Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Blog Tour Stop & Giveaway ~ White Collared, part one:Mercy by Shelly Bell


White Collared
Part One: Mercy
by Shelly Bell
Publication date: June 3rd 2014



Driven by ambition…
Third-year law student, Kate Martin, outran her tragic past to become an intern for her idol and secret crush, the powerful attorney, Nicholas Trenton. She is thrilled when Nick assigns her to represent his best friend and client, millionaire Jaxon Deveroux…the prime suspect in his submissive wife's murder. 


Seduced by desire…
Kate knows they have only a few days to find the real killer, and since signs point to a member of the BDSM community, she volunteers to go undercover as Jaxon's submissive at Benediction-the private sex club where he is a member-to covertly investigate Alyssa's last few months. For years, Kate has kept her dark fantasies a secret…but a chance to explore them with sexy, dominant Jaxon is just too tempting to pass up.


WARNING: White Collared contains BDSM including caning, whipping, flogging, anal sex, anal play, bondage, breath play, exhibitionism, voyeurism, electrical play, mind fucks, biting, spanking, double penetration, forced orgasms, delayed orgasms, and hair pulling.
 





After three hours of computer research on piercing the corporate veil, Kate’s vision blurred, the words on the screen bleeding into one another until they resembled a giant Rorschach inkblot. She lowered her mug of lukewarm coffee to her cubicle’s mahogany tabletop and rubbed her tired eyes.
Without warning, the door to the interns’ windowless office flew open, banging against the wall. Light streamed into the dim room, casting the elongated shadow of her boss, Nicholas Trenton, on the beige carpet.
“Ms. Martin, take your jacket and come with me.” He didn’t wait for a response, simply issued his command and strode down the hall.
Jumping to her feet, she teetered on her secondhand heels and grabbed her suit jacket from the back of her chair. As Mr. Trenton’s intern for the year, she’d follow him off the edge of a cliff. She had no choice in the matter if she wanted a junior associate position at Detroit’s most prestigious law firm, Joseph and Long, after graduation. Because of the fierce competition for an internship and because several qualified lackeys waited patiently in the wings for an opening, one minor screwup would result in termination.
Most of the other interns ignored the interruption, but her best friend Hannah took a second to raise an arched eyebrow. Kate shrugged, having no idea what her boss required. He hadn’t spoken to her since her initial interview a few months earlier.
She collected her briefcase, her heart pounding. As far as she knew, she hadn’t made a mistake since starting two months ago. Other than class time, she’d spent virtually every waking moment at this firm, a schedule her boyfriend, Tom, resented. To placate him, she’d used her dinner break last Saturday to drive to his place and give him a quick blow job before returning to work. She didn’t even have time for her own orgasm.
She raced as fast as she could down the hallway and found her boss pacing and talking on his cell phone in the marbled lobby. He frowned and pointedly looked at his watch, demonstrating his displeasure at her delay. Still on the phone, he stalked out of the firm and headed toward the elevator. She chased him, cursing her short legs as she remained a step or two behind until catching up with him on the elevator.
When the doors slid shut, he ended his call and slipped his cell into the pocket of his Armani jacket. She risked a quick glance at him to ascertain his mood, careful not to visually suggest anything more than casual regard.
He was an extremely handsome man whose picture frequently appeared in local magazines and papers beside prominent judges and legislative officials. But photos couldn’t do him justice, film lacking the capability of capturing his commanding presence. Often she’d had to fight her instinct to look directly into his blue eyes. At the office, his every move, his every word overshadowed anyone and everything around her.
Standing close to him in the claustrophobic space, she inhaled the musky scent of his aftershave, felt his radiating heat. Her trembling body instinctively angled toward him.
Mr. Trenton spoke, fracturing the quiet of the small space with his deep and powerful voice. “This morning, our firm’s biggest client, Jaxon Deveroux, arrived home from his business trip and found his wife dead from multiple stab wounds.”
“I thought you limited your practice to civil law,” she blurted out before she could stop herself. When his jaw grew rigid, she internally chastised herself for the mistake. “Sorry, sir. I shouldn’t have interrupted.”
The silence was deafening as she waited for him to decide whether to accept her apology. Interns had been fired for less.
“No, you shouldn’t have interrupted. However, it was a valid question and, therefore, I’ll let it pass.”
Once the elevator doors opened, they stepped out into the bustling main floor lobby, and she fought to match Mr. Trenton’s brisk pace as they headed toward the parking garage. “While typically I would refer my clients to Jeffrey Reaver, the head of our criminal division, Mr. Deveroux and I have been friends for many years, and he requested me personally. Jaxon’s a very private man, but those who are in his circle are aware of certain . . . proclivities that may come up in the police’s line of questioning.”
What sort of proclivities? It pained her to remain silent.
He paused as if expecting her to screw up by asking another question. She curled the sharp edges of her nails into the flesh of her palms, the biting pain a reminder to keep her mouth shut. A wave of peace rippled through her, and her heart slowed for the first time since Mr. Trenton had requested her presence.
“He and his wife engaged in the practice of BDSM. Do you know what that is, Ms. Martin?” he asked with a slight upturn of his lips. On anyone else, she’d believe it was the beginning of a smile, but since she’d never seen Mr. Trenton smile, she couldn’t be sure what it meant.
There wasn’t a woman in the country who hadn’t heard of BDSM since the popular erotica novel hit the charts a few years back. His mention of it awoke that dormant part of her hibernating in the recesses of her mind during the light of day.
Her cheeks heated, but she kept her tone professional despite the fireworks launching between her thighs. “BDSM stands for bondage and discipline, domination and submission, sadism and masochism. It’s kinky sex.”
They reached the parking garage and climbed the concrete stairs to the second level.
“For some it is, and for others, it’s a way of life. Unfortunately, the media has a way of distorting the truth to their advantage for the sensational headlines. You remember the recent case.”
A metro-Detroit man had allegedly hired a hit man to kill his wife, but it was the fact that he’d practiced BDSM in a seedy sex dungeon that the media had latched on to, riding the frenzy caused by the popular erotica trilogy.
Kate had read the books. Twice. But in the end, she agreed with the popular opinion that BDSM fiction was nothing but romantic fantasy.
A bit breathless from her attempt to keep up with him, she was relieved to slide into the passenger seat of his Mercedes. Moments later they sped toward the highway.
Weighing the consequences against her curiosity, she decided to risk asking her boss a question. “In your opinion, should Mr. Deveroux divulge the nature of his relationship with his wife to the police?”
He tilted his head as if to think over the answer, but she didn’t doubt he’d known the answer before she’d finished asking the question. “At this point, I see no reason why he needs to say anything about it. What happens behind closed doors is none of their business unless it’s relevant to the murder. Until someone brings it up in questioning, I’d advise Jaxon to keep his sex life to himself.”
For the next few minutes, they rode in silence, and she peered out the window at Detroit’s crumbling houses. The car proceeded west to the suburbs and the view changed to a large brick wall that shielded homeowners and businesses from the sight of the expressway. They exited onto a street that led them into a recently developed upper-class neighborhood of palatial homes, strip malls, and trendy restaurants.
Mr. Trenton turned the car into the parking lot of a police station, which was inconspicuously nestled between two office buildings made of the same dark-brown brick. Had it not been for the crammed lot filled with police cars and media vans, she would’ve never guessed they’d reached their destination.
Of course the media had jumped on this. A white woman from the suburbs was murdered. That kind of juicy story trumped the mundane coverage of the upcoming November elections.
As her boss searched for a place to park, she watched four local news crews rushing around, several of them on cell phones, no doubt calling their contacts for more information on the murder.
Vultures.
Mr. Trenton gripped the door handle. “Did you take advanced criminal procedure in school, Ms. Martin?”
“No, sir. Why?”
“Some of the details you’ll both hear and witness today may be graphic. Since the class prepares students by desensitizing them with real crime photos of stab wounds and gunshots, I thought you might be more prepared for what you’re about to encounter.”
She bit the inside of her cheek, tamping down the vivid image of blood-splattered leaves and the sulfuric scent of gunpowder. “It won’t bother me.”
There was no mistaking that her answer had caused him to grin. “I didn’t think it would. I wouldn’t have allowed you to accompany me if I hadn’t thought you were up for it, but I needed to confirm. It wouldn’t look good if my intern fainted over a couple of crime scene photos.”
They departed the Mercedes, and this time Mr. Trenton walked beside her, escorting her inside the police station to the information desk, where he handed a young male officer a business card from his pocket. “Please let Mr. Deveroux know his attorney is here.”
The cop picked up a desk phone and pressed an extension. “Is Mr. Deveroux expecting a Nicholas Trenton?”
She hadn’t stepped into a police station in ten years, but the memory of that harrowing day crashed into her with the force and velocity of a gunshot. Her chest tightened as she tried to breathe. In an attempt to ward off the anxiety attack, she counted backward from one hundred.
Her boss leaned over and whispered in her ear. “You’re okay. Breathe through your nose.”
Pressing her lips together, she sucked air through her nose, expanding her lungs with precious oxygen. How had he known?
“Thank you,” the officer said into the phone. He hung up, picked up a notebook, flipped it open, and handed Mr. Trenton a pen. “You two need to sign in.”
Her boss signed his name before giving her the pen. Hands shaking, she supplied her barely legible information. After she gave back the notebook, the officer buzzed them in and pointed behind him. “Go through those doors to room three, second room on the left.”
As Mr. Trenton stepped in front of her, she surreptitiously obtained a small pill from her Tic Tac dispenser in her purse and slipped it in her mouth. When they got to the interrogation room, he knocked on the door.
Anticipation boiled in her blood. Something was wrong with how eager she was to meet her client, a man who would find himself under suspicion of his wife’s murder even if he was innocent of the crime.
Could she defend a man if she believed he was guilty?
As the door opened and her sight fell on the man hunched over a table, she had a feeling she’d soon find out.


*****5- something wicked this way comes -Stars*****
~this review may contain minor spoilers~

Mr. Deveroux and I have been friends for many years, and he requested me personally. Jaxon's a very private man, but those who are in his circle are aware of certain... proclivities that may come up in the police's line of questioning.”

After only one book into this series (for which there will be four), this already promises to be a wicked, suspenseful, mysterious, sexy as all hell and emotional ride. This grabs your attention right from page one and doesn't let go, not even after the last page. All I can think about, even as I write this, is getting my hands on the next installment-luckily for everyone, the wait is so short the wall climbing will be kept at a minimum.

I admit I haven't been to a sex club. I may have read some romantic fiction about sexy billionaire men with emotional issues who call themselves Doms, but I've also done quite a bit of research online about BDSM.”
“I don't care if you've written an entire dissertation on BDSM. I'm not jeopardizing your safety.”
“Even for your best friend?”

Kate Martin is a third-year law student interning at the law firm of her dreams. For years she has been harboring a secret crush on her now boss- Nicholas Trenton and not even the events of her tragic past that she is hiding from everyone was going to be enough to keep her from getting where she is today. When Nick's best friend, Jaxon Deveroux, becomes the main suspect for the murder of his wife, Kate's internship takes an unexpected turn. Time is not on their side and when it becomes clear that the murderer is a member of the BDSM lifestyle, Kate volunteers to go undercover as Jax's submissive. She will have to be convincing to all those around her when they enter the private BDSM club Benediction to see what information they can uncover and hopefully clear Jax. But what Kate was not prepared for was her long buried desires flaring to life under the dominate hands of the sexy-as-sin and dangerous Jaxson Deveroux.

If you can't accept my terms, we'll find another way to prove my innocence.”
“But I'm not submissive.”
“Don't lie to me or yourself. Any Dom worth a damn would see your submissiveness from miles away. Believe me, I was drawn to you from the moment you slid into the interrogation room, so desperate to please your boss, you wouldn't even ask for a chair.”
Her body shuddered at the idea that this man desired her.

There is already so much mystery surrounding the characters; what the hell is Kate hiding? Did Jaxon do it? Who is behind that phone call?
There is a hint of danger lying just below the surface that is impossible to ignore along with the constant 'who dunnit?' feeling. And lets not forget the sexual tension...yeah, that's a hard one to miss-the air is ripe with it and the explosion does not disappoint. I can already see an obsession brewing for this author, Shelly Bell will without a doubt become my next 'One-Click Addiction' and I am more than ok with that. I am normally not a huge fan of cliffhangers, but with only a week between publications I can deal-it's the ones that make me wait months at a time that tend to dive me insane. This series promises to keep my anticipation at an all time til the very end and I am dying to see where it takes us next.

He may have been the Dominant, but there was no mistaking the hoarseness in his voice or the need in his eyes. She'd done this to him. She may have been the one literally on her knees, but, metaphorically, it was as if he was the one on his knees before her. Here in her bedroom, she alone had the ability to gift him with bliss.
She'd never felt so strong.





He and his wife engaged in the practice of BDSM. Do you know what that is, Ms. Martin?”
BDSM stands for bondage and discipline, domination and submission, sadism and masochism. It's kinky sex.”
For some it is, and for others, it's a way of life. Unfortunately, the media has a way of distorting the truth to their advantage for the sensational headlines.”

TEN MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT BDSM
1. It’s all about sex.
TRUTH: BDSM is about many things and sex is only a part. It’s a consensual exchange of power.
2. It’s all about pain.
TRUTH: BDSM stands for bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism, masochism. In other words, there are a variety of ways people practice BDSM. Just because you’re a submissive doesn’t mean you’re a masochist and not all Dominants enjoy inflicting pain. Whips and chains are not required.
3. Sadists are killers.
TRUTH: Are some killers sadists? Yes. Are some sadists killers? Yes. But sadism in itself does not mean you’re prone toward violence. To qualify as BDSM, it must be consensual.
4. Dominants are mostly men.
TRUTH: While most erotic romances about BDSM showcase male Dominants, female Dominants or Dommes are common.
5. There’s only one way to practice it.
TRUTH: Every healthy relationship includes responsibilities, expectations, and boundaries. But what works in one relationship may not work for another. It’s the same in BDSM, only the responsibilities, expectations, and boundaries are explicitly negotiated.
6. People who engage in the lifestyle are abusers or suffer from abuse.
TRUTH: BDSM is not abuse. First, it is consensual. Second, the masochist/submissive/bottom can use his/her safe word to stop it. Third, there is no research to suggest a higher incidence of previous abuse for those in the BDSM lifestyle than the general population.
7. People who engage in the lifestyle have a psychological condition.
TRUTH: The American Psychiatric Society no longer classifies participation in BDSM as a mental disorder.
8. People in the lifestyle are promiscuous.
TRUTH: There is no evidence to support that those who engage in BDSM are any more promiscuous than the general population.
9. No one you know practices it.
TRUTH: Want to bet? An estimated five to ten percent of people practice S&M, but plenty more tie up their lover in the bedroom (thirty percent). Ever allow a lover to blindfold you? In doing so, you’re consensually handing over power to him/her and trusting him/her to honor your boundaries. This is part of BDSM. Based on that definition, twenty percent of the population engages in the practice.
10. It is your business to know what happens behind closed doors.
TRUTH: Even if your neighbors are part of the lifestyle, it is none of your business. They have the same right to privacy as you, so unless they choose to divulge their sexual activities, don’t worry about it. They won’t bite you without your consent. 

For more information on the legal and political issues faced by those in the BDSM lifestyle, visit The National Coalition For Sexual Freedom at www.ncsfrredom.org.



SHELLY BELL writes sensual romance and erotic thrillers with high-emotional stakes for her alpha heroes and kiss-ass heroines. She began writing upon the insistence of her husband who dragged her to the store and bought her a laptop. When she’s not practicing corporate law, taking care of her family, or writing, you’ll find her reading the latest smutty romance.

Shelly is a member of Romance Writers of America and International Thriller Writers.


AUTHOR ENDORSMENTS:
Shelly Bell is a fresh new voice in erotic romance. She brings the heat!” ~ Lexi Blake, NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author

"White Collared takes you on a thrill ride of danger, murder and lust, leaving you hungry for the next installment." ~ Stacey Kennedy, USA Today Bestselling Author of BARED

"A rollercoaster ride of jaw-dropping sex, heated anticipation, and a perfect dash of suspense, all tied together with flawless writing. When I wasn't clenching my thighs, I was frantically flipping pages to find out what would happen next! I can't recommend this series enough. Buy it. Devour it." ~ Alessandra Torre, USA Today Bestselling Author of BLINDFOLDED INNOCENCE



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