The Dancing Barefoot Series
A two part contemporary romance series that knows no boundaries, the Dancing Barefoot series is about breaking free from the status quo to embrace a life of extraordinary possibility. When two lovers from different continents meet in Italy, they are swept away in a passionate affair that makes them question the life they'd lived before. Tangled up with the expectations of others, they fight to find their way back to each other while those around them do whatever it takes to sabotage their love affair.
Dreams and happily ever afters haven't been a part of Jessica's belief system. When she's swept away by world-renowned photographer Jacques Sinclair, she begins to trust in the power of love only to be undermined by her past. The love affair begins in Florence, Italy before moving to Boston, USA. Will they be able to conquer the naysayers and saboteurs to ultimately seize their unconventional and wild happy ending?
**This is a two part series that begins with IN BETWEEN, book one, and ends with DANCING BAREFOOT, book two***
A few of the outstanding reviews...
4 stars via Avid Reader
"I loved this story. It was refreshingly honest, brutally tragic, and at times lyrical in it's flow. Their connection was so intense that as I read it, I was like this absolutely cannot survive. Love this intense and in your face has a slow burn to it, and will torch everything in i's path until it is stamped out...There was nothing contrived about it. I felt like I was literally a fly on the wall and this was happening in reality and not fiction land. I liked them both, probably one of the best couples I have ever read
5 stars via ChristophFischerBooks
"Conflicting emotions and insurmountable chemistry cause both of them to reassess the past, their current lives and priorities. Easton shows the magnetic and hypnotic effect of physical and emotional attraction very well and the gradual crumbling of outer facades and deep inner resolve. This is a romantic fantasy written in a convincing and heart warming manner and with enough complications thrown in to make for a very entertaining and gripping read."
5 stars via Sglas, Amazon reader review:
"Excitement, intrigue, twists and turns! Dancing Barefoot has it all. Very hard to put down."
Introducing each book:
(This is a 2 part series so In Between IS a cliff hanger as it was written as a prelude to Dancing Barefoot)
IN BETWEEN, Book One
In between responsibilities and dreams...
Jessica Moriarty has always played by the rules, but for once in her life, she's doing exactly as she pleases. In between graduate school and 'real life', she's in Florence, Italy, indulging her love of art and abandoning inhibitions.
Meeting Jacques Sinclair rocks her off center. Whereas rules and living up to expectations have dictated her life, he is the opposite. A rebel. A photographer. A man who lives for the moment. He sweeps her up into a riveting romance that makes her question all she's ever believed to be true.
The drum of old commitments echo through her heart as time ticks away. Will the crush of 'real life' undermine the love she's found in between...?
This is book one of the two part Dancing Barefoot series.
Short excerpt of In Between, Book One
Jacques led them around the corner before pulling her into a doorway of a random building, pressing her back against the bricks, and leaning against her. "Can I kiss you or do I need to wait for a more appro—"
She kissed him—hard—and silenced his words. Gentlemen were overrated. Senses overrun with wine, jetlag, and him, she fisted her hands in the material of his shirt to remain standing as her legs trembled with desire.
He slipped his hand behind her neck and deepened the kiss with his tongue while his other hand moved behind her waist to hold her as close as they could be without getting naked.
Her panties melted to her skin. She wanted to fuck him then and now. It didn't feel like they'd met only hours ago. Kissing him, holding him, being with him felt like the most natural thing in the world.
"I've been wanting to do that since you looked up from my lap," he muttered against her lips.
She laughed and opened her eyes. "Not my best moment."
"You got my attention." He smiled before kissing her again.
He tasted like wine and all things deliciously tempting. She teased her tongue against his, her hands moving over his shoulders with appreciation. She'd seen the muscles hidden beneath his shirt and wanted to sink her teeth into his skin.
When he muttered in French before sliding his mouth along her neck, she smiled against his hair. She didn't need to speak his language to know they were communicating perfectly.
"We are dangerously exposed," she said when a group of laughing strangers passed them on the street.
He looked up, smiled, and framed her face with the palm of her hand. "I like living dangerously. What about you? What do you like?"
"I like this." She dropped the back of her head back against the brick and observed him through narrowed eyes. Hands still on his shoulders, she smoothed them down the front of his chest and grinned. "I like you."
He winked, sighed, and stepped back from her. "I don't know what I'm going to do about you, Jessica Moriarty. I sense trouble ahead."
"I think you know exactly what to do with me, Jacques Sinclair." Feeling like a bird freed from its cage and soaring toward the sky, she grabbed his hand and yanked him back against her. "One more kiss before dinner."
"You are the most dangerous kind of woman." He paused a fraction above her lips and looked her in the eye. "And I am the most dangerous type of man."
"Are you? Why do you say that?"
"Because I have nothing to offer and nothing to lose."
Heartbeat shook her eardrums. He was like no one she'd ever met before, mysterious and foreign with confidence oozing from his pores.
"Neither do I. Not a care in the world," she lied.
"This will be fun."
"Oh, I have no doubt."
(Dancing Barefoot can be read as a stand-alone, but author recommends reading book one)
About Dancing Barefoot, final book of the two part series...
Naked photographs plastered on a book cover remind Jessica Moriarty that the past isn't as dead as she'd assumed. Her carefully constructed life as an architect on the fast track to partnership is threatened by a love she'd abandoned five years ago when responsibilities had trumped dreams.
World-renowned photographer, Jacques Sinclair, could have chosen anywhere in the world for his book signing and photography exhibit, but he'd come to Boston to shake things up. He wanted answers, but they aren't what he expected.
Reunions aren't always happy—sometimes they stir up unwanted pain and forgotten passion. As Jacques and Jessica stumble their way back to one another for a second chance at love, they're ensnared in a web of conspiracy, manipulation, and sabotage designed to keep them apart. Will they be able to break free of the ties that bind them to seize the love of a lifetime? Or will the pressure to conform rip them apart forever?
**This is the conclusion of the two part Dancing Barefoot series. It can be read as a stand-alone, however, to get the full impact of the love story, the author recommends reading book one, In Between.**
"I." He kissed her lightly. "Will." He slid his mouth from her lips to the line of her jaw. "Never." His tongue flicked over her earlobe. "Date you."
Somehow she'd kicked off the high heel and now her barefoot slid up the side of his lower leg. "Yes, you will."
He laughed at her audacity, relieved to see that fire in her eyes. "It is good to know you have big dreams, Jess."
"Ava said you'd make Boston your home base if only I asked." She moved her hand over the bulge in his jeans and grinned with satisfaction. "I know there's a lot of heartache here, that you don't trust me, but the way I see it, you're worth me making a fool of myself over."
He couldn't believe her, even though he wanted to very much. He'd given back the ring, said all he had to say, had vowed to erase her from his heart. The gallery idea with Miranda had slipped from his lips without conscious intent. Looking at her now, he knew it would be too risky to let her close.
"And then what? I leave for South America, you have a fit about me wandering off, we break up again? Is that how this will play out?"
"Technically, we never broke up," she whispered, gaze intent on his. "We never had a fight, I still wore the ring, so did you."
"You're confusing me and I don't like it." His dropped his forehead against hers and tried desperately to reign in his desire.
"If you don't want a date, then let's go back to my place, lock the door and see what happens."
"You know what would happen." He grabbed her wrists and made her stop touching him. "What are you really asking me, Jess?"
"What do you want?"
“You're ashamed of me, of what we were to one another. Didn’t you say that last week? Yes, you said you don’t talk about Italy to anyone here.” He knew it was the truth when her eyes darted away from him. “You don’t want anyone here to know about our affair. You don’t want your lover to get upset—”
“You have the wrong idea about Marc. He—”
“Stop lying. Is it even possible for you to stop?” He pressed his thigh between hers, pushing her tighter against the bark of the tree. “You two are lovers. Deny it.”
She dropped her head against tree trunk and stared at him. “It’s complicated.”
“Of course it is. Nothing with you is simple. Come back to my hotel with me. Right now. Intervene.”
"You think I won't, but I will." Her lips trembled, eyes searched his.
His gaze locked on her mouth. “Is that your plan? Seduce me away from Simone? How would Marc feel about that?”
“Stop throwing him in my face.”
“You want me back in your bed, Jess? Is that all you want? Sex and nothing more?”
Blue eyes darkened to indigo. Body shifted toward him. Teeth bit into her bottom lip. He knew she wanted him, but he wanted more than that.
“Do you want me to beg?” Her hands settled on his hips.
“Yes, I do. Beg me.”
The war in her eyes was evident.
“No more.” He closed his eyes. “We aren't capable of a casual affair and you know it. We'll get sucked in and then what?”
“It could be different this time. We'll make it work.”
"Why the change of mind? Ava? Last Friday night? What? Why? If you hadn't seen me last week, I wouldn't be on your mind at all. If I hadn't come to Boston for the exhibit, we would not be standing here. If I am the great love of your life, then you would have tried to contact me and explain. According to Kevin, I have a huge social media following. Not too hard to catch up to me. I don't trust you. I don't trust this, not at all. Are you using me again? Is this promotion scaring you and I happened along at the right time?"
"I never used you, never. I thought about contacting you so many times, but what would I say? Then what? I waited too long, was too messed up—maybe still am, I don't know—I didn't know how to say what I felt. Think of all the places you've been in the past five years, all you would have given up for me."
When she stopped speaking, he started thinking. Without opening his eyes, he moved his hands over her arms, felt the softness of her dress beneath his fingertips, heard her sharp intake of breath, felt her lips caress his chin.
He shook his head, reality waking him up like a cold shower. “We no longer fit.”
Her hands fisted in his shirt when he tried to step away. “What does that mean?”
“It means I think you and Marc will have a nice life together.”
“Marc and I are not a couple. He does his thing and I do mine, that's it.” Her hold on him intensified.
He looked at her—really looked—and saw a woman who was as far removed from his lifestyle as he was from a corporate boardroom.
“I haven’t been fair to you. I came back here hoping to see you, that’s true. All of it was designed to open that door for me.” Confusion twisted his thoughts into meaningless meanderings going nowhere. “We were what we were and had what we had. I gave you back the ring, meant what I said. We've had our closure, bellazza mia. The end.”
“The end?” Fire returned to her eyes.
“I look forward to seeing you at the gallery on Saturday. I hope you'll change your mind about showing your art.” A hole opened up where his heart once existed. “You should be there with me, like Ava says. You were there in the beginning—”
“The beginning.” Her eyes flickered with pain. “There are other reasons that I keep Italy to myself, Jacques.”
“What other reasons?”
"You're mine, my memory, mine alone. I don't share you, us, with anyone who wasn't there because no one would understand the magnitude of it. I don't tell anyone because it's sacred to me, you, Ava, our life together that summer...sacred to me." She shook her head, disbelief and sadness transforming her eyes into the color of the deep ocean. “Even when I boarded the plane home, I thought somehow, someway we'd be together. I didn't want it to end, but I needed to come home. I returned too late, I know I screwed up, but I never intended to end us, can't you see that? Now we have a chance to begin again. Brand new. Jessica and Jacques the sequel. Think about how amazing it could be.”
She made him doubt himself. The look in her eyes, the way her hands fisted in the material of his shirt at his waist, the longing that emanated from her. It was as if he had been caught beneath a wave and didn’t know which way was up.
Without answering, he disengaged from her and strode across the park. He had to give up the idea of her, surrender the notion that they'd once had a great love affair. Memory had a way of glossing over reality. He broke his stride and looked over his shoulder. She leaned against the trunk of the tree, a vision in yellow surrounded by green.
And he wondered why walking away felt so damn wrong.