This is Book 1 of 2 in the “Pleasing the Manwhore” duology.
**NOTE TO READERS: For audiences who enjoy the Fifty Shades/alpha billionaire fantasy. This is a M/f romance contains an age difference—a younger woman involved with a much OLDER, JEALOUS and CONTROLLING man. If you find elements of stalking, spankings, and submission/domination themes unappealing, then you will need to move on.
I wasn’t supposed to need him…
But I did.
I wasn’t supposed to crave the smell of his skin and require the very air he breathed…
But somehow I found I couldn’t breathe without him.
I was only supposed to provide physical pleasure and shove my emotions to the side, not allowing love a place into the equation.
He wasn’t supposed to own me. Heart, mind, body and soul. My God, I was such a fool to think I could go along with this arrangement and not involve my heart.
Taffi Watkins only wanted to escape an abusive home when she fled a small Texas town. She had dreams of starting a new life. A better life.
Those big city lights seemed to shine so brightly when she stepped off that bus, but soon she discovered the pursuing of her dream had also been the worst mistake of her life.
And then came Sullivan Cooper.
In the blink of an eye he made all of her troubles disappear. He accepted her and brought her into his world of fast cars and fancy clothes. Immersed in Mr. Cooper’s universe of unbridled passion, Taffeta forgot he was twenty-five years older than her as he introduced her to his brand of pleasure and pain.
Taffi only thought she knew pain, until Sullivan Cooper taught her better.
I sat in the music room, thinking of her and staring at the black piano glittering under the light of the chandelier. The depleted bottle of cognac resting beside my foot was a casualty of the war I’d fought to lose myself in an alcohol haze. From the sound system, a sonata seemed to mourn with me until the emptiness raged like a caged lion, testing the bars of my prison.
My God, she said she loved me...
And I could say nothing as the pain in her eyes tore me to pieces.
Dammit, the cognac wasn’t doing its job. It wasn’t pushing away the ache. The void I’d felt when her taxi drove away only seemed worse. Then her words ate at my heart like hot acid.
I…I’m in love with you.
I’d rejected her feelings. I knew Taffi wasn’t completely happy here, but I didn’t think she’d leave. Why didn’t I realize the money and the car wouldn’t be enough to make her stay? She wasn’t like the others. Privileged and self-centered. I’d known charmers, women who could intimidate the hell out of the President, but none of them had known pain or trepidation. Taffi’s life had been filled with rejection and fear, yet somehow she’d reached inside and connected with my fears.
This whole situation had blindsided me. I was unprepared, terrified to hear she’d fallen in love with me. After Alexandria, I swore I’d never get close to another woman, but the young thing who’d just walked out the door hours before had a power over me. She’d made me feel more alive than I had in years. And now that she was gone, the need for the spark she’d put back into my life burned hotter. She’d melted away the ice that had become a part of my DNA, and dammit to hell, she’d made me care.
I tried to divert my thoughts from her, but the loneliness kept pummeling me. Without the ice around my heart, the pain sliced right through my chest, piercing my soul. I needed to feel her warmth, her soft skin beneath my hands. Hear her tiny moans as she came. Kiss her so hard it hurt…
But she wasn’t coming back.
It was late, but I couldn’t turn in and get a good night’s rest. I was desperate to feel something good, something sexual. I went to the liquor cabinet, reflecting on what to do when I thought of one willing party who would take off the edge. The young college aged woman from the club had left the option open to call on her if I was looking for an adventure. She was an introvert who loved living out her fantasies in private. I’d been with her before; she understood my rules and her social status as a senator’s daughter demanded rigid confidentiality.
When I called her, she was agreeable, even excited, and, when she arrived at my door I was graced with a big smile. For a moment my heart ceased to beat. The smile was the look of wholesome innocence. The green tint in her eyes was familiar, and her hair was the right shade of blonde.
I couldn’t wait to fuck her.
Then hold and kiss her…
Because I needed and wanted. A substitute was better than nothing.
I’d told her what to wear and she’d come the way I requested. A white button-up shirt and black pencil skirt. Holding a basket with a bottle of wine and two glasses, she winked. “I remembered your favorite.”
I ushered her into the music room and filled our glasses. We sat for a spell, and when our short conversation drifted into an agreeable silence, I held out my hand prompting her to stand.
The last time I was with her, another party was involved, but she remembered how I liked to do things. Smirking, she strutted around the piano, her high heels clicking against the marble floor. Cocking a hip, she leaned against the instrument, raising her skirt to reveal a tempting amount of thigh. “I’ll do anything you want, Mr. Cooper.”
What I wanted had returned to Arlenbach, and if this young lady knew she was only a substitute, she wouldn’t have cared. We were consenting adults. She was benefitting from this encounter as much as me—acting out her fantasies. And I was looking for a determent from the misery that had become me.
The slight bend to her lips broadened into a smile as I moved toward her. I reached around her head, grabbing a handful of hair. Holding my lips just inches from hers, she moaned, “Kiss me.”
Fulfilling her request, I went to press my lips to hers, but the green glint I caught in her eyes again caused me to come to a breathless stop.
At that moment, my need grew into something stronger than I could control or wanted to control. Continuing the seduction, I pressed her harder against the piano, her lips burning on mine. Her encouragement to deepen the kiss elicited the image of Taffi and I together in my bed. I held the fantasy in my mind until my whole body burned. My cock lengthened, hardening as I reached around her back, pulling her into me. The face of the woman I truly wanted held strong in my mind as my hands slid beneath the hem of the substitute’s skirt.
Having followed my instructions of wearing a garter without panties, she opened her legs granting me access. Taffi, I thought, visualizing that beautiful face again, imagining her slim arms around me as I darted my tongue in the substitute’s mouth, tasting the wine. Tasting the bitterness of regret.
She wasn’t coming back.
Her work is born from real life experiences, an overactive imagination and a consuming caffeine addiction. Fox is a listener of 80’s rock music and a watcher of classic slasher films. In short, she’s a writer, a storyteller, able to make a boo-boo all better with just one kiss and a proud, world class expert at screwing up recipes and scaring away closet monsters. She believes in ghosts and God and is absolutely convinced chocolate soothes the savage beast.
The Arrangement by Jenna Fox
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Title: The Arrangement
Author: Jenna Fox
I couldn't believe that it ended in a cliffhanger! Seriously! Oh my goodness, knowing that Sullivan had studied Taffi long before he approaches her had me wondering just how far he'll go to keep her by his side all the while pushing her limits. She's far from being a virgin and although she doesn't have much experience (her only time being in the back of a car that was all about his pleasure and not hers), I loved how she still took the reign in what she wanted. Together, their chemistry is incredible and how the story unfolded had my jaw dropping in surprise.
I'm wildly curious to find out how Jenna Fox is going to finish off this series because that cliffhanger left me frustrated and oh so impatient to find out what happens. With Sullivan's domineering and possessive ways had me questioning how long this could would last and even more when emotions got tangled up into the mixture considering that their arrangement specified that it was purely physical between them. I can't wait to find out what's to become of this couple and look forward to reading more from Jenna Fox.
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