I’m extremely excited for my upcoming contemporary romance, BEHIND THE CURTAIN, out on May 2 and available for preorder now. This is a very special love story that begins when Asher and Laila are young adults and evolves into a second chance romance. Asher and Laila have to find a way to be together, and that journey is fraught with conflict, loss and eventually, happiness. BEHIND THE CURTAIN is a modern day love story that will make you consider issues of loyalty to culture, family, and the deepest feelings of the heart. I wanted to write a story where the hero or heroine didn’t just happen to be of another race or religion, but where it really mattered to their story and romance, where difficult choices had to made, even with the knowledge that loved ones would be affected forever by those choices.
On May 2, prepare to feel deeply and fall in love with this amazing couple . . .
BEHIND THE CURTAIN
The New York Times bestselling author who brought you Looking Inside, Glow, Glimmer, and The Affair is back with a new erotic novel that will have you begging for more.
There’s something about this woman…
On a break between overseas jobs, journalist Asher Gaites returns to his hometown of Chicago—and allows his friends to persuade him to check out a hot new singer. At a downtown jazz club, he’s soon transfixed by the lyrical voice and sensuous body of a woman who performs behind a thin, shimmering veil…
…That could bring a man to his knees.
The veil gives Moroccan-American Laila Barek the anonymity she needs, since she has never been able to reconcile her family’s values with her passion for music. But one man is inexplicably drawn to her. And when Asher confronts her on a subway platform after a gig, he’s shocked to recognize the woman who walked way from him eight years ago…
Laila has never been able to forget the touch, the feel, the taste of Asher. And despite the doubt and fear that wind their way into their lives, they must trust the heat of their desire to burn down the walls the world has placed between them…
Excerpt: Behind the Curtain
Laila shifted awkwardly on her feet. She was pretty used to this scenario: Zara and Tahi always managed to attract a horde of men, but Laila was rarely included in those first few rounds of flirtation. The bold attracted the bold, apparently. A third man lingered on the curb. He was good-looking, with nice, serious, dark brown eyes. Maybe, like Laila, he was the shy one of the group. He smiled and stepped toward her, nodding in greeting.
“Hi. I’m Jim Rothschild,” he said politely.
“I’m Laila,” she replied, shaking his hand. “And these are my cousins, Zara and Tahira.”
“You can call me Tahi,” Tahi told Rudy with a smile.
“Lucky me. Oh, and that’s Eric, but you can just call him Pretty Boy,” Rudy said with a dismissive wave at the tall guy. Eric was too involved in a quiet conversation with Zara to notice. “And this is—”
Rudy turned around in a complete circle and gave Jim a dubious look. “Where’d Asher go?”
“Still listening to the music, I think. He didn’t want ice cream. Oh . . . here he comes.”
Laila glanced in the direction where Jim looked at the same time she licked her ice cream cone. She froze with the ice cream on her tongue. The guy who had seen her naked today strode across the empty street toward them. He looked beachy casual in a pair of khaki shorts and an untucked blue-checked button-down that skimmed his lean, muscular torso appealingly. He moved with the kind of bone-deep, easy, athletic confidence that Laila always noticed and admired, probably because she knew she didn’t possess it herself.
I can’t believe this. He’s walking over here.
She suddenly didn’t know what to do with her arms or legs
. . . or how to breathe. All she could do was stare stupidly. His expression was preoccupied and serious, seemingly in direct contrast to his informal dress and lazy saunter as he approached his friends.
Garnering her will, she forced muscle movement, moving the ice cream cone away from her mouth and rapidly licking her lips clean. It felt like she swallowed gravel instead of cream.
His face wasn’t just handsome, it was strong. The nose was a little large, but well-shaped, the eyebrows dark and thick, the granite jaw slightly square and whiskered. Laila had found it an interesting face even when panicked there on the beach
. . . full of character. So male.