Shattered and disillusioned after separating from her domineering husband, all Natalie wants, is a peaceful Christmas vacation in New York City, with her 21 year old daughter, Olivia.
Uncomplicated. No pressure. Fun.
What she didn’t expect, was meeting a dangerously handsome stranger in an art gallery. He is charming, sexy as hell, and does funny things to her insides. Her frozen heart slowly melts as he seduces her, awakening her deepest desires, showing her that the kind of love she craves is very possible. She wants him as much as he wants her.
Battling his demons from the past, famous photographer Nicholas Gallagher has successfully evaded serious relationships, earning him the title of the world’s most eligible bachelor. But from the moment he lays eyes on Natalie, she stirs something in him. Compelled to chase the sadness from her vivid blue eyes, Nick is captivated by the spirited Australian beauty.
Until Natalie gets a call from home – one she can’t ignore. In a fateful moment the game changes and throws her life into chaos. Gabriel, her jealous ex, wants her back. Two powerful men want her. She is forced to make a choice that will tear her apart.
Will Natalie make the right choice? Will she finally find her soul mate, the one person who can look into her eyes and see deep into her soul, everything she is and everything she desires… will she finally open her eyes?
A Stand-alone Novel.
Adult Contemporary Romance Novel.
Warning: 18+ Contains sex scenes and explicit language.
Second chances? Twisted love triangle? Hot steamy sex? Hell YES!
What reviewers are saying about Open Your Eyes
Holy Crap!! ~ 5 Stars ~ K. Greer
“What a book! Let me just say the epilogue blew me away!!!!! Blows my mind!
Sit Down, Strap In And Hold On Tight – Truly An Emotional Ride! ~ 5 Stars ~Lacstines
Amazing, hard to put down story. This was an excellent read which had you on an emotional rollercoaster. The epilogue truly did me in. A love story if I ever read one.
Heartbreaking Love Story. ~ 5 Stars ~ M. Gerena
“Open your Eyes was an amazing good read from the beginning to the end! I was so emotionally and mentally invested in the storyline that I experienced sleep deprivation.”
Seriously…Open Your Eyes & Read It! ~ 5 Stars ~ Torrie
“I am SOOOOO glad that I took the time to read this book. I loved the story and I loved, loved, loved the ending. I would recommend this to anyone who asks!!”
Truly, Madly, Deeply ! ~ 5 Stars ~ R. Brannon
The ups and downs of the book had me screaming and turning the pages quicker and quicker. Absolutely loved this read and I think a lot of woman can relate to Natalie. Great read, it will not disappoint.
Touching!! ~ 5 Stars ~ S. Bachovin
“Loved this book. So touching. Made me cry. Can’t wait to read more from this author.”
Nick must have sensed that I was awake. He slowly opened his eyes, confused for a few seconds before remembering where he was. He caught me in the act of staring at him, drawing in a short sharp breath when he looked down at me, straight into my eyes. A wicked grin spread over his face as he turned onto his side and hauled me even closer, encaging me with both his arms.
“What a lovely way to wake up,” he whispered as he planted a kiss in my hair. His big hand rubbed up my back leisurely, as if he was savoring the moment, his palm applying just the right amount of pressure to my spine to make me want to purr. In spite of trying to suppress it, a small moan escaped my lips as he reached my neck and gently traced up it with his fingers, till his hand disappeared into my hair. Very gently, he massaged the base of my scalp till I dug my forehead into his chest, the simple touch sending ripples of pleasure through my already aroused body.
Good God! I barely knew the man, but his touch alone could ignite a fire in my belly of a magnitude I had never experienced before. If he could get this kind of toe-curling reaction from me by merely massaging my neck, what would making love with him do to me?
He gently tugged a fist full of my hair, raising my face up to his. I had closed my eyes, not wanting him to see the desire burning deep within me. My heart pounded in my chest as I tried desperately to keep my breathing even.
“Open your eyes. Look at me,” he whispered. I obeyed, even though it would expose my deepest feelings, slowly meeting his intense gaze. I gasped at the yearning in his eyes. My eyes melted into his as he searched my soul, seeing deeper than anyone ever had.
“Natalie,” he groaned softly as his head dipped and his lips covered mine. The kiss was gentle at first, a meeting of mouths and tasting one another. “So sweet,” he murmured against my mouth, then let his tongue slide along my lips, till I parted my mouth to let him slip in. He tasted of cheesecake and sleep…and passion and fire. His silky tongue glided along mine, a mingling of breaths and raw desire.
His hand moved down my back to cup my bottom and pull me against his body, closing the gap between us. So far I had carefully avoided touching in intimate places, much like a virgin in denial of the awakening of her body.
His arousal pushed into my belly, and I let out a gasp that he swallowed quickly with his mouth. My pulse quickened at the feel of his hard length throbbing against me, only the fabric of our clothing between us. The warm liquid pooling between my legs begged for more of him, but I lay there, unable to move, stunned that this man so obviously wanted me. I was getting more and more out of my depth with every passing moment. I wanted him, yet I wasn’t sure how to respond.
I’d never been a one-night stand type of girl. And I definitely didn’t do sex on a first date. Hell, this wasn’t even supposed to be a date. And he was virtually a stranger. Yet the want – the longing – in my belly overwhelmed my senses. I wanted to rub up against his erection; I wanted to kiss him till I was breathless. But I just lay there, dumbstruck.
I screwed my eyes shut.
“I want you, Natalie. God, how I want you…” He thrust his pelvis against my stomach, grinding his steel hard length into me to affirm his words. “But I would never take you now. Not like this.”
His words had a strange effect on me – calming and evoking feelings of deep trust.
“I sense your fear, my little one, why are you so afraid?” His husky voice soothed me over. How could I tell him? Words weren’t enough.
“Open your eyes so I can see what you’re feeling. It’s OK, I won’t hurt you.” Concern laced his voice. His hand cupped my chin, his thumb gently caressing my lips. I could drown in his touch alone.
My lids were heavy. Heavy with desire and pain and fear.
“Open, Natalie,” he coaxed so gently I couldn’t refuse.
I forced my eyes to open, my lids lifting slowly, trying to force my gaze to be neutral. But the moment I looked into his – soft and gentle – all the emotions came rushing back. This man could look deep into my soul without me uttering a word.
A sigh of relief escaped his lips. “You want me too…” he breathed as a wicked, wicked grin spread over his lips.
He must have read the confusion in my eyes. “For a moment there I thought you didn’t want me, little one. But your eyes tell me everything I need to know.”
The pressure from his thumb increased on my lips, and as a small gasp escaped, he pushed his thumb into my mouth. I sucked his thumb hungrily, my groin throbbing with want.
“Ahh, God,” he groaned. “What you do to me…” He took my hand in his and slipped it between us, resting my palm on his erection, which had grown even harder and longer as I touched it. “I want you.” I stroked his length lovingly, my thumb rubbing over the tip roughly, sucking his thumb harder and harder.
He pulled his thumb from my mouth and instantly replaced it with a warm wet kiss, his tongue wild, stroking, teasing, hot and wet.
His hands slipped under my top, finding my breasts like missiles, pushing my bra cups up. “You feel so good,” he moaned softly, “a perfect handful,” as his thumbs rolled and pinched my aching nipples. His words turned me on even more, the heat between my legs rising, my panties wet with want.
I slung my leg over his, pressing my body as close to his as I could get it, rubbing my mound against his throbbing erection, desperate for the friction, pushing him closer with my leg on his ass. It was driving me wild, in spite of the barrier of clothing between us.
Jani has been married for a long time to a special man, and her two children and their partners are the sunshine in her life. She is a voracious reader and would spend her last dollar on a book – always fascinated that for the mere price of a book, she can escape her world for a while and see through someone else’s eyes.
Besides reading, her favorite ‘thing’ is traveling – she has traveled the world, learning about the ways people live and has come to the realization that no matter where we live, we all ultimately want the same things. Her hobby – Scrapbooking – keeps her up till way after midnight and her usual subjects are her family and her travels.
Ever since she can remember, Jani wanted to write stories about people, about their lives and loves. Relationships and Happiness – arguably the most difficult things to master in life and yet exactly what everyone ultimately desires (in her humble opinion)
What is it that you enjoy about writing fiction?
When I write I go into a different world. It is the purest form of escape. Time stands still. All my senses are engaged. I am fully alive, but in an alternative universe. It is a feeling unlike any other. Addictive.
I love peeling back the layers and discovering all that is hidden beneath the surface of the book characters. I want to keep digging till I get to the very core of them – of what makes them tick, their inner desires, their conflicts and fears – searching into their very soul.
I am an observer of people and their behaviours; you will always find me in the back corner of a café, sipping a latte, watching people, imagining what goes on in their lives.
When did you first know you wanted to become a writer?
My childhood dream was to be a writer – I wrote elaborate stories with well-developed plots and characters. I told my younger brothers stories I made up as I went, every night before bed. I have a VERY active imagination… My writing style is the same – I am what is known as a ‘pantser’ – weaving stories by the seat of my pants, making it up as I go, letting the characters speak for themselves. I merely record the story they show me in a movie in my head.
As a teenager I spent school vacations reading. I would start a book in the morning and only close my eyes when done at around 3 am, sleep a bit, wake and start the next book… I have always been a voracious reader…
I would spend my last dollar on a book. Reading gives insight into another human being’s thoughts, expands your mind – all for the small price of a book – often less than the cost of a coffee. Amazing!
What made you write your first book?
Fear of failure is the biggest stumbling block to realising our dreams. All my life up until last year, I waited, thinking I had to write something really profound. Then one day I had an AHA moment – I realised I didn’t need to, I could simply write what I enjoyed and connected with – steamy adult romance… seems there are an awful lot of people who like reading it…
I realised that time is fleeting, that I had do it NOW – not waiting any longer to realise my dreams. I had to open my eyes to the possibilities. I didn’t want to die with regrets of never having the courage to follow my passion of writing.
Tell us about ‘Open Your Eyes’ – your debut novel.
I started writing Open Your Eyes in the air, flying between Australia and New York in January 2013. It’s a very long flight…
I’d just been to New York for New Year – to see the ball drop in Times Square with my daughter – something on our ‘bucket list’. So a big part of the story plays off in New York.
In Open Your Eyes, Natalie is a disillusioned forty year old woman who is in search of inner peace and tranquillity; she wants to escape her problems by having a fun and relaxing vacation in NYC with her feisty daughter, Olivia. No pressure, no worries, no complications…
Natalie believes in second chances in spite of her demons. Separated from domineering Gabriel – whose cruel and jealous ways hurt her deeply – she still hopes for reconciliation for her family’s sake.
However, her world is turned upside down when she unexpectedly meets a charming, seductive bachelor – the famous photographer Nicholas Gallagher – who awakens her latent desires and sweeps her off her feet in a delicious holiday romance.
Just as Natalie starts falling for Nick, Fate steps in. Caught up in a heart wrenching love triangle, she is forced to make a difficult choice. Gabriel is her first love, the man whose name and children she bears. Nick truly sees her, deep into her soul. Both men want her. Who will she choose? Because above all, Natalie wants a second chance at love and happiness.
So one of the issues we explore in ‘Open Your Eyes’ is how she deals with her search for her true soul mate. Is it ever too late; are we ever too old to stop yearning for that special connection?
Why is ‘Open Your Eyes’ based on mature adults?
As a voracious ‘more mature’ reader, I have read a lot of contemporary romances, particularly all the latest best-selling romances. And although I enjoyed reading them, I sometimes couldn’t quite connect as much with the very young heroines. I wanted to read about someone I could identify with myself, a heroine who had a bit of life experience, who had been through ups and downs over a few decades of life.
Natalie is forty, experienced and mature, but she still has a LOT of living left in her. So we follow her journey in ‘Open Your Eyes’. And yes, sex is still very hot and steamy at that age!! Probably even better, as she is in the prime of her life…
If you like love triangle books, then this is a book for you. I just so happen to be one of those people that is not a big fan of them.
Although it was a good read, it took me a little longer to get through this book. I really had a hard time with the heroine, Natalie and the choices she made. I understand why she did it and in the long run it all comes out ok but I was really kinda frustrated with her. I really love the connect she has with Nick and understand her decisions that she makes with Gabe.
Jani did a great job of making you feel all the emotions that Natalie was going through though. I felt the butterflies, frustrations, love and passion. Both of the men in this book will leave you screaming and saying what the heck. If you love angst, then this is a book for you. I would give this 4 stars.