Monday, June 29, 2015

New Release ~ Neighbors with Benefits by Marissa Clarke

Neighbors with Benefits by Marissa Clarke
Published by: Entangled: Lovestruck
Publication date: June 30th 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

A satisfying category romance from Entangled’s new Lovestruck imprint…
Love thy sexy jerk of a neighbor…
CEO Michael Anderson might be something of a “control freak.” Still, he’s not quite sure why his therapist thinks dogsitting will fix anything—especially since he and the canine share a kind of mutual loathing. And to make matters worse, a house sitter moves in next door disrupting his peace—and his dates—with the worst possible music at the worst possible time… every time.
Free-spirited artist Mia Argaropolis has settled into the perfect gig—housesitting in NYC’s Upper West Side while working as an art therapist. Too bad she’s stuck living next door to a bossy control freak with a penchant for calling building security when she blasts music to drown out the noises coming through his bedroom wall.
Post-apocalyptic dinner rolls that nearly take her kitchen with them, a douchebag ex, and a Shih Tzu with the personality of Godzilla attack Mia in one day, and her unlikely neighbor comes to the rescue. Like it was her fault. And now, somehow, they find themselves engaged? Both agree, this neighborly feud just got taken to a whole new level.


One line descriptions of Neighbors with Benefits:

Michael Anderson controls everything—his job, his women, his emotions… Well, everything except his new neighbor.

Control freak Michael Anderson has met his match when his impulsive, disorganized neighbor from Hell turns up the heat. 

When control freak Michael Anderson strikes a bargain with the house sitter next door, he discovers the hardest thing to control might his heart. 

Short teasers:

“How did you know the dog was a boy before you read the tag?”
Looking up at him with her cinnamon-colored eyes, she stated very matter-of-factly, “Boys have penises.” 
At that moment, Michael was very aware that he, himself, was a boy.


“There are only three kinds of women in my life: Type A: Those who want me for my money. Type B: Those who want me for sex. Type C: Those who want nothing to do with me at all.”


Eyes narrowed, gaze never leaving her face, his intent was clear. She had no doubt in her mind what he was going to do. And while her ever-elusive shred of common sense squealed, “no,” every thing else in her shouted, “Bring it on.”


“What I want, Mia—” He gently moved Clancy off his lap, rose, and crouching like some big predatory cat, smoothly slid into the seat next to her, studying her reaction closely. “—is to watch you peel that dress off so that I can kiss every inch of your body, including, but certainly not limited to, that freckle near your spine.”


This was the real Michael Anderson, not the calm, calculated one he’d chiseled from cold, analytical clay and wore like a mask to hide the real man. 


            If there was anything he’d learned in his life, it was to fight fire with fire, and if that didn’t work, piss on the fire to put it out.

Paragraph teasers: 

“I’m going to be real honest with you here, Michael. Part of me is skeeved out by the fact you have that file. The other part is impressed you are going all in for this wedding.”
“I always go all in.”
She groaned and stood. “That’s the problem with you. You take things way too seriously.”
“That was actually an attempt at innuendo that clearly fell short.”
“See? You’re so serious, I can’t tell when your being… innuendo-ee.”  


Taking her bottom lip between his teeth, he ran his hand up her neck and into her hair. “More,” he said, pulling her ponytail just hard enough to tilt her head further. “I want more, Mia.” 
            So did she, but want and need were entirely different things. 
            He wasn’t even a friend. He was her fake fiancé for a friend’s wedding. She was his unwanted guest who doubled as his dog sitter at night. 
            It was a business arrangement, and making out on a bridge in public was bad business. 
            “No,” she whispered. 

Longer excerpts:

Excerpt 1:

“This shouldn’t happen…can’t happen.” 
“Shouldn’t and can’t are very far apart, Mia. Which is it?”
“I can’t.” She could actually hear her own heartbeat. “No” wasn’t an answer Michael Anderson was accustomed to, but then, Mia wasn’t his usual fare. There had to be a way to make him understand. “If it were two years ago, we’d be naked on the floor of this car.”
He groaned.
“But I’m smarter now. Jason taught me to never eat french fries.”
His eyes narrowed at the mention of her ex. “What do french fries have to do with having sex with me?”
“Everything. See, you are the french fry. Delicious, salty, easy going down.”
He covered his face and groaned again. “Oh, God. Stop. You’re killing me.”
“But you’re terrible for me. The worst possible thing.”
“No. I’m not.”
“I need more than fast food, Michael. Like I told you last week on Bow Bridge, I need a true friend. Someone who wants me for me. Just like a french fry, you might be what I crave, but you’re not what I need as a regular diet to stay healthy.”

Excerpt 2: 

“You look beautiful,” he said, leaning against the 
support beam of the porch, looking all but edible in his suit and a tie with tiny red specks that matched her dress. He’d planned that out, not doubt. Always the planner. 
“It’s all about the dress,” she said. 
He caught her elbow and turned her to face him. “It’s about the woman in the dress. The woman I want out of the dress. The woman who is beautiful no matter what she wears,” he added, releasing her arm. “Stop selling yourself short. No pretense. No masks, remember?” 
The specks on his tie blurred and she blinked rapidly until her vision cleared. “Yes.” Up this close, she realized the red on the tie wasn’t specks, but the fins on tiny, geometric, interlocking fish—like an Escher painting. Complex and organized, just like the man. Something completely different when observed from a distance than when up close. 

Excerpt 3:

Mia felt Michael before she saw him. Like the ripples across the lake below, the air seemed to vibrate with his energy. And then he was close enough to see clearly. Not mad, thank goodness, but intense. Eyes narrowed, gaze never leaving her face, his intent was clear. She had no doubt in her mind what he was going to do. And while her ever-elusive shred of common sense squealed, “No,” every thing else in her shouted, “Bring it on.” 
And bring it, he did, backing her up against the railing and taking her mouth with his before she could get a word out, not that she would have been able to string a cohesive sentence together after seeing that expression on his face. It was a look of desire, hot and insistent, just like his kiss. 
The kiss in front of Jason had been toe curling, but this was something completely different. Overwhelming. Everything melted away—the bridge, people in the park, even where he ended and she began—as he stroked her back with his talented hands, coaxing her passion with his lips and tongue. When an involuntary moan escaped her, he answered with a groan and deepened the kiss. 
This was the real Michael Anderson, not the calm, calculated one he’d chiseled from cold, analytical clay and wore like a mask to hide the real man. 


Marissa Clarke lives in Texas, where everything is bigger, especially the mosquitoes.

When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, husband, and a Cairn Terrier named Annabel, who rules the house (and Marissa's heart) with an iron paw.  She loves to connect with readers, so follow/friend her on Facebook and Twitter or shoot her an email from her website "Contact" page.

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