Title: Relinquish (Book #1 of the Embrace Series)
Author: SE Dean
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Day: December 8, 2014
Photographer: Tomasz Zienkiewicz
Cover Designer: Kari Ayasha with Cover to Cover Designs
Kingston and Phoenix have given up…
Kingston “King” James is THE male supermodel. He’s at the top of his career, the most sought after in his business. Money and fame come easy, women even easier, and yet he has grown bored of his life. His playboy ways have deteriorated his respect for the opposite sex—not to mention question their sanity. Until he meets her—the stunning, strong, smart-mouthed, and witty Phoenix. She’s everything he thought never existed…
Women are relentless in their pursuit at keeping me around for more than one night. The majority of them are predictable, insane, self-deprecating hustlers. A casual encounter with me will earn you nothing more than a satisfied smile and a taxi home. They know what they’re getting into—I don’t make any assurances at the possibility of anything more. I may be a lot of things, but I don’t make promises I don’t keep. They don’t want me. The illusion of me is what they truly desire. The supermodel. The infamous playboy. The pretty face. Their fifteen minutes of fame. But what about her? Is she like everyone else?
Everyone wants. What about what I want?
Phoenix Ryan has endured more pain than she will ever admit. Every day is a reminder of that heartache, of all the agony that poisons her soul. She will go to any length to appear strong, including convincing herself that she’s actually living—until she encounters him. Kingston plows into her life cracking her façade into fragments that she cannot possibly glue back together again. No matter how hard she struggles to remain indifferent to him she can’t stop how her body burns for him. He’s everything she can’t stand—arrogant, egotistical, and presumptuous.
His mouthwatering scent of primal male invades my senses. He’s seduction, sex, speed, adrenaline, and chocolate—just pure deliciousness. The velvety smooth baritone of his voice captivates my entire body. It’s at this moment that the realization dawns on me—he’s going to wreck me. What will be left of me when he inevitably goes?
As their lives relentlessly cross will they give in? Will they Relinquish?
“Hello, and thank you for tuning in to join us. We have a very special guest on the show with us tonight, a man that women want to be with, a man that men want to be like, and a man that has overcome great opposition. Tonight I have the pleasure to say that we are joined by the male supermodel of our time, Mr. Kingston James. “
Thunderous applause and catcalls from the audience.
Kingston smiles and crosses his foot to his other knee revealing his bare ankles between his charcoal dress slacks and black leather loafers.
“King” Kingston interrupts.
“My apologies. King, thank you for taking the time to join us this evening.”
“Pleasure, thank you for having me.”
“It’s been quite a year for you.”
“Yes, you could definitely say that.” Kingston says smiling.
“Let’s take a moment and look back on the year. Wading into you work history accomplishments—seventeen magazine covers, twelve fashion editorials, a billboard in Times Square. Balenciaga, Dolce, Givenchy, Ray-ban, Barneys, Armani, Guess, Diesel, Calvin Klein, the list goes on and on. How lucky you must feel to have been given those opportunities to work with such influential designers.”
Clapping and cheering from the audience.
“Yes, I am thankful. However, I was not given anything—I earned every bit of those opportunities.” Kingston deadpans.
“Well, no one would argue that statement.” He says with nervous laughter.
“One would hope not.” Kingston responds cheekily.
Apprehensively shuffling his cue cards, “You started in this business as a young boy, what made you want to be a model at such a young age?”
“In the beginning it was just something fun to do on the side, and then when people starting showing an interest in me it developed into the thought that I could actually make a living off of doing this.”
“So earning money was important for you at that time?”
“Of course. Look, it’s no secret that I was the son of a young mom with twin boys to raise on her own. Money was tight, and if there was an opportunity to make honest money that opportunity was pursued, end of.”
“Understandable. So, would you say that a lot of your childhood was lost by working, and creating such a successful career starting so early in life?”
“I would say that everyone’s childhood is remarkably different for various reasons and whatever outside influences that mold and shape it. Mine was molded by my career and because of that career I am able to be here with you today.”
“And how happy we are to have you here.”
“Ohh, come on now.” Kingston mockingly laughs while shaking his head from side to side.
“Okay okay, I won’t try to say that I’d be a little bit happier if you were Gisele.”
“Maybe I can give her a call for you, but you do know she’s married now right? With a couple of kids too.” Kingston winks and uncrosses his legs while slouching further back into his chair.
“Now you’re going to get me in trouble.” He says with nervous laughter.
“Wouldn’t be the first time I was accused of that!” Kingston smiles.
The crowd breaks out in roaring laughter.
“I know! I can read that history on these cards here in my hand.”
“Well, don’t believe everything you read.” Kingston replies stonily.
“Fair enough, how about we go through some of the examples?”
“Notorious bad boy?” He questions.
“What does that even mean?” Kingston asks while laughing. “Obviously I know what notorious means, but bad boy? I didn’t break any laws, I’ve never been to jail. I don’t know, that one just always puzzles me.”
“I think they are referring to the fact that you don’t apologize for your lifestyle choices.”
“Why should I? It’s my life, I’ll do what I want how I want. It’s not up to anyone else to tell me how to live my life or make decisions for me.” King retorts.
“That’s a very confident response, and I agree that it’s your life, but don’t you think that how you treat others, women for example, are what make the public view you as a bad boy?”
“And how do I treat women? Please enlighten me.” King says as he crosses his leg and places his elbow on the armrest of his chair resting his head in his hand.
“Well Mr. –“
“Yes—well, King, it’s been shown repeatedly in tabloids and the press that you have a different woman on your arm almost every time you’re photographed.”
“And that means what exactly?” King asks snidely.
Tugging on his shirt collar while a bead of sweat rolls from his temple, “I would think that those would say that parading that many different women around in front of the cameras through the years would be an example of womanizing ways.”
“Hmm. Define womanizing.” King asks.
“Uh, let’s see here, womanizing is the act of having numerous relationships with many women, going from one woman to the next, no real moral dilemma with using women for sexual reasons.”
“And what makes you think that I’m having relationships with them, or even sexual relationships?”
“Well, you are often photographed and filmed in compromising positions with these ladies.”
“That still doesn’t prove that I’m in a relationship, or that we have a sexual relationship. At least last I checked I haven’t ever had sex in front of a camera.”
“I’m not insinuating—“
“Let me ask you this, what does it say about these women who are so eager to be by my side if I’m the big bad wolf? What are they getting out of it if I’m a known user?” Kingston questions.
“I don’t know, maybe the chance to be with an idolized celebrity? A taste of your life?”
“And out of those two examples where am I cared for in a fashion that a woman would feel wronged by my not having a commitment to her? Relationships are built on love and trust, not imagination and pseudo-fame. So, to repeat, how am I the person doing wrong?” Kingston inquires.
“I’m not saying that you’re doing wrong per say—“
“Bad boy connotates acting in a manner that is not socially acceptable. I would beg to differ that actions that are not acceptable are usually deemed wrong.” Kingston interrupts.
“So you would say that you are viewed wrongly?”
“I would say that in order to make a valid statement one would have to actually educate him or herself on the real situation, not tabloid drama, or perceived reputations.” King explains.
“Dually noted, you bring up good points. However, with that being said, you make no apology about living up to the bad boy reputation.”
“I have no desire to try to change people’s ignorant opinions of me, that’s not my job.”
“And what is your job?”
“To live my life, work, and be the person I am.” King exclaims.
“That proses the question of who are you?”
“Simply a man trying to get through the day.” King responds.
“Lately ‘Your day’ as you describe it isn’t in front of the tabloid gossip, you seem to have taken a different approach to life.”
“Yes, I have different priorities now.”
“And what caused you to have these new priorities?”
Letting out a laugh Kingston responds, “It’s not what, but who…”
About the author:
SE Dean lives in the Midwest with her husband, two small children, and their bed-hogging dog Harley. She works as a nurse and is currently striving towards furthering her education. Her love of romance novels lead her to writing, and she has plans for many more books in the future.
If SE is not working, studying, or being the super-hero mom (a title given to her by her oldest child, such a sweetie isn’t he?), you can often find her gulping down her beloved Starbucks, glued to her kindle reading a saucy book, offering free sarcastic comments, cheering on her favored basketball team, or watching movies.
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8574742.S_E_Dean