StormFranca was born in Surrey, England and currently lives in Niagara Falls, Canada with her husband and their labrador, Rocky. She is a long-time lover of erotica and romance novels, especially those with sexy-as-sin alpha males. She decided to try her hand at writing her own and writing romance is now her obsession and the perfect way to put her dirty mind to good use! Her writing spans many different sub-genres of romance: contemporary, biker romance, paranormal romance, new adult, romantic erotica and romance suspense. She’s got a ton of stories to tell and many more works up her sleeve.
As I lay back on the bed, propping the pillows up behind me so that I’m half lying, half sitting, I suddenly feel insanely nervous. Shit. I cross my legs, feeling uncomfortable not wearing any underwear beneath the skimpy slip of a nightdress. I try to strike what I think is a sexy pose, but everything feels so awkward. I’ve seen women do it in the movies—how do they pull it off so easily?
I can’t do this.
I slide off the bed, intending to make my way into the bathroom to grab my bathrobe when the door opens. Oh no! Too late!
“Got your text. So, you’ve got me alone. So, what’s—oh shit!” John’s voice comes from the door.
I cringe. Shit. “Hi,” I squeak over my shoulder.
He shuts the door behind him and chuckles. “Are you gonna turn around or talk to me with your back to me all night?”
“I…uh…I need my robe.”
“No,” he says huskily.
I force myself to turn around. The moment I do, his eyes dart to mine suddenly. I grin inwardly, knowing that they were staring at my ass just a second earlier. I can see the coiled tension in his body, the stiff set of his jaw and I know he’s struggling to keep his gaze on my eyes and not elsewhere. If I was any other girl, he wouldn’t bother. It makes me feel bad, like I’m teasing him or something.
“You can look,” I tell him.
But he still doesn’t. In fact, he slaps his hand over his eyes. “Shit, Nicki. I…uh…why are you wearing…that?”
“Can you remove your hand and look at me?”
He shakes his head.
“Fine.” I take a deep breath and perch on the edge of the bed. “Nothing happened after our kiss the other day. No nightmares. Nothing.”
“Really?” he asks, intrigued.
“And?” he presses.
“I don’t know if it was a mistake to you, or what. If you’ve been avoiding me, or whether I’ve subconsciously been avoiding you or something. I wanted to clear it up tonight.”
“There’s something else,” he accuses.
Dammit, he knows me too well. “I…uh…will you…touch me?”
His hand falls away and his gaze snaps to mine. “What?”
I climb onto the bed and ease myself back against the pillows, hoping I don’t actually look as awkward as I feel.
He shakes his head. “Nicki…”
“It was a mistake, wasn’t it?” I ask, suddenly embarrassed as hell. I pull the covers up to shield myself. “Oh crap,” I mumble. “Can you leave and give me a second to get dressed and then we’ll talk this out?”
“No,” he says. Before I know it, he’s climbing onto the other side of the bed. “That’s not what I meant. I just wanted you to know that you don’t have to do this.”
“I want to,” I say, pushing the covers aside.
This time, his eyes are all over me. “Nicki, once you give me the green light, I’m not sure I’m gonna be able to stop.”
Oh my God. I swallow hard and tell him, “I want you to touch me.”
READY TO LOVE – EXCERPT 2
My eyes snap open and I wake up to darkness. I know something must’ve woken me up. I don’t wake up randomly during the night. I’m a heavy, deep sleeper.
It takes me a moment to get a handle on my surroundings.
“Hey,” a voice murmurs suddenly.
Oh shit. I almost jump out of my skin as I see Nicki sitting there at the foot of my bed.
“What are you doing here? Are you competing for creeper of the year, because you have my vote? Shit.”
“Mitch let me in. I knocked several times, but you didn’t answer.”
Mitch? Great security, buddy. We’re gonna discuss that bullshit. “I’m tired.”
I can tell by the look on her face that she’s here to talk. Screw that. I said my peace earlier. There’s nothing left to say. I was right the first time; keeping it casual is the saner way to live.
She slides off the bed but she doesn’t make any move to leave. My eyes have now adjusted to the dark and I can clearly see that she’s standing there in a black silk robe that falls just above her knees. The belt is loose and I can make out the outline of her tits. My dick responds immediately and I shift in the bed and adjust the covers.
She cuts me off by leaning into me and pressing her finger to my lips.
“I know you don’t believe me, but I wasn’t manipulating you. I would never do that. I didn’t answer you at the ravine, because I was embarrassed, I guess. I’m not as comfortable talking about stuff like that as you are. I didn’t know…I don’t know how to do these things, John. I’m sorry. I never meant to hurt you.”
I bat her hand away from my mouth. “You should go. Give me a couple of days and things will be back to normal with us.”
She shakes her head. “I can prove it to you.”
“That it’s not what you think between us…that it is more to me.”
“Just forget it.”
She doesn’t listen. Instead, she climbs onto the bed—onto me.
She’s straddling me. Shit. I don’t think my dick can take this.
“The way I figure it, the only way to prove it is for us to…do it…and for you to see that I’m not gonna be going anywhere afterwards.”
“No,” I say, shaking my head.
“I need you to go. Now. Leave.”
I grip her waist to lift her off me. “Point of no return, remember? This is it.”
Before I can lift her off me, she unties the belt of her robe and pushes it off her shoulders.
Fuck me; the robe is all she was wearing.
My eyes sweep over her naked body, taking in every delicious inch of her. Her tits would bring any man to his knees; full and perky. My gaze dips lower to her tight stomach, her tiny hips, her sexy thighs. I linger between her legs for a few seconds as memories of tasting that sweet pussy of hers run through my head, teasing me, tempting me.
I actually manage to think without interference from my dick for a second and irritation rises within me. She keeps putting me in no-win situations. She keeps tempting me, knowing I can’t go over the line. And my patience is at an end now. Stripping in front of me like this grates on my last nerve. I’m not superhuman.
So, before I can stop myself, I’ve wrestled her beneath me and I’m snarling down at her.
“You want my cock, Nicki? You wanna be fucked? You’ve been toying with me, pushing me with that hot little body of yours. Now, I’m gonna take you long and hard. Is that what you want? For me to treat you like just another girl? Another meaningless fuck? Is it?”
“Okay,” she gasps.
What? What did she just say? I look down at her. Her eyes are wide with disbelief and something else…fear or wonder? I can’t tell. She’s breathing in short rapid bursts. But she makes absolutely no move to stop me, to push me off her. It throws me, because that’s what I’d expected her to do; what I’d been counting on.
“John?” she whispers, hesitantly.
“Yeah, baby?” I manage to choke out, completely stunned by her shocking vulnerability.
“Do it,” she tells me.
Fucking hell. Right then, all my irritation and frustration leaves me. All I can see is her lying beneath me, wanting me, trusting me.
I brush a strand of hair out of her eyes and tuck it behind her ear.
She seems put off when I don’t say anything and just continue to stare at her, probably assuming that I’m gonna turn her away again.
“I want to do this,” she says.
I lean down and kiss her softly. She gasps as I deepen it, claiming her mouth. She trembles beneath me and I feel her hands on me, hesitantly stroking my arms. They move away quickly—awkwardly—and I realize she can’t decide what to do with them.
Smiling, I grasp them gently and tell her, “There’s no wrong way to touch me. Anything you do gets me going, baby. Feel, don’t think.”
I chuckle. “Good.” I lick my way down her neck, along her collarbone, to her right tit. She gasps as I draw slow circles around her nipple while my hands sweep over her stomach, her hips, her sides. By the time I treat her left tit to the same teasing torture, she’s writhing beneath me and moaning quietly. Quietly? We’ll see about that.
READY TO LOVE – EXCERPT 3
I storm into the campus pub and scan through the crowds searching for her frantically. After scaring off that shithead, Greg, yesterday and taking Nicki back to my place she’d fallen asleep on the couch. When I woke up the next morning, she was gone. I figured she went back to her apartment to get away from me. We’re still in that stupid fight after all. But when I’d knocked on her door a couple of hours ago, she didn’t answer. And I freaked out. Greg’s still out there. It had taken me ages and dozens of text messages to everyone I know on campus to finally locate her.
My entire body tenses and anger flares up within me as I spot her. Fucking hell. She’s dressed to kill. Damn. The black skirt she’s wearing barely covers her ass and her white top is no better. It’s so low cut that I can see the tops of her red lacy bra. Mmm…lace. At least she’s wearing her leather jacket so that’s something, I guess. Don’t get me wrong, she looks so fucking hot, but looking like that in front of other men is not flying with me. That’s for my eyes only. Christ, Nicki! She’s sitting up at the bar with two preppy assholes all over her. They’re flirting. One of them has their hand on her right thigh. The other is playing with her hair. I can tell right away by her wild gestures that she’s been drinking. Hell, no.
I storm over there.
“Let’s go,” I command, ignoring the guys and eyeing her right in front of me.
“Hey, man. We’re in the middle of something here,” one of the guys, with way too much gel in his hair tells me.
“Yeah, I can see what you’re in the middle of. Now, back the fuck off.”
“No, John!” Nicki cries. “We’re having fun. Go away.”
“Get your ass off that stool now,” I growl at her.
“No,” she says, pouting at me like a little kid who’s just about to get her candy taken away for bad behavior.
“Nicki, last chance,” I warn.
The guys move to say something, but I cut them off by snarling, “She’s mine.”
They obviously see the wild look in my eyes, because they hold up their hands and back away. Yeah, they know what’s good for them.
“I’m not…yours,” Nicki tells me, slurring her words. “You’re every girl’s. Not just mine.”
“Yes I fucking am. If you’d just listen to me instead of being so stubborn, you’d get that!”
She shakes her head and turns back to grab her beer on the bar top.
That’s it! I lunge at her and grab her waist. She squeals as I throw her over my shoulder and carry her out of the bar in a fireman lift. I ignore her slurred protests to put her down.
By the time I have her buckled into my truck and start the engine, she’s calmed down a bit. I pull out of the parking lot and head back to the apartment.
“That was fucking stupid, Nicki. Greg’s still out there. What if he found you in this state instead of me?”
“He’s going to anyway, John. Better that I’m drunk than sober for it. Maybe I won’t remember it this time.”
Her voice is barely above a whisper as she says, “When he rapes me.”
Her words rip right through me and before I can stop myself, I’m making a dangerous sharp turn and pulling the truck off the road. I bring it to a rough stop and cut the engine. Nicki gasps in surprise. I unbuckle my seatbelt and rush out of the truck around to the passenger side. I haul open the door and command, “Get out.”
She’s too shocked to argue and I watch her struggle with her seatbelt in her drunken state before she finally manages it. She stumbles as she gets out.
As soon as she’s out, I push her against the side of the truck, my hands holding her arms hostage beside her.
“Listen to me. I stopped him last time around, okay? What makes you think I’d let him do anything to you this time around? He’s not fucking touching you! You got me? No man is gonna lay his hands on you, but me!”
She shakes her head back and forth. Tears spill down her cheeks. “I’m scared.”
“You’re stronger now. No one can hurt you now.”
“I…I don’t know.”
I shake her. “You do know! You do!”
It takes a while, but she finally nods slowly and bites her lip. “Okay.”
“Tell me what you need to put you at ease.”
“I…will you…train me?”
“Train you? You already know how to fight.”
“The guys always hold back with me. I don’t want you to. Will you…do that?”
Shit. Looking at her right now is like we’ve been transported back four years. She’s that scared little girl again. Seeing Greg has reduced her to that. “Yeah, I’ll do it.” Whatever she needs to push away the fear that the asshole sparks within her. That’s not the Nicki I know. She’s stronger than that.
“Why did you come for me tonight? We’re not talking.”
I release her arms and cup her face in my hands. “Why? You really have to ask me that?”