Risque Business

Posted by: Tawny Weber

 Hi Everyone!!  I’m Tawny and I write for Harlequin Blaze.  I was thrilled when Jennifer invited me to visit and share a little about my latest book with you.  

Risque Business is a makeover story.  I was really excited about this concept becuase I’m a huge makeover fan.  You know, the kind who can’t pass the department store makeup counters without playing in the eyeshadow, and watches those make-over a house in 8 hours shows?  My favorite fairy tale was The Ugly Duckling and I have this deep, abiding belief in the power of Swans LOL. 

So a makeover themed book was a natural for me.  I took a heroine who has complete confidence in her brains, but feesl invisible otherwise and paired her with a hero who has complete confidence in EVERYTHING… except love. The result was a LOT of sparks.  But sparks are good in a Blaze, right?

 When both of their jobs are on the line, Nick Angel and Delaney Conner resort to a public bet to prove whether Delaney’s reviews reflect public opinion.  But the real bet, the HOT bet, is the private one between just the two of them.  This bet?  To prove that good sex requires emotions, or to acknowlege that great sex only requires simple lust.   Crazy bet?  Well Delaney thought so, too.  That is, until Nick convinced her. 

This is how he did it…


 “Either prove good sex needs emotions…” Nick Angel trailed off, his voice pure liquid heat, “or admit the greatest sex in the world is purely physical.”   

Delaney gasped.  Sure, she’d imagined sex with him.  What woman under ninety with a pulse wouldn’t?  And he’d given her some hot looks that coming from any other guy—to any other gal—she’d have imagined meant he might be interested.  But her?  And the sexiest man alive?  The idea made her head spin, and, she squirmed, made her panties damp. 

     “You expect me to sleep with you?” she asked in her most shocked tone.  It was mostly show, though.  She’d already had sex with the man in her mind at least a dozen times since he’d walked on the set.  But to actually have sex with him?  Her makeover was much too surface for that. 

     “Can you think of any better way to prove your point?” he asked with a wicked laugh.  The look on his face made it clear he was turned on by the concept.  Delaney narrowed her eyes.  It had to be a trick.  Guys didn’t give her those long, sexy looks.  Not unless they wanted something.  Or, in Nick’s case, wanted to distract her.  Or worse, make her look like a fool. 

     Her shoulders tightened. 

     “You have to be kidding,” she said with a sniff.  “I’m not having…  how did you put it? Sexual relations with you just to win some stupid bet.”

     “Don’t you want to learn firsthand my version of intimacy?”

     “Just as much as you want to experience a committed, loving relationship,” she shot back. 

     “And you really believe that to have good sex, that emotional thing needs to be present?”

     “I do.  Passion is stronger than lust,” she insisted.  With a wave of her hand, she gestured between the two of them.  “How easy would it be to say, sure, let’s do it.  We could walk through that door and rip each other’s clothes off.  We could get hot, sweaty and wild.  Screams of satisfaction would echo down the hallway.”  She eyed the smug look on his face and arched her brow before adding, “Your screams.”

     His grin was fast and appreciative. 

Delaney’s breath hitched at the sight, but she didn’t let desire cloud her argument. 

“But it wouldn’t matter.  It’d only be a fleeting passion.  Quick, pointless and once it was over, you’d walk away without another thought.  That,” she pointed out, “is lust.  Which would only prove my point.”

     His eyes had darkened to a deep midnight blue, the hunger flaming clear and bright.  From the intensity of his stare, he liked the image her words evoked. 

     Nick took a step forward, so close the heat of his body warmed her beaded nipples.  Delaney lifted her chin, trying to hide the fact that she was not only turned on, but intimidated as hell. 

     “What if I promised you that if you unlock that door, the sex would be so good you’d forget all about the myth of love?”

     Delaney gulped but didn’t back down.  Not when her entire belief system was on the line. 

     “I might forget for the moment.  Good sex has a way of doing that.”  At least, she’d imagine it did.  She’d never personally had sex good enough to make her forget Lady Chatterley’s Lover, let alone something as important as her feelings.  “But that’s not what I’m talking about.  I’m saying that true intimacy, that passion, is more than slam, bam, thank you ma’am.”

     “And I’m saying if the slamming is done right, ma’am is the one doing the thanking.”

     Delaney rolled her eyes.

     “You’re playing with words,” she told him.

     “Words are my specialty.  They’re not all I’m good at, though,” he said, stepping close enough for her to feel the heat from his body.  Her own responded instantly. 

     “Obviously,” she murmured, not about to argue his sexual prowess.  After all, the guy got her hot and wet just standing there in all his male cockiness.  If he actually put some moves on, she’d probably melt into a whimpering puddle. 

     “Speaking of bets…” he said, his words trailing off as he moved even closer.  Heat radiated off his chest and an answering flame flickered low in her belly.  “What do you say?  A no strings fling.  Hot, wild sex.” 

He took that final step, bringing his body flush against hers.  Delaney bit back a whimper at the sweet pressure of his chest against her aching nipples, his thigh, warm and hard, pressed between her legs.

He placed his hands on the wall on either side of her head and lowered his face until his mouth was within centimeters of hers.  Delaney swallowed, unable to tear her gaze from the hypnotic blue depths of his.  Like under an irresistible spell, she simply waited, both eager and terrified to see if he’d follow through. 

When he did, it wasn’t the deep, wild kiss she’d anticipated.  Instead it was more of a tease.  A soft brush of his lips over hers, warm, moist, gentle.  Any other guy and she’d have termed it sweet. 

His eyes still holding hers prisoner, Nick pulled back just a bit, his breath still warming her mouth.

     That was it? The hottest guy she’d ever had pressed against her and that was the kiss she inspired?  Delaney wanted to grab his hair and yank him closer, ravage his mouth with hers. To kiss him with the intense, deep passion she hadn’t even known she wanted. 

“Just consider it,” he murmured.

Her eyes narrowed, but before she could say anything, his mouth plunged again, this time taking hers with a fierce intensity that shot straight down to her belly.  Damp, warm heat pooled between her legs as she gave herself over to the wild power of his kiss. 

Delaney couldn’t think, could barely react, before he’d pulled back.  Not just his mouth, but his entire body. He stepped away, leaving her churned up, panting and cold where her body missed the warmth of his.  

“One month,” he said in a husky whisper.  “We give each other a month, totally focused on physical pleasure.  In the end, you’ll admit I’m right.” 

And that’s how Nick hooked Delaney into their little bet.  What do you think? Would you have gone for the bet if he’d issued it?

Methinks I would have 😉 

I’d love to hear what you think!  I’ll draw a name to win a copy of one of my backlist from the comments – so please, share whether you’d have taken the bet, or told Nick to take a hike :-)

And if you’d like, drop on by my website to check out my other books or see what kind of things I’ve got going on. 

32 Responses to “Risque Business”

  1. TAMI blackroze37 Says:

    lol i would take the bet :)

  2. Emily Bryan Says:

    Great excerpt! You’ve certainly got the sexy premise down.


  3. Jennifer A. Ray Says:

    I so would have been up for pretty much anything Nick proposed!!! I loved Risque Business!

    Oh, and I saw it in my Wal-Mart last night… *grin*

  4. Ing Says:

    Welcome to WOB, Tawny.

    OMG…that was a HOT excerpt! Talk about weak knee moment. I’d so attack Nick on the spot and wouldn’t let the boy up for air at least a week…lol!

    Off to add this to my list! :)

  5. Yosha Says:

    Hi Tawny,

    hmmmm… would I have taken that bet? *taps chin thoughtfully* Why yes, yes I would! lol

    What a great excerpt – thanks for sharing. And welcome to WoB! Always great to hear different voices telling us stories!

  6. JOYE Says:

    I would have taken the et. I am always up for a challenge. this book sounds so good.

  7. Tawny Weber Says:

    Whoohooo, a group of wild women 😀 I love it that you all would have taken the bet LOL. Delaney definitely did… but boy did it push her buttons. Which worked out okay, since she was soooo good at pushing HIS buttons.

    Jennifer, I can’t believe its already out. I always think my books will hit the shelves on its actual release date (the 26th) and am blown away to hear they are out sooner. Its like a baby arriving early 😉

    Thank you all for the good feedback on the excerpt. I’d love to answer any questions if you have them. On the book, writing, anything you want :-)

  8. Yosha Says:

    I have a question …

    When you are the reader (rather than the writer) what makes for a memorable character? Good? Bad? Makes you want to boo and hiss?

    What are your favorite authors?

    Guess that was more than one question ….

  9. Yosha Says:


    Should have said, WHO are your favorite authors?

  10. Jennifer A. Ray Says:

    Joye, it is a wonderful book! Ever since I read it, I have been itching to find a hunky, single male author I can review and inspire him to challenge me similarly…

    A girl can dream, right? Especially when books like this fuel the fantasies… LOL

    Tawny, the Kroger grocery and the Wal-Mart I shop at in Nashville almost always stock the new Harlequin books about a week before their actual release date. I know, cause I am always there buying up the Harlequin Blazes and the Silhouette Nocturnes I have to have… *grin*

  11. Jennifer A. Ray Says:

    By the way, did I mention that Wild on Books reviewed it? 😀


  12. Tawny Weber Says:

    Wild On Books was the first to review Risque Business and I have to say… I love you all! 😉

    Yosha, you asked: When you are the reader (rather than the writer) what makes for a memorable character? Good? Bad? Makes you want to boo and hiss?

    What are your favorite authors?

    Great questions. I’ll answer them backwards since thats easier LOL. My favorite authors – the ones who’ve had the major influence on both my writing and on me personally are Vicki Lewis Thompson, Nora Roberts and Beth Andrews. Vicki for her brilliant way of writing a sexy book that keeps me laughing. Nora because she creates heroines that could rule the world, and Beth because she’s one of the most amazing new authors on the scene, but also because she and I have been Critiqueing with each other for…well, ever, and she simply rocks.

    As a reader, I want to feel for the characters. I can actually forgive (but not overlook, writing ruined me that way LOL) plot holes if the characters draw me in and make me want to see them succeed. I love a story that makes me laugh or empowers me in any way. You know the kind, the ones you read where the characters are overcoming something major-either externally or emotionally- and you just go “wow, if they can do that… why can’t I do this?” Nora does that for me.

    Boo and hiss… characters that don’t grow. I want to see them win, of course, but I want to see them learn and become stronger on the way to winning. Perfect characters and weak characters are both boo and hiss material for me because I can’t relate or learn from them. Does that make sense?

    wow, I sure demand a lot from my reading, don’t I?

  13. Tawny Weber Says:

    Jennifer, I’d love to find a Nick Angel for you 😉 I think every woman should have that kind of wild challenge in her life LOL

  14. cheryl c. Says:

    Hmmm…when I was younger, I might have taken him up on the challenge, but now that I am an old married woman I guess I will just have to imagine it while I am in bed with my husband! 😉

    Great excerpt, by the way!

  15. Layken Says:

    Welcome welcome! I have to say *fans herself* if a stud like Nick were to kiss me like that I would be banging down the nearest door for some privacy.

    I would definitely take that bet. I always did love a good challenge. Though, I would try to play it smart and make him work for it 😉 After all…I believe that all is fair in love and seduction.

    Loved the excerpt…I will be looking for this at my nearest bookstore.

  16. Jennifer A. Ray Says:

    I have a question…

    Do you ever have real life people in mind when you write the characters in your books? Maybe a celebrity or a photo of a model that inspired you?

    Also, do you have music playlists for each book?

    OK, I had TWO questions, then. LOL

  17. SheilaMonique Says:

    OMG yes I would have jumped at the bet lol

  18. Sue A. Says:

    With everything to gain and nothing to lose, of course I’d take the bet!

  19. Tawny Weber Says:

    Jennifer asked:
    Do you ever have real life people in mind when you write the characters in your books? Maybe a celebrity or a photo of a model that inspired you?

    Also, do you have music playlists for each book?

    Oooh, good questions :-) Nope. I can’t quite get characters to do what I want if they are based on someone else. Also, in my mind, my characters become real. But if they were based on someone else, Johnny Depp as the hero for instance (yum) I’d always have this thought that when he’s done playing this role, he’ll leave my heroine and go back to his real life. I’d always be asking myself “how would he play this” or “what would he do here” and while I’ve seen that used really well as a writing device, I can’t seem to make it work for me :-)

    And definitely on the playlist! I write with headphones on and I create a new soundtrack for each book. You can check out Risque Business’ playlist here: http://blog.tawnyweber.com/risque-business-fun/

  20. Jennifer A. Ray Says:

    Great playlist! Now that I’ve looked at it, I have another question, of course. :)

    Do you choose songs that put you in a certain mood, or do you choose them for the messages in them? Or, do you choose genres and artists you think your characters would listen to? Then again, is there a different answer I haven’t even anticipated? LOL

  21. Tawny Weber Says:

    While I’m writing the partial (first three chapters) of the book, I’ll just listen to all the music stored in my iPod and when a song clicks or feels right, I’ll put it into the playlist. Then I look at what I have and see what kind of mood I have going. Sometimes there is a theme, sometimes there is a tempo. For instance, my current book has a lot of fast paced, upbeat dialogue and I ended up going in search of bubblegum songs LOL. You know, dance tunes and… well, the Beach Boys. For whatever reason, that just felt right. The only time I’ll really push myself to get MORE music is if I have less than 2 hours of tunes.

  22. Beth Andrews Says:

    Hi all! I followed Tawny over here (to be honest, I follow her everywhere *g*) I’m so glad she posted that excerpt from Risque Business – isn’t it hot? And believe me, that’s just the beginning. RB is one of my favorite stories because it’s not only super sexy and fun, but it’s also emotional. Both Nick and Delaney overcome their fears in such a strong, believable way that you can’t help loving them both!

    Of course, Nick is also smokin’ HOT so he’s easy to love 😉

  23. Jennifer A. Ray Says:

    Beth, I have to agree with you absolutely!

    On ALL counts. 😀

  24. Tawny Weber Says:

    Not that Beth is biased or anything LOL 😀 She keeps saying Nick is her favorite hero. Oh wait, no – I take that back, I think the hero in my current work, Reece Carter, is her new favorite. He’s a slow talking, wise cracking, tight-jean wearing cowboy… and he’s on a mission.

  25. Jennifer A. Ray Says:

    Slow-talking, wise-cracking, tight-jean wearing cowboy on a mission???

    You ready for reviews on that one yet?

    *smiles hopefully*


  26. Tawny Weber Says:

    LOL thanks Jennifer! Nope, its not ready yet. this is for my May ’09 release, GOING DOWN HARD. It and COMING ON STRONG will be back to back in the spring and I’m only half finishied with this baby. But… I promise, as soon as it’s ready, you’ll be the first review I ask for!!!

  27. Tawny Weber Says:

    And the Magic Number Generator says the winner is:


    Joye, congrats :-) You can choose from any of my backlist (ie: either book LOL You can check them out at http://www.tawnyweber.com/bookshelf ) and drop me an email at Tawny@TawnyWeber.com with which one you want and your shipping info. Just put Jennifer Rocks in the subject line for me 😉

  28. Jennifer A. Ray Says:

    Congratulations to JOYE!!!! I hope you enjoy your new book!

    Thanks everyone for chatting with Tawny… It was a fun blog!

    And thank you to Tawny for being here with us. Oh, and I love that email subject line you asked Joye to use… LOL

  29. Angelique Says:

    Aww darn I got here too late for the drawing! Oh well. Tawney, I love this excerpt! The way you grab your reader’s attention with the bone melting, skin tingling, toe curling suspense of what promisses to be a stunning kiss….oh lordy! I am definitely running out to Wal Mart after payday tomorrow to find Risque Business!! Also, YES I would take Nick up on the bet in a nanosecond! LOL

    Jennifer, I’m with ya on the Nocturne obsession! So far my favorite series was Bloodrunners and I am breathlessly awaiting the next edition to “Warriors for the Light”.

  30. Jennifer A. Ray Says:

    Hi Angelique!

    I love the Bloodrunners series too! I haven’t read the Warriors for the Light books, but I’ll look them up. I can highly recommend Lisa Renee Jones’ Knights of White series with Nocturne, though. :-)

    And of course it goes without saying that I highly recommend Risque Business! But I still like saying it… *grin*

  31. Tawny Weber Says:

    Hey Angelique! Thank you so much :-) I’d love to hear what you think of Risque Business. Jennifer has been awesome in her high recommendations LOL – I’m honored.

  32. Angelique Says:

    Tawney, I was unable to get it at my local Wal Mart Friday evening. They still have August Desire books on the shelves and havn’t updated to the September Blaze and Nocturnes yet. I will keep checking until I’m lucky enough to secure my copy!

    Jennifer, I have highly enjoyed the Knights of White series as well. I missed the first book with Jag and Karen’s story but have caught the past 2 books. Excellent reading! The first book in the Nocturne genre was a “Warriors for the Light” book. It is a 7 book series on Panther shifters trying to stop an evil wizard from collecting all the emerald spheres. Once the emerald spheres are collected, they will form a neclace, if the evil side wears the necklace, evil will control the world for 1000 years. I highly recommend it! (The book, not evil winning) HAHAHA

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