Exclusive Excerpt + Giveaway: Exposed (#2, Madame X) by Jasinda Wilder

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Passion, power, seduction and secrets—bestselling author Jasinda Wilder returns with the second highly anticipated installment in the Madame X series, Exposed. With twists you don’t see coming, with grit and emotion, she delivers a story that will have you clamoring for more by the time you flip the final page. I’m so excited to share with you a sneak peek into the novel, which is out March 1st!

Plus, make sure you scroll down to the bottom to enter to win paperback sets of the series!

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Synopsis

Mar-01New York Times bestselling author Jasinda Wilder presents the second darkly seductive novel starring the mysterious Madame X. 

My name is Madame X.
My life is not my own.
But it could be…
 
Everything Madame X has ever known is contained within the four walls of the penthouse owned by her lover, her keeper—the man who controls her every move and dominates her desires.

While Caleb owns her body, someone else has touched her soul. X’s awakening at the hands of Logan’s raw, honest masculinity has led her down a new path, one that is as exciting as it is terrifying.

But Caleb’s need to own X completely knows no bounds, and he isn’t about to let her go. Not without a fight that could destroy them all…

Excerpt

I am naked; you are clothed.

The way it always is, it seems. Do you keep me naked merely because you enjoy the sight of my nude body? Or is it another form of control, of manipulation? A way of keeping me contained, keeping me captive? Some of both, I think. When I am naked—which is often, now that I live with you in your cavernous tower-top home—your eyes flit and float to me, rake over me, absorb my dusky flesh and athletic curves. Your eyes are always on me, even when you are working. Your eyes move from your laptop to me, pause on the elegant column of my throat, slip and slide down to the valley between my heavy breasts, to the flat plain of my belly, the juncture between my thighs, and then you, somewhat reluctantly, it sometimes seems, force your gaze back to your work.

Life with Caleb Indigo: a concerto of keyboard keys clicking and clacking, an overture of gazes and glances. You are always working. Always. I wake at midnight in the morning to the sound of your phone ringing—your ringer is a plain, old-fashioned bleating of a rotary-style phone—and you answer it with a curt “Indigo,” and you listen carefully, intently, and then respond in as few syllables as possible, end the call, toss the phone onto the nightstand close to hand, and tug me roughly up against your chest. Four a.m.: you jab your legs into slacks, shrug into a button-down, fingers nimble on the buttons, announce that you have business to see to, and then you do not return till three in the morning or four or even six, when you appear looking haggard and unshaven with dark circles under your eyes. But then, I, anticipating your return, am awake. And you know this.

And you stand at my side of the bed, staring down at me, waiting. I roll over, gaze up at you. Slowly, you divest yourself of your clothing. Your gaze will not leave me, and perhaps you slide the flat sheet away to bare my form. I cannot help but notice the way the zipper of your slacks tents and tautens as you gaze at me. And I am, in that moment, flushed with desire.

I cannot help it.

And I do try. Just to see if I have found some new source of self-control where you are concerned.

But the result is always the same: I see you, watch you peel the shirt off, unbutton it quickly, swing your arms back to pinch your shoulder blades together, and the shirt falls away. Your torso is bare, magnificent, a sculpture of tanned, muscled perfection. My throat will tighten and I am compelled to swallow again and again, as if I could swallow down my need for you. And then my gaze will rake down your furrowed eight-pack abdomen to your groin, to your bulging zipper, and my thighs clench around the gush of heated need. My breath comes in panting gasps.

I don’t need to say anything.

You unhook the clasp of your trousers, pinch the zipper tab in your big thumb and long forefinger, slowly draw it down. Free your erection. It will sway in front of my face, tall and hard and perfect.

And I am undone.

Any will I possess is eradicated.

Your hands will be rough on my flesh, scraping, teasing, possessing. And I will revel in that roughness, in the clutch of hard hands on my buttocks, tugging me to the end of the bed and holding me aloft as you plunge into me, eliciting a whimper.

And I will come apart for you, watching the tendons in your neck pulse and tighten, watching your abdomen flex, watching your hips drive, watching your biceps ripple as you keep me held effortlessly where you want me.

And you will come, too, but never quickly. Never until I have reached my own climax. And sometimes not until I have reached it twice. If I do not find that release with the driving and thrust of your body, you press that big thumb to my clitoris and force me to it with gentle, skillful, insistent circles as if you somehow just know precisely how to pleasure me.

When you do find your own release, it is quiet, an intense groan, perhaps a bead of sweat trickling down your temple, as if even your sweat obeys the rule of artfulness that seems to dictate your existence.

And then, done with me, you will brush a thumb over my temple, sweep flyaway locks of raven-black hair aside, grant me a moment of eye contact, a moment of personal connection. Just a moment, only a fragment of time. But something, at least. As if you know I need those moments to continue this . . . game.

This ruse.

This deception.

This faux-domestic relationship.

Without those moments of intimacy granted in that postcoital gaze, I would combust. Detonate.

And even with them, I am discontent. Disturbed.

You know it.

I know it.

But we do not speak of it. I try, and you brush it aside, sweep the conversation away like so much dust from a corner. Answer a phone call, claim to have a meeting to scurry off to, an e-mail to answer, a deal to broker.

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Review: Madame X (#1, Madame X) by Jasinda Wilder

Edgy and provocative, suspenseful with irresistible tension.
It’s a twisted, modern-day fairytale with secrets so deep,
you won’t want to stop reading.
5stars

Synopsis

My name is Madame X.
I’m the best at what I do…

Hired to transform the uncultured, inept sons of the wealthy and powerful into decisive, confident men, Madame X wields culture and wit like a knife. But behind her sophisticated facade X is a woman adrift, trapped between a dangerous past she can’t remember and the protection of a seductive man who claims her body—and her soul.

Undone time and again by his exquisite dominance, X craves and fears his desire in equal measure. And while she longs for the safety of her tower penthouse, she also yearns to escape. But X has never known anything or anyone else—until he came along…

My Review

“You’re mine, and only mine.”

Jasinda Wilder spins her most provocative, most suspenseful tale yet with Madame X. A modern-day mystery, with notes of inspiration from Rapunzel and Cinderella, the story draws you in from the very beginning. The combination of Jasinda’s sharp, sensually atmospheric writing and a multi-layered story steeped in secrets, makes this a compelling page turner.

The tale begins with Madame X. A beautiful woman who sees the world rushing by from the window of her penthouse, locked away by a man who strips her freedom yet keeps her safe. In her luxurious fortress, however, she is in control as she tames scions of wealthy businessmen, teaching them the nuances of power.

But while she wields the power in her penthouse, her own buckles under the dominance of Caleb Indigo. Her employer. Her savior. Her lover. Her captor.

“I belong to one man and one man alone, and he does not share.”

Madame X barely survived her past—one she cannot recall. Caleb pulled her from the throes of death and made her his, body, life and soul. Over the course of six years, however, as clients shuffle in and out her unmarked door, questions compound and her life begins to lose its clarity, especially when she meets Logan Ryan on a rare assignment outside her apartment.

“There is something there, some spark of need. You incite doubt in me. Make me wonder at my own life, at my ordered existence.”

Logan too is a man of mystery. Light, where Caleb is dark, Logan oozes seduction, but in a way altogether different than what she’s known. As temptation beckons and an unmistakable pull tautens, the stakes intensify. Caleb is always watching, consequences are unavoidable.

And as her carefully controlled life wildly unravels, secrets are revealed that could change everything. But would they? Could they? Could Madame X leave the safety of all she’s ever known? Could she leave the arms, however tight and controlling, of the man who saved her life? Or could she embrace the unfamiliar and redefine who she is and perhaps even uncover who she was?

Rife with tightly wound secrets and sensuality, Madame X’s story shifts and twists continuously as the story progresses (expertly written in second person). We realize how she longs for a place, a person to belong to, but by her own choice. By the story’s end, it’s exactly that—choice—that redefines her tale and changes the outlook of her life. Readers will be clamoring for more, as was I, by the flip of the final page.

“I am Madame X, and I am yours.”

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Excerpt

(Please make sure to read Part 1 here)

Logan produces a key—Len’s, I assume—from his pocket. Inserts and twists it to activate the elevator, which takes a moment to arrive, and then the doors open.

Logan nudges me on. “That won’t hold him for long. We gotta move, if we want to pull this off.”

He brings us to my floor, his arm around my waist, holding me up, helping me walk, swiftly, but carefully.

At my door, he reaches behind himself, withdraws the gun, a black piece of metal that looks small in his hand, held naturally, as if an extension of his arm. He throws my door open, an arm around me, his body in front of mine. The barrel sweeps the opening, quickly and professionally. He sits me on the couch, waves at me in a gesture to stay, and then disappears into my bedroom.

Moments later he’s back, a stack of clothing in his hands, shoved at me. “You have literally no practical clothes, X. You don’t even have practical underwear.”

He’s chosen a set of black Agent Provocateur lingerie, shelf bra, boy short panties. A pale blue sundress, sleeveless knee-length, red flowers printed around the hem. Strappy silver sandals, the smallest heel in my closet.

I shrug, take the clothes. “I don’t purchase my clothing.”

Logan’s eyes narrow, but he doesn’t remark on that comment. “Get dressed,” he says, brusque but with a note of kindness. “We don’t have a lot of time.” He turns away, shoves his hands in his back pockets, the gun barrel stuffed diagonally in his waistband at his back.

I dress quickly. It’s strange how having clothes on can change one’s mind-set.

Logan turns, peeks at me to make sure I’m decent, and then turns around completely. He takes my arms in his hands, eyes sincere, warm. “All right, X. I’m only going ask you this one time, and you need to think hard about your answer.” His hand goes to my cheek, brushes a lock of damp hair off my cheekbone. “I can take you away from here, if that’s what you want. But I’m not going to carry you out of here over my shoulder like some barbarian. You can come with me, or not. It’s your choice.”

I swallow hard.

This is all I know. Caleb, Len, this condo. I glance to the left: my library, the door open, all my books waiting. My window, my view.

But upstairs, that scene. Bent over, a hard hand on my throat. The sorcery of Caleb’s touch, as if my will is somehow subject to such easy manipulation. So easily left alone, no explanation, just an expectation that I’d be there, waiting, ready to do as Caleb instructs.

I don’t know what I want.

I don’t know Logan. The unknown is scary, and when you have no past, no identity, when you’ve but rarely ventured out of the small realm of the familiar, everything is unknown and scary.

But Logan is giving me a choice.

That, in itself, is enough to sway me.

The unknown is terrifying.

An eternity of the same few things I do know . . . that’s scarier yet.

“Take me with you, Logan.” I strive to sound confident, when I am anything but.

A very small smile cross his lips. “I hoped you’d say that.” His palm lifts, cups my cheek.

That touch, so gentle, so kind, hinting at strength held at bay; I nuzzle my cheek into his palm, and my eyes flutter, close. A moment, only, but it quiets the turmoil in my soul, if only for one fleeting moment.

As my eyes are closed, I feel his breath, his lips touching mine. Sweetly, softly,

He kisses me,

and kisses me,

and kisses me.

All in a moment.

I gasp as his lips leave mine, and then his hand tangles in mine, fingers twined, and he tugs me into motion. “Come on, honey. Time to go.”

And he takes me away from everything I know.

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Review: Falling Away (#4, Falling) by Jasinda Wilder

My Thoughts

Ben and Echo’s story sizzles in a gripping,
multidimensional story of love and loss.
It’s a perfect finale to one of my favorite contemporary romance series.

5stars

Synopsis

falling away coverMy name is Benjamin Dorsey. You know my mom and dad’s story. You know Kylie’s parents’ story. You even know Kylie’s story.

You don’t know mine, yet.

You don’t know what a broken heart is until you’ve loved someone your whole life, only to have her slip through your fingers because you waited too long. That’s heartbreak. That’s regret. And how do you live with that? How do you go through the motions when she’s there as a reminder of what you lost, of what you could have had but were too damn chicken to go after? I couldn’t. So I left.

That’s right, I ran away. I found myself across the continent, playing minor league football. I mean, at least I still had football, right?

Nope. That got taken away from me too. A career-ending injury left me down-and-out, scraping the bottom of the barrel, hating myself and hating life. And then I met Cheyenne Leveaux, my physical therapist, who became my one and only friend, the one bright light in the darkness of my messed up life.

But of course nothing is ever simple, or easy.

Tragedy struck, and the rug was swept out from under me yet again, and this time the guilt, the doubt, the secrets, and the old heartbreak may threaten my one chance at true happiness, my one shot at my own happily ever after.

My Review

Jasinda Wilder closes the Falling series with a powerful story of love and loss.  There are so many things I loved about this novel, and really, about the series as a whole. Like every installment we’ve devoured, it touts the perfect balance of steam and emotion, hope and heartache. And perhaps one of the things I’ve loved most about the series is that music is threaded through the story as a way to channel the turmoil of emotions they feel. But of course we’re talking Ben Dorsey here, so not only do we get that musical magic, we get football too. For me, I fell hopelessly in love with Falling Into You, which remains one of my favorite novels, caring deeply about Nell and Colt, and then Becca and Jason in Falling Into Us. As a part of that journey, it felt so special to follow their children, Kylie and then Ben, as they found love and experienced the crush and devastation of loss, in their own way. Falling Away is a story of second chances, of finding love again after you feel you’ve lost it all. It’s about finding someone when you least expect it and trusting that your heart will make you brave when the whole world seems to quake all around you.

Ben Dorsey has loved Kylie Calloway all his life, but when Kylie fell in love with Oz, Ben was left on the sidelines. He became someone he wasn’t proud of and shattered by heartache, he ran, leaving it all behind, adrift in the melancholy of his emotions. Town to town, state to state, he set out on a journey to figure out what was next for him. What could someone do with all that anger and heartbreak and regret? How would they move on?

When the road temporarily stops in Texas, Ben decides to join an experimental minor league football team and again he comes alive playing ball, with the promise of going pro. He had always hoped he would follow his dad’s footsteps on the field and he was finally getting his chance.

But then, fate plays yet another horrible hand and everything is gone in an instant with a career-ending injury.

Numb and alone, Ben finds a physical therapist to help him walk again and it turns out that Cheyenne Leveaux becomes his only friend. But even then, tragedy strikes and guilt floods him, joining the anger, loneliness, heartache and regret that have taken residence inside.

And then Ben meets Echo and everything changes.

“We’ve been brought together by a tragedy, and we can’t seem to stay away from each other.”

Echo plows into Ben’s life unexpectedly, grief-stricken and in need of someone. Someone to hold onto. Someone to help her forget the pain, albeit temporarily. Ben is drawn to her, but his emotions and guilt try to steer him away. There are secrets he keeps that could hurt Echo and she’s already hurting enough. But through the crush of their grief, they find a transient respite, discovering the pull of something more in the flames of their desire.

“Everything inside me is at war. My body wants one thing, my mind something else, my heart a different thing yet. And that’s all aside from the guilt.”

Their chemistry is palpable and some truths are revealed as walls begin to come down. Ben hasn’t been able to connect with anyone since Kylie, but with Echo, he’s never wanted anyone quite like that.  Echo has also had a past defined by hurt and loss. She’s been abandoned and broken, left to mend her own tattered heart and failing at doing so. She’s taken on the world boldly, recklessly, drowning her sorrows. And when their blissful bubble is ripped open by reality, she knows it’s time to leave Ben behind, but surprisingly, Ben isn’t ready to let go yet.

“I want more than one kiss. I want more than one night, more than one tumble in the sheets.”

Their story is shaped by more hard lessons and as they hit a very sobering rock bottom. They must choose whether they are ready for each other, for the promise of something wonderful together, but first, Echo must face her demons and Ben must face everything and everyone back home, including Kylie.

“You can fall, Echo. I’ll catch you. Because I’m falling too, and I need you to catch me, too.”

Ben and Echo’s story is so heartbreaking, but at the same time, so hopeful. Both of our protagonists have been through so much and they each have had different ways of coping. Echo has bottled up everything inside while Ben has run from facing it all. Their story is really about them having the courage to confront those issues, having those issues fall away, so they can finally find much-deserved happiness in the arms of each other.

Jasinda has really written a series of timeless romances, suffused with heartache, but also with so much love between the characters and their families. Falling Away is a worthy, wonderful finale and I loved it!

“You’re my everything, now and forever, come what may.”

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Reading Order and Links

Each book in the series can be read as a standalone, but best enjoyed as a series.

About Jasinda

Jasinda headshotNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jasinda Wilder is a Michigan native with a penchant for titillating tales about sexy men and strong women. When she’s not writing, she’s probably shopping, baking, or reading. ​Some of her favorite authors include Nora Roberts, JR Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Liliana Hart and Bella Andre. She loves to travel and some of her favorite vacations spots are Las Vegas, New York City and Toledo, Ohio. You can often find Jasinda drinking sweet red wine with frozen berries and eating a cupcake. Jasinda is represented by Kristin Nelson of the Nelson Literary Agency.

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Review: Beta by Jasinda Wilder

My Thoughts

Jasinda Wilder flips the story unexpectedly in this suspenseful page turner designed to get your heart racing from the very beginning.

4 four stars

Synopsis

Beta iBooksRoth and I are on an open-ended tour of the world. Roth being Roth, this means missionary in Morocco, reverse cowgirl in Calcutta, bent over the bow of a houseboat in Hanoi, slow and sleepy on St. John. Anywhere and everywhere, in every conceivable position, and some I didn’t know were possible.

Life was pretty incredible.

Until I woke up in his chateau in France, alone. On the bed next to me was a note. There were only four words:

He belongs to me.

 

My Review

This story is not what you expect. It doesn’t go down the path you think it would. Jasinda Wilder manages to surprise me by flipping the story onto its back and it totally works. She flipped a trope in a way I didn’t expect and in a way that shed light on Roth’s behavior in Alpha. In fact, I enjoyed this book much more than its predecessor, which surprised me, given that I loved the first book too. The characters felt better developed, the connection between our two protagonists believable and richer, the story line well paced. I loved that she kept the sexy backbone of the story, but I felt as if this sequel focused more on the characters, their past and the feelings that sparked and coursed between them. In addition, the suspense was utterly addictive as my heart raced anxiously through some harrowing and chill-inducing scenes. The story darkens and there were aspects of it that were hard to read from a character experience perspective, but I thought the way she brought awareness to a topic explored was rather bold.

“And everywhere I looked there he was. Telling me he loved me. Him, Valentine Roth, gorgeous, ripped, talented, gazillionaire businessman. He loved me. And he never got tired of telling me, showing me, making sure I knew I belonged to him.”

Kyrie and Roth had been living their happily ever after. Their time spent devouring each other between the sheets as well as globe-trotting to a new, exciting place each time the sun rose. But one day, Kyrie wakes up to an empty bed… a cold and chilling emptiness made worse by a knife and a note… He belongs to me.

“You are mine, my dearest Valentine.  I want you at my mercy.  I want you squirming and begging. So beg, Valentine. Beg me to stop.”

Roth’s absence unearths truths that were buried… dark truths Kyrie is shocked to discover. And suddenly, bullets rain all around her as danger pursues and she’s swept into a new reality she couldn’t begin to imagine.

I don’t want to spoil anything for you at all, so I’ll cease the major plot points there.  There’s a great deal of action, some heavy emotional issues and tons of suspense. This book really does have a different feel to it and I think lots of people will really enjoy this second installment. The only thing I battled with was the ending. Jasinda chose to end in an intriguing way (a perspective she explains), yet I would have loved to see a more tightly closed conclusion given the circumstances IF the series ends here, if it does not, it’s really rather perfect and a solid 5-star read. You guys will have to weigh in once you read the suspenseful continuation of Roth and Kyrie’s story. I assure you, you’re in for a ride!

“You belong to me, Kyrie St. Claire. That is true now and that will always be true.”

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Note, if story lines that cover rape/torture/violence are triggers, this may not be the book for you.

Book Trailer

Reading Order and Links

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About Jasinda

Jasinda headshotNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jasinda Wilder is a Michigan native with a penchant for titillating tales about sexy men and strong women. When she’s not writing, she’s probably shopping, baking, or reading. Some of her favorite authors include Nora Roberts, JR Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Liliana Hart and Bella Andre. She loves to travel and some of her favorite vacations spots are Las Vegas, New York City and Toledo, Ohio. You can often find Jasinda drinking sweet red wine with frozen berries and eating a cupcake. Jasinda is represented by Kristin Nelson of the Nelson Literary Agency.

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