Today's fabulous guest author is S. J. Maylee with her novel Taking Chances

Thank you for having me, Elodie. I’m thrilled to be here and share a little bit about my debut, TAKING CHANCES.

First, I’ll tell you I’m a list maker. I make lists for everything. They’re my attempt to look organized and sometimes I actually pull it off, lol. Once inspiration hit for TAKING CHANCES, I made a list of the things I wanted to make sure I included. These five definitely helped and I wanted to share them with you.

Five things TAKING CHANCES had to have:

  1. A heroine who doesn’t know how strong she is. Lydia works hard and doesn’t expect much in return. You might say she has some issues with self-worth. I wanted to watch her change over the course of the story. She does and I’m so proud of her.
  2. A hero who needs love. Jake has molded his life into something he doesn’t even want. Unfortunately, he thinks he deserves it to be that way. When Lydia walks into his life, his desire for her forces the start of his change and it’s further fueled by his love for her.
  3. Sexual Tension. This is a must have in every story I write. I love me some good ole sexual tension. Since I forced Lydia and Jake together at work, a place where thoughts of sex shouldn’t take place, that’s exactly where their thoughts go. Some of my favorite scenes are the two of them fighting and losing the battle against the passion burning within.
  4. Heat. I love romance, just see must have number five, lol, but I also love me some heat. The way a dominant man can build the need in a submissive woman is fascinating to me. Lydia learns a lot about herself through this story and she doesn’t always get it right. There’s one scene I knew I had to have. The punishment scene. The scene does a lot of things, proves a lot of things to both Lydia and Jake. Jake’s punishment of choice is holding Lydia over his lap and spanking her with his bare hand. Yes, it’s hot. Yum!
  5. An Happily Ever After. My first love in life is romance, plain and simple. It’s not just the way HEAs end, it’s how they get there. I hope you’ll enjoy their journey as much as I have. 


Lydia’s father walked away from her when she was eight. She’s struggled to not let him affect her, but fears she wasn’t loveable enough to make him stay. Jake wants to love one woman, but after scaring the last woman he met outside of the club, he doubts he has the right. She protects her heart by sticking with her fantasies, and he lives by a set of rules that excludes women who choose a vanilla lifestyle.

The two will be kept in a conference room working together until their special project is complete. If Lydia and Jake hold tight to their bland lives, they’ll always yearn for love that is out of reach. But together they can find common ground, passion, and a reason to take chances. Once they discover the grand possibilities of the love they desire, they find themselves in the very place they tried never to be again, facing unguaranteed love.

Read an  EXCERPT:

“Look at me, Lydia.”
He pushed her. “Why?” She shifted her gaze and hit him with her direct stare.
“Thank you. I needed to see your eyes.” He reached out and swiped a lock of hair from her face. He tucked the strand behind her ear, and let his finger drag down her face to her shoulder. All the while his gaze captured hers, not letting go. “How are you this morning?”
“I’m okay.”
“Okay? Hmm, maybe I should do something to improve your mood? What would you say to that?”
“Here?” she gasped and quickly turned to look out the door.
He grabbed hold of her shoulders, lifting her slightly off the floor.
“Yes, here.” He brought their bodies together, claimed her lips and swept his tongue through her mouth, awakening her sexual hunger.
She felt wanted. She felt claimed. Images from the night before swam in her mind. Silly challenges from the office mean girl were all forgotten. He set her down and nipped at her lower lip.
“We have a lot to do today. Unfortunately we cannot go any further, now.” He stepped back behind his desk as casually as if he’d just greeted the mail man.
“But you would want to?” Still looking at the papers on his desk, she didn’t think he heard her. She took a step closer. “You would repeat last night?”
Her words stopped him. His gaze searched her face. Placing his hands on the desk he leaned forward and said, “Lydia, I fully intend to further explore your body and mind. After all, there are a few places I haven’t yet completely inspected.”
Her mind ran through what he had done to her last night, and there was only one place she could think of. Warmth fluttered through her face.
“Now, that is a beautiful sight.” He returned to his papers. “I’m going to have to keep thinking of ways to shock you simply to see you blush again.” With the papers properly sorted, his attention returned to her. “Is Gina a problem?”
Gina was a lot of things, but she’d never thought of her as a problem. “I don’t think so.”
“Don’t be afraid to put her in her place. She likes that more than she lets on. She’s the type to push so she can be pushed back.”
“I hadn’t thought of her that way. Interesting.”
“Let me know if she becomes a problem.” His gaze drilled into hers, not letting her escape.
“Okay?” His posture remained controlled, but the smirk couldn’t be missed.
She added her own version of the devilish grin, which ignited another blush before she even spoke. “Okay, Sir.”
“Trouble.” He stalked towards her and ruthlessly swept his hand under the hem of her skirt to press firmly along her panties. His lips pressed to her ear. “Hot and damp.”
The palm of his hand pressed on her clit, and he bent his knuckles, sending the tips of his fingers past the edge of her panties to drag along her slit.
“Be careful what you say to me, sweetheart, or you’ll shatter my control.” With one last drag of his fingers, he pulled away and walked from the room.
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About S. J. Maylee

S.J. Maylee fell in love with storytelling at a young age and with it came a deep-seated desire for everyone to find their happily ever after. She’s finding the happy endings for her characters one steamy story at a time.

When she’s not reading or writing, you can find her caring for her garden, laughing with her two young sons, or dancing to her husband’s music. She’s a PMP (Project Management Professional), Nia instructor, and coffee addict.

As a writer she has a tendency to break hearts, but she always glues them back together.


  1. Totally agree! Great excerpt, too, S.J.

  2. Totally agree with all 5. Great excerpt, S.J.!

    xo~ Jenny

  3. Great list! You hit every one of the criteria in Taking Chances.


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