WHEN IT HOLDS YOU has been selected as a TOP PICK at The Romance Reviews!
“Nicki Elson has become my MUST read new contemporary romance author! The sex is hot, but the emphasis is on emotions in this book. They really are made for each other.”
~The Romance Reviews
Virtual. That’s where she was supposed to stay—only in my online gaming life. I never intended to meet up with her in person. And I certainly hadn’t counted on her being who she is.
Cliff Walsh has dozens of hot, smart, and willing paramours in his video games. Who needs to look further? The twenty-eight year old attorney is done getting his heart smashed by real-life women who fit his perfect-mate checklist. From now on, he vows to keep his romances digital-only…until a certain redheaded gamer twists all his preconceptions and touches a place in his heart he didn’t know existed.
I always thought I knew what love would look like, but sometimes you don’t recognize it until the moment when it holds you. ~Cliff
One Song to Rule Them All
Whenever Nicki has an author over at her place, she always asks the same question. So I thought it was only fair to turn the tables and make her answer it, too.
*ahem* Nicki, if you had to choose one song that best captures the essence of WHEN IT HOLDS YOU, what would it be and why?
Nicki: Why, what a fascinating question. I choose “Turn My Heart” by Nick Pitera. First, I love the song’s playful yet emotional energy. It’s what I hoped to capture in the telling of Cliff’s story. As Nick sings, it’s the story of a heart rewired—perfect for my boy Cliff, who had to sort of turn his heart off and re calibrate before opening up to true love.
When a knock sounded at the door, he grabbed the eye mask from the bathroom counter and switched off the light. In the main room, only a dim desk lamp was lit. The rest of the room was illuminated by the flickering of a dozen pillar candles set all around. With privacy curtains drawn tight over the mirror-like, black windows, he was reminded of Claire’s cozy hideaway.
Peeking through the peephole, he spied a woman wearing a black, lacy mask that covered her cheekbones and spanned to the top of her forehead. Her wavy, long hair was a deep, rich red, just like PlanetClaire’s.
Cliff pulled his simple mask over his eyes and opened the door. “Welcome to my lair,” he said, rolling a hand to gesture her in.
She licked her glossy, cherry-red lips and stepped inside. Cliff shut the door and turned fully toward her. A long, satiny cape was tied at her throat and hung around her, covering her body all the way down to just above the spiked heels of her boots.
“So you’re actually a redhead, huh?” Cliff asked.
“I am tonight.” She prowled closer and pressed against him, holding two fingers to his lips. The tips of her long purple fingernails tickled against the bottom of his nose. “I’d rather not talk.”
She gave the side of his neck a tentative lick and then touched kisses up his throat and over his face until her mouth was against his. She dropped her hands to run along the sides of his hips, caressing and groping.
His mind sped. His heart galloped. The cool confidence he’d mustered before her arrival evaporated. He wasn’t sure he could do this. He didn’t know this woman at all and now she was feasting on him. He’d much rather have talked with her for a little while before jumping right into it.
Channeling his inner alpha, he forced himself to return the kiss. He slid his hands over the slick fabric of her cape to the small of her back and pulled her close. She was significantly shorter than him, even in the spiked heels. Her body felt so soft against his. Her lips tasted like strawberries.
I can do this.
He did know this woman. It was Claire, the willful strategist with whom he’d been rampaging the kingdomside. He noticed that though she’d been aggressive in her advance, she kept the kiss to lips only, almost as if waiting for him to take it to the next level. He liked this small show of submission.
I can totally do this.
Bringing his hands to her face, gently stroking her jawline with his fingertips, he nudged her lips apart with his own and flicked his tongue to lick the tip of hers. She let out a soft moan, encouraging him to dive farther in. But he kept the kiss gentle, slow and lingering. The strawberry flavor of her lips mixed with vanilla and something headier on her breath. It seemed Claire had also been drinking before their encounter. Smooth brass horns hummed a melody in the background in time with his kiss. The mildly spiced scent of teakwood from the candles enveloped them.
Violating her request for no talking, Cliff slid his tongue from her mouth and rested his lips against hers, whispering, “It’s nice to meet you, PlanetClaire.”
She breathed out a small laugh and pressed a kiss against his mouth before stepping back. Her shimmery fingertips worked at her throat, untying the cape. She shrugged it over her shoulders and let it slither to the floor, like a seductive snake shedding her skin.
Cliff didn’t know what character she was portraying, but whoever she was, she was a shapely, alluring sex goddess in a black-and-silver corset with a short tulle skirt flaring to barely cover her wide hips. Except for the silver detailing on her corset, she was all in black and far more curvaceous than the video-game version of Claire. Precious few inches of her supple thighs showed above the long stockings that rose from her tall boots.
Oh, hell yeah, I can do this.
Nicki Elson writes spicy fiction with a sweet and dreamy center. She does other stuff, too…like obsess over Survivor and The Bachelor (and she’s not ashamed to admit it).
Writing fiction wasn’t something Nicki set out to do; it just sort of happened when she realized writing reports was by far her favorite part of her investment consulting position. She traded stock allocation and diversification for story arcs and dialogue and now weaves creative writing into her life with her family in the Chicago suburbs.
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