Made in Jersey #1.5; Can be read as a standalone
God help the woman I take home tonight.
Band manager James Brandon never expected to find the elusive satisfaction he’d been chasing, let alone stumble upon it in some sleezy Hollywood meat market. Yet the girl’s quiet pride spoke to him from across the bar, louder than a shout. Troubled, hungry and homeless, she’d placed her trust in him. But after losing the grip on his dark desires that one fateful night, James has spent the last four years atoning for letting her down.
This time I’ll finally crack him.
Rock band drummer Lita Regina has had enough of James’s guilt. She wants the explosive man she met that night in Hollywood. The man who held nothing back and took no prisoners—save Lita. And she’ll stop at nothing to revive him. Even if it means throwing herself into peril at every turn, just to get a reaction from her stoic manager. But when Lita takes her quest one step too far, James disappears from her life, thinking his absence will keep her safe.
Now it’s up to Lita to bring James back…and ignite an inferno of passion in the process.
Reader Advisory: ROUGH RHYTHM contains fantasies of nonconsensual sex, acted upon by consenting characters. Readers with sensitivity to portrayals of nonconsensual sex should be advised.
Tessa Bailey knows how to write sex. She knows how do steamy. She knows how to write the inner turmoil tremendously well. Imagine all of that combined, mixed with the darker side of a forbidden kind of sex, and you have this outrageously sexy book paired up perfectly with Tessa’s writing genius. It creates an absolutely addictive story of two characters who can’t help the pull to one another but who have built up years of resistance, and it erupts into an explosion of shattering of wills.
James and Lita have spent four years circling each other after a night of passion in where James let loose a side of him that he’s never given in to. Immediately after that life-changing night (for the both of them), James and Lita form a band that becomes highly successful. What hasn’t been successful, unfortunately, is their relationship with each other much to Lita’s chagrin. The affects from that night irrevocably changed their paths, thus making her desperate to dislodge his guilt by acting out for his attention, and him by horribly responding to her reactions to his actions. Around and around and around they go and there’s no end in sight to the cycle, until one night.
There’s something ultra delicious about a man who has Tessa’s normal qualities she gives to a man: possessive, protective, prone to dirty-talking, and a no nonsense attitude; but what makes it wickedly addictive is by adding a man like James. A man who enjoys playing with the lines of consensual/nonconsensual sex. Her lyrically sexy words written in a darker, more rough way, had this book reaching farther than expected. It makes your stomach dip, your face feel flush, and your throat dry out to read the charged sex scenes, but it also has this layered thought-provoking undertone with James grappling with who he is, and accepting his baser needs. And then him allowing that baser need to become a part of not just himself but Lita as well. I absolutely loved ROUGH RHYTHM, and am always amazed by how Tessa manages to explore the different types of characters so well.
“You came along at an unfortunate time, Lita.” His head gave a tight jerk, jaw clenching. “I haven’t been feeling like myself.”
“Really.” She set the donut down, her stomach executing a series of flips. Nervous ones, but not the type that made her want to run. Not the type she’d experienced before. These were hotter, fuller, curious. “How do you feel…instead?”
“I have hunger.” His dark gaze swung up, gluing her to the plush, leather seat. “I don’t know if it can be fed like yours.”
What was going on here? Lita felt almost hypnotized, lured in by his rasping, cultured voice. She recognized interest and arousal in men, had it directed at her often, but this? This was utter famishment. He reminded her of a vampire who’d been in hiding from the sun, unable to hunt. And now a deer lay before him, vital and tempting, life flowing through its veins. She was the deer.
Man. How crazy were her thoughts right now? The lack of food must have gone to her head. After the trouble she’d just escaped, she shouldn’t care what went on under another man’s surface. Shouldn’t allow this odd, instantaneous attachment to take hold.
The fuller her stomach became, though, the more her thoughts cleared. The more of James she saw. His interest in her, as he watched her mouth chew, was almost as thick as the leash around his neck, keeping him in place. If the lights in the room weren’t so dim, she could probably make it out. Strain bracketed his masculine mouth and he appeared to be swallowing golf balls down the column of his powerful throat. One…after…another.
“How did you get so hungry?” James asked, his tone suggesting he was reclining back onto a bed of nails.
Lita rejected the outside ugliness from entering the room. “I could ask you the same thing.” Her legs were steady as she stood and rounded the table, compelled by some force she couldn’t deny. Maybe it was his clear attempt to restrain himself, to fight the attraction so obvious between them. She stopped beside James, but he stayed still as stone. “I’m full. What happens now?”
His eyelids drooped, fist mashing against his forehead. “Go.”
That single, tortured word caught her in the chest. God, he was holding back so much. What would happen when it roared out?
Why was she trembling with the need to find out?
There was danger lurking beneath this man’s surface. Also known as the last thing a homeless girl wanting to turn her luck around needed.
Too bad danger was the only thing that had ever made her feel alive.
Lita walked past James to the lamp and flipped off the gentle light, before returning to his tense figure, sliding between his outstretched legs…and opening the robe. “Feed yourself.”
The air crackled as James stood slowly, so slowly, rising to his full height. When Lita glimpsed his changed expression, she realized that—at her invitation—a change had snapped through him like a cracking whip, despite the way he rose without hurry. The vampire’s dirt nap had officially ended and the invisible leash was no more. Power rippled over his beautiful body as it pressed close, a hand finding her hip inside the robe, squeezing, his mouth sliding against her ear.
His breath went choppy after issuing a single unexpected command.
Made in Jersey Book One; Standalone
Made in Jersey Book Two
Release Date: April 4, 2016
♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Tessa Bailey lives on Long Island with her husband and young daughter. When she isn’t writing or reading romance, Tessa enjoys a good argument and thirty-minute recipes.