Thursday, December 7, 2017

A Cruel Kind of Beautiful

A Cruel Kind of Beautiful is a little different because instead of being one of our favorite romance tropes, it’s a fun cocktail mix of a few: the rock star, an athlete with the brain of a nerd who also happens to be the nice guy, albeit one made strong with sexual confidence. PLUS a heartwarming friends to lovers arc. What’s your favorite of all those tropes? I’d love to see your vote in the comments.
Favorite trope:
A. Rock star
B. Athlete
C. Nerd
D. Nice guy

E. Friends to lovers


If you can’t get to the Big O, can you get to the happily ever after? 

Jera McKnight loves music, swoons for hot guys, but sucks at sex. Jacob Tate is her perfect storm: a pun-loving nude model with a heart as big as his record collection.

When a newspaper-delivery accident lands him in her living room, he’s almost tempting enough to make her forget she’s never been able to please a man—in bed or out of it. Sure, he laughs at her obscure jokes, and he’ll even accept a PG-rating if it means he gets time with her, but he’s also hiding something. And it has everything to do with the off-limits room in his apartment. 

Jera pours all her confusion and longing into her drum kit, which pays off when her band lands the record deal of their dreams. Except just like Jacob, it might be too good to come without a catch. 

She doesn’t know if her music is good enough to attract a better contract, or if she’s enough to tempt a man like Jacob to give up his secrets, even if they could fix her problems between the sheets. But if this rocker girl is too afraid to bet on herself, she might just end up playing to an empty house. 


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Copyright © 2017 Michelle Hazen

“You keep saying you shouldn’t have a relationship, so why are you even here?”
His Adam’s apple bobs, and for the first time since he woke up in my bed, his confidence falters. “I…” His shoulders tighten, and I can all but see the wheels in his engineer’s brain cranking to life. But a long moment passes, then two. A chill of dread is starting to creep along my fingers before he finally answers. “I can’t help it.”
My breath explodes out, the relief turning it into something like a laugh. “What? Jesus, with a pause that long, I thought you were about to confess something about wanting to make a lamp out of my skin.”
He doesn’t laugh, his eyes dark and still as he watches me. “You’re right. I shouldn’t be chasing after you. I’ve got a ton of family responsibilities I didn’t have a year ago. A girl like you deserves somebody who can put her first, and as much as I want to, I can’t promise you that. I can’t even take you on a decent date, because the only jobs with a flexible enough schedule for me don’t pay worth crap and I’m pretty much always broke.”
The tiny lines of sadness are back at the edges of his eyes, and it’s almost like he’s asking for my forgiveness.
“I know I shouldn’t, but there’s something about you. I can’t…help it.”
This man. Dear God, this man.
“Neither can I,” I whisper.  
He takes a step closer, and when I don’t move away, he lifts my hair back over my shoulders, the strands brushing over my neck seeming like a caress just because he’s the one moving them. “Are you saying yes?” Guilt and hope war in his eyes, and I know he must see the same thing in me.
“One condition.”
“Name it.”
“You let me make you some soup before you have to go.”
He exhales and then lays a kiss, very softly, on my right cheekbone. Even that small touch sends a flash of heat through me so fast I’m left lightheaded. I never had a prayer of telling him no. Not in person. Not when he touches me like that.
“I have a condition, too.”
Nervousness twists under my breastbone. “Okay. Please tell me it doesn’t involve exotic sex toys.”
“The fact that you look worried tells me you have a lot to learn about sex toys. Don’t worry, though, this is perfectly innocent. If you get to make me soup, I get to make you dinner.” He straightens and takes a deep breath. “At my house.”
My eyes narrow. “Why’d you say it like that?”
His gaze flicks away, and then he puts on a quick smile. “Well, once you see my apartment, you might be overcome with lust and want to experiment with exotic sex toys. I’m just bracing myself.”
About Michelle Hazen:

Michelle Hazen is a nomad with a writing problem. Years ago, she and her husband ducked out of the 9 to 5 world and moved into their truck. As a result, she wrote most of her books with solar power in odd places, including a bus in Thailand, a golf cart in a sandstorm, and a beach in Honduras. Currently, she’s addicted to The Walking Dead, hiking, and Tillamook cheese.

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1 comment:

  1. Nerd (and nice guy in 2nd place) ... probably because I can identify with it (them both) better, LOL.


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