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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A Naughty New Year...Brazen Style with Nina Crespo and Giveaway

Nina Crespo lives in Florida where she indulges in her favorite passions—the beach, a good glass of wine, date night with her own real-life hero and dancing. Her lifelong addiction to romance began in her teens while on a “borrowing spree” in her older sister’s bedroom where she discovered her first romance novel. Curiosity about people and places, including what’s beyond the stars, fuels her writer’s imagination.

Her Birthday Dare series novellas, TAKE ME IF YOU DARE and NAUGHTY LITTLE WISHES, are available from Entangled Publishing. Her fantasy series, THE SONG, is available through Kensington Publishing-Lyrical Press. Let Nina’s sensual contemporary stories and steamy paranormal tales feed your own addiction for love, romance, and happily ever after. 

For almost a year, Tab and Drew, the main characters in NAUGHTY LITTLE WISHES, have enjoyed a happy relationship. Then Tab starts noticing changes in Drew. Does he still love her or is he about to break her heart?


A Birthday Dare Short Story

“I’m so glad you suggested this place for lunch. The minestrone is fantastic.” Her best friend Jasmine paused in eating her soup. She gave Tab a puzzled look from across the table. “Something wrong with your salad?”

Words lodged in Tab’s throat. She took a deep breath and pushed them out. “I’m breaking up with Drew and moving back to Texas.”

“Did he try to make you eat granola again?”

“I’m serious. It’s over” Tab smoothed back a strand of auburn hair. She rearranged the napkin on her lap. “Stop staring at me like something just popped out of my head.”

“What did you expect with that announcement?”

“For you to be a good friend and support me.”

“I’ll always be your friend, but support you on this?” Jasmine’s gaze grew skeptical under her dark bangs. “You’re crazy about him.”

“Being crazy about him isn’t the problem.” A weight settled in Tab’s chest. “Lately, Drew’s been on edge. He’s secretive and distracted. When I tried to talk to him about it, he claimed nothing was wrong, but trust me. I know the signs. I’ve been down this road before. We’re destined for a breakup.”

“You are, huh?” Jasmine snickered. “Never would have guessed it from the horizontal mambo the two of you were doing in his office a couple of weeks ago.”

Tab’s navy dress grew overly warm. “That part of our relationship is fine.”

Honestly, what happened that night baffled her. Drew had always insisted they never get physical at Bode-Wynn. All that stuff about setting a good example as the CEO. She’d stopped by late, after she thought everyone had left, hoping they could talk. They were on the verge of another argument when he’d kissed her senseless. Next thing she knew they were on top of his desk. On second thought, his odd behavior fit right in with his recent avoidance issues.

“So when are you planning to break the news.” Jasmine brushed a bread crumb from the sleeve of her beige blouse. The diamond solitaire on her left hand winked in the light.

Jasmine and her boyfriend Ethan had gotten engaged a couple of months ago. They were so right for each other. Tears pricked Tab’s eyes. She’d hoped something more might happen for her and Drew, especially since he’d invited her to move into his place. She hadn’t thought twice about relocating to Florida. As a personal stylist who traveled to meet clients, she could run her company from anywhere. Sure, they were opposites in a lot of ways, but their relationship had seemed to rest on solid ground. What went wrong? “I’m telling him tonight. I fly out in the morning.”

Jasmine sat up straight. “You’re leaving tomorrow? But that’s New Year’s Eve.”

“Doesn’t matter. Drew isn’t interested in celebrating. What am I supposed to do—sit in front of the television and watch the minutes tick by, knowing the ball’s going to drop right on our relationship?” She stalled Jasmine’s response with a raised hand. “I’ve made up my mind. You can’t talk me out of it.”

“All right, I won’t.”

“Really?” Tab stabbed at her salad. She’d expected at least one good objection.

“Nope. But before you leave, you and I are going to have one last hurrah in Orlando, starting now.”

“But you have to work, and I need to pack.”

“I’ll reschedule my meetings, and I promise to have you at Drew’s place before dark.” Jasmine grinned. “Come on. Play hooky with me. I dare you.”

Tab pushed her plate away. “You can’t be serious.” Since the age of eight, they’d issued each other dares on their birthdays, but this wasn’t her birthday or a celebration. Her phone dinged signaling a new text. Drew—coming home late. Again. To hell with it. All she’d done today was cry and listen to her heart break. If New Year’s Eve was going to suck, she deserved a few hours of happiness with her best friend. “All right, but you’re driving.” Tab flagged down the server. “I’m ordering champagne.”


Five hours, two mini makeovers, and several boutiques later, Jasmine halted her blue convertible in Drew’s driveway. A new shade of burgundy lipstick highlighted her pretty face, along with her smile. She flipped her newly trimmed, dark hair over her shoulder and looked to Tab in the passenger’s seat. “Back, as promised.”

“Thanks.” Tab got out. She laughed as she tugged down the hem of her new black minidress. “I can’t believe I let you talk me into buying and wearing this the entire afternoon.”

Jasmine pointed to her own outfit—the same as Tab’s but in red. “It’s not like I let you play dress up alone.”

They removed boutique shopping bags from the trunk.

Sadness welled in Tab’s chest. Time to face reality.

Jasmine pointed at her. “Don’t you dare cry. We look too damn good to ruin our makeup.”

Tab sniffed. “You’re right. I refuse to leave Drew with the memory of me as an emotional wreck.” She put a hand on her hip and mocked a model’s pose. “I want him to remember me as the gorgeous woman he shouldn’t have let get away.”

“That’s my girl.” Jasmine gave her a tight hug. “It’ll work out. You’ll see.”

Juggling boutique bags along with her clutch, Tab crossed the threshold. She dropped her purse on the entryway table and the bags on the floor. Rosemary chicken? That was her favorite. Her new stilettoes clicked on the tiles as she followed the delicious scent down the hall and into the kitchen. The dark marble counters and steely appliances remained as pristine as when she’d left that morning. Was she imagining she smelled food?

“You’re home.” Drew strolled in through the archway from the living room.

Tab’s knees grew weak. Her dress too tight. Damn. A GQ cover model had nothing on him in that gray suit and blue silk tie.

As he raked his dark hair, his broad shoulders fell with a long breath. His expression turned grim. “We need to talk.”

No. That was her line. She was supposed to break the news, not the other way around. Tab swallowed against the lump in her throat. “Why waste words? We should just get to the point. I—”

Drew hauled her against him and kissed her. Citrus and amber cologne and the sweep of his tongue intoxicated her faster than the champagne she’d enjoyed after lunch.

He ended the kiss and took her hand. “Don’t say another word. Just come with me.”

The sheer curtains covering the glass sliding door in the living room billowed, revealing lit white candles floating in the pool.

She followed him outside.

The setting sun gleamed off of a vase filled with peach orchids and pale pink roses. The centerpiece highlighted a linen-covered table set for two.

Tab struggled to form a sentence. “What is this?”

“What I’m hoping will be one of the most important days of our lives.” What shone is his hazel eyes made her heart squeeze. “Along with the day we buy our first home. Have our first kid, who I’m sure we’ll completely screw up.” He chuckled. Drew brushed a kiss across the back of her hand. “I don’t want to share those experiences with anyone but you.”

“Oh…” Tab’s vision grew blurry. She blinked tears away to find him knelt at her feet.

He held a diamond and emerald ring. “Tabitha Lynn Drake. Will you marry me?”

“Yes. Absolutely, yes!”

Drew slipped the ring on her finger. He stood. “Babe, you’re shaking.”

“I thought…I thought we were breaking up.”

“I know. Jasmine told me.”

“She did?”

“Yeah.” He huffed out a chuckle. “She sent me a 911 text this afternoon telling me my sorry ass better pick up the phone. Apparently, you were in the dressing room when she called.”

A giggle bubbled out of Tab. “That explains why she kept burying me under clothes to try on.”

He cradled Tab’s face and kissed her. “I didn’t mean to scare you. I was worried about making sure this moment was right. I didn’t anticipate how much it would take to coordinate the party and reserve a private bungalow.”

“Party…a bungalow?”

“I know how much you love New Year’s so I planned a surprise engagement party tomorrow night. Afterwards, you and I were going to Negril for a few days. That’s why I was working late. I needed to clear my desk.”

Her heart sank. “And I ruined it.”

“It’s my fault. Celine tried to to warn me. I should have factored in how hard it is to surprise you.” He pulled her close. “The only way this could have been ruined is if you’d said no.”

“Never.” Tab wound her arms around his neck. She brushed her mouth over his. “It scared me to think of a future without you.”

Her world narrowed to the drag and glide of his tongue, and a slow, sensual caress down her back. He cupped her ass, and his hard length pressed to her belly branded in her mind what the rest of the night would bring.

In bed, desire built to the level of torturous need as he stroked deeply inside of her. His gaze held hers as he controlled the pace, moving his hips in ways that intensified the pleasure. An orgasm chased her, but he eased back, leaving her hovering, quivering. He thrust inside of her, and she shattered, surrendering to bliss.

Floating in lingering erotic sensations, Tab curled up to his side.

Drew kissed her forehead. “Dinner is in the oven if you’re hungry.”

“Not now. Maybe later.” As she traced a pattern over his tight abs, the marquis diamond surrounded by emeralds winked in the lamplight.

“Do you like the ring?” His deep voice rumbled in his chest.

“I don’t like it. I love it. It’s perfect. Tonight’s perfect. I couldn’t imagine more.”

“So does that mean I can cancel the party and bungalow? It would save me a few bucks. This whole engagement gig is expensive.”

“Save a few bucks?” She snapped her head up.

Drew grinned.

She punched his arm. “Not funny. No way are we canceling that party.” She peppered his face with kisses. “We’re celebrating tonight, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s day, and in Negril.”

Drew rolled Tab to her back. Desire darkened his eyes. “I’m all in for celebrating.” He trailed his palm over her breast and down her belly.

Tab wrapped her arms around him. Joy swelled with passion as she lifted her hips into his caress. “Today and for the rest of our lives.”

Find out how one decadent birthday dare started it all! Pick up the entire Birthday Dare series: TAKE ME IF YOU DARE and NAUGHTY LITTLE WISHES. Stay connected! Find out about Nina Crespo’s latest book releases and news by following her on Facebook and Twitter, and don’t forget to subscribe to her newsletter or blog.

**All rights reserved by Nina Crespo, including the right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means.

Opposites attract. Enemies ignite…

There’s nothing personal stylist Tabitha Drake loves more than pissing off Andrew Bode. He’s uptight, he refuses to agree with her on anything, and she loathes the hideous brown suits and red power ties he wears. The man even hates ice cream. How can her best friend work for a man who hates ice cream? But the absolute worst thing about Drew? He’s sexy as hell, and she’s totally and ridiculously attracted to him.

Military contractor Andrew Bode is convinced he and Tab will never get along. Unfortunately, the infuriating—and sinfully tempting—stylist is his ticket to a major account. The only way to get what he wants is to agree to Tab’s terms: a style makeover. However, Drew has a few terms of his own, most of which involve her naked in his bed. But neither of them is prepared when their lust-fueled hostility turns into something altogether unexpected…

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  1. That book sounds hot! I love enemies to lovers plot it makes for an intense read

  2. Thank you for the chance to win :)

  3. Thanks for the post, I really enjoyed the short story! I'm going to have to check out the Dare series! =D

    1. I had a lot of fun writing it. Hope you like the series:)

  4. Fun excerpt! Love the description of the ring!

  5. Aww, thanks for the snippet. I love that she got surprised with a proposal. So romantic.

    1. You're welcome, Jen:) Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Will be reading as it sounds great! Thank you for this giveaway.

  7. I've never read Nina's books before. Looks like a good place to start.

  8. The excerpt sounds great! Thanks for the great giveaway chance! Do have any over-the-top New Year's Eve moments?

    1. I'm still working on it:) What about you, Marcy

    2. I'm sure there are some from my younger years, but I can't really remember them. Probably from the adult beverage intake on those nights. lol. I never did anything special, just hanging out at the local bar with friends. Always fun, but never too over the top.

  9. Loved this and thank you for introducing me to Nina!!

  10. Great review . I'll need to get then. I have 3 or 4 Jane paperbacks . Ninas one sounds great

  11. Thanks for the review. Adding to my TBR. Thanks for the chance.

  12. Book sounds awesome! Thanks for the chance to win!

  13. Thanks for the excerpt about their engagement.

  14. I like the sound of those characters!

    1. Thanks, Di. Drew and Tab are one of my favorite couples:)

  15. Thanks for that great look at Tab and Drew.

  16. This sounds like a very fun series!

    1. I hope you'll give the series a try:) Thanks for stopping by, Theresa.

  17. sweet story :) thanks for sharing!

  18. Nina, what are your writing plans for 2016?

    1. I currently have one more book to complete in The Song series early this year. After that, sleep would be nice:) Then, I'm starting a new contemporary series. Thanks for asking and for stopping by!

  19. Replies
    1. You're welcome, Glenda:) Hope you enjoyed it.

  20. I love it when authors I like are nice and have giveaways. Thank you.

    1. Thank you! I appreciate you stopping by:) Good luck with the giveaways!

  21. That doubts like a good book that I would enjoy reading.

  22. That doubts like a good book that I would enjoy reading.

  23. Replies
    1. Hi, Mary:) Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by!

  24. Hi Everyone! I hope you enjoyed the story:) Thanks for stopping by and good look with all of the giveaways!

  25. Hello Nina, The Birthday Dare series sounds great ♡ Looking forward to reading it. Thank you

  26. Sounds so good! Thanks for the chance to win!

    1. You're welcome, Amy! Good luck with your entry in all of the giveaways:)

  27. Intense chemistry! I'd love to read Tab and Drew's story!

  28. I definitely appreciate a good enemies read! Thank you!

  29. Thanks for the giveaway.
    How do you know when is the turning point, when the dislike needs to turn to like in a book?

    1. Hi Deb! Great question. In my opinion, and without getting super technical: In the beginning, it’s all about the push pull of irritation plus attraction. The characters can't get away from and/or keep their hands off of each other:)

      By the midpoint of the story, we’re seeing more of the two step forward, one step back part of their relationship; HOWEVER, the relationship is building. By the time they face their major crisis later on, we the readers are cheering for them to stick it out, and make it to happily ever after. Make sense?

  30. Thank you nina for offering such an awesome giveaway.

  31. Thank you nina for offering such an awesome giveaway.

  32. A good excerpt. Sounds intriguing. Thanks for the giveaway.

  33. Loved it. Look forward to reading more of these two! Thanks for the great giveaway too! :)

  34. Enjoyed reading this snippet! Can't wait to check out Drew & Tab's story.

  35. I had read Naughty Little Wishes last year and absolutely loved it!!! I loved how Drew and Tab's relationship developed... definitely one of my favorite books. I came upon your website and read the continuation short story, which I truly enjoyed!!! Thanks Nina