Friends with Benefits

Welcome back Rhonda Carver as she stops by today. She interviewed her heroine, Cassandra, and she’s sharing secrets!


I’m interviewing Cassandra Brooks, heroine of Friends With Benefits. Read on to find out what secret Cassandra tells me…

Me:  Welcome, Cassandra.

Cassandra:  You can call me Cassie. Thank you for having me. Sebastian has told me all about you…*she winks*

Me: Sebastian is quite the man. I’m curious…how hard is it working next to him in a hot kitchen?

Cassie:  *batting of eyelashes* Not easy, trust me. He’s definitely the better baker between the two of us, and he can certainly raise the temperature, if you know what I mean.

Me: Oh, I do. Do you mind if I stick my nose where it may not belong?

Cassie: *slight hesitation* Sure…I think.

Me: Don’t worry, I’ll be gentle. You and Sebastian were once a couple, turned best friends, yet I have a suspicion some of the old feelings may still exist.

Cassie: Back when we first met we were both too young for commitment.  And Seb, well, what can I say. He was quite the ladies man when he was younger.

Me: Is he still a ladies’ man?

Cassie: No, he’s not. In fact, he spends more time with his kitchen tools than women.

Me: Maybe because that’s where you are all of the time too–at your bakery, Whipped friendswithbenefits333x500-199x300Dream?

Cassie: *blushing*

Me: I’m thinking you like that idea…

Cassie: Here lately my head has been reeling. You see, I have a secret admirer who has been writing me for a while and although I’ve never met this man, I have feelings for him. Is that silly?

Me: No.

Cassie: And then there’s Seb…I can’t seem to get over the old emotions, and the new ones. I wonder if it’s normal for a woman to fantasize about her best friend? It’s complicated.

Me: Have you told him how you feel?

Cassie: I’m afraid if I do, and he doesn’t feel the same, things will be uncomfortable. Or, if we do give it a try again, and it doesn’t work, I’ll no longer have him in my life.

Me: Understandable.  Why should readers read Friends With Benefits?

Cassie: Doesn’t everyone wonder about that old question…”Can man and woman be ‘only’ friends?”  I have a lot of decisions to make…and I’m curious what readers would do in my situation.


Friends With Benefits, Releasing May 7, 2013

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Rhonda Lee Carver is a hopeless romantic. Whether you enjoy sweet romance or naughty erotica, she has written a story for you. Rhonda read her first novel at thirteen and swears one journey in a book opened a window into her destiny. She began writing ghost stories shortly after, and as years passed, her stories bloomed into passionate tales of romance and intrigue. Her soft spot is for intelligent, saucy heroines who can challenge a bad-ass, sometimes broken, hero. Her male characters love to get their hands dirty, but will gladly wash them for the heroine. The men Rhonda writes are known for their bad-ass quality, but with a little tweaking, they become heroes. Believing that every soul has a mate, she also has a strong faith in love and its ability to cure anything.  She hopes readers fall into her romance…because everyone deserves a fantasy.


Friends With Benefits by Rhonda Lee Carver

Cassie’s admirer hides behind a blindfold…could he be somebody she knows?

Cassandra and Sebastian have been friends since college. They know everything about each other, and even own a restaurant together. Now she has a secret admirer—one who asks her to meet him wearing a blindfold…and nothing else. She complies, mostly, and must rely on how he smells, feels, and sounds when they meet. He seems familiar. Familiar enough to be Sebastian? Surely not. Maybe she’s hoping her admirer is Sebastian. Maybe…

Sebastian has a secret Cassie knows nothing of: He’s in love with her. But telling her could destroy their friendship. So he’s got to sit back and watch as she swoons for this secret admirer who uses all the right romantic words to win her heart.

Can Sebastian step forward and reveal himself? Supposing he dares to let Cassie know he loves her, can their friendship survive if she doesn’t feel the same for him?

CONTENT WARNING: strong language, graphic sex


She no longer heard his footsteps. Her breath caught. The presence of her lover changed the aura of her bedroom. The warmth of the room skyrocketed and a faint scent of cologne reached her nostrils. She frantically searched her mind for the fragrance. She knew the smell, but had no time to process the thought. All logical thinking faded when a deep, raspy growl penetrated the air. A lover’s sound of appreciation.

Knowing he was turned on charged her every nerve. Her breasts became tight. Her insides shuddered. She resisted the overwhelming urge to tear off her mask. Would he run away if she did?

A sliver of vulnerability targeted her senses. Yet, she was excited.

Cassie couldn’t be referred to as innocent. She’d had lovers in the past, but nothing like this. All experience floated out the window as she pondered what she should say, if she said anything at all.

The soft thumping of his shoes echoed off the walls as he moved across her hardwood floor. Sounded like he wore boots. Not cowboy boots, but work boots with rubber soles. Was he a construction worker? Her mind conjured up images of tight T-shirt clinging to a sweaty, toned upper body. Worn jeans cradling tight ass and muscular legs.

The apex of her thighs moistened. She had it bad. How could one man, a stranger at that, fan her thoughts into flaming desire?

With use of her sight off limits, her hearing became overly sensitive. She listened to every sound. The rustling of his clothes and a long, drawn-out sigh, then scuffling as he moved to the side of the bed. She pushed herself higher against the headboard, anticipation growing heavy.

He didn’t touch her. She tucked her bottom lip between her teeth. “Hello?” She wished she could have hidden the eagerness in her voice. She didn’t want to come off as desperate; however, her body throbbed in yearning.


She started to speak again, but the mattress lowered under his weight. Her body slid a few inches toward him across the slick material of the cover. She pushed herself back up, regaining her pose on the bed. Her breathing grew heavy in her ears. Her heart raced. Could he hear it?

Although she knew it was coming, she jerked when his fingers touched her ankle. She laughed at her involuntary reaction, but it fizzled. His touch seemed like a laser, sending rivulets of heated awareness up her leg and exploding like shards of glass into her loins.

A sigh fell from her lips before she could snatch it back. “Yes.” She clenched her hands at her sides.

Slowly, deftly, his palm trailed a frenzied path upward past her knee, and settled against her inner thigh. A shiver of need gripped her muscles.

The tip of her tongue slid out and moistened her lips on its own accord. She didn’t care that desire plagued her with physical signs of longing. All she knew was she wanted this man. Apprehension disappeared.

“Please,” she pleaded.

His hand, warm and large, relaxed against her stomach.

She squirmed, started to reach out to touch him, but he clutched her wrists with one hand and held them securely. She moaned. “I want to touch you.”

“No.” His voice came as a gruff whisper.



Ghost Hunter

Today I welcome Rhonda Lee Carver. She’s here to tell us about her new release Dreaming Ivy and a little bit about herself.

I like having guests; it’s kind of like having a party. Everyone comes to see what’s going on, hopefully leaves a message or two for Rhonda Lee Carver and comes back often to visit the blog later.

Thanks for joining us today Rhonda Lee Carver!

1)     Tell us a bit about your new release, Dreaming Ivy or big sale or news.

Dreaming Ivy is story about a ghost hunter hero, Max, and a small town journalist, Ivy, who get stuck in a haunted house together. Their beliefs are put to a test when both are faced with life changing circumstances. Ivy gets drawn into the past through her dreams. Max finds love in an unlikely situation. Together they will find answers to the past and a love that has survived time.

 2)     Where do you get your ideas? For example Life experience, fantasies, experiences and fantasies of friends, etc.

I take a sliver of reality and build it with fantasy. Every story I write has a certain amount of truth involved. I find creativity in some of the most awkward things. I could have a conversation with a stranger on an elevator and create an entire storyline. The story I’m working on now, Sin with Cuffs, was created after I tried out a pair of handcuffs. Don’t worry…it had nothing to do with me being arrested. I guess you could call it a test drive, or research. That’s what’s so great about being a writer. We try out a lot of things just for the “research” of it.

 3)     What do you find draws you most to write? The urgency to create characters and stories.

4)     What else do you have in the works?

I’m working on an erotica suspense, Sin with Cuffs. It’s about a Chief of Police, Liam, who tames an old flame, Holly, with his charm and handcuffs. When she becomes a target for a lunatic, Liam also must become Holly’s protector. It’s a romance with BDSM, suspense, murder and gore all tangled to create a modern twist on an old tale. I can’t indulge you with the details, but I can say that you’ll be shocked who the killer is.

 5)     How do you name your characters? Any special tricks?

The names of my characters are created before I even begin to think over my storyline. The images of my hero and heroine are formed inside my mind. I name them and I get to know them before I decide what story fits with them. I have been known to change names, even after edits start. It can be a cause for confusion, but I must always follow my instinct.

6)     As a romance/erotica reader, what sort of stories do you personally prefer?

I can’t narrow it down. That’s why I write all sub genres. In suspense I enjoy surprising readers. In paranormal I enjoy the spook factor. In erotica I love the sensual, steamy heat between a couple.  In contemporary I love writing a modern take on a classic story. When I read another author’s work, I enjoy erotica.

7)     What’s your favorite guilty pleasure? Chocolate.

8)     Any vacation or appearance plans this year?

The family and I are planning a beach vacation next year.

 10)  What would your readers by very surprised to learn about you?

That I am a soccer mom of 3. I know exactly what it’s like to balance family and work while keeping our sanity. That’s the very reason why I think reading is important. It gives us all an escape from a complicated world.

Can a past love become their future?

Dreaming Ivy Blurb

The Thorntons’ mansion is full of timeless secrets waiting to be unraveled. When small-town journalist Ivy and ghost hunter Max are stuck in the forgotten, dilapidated house, they find more than just a haunting. Ivy finds herself dreaming of the former owners, Marcus Thornton and his lovely wife, Elizabeth. Their profound love was once the talk of the town, and the cause their mysterious, untimely deaths never found. When Ivy’s dreams begin to become reality, the mystery starts to unravel and sheds truth on more than just the past.

Copyright 2012, Rhonda Lee Carver

All rights reserved, Lyrical Press,Inc.


EIvy stepped into the corridor. She stopped and listened. Out of the corner of her eye she saw a shadow sweep across the wall. She turned as it disappeared. “Hello?” No answer. She stomped down the hall and burst into the room. “Hello–”

The room was empty.

Ivy swallowed the taste of fright. A shiver raced across her skin. She had seen someone, or had she? She rubbed her eyes. Maybe the shadows were playing tricks on her.

A loud crack in the floor behind her sent Ivy twisting. The sun from the window blinded her. She acted on impulse. She drew her fist back and punched–landing on something solid. The force behind her connection with skin and bone sent her off balance, flailing backward. A hand on her wrist pulled her hard against a steely frame.

She met a dark stare, just as she felt wobbling. The impact of her body had sent him a step back. He lost his balance. Together they fell. The air whooshed from his chest as Ivy landed on top of the stranger.

She closed her eyes and remained still. She wanted nothing more than for the floor to swallow her. Several long seconds floated by. Neither of them said a word. She finally opened her eyes.

Embarrassed and confused, Ivy laid her palms against his shoulders, pushing herself up. She looked directly into his not-so-pleased expression and gulped. Enchanting green eyes, prominent cheekbones, midnight hair…and a pissed-off set to his jaw. She’d made a mistake–a huge one. “Max Shepard.” It wasn’t a question.

He narrowed his eyes. “Ivy Kennedy, journalist and amateur boxer?”

The deep, rich tone of his voice did funny things to the pit of her stomach. His voice wasn’t the only toned part of him. Pressed together gave her an up close and personal testimonial of his physical assets. Broad chest, tight abs to long legs, she could feel tight muscles and a curious bulge. She scooted her hip around the swelling in his jeans. Heat and realization spread through her body.

One corner of his mouth lifted. “It’s my cell.” Could he see straight through her?


He reached into his pocket and held up his phone. Ivy was certain her skin changed into the perfect color of mortification. She wondered just how bad this could get. Pasting a smile on her face, she said, “Nice to meet you.” The temperature rose between them into the triple digits. Their bodies seemed to melt together. He didn’t look like the pictures she’d seen on the internet. He looked more distinguished in person. “You’re older than I thought,” she blurted.


“Older, in a good way.” She licked her bottom lip and nervously pushed her hair behind her ear. “My mother said I have a bad habit of saying the most awkward things and rambling–” She swallowed. “–like I am now.” She moved slightly.

His zipper started to swell again. Was that another cell phone in his pocket, or… Before her mind could complete the thought, he wrapped his large hands around her waist and lifted her off him. He set her on her feet as he came to stand in front of her. “That’s better,” he said as he backed up. “Damn.” He kicked rug that must have been the reason behind their fall.

He stood there, silent. This was a complete disaster. She’d managed to give him a black eye to match the dark scowl on his face. She needed to start searching for a new job. Marshall would have her head for this.

WARNING: Graphic language, naughty ghosts, a non-committal male, and a love that endures beyond time and death.

A Lyrical Press Paranormal Romance

For details on Rhonda Lee Carver please visit

BIO: Rhonda Lee Carver is a hopeless romantic. Whether you like sweet romance or erotica, she has written a story for you. Rhonda read her first novel at thirteen and that was the open window into her destiny. She began writing ghost stories as a teen, and as years passed, her stories bloomed into steamy, passionate tales. She likes creating intelligent, saucy heroines who can challenge a bad-ass hero. She believes in love, and everyone has a soulmate.


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