Related to: 'Breaking Hollywood'

December Book of the Month

Nikki and Damien continue in Take Me

I awake to an empty bed and the smell of frying bacon. I roll over to find my phone on the bedside table, then glance at the time. Not yet six. I groan and fall back among the pillows, but I don't really want to go back to sleep. What I want is Damien. I slide out of bed, then grab the tank top and yoga pants I'd left draped across a nearby armchair. I head barefoot out of the bedroom and move the short distance down the hall to the third-floor kitchen. We're standing in Damien's Malibu house, and the wall of windows that faces the ocean is wide open, the glass panels having been thrust aside to let in the breeze. The smell of the ocean mingles with the scent of breakfast and I breathe deep, realizing that I am content. Whatever demons had poked at me during the night, Damien effectively banished them. I glance toward the windows and out at the darkened Pacific. Waves glow white in the fading moonlight as they break upon the shore. There is beauty there, and part of me wants to walk to the balcony and stare out at the roiling, frothing water. But the siren call of the ocean is nothing compared to my desire to see Damien, and so I turn away from the windows and head straight to the kitchen. It is larger than the one in the condo I used to share with my best friend, Jamie, and it is not even the primary kitchen for this house. That is on the first floor, and could easily service a one-hundred-table restaurant. But this - the "small" kitchen - was installed as an adjunct to the open area that serves as a venue for entertaining, and since it is just down the hall from our bedroom, Damien and I have gotten into the habit of cooking our meals and eating in this cozier, more informal area. Usually we're joined by Lady Meow-Meow, the fluffy white cat I took custody over when Jamie moved out. I know Lady M misses Jamie, but she's also enjoying having the run of this huge house, and Gregory - the valet, butler, and all around house-running guy - spoils her rotten. Now I lean against the half wall that marks the break from hallway to kitchen. Damien is standing at the stove cooking an omelette as if he were nothing more than an ordinary guy. Except there is nothing ordinary about Damien Stark. He is grace and power, beauty and heat. He is exceptional, and he has captured me completely. At the moment, he is shirtless, and I cannot help the way my breath stutters as my eyes skim over the defined muscles of his back and his taut, strong arms. Damien's first fortune came not form business, but from his original career as a champion tennis player. Even now, years later, he has both the look and the power of an elite athlete. I let my gaze drift down appreciatively. He is wearing simple gray sweatpants that sit low on his narrow hips and cling to the curves of his perfectly toned ass. Like me, he is barefoot. He looks young and sexy and completely delicious. Yet despite his casual appearance, I can still see the executive. The powerful businessman who harnessed the world, who shifted it to his own liking and made a fortune in the process. He is strength and control. And I am humbled by the knowledge that I am what he values most of all, and that I will spend the rest of my life at his side. "You're staring," he says, his eyes still on the stove. I grin happily, like a child. "I enjoy looking at pretty things." He turns now, and his eyes rake over me, starting at my toes. "So do I," he says when his gaze reaches my face, and there is so much heat in his voice that my legs go weak and my body quivers with want. His mouth curves into a slow, sexy smile, and I am absolutely certain in that moment that I am going to melt. "You spoiled my surprise," he says, then nods toward the breakfast table where a tray sits with a glass bud vase displaying a single, red rose. "Breakfast in bed."

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Beth Kery

Beth Kery is the New York Times ebook bestselling author of Because You Are Mine and recipient of the All About Romance Reader Poll for Best Erotica. Beth lives in Chicago where she juggles the demands of her career, her love of the city and the arts, and a busy family life. Her writing today reflects her passion for all of the above. She is a bestselling author of over thirty books and novellas, and has also written under the pen name Bethany Kane.You can read more about Beth, her books and upcoming projects at www.bethkery.com, discover her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/beth.kery, or follow her on Twitter @BethKery.

Harper Sloan

Harper Sloan is the New York Times bestselling author of the Corps Security and Hope Town series. She started using writing as a way to unwind when the house went to sleep at night. Harper lives in Georgia with her family. Visit her at AuthorHarperSloan.com, on Facebook /HarperSloanBooks or on Twitter @HarperSloan.

J.B. Salsbury

JB Salsbury, New York Times bestselling author of The Fighting Series, lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband and two kids. She spends the majority of her day lost in a world of battling alphas, budding romance, and impossible obstacles as stories claw away at her subconscious, begging to be released to the page. Her love of good storytelling led her to earn a degree in Media Communications. With her journalistic background, writing has always been at the forefront, and her love of romance prompted her to write her first novel. Since 2013 she has published six bestselling novels in The Fighting Series and won a RONE Award.Visit J.B. at www.jbsalsbury.com, find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JBSalsburybooks and on Twitter @JBSalsbury.

J. Kenner

J. Kenner loves wine, dark chocolate, and books. She lives in Texas with her husband and daughters. Visit her online at www.jkenner.com to learn more about her and her other pen names, to get a peek at what she's working on, and to connect through social media.

Jessica Clare

Jessica Clare is the New York Times bestselling author of the Bluebonnet series, as well as the Billionaire Boys Club novels. She also the writes under the names Jill Myles and Jessica Sims. Jessica lives in Texas with her husband, cats, and has a day job in finance. She spends her time writing, reading, writing, playing video games, and doing even more writing. Visit her website at www.jessica-clare.com, find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AuthorJessicaClare, and follow her on Twitter @_JessicaClare.

Jill Mansell

Jill Mansell is the author of over twenty Sunday Times bestsellers including MEET ME AT BEACHCOMBER BAY, YOU AND ME, ALWAYS, THE ONE YOUR REALLY WANT and THREE AMAZING THINGS ABOUT YOU. TAKE A CHANCE ON ME won the Romantic Novelists' Association's Romantic Comedy Prize, and in 2015 the RNA presented Jill with an outstanding achievement award.Jill keeps in touch with her readers on Twitter - @JillMansell - and Facebook - /OfficialJillMansell. She lives in Bristol with her family.

Jill Shalvis

New York Times bestseller Jill Shalvis is the author of many romance novels including her acclaimed Cedar Ridge, Lucky Harbor and Animal Magnetism series. The RITA winner and three-time National Readers Choice winner makes her home near Lake Tahoe. Visit her website at www.jillshalvis.com for a complete book list and daily blog, and www.facebook.com/jillshalvis for other news or follow her on Twitter @jillshalvis.

Lisa Renee Jones

Lisa Renee Jones is the New York Times bestselling author of more than forty books across many romance genres - contemporary, romantic suspense, dark paranormal and erotic fiction. Her books have been translated all around the world, and her highly acclaimed Inside Out series is now in development for cable television. Lisa loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at www.lisareneejones.com and can also find her on Facebook www.facebook.com/AuthorLisaReneeJones and on Twitter @LisaReneeJones.

Marie Force

Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of more than thirty contemporary romances, including the Green Mountain series, the McCarthys of Gansett Island series, the Fatal series, the Treading Water series and numerous standalone books. While her husband was in the U.S. Navy, Marie lived in Spain, Maryland and Florida, and she is now settled in her home state of Rhode Island. She is the mother of two teenagers and two feisty dogs, Brandy and Louie.Join Marie at www.marieforce.com to get news on her latest books, or keep up to date with her on Twitter: @marieforce and Facebook: www.facebook.com/MarieForceAuthor.

Mark Mills

Mark Mills graduated from Cambridge University in 1986. He has lived in both Italy and France, and has written for the screen. His first novel, THE WHALEBOAT HOUSE, won the 2004 Crime Writers' Association Award for Best Novel by a debut author. His second, THE SAVAGE GARDEN, was a Richard and Judy Summer Read and a No. 1 bestseller. Under the name Mark B. Mills, he has written the comic novel, WAITING FOR DOGGO. He lives near Oxford with his wife and two children.

Molly McAdams

Molly McAdams grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband, daughter, and fur babies. When she's not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach ... which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies and fried pickles, and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm ... or under one in a bathtub if there are tornadoes. That way she can pretend they aren't really happening.Visit her website: www.mollysmcadams.com, find her on Facebook: /MollyMcAdams and follow her on Twitter: @mollysmcadams.

Penny Vincenzi

Penny Vincenzi is one of the UK's best-loved and most popular authors. Since her first novel, Old Sins, was published in 1989, she has written several bestselling novels, including The Decision and A Perfect Heritage.Over seven million copies of Penny's books have been sold worldwide and she is universally held to be the 'doyenne of the modern blockbuster' (Glamour). Penny Vincenzi has four daughters, and divides her time between London and Gower, South Wales.

Rebecca Zanetti

New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti has worked as an art curator, Senate aide, lawyer, college professor, and a hearing examiner - only to culminate it all in stories about Alpha males and the women who claim them. She writes dark paranormals, romantic suspense, and sexy contemporary romances.Growing up amid the glorious backdrops and winter wonderlands of the Pacific Northwest has given Rebecca fantastic scenery and adventures to weave into her stories. She resides in the wild north with her husband, children, and extended family who inspire her every day - or at the very least give her plenty of characters to write about.Visit Rebecca at www.rebeccazanetti.com, on Twitter @RebeccaZanetti and on Facebook, www.facebook.com/RebeccaZanetti.Author.FanPage

Samantha Towle

Samantha Towle is a New York Times bestselling author. She began her first novel in 2008 while on maternity leave. She completed the manuscript five months later and hasn't stopped writing since.She is the author of contemporary romances, The Storm Series and The Revved Series, and standalones, Trouble, When I Was Yours, The Ending I Want, Unsuitable and Sacking the Quarterback, which was written with James Patterson. She has also written paranormal romances, The Bringer and The Alexandra Jones Series. All of her books are penned to the tunes of The Killers, Kings of Leon, Adele, The Doors, Oasis, Fleetwood Mac, Lana Del Rey, and more of her favorite musicians.A native of Hull and a graduate of Salford University, she lives with her husband, Craig, in East Yorkshire with their son and daughter.Connect with Samantha online:samanthatowle.co.ukwww.facebook.com/samtowlewritestwitter.com/samtowlewriteswww.instagram.com/samtowlewrites

Stella Newman

Stella Newman studied English at Sussex University, then went on to work in advertising, at the BBC and then as a professional food taster. She is now a full time writer, based in London and has written three novels: Pear Shaped, Leftovers and The Foodie's Guide to Falling in Love, as well as the festive e-short story, A Pear Shaped Christmas. She blogs about restaurants, food and writing at www.stellanewmansblog.blogspot.com and you can follow her on twitter @stellanewman.

Susan Donovan

Susan Donovan's novels have won accolades for being witty, sexy, and entertaining. A former newspaper reporter with journalism degrees from Northwestern University, Susan is a New York Times bestselling author whose novels have been translated into dozens of languages. Susan is a two-time RITA Award finalist and her novel Take A Chance On Me was named Best Contemporary Romance of 2003 by Romantic Times. She lives in New Mexico with her assorted pets, and a view of the stunning mountains from her office. Follow her on Twitter @SDonovanAuthor and find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SusanDonovanFanPage.

Tara Sue Me

Tara Sue Me lives in the southeastern United States with her family, two dogs, and a cat. Visit her website:www.tarasueme.com and follow her on Twitter @tarasueme and Facebookwww.facebook.com/TaraSueMeBooks for more information.