REVIEWERS are saying...
To read the complete review, click on
the hyperlink at the end of the quote.
Hot off the press, this lively anthology of contemporary short stories by an assortment of Brava's
established and up-and-coming authors is sure to heat up the holidays for readers who like their
romances with a little extra zing. The
Library Journal © 2004 Reed Business Information.
Lucy Monroe creates the most wonderful heroes around. She also creates a good sense of warm relationships that make you want to know all about her characters. This is the perfect collection of stories by excellent authors who know how to write hot and sexy, and Lucy Monroe is one of my new favorite authors. She sure puts the zing in Christmas for Jake and Bella, and me too. - Reader to Reader Reviews
This collection of six
sexy tales of romance is sure to bring the holiday spirit to life.
The authors of these six
passionate stories give readers steamy romance at its best. –
Romantic Times 4.5 Stars
Monroe writes an affecting novella that is truly enjoyable. - In the Library Reviews
This is the first story that I have read by
and I was VERY impressed. She
did an outstanding job of bringing the characters to life and
building the anticipation between Bella and her green-eyed
hoping there will be another story to come from this one involving
the siblings of this couple. -
Fallen Angel Reviews
romance as only Lucy Monroe does it! Experience the joy,
passion and heartfelt emotions when two people meet and change
their lives forever. Christmas is a time of family, bonds and new
beginnings. All of this is depicted beautifully in Silver
Bella. Bella and Jake are great characters and I’d love
to see more of them someday!
" - The
Road To Romance
"Lucy Monroe has penned another winner. Amazingly, she’s written a short story that doesn’t feel as if things have been hurried along. Sweet and sexy, this is my favorite. Bella and Jake are an amazing and enticing couple and you’ll turn the last page with a smile, content that this romance will last. SILVER BELLA is as heart-warming as it is hot, displaying Ms. Monroe’s excellent story telling."
5 Stars - Cataromance Reviews
"Silver Bella is
heartwarming and steamy as only Lucy Monroe can write them."
- The Best Reviews
"Jake is a man to make your
toes curl and your knees knock. Bella is a great heroine
that goes to show never judge a book by its cover. This couple is
hot, hot, hot and this story is sure to be a keeper." - The Romance Studio
and heartwarming, Silver Bella is a must read.
Readers will immediately fall for the innocent but sassy model as
she hopes Santa puts something really sweet in her Christmas
stocking." - Romance Reviews Today
a series of short stories that shows that love does conquer all.
All the authors show that if you look deep enough, love does find
a way." ~ Writers Unlimited
READERS are saying...
"I want to let you know how much I enjoyed The Real Deal (Wow!) and I really liked your story in "Merry Christmas, Baby." I hope there are more stories like these in the future. Thanks." ~ Veda
words reverberated through Bella Jackson’s head as she stepped
out onto the catwalk.
man could get frostbite touching you.
You’re all smoke and no fire, babe.
If the world knew what a total fraud you are, you’d never
get another modeling job again.
Who wants the original ice queen modeling clothes for
today’s sensual woman?” Curt’s
vitriol echoed around her, drowning out the announcer’s
modulated voice, even though the confrontation had taken place
miles away and days ago.
because Curt had taken his story to the press and her face and
body were plastered all over the tabloids with headlines that made
Jackson, Ice Queen or Sexpot?
Freezes Boyfriend Out of Bed
Creations Cover Model Fraud
Says This Model’s Bed Needs an Electric Blanket to Stay Warm
the one that had given her mother heart palpitations: Ex-boyfriend
Speculates Bella is Gay.
done hundreds of trunk shows in her ten year modeling career, but
never had she been so nervous stepping onto a stage.
everyone in the audience seen the stories?
Were they laughing behind their hands as she modeled
clothes that only a woman extremely in touch with her own
sexuality would wear?
woman was not Bella.
didn’t have hang-ups, no matter what that jerk, Curt had said.
It was just that she’d been so career minded since her
teens the whole man-woman thing had pretty much passed her by.
Not to mention the fact that she wasn’t interested in
getting intimate with a man who couldn’t see beyond her body to
the woman inside.
had her bad experiences with idiots who thought her bra size was
equivalent to her I.Q. and men who wanted a trophy on their arm,
not a living, breathing woman in their life, so she’d pretty
much stopped dating. Until
he’d pressed for sex, she’d been unable to share her secret
with him...or her body.
truth was, she hadn’t wanted to.
kisses and what he’d wanted to do afterward had left her as cold
as he’d accused her of being.
was a twenty-six year old virgin with a reputation for extravagant
sex and a supposed list of lovers the length of the
yellow pages. It
wasn’t her fault that the press speculated, or that men who
hadn’t made it to first base had bragged about their homeruns,
but neither had she denied the rumors.
Lexi said her reputation was good for the line and Bella
had considered it another cost of her career.
bad-girl reputation had done its own job keeping her insulated
from the type of men she could actually want.
The men attracted to the persona she presented to the world
were very rarely the type of men she could be honestly attracted
had been different, or so she’d thought.
found out too late that the conservative accountant had only
wanted the bad girl, not the real Bella.
He’d wanted to take a walk on the wild side with her
as his tour guide.
last daywear model was returning up the catwalk when the announcer
introduced Lexi’s eveningwear and Bella began her signature
glide down the Plexiglas stage, her hands damp and her heart
beating too fast.
lighting made it possible for her to make eye contact with the
audience, but that was the last thing she wanted.
Still, she couldn’t help subtly scanning the patrons
seated in the ultra classy
hotel, looking for signs that the tabloid stories had done their
this audience seemed just like all the others, their gazes fixed
on her shocking white silk dress.
was halfway down the catwalk when her gaze snagged on a pair of
green eyes. The color
of new grass, they were set in a face as hard as granite and as
sexy as sin.
look in those eyes caught her as effectively as if the man’s
hands had closed over her shoulders and halted her mid-step.
She did in fact stop, her body freezing with a blast of
sensations totally alien to her.
Sensations that belied every one of the nasty headlines.
pause lasted only a second, but she felt the first blush she’d
had in years crawling hotly up her skin.
man’s thin lips quirked in a knowing smile.
aware that he was the cause of her hesitation, his expression
reflected a mixture of mocking humor and blatant male approval.
spent years learning to ignore the masculine admiration her body
elicited. For her, the
perfectly proportioned curves were a tool of her trade, nothing
more, but this man’s look went zinging to the very heart of her.
of awareness skittered along her nerve endings, leaving goose
bumps of sensation in unlikely places.
stopped at the end of the stage, which happened to be right in
front of his table while two other models wearing eveningwear came
down the catwalk to flank her.
eyes flared with pleasure as she stood in a mannequin still pose
before him and his dark blonde head tilted slightly, as if he was
adjusting his angle to look at her better.
electric current vibrated across the space between them,
inexorably connecting them. Unbelievably,
her nipples grew hard and her breasts felt tight while her thighs
trembled with the effort it took to maintain her pose.
never reacted during a show this way.
years of practice and discipline made it possible for her to move
through her choreographed routine with the other two models.
However, no matter which direction she turned, she felt
that amazing connection.
mixed with disappointment when the announcer cued her to return up
the catwalk. She
walked away from the green-eyed man, supremely aware of the almost
non-existent nature of the back of her gown.
dipped to a V that ended right above her bottom, the white silk
wore minimal undergarments and if he was looking closely enough,
he would see the shadow of her cheeks and the outline of her legs
beneath the fabric. Shards
of excitement speared her inner thighs at the thought.
the first time in her modeling career, she felt exposed, as
if her body was more than a living mannequin used to show off a
the dress was in fact showing her off.
could not help wondering what he thought of an outfit that
left so little of her body’s secrets to the imagination.
Barton watched the beautiful brunette retreat up the catwalk with
the biggest, most painful hard-on he’d had in years...maybe
was such an unexpected turn-on that he wanted to howl at the moon.
“Damn it, Lise, you didn’t tell me this was going to be
a lingerie show.”
his sister hissed from her seat beside him, not turning to look at
couture tends to be more revealing.
The lingerie comes later.”
I’m not. It’s on
the program if you’d bothered to look at it.”
looked at it now and sure enough, there was a finale of nightwear
didn’t know how he was going to stand seeing the model who had
been introduced as Bella in anything sexier without coming in his
little lady was a walking work of art.
A perfect pocket Venus.
She definitely didn’t fit the current trend of boy-thin,
Amazon tall models that graced most magazine covers.
other models in the show for Lexi’s Creations designed
especially for petite women were small in stature too, but none of
them had this model’s voluptuous curves or the air of sensual
promise her pouting lips gave her.
Despite those sensual lips, her brown eyes had reflected an
unconscious vulnerability that he found every bit as enticing as
her sexy body.
the first time since his sister had talked him into attending a
series of trunk shows with her while she researched the
professional world of fashion for her latest book, he thought he
just might enjoy himself.
program said the sexy beauty was the official cover model for Lexi
Creations, which meant she would no doubt feature in all of
the shows. Considering
the number of them he’d promised Lise he would attend, he would
have ample opportunity to meet Bella.
He smiled, the prospect affecting his mood and his libido
in a very definite way.
dick was already making emphatic statements about what it wanted
to do when they met and it wasn’t to engage in polite
the first time in the hour since the after-show schmoozing began,
Bella found herself alone. On
a normal night, she would disappear about now, going back to her
hotel to enjoy some solitude, but she was hoping to see him, the
man with the green eyes and the smile that made her insides shake.
hand materialized in front of her holding a flute of champagne.
turned and looked up, knowing before she did who the deep drawl
would belong to.
above her own petite five feet, four inches, he exuded palpable
sexual heat and she felt burned simply standing so close.
This man would not need a tour guide for an extended trip
on the wild side.
took the glass of champagne. “Thank
pleasure.” He lifted
automatically clinked hers against it.
new friendships.” The
slow Texas drawl went through her like the vibrations from a bass guitar,
making her shiver.
a little cold.” Not.
But no way was she going to admit the real reason for her
body’s betraying quiver.
feels pretty hot in here to me.”
He slipped off his suit jacket and slid it around her
shoulders, engulfing her as effectively as if he’d put an
overcoat on her. The
man was big. “There,
now, we’ll both feel better.”
usual flirtatious façade abandoned her and she nodded dumbly.
scent surrounded her, expensive and masculine, making her ultra
aware of the intimacy of wearing his jacket.
What else could she say?
the way he was looking at her made her much warmer than the extra
layer of clothing and she hadn’t been cold to begin with?
took a gulping sip of the bubbly wine.
lips twitched. “You
must be thirsty.”
I should have gotten you a glass of water instead.”
that wouldn’t be a bad idea.”
For more reasons than that she normally stuck to fruit
juice, or other equally innocuous beverages at the after show
soirees. She had a
feeling she needed all her wits about her because this man could
turn her brain to mush with a look.
“It’s hard to stay hydrated during a trunk show.”
look hydrated to me.” His
green gaze slid down her body with tactile pleasure and the tone
of his voice was enough to make her insides liquefy.
the clothes,” she said automatically.
“Lexi’s Creations always make me look my best.”
pulled one side of his jacket away from her body to reveal the
clothes beneath it and took his time looking them over.
“I don’t remember that outfit from the show,” he said
finally, releasing his suit coat.
from the daywear line.”
short skirt and button up man-style shirt worn loose with a hip
chain belt was a lot less revealing than the eveningwear or
lingerie she’d modeled during the show, but it was still
weren’t wearing it.”
mean you weren’t watching the other models?”
shook his head. “There
was only one who could hold my interest.”
clothes are supposed to hold your interest.”
did. When you were
wearing them.” He
reached out to touch her cheek.
“Feels real enough to me.”
do you mean?” She’d
lost the thread of the conversation somewhere along the way.
said it was the clothes and I don’t agree.
No outfit, no matter how appealing, can give a woman such a
flawless complexion or petal soft skin.”
couldn’t believe the urge she had to turn her face into his big
hand, to inhale his scent from his skin, to taste him.
right food and exercise,” she choked out.
hand dropped away and he smiled.
“Maybe, but I think you were probably born with some of
shrugged, trying for an air of nonchalance she did not begin to
feel. “Did you see
anything you liked in the show?”
was a stock question she’d asked on numerous occasions after a
show, but this time she felt her cheeks heat with embarrassment at
the possible double entendre.
moved closer, hemming her in until the rest of the patrons and
models ceased to exist. “Oh,
I’d say so.”
eyes left no doubt that he wasn’t talking about one of Lexi’s
creations, the dark blonde hair on his head cut in a conservative,
modern style at odds with the primitive and almost wild cast to
laughed nervously. “There’s
nothing subtle about you, is there?”
don’t play games.”
nice to know.” But
she couldn’t say the same.
whole approach to the male species was based on a game of pretend
that had come crashing down around her ears when Curt walked away
from her and sold his story as her ex-boyfriend to the tabloids.
when this man saw the headlines and heard the new rumors about
her, the burning look of passion in his eyes would grow as cold as
she was purported to be in bed.