CLOSE (Ryder Brothers #1) by Laurelin Paige
Release Date: October 10th
Cover Design: Laurelin Paige
Photographer: Wander Aguiar Photography
Cover Model: Kaz Vanderwaard
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Everyone wants to get close to a rock star.
The bright lights.
Those talented fingers strumming… a guitar.
Everyone wants to bang a rock star.
So why do I keep running from the one who wants me?
I’m America’s Sweetheart.
I have a reputation.
He’s a boy-band icon turned rock god.
He’s every flavor of bad.
And he’s much, much too young for me.
If I end up in Nick Ryder’s bed, my career and I will both be screwed.
…but that’s only if I’m caught.
REVIEWED BY EMMA LOUISE ON BEHALF OF KFF
Good girl next door Natalia lives her pure and innocent reputation. A reputation is given to her by the media. In the beginning, I felt like she would do anything to keep her wholesome reputation, and of course, when someone makes a huge plan, fate or a wicked author (wink wink Ms. Paige) throws the hottest rock star of all time in her path. Come to the dark side Natalia, we have milk, cookies, and a sinfully hot tattooed man for you.
Nick is not your typical rock star. At twenty-three he’s looking for the one, rather than the one every night. He’s certainly mature for his age and has a ton of life experience from being a celebrity since he was in his teens. From the moment he has Natalia standing in front of him, he’s bowled over, willing to do or say whatever he can to get her alone.
Closer had a reverse dynamic and this was a pleasure to read and enjoy. Not every romance you read has to be set up in a certain way. Nothing is written in stone stating that the man has to be emotionless and hard. The same can be said for the woman who’s an emotional cry fest, women can at times be hard and tough.
‘Coincidence is what happens when fate tries to stay anonymous.’
‘That’s what we are together – the perfect song.’
The relationship and feelings grew slowly. Nick has to work at breaking down Natalia’s barriers. Not to mention prove to her that he is worth her time and attention. They come up with a solution that they both agree to for their own reasons and before you or they know it, they’re embarking on a journey neither expected. Nick is sweet and almost innocent, even if he has loads of sexual experience.
‘His mouth feels amazing. His tongue is my new favorite plaything. He kisses me softly and deeply and teasingly, mixing it up so much that I would almost be content to sit here and do this for the whole ride. for our whole weekend together. Almost.’
Natalia is so worried about public perception she comes across to Nick as cold and unfeeling. She’s very much attracted to the man, I mean who wouldn’t? Hells Bells!!!
I swooned every time he took his top off for Pete’s sake.
This author is superb at writing angst and frustration the reader can feel. These two emotions were very evidently felt by this reader. I could not put this one down. Side note: The next book in this series is called Want and is being written by a different author; Kayti McGee. I’ll be checking it out, I cannot miss it. Paige has done it again, thank you and well done for creating a male character so human and real.
©2018 Laurelin Paige
All rights reserved.
“Hi,” he says, doing a double-take when he realizes it’s me. He looks fabulous, of course, because why wouldn’t he when I look so scrubby? He’s wearing jeans and a T-shirt and a hoodie, and his face doesn’t look like he’s tired, or like he stayed up late to drink too much and tear up the dance floor.
Or like he spent last night making out with somebody more than a decade older than him.
“It’s crazy seeing you here,” I say. I giggle again at the sheer ridiculousness of this. “Do you come here often?” What am I doing? What am I saying? It’s like I just learned how to talk to people of the opposite sex. How have I ever gotten a date?
Not that I’m trying to date Nick.
“Occasionally. You?” He sticks his hands in his pockets and he’s so relaxed, so sexy, and I just can’t stand all that swagger on such a handsome guy that I am not allowed to touch. It’s unfair for anyone to look so effortlessly edible before nine a.m.
“It’s my favorite shop. Come here all the time.” I take a couple steps backwards, trying to shift toward my car. “I probably should—”
“Don’t you think it’s probably more than a coincidence?” He takes a step towards me, and I take one back, willing myself not to respond to the rumble of his deep voice and the magnetism of his body. “That we’d see each other again so soon. Kind of like fate, almost.”
Oh my god, Oh my god, he’s flirting with me. What do I do? He’s so hot, I can’t even look at him. But then I do, and I have total church-giggles over this, and I have to escape before I make an even bigger fool out of myself. Someone is bound to notice that I am losing my cool, and they’ll draw conclusions that aren’t even true.
It was just kissing!
“It’s really weird, I have to admit.” I dance back some more, then glance behind me to make sure I’m not going to back into the street and get run over and make this even worse. “And really awkward.” I brush some hair back that’s come loose from the messy bun at the base of my neck.
He shrugs, seeming to disagree. And it’s true that I’m the only one who seems to be awkward right now. “I don’t know about that. Doesn’t have to be awkward. Could just be convenient. Since I never got your phone number.”
If I didn’t think he was flirting before, I know he definitely is now. I don’t want to say no to him, but I have to say no to him. He cannot have my number. Can’t have anything more than a memory of a scorching-hot make-out in the back of a club. What we did was not for a sunlit day. It was for a dark corner. And yet, I still can’t seem to actually say the word no. So instead I say, “Why do you need my phone number?”
Oh my god, this is mortifying. It really is like I’m in high school again and I’ve forgotten not only how to talk to boys but how to stand in their presence.
He takes another step toward me, laughing. “Well, for one thing, I thought it might be nice if we had dinner sometime.”
He has the most ridiculous smile, I realize. It lights up his entire face. You can see it in his eyes, and there’s no pretension. It’s all genuine. Pure sunshine. I’m rendered speechless by it for half a second and I have to ask, “What was that?”
“Dinner,” he says, that huge-ass grin in full force, taking another step toward me, and now there’s only three feet between us, and I can feel the body heat from him, can remember what it felt like the last time he walked me backwards into a wall and then his body was pressing into me, and his mouth was on me. When his chest was against me, when his cock was pressing into me and my hips—
I suddenly jump backwards. “I don’t think that would be a good idea.” I look around suddenly to see if anyone’s noticed this exchange yet.
It’s fine, it’s still fine.
We’re just two people who work in the same industry who bumped into each other on a Saturday morning and are chatting like people do on Saturday mornings when they bump into each other. While giggling. Totally fine.
“What are you worried about, Natalia?” He doesn’t chase after me, just stands there looking confident and laid-back. Like a man trying to tempt a scared animal out from hiding. “I mean—I do bite, but most women like it.”
I smile at that, because I can’t help it, but I duck so he doesn’t see.
He’s probably so much more experienced than me.
He’s probably so dirty in the bedroom.
God, I shouldn’t be thinking about that. “I shouldn’t even be talking to you,” I say, shaking my head. I turn toward my car.
“No, you shouldn’t be,” he calls from behind me, and I have to actually close my eyes to collect myself because it’s obvious he’s thinking about doing not-talking things. Things like last night. Things like biting.
Things good girls have no business being so turned on by.
I tell myself he probably says stuff like that to all the girls who walk away from him.
But who am I kidding? Who has ever walked away from Nick Ryder? Besides me, I mean. Twice now. I deserve an Oscar for my willpower. That should be a new category.
“Bye, Nick,” I call as I flee with my coffee.
Then I step into my car, put my keys in the ignition and drive away before I lose my senses and change my mind.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
With over 1 million books sold, Laurelin Paige is the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Fixed Trilogy. She’s a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead, or dreaming of Michael Fassbender. She’s also a proud member of Mensa International though she doesn’t do anything with the organization except use it as material for her bio.
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