Hard as Mason (Sultry Tides #1) by Cindy B. Wells
Laura Bellamy is a rising star at her San Francisco company. She is smart, beautiful, professional, respected, and driven to succeed. Unfortunately, the greater her success grows, the more her husband’s insecurities are revealed. The couple has been married only three years since busy Laura took a chance on finding love on an internet dating website.
But once the honeymoon ended, the more she tried to make their marriage succeed, the more Greg’s true colors stained their crumbling relationship. He is jealous, paranoid, and cruel. Adding to their pressure-cooker marriage, he focuses his insecurities into pressuring his wife to start a family and give up the career that makes her happy.
Laura has worked with the same company for longer than she’s known her husband. In that time, not only has she loved her career, she’s also enjoyed her friendship with Mason Paladino. Mason is a fellow executive who is witty, sophisticated, and a bit of a goofball who sports a gorgeous swimmer’s body. For too long, the friends have suspected they share romantic chemistry, but neither will break their vows. If the right conditions present themselves, will they act on their simmering desires? Would it be wrong to deny their love? Can Laura trust her heart to show her the right path after failing miserably with her husband?
When Greg’s insecurities push him over the edge from cruel to criminal, will Laura stay, or end the toxic relationship? And if he catches her with a new man, how far will his anger drive his actions to tear them apart?
Find out what happens to Laura and Mason in book one of the Sultry Tides series by Cindy B. Wells.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
If you are looking for a leisurely read then this book is not for you. This book will require you to block out several hours of your day because you will not be able to put this one down. This was an amazing book. Laura has been unhappily married to Greg for three years after meeting him online on a dating site. Greg is weak, insecure and paranoid. One day Greg crosses the line and Laura decides to end her marriage. After years of growing apart from his wife Mason also files for divorce. Laura and Mason have also been professional in the workplace but with one glance, a look and a touch everything changes between them. They no longer have to deny their feelings for each other and begin a relationship of their own. Finally happy again, Laura is ready to begin her new life. Unfortunately she underestimates how unstable her soon to be ex-husband really is. This was a sweet, sexy romance between the two main characters and then bam!! Drama Drama Drama. The ending is heart stopping and I can’t wait for book two. Great read!
- I wrote my first long story when I was 8 years old. Well, it was a long story for an 8-year-old. My mom read it, she said she loved it, and I’ve been writing ever since.
- I met my husband at work, and now we have two teenage children whom we adore.
- Favorite book: To Kill a Mockingbird
- Favorite authors: Jack London, John Steinbeck, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Michael Crichton, Dean Koontz, Karen Russel, Woody Allen, Neil Simon, Armistead Maupin…oh, there are too many to mention.
- Favorite time to write: An old habit from my university days…between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. (I’m writing this at 2 a.m.)
- Most common time I get ideas for my stories: Right after I switch off the light to go to sleep. My mind begins wandering, and I know if I don’t write down my ideas, I will likely forget by the next morning. I’ve worked out so many scenes as I stare into the darkness. Yeah, imagine how happy that makes my husband when I turn on a light to write down my thoughts.
- First favorite movie: I fell in love with Peter O’Toole’s bright blue eyes in “Lawrence of Arabia.”
- And speaking of movies…like many writers I know, it’s common to be able to watch any number of movies countless times. It drives my family nuts, but a well-crafted story is always good. It’s like watching a Steven Spielberg movie, or Star Wars (the original; not the new crap).
- During a visit to Las Vegas, one night after my husband returned to our room when he was tired, I wanted to play the slots a while longer. That “while longer” turned into a few hours, and by 3 a.m., my hubby came downstairs to the casino to find me…sitting at the poker slot machine. Note to self: someone with OCD should never be left alone in a casino with no phone, no watch, and free time. Believe it or not, I left my seat with more money than when I started.
- Just like Laura and Mason in my book, I love eating fried calamari from Abalonetti’s at Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey, California. Moreover, Monterey’s Fish House really does have the best crab cakes. And while the fresh caramel corn sold at the wharf is rather tasty, I make my own and I’m told mine tastes better.
- Speaking of caramel corn, I love to bake, but I hate to cook.
- I write other genres, but erotic romance is the most fun. Certainly, my husband enjoys the benefit of the sex scenes after I’m done writing them.
- I won’t let my family read my erotic romance. That would just be too weird. It would be like they were reading my fantasies or about my experiences. Yes, I write both into my story scenes, but I won’t be more specific than that. My parents taught us that sex is natural and fun, so live a little and try something new, and if you’re not in a long-term relationship, be sure to use a condom and don’t catch a disease.
- While we’re on the subject of condoms: I think it’s great that romance writers include the “open a condom” element in sex scenes. Including condoms in these stories teaches greater responsibility to anyone who is sexually active. Certainly, these books include condoms more often than the soft porn presented on television: prime time networks and the extra movie channels. It seems rare for TV scripts to include a condom in their steamy sex scenes. I don’t think True Blood‘s Sookie Stackhouse has ever asked any of her many love interests–Bill, Eric, Ben, Alcide–to roll on a Trojan. I wonder if the producers of The Bachelor provide the featured stud with a large box of condoms?
- I love going to the beach, but I wish California beaches had more shells like East Coast and Southern beaches. We do have Glass Beach outside a town north of Mendocino where I can spend hours sifting through the sea glass. I may be a California girl, but I’ve never gone surfing.
- I also enjoy visiting the mountains. Tahoe has fabulous ski conditions, and Yosemite is a place everyone should see at least once.
- I was a crime reporter for many years. Likely, that experience (combined with reading too many Dean Koontz and Stephen King books) is why I included elements of suspense and criminal activity in Hard as Mason.
- I am addicted to the “Power of Two” game on my iPhone, and just recently, a Facebook friend got me hooked on a Candy Crush game.
- I love French fries, Italian food and sushi. My favorite meal is one that starts with a reservation and a menu.
- I enjoy listening to Diana Krall and more jazz tunes to get in the mood to write. I posted a lot of my favorite music in my romance shop at my Facebook page (Facebook.com/CindyWellsBooks). You can find some of the opera pieces I listed in a scene at an Italian restaurant in San Francisco.