This might be my longest post. Like… ever!
I’ve always loved Ellis Leigh’s storytelling, and the few titles I’ve read by Brighton Walsh (most of her books are on my kindle awaiting their turn) I enjoyed immensely. So when they decided to collab (as London Hale) I knew there’s no chance I won’t be reading their work.
And I have!
Keep scrolling down for my review and some Q&A fun. Oh, and there’s a giveaway 😉
Daddy’s Best Friend is a dirty, filthy even, erotica. It’s short, it’s sexy, it’s semi-forbidden and it’s panty-wetting. So, you know… all around win! LOL
Eve (Evie) has been lusting over her father’s best friend, Nathan, forever. She’s eighteen years old, and in the midst of her graduation party, when Nathan makes an appearance, there to congratulate her, after about a year of being absent.
Nathan has been avoiding Eve for the better part of the last year, after seeing her in a skimpy bikini and realizing he’s a goner for the girl. It’s his best friend’s little girl, for crying out loud. I can’t blame him.
But now Eve corners him when no one notices and demands his attention. When he realizes she feels the same, all bets are off! And of course, there’s dear old dad to contend with. Yikes!
I have to admit something; as I was finishing reading the story, I felt something missing. I think it was more… depth, more complexity to the characters and more… story. But then I realized that’s how it was meant to be told, as dirty, as light and as enjoyable as possible, without so many deep and complicated emotions.
I can’t wait for book 2, when Eve’s father, Brandon, and her best friend, Gen, get down and dirty. Because you know it’s going to happen.
Now, though, I know to have a shamwow at the ready.
See, that’s where a glimpse helps.
How in the fuck had we gotten here? All I’d needed was an escape so I could get my dick in check. Just some goddamn peace and quiet so I could get my head in the fucking game again—remind myself why I couldn’t snatch Eve away from Shithead and claim her right there in front of everyone.
But I’d wanted to.
Christ, more than anything, I’d wanted to wipe that smug grin off his pretty-boy face. With my fist. Break every one of his fucking fingers when he’d wrapped his arm around her and tugged her into his side.
And now here she was, on her knees in front of me, and I couldn’t do anything but stare. I should’ve stopped her. If I were a better man—a stronger man—I would’ve. Instead, I watched with rapt attention as those full lips kissed the tip of my cock, her bubble-gum tongue flicking out to lick at the head.
“Let me,” she begged.
And I was gone.
I was so fucking gone for this girl.
I fumbled to set my beer bottle on the counter, then reached out and brushed her hair back from her face, gathering the long, dark strands in my hand as she continued to tease me. She licked me like a lollipop, her tongue eager and clumsy, her unpolished enthusiasm only illustrating exactly how young she was.
That thought alone shouldn’t have tightened my balls the way it did.
Mad at her for putting me in this position—mad at myself for not having the willpower to stop it—I tightened my hand in her hair. “If you’re going to do it, do it. Open up and let me slide my cock between those pretty pink lips.”
She groaned, her eyes flashing up to mine, a flush covering her cheeks. Reaching out, she rested her hands on my thighs, balancing herself. And then she did as I told her, engulfing the tip of my cock in her mouth.
The sight alone was enough to make my knees weak—her lips stretched taut around me and her sky-blue eyes staring up into mine—but combine it with the heaven that was her mouth, and I didn’t stand a fucking chance. I’d had all of seven seconds between her lips, and I already need- ed to go off down her throat. I was a grown man—a grown man who hadn’t gotten a blow job in months, but a grown man nonetheless. And yet I felt like I was no better than those little douche- bags she went to school with who didn’t know the meaning of delayed gratification.
I knew plenty about delayed gratification.
Watching her prance around in her tiny dresses, her perky tits taunting me even in my dreams, but not letting myself do anything about it. I’d had a full year of wanting but not taking, and the deprivation was bubbling under my skin, threatening to boil over at any second.
I was so tired of wanting. I needed to have.
And now to the real fun… Author(s) Q&AL
Which do you find the hardest to write, the first or the last line of your novel? Why?
Brighton: The first, for sure. A blank page is incredibly daunting, and trying to get a sentence just right so it not only sets the tone for the book, but also hooks the reader? It’s hard as hell.
Ellis: Usually the first one. I “see” my characters in action, so they tend to drop me right into a scene without warning. The last feels more natural as I’m writing it because the scene has an ending point in my head; the first usually has to be edited fifteen times before I’m happy with it.
How is writing in a team different than writing solo?
Brighton: Writing solo means you can do whatever you want to your characters and the plot without getting anyone else’s approval. It also means you have to create those characters and plot without anyone weighing in, which can be exhausting. And boring. We both went into this unsure if we’d like it or even be able to work together, and now that we’ve got a short break to work on solo stuff, I miss the co-writing like crazy. We have so much fun writing together—even during the challenging parts—that it doesn’t feel like work to me.
Ellis: It’s a lot more fun, that’s for sure. It’s also harder at times. Brighton’s characters are solid in her head, as mine are in mine. Sometimes, that creates issues. “The heroine wouldn’t react well to that” or “He wouldn’t act that way” tend to be conversations we have a lot. We usually write the scenes with interaction together in Gdocs, but that also creates issues. Can you say sex scenes feel like sexting? Yeah. Loads of fun.
What’s your co-writing process like?
Brighton: Fun as hell. No? That answer won’t work?
Ellis: We spend a lot of time in Whatsapp. Like…A LOT. We go back and forth about ideas, themes, tropes, characters. We send pictures and snippets of dialogue or stories we saw online. Once we know what we want to write, we set everything up in our files and work out a loose plot for the book. We each write a character, and we go back and forth until the book is done. Then we go back over it about fifteen times.
How do you decide who’s going to be which character?
Brighton: So far it’s worked out that we’ve switched with every other character. But Ellis is really unique in that she has far-off side characters whispering in her head already. Characters don’t come to me like that, so I’m fine giving her the ones who speak louder to her.
Ellis: Sometimes one of us has a better feel for them, sometimes it’s their turn to write the hero instead of the heroine. Totally depends on the story we’re telling.
When you get an idea for a book, what comes first? Plot or characters?
Brighton: Characters. I tried it the other way around for two books, and I slogged through every word.
Ellis: Characters. I can’t figure out a plot until I know the person making the moves.
Do you have a writing spot that only you can work, like a writing cave? If so what does it look like?
Brighton: Nope. I can write anywhere as long as I have my laptop and ear buds.
Ellis: I moved from writing at my dining room table to a real desk this year. It’s in my living room with two huge bookcases on either side. I have a 27” iMac that dominates the space and a snowman coaster where I set my coffee. I don’t need much else.
Do you have any writing rituals?
Brighton: First, I sacrifice a virgin to the gods of sex scenes… Just kidding. I just sit down and write.
Ellis: Nope. Sit down, type words. I’m very much in the mindset of “writing is a job with goals and tasks.”
Do you have a writer’s playlist, or do you write in silence?
Brighton: The music I write to depends on what book I’m working on and/or what kind of scene. But I live on Pandora or Spotify.
Ellis: I can’t write with music or a lot of background noise. I use brain.fm for focus music when the kids or husband are around and I need to concentrate. Otherwise, it’s pretty quiet when I write.
How do you come up with plot ideas?
Ellis: For London, we sort of start with a theme. What’s taboo about it? What line can we nudge a little? From there, we come up with characters, and then the plot starts to unfold. Our stories are completely character driven, though.
Brighton: A lot of times we’ll see an article or a meme or something and tuck it away in our idea folder.
How do select names for characters in your books?
Brighton: Very, very carefully.
Ellis: This one made me laugh because OMG the naming conversations! So, I have a huge family with a ridiculous number of cousins. We both veto family names or names that mean something to us in real life. We also adjust based on current events. We also have to veto when the name intersects with our individual projects. It’s a lot of back and forth like “Nope, I have a cousin with that name” or “Nope, that’s the name of my neighbor and it’d be weird to use it.” We keep a list of approved names and cross out fingers when it’s time to build a new set of characters.
How do you plot your books? Do your plots ever change as you write or does it go pretty much according to plan?
Brighton: We’ve got a pretty good system down as far as what happens where in the story, and after six books together, we know where we need more room to develop plot, etc. But even knowing that, sometimes what we planned doesn’t work, so we go off track. Then head to WhatsApp and brainstorm a different direction.
Ellis: We loosely plot—something like a paragraph per chapter. They change, though. Every story needs to unfold organically, and every character has their own timeline to grow into what we want them to be.
What three words would you use to describe your books?
Brighton: dirty, quick, fun
Ellis: fun, flirty, filthy
Favorite bookish moment:
Brighton: Being able to have intelligent conversations about books with my oldest son. Our tastes tend not to intersect all that often (he’s a fantasy/dystopian kid and I like to read about kissing), but when they do and we are both interested in the same book, we read and then have our own little mini book club to discuss.
Ellis: Reading and watching the Harry Potter books with my daughter. Those stories were so meaningful to me that sharing them with her feels like we’ve reached a certain level in our relationship. I love watching her get excited about the same characters and moments as I did.
Best moment as an author:
Brighton: This is really hard to pick because I’ve been blessed with a lot of super awesome moments as an author. But there was only once when I cried, and that was when my editor told me Target picked up my book.
Ellis: When authors I love and respect recommend my books to their readers. That’s the ultimate marketing tool, IMO, and it’s not something you can buy.
Best advice you’ve ever gotten as an author:
Brighton: Don’t listen to all the advice you’ll get as an author.
Ellis: Write the next book.
Favorite part of the book-writing process:
Brighton: Drafting, from beginning to end.
Ellis: Getting to that point where you know you have a good story and feeling that inertia to finish it.
Last book you read:
Brighton: A super advanced copy of Tessa Bailey’s TOO BEAUTIFUL TO BREAK
Ellis: I just reread SHELTERED by Charlotte Stein the other night. So hot.
Favorite genre or category outside of what you write:
Brighton: Paranormal romance
Ellis: Inspirational romance
Which author would you most fangirl over meeting?
Brighton: Jill Shalvis. And I’ve met her. Many times. Been introduced to her by my editor. Promptly ate my tongue.
Ellis: Kelley Armstrong for sure. Her Women of the Otherworld series brought me back to paranormal romance.
Are you a re-reader or are your books one and done?
Brighton: Most of the time, I’m one and done. I have a very small handful I’ve reread, but I seriously get anxious when I reread, thinking about all the books out there that I’ll never be able to get to, which only increases every time I reread a book instead of diving in my TBR pile.
Ellis: Totally a re-reader. Things stick with me, and I like to go back and visit favorite characters/scenes now and again.
Last thing that made you cry:
Brighton: A video on FB. Damn FB videos.
Ellis: Oh gosh, probably something I heard on the radio. I’m a total softy.
Last trip you took:
Brighton: Went to Orlando for Apollycon in March. I’ve never been to Orlando when it wasn’t balls-hot out, so this was a nice change of pace.
Ellis: I spent a week in California for work earlier this year. Got to go to Downtown Disney and Universal’s Harry Potter world. It was super fun.
Last thing that made you smile:
Brighton: A text from my husband.
Ellis: A text from one of my writing pals.
Brighton: She turned her can’ts into cans and her dreams into plans.
Ellis: She believed she could, so she did.
Last thing you treated yourself to:
Brighton: A year’s worth of manicures at my salon. I usually get one manicure a year, just before RWA, but I love how my nails look after I get them done. Buying six to use in a year was totally out of character, but I did it anyway. And I’ve managed to use it once. >.<
Ellis: A night on the couch watching bad reality TV. I work full time and write and have two kids. Time for myself is really a luxury, so I rarely watch anything that isn’t chosen by children. I love to just veg out and binge watch something brainless or educational.
Last person you hugged:
Brighton: My husband.
Ellis: My husband.
Favorite place in the world:
Brighton: I don’t know that I’ve found it yet.
Ellis: There’s a beach on an island in the Caribbean that is shaped in such a way that the waves make the sound of a kiss when they touch the sand. I want to be there.
Last emoticon you used:
Brighton: Laugh-crying smiley face
Ellis: The one where the little face is crying from laughter.
Last thing that made you laugh:
Brighton: Someone made a spit/swallow comment on a horrific stock photo I posted and I laughed really hard.
Ellis: Probably Brighton and one of her TWSS jokes.
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Ellis: Chicken and dumplings
What is something you never leave home without?
Brighton: My phone.
Ellis: My phone.
What is your favorite movie?
Brighton: SO MANY. The Bourne series, 13 Going on 30, Pretty Woman, The Matrix, I Love You, Man, Old School…the list is as vast as it is eclectic.
Ellis: Love Actually
Brighton: I don’t have a favorite band. I have a favorite singer. Does that count? Tori Amos.
Ellis: Does the cast of Hamilton count?
What are 3 words you’d use to describe each other?
Brighton: Ellis is generous, focused, and compassionate
Ellis: Brighton is: Kind, funny, and audacious
Do you have a favorite hobby/pastime?
Brighton: Reading and shopping
Ellis: Reading of course
This or That
Hotel or camping?
Brighton: Hotel. Allllll day, errday.
Ellis: I want to say camping, but the reality is hotel. In the woods. With a sauna.
Greedy or generous?
Brighton: I hope I’m generous.
Ellis: I strive to be generous.
Pessimist or optimist?
Ellis: optimist. Totally.
Casual or formal?
Brighton: Both. Casual in day-to-day, but I love getting dressed up.
Ellis: Casual AF
Beer or champagne?
Ellis: Can I sneak in a margarita instead?
Brighton: While I get Ellis a margarita, I’mma sneak myself some rum.
Deliberate or spontaneous?
Ellis: I think deliberate, but I could be wrong.
Town or country?
Brighton: Both. I’d love a huge lot of land right in the middle of a city. Lol
Waffles or pancakes?
Brighton: French toast.
Coke or pepsi?
Brighton: I don’t drink either anymore, but Coke will always win.
Ellis: Coke, diet please
Vanilla or chocolate?
Rock or pop?
Brighton: Can’t choose.
Zombie horde or plague?
Ellis: Zombies. At least I can defend myself.
Beach or mountains?
Ocean or pool?
Ellis: To sit by? Ocean. To swim in? Pool. I don’t do open water. There are things in there that will eat you.
Fireplace or bonfire?
Bath or shower?
Ellis: Shower. Totally.
Museum or theater?
Night owl or morning person?
Brighton: Night owl
Ellis: Morning person.
Sun or stars?
TV or movies?
Salty or sweet?
Karaoke or concert?
Neat freak or slob?
Brighton: Neat freak
Ellis: Slobbish tendencies for sure
Fancy restaurant or diner?
Tattoos or piercings?
Farmer’s market or grocery store?
Brighton: Grocery store
Ellis: Farmer’s market
Aren’t they cute?
She’s temptaion personified
Nathan had always been more than just my dad’s friend. I never thought he’d see me as an adult, especially not after avoiding me for so long. But one hug, one moment feeling every inch of him against me, shattered that illusion. Consequences no longer mattered—I was eighteen, and I was willing to risk everything for my shot with him.
He’s not going to resist anymore
I never should’ve seen Eve as more than my best friend’s daughter. As a cop, I knew it was wrong. It was my job to protect her from guys like me. Chasing her could cost me my career—not to mention the only family I’d ever known—but I couldn’t hold back another second. One taste, and I wanted her. To hell with the fallout.
London Hale is the combined pen name of writing besties Ellis Leigh and Brighton Walsh. Between them, they’ve published more than thirty books in the contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense genres. Ellis is a USA Today bestselling author who loves coffee, thinks green Skittles are the best, and prefers to stay in every weekend. Brighton is multi-published with Berkley, St. Martin’s Press, and Carina Press. She hates coffee, thinks green Skittles are the work of the devil, and has never heard of a party she didn’t want to attend. Don’t ask how they became such good friends or work so well together—they still haven’t figured it out themselves.