About the Author
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 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 and garnered 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
Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.Copyright © 2004 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.
Chapter OneEvery woman is a pussycat doll, even if only in her own mind. Find that doll, wind her up and let her go.
101 Ways To Make Your Man Beg
"SO I'M OLD-FASHIONED," Melissa Sanders admitted as she lifted her Rum Mocambo cocktail to her lips. "So I'm waiting for marriage. So shoot me!"
A jet of cold water hit Melissa right between the eyes.
"Hey, I was only kidding!" she cried. Blinded, she felt around the table for a napkin while her three girlfriends dissolved in peals of laughter. She managed a good-natured smile through the water dripping off her nose.
But once her vision had cleared, Melissa fixed her old friend Kathy Crawford with a bemused look. She'd noticed Kath digging through her overstuffed tote, but hadn't expected her to whip out the squirt gun she kept there for self-defense. "What's with the water-gun assault?"
Kath's grin challenged her. "I say marry the guy, if you must," she said. "Whatever it takes, you have got to have sex with that beautiful man, Melissa. You lost the bet."
"If you can find him," Melissa said, "I'll do the honors right here on this table. Would that make you bad girls happy?"
"Yes," they all chirped at once.
"Well, shame on you." Melissa pretended to be busy blotting rum from her much too demure cotton sundress. The girls had been giving her grief all evening about her sex life. She didn't have one, and they'd decided to make that their cause. They were trying to hook her up, and to that end, they'd approached almost every man in the restaurant, begging him to marry her for "just one night."
Melissa was used to their antics by now. The four of them had been friends since childhood and were currently in Cancu'n on their annual escape-from-civilization trip. But Melissa had not been prepared when one of the guys, a simply gorgeous waiter named Antonio, had dropped to one knee and proposed to her on the spot. She was mortified, but she was also a little tipsy - and okay, pleased. Mostly to show the girls, she'd accepted his proposal - and Antonio had seemed pleased, too. Obviously, he'd heard she wouldn't sleep with anyone she wasn't married to, and he loved a good challenge. It was even possible he'd been talked into the idea by her friends. But the way he'd lingered over kissing the back of her hand had made Melissa's stomach float like a cork on the Gulf of Mexico. Was that his tongue she'd felt? It could have been velvet.
Fortunately for Melissa, Antonio had returned her hand and disappeared with a bow of his sexy dark head. He'd probably thought it was a good joke, but Melissa was still trying to scoop herself off the floor. Now she knew how it felt to be an ice-cream sundae, melting under a puddle of hot fudge.
He'd surprised her almost as much the first time they'd met. The girls knew nothing about that, but Antonio had come to her aid three mornings ago while she'd been walking barefoot on the beach. She'd been gazing out to sea, perhaps a little wistfully, and had seen a stranger coming her way. He'd worn a billowing white shirt and a butcher's apron tightly knotted around his waist, and he'd looked like a man on a mission. She'd had no idea the mission was her until he'd reached her and told her there'd been a shark report. The sensual grate of his voice still resonated in her mind....
"The water's treacherous," he warned. "Don't go in, not even to wade."
He was treacherous, she realized, caught in the riptide of his inexplicable concern for her safety. That mouth, those incandescent black eyes. Just looking at him could pull you under. She would probably be safer with the sharks.
"Thank you," she said, realizing he had her by the hand and was guiding her farther from the water.
"What were you looking for out there?" he asked.
Something about him pulled the truth out of her. With a fleeting smile, she said, "My life."
A look came over him that made her catch her breath. Her mind couldn't process what she saw except to call it a glimpse of naked male power. The desire to protect, and something else too quick and electric to catch. She dug her toes into the sand for traction. He released her hand, and she didn't want him to go, but she had no reason to stop him. After all, he'd simply come there to warn her. She might have thought she'd dreamed him up, except that he was better than any of her fantasies.
"Don't look too long," he said. "You might miss it."
The next morning they'd met again, and she'd asked him what he'd meant. He'd just smiled and said she had pretty feet. She should always go barefoot.
"Melissa, are you daydreaming again?"
Melissa looked up to three sets of eyes fixed intently on her. "Still mopping up, thanks to Kath." She finished blotting her face, sipped what little was left of her drink, and held it up, signaling the waiter that she wanted another one.
The waiter who was not Antonio.
The charming waterfront restaurant had rapidly filled up. Saturday-night guests spilled out onto a tile patio, draped in crimson bougainvillea, where the girls were sequestered on a lovely, airy deck. The patio overlooked a placid blue-water inlet, and they'd planned to have dinner here after their cocktails, but, as far as the ladies were concerned, there only seemed to be one thing on the menu for Melissa: stud service.
"You heard me say yes," she told the girls with a hint of cockiness, then looked around to make sure Antonio was really gone. "You were all witnesses. If he hadn't chickened out, I might have married him. Hey, for one night? Why not?"
Her friends made scoffing sounds, and Melissa pretended to be hurt. "You doubt me? You think I wouldn't do something that impetuous? I'm not capable of sluttiness?"
Kath stood and raised her drink. "To the vestal virgin," she said, "who won't even kiss a guy unless he's wearing a condom."
The other two chimed in, and as much as Melissa wanted to protest, she couldn't. They all knew her, and Kath best of all. They'd grown up together and gone to the same schools, although Melissa had missed a year because of a childhood illness. That was probably why the girls mother henned her a bit and sometimes made her feel like the runt of the litter. They didn't want her to miss out on life.
She and Kath had always told each other everything and still did. Melissa had been through every one of Kath's romantic relationships. She knew her friend had slept with exactly five different men in her twenty-eight years, including a one-night stand. And Kath knew that Melissa hadn't.
Well, there had been one, but that was different. Melissa had thought she was going to marry Roger "Dodger" Boswell, and he'd agreed to wait. But once they were officially engaged, he'd argued that they might not be sexually compatible. He'd finally persuaded her, and it had been a disaster. Melissa had been nervous, and nothing had worked. He'd dumped her the next day, and of course, she'd blamed herself. But wouldn't the right guy have waited? Or at least been understanding?
She'd stubbornly clung to that notion, but there'd been no right guy since, and no sex either. Could a celibate woman burst like clogged plumbing?
The other girls had raised their glasses, too, but Melissa didn't want recognition for her lackluster love life, thank you.
Excerpted from Unfinished Business by Suzanne Forster Copyright © 2004 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I read through Suzanne Forster's Unfinished Business rather quickly. It's a light romance novel. The only reason I decided to read it was that I thought the movie Romancing the Bride, that was based on it, was cute. The book and the movie bear little resemblance other than the name of the main character and a quick wedding in Mexico. In the book Melissa Sanders is a journalist that writes sex advice although she's only had one sexual encounter in her life. On a trip to Cancun with friends her friends dare her to have a fling. She counters that she won't until she's married. Her friends ask around and finally get one of the waiters to propose to Melissa. Melissa is drunk and agrees, and is whisked off to a quickie marriage and a night of unbelieveable sex. The next morning she regrest her impetuous actions and runs off without a word to her groom. The encounter lingers with her, so she writes a self-help book. The book is an instant success and her publisher wants her to do a book tour with her "husband." Her publist finds her abandoned husband and gets him to agree to pose as Melissa's husband in exchange for an anulment at the end of the tour. The rest goes on to detail their entanglements as the try to pose as a happily wedded couple.The book as a whole is standard fantasy romance fair. It seems to indicate that a handsome man and great sex is all that is needed for a successful marriage. I pity anyone that falls for that fantasy.
He heals shadow with his powers. He sat and looked at brighthearts dead body. "Like all of my girlfriends" he said saddly trying to hold the tears back. "Dead or gone" he moaned. "If only my grandpa could help" he whimred. (Btw he is Lupus). He then looked at moonlily. "I hope you wake up soon" he said before leaving.
In Cancun, writer Melissa Sanders wakes up with a hangover and a stranger sharing her bed. To make matter worse, she has a ring on her finger. Melissa realizes that too many rum mocambo cocktails pickled her brain, but she also knows that Antonio Bond¿s lovemaking was simply heaven though she has nothing else to compare him with. Still, marriage to a stranger is too much for her to mentally accept so she cowardly flees for home.................................. Two years later, Melissa authors a book based on the most delightful (alas only) sexual encounter of her life and some her imagination has cooked up that she claims she shared with her 'husband'; she dedicated her book to his lovemaking. However, while on tour Tony arrives to teach her a few more tricks because when he proposed he meant it because for him it was in love at first sight and he has not forgotten the most heavenly night of his life. As he planned when he married her in Cancun, he intends to spend the rest of his life dedicated to exploring her body starting with joining her (in every connotation) on her tour......................... Though Tony insisting on marriage at first sight seems a bit difficult to accept, fans of heated contemporary romance tales starring a pragmatic female with a starry-eyed male (nice gender bender for a change) will appreciate UNFINISHED BUSINESS. The clash of opposites make for a fun time for readers as the male romantic tries to persuade the skeptical female that he meant his vows and plans to prove that every day for the rest of their lives.............................. Harriet Klausner