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Control Paperback – August 24, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Spice (August 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373605471
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373605477
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,594,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kayla Perrin has been writing since the age of thirteen. She is a USA TODAY and Essence bestselling author of dozens of mainstream and romance novels and has been recognized for her talent, including twice winning Romance Writers of America’s Top Ten Favorite Books of the Year Award. She has also won the Career Achievement Award for multicultural romance from RT Book Reviews. Kayla lives with her daughter in Ontario, Canada. Visit her at www.KaylaPerrin.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

I gave myself a once-over in the bathroom mirror and smiled at my reflection. I looked good.

Sexy. Hot.

Hot enough that my husband wouldn't be able to resist me.

I'd flat-ironed my hair, giving my shoulder-length ebony locks the razor-sharp straight look I didn't wear often. Robert typically liked it softly curled. The straight hair, combined with the dress and dramatic makeup, gave me more of a high-fashion model or actress look. My hair had taken a good thirty minutes to perfect, but I was extremely pleased with the result.

I smoothed my hands over my black sheath dress. It was tight, hugging my curves. I'd put on a push-up bra to give me more cleavage, and the dress's V-neck exposed a teasing amount of flesh. A little too much?

I shook my head. No, I didn't think so.

I wasn't trying to be subtle in my sex appeal, though I was trying to be tasteful. What I wanted was my husband thinking of getting me home—and naked— during every moment of our dinner.

We needed something to get us into baby-making mood.

"Elsie, what's taking you so long?" I heard Robert call out to me. His voice was close, which meant he was in our bedroom. I'd left him downstairs watching CNN in the great room as I'd come to the master bathroom, locking the door so he couldn't inadvertently see me before I wanted him to. This was the second time he'd come up to check on me.

"I'm almost—"

"We have a seven-o'clock reservation," Robert said sternly. "It's six-twenty."

"I'm sorry, sweetheart," I said. "We'll get there. We've got enough time."

"We're going to midtown."

The doorknob rattled, but with the door locked, it didn't budge. "Open up, Elsie."

"Just give me a few more minutes." I wanted my look to be a surprise. We were going to The Melting Pot, a popular fondue restaurant in midtown Charlotte that always got rave reviews, and I wanted to look chic and sexy as I walked in on Robert's arm.

He knocked on the door now—fast, impatient. "Open the door, Elsie."

He was irritated. I could tell by his tone. He probably thought I was going to take another twenty minutes to finish getting ready. "Okay, I'm coming."

I applied my deep red lipstick, picked my LuLu clutch up off the vanity—and then spotted the necklace I'd forgotten to put on. Robert liked classic pearls, but they weren't right for this look, so I had decided on a six-strand beaded black necklace that I rarely wore.

"Jesus, Elsie!"

"I'm just putting my necklace on." I secured the clasp at the back of my neck. Then I slipped into my Jimmy Choo black patent shoes. Yes, I thought. Perfect.

"I'm coming," I called, and hurried to the door. I hoped Robert's tone was an indicator of his impatience, as opposed to a bad mood. I'd been looking forward to our first visit to The Melting Pot for ages, and I didn't want anything to sour our romantic evening.

I swung open the door and spread my arms. "Ta-da."

It took only a second for Robert's eyes to widen in surprise. That I expected. This wasn't my typical demure look. His gaze roamed over my face and hair first, then went lower, stopping at my breasts. "What are you wearing?"

My husband's expression was far from appreciative— not the reaction I had expected. "You don't like it?"

"I thought you were going to wear the red dress I bought you last week."

"I preferred this one. We are going to that hip fondue restaurant." And I want you thinking about getting me naked. Creating a baby inside me.

"Restaurant. Exactly. Not a club with your friends."

Once again, Robert's eyes landed on my cleavage. Then they moved upward. "And what on earth did you do to your hair?"

I raised my hand, fingering some of the strands. "I tried something different."

"I don't like it."

"Oh." I had hoped he would. I'd worked so hard on coming up with a hot, irresistible look. The kind that would have my husband whistling with appreciation, not staring at me with scorn.

Robert glanced at his watch. "We're cutting it close, but you should have enough time to change. The red dress is more appropriate for dinner. Even if we're a little late, I'm sure they'll hold our reservation."

"Oh," I said, feeling deflated. "You think I should change."

"Do hurry."

"I'll, uh, need a few more minutes to get ready then." I spoke as evenly as possible, trying to hide my disappointment.

"I'll be downstairs."

Robert turned and walked out of the bedroom. There was no more discussion. He'd made his wishes clear, and if I went downstairs in anything other than the red dress, he would be miserable the entire night.

Closing the bathroom door, I tried to ignore the swell of unhappiness rising inside me. I tried, as I had done so many times before, to put the unpleasant feelings in an emotional box. It had taken him two years to agree to take me to The Melting Pot, and I didn't want to ruin an evening I had been looking forward to.

I went back to the vanity table and looked at myself in the mirror one more time. The spark in my eyes had disappeared. The sexy, excited woman didn't look sexy and excited anymore.

The his-and-her closets were connected to the bathroom by a carpeted hallway. I suppose the suite had been designed that way to make it easier for people fresh from the shower to be able to get dressed. Everything in a house like this—nearly ten thousand square feet—was about making life easier for the owners. If you wished to watch your favorite television show in the bathtub, you could do that. If you didn't want to go downstairs to your home office, you didn't need to; the master bedroom was so large, it had a desk and computer in a corner by the bay window. My closet was big enough to have shelves upon shelves for hundreds of pairs of shoes, plus racks to hang hundreds of outfits. So was Robert's.

I took the red dress off the hook where I'd hung it after deciding I'd wear the black one instead. There was a mirror in my closet—two floor-length ones, in fact—so I didn't need to go back to the bathroom to see what the gown looked like when I held it up against my body.

It was a perfectly nice dress. Classic. Elegant.

But it wasn't the look I had wanted for tonight.

I pushed that thought aside. Time was ticking away. I had to tone down my dark makeup, which would be too dramatic for the red dress. I went back into the bathroom, dampened a face towel and tried to smudge off as much of my dark eye shadow as I could—then grabbed a tissue to dab at the tears that filled my eyes.

"Why are you crying?" I asked my reflection. "So what if Robert wants you to change? What's the big deal?" I unzipped my black dress and wriggled out of it. "If he thinks the dress isn't right, it's because he knows more about this stuff than you do."

My husband was the former head of a Fortune 500 company. Having lived most of his life in privilege, he knew much more about etiquette than I did. Maybe he thought I looked trashy, and as the wife of a wealthy and prominent citizen, I couldn't bring any shame to him.

The words made sense to me, and yet I found myself thinking something that had flitted into my mind many times over the past couple of years. Robert doesn't think I fit into his world. Even after all this time.

And then I had another thought: When you dress too provocatively, it screams to the world that you're a trophy wife. Everyone will always see you as the woman who married up.

Robert had said that to me more than once when we'd first gotten married. I'd understood his point then, and I understood it now. Eight years ago, I'd married a wealthy man thirty years my senior. I know that most people would believe I did it for financial reasons. But that wasn't true.

I married for love.

Before walking down the aisle, I signed a prenup entitling me to one million dollars if our marriage ended before the ten year mark. My lawyer had wanted to renegotiate for a higher amount, arguing that Robert was enormously wealthy, but I had refused. My goal wasn't how much I could get should we divorce, but rather on living happily ever after with the man I adored.

Reaching a hand behind me, I was about to unclasp my bra, figuring something more conservative would be better. But then I glanced at the clock. It was already 6:33. I could imagine Robert downstairs, sitting on the chaise in the great room, impatiently glancing at his watch.

So I kept the bra on and got into the red dress, a delicate number with a much higher neckline. The gown cinched below the bust with a black ribbon band, and from there flowed down to my knees. With the combination of the push-up bra and the ribbon detail, my breasts really popped.

But at least they were covered. It was one element that made me feel sexier, and I was grateful for that. I still wanted to be irresistible to Robert.

The only other issue was my hair. Robert had said he didn't like it. I did. But again, I wanted to be turning him on, not off. I searched my vanity for a black clip. Instead of wearing my hair down, I swept the back of it up off my neck and styled it up with the clip. I arranged some loose tendrils around the sides of my face, giving me a softer look.

The black ribbon on my dress went well with my black clutch and shoes, and also my necklace, so at least I didn't have to change my accessories. I wrapped a cashmere shawl around my shoulders and was ready to go.

One last time, I checked myself out in the mirror. I wasn't the vixen I'd been a while earlier. But I was still attractive, hopefully in a way that would make my husband happy.

Because I still hoped that Robert and I would end up in our bed later, making love.

And making a baby.

***

By the time we got to The Melting Pot, we were ten minutes late. But I had called ahead, ensuring that they'd hold our table, while Robert drove.

He pulled up to the valet stand in front of the restaurant. An attendant came over immediately. They usually did when the car was a Porsche.

Moments later, we were inside The Melting Pot. The restaurant was warm and inviting, done in a combination of dark beige and burgundy. Intimate, curved booths lined the walls. Unique lighting fixtures hung above the tables, reminding me of blown-glass designs I'd seen in Venice.

I liked the place. A lot. My mood instantly brightened.

The restaurant was full of chatter. Happy people all

around us were laughing and talking and dipping various items into pots of fondue.

"I hope we made the right choice," Robert mumbled.

I glanced at him as we approached the hostess stand. He didn't make eye contact with me. I didn't bother asking him what he meant.

The hostess sat us at our table in the center of the restaurant. I took my shawl off and placed it and my clutch on the seat next to me.

Robert was looking around. Not a casual glance inspecting his surroundings, but more of an intense, evaluating look.

Some of the diners were throwing curious glances our way, as well.

I suddenly understood why Robert had muttered that comment. The crowd was young—late twenties to late thirties, mostly. Young and attractive. You didn't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that Robert was uncomfortable here.

Uncomfortable because of our age difference.

I reached across the table and took his hand in mine, letting him know that I wasn't uncomfortable. After eight years of marriage, I was used to the second glances we got from some people. At first those looks had bothered me, but not anymore.

I was with my husband, and if the rest of the world didn't like it, they could go to hell.

In the beginning of our relationship, Robert had had no problem going out with me in public. He'd been a fit and attractive fifty-nine. And when he colored the…

More About the Author

Kayla Perrin has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Sociology and a Bachelor of Education, having entertained the idea of becoming a teacher--but she always knew she wanted to be a writer. Teachers were being laid off in Toronto when Kayla graduated with her B. Ed. Frustrated, she used her time to pursue her life-long dream of becoming a published author and proved that dreams can come true! Indeed, not landing a teaching job was a blessing in disguise. Today she is a multi-published, award-winning USA Today and Essence ® bestselling author with close to 50 novels and novellas in print as of August 2013.

In Kayla's 15 years in the publishing business, she has been a trailblazer in the African-American fiction arena. She has written for many major publishers including St. Martin's Press, HarperCollins Publishers, and Harlequin. She is published in suspense, romance, children's and general women's fiction. She has been featured on radio and on television shows such as Entertainment Tonight Canada, Who's Afraid of Happy Endings (Bravo documentary), The Writer's Corner (South Florida), CHCH TV, CBC's TEST THE NATION game show, the Gill Deacon Show and the CTV News. She has been featured in Ebony magazine, Romantic Times magazine, The South Florida Business Journal, The Toronto Star, The Hamilton Spectator and many other publications. In October 2007, she was featured in the Italian version of Vanity Fair after speaking at a women's conference in Matera, Italy. Her works have been translated into Italian, German, Spanish and Portuguese.

In 2001, after only four years in the business, Kayla was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for excellence in multicultural romance. In 2007, her novel, MIDNIGHT DREAMS, was the Borders bestselling multicultural romance of the year. She has twice had books voted onto Romance Writers of America's Top Ten Favorite Books of the Year list. In 2011, she received the prestigious Harry Jerome Award in Canada for excellence in the arts.

Kayla can be found on a beach with her laptop when traveling, or at home in the Toronto area, working on her next novel. Visit her website: www.kaylaperrin.com.

Customer Reviews

In walks Dion, Mr. Fantasy and Elsie world is turn upside down.
D. Lee
This also made me think that Elsie was really stupid and gullible, and the sexy scene she had with her husband I couldn't really help but to think "ew".
Night Writer
I usually like Kayla Perrin's books, but this was not sexy, interesting or worth the read.
Whitney Martin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Denise Bolds VINE VOICE on August 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
Kayla Perrin writes a story that is not new: A May/December marriage where the Elsie (wife) has issues stemming from her own childhood lacking a father figure, Robert the much older husband provides wealth, security and the desired father presence. After realizing that she is in an ivory tower, Elsie slowly starts to wake up to reality; she is being controlled by her older, rich & powerful husband. The trips, maids, country club dinners, and beautiful home does not measure up to what Elsie really wants: Hot, steamy sex from her husband who has to rely on the `little blue pill'.

Elsie finds out after years of trying to get pregnant that Robert has had a vasectomy - he does not want any more babies and she wants to be a mother for the first time. After THIS happens, I really wanted Elsie to be more methodical in her breaking away in independence from Robert - but Elsie throws the baby out with the bath water (No pun intended) and leaves. This gives Robert ample control over her life, her friends and her flower shop. This rich wife should have had her own rolodex to fall back on - Elsie has little backbone and little heroine abilities.
The story is good but Robert's antics are just not dastardly enough, Elise is not a smart woman after coming from the ghetto and the sex scenes are not erotic enough for me: Perrin uses the term `eating' so much for oral sex; I did NOT read this book while eating - ever...The masturbation scenes left me...dry.

Dion comes into the story and Elise does not do a background check on him? No way that's believable! They have sex on the first date! The story is a good one, although the plot is not. At the end what goes around comes around and they live happily ever after...What? Did you think the plot was going to be DIFFERENT???
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Lee on September 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
This was story of a insecure but beautiful girl who falls in love and marries a man 30 years older than her and how she comes into her own.

Elise was a young waitress who was sweep off her feet by the older, wealthy and manipulative Robert Kolstad. They have an relatively uneventful life for eight years, but as with most women Elsie begins to change. She is coming into her own and beginning to see that Robert just might not be everything she thought he was. Robert is getting older and is beginning to feel insecure about his young beautiful wife. He start off subtle about his attempts to keep Elise dependent on him. Without truly realizing it, Elsie has loss herself and become somewhat of a Stedford wife. She dresses the way Robert wants her to dress, does what he wants her do and acts how he wants her to act. She's feeling un-fullfilled, which all the more reason she is desperate to have a baby.

In walks Dion, Mr. Fantasy and Elsie world is turn upside down. Suddenly she's having erotic fantasies about a man she has never met, which also causes her to question herself. Elise accidentally stumbles across Robert's ultimate betrayal. She is too through and decides to leave him. Dion just happens to walk into her Florist shop again and Elsie gets the nerve to flirt. Suddenly she and Dion are involved in a streamy romance.

Robert is not a man to be denied what he feels belongs to him and begins to ruthlessly destroy Elsie, in an effort to make her come back. Elsie is more determined than ever to end her relationship with Robert, but there seems to be no limit to what he will do to keep her.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on September 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
Eight years ago elderly millionaire Robert met much younger waitress Elise. He courted her, made love to her and married her. Living with Robert as his wife, even though this makes her his third spouse, in Charlotte, she felt like Cinderella as he took her to the most expensive places by private jet.

However, now Elise feels like a bird in a gilded cage. Her spouse controls every nuance of her life smothering her. She begins to want her freedom as the price of being under her husband's domination 24/7 is too exorbitant though she understands she will be left with nothing if she leaves him. At her flower shop, Elise meets high school football coach Dion and is attracted to the hunk, but vows not to act on her feelings until she learns Robert betrayed her with a major omission.

This engaging erotic romance is told from the perspective mostly of Elise, a fascinating character with deep rooted psychological issues. That approach enables the audience to understand the heroine especially what she has seen in her spouse and in the coach. However, that also limits how controlling Robert is as that the martinet never is fully developed and the ending too simple of an escape from the triangle. Still fans will enjoy this engaging contemporary as the bird in the cage tries to fly solo for the first time in almost a decade.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Paperback
Drama, Drama, Drama! This is what I love about erotica's, there's so much dang drama!

In the beginning, I felt bad for Elsie. She was faithful, honest and she put up with her husband and his stupid attitude the best she could (she had far more patience than I will ever have). She is passionate about her floral shop and she didn't care about her husband's money. And I really admired that about her. I shouldn't say "in the beginning" because really I felt bad for her through out but... well, let me explain.

I totally agree that Robert's secret was a total deal breaker. I don't think she was overreacting one bit. She had every right to leave him. Not to mention her realization of the way he really treated her through out their marriage. And especially for the way he was acting at The Melting Pot. I wanted to grab her out of my Nook and take her there my damn self, The Melting Pot is delicious! I think she made the right move to move in with her friend.

However, I think she rushed into her new relationship far too fast. I know she was fantasizing and all that for a really long time about Dion but I think jumping into a new relationship the day after you leave your husband is fast. And even if she didn't think so, she could had at least laid low for awhile. With everyone's warnings about Robert being a powerful man, flaunting Dion was not a good idea! I didn't agree with her friend Treasure's actions at the party, but Elsie had that comin.

I hated Robert. I think hate is an understatement. He just made me sick! I can't stand people who are so control hungry that they set out to ruin other people's lives and can't grasp the fact that SHE DON'T WANT YOU!
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