✭Blog Tour✭ Easy Virtue by Mia Asher +ARC Review, Excerpt & Giveaway
Love is selfish...
My name is Blaire.
The other woman.
The one who never gets the guy in the end.
I'm the gold digger.
The one no one roots for.
The one you love to hate.
I hate myself too...
With champagne and caviar inundating my every sense, I slither through the light wooden floors of the Lila Acheson Wallace Wing in The Met. As I walk, I pretend to admire the expensive jewelry being showcased tonight by a famous designer whose name I can’t remember. A multicolored diamond butterfly sparkles to my left and a cobra made out of black stones glistens to my right. Rows upon rows of precious gems twinkle under the soft lights of the room, flooding the space between the walls with the glow of a thousand stars. Furtive glances. Secrets gossiped. Beauty criticized. Lofty music fills the atmosphere as the über rich mingle and pretend to like each other, yet you can almost taste their conceit and derision for one another in the air.
This is Walker’s world, and I love it.
Standing across the room, where the crowd is thinner and the music fainter, I spot Walker’s blond head in the corner of the room, talking to a group of his colleagues and their wives. He looks polished and worth every penny of his trust fund in his sleek black tuxedo, perfectly starched white shirt and black bowtie. His long golden hair parted to the side shines like the sun. He is truly flawless.
I smile because it’s hard to picture that this is the same guy who likes to snort coke off my tits as he fucks me while hardcore porn plays in the background. He looks untouchable and so cool, but his searching eyes, scanning the crowd for me give him up. He’s wondering where I am. He did tell me not to go too far, after all. Soon after we arrived at the party, I gave him some space to talk to his friends and do his thing while I did mine. I hate clingy people, so I avoid being one.
I grab a third flute of champagne from a passing waiter, and try to decide which of the different displays to check out first when my eyes land on a spectacular piece of jewelry. On a bed of black silk, similar to my hair color, lies an extravagant necklace made of diamonds and rubies—a small heaven within one’s reach as long as you can afford the price.
I bridge the space between the glass protecting the necklace and me until it’s within my reach, fighting the urge to touch the cool surface. As if under a spell, I observe how the rows of diamonds embedded in platinum form leaves and thorns. At its center is a rose made out of red diamonds almost as big as my palm.
I feel someone walk up and stand next to me, but I don’t give him or her a second thought as I continue to admire the way the light hits the gems, making them shine.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?”
His voice is smooth and commanding, dripping absolute power. I keep my eyes locked on the display. Call it sixth sense, but somehow I know that under no circumstance should I make eye contact with the stranger who speaks like the ruler of the world.
"Yes,” I say simply.
“I wonder how much it is?” the man asks.
“I don’t think it matters … I highly doubt anyone can afford it.”
He chuckles, and the sound is more delicious than his voice. Lusher. “Oh, but I can.”
I smile at his self-assurance. I love cocky assholes. “I still doubt it.”
“You shouldn’t. I only speak the truth,” he retorts coolly. His voice is nonchalant yet his words leave no room for disbelief—a demand and a statement all in one.
Suddenly, the noises of the room become distant. People talking and laughing amongst friends and the orchestra playing all fade away until all I hear is him speaking.
And at this moment, that is all that matters.
“The truth is very subjective, sir.”
“The truth may be subjective but money isn’t. Money can buy anything.”
His answer is like an electroshock, jumpstarting my brain from a champagne-induced haze. My pulse begins to accelerate, excitement making it hard to take a deep breath. Don’t look at him … don’t.
“Oh really,” I say, my voice dripping with sarcasm. He’s right, though.
“Of course. I believe everything,” he pauses, “and everyone has a price.”
Curiosity winning the battle against curiosity, I turn to face him, and what a fucking big mistake that is. When our eyes meet, I feel incapacitated of all sense and movement. The sight of him takes my breath away. This man gives the term “lust at first sight” a whole new meaning.
In my short twenty-three years, I’ve been with extremely handsome men, perfect even, but to classify the man standing next to me in any kind of category would be a disservice to him, and not really fair to the others. Longish, light brown hair wildly framing his face, vacant eyes the color of dollar bills, a slightly crooked nose, and a mouth that begs to be buried deep within your thighs. His beauty is as harsh as it is stunningly perfect. Dressed in a simple black tuxedo and unbuttoned white shirt, the man exudes innate virility and grace, reminding me of a black panther stalking his prey. And just like a panther, it’s the pure raw and powerful energy emanating from within him that I find most attractive. Because just by standing next to him, I get the sense that his word is always the last spoken and his wishes the first ones to be fulfilled. He doesn’t ask, he demands. He doesn’t hope, he expects.
He’s quiet for a moment; his uncanny eyes hold me captive as though they are baring my soul to him and I hate it. I tighten my hold on the crystal flute. I want to look away, but I can’t. The way he’s staring at me makes me want to squirm.
“I wonder … do you have one?” he asks softly before turning to examine the piece of jewelry once more.
“A what?” I ask, momentarily stunned.
He smiles. “A price.”
“For the right amount … I just might,” I say quietly, my heart beating so fast it feels as though it wants out of my chest. As soon as the words leave my mouth, there’s no shock coursing down my body, no rolling waves of shame pulling me down for having said that to a complete stranger—nothing.
And why should there be? I am who I am.
I’m staring at his profile, waiting for him to acknowledge my answer, when a breeze of cool air floats past us, making me shiver. About to chase the goose bumps on my arm with my hand, I watch as he slowly turns to look at me, catching me staring at him. Time stands still as I watch him raise his large tanned hand and touch my bare shoulder, his fingertips lightly grazing the temporary small bumps covering it. Then he smiles as if he knows that my skin is tingling from his scalding touch, and looks away.
“I thought so.”
We remain standing next to each other for another minute or so, the distance between us almost nonexistent. It would be so easy to reach out and hold his hand. The sound of an incoming call breaks the silence, bringing us back to reality.
He takes his cell phone out of the inner pocket of his tuxedo jacket and ignores the call after noting the name of the caller. He lifts his gaze to meet my own.
“Sorry about that.”
“It’s okay. I should go … I’m here with someone,” I reply, not really wanting to leave him just yet.
“Yes, that’s probably a good idea.”
I frown. He didn’t have to be quite so blunt. The stranger extends a hand toward me, holding something in his fingers.
“Here … ”
I open my hand as I feel the edges of what I assume is his business card poke the skin of my palm. “What’s this?” I ask stupidly.
“My business card, of course.”
“Obviously … but why?”
He smiles, but it doesn’t reach his eyes. “Let’s just say that I’m an interested buyer.”
And then he’s gone.
He turns and walks away from me, disappearing into a sea of colorful gowns and black suits. As the sounds of the party infiltrate my ears once more, I lower my gaze to stare at the simple cream-colored card in my hand. Its simplistic and elegant design draws attention to the name printed in bold black letters on the paper.
I smile and let my fingertips trail his name. It depends on what you’re willing to pay, Mr. Rothschild.
Published by Mia Asher
Copyright © 2013 by Mia Asher
Blaire White has never been loved. Not from a boyfriend, nor a friend, not a mother or father. No one. Instead, she’s been surrounded by hate and bitterness. All she wanted was to be cherished by her parents or at least acknowledged. She was noticed at school, but for the wrong reasons. Her fellow classmates bullied her incessantly for being overweight and awkward. Blaire grew up feeling neglected by everyone and insignificant to the world.
Blaire eventually grows into her looks and loses the extra weight. She transforms herself into a vixen and gathers the strength to control situations. She decides to take the bull by its horns and ride it till it can no longer stand.
Hunt. Seduce. Fuck. Cash in.
Rinse and repeat.
Blaire targets men she knows can afford her. She sucks them dry as well as their bank accounts. She gives the arm candy and sex, and in return, she gets luxuries and most importantly, love. Not true, meaningful love, but a kind of love that suffices.
Ronan, who on the Blaire scale is average, walks into her life and relentlessly continues to appear. He’s what she truly needs. The kind of man that any woman would love to have. He’s good for her. But he’s entirely different from her usual type. He’s a polar opposite of what she thinks she needs. The broken woman she is, Blaire can’t seem to let her walls down completely for him. She knows she wants him—needs him—but she just can’t let herself give in to such a man that she doesn’t feel she deserves.
Lawrence on the other hand is the perfect example of Blaire’s dream man. The Blaire with the hard, shell surrounding her wants this filthy rich, businessman, sexpot. She craves him and what he can give her. Being with a man like him is her safety net, where it’s routine and familiar.
Two men on opposite sides of the spectrum, but both hold the capability of rocking her world.
I had this internal discussion with myself as I began to read on whether I liked the character or was disgusted by her. I probably should’ve be repulsed by the way Blaire lives her life and her lack of morals, yet I found myself sympathizing with her instead. I understood the path that led her to make such unethical and degrading choices. I quickly became intrigued by her lifestyle and future.
I can’t recall any book I’ve come across in the past that managed to include so many genres and emotions, and still create a flawless storyline. Its dark intro sparked my curiosity for this young girl. A girl that seemed so lost and unloved, but had such strength buried deep within. As the story progressed, the eroticism seemed to take on a life of it’s own and transition within the story effortlessly. Despite certain situations, I never questioned the validity of the sexual acts. The scenes never seemed tacky or out of place in the least. They all made sense in connection to the characters and their emotions at that very moment.
I devoured this book in one single day. There wasn’t a thing in this entire book that I disliked. Though the limits are pushed, it is a book that can be related to by many women. The need for acceptance and respect is something every female can attest to whether they realize it or not. This book relays one type of story, but it revolves around topics we can all associate with.
I’m ashamed to say I still have not read Arsen, Mia Asher’s debut novel. It’s been sitting on my Kindle, begging to be read, but I just have not found the time. If I had known Asher was such a powerful storyteller, I would have put off a few sleepless nights and skipped some of my classes in order to get transported into her stories. I mean…wow…just, wow!
Easy Virtue continues on in a second book and I’m anxious to see where the author takes the story next.
*A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
My name is Mia Asher.
I'm a writer, a hopeless romantic, a wanderer, a dreamer, a cynic, and a believer. And, oh yes…I might be a bit crazy - but who isn't?