Seven days, seven nights…
One week of passion.
One week of submission.
One week where anything—and everything—goes.
Pose for me.
The words both thrill and terrify museum curator Grace Parker.
Thrill her because the way he asks—and the way he looks at her—warns that he wants so much more than a few pictures.
Terrify her for the exact same reasons.
British photographer Jaxon Silva isn’t considered the rock star of the art scene for nothing. His latest project? Photos of bound women captured at the height of ecstasy.
Inspired by the magnetic artist to take a risk for the first time in her life, Grace leaps…into Jaxon’s ropes and his arms.
One week together is all it takes to change everything.
Jaxon—and the woman she is when she’s with him—is what Grace wants forever.
This book is approximately 35,000 words
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There are a hundred different women in this bar, but she's the one I want.
The one I can't take my eyes off of.
The one I'm going to photograph and the one I'm going to fuck ... even if she doesn't know it yet.
I've watched her since she walked in here ten minutes ago and I've reached the conclusion that she's nothing — and everything — like I expected.
Long dark hair wound into a tight bun at the top of her head.
It's all there, just like I anticipated. Just like the online photographs prepared me for. But what those photos didn't show — what I didn't expect — is the way she moves.
Like a wave crashing against the shore — slow, voluptuous, commanding.
The slide of her shoulders, the swing of her hips, the slight quirk of her lips ... all tailor-made to captivate. All tailor-made to turn what was a want into a desperate need.
I can already imagine how she'll look.
Naked. Vulnerable. Bound.
I'll let her hair down from that terrible bun myself, then I'll bind it behind her, so that nothing distracts from the gleam of my dark red ropes against her alabaster skin. So that nothing draws attention away from how gorgeous she looks with my ropes across her breasts, between her thighs, around her throat.
My dick hardens at the thought and my hands aren't quite steady as I reach for the glass of tequila on the table in front of me. I swallow it down in one long sip, use the burn to distract me from the impatient need clawing at my insides.
Patience, I remind myself as I set the glass back down on the burnished wood. I've wanted to photograph her from the moment I first saw her picture online six months ago. I can wait eighteen more hours until we're properly introduced. Even if what I want now is so much more than a simple shoot ...
Patience, I tell myself again. It doesn't work any better the second time. How can it when she's moving, her hips swaying as she winds her way toward the bar on those long, long, long legs?
She slides onto a barstool with a smile, orders a drink from the bartender. I expect wine — something red and dry — but when the bartender reaches for a bottle of mezcal, I take it as a sign. And cross the room to slide onto the open barstool next to hers. Maybe there's a reason she walked into this bar, one that has nothing to do with expediency and everything to do with fate.
"I've got it," I tell the bartender as she opens her purse and pulls out her wallet. I reach past her to hand him my own card.
"That's really not necessary," she responds. Her tone is cool — cold, even — but her voice is all Mezcal. Rich and smoky, with hidden depths that make my dick throb and my blood run hot. "I can buy my own drink."
"Of course you can. But I'd really like to buy it for you. As a thank you."
I expect her to turn then, to see who's thanking her and for what. But I underestimated this woman's resolve, because instead of looking up at me, she reaches out her left hand and smoothly moves my hand away from the bar ... and from her. At the same time, she uses her right hand to press a twenty dollar bill into the bartender's waiting hand. "Keep the change."
The ten dollar tip does the trick, because he turns away and heads straight for the cash register before she can change her mind. Or before I can intervene.
And just like that, she's gotten the best of me and I don't know whether to be amused or annoyed. In the end, I go with amused, because I can. And because every small refusal on her part helps me learn her more.
Deliberately, I allow a little of my British roots to creep into my voice. We moved to America when I was ten and I've pretty much lost the accent after nearly three decades in the States. But that doesn't mean I've forgotten how it feels on my tongue and in the back of my throat. "I guess I'll have to think of another way to thank you now."
"You have no reason to thank me." The coolness has become downright frigidity and that's when I decide to end the game. I want to see her eyes, want to know what she's thinking. Want to know if meeting me here, tonight, is a surprise or an intrusion. But the last thing I want to come across as is a guy who can't take no for an answer.
"I disagree, luv."
Just like I suspected, it's the accent — or the very British pronunciation of the endearment that comes with it — that does it. Her spine stiffens from ramrod to steel and she turns, slowly, slowly, slowly, to see if it's just a coincidence. Or if she has just insulted the artist she spent the last six months moving heaven and earth to get to her museum.
Our eyes lock and hers are so much more beautiful than they appeared in the photographs. Not gray like I expect, but a swirling, sexy silver that look into me more than at me. At least until they widen and darken with what I'm very afraid is horror.
It's not the look I was going for — not the expression I want to see in those eyes or on her strong, powerful face when she looks at me. But it's a little bit delicious, too, seeing this powerhouse of a woman discombobulated, especially if it's only for a few seconds ... and over something that can so easily be fixed.
"Mr. Silva?" Her voice quivers a bit on my last name as she all but leaps from the barstool.
"Jaxon," I tell her with a smile meant to soothe. "Or Jax. It's nice to meet you, Grace."
"Nice to —" She falters for a second, then clears her throat before sticking out a hand for me to shake. Her voice is much stronger the second time around. "It's nice to meet you, too. I didn't expect to see you until tomorrow."
I take her hand, relishing this small chance to touch her. The back of her hand is soft but the fingers that wrap around my own hand are calloused and a little rough. An artist in her own right, I wonder as I rub my thumb against her skin. Or someone who doesn't mind picking up a few tools in the course of her job?
Either way, it's sexy as hell. Then again, everything about her is.
"It's nice to meet you, too," I say as I reluctantly allow her to pull her hand from mine. "I was wandering the city this afternoon and found myself in front of your museum, so I decided to check it out. See what you've done with the permanent collections." As if I hadn't checked that — and her — out thoroughly before I agreed to let her use this exhibit as a full retrospective of my work to date. "You have some beautiful pieces and you do a beautiful job of displaying them."
She flushes a little, her pale skin turning a dusty pink that makes me want to kiss her all over even as I wonder if she'll turn that same shade when I tie her up. "I'm the assistant curator. It's mostly Richard who deals with the permanent collections."
A little snap of annoyance runs through me — at the way she's downplaying her own abilities and at the sound of another man's name on those ridiculously plush lips of hers. Which is absurd, I know, but that doesn't make it any less true. Especially when she still hasn't said my name.
"I've been around the art world long enough to know it's the assistant curator who does ninety-nine percent of the work — and the curator who takes ninety-nine percent of the credit."
She laughs as I intended, her insanely straight posture relaxing just a little. "In our museum, it's more like eighty-twenty."
"Modest as well as talented, I see."
She laughs again. "More like honest."
"I'm not so sure about that." I tilt my head and study her through narrowed eyes. "I think you regularly undersell yourself."
"You don't know me." She snaps the words out, fast and vehement. Then flushes even more as I lift a brow at her. But she doesn't apologize and she doesn't look away, those crazy sexy eyes of hers almost daring me to say something else, to push her — to push us — even further beyond the boundaries of normal, polite getting-to-know-you conversation than we already are.
"I'd like to change that — which is the real reason I came to your museum today."
"You came to ... meet me?"
She sounds surprised — truly, deeply surprised — and I don't know why. I've read several interviews with her online, have even read a few of the papers she's written for art journals. She's brilliant, incisive, and has a deep, instinctive understanding of art that is hard to come by. Plus, she's gorgeous.
Hers may not be the conventional type of beauty — her nose is a little too aristocratic for that and her jaw a little too strong — but that's what makes her face so interesting. Well, that and her sky-high cheekbones and those wildly fascinating eyes.
All those angles are going to photograph like a dream. She's made for the camera, made for center stage. She just doesn't know it yet.
Her gaze turns wary. "Why?"
"Because anyone who chooses the pieces you did to put together an exhibit of my work is someone I want to spend more than five minutes talking to in the middle of a crowded cocktail party."
Her cheeks get even rosier and fuck if that doesn't make me want to pull down her pants and drop to my knees in front of her, just to see if she turns that pretty pink all over.
"Mr. Sil —"
"Jaxon," she says reluctantly and I'm charmed as well as aroused by the dichotomy of that no-nonsense tone coming from that gorgeous, smoky voice.
Then again, everything about her is a contradiction.
Lush body covered by a too-prim suit.
Miles of thick, honey brown hair trapped in a ridiculous bun.
Careful eyes above gorgeous, fuck me lips.
It makes me wonder who the real Grace Parker is. Makes me want to photograph her — makes me want to fuck her — until she drops her guard and lets me see.
"Jaxon," she says again, and the shape of my name on her lips makes me need so much more than I can have right now. "Your work is awe-inspiring. Putting together an exhibit that does it justice is the hardest thing I've ever done."
I'm used to flattery. Most days it comes at me from every direction. Some of it is sincere, most of it isn't and I've learned to be okay with both. But listening to those words come from Grace's mouth ... I find myself wanting her to mean it.
"Thank you," I finally say when the silence has stretched too long. "That me —"
"You're welcome." The way she interrupts — and the look on her face — tells me she's not interested in gratitude or platitudes.
Delight skates through me. I love a woman who knows exactly what she wants.
I catch the bartender's eye, signal that I'd like the same thing she's drinking. While I wait for him to deliver it, I reach over and pick up her drink, then hold it out to her.
She looks from me to the glass. "I don't drink with the talent. It's one of my rules."
Good thing she doesn't know what else she'll be doing with me before this weekend is over. "Rules were meant to be broken, Grace." I press the glass into her hand before reaching over to pick up the one the bartender just placed in front of me.
She presses a hand to the base of her long, slender throat as she contemplates my words and it makes me want to lick her.
Makes me want to tie her up.
Makes me want to hear her plead with me to give her more. To give her everything.
Having her at my mercy. More, at the mercy of my ropes ... and my camera. The art she and I are going to make together ... it's going to be breathtaking.
Again, she looks from the drink in her hand to my face and then back again. For a second, I think she's going to say no, which I have to admit is not a word I'm looking forward to hearing from her. But then she surprises me by lifting her glass in a little salute.
"What should we drink to?" she asks. "Your exhibit?"
"To you. We should drink to you."
Skepticism is ripe on her face, but she doesn't argue. Instead, she just clinks her glass with mine before taking a long, deep sip of her margarita.
I watch her swallow, enjoying the way her throat works. The way her eyes close on a sigh of pleasure. The way her tongue darts out to lick the last drops from her bottom lip.
It's a job I'd very much like to perform myself.
"I'm surprised," I say, after she opens her eyes again.
"You don't find many mezcal connoisseurs outside of Mexico."
She laughs. "I wouldn't call myself a connoisseur. I tried it for the first time a couple months ago, when I read somewhere that it's your favorite liquor. I kind of fell in love with the smokiness of it."
"You were interested in what I like?" I ask, putting special emphasis on like and on holding her gaze.
"I was interested in figuring out what your tastes were," she answers in a prim voice that does all kinds of unspeakable things to me.
"My taste, huh?"
"For the exhibit. Obviously." Except her eyes are on my mouth, at least until she ducks her head and finishes her drink in another long sip. "I should go. Tomorrow's going to be a long day."
I don't want her to walk away from me. Not yet. "Let's go then," I say, depositing both of our glasses on the bar, along with a twenty to pay for my drink. "I'll give you a ride."
"Actually, I live in the neighborhood, so there's no need."
"I'll walk you home then." I place a hand on her lower back and start gently propelling her through the bar. It feels good to touch her even in this mostly innocuous way, the heat of her body seeping through the thin material of her suit jacket.
"You don't have to do that," she protests, though she goes along with me steering her through the crowded bar. Expediency, I wonder? Or something more?
"It's not a matter of having to do anything, Grace. I do what I want."
We're on the street now, out of the crowded bar, and I drop my hand from its spot on her lower back. I miss the contact immediately, and the way she inhales sharply suggests that maybe she does, too.
Triumph flashes through me at her easy use of my name, but I don't say anything about it. Instead, I just lift a brow. "Grace."
"I can walk myself home."
"I have no doubt that you can. But I'm enjoying talking to you. I don't want our conversation to end."
She shakes her head, sends me an exasperated look. But in the end, she points to the right of us. "It's just a few blocks that way."
"Lead the way."
We walk in silence for a couple of minutes, and it's not uncomfortable. But it's not exactly comfortable either. There's too much tension in the air for that, though I don't know if it's coming from her or from me. Probably both of us.
"So, how do you like Austin?" She breaks the silence as we pass a man wearing a sequined thong and cowboy boots and not much else. "Have you been here before?"
"I have, but it's been years. Downtown has changed a lot."
She laughs. "That's an understatement." We pause at the corner and wait for the light to turn green. "I've lived here most of my life and sometimes I can't believe how different it is from the town where I grew up."
"You were born here?" I'm surprised. "You don't have the accent."
"I have one when I want one," she responds in a slow Texas drawl as she glances up at me through her lashes. "Kind of like someone else I know."
"Point taken." It's my turn to laugh. "Something else we have in common."
The light finally turns and we start to step off the curb, but a couple jerks push past us, knocking into Grace.
She cries out as she falls forward off the curb and I reach out, grab her elbow. Then I yank her back, straight into my side as a truck speeds by on the cross street.
"Jesus, are you okay?" My voice is harsher, more strident, than I mean it to be. But my blood is roaring in my ears as traffic continues to rush by and all I can think about is what would have happened if I hadn't caught her.
"I'm okay. I'm sorry." She's blushing again, but this time it's from embarrassment and I hate it. Especially since she has nothing to be embarrassed by. "I'm just so clum —"
"Don't say you're clumsy. And don't apologize." I glare at the backs of the two frat boy dickheads who crashed into her. There's a part of me that wants to catch up with them and teach them a lesson, but from the way they're bobbing and weaving all over the place, they're too drunk to remember what they did — if they even realized it in the first place.
"It's not your fault," I say as I swallow down the anger. "I just want to be sure they didn't hurt you."
"They didn't. I'm fine." She smiles up at me. "Thanks for catching me. It could have been ..."
"Yeah." I blow out a long breath and don't say what I want to, which is that I'll be catching her a lot more before our time together is through. But that's pushing too far too fast, and the last thing I want to do is spook her now, when I'm already making a slow, steady kind of progress.
So I content myself with a murmured, "Of course." Then I take her hand and lead her across the street.
This time she doesn't fight me — even after we get to the curb on the other side — and we walk the final four blocks to her apartment, hand in hand. Occasionally she glances up at my face, or down at our clasped hands, but she doesn't say anything and neither do I.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Make Me"
Copyright © 2019 Tracy L. Deebs-Elkenaney.
Excerpted by permission of Harlequin Enterprises Limited.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Also by Tracy Wolff,
About the Author,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Sizzling story I think Tracy Wolf’s Make Me delivers exactly what the publisher Carina Press promises, a short sizzling erotic story that’s heavy on the steam. Insta lust is the way these Dirty Bites novellas are advertised and that’s what the reader gets. Grace actually was already enamored by Jaxon the photographer, in this story you get to see how that morphs into the flesh and blood man. Jaxon was a bit too pushy, and in light of the world today, I might have been a little happier with the plot if it wasn’t all about what he wanted and Grace had been a more assertive woman in her wants. That being said if you are looking for hot sizzling sex, with an interesting backdrop of the art world and a very determined man this may be the perfect read for you. I received an advance reader copy via Netgalley.
Jaxon is a world famous photographer who meets Grace when she contacts him about hosting an exhibit of his work at the museum where she works as a curator. Jaxon is immediately taken by her eye for art and then when he sees her he knows that she's the one! He knows that he has to photograph her and the photos are going to be his BEST ever! Grace has been Jaxon's biggest fan since she discovered his work as a teenager. She knows everything about his passion for taking pictures and she truly sees him for the AMAZING artist that he is. When Jaxon sees the exhibit that Grace put together he knows that he was right about her being the one for him now he just has to convince Grace to overcome her fears. This book is sexy and flows beautifully. It truly captures the vulnerability and chemistry between Jaxon and Grace. I was given an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion of this book and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. I would definitely recommend this book.
Talk about erotic art! Tracy Wolff has me considering Shibari. Holy hotness Batman! make Me is the second erotic short in the tempting reading series! My suggestion is read with a plan in place to deal with the side effects of this delightful tease. I promise you will need it!
Jaxon Silva is a very accomplished photographer and Grace Parker is excited to curate a show around his photos at the museum she works at. Grace has been drawn to his work since she was 16. What Grace didn't realize is that Jax is very drawn to her and wants to photograph her, bound in his ropes. Grace is hesitant to let a man control her because of things from her past, but quickly changes her mind because she is just so drawn to Jax. Jax cannot explain why he is so drawn to Grace but together they have a strong chemical attraction. It takes a huge leap of faith for Grace and Jax to fully commit and trust in the other, but once they do, they find the happy ending they both always longed for. This was an enjoyable novella dealing with shibari and interesting to read.
Make me by Tracy Wolf a new to me author that I'll be checking out more books by. A hot spicy erotic story. With likable characters and a dialogue that pulls you in.