Title: The Rental
Series: The Rental (book #1)
Author: Rebecca Berto
Genre: Erotic Romance
Release Date: September 22, 2014
At first, Rick Delaney watched Vee Wyland with the hungry eyes of a fox as if she were a rabbit
... his rabbit. But one day, he slunk away without notice.
Months away from graduating high school, Vee’s life is on the verge of crumbling. At home,
dire finances and long hours test her family. Her boyfriend hardly pays attention to her. And she
can’t shake her feelings for his older brother, Rick.
Then, all in one night, tragedy tears her teetering life into shreds.
When Rick and Vee reunite, the sparks fly. However, she unwittingly signs away a future for
both of them. In his world, a place called The Rental, she becomes Victoria and Rick becomes
Rhett. One part of her watches with fascination, while the other unfurls and embraces her sexual
awakening. It began as a game, but the consequences are real.
Following their heart’s desire is forbidden, but walking away could strip their hope for a future.
The Rental is an erotic romance that explores how sex isn’t purely physical; sometimes, it’s a gateway to your soul.
At the entry, I met Rick. Looking up, I took in his clean-shaven jawline;
crisp, fitted shirt; sleeves rolled at his elbows. How could the guy be more
gorgeous every time I saw him? I glanced down at his black jeans and
leather-tapered shoes. Holy shit.
I let out a breath and tried smiling at his face, but I couldn’t hold the
intense gaze of his for more than a split second, so I looked down to my
boots. I slid past him, and déjà vu slammed into my chest.
Not ready for a laundry encounter like last week, I took a cup and focused
on steadying my trembles as I reached for the tap. I dared to look at him and
he was fixated on my fingers. Not a moment later, his big hands engulfed
mine. My trembles disappeared at his touch.
Rick had a presence around people, but around me, his gravitational pull
was overwhelming. And right now, it scared me—wanting to run away, yet
also wanting to fall deeper into this moment.
I was with Justin.
Justin was Rick’s brother.
“You okay?” He looked into my eyes and felt my forehead with the back of
his hand. “You’re burning.”
I blushed and looked away to hurry some ice into my cup. “It’s damn hot
in that garage. It’s crazy.”
“Ah.” He paused for so long that I felt the air thicken in my throat as I
swallowed. “It is. But you’re okay?”
Was I? The right answer was yes, but I sure as hell didn’t feel that way.
He was my whirlwind, and he’d swept into my world with all-encompassing
force, spinning me again and again with our meetings. The hairs on my skin
stood on end. “Oh, totally,” I said lightly. “Go on and enjoy your party.”
He remained and looked at me. The corner of his lips turned up, but it felt
forced and weighed down by the other downturned corner. His eyes, once
warm, were now dreary. Even his body seemed to be slumping.
He turned, but caught himself on the door and smiled. “I am. Trust me,
I am.” Like that, he flipped his mood. I didn’t know what caused it or why.
Maybe Justin’s whacky behaviour had plagued Rick all week too, and my
mention of ‘enjoying’ himself reminded him of that.
“You staying past midnight?”
“Yeah. I mean, maybe, maybe not. Might just leave a tip for your show. I
heard they’re all putting in.”
“You want to see the show, Vee?”
I shuddered hearing him say my name. Damn it, the guy’s voice was
smooth, yet coarse enough to rough up my insides. I smiled, confident. I
wasn’t going to let my stupid drunken head get the better of me. And stuff the
water! I was going to grab another Cruiser. I dumped the water and ice down
the drain, grabbed a bottle from a pack, and stepped between Rick’s body
and the nearby bench.
“Yeah,” I said. “I wanna see it.”
“Before you go ...”
I halted, holding my breath, and the sensation of the icy bottle slipped
away. I let my eyes roam, and drank him in the way I intended to with my
drink. Passionate, private, and poisoning me to sweet surrender.
No touching anywhere wrong. No acting out. No worries.
He opened his mouth to speak, but it hung there, gaping. Rather than
exude sexual vibes, it had flipped back to distraught, and it made him look like
a big boy. A fragile boy. Like I had to hold him together.
He seemed broken and sad underneath, except as the birthday boy, he
wore a cool smile and held his shoulders high—a facade to the rest of the
world. Only here, Rick and I were in our own world, one where no barriers
existed. Beneath skin deep, I felt the darkness occupying him.
“Birthday hug?” he asked and I answered, “Yes,” at the same time from
his previous question.
He leant over me. I watched it in slow motion and my stomach swirled
with anticipation. His arm brushed my shoulder and he flicked the laundry
door shut. The space was technically the same size, but the room had
shrunken. I tilted my head down and inhaled, my nose near his collarbone.
My nerves spurred me on while my thoughts screamed at me to stop making
a fool of myself. The spice smelt of cologne, but mostly the freshness of
frangipani-scented laundry detergent. It was sweet enough I wished I could
cuddle up and drift away with it.
Somehow, that whole minute in my head must have only taken a second
or two. Rick stepped the other way and yanked down the cord to cover the
door window, a view leading to the backyard.
When the blind fell, it was done. The room was closed off. We were
alone. For what? This ‘birthday hug?’
I wanted him. Alone. Unseen. But I had no desire to cheat.
He captured me inside his space, his arms around my waist like butterfly
wings. My body melted as if he was my heat source and I moulded my chin
to the crook of his neck. My hands connected with his chest, feeling his life
source beating madly beneath me. I quaked at the touch. Hands gliding, I
felt around his contours, up his back until I run out of muscle, then linked my
hands over each other and flattened them.
He hummed. Not a moan, nor a plea of pleasure. And it thrilled a spot
inside me. Where I was a puzzle piece before—incomplete and in search—
our reunion connected it. I had been lonelier than I was aware. My boyfriend
hadn’t been there for me for weeks now. He’d been there, oh, yes, how he’d
been here, there, and everywhere, but not around me.
Supported by Rick, I felt like a blossoming seed—I’d attached to solid
ground and now I was growing with life. I couldn’t recite Rick’s middle name
or his favourite dessert, but I could feel his heart against my chest. I could feel
the thrum and beat of our bodies in sync. Could feel the residual emotion and
heat we’d once had—unsaid and assumed—coming together as one.
Rick parted and hooked my chin in his big, yet soft grasp. His dark eyes
held mine, and I couldn’t tear them away. Softly, he said, “Sorry. I mean,
I’m not sorry for you, but I am for everything else. So thanks. Thanks for
everything when you didn’t have to do anything.” I couldn’t quite focus on his
words, as if I was waiting for the punch line to bring it all together, but I felt the
emotion behind his voice.
“Thanks,” I said. I didn’t know why I said it back, but it felt right, like the
inherent knowledge that simmered to the surface when getting back on a
bicycle. There the whole time—understood by the body, even if not by the
Reality sunk on me then, reeling me in. I blinked. Party, blinds, door. Us
alone. I yanked the blind up, and Rick turned the doorknob, releasing our
“Sorry for acting strange,” he admitted. “Like you said, it’s pretty crazy in
there and I needed ... I needed a break. I’m drunk. I’m ... going.” He gave me
a parting smile, and it wrapped around my skin, now full of goosebumps in the
wake of his departure.
Goodreads signed paperback giveaway:
(Read the first 3 chapters on Wattpad (free, no sign up required):
When I wrote The Rental, the characters came to me like ready-formed people with memories,
wants, and feelings. I wasn’t ready to move onto the sequel without more. And so was borne the
short prequel: The Masquerade.
This little story, although set years before the kinkiness of the place called The Rental still
explores the same topics: love, pain, and sexuality. The tricky part was deciding how to handle
a sensitive issue: my main girl is still fifteen when this prequel begins, and my male lead has just
turned nineteen. Although nothing illegal occurs between them sexually, I wanted to keep the
heat level that the series is about. In the end, I love how I straddled the line closely to explore
their relationship and individual wants and needs.
To say the least I am bursting with excitement to share this story with you. I hope you are
excited too! It’s going to be a free download, too—yay, who doesn’t love a freebie—so you
can start this series at absolutely no risk (well, except for the hazard of your panties melting).
And better yet, you can read this prequel before or after The Rental as there are no spoilers. It’s
coming in September just before The Rental goes live on the 22nd
Love and hugs,
Title: The Masquerade: a prequel short to The Rental
Series: The Rental (book #0.5)
Author: Rebecca Berto
Genre: New Adult Romance
Length: 30-35 pages (will be a FREE download)
Release Date: September 2014
Nineteen-year-old Rick Delaney is at a masquerade party when temptation dangles in front of
his eyes in the form of fifteen-year-old Vee Wyland. Not only is she too young for him, but
she’s too pure to taint with his wild ways and—worst of all—the crush of his reckless younger
Beneath their masks burns a fiery hunger for each other; however, it’s a desire they must quell.
Their situations are fraught with risk. But age isn’t the only obstacle. Dark secrets brew between
their ongoing game of masquerades. And it might just spell the end before they get a proper
* This book does not contain underage sex, but it is sexually explicit. It is a short prequel and can be read before or after reading The Rental. *
Rebecca Berto writes stories about love and relationships. She gets a thrill when her readers are
emotional reading her books and gets even more of a kick when they tell her so. She’s strangely
imaginative, spends too much time on her computer, and is certifiably crazy when she works on
Rebecca Berto lives in Melbourne, Australia with her boyfriend and their pets.