Happy Sexy Saturday!
June is here and all month long I’ll be shining the spotlight on feisty heroines in romance. Today’s Feisty Female is Vanessa Warren from One True Thing by Amber Lea Easton. Vanessa is definitely part of the Feisty Female Club.
**My review of the book is at the bottom of the post. 🙂 **
Title: One True Thing
Author: Amber Lea Easton
Genre: Romance Thriller/Contemporary Romance/Suspense
Release date: March 22, 2016
Publisher: Mountain Moxie Publishing
Heat Level: 4 out of 5
All Romance eBooks: https://goo.gl/2KZ6IB
Power…it’s a heady drug.
Vanessa Warren is America’s favorite rebel. Daughter and granddaughter of US Presidents and sister to a future one, her family connections and notoriety are seen as leverage for manipulating the White House—if she’s captured.
One little lie leads to a whole lot of trouble.
Reclusive international resort developer, Dominic Varga, needs a date to ward off his matchmaking parents. When he persuades the notorious Vanessa Warren to play his girlfriend for the night, he has no idea he’s stepped into the crosshairs of kidnappers who will do anything—destroy everything—to get to her.
One true thing…
Trapped in a rapidly escalating international terror plot, Dominic and Vanessa’s lie becomes the only real thing in the midst of betrayals, conspiracies, and murder. As their world falls apart, they suddenly only have each other to rely on against ruthless people who will stop at nothing to achieve their goal. Who can they trust? Who is behind the plot—her own family, a political rival of her family’s, or a terrorist organization? How far will the kidnappers go—what will they be willing to sacrifice—to control the power of the White House? Is there anywhere in the world where they can find safety?
Chin resting on folded arms against the balcony’s railing, she stared down at the streets below, erratic energy zapping from her bent body encased in violet while the breeze tossed her long tresses against bare shoulders.
She was too beautiful, too known, too wild, too…much. He knew that she was the kind of woman who could devour him, who would know his soul, who would wield her power over him with advanced skill. Yet he couldn’t leave. Maybe that’s why he had come, armed with chili-cheese fries, to dare destiny.
“My great-grandmother was a painter,” she said after he’d joined her. “Being an artist is all I’ve ever wanted to do.”
“And you did it. You had a successful showing and—”
“Someone destroyed them all.”
“Yes, they did.” He couldn’t imagine having one of his resorts go up in flames. Maybe it wasn’t the same exactly, but he poured so much of himself into each design, into every part of the decision making process, that it would feel like…a death. He didn’t know what to do or what to say to ease her pain.
She blew out a long breath before standing straight and looking at him through the shadows. “It’s at least one in the morning by now. Time for bed. Are you joining me?”
He inhaled sharply at the idea of resuming where they’d left off.
“Don’t you want to…talk or something?” he asked.
“About my feelings?” Her lips twisted. “It sucks. It hurts like hell. It pisses me off. There. I talked about my feelings. We good now?”
He’d never met anyone like her. Vanessa Warren was definitely one-of-a kind. She sauntered to him, almost like a predator about to go in for the kill, stood on her tiptoes until her breath caressed his chin, and whispered, “Make me believe in something good, something better than a lie.”
He grabbed her ass and lifted her up until they were eye-to-eye. Hair licked with fire slipped across his face when she leaned over him, all color and warmth. He wanted this, wanted her. This is why he had come, to feel this again, this agony of desire that he had suppressed for years.
Fingers twisted in the strands of hair that slipped against his face. He crushed her to him, ravaging her mouth like a dying man grasping at life. Tongues teased. Teeth nipped. And he fell past a point he had never thought to cross, not that he cared, not that it mattered. In his mind, he could see the lights of the city, blurring with speed and spinning beneath them.
God, she felt good. Intoxicating. Her lips nibbled across his neck.
“I shouldn’t want you so much, but I do. I can’t stop myself,” she whispered.
“Why do you want me?” He held her firm with his fists wrapped in her hair. “Tell me.”
“You wanted me when you didn’t know who I was. We were just two people, strangers, without a past or a future. I knew you wanted to fuck me against that mural, beneath that tarp, I saw it in your eyes, thought about it all damn day. Then tonight there you were. You walked up those stairs like a predator, seeking me out, sweeping me away.”
“You want to be swept away?”
“I’ll do my best.” He scooped her off her feet and carried her from the balcony to the bedroom. He fell onto his back against the mattress with her silk-encased body draped across him.
“Damn dress.” She propped herself above him and grimaced. “Help me out of it?”
“With pleasure,” he whispered against her neck.
His fingers moved to the discreet zipper at her side and — with his gaze never leaving hers — he slid it down. She shrugged it off her left shoulder. As if unwrapping a Christmas gift, he wasted no time in sliding the rest from her lean, toned body. Velvet hissed down her torso and slipped from her legs. Clad only in strapless bra and panties with her hair falling in wild layers past her shoulders, she kicked the tangled material off her feet and flashed him a devilish smile.
“You’re deadly.” But what a way to die.
Off came the bra. She grinned like the seductress she was and tossed it aside. “I’ll be gentle.”
“Don’t lie to me anymore.” His hands covered her breasts, claiming them. “Game’s over.”
“Wrong, Nic. It’s just getting started.” She pushed his shirt from his shoulders and kissed his neck.
Q: What motivated this suspense plot about the pursuit of power?
A: I have a love/hate relationship with politics. Not only am I an activist on the local level, but I find the political spectacle fascinating. How low will someone go to win office? What will it take for someone to betray a confidante? Is the ideal of the ‘greater good’ still relevant in today’s cynical world and, if so, what exactly does that mean? Are there still genuine good guys in office—I believe there are—and what is their struggle to remain that way?
Q: That’s a lot of questions. Do you deal with them all in One True Thing?
A. In a subtle way, yes. One True Thing is essentially about Vanessa Warren’s struggle to have her own identity despite a very public upbringing and a larger than life lineage. When she is suddenly thrust into the role of a pawn to be used to manipulate her famous family, she is forced to embrace the power that comes with her last name whether she wants to or not. As the story develops, the concept of the greater good comes into play—and it’s one she openly mocks in the beginning of the book—and she eventually realizes exactly what that means. That’s all I can say without giving spoilers.
Q: But this is a love story?
A: Yes, it is definitely a love story about a man who had closed himself off to feeling much of anything about anyone. He’s devoted himself to building an empire. Tragedy made him skittish about opening his heart, which is how he winds up with the most notorious woman in the world as a date to a party to deter his matchmaking parents. Their little lie has more truth to it than they initially believe and, as the story unfolds, becomes the only true thing they can trust. He sees Vanessa as a woman without an intimidating lineage and she sees him for the kind person he once was before tragedy made him a cynic.
Q: You’re known for creating a vibrant cast of characters in all of your stories, but in this one—although there are obviously secondary players—the focus is keenly on the main characters, why did you construct it a bit differently?
A: In this story, Vanessa’s world is shrinking as she’s being hunted. Everything she has taken for granted—even friendships—is being stripped away. Layer by layer, she starts doubting the people around her, begins questioning the world she’s lived in her whole life, and realizes how isolated she has become. The only person she can trust is a stranger she met named Dominic because he has no history with her, no motivation to sell her out. Hence the architecture of this book starts out broad and works into a sharp peak with Vanessa and Dominic at its center.
Q: What is the one true thing?
A: Family. Love. Strip away the power, the money, the fame, the illusion, and there is only one true thing that matters—love.
Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published author of romantic thrillers, contemporary romance, women’s fiction, and nonfiction. She also writes five different blogs, volunteers for children’s literacy, and advocates for suicide awareness. In addition, she is a professional editor and mother of two extraordinary human beings. She currently lives in a small cabin high in the Rocky Mountains where she is completely aware of how lucky she is.
What a great read! Vanessa is definitely a feisty female. Yet, underneath her tough exterior lives a woman who just wants to be left alone. Like all of us, she has dreams and goals. But, unlike most of us, she’s not free to pursue those dreams. Why? Because her family is involved in politics. And though she wants nothing to do with that life, she keeps being dragged back into the thick of things. And then she meets Dominic, the very sexy Dominic. These two are made for each other. He has secrets he’s trying to outrun and she has a killer she’s trying to stay two steps ahead of. If you enjoy a novel that is full of suspense with twist and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat, then this novel is for you. Throw in steamy sex scenes and you have a five star read. This book has definitely made me a fan of this author.