Jackie has been writing fiction since she was eleven years old. Mild mannered fantasy/SF/pseudo-literary writer by day, obsessive romance writer by night, she used to balance her writing with the more serious job of librarianship until a chance meeting with another romance writer prompted her to throw off the shackles of her day job and devote herself to the true love of her heart - writing romance. She particularly likes to write dark emotional stories with alpha heroes who've just got the world to their liking only to have it blown wide apart of their kick-ass-heroines.
She lives in Auckland, New Zealand with her husband, the inimitable Dr Jax, two kids, two cats and some guppies (possibly dead guppies by the time you read this). When she's not torturing alpha males and their stroppy heroines, she can be found drinking chocolate martinis, reading anything she can lay her hands on, posting random crap on her blog, or being forced to go mountain biking with her husband.
Where to Stalk Jackie:
Up-and-coming photographer Judith Ashton is pretty sure she has everything in her life under control. That is, until a blast from the past comes back to aunt her, in the shape of Caleb Steele, her older brother's best friend...and the man who broke her heart eight years ago. Their chemistry is combustible, but she's been fooled once by this player, and she's not going there again.
To pro ruby player Caleb, Judith has always been his Kryptonite. But his former playboy lifestyle is the last thing she wants to be involved in. In the midst of her brother's threats to back off, and the deal of his career sending him far away from her, he know's he's playing with fire. And this is one game he's going to lose.
Where to find the book:
Amazon ~ B&N ~ Kobo
Okay so I completely and utterly loved this book!!!! If I could I would list out the entire book. Again I think I marked every page in this book because I loved EVERY second of it. This book had everything in it for me and had so much realism in it that it could pretty much happen to anyone. It made me laugh, and cry and feel happy and sad and loved and I loved the steamy hawt scenes between Caleb and Judith. Ohhh and I have to say this because I feel like I've been cheated in life. I love and hate all these books that I'm reading where the younger sister falls in love with the older brother's best friend. Since I didn't have an older brother growing up....I feel cheated. I can only imagine how my life would be different and changed if I had an older brother to look up to and to know would protect me and of course having guy friends around that I could stare at and "creepily stalk" and secretly love. *sigh* alas that wasn't in the cards for me.
This book starts out with Judith (or Jude) attending her brother's wedding. And of all things to do at a wedding she is playing laser tag, because the bride loves it so much. Not only is this the first time that we meet Jude and get to know her amazing personality, but this is the first time that we meet Caleb. Caleb and Jude have an interesting history. Caleb is one of her older brother (Joe's) best friends and eight years ago, Caleb and Jude had one night of hawt passion and of course her only being 18 she was utterly and competently in love with him. After is amazing and magical night for Jude, Caleb woke up the next morning and pretty much told her he didn't do relationships and he didn't really want her because his career was taking off. And a week later, some other bimbo is in his arms. So Jude's a little bitter at him and obviously with good reason.
And after this one night, Jude's older brother Joseph conveniently told Caleb, "I'm only going to say this once, Cal. Stay clear of Jude, okay? Remember the no touching rule. Because if you hurt her, I will hurt you." See protective older brothers have a reason to live and are awesome, because they want to look out for you.
So anyways back to the wedding. Caleb has an idea for a fund raiser that is close to his heart and he needs a photographer to help pull it together. He wants to make a calendar (a sexy one) and auction off different talents from the people within the calendar to help with the funds. And as he brings the idea up to Jude, the scene is amazing because she flat out turns him down. She wants nothing to do with Caleb and she's still bitter what happened eight years ago, even thought she's "forgiven" him. And I love how Jude describes him, "Caleb was hot. If you liked tall, muscle-bound beefcakes with eyes you could lose yourself in. The kind of smile that made you lose your mind as well as your panties. The magnetic, sexy bad-boy charm that promised all sorts of naughtiness."
And this is a little taste of what happens after Caleb is turned down, "He blew out a breath, annoyed at the disappointment he'd felt when she'd refused to help him with the calendar. Not to mention her utter disdain of his idea. Pornographic calendar? Caleb snorted. He'd lay money on the fact she wouldn't know pornography if she tripped over an open copy of Penthouse. And as for the whole wet jock shot quip...Judith had stopped to talk to one of the assistants she'd brought along to help with the wedding photographs. No doubt issuing orders. Running everything with the kind of well-oiled ease reserved for military operations. Cool, calm and always in control, that was Judith. Except she hadn't always been like that had she?"
And even though Caleb, "Abs of Steele" sexy Rugby player all star whom everyone loves and can get any woman he wants seems to get jealous when another man talks to Jude. "Across the room some guy had stopped to talk to Judith, bending over her as if taking advantage of the fact she was sitting so he could look down her dress. The tool." hahah men. Really? She's not your girlfriend nor have you made any type of gesture toward her in eight years since you took her v-card. But this scene still makes me laugh.
And I love some of the phrases in this book such as, "Steady on, mate." Or my personal favorite, "You look like a grumpy fairy." Or even, "Because deer sweet baby Jesus, that surely couldn't have been her." And then I love that one girl says this to another girl, ""For God's sake, dude. Take the man. Before some other cow gets in first." Really? Calling another woman (in general) a cow? I find this really funny, that I so want to start going around saying it to people.
So after the wedding Jude agrees to do the calendar and things get interesting from here. Jude and Caleb start to get closer again. They seem to have this chemistry that they keep trying to fight and the more time they spend together the harder it becomes. And it's during this time that Jude actually gets to see the real Caleb Steele not the Caleb "Abs of Steele" Hawt Sexy Ruby player that everyone loves and wants to be with. And of course what choices do we but to test waters (again) and have some fun and "try" to make it work.
So once they begin their little affair it's quite different. It's not super sweet, nor is it all sex. It's a really nice blend of sugar and spice. I think it's why I love this book so much, because it's such a real experience that could happen to anyone. Jude goes out one night for a girls night and her and Caleb start texting each other and when she didn't get a quick enough response this was her drunken reasoning, "Her phone remained silent for a second. Like it was thinking. Stupid. Phones didn't think, right?" And then she has a hangover the next day and when Caleb comes by he takes care of her and its super sweet. and then he tells her, "Don't you know you should always have a special hangover friend to help your recover after the night before?" So apparently I need to have one of these because I don't and I'd definitely take a tall sexy man to want to be my special hangover friend to help take care of me.
The biggest issue conflict that of course comes up is that Jude doesn't want a fling or a half in half out thing with a guy. And Caleb, well he's a star and still going places and doesn't do the relationship thing. And even though Caleb says he would be there any time for her, she comes back and says, "It's not always any time is it, Caleb?" "What do you mean?" "I mean, 'any time' is just any time you happen to feel like it. It's not actually 'any time.'" A tightness gathered in his chest. "I do what I can, Jude." "Yeah, well, sometimes that's not enough." She hesitated then said, "Just for future reference, I want a guy who's always going to be there for me. Not just when he feels like it or whens around or when it's convenient. I want someone I can count on no matter what."
And of course Caleb pulls out the dumb Y chromosome and goes all anti-feelings. And the question becomes what will happen between Caleb and Jude? Will he pull the same crap he did eight years ago and break Jude's heart again? Can they find someway to make it work? Does Caleb even know how to have a relationship? A real one? Will Jude finally move on? Find the guy she deserves? All questions are answered and the ending leaves the reader feeling completely satisfied.