Liz is one of my favorite authors. I've read the original Essence of Time and fell in love with Rob and Blake. When she mentioned that she was adding to their story, I was thrilled. Now I'm able to share with you her updated book Essence of Time. Be sure to check out the new cover, blurb and steamy (NC-17) excerpt!
A “take life by the throat” philosophy has always served Rob well. It keeps him focused, forcing emotions and potential relationships to take a back seat to his aspirations. But once every obstacle has been conquered and he’s achieved his goal—executive chef at a famous Chicago restaurant—he must acknowledge that he has reached his mid-thirties very much alone.
Blake has just jettisoned his dream job—head of a fast-growing craft microbrewery—to escape from the woman who shattered his soul. Arriving at a Chicago beer festival prepared to drown his sorrows before moving on he is miserable and numb.
Fate throws the men together altering their respective worlds forever.
Once Rob reveals the personal demon that has haunted him for years, Blake allows himself to fully trust again, and admits he wants a child. But a mutual attraction evolves out of a business arrangement with the woman hired as their surrogate, which has the potential to destroy an already delicate status quo.
But time is of the essence, and becomes the one luxury they don't have.
An honest depiction of a modern relationship mosaic reminding us to treasure every single moment we are allowed to love and be loved.
Essence of Time Excerpt: Rated NC 17 for sexually explicit scene/implied ménage
The room pulsed with sweaty bodies and music. Rob was tired, but Blake had wanted to hit this club and he was finding that what made Blake happy did the same for him. He lifted his glass as Blake looked over at him, and then was swallowed up by the undulating crowd.
Attractive men, women and everything in between moved as one body. He tried to repress a surge of jealousy as hands groped all over Blake’s form. The guy looked damn good, in dark denim jeans and a bright white shirt that hugged his strong frame like a sexy glove.
“Hey handsome.” A lovely female with long black hair slid in alongside him, mirroring his stance. She held out her beer bottle and Rob touched his to it. The soft heat of her exposed skin made his body snap to attention. He shot her a glance that would speak volumes, if she were receptive.
She turned, leaned against the rail and let her hair tumble down her back, the incredible perfection of her breasts clearly exposed to his gaze. Yeah, he thought, she will do very well. He moved closer, touched the top of her cleavage, pleased at the quick pebbling of her skin. She smiled at him, stepped closer. “Mmm….” She sighed as she covered his lips and probed with her small tongue. Her soft curves fit nicely against him. When he opened his eyes and spotted Blake sandwiched between a couple of lovely women, he broke the kiss and cupped the girl’s chin, his brain a whirl of possibility and his whole body zinging with desire.
“Hey,” he whispered close to her ear. “You up for some fun tonight?”
“Mai oui.” She bit his earlobe. Putting his hands on her bare arms, he held her back, shoving down the sudden urge to yank her into the back room and have her to himself.
“You game for two of us?” He ran his finger down her neck and across the tops of her breasts.
“Depends. The other one as hot as you?” She licked her plump lips, took a step into him and covered his zipper again with her hand. He let himself enjoy it a half a second, then smiled, turned her around and pointed over her bare shoulder at Blake, still stuck between the two supermodels, writhing in time to the pounding techno music. She sucked in a breath. “Really?” Rob leaned in, kissed her shoulder, ran a hand up her thigh, found her as pantiless as he figured she’d be. She kept her back to him, her breathing coming in small gasps as he licked his way up her neck, his fingers busy under her skirt.
“Really.” He pressed his erection against her hip, relished the soft wet folds at his fingertips. She pulsed under his touch, moaning when he gave it just the right amount of pressure and speed. “Come for me, ma petite.” She stiffened, put a hand over her mouth. Rob smiled as her body shuddered. “Oui, just like that.” He bit down on her shoulder, slid his fingers from between her legs and sucked them into his mouth as she gripped the rail, still gasping for breath. He cupped the back of her neck, tugged her close, kissed her hard and then released her. Turning her slowly once again, he cupped a breast, ran his thumb over the peaking nipple. “That’s him. Go, dance, seduce him. I’ll be watching.”
She smiled, grabbed his hand and sucked the fingers he’d just used to bring her to orgasm in this room full of people into her small, pert mouth. Then bit his fingertips and released him before sashaying out onto the dance floor, leaving him standing, his brain humming with anticipation.
Over the next half hour or so she delivered, in spades, inserting herself between Blake and one of the chicks dripping off him with ease, wrapping herself around him and pulling him close. Rob leaned on the rail and watched, mesmerized, as Blake laughed, danced, and let the girl tease, touch and dirty dance with him.
He grabbed another beer from a passing tray, and then caught the two of them in an incredible kiss, Blake’s hands roaming all over her half-dressed body. Just as Rob started to cut it short, not sure if he was actually ready to share Blake, the man opened his eyes and stared straight at Rob. He broke the kiss, turned the girl around and ground against her from behind. Rob lifted his beer bottle as Blake reached around and cupped a breast, leaning down to lick her neck. Rob smiled, relaxed, and let himself be calmed. Blake wanted this. So he did too.
He put his fingers to his lips again, tasting her, finished the beer, then stalked out onto the floor, entering the fray and breaking a solid sweat sandwiching the girl, sneaking kisses with Blake over her head. At one point the girl, Juliet, he’d discovered, reached up and grabbed his neck and laid a kiss on him that made him breathless. “You guys are hot as shit. We gonna do this, or what?” He nodded, grabbed her hand and Blake’s and pulled them out into the warm Parisian night.
About Liz Crowe
Amazon best-selling author, beer blogger and beer marketing expert, mom of three, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great Midwest, in a major college town. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse. While working as a successful Realtor, Liz made the leap into writing novels about the same time she agreed to take on marketing and sales for the Wolverine State Brewing Company.
Most days find her sweating inventory and sales figures for the brewery, unless she’s writing, editing or sweating promotional efforts for her latest publications.
Her early forays into the publishing world led to a groundbreaking fiction subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” which has gained thousands of fans and followers interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”). More recently she is garnering even more fans across genres with her latest novels, which are more character-driven fiction, while remaining very much “real life.”
With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and many times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate, and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.
If you are in the Ann Arbor area, be sure and stop into the Wolverine State Brewing Co. Tap Room—but don’t ask her for anything “like” a Bud Light, or risk serious injury.
Musings from Michigan