Pretty Dead Girls

Read an excerpt from The Perfect Roommate by Minka Kent! You don’t want to miss it!

 

 

 

 

 

She’s my roommate.

I know how she takes her tea, how she organizes her closet.

I know when she goes to bed each night, what she eats for breakfast, the passcode on her phone.

I know she calls her mother on Mondays, takes barre on Thursdays, and meets her friends for drinks on Fridays.

But more important than any of that … I know what she did.

 

It’s a pretty little house with an ugly little address.
47 Magpie Drive.
What should have been an ordinary Sunday kicked off with an eviction notice on my door and ended with my belongings shoved into wrinkled grocery sacks and the neighbor’s stolen WiFi on my computer. With just minutes to spare, I managed to find the perfect place—one that didn’t require credit checks, a huge deposit, or a long lease.
With clammy palms stuck to the peeling steering wheel of my ’97 Civic, I stare through my cracked windshield at an adorable white-washed brick ranch nestled in the heart of a family-friendly neighborhood south of Meyer State’s picturesque campus.
I find it difficult to believe that a college student lives here, but her ad was posted on the Tiger Paw Portal and a quick reverse search of her email address in the student directory revealed her name to be Lauren Wiedenfeld, senior in English Lit.
Just like me.
In fact, I recognized her photo immediately, having taken a good handful of classes with her over the years. Shiny ash blonde hair. Dimpled smile. Crystalline eyes accented by thick, curled lashes. I couldn’t count how many times I’d seen her stare past me like I was invisible.
Just like everyone else.
Sniffing my shirt, I’m relieved to drag the scent of dollar store fabric softener into my lungs. I was in such a hurry on my way out, I wasn’t sure if the clothes I’d grabbed were from the clean basket or not.
I need this girl to like me. If she doesn’t? I’m not sure where I’ll go. Apartments in this town come at a premium, and if it weren’t for the fact that my car needed new tires and a new transmission this winter, I might still be holed up in my studio right now. Un-homeless.
Killing my engine, I shove the keys in my purse and check my reflection in the rearview.
At least I got to shower today. My hair is clean, my teeth are brushed, and my pits are slicked with two layers of store-brand deodorant. Plus, I don’t reek of stale alcohol—which is more than most students around here can say on the weekends.
My hands threaten to tremble as I climb out of my car, and I try not to slam the door—I don’t want to seem careless. The ground wobbles beneath my feet. If I were a super hero, social awkwardness would be my power. My entire life, I’ve struggled to get out of my head, constantly overanalyzing every little word or movement or shift of a gaze. I’ve learned it’s easier to sit back and shut up. I find I don’t make as much of a fool out of myself that way. Quietude has become the law of my land, with silence being my official language.
But I don’t have a choice today.
If I want Lauren to welcome me with open arms as her shiny new roommate, I have to plaster a smile on my face, see her bubbly personality, and raise her one of my own.
After rapping on the front door a moment later, I wait with my arms straight at my sides. Signature awkwardness. My heart knocks in my chest before whooshing in my ears, and warmth blooms in my cheeks.
I haven’t officially met her and already I’m blushing.
Shit.
Inhaling a breath of frosty February air, I soften my expression, loosen my shoulders, and wrap my right hand around the worn leather strap of my purse. I’m not sure if this is what casual and confident looks like, but the sound of the door latch tells me I don’t have another second to try and figure it out.
“You must be Meadow?” I’m not sure what I was expecting, but Lauren is all smiles as she gets the door—as if she’s happy to see me. “Come in!”
The scent of soft gardenia emanates off a flickering boutique candle centered on her glass coffee table, and in the corner, the glow of diffused lamplight paints the room in a welcoming ambience. Her phone is docked on a set of speakers next to her TV, playing the kind of chill music I’d expect to hear in some upscale Manhattan bar.
“Have a seat wherever you’d like,” she says, lowering herself into a rattan chair covered in a faux fur throw. Lauren tucks her mile-long legs beneath her and adjusts her sweatshirt so it hangs just so, revealing a hint of her left shoulder. Her hair is piled on top of her head, and I’m convinced she’s one of only ten people on the planet who can make a messy mane look chic.
Glancing around before I settle in the middle of her gray linen sofa, I have to remind myself to talk. “Love your place. So cute.”
I can do this. I can be friendly even if I have to fake it. People like her don’t understand people like me—the quiet type. They think we’re weird. And no one wants to live with a weirdo.
Lauren’s face lights and she shrugs, almost as if the flattery makes her uncomfortable. “Thanks.”
“Is that your major? Interior design?” No way in hell I’m going to tell her I did a little research on her before I came here.
She shakes her head. “English lit. What about you?”
“Same.” I exhale, sinking into the cushions. She’s easier to talk to than I assumed she’d be. “I think we might have some classes together? I swear I’ve seen you in World Lit.”
Lauren laughs, rolling her eyes. “No kidding? I’m so oblivious most of the time.”
Of course.
That’s why she looked through me all those times …
I’m still not sure if I’m buying this cutesy, friendly shtick of hers because girls like her can be sickeningly fake when they want to be, but I’m willing to give her a shot if she’s willing to take a chance on me.
Besides, it’s not like I have any other options to fall back on.
“People probably think I’m some snob.” She waves her hand, endearing almost. “But I’m just in my own little world most of the time.”
I pride myself on my keen observational skills, something I’ve honed and polished to sheer perfection over the years … but I may have been wrong about this one.
Maybe.
“You thirsty?” Lauren rises from her chair, straightening her shirt and eyeing the doorway to her kitchen. Since she’s already up, I can’t exactly say no. “Fiji water? San Pellegrino? Tea? I’d offer you a glass of wine, but it’s only ten o’clock in the morning.”
I chuckle out of politeness, not because I think she’s funny. “Tap water is fine.”
Her expression falls, as if she’s unable to comprehend that my broke college student taste buds haven’t yet acquired the taste of artisanal water. “Meadow, the lead levels in the water here are off the charts. Haven’t you been following the news? It’s all they’re talking about anymore. And the city’s broke. No plans to do anything about it. I’m telling you, Bonnet Creek is going to be the next Flint, Michigan.”
She disappears around the corner before I get the chance to tell her that between working twenty-four, sometimes thirty hours a week cleaning houses and taking sixteen credits, I don’t exactly have time for late-breaking local news stories.
Lauren returns a moment later, a square bottle of luxury water in one hand and a floral printed paper napkin in the other. She places them before me, like a proper hostess, and I can’t help but wonder if she’ll always be this formal once we live together.
If we live together.
This has to be an act.
People aren’t actually this formal, are they? At least the ones back home, the ones I grew up around, weren’t. I’ve never heard of anyone needing a coaster to go with their bottled water.
Then again, this coffee table looks pricy with its reclaimed wooden legs and crystal-clear glass top.
“Thanks.” I take the water from her, unscrewing the cap and ensuring I don’t so much as spill a drop.
This place is much too nice of a dwelling for a typical Meyer State student. Her family clearly comes from money.
I’ll try not to resent her for that.
“So, tell me about yourself.” Lauren settles into her chair again, resting her elbow on her knee and her chin on her hand, leaning toward me. My Intro to Psychology professor taught us years ago that when someone leans in to you, they’re interested, genuinely interested in what you have to say. “What’s your schedule like? Who’s your ideal roommate? Do you smoke? Throw parties?”
Brows lifted, I let her questions marinate, unsure of where to begin. “Oh. Um. I don’t smoke or drink. I don’t party. So nothing to worry about there. I work. Part-time. And when I’m not working, I’m home. Usually studying. I don’t make a lot of noise. Basically, I’m a clean-freak, studious homebody.”
My cheeks flush and I feel myself growing flustered, but the fact that she isn’t staring at me like I’m some kind of social reject is somewhat reassuring. I suppose I’ve never stopped to examine my uneventful existence, but I’ve always been content to keep to myself.
It’s better if I don’t know what I’m missing out on.
Lauren’s face is lit as I ramble on, like I’m telling her everything she wants to hear.
“Okay, so what do you do for fun?” she asks.
I was hoping I could avoid that question. Pretty sure to someone like Lauren, I’m a shining example of a boring bookworm. Not the kind of person she’d be caught dead with.
“I like to see plays,” I lie. I don’t have money for a theater membership. Not even with the gracious 50% student discount. “And I see movies.”
At the dollar theater. Maybe once every three months.
“Do you ever do Friday After Class at Wellman’s?” she asks. “They have dollar wells from four to six.”
Beer. Pass.
“Sometimes,” I lie. Again.
Lauren sinks back, eyes still glued on me. “That place is always crazy packed. I bet we’ve been there at the same time and never even noticed.”
Taking a sip of water, I nod. “I’m sure.”
My tone echoes hers, something I do when I’m nervous. It’s like second nature, adopting her body language, her intonations, the cadence of her words.
“Where do you work?” she asks.
I push a breath through my nostrils and roll my eyes. “Sparkle Shine Cleaning Co.”
I hate that fucking name.
And the Minion-yellow car I’m forced to drive from client to client, the one that matches the Minion-yellow uniform I’m forced to clothe myself with.
But the pay is decent.
And it sure as hell beats working in food service. Food service means interacting with people all day long, being yelled at by customers when the kitchen screwed up their order or their fork has a water spot on it or I’m not refilling their third glass of Diet Coke fast enough.
No thanks.
“Never heard of it,” Lauren says. “Do you like it?”
What kind of question is that? And what does she expect me to say? That I love scrubbing people’s shit-stained toilets? Don’t even get me started on some of the bathrooms I’ve had the pleasure of bleaching from floor to ceiling. Rich people—or people rich enough to pay someone to clean their house for them—aren’t always as clean as one might expect.
I shrug and offer a tepid smile. “It’s a job. What about you? Do you work?”
Lauren bites her lip and scrunches her face, hesitating for a second. “I don’t.”
Of course not.
“My parents want me to focus on my studies,” she says, as if that makes up for her good fortune. “They said school should be my full-time job, so I get a monthly stipend as long as I keep my grades up. They did the same for my brother. They actually own this house. My brother lived here when he went to Meyer State and my younger sister will live here next year when she’s a freshman. My parents didn’t want to throw money away on rent, I guess. That’s their excuse anyway. If you ask me, I think it’s just a way for them to control their adult children.”
She huffs. I huff.
“Anyway.” Lauren shrugs, studying me, perhaps silently waiting for me to judge her. I keep a poker face.
“So what happened to the roommate before me?” I ask.
“I’ve never had one.”
“Okay. So, why now?”
Exhaling, Lauren says, “So that stipend? It’s based on my GPA. Last semester, I kind of got a little … distracted … and I failed a class. First time in my life. It was a seven AM on the north side of campus on Friday mornings. Anyway. It’s no excuse. I failed it. GPA plunged. Parents were livid. Chopped my stipend in half—essentially barring me from having fun. Their way of punishing their twenty-three-year-old daughter.”
“Oh.” Nice to know I’m scrubbing toilets so she can get wasted with her friends.
This explains everything. The lack of a deposit, the lack of a lease or a background check. She’s desperate for some supplemental income, willing to take in a stranger to maintain her cushy little life.
“Just to let you know … my parents won’t know you’re living here,” she’s quick to add. “And you’ll only be able to stay through May. Maybe July. Depends on how quickly I land a job after graduation. I hope that works?”
So, she likes me.
She’s choosing me.
Just like that.
“That’s perfect actually,” I say. “I’m graduating too. Hoping to get the hell out of here.”
I wear a smile that matches hers and we bask in a moment of mutual understanding for a single, endless second. Our desire to leave Bonnet Creek might be the only thing we have in common, but I’ll take it.
“You want me to show you around?” Lauren rises from her seat and straightens the hem of her top.
Returning my water to its floral napkin resting place, I stand. “Sure.”
Spinning on the ball of her foot, she struts across the small living room, toward a dark hallway. I follow. Flicking on the light, she says, “This house is, like, a million years old. It’s really dark. Windows are small. And your room is on the smaller side, by the way.”
My room.
“I mean, the room you’d be renting,” she clarifies. “If you want it.”
Stopping at the last door, she reaches her hand inside and gets the switch.
Clearly we have different definitions of “small.” This room is easily the size of my last apartment, complete with shiny wood floors, a double bed, a nightstand, dresser, and two curtain-covered windows.
“But you’d get your own bathroom—the hall bath.” Lauren’s words are rushed, as if she’s worried I’m having second thoughts. “I never use it.”
We step inside, and she shows me the closet, which is the smallest thing about this room. But it’s fine. I don’t have a lot.
“What do you think?” Lauren lifts her nails to her mouth, watching for my reaction. “It’s yours if you want it.”
“You sure?” I lift an eyebrow. We’ve known each other all of fifteen minutes, though I suppose living with strangers is kind of the college way.
“Oh my God, are you serious?” She laughs. “You’re everything, Meadow. All that stuff you told me? You’re the perfect roommate. Quiet. Studious. Polite. You’re a rarity in this town, do you know that?”
Yes. Well aware. And she’s kind to say that. I let her earlier words echo in my mind. No one’s ever called me perfect before—in any context.
It feels kind of … amazing.
As much as I try not to, I beam like an appeased idiot, my ego practically purring like a milk-fed kitten.
I know nothing about Lauren Wiedenfeld besides the fact that she treated me like a human being today, which maybe marks the first time in my collegiate history that anyone’s ever tried to have an actual conversation with me about anything, the first time someone’s ever been so engaged and interested.
She’s not the mean girl I expected.
“When do you want to move in?” she asks, bouncing on her toes and clasping her hands across her chest like an excited schoolgirl anticipating a slumber party. Not that I would know anything about that. I didn’t have friends in school. I just saw the way other girls would giggle and jump around Friday afternoons as they talked about the sleepover they’d been planning all week and whose mom was doing the picking up and whose mom was doing the dropping off.
“Is … now … okay?” I ask, exhaling. “My stuff is in my car. I moved out of my apartment a while back, and I’ve been staying at my mom’s, commuting back and forth.”
I have to lie if I want this place.
And I do. I want it so bad.
This house is adorable and clean and it smells like fresh flowers and it’s decorated like a page out of a Serena and Lily catalog. It would be the nicest place I’ve ever lived in. Maybe the nicest place I’ll ever live in.
“Yeah, of course.” If Lauren doesn’t believe me about the commuting thing, she does a good job of hiding it. “You want me to help?”
We head out of the room and down the hall, her messy bun bobbing as she walks, and she reaches up to tighten it—which of course makes it look even better.
“No, it’s fine. I don’t have much,” I say, realizing I sound like someone who’s been living out of their car for God knows how long. “I mean, most of my stuff is back at my mom’s. I didn’t bring any furniture because your ad said the place was furnished.”
I bite my tongue to keep from rambling on and making a mountain out of my mole hill of a lie. I hate lying. It feels unnatural, slimy. And I hate liars.
But desperate times and all of that.
I fully expect karma to bite me in the ass after all the little white lies I’ve told today.
“Right,” Lauren says. “My mother had this place professionally decorated.” She reaches for a magnifying glass resting on top of a curated stack of interior design books on a marble-topped console. The handle is painted navy blue, with little stripes of bone-colored stone. “They went with a California coastal theme,” she continues. “My mom grew up in Orange County. Moved here to Minnesota when she married my dad. I don’t think she ever got used to living in the frozen tundra. You should see their house. Looks like it’s better suited on the beach in Malibu than in some gated neighborhood outside St. Paul.”
Ooh. A “gated” neighborhood. How fancy.
That’s the thing about rich people, they feel the need to insert these little details so casually in conversation, as if you’ve forgotten for a moment that they have money. It’s a crutch, I think. A side effect of their insecurity. And it’s a damn shame, too. Lauren could be that much more likeable if only she didn’t feel the need to word vomit her privileged upbringing into every topic of conversation.
It’s almost as if she’s worried I won’t like her—which is hilarious. No one’s ever cared if I liked them.
“Anyway, I’ll let you get settled,” she says, turning to face me when we reach the end of the hall. “If you need any help with anything, I’ll be in my room.”
I smile and nod. It’s exhausting having to talk this much, having to smirk and laugh and be social and constantly engaged.
But at least it didn’t kill me.
Lauren disappears into her room, leaving the door open a crack. Soft, downtempo music plays a second later, the glow of her expensive, feather-light laptop filling her dark room. The sliver of light is like the tiniest peek into her world, and I must admit I’m curious—though I’m not sure why.
Heading out to my Honda to grab my things, I realize that I’ve parked behind her shiny black Lexus. We’ll have to talk parking spots and particulars later. But for now, I need to focus on getting these bags and bins out of my backseat and into my beautiful new place.
Lugging the first plastic tote in my arms a minute later, I return inside and trek down the hall to my well-appointed guest suite. Dropping it on the center of my bed, the top loosens and falls to the wooden floor with a plastic-y thump. Swiping it off the floor, I catch the hint of a white envelope sticking out from beneath the ruffled bed skirt.
Upon first glance, it appears to be an old bill of some kind, or maybe a credit card offer? The return address is too generic to tell. I place it on top of the chest in the corner with the intention of giving it to Lauren when my gaze falls on the name.
Emily Waterford.
I grab the envelope again, examining the address.
47 Magpie Drive.
And the date on the postage meter sticker.
December 17th of last year.
Only two months ago.
Lauren looked me in the eyes and told me she’d never had a roommate before, that her dire financial situation essentially began this semester.
Did she … lie?
God, I hope not. As hypocritical as it may be, if there’s anything in this world I can’t stand, it’s being lied to. It’s disrespectful, insulting. My tolerance for bullshit and everyday annoyances is higher than most, and keeping my mouth shut when something bothers me is what I do best, but being lied to drives me insane.
It’s like they think I’m stupid. Or unworthy of the truth.
Folding the envelope, I tuck it into my purse. I’m going to have to do some digging as soon as I get settled. But for now, I need to concentrate on not being homeless.

 

 

 

Minka Kent has been crafting stories since before she could scribble her name. With a love of the literary dark and twisted, Minka cut her teeth on Goosebumps and Fear Street, graduated to Stephen King as a teenager, and now counts Gillian Flynn, Chevy Stevens, and Caroline Kepnes amongst her favorite authors and biggest influences. Minka has always been curious about good people who do bad things and loves to explore what happens when larger-than-life characters are placed in fascinating situations.

In her non-writing life, Minka is a thirty-something wife and mother who equally enjoys sunny and rainy days, loves freshly cut hydrangeas, hides behind oversized sunglasses, travels to warmer climates every chance she gets, and bakes sweet treats when the mood strikes (spoiler alert: it’s often).

Want to hear about sales and new releases? Sign up for her non-spammy newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/cwOMSD

 

 

 

Pretty Dead Girls

Read an excerpt from Bethany Lopez’s upcoming release ~ A Touch of Cinnamon!

Today we are sharing an excerpt of A TOUCH OF CINNAMON by Bethany Lopez. A Touch of Cinnamon is the second book in an all-new contemporary romance series, Three Sisters Catering, and it will be released on January 22. Check out the excerpt and buy links for the book below.

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A Touch of Cinnamon by Bethany Lopez

(Three Sisters Catering, #2)
Date of release: 1/22/2018

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Synopsis:

For the past year, Tasha has thrown herself into her catering business with her sisters, but she’s been keeping a secret. The hot, moody owner of Prime Beef is the man she left behind in college…the man she thought she’d never see again. He’s also the only man she’s ever loved.

For the past year, Jericho Smythe has been waging a war with himself. Does he want to know why Natasha broke his heart and left without looking back? Hell yes. But he’s paralyzed by the glimpses he’s gotten of her at Three Sisters Catering and he hasn’t been ready for a confrontation.

Neither of them are content with their lives, but so much has happened since those stolen moments in college. Can the right amount of spice remind them of the love they once shared? A Touch of Cinnamon may be all they need to give Tasha and Jericho back the richness they’ve been lacking.

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EXCERPT:

Someone pounded on the door behind me, causing me to jump and squeal in surprise. I turned to look at the still-closed door, and knew who I’d find on the other side.

Shit.

I wiped my cheeks, put on a brave face, and opened the door.

“Hey,” I managed, even though Jericho stood before me, seething.

I took a step back, then another as he started toward me, slamming the door behind him as he let himself inside.

I tried to back farther away, but he was there, taking me in his arms and lowering his face to mine. I opened my mouth to protest, and that was all the invitation Jericho needed.

It was like coming home, his lips on mine, familiar and oh, so wonderful. I sighed and practically melted against him as he deepened the kiss. My arms went up and around his neck, to steady myself, and to finally feel him. His hair in my fingers, his chest against mine, and his soft, supple lips.

Everything … this was everything. He was everything.

Sweet and sensual quickly turned to unbridled passion as the years apart disappeared and there was only now.

His hands were working on my dress as mine were unbuttoning his shirt, both of us eager to be skin on skin. Everything was on fire, and I worried if I didn’t feel him, touch him, have him right then, I’d burn out.

Hurry,” I said, desperate for him.

“You’re driving me crazy,” Jericho muttered, and then, we were free.


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AUTHOR INFORMATION:

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Award-Winning Author Bethany Lopez began self-publishing in June 2011. She’s a lover of all things romance: books, movies, music, and life, and she incorporates that into the books she writes. When she isn’t reading or writing, she loves spending time with her husband and children, traveling whenever possible. Some of her favorite things are: Kristen Ashley Books, coffee in the morning, and In N Out burgers.

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Pretty Dead Girls

Read an excerpt from Zoe Lee’s A Perfect Fit!

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Are you ready for a sweet small town romance with feels?!
A Perfect Fit by Zoe Lee releases on JANUARY 4th!
Keep reading for an EXCERPT!

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ADD TO YOUR TBR → http://bit.ly/2iu2kPk

Two big hearts, one big messy ride.

Daisy Rhys is trying to sneak away from a wedding reception, when Dunk McCoy—the sexy high school football coach and guy known for a good time—comes to her rescue. He’s sweet, nice and keeps putting his foot in his mouth. Daisy is totally delighted. A quick rescue turns into a full on press of a different kind. Their chemistry is something different than Daisy has ever experienced but it looks like one-night was all that was meant to be.

The next morning, Dunk McCoy wakes up after the best sex dream of his life. But when his friends point out that he’s sporting a hickey, he’s adamant that his Cinderella could be perfect for him. He’s determined to find her, and his laughing, disbelieving friends are only too happy to send him on her trail.

Can he convince her that he wasn’t just trying to score? Or will Dunk’s attempt at true love be benched for good?

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EXCERPT:

She raised the glass and hurriedly swallowed the last of the wine.

Taste like passion fruit and vodka.

“Whoa,” Dunk exhaled, the sensory memories almost overwhelming him, the scents and colors matching the woman in front of him. “Daisy.”

“Y-yeah?” she stammered.

He was aware of her two friends eyeballing him, suspiciously.

He clasped a hand carefully around her elbow and drew her away from her friends, away from the easels and the tables, until they were hidden from view by the Young Adult Bestsellers bookcase.

Her eyes were on the floor.

“Daisy Rhys,” he repeated dumbly.

Because, seriously, how could he have forgotten her? She was beautiful, always had been. He hadn’t known her very well before Jamie and Leda’s engagement, but they’d been in the bridal party—well, her officially, him honorarily—together. She was sweet; she’d cried silently the whole ceremony at the courthouse that day, hours before they’d…

His sharp hips, caught by soft inner thighs, cradled and held tight. Her slim, strong arms wrapped around his neck, tangled up in his tie thrown over one shoulder. Her gigantic doe amber eyes glittering with passion as they’d made love.

“Dunk.”

“Yeah.”

“What?”

“What?”

She gave a low, exasperated sigh. “Why did you bring me over here?”

“You’re my sex Cinderella,” he blurted out.

He cringed at himself, then facepalmed and dragged his hand slowly down his own stupid face.

“What?” she yelped indignantly, crossing her arms.

“Sorry!” he apologized. “Shit. Sorry. This isn’t… I mean, I was looking for you, but I didn’t remember that it was you, which… rude.”

That incoherent crap, miraculously, made her crack a tiny smile. But she was still flustered and confused, and embarrassed. He didn’t mind flustered or confused, but embarrassed, no, that wouldn’t do.

Focus, you moron.

“Okay, sorry.”

“Dunk, just take a timeout for a second,” she suggested, and there was helpless laughter in her voice as she took pity on him.

He blew out a big breath and then met her eyes squarely. “I woke up after Jamie and Leda’s wedding and I thought… that I had had a dream. A great dream. Well, the best dream, really. But then… hickies. I saw hickies.”

“Oh, God,” she whispered, even more embarrassed now.

“No! They were awesome,” he reassured her as quickly as possible. “But. Okay. This next part, it’s not pretty, and I’m really sorry about it. But I didn’t remember it was you, okay. So I started looking. Or, Aden sent me on a… treasure hunt? Well, he and Chase held the guest list hostage?”

She took a second to process that and then ventured, “Like Prince Charming trying to find Cinderella?”

“Exactly!” he exclaimed, relieved that she was getting it.

But then her face went a little pale and then a little pissed off. “So you’ve, what, been tracking down all the single women who were at the wedding and…” Her voice dropped to a furious whisper. “Having sex with them to see if they’re your Cinderella? Your sex Cinderella?”

His eyes widened so much he felt them go dry in terror.

“What the hell? No! What kind of guy do you think I am?”

“Um… the kind of guy who has sex with me at a wedding, forgets who he had sex with, and then gets sent on a treasure hunt by his so-called friends to find her…?”

“Fuck my life,” Dunk whispered, hanging his head.

Then he snapped his face up, fully expecting to get slapped.

But instead, Daisy burst into giggles so loud, he expected all the birds in the trees to burst into song right along with her, just like Cinderella.

“You owe me a steak dinner,” she declared once the giggles fizzled out.

“Pardon me?” he asked, at a total loss.

Her face settled into a stern expression—or, as stern an expression as someone as enchanting and beautiful as Daisy could make—and she raised one finger to poke him in the chest. “You owe me a steak dinner,” she said again. When he just shook his head, still completely confused, she explained, “Sex Cinderella, Duncan McCoy? You owe me an apology. And I’ll accept one in the form of a steak dinner, the most expensive kind of dinner.”

“You want to go to dinner with me.”

He couldn’t even imagine what the hell his face looked like right now.

“Yep,” she chirped.

“Well okay then,” he agreed. “Never let it be said I can’t apologize.”

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About the Author:
Zoe has been writing since she was a little girl, growing up north of Chicago. Since then, she’s lived in Ohio and San Francisco, and now lives near Boulder. She has a job that she loves, but it doesn’t sound exciting to anyone else. She does yoga and takes dance classes when she can. She has a husband, who reads her romances, and an amazing little girl, who is way too young to read what Zoe writes (yet). She’s inspired by her family and friends, books and art, and all of the places she’s traveled.
Connect with Zoe!
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ZoeLeeBooks
Twitter: www.twitter.com/zoelee_books
Pretty Dead Girls

Read an excerpt from Burn For You by J. T. Geissinger!

We’re less than one week away from the release of BURN FOR YOU by J.T. Geissinger, so we’re bringing you a sneak peek! Check out the excerpt below, watch the teaser trailer, and preorder your copy today!

 

About BURN FOR YOU (Slow Burn #1)

Available October 17th

The marriage is fake. But for a sassy chef and an arrogant billionaire, the sparks are real… Jackson “The Beast” Boudreaux is rich, gorgeous, and unbelievably rude to the staff at Chef Bianca Hardwick’s New Orleans restaurant. Bianca would sooner douse herself in hot sauce than cook for Jackson again, but when he asks her to cater his fund-raiser, Bianca can’t refuse, knowing the cash will help pay her mother’s medical bills. Then Jackson makes another outrageous request: Marry me. The unconventional offer includes an enormous sum—money Bianca desperately needs, even if it does come with a contract—and a stunning ring.

The heir to a family bourbon dynasty, Jackson knows the rumors swirling around him. The truth is even darker. Still, he needs a wife to secure his inheritance, and free-spirited, sassy Bianca would play the part beautifully. Soon, though, their simple business deal evolves into an emotional intimacy he’s built walls to avoid.

As the passion heats up between them, Bianca and Jackson struggle to define which feelings are real and which are for show. Is falling for your fake fiancé the best happy ending…or a recipe for disaster?

Add BURN FOR YOU to your Goodreads list here!

Preorder BURN FOR YOU now!

 

Read an excerpt from BURN FOR YOU

This time it was me who froze in shock when our lips came together. It took him several long moments of gentle coercion with his tongue before I finally opened my mouth. When I did, it was on a soft groan that he stole when he inhaled.

He was so big, and warm, and hard everywhere, except for his mouth, which was like cotton candy. I melted into it. He slid his thumb under my ear, and I shivered. His fingers pressed into my scalp. When he sank his teeth gently into my lower lip, lightning flashed through me.

I fisted my hand into the scruff of his neck and pulled him closer.

Suck, slide, nip, repeat, feel your pulse in all the hidden places in your body. This kiss was cashmere. It was luxuriant. It was decadent, unhurried, sweetly delicious, like stretching out on warm sand and drinking a mai tai. His scent was in my nose: pine and musk and something earthy and fresh, the way the woods smell after it rains.

He made that masculine sound deep in his throat that I found weirdly thrilling and pressed his hand into the small of my back. It brought our lower bodies together and provided me with impressive evidence that Jackson Boudreaux was anything but nonsexual.

“Oh,” I breathed.

His laugh was soft and dark. “Yes, oh. Stop talking.”

I couldn’t catch my breath, but it didn’t matter because his lips were on mine again. Little puffs of air through my nose would have to sustain me.

His hand in the small of my back became the iron band of his arm around my waist. My nipples tightened. His heartbeat crashed against my chest. The kiss turned from slow and sweet to hard and hot, first melting me and then lighting me on fire.

He tangled his hand into my hair, pulled the clip loose that held it all in place, and let it fall to the floor. He made that sexy, manly noise again when my hair spilled into his fingers. I fought the urge to press my hips against his, then softly moaned in relief when he did it for me, one big paw cupped under my bottom. Yes, yes, yes, thrummed my heart, aching for more.

He broke away, breathing heavily. My eyes drifted open. He stared down at me with a look like he might devour me.

Good thing I was in the mood to be devoured.

See the BURN FOR YOU teaser trailer:

About J.T. Geissinger

A former headhunter, J.T. Geissinger is the author of more than a dozen novels in contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense.

She is the recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book, the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and is a two-time finalist for the RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America®. Her work has also finaled in the Booksellers’ Best, National Readers’ Choice, and Daphne du Maurier Awards.

Join her Facebook reader’s group, Geissinger’s Gang, to take part in weekly Wine Wednesday live chats and giveaways, find out more information about works in progress, have access to exclusive excerpts and contests, and get advance reader copies of her upcoming releases.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Geissinger’s Gang | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram

Pretty Dead Girls

Read an excerpt from Harper Sloan’s upcoming release ~ Cowboy Up!

 

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Harper Sloan returns with a passionate and breathless romance about the sparks that ignite when a cautious cowboy and a once-scorned woman open up to each other in the third installment of the Coming Home series.

As the eldest Davis, Clayton has always tried to lead by example. He takes his job as head of the family businesses seriously, making sure the farm and auto shop are running smoothly—along with keeping an eye on his brother and sister. For him, there’s a time and place to let go of the control he holds with an iron grip. And with the way he grew up, coupled with a disastrous end to his last relationship, he’s just fine with his quiet, solitary life.

Most of the time.

What he hadn’t counted on was the cute, quirky, shy bookstore owner, Caroline Michaels. She’s the proverbial woman next door—well, the next town over, that is. Caroline hasn’t lived an easy life, but after escaping a verbally abusive ex, she’s finally living it for herself. The last thing she ever expected was a one-night stand with Clay Davis she can’t stop thinking about.

So when she falls on hard times and Clay comes out of nowhere to her rescue, she realizes just how impossible it’ll be to stay away from him. Now all she has to do is convince him to live a little…. Will Clay be able to give up the reins and finally settle down? And, more importantly, will Caroline muster enough courage to lasso him up?

 

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AN EXCERPT FROM COWBOY UP

 

I push my hands from his shoulders and palm his jaw as his stubble prickles against my fingers while my hands wander up to his hair. His hat falls to the ground with a thud and I know he’s just as lost in me as I am in him, because he doesn’t even make a move to pick it up. He lets out a deep grunt when I mold myself against his body, seeking some sort of friction. The next thing I know, my back is against the door and he’s gripping my bottom. His mouth hits my jaw with a bite of his teeth, making a squeak of pleasure shoot up my throat, and his deep rumble of laughter reaches my ears as he presses me harder into the door with his hips. The heavy bulge of his erection against that spot makes me so desperate for him that I whimper in relief when his mouth finally closes over mine in a wet tangle of tongues.

I’ve never been kissed so thoroughly.

This is the kind of kiss that sets the bar for any that might follow.

The kind that shows you everything you’ve been missing and everything you never knew you wanted. I’m going to be comparing every kiss I ever have to my dark cowboy’s, even though I know there’s a good chance no one will ever compare. The sounds coming from my mouth, the ones being swallowed by his, are nothing short of needy. My hips move in tandem with the thrusts of his, and even though we’re both fully clothed, I know it won’t take much more of this for me to go off like the town’s fireworks on the Fourth of July.

“Fuck, you taste just like apple pie,” he whispers against my lips, breaking away with a gasp.

“Huh?”

“Goddamn, I love apple pie,” he says before his mouth is back on mine, this time with a whole new kind of hunger deepening his kisses.

I’m held captive, enraptured. Then his hands move from my bottom to glide up my torso. He lifts his hard chest off mine and suddenly those delicious fingers are at my breasts. Even if I had big boobs his hands would dwarf them, I’m sure, but as it is he covers both with a firm grasp before adjusting his hold with a deft twist of the wrists. His mouth continues to feast on mine while his huge hands learn my body with slow movements. I tear my mouth from his with a breathy moan when he pushes my shirt up and slips his fingers into the cups of my bra to tweak my nipples.

“Oh, God,” I moan when he does it again.

“I can’t get enough of you,” he rumbles.

“Please,” I beg, not with the slightest clue as to what I’m begging for.

His hips dig even harder into mine as he leans back, supporting me against the door with that connection alone as he pulls my shirt off. The darkness makes me feel more confident than I normally would be, almost half naked with a man—no, a stranger.

“Yours too,” I tell him as his fingers move to unclasp my bra. “I want to feel your skin on mine,” I breathe, taking over the task so he’ll hopefully give me what I want.

I fumble in my haste to feel more of this dangerous arousal he’s creating in my body, but the second my bra is free and dangling toward the floor, his naked chest collides against mine, pushing me into the door with a force that sends the air rushing out of my lungs.

His mouth hits my collarbone at the same time his hands grasp my bottom, sliding me up the door until I feel the wet heat of his breath against my breast.

Then he stops.

 

 

 

 

Harper is a NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL and USA TODAY bestselling author residing in Georgia with her husband and three daughters. She has a borderline unhealthy obsession with books, hibachi, tattoos and Game of Thrones. When she isn’t writing you can almost always find her with a book in hand.

Facebook | Website | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

 

 

 

Pretty Dead Girls

Read an excerpt from Nikki Sloane’s upcoming release ~ The Rivalry!

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She won’t be able to resist this TIGHT END.
The Rivalry by Nikki Sloane releases on NOVEMBER 21st!
KEEP READING for an Excerpt!

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This tight end is at the top of his game.

He’s good with his hands, even better with his sexy mouth, and the best at making me forget my own name. His—ahem—stats are perfect.

But I can’t fall for him.

He might be everything I want, all rolled into a glorious package of gridiron god, but there’s one teeny-tiny problem. The vile, loathsome team I’ve spent my entire life hating—my beloved school’s arch-rival?

This guy is their star player.

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EXCERPT:

Holy mother of God, this guy knew how to kiss. Jay’s lips pressed to mine. Gentle, and slow, but it ignited a fire that burned all through my body, sizzling out to the ends of my fingertips and toes.

The way he moved his tongue in my mouth was something else. It was sexy. Maybe even a little dirty, and a whole lot of awesome. Beneath his kiss, I was going to melt. If he wasn’t careful, I’d turn molten and pour down the side of the stone wall he’d set me on.

The added height of the wall was great. All he had to do was tilt down to meet me. His face was in my hands, and I brushed my thumbs over his cheekbones, enjoying the sensation of the rough ends of the whiskers on his jaw.

He smelled freaking amazing. I didn’t just want to make out with this guy, I wanted to inhale him. It’d been some kind of torture slow dancing with him earlier. My body had been tight with anticipation, hoping he’d make a move later. Only, here we were, lips locked—and the anticipation didn’t go away. It graduated into need.

How long could we be out here before anyone noticed we were gone? I couldn’t think like that. We were secluded in the shadows, and as the sunlight continued to fade, it’d only feel more intimate here in the woods with him.

Jay left a trail of damp kisses across my jaw as he made his way to my ear. His hot breath rasped the moment before his lips landed on the sensitive skin on my neck, just below my earlobe. I was burning alive, yet I shivered. Goosebumps broke out on my legs. Oh my God, that felt good. Something as simple as his warm mouth against my skin made every inch of me weak with desire. I ached.

“I’m kind of pissed at Dave,” Jay mumbled into my skin, right at the spot where my neck met my body.

“Yeah?”

“Why the hell didn’t he introduce us?”

I wanted to laugh. Or tell him I’d had the same thought. But Jay’s lips had rendered me unable to do anything. I couldn’t even breathe. Every inch of me was sensitized and hyperaware of him. I was turning to liquid in his hands, and he was barely touching me.

My eyes fluttered closed as his mouth crept along the length of my collarbone to the base of my throat and continued to the other side. His hands settled at my waist, but the longer we kept kissing, the bolder he seemed to grow. His palms inched upward.

It was like I’d drawn up a playbook and every route was executed flawlessly by Jay.

Breath caught in my lungs as his hands slid to a stop on my ribcage, pausing just below my breasts. The heat of his palms was a hot iron, seeping through my chiffon dress. I wanted him to keep going, but I also grew nervous. I wanted him too badly. Too much. I wasn’t the type to be reckless or have a random hookup.

Was I?

His mouth found mine, and his kiss was urgent. Needy. It was loaded with lust, and I was desperate to give in to it.

“You were right,” I said, trying not to pant it out. “Your kiss needs to come with a warning.”

A noise escaped the back of his throat. A deep, wicked chuckle.

It was too hot for Ohio in August. Even in the shade, it was a million degrees Fahrenheit. Sweat blossomed on my skin, beading into tiny drops as Jay shifted his stance between my parted legs and urged me closer. I dry swallowed when there was no space left between us, and his hips pressed against the insides of my thighs. My skirt rode up, and I could feel the firm bulge in his pants nudging me.

It was powerful knowing I’d turned him on, and it was just my kiss that seemed to be doing it. My blood had burst into steam in my veins the moment his lips locked onto mine. I’d never had a kiss like his. Didn’t even know I was capable of this kind of feeling.

I hadn’t intended to do more than kiss him, but now I craved more. “Oh, God, do it,” I whispered, arching my back and making it as clear as possible what I wanted. I stared into his intense blue eyes, watching his lust-filled expression as he followed my plea. I sighed in relief as he moved his hands one inch up, followed by another.

Until his hands covered my breasts, gripping me through my dress. I moaned, but it was swallowed up under his dominating kiss. Jay drew my bottom lip into his mouth and bit down. Just a hint of teeth. I inhaled sharply, but not in pain. His action had sent pleasure zinging between my legs.

“Kayla.” He broke the kiss only for a moment. “You are so fucking hot.”

The earth was spinning like I was drunk, only I wasn’t even buzzing from alcohol. This was entirely him.

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About the Author:

Nikki Sloane landed in graphic design after her careers as a waitress, a screenwriter, and a ballroom dance instructor fell through. For eight years she worked for a design firm in that extremely tall, black, and tiered building in Chicago that went through an unfortunate name change during her time there. Now she lives in Kentucky and manages a team of graphic artists. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, is married with two sons, writes dirty books, and couldn’t be any happier.

Stalk Nikki:

Website: http://www.nikkisloane.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nikkisloaneauthor/?fref=ts
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AuthorNSloane
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2fsTzpI
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/NikkiSloane

Pretty Dead Girls

Read an excerpt from F. G. Adams upcoming release Fox’s Awakening

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Fox’s Awakening by FG Adams is coming soon on OCTOBER 12th!
Keep reading for an excerpt!
ADD to your TBR → http://bit.ly/2uwfc02

Fox full front
Brenton Fox is a guardian of mankind. By day, he guards humanity as an agent for the FBI. By night, he is the leader of a secret organization called Hunters. He is a man on a quest to find an ancient relic needed to free the God Zenon and the Goddess Augusta. The only hurdle he faces comes in the form of the unearthly beautiful twin Goddesses Jazmine and Jada accompanying him on this mission. His attraction for both of the sisters is a distraction he doesn’t need.
Goddesses Jada and Jazmine share a powerful secret. The closer they get to the sexy Brenton Fox, the more the secret is revealed and the more his dark, alluring charms become irresistible to them both. The sisters’ journey could prove to be their undoing or save the universes within the realm under their protection.
Deep in the wilds of Africa, they must locate the portal to a hidden realm full of unknown dangers. The demented nature of the God Baako creates treacherous and unforgiving obstacles the trio must bind together to overcome. Will the unconventional hero tame the animal fighting deep inside and master the Goddesses he has come to desire?
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EXCERPT:

Brenton turns in our direction. His cat eyes swirling with a scowl challenging us as he stalks closer and waits for our decision. We glance between each other, longing simmers in our soul. Decision made. His dominance demands we comply. Jada submits and vacates her current chair to move one chair down. He then takes his seat between the two of us and the raging animal within him calms with the nearness.
“Chaac, what do you have to report?” Marcus questions with an air of authority, beginning the meeting.
Chaac is a legend of old in the Earth realm, controlling the state of the atmosphere at any given place and time. The heat, dryness, sunshine, wind, rain all beckon to his will. He has long been a friend to Marcus and the twins. Even though the origin of his existence isn’t known to the masses, he is a longtime confidant of the Enchanted Immortals. Zenon entrusted him with the elements from the launching of all that exists. We have watched his tenacity in fighting against Baako.
“Yes, my lord. Baako is on the move. His forces have begun to infiltrate the continent. We believe they are searching for the access to the other realm where the relic is reported to be.” Chaac obediently answers.
“They will need the key to open the portal, correct?”
“Yes, Aldin. You are correct. Only the one holding the key can open the wards protecting it. Thankfully, we are in possession of the key, therefore locating the opening is of little use other than to annoy us. It will not waylay our efforts.”
“We are the only ones knowledgeable of how to achieve the opening.” Jazmine divulges. We hold the key. Brenton glances my way confusion in his eyes.
“Time and the place are vital elements in opening the realm. Regardless of Baako’s efforts he will fail.” Marcus states unconcerned.
“Brother, do not fear. We understand our role.” Jada acknowledges with a sadness in her faint tone.
Jazmine lowers her head in thought. Brenton reaches out to comfort the Goddesses both arms stretched the palms of his hands connects on our knee, touching us with heart felt concern and need. The instant he does, he is caught up in a magical time warp of mystical proportions. Driving him forward to her realm. Standing on the precipice of time, he gapes at the stark blankness surrounding him. He is balancing on air, nothing above or below him.
“What the fuck is going on? Where am I? I’m in the Twilight Zone, right? Must have been that second slice of pie I ate for lunch.” He inquires, searching the vast unknown.
“Hello Brenton Fox. I have been waiting on you for many ages,” a woman in white says as an hourglass figure comes into the light.
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AldinsWish

Start reading in this world NOW with Aldin’s Wish
FREE with #Kindle Unlimited!
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About the Authors:
F.G. Adams writes contemporary and paranormal romance about sexy alpha heroes and feisty-mouthed heroines. The wonder twins forming F.G. enjoy a healthy obsession of reading that started at a young age. Their books reflect an avid imagination that was cultivated by their grandmother who taught them the mind has no limits and to use both hands when reaching for the stars. Partners in writing, they both thrive on creating unique storylines for you, the reader to enjoy.
When not writing, you can find them on a beach with their significant other enjoying the waves or riding a Harley on a country road somewhere in the USA.
Author Links:
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Pretty Dead Girls

Read an excerpt from Tillie Cole’s upcoming release ~ Sick Fux

 

When Ellis Earnshaw and Heathan James met as children, they couldn’t have been more different. Ellis was loud and beautiful – all blond hair, bright laughs and smiles. Heathan was dark and brooding, and obsessed with watching things die.
The pair forged an unlikely friendship, unique and strange. Until they were ripped apart by the sick cruelty of others, separated for years, both locked in a perpetual hell.
Eleven years later, Heathan is back for his girl. Back from a place from which he thought there was no return. Back to seek revenge on those who wronged them.
Time has made Heathan’s soul darker, polluted with hatred and the thirst for blood.
Time has made Ellis a shell of her former self, a little girl lost in the vastness of her pain.
As Heathan pulls Ellis out of her mental prison, reviving the essence of who she once was, down the rabbit hole they will go.
With malice in their hearts and vengeance in their veins, they will seek out the ones who hurt and destroyed them.
One at a time.
Each one more deadly than the last.
Tick Tock.

Dark Contemporary Romance. Contains explicit sexual situations, violence, disturbingly sensitive and taboo subjects, offensive language and very mature topics. Recommended for ages 18 and over.

 

 

 

Please note : this is excerpt is unedited and subject to change.

 

I placed the foot of my cane on the floor and looked to the left. The sound of light breathing came from around the corner. I made to move, but my heart slammed into a fast beat, stopping my feet in their tracks. My nostrils flared as I closed my eyes and tried to suck in deep breaths. I never did this, never had this kind of reaction to anything. Not in eleven years. Not when I was trapped in darkness. Not even when the guards came to “meet the young kid.” Not when we got out—bloodily, savagely, darkly. Especially not when my knife plunged into the guards’ hearts and I watched the life fade from their eyes, the pure fascination of losing one’s life essence occupying my mind.
But this was Dolly. The only person I’d ever given a shit about.
A slick tar pumped through my black heart as I thought of her. She was the blood that gave me life.
I had no idea what state I would find her in. Whether or not her fragile mind had been destroyed. Whether or not her glass heart had been shattered. No hope of salvation.
I had no idea if my only reason for living could be saved. I shook with venomous anger when I let my mind imagine the hell those sadistic cunts would have put her through in my absence. But Chapel’s words rang in my ears . . . Unleash the anger only on those who deserve it. Let it build within your heart like a well swelling with water . . . then unleash hell on those who took your freedom.
Opening my eyes, I breathed through my rage and silently rounded the corner . . . I stopped. There she was, sitting in a chair. I sucked in a breath and heard it rattle in my ears. Her hair. Her hair was pulled back into a long braid, the woven strands falling to her lower back. And she was dressed in black. Long, baggy sleeves covered her arms.
Motherfucking black. Dolly didn’t belong in black. Only color. Blue and white and gold and motherfucking pink.
I edged around the perimeter of the room until I faced her. My heart tore down the center and I had to hold back a loud snarl when I saw her curled up on the seat, a thick blanket over her thin legs and waist as she stared lifelessly out of the window. The window that overlooked the once-manicured lawns, now nothing but high-reaching weeds and too-bushy trees. I looked across at what she was watching, in the direction of what held her so captivated.
My heart was severed completely, the two parts of its flesh repelling the other, trying to escape the rage and pain and fucking consuming darkness.
She was staring at the spot where we used to play as kids. Where she had found me all those years ago, ripping the colorful butterfly apart in my hands. I moved into her line of sight, but her blue eyes didn’t lift to meet mine, just stared through me as though I wasn’t even there. I crouched down and studied her face. Porcelain skin. Full lips. Fucking perfection.
But there was no life left in her.
I had never felt fear before, but I imagined the sinking hole I felt dropping in my stomach was something like it. A sinking feeling that Dolly had gone to a place from which there was no escape, a prisoner in her own mind.
Fragility consumed.
“Dolly darlin,’” I rasped, my voice fucking breaking.
Twenty-one. She was twenty-one and more beautiful than I could ever have imagined.
Perfection.
My living doll.
A strand of hair lay over her face. My fingers clenched and unclenched as I tried to force myself to touch her. But I couldn’t. I hadn’t touched or been touched in years. I didn’t know how to anymore. Allergic to human affection. Repulsed by the degrading feeling of touch.
I . . . I . . . I couldn’t.
As I opened my mouth to speak to Dolly again, a loud gasp sailed through the air behind her. I straightened, gripping my cane, to see a familiar old face appear. I watched, the sinking hole quickly replaced by dark satisfaction as the blood drained from her face. “Good Lord,” she whispered as I smoothed down my black cravat and vest.
I glared at the bitch. Leaning casually on my cane, I said, “More like Lucifer, I would think.” I nodded in her direction “To you, anyhow.”
Mrs. Jenkins swallowed and tried to back out of the room. “Ah-ah,” I tutted and shook my head. She immediately stilled, eyes fixed on mine.
“He . . . Heathan James . . . it’s . . . it’s not possible . . .” she stammered and ran her eyes over me. Every inch of me.
“Rabbit.” The bitch flinched at my correction. “I am Rabbit. The motherfucking White Rabbit. So never fucking utter that peasant name to me again.”
Her skin paled, and her eyes fell to Dolly sitting on the chair. Dolly still hadn’t moved. I shifted my grip on the box I had brought inside, about to hold it out to Mrs. Jenkins when she asked, “How are you here?”
I threw the box across the room. It landed right at her feet. “Dress her.”
“Wh-what?” Mrs. Jenkins asked.
I pointed to the box at her feet. “Dress her. It wasn’t a request.” Mrs. Jenkins shook as she picked up the box and moved to where Dolly sat. Dolly didn’t look at her either. Mrs. Jenkins opened the lid of the box and gasped again.
Her old, wrinkled eyes snapped up to mine. “No—”
Before she had even finished the sentence, I had reached into my pocket and pulled out my knife. I ran the flat side of the blade down my cheek. Slowly. Controlled. Watching her terrified gaze track my every move. “You’d best do as I ask, Mrs. Jenkins. My patience and tolerance for you appear to be at an all-time low.”
Tillie Cole hails from a small town in the North-East of England. She grew up on a farm with her English mother, Scottish father and older sister and a multitude of rescue animals. As soon as she could, Tillie left her rural roots for the bright lights of the big city.

After graduating from Newcastle University with a BA Hons in Religious Studies, Tillie followed her Professional Rugby player husband around the world for a decade, becoming a teacher in between and thoroughly enjoyed teaching High School students Social Studies before putting pen to paper, and finishing her first novel.

Tillie has now settled in Austin, Texas, where she is finally able to sit down and write, throwing herself into fantasy worlds and the fabulous minds of her characters.

Tillie is both an independent and traditionally published author, and writes many genres including: Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels.

When she is not writing, Tillie enjoys nothing more than curling up on her couch watching movies, drinking far too much coffee, while convincing herself that she really doesn’t need that extra square of chocolate.
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Pretty Dead Girls

Read an excerpt from Meghan March’s upcoming release ~ Beneath the Truth!

 

 

 

From USA Today bestselling author Meghan March comes the final sexy standalone set in the Beneath world of New Orleans.

I used to believe there were lines in life you don’t cross.
Don’t lie. Don’t cheat. Don’t steal.
Until I learned people don’t always practice what they preach.
I turned in my badge and gun and walked away from everything.
Then I got the call no one wants, and I’m back in New Orleans.
What I don’t expect is for her to be here too.
Another line you don’t cross?
Don’t touch your best friend’s little sister.
She’s always been off-limits.
Too bad I don’t follow the rules anymore.

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“Fine. If you don’t want to play me, I’m sure there’s someone in this bar who will.”

She rose from the bar stool and smoothed her dress down her thighs. I swore it looked longer at the cemetery than it did right now, inching up her toned legs. The shoulders and chest were sheer black lace, as sophisticated as could be, but the lace took on a sexier edge in the dim light of the bar. I’d lay money on her being the classiest thing this place had ever seen. And damn, what those heels did for her . . .

I ripped my gaze away from her ass to focus on her face.

Her lips flattened in obstinate challenge before she strutted toward the pool table. And yeah, I used the word strutted because there was no other way to describe how she walked in those stilettos now that her attitude was flaring.

Heads turned to follow her progress, and two guys jumped off their stools to follow her.

Oh, hell no. Not a chance, assholes.

I pushed off my seat and stalked toward her. Ari’s back was to me when I stopped behind her at the cue rack. She spun around, unaware of my presence, and smacked into my chest, a pool stick trapped between us. She sucked in a breath, jerking her head up.

“Sorry. Didn’t realize you were so close.”

Years ago, she never would have lost track of where I was if we were in the same room. The realization was a blow to my ego, although not unexpected. I no longer made the cut on her priority list, and that stung.

Rather than move and give her space, I reached around her to snag a cue off the rack, letting my arm brush her shoulder.

Ah . . . there it is. Her facial expression remained static, but her involuntary shiver gave her away. Maybe I’m not off the list completely.

I didn’t know why it mattered, but after the last few brutal days, I needed something good to distract me from the shit show that was my life. And there was no doubt in my mind that Ariel Sampson was everything good.

Her spine straightened and she bobbed around me, avoiding contact in favor of racking the balls and lining them up.

“Do you want to break?” she asked.

“Ladies first.”

Ari rolled her eyes and reached for the chalk. With her stick prepped, she leaned over the edge of the table, her ass jutting out and the hem of her dress riding up her thigh.

Lord . . . I groaned silently. This was torture.

Haven’t I been through enough? I tossed the question skyward and received no sign the big man had heard me.

I tore my gaze off her ass and scanned the bar. Mistake. My fist tightened around the pool cue as a reflex, but that didn’t mean I wouldn’t use it to smack every jerk in this bar back into line if they didn’t quit staring. Double standard? Sure. But I didn’t care.

With a step behind her, I blocked the most direct view and turned to glare at all of them. Thankfully, Heath’s interest was hooked on the waitress working our table. One by one, the gazes dropped away, and I turned back to Ari, marginally satisfied that they picked up what I was throwing down. Off-limits, assholes.

Ari cursed and stood up straight, leaning lightly on her pool cue. “Dammit. I had that shot.”

I scanned the green felt and found half her balls were missing. “Jesus, what were you doing? Trying to clear the table?”

Her nose went up in the air. “Trying? If I wanted to clear the table, it would be clear. It’s just angles.”

“Brainiac as always.”

Ari shrugged, but I caught a hint of a smile. “Didn’t you hear? It’s cool to be a geek now.”

I had no doubt that wherever she lived in California, she was exactly what was cool. Shit, she had every man’s attention in this bar.

“You were always cool in my book, Red. My turn.” Even though I wanted to wait for her smile, I chalked my cue and sank two shots before missing the third.

“Not bad.” Her nonchalant tone made me grin.

“I try.”

Her eyes finally locked on mine. “I succeed.”

Hell. Why was that statement so damned sexy coming from her lips?

She pushed off her pool cue and spun around to face the table again, her dress sliding up another inch as she bent over the table.

My dick pulsed against my jeans.

Heath is going to kill me.

 

 

 

 

 

meghanmarchpic

Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She’s also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she’s ever had. She loves hearing from her readers at meghanmarchbooks@gmail.com.

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Pretty Dead Girls

Excerpt Reveal: Twisted Twosome by Meghan Quinn!

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Twisted Twosome, an all new sexy, laugh out loud romantic comedy from Meghan Quinn is coming August 3rd!

TwistedTwosome

Twisted Twosome by Meghan Quinn
Publication Date: August 3, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Racer McKay is a broody bastard.

From the moment I met him, he’s been rude, irritable, and unbearable.

A contractor working to remodel my parents pool house for extra cash, he stomps around in those clunky construction boots with his tool belt wrapped around his narrow waist, and a chip on his shoulder.

Racer McKay is also infuriatingly . . . sexy as hell. I want to take that pencil tucked behind his ear, and draw lazy lines slowly up and down his body all the while wanting to strangle him at the same time.

We try to stay out of each other’s way . . . that is until I have no other option but to ask for his help.

But what I don’t realize is he needs me just as much as I need him. I have money he’s desperate for, and he holds the key to making my dreams come true.

Our pranks turn from sarcastic banter, to sexual tension and lust-filled glances. Bickering matches quickly morph into slow burn moments. We’re hot, we’re cold. We push and pull. I need him, I don’t want him. We’re on the verge of combusting with an agreement dangling dangerously between us. Neither one of us can afford to lose one another and yet, we’re finding it quite hard to decipher the line that rests between love and hate.

Excerpt:

Why is it so goddamn drafty in here? I grip my hammer in my hand, my tool belt riding low on my hips, and my stereotypical construction hat rests on my head as I finish up the project I was hired to do.

Taking a quick look around, I search the bedroom looking for an open window or AC vent that’s blowing a cold breeze right against my dick and sac, making it almost impossible to look semi-decent in this scrap of fabric.

“Mmm, I think you forgot a nail on the ground over there,” says the throaty, smoke-filled voice of Mrs. Sage, who is lying across her chase lounge wearing a silky pink robe that is barely tied around her waist. She makes it her mission to show me as much skin as possible, and as we’re talking about skin showing . . .

I bend down to pick up the nail she’s pointing at as the thin strip of man thong material rides higher up my ass crack than I care to admit.

Let’s pause for a second.

Are you wondering to yourself, is Racer really wearing a man-thong as he finishes building a solid oak shelf?

The answer is yes. Yes, I am.

I’m Racer McKay and I wear man thongs for older, rich women while I work on simple projects around their houses. Excuse me, I mean mansions.

Don’t worry. Yes, I’m also very much ashamed to admit the level I’ve stooped to in order to make some cash. I have my pride, but right now, when I’m offered three hundred dollars more to build a shelf in a man thong, I’m choosing to seize the opportunity.

Self-respect was thrown out the window two years ago when a pile of bills and responsibilities were thrust in my direction without any preparation or warning. Making money is as vital as breathing to me, so I will take it any way I can get it.

Cue the man thong.

“Oh, you’re right. Here it is,” I say, holding up the nail. “Thanks for the help, Mrs. Sage. I would hate to see you hurt yourself from my lack of attention to detail.”

She waves me off and puffs her chest toward me, her robe slipping farther apart, showing the cleavage of a very saggy pair of breasts. I’ve seen my fair share of boobs and even though I don’t mingle sex with work, I can’t help but want Mrs. Sage to remove the robe just so I can see what she has hidden under the silky fabric.

How saggy are we talking here?

I’m interested for exploratory reasons, for knowledge of every kind of breast out there. Because right now, Mrs. Sage looks like she’s rocking a pair of pancakes that have been flattened by a steamroller.

“You would just have to nurse me back to health if that happened.” Her finger trails up her varicose vein-covered leg to her geriatric hip. I hold back the shiver that wants to spin up my spine.

All I can say is . . . can’t unsee that.

I nervously laugh and tuck my hammer into its holster. “Not much of a nurse, Mrs. Sage. I might hurt you even more.”

“I don’t mind getting hurt.” She starts to spread her legs and that’s when I call it a day.

I turn around quickly, snag my jeans and slip them up and over my legs, struggling with my tool belt getting in the way. Once things are in place, I remove my hat, put on my shirt, and then cover my hair with a backwards baseball cap. The peep show is over.

Once dressed, I gather my tools, tuck my construction hat under my arm, and turn to Mrs. Sage. This is my least favorite part, getting the old bird to pay up.

“Leaving already?” She pouts, lipstick on her teeth.

“Unfortunately, I have another engagement I’m running late for.” A lie, but it’s the only way I know to get out of here.

“That’s a shame. I really should book you for a whole day. That way you can’t skirt out of here earlier than I’m ready for.”

She walks out of the den and into the entryway where she opens her purse and pulls out a wad of one-hundred-dollar bills. My brain explodes from the amount of cash in her purse, as if it’s chump change she’s ready to throw around at a parade dedicated to her and her riches.

“What do I owe you? Six hundred?”

Fuck, it’s five hundred and if I wasn’t a nice guy, I wouldn’t correct her, but I believe in good karma. Especially considering where my bad luck has gotten me—trying to climb my way out of a large debt. I try to put as many good vibes out in the world as possible.

“We actually agreed upon five hundred, Mrs. Sage.”

“Such a bargain.” She flips through her cash, pulls out five bills—damn—and hands them over to me. “Shall I call for my next project?”

I pocket the cash. “Email is best, Mrs. Sage. I always feel awkward taking phone calls at work.”

“Such a hard worker.” She pats my face and leans forward, lips puckered, but I step to the side avoiding an attack from her old-lady lips.

As I depart, I wave my hand in the air and say, “Thanks, Mrs. Sage. I look forward to your next email.”

Out of her reach, I toss my tools in the back of my truck, enter the cab, and place my hands on the steering wheel as I exhale a long pent-up breath.

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About the Author:

A BLONDE AT HEART

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!

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Website: http://www.authormeghanquinn.com/

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