Title: Rouse Me
Author: Crystal Kaswell
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Day: August 4, 2014
Alyssa Summers is not the kind of girl who cheats. Sure, she isn't in love with her fiancé, Ryan Knight, but she has no use for silly ideas like love or passion. She needs someone who can keep her from destroying herself. She needs Ryan. She's sure of it.
Then she meets Luke Lawrence.
He's handsome. And he's bold—he thinks nothing of flirting with her in front of Ryan. And he's smart, and articulate, and interested in what she has to say.
But she should be able to stop thinking about him.
So what if his big, brown eyes light up when he smiles? So what if his laugh completely disarms her? So what if his touch-- even his fingertips grazing her back-- makes her body hum?
She shouldn't feel so tempted. She shouldn't feel so desperate to know him. Luke is Ryan's business partner, for God's sake. She should be able to resist him.
But she can't. She wants Luke more than she's ever wanted anything.
I wake up drenched in sweat, my heart pounding in my chest. Did I dream up last night or did Ryan really ask me to marry him?
Did I dream that I said yes and that Ryan whisked me back home? That he was some mix of affectionate and aggressive when he laid me on our bed and stripped me naked, and kissed me—serious kisses, not the usual pecks—until I asked for more? Did I dream about the close thrusts in missionary, my attention fading in and out, my gaze drifting to the ring?
And there it is, on my left hand. It's a big, showy thing, meant to broadcast my “engaged” status to anyone who even glances at me. Meant to broadcast Ryan's status to anyone who sees us together.
There's no way I dreamed up this ring.
I am engaged to Ryan.
I should be excited.
I am excited. Of course I'm excited. Ryan has done a lot for me. He deserves to be my husband.
Still, I try to avoid the ring's reflection as I brush my teeth. It's impossible. The enormous rock catches the light at every angle. It must have cost a fortune. Ryan is doing well, really well, but he didn't need to drop so much money on a piece of jewelry. It's not as if I'll be able to wear it often if I go back to acting. And I don't want to get into fights about why I'm not wearing his expensive ring.
In the kitchen, Ryan fixes our usual breakfasts—an egg white omelet for him, oatmeal and fruit for me. He kisses me, a soft peck on the lips.
“Good morning, Mrs. Knight,” he says with a smile. There's another fight I don't want to have—whether or not I'll take his name.
I fix our coffees—black for him, agave and almond milk in mine. I know, I'm one of those Los Angeles people, but there is no room for sugar or half and half on my recovery diet.
We eat quietly for a few minutes. I read on my Kindle. Ryan works on his laptop. It's our normal routine, but today Ryan is especially annoyed.
“What is this?” he asks, turning the laptop to me. And there it is—his name on Google, and half a dozen celebrity gossip websites running with the story of our engagement. And here I thought everyone forgot about me.
“You proposed at a popular restaurant. What did you think would happen?” I ask.
“It's supposed to be private,” he says. As if I had something to do with our names appearing on celebrity gossip sites. As if he didn't know, going in, that I am enough of a C-list actress to be interesting to people interested only in fame. As if our engagement is somehow less special because people know about it.
“If you wanted it to be private, why didn't you do it here?” I ask.
“I'm not going to ask you to be my wife over take out in the condo.” He sinks into his bad mood, poring over the gossip sites, the expression in his hazel eyes growing more and more irritated.
“I guess I under-estimated how much everyone wants to talk about you,” he adds.
“They'll have forgotten by this weekend.”
“My parents are going to find out we're engaged from some gossip site.”
“Your parents don't follow gossip.”
“Someone is going to call them,” he says.
“What do you want me to do about it?”
“There's nothing you can do.” He slips his suit jacket over his shoulders and packs his briefcase. “In a few years, no one will remember who you are, and we'll never have to deal with this kind of thing.”
Is that supposed to be comforting?
He kisses me on the cheek on his way out the door. I turn over his words.
In a few years, no one will remember who you are.
In a few years, Alyssa Summers, you will not be anything but my wife.
WHAT CAN I SAY ABOUT A BOOK THAT I JUST DIDNT LIKE?... I READ IT, I READ IT FROM START TO FINISH, AND IT DID HAVE AWESOME POTENTIAL, BUT THERE WAS DEF SOMETHING MISSING WITH THE PLOT, THE CHARACTERS THE OVERALL STORY. I WOULDN'T RATE THIS BOOK 1 STAR OR 4 STAR, I'M JUST NOT GOING TO RATE THIS ONE, BECAUSE WHO AM I TO RATE SOMEONE THAT PORED THEIR HEART AN SOUL INTO WRITING A NOVEL, WHILE I SIT BACK AND READ IT AND CRITIQUE.
THE SNYOPOSIS TOTALLY TOOK YOU ON A DIFFERENT PATH, YOU WOULD THINK THE FIANCE THE BOYFRIEND RYAN WAS THIS SHINING KNIGHT AND ARMOR, BUT HE WAS NOTHING BUT A CONTROLLING ASS. I DUE BELIEVE HE LOVES ALYSSA, BUT NOT THE WAY TRUE LOVE SHOULD BE INTERPRETED.
ALYSSA IS A STRIVING CLASS C ACTRESS, RECOVERING BULIMIC, BEAUTIFUL AND AMAZING. ITS BEEN 8 MONTHS SINCE REHAB, AND SHE TIES HERSELF UP IN HER CONDO SHE SHARES WITH RYAN THE FIANCE. UNTIL ONE DAY SHE STEPS FOOT INTO THE OFFICE OF HER FIANCES LAW OFFICE AND FINALLY MEETS HIS PARTNER LUKE. THEY A WHOLE BUNCH OF ELECTRICITY FROM THE MOMENT THEY SHAKE HANDS.. BUT THE PROBLEM I HAVE IS NOT THE CHEATING BECAUSE THAT'S LIFE AND IT HAPPENS AND SOMETIMES THAT MAKES A GREAT STORY, BUT THE WAY SHE WAS BEGGING ALMOST. BUT I CAN UNDERSTAND HOW THE AUTHOR CAN BUILD THIS TEMPTATION INTO THE STORY SINCE SHE DOES HAVE AN ADDICTION, THE SEX IS JUST ANOTHER ADDICTION TO HER, LUKE IS ANOTHER ADDICTION TO HER.
THE WHOLE STORY PRETTY MUCH GOES BACK AND FORTH WITH THE SNEAKING AND THE SULKING OF WHAT SHE'S DOING WHETHER ITS RIGHT OR WRONG. THE AUTHOR DIDN'T WASTE ANY TIME HAVING HER IN THE SACK WITH LUKE, THERE WAS NOTHING REALLY LEADING UP TO IT BESIDES A DINNER, MAYBE A LUNCH OR A WALK IN THE PARK. I WISH SHE WOULD HAVE POSSIBLY YA KNOW MADE US ANTICIPATE THEIR HOOK UP... NONE OF THE CHARACTERS WERE RELATED ABLE, YOU COULDN'T FEEL ANY PASSION, IT JUST WAS MISSING SOMETHING. OVER ALL THIS STORY DID HAVE SOME POTENTIAL TO BE GREAT, I PERSONALLY JUST COULDN'T CONNECT.
Crystal Kaswell is the author of Rouse Me, coming August 2014. She is a voracious reader, typically consuming books in only two or three days. When not reading or writing, she is typically playing board games, drinking tea, or riding her beach cruiser around Los Angeles.