Title: Degrees of Control
Author: Eve Dangerfield
Charlotte Bell is a typical yoga teacher. She’s friendly, earnest and has some slight masochistic tendencies. After a painful break-up she’s determined to address her long-denied kinks with the kind of man she’s always been too terrified to approch. Her friends have select James Hunter a male model turned corporate suit and after a ‘chance’ encounter at a party, James agrees to school Charlie in the harsher side of sex. He knows she’s too genuine, too kind, too everything for a guy like him but he won’t turn down an opportunity to break in a starry-eyed submissive like her. Yet as Charlie and James embark on a strings-free sexual relationship they discover a connection that runs deeper than either of them could have imagined.
Eve Dangerfield has loved romance novels since she first started swiping her grandmother’s paperbacks at the age of fourteen. Now she writes her own unapologetically sexy tales about complex women and gorgeous-but-slightly-tortured men. Eve currently lives in Melbourne with her lovely sister, extremely chill boyfriend and a rabbit named Billy. When she’s not writing she can usually be found drinking, dancing or making a mess. Often all at once. Degrees of Control is her first novel.
Sophia pointed toward the unsuspecting partygoers. “Charlie, you asked me to help you have a one-night stand of the sexually deviant nature.”
Charlie flushed. “I did not ask for that.”
Sophia continued as though she hadn’t spoken. “I can confirm there are thirty-seven single men here tonight, accounting for absences and unexpected girlfriends.”
Hayley sniggered. “Oh good, Charlie’s first thirty-seven man orgy.”
Sophia scowled at her. “To make things easier for you I have narrowed your options down to three ideal candidates based on hotness, height and your particular interests. First up, Blair Hudson, eleven o’clock, talking to Simon.”
Charlie scanned the crowd until she spotted an auburn-haired man with a body that rightfully belonged to Superman towering over everyone around him.
“Holy shit, Charlie, he will destroy you,” Hayley whispered.
“Candidate number two, Conner Moreno,” Sophia continued. “He’s Colombian, a personal trainer and, by all accounts, a demon in the sack.”
She pointed and Charlie took in the man smoking on the back porch. He had a shaved head and a brooding expression.
Hayley moaned. “Ten out of ten, would bang. Would. Bang.”
“No poaching!” Sophia snapped. “You can have Charlie’s cast offs.”
“Why are all these guys so tall?” Charlie asked. “They’ll make me look like a toddler.”
“You specifically requested someone tall! I’m just meeting your demands.”
Charlie groaned. “Sophia, please stop talking like a pimp.”
“No. Tonight that’s what I am, your pimp. Now we have a surprise entry for draft number three because I wasn’t sure he was coming—”
“No. Fucking. Way.” Hayley gripped Charlie’s arm. “Holy shit, Charlie, you have to pick him!”
Sophia glared at Hayley. “Your third choice is James Hunter. Businessman, colossal man-whore and, like myself, an accent to die for.” Sophia stretched out her Texan twang like a piece of warm toffee. “He’s the blond over by the bar.”
Good Lord. Charlie felt like she’d been punched in the stomach, her hand leapt to her curls like they were a protective amulet. The man in question was leaning against a wall, arms crossed in front of his chest. The casual attire, sun-streaked hair and powerful body might have suggested he was a surfer but he lacked a surfer’s relaxed attitude. This man’s body language screamed indifference. The set of his square jaw was authoritative, almost arrogant.
“Abercrombie asked him to model in college,” Hayley whispered. “He got paid to take his shirt off, can you believe it?”
Yes Charlie could. If anyone was born to glare at people from monochrome jean commercials, it was this guy. He was the unapproachable kind of handsome that made her want to cross the street when she saw it.
Sophia nudged. “Okay, so it’s obvious who you prefer. I thought as much. Let’s do this.”
A panicky drumroll kick-started in Charlie’s chest. Sophia couldn’t actually expect her, Charlotte Bell to hit on that Adonis? “No freaking way, Soph. That guy is scary as shit. I’m not going near him.”