Between Despair and Ecstasy by Daryl Devoré #BookHugs #hot #romance
The finale of Erika and Darien's epic rollercoaster romance.
Tag - How can Erika prove to herself and Darien that she loves and trusts him? Simple. All she has to do is jump out of a plane.
Concerned for his fiancée, Erika Bailey’s safety, rock star Darien Scott races to Bangkok to protect her, only to discover his brother is missing. Fearing the worse, he contacts his nemesis, Gan, and makes a repulsive deal that will free his brother and protect Erika’s club, The Pink Flamingo. Or so he thought. When a python and Gan are involved, things go sour, and Darien sinks into a deep depression.
Erika is disheartened by the betrayal of her parents. Her father's destruction of her club, and the humiliation of her mother’s drunken behavior have her feeling down, but those are the least of her worries. She has a wedding to plan, but won’t. Having been betrayed too often, she’s scared to trust Darien.
How can Erika prove to herself and Darien that she loves and trusts him? Simple. All she has to do is jump out of a plane.
At - eXtasybooks
Sweat streamed off Darien’s brow. Some dripped into his eyes. It stung. His heart throbbed against his ribs. Fire inched down his throat. Every muscle in his body ached. His head pounded from the pandemonium. The explosions. The screams. The pain threatening to split his skull. Dropping his head back, he closed his eyes. His chest heaved as he gulped air. He needed a moment. Get some strength back.
The screams grew louder.
He inhaled and released a long breath.
They wanted him. He had to continue. To perform. Like a trained monkey. Do people even do that anymore? Train monkeys? He peeled his eyes open. The glare of the overhead lights blazed down at him. He lifted his head. The screams grew louder.
“Oh. So, you want more?”
But what if I don’t have any more? What if I just can’t continue? Twelve weeks. Four shows a week. I’m beat.
The roar from eighty thousand Parisians was tumultuous. Fans yelled at the top of their lungs. They pounded their feet on the floor, raising their hands in the air, clapping. Glow sticks, cell phones, and lighters swayed like flowers in a breeze.
He grinned. Eighty thousand Parisians and one fiancée. He glanced to his left. Seated on the top stage step was Erika. She’d arrived just minutes before the show started. Just enough time for a passionate, but quick, hello kiss. He needed more. He needed her, and he knew it. She smiled at him. He loved that smile. He could stare at it all day. The way her soft lips curved up. A hint of sassiness in her expression.
Just finish the show. Grab Erika and run. Dodge the fans. Just get out of here.
He looked out over the crowd. “But what if I’m too tired to continue?”
“No,” the crowd wailed.
He grinned. “Well, maybe I could go on if you told me you loved me.”
The cacophony of sounds was deafening. “Je t’aime. Love you.”
He lifted his hands. “Do you love me?”
He ripped his black t-shirt over his head and threw it into the fans. “Do. You. Love. Me?” He yelled out as he glanced at Erika.
She jumped up and down, screaming with the crowd.
“I can’t hear you.”
The building shook with the fans’ frenzy.
“Five. Six. Five. Six. Seven. Eight.”
Fireworks exploded. Lasers shot around the stadium. Cass, the drummer, crashed the symbols as Darien spun, posed then inhaled a deep breath and opened his mouth to sing.
About the Author
Daryl Devoré lives in an old farmhouse in Ontario, Canada, with her husband, a black cat named Licorice and some house ghosts. Daryl loves to take long walks up her quiet country road or snowshoe across the back acres, and in the summer, kayak along the St. Lawrence River. She's touched a moon rock, a mammoth and a meteorite. She's been deep in the ocean in a submarine, flown high over Niagara Falls in a helicopter and used the ladies room in a royal palace. Life's an adventure and Daryl's having fun living it.
Where to find Daryl Devoré
Blog - Romance Sweet to Heat
An Inspirational Thought
Friendships are important. How do they start? CS Lewis knows
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought that no one but myself…"
If you're like me, then you take 5-star ratings with that proverbial grain of salt. After all, how many times have you seen gushing reviews that give no details as to why the reviewer liked the book, product, or service? How often have you suspected that reviewers were paid or doing a favor for a friend or family member? So, if you're like me, you pay attention first to the critical and even negative reviews.
No one selling anything wants negative reviews. Even critical reviews can be perceived as the negative reviews of dissatisfied customers. It's kind of a catch-22, as coined and immortalized in Joseph Heller's book.
Then, of course, one hopes to consider the source of the review. I came across this comment in a critical review of "By Water Reborn" in Goodreads: "I have some issues with the Fae of the modern literature. The whole 'sexy, but deadly and weird' thing is getting really old, to be honest. I seem to see it everywhere!" That, of course, makes me wonder why that reader bothered to download the story in the first place. After all, if you're tired of the genre (or sub-genre), then read something else.
Of course, when it comes to service reviews, one cannot necessarily consider the source. I recently received a review of less than five stars and asked the client what I could have done to have merited a 5-star rating. His response was that it was his first time using the service and that he wanted an aspect of service he hadn't bothered to identify. Since I don't read minds, I didn't know he wanted advice that I normally don't provide. Of course, the platform used doesn't notify vendors, "Hey, this is a first-time buyer." The client did change his review to the desired five stars, but the experience underscores the unreliability of such reviews.
The subjectivity of rating systems leaves much to interpretation. I still give credence to the more critical reviews, if only because they tend to be more detailed as to why the buyer wasn't completely satisfied or wowed by the product or service. When reviewing a book, if it's well written, engaging, cleanly edited, and generally excellent, it will receive a 4-star review. If the book just makes my heart go pitter-patter and wows me, then it gets a 5-star review. Those books are few and far between. If I dislike a book for whatever reason, but it's well written and well edited, then it will get at least a 2-star review, because technical competence deserves at least one full star. Technical incompetence will eliminate a full star. Yes, folks, I place at least a full 20 percent of the review of a book on the author's craftsmanship. Writing is first and foremost a craft.
The subjectivity of rating systems has been lamented for years. Anyone selling anything needs positive reviews; because, who buys anything that hasn't already satisfied other customers? It's a referral system gone amuck. We trust the opinions of complete strangers to persuade other complete strangers to buy our products and services. How crazy is that?
However, the review system is here to stay. If you buy something or a service, leave a candid review. The vendor will appreciate it. Whether the review receives a posted response depends upon the business. Some industry niches take advantage of reviews to show that, yes, they really do listen to their customers and want to please them. Other industry niches know better, because responding to reviews inevitably leads to involvement in petty drama.
You win some, you lose some.
Telemarketing works. If it didn't, companies wouldn't sink so much money into annoying people with cold calls. Since I've been freelancing for a living--which means working in a home office--I've had the dubious joy of entertaining all those telemarketing calls during the day.
Usually, I just hang up once I determine that, yes, it really is just a sales call for yet another product or service I neither want nor need. Sometimes, I like to have a little fun, though. This past weekend, I received a call from our internet provider trying to sell us a direct TV subscription that we neither want nor need. After my polite response of, "No, thank you. We're not interested," the telemarketer persisted: "What do you do for entertainment?"
I could tell she was puzzled, as though no person called had ever responded in such a manner or as though she wasn't familiar with the concept of reading.
"Yes, read. You know, like books."
Lately, we've been getting sales calls from DP&L (formerly Dayton Power & Light). I'm not exactly sure what they're trying to sell me, because I cut them off before they can get the conversation really rolling.
"I'd like to talk to you about your DP&L service."
"We don't use your electricity."
"You don't use DP&L?"
And then there's "Consumer Services," which wants my credit card information, fraudulent calls from Microsoft about a glitch in my operating system that will soon affect computer performance, and collections calls and subpoena notices for "Alan David," whoever that guy is. The thing is, if my computer is acting up, I'll make contact myself. If "Alan David" lived here, I would have turned the rotten fink in by now. And I'm content with my credit card, thank you very much.
Look, if it's really official and important, go back in time and send a letter. I'm more likely to open it, read it, and give it more than two seconds' attention. Otherwise, the calls do nothing more than suck up time and annoy me.
Which brings me to the very subject of marketing, which sucks up time and annoys me. I hired a publicist in May to do that sort of work, because (1) she's better at it than I am and (2) I loathe doing that type of work. I'm grateful that she's not the type to annoy potential customers by cold-calling people and that she genuinely enjoys her chosen field. So, if you think that my marketing has increased, you're right. If you think it's improved, let me know. If you have an effective marketing idea that can be accomplished on a shoestring budget, then definitely let me know and I'll forward the information to my publicist.
In the meantime, I've got work to do.