Tease by Suzanne Forster released on Apr 25, 2006 is available now for purchase.
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About the Author
Acclaimed author Suzanne Forster is living proof of Shakespeare's maxim that the uses of adversity are sweet. Suzanne's writing career began by accident. Literally. A car accident ended her dreams for a career in clinical psychology. During her recovery, she began writing to fill the hours, and before she was well enough to return to graduate school, she'd sold her first book and launched a new career.
Since then Suzanne has written more than thirty novels and been the recipient of countless awards, including The National Readers' Choice Award for Shameless, her mainstream debut. She's received recognition for outstanding sales from Waldenbooks and Bookrak, and her twelfth novel, Child Bride, was that year's top-selling Bantam series romance. Her romantic thriller, The Morning After, hit top spots on several bestseller lists, including the New York Times extended, USA TODAY, Waldenbooks, Borders and Barnes & Noble.
Her Harlequin Blaze book, Unfinished Business, was made into a movie entitled Romancing the Bride that premiered recently on the Oxygen Network. The movie, starring Laura Prepon (That Seventies Show), Matt Cedeno (One Life to Live) and Carrie Fisher (Star Wars), was widely promoted and received glowing reviews.
Suzanne has a master's degree in writing popular fiction, and she teaches and lectures frequently. Her seminars on women's contemporary fiction at UCLA and UC Riverside were rated outstanding, and her most requested workshop, "The High-Concept Synopsis," is based on personal experience. Her breakout novel, Shameless, sold on a synopsis that triggered a bidding war andgarnered her a six-figure contract.
Suzanne has received considerable media attention, including a feature segment on Extra, NBC's news and entertainment magazine, and an Emmy Award-winning "Special Report" on CBS Channel 23 News. Her many print appearances include the L.A. Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Redbook and Orange Coast Magazine.
Read an Excerpt
By Suzanne Forster
SpiceCopyright © 2006 Suzanne Forster
All right reserved.
Twenty-five days earlier...
No point packing the vibrator. Tess Wakefield had zero interest in sex. She'd been doing without it for the better part of a year, and that year had been better, thank you. No more bikini waxing unless she felt like it, no more inspecting her backside for unsightly blemishes or plucking the odd hair from the knuckle of her big toe, which hurt like hell.
No more penises or anything that was attached to them. Men were high maintenance. Well, most of them anyway. They needed all that ego-stroking and fawning, and they didn't even care if you lied about how wonderful they were. They'd rather you fake orgasms than admit to not having them. Think about it.
And they were wimps, too, when it came to the important things in life. Squeamish about a little honest emotion. Terrified of giving up their freedom. They weren't looking for partners in life. They wanted groupies. Wannabe pop stars, all of them, in search of an adoring audience. And all that pretending to love football when you were freezing to death and had to pee but didn't want to risk hepatitis in the event bathroom.
Well, this groupie had turned in her backstage pass. She tossed the vibrator into one of the boxes that would go into temporary storage and turned back to the array of clothing on her bed that still hadto be sorted and packed. Thank goodness her new employer, Pratt-Summers, was handling most of the move to New York for her, which included the generous offer to use one of their corporate apartments until she could find a place of her own. She'd been offered the prestigious creative director position, and she had to look professional. That meant black, and lots of it. On the other hand, this was an advertising agency and they tended to be casual. It was also February, which meant jeans and sweaters, except for client visitation days when everybody wore suits like big boys and girls.
Tess knew a little something about ad agency protocol. She'd been with Renaissance Marketing in L.A. for the past eight years, doing everything from answering the phones to running the creative department to pitching and winning multimillion-dollar campaigns. Now, finally, it felt as if all the hard work and long hours had paid off. She'd given it her all, and maybe too much, considering how everything else in her life was withering from neglect.
She picked up her off-the-shoulder jersey sheath, briefly tempted by the thought of the New York club scene, then relegated it to the storage box. The dress was too red, too tight. It shouted take me off -- and a couple other things that ended with off.
Her conversion to celibacy had come immediately after the breakup with Dillon, her let's-wait-until-the-perfect-moment-to-announce-our-engagement fiance. That perfect moment was never, of course. Too late Tess had discovered that Dillon was involved with another woman, his mother. She steamed the wrinkles from his boxer shorts and enzymatically cleaned his contact lenses for him, while Tess could barely handle the instructions on a box of laundry detergent. The fact that Dillon had made his mother break off the engagement with Tess confirmed her suspicions about him. He was high maintenance and a commitment-phobe.
That had seemed obvious to Tess, but her always brutally frank friend, Meredith, had disagreed. "You're the CP," she'd told Tess, who'd protested, "How could I be the commitment-phobe? I'm the one getting dumped." And then it had hit her. Maybe she was choosing CPs so that she didn't have to commit.
She knelt to pull the plug on her clock radio and saw the time. "Ten? It can't be." She'd been up since 6:00 a.m. How did it get that late?
Pratt-Summers had arranged for a car to take her to the airport, and a moving van to pick up the last of her boxes. The van was due in thirty minutes, and not only did she have to finish packing, she had to get the apartment presentable. She was subletting her one-bedroom place furnished, and the tenant had agreed to a month-by-month arrangement, just in case Tess found herself packing for a flight back.
Not that Tess expected anything to go wrong. She was eminently qualified for the job, according to Erica Summers, the CEO at Pratt-Summers, who'd interviewed her personally just three weeks ago. But how often did a creative directorship of a large Madison Avenue ad agency come along?
"To most thirty-two-year-old ad execs? Never," she said, aware of the flutter in her voice. God, she was nervous.
This job was huge. New York City was huge. Maybe she wanted to miss the flight. She couldn't even seem to make up her mind what clothes to take with her, and there was no time to call her brutally frank friend to discuss it. Meredith, voice of clarity in a jumbled world, steadfast shoulder, mother confessor and occasional scolding conscience. Were there any Merediths in New York?
Tess's spirits sank with her shoulders. She looked around the place, marveling at the chaos. It could have been declared a disaster area. Fortunately, she saw the problem immediately.
She wasn't dealing with Bank of America's automated voice-mail system. She only had three options to worry about. Get rid of the crotchless day-of-the-week panties that Dillon gave her, obviously without his mother's knowledge. Toss out anything else that brought the word hot to mind. Then pack the rest and go.
One week later...
"The best way to open the mind is to open the body. If one is closed, the other cannot be open. Breathe through the soles of your feet. Listen with your fingertips."
Tess spoke in low, modulated tones to the five men and women lying on their backs on gym mats, arranged in a circle and forming rudimentary U shapes with their bodies. Their arms and legs were straight up in the air, reaching toward the ceiling, some steadier than others.
"Can you feel the energy flowing and your mind expanding?" Tess asked. "Focus on the base of your spine. Is it tingling?"
"Something's tingling." Carlotta Clark giggled.
"Would you tell Carlotta to stop looking at my balls?" Andy Phipps, who lay on a mat opposite her, tugged at his baggy gym trunks in an exaggerated attempt to cover himself.
"If you had balls," Carlotta scolded in her sexy, hiccupy voice, "you'd be begging me to look at them."
Andy lifted up on his elbows and appealed to the group with eyes as big and velvety brown as instant pudding. "You're my witnesses, people. She's harassing me again. I'm being harassed. That has to be obvious to everyone here."
Andy suddenly collapsed, his elbow knocked out from under him by Jan Butler, a plump graying copywriter on the next mat. "She may want you, Andikins, but is she woman enough? Can she take you to Jannie Land?"
Andy seemed to be considering the idea. The others began to cheer him on. "Breathe through your balls," someone suggested.
Tess rested her hand on her hip and watched their antics with amused forbearance. It wasn't the relaxation break she'd had in mind. She'd had plenty of experience with ad agency brainstorming sessions. They needed to be loose and free-flowing, but this bunch was flowing all over the place. What they needed now was direction. Tess's specialty.
She stepped into the center of the circle to restore order. "Back to your mats, wild things. Let's finish the exercise and get on with our brainstorming."
Jan gave Andy a wink.
Andy's skinny legs boinged back into the air. "Don't blame me if someone else loses control," he warned Tess. "This position drives the ladies crazy."
"We'll bear up," Tess assured him. Andy's diminutive frame, rag-mop dark hair and dimples did seem to bring out the vixen in the over-fifty set, but Tess was hot for his fertile brain. And it hadn't taken her long to figure out that he could be counted upon for comic relief, even when he wasn't trying to be funny. He was in his mid-twenties, fresh out of grad school and a gifted illustrator. He'd been at Pratt-Summers just a month, which was three weeks longer than Tess had been here, but he was shaping up to be a key member of her creative team. He was bright, verbal and a bottomless pit of ideas. Exactly what Tess needed, considering that she'd been assigned the lucrative -- and problematic -- Faustini account. The leather-goods franchise was in big trouble. The Faustini name had always been associated with meticulous handcrafting and old-world elegance, but that wasn't selling in a culture that prized everything young and hot. Faustini's management wanted to expand beyond briefcases and luggage. They were after a chunk of the luxury leather clothing and accessories market, and that couldn't be done without a total image overhaul.
"Nine thousand and ten thousand," Tess said, counting out the final seconds of the position. "Okay, last chance to check out Andy's balls. Now, lower your legs slowly, and don't forget to breathe."
They all copped a look, including Brad Hayes and Lee Sanchez, the other two males in the group. Brad was a thirty-year-old communications major from Harvard, and Lee was the team's prematurely balding marketing whiz. Andy rose to a sitting position, as red as a stop sign, but seemingly pleased by all the attention to his male anatomy.
Tess had held this morning's brainstorming session in the company gym so she and her team could take Qigong breaks. She'd expected skepticism toward the martial arts technique, especially from some of the agency veterans, but at least everyone had agreed to give it a try.
"Tell me again why we're doing this?" Brad Hayes asked. "I tend not to do things I can't pronounce."
Carlotta snickered. "Do you even need to ask, Brad? Tess comes from la-la land."
Tess took the jab in stride. In the week she'd been here, she'd picked up on some animosity from Carlotta, who'd been at Pratt-Summers longer than anyone else on the team. Tess could think of two reasons. Carlotta didn't believe that Tess had the creative chops to handle the job, which was understandable. Tess had yet to prove herself. Or Carlotta felt the job should have been offered to her, which was a bigger problem, but Tess was optimistic that she could handle it with plenty of diplomacy, and maybe some plum assignments.
Excerpted from Tease by Suzanne Forster Copyright © 2006 by Suzanne Forster. Excerpted by permission.
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
The characters had no depth, they were not very likeable at all! I was very disappointed.
I have read other books by the same author and really liked them. This one truly disappoints. Not only is there too much S&M going on, but the story line is not at all intriging. The ending is bad too. I liked the main characters, and the only reason I finished the entire book was to see if it got better. Don't waste your money!
Personally I was really into this book it was well written a little slow in the beginning but then it picked up. I was disappointed by the ending. The main character Tess goes through changes and experiences lots of radical sex but still is alone in the end which is a little disappointing for typical romance readers.
This is one of the most passionate and intreaguing books I've read in a long time. I read the entire book in a day. I am recommending this to everyone I know! With the mixed reviews... I'd say give it a read and see for yourself!
I thought this was going to be an very good book but it kept puting of what it suggested and at the end it didn't deliver.Dissapointing at least.
I brought this book thinking it was gonna be great. This was not her best work. The story starts out great and then gets twisted. Suzanne Forster turned this book into a erotic suspense so to speak. The erotic was so boring, I nearly fell asleep reading this book. It took me a week to finish whereas I normally finish a book in a day or so. I thought this was THE worst book ever. My advice, see if your library has it first. Unless you like stories with twisted endings and suspense, I wouldn't suggest this
This book brings erotica to a whole new level! It literally sizzles with sensuality and passion. Unlike another reviewer, I found Tess and Danny to be compassionate and giving and would like to see a sequel where they're back together.
Madison Avenue Creative Director at Pratt-Summers advertising firm Tess Wakefield is working extra hard to obtain Faustini as a client. However, peer Danny Gabriel somehow manages to get Faustini to film the ads in the S&M the Marquis Club.----------- The enigmatic club owner agrees to allow the shooting in his club under one condition. Tess must spend three days with him inside his club. Tess reluctantly accepts the terms because she needs the account and as a celibate she feels sex is a zero following several years of loser boyfriends and rashes in her late teens and early twenties. The thirtyish Tess assumes she can handle anything until she is inside the club with the cagey owner who is a different story altogether. He is the master of domination and she finds she likes letting him take control of her desires.----------------- The heat is on with this bedroom, boardroom, and club room (dungeon) erotica romance with a dominative-submissive relationship. The sex scenes are filled with spice and the relationship between the lead couple is fascinating and very different than 99% of the genre¿s novels. Neither Tess nor Danny come across as likable once the audience joins them inside the club, but the audience will not care as clearly this is intended for discrete fans that will enjoy this vibrant read.------------ Harriet Klausner
This Book is incredible