Manhattan Bound Series #1
By Juliette Braddock
Cover Design: WLK Media
Against the glittering backdrop of New York City, budding theatrical publicist Maxine Kirk, fresh off the bus from a small Pennsylvania town, stumbles into the arms of her beloved teenage crush, unleashing desires that she never imagined.
Enter Drew McKenzie, a rising star on Broadway with dashing looks and talent to match, who masquerades behind the characters he portrays.
Instantly, Maxine finds herself lured into Drew’s high society world only to uncover a complicated man beneath the glitz and glamour of his public persona. As soon as the curtain falls, Drew sheds his stage costumes to reveal a daring Dominant side.
Titillated by his enigmatic life, Maxine clamors to discover a surreptitious and possibly perilous affair with Drew, all the while questioning her own preconceived notions on romance.
Secrets surface, revealing haunting truths that test both Maxine and Drew of their own intentions. But in this high-stakes game of trust, only the strongest survive.
“So where are you from?”
“A…s-small town—right outside Pittsburgh,” she managed. She had to gather her thoughts. She couldn’t stutter her way through an entire conversation with this man all night. Already, she could sense that he was the type who would remind her of her jitters later, and Maxine certainly didn’t want this silly evening to haunt her at work.
“What brought you to the big city?” he questioned her.
Purposefully, she stopped herself before she answered him and took in a deep breath. “I’ve always been in love with New York,” she explained, thoughtfully choosing her words. “The theater…the vibrancy…the never ending sense that there’s always something to do or someone to see…”
“Quite a culture shock for a small-town girl, isn’t it?” he asked, his tone softening a bit.
“I’ve been visiting for well over a decade,” she continued and flashed him a weak smile. “I knew what I was getting into.”
“You sure about that?” Now his eyes were teasing. “There’s always some element of surprise living here.”
“You grew up here?” she asked, knowing he had. She could recite his entire Wikipedia entry, which didn’t say much about his personal life other than he was born and raised in Manhattan to an exceedingly wealthy family of Scotch-Irish immigrants. His ancestors built their fortune as early merchants in New York and went on to create one of the longest-standing, upscale department store chains in the United States.
“I did,” he said so very simply. “The city is under my skin an in my blood. And just like everyone else, I bitch and complain…but I couldn’t live anywhere else.”
All the while, as they carried on with an air of civility, Maxine couldn’t ignore those burgeoning feelings—those sensations—that seemed to set her senses fluttering. The intake of his breath and the gentle patter of his voice soothed her. That fresh scent of him, bathed in Clive Christian cologne, tickled her nose, intoxicating her with a blend of citrus and spice—even though she didn’t know Clive Christian from Christian Slater. While he stood so close, he managed to refrain from touching her—even with the slightest of movements—and she tingled…shocked by her ache for his caress.
Maxine couldn’t even recall their conversation as it was happening. Drew had managed to send her off to some surreal spot from which she really wasn’t too keen to return. Although she attempted to remind herself that she wasn’t the only woman he’d engaged with that evening, she enjoyed this stilted repartee between them.
As they stood alone together against the backdrop of Manhattan’s brilliance, it remained questionable whether he would even remember her in the morning, and she knew the chances were slim to none. However, she decided to indulge in these unexpected seconds of undivided attention in which he indulged her fully.
Releasing his hands from the bannister, he took a step back but then dared to reach out and stroke the backs of his fingers to her cheek. Maxine was certain that he could feel the heat rising from her skin, but she chuckled softly over the tickle of his touch. Again, he seemed to be surveying her, interviewing her for the next round of she knew not what.
“You have all the basics down,” he began. “Smart, well-rounded. Pretty…”
“Pretty?” she nearly choked. No one—aside from her parents and Ben—ever complimented her in such a way.
“Are you arguing with me?” he inquired with an air of displeasure.
Hold it together here, Maxine, she coached herself. “It’s in the eye of the beholder, I suppose.”
“We can discuss that a little later…” he said, just as Maxine felt one huge drop of rain plunk down upon her, right in the middle of her forehead, as she looked up into Drew’s eyes.
Just her damn luck, the rain poured forth from the sky!
“Um…I think it’s time to…”
Lunging forward and surreptitiously slipping his arms around her waist, he pulled her close to him. Maxine didn’t have time to think—to react—to his quick and sleek move. All the while, she reveled in the slight knock of his knees, the strength of his thighs, the feel of his chest pressed against hers…
“It’s time to kiss you, Maxine…”
Manhattan Bound Series #2
By Juliette Braddock
Cover Design: WLK Media
Sweeping through the glitz and glamour of New York’s high society and the drama unfolding in the dressing rooms of Broadway, Wrapped, by Juliet Braddock, continues the journey of a young theatrical publicist’s foray into submission under the tutelage of a dashingly dark star of the stage. Wrapped—the much anticipated sequel to Braddock’s critically acclaimed erotic romance Weakened—is the second book in the Manhattan Bound series.
When Drew McKenzie presents Maxine Kirk with an ultimatum, challenging her to engage in his wanton brand of desire, she readily embraces her awakening hunger for a lifestyle that defies her perceptions of romance.
Entranced by Drew’s charming appeal and by his sensual assault to her senses, Maxine clamors to discover every nuance of this new relationship, ravenous to explore verboten fantasies that seem possible to fulfill only with Drew.
Along the way, he introduces her to his glamorous world of wealth and celebrity—where lavish galas and luxurious gifts are the norm—and entices her into his realm of control with his tender mode of domination.
All the while, however, they both grapple with painful emotions brought about by the extenuating circumstances of their separate pasts.
While Drew remains both confident and conscientious in his parlay of power over Maxine, his own tragic secret lurks in every shadow upon his path in life. Behind the façade of his stage persona and the origin of old Manhattan society, he struggles to hide the unforgiving reality he faced as a child.
Just as Maxine finds the strength to conquer her own torment with Drew’s patience and guidance leading her toward closure, terrifying truths begin to chip away at the surface of his composure.
As the nightmarish details of Drew’s unimaginable life emerge, he fears that this new world he’d begun to build with Maxine will crumble around him.
As Maxine finds herself embroiled in the battle to save Drew’s tortured soul from the atrocities that continue to stalk his every move, two lost souls struggling to find comfort and completion converge.
However, as Drew opens his heart to Maxine’s unwavering support, he questions his own bravery, wondering if she’ll take a bow and make her exit…or if she’ll stick around for the encore?
“Excuse me, Kind Sir,” Maxine’s shy voice echoed softly as she poked just her head out of the bedroom door. “Would you please help a girl out with her dress?”
Drew had been fussing with his bowtie in the standing mirror in the hallway and straightening his cufflinks when she called. The sweetness of her expression resounded against his ears, as he pulled in a deep breath, anticipating this moment he’d been longing for all afternoon. At last his little one was ready for the ball…
On the other side of the door, Maxine had been in panic mode, carefully applying her make-up and struggling to make sure that every last hair was in place and perfectly pinned. Drew had offered to hire someone to do her hair and make-up to alleviate some of her stress, but Maxine insisted on handling every last brush stroke herself.
When Drew finally opened the door, he stopped—dead in his tracks as if trapped within the frame. His lips parted; his eyes softened as they cast upon Maxine.
Arms wrapped around her chest to hold the bodice in place while she waited for his assistance, Maxine couldn’t help but to do a bit of staring herself. He looked so stunningly handsome in his simple black tux and tie, his hair—for once—in perfect place as if he were on stage, she mused to herself. The last time she’d seen him in a tux was on television at the Tony Awards. How times had changed…
Yet self-doubts began to surface. So typically Maxine, she fretted, wondering against his scrutiny if she looked appropriate—if she could actually play the role of date to Drew McKenzie that evening, if she truly measured up to the standards required for being there at his side and on his arm.
However, his gaze upon her left her slightly trembling in its wake. She’d wound her shiny locks into a French twist with tiny auburn ringlets playing so delicately around her face. The teal silk of the gown silhouetted every last curve of her body that he knew so well. Dangling and sparkling, the emerald earrings truly did accentuate the beauty of her honest green eyes. She’d even gained some weight, which pleased him to no end. He was simply elated to see a happy—healthier—Maxine standing before him, with a timid confidence that he found so endearing.
By the time he smiled at long last, his silence had nearly killed her.
“Little one…oh, my sweet little one…” His stride was slow, closing the distance between them. “What the hell does a man say to the most beautiful woman in the world?”
Author Bio & Links
Juliet Braddock loves eighties music, wine, food, theater and all things French. When she’s not exploring the big cities of the world—most notably Paris—she lives and writes in Manhattan, and is the proud cat mom to a very spoiled Russian Blue rescue.