Wow! I’ve been blown away by how universally awesome the reviews have been pouring in for WILD LICKS! Apparently folks out there love dark, angsty Mal Keanneally and deeply kinky Gwen Hamilton as much as I do. Some excerpts:

“This one is great for those of you looking for plenty of smoking hot consensual BDSM sex.”
Bustle “Ten Romance Novels for Steamy Afternoons”

“Emotional angst, drama, and a seemingly impossible romance are just the tip of the iceberg for a couple whose dark erotic desires can either bring them together in the ultimate salvation or drive them apart forever.”
Heroes & Heartbreakers “Erotic Romance Best Bets, July 2016”

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It’s here! It’s live! Get it now from all your favorite places!

wild_licks_pb_cover_200x300WILD LICKS
Paperback: $12.99 ISBN: 9781455533640
Ebook: $5.99 ISBN: 9781455533657

Indie Bookstores | Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Hachette

In this book the dark, broody guitar player we met in Taking the Lead gets together with sunny heiress Gwen Hamilton and discovers she has a dark side, too. But can Gwen bring out the light trapped in Mal’s heart?

Gwen wants to succeed at acting without using her family name: she wants to be judged on her own terms. But when an exercise in Method Acting leads her accidentally into the arms of Mal Kenneally, the rock star with a reputation for unusual sexual appetites, Gwen thinks maybe she’s found the ultimate test of her acting abilities. Or maybe she’s finally met the man who can see, and appreciate, the real Gwen…

Mal Kenneally has done his best to leave his aristocratic British family behind. The Rough, the rock band he started with his childhood friend Axel, is his family now. But will he be forced to choose between the brotherhood of the band and his growing obsession with Gwen Hamilton?

Mal and Gwen push each other’s limits, each convinced that one day they’ll go too far. But the farther they go, the more they discover that two can delve far deeper than one.

I’ll post an excerpt later! Just had to get this live before the day slips away!

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I know, I know, I just released a BDSM rock star romance last week (TAKING THE LEAD), but I’m already getting ready for the summer release of book two in that same series, and here’s a post collecting a bunch of my visual references to my hero, heroine, and other elements in the book, which I’ll also try to tack up on Pinterest.

In book one (TAKING THE LEAD) we met Axel Hawke, the lead singer of bad boy rockers THE ROUGH. Now meet Mal Kenneally, the guitarist.

Here’s the description Gwen gives of seeing him:
On the side of the stage closest to me was the guitar player, Mal. We’d met once or twice in passing at industry functions. My impression of him from those occasions was that he never smiled and rarely spoke, looming in the background like a judgmental gargoyle. But on stage he was animated, explosive, leaping into the air with his guitar and then landing, flinging his long, dark hair forward and then flipping it back with a head toss. He still didn’t smile, but he matched Axel’s energy with a feral grimace as he sang, and then he sauntered out onto the long runway into the audience, playing a solo and practically humping the guitar as he went.
Pure sex. One-hundred percent pure sex that walked on two legs and played the guitar. When that song was over he tore his shirt off and flung it into the audience. His arms and chest looked like something from a fitness craze informercial: you too can have these abs! These biceps!

Some dark, long-haired rockers & actors to contemplate:

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taking_the_lead_tame_200x300Reviews are coming in for my new book TAKING THE LEAD! It’s been out for one week so far. Before launch I was super-happy to have gotten great reviews in both Publishers Weekly and RT Book Reviews, but now that the book has officially launched, a slew of review sites and bloggers have posted this week! Here are some excerpts and links to the full posts:


“What set this book apart, for me, are the love/sex/kink scenes. Ms. Tan’s descriptions of Axel’s and Ricki’s encounters are more than just incredibly arousing. They’re full of insight, emotional nuances, truths to which I can vouch from personal experience. Ms. Tan understands how power exchange works and she brings that knowledge to the page. She also manages to communicate how dominance and submission can offer not just incandescent pleasure but soul-deep healing. Ricki requires the surrender Axel coaxes from her, to balance the warring factions in her personality and claim the strength to manage her complicated life.”
Beyond Romance, Lisabet Sarai

“I really enjoyed this sexy rockstar romance – it’s a nice easy read that kept me gripped from start to finish. …Axel is a fabulous character, he is very sexy. His bad boy image hides a soft heart and a good man. I also love his relationships and banter with his band mates and friends. Ricki and Axel had great chemistry, they were so hot together. The storyline was interesting, the characters were likable and the sex was steamy – five stars.” —JJ’s Kinky Books

“So that’s what sets Taking The Lead apart, for me at least: It’s more than just another steamy, erotic romance. It’s an emotional and psychological examination of being a feminist with also being sexually submissive.”
Only One More Page

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taking_the_lead_tame_200x300This is exciting! Something new! RT Book Reviews will be hosting me and Tara Sue Me (author of the Submissive series) in a live YouTube chat this Friday, Feb 5th at 12 noon to 1pm (Eastern US time). Her new book THE MASTER is out this week, and of course my TAKING THE LEAD just hit last week!

Want to leave a question for us to answer? Post it over at RT Book Reviews here:

Here’s the chat video stream window, embedded:

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taking_the_lead_tame_224pxIt’s here! First book in the new Secrets of a Rock Star series, written by yours truly and published by Hachette/Grand Central Publishing’s romance imprint Forever, TAKING THE LEAD was released in ebook and paperback today!

Join me TONIGHT (Tuesday January 26th) for a live video chat from 8:30 to 10:30 about the book! I’ll read from a steamy section of the book, take questions, and talk about my influences and how I wrote and researched it. (Yes, there’s research… there’s always research!) It’ll be on YouTube here:, and if you want to ask questions in advance add them to either the Facebook event or comment below!

Here are the official blurbs on the book:

Buy links: TTL_sidebyside_500opx
Order the book:Indiebound bookstores | Amazon | Barnes & Noble|Kobo | iTunes | Google Play

When the rich and famous come out to play, nothing is off-limits . . .

Everyone knows Ricki Hamilton as the icy heiress living in a billion-dollar mansion, high up in the Hollywood Hills. But few realize that behind the gilded gates, Ricki is the mistress of LA’s most exclusive private club. A place where no fantasy is forbidden and no one goes unsatisfied-except for Ricki. If she had her way, she’d leave the business behind . . . until she meets the one man with the power to change her mind.

The hottest rock star in the world, Axel Hawke, has the requisite sexy look and bad-boy reputation. Yet even his biggest fans have no clue just how decadently dangerous he can be. From the moment he meets Ricki, he knows there is no other woman who will satisfy him. He can feel the heat hiding beneath her cool demeanor and he’s determined to stoke her flame.

Together Ricki and Axel indulge their every desire. The deeper they go, the more she craves. Submitting to Axel opens her eyes, and for the first time Ricki knows exactly what she wants. All she has to do is take it . . .


“Everyone knows Cecilia Tan is the queen of hot, but she’s also the queen of wit and angst and voice. Taking the Lead is a book that grabs you by the collar and gives you flirty-eyes. It will tell you, ‘Go sit, over there in the corner chair, and don’t get up until you’re done.’ You will do it-absolutely and happily-because Cecilia knows exactly what you want.”
—Christina Lauren, New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Bastard and Sweet Filthy Boy

“Cecilia Tan writes erotic romance the way it was meant to be written: full of emotion, intensity, and chemistry that’s so hot it burns the page. Taking the Lead is no exception; it’s deliciously sexy and utterly satisfying.”
—Tara Sue Me, New York Times bestselling author

“An emotional whirlwind romance. Axel is as strong and sexy as readers expect in a rock-star hero without being an overly brooding jerk. The length he goes in order to win over emotionally closed-off Ricki will melt your heart.”
—RT Book Reviews

“With a satisfying plot and an engaging cast of characters, the only thing slowing readers down will be their refractory period.”
—Publishers Weekly


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I’m pleased to offer up a tasty sample of my new book from Hachette/Grand Central Publishing/Forever which officially launches in six days! It’s already popped up in some bookstores, though!

On sale: Indiebound bookstores | Amazon|Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Google Play

I originally shared this sex scene from TAKING THE LEAD with my newsletter readers back 14 months ago, shortly after I’d written the first draft. It has since passed through my beta readers, critique partners, and my editor at Hachette, and has more depth than that early draft. (Just as much sex, though…heh.)

This segment is from our heroine’s point of view. Ricki Hamilton is a young Hollywood heiress, fresh out of business school, while Axel Hawke is the lead singer of a rock band who are just hitting it big. It’s the night of the Grammy Awards, and at one point, as a publicity stunt, Axel is supposed to joke-kidnap a mutual friend of theirs out of the audience. But Axel, who has gotten interested in Ricki, ends up making off with her instead. Here’s what happens after they land in the “getaway limo.”

(Also after all the limo scenes in the Struck by Lightning series, especially the first few in Slow Surrender, I thought it would be fun to have very very very different limo sex this time around. Remember how James doesn’t even touch Karina at first? This time I think Axel has extra hands…!)

When Axel Hawke dove into the back of a limo with me and we sped off, I was lightheaded from being unable to breathe. The moment he had picked me up I had started to laugh, and then partway up the aisle he’d switched to carrying me over his shoulder like a pirate making off with a wench. His shoulder dug into my stomach, which made me laugh harder but also made it even harder to breathe.

Maybe it wasn’t the way he was carrying me that made me so breathless. My mind was awhirl—the tabloids! They were going to have a field day! But part of me didn’t care. My fantasies of him carrying me away came roaring back, and the giddy feeling only intensified as I realized that any of the blame for this stunt was going to fall squarely on Axel Hawke, not me. I was merely the innocent bystander dragged along for the ride. Literally.

I realized I still had my arms around his neck while I fought to catch my breath.

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taking_the_lead_tame_224pxThis coming Tuesday the first book in my new Secrets of a Rock Star series will be launching!

To celebrate, I’ll be hosting a live video chat from 8:30 to 10:30pm that night about the book! I’ll read from a steamy section of the book, take questions, etc. Please feel free to post questions in advance either below or on the Facebook event where you can RSVP:

YouTube direct link:

Buy links: TTL_sidebyside_500opx
Order the book:Indiebound bookstores | Amazon | Barnes & Noble|Kobo | iTunes | Google Play


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Yesterday was a holiday for a lot of people but social media never stops and I got wind that a review had appeared in Publishers Weekly for the book I have releasing next week, TAKING THE LEAD. I was a little afraid to go read it so I made my agent read it first.

See, the last time a book I wrote was reviewed in PW, bookselling and publishing’s trade magazine, was in 1998. In that review, they panned my HarperCollins erotic short story collection (Black Feathers) by saying my “sinless creations” were “for people who didn’t like sex.” I’d called up Susie Bright after that and cried.

She’d heard that attitude before, and patiently explained that the reviewer was almost certainly male and one of those throwback guys for whom if the sex wasn’t “dirty” or “illicit” then it was only meant for “prudes” and therefore wasn’t any fun. Put another way, because the book was written by a woman to satisfy a woman’s idea of what was sexy, he was angry it wasn’t for him. The fact that everyone in my book was actually enjoying all the consensual sex they were having was a turn-off for this dude.

After that I felt kind of sorry for the reviewer, because although he’d panned my book, he almost certainly had a miserable sex life. I would encounter his attitude sporadically, always from men, in the nineties, and then I guess those dinosaurs died off because I stopped hearing it. Or maybe my message and the message of the other sex-positive women writing and publishing in those days was finally getting through–Susie Bright, Carol Queen, Annie Sprinkle, etc.–if not to literary critics at least to the bookstores and the readers.

Of course romance wasn’t ready yet for my style of BDSM and consensual power exchange, or for the level of explicitness I brought to the table, so back then my work wouldn’t have fit there, either. Thankfully that’s no longer the case, and a book like TAKING THE LEAD has all the BDSM and character angst and negotiation and arrival at consensuality that turns ME on, and it seems like both the world of romance and Publishers Weekly are super-happy about it!

They gave it a “starred” review! And I quote, they say my new series is off to a “sultry start.” The moneyshot in the review: “With a satisfying plot and an engaging cast of characters, the only thing slowing readers down will be their refractory period.” Yessss!

Read the whole review here:

On sale: Indiebound bookstores | Amazon|Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Google Play

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I know I’m blogging a lot about my Secrets of a Rock Star series this month because book one launches on Jan 26th, but book two is making a splash this week! Yesterday Ever After Romance revealed the cover for WILD LICKS, but even they haven’t seen the sexy “ebook only” version of the cover!

Below I’ve got the side by side versions, and then below that I also made an animation that transitions from the mild version to the wild version. Va-va-voom!

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Whew! While I had a cold over the past few weeks, plus the holidays, I didn’t remember to download my PDF subscription copy to RT magazine, so I completely missed that they gave TAKING THE LEAD four stars! And included the cover on the reviews page! The publicity department at Hachette just forwarded this to me, hooray!

Taking the Lead_RT Book Reviews_February 2016

“An emotional whirlwind romance”

they said, and…

“strong and sexy rock star hero without being an overly brooding jerk”

Yes!! I love it when reviewers understand. :-)

Order the book:Indiebound bookstores|Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Kobo|iTunes|Google Play

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My upcoming rock stars & BDSM erotic romance novel TAKING THE LEAD comes out officially in three weeks! Right now there are three ways to get your hands on a free advance copy!

1) Enter the Goodreads Giveaway contest
2) NetGalley
3) Ask me for a copy!


1) Enter the Goodreads Giveaway contest

Anyone with an account on Goodreads can enter the giveaway. My publisher is giving away 15 copies and it costs nothing to enter! Just click here to enter:

2) NetGalley

If you’re a NetGalley reviewer, my publisher doesn’t automatically approve all requests. So email me if you want to review it through NetGalley and I’ll forward your email to them. They’ll email you back the NetGalley widget! I’m at ctan.writer @

3) Ask me for a copy!

Will you promise to post a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads between January 26th and January 29th? If you’re in the USA or Canada I’ll mail you an advance reading copy of the book! No really, first 12 people to email me your shipping addresses and pledge to review it within 3 days of the book’s release, I’ll mail it to you! (You don’t have to promise to *like* it, just to give it an honest review. Of course I hope you will like it, though!)

Order the book: Indiebound bookstores | Amazon|Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Google Play
Ricki Hamilton and her sister have just inherited a vast estate in the Hollywood hills. Unfortunately, with that legacy comes the most exclusive club in Hollywood history, a secret BDSM establishment where only the rich and the naughty come to play. Ricki wants nothing to do with BDSM and is trying to find ways to get out of having to run the club . . . until she meets Axel, a sexy and enigmatic rock star who makes her want to submit to needs she didn’t know she had.

Praised by Tara Sue Me, author of The Submissive series, and Christina Lauren, authors of the Beautiful series!

“Everyone knows Cecilia Tan is the queen of hot, but she’s also the queen of wit and angst and voice. Taking the Lead is a book that grabs you by the collar and gives you flirty-eyes. It will tell you, ‘Go sit, over there in the corner chair, and don’t get up until you’re done.’ You will do it-absolutely and happily-because Cecilia knows exactly what you want.”―Christina Lauren, New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Bastard and Sweet Filthy Boy

“Cecilia Tan writes erotic romance the way it was meant to be written: full of emotion, intensity, and chemistry that’s so hot it burns the page. Taking the Lead is no exception; it’s deliciously sexy and utterly satisfying.”―Tara Sue Me, New York Times bestselling author

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On January 26th 2016 my new series, Secrets of a Rock Star, will launch. Each book in the series will feature a different member of the band The Rough, starting with Axel Hawke, the lead singer. As a preview to the series, I thought I’d share my visual references for Axel.

Axel was an “army brat” (Air Force, actually) who used music as a way to make friends (or as a refuge when all he made was enemies) while his family moved around not only the United States but Japan, Germany, and England. When he was 10, during the stint in England, he met Mal Kenneally, a guitarist, and they dreamed of starting a band. Axel’s parents divorced when he was 12-13 and he and his mother settled in Massachusetts.

At age 16, Axel ran away from home when his mother discovered he was singing in a band and all his bandmates were over 18. When none of his bandmates would take him in for long, his band broke up and Axel ended up in England with Mal again, where they got up to much trouble. His mother eventually convinced him to return to the US, he finished high school, and was in his sophomore year in college when it became his turn to take Mal in. They started The Rough and the band’s popularity soon took off.

In fact, when TAKING THE LEAD begins, it’s the night of the Grammy Awards and The Rough are nominees for Best New Artist.

Here are some of the visual references I used for Axel while writing TAKING THE LEAD. I was quite taken with Mig Ayesa but I wanted my lead singer to have bleach-blond highlights, so here are a couple of rough photoshop versions, blond-izing him, mixed in with Jared Leto in his blond rock star phase and a blond model whose name I didn’t find:

A random blond model with a very Axel expression on his face.

A random blond model with a very Axel expression on his face.

More below!

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I just noticed that TAKING THE LEAD is now up for pre-order most places! (In fact Amazon has the paperback at 25% off right now, which means B&N does, too.)

Pre-orders are important to authors especially at B&N and iTunes because all pre-orders count toward the FIRST DAY of sales in those stores, which can really help a book hit the bestseller lists in those stores! And sometimes getting onto one of those lists will help new readers find it which will then help keep those books on the list if they enjoy the book and tell their friends about it!

Note that you can use the IndieBound bookstore finder to find an independent bookstore near you where you can pre-order it: Taking the Lead at Indiebound

Amazon and B& are happy to take order for either ebook OR paperback:

  • Amazon: paperback or ebook
  • Barnes & Noble: paperback or ebook
  • And of course there are a bunch of ebook-only stores:

  • Kobo: ebook only
  • iTunes: ebook only
  • Google Play: ebook only
  • etc…


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    Right now my nerves are on fire, I’m jittery as hell, and yet I’m also so exhausted I can barely move. I might be about to cry, or scream, or maybe pass out. Why do I feel this way?

    It might be that I gave in to my intense chocolate craving today and had far too much of it than is healthy (plus lots of tea), so perhaps this is caffeine overload.

    It might be that my erratic hormone cycles are about to coalesce into something.

    Or maybe it’s merely that I’m deep in the guts of the rewrite for TAKING THE LEAD, my next romance novel for Hachette/Grand Central/Forever…

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    Cover reveal, and I do mean “reveal”! My next romance from Hachette/Forever is slated to release on January 26, 2016 in both paperback and ebook, and I have not one but TWO amazing cover designs to show you!

    As you might expect given my track record, my books have a lot of sex in them. They’re very steamy. TAKING THE LEAD is no exception. It’s a rockstar romance and a BDSM “billionaire” book except this time SHE is the billionaire.

    The brilliant thing my publisher has done is create two versions of the cover, a “tame” version (which is still pretty suggestive if you ask me), and a “wild” version. Feast your eyes below the fold:

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