Talking Dirty With the Player by Jackie Ashenden
Up-and-coming photographer Judith Ashton is pretty sure she has everything in her life under control. That is, until a blast from the past comes back to taunt her, in the shape of Caleb Steele, her older brother's best friend--the same man who broke her heart eight years ago. Their chemistry is combustible, but she's been fooled once by this player, and she's not going there again.
To pro rugby player Caleb, Judith has always been Kryptonite, but his former playboy lifestyle is the last thing she wants to be involved in, and he can't blame her. In the midst of her brother's threats to back off, and the deal of his career sending him far away from her, he knows he's playing with fire. And this is one game he's going to lose.
About the Author
Jackie wrote her first romance at thirteen. It was quite possibly the worst book in the world but that didn't stop her from continuing to write romances for her own pleasure for the next fifteen years. She'd always wanted to be an author but it wasn't until a chance meeting with another romance writer that she decided to see if she could write for publication. Five years, many rejections, and many tears later, Jackie finally achieved her dream.
She now writes romance full time and currently lives in Auckland, New Zealand with her incredibly supportive and patient husband, and her two children.
Jackie Ashenden lives in Auckland, New Zealand with her husband, the inimitable Dr. Jax, and their two kids and two cats. When she’s not torturing alpha males and their stroppy heroines, she can be found drinking chocolate martinis, reading anything she can lay her hands on, posting random crap on her blog, or being forced to go mountain biking with her husband.
Jackie writes dark, sexy contemporary romance for St Martin’s Press, the titles Mine To Take, Make You Mine, and You Are Mine.
Read an Excerpt
Talking Dirty with the Player
By Jackie Ashenden, Libby Murphy
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2013 Jackie Ashenden
All rights reserved.
Judith Ashton crept around a corner clutching her laser gun to her chest. She couldn't see a thing. The dim lighting of the room was designed for effect rather than illumination, and the curls of dry ice that swirled around her feet only made the visibility worse.
Laser tag. At a wedding. What was Christie thinking? Jude's new sister-in-law was a doll, but really, having the conference room of the hotel where her wedding reception was being held laid out like a level on one of her beloved computer games was surely a step too far.
Judith blew out an irritated breath and rested against a handy pillar, squinting into the darkness.
She knew Christie had meant well by encouraging her to give the laser tag a go, but this was not her definition of fun. This was her definition of stupid. Organizing and taking the wedding photos? Now that was fun.
The dry ice swirled and a large shape seemed to loom in the darkness ahead of her. Was that —?
All at once the vest she wore vibrated and made a horribly loud noise, and the light in her gun died out.
"You're dead, Judith my darling," a deep voice said from behind her.
Oh, great. Caleb.
She gave a long suffering sigh. "I should have known. Only you would shoot someone in the back."
"Hey, an opportunity's an opportunity."
She turned around and sure enough, Caleb Steele, her older brother Joseph's best friend, stepped out of the darkness. Winning as usual, and smug about it. Also as usual.
The lights of his vest flashed jauntily as he flourished his laser at her. Dry ice eddied around his legs, snaking up powerful thighs and twining about lean hips. Then it dissipated, revealing him in all his magnetic glory like a rock star taking the stage. Typical Caleb. He always did know how to make an entrance.
"You know that vest looks ridiculous, right?" Judith pointed out. And over the top of his tuxedo, it certainly did.
Caleb grinned. "I think this is the first time you've actually deigned to speak to me all evening," he said in his deep, husky voice. "Been avoiding me, babycakes?"
Ah yes, he liked to call her babycakes. How she'd missed that while he'd been away in England playing rugby for the clubs. Not.
"I wasn't avoiding you," she said calmly, waving her laser for emphasis. "I just had other, more important stuff to do."
Caleb's smile flashed in the darkness. "What's more important than saying hello to an old pal you haven't seen for at least a couple of years?"
"A couple of years? Has it been that long? Well, well, doesn't time fly when you're having fun? And also, I'm not sure we were ever pals." She let a delicate emphasis rest on the last word.
His smile widened and Judith had to remind herself that she was now immune to its lethal charm. Completely immune. "Oh don't be like that," he said. "You missed me. Admit it."
"Yeah. Like I miss gonorrhea."
One dark brow rose. "You've had gonorrhea?"
Judith sighed. He was all about the witty comeback. If that's what you called wit. "Oh, shut up, Caleb."
"See, this is what I've missed while I've been away. I say something, then you say something, then I say something back and you end with 'shut up, Caleb'. We always have such great, in-depth conversations."
Still the same old Caleb. Patronizing, arrogant, and cocky as hell. They'd been friends once, a long time ago. And then more than friends. Until he'd broken her poor little teenage heart. She'd forgiven him for that, though; it had been years and years since their affair, after all.
Eight years to be exact.
Nevertheless, a familiar feeling began to creep up on her. An antsy, irritated feeling. Like she'd brushed up against poison ivy. Okay, so she may have forgiven him. That didn't mean he didn't bug her on occasion.
Judith swallowed her irritation and maintained her usual calm-and-in-control expression. The one that seemed to exasperate him as much as his teasing arrogance exasperated her.
"Did you have something special you wanted to say?" she asked him in bored tones. "Or are you just here to be annoying?"
"Actually, I'm here to shoot you. Though, being annoying is always an added bonus."
"Well, you shot me. Okay?" Judith pushed away from the pillar, looking for the exit. She'd had enough of this supposed "fun".
"Aw, don't spoil my good times."
"I don't care about your good times, Caleb. You know that thing I said about having more important stuff to do? Well, that."
Out of the darkness, she suddenly spotted the exit sign. Thank God.
"Come on Jude, lighten up. It's a wedding. You're a bridesmaid, I'm the best man ..."
"I'm a best woman, actually." She turned toward the sign. "And you're ... well, you're a man, I guess."
Much to her irritation, he laughed. Then, even more irritatingly, fell into step beside her as she began to head toward the exit. "Good to see things haven't changed. This whole getting-on-like-a-house-on-fire thing we have going on with each other."
"We have nothing going on with each other."
"Sure, darling. Keep telling yourself that."
"Any particular reason you're following me?"
"The sheer pleasure of your company."
"Oh sure. Like I believe that. You're doing it to be a pain in the butt."
"True. Being a pain in the butt is always fun. But as it happens," his voice altered, becoming deeper and much more suggestive, "I'm actually here to proposition you."
Judith almost missed a step. Then her brain caught up. "No."
"You haven't heard what I have to say yet."
"I don't need to. Whatever it is, the answer's going to be no." Because no was pretty much her standard response when it came to Caleb Steele.
"You're not even curious?"
"Do I look curious?"
Caleb paused beside her and the strange, antsy prickling feeling intensified as his gaze ran over her. "Bit difficult to tell in the dark, but yeah, you do. You also look cute in that bridesmaid dress."
She snorted. Perhaps if she was a little bitty girly who was impressed with being told she looked cute by the world-famous rugby player, she may have had a small heart palpitation. Jude wasn't a little bitty girly. Not anymore. She was a twenty-six-year-old woman with a successful photography business and a healthy contempt for charmers and fakes.
"I'm sure it's very interesting. Sadly, I'd rather cut my lawn with nail scissors before accepting any proposition from you."
"Hey, no problem. I'll get you the scissors."
"Which part of no didn't you understand?"
"Gee, that's a real shame." He lifted his laser gun and began to examine it in some detail. "I guess me, Joe, and Luke will have to find some other photographer to help out with my awesome fundraising idea, then."
Since he'd become one of the world's most sought-after rugby players, he'd also become a big fish splashing in the shallow pool of money, rugby groupies, media attention, and sponsorship deals. A player in all senses of the word. Charity and good works? Only if his PR person thought it necessary. Photography? When his publicist needed a picture and column time in the gossip mags.
"Fundraising idea? You? Forgive me if I smirk quietly to myself."
A fleeting expression of annoyance flashed over his face, but it was gone before she could be sure. He shrugged. "Oh well, I guess if you're not interested ..."
"Not today. Not tomorrow. And I'd even go so far as to say not in this lifetime."
At that moment, a shape appeared suddenly in front of them, gun pointed. Judith's vest activated with a whine, only to erupt again in another burst of static as she was shot. Caleb's vest made the same sound a moment later.
"You both are soooo dead!" Christie said triumphantly. In her white wedding gown with its fifties Hollywood glamour, the lights glittering off the Swarovski crystals that decorated her silver Doc Martens — a wedding present from Joseph — she presented a startling picture. Especially with the laser tag vest over the top of everything.
Caleb gave her a courtly bow. "Dead we most certainly are. You should be in a Quentin Tarantino movie, Christie sweetheart."
Christie grinned at him, cocking her gun at her hip and looking radiant. "I know, right? This is such a blast."
A faint smile crept over Judith's face. Okay, so laser tag wasn't her thing but being snarky about it was impossible when faced with Christie's infectious enthusiasm. "Don't tell me — you're winning, right?"
"Of course I'm winning." Christie abruptly narrowed her eyes, looking behind Judith and Caleb. "Ah-ha! There he is, the sneaky bastard. You can run but you can't hide, husband mine." She darted away in a swirl of dry ice and a sparkle of crystal.
"Well," said Caleb conversationally. "Since we're both dead ..."
"The answer is still no, Caleb."
They reached the exit. With ostentatious gallantry, Caleb pulled open the door for her and grinned. The same charming, outrageous grin that had been plastered all over Auckland's billboards for the past month in his latest advertising campaign. This month it was underwear.
"Ah, sweetheart," he said, "you don't know what you're passing up."
Oh yes, she was. Completely immune. As an impressionable eighteen-year-old she'd fallen for his particular brand of lethal bad-boy charm. It had been a brief, intense fever that, once passed, had inoculated her against him forever.
The light and noise from the reception in the hotel ballroom flooded in as they stepped out of the laser tag room. Caleb shrugged out of his vest and handed it to a waiting attendant, and Judith gave him her coolest smile in return. "Don't tell me: sexy calendar, right?"
His grin faltered. "How did —"
She held up a hand, cutting him off. "Hey, it's obvious. A fundraising idea that requires a portrait photographer? Coming from your brain? I'm thinking it's probably a beefcake one for the ladies with nakedness and coyly placed props over the important bits." She folded her arms. "Am I getting warm?"
Caleb's dark eyes narrowed. "And pretty bloody patronizing."
"Just returning the favor."
"So I guess the answer's still no?"
"Caleb, please. Do I look like the kind of photographer who does pornographic calendars?"
Slowly, that annoyingly cocky grin began to reassert its presence. "Pornographic. Do you even know what that means?"
A flush worked its way up her neck. "Don't be stupid. Of course I know what it means."
"Uh-huh." Unexpectedly, he stepped a little closer to her.
And she found herself having to look up at him. Way up at him. An insidious and wholly unwelcome heat began to gather inside her.
In the darkness of the laser tag room, it had been easy to ignore his physical appearance. But out here in the light, with him bare inches away? Not so much.
Minus the vest on his six-foot-five length of long, lean muscle encased in the tuxedo, he was pretty much the perfect male specimen. With cropped black hair and eyes the color of the darkest espresso, smooth tawny skin he'd inherited from a Maori ancestor, and the powerful shoulders that made him one of New Zealand's best rugby players, he had most of the country's female population swooning. Even those who didn't like rugby.
Not you, though. Immune, remember?
His grin deepened as if he'd seen something on her face he liked and the heat inside her gathered a little tighter. "Perhaps I forgot to mention that you'll be photographing me?"
Caleb, naked in her studio, reclining on the —
Okay, stop right there. Don't think about that. Think about his unbelievable arrogance. His massive ego. His bad-boy reputation. Think of how he came to your door eight years ago, after that night you had with him, to tell you that was all he'd get from you. Because you were too young and he wasn't into relationships. That his career was more important than you ...
Judith cleared her oddly constricted throat. "Sorry, but that makes agreeing to your stupid idea even less likely. I do tasteful portrait photography. Not wet jock shots." Like his current ad campaign for instance. Caleb's half-naked torso, water dripping off muscled abs, his head thrown back, a pair of tight black boxers molding to lean, hard buttocks ... No. Not thinking about that. She took a breath. "Could you stop looming? It's very irritating."
"I'll have you know I never loom." There was a smug expression on his face, though God only knew what had put it there. "Oh well, I guess I'll have to find some other photographer. There must be someone who's dying to get some free exposure." He raised a brow at her. "Perhaps you could send me some names?"
"Don't you have some minion who can do that for you?"
"I use my minions for more important tasks, like getting me invited to parties." His eyes gleamed with unholy amusement, the way they always did when he teased her. "Sure you're not interested? Not even a flicker? No? Ah, don't worry about it. I'll find someone myself." He turned toward the ballroom where the rest of the reception was in full swing. "See you around, darling. If you change your mind, you know how to get hold of me. Though, don't wait too long. The opportunity won't be around forever."
Judith watched him go, realizing she'd been holding her breath like a diver about to leap off the highest platform. She let it out with a huff. Her heartbeat seemed strangely accelerated, her muscles tight. Nothing to do with him, of course. She never let him get to her, not anymore.
Forcing a smile that probably looked as tight as the back end of a cat, she handed her vest and gun to the attendant, adjusted the green silk of her best-woman dress, and reflexively checked the bun the hairdresser had put her hair up into. Still messy, damn it.
A burst of laughter made her turn to see Christie and Joseph come out of the laser tag room. Christie's face was flushed, and Joseph was surreptitiously wiping lipstick off the side of his jaw.
"Hey," Chris yelled as she spotted Judith. "Did you have fun? Didn't I tell you it was great?"
"Sure, it was awesome," Judith said, hopefully sounding completely genuine.
Joseph came up behind his new wife, sliding an arm around her waist. "Did Cal tell you about his fundraising idea? I told him you might be interested."
Judith tried for diplomatic. "The calendar? Oh, yes, but it's not really my thing, Joe."
"No, it's different. You could use different."
An eye roll was tempting but she ignored it. "A sexy calendar? Different? Doesn't every fire department and police station in the country do stuff like that? No, it's kind of unoriginal and I'm not really —"
"It's for charity. Not the Turner Prize."
Great, now her brother was making her feel like a selfish bitch. "I'm not talking about art awards. I mean, come on, studio portraits aren't exactly high art. I just ..." She stopped, realizing that her objections to Caleb's idea had less to do with the subject and more to do with Caleb himself.
"Just what?" His blue eyes glinted. "I know you and Caleb don't get on —"
"We get on fine," she interrupted, ignoring Christie's eye roll.
"In that case, why not listen to what he has to say?"
"Because I'm busy. The wedding photos aren't going to take themselves, you know."
Judith opened her mouth to protest. Then shut it.
Just what are your objections anyway?
Actually, she wasn't entirely sure. Okay, so she and Caleb had an uncomfortable history, a history she'd never told anyone else about. But that was all H20 under the harbor bridge these days. Certainly he didn't seem to care, not given the number of groupies he always surrounded himself with.
So he was an arrogant, cocky playboy only interested in rugby, fame, and women. Those weren't good enough reasons to say no. Especially when it came to charity.
"Okay, fine," she said on a long breath. "What's it all about anyway?"
Joseph's smile was suspiciously similar to his friend's. Smug. "I'll let him explain that to you himself. I'm too impatient to dance with my lovely wife here."
Ignoring Christie's groan at the word "dance", Joseph dragged her off toward the ballroom, leaving Judith twitching with irritation.
She glared at her brother's retreating back, smoothing her green silk dress down again.
All right, so if Caleb wanted to talk about his silly idea, she'd listen. And that was all.
It had been years since he'd dumped her. Years and years. And she was over it. She totally was. She could even be pleasant if the occasion demanded.
Excerpted from Talking Dirty with the Player by Jackie Ashenden, Libby Murphy. Copyright © 2013 Jackie Ashenden. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Yep, I'm with Sept. 19 th. ANOTHER MAN-SLUT? Yet we the readers are to believe he's changed his womanizing ways and will be faithful to one woman? Sure, THAT'S believable. He tossed her aside before...... Ugh, so tired of the same old plot.
geez. talk about a wishy washy couple. they seemed to jump all over the place as to if they should or shouldn't try to be together. first she was a strong heroine, then she was horridly weak. just needs a lot more direction.
I enjoyed the story. Hope to find more like this!
This was a great read about a couple who have known each other most of their lives, but as friends. Caleb is a very sexy international professional rugby star who is well known for also being a major player off the field. Judith is a photographer, but more importantly the younger sister of his long-time best friend who has had a crush on him for as long as she wax old enough to notice boys. Once she was eighteen that notice was returned resulting in a passionate night between Caleb and Judith that brought out the intense emotional connection the two have. Caleb panics and uses his budding career as a reason to leave her behind as well as a warning to keep hands off from big brother Joe. Eight years pass where they have been avoiding each other whenever possible but then they are brought back together for Judith's brother's wedding. When they are together the sparks fly from the sexual tension between them because their chemistry is so intense. Ms. Ashenden does a brilliant job of portraying their longing for each other, each of their efforts and reasons for fighting it, and the emotions that overwhelm their good intentions. Caleb and Judith's struggles with their feelings for one another felt very real and completely drew me in. I will say when they finally gave into their feelings for one another it was definitely passionate and very hot!! I was up waaaay past my bedtime because I just had to know how they overcame the hurdles of trust issues and worked things out. Aside from some very sensual and steamy sexy times, Ashendon also gives us some witty dialogue, insight into the supporting characters (I'm hoping Luke gets his own story), and also a very clear picture of the heartbreak and issues Caleb and Judith each battle. I found this story to be well rounded, well developed, and very well written. I happily rate it with 4.5 stars. *I was provided this ebook by a "new to me" author from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Talking Dirty With The Player is a sassy second chance love story set in Auckland, New Zealand, that follows the journey of Judith Dalton and Caleb Steele as they come to terms with their long-denied feelings for each other. Eight years ago Judith and Caleb spent the night together, she gave him her heart only to have him break it by telling her that he doesn't do relationships, and that his rugby career was more important. Fast forward eight years to Judith's brother Joe's wedding ... Caleb is back in town after spending time in the UK playing rugby, he is Joseph's best friend and best man ... Judith is determined not to let her long-held attraction for Caleb show, even if he is still tempting as ever. Their relationship is mixed with attraction, hurt, pain and insecurity, it is an emotional story story about a couple who are afraid to take a risk on love. This was such a fun story to read, it had a great mixture of humor, drama, tension, chemistry and romance. I loved Judith and Caleb's witty banter and sexual chemistry, you can't help but smile at the way they try to deny their attraction and true feelings for each other. They are both feisty and hardheaded, their sizzling chemistry and flirting were entertaining, and their romance was emotional as their inner-struggle to define their relationship finally leads them to acknowledge and share their feelings for each other, it simply melts the heart! Talking Dirty With The Player is a sexy and entertaining read that will leave a smile of satisfaction on your face. This is the second book in the Talking Dirty series and can be a stand alone read, but I would recommend that you read the books in sequential order as one story flows into the next, and you don't want to miss out on all the sizzling romance that is featured in each book.
Chuckling uncontrollably, I confess to barely restraining myself from zipping through this novel like a demented speed reader after glancing at that first paragraph with Jude and Caleb. Imagine my surprise visualizing our two protagonists dressed in their wedding finery, bumbling around in the dark playing laser-tag at a wedding reception, was this going to be a fun book to read or what - that one scene set the tone for the entire book, which went from one laugh to another. Judith and Caleb have a history to overcome, but fate has placed them in the same place at the same time and it is time to right old wrongs. Fortunately for those of us craving romance with our humor Ms. Ashenden decided to combine both with this little gem. Never doubt that Caleb wined, dined and romanced Judith a time or two, or twelve because Ms. Ashenden certainly did keep the fires smoldering between these two until they manage to finally get together. This novel attempts to be both funny and charming, and is successful at both, making it an ideal summertime read.
Worth the Journey... Two people who don't want to admit to their hearts that they are truly in love because they don't want to risk the pain. This story was a true journey for Caleb and Judith, but one well worth the trip. I truly enjoyed every aspect of this story and the characters truly learned and grew as they came together.
Rating: 4.5 Judith and Caleb had a past that both of them don't try to acknowledge. To them, past should remain where it should be - right behind them. It would save them from hurt, expectations and heartbreaks. But one look, one touch and the sparks that they try to bury goes like wild fire and burns them. Not even self-preservation can stop it. Caleb broke her heart when Jude was 18 years old. Eight years later and now a professional photographer, she vows to be more careful and never to fall for his charms again. Losing him did not only break his heart, but she lost a friend as well. Someone who was always there for her when her brother and father are to busy with their lives. Caleb is a professional Rugby Player, the "Abs of Steel". He's tough from the outside - but inside him is still the little boy who's begging attention and affection from his father and grieving the loss of his mother. He knew he's never going to be enough for anyone. He can't give the time and commitment needed in a relationship. So no matter how much he wanted to kiss his best friend's little sister, he needed to stay away from her. Chemistry. Attraction. Emotion. Sneaking Around are potent combinations. So whatever they have is just impossible to ignore. Jude once again took a risk and try not to put her heart in jeopardy. The friendship was once again building, the sex was awesome and the conversations was great - everything was perfect. Until the insecurities sets in, not to mention some threats from the big brother (again) - and he goes breaking her heart once again. Would she ever survive a second heartache? Would he finally stop selling himself short and realize that he's perfect for her before its too late? Would she give him another chance after the pain that he caused her over and over again?! (OMG! He ought to crawl and grovel hard after what he did!) I can't believe it was short! It didn't felt rush though. The twist and turns can be baffling sometimes - but hey! Everything else was just great. I didn't expect to cry though. Some scenes can be pretty intense and I'd love to throw his pair of shoes on his head to knock some senses into him. I love their exchange of text, the innuendoe, the sexual tension brewing, and most especially the HEA. The grand gesture and the epilogue - it was sweet. Nothing overly dramatic, just enough to make readers swoon, fall in love and forget that he's an a** on the previous pages. I have to warn you though: he may be a selfish prick but at the end of the story, you'll fall in love with a player!!!! *ARC Copy was given in exchange for an honest review.
From the first page, this book is fun. The witty dialogue made me chuckle more than once. There are other "fun" elements, but I don't want to give anything away. While this book is fun, the humor is mixed with drama, tension, and chemistry. There are moments of true heart ache. But they are dealt with wonderfully. They are believeable characters dealing with real struggles within themselves and their relationship. They are characters you can relate to. I was hooked on these two and had to see how they would work it out. Well worth the read! Loved the ending!
Okay so I completely and utterly loved this book!!!! If I could I would list out the entire book. Again I think I marked every page in this book to come back too because I loved EVERY second of it. This book had everything in it for me and had so much realism in it that it could pretty much happen to anyone. It made me laugh, and cry and feel happy and sad and loved and I loved the steamy hawt scenes between Caleb and Judith. Ohhh and I have to say this because I feel like I've been cheated in life. I love and hate all these books that I'm reading where the younger sister falls in love with the older brother's best friend. Since I didn't have an older brother growing up....I feel cheated. I can only imagine how my life would be different and changed if I had an older brother to look up to and to know would protect me and of course having guy friends around that I could stare at and "creepily stalk" and secretly love. *sigh* alas that wasn't in the cards for me. This book starts out with Judith (or Jude) attending her brother's wedding. And of all things to do at a wedding she is playing laser tag, because the bride loves it so much. Not only is this the first time that we meet Jude and get to know her amazing personality, but this is the first time that we meet Caleb. Caleb and Jude have an interesting history. Caleb is one of her older brother (Joe's) best friends and eight years ago, Caleb and Jude had one night of hawt passion and of course her only being 18 she was utterly and competently in love with him. After is amazing and magical night for Jude, Caleb woke up the next morning and pretty much told her he didn't do relationships and he didn't really want her because his career was taking off. And a week later, some other bimbo is in his arms. So Jude's a little bitter at him and obviously with good reason. Caleb has an idea for a fund raiser that is close to his heart and he needs a photographer to help pull it together. He wants to make a calendar (a sexy one) and auction off different talents from the people within the calendar to help with the funds. And as he brings the idea up to Jude, the scene is amazing because she flat out turns him down. She wants nothing to do with Caleb and she's still bitter what happened eight years ago, even thought she's "forgiven" him. And I love how Jude describes him, "Caleb was hot. If you liked tall, muscle-bound beefcakes with eyes you could lose yourself in. The kind of smile that made you lose your mind as well as your panties. The magnetic, sexy bad-boy charm that promised all sorts of naughtiness." And I love some of the phrases in this book such as, "Steady on, mate." Or my personal favorite, "You look like a grumpy fairy." Or even, "Because deer sweet baby Jesus, that surely couldn't have been her." And then I love that one girl says this to another girl, "For God's sake, dude. Take the man. Before some other cow gets in first." Really? Calling another woman (in general) a cow? I find this really funny, that I so want to start going around saying it to people. So after the wedding Jude agrees to do the calendar and things get interesting from here. Jude and Caleb start to get closer again. They seem to have this chemistry that they keep trying to fight and the more time they spend together the harder it becomes. And for me they this relationship they try to have is a really nice blend of sugar and spice. I think it's why I love this book so much, because it's such a real experience that could happen to anyone. Jude goes out one night for a girls night has a little too much to drink. And then she has a hangover the next day and when Caleb comes by he takes care of her and its super sweet. Then he tells her, "Don't you know you should always have a special hangover friend to help your recover after the night before?" So apparently I need to have one of these because I don't and I'd definitely take a tall sexy man to want to be my special hangover friend to help take care of me. The biggest issue conflict that of course comes up is that Jude doesn't want a fling or a half in half out thing with a guy. And Caleb, well he's a star and still going places and doesn't do the relationship thing. And even though Caleb says he would be there any time for her, she knows the reality isn't that simple. She wants someone who is always going to be there for and someone she can count on no matter what. And of course Caleb pulls out the dumb Y chromosome and goes all anti-feelings. And the question becomes what will happen between Caleb and Jude? Well go get your copy to find out....it's so worth it!!!
Pro rugby player Caleb Steele is attending the wedding of his friend Joseph Ashton and Christie St. John who we met in Talking Dirty with the CEO (Talking Dirty #1) and he has a favor to ask of Joseph’s sister photographer Judith Ashton. Caleb and Judith have a past. She has known him all her life it seems. He was her first love, lover and heartbreak. Eight years have passed and she should be over it right? So should he but there is still that spark. Can they explore it without getting burned? I love second chance love stories. It proves that people can change and grow and start anew. Caleb and Judith have so much history and so much pain between them you start to think they can never get past it. But I am thrilled they did. Judith is a strong woman who doesn't whine about the crap life has handed her and Caleb has used it to push himself to be a better man. These are people you want to see succeed. I’d like to thank Indulgence for giving me a copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
What do you get when you have two damaged souls that have amazing chemistry? You get the story of Judith and Caleb with all the pain that goes along with opening your heart up when you really don't want to trust it to anyone at all. Judith is over Caleb. No, really she is... I mean sure they had one amazing night together when she gave him everything she was and then dealt with the fact that he basically threw it back in her face days later. Yeah there is no reason that seeing him should be difficult and you know that pesky little thing called her hormones should be immune to Mr. "Abs of Steele" cause they just should be dammit. She's needs to be in charge so badly in order to protect herself from ever being let down again that she's basically living in a shell and doesn't realize that she's missing out on anything until her brother finds his HEA. While she wants this for herself she doesn't believe that it will ever happen for her as everyone important to her leaves her. It isn't that her brother isn't there for her but he has his own issues with life and dad was always busy working so she couldn't rely on him but the one person she could rely on until that horrible night was Caleb. He's the only person she ever truly let in and look how that turned out. I liked her even when she was pushing him away out of a need for self-preservation. She's a very sensitive person behind the facade and his abandonment truly cut her to the core. When their chemistry boils over she is always waiting for the other shoe to fall and when it does she doesn't know if she can let anyone in again. I liked her strength and ability to really see him even when he shut her out. I think that is what made it more painful.. She really does know him even if he doesn't know himself. Caleb has prided himself on living his life without any attachments as his past has shown him you don't always get what you want and you just need to not let people become something you care about. He has always had a soft spot for Judith but in his gut knows he can never give her what she deserves. He has to have her talents for a charity calendar he is doing but he's shocked by how hot their chemistry still is. As he spends more time around her he struggles with what he wants to have with her and what he believes is all he can give. He makes many mistakes along the way but you do get the feeling that it is because he's trying so hard to avoid admitting what is happening every time they are together is happening. I enjoyed his need to just make her happy even when he wasn't sure exactly what he did wrong. He cares deeply even though he doesn't want to admit it and seeing him open up with her to be the real person hidden behind the playboy was at times heartbreaking. I never really disliked him even when he was being an ass but hey I have a soft spot for a hero who hides his heart because of his past. He's just a big softie. :-) Thanks to Entangled Publishing for the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review. I truly enjoyed this latest installment from Jackie and can't wait for more.
Talking Dirty with the Player is the first book I read by Jackie Ashenden and I love it! Talking Dirty With the Player is a about Judith Ashton who is an up and coming photographer who believes her life is under control. In comes Caleb Steele Judith's older brother's best friend to stir up old feelings that never really went away eight years ago. Judith is not sure she wants to go down that path again since she was hurt the first time. Caleb Steele is famous rugby player who needs Judith help taking pictures for a calendar he is creating to raise money for one of his charities. Caleb has chemistry with Judith that he has been trying to deny. He knows he let her down eight years ago but has always thought it was the best for both of them. Judith and Caleb both have the same fears which is what drives them apart but yet will brings them together. Jackie Ashenden writes a great romance. I loved how she develops each character. As the story goes on she gives more details about the characters. I enjoyed the flow of the story. Jackie Ashenden did a wonderful job with giving you those explosive moments. She really knows how to build a great scene. I would recommend reading this book
Pretty good book. I like how both Caleb and Judith had issues from their pasts, but they overcame them. The main thing I did not like was the ending. It was just too over the top for me. I just could not picture it with who the characters were. But, I must say, it was a good way to show Caleb coming around. Overall, I liked it and would recommend it. It is cute, funny, romantic, and shows that people can overcome their pasts with enough motivation and drive.
I laughed my ass off at Talking Dirty With The CEO so I was excited to receive an ARC of this. If you haven't read that book check out the first chapter and I guarantee you'll want to finish it. This book was a little different. This book was more angst ridden. You've got 2 different angles in this one. You've got the big brothers best friend, as well as second chance lovers. Jude aka Judith is Joseph's (the CEO in Talking Dirty With The CEO). She had one night with Joseph's best friend Caleb when she was 18. She thought it was leading somewhere. Then he dumped her. 8 years later they see each other again at Joseph's wedding. Caleb tries to tease and joke with her as they had before their night together but she has her armor up and isn't having it. They try to work together on a project for charity and you follow along with them on their journey to see what they can be for one another. One this I have to say, I love Marisa! She was funny and snarky in Talking Dirty 1, and she continued it in #2. I got the feeling her and Luke are going to be the focus of #3 and I hope I'm not wrong!
I LOVED it! This was an amazing and fulfilling contemporary romance. The story of Judith, a photographer and Caleb, the famous rugby player who is her brother's best friend. They had a short affair when she was 18 and he broke her heart. Eight years later and she's doing a photoshoot for a charity calendar for him. The sparks fly but is it enough to risk getting her heart broken again? This book is a must read! There is never a dull moment from the first page to the last. The character development was great! I felt like I got to know each of them gradually and by the end they were like friends of mine that I didn't want to leave. I fell in lust with Caleb, the sexy rugby player. I rooted for him and I disliked him and then rooted for him some more. I now know why it was so hard for Judith to resist his charm. The characters were funny, sexy, emotional, and real. Thank you Jackie Ashenden for in incredible story
When I picked up Talking Dirty with the Player I wasn't sure what to expect--would I get a cute story? A sexy one? A funny one? An annoying one? Thankfully, it was all of that (minus the "annoying"!) and more! I'm a huge fan of great wit and banter in my romance novels, and Jackie Ashenden provided plenty of that, which in turn made me a very happy reader. And the fun conversations did not only take place between the hero and heroine, but many of the other characters as well. This also made me a very happy reader. :) But the book was not all laughs and smiles. There is some conflict, and both Caleb and Judith have baggage, things they must over come in order to finally walk hand-in-hand towards their HEA Judith was forced to grow up fast after her mother abandoned her family. She became the one that her dad and brother leaned on, rather than the other way around. Caleb was the one person she could lean on, and he left her, too--right after they slept together. Oh, and did I mention Caleb is the best friend of Judith's brother? In other words, that was a big no-no. My heart broke when she told him this, and I felt a very deep connection with her because of it. Slowly they begin to open up to each other, and I loved that. The scenes where they started to talk, really talk, were powerful, intimate even, and I loved them I'll admit--the book wasn't perfect. I'm sure I could find flaws, not necessarily in the editing, but in the "perfection" of the story if I looked. But I don't care. This was a book that I completely fell in love with from page one. The writing was great, almost addicting, and I felt a connection with the characters. I read this book in a day, which is amazing considering how crazy my life has been lately, and I didn't want to stop. It was, simply put, highly entertaining, and that was just the kind of book I needed, one that would pull me out of my reading funk and remind me again why I love this genre. So thank you, Jackie, thank you very much! I will be reading more books by this author, and I will definitely be recommending this book to others. Talking Dirty with the Player is a brilliant, witty, charming romance with heart, heat and depth---I couldn't have asked for more! ~ * ~ * ~ For my full review, including favorite book quotes, please visit my blog, TBQ's Book Palace. I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.
I read this book without seeing the cover. Which is probably just as well as most electronic equipment does not deal well with drool. The hero is Caleb "Abs of" Steele, a rugby player nearing retirement and starting to think, reluctantly, about life after football. Judith, Jude, is a photographer and has been the responsible one for most of her life since her mother abandoned the family leaving her as the homemaker and primary caregiver to her brother Joseph who has ADHD as her father was distant. We get to meet her in the first book in this series "Talking Dirty with the CEO" which is Joseph's story. The one time Jude wasn't responsible left her with a nasty taste in her mouth when Caleb, who she'd adored from the time she was eight years old, took her virginity and with a nasty parting shot, left her heartbroken. Now we are eight years later and Caleb is back in town for the wedding and he and Jude are firing more than laser's at each other. The dialogue zings along and is very funny at times. Now they have to work together on a charity calender project and the close proximity is bringing things to the boil. Caleb struck me as a jerk from the first, arrogant and cocky and of course there is that history. In the past eight years he's been in bimbo heaven, pursued by rugby groupies and standing still to let them catch him. A player in more than just name. It's going to take a lot to get Jude to trust him even if she managed to forgive him for the way he left her the first time around. The relationship zigged and zagged quite a bit and both hero and heroine had TSTL moments. I didn't engage quite as much with them as I have with other characters written by this author. All the same it was an enjoyable read and the characters came across as flawed but mostly likeable human beings. The ending was nicely done with much needed grovel attached. Received this as an ARC without the cover picture so I was totally uninfluenced by the whole 'abs of steele' thing.
Talking Dirty with the Player is seduction at its finest. First off, I don’t know about you, but this cover actually made me drool. I mean…WOW! Good job on the cover design. It is simple, but makes a point. Now on to this delicious story. Jude and Caleb collide like a thunderstorm. Lighting sparks between them with the heat and intensity of a volcano! With one glance from Caleb, Jude can feel her heart flutter and her body turn traitor. He hurt her and she is not sure that she can get past that. Sure they are older, but a hurt like that seems fresh no matter how much time has passed. When she sees Caleb at her brother’s wedding, the pull is still there between them. Caleb has always wanted Jude. When they were younger the intensity of their relationship scared him. He was not ready, but that does not forgive how much her hurt her. Now he has a second chance to win her back and he will not give up until she is his. Caleb is just sexy as hell. He is beyond swoon worthy. This story is full of romance, passion, and second chances. Take the plunge, talk a little dirty, and fall in love with the bad boy! I was given a copy of this book by in exchange for an honest review.
So yesterday I finished Talking Dirty With the Player by Jackie Ashenden, which is the second book in Talking Dirty books. I must say that this one was a bit more steamier than Talking Dirty With the CEO. Let just I was shocked, but in the good way. Well, in this story we are dealing with Joseph Ashton's little sister Judith (Jude) and his best friend Caleb Steele. Yes, we all know that this spells disaster. We all know that older brothers will warn off their friends from getting involve with their sisters. Normally, best friends know when to keep away from the goods. However, Caleb has a hard time keeping away from Jude. He's been fighting his attraction towards her. You would think after eight years it would fade, but it hasn't. Man that's a long time to avoid something that could be so good. Once they let go, let's just say it gets pretty hot and heavy at times. Jude isn't your typical little sister. Yes, she's has had feelings for Caleb, but she has also had to take care of herself. After all, her mother left, Joe is a bit forgetful (ADHD), and her father is a bit neglectful. Jude learn at a young age that the only person you can really count on is herself. Plus, it became really apparent when Caleb decided to pursue his rugby career eight years earlier. Caleb is a player in all sense of the word. Yes, he's a player on the field and off. However, he's starting to get a bit older and starting see that his lifestyles isn't what he wants anymore. He wants to become more than the "Abs of Steele" man. With Jude's help he can, but he has to let her in. I actually enjoyed Talking Dirty With the Player, because you see Jude and Caleb trying to fix what they once had. The only thing getting in the way is Caleb's fear of letting someone close to him and letting go his player persona. So, if you are looking for a player in all sense and a girl willing to put up with his antics, you might want to give Talking Dirty With the Player a try. Rating 4.5 Stars Copy provided by the publisher
Judith Ashton gave her heart to Caleb Steele and he broke it. Now he's back and as tempting as ever. If Judith gives him a second chance, will she suffer the same fate? This is an emotional story about a couple who are afraid to take a risk. The attraction is still there but so is the hurt. Jackie Ashenden's writing is powerful. She captures the pain and insecurity that Caleb and Judith feel. Her characters are both feisty and tender and their romance is very hot. Caleb melted my heart when he calls Judith babycakes. I loved this story! Jackie has done it again. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What a fun read! I can always count on Entangled publishing to pick great authors to publish. Talking Dirty with the Player was fun and witty but there were still those moments when my heart would ache. The love story between Judith and Caleb was so relatable. I think most of us can think of a time when we were afraid to dive into a relationship head first so we just pushed them away. I really loved the character development within the story, I think the author did wonders with Caleb's character. He was the cocky 'i've got it all' type of guy who you still fell for despite his arrogance. I loved that Caleb was always pushing Judith's buttons in the beginning just to get a response from her. The banter between these two was a lot of fun to read. Ashenden wrote a wonderful story that took us on a fun and heart warming adventure. I think most readers would really enjoy this book and it s safe to say, I'm looking forward to reading more of her work. Starting with 'Talking Dirty with the CEO' I'm eager to see Joseph and Christine's story now that I've grown to love them in this story already. This review comes from Danielle @ Coffee and Characters Blog