Beyond the Velvet Rope
Harlequin Kimani / June 24, 2014 / $14.95 print, $10.99 digital
Scoring a gig at Miami’s Club Babylon is a fantasy come true for New York promoter Thandie Shaw. The hottest club on the strip is a magnet for major South Beach movers and shakers. And Thandie’s about to meet the biggest player of them all.
Babylon owner Elliot Richards is macho, arrogant, sexist—everything Thandie doesn’t want in a boss or lover. Elliot is also the most erotic man who’s ever wanted to take her to bed. But Thandie’s no fool. Even as he tries to seduce her into a world of intense and shocking passion, she knows it’s too good to last…especially after she uncovers Elliot’s explosive secrets.
Thandie’s going down a dangerous road, and she’s risking a lot more than her career. Torn between doubt and desire, will she have to pay the ultimate price?
Tiffany Ashley’s erotic romance Beyond the Velvet Rope is the story of successful promoter Thandie Shaw’s tumultuous, intense relationship with Miami club owner Elliot Richards, who is devastatingly attractive and unfortunately knows it.
Elliot is a classic Alpha with the money and resources to do as he likes, and so far no woman has called him on it. Though Elliot never hires women—at least, women who are not entertainers—to work at his successful clubs, he’s convinced to hire Thandie to promote his most exclusive club, Babylon, just as she needs to get out of New York for a while. But their working relationship by no means falls into place smoothly or easily; it takes an intervention from Thandie’s businessman friend, Warren, to convince Elliot to hire her.
“Elliot had you on speaker phone.”
“He talks to everyone on speaker, but nevermind that. I’ll talk to him.”
“Was he serious?”
“Unfortunately, yes. He has good reason, but that doesn’t excuse his behavior.”
“Seriously, he won’t hire me because I’m a woman?”
“Not to worry, kiddo, I’ll talk to him.”
“I’m not sure I want you to talk to him.”
“Don’t be silly. He’s just being difficult, and you’re offended.”
“‘Offended’ is hardly the word, Warren. I’m pissed.”
“Let me talk to him.”
“He’s an asshole.”
“That’s a bit harsh,” he said defensively.
“I thought I was being kind. He hung up on me, Warren.”
“I’m sorry about that. Elliot is always pressed for time. You’ll see that soon enough. He called you during one of the staff meetings. He’s already on another conference call.”
“He interviewed me for a job during a staff meeting?”
Thandie takes the job, and is soon fighting off Elliot’s effective seductions as well as trying to promote his club within his, to her, ridiculous restrictions, which include no photographs of the club or its famous attendees. Despite his high-handed treatment of her, she’s determined to succeed, and to resist his physical charms.
“I can order for myself,” she said tersely.
“I’m sure you can. However, tonight I am ordering for you. So get used to it.”
“I’m not accustomed to having a man treat me like this.”
“That’s because I’m the first man you’ve ever dealt with.”
She laughed dryly at his statement. His cocky presumption nearly toppled her patience.
“You look nervous,” Elliot remarked. “I hope I’m not the reason.”
“I’m not nervous,” she said frostily. He said nothing, but the grin he gave her was wicked and knowing.
Meanwhile, Elliot is helplessly attracted to her beneath his obnoxious behavior, though that doesn’t mean he immediately realizes this relationship could become serious.
She’d really put him in his place tonight, and that annoyed and excited him. He couldn’t remember the last time a woman had turned him down. Usually, women were stepping over each other to get to him. He would have his pick of the group, using them at will before growing restless and discarding them. But not Thandie.
Their conflict and banter continues through almost the entire novel. Even after Thandie gives in to Elliot’s blandishments, she resists the attraction for quite a while, fighting back in a cat and cat game that plays out amid the high-stakes business of an exclusive nightclub. The club business is portrayed with rich detail, adding to rather than distracting from the tense emotional conflicts of the plot by showing different facets of the protagonists. An array of secondary characters, including Thandie’s ex-boyfriend, friends, co-workers, and assistants, show the complexity of her life outside of her relationship with Elliot. The novel has a world that doesn’t just consist of two people.
Readers who enjoy alpha heroes and the powerful women who love them should definitely give Beyond the Velvet Rope a try.
Learn more or pre-order a copy of Beyond the Velvet Rope by Tiffany Ashley, available June 24, 2014: