Jayne Burns has come too far in her life to look back. An orphan, she’s used to being no one’s choice.
When she lands a job as a private tutor for the adopted daughter of a world famous guitarist, everything changes. The rock gods of Rochester’s Pathos, Tennyson, Lee, Klaus, and Diego set their sights on her, and sweep Jayne off her feet.
But the band has a secret, and if it comes to light, they’ll lose Jayne.
They refuse to give her up, and they’ll tell any lie, barricade any door, and fight any foe to keep her.
**Just Jayne is a full-length, stand-alone reverse harem romance**
Jayne has been a tutor for the rich and famous for a long time, now that her latest charge is heading to boarding school, she’s summoned to her agency for an interview.
There’s a lot of mystery involved in that first interview, but it does get her on a plane to London and the second interview.
This is a favorite scene.
“Miss Burns, I’m Alfred Tennyson. It’s nice to meet you.”
Alfred Tennyson. I kept my face bland, but my suspicion grew with each passing second. “Nice to meet you, as well,” I replied. Big fat liar. If his name was Alfred Tennyson, then I was Britney Spears.
“This won’t take long,” he said. “I just have a few questions.” He reached behind him and pulled a piece of yellow lined paper from his back pocket. Unfolding it, he stared at me and said, “I am tired/ I am weary/ I could sleep for a thousand years/ A thousand dreams that would awake me/ Different colors made of tears.”
The paper remained on his lap, but he didn’t glance at it, and he didn’t glance away from me.
“Venus in Furs by Velvet Underground,” I said. “Do you want me to interpret?”
Alfred smiled. “No. It just popped into my head and I had to say it. Does that ever happen to you? Something pops into your head and you have to get it out?” He leaned back and studied me the same way the woman in my first interview had. “You don’t seem the spontaneous type.” In one quick move, he grabbed his phone from a nearby table and typed something before flinging it away. His chair groaned as he shifted and leaned forward. His blue eyes were so bright, almost like he had a fever— or he was on something. His long fingers tapped against the paper and he cocked his head to the side. As he watched me, he was quiet and thoughtful, but then he played with the little ring in his lip, and I got the sense that maybe he was waiting for something.
“Yeah,” he said suddenly. “You’re not spontaneous. Definitely buttoned up. You’ve got a whole…” He waved his hand toward me. “Maiden aunt thing going on, but yeah. Interpret Venus in Furs for me.”
This was a test. Like seeing if I’d fly to London for a second interview. And I had… personal experience… with the über-wealthy. How do you feel about celebrities?
I could go along with whatever this was.
“It’s based off of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s book of the same name— it’s not a book I have ever written into any curriculum. Have you read it?” I asked.
“A story about a man who wants to submit to and be dominated by women?” Alfred asked. “Fuck, yes. Twice.” He shifted. “I didn’t understand it either time.”
I smiled, and waited. Because this was certain to get worse before it got better.
“Have you read it?” he asked.
“No,” I answered, honestly. And that seemed to surprise him. I wondered why. He’d already pegged me as a boring, old maid. Of course I wouldn’t have read a book about sado-masochism, bondage, and dominance. “But I love Lou Reed, so I know the Velvet Underground.”
Behind him a door opened and a woman walked out. This was the sort of person I’d expected to interview me. Someone slightly older than myself, dressed like she’d come to work and not just run out of clean clothes to wear. She handed a file to Alfred, and then she left.
“Next question.” He opened the file and held up two pictures. “Who are these men?”
“Winston Churchill and Eminem.”
“And these?” He held up another two pictures.
“Justin Timberlake and David Beckham.”
“So you don’t live under a rock, Miss Burns,” he said.
I swallowed hard and clenched my teeth. “No, Mr. Tennyson, I don’t.”
“Then how have you not recognized who I am?” He flung the pictures away and stared at me, waiting.
I stared back, and as recognition dawned, I realized I was the stupidest person who’d ever lived. My face heated, and as much as I wanted to drop my gaze and hide my embarrassment, I didn’t. All I could do was hope my voice didn’t shake when I answered. “You’re Tennyson Blake,” I said. “Lead guitarist for Rochester’s Pathos.” I’d waxed poetic about Velvet Underground while sitting across from one of the most celebrated musicians and lyricists of all time. Stupid.
“You didn’t recognize me,” he said.
“Not at first,” I admitted and then I remembered the man whose wallet I’d returned. “And that was Diego Martin. Outside.”
“You saw him? He tried to leave before you arrived.” Tennyson shrugged. “He liked the first candidate.”
“But he didn’t even meet me,” I argued before closing my mouth shut with a snap.
“Diego goes with his gut, and he liked the other girl.” Tennyson cupped his stubble-lined jaw and leaned his elbow on his knee. “Woman. Sorry.”
All right, then. “Do you have any other questions for me?”
“No.” But he continued to stare at me. Since the interview was over, and I clearly hadn’t gotten the position, I let myself glance away from him.
I felt every hour of time that had passed between my interview in New York, and my arrival here. No doubt I looked horrible, and no doubt I’d made a fool of myself.
A chime sounded, and I glanced at Tennyson. He was staring down at his phone and smiling. “Everyone agrees. You’re it. The woman to teach our adorable little gremlin.” He held out his hand, and a little shocked, I took it. “Welcome to the family, Miss Burns.”
Ripley Proserpina. Just Jayne (Kindle Locations 165-207).
In spite of not wanting to get involved, Tennyson, Lee, Klaus, and Diego were determined to make Jayne theirs.
I fell in love with their daughter Sophie, and their interactions with her were priceless.
There is a major secret here though, one that could ruin everything. So much subterfuge and almost truths.
I couldn’t put this book down as clues get dropped as to the origin of the secret in the creepiest of ways. We get a look at the lifestyle of the rich and famous, as well as a bit of the crazy music world.
Plenty of clues, some laughs, and off the charts heat as this tale unfolds.
5 Contented Purrs for Ripley!
Ripley Proserpina spends her days huddled near a fire in the frozen northern wilds of Vermont. She lives with her family, two magnificent cats, and one dog who aspires to cat-hood. She is the author of the Reverse Harem series, The Searchers, Midnight’s Crown, and the young adult/fantasy duet, Wishes and Curses.