“I may have had more lovers than you, and I may take my clothes off for countless women, but you are the only one who can strip me bare.”
Do you ever stop loving someone just because they’re gone? Five years ago Ryan Pierce disappeared from Alana Remington’s life without leaving so much as a post-it note behind. He was the one she gave her heart to, her soul to and her virginity to. So imagine her surprise when she finds him dancing at one of NYC’s hottest male revues as Jack the Stripper.
Ryan never stopped loving Alana, and now that she serendipitously dropped back into his life, he’s vowed never to lose her again. But being together has its costs, and challenges Alana isn’t sure she can handle.
She finally has Ryan back; but how in the world is she supposed to share the love of her life with half of the women in New York City?
We stop in front of some hanging crystals. They clink as Ryan pushes them aside, “after you.” I walk under an orange spotlight, into a small space with a white leather couch deep enough to lie on and walls a warm golden yellow.
Ryan steps in behind me and presses his body flush against mine. My mind races.
Is he really going to do this?
Am I really going to let him?
Can I even handle this? Five minutes ago he was with another woman. Quite possibly in this same room doing God only knows what.
“Why do you do this Ryan?” I expel. I know he explained it in words, but I need to experience it to truly understand.
He ambles around me so close; the only thing separating us is a whisper of air.
“I told you, the money,” he says as he unbuttons his shirt.
“You said women too,” I watch him cautiously, my gaze jumping between his eyes and his chest.
“That was before you walked back into my life. You’re the only woman I want to touch now. The others, like you saw before, it’s just an act. A business transaction. It’s what I have to do to get what I want.”
“Doesn’t it make them feel used?” I flick my eyes up at him.
“It mustn’t. They always come back.”
“You like it. I saw your face. That wasn’t an act.”
Ryan stands right in front of me, his shirt unbuttoned and dangling open. “I won’t lie to you Alana, I’ll never lie to you,” his tone is hard, but seductive. “I do like the attention. But it’s not real. It’s my job to sell attractiveness and fantasy, and I do it well. But that’s all it is, fantasy and I know it. When I’m with you, that’s my real.”
My breath catches when he says the word real. I can’t help but find the irony in his words; I’m exactly to him what he is to me. Two people one and the same, both living a double life to get what they want; a future and each other.
And that is what I want. A future, with Ryan.
I go to put my hands on his chest, but he steps away shaking his head no. “In this room, it’s all about you,” he walks around, stopping right behind me. “You have to tell me what you want Alana,” he whispers in my ear and I almost go limp, the sound of his voice is erotic as hell.
I swallow hard, but can’t utter a single word, because truth be told, I have no freakin’ idea what I want. At least, not in this scenario.
Ryan starts to rub my shoulders. I think he can feel my hesitation.
“Why are you so tense? This is supposed to be fun.”
Fun? The word rattles around in my head. Fun – a time or feeling of enjoyment or amusement.
Okay, let’s have some fun.
I turn around to face him and our eyes lock. “Show me.”
“Show you what?” his tone dripping with sensuality.
“Show me Jack the Stripper.”
Review by Courtney
I loved the story of Alana and Ryan. It’s witty, sweet and so heartbreaking. Alana and Ryan fall in love during the summer of her freshman year in college. Then one morning Alana wakes up and Ryan is gone, just ‘poof’ gone. Five years later she is attending her cousin Emily’s bachelorette party. Jack the Stripper takes the stage and the reader is introduced to Ryan Pierce, and it is an oh-so-awesome and comical introduction!
From the moment of their reunion the reader is thrust into Alana and Ryan’s relationship. There are so many twists and turns through the story. There were so many moments I thought the story would go one way and then it completely threw me for a loop and went in a totally unexpected direction. Ryan’s sudden departure the 5 years before is explained and completely unexpected. I loved this book and I couldn’t put it down! I give this story 4 books.
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About the Author
Marissa Carmel has loved writing ever since a young age. She has a duel degree in History and Political Science, but took as many creative writing classes in college as she could. She spent most of her twenties bartending, which is where she met her husband and a multitude of interesting people. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s hanging out with her family, experimenting in her kitchen or doing yoga on the living room floor.