But there is more to Jessica than just sex. After she defends in court a girl accused of importing drugs, Jessica becomes the target of someone who wants her dead.
Eventually, the themes of this contemporary suspense, romance and sex novel come together when Jessica learns who she really is, finds her attackers and gets her revenge. “Exposed” describes how Jessica became the directing force of her own life, how she leaves condemnation behind, and separates sex and romance.
In her own words:
"You don't think we've met? We have, more than once. I sat next to you once at the airport, and you asked me what time it was. I hoped you wanted to strike up a conversation. We sat at tables next to each other at that coffee shop on the corner, where the atmosphere and coffee both have character.
Remember when I caught you staring at me when I came out of the court house? Or was it the exquisite old building where I practice law? You were embarrassed, but I didn’t mind at all. In fact, you made me smile.
Maybe we met at one of the “special clubs” I enjoy in Seattle, or Portland, or Vancouver or San Francisco, Denver or Las Vegas. You know, clubs where clothing is optional and anything goes, with friends or with strangers. I admit I like that, but “no” always means “NO.”
I’ve been told I am as cold as the antarctic, or as hot as a black sand beach in the Caribbean; it’s said I am either indifferent, or too passionately engaged. These are labels and don’t really matter to me any more. I’ve been called a slut, a force, a lawyer, a nymphomaniac. You decide which one was the insult if you'd like, I don’t really care.
This book is about who I am and why I’m that way. I describe a few events in a story you will think explains everything. It does not, but will give you an idea of how I grew up, how I discovered sex, what I like about men and what I don’t, how close I came to being murdered and how that led to my discovery of who I really am.
Sometimes, when explanations fail, story is all we have. And though my story may be very different from yours, you and I are very much alike in that place where we hide our desire."
1-Click on Amazon Exposed (Exposed Series Book 1)
From "Exposed by Jessica Love."
When I turned my head sideways, Rick’s face was about six inches from mine.
“May I kiss you?” he asked, his voice husky with lust. “Please?” I asked back. So very gently, he brushed his lips against mine, held them there. I could smell the gin and tonic he’d been drinking, clean and fresh. I reached over and put my right hand on the back of his head so he wouldn’t pull away. I put my left hand on the side of his face.
The kiss lingered.
It was so strange. I’d been with a number of men since the implosion of my marriage. Not once had I kissed or been kissed as tenderly as I was at that moment, nearly naked on top of a bar in a room full of men and women, mostly men.
“Oh my,” he said when we broke to look at each other. “Oh my,” I agreed. “William?” I asked, I didn’t need to elaborate and when I lifted my hips, William slid his hands under my butt to take the top of my thong down, smoothly over my knees. I straightened my legs so the wisp of fabric could be pulled over my shoes.
I kept my thighs together, but extended my left foot so my body was completely visible to the room, which had become quite silent except for the last notes of another song spun by the DJ who was catering to the dancers on the floor below.
Paul put his lips on my hip bone, then closer to the V between my legs.
“Paul.” I said it gently, but with a hint of command. He stopped instantly and looked at me. “I’d like your fingertips from here,” I pointed at my left breast, “to here,” and pointed at my pelvis. He smiled into my eyes and nodded.
“William, I’d like you to work up from the other direction. As gently as you can.”
The two of them touched me like they were enjoying the touch of velvet, back and forth, up and down. I kept my thighs together and neither tried to enter me. Paul stroked the outside of my breasts, the under curve, my nipples ached when he brushed them and then down to my belly.
I reached over to Rick and said, “I need you right here,” and drew his mouth to mine. Once again the gentleness of his lips astounded me. But now I wanted something a little more. I opened my mouth, which caused him to open his. I timed my exhale to his inhale, and he knew exactly what I wanted and pulled my breath into his mouth.
When I was empty, his/my warm breath returned to me and filled my lungs. We were able to keep that rhythm for five full breaths before what we were sharing was depleted of oxygen.
“Oh my,” I said with my first full breath of fresh air. “Oh my,” he exhaled. “Touch me,” I said with something between a request and command. His fingertip went to my right breast and he circled my nipple. William’s hand was at my hips.
I couldn’t stop the moan from my throat or my hips from rising from the bar. But my thighs stayed together. Ricks fingertip went from my breast to my collarbone, then my neck, my throat. When it came to my cheek I turned my head and took it into my mouth with more hunger than I had felt in years.
Eventually, Rick’s fingers found more of me welcoming him. Paul and William changed chairs a couple of times. The experience lasted for a long, long while; the DJ spun many songs; many people came close to watch, left, were replaced by others. I gave as good as I got, and what I got was very, very good.
ReviewExposed is written as a autobiography of a woman who must find her place. It's not a love story but a story of discovery and acceptance.
"I'm writing this because I've been asked so often why I'm not married, why I do what I do, how I started and what does it "mean" even though that last question is pretty meaningless."
Jessica Love, our protagonist and narrator, begins her story with early life events. In high school she learns an unfortunate lesson and her grandmother is there to provide solace. We are introduced to the reoccurring phrase that shaped who Jessica would become.
"Everything passes, everything weary, everything breaks.."
Jessica shares two experiences that give us a glimpse of what makes her tick. What some may say are her perversions.
Jessica graduates college as a lawyer and marries Mark who is also a lawyer. They seem to marry because it was expected of them and not because they truly love each other. Their lives became routine. Mark suggests a club that caters to different sexual proclivities. They attend and enjoy the exhibitionism. Soon they take it a step further that initiates the destruction of their marriage. Jessica's eventually moves on with her life to only find her freedom being taken from her. Although, Jessica gives us hints of possible future events I continue to be surprised when they occur. I feel for Jessica and her plight to find her place. When in France she meets her great uncle and aunt who furnish her with the ending of the phrase that has shaped her life.
"Everything passes, everything weary, everything breaks everything must find its place."
Jessica returns home and moves forward to take back her life. In the end Jessica Love explains that some may judge her but she has simply made different decision.
Jessica is a strong character that has to learn to accept herself. She has different tastes and finds herself taking on the world from an early age. From the beginning she attends high school and college parties allowing herself sexual gratification that many find taboo, labeling her as a slut. She deviates temporarily when she marries however that does not last long. Her proclivities are used against her and inadvertently take away her freedom. In the end she finds herself with her grandmother's help. Her grandmother early on makes a statement that sums up Jessica's challenges, "These Americans, obsessed by what they fear, fearing their own obsessions,". I enjoyed that this is not a love story, it's an exploration and acceptance of a different lifestyle.
Excerpt from Jessica Love's New Book
I turned toward the voice. The woman was not conventionally beautiful, but she was very striking, with a wide mouth, eyes that weren’t laughing but very inviting, luxurious hair. I couldn’t tell you if she was 30 or 50.
“Thank you, no. I’ve got some things on my mind, so tonight I think I’ll just watch.”
“Seriously, I was asking if I can make you more comfortable. I’m Aphrodite. I own the place. Can I get you a drink?”
“Oh! I’m sorry, I thought… Thank you. A glass of white wine?” I offered her one of the coupons I’d been given at the front door, but she shook her head and said, “Keep them. Be right back.”
I watched her walk to the bar. She was tall, had legs about six inches longer than mine, and moved with grace. I’m a confident woman, but she wore confidence like a cape. She brought back two glasses with napkins, she kept one and put the other in front of me.
“Here you go … ?”
“Oh, I’m sorry. Jessica.” I took a sip of wine. It was quite good, which didn’t surprise me. Everything about this place seemed first class.
“And Jessica, what do you do when you aren’t watching others have fun?”
I hesitated a moment. I keep my worlds as far apart as I can as a rule. But this woman had a friendliness that made it hard to hide.
“I’m a lawyer,” I said.
“Jessica… Jessica Love?”
“Yes. How did you know?” I was shocked.
“Well, you did give us your driver’s license at the door,” she laughed. “I also know people who know some of the women you’ve defended. You have admirers. I’m one of them. I actually meant to write you one of these days.”
“It’s not that big of a deal. We just try to give a little back.”
“You do good work,” said Aphrodite.
“Thank you.” I was trying to decide if I wanted to run. Having my personal life and professional life tied together so easily by this woman made me very uncomfortable. At the same time, I felt no threat. And maybe I wanted a friend right then.
We all want to be known. We want someone who knows us through and through and who accepts who we are, with affection and without judgement. Since my grandmother died, I’d had no one like that in my life.
“Is your name really Aphrodite?”
“It is. Aphrodite Jones.”
Her laugh preceded mine, so I didn’t feel bad about it. “Your father or your mother name you?”
“Neither one. I chose both names. Aphrodite because it feels like who I am, and ‛Jones’ to keep my feet on the ground, remind me who I also am, where I came from. Sometimes it’s hard to keep focused.”
“I suppose that’s one reason I’m sitting here and am not out there,” I nodded toward the play areas. “I feel unfocused. I’ve got a case where I know, just know, my client is being manipulated by the man who’s paying her bills. She is going to jail because of that, and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it.”
“Why isn’t she one of your pro bono clients?”
“Maybe she should be, but that list is full right now. She came in ready to spend the money.”
“Isn’t there a foundation or something?” Aphrodite asked.
“Not one that isn’t tied to a ton of red tape.”
“Maybe you should start one…?
“I’m already doing everything I can.”
“I wasn’t implying that you aren’t,” said Aphrodite. She looked off at the bar.
“What would you call it?” she asked at last.
“Call what?” I said. I’d again quickly disappeared down the rabbit hole of my case. Plus, I was thinking about Geoffry Quinn and whatever he wanted to talk about. Unfocused.
“A foundation to fund your work, and maybe the work of other lawyers so you aren’t spread so thin.”
“I don’t know. Action for Women,” I suppose.
“Too weak. You need an acronym,” Aphrodite said, and I was surprised. I suppose I didn’t expect that from her, but then again, I didn’t know anything about her.
“How about ‛Legal Action for Washington Women’?” she asked. “I think ‛LAWW’ would work pretty well. What do you think?”
“I think that’s pretty amazing. What did you do before this… ?”
“A sex club owner can’t have a brain?” she asked, but she was smiling with that wide mouth of hers, and clearly enjoyed my dilemma.
“No. But your facility with words is a surprise.”
“I majored in languages, and have a Masters in English Lit. Which gave me everything I needed to become a stripper.”
“It’s true. Just out of college, I could speak and read French and Latin, would quote W. B. Yeats and St. Vincent Millay, and I couldn’t find a job to save my life. Truthfully, I couldn’t stand the idea of becoming a teacher. I became desperate: rent due, car broken down, and a boyfriend who turned out to be married. I went to a club and asked if they were hiring dancers. They liked me, and I made some money.”
“That led to this?” I waved at the elegance of the club.
“Not directly. But it paid the bills, paid off my credit card, got that car fixed and sold, and let me buy a used Volvo. I was cruising along, having a pretty good time and trying to avoid pimps, pot and pregnancy. But I was getting older, and there’s a certain sexism in sex. At some point, strippers lose their audience.”
“You are beautiful. I can’t believe you wouldn’t still draw a crowd.” I meant it.
“Thank you. But, it was a concern. I also had some tastes that were a little… different. I’m a bit of an exhibitionist, of course, and enjoy public sex. I was going to a club on the other side of town once in a while, sometimes with friends, sometimes alone.”
“I probably know the club,” I said. “I enjoy the same things.”
Aphrodite smile wide at that point. Her smile made me laugh inside and I decided right then I was going to try to make her a friend.
“That’s where I met Bill. Bill was older, Bill was sexy, Bill was funny and Bill was generous. He paid for me to get my Masters degree.”
“So you were…” I looked for a term that would not offend, “his mistress?”
“I was his sugar baby, he was my sugar daddy. We had a wonderful time together, and I loved him very much.”
“Why didn’t you get together?”
“It was a little… complicated,” Aphrodite said. “His wife wouldn’t have approved. Nor would his three kids, all of them in college and none of them more than ten years younger than I was. Bill was a very sweet man, but his wife was not and the kids took after her side of the family. Besides, I don’t think either of us wanted to be together as a couple.”
“Refill?” she asked, pointing at my empty glass. I had to be up early and at Kenmore Air. “May I have just half?” I asked. She gave a glance to the bartender, who came over with two full ones. He was bald in that virile sort of way, and very muscular. “You don’t have to finish it,” Aphrodite said, “but he’s off limits. He’s not allowed to bed with customers. Bad for business.”
I could see why, and just nodded.
“Anyway, long story short: Bill got cancer. I tried to see him, but I wasn’t family, and family wouldn’t let me near him. When he died, I had to sneak into his funeral. I was heartbroken, and I hadn’t even realized that I loved him.
“One week later, all hell broke loose. Bill had included me in his will. His lawyer sent me a letter Bill wrote before he died. “I’ve known no greater joy than the hours I’ve spent in your arms.” I got half of everything.
The family fought it, but there were provisions in the will that increased their risk in a battle, and I had nothing to lose. It was airtight. And that’s what created this,” she said, and waved about the room.
“So that just recently happened?” I asked.
“Oh no, Bill died a couple of years ago. I had to grieve, then I had to play, then I had to settle down and decide what I wanted in life. How about you?” she asked.
I told her a short version of my life, my marriage, my divorce, my frame up and jail time, my career. I told her about my French grandmother, and I choked up a couple of times, and realized again how much I missed Grandmama.
Then it was time for me to go. I had to get some sleep before getting to Lake Union for the flight to Friday Harbor in the morning.
“May I have your number? Would you like to have lunch?” Aphrodite asked.
“I would like to have lunch,” I said, and we exchanged cards, each of us writing our personal cell phone number on the back. We had a lot in common.
“Think about ‛Legal Action for Washington Women,’ ” Aphrodite said as I left. “I know some people.”
It was raining as I headed back to my place downtown, I was tired but my thoughts were racing. I had met someone I knew would be important in my life.