I give him a look. “You’re not really expecting me to introduce myself, are you?”
“Because . . . because . . .” I look up at the sky; no answers are there among the few stars that have now broken free of the clouds. “Because it seems silly. We already know each other’s names.”
“Let’s pretend we don’t. Here. I’ll start.” He holds out his right hand to me. “Hi, I’m Caleb Fox.”
I stare at his hand. “This is—”
“I’m sorry. I don’t talk to strangers.”
“Funny.” But then I decide to play along—I tell myself that it’s not to feel Caleb’s hand around mine once again. “Hi, Caleb. I’m Hailey Bloom.”
I like saying his name.
I like it even more when he says mine.
His hand grasps mine in a firm, no-nonsense grip. It should be an ordinary handshake. Something brief, impersonal, and easily forgotten.
This handshake is anything but ordinary, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.
His slightly rough skin is still cool against mine, and his thumb sweeps the inside of my wrist. I gasp out loud, and his fingers briefly tighten. The handshake should be over by now.
He doesn’t let go. Neither do I.
“Now we’ve met,” he finally says.
“Yes.” My mouth feels dry, and I lick my lips. “We have.”
His gaze drops to my mouth. I want to fall into him, to let my body press against his, and feel his arms around me. To have his lips touch mine.
Who cares about anything else but that right now?
Nothing else matters. Nothing at all.
It would take just one step. One tiny step would bring me closer to him. I’d be within kissing distance.
He steps closer to me, a glint in his eyes. “I’m a distraction?”
“A huge one.”
“Good.” He’s so close to me that his breath whispers over my hair. His lips are almost touching my ear. “Because you’re definitely distracting me, too.”
I put my hand against his chest and feel his muscles tighten in response. “Well, then we’re in perfect agreement.”
“And what’s that?”
“Distractions”—I jump when I feel his mouth skate over my earlobe—“are not needed, and that w-we sh-should . . .”
His lips enclose on my lobe, tugging it gently. “You were saying?”
Book Title: Stay With Me (With Me #1)
Author: Elyssa Patrick
Release Date: August 30th, 2013
Genre: New Adult/Contemporary Romance
With one look, I’m his . . .
With one touch, he’s mine . . .
With one kiss, it changes everything between us . . .
I’ve been famous since I can remember. Singing, acting, dancing—I’ve done it all. The tabloids cover my every move, but I don’t want that anymore. I want to be normal, whatever that is.
When I leave Hollywood for college in Vermont, I’m on my own for the first time in my life. This is my chance to figure out who I am and what I want in life.
But it’s a lot harder than I expected. I can’t escape my image. Classes are difficult, and I’m struggling. And then there’s Caleb Fox.
Sexy, intriguing Caleb Fox.
Caleb is the one man who doesn’t want to use me. He breaks down my walls. He challenges me. He wants me. And I just don’t know if I can give him the same—or if he’ll stick around when he finds out my shameful secret that the tabloids haven’t managed to uncover.
Dating him is risky enough, but loving him could break me.
He runs a finger down my cheek. “You’re blushing.”
“I’m always blushing around you.”
“I know,” he says, a shy grin escaping as he leans closer to me. “I’ve always wanted to kiss you when you’re blushing.”
I draw back slightly to meet his dark, heated gaze. Breathing seems suddenly impossible, and the space between us too far. “Oh?”
“I’ve wanted to put my mouth”—his finger traces a path over the apple of my cheek—“here and . . .
“Here.” His thumb grazes my cheekbone and then down my neck. “And here and here and here.”
“Just so you know,” I say, leaning into his touch, as his fingers continue to stroke me, pet me, caress my skin that burns under him, “I’ve wanted you to do the same. And I—”
I swallow heavily as Caleb’s head swoops down and he presses his mouth against the pulse in my neck. His teeth graze oh so gently against me as his tongue soothes the mark, and then his lips trail up my neck.
“You were saying?”
My hands clutch on his shoulders. “I want to kiss you. Everywhere.”
5 of 5 Stay With Me
Stay With Me is one of those incredible New Adult books I am beginning to love. I mean what is not to love about this genre. It is the in between between adult and YA. I love both genres but this one is becoming my all time favorite because I love reading about college age mini adults. This story started out strong and ended even stronger. Hailey Bloom is a famous Hollywood star. She has done it all from singing, dancing, acting and she is good at it. But she is tired of this life and the tabloids always following her so she enrolls in college far away in Vermont. She is finally going to be by herself and she will be able to be herself and not have to hide anything. She will be able to make decisions on her own and have some semblance of freedom.
So when Hailey gets to college and starts her classes she is excited and nervous but she knows she will be on her own and she will be able to carve out her own destiny. Classes are harder than she thought and she is struggling to keep up with the work. Then Hailey gets a curve ball in the form of a gorgeous guy Caleb Fox. Lord he is everything she wants and everything she needs to stay away from because she has secrets that the tabloid does not know about. But Caleb is determined to knock Hailey's walls down. Slowly he does and she opens up to him. But can she be enough for him? Can they work out together?
This is a must read to a great series. I can't wait to see what Elyssa has in store for her readers with the other books and I can't wait to get more about the other characters. This is a great beginning to a kick arse series! Go out and get you won't be disappointed!
“Hand it over.”
Instead Caleb steps closer to me, finally removing that distance between us. He braces his hands on either side of my head, his shirt dangling near my left shoulder. “You always want my t-shirts.”
“Yup.” I still have his shirt from that day. And I’m not ashamed to admit that I haven’t washed it. There’s still a faint trace of Caleb’s cologne on the cotton, and I like wrapping myself in him. “But I paid you for that first shirt. Remember?”
“You don’t have any blackberries this time.”
I tap my finger to my mouth. “If only I had something you did want.”
“If only . . .” Caleb can’t stop looking at my lips, his eyes kissing me. “I guess you could pay me with a kiss.”
“A kiss for a t-shirt?” I scoff, even as excitement shoots through me like a live wire that hits water. Sparks of lust explode in my body, little fireworks that shoot through the night. “That seems pretty high to me. I think I should get something more for a kiss.”
His head dips lower, his mouth a whisper away from mine. “Like what?”
“You already have me.”
Facts about Caleb Fox:
Birthday: May 6th
Astrological sign: Taurus
Hair color: Inky black, a little on the longish side.
Eye color: Dark green
Body type: Athletic, toned, built.
Likes: Kissing Hailey, sports, hanging out with friends and family, and his dog Goliath.
Dislikes: People who break trusts and hurt those who should be loved.
Values: Loyalty, honesty, trust, family, friendship, and love.
Facts about Hailey Bloom:
Birthday: December 11th
Astrological sign: Sagittarius
Hair color: Dark brown that’s long and wavy.
Eye color: Blue, the color of the Caribbean ocean.
Body type: Thin, but has curves.
Likes: Kissing Caleb, hanging out with Caleb and his friends, hanging out with Daphne, Katelyn, and Steph, just being a normal girl, and creative arts.
Dislikes: Her mother, disloyalty, people who sell stories and betray trust.
Values: Loyalty, honesty, trust, love, family, and friendship.
Favorite things for Hailey Bloom, heroine of STAY WITH ME:
Movie: It Happened One Night
Book: The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling and Easy by Tammara Webber.
Song: Falling Softly
Vacation Destination: Somewhere that has a beach and is secluded and private.
Movie Star: Her best friend, Alex Randall, of course!
Musician: Too many to name.
Artist: Van Gogh
Way to Relax: Hanging out with Caleb.
Astrological Sign: Sagittarius (her own) and Taurus (Caleb’s).
Career Option: Anything but being famous, please.
Place to Get Coffee: She likes tea, actually.
Smell: Caleb’s cologne, vanilla, and the smell of rain.
Dessert: chocolate cake
Cold weather activity: Sledding.
Place to snuggle: In Caleb’s arms.
Gift: Something that’s meaningful and thoughtful.
Part of a guy: She has a fondness for green eyes. ;)
Disney character: Rapunzel
Muppet: Miss Piggy
Favorite things for Caleb Fox, hero of STAY WITH ME.
Movie: All three Star Wars, but not the prequels.
Animal: Dogs, especially Yorkshire terriers.
Book: The Harry Potter series and The Odyssey by Homer.
Song: Well, he does like anything Hailey sings.
Food: Italian, pizza, and nachos.
Vacation Destination: The beach! He’d also like to visit some cities in Europe and see New Zealand with Hailey one day.
Television Show: The Walking Dead.
Sport (to watch): all of them, of course.
Sport (to play): baseball.
Movie Star: Hailey Bloom and now, Alex Randall.
Musician: Hailey Bloom
Painting: Starry Night by Van Gogh
Artist: Van Gogh
Way to Relax: Hanging out with Hailey, of course.
Astrological Sign: Taurus (his own) and Sagittarius (Hailey’s).
Career Option: something that involves sports (don’t want to spoil it!)
Place to Get Coffee: Starbuck’s and some local coffee shops.
Smell: Hailey Bloom, cinnamon buns, and the ocean.
Candy: Kit Kats
Cold weather activity: Sledding. J
Place to snuggle: With Hailey.
Gift: Something thoughtful.
Disney cartoon: Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story.
I drop the blackberry into his hand, and then reach for another one. I pop it into my mouth, and the sweet tartness of the berry floods my taste buds.
Caleb still hasn’t eaten his.
I raise an eyebrow. “Not eating yours?”
“No, it’s . . .” He takes a deep breath, his gaze fastening on my mouth. “It’s just, you have something right there.”
Great. Just great. I’m dribbling blackberry juice in front of a guy I find really attractive, sexy, irresistible, but totally shouldn’t. God, what is wrong with me?
I lick my mouth. “All gone?”
“Still there,” he says, his voice gruffer than before.
I do another pass at my mouth, then wipe it.
“No, you’re missing it.” Then he steps closer to me, and I suddenly can’t find my breath. “Here. Let me.”
His thumb dabs at the corner of my mouth, his every touch sending sparks through my body. His dark, dark green eyes fly to mine. “I think I got it all.”
But his thumb stays near my lips, and I don’t move.
Every point in my body is tuned to this, awareness shooting through me like a lightning bolt striking water. I feel more alive in this moment than I’ve ever felt before.
I don’t do anything but stay exactly where I am.
Caleb takes another step toward me. His legs touch mine, his body brushing lightly against mine.
I notice the blackberry is still in his hand. “You still haven’t eaten yours.”
“I haven’t.” He places it against my mouth. “Bite.”
I take a small taste and feel the juice stain my lips.
His thumb swipes over my lips, smearing the juice onto them even more. He presses the rest of the blackberry against me but doesn’t say a word. I take the fruit in my mouth, my lips catching over the tip of his index finger as I do so. The taste of him is all I can savor—male, the salt from his skin, and the sweet bitterness of the fruit. His gaze locks onto mine, and I swallow heavily.
“You’ve got berry on you,” he says.
I try to be arch, but my voice comes out soft and wanting. “That’s becauseyou did it.”
“I did,” he admits. “I should take if off then.”
My breath hitches in my chest as his other arm slides around my waist and pulls me away from the island right to him.
“This might take a while,” he says.
I heaved out an exaggerated sigh of boredom that’s soon ruined when I shiver with delight as his fingers gather in the material of the t-shirt. “I guess I’ll just have to close my eyes and suffer through it.”
“No suffering,” he promises.
His hand slides up my back, and my muscles, already tightened with awareness, start to ache from wanting. His fingers skate up my neck, and my nerves jangle.
I’m suddenly wondering if he’s ever going to kiss me.
I stretch my hand over his chest, knotting his shirt in my grasp, and yank him to me. “Caleb.”
He lowers his head to me, and my eyelids flutter closed. I lean toward him, waiting—just waiting—for when he touches me. I tighten my hold on him, trying to urge him to do it now, but no, he doesn’t heed my unspoken demands. He doesn’t hurry. He doesn’t rush. It’s like he has all the time in the world until he kisses me.
His finger gently swipes over my mouth, tracing it softly, like he’s memorizing the shape of me. Like he’s trying to get all the details of my mouth down before he claims me. He presses lightly against my lower lip, dipping into the soft plumpness there.
I smooth my hands out on his chest. I’m pressed against him so tight that I can’t do more than reach up and grasp his shoulders. I want to slide my fingers through his hair.
But more than that, I want to feel him against me.
Almost as if he’s heard my thoughts, Caleb’s lips lightly press against the corner of my mouth, where he removed the berry stain only a few moments ago. I still, and his hand leaves my neck to slide down to rest at the small of my back before moving back up in a slow movement that has pleasure coursing through my body. I gasp, and his mouth flutters another kiss at the corner. Brief, these flutter kisses—never quite landing fully on my lips or staying too long.
I make a sound of want. I press even closer, as if I’m inking myself on his skin, in his blood, urging this patient, sexy man to take my mouth—to take it now.
His mouth finally touches mine, but it’s not a kiss that claims or declares intent.
His lips give kisses upon mine, like rain watering parched land. His mouth moves against mine, gentle, strong, and it makes me cling to him, to give more to him, to open up in ways I never have with any man before.
His teeth catch on my lower lip, lightly tugging, as if asking a question, one that I answer by opening my mouth and letting him in. His tongue slides against me, tasting, seeking. He’s all I know, all I want to know, and I want him to know me in every possible way.
This might just be lust, but it doesn’t feel like it—not with this assured gentleness, this giving of a kiss, like he’s waited all his life for this—for me—and now that I’m here, he’s not going to do anything to mess it up.
He doesn’t make me feel weak in his kiss. I feel strong, treasured . . . desired.
His kiss turns hotter, as if he’s losing control of himself.
Oh yes, I think. Lose control, Caleb. Lose it with me.
Grand Prize Giveaway:
$50 Amazon Giftcard
1-Digital Copy of Stay With Me
1-Digital Copy of As You Wish
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Elyssa Patrick writes sexy, emotional contemporary romances and New Adult. She is currently working on her next novel.
Elyssa Patrick – favorite things:
Movie: Gone With the Wind
Book: Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh and Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Song: Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley (and I always include this song in all my playlists for my books, no matter what!)
Food: Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. And cupcakes.
Vacation Destination: I’d love to go to Paris, Ireland, and Australia one day.
Play: Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare and The Phantom of the Opera for Broadway musical.
Television Show: So many, but some of my faves are: The Vampire Diaries, Arrow, Parks & Rec, Downton Abbey, and The Walking Dead.
City: London, Burlington, and my hometown.
Astrological Sign: Virgo! (My own sign.)
Career Option: Romance and New Adult author. J
Smell: Freshly baked cookies, the ocean, vanilla, and chocolate.
Holiday: Halloween—all that candy!
Disney cartoon: Belle
Muppet: Cookie Monster
Dessert: Anything chocolate. J
Playlist for STAY WITH ME
1 Someone Like You - Adele
2 Gravity – Sara Bareilles
3 Starry, Starry Night – Don McLean
4 Dancing Queen - ABBA
5 Catch My Breath - Kelly Clarkson
6 Make You Feel My Love - Kris Allen
7 Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
8 Everything I Do I Do It For You – Bryan Adams
9 Falling Softly – from the Broadway musical, Once
10 My Life Would Suck Without You – Kelly Clarkson
11 Something – George Harrison
12 To Show Me Your Love – Mike Schmid (this is the song that plays in the book trailer)
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