Serena's Song,   by Raina James

 

ISBN 10 (E-Book): 1-60601-016-6

ISBN 13 (E-Book): 978-1-60601-016-7

ISBN 10 (Print): 1-60601-041-7

ISBN 13 (Print): 978-1-60601-041-9

Publisher: Siren Publishing

Release Date: April 7, 2008

Length: 72,000 words/224 pages

Genre: Contemporary

Kink Factor: m/f

Formats: Print and e-book *


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Finn "Riff" Logan's band blasted to the top of the rock charts fifteen years ago with the bittersweet single, Beautiful Girl, and has dominated the music scene ever since. Riff has it all -- except the woman he left behind.

Widow Serena Jeffries isn't the same sweet young thing who lost her heart -- and everything else -- to the local bad boy. Her life is filled with family, friends and the satisfaction of knowing she's earned her success. And if her love life is less than sensational...well, something's gotta give.

When Celebrity magazine splashes an old photo of the young lovers on newsstands across the nation, revealing that Serena is the inspiration behind Beautiful Girl, Riff seizes his chance to win her back.

Can Serena get over the pain of the past to build a future with the man she never stopped loving?

 

• Read Mild Excerpt

The subdued ring woke him. Barely. Riff groggily rolled towards the night table, then stopped as the sheet bunched near-painfully around his hips and groin. That woke him up. He snatched the phone out of the cradle and snarled, "What?!"

Nothing but a dial tone -- and something was still ringing. The fog cleared a bit more. His cell phone. Which was on the dresser across the room. Crap. You'd think Dan would realize he'd be reachable on the hotel phone until at least the ass-crack of frickin' dawn. Riff untangled himself from the sheet and stumbled naked to the dresser. He squinted at the illuminated keypad and display, which were obscenely bright in the otherwise pitch-black room. No number was listed in the tiny window. The electronic ring sounded again. Riff stabbed at the "talk" button with clumsy fingers.

"What?!"

"Riff, it's me."

"Milo? Do you know what time it is?" He scanned the room but came up with zero in the clock hunt. "Fuck. Okay, I don't know what time it is, but it's still dark." It didn't help that he'd gone to bed pissed about the Tam situation; a restless sleep hadn't improved his mood.

His manager was unfazed by Riff's foul temper, though the cause wasn't what he thought. After all these years, he had a pretty good idea of his client's good points. Waking alert and cheerful generally wasn't one of them. "Yeah, sorry 'bout that. But I just found out something I think you'll want to know."

That sounded suitably ominous. Riff sat down in the thickly cushioned chair beside the dresser, automatically tossing the matching throw-pillow onto the floor. He sprawled back in the chair. "Yeah?" He was definitely wide awake now. If Milo thought it was worth waking him up for, it must be something important. Or bad. Or important and bad.

"I got a tip that Celebrity is doing an expose."

Riff felt his irritation both settle and surge. This was something he could handle, had handled. Milo knew that. But another part of him went on alert. From his manager's careful tone, this expose was different.

Ignoring the dark premonition, he demanded, "What is it this time? They dig up some nonexistent relatives I've left living in a shack somewhere? Some old transcripts that show my marks sucked and my teachers thought I'd never go anywhere? Oh, wait. They already did that. How 'bout my all-time favorite -- love child with some sweet young thing I've never laid hands on, let alone laid, period."

"Not quite. And they're not exactly doing it on you."

The bad feeling intensified. "What are you talking about?"

The sound of music and laughter came clearly over the line in the dead air left by Milo's silence. Knowing Milo, he was calling from some vitally unimportant see-and-be-seen party, the kind of thing Riff hated being trotted out at.

"Milo..." he growled warningly.

• Read Adult Excerpt    (WARNING! Explicit adult content!)

Concentration filling his face, he slid the elastic off the tail of her braid, slowly unraveling the woven hair. As if he couldn't help himself, he ran his fingers through the bright gold strands, loosening them, trailing them over her shoulders to drape over her breasts. With unsteady hands, he began unbuttoning her thin, white cotton blouse.

The backs of his hands lingered along the inside slopes of her breasts. Serena gasped at the deliberate caress, her eyelids lowering with the pleasure of it.

"Open your eyes, Serena," he coaxed. "I want to see you. Open your pretty blue eyes for me, baby."

Helpless to do otherwise, she obeyed. His silver eyes stayed on hers as his fingers spread her top wide and freed the front clasp of her modest lace bra. The calluses on his fingertips -- earned from years of playing guitar -- rasped her skin with exciting roughness as he slid his hands up her breasts to cup her shoulders, and down her arms. Unnoticed, her bra and blouse fell in a tangle of fabric at their feet.

"You are so beautiful," he whispered, and she believed him.. "So sweet. So special."

Shyness was the furthest thing from her mind when he trailed his eyes down her body, following where his exploring hands led. She had no shame where Finn was concerned. He could do anything, ask anything, and she'd love it. Just like she loved him.

His clever fingers flicked open the button on her shorts, lowered the zipper and slid them down her slender legs.

He stayed on his knees for a moment, arms wrapped around her waist, his lips pressed to her belly. Tenderness filled her, for an instant cooling the heat of passion. She tangled her fingers in the damp black hair at his temples, caressing him gently, lovingly.

"Finn," she whispered.. "My Finn."

The last of his control let go. He surged to his feet and pushed her down on the bed. His weight pressed her body deep into the mattress as he caught her head, trapping her face with firm, gentle hands. Her tongue met his eagerly, twining and sliding together. She whimpered as the final threads of tenderness frayed, and all she felt was want, need. For him.

He gasped into her mouth as her nails dug into his back, scraping a path from his shoulders to the small of his back, just beneath the loose waistband of his cut-offs.

Serena's hands slid around to his front. He lifted his hips to give her room to unbutton, unzip, then she had him.. She stroked him firmly, then teased softly, then firm and long again, as she'd learned he loved it. Her other hand slid in with the first, then beyond to cup and squeeze.

Finn ground himself helplessly into her.

"Serena. Oh, Serena. Oh, baby, yes, like that."

He pushed his hands behind her shoulder blades, bowing her breasts up to his mouth like an offering. The pale pink nipples were hard with desire. She jerked as he sucked one deep into his mouth, rolling it on his tongue, pressing the sensitive bud to the roof of his mouth.

She moaned, and he moaned with her when her grip tightened to a pleasure just short of pain. He thrust harder into her palm, nipping and laving the nipple in his mouth before leaving it to pay homage to the neglected peak.

"Finn," Serena gasped. "Finn, please."

Her naked hips surged against the worn, wet denim keeping her from him.

He rose to his feet, chest heaving as he fought for control. Serena, pale flesh flushed and rosy, her breasts trembling with her heated gasps, watched him with hot eyes. Finn stared at her as if he could burn her image into his mind, hold onto her just as she looked right now. Then he stripped off his cut-offs and covered her body with his.

His big hands glided down her thighs to her knees, pulling them up and back to her waist, opening her wide. Then they were back at her hips, tilting her to receive him.

• Read Reviews

Gail Pruszkowski from "Romantic Times Book Reviews" gives this title 4 Stars:

"This is a heartwarming tale about lost love and second chances. James creates strong characters and plants true-to-life obstacles in their path. The erotic scenes sizzle, but at the core is a tender love story that will delight romantics and satisfy those who crave happy endings."

Chamomile from "Whipped Cream" gives this title 5 Cherries:

"Serena's Song is a sensory indulgence by a gifted writer. According to Raina's website -- yes! I was looking for more -- this is her first published work and all I can say is wow! I am already impatient for her next release.""

Stefani Clayton from "Just Erotic Romance Reviews" gives this title 5 Stars:

"I loved this story! ... Riff's character is a perfect alpha with just a touch of bad boy. ... This was a good book with a solid storyline and great characters. I would absolutely recommend Serena's Song as a summer must read."

Angel from "Romance Junkies" gives this title 4 Ribbons:

"If you love stories about long lost love then you have to read this book. ... Raina James is an author to watch and after reading Serena's Song, I will be on the lookout for more of her clever writing."

Lynda from "Euro-Reviews" gives this title 4.5 Flags:

"I definitely recommend Serena's Song -- it will be music for your heart!"

Debra Gaynor from "ReviewYourBook.com" gives this title 4 Stars:

"Serena's Song is an entertaining read. Riff and Serena play well off each other. I enjoyed this book and recommend it to other fans of [erotic romance].''"

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