Monday, June 2, 2014

At Your Beck & Call -- Jane Harvey-Berrick

Hallen Jansen has it all. At 28, he has a flashy car, a great apartment, and a job he’s good at and that he loves – as an escort – working at your beck and call.

His life is easy, with no emotions or attachments slowing him down – choosing to keep moving, always running from the past. But when a new client awakens unfamiliar feelings, all bets are off. Can he convince a recently divorced woman twenty years older to trust men again – to trust him? Can Hallen trust himself not to screw things up?

Surrounded by people who choose to judge them, will they make their relationship a reality, or is it heartbreak for both?

Not all services are professional.

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At Your Back and Call Cover



“So, what other services do you offer, Hallen?”

How many times had I been asked that question? How many times had I answered it?

She laid her hand on my knee, her gaze sharp, questioning, lustful—and ashamed.

The light was not kind to her, emphasizing hard lines around her mouth, the overly tight skin of her forehead.

She should have chosen a bar with softer lighting. Candlelight hides a multitude of sins. Except my sins are all on the inside.

When I’d arrived at the designated restaurant earlier in the evening, she’d been careful to conceal her age. Maybe she thought I’d care. I didn’t. I gave my name to the hostess and asked her to let Ms. Mandelsohn know that I had arrived.

It was always interesting meeting a new client—a challenge, too—getting to know her, putting her at ease, helping her to feel comfortable, working out what she wanted from a date. She needed to feel safe with me, like I’d take care of her in all senses of the words. And talking is underrated as a method of foreplay. Clients often said they felt like they’d known me for years. Well, they knew the part I showed them, which wasn’t the same thing at all. But it was enough to let me fuck them.

They didn’t always want sex—or they said they didn’t. Once they’d met me, they often changed their minds.


She joined me at the window, a large glass of Cognac in each hand. I accepted one and clinked it against hers.



She smiled and took a sip, her eyes thirsty and impatient.

“What are you thinking?” she asked, quietly.

“That it’s a long way down.”

She laughed, tension seeping around the edges of the sound. “I hope you’re not thinking of jumping to get away from me.”

I turned to look at her, deliberately running my eyes up and down her body. “No, I’m not thinking that.”

Her lips parted in a small gasp.

I took the glass out of her hand and placed it on the table with mine.

Belinda. Her name was Belinda.

“What do you like, Belinda?”

“Um, I…”

“You can tell me,” I said, as if we were sharing a secret. “Do you want me to touch you slowly?” I drifted my fingers down her arm, stroking her skin. “Or do you want me to take you hard?” I gripped her wrist in one hand and tipped her chin up with the other, so she was forced to look at me.

I saw her moisten her lips and swallow.

“Hard,” she whispered.

Yeah, that’s what I’d guessed. You learned to read people—women—in this job.

She licked her lips again and tottered forward, her balance becoming uneven with an alchemy of alcohol and lust.

“Do you want me to take you at the window, baby? Press your beautiful breasts against the cold glass while I fuck you. Anyone looking up would know what a bad, bad girl you are. Anyone could see.”

She choked on a laugh and I could tell she was considering it. My guess was she’d go for the bed. Older women usually did.


Have you ever wondered what money smells like? I mean real money. Not just a lot of money, but vats of money, swimming pools of money, whole oceans of money. It smells of sweat and sex, wrapped in silk.

That’s the scent that filled my lungs walking into the Casino de Monte Carlo.

The building was bathed in bright yellow lights, turning the white stucco into a shimmering facade. A marble fountain seemed to pour molten gold into the piscina at its base.

And the women. My God, the women. Birds of Paradise in gowns of every color, shade, texture and tone. You noticed the dresses first—the faces above were all the same—rich, privileged, aware.

“By the way, Emma, what’s it for?”


“The fundraiser. Which charity is it for?”

“Christ! I don’t know!” she said, distracted by a blonde woman in skyscraper Laboutins. “Whales or tuna or goldfish or something! Who cares?”

I kept my mouth shut.

At the door, we were greeted by a well dressed staff member who knew both our names, and handed us each a $50,000 casino chip.

Fifty-thousand dollars!

Emma smiled, watching with vulpine amusement as I tried to cover up my astonished reaction.

“Enjoy!” she said, stroking my ass. “If you’re a good boy, there’ll be more where that came from.”

It must have been obvious who and what I was. I wouldn’t say I was oblivious to the barely hidden contempt from those who saw us together, but I’d learned to ignore it. The burn was a little less.


She opened the door and hesitated, her eyes alight with humor, lust and something darker.

“I want two orgasms,” she stated, matter of fact, “or I want my money back. And I have to tell you—I am not multi-orgasmic.”

She folded her arms.

“You sure about that?”


I leaned against the doorpost. “Guess I’m going home then.”

Her face fell, and I couldn’t help smiling.

“You are such a tease!” she snorted.

I closed the door behind me. “That’s the idea.”

“You have one hour,” she insisted.

“Are you timing me?” I joked.

“Um, no, it’s all I can afford,” she muttered, fiddling with her purse.

I immediately felt like shit, and she must have seen it because she shrugged apologetically.

“One hour,” I said. “Time me.”

At that point I didn’t really care whether she got her money back or not. I’d already earned half of $1600 for the evening so I had nothing to lose. And she’d issued a challenge.

I shrugged out of my jacket, draping it over the back of a chair. Slowly, I bent down to untie my shoes and pull off my socks. I caught her eye as I glanced up.

“Did you want me to leave my socks on?”

“Um, no!” Then she realized I was teasing her again. “Hallen!”

“Anything else I should know about your preferences? You know, apart from your sock fetish?”

Her laugh turned into a breathy sigh as I walked toward her.

“That’s a pretty dress, Audrey. I think it should come off—it would be a shame to spoil it.”



I started writing contemporary romance two years ago. Before that, I didn’t think I could write a sex scene. Turns out I can!

My lucky number is 13 because I was born on the 13th and live near a haunted castle by the ocean. My number one past-time is watching hot surfers get changed into (and out of) their wetsuits.

My husband doesn’t read my books. My mother does.

Writing is my love, my hobby, my total addiction. All my characters are important to me and whisper their stories, even when I’ve finished writing their books. That’s why you’ll often find bonus chapters/out-takes from various books, because those voices just won’t be quiet.

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Review by Book Worms --
marilyn a Book Worms Reviewer

by Jane Harvey-Berrick
***** 5 STARS *****

To Start this review has been somewhat difficult to write as I do not want to give any of the story line away so here we go. I LOVED THIS BOOK! I gave it 5 STARS and would have given it more if that were possible.

AT YOUR BECK AND CALL is not your "A typical" story. Not at all. And no it is not your everyday HEA (happy ever after) story where boy meet girl and they ride off into the sunset to live happily ever after. No not at all. What it is, is a very provocative story that follows a young man's life journey from when he enters college up through his 30th birthday. It delves into the life of a male escort, a very high price male escort, who is at the beck and call of some very wealthy woman. It covers a time span of about 8 years and it is gritty, it is raw and shows the realistic edge of what an escorts life is and the devastation it can cause.. It was enlightening, it was very touching at times and very upsetting at other times.

AT YOUR BECK AND CALL is written in the male POV (point of view) for 90% of the book. You will get a taste of Laura's POV but that comes later in the story line. 

There are actually three main characters to this story and they are:
Hallen Jansen - Who thanks to his father's Swedish heritage has exceptional good looks. He is tall, well built and with his blonde hair and blue eyes has no problem attracting the opposite sex. His good looks along with his dynamic personality, his air of confidence and sexual magnetism has taken him far in the high stakes world of escort services - Very far. He has mastered his profession "job" and he does it well. His only true passion in life is fine arts, which he studied at UCLA, and he de-stresses and shuts the world out when he is painting. His life is perfect with no commitments, no attachments, no kiss and tell. He has the money, the fancy cars, his beach house and his art.
Then we have:
Eloise - Who enters the story one fine day while Jansen is tending bar. She strikes up a conversation with Hallen and before he knows it he has agreed to attend a function with Eloise's daughter. Hence, he makes his first $500 as her daughters escort for the night. She takes him under her wing, grooms and trains him in the finer skills of pleasing older women and the escort business begins. Eloise is somewhat of a mother figure to Hallen and even though she is his "pimp" she does care about him and tires to do her best by him. 
And last but not least we have:
Laura - who enters the picture as a 48 yr old, recent divorcee with two grown children. Her ex's verbal abuse and cheating ways has left her with trust issues and low self esteem. She has moved back to LA and Eloise sets her up with the one and only Hallen to attend an art showing. She is a intelligent woman who loves art and wants to start living her life again. She finds herself with an immediate attraction to this young man who is her junior by 20 yrs. But her strong reservations towards his age and her lack of trust has her questioning his every word or actions.

OK so now you know a little about the three main players in the game here we go ---

So like I said it is written in the male POV and it is almost as if you are reading pages from his journal. (Really loved that aspect) He relates tales of his early days of college, of porno stardom, of his failed try of a relationship and he even delves into his client database. He talks of his childhood, his mother, his one male friend, of Eloise and of Laura. 

Now's where I have to be careful as to not give anything away. There are some rocky times and struggles throughout with Hallen's years of humiliation, low self confidence, male "whore" derogation, just to name a few. He ridicules himself and debates giving up his life choice now that he is getting older. When Laura comes into play the story takes on a whole new life and we now enter the awkwardness of Hallen's life, the life changing choice that they both have and must make and how Hallen must learn to cope in Laura's world.

With all that said - It is a beautiful raw story that touches on many topics. The major ones being how lost souls learn to accept the past for what it is, forgiveness of others and yourself, learning to open up and trust again, and realizing not everything is life is as it seems and that it is OK to dream. And that maybe, just maybe you too can find happiness one day.

The author, Jane Harvey-Berrick , did an outstanding job in portraying all the players in this book and the way she developed the story lines way like none other. Every aspect of this book was exquisitely written, especially the romance scenes between Laura and Hallen. I cried, I laughed, my heart bled for Hallen. I hated Laura, I wanted to hug Laura. I championed for their love to mess together. I cried some more and I then I smiled. Damn I loved this story. 

Now it is not a short read and not one you want to breeze though. it is a story that you need to take the time to read as it is a love story like none other.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

1 comment:

  1. Great review and great choice in excerpts!!! I'm still recovering from an epic book hungover here and as good reviews as yours make me feel like rereading Hallen's story like now.