Off by Carly Oberon

Heat Level 3
SKU 978-0-3695-0669-6

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Off-On Duet, 1

Maysea Heston is a young, intelligent, highly trained ER nurse who willingly devotes long hours caring for others. Sea’s off hours are filled with mindless distractions—movies, cigarettes, beer, naps—salves that reset her energy for the next round of tending. After a severe bout of flu, she agrees to rest at her supervisor’s oceanside timeshare.

She never makes her flight. She's taken.

Waking in an unfamiliar bed with an unfamiliar man seated across from her, Sea quickly realizes she is a captive whose life depends on the mindset of this stranger insistent on calling her Baby. Baby? Who is this man? Why did he pick her? As she plans her escape, Sea’s constricted world expands into one of survival, instinct, and psychological strategy. Little does she know how this obsessive, delusional, and insanely handsome man will come to nourish the vibrant, sexual sides of her she never knew existed.

Be Warned: cliffhanger ending



When I awoke, I told myself to open my eyes all the way, but the physical process wasn’t that automatic. I still felt groggy, discombobulated, and my body failed to cooperate at first.

But I didn’t need wide-awake, alert eyes to sense something was in the room with me like I heard people describe a million times on Paranormal State. They were right. It was creepy.

Lurking in the darkness, the palpable presence stayed hidden, undefined, gripping my gut with roiling unease. A hovering mass of something neither benign nor malignant. Just there.

Raising my head a fraction from a mound of soft pillows on an eerily unfamiliar bed, I squinted at a blur of contorted geometric shapes suffusing the room while my eyes slowly adjusted to what little light there was. I rubbed my sockets hard until mini suns appeared, hoping to accelerate the visual acuity process. I needed to understand what was happening. Right this second.

When my eyes cleared, I spotted the strange presence I felt all along. At the same time, my body snapped into high gear against a thick, unforgiving, multi-slatted headboard. It stung instantly, but I remained quiet. Stoic behavior was firmly entrenched in my long-term repertoire.

In the far corner of the room, a male figure cast in gray silhouette sat voiceless and still. His chin rested atop long, steepled fingers like he was contemplating the very origins of life itself. Or just trying to figure out the situation every bit as much as I was.

He obviously wasn’t a ghost, but I couldn’t make out his features in the surrounding murkiness other than he seemed extraordinarily tall. Even sitting in a large chair, he towered over it.

As wave after wave of adrenaline flooded my system, my fingernails sliced into skin to center a fear I never experienced in nearly three decades of life. Bits and pieces of something off were buzzing through my head like a droning cardiac monitor in flatline mode.

Walking through the airport, freshening up in a lounge, sliding into nothingness. Now here. In an unfamiliar bed, in an unfamiliar room, with an unfamiliar man.

“I … I’m sorry. What’s going on? Where am I?” The garbled words slipped from my mouth in a tangled mess of confusion and manners so ingrained by my parents I couldn’t even swear yet.

He shifted a little but said nothing.

Swallowing hard, I stared back at him, unable to blink for fear of missing something while crushing levels of uncertainty immobilized my body on the bed.

Good god, he was huge. By paired association that happened to me often as a person who lived a lot of downtime through cinema, a freakish image of the giant King Xerxes fluttered through my head. I always hated when that character appeared looming lethally over 300 doomed but fearless Spartans. Monstrous.

While the massive form reigning before me kept his silent vigil, I tried to take a few deep breaths but couldn’t find the right amount of air to replenish my lungs. So I settled for a series of shallow puffs. But slow ones. I didn’t want to hyperventilate and pass out. I could not pass out.

“I’m glad you’re finally awake, baby,” a voice from the chair murmured so faintly I wasn’t sure I heard that last word correctly.

But when my body cringed in response, I knew I had. He called me baby. Baby? What the hell? Swearing suddenly got a lot easier.

Considering I had no idea who this man was, the word baby didn’t bode well. But I supposed it was better than some alternatives. At least I wasn’t buried alive in a crate with a single flashlight and a few bare-knuckle martial arts skills to break free from dense wood and several feet of freshly packed topsoil. Early on, I learned everything was relative. The concept was an essential component in my life alongside nursing, film, medical breakthroughs, and a few interesting TV shows. I practically lived on those alone. Apart from food, sleep, and oxygen.

I needed to breathe.

I inhaled more deeply this time and tried my questions again because I figured he wasn’t going to shoot me in the chest and leave me in a mismarked grave in the middle of nowhere. That kind of thing only happened in the movies. Right?

“What’s going on? Where am I?” I tried to speak louder, but my voice stuck in my parched throat as an influx of dry air and reality started to drain the saliva from my mouth. I had to cough a little just to get those words out.

I should’ve kept my mouth shut. He rose to full height, placed a glass of water on the nightstand next to me, and then sat on the edge of the bed, very close. Too close. Impossibly, he seemed ten times bigger.

Instead of quenching my thirst, I instinctively cowered away from his hulk-like frame. But he stopped my movement with a firm hand on my shoulder that made my skin crawl. The sixth sense of the autonomic nervous system was forcing my body to attention.

Four reasons kept panic at bay. First, I wasn’t tied up. Second, I was still in my own clothes. Third, there was no physical pain. Fourth, as an ER nurse, I had plenty of practice staying calm in the face of adversity. Understand the situation then react accordingly. Don’t escalate anything to a place it didn’t need to go. Ever. The reality of my predicament wasn’t clear to me yet. For all I knew or hoped, he could have saved me from something … worse.

“You’re finally here with me, baby, a miracle,” he said with an odd edge of wonder in his voice. Given the circumstances, his words and tone were conspicuously off. So much so, they made my insides cringe right down to the marrow.

A miracle I was here with him? Did I hear him right?


Product Reviews

Score: 5 out of 5 (based on 27 ratings)
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So far.. So, good..
Written by SipsTea on 1st Dec 2022

This is the first time I am reading this author.. and I'm pretty impressed. Be warned, this book does end in a cliffhanger. The plot was interesting... it's suspenseful and pretty much grabs from the get go... I couldn't stop reading as it keeps you guessing guessing. It’s intense and dark, intriguingly twisted... at the sometime, exciting and complex. I cannot wait to read the next part.. but, as of now.. its really good. I received a free copy of this book via Evernight and am voluntarily leaving a review.

Mind The Cliff!
Written by Ali D. on 1st Dec 2022

The FMC wakes up to the unknown MC and this is where the mystery, and twisted romance takes off (pun intended

Very well written story!
Written by Neverpatsy on 17th Nov 2022

I wasn't sure what the twist would be in this story and was nicely surprised. The progression to the next book allows the strengths of the main character to impact the storyline in a very well paced manner that is quite believable. How to impact, without shattering, another's soul and raison d'être. Mistaken identity at the next level!

★ Seductive and suspenseful first reel of a story - “Mercy Mercy Me.” ★
Written by SBee Reviews on 11th Oct 2022

—>>> “This is the intimacy of us, the heart and soul of our life, one,” he whispered in my ear. “I’ll never lose it again.” Lord help me. What had I done?” Baby/Sea and Del have a journey both in their hearts as well as their minds ahead of them in this first book, OFF. I was swept away by this seductive and suspenseful romance and am excited to see how they will navigate the rest of the path back towards each other in ON, when the fog continues lifting. Thoroughly enjoyed the analyzing and psychological strategizing as she deals with her situation.

Suspenseful Cliffhanger
Written by Samkat on 23rd Sep 2022

Maysea wakes up in an unknown place with an unknown man who thinks he knows her. She isolated with this stranger and has to figure out how to get out of this situation, if that's what she really wants. This was a mysterious, suspenseful, twisted romance that keeps you intrigued all the way to the cliffhanger ending. This next book should be very interesting and I hope it will answer all the mysteries of book one.

Good Book
Written by Jeanne Richardson on 23rd Sep 2022

This is the first book I've read written by Carly Oberon; I can’t wait to read more of her books. This is the first book in the Off-On Duet Series; it ends in a cliffhanger. The story continues in the next book and needs to be read in order. I received a free copy of this book via booksprout and I’m voluntarily leaving a review.

Who is this man?
Written by Maleficent on 23rd Sep 2022

Marsea is an ER nurse that works long hours for the care of others. She really neglects her self at times. When she gets a bout of the flu, she agrees to rest at her boss's time share. She is abducted before she makes it to her flight and wakes up in an unfamiliar place and with a man she does not know watching her. The man is handsome, but you do not know if he really knows her or if he is crazy. You learn more thru the book but look out for the cliffhanger, cannot wait for the second half.

Great story!!
Written by Wendy Livingstone on 23rd Sep 2022

This is the 1st part in a duet, and what an amazing beginning this story is. Maysea / Sea is a highly trained ER nurse, who dedicated long hours to others, and often forgets about herself. When Sea suffers from a severe bout of flu, she agrees to go to her supervisor’s timeshare to recover. Sea never makes the flight and is held captive by a man she does not know. Del is handsome, obsessive, and delusional, or is he? Who is Del and what is their connection? This is a well written story which is dark, raw, gritty, intense, and intriguing, with survival, twists, and emotions, which leads to a steamy and compelling page turner. This story ends in a cliffhanger, and I look forward to getting some questions answered in the next novel. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

Written by TracyaH1976 on 23rd Sep 2022

Off Book 1 of Off-On Duet Carly Oberon Cliffhanger! The story and characters are suspenseful and engaging. I enjoyed the story. It is dark and twisty filled with action, drama and intrigue. I will be reading part two.

What an incredible psychological thriller.
Written by Belle A. on 23rd Sep 2022

I was blown away by how wonderful this book is. I already enjoy psychology and abnormal psychology in particular, which is the area that deals with issues like schizophrenia and delusional disorders. I love that this book is all about how Sea can figure her way out while still maintaining the image of acceptance and cooperation so Del doesn’t become dangerous to handle. This book is without a doubt one of my new favorite stories ever! I can’t wait for the next one!

Very good!
Written by Flavia Karina on 13th Sep 2022

This is a duet so the cliffhanger was expected... I really liked the plot and all the question marks, it's a very good start and I can't wait for the next book.

This book kept me guessing the whole time
Written by JudyCh on 13th Sep 2022

This book was so really hard for me to follow but I mean that in a good way. Sea was taken by a handsome stranger who keeps calling her babe and the whole book you are trying to determine if he is having a psychotic breakdown but she is attracted to him and at the end you think you might have the answers but I was more confused because she finally finds out the name of the girl he thinks she is and she recognizes the name and then the book ends, this is a great thriller for someone who has great imagination.

Crazy and exciting read!
Written by Ash J on 13th Sep 2022

I loved this story. Sea falling in love with her kidnapper was only the beginning. I thought Del was crazy, then I thought Sea actually had amnesia and couldn't remember him, but did know him formally. After this ending, I don't know what to think. This book was so good. It was steamy, exciting, and I am absolutely going to read the next book as soon as it comes out because I need to know what happens. Great story!

A fantastic read
Written by dachief72 on 13th Sep 2022

A fantastic, riveting read. Deliciously dark and dangerous, not for the fainthearted. Well written, with beautifully crafted characters. This is part one of a duet and does end on a cliffhanger. Cannot wait for the next book.

Written by Amy Ferber on 13th Sep 2022

I cannot even fathom the idea of living with someone who is in a different delusional dimension than you. Del? Sea? These two are, so, I don't know, caring, crazy, tied together in the wildest of ways. I don't want to give anything away, but dayam, I need to find out what happens next.

Wasn’t expecting the Cliffhanger
Written by SS1234 on 13th Sep 2022

This is the first time I am reading this author and I went in blindly without any expectations. The plot was definitely intriguing , suspenseful and quite interesting it kept me guessing and hooks you into the plot and the story. It’s dark , twisted and so much going on and darn the cliffhanger. I wasn’t expecting a cliffhanger. I really hope we will get all the answers to the burning questions we have in our mind while reading this book.

Written by Mary on 13th Sep 2022

What a cliff hanger! This is not completely what I had anticipated but it was enthralling none the less. The story is dark and steamy with twists and turns you don't see coming. The end leaves you wondering what the heck is going on. Del seems a touch on the disturbed side and I don't know what to think about his captor. I am definitely looking forward to seeing how this story unfolds.

Where Are The Headed
Written by De'Anna on 13th Sep 2022

This is the first book in the Off-On Duet let me start off by saying I HATE CLIFFHANGERS!!!!!! Okay now I feel better now that I have gotten that out of the way although I will way if you read the prologue you won’t stop in fact you will find yourself turning the page just to see where it all leads. I mean crazy meets crazy so to speak in the best way possible if you throw in the three D’s as I call them, and you get dark, delicious, and dirty in this one here which can be read in under an hour or so, but boy does it suck you in and get you all caught up along the way. Maysea (Sea) intelligent an ER nurse who doesn’t really think about herself too much, overworked caring for everyone but herself so when she gets sick offered a little rest time in a timeshare it seems like the perfect getaway, or it would have been had she made it to her destination. Del sexy as all get out a little on the insane side but sexy decides to take his obsession why her well we don’t know just yet but what he will do is show her that there is more to life than what she has been living when all along her plan is to escape go back to what she calls her normal but there are so many questions like do she really want to go back to her normal considering he has awaken something she didn’t even know existed within her, will she ever get away from him, is he as crazy as he portrays or is there more to him, why does he call her baby what is the significance of the name baby, he showed her that she really is a queen just by the way he treated her but where are they headed?

Good Psychological Romance Thriller
Written by Red18 on 9th Sep 2022

This book was not what I was expecting in a good way!! There were so many unexpected twists and turns in the story. I love when I can’t guess what will happen next. There is a little too much internal dialogue with Sea. I would have liked there to be more speaking dialogue between Sea and Del. Too bad we couldn’t have had a glimpse into Del’s thoughts it would have been interesting. Their chemistry is off the charts!

Written by A. Adams on 9th Sep 2022

This book is about a nurse named Sea. Sea is taking a much needed vacation when she feels a needle pick and doesn't remember anything else. Sea wakes up with a man she doesn't know. This man calls her Baby and she calls him Del because she thinks him delusional. It's clear Del thinks he knows Baby but Baby doesn't know Del. Baby plays along though. Baby plans on trying to get away although she is very isolated. Somewhere along the way her plans and feelings change. The book ends on a major cliff hanger. Baby never even knew the man's "real" name.

Written by Krubel48 on 6th Sep 2022

This book gets your feelings and emotions for sure. This book has dark, twisted, suspenseful, thriller, and romance but it takes time to get there. I already see these hot characters to grab Sea but it gets me going to want to know what is going to happen with this lovely couple that was introduced. To me, this guy reminds me of a kidnapper serial killer just the way I read him by but I still am interested to see where this will go and what else will be there in the next installment! Overall, liked it!

Keeps You Guessing!
Written by Booklvr891 on 6th Sep 2022

This book is good it keeps you guessing. Who is he? Does he really know her and she just forgot? Is he crazy? The cliff hanger caught me at the end! Can't wait for the next book to figure out the mystery!!

Great read
Written by PHOENIX96 on 6th Sep 2022

When Sea heads of for a well earned rest for once in her busy life, she gets kidnapped by Del, he calls her Baby and turns her world upside-down! This boo kinds on a cliffhanger. With steamy twisting scenes, desires, emotions and more I can't wait for book 2!

Holy dark romance to die for!!
Written by Sarah ES on 31st Aug 2022

All I can say is wow!! The only thing I did not like about this book was the cliffhanger at the end. I cannot wait for the next installment in the series. This book had it all. It was longer than I expected from the description, but the length was very appropriate and appreciated due to the in depth descriptions of characters and the world they lived in!! Without such in depth details of the scenes in the book and what was on Baby/Sea’s mind I don’t think I would have enjoyed the book as much. It was very dark and erotic, but in the best way possible. I couldn’t put this book down as it ensnared me right from the prologue. I kept waiting for the e other shoe to drop as far as Del’s state of mind, but instead I kind of fell in love with the way he treated Baby/Sea!! He cherished her and treated her like a queen, and even though he had kidnapped her the way he treated her did not make it feel like a bad thing. Desperately waiting on book 2!! Thank you Carly Oberon.

gripping story
Written by Di Ketchup on 31st Aug 2022

High intensity, high heat. These two are explosive. Couldn’t put this book down. If you can get pass the triggers in this book you won’t regret reading it. I will for sure read the sequel.

Impossible to put down!!
Written by Samantha Zilman on 21st Aug 2022

I could not put this book down! It was instantly captivating from the prologue and did not disappoint at all. The story was so well written. It kept me guessing and completely enthralled. Sea’s roller coaster of emotions were my own; Her confusion, fear, pleasure, all of it. If youre looking for a tantalizing, thrilling, and heart wrenching erotic story this is a great one. This book had everything I could hope for in a dark romance without pushing me too far out of my comfort zone. I can’t wait for book two to drop. I’m going to be dreaming of Sea and Del until I can read the next part of their story.

Written by Debs48 on 18th Aug 2022

Wow this story was confusing all the way for character he called baby that he had taken she had no idea why or who he was So much in this book that I had to keep reading and didn’t stop it was gripping thrilling and hot seductive blast sex but what a cliffhanger that’s the only thing I hate I love and ending lol