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About the author:
Chloe Blaque writes smart, sexy, contemporary multicultural romance with plenty of drama, but always with a happy ending. Her heroines are all passionate and ambitious women, who crash into love all over the world. When Chloe is not writing, she can be found drinking margaritas, snowboarding in other countries, and struggling to grow an herb garden. She lives in New York City.
What inspired you to write your book?
I wanted to write a love story about the independent, career driven women who strive to have it all. In my books, they get it.
Here is a short sample from the book:
It’s almost midnight when our town car pulls up to the curb into what can only be described as pure chaos. A mob scene is gathered in front of a massive two-story warehouse with rows of tinted windows. Ribbons of multicolored light that spell MUSE scale the gray concrete walls.
Amid honking and flashing headlights, Randy and I jump out of the car and are suddenly immersed in the sea of people gathered to watch who is appearing on the red carpet.
“There is supposed to be a VIP entrance,” I shout.
Standing on the tiptoes of his velvet loafers, Randy pops his head up over the crowd and begins scanning right and left. He can sniff out VIP like a dog sniffs out kibble.
“Hold on to me!” Randy shouts. I reach under his pinstripe vest, grab the waistband of his sable slim jeans, and we start moving through the crowd. The velvet rope of the entrance is manned by five large bouncers in designer suits. I wave over six-foot-five inches and 250 pounds of dark-skinned muscle, who steps up with a clipboard in his hand. Randy’s shoulders go back, and his chest pops out.
“How you doing, beautiful?” the bouncer says in a deep, smooth voice. Randy swoons, and I give the bouncer my business card. After a quick check on the list, he unclips the rope and motions for us to follow him. I catch him eyeing my booties, now accented by my red lacquered toes. I smile, hoping my red lipstick is still perfect. I feel like a million bucks…or three thousand bucks.
We follow him down a dark hallway, through a velvet drape, and into a romantically lit carpeted lounge area. The full-force hip-hop beats fill my chest. I can’t remember the last time I was at a club. Plush furniture is arranged in front of a stone wall that holds a crackling gas fireplace, and a small private bar sits in the corner, manned by a beautiful Asian bartender.
The bouncer takes us up a few steps to the main floor, where gloss-black walls are covered with neon tags and graffiti art. A purple mist hovers over the dance floor, making the crowd look like they are dancing on a cloud. Randy and I slide into a semiprivate booth by the bar.
“So who is here tonight?” I ask the bouncer. He names a string of professional athletes, actors, and musicians. Hmmmm… Jared Waters wasn’t mentioned. “Any reality TV stars? Or porn stars?” The bouncer’s eyes widen. I shrug. “My readers like porn.”
“A few of the Kardashians are runnin’ around here somewhere,” he says with a grimace. “And Josie Pink is in the upstairs VIP lounge.”
Bingo. “Where is Mr. Cain’s office? I am supposed to interview him there in about an hour.”
“Upstairs, through the VIP lounge,” he says, pointing to the stairs across the dance floor and then to a skybox with opaque windows just above the dance floor. With a nod, he leaves.
Models and actors are milling through the crowd with posses in tow. Several professional athletes part the crowd like gods looking for their thrones. Randy and I look at each other, pull out our notepads, and sail through the crowd.
I approach the downstairs lounge area with the fireplaces and OMG! Angela Gasher, a 1970s blaxploitation film actress, is standing in a small clique of three, looking gorgeous. Recently, she not only got a twenty-million-dollar divorce settlement from her ex, the premier of the Cayman Islands, but she is getting her own reality show.
I don’t usually get starstruck, but she is a legend of fierceness. I head straight for her, and, after a swift introduction, I ask her what brings her out tonight.
“Just a little celebration,” she says, raising her champagne glass. “To whatever the future will hold.”
“I hear that future is a reality show. Can you give me a hint of what we are going to see?”
“Drama, girl. Drama, drama, and more drama.”
“Will that drama include your recent divorce?”
She pins me with an intense stare. “Count on it. When it airs, that man won’t know what hit him!” Her entourage laughs and clinks glasses with one another.
“Well, I hope you have fun tonight. What do you think of this club, by the way?”
“Oh, I’m having a lovely time. Evan has been such a dear.” Angela waves a bejeweled hand. “I love the concept–’the street.’” Angela holds up her hands and mimics a banner in the air. “You may not be from it, but at some point you’ll find your ass out on it.” Angela and her crew erupt into hysterics.
After getting more quotes from a fire-eating trapeze star, a former boy-band member, and a runner-up from a previous season of Top Chef, I head upstairs to find Josie Pink. I survey the dark, crowded hallways that seem to veer off in several directions and walk toward the skybox.
My feet are barking in my new heels, and I tug at the strapless top of my dress, feeling exposed every time I take a step. A young blonde walks by in a skirt that stops just at her ass cheeks. Tina told me to slut it up. Now I see why. Ahead of me, an appreciative glance from a guy on his cell phone tells me that I’m doing something right.
His gaze travels up my legs before quickly flicking back to my face. Whoa! White guys don’t usually flirt so boldly. Not with me. My hair is too wild, my hips too curvaceous, and my mixed nationality too intimidating. Should I look up and flirt? I think of a slide show I ran on Fierce. Three Steps to Hook a Man. One: Eye Contact. Two: Show Interest. Three: Open Body Language.
Taking a deep breath and affecting my most coquettish look, I glance at him, but he is furiously texting. Ugh, flirting sucks! I reprimand myself for getting sidetracked. I don’t need a man right now; I need to focus on Fierce.
After turning a corner, I’m suddenly standing in a Moroccan-inspired room bathed in red lighting, where a half-nude dancer executes a sensual routine on several stripper poles. She is surrounded by a crowd lounging on giant pillows.
I turn back and am swallowed by a group of loud, giggling girls who are marching down the hall in their heels like Clydesdales. They seem to know where they are going. Attaching myself to the group, I follow them around another corner, and we come up to a bouncer who immediately waves us by. Breaking away from the girl pack, I stop and get my bearings. It’s a large speakeasy-style room with a full bar, floor-to-ceiling windows facing the crowd below, and black leather booths filled with laughing and drinking patrons. I recognize an actor and a few athletes. Must be the VIP room, but Josie Pink is nowhere in sight.
A beautiful dark-haired girl emerges from an almost invisible door across the room and stomps past me. That has to be Mr. Cain’s office. Checking the time, I decide that I’ll introduce myself and see if he can start a little early. I knock. No answer. With a soft push, I slip through the door. “Mr. Cain?”
The lighting is dim, and I can make out little as my eyes adjust. “Mr. Cain?” I ask again. The door closes on its own, muffling the music from the lounge. Maxwell lilts from invisible speakers. Feeling like an intruder, I swivel around and search the dark walls for the knob.
“I knew you’d change your mind,” says a deep voice behind me. My head snaps to the side as I’m pulled back against a hard body. With a hoarse yelp, I whip around.
A soft mouth plants over my own; two palms round over my bottom and squeeze; my breasts crush into a solid chest. A velvet tongue sweeps over mine. I grip his solid arms and tear my face away from his kiss. He leaves a heady combination of bourbon and spearmint on my lips.
“Let me make you come.” His words blow out in a warm breath that tickles my ear. A rush of heat shoots between my legs.
“I’m…um… Oh…” I can’t think.
His lips slide down my throat, making his way toward my cleavage. The soft waves of his hair brush my cheek. He smells amazing–like the ocean. I take in a sharp breath when he cups my breasts.
I begin to protest, but suddenly his face jerks up close to mine, and then the warmth of him is gone.
He slaps the wall, and lights blaze. We blink at each other. He is tall, broad-shouldered, and has the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen. Jewel blue. Like God stuck sapphires in his sockets. The stubble on his jaw is expertly lined up and a little reddish compared to the inky black of his thick hair. My cheeks burn from his confused stare and the frown on his brow.
He has full lips–that I just kissed–and my stomach flip-flops. Wow. He’s gorgeous. I step back a little more, pretending that his hands on my body didn’t just set my vagina on fire. I blame my racing pulse on the adrenaline that is still coursing through my blood. I’m no stranger to self-defense. He’s lucky his balls are still intact.
“You’re not… You have more…” He stares at my breasts and makes a cupping motion with his palm. His arms drop at my pointed look. “Please tell me we know each other,” he says, rubbing his jaw. “Because I am dying to do that again.”
Smart-ass, huh? Bourbon lingers on my tongue, and I wonder if he is a little drunk. I straighten and lift my chin, which does nothing as he is almost a head taller than me–even in my heels. He’s wearing a white button-down, tailored shirt and dark slim jeans–the hipster type that I love on a guy. His black patent-leather high-tops with white soles are limited edition and expensive–six hundred dollars to be exact. I almost bought them for Pete.
He drinks me in, undresses me with those flawless eyes. He shoves a hand in his dark hair, causing sexy, unkempt spikes. Looks like Mr. Preppy has turned into a pussy magnet. From the pulsing between my legs, mine wouldn’t mind sticking to him. I give him a hard stare back. “We don’t know each other, Mr. Cain, but you’ve squeezed my ass and my breasts. I think you owe me.”
* * * *
“Tell me who you are,” he says with a mischievous smile. He glances at his crotch. “And you can squeeze anything you want.”
The door swings open, and the dark-haired girl who passed me earlier half steps into the room. She shoots a stank look at both of us.
“Pendejo!” she shouts, then tears out the door. Uh-oh, I think she is the one who is supposed to be coming right now.
“This night is crazy,” he says low, squeezing his lids shut and pinching the top of his nose. “That was a…friend.” His eyes sparkle when they open, and he begins to laugh, a thick, warm timbre that shivers down my spine and settles in my panties.
“Yeah, she seemed friendly,” I say. His mouth turns up again, and I glimpse straight white teeth and one small dimple. “Mister Cain–”
“Evan. I’m Lex from…”
The door swings wide again, and Jared Waters, dressed in a purple iridescent button-down shirt that looks amazing against his black skin, steps inside. “Yo, dog! The club looks hot!” The 49ers’ best running back gives Evan a wide smile and a bro pat. They’ve obviously been friends for a long time. “Did I just see a girl run out of here?”
Evan slides me an amused glance, and Jared follows, his eyebrows going up when he sees me. “Whoa, my bad. I didn’t realize you had company.” He turns to me and holds out his hand. “I’m Jared, Miss…?”
“Lex,” I say. Jared takes my hand in both of his, the gold of his wedding band reminding me why I am there. “I’m with Viper Media. Mr. Cain and I have a quick interview scheduled.” I see an aha moment pass over Evan’s face. “Would you like to join us? Give a quote or two?”
Or confess that you are fucking a porn star?
I swear the mention of Viper is making Jared backpedal. He’s already at the door. “I would, but my publicist hates when I give interviews without running them by her first. It was nice to meet you.” He flips a peace sign at us and steps out but stops and turns back to Evan. “Have you seen J?”
J as in Josie?
Evan’s brows draw, and something seems to pass between them. “Downstairs.” With a nod, Jared slips out.
“Viper. They do a lot of the gossip sites, right?” Evan asks, walking behind a minibar in the corner. He places two crystal flutes on the top and rolls up his sleeves.
“Yes, but thefiercest.com is not a gossip site. We are a multicultural women’s webzine: news, fashion, beauty, relationships, nightlife. We cater to the grown, sexy, and worldly.”
“I’ll take all of the above.” His gaze runs over me again. A loud pop fills the room, and he pours both flutes to the brim with champagne. Stashing the bottle in an ice stand, he tops off the fizzing bubbles with a strawberry and holds one toward me.
“Let’s start over. Evan Cain. Nice to meet you,” he says and clinks my glass.
“Cheers,” I say. A line of black lettering peeks from the inside of his left forearm. I wonder if he has any more and what he looks like naked. “Look, your girlfriend seems upset. I can come back if you want to go after her.”
Amused, he shakes his head. “She’s not my girlfriend.”
I feel self-conscious as he watches me sip, trying to forget his tongue in my mouth. His cologne is reminding me of beach, sun, naked skin, and sex all rolled into one.
“So where do you want to do it?” he asks.
“Easy,” he says. I imagine that tiny dimple making an appearance just as his hand comforts me and smooths over my shoulder.
“Bubbles,” I murmur, moving away to sink into the leather couch. The couch dips next to me as he gets comfortable. I rummage through my clutch for my little notebook.
“When do we get to the squeezing?” His eyes twinkle.
“When you answer all my questions,” I say with feigned innocence. Behind him, the tinted window shows a crowd bathed in purple light gyrating below. It’s a welcome distraction from Evan’s open-legged lounge position. “It’s packed down there,” I say. “Looks like you are having a good night.”
“It just got better,” he says with a wicked grin.
Copyright © Chloe Blaque