Dare to Touch
Release Date: January 13, 2015
Olivia Dare, executive director of the Miami Thunder, and team travel director Dylan Rhodes share more than just a passion for football. Their chemistry is explosive -- their feelings for each other intense. Yet Olivia has ended things for reasons he still can’t fathom and she won’t explain.
Unwilling to let something special go so easily, Dylan has been pursuing Olivia ever since. When the Pro-Bowl takes them to the tropical paradise of Hawaii, Dylan is determined to make sure their time together isn’t all business. What happens in paradise is life altering but once Olivia admits her deepest secret and fear, will Dylan still want the forever he’s been pushing for?
About Carly Phillips:
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips has written over 40 sexy contemporary romance novels that today's readers identify with and enjoy. After a successful 15 year career with various New York publishing houses, Carly is making the leap to Indie author, with the goal of giving her readers more books at a faster pace at a better price. Her Serendipity books will still finish up in January/February 2014 via Berkley as planned. Carly lives in Purchase, NY with her family, two nearly adult daughters and two crazy dogs who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. She's a writer, a knitter of sorts, a wife, and a mom. In addition, she's a Twitter and Internet junkie and is always around to interact with her readers. You can find all information about Carly at her website and other social media sites:
Spotlight on Carly Phillips
Are any of your characters based on real-life friends or family?
For the most part, not intentionally! I definitely try to separate my writing from my real life. But Kiss Me if You Can, an older book of mine, has slices of my grandmother and her old friend … with comedic elements put in by me. And sometimes I’ll use an ailment – like Uncle Yank in the Hot Zone series getting Macular Degeneration – my grandma had the disease – so that was personal. But I really don’t insert real life people as a general rule.
Do you write under a pen name?
Yes. Carly Phillips is a pen name. Karen Drogin is my real name – and the name under which three of my early novels for Kensington were written (those are now “Carly Classics” – Perfect Partners, The Right Choice, and Solitary Man (soon to be reissued by me). Back then, Harlequin wanted a pseudonym – they owned those at the time – although they always allowed me the freedom to write for other houses under the Carly name. And ultimately those names were released back to the authors. The other reason they gave was that Karen was too traditional for the hot stories I wrote. I totally agreed!
Do you have any advice for other writers starting out?
I can not believe I am saying this … but my advice is outdated! By the time I went Indie in 2013, I already had a name, was known in my genre, and had established my brand. When I started, you had to be bought by NY or you couldn’t get published. If I were a new writer starting out now … you can self publish, you can sell to NY … you have CHOICES! So my best advice would be to educate yourself. And one thing that hasn’t changed, the ability to educate lies with Romance Writers of America. Their conference and chapters bring you the best knowledge of all sides of publishing.
Olivia woke up in the big bed in the suite she shared with Dylan. She recalled their evening and how he’d carried her back to the room, ignoring the catcalls and whistles of people as they’d walked. Honestly, she’d been so exhausted she hadn’t cared.
She rolled onto her back to find his dark eyes watching her.
“Everything good?” he asked.
She didn’t blame him. She had a tendency to pull away, but she had no intention of doing so this morning. “I’m good.” She crawled closer. “Very, very good.”
She was sore in the best possible ways, a gorgeous man had gone out of his way to make her night special, and to make sure she’d come quite a few times… Yeah, she was more than good!
He smiled in obvious relief.
“So what’s on today’s agenda?” she asked.
“We have the day free. Breakfast?”
She nodded. They ended up sharing a shower, which delayed getting to breakfast, because Dylan’s definition of getting clean involved a whole lot of getting dirty first. With the hot water streaming over them and her arms braced against the wall, he still managed to snag a condom and to take her from behind, filling her up and giving her another experience she’d never forget.
“Happy birthday, Olivia,” a familiar masculine voice drawled in her ear. She shivered at the sound, all her senses prickling with awareness as Dylan Rhodes’s warm breath heated her skin.
She turned to find him close. Too close, and her pulse picked up speed. Sexy chocolate-brown eyes gazed at her. And his close-cut goatee teased her with its nearness. In her dreams, that sexy goatee felt delicious against her bared flesh.
Jesus, Olivia, get a grip.
“Thanks for coming to the party.” Her voice came out too husky for her liking, but Dylan always had this kind of effect on her. He was the travel director with the Miami Thunder, her co-worker, and the man she’d lusted after from the day they’d met.
“I’m glad your sister invited me.”
She wished Avery hadn’t insisted on throwing her a party, but now that it was nearly over, Olivia had had a wonderful time and was grateful her mom and her siblings, half and full, cared enough to attend the event. Friends and co-workers too.
He studied her beneath his hooded gaze. “I wouldn’t miss your celebration.” He tucked a wayward strand of hair behind her ear, his fingers trailing a path over her cheek in what was a deliberate, lingering touch.
She shivered; her traitorous nipples puckered at his light caress. This was more than the flirting dance they normally did. There was intent in his coffee-colored stare.
Olivia’s office had been a revolving door with people coming in and out all day. She was busier than ever, and for that, she was grateful. Because whenever she had down time, her thoughts turned to Dylan. So now, she sat at her desk, fingers playing with the sun pendant around her neck, a constant memory of the great guy she had in her life. She’d told Dylan the truth about her past and her fears about the future, and he hadn’t left.
No, he was still here with her, and she didn’t know what to make of that. How could he not care that she wasn’t certain she wanted children? How could he think she was enough? Sure, he might believe that now, but wouldn’t he come to resent her later?
A full workweek had passed, and nothing between them had changed except he’d stepped up his pursuit, as if trying to prove a point. He’d sent flowers to work, taken her out for dinner or cooked for her at his apartment, and she’d ended up sleeping there every night. If his goal was to convince her that he wasn’t going anywhere, he was doing a damned good job.
In fact, they’d fallen into a routine that she could easily get used to. If only she could relax and let herself believe everything would be okay, but instead, she tossed and turned each night. She was exhausted in the mornings, and not even a double dose of caffeine helped.
She wasn’t surprised when a knock sounded on her office door. It had been that kind of day.
A Quick Q/A with Carly Phillips
We have read about Olivia from other Dare stories, and have loved her character. What was the best part for you in bringing readers Olivia's story?
I love giving readers something unexpected in a story. In Olivia’s case, that was her vulnerability and her past. I liked creating a hero who had to have patience and understand that the men before him hurt her in ways he would have to work to overcome.
Can you describe your writing process in writing the Dare series?
Aaah, the writing process. Over the years, I’ve developed a very ugly writing process. Just ask my critique partner. For the most part it’s organic, which makes it ugly. I like the characters to write their story but that means it’s not always fluid or easy. That said I’m also a very linear writer. The story follows a pattern of the character’s life … with twists thrown in. I end up writing, rewriting, writing and so on. In the case of the Dare series I’ve been careful not to tie myself to things about future siblings/hero/heroines that I might have to change when I get to their story. That’s something I’ve learned from painful experience!
Do you have a favorite Dare family member you have written?
How disciplined are you when it comes to writing? Nine to five? And was it always like that?
I’m disciplined once I know my deadline. If I write every morning in the beginning of a story, I’m good. I need a lot of breaks an thinking in the early days. Once I hit middle it’s a struggle, so I force it more … and once I’m at the end, it’s always a rush through the end – and that can be all day! It’s always been that way actually!
*Now that you have self-published a few books, how does it compare to working with a publisher? Do you enjoy having 'the ultimate control', or does it cause sleepless nights?
Although I’ve had amazing publishers who’ve been very good to me, I’ve never been happier than I am self publishing. I love the control, the ability to work with a book after it’s been published, to tweak pricing, covers, offer readers fun different things. It’s been the absolute best experience.
*How often do you actually still get to read for pleasure, and can you lose yourself in a story? Or does the professional in you continually whisper in your ear as you work through a book?
When I was just published, I found it difficult to read for pleasure. Now I can’t stop. I find the time because it fuels the creative well. I used to think that was BS but it’s true. When something doesn’t work in a story, my professional whispers in my ear … but when a story works, there is nothing better than getting lost in a good book!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I have to say I’m a pretty open
book. My readers know a lot about me from social media. I’m always sharing information and knowledge with other writers. So there are just the basics – I’m a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister and a crazy dog lover and voracious reader! I love carbs, hate the gym but am going twice a week now since September and finally seeing results. And if you want to know all these crazy things about me, follow me on social media or on my blog.
Tell us a little about DARE TO TOUCH and why readers should check it out.
First, DARE TO TOUCH, as with all the DARE books, stands alone if you are coming to the series for the first time. You can read Olivia and Dylan easily and then go back and check out the other stories in the series. Because I am moving around from sibling to sibling, you can definitely find a loose connection, a revisit with siblings and favorites, along with its own story.
That said, DARE TO TOUCH, like all the books, examines how a father’s betrayal (in this case a second family no one knew about) impacts each child’s life … Olivia comes to romance reluctantly and with a lot of trepidation. Dylan knows what he wants – and he’s determined to wait her out … it’s a seductive dance set in the background of the Pro Bowl in Arizona along with life in Miami. It’s hot, it’s sexy and it’s emotional.
What inspired you to write the DARE TO LOVE series?
I knew I wanted a series with a lot of characters … and when I said that to my plotting partners, one of my brilliant friends came up with the father with another family, giving me siblings, half-siblings, betrayal, jealousy, bonding … everything I could want. Add in some sports (which I love writing about) and family dynamics along with making the series edgier than anything I’ve written before (sexually) and I couldn’t wait to dive in.
Do you have a favorite book or author you like to recommend?
I read so much, so fast, I couldn’t possibly name them all. If I start, I’ll leave someone out … but … here are SOME and apologies to the ones I don’t mention but do love – Kit Rocha, Shayla Black, Lexi Blake/Sophie Oak, Kelly Jamieson, Nalini Singh’s Psy series, Juliana Stone, Claudia Connor’s newest … clearly I’m a mostly erotic romance reader!
What is your guilty pleasure?
Besides reading? Chocolate!
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
There’s something else besides writing? J
If you could travel through time, what time period would you visit?
I’d go to … ack. I wouldn’t. Because much as I love historical romance, I need showers and air conditioning. I was going to say Middle Ages because I loved reading those romances when I first started writing … but yeah. I think I’d have a real issue with the bathing thing.