SPOTLIGHT: Not At First by Phalla S. Rios

Falling for two men at the same time was something Angel Mabbott never expected to happen.

Leaving a past full of pain and loss in California, Angel is determined to make something of her life when she starts college in Minneapolis. But life takes a turn when she finds herself torn between Kevin and Roman.

Kevin Hawken is a domineering man who forces himself into Angel’s life and changes everything she thought she knew. But how much can he be trusted when he is so secretive about himself?

Angel was instantly intrigued when she first laid eyes on Roman Conti, an Investment firm owner. He was everything she ever wanted in a man:romantic, loving, and protective over her.

As Angel begins to weave a bitter web of desire and deceit, will she find herself consumed, or will she be able to find her way out and follow her heart?


Kevin arches an eyebrow, “This is my room.”
“Then where is the guest room?”             
“It’s not furnished yet.” He says.
“Where will I sleep than?” I ask, dreading the answer.
“Here with me,” Kevin starts to unbutton his black dress shirt. 
“I don’t think so,” I shake my head and back away slowly.
Kevin pauses on the last button and let out a groan. “I’m not going to argue with you about this, if you don’t want to sleep in here, you are more than welcome to sleep on the couch in the living room.”
“I hate you,” I tell him, as I am walking out of the room.
“Why are you making this so difficult,” Kevin follows me out.
“I’m not,” I mumble.
“Then get back in the room, so we can go to sleep,” He snaps.
“No,” I turn to him and cross my arms over my chest.
Kevin rushes over to me and I don’t even have time to react. He has me over his shoulder in record time. Carrying me like a caveman back to the room. His hand moves to caress my bare ass while he bounces me with each of his steps.
“You’re in ass,” I yell at him as he drops me onto the King size bed.
“Do you want to undress yourself or should I help you?” He leans in to grab my dress.
Slapping his arm away, I scoot off the bed. “I can do it myself!” 
I walk into his walk-in closet and gasp. It is huge and looks to go on for miles. I scan the clothes that hang along the walls. Hanging to my left are business suits that stretches out to the end of the closet. I give Kevin a quizzical look when he comes in.
“Why do you have so many business suits?”
“Do I have to tell you why?” He moves around me.
“You don’t, but I want to know,” I follow him.
“I use them for business.” He answers short and clip.
“But you’re a college student.” I say. 
“Yes, I am.” Kevin walk pass me to the deeper end of the closet, opens a drawer, and pulls out sleeping clothes for me.
“Thanks,” I take the clothes from him.
“Are you done with your questions?” He smirks.
“No,” I say looking at the clothes in my hands.
“Well, I’m done answering…tired.” He walks back to the end of the closet and pulls his t-shirt off of his body. I am frozen in my spot as I watch his back muscles contract as his shirt slides up and off of him. 
He’s ripped. 
He turns to open the drawer and I catch a glimpse of his six pack and taut chest muscles. Tattoos only on his arms, they run from the top of his arms down to his wrists.
God, does he have to be so insanely beautiful.
He hooks his thumbs into the waist band of his black boxer brief and glides them off his perfectly shaped ass, all the way down to his ankle. He steps out of them and I’m wondering how I missed him taking off his pants. 
You were too busy checking out his tattoos, silly. 
Kevin turns to face me, naked and all. His lips curve up to the side giving me his devious grin. I move my eyes away from his manhood and try not to drool.
\
Angel Mabbott
  • Age 24 – Born April 15th
  • 5’4 and slender
  • Aspiring nurse
  • Fashion is her first love.
  • Has one sister and brother.
  • Family is everything to her.
  • One best Friend, Lola Sanchez.
  • Fallen in love with two men.
  • Kevin and Roman are her favorite hobbies.

Kevin Hawken

  • Age 26 – Born November 10th.
  • 6’0 and 190 lbs of pure steel.
  • Bad boy philanthropist.
  • Aspiring doctor.
  • Has one half-sister and half-brother.
  • Has fallen in love, but still single.
  • Favorite past times: getting under Angel Mabbott’s skin.

 Roman Conti

  • Age 33 – Born December 31st
  • 6’2 and 180 lbs of pure muscle.
  • Business Tycoon from Italy.
  • Temporary owner of Conti Investments.
  • Has only one sibling, a brother.
  • Family comes first, even before his own happiness.
  • Dating
  • Lover of all things Angel Mabbott.

What made you want to write a book?


I started writing when I was five or it could have been earlier than that. I remembered sitting down and writing out the story that was playing in my head that day and acting out the scenes by myself. I never told anyone, I was too afraid other kids would find me weird. So I’ve secretly been writing ever since. My first full novel was written in six grade and I haven’t gotten the characters out of my head yet. I’m rewriting the novel and hopefully I can release it spring of 2014.Was there a particular event or person in your life that inspired Not At First? How did the story come about?

The story came to me in my dream. At the time I was going to school full time and writing was put on hold, because I was failing my classes. But the characters stayed and their story would not leave my mind. There was no way around it, I had to write out their story or I would go mad. And the reason why I decided to published Not at First, is because I fell hard for my characters and I wanted to share them with the world.

What genre book is your favorite?

Contemporary Romance, since junior high. But now it’s all about New Adult. Who is the one author you would love to meet?

Tarryn Fisher. I’ve been fangirling since I read The Opportunist.

What has been the toughest part of writing for you?

Time and guilt. I wish there was two of me. One can write all day and one can be with my family. I also feel that my writing needs to be better, so I struggle with finding my style. Hopefully I will get it down on my 2nd or 3rd book.

When writing, what is your process? Do you listen to music, write during a certain time?

The time that I can sit and write continuously would be in the morning, before my husband gets home from work. But I write here and there throughout the day. You will not find me without a notebook attached to me.

I would love to listen to music when I write, but I can’t! Has to be total silence for me or I cannot not concentrate. I envy authors that can.

What’s next for you?

I’m busy writing Always at First, the sequel to Not at First. Then next up will be Tainted Attraction. Roman will get to tell his story and I’m so freaking excited to share his thoughts and why he does the things he does.

Phalla S. Rios lives in California with her husband and two goofy pit bulls. She loves to read and write drinking her favorite tea, Joy, from Starbucks. During her spare time she is usually at the movies or looking for the next best place to eat. She often refers to herself as a foodie. Right now she is finishing up her debut novel, Not at first.
REVIEW ORIGINALLY POSTED AUG. 9, 2013

I have been waiting to read this for a few months now. I helped Phalla with her cover reveal for this book back in August and have been patiently awaiting it’s release. And boy was it ever a great book! For her first time out, Phella did a wonderful job of keeping my attention and hooking me into this emotionally charged story. Like an new author, there are things that could be improved upon. I would have like to have seen a little more character development with most of the main players. But there was still enough to keep me hooked and boy was I hooked by Kevin! ❤

Angel is running away from a past that she is determine to overcome. The prologue starts us off with a little of her background and a mystery man who would do anything for her. As Angel starts her new life in Minnesota, where her deceased father has once had a life, enrolling at the University of Minnesota, she meets an emotionally charged Kevin who has this instant connection with Angel. As Angel is trying to figure out what exactly is happening between Kevin and herself, she finds herself at the bus stop being pulled in by a man staring at her. Roman Conti is instantaneously drawn to Angel and makes his move to make her his.

As her relationship with Roman starts to become serious, her relationship with Kevin starts to evolve in its own way. Angel is left confused not really knowing which way to turn. Now there is a cliff hanger in this one, but you are left with a little bit of a glimpse into book 2. I give this a solid 4 stars and can’t wait to see more from Phalla and book 2!
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