When the waiter had left, Nico said, “This will give our stomachs a chance to settle before we go on our evening swim.”
Yes, the evening swim. I’d skip that.
But when the time came, Brooke would hear nothing of it.
“Of course, darling, you must come along. Nico looks amazing in his Speedo.”
Oh, God. Just what I didn’t need—to get a good look at my mother’s boyfriend’s package.
But what the hell? The fleabag I was staying at didn’t have a pool, and even if it did, I wouldn’t set foot in it for fear of contracting some kind of disease.
I accompanied them to their suite on the top floor. My mother ushered me to a lush bathroom.
“You can change in here, darling.”
I hurriedly changed and took a look at my reflection in the mirror. Not too bad, after that huge meal I had just eaten. I might not be waif thin, but no one could call me fat. I smiled to myself. Talon had certainly liked what he’d seen.
I walked out of the bathroom and tried to ignore Nico’s lascivious gaze. The man made me squeamish.
But then a flash of color caught my eye. A tattoo on his forearm.
“Oh, you have a tattoo,” I said. Tattoos fascinated me. I hadn’t gotten one myself yet because I hadn’t found the perfect image.
“Oh, yes, isn’t it beautiful?” my mother said.
I walked closer to get a better look. It was indeed beautiful—a bird enveloped in colors of fuchsia, purple, orange, and teal. Its wings were flames, and it rose from ashes.
It was a phoenix.
Talon and Jade’s story continues in Obsession, coming soon.
Message from Helen Hardt
Thank you for reading Craving. If you want to find out about my current backlist and future releases, please like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HelenHardt and join my mailing list: http://helenhardt.com/signup/. I often do giveaways. If you’re a fan and would like to join my street team to help spread the word about my books, you can do so here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hardtandsoul/. I regularly do awesome giveaways for my street team members.
If you enjoyed the story, please take the time to leave a review on a site like Amazon or Goodreads. I welcome all feedback.
I wish you all the best!
1. The theme of a story is its central idea or ideas. To put it simply, it’s what the story means. How would you characterize the theme of Craving?
2. Compare and contrast Jade and Marjorie. How are they alike and how are they different?
3. What do we know so far about Talon’s past? How does this explain some of his actions?
4. Discuss Jonah’s and Ryan’s feelings about Talon’s ordeal. Why do they feel the guilt that they do?
5. Discuss Jade’s relationship with her mother. How has it affected the woman Jade has become?
6. We know little, yet, about Talon’s experiences in the military. What do you think might have happened there? How might this have affected the man he is now?
7. Why is Talon so reluctant to help himself? What does this say about his character?
8. Discuss the author’s use of flashbacks in the story. Though the book is written in first person, she shifts to third person for the flashbacks. How does this add to the story, and what is its significance?
9. What do you think the brothers might be hiding? What might be the significance of Marjorie’s birth certificate? Of her mother’s maiden name?
10. Discuss Jade’s role in the sexual relationship. Is she a submissive? Why or why not?
11. Discuss Talon’s role in the sexual relationship. Why is he so drawn to Jade? Why is he unable to love her?
12. What do you think the future holds for Jade and Talon in Obsession? What about Jonah and Ryan? Marjorie?
Starting a new series is always exciting. These characters are very special to me, and I hope you all love them as much as I do. I’ve written the tortured hero before, but Talon is in a class of his own. Keep reading. I promise he will get the happy ending he deserves!
As always, thank you to my brilliant editor, Michele Hamner Moore, and my eagle-eyed proofreader, Jenny Rarden. Thank you to all the great people at Waterhouse Press—Meredith, David, Kurt, Shayla, Jon, and Yvonne. The cover art for this series is beyond perfect, thanks to Meredith and Yvonne.
Thank you to the members of my street team, Hardt and Soul. HS members got the first look at Craving, and I appreciate all your support, reviews, and general good vibes. I have the best street team in the universe!
Thanks to my always supportive family and friends, and to all of the fans who eagerly waited for this new series. I hope you love it!