Fri
Jun 9 2017 12:00pm

Robinne Lee Excerpt: The Idea of You

Robinne Lee

Solène Marchand, the thirty-nine-year-old owner of an art gallery in Los Angeles, is reluctant to take her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favorite boy band. But since her divorce, she’s more eager than ever to be close to Isabelle. The last thing Solène expects is to make a connection with one of the members of the world-famous August Moon. But Hayes Campbell is clever, winning, confident, and posh, and the attraction is immediate. That he is all of twenty years old further complicates things.

What begins as a series of clandestine trysts quickly evolves into a passionate and genuine relationship. It is a journey that spans continents as Solène and Hayes navigate each other’s worlds: from stadium tours to international art fairs to secluded hideaways in Paris and Miami. For Solène, it is a reclaiming of self, as well as a rediscovery of happiness and love. When Solène and Hayes’ romance becomes a viral sensation, and both she and her daughter become the target of rabid fans and an insatiable media, Solène must face how her romantic life has impacted the lives of those she cares about most.

The Idea of You follows a woman's journey to rediscover herself, and while she does find some love along the way, this book does not have a Happy Ever After—for that you'll have to follow Robinne Lee's work as Ros in Fifty Shades Darker. Now it's time to get a sneak peek at The Idea of You (available June 13, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

“You’re not wearing your watch,” he said. We were two drinks in and the crowd had thinned somewhat. The music had mellowed, atmospheric trip-hop.

“I’m not.”

His hand had slipped down between the two of us and encircled my wrist. “Where is it?”

“Upstairs.”

“I’ve come to depend on your watch.”

“It’s not TAG Heuer.”

“No. It’s Hermès,” he said.

“Wow. You’re good.”

He smiled, his thumb stroking my pulse point. “I’ve gotten very good at watches lately.”

I didn’t say anything for a moment. Just sat there, allowing myself to be hypnotized by his touch. When his hand moved from my wrist to my thigh, I flinched. “Watches, huh?”

“Watches.”

“What else are you good at?”

His eyes widened then, and he let loose one of his sly smiles. “Is that a trick question? All right, I’ll have a go. Football, I mean soccer … Tennis … Downhill skiing … Chess … Foxhunting…”

At that, I laughed. “Foxhunting?”

“I was just seeing if you were paying attention.” His fingertips slipped beneath the hemline of my skirt, grazing my knee. I was paying attention, all right.

“Rowing … Squash … Badminton … Poetry … Breakdancing…”

“The worm?”

“The worm,” he laughed. “You remember that, do you? I think I won you over with that.” His fingers were moving over my skin, sensual.

“I don’t know. ‘Won me over’ sounds a little strong.” I uncrossed my legs and watched as his hand found its way between my knees. He had large, beautifully wrought hands, long fingers.

“You were interested.”

“Maybe.”

“You’re interested now.”

I nodded. My heartbeat had begun to accelerate. I took the liberty to finish what little was left in my glass. He leaned into me. But he did not kiss me, I assumed because we were not alone. Because there was another couple two seats over, and a room half filled with strangers—most certainly with cell phones. It was probably for the best.

“Your turn, Solène. Tell me what you’re good at.”

“Watercolors. French. Ballet.”

“Ballet?” His hand had migrated north, his fingers pressing at the inside of my lower thigh.

“I used to do ballet. I was good.”

“Why’d you stop?”

“Wasn’t good enough.”

“Mm.” He nodded, fingers mounting. “Go on.”

“Umm…” I was losing focus. “Running. Cooking. Pilates. Spinning.”

“I’m trying to picture you doing all those at once…”

I laughed, uneasy, under the spell of his touch. Trembling, intoxicated, wet.

“I sing. Did I say that? How’d I bloody forget that?” he chuckled. “I sing. I’m quite good. I write songs. I perform. I’m good with people. I like kids.”

“I don’t think you should be talking about liking kids with your hand up my skirt.”

He smiled his half smile. “Is it up your skirt?”

“It’s up my skirt enough.”

“Do you want me to stop?” He started to withdraw.

I grabbed his wrist. “No.”

He leaned forward then and kissed me. His mouth soft, smoky from the Scotch; his tongue supple. It was brief, but he’d made his point.

His fingers persisted, the pressure alternating between soft and strong. “You know what else I’m good at?”

I nodded. Slow.

“Okay.” He smiled. “Shall we get a room?”

“I have a room.”

“Shall we go to it, then?”

“No.”

He laughed. “Do you not trust me?”

“I don’t trust me.”

“I won’t let you do anything you don’t want to do. Promise.”

I couldn’t help but laugh. “I’m not going to have sex with you, Hayes Campbell.”

“Awww.” He dropped his head. “Are we back to the first and last name?”

“That’s who you are, isn’t it?”

“Yes, but that’s more like the idea of me than … Never mind,” he trailed off. “Look, we don’t have to have sex, we can just cuddle.” He’d said this with his right hand wholly between my thighs. That he wasn’t touching my underwear was a calculated tease. Cuddle, my ass.

“Okay,” I said, my breathing labored. “Here’s the plan. We’re going to go upstairs. We’re going to fool around. We’re not going to have sex. And you’re not going to spend the night. Deal?”

“Deal.”

The rooms at the Crosby Street Hotel were finely done: individual, warm, eclectic. Unexpected patterns juxtaposed in soothing colors. Dressmaker mannequins as art. The light was low when we entered, the mood inviting. Fitting for a tryst.

“I like this,” Hayes said, laying his jacket neatly over the arm of the sofa and stooping to remove his boots.

“You’re getting awfully comfortable.”

“Am I not allowed to be? Is that not part of the deal?”

I laughed at his inquiry. He was clearly more used to this than I. Being physically and emotionally naked before someone whose middle name you did not know. I did not want to calculate how often he did this.

“Last bit.” He smiled, emptying his pants pockets onto the coffee table. An iPhone, a wallet, lip balm, and a pack of gum. Noticeably absent: a condom. Or perhaps it was in his wallet. Or his jacket pocket. I was overthinking this.

“I want to see the view. Do you want to see the view?” I stalled, making my way across the room and opening the curtains, unveiling the floor-to-ceiling industrial windows. There was something extraordinary about Manhattan at night: twinkling lights and indigo sky.

I stood there for a moment, my hands pressed against the cool panes, wondering how I’d ended up here with the boy from Isabelle’s posters. And what that would mean for our relationship going forward. She would hate me, and yet still …

“You nervous?” Hayes approached me from behind, his hands running the length of my arms.

“No,” I lied.

“Don’t be nervous, Solène. It’s just me.”

Yes, that was precisely the problem.

            His closeness, which had felt so reassuring on the balcony at the Four Seasons, felt reckless here. I was suddenly aware of his height, his power. The fact that maybe I was no longer in charge.

He sensed it. His fingers slipped in between mine, holding my hands while my nerves settled. And then, when enough time had passed, he wrapped his arms around me, drawing me in closer. I could feel him—all of him—pressed up against my back.

“Hiiii,” he said, and I laughed. “You good?”

I nodded, meeting his eyes in our reflection in the glass.

“I’m good.”

“You sure?” He leaned forward then and kissed my bare shoulder.

“Sure.”

“Good.” He kissed me again, and again. And again. His mouth moving over my shoulder, toward my neck, to the crook just behind my ear. He breathed me in, and I could feel it in my toes. His mouth, his tongue, his teeth on my flesh. His hand moving up over the sequins of my top to stroke my throat, angling my head toward his. He smelled of soap and Scotch, and he tasted … warm. I turned to him, devouring his mouth. And oh, the feel of his hair in my hands: thick and smooth and substantial. I probably pulled on it a little too hard.

We moved to the bed.

Hayes seated himself on the edge and had me stand in front of him. “I just want to look at you,” he said. We stayed there, my hands in his hair, his hands at my hips, running to and fro over the material. “God, you are so unbelievably sexy.”

I leaned over to kiss his dimples. They had been beckoning since the Mandalay Bay. The mileage he got out of a muscle flaw … “I bet you say that to all your fans’ mums.”

He laughed, his hands sliding down over my ass, along my thighs, to the hem of my skirt. “Not so much, no.”

I could feel the coolness of his rings at the back of my knees, teasing. I had not planned how far I’d intended this evening to go. I wasn’t certain if there was a protocol for postdivorce sex. Second date? Third? I assumed the etiquette was different than it was in one’s twenties. The need to be respected in the morning seemed less dire. Maybe none of that mattered anymore. Maybe it was all about the thrill. And surely rock stars played by different rules. We were pioneers out here, Hayes and I. Forging new territory. Making up shit as we went along.

“You know,” he said, his hands rising, hot against my skin, “I find this skirt really flattering. Truly. But I think I would like it better on the floor.”

I laughed then. “Well, that would be convenient, wouldn’t it?”

He nodded, his mouth finding mine.

“But actually,” I continued, “I’m more interested in seeing what you can do with the skirt still on.”

Hayes laughed, tossing back his head. “I appreciate the challenge.”

“I knew you would.”

He undid his tie and tossed it across the bed before lying on his back. “Come here,” he ordered. I obeyed, only pausing to remove my heels with their bondage-like ankle strap. Tonight they’d earned their keep.

Hayes hoisted me atop himself with ease, and I quickly became aware of just how inconsequential my clothing was. It did not matter that I was still wearing my skirt. I could sense his solidness beneath me, the breadth of his chest, the tightness of his stomach. His thighs … Jesus fuck, was that his dick?

“Oh.”

“Oh?” he repeated, smiling. He had one hand in my hair, the other cradling my jaw, his thumb moving over my mouth.

“Oh, that’s you,” I laughed.

“I hope it’s me. I mean, I hope someone else didn’t come up here in my stead.”

“In your ‘stead’?” I licked his thumb. “I love how proper you are.”

“Do you? Because I can do this proper thing all night long. Or I can stop … What do you want, Solène?”

“I want you to show me what you’re good at.”

He nodded, his lips curling into a smile. And then, with little effort, he rolled me onto my back. For a moment he hovered above, his dominance palpable. “Just let me know when you want me to stop.”

My pulse had once again begun to rush. His fingers were tracing my jawline, my lips. “God, I love this mouth,” he said before moving on to my neck, pausing at the hollow, and then continuing down over my breastbone and across the fabric of my top. His touch was measured—light, but deliberate. And when the back of his hand grazed over my breasts, I heard myself inhale. His own breathing was shallow, his mouth near my ear enticing. His fingers skimmed the underside of my arm and I shuddered. That he could make something so innocent feel suggestive was a skill.

In no time, his hand was between my thighs again, forcing my skirt up north of my knees. “I’m not taking it off,” he said. But at that point it didn’t matter. I would have let him.

He shifted above me, his mouth melting into mine. His hips pinning me to the bed. His fingers titillating.

“Do you want me to stop?”

“No.”

“You sure?” His voice was low, raspy. His hand had reached my crotch, and by then I was so wet it was hard to discern where my panties ended and I began.

“Yes.”

“Not taking these off either,” he reassured me, his hand stroking the thin material. “I’m not even going to push them to the side … And I’m still going to make you come.”

**
Copyright © 2017 by Robinne Lee.
***
Learn more about or order a copy of The Idea of You by Robinne Lee, available June 13, 2017:

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ROBINNE LEE is an actor, writer and producer. A graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School, Robinne was born and raised in Westchester County, New York. Robinne has numerous acting credits in both television and film, most notably opposite Will Smith in both Hitch and Seven Pounds. She recently completed shooting Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, playing Ros Bailey. Robinne currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children. She is the author of The Idea of You.

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Sharida Jan
1. Sharida Jan
Need my copy-all too familiar-need to finish reading ????????????????????????????
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