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Some have described the coming of age romance ‘Blaze’ by Erika Chase as a dirty, delightful read and the perfect vacation book. Filled with complex characters, each with lots of sex appeal and an actual story behind them, Blaze could quite possibly make you want to read all night.

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“I’m not asking you to promise me happily ever after, Gabriel, if that’s what you’re thinking.”

“Good. Because happily ever after doesn’t exist.”

Kate McDonald is a small-town girl struggling to hold her head above water in San Francisco. Her dreams seem to be slipping through her fingers, her love life is non-existent, and the rent is due. When she attends an industry party, the most she hopes for is a bit of networking and a free dinner. She doesn’t expect to be swept off her feet by a sexy millionaire…

Gabriel Call doesn’t believe in happily ever after, but that doesn’t stop him from writing the most popular romance novels in the world. His characters may ride off into the sunset, but to Gabriel, relationships are nothing more than a complication he doesn't want or need. Then he meets Kate McDonald and everything changes…

Kate and Gabriel begin what they swear will be a no-strings-attached relationship, unable to get enough of each other. Can Kate stop herself from falling for a man who ignites passion inside of her she never knew existed? Or will her fears of the future, and Gabriel's tormented past, tear them apart?

Blaze is the first book in the ongoing Blaze adult romance series.

Download Your Kindle Copy of - Blaze (Blaze Series Book 1)

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Blaze Chapter Read



All I can think is that I should have stopped for dinner. The bubbles in my champagne are making my head swim and a whole swarm of butterflies is doing crazy loops in the pit of my stomach.


But maybe it's not the champagne. Maybe it's the man across this table from me, the man who's making me swoon with every word he says.


If he can do this with just his words, I wonder what he can do with his… the thought trails off in another crazy storm of bubbles and butterflies, and I have to stifle a giggle. A desperate heat is blooming through my body. I take another hurried gulp of champagne and turn my face away before a scarlet blush can rise up out of the neck of my one good dress and into my cheeks.


Gabriel Call arches one eyebrow.


“Did I say something funny?” he asks, and the way he stares into my eyes demands an answer.


“No, no,” I say quickly. Too quickly. I have to try to suppress a sudden desperation to start gabbling. I don’t want him to think I’m as dizzy and as star struck as a schoolgirl around him. Or I should say, I don’t want him to know.


“I was just thinking of something else,” I say, trying to rescue myself, and I wince as the words leave my mouth. Yeah, nice going Kate, I think bitterly. Guys LOVE hearing that.


Gabriel’s full lips turndown at the edges. His mouth is hard, like his jaw, like his eyes.


“If I thought that something else was another man, I’d almost be offended,” he says. His slate-gray eyes deliberately drop to my mouth, then slowly scan back up to meet mine.


“I’d have to take it out on you,” he says softly, and I swear to God, I gulp like a cartoon character. My hand’s shaking underneath the table and I have to fight to keep my voice steady.


“Jesus,” I say, and breathe out. Despite my best efforts, it's a shaky breath. “You’re the real deal, huh?”


He doesn’t say a thing to that. He just smiles his secret, smirking smile, and drains his Scotch in one smooth draw.


All around us the hubbub of the bar swells and softens and swells again. The noise is carried on a river of free booze and networking. Anyone who’s anyone in California publishing is here for the annual industry awards night. And the serious-suited head honchos from New York, of course, the uptight Chicago snobs, and the DC crowd who are always a little jealous of everyone else.


And of course their editors, their agents, their lawyers, all swapping stories of how they signed some new talent who’s gonna be huge when their first novel gets released six months from now. And then there are the big-time authors brought out to impress everyone and show them just how good the good life can be: writers don’t get invited to something like this unless their last royalty check had at least six zeroes on it.


And then there’s a whole army of sub-editors, copy-editors, proof-readers, junior agents, assistants and filing clerks, the lowest of the low.


And then there are people like me. Secretaries who have to run and fetch and who – if they’re lucky – are allowed to spend their lunch hour reading the slush pile. Searching for something that might be passable enough to get a quick read by a bored junior editor with a spare five minutes.


And then there’s Gabriel Call, the undisputed heavyweight champ of romance writing in America today.


He reaches across the table and takes hold of my hand. His grip is soft, but there’s so much strength behind it. A spark shoots from where he touches my wrist and my breath catches in my chest. He leans in, and for a moment I turn my face to his, forgetting where I am, forgetting everyone else in this room, all of them pretending not to care that he’s talking to me.


Kate Emily McDonald, an absolute nobody in borrowed jewelry and shoes that cost me a month’s worth of pay.


But he doesn’t try to kiss me and a tiny whisper of disappointment escapes my lips.


“Would you like another drink?” he asks, his breath warm against my neck, and I’m almost purring. It’s all I can do not to fall off my chair.


“Sure,” I say, and it comes out with a hint of squeak at the end. I can’t see his face, but I can feel him smiling.


“Another champagne for the lady,” he says, and draws away. I almost relax just a little when suddenly his mouth is at my ear again, and he whispers, “I’m going to fuck you tonight, Kate, and I’m counting the minutes until I do.”


Then just like that, he’s gone, leaving me gasping for air, squeezing my thighs together and trying to keep my face still. I grab my phone out of my bag and stare at it, sure that everyone in here is staring at me.  Knowing that I’m an inch away from orgasming right here in my chair.


I steal a glance up to watch him walk to the bar; somewhere over six foot, with black hair combed into a neat cut just above the back of his neck, broad muscle padding out the shoulders of his expensive suit. Some of the guys here are going for a sense of hipster cool in cardigans and skinny jeans. But Gabriel Call is in a midnight blue three-piece suit and tie with creases like razors and cufflinks that look like solid gold.


Like he can feel me watching he turns and looks over his shoulder, right at me, and I quickly look back down at my phone, my cheeks burning.


Those cufflinks probably are solid gold, I think. And that tie pin. If anyone can afford it, he can.


And now he’s buying me a drink. And he says he’s going to fuck me. And I’m definitely going to let him.


Before I’ve even got time to wonder where we’re going after this, or even how much he’s going to tip the bartender, my best friend Natasha is at the table. Her eyes are as wide as bowling balls.


“Holy shit!” she says in a kind of scream-whisper, her voice clearly audible even through the noise and the cool music playing in the background, leaning in at me. Her hands are opening and closing. “K, do you know who the fuck that is?”


“Let me guess, John Grisham?” I hiss back. “Of course I know who it is! It’s Gabriel freaking Call! The guy who writes John Blaze! I’ve got every single one of his books on my Kindle!”


And paperback copies still packed away in a suitcase underneath my bed, I could add, but I don’t.


Natasha lets out a long, deep breath.


“And the way he was looking at you,” she says, and her tone is almost worshipful, “I bet there is gonna be a girl named Kate in the next John Blaze book.”


Natasha leans in.


“Jesus, do you know how much he’s worth?”


I quickly crunch the numbers in my head. I may be a complete basket case when it comes to talking to a handsome man, but at least I’ve always been OK at math.


His last book, Autumn Blaze, his sixth in the John Blaze line, retailed for about $24.99 hardback. I happen to know – everyone in the industry knows –the sales were huge; the first printing alone was eight million copies.


So assuming he gets 15% royalties, on just that printing he got fifteen percent of eight million times twenty five bucks – I quickly open up my calculator, because I’m good with numbers, but no one’s that good – holy SHIT, thirty million fucking bucks.


“What do I say?” I ask Natasha desperately. “Something about stocks or something? Or freaking polo? Nat, I don’t know what to say to a millionaire!”


There’s a tiny little bit of champagne left in my glass and I gulp it down quickly, praying it’ll quiet my nerves before he gets back. But it’s wishful thinking. I see him moving through the crowd back towards me, like a panther, easily cutting his way through the tightly-packed throng of people, and I feel a not-unpleasant tightness catching me.


“Oh God,” says Natasha, breathlessly. “He’s coming back over here, isn’t he?”


Trying to keep my movements minute, trying to act like he hasn’t been the only thing we’ve been talking about, I nod, not making eye contact with Natasha.


Then he’s back, easily slipping one arm around my waist as he puts a fresh glass of champagne in front of me. We could be lovers, or boyfriend and girlfriend, the way he’s so familiar with my body.


“And who’s this?” he asks, nodding at Natasha. A hot flash of jealousy screams through me, even though I know I’m being ridiculous.


“This is my friend Natasha,” I say, and mercifully, I manage not to stammer. “We both work at Snow Publishing.”


“You have some good authors there,” he says, easing a strand of hair back over my ear. His hand gently runs down the back of my neck and I shiver, despite the heat of the room.


“Do you like working there, Natasha?” he asks, turning to face her, and Natasha goes deep red.


“Uh, yeah, it’s great,” she finally stammers, and all my envy turns to sympathy. It’s impossible to have a conversation with Gabriel Call when you’ve gotten off a couple dozen (more than a couple, at least in my case, anyway) times to his writing.


Because no one knows sex like Gabriel Call. When his first book came out, at the peak of the sensation, Oprah introduced him to her Book Club as ‘the man who taught women to love again.”


Yeah, right, I think. He’s the guy who taught women how to screw again. Every time a new John Blaze book comes out, there’s an epidemic of boyfriends and husbands with backs shredded from fingernail gouges.


“That’s important,” he says, not taking his eyes off Nat. “I love what I do.”


Nat blushes even deeper, if that’s possible.


“Anyway,” he says, suddenly, decisively. “I hope you have a great evening, Natasha. Charge whatever you like to my tab at the bar as my way of apologizing for being so rude. I’m leaving, and I’m sorry, but I’m taking Kate away from you.”    


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