An enjoyable read
I liked Harper and Slates story. Told in third person, my preference is normally dual pov so I would of liked the more personal thoughts and feelings you get from first person but I still enjoyed it.
Harper is on her first job as an escort, a job she has taken to help pay her way through her study's.
Slate is the drummer of The Black Lilith and hires an escort to be a fake girlfriend for a family wedding.
Make Me is an interesting plot with likeable characters. I haven't read previous books and although this can be read as a standalone I didn’t think it gave to much away about the other characters and I would out of interest read the previous books.
Make Me is a light and fun read leading to hea, no heavy dramas or angst, includes great main and secondary characters that I would love to read more about in the next book from the series.
Arc gratefully received for review Bbbf-sizzlereads-bestbookboyfriends
Harper Styles can’t believe she’s really doing this. It’s one thing to take a job as an escort to pay her way through college. It’s another thing to fly to Ohio and pretend to be some stranger’s girlfriend so he can get through a wedding without his family climbing all over him.
She’s outside of the airport when she meets possibly the most beautiful man she’s ever seen. Later, in the first class lounge, she realizes that this man is her client—Slate, world-famous drummer for Black Lilith.
Slate needs a girlfriend to deflect his parents’ attention from his womanizing, rockstar lifestyle. Unable to convince his best friends to lend him their girlfriends, he’s resorted to hiring an escort to pretend to be his lover and smooth the rough relationship he has with his family.
She asks him for his real name, but he gives her a coy smile that makes her weak at the knees. He also makes it absolutely clear that he will not sleep with a woman he’s paying. As long as she’s technically his employee, he will not take advantage. But the chemistry between them is immediate.
Harper can be anything a man needs, but she’s starting to realize that what Slate really needs is a woman to break through his walls.
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Harper needs a smoke before she kills someone.
Her fingers shake a little as she steps out of the cab and onto the curb outside of JFK Airport. She’d spent most of the drive staring out the window, desperate for something--
Anything to calm her nerves. But they just got louder and more insistent when she starting seeing planes in the air and buses with ‘Airport Express’ written on them. She was really doing this.
The cabby hands her the purple carry-on she’d packed hastily that morning. She thanks him. It’s a bit chilly, even for New York in March, and she pulls her coat tighter around her neck as she fishes in her back pocket for the cabby’s tip.
“Thanks, sweetheart,” he says, giving her a wink.
For a moment Harper panics. Does he know? Is he expecting--
But then he’s gone, and Harper forces herself to relax. She’s got a heavy black jacket on, and beneath it is a simple flannel and blue jeans. Her black hair is done in gentle waves. She deliberately went for an all-American girl look this morning, even forgoing makeup beyond a little light concealer to hide the sleepless night she’d had. No one can tell what she’s doing here. And even if they could, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Lots of girls take jobs to put themselves through college, and even though this job isn’t the sort of job she’d tell her grandmother about, she refuses to let herself feel ashamed, or dirty, or any of the other words that come to mind when people hear the word ‘escort.’
God, I need that smoke.
She heads for the Departures door and makes a quick detour to the gaggle of people waiting outside, their shoulders hunched in the cold and their fingers curled around cigarettes. There’s a garbage bin overflowing with butts and a general air of desperation as these people suck up as much nicotine as they can before they have to get on a flight. Harper isn’t addicted—she’s a casual, nervous smoker. No personal trainer worth her salt would have anything more than a casual fling with cigarettes.
Harper pulls a packet out of her purse. The lighter she brought with her is a cheap throwaway since she knows she won’t be able to get it through security. She can buy a new one when she arrives in Iowa.
She’s never been to Iowa before. She had to Google it last night when her boss-madame—she doesn’t know what to call Angelica Spencer—telephoned to tell her that she’d be getting on a plane in the morning. That her first job as an escort would be literally escorting someone to a wedding of all things, and parading as the man’s girlfriend for his friends and family. Harper thinks he must be some kind of big deal since Angelica emailed her an NDA to sign before giving her the plane ticket. The contract didn’t say his name. It just referred to him as ‘the client.’ But whoever he is, Harper feels kind of bad for him.
Is he one of those social outcasts who can’t get a date?
Her lighter won’t work. She keeps flicking it, her fingers shaking with a combination of nerves and cold, and she mutters under her breath as the damn thing spouts sparks but no flames. The cigarette remains unlit between her lips and she almost wants to cry with frustration. This is not the time for this damn lighter to stop working!
“Need a hand?”
Harper looks up at the voice and feels her jaw drop.
The man in front of her is quite frankly—stunning. He’s hidden most of his body under a heavy suede jacket, but Harper’s been working to be a personal trainer for half her life, so she knows an impressive specimen when she sees one. His biceps bulge beneath the fabric, and she doesn’t need to look any closer to know that there are some rock-hard abs hidden under all of his clothes. He looks like the kind of man that guys at the gym keep posters of for inspiration.
But the body is only half of it. His face is strongly defined and casually handsome. Model worthy, she thinks, and sweet Lord what she wouldn’t give to see this guy in an underwear campaign. He’s got blond hair which looks a couple of days away from needing a wash, and eyes the color of dark chocolate.
She realizes she’s staring when those eyes flicker down to the cigarette still dangling from her lips. She recognizes that he’s holding a lighter and it’s immediately clear that she’s acting like an idiot.
“Oh, thanks,” she says, hastily throwing her own cheap lighter in the garbage behind her.
She turns back and the man extends his hand. He flicks the lighter quickly and the flame launches without a problem. Harper gazes at it for just a moment before leaning forward, sucking in a breath of smoke and mint as the cigarette catches light. She glances up and catches him staring at her lips, which are fuller than average and one of her best features.
“Thank you,” she says again, drawing away and taking another drag of smoke, enjoying the way his eyes never leave her mouth. She pulls the cigarette from her lips and blows out a long stream of smoke.
“Pleasure’s all mine,” he replies. Harper grins at the obvious double entendre. “Don’t suppose I can bum a smoke?”
Harper hands him the packet she’s still holding. He takes it from her and their fingers brush, and Harper shivers because neither of them are wearing gloves. He’s got chipped black nail polish, which usually isn’t much of a turn on for Harper, but on this guy it is. Hell, this guy could probably stand there in a unicorn onesie and she’d find it a turn on. He really is a beautiful man.
He lights his cigarette, seemingly exaggerating the movement of his lips and watching her the whole time. Harper obliges him by admiring the show he’s giving her.
“Thank you,” he says, blowing out a stream of smoke and handing her back the packet.
“Pleasure’s all mine,” she replies as she shoves it back into her bag.
He laughs easily. It’s a deep, chesty laugh. If it weren’t for the smoke coming out of his lips, she would have thought that he was a singer. But singers don’t smoke. Then again, she’s going to be a personal trainer, so she isn’t exactly in a position to judge.
“Are you a singer?” she asks.
He frowns with his eyebrows, but the rest of his face smiles. “No,” he says. “Why do you ask?”
“You have a nice voice.”
He stops frowning. “Thank you,” he replies, delighted. “So do you. But I’m not a singer, I’m a drummer.”
“Oh,” Harper says. She observes his muscles again, wondering if it’s a combination of carrying and beating drums that gave them to him. “Professional?”
“On my better days.” He blows out a lungful of air. Even though they’re surrounded by people, Harper feels like it’s just the two of them. He has this way of looking at her which makes her feel as though she’s endlessly fascinating.
“Must be nice.”
“It keeps me off the streets.”
They smile at each other. Harper can’t remember the last time she felt this easy with a guy. She doesn’t think it’s just his smooth moves. Since she moved to New York, she’s had plenty of men give her nice smiles and let their eyes linger. She’s pretty enough, with a slim figure thanks to her routine, but with one of those ‘girl next door’ faces that she despised in high school, but has since become a blessing and a curse. It makes her approachable.
This guy, for some reason, isn’t just flirting which wouldn’t be enough to set him apart from the others who have flirted with her in the past. He’s giving her the courage to flirt back, though how he’s managing it she can only guess. Usually, she’s looking at her feet, wondering what a man wants, wondering whether she wants him, and wondering if there’s something she’s missing or if it’s all a joke. Usually, she needs to know a guy before being flirty with him, which is why she’s only ever dated friends. Men she knew through mutual acquaintances who weren’t afraid to take the lead in romance. But this man just makes her want to smile and keep smiling, and ask him if he wants to get dinner and a movie, like some high school movie cliché.
“What about you?” he asks.
“I’m tone-deaf…” she says, “…and I can’t keep a beat for anything.”
He grins. “I meant what do you do for a living?” he asks.
I have sex with people for money.
Not technically true. She hasn’t had sex for money yet.
Today is her first time—her first client. And she could just tell him that she’s a personal trainer even though she’s not certified. Yet. Only one year left, and if the mountain of student loans weren’t looming over her like a monster from a fairy-tale, she would have been excited about it. Instead, here she is, getting ready to board a plane with a stranger and fly to Iowa with him. He’ll probably keep her ‘working’ all weekend. She wishes she’d asked Angelica to give her a one-nighter first. A man who just wanted to fuck and leave. How is she supposed to pretend to be a man’s girlfriend in front of his family if she doesn’t know him?
Thinking about that makes her look at her watch. When she sees the time, she panics.
“Shit,” she says, taking one last drag of her cigarette and throwing the butt in the garbage. The man she was talking to looks confused. “Sorry… I’ve got to, ah… sorry…”
She grabs her purple carry-on bag and speed-walks toward the doors.
“Hey, wait!” the guy calls after her.
“I gotta go I’m gonna be late—”
“What’s your name?”
Despite her instincts—she’s never going to see him again, what’s the point in looking back—she turns her head to see him watching her go in confusion. He’s still got the cigarette in his hand. Now that she’s looking at him from a distance, she realizes he’s got a battered brown backpack at his feet.
“Harper!” she calls back before she can think of a reason not to. She’s never going to see him again. And it’s just a first name. But it feels good to think that he’ll have something to call her in his head if he ever thinks about her again. All she’ll have is ‘the sexy drummer,’ which is maybe for the best considering what she’s about to do.
Then she’s passing through the doors and all but running to the check-in counter. She’s got a client to meet at the bar of the American Airlines lounge, and she can’t afford to be late.
She checks her ticket again to make sure she hadn’t dreamed up the First Class designation. Whoever her client is, he’s generous enough to buy a hooker an expensive seat.
Stop calling yourself that. You’re an escort, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
She repeats the sentiment over and over as she joins the First Class queue at the American Airlines desk, though there’s a small part of her that wonders if the men surrounding her in business suits can tell. Maybe she shouldn’t have gone for all-American. Maybe high class would have helped her blend in more.
Her ticket is under her own name. Harper Lee Styles. Her mother thought ‘Harper Lee’ was a good idea at the time. But Harper reminds herself that she will need to introduce herself as Tiffany. That’s the name Angelica picked out for her.
What a cliché, she thinks to herself as she hands over her ID and is waved through to security clearance.
A few minutes in security and an aggressive pat down from one of the lady guards, and she’s speed-walking to the American Airlines airport lounge. She checks her watch again and breathes a sigh of relief. She’s early. She doesn’t need to meet her client for another ten minutes.
She slows down so she can savor this moment. It’s not every day she gets to go into an airport lounge. She wishes her mom and dad could see her now. Then she remembers how she got the First Class seat, and decides that it’s probably best they can’t. She just wishes she’d finished that cigarette.
The lounge is all done up in blue and white and the chairs look ridiculously comfy. There’s a free buffet along the wall with fruits, vegetables, and a pasta salad that looks particularly tempting, and it’s completely deserted. Harper wonders where the rest of the people in the First Class line at the check-in desk are. She shows the bored-looking woman at the reception her ticket. She expects to get some sort of third degree, but the woman just waves her through with a sigh. Harper steps tentatively into the lounge, realizes that no one’s going to come and kick her out, and then she relaxes. She even allows a small smile to grace her face.
At the back of the room, a long black bar beckons. The back wall has a mirror which is obscured by every kind of hard liquor she can imagine. She resists the urge to order something really strong because she needs her wits about her if she’s going to do this.
It’s not just the expectation of flirting, though that is something she dreads, there’s the sex part as well. She’s no blushing virgin, not by a long shot. It’ll just feel… she isn’t sure how it’ll feel. Maybe like it’s hanging over her? Like he’ll be expecting her to start stripping the moment, they get somewhere private, and she’ll have no choice because he’s paid for her? She doesn’t know if she’ll be able to cope with that. Will he expect her to fuck him on the plane?
“Something to drink, Miss?” the bartender asks. She looks younger than Harper but is obviously old enough to serve alcohol.
“Ah… just water, please,” Harper replies.
“You sure? We’ve got champagne.”
Harper’s stomach churns at the thought. “Just water, please.”
Gazing at the mirror while the bartender pours the drink, Harper begins to wonder what her client will look like. The thought is immediately cut off when she sees the sexy drummer’s reflection in the mirror.
She spins around on her stool, clutching the bar for support. How did… what did, she can’t even form the thoughts.
He gazes around the lounge, apparently looking for something. Then his eyes fall on her and he blinks for a moment, before grinning. He starts to make his way over to her and Harper begins to panic. He’d looked confused for a moment like he wasn’t expecting her, but what if he’d followed her there? What if he’s still talking to her when her client shows up? She can’t afford to be seen with another man when she’s already been bought and paid for.
She opens her mouth, but he cuts her off.
“Tiffany?” he asks, his lips turning up in a crooked smile.
Harper’s heart pounds in her chest. No way, she thinks, no way.
“Yes?” she replies hesitantly.
He sticks out his hand, with its chipped polish and leather cuffs which she hadn’t noticed until now. “I’m Slate. I’m your client