Excerpt Teaser! Only For Your Touch by Naima Simone

Title: Only For Your Touch
Series: Lick #2
Author: Naima Simone
Release Date: Oct 10, 2016

The Boston press calls her the Mob Princess. I call her trouble.

Discretion is my business, and the reporters dogging her every step are bad news. She’s looking to rebel, to tarnish her naïve “good girl” image by getting dirty with me. I gave up a career as a thief, but Corrine Salvaggi’s wide eyes and sinful mouth damn near begs me to steal her innocence. To corrupt her.

Lucky for her, I deal in sex.

Whatever your fantasy, I deliver. Voyeurism. Threesomes. A little slap and tickle.…

If it’s your kink, I can fulfill it.

So yeah, life is good. Simple.

Until she enters my club.

Still…

It’s just sex. Our little secret.

For now…

  
Chapter One
Sasha Merchant knew trouble.
In his very checkered lifetime, he’d been the cause of it, been balls-deep in it, and had escaped it. So yeah, he and trouble were intimate partners, a match made in hell. And even though it now walked through the doors of Lick in the form of a stunning redhead with curves that demanded a man take them hard and fast, he wasn’t fooled by the pretty wrapping.
Trouble.
Or as his mother used to say: Volk v ovech’yey shkurye. Wolf in sheep’s pelt.
Maybe he should say fox’s pelt. Because with her bright hair and petite frame, she reminded him of his Russian homeland’s small, red fox. Didn’t matter in the end though. Fox or sheep, the woman was an ill wind that needed to be monitored…and blown back out the door, if necessary.
“You see who just came in?” The deep, gravel-rough voice that belonged to his best friend, Killian Vincent, rumbled in his ear from the discreet piece notched there.
Sasha once more glanced toward the front of the club where more people streamed in through the steel doors. Though he, Killian, and Rion Ward, the third member of their unholy trio, owned Lick equally, Killian often oversaw security. All of them had control issues—as in, needing to have it—but Killian even more so. But when someone else decided what you wore and ate, and when you fucking took a shit, for two years, yeah, control became important. So they let him supervise that aspect of their club. Hell, having a huge, scowling hulk on the premises was often a better deterrent to troublemakers than their many cameras.
“Yeah, I got eyes on her,” Sasha said, tracking the slow progress of the redhead and her friend through the thick crowd. It might’ve been eleven o’clock on a Thursday, but that didn’t matter. If the night ended in “y” then they were packed. It’d been that way since they’d opened their doors a year earlier. Everyone, it seemed, wanted to drink, dance, and find their next hookup in Boston’s newest and most exclusive aphrodisiac club.
Including Corrine Salvaggi, aka The Mob Princess.
“What the hell do you think she’s doing here?” Killian asked as Rion approached the end of the bar where Sasha stood. “Considering the shitstorm that’s circling her, you’d think her family would have her on lockdown.”
“I don’t know,” Sasha rumbled. “But it seems her breaking out of the castle is now our problem, if anyone recognizes her. Goddamn.”
“Exactly.” Rion nodded his thanks at the bartender who slid a tumbler in front of him. Kentucky bourbon, his favorite. “The last thing we need is the Salvaggi family sniffing around here, searching for their wayward royalty. Or worse, having the press associate Lick with them. Even if it’s just in a byline.”
Sasha understood what Rion meant. Perfectly.
Lick was the public face of their business. With its two bustling bars and top-shelf alcohol, dancing, and VIP lounges, the nightclub had quickly become one of the hottest spots to party in Boston. And then there was the aura of sex they deliberately cultivated. From the sensual photographs on the walls to barely and sexily clad men and women dancing on raised platforms to the shadowed alcoves where people kissed and slipped hands under clothes, to the private VIP rooms…sex permeated the atmosphere.
But while the nightclub teased with sex, the private, upper level of Lick—The Loft—delivered on that promise. And catered to more…exotic tastes. Of the sexual variety. Whatever their members desired, they supplied. And in exchange for the admittedly excessive prices people paid for membership, The Loft’s clientele expected discretion and a safe, secure, and protected place to indulge in their sexual fantasies and preferences. So having reporters snooping around trying to catch pictures of Carmine Salvaggi’s daughter partying it up would understandably make them a bit antsy.
Lick was more than income to the men. The three of them had been to hell and back to reach where they were today. Free of the Irish mob. Escapees from the criminal world. Business owners with a modicum of respectability. Of legitimacy. This club represented their new life. Their freedom.
For Sasha, it was his promise to a dying woman.
His parents had left Moscow when Sasha was six, after the Cold War ended and the Soviet Union dissolved. They’d immigrated to America, specifically Boston, seeking a better life and more opportunity. An academic in Russia, his proud father had only been able to find work as a janitor at the local elementary school. But to Val Merchant, it’d still been honest work. And having a son who’d willingly chosen a life of crime—even if it’d been the impulsive decision of a youth who hadn’t felt he’d belonged anywhere else—had been unforgiveable. But two years ago, before dying from complications of COPD, Anna Merchant had come to him and extracted a vow from Sasha: to become the respectable man she’d raised him to be.
He’d sacrificed everything to honor that promise. And even though some days this new life itched like a too-tight, uncomfortable shirt, he wouldn’t allow a pampered, rebelling mob socialite to fuck it up.
“I’ll watch her,” he volunteered, voice grim.
Rion shot him a sharp glance, and Sasha clenched his jaw, easily interpreting the look. Worry. Indecision. Yeah, he got his friend’s doubt. It irritated the fuck out of him, but he got it. Because underneath the annoyance—and in spite of his resentment of Corrine Salvaggi’s presence in their club—a curl of anticipation whispered through him. And Rion probably knew it.
Of the three of them, Sasha still struggled with the life they left behind the most, walking that fine line between legitimacy and craving the thrill, the pure adrenaline rush, of breaking the law. While Rion had never wanted it, and Killian feared it with an animalistic, whites-of-their-eyes terror, Sasha had only walked away because of a promise and his love for his friends. So putting him on someone who had ties to an organized crime family was like waving a bottle of water in front of a man who’d just crawled in from the desert.
“I’ll be fine,” Sasha assured him. “I’m just keeping eyes on her. And considering who she is, Killian won’t do it.” Two years out of jail and still on probation, Killian couldn’t risk being associated with even the daughter of a criminal.
That left Sasha.
Rion’s mouth flattened into a grim line as he nodded then tossed back the rest of his whiskey.
“Maybe she’s just here to drink and dance like everyone else,” Sasha said. Rion didn’t reply, just arched a dark eyebrow.
Yeah, Sasha didn’t believe it either. Not with his gut tightening like a damn noose. That sixth sense had never failed him on a job, and right now it was affirming what he’d thought when he’d first laid eyes on the Mob Princess.
Trouble.
When Corrine Salvaggi decided to rebel, she rebelled.
Of course, her idea of rebellion had been turning off her cell phone and hiding out at her friend Tara’s house. Or sneaking past the relentless, greedy-ass reporters parked outside her parents’ home before speeding off to find an out-of-the-way bar to watch Big Papi and her beloved Sox.
But never had dressing up in her underwear—or rather, Tara’s underwear—and partying in a sex club entered her mind. Jesus, an honest-to-God sex club. And right here in Boston, not twenty minutes from her house. She’d thought they only existed in pay-per-view movies and books about paddle-wielding millionaires. Apparently, she was more naïve than the press reported. Although, she wasn’t rebelling as much as escaping from the crapfest her life had transformed into. Still, partying in a place that would have her mother clutching her rosary was pretty much perfect for escape and mutiny.
Damp with sweat, Corrine followed Tara off the crowded dance floor, tugging on the bottom of the borrowed green-and-black lace corset, trying to cover her belly without exposing her damn nipples to the entire place. When Tara had thrust the Frederick’s of Hollywood garment in her hands earlier, Corrine should’ve just said hell-to-the-no and found that sports bar. This get-up—the corset that nearly shoved her breasts up to her damn chin, the painted-on black jeans, and knee-high leather boots—wasn’t her. Hell, her bras and panties weren’t this damn revealing. Or…sexual. With every breath, she feared her breasts were going to make an unscheduled appearance. She skimmed her palms over her hips, not accustomed to them being so blatantly…displayed.
“Stop fidgeting.” Tara teasingly slapped her hand.
“I can’t help it,” Corrine grumbled. “I still feel naked.”
“Shit, if I had your tits and ass, I’d go around with no clothes on all the time,” Tara shouted over her shoulder as she weaved her way through the heavy throngs of people. “And then throw in all that red hair and the ‘I’m just a babe in the woods’ innocence? I’d have to duck and dodge all the dick that would come my way.”
“Uh… Thanks?”
Her friend laughed, and moments later maneuvered into a tight, open spot at the packed bar. “What you need is a drink. I don’t know what I was thinking. If we’d had one before heading to the dance floor, you wouldn’t have minded having that hottie’s hands on your ass.”
“Oh, I’m sure I would’ve still minded,” Corrine drawled. “And for the record, I don’t ever want to be that drunk. He didn’t even say hello first.”
Tara snickered before turning and flagging down the bartender. Propping her elbows on the chrome railing, Corrine surveyed Lick. Just the name was erotic and shiver-inducing. She still hadn’t managed to say it without whispering.
The huge converted warehouse pulsed with the heavy bass of the music, while people writhed and twisted with abandon on the dance floor and stage. More than a few kissed and groped each other as they ground their bodies together, providing a sexual show. Men and women in outfits straight out of the Bondage ’R’ Us catalogue danced on spotlighted platforms and paraded around in leather and latex. She blinked as a woman in a shiny, black catsuit and a head covering that revealed her face and a high, blond ponytail strolled past, a bare-chested man in blue jeans following behind her…on a leash.
Wow. Just…wow. She shook her head, her survey moving on to the evenly spaced halogen lights revealing more people partying in the glass-enclosed balconies, crowding around the wide, long bars that dominated each side of the building, and drinking on the chairs at the high tables dotting the area around the dance floor. And tucked in the shadowed corners…
Corrine swallowed, a ball of heat swirling low in her belly. She exhaled, trying to expel even a little of the tension pulling tight inside her. People occupied low couches and booths along the exposed brick walls. Even in the dim lighting, she could make out the couples kissing, the sensual sweep of hands over exposed skin. She couldn’t hear words or groans or sighs over the pounding of the music, but her imagination supplied them. Vividly. The heat inside her expanded and stretched until it congregated in the flesh between her legs. They didn’t care who saw them. Didn’t worry about decorum or reputation, or being proper and pure. Didn’t go behind the door marked “Private” and guarded by bodyguards, which, rumor had it, led to an area where they could do a lot more than kissing. No, they probably knew eyes were on them and welcomed it. Enjoyed it.
God. What did that kind of freedom feel like? Again, she had only her imagination to provide the answer because she’d never experienced it. Being the only daughter of Carmine Salvaggi had meant growing up in the most beautiful, luxurious, and loving of cages. Yes, she’d executed a prison break or two, but she’d never experienced the kind of utter liberation the people on the couches did… But she’d always wanted to.
In the last week, that cage had become more stifling and confusing, and frightening. Because up until seven days ago, she’d believed her father had been a successful businessman with a thriving and growing chain of dry-cleaning stores throughout Boston. Definitely not the boss of the Salvaggi family, one of the oldest, most vicious, and notorious mob organizations in the city.
Closing her eyes, she braced herself for the stab of pain that stole her breath. She should be used to it by now. But how could a person become accustomed to having her soul ripped out over and over like a really fucked-up version of Prometheus and his liver-eating eagle? How could she come to grips with comprehending that the same man who had tucked her in at night, had held and comforted her while she’d cried, had raised her to be honest and respectful, was the same who had run drugs throughout the city, extorted hardworking people…ordered hits. Her life was a lie, and she’d never guessed, never seen…
“Stop it.” Tara wagged a finger in Corrine’s face, and she reeled back, startled.
“Tara, damn. I know I have another eye, but I’d like to keep that one,” she grumbled.
“Don’t deflect,” her friend ordered, propping her hands on her slim hips. “Your thoughts are all over your face. We came here to forget and have a good time. And that’s what you’re going to do, damn it.”
“Um. Yes, sir.” She blinked. “Ma’am.”
Tara smirked, dropping her hand. “Smart ass.” Accepting the Fuzzy Navels she’d ordered from the bartender, who wouldn’t have been out of place lounging around Hefner’s mansion, she pressed one into Corrine’s hand. “Drink. Loosen up.”
“I’m in a sex club where people are…” Corrine nodded in the direction of the couches with the tangle of bodies. Fully clothed, but still… “I believe I’m loosened up.”
“Pfft. That’s nothing. This”—Tara swept out an arm, narrowly missing the woman standing next to her—“is the public section of the club. The nightclub. Rumor is there’s a whole ’nother part upstairs—the real sex club—that is downright kinky. We’re talking stuff that would make Christian Gray and his Red Room look like a kindergartener in a sandbox.”
Corrine had never read the book or seen the movie about the BDSM-loving millionaire, but she got the gist of Tara’s comment. Unbidden, she lifted her gaze to the ceiling and the supposed “upstairs.” Her active and rich imagination supplied images of what could be taking place at that very moment above their heads.
A woman, blindfolded and naked, spread-eagle and bound on a bed. Her head tipped back, lips parted on a silent scream, fingers jerking on the ties at her wrists as a man buried his head between her trembling thighs.
A woman, arms captured behind her back, kneeling on the floor before her man, mouth opened wide as he slowly fed her his cock.
A woman, breasts pressed to a leather-padded bench, her bared ass propped in the air, quivering in anticipation and lust from the caress of a paddle over reddened flesh…and from the eyes fixed on her, eagerly watching her submission and pleasure.
Corrine briefly closed her eyes. Oh yes, she had a very active and vivid imagination. One that sent hot swirls of arousal curling through her.
“I’ll be right back,” she said, setting her drink down behind her. “Bathroom break.” As if the hounds of hell snapped at her heels, she forged a path through the horde toward the rear of the club, where she remembered seeing the sign for the restrooms.
For twenty-four years, she’d hidden her desires, her dreams, her needs, behind this good-girl image that reflected who her parents, with their often rigid expectations, wanted her to be. Demanded she be. But since her father had been arrested and indicted, and the truth of who he was—who she was—had emerged, the cuffs of their standards had started to chafe. The urges, thoughts, and impulses she’d tried to ignore or deny had been rearing their heads more often. Why should she twist and contort to fit this ideal of perfection when all of them were far from it? Why was she still hiding a perfectly respectable career as a sports columnist from them when her job didn’t include extorting, cheating, or killing people?
And why did she sound like a pouting sixteen-year-old angry at her parents’ hypocrisy?
Maybe because she was a brooding twenty-four-year-old angry at her parents’ hypocrisy.
Sighing, she pushed into the dim hallway that housed the bathrooms.
And promptly slammed into someone exiting the corridor. The impact propelled the breath out of her, and a dull throbbing set up in the bridge of her nose. Damn. Awkward much?
“Oh God, I’m so sorry.” A firm grip circled her upper arm, preventing her from stumbling backward. “Are you hurt? This is my fault. I should’ve been watching where I was going.” The babbling accompanied a tad-too-hard pat on the shoulder. “I’m sorry,” the guy who’d nearly sent her falling on her ass apologized again.
“It’s okay, I’m fine,” she assured him, cautiously touching her nose. “Really.” She smiled, sidestepping his hand. Any more of his apologetic patting, and he still might send her tumbling backward.
“Wow, this is embarrassing,” he grumbled, mirroring her thoughts as he dragged his fingers through his dark hair. Her smile widened. Finally, someone who looked how she felt—out of place. In his khakis and polo shirt, he appeared more country club than nightclub. His gaze dropped and lingered for a long second on her chest, before—to his credit—he jerked his attention back to her face. “Listen, uh, can I buy you a drink?” he blurted, then winced. “Damn, that was smooth…”
She couldn’t help it; she chuckled. If he’d shown up on her family’s doorstep, he was the kind of man her mother would gladly have ushered into the living room and filled with dinner and news about how her daughter needed “a nice young man in her life.” He did seem nice, even if he didn’t set off any tingles below her belly button. But what the hell? It was a drink.
“Sure, I—”
“You have somewhere else to be.” The new, dark voice sent a cascade of shivers skipping over her skin. She shifted her gaze from her would-be suitor to the looming presence behind him. And though the statement had been directed toward the man in front of her, she shivered. But it wasn’t just the flat, ominous tone that had her trembling…
Holy shit.
Ragnar.
Instead of sporting a braided mohawk, this man had blond hair cropped close to his head. And a severe black suit and white shirt adorned his tall, wide frame in place of a leather tunic, leggings, and a broad sword, but still… It could’ve been the legendary warrior from the History Channel’s show Vikings who shifted forward and almost inserted himself in between her and her almost bar date. The other man’s jaw unhinged, and he gaped up…and up…at the blond giant.
Jesus. She blinked, part of her concerned over how pale the smaller man became when Ragnar pinned him with a hard stare. He didn’t utter a word. Just…stared. Whew. That kind of magnetism was…hot.
She couldn’t help studying the interloper. He demanded to be stared at. His profile could’ve been carved from a slab of marble. Sharp, almost harshly cut cheekbones, the slant of his nose, the slash of his mouth, and the rock-hard edge of his jaw—they combined to form a face that inspired fear. And lust. Both emotions twisted and tangled inside her, whirling and gaining strength with each rotation.
“Uh.” The other—smaller—man coughed. “Excuse me.”
“I need to speak with you,” the Viking rumbled to her while flicking a dismissive, steely glance to her would-be suitor.
He didn’t sound like a Viking. With that faint but melodic accent, maybe a tsar. Or a bogatyr, one of the famed warriors in old Russian legends. The slight lengthening of his vowels and softening of consonants brought to mind blinding-white, icy landscapes with a stark, primal beauty. Just like its speaker. Heat fluttered in her sex, flames licking at her flesh, her clit. Up until this moment, she hadn’t believed a voice could be foreplay. But the thought of his low, deep growl in her ear, murmuring explicit, dirty details of what he wanted to do to her and how he expected her to please him had her already creeping to the ledge of orgasmic abyss.
“Um, okay,” she murmured, surprise winging though her. “But I was just going to have a drink with…”
“N-no,” the other guy stammered, already edging past them. “That’s fine. I’m fine. It’s no problem…” Whatever else he said trailed off as he fled out of the corridor and into the crowd.
Leaving her alone with the Viking.
He turned toward her, and she met his stare for the first time.
Again, electricity crackled through her, and if she glanced down, she wouldn’t have been surprised if the hairs on her arms stood at attention. Bolts of lightning could’ve struck the floor in between them, and she still wouldn’t have been able to look away. His face was an artist’s delight of angles, planes, and curves, but the eyes…they were the masterpiece. Exotic and almond-shaped, the piercing blue and gray reminded her of a wolf’s predatory gaze.
Some of the men who’d come to visit her father had possessed that kind of stare. Then, she’d shuddered, hating their scrutiny on her, longing to escape it. And with good reason, she’d later found out, considering the killers she now knew were her father’s “associates.”
Unlike those men, though, if this blond giant had stood in their house, his focus pinned on her, something told her she wouldn’t have minded. Wouldn’t have avoided it but courted it. Done anything to keep it.
She shook her head as if she could dislodge the inane thought. Tara’s talk of kinky, secret dungeons had her mind skipping down a path marked “Not in This Lifetime.” Men like him didn’t notice women like her. He probably had women like the bartender—gorgeous, confident, and sexy, with a killer body—occupying his bed. The only thing the bartender and Corrine had in common was the size of their breasts, thanks to her mother and her busty Irish roots.
“Uh, you said you needed to speak with me,” she rasped, then cleared her throat and tried again. “I’m not sure—”
“You should go,” he warned, his voice softer but firm. Cold.
Again, surprise struck her, and she reran the last couple of minutes through her head, trying to figure out what she could’ve done that earned his displeasure.
“But I didn’t do anything…” She held her hands out, palms up.
“It’s not what you’ve done,” he murmured, shifting closer so only mere inches separated them.
The wide set of his shoulders blocked out her view of…everything. His scent—sweet and earthy like freshly cut wood—surrounded her, invading her nose and settling on her tongue, smothering the odors of incense, sweat, and perfume that permeated the hallway. And when that almost eerie gaze dipped from her face to stroke her neck, shoulders, and linger on the bared swell of her breasts, her nipples pinched tight beneath the cups of the corset. She squeezed her thighs against the throbbing, and almost as if he could decipher the action, his regard dropped even lower, studying her body. Unless the man sported a blue unitard with a crimson “S” emblazoned across the front beneath his suit, then he didn’t possess X-ray vision. So there was no way he could detect the softening and swelling of her sex or the damp evidence of her arousal on her panties. But God, when he returned his scrutiny to her face, the knowledge in those narrowed, bright eyes had her second-guessing. And shifting backward.
“It’s not what you’ve done,” he repeated, reclaiming the space she’d placed between them. “It’s who you are…princess.”
Shock and pain punched her in the chest. She hated, fucking detested, that nickname; the Mob Princess—the moniker the press had given her—humiliated her. It illuminated not only her ignorance but the lifestyle she’d grown up in—a lifestyle built and paid for by the grief, loss, and blood of others.
Shoving down her shame, she tilted her chin up, met that intimidating stare. “Are you telling me to leave or suggesting?”
Surprise flickered in his eyes. “I’m strongly suggesting,” he said after a long moment.
“Well, thank you for the advice, but unless you’re the owner of this place, I doubt you can suggest I do anything…” She smiled, and it felt brittle and fake on her lips. “Now, if you’ll excuse me.” She circled his big frame and headed toward the mouth of the corridor. Forget the bathroom. She’d originally sought it out for a moment of peace, but all it’d brought was drama.
“I am the owner, princess. And you don’t belong here.”
The dark velvet of his voice halted her in her tracks just as much as the harsh words. Slowly, she pivoted. Calling on every ounce of deportment her mother had drummed into her, she faced her rescuer-turned-condemner and cocked her head. “Because of my father? Do you vet the family tree of everyone who enters this club, or am I just special?”
“You’re special given that most people can’t claim a mafia boss as their parent. But you’re something else, too, lisichka.” He stalked closer, and her impression of a marauding warrior focused on pillaging and conquering intensified. Once more, he didn’t stop until his body heat reached out to her, teased her. Until she was eye level with the steady pulse at the base of his strong throat. The urge to lean forward and lick it gripped her and shook her like a rag doll. “Innocent,” he said, lowering his head so close she could taste his breath on her lips. “Too damn innocent for whatever you came here looking for. This isn’t the place for your little rebellion.”
“I’m not—”
“Rebelling?” he interrupted, an eyebrow several shades darker than his pale blond hair arching. “Or innocent? The hell you aren’t here as some kind of ‘fuck you’ to whoever—your father, your family, the world. Otherwise why show up only days after your safe little world’s imploded? But the other? Yeah, I could be a little wrong about that. After all, innocents don’t tremble when they stare at two women kissing and rubbing their pussies together on a dance floor. Or men and women just a zipper pull or a shift of panties away from fucking. They run the other way, not slide the tip of their tongue over their bottom lip like they want a taste.”
She parted her lips, but nothing emerged. Images—the searing fantasies that had her twisting in her bed, had her sneaking a hand between her legs—tumbled in her head like clothes in a dryer. She longed to give him a nonchalant, this-ain’t-my-first-rodeo comeback, but couldn’t speak—lust trapped the words in her throat. How long had he been watching her? And how could he tell what her secret desires were with that short observation? She wasn’t a virgin—as much as it would probably kill her parents to know. While she might not be as, ah, free as Tara, she owned her sexuality, wasn’t ashamed of her body, and loved to be touched.
Though, to be honest, lately her vibrator had been doing more touching than a man.
So, tonight, everything she’d seen had struck a carnal chord in her. Had her hungry for something that had been unlocked but never opened.
And God, staring at this man with his wolf eyes and searing sexuality, she wanted to be cracked open.
He cocked his head, a corner of that full, sensual, almost cruel mouth lifted. That small half smile, the glint in his eyes—they called to her, seemed to invite her closer even though that same mouth had just told her to hit the bricks.
Slowly nodding, he leaned forward. “No, lisichka, maybe not so innocent. But definitely hungry. The question is, do you even know what you’re starving for?”
Hungry. The truth in his statement hit her like a freight train—knocking her on her ass, undeniable. She was hungry. For freedom. To be seen. To be acknowledged. For more.
“Show me,” she said…and waited. Unsure whether he would straighten and order her to get the hell out. Or… Damn, the thought of “or” had her trembling.
The skin across his sharp cheekbones tautened, his mouth appearing fuller, more carnal. His blue-gray scrutiny became hooded, and she swallowed a gasp at the heat that damn near singed her skin.
He lifted one arm, and then the other, flattening his palms on either side of her head and lowering his head until their mouths were only a breath apart. “Show you what? Ask me for it,” he ordered. “If you can’t say it, you can’t handle it.”
“I want…” She paused, gathered her courage. Started again. “I want you to…touch me.”
“Not enough,” he murmured against her mouth, pressing his forearms against the wall and eliminating another inch of space between them. She inhaled, dragging in the dark, sweet, caramel-like flavor of whatever he’d been drinking, and damn, she wanted to suck it off his tongue. Lick it off that sensual bottom lip. His chest brushed hers, and she clenched her teeth, jailing a moan. “Try it again,” he insisted. “What do you want from me? Just admit it, baby. I noticed how you watched those girls on the dance floor and especially the couples on the couches. I already know what you want…need. So, just. Say. It.”
She had—she so had watched them, envying them, wanting to be them. If she just opened her mouth, she could be them.
“I…” Again her voice broke off, but she pushed on. “I want you to make me come.”
He stilled, but then in an explosion of movement, he gripped her wrist and yanked her forward, the passion—not violence—in his movements nearly undoing her. She followed, trying not to trip over her feet as he pressed the handle on the door at the back of the hallway and pulled her behind him.
The brisk September air wrapped around them, but it didn’t do a thing to cool off her overheated skin. He halted under a fire escape and yanked the end of the ladder down, and it lowered with a loud, rusty whine. He unbuckled his belt and whipped it through the loops of his pants. Once, twice, he looped and tied the leather around her wrists, before securing the ends through the bottom rung, stretching her arms above her head.
“Now you’ve gone and done it, lisichka,” he murmured, the soft tone a direct contrast to the firm, almost grim line of his mouth and the hard glint in his hooded gaze.
Oh, yes. Boy, had she.
Naima Simone’s love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey, Sandra Brown and Linda Howard many years ago. Well not that many. She is only eighteen…ish. Though her first attempt at a romance novel starring Ralph Tresvant from New Edition never saw the light of day, her love of romance, reading and writing has endured. Published since 2009, she spends her days—and nights— creating stories of unique men and women who experience the first bites of desire, the dizzying heights of passion, and the tender, healing heat of love.
She is wife to Superman, or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent, and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States.
   

 

Excerpt Reveal from Coming Full Circle by Jessica Prince

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Title: Coming Full Circle
Series: Pembrooke Series (Book 2)
Author: Jessica Prince
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 3

synopsis

She knew what it was like to feel unwanted.

At an early age Eliza Anderson learned a very hard lesson. Sometimes the people who are supposed to love you the most are the ones that cause you the most pain. She learned to guard herself, hesitating to let anyone close for fear of feeling that rejection all over again. Then Ethan came into her life, and what had started as a simple childhood crush morphed into a friendship she eventually came to cherish above all else. He was her safe place. Her rock. A shoulder she could lean on. Until he ripped it all away.

He knew what it was like to feel like an outsider.

Ethan Prewitt grew up learning that you couldn’t always trust the people you loved the most to be there. That sense of security he craved had always alluded him, leaving him to feel like an interloper in his own home. He dreamed of escaping the small town of Pembrooke and building a life where he didn’t have to depend on anyone but himself. What he never expected was for his friendship with Eliza to grow into something that meant everything to him.

Mistakes were made. Hearts were broken. But now Ethan’s home and he’s determined to make it right. It was time for their relationship to come full circle.

Because what they had was once in a lifetime.

***This is Book 2 in the Pembrooke series, a spin-off of Wildflower. They are interconnected standalones.***

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excerpt

I fell in love with Ethan Prewitt when I was nine years old.

It wasn’t real love or anything. I was only nine — almost ten — after all, but back then it was the most intense, consuming emotion I’d ever experienced in my young life. From nine to twelve I was a blushing, giggling, stuttering mess whenever he was around, and seeing as my Dad and his wife Chloe were best friends with Ethan’s sister and brother-in-law, he was around a lot.

Ethan was gorgeous and popular and way too old for me — which only added to the thrill of it. But as time passed and we really got to know each other, that young, childish love evolved. I started to grow up, mature, and that immature infatuation turned into a friendship the likes of which I cherished above all else.

My relationship with Ethan was the most important thing in my life. It was him I went to when I needed advice, his opinion I held in the highest regard, his shoulder I leaned on whenever I needed someone to share my burdens with. As the years passed, that respect only grew.

He turned into the best friend I could have ever had. We told each other everything, confiding things we wouldn’t dare tell anyone else. We shared our ambitions and dreams. We knew each other better than anyone else. I needed him. I grew to depend on him.

And looking back, I realized that was my biggest mistake.

Because needing someone didn’t necessarily mean they needed you back. It was a lesson I’d learned even before Ethan came into my life. You could give a person all the love you were capable of carrying, but that didn’t mean you’d get the same in return.

My mother hadn’t taught me much in my life, but that particular lesson was the one that stuck the most, sad as it was.

There were people in your life who were supposed to care, supposed to do their best to protect you from all the bad. My father was one of those people, his wife Chloe another. It hurt to know my own mother, my flesh and blood, wasn’t one of those people, and for that very reason, I kept my circle small. Only those who I’d go to the ends of the earth for and who I trusted to do the same for me were allowed in. I appreciated quality over quantity, and while keeping people out sometimes led to being lonely, I’d convinced myself that it was enough. I had everyone I’d ever need. I had Dad and Chloe, Noah and Harlow, my other friend Lilly.

And I had Ethan. Or so I thought.

I only had him for six years before I lost him.

Now I’ve spent the next six regretting the fact that I ever let Ethan Prewitt in.

Love

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JessicaPrince

Born and raised around Houston Texas, Jessica spent most of her life complaining about the heat, humidity, and all around pain in the ass weather. It was only as an adult that she quickly realized the cost of living in Houston made up for not being able to breathe when she stepped outside. That’s why God created central air, after all.

Jessica is the mother of a perfect little boy–she refuses to accept that he inherited her attitude and sarcastic nature no matter what her husband says.

In addition to being a wife and mom, she’s also a wino, a coffee addict, and an avid lover of all types of books–romances still being her all time favs. Her husband likes to claim that reading is her obsession but she just says it’s a passion…there’s a difference. Not that she’d expect a boy to understand.

Jessica has been writing since she was a little girl, but thankfully grew out of drawing her own pictures for her stories before ever publishing her first book. Because an artist she is not.

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Don't miss this Excerpt Teaser from The Fix-Up by Kendall Ryan!

 

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From New York Times Bestseller, Kendall Ryan, comes a sexy new standalone novel.

My tempting, and very alpha friend Sterling Quinn is someone I consider off-limits.

It’s not just that we’re friends, he’s also cocky, confident, and British, which means he’s a walking aphrodisiac.

But lately he’s been giving me the look. You know the one. When he thinks I’m not paying attention, and his gaze lingers for too long.

And then we start working together, and that’s when the sexual tension between us gets so thick, I want to hack through it with a machete. I want to make all these deep feelings I’ve harbored for him disappear, because there’s no way this can end well.

The lines between business and pleasure become irrevocably blurred, and I’m stuck between a rock, and Sterling’s very, very hard place.

Rather than keep a level head about our growing attraction, Sterling wants to go all in, showing me just how explosive we can be together.

But I’ve been around long enough to know that this British bad boy is more than my heart can handle. I’m not about to be cast aside like yesterday’s underwear when he’s done having fun.

Sterling’s never been told no, and he’s not about to put his ego aside and play by my rules. But I never thought he’d fight so dirty.

 

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Excerpt!

“Hey, Camryn. Did I forget something at your office?” he asks.

“No, I just . . . I had some questions for you about tomorrow.”

“Of course. What’s on your mind?”

“Well, when you said hang out, what did you mean?”

Anna’s hand flies over her mouth and her eyes widen.

No sense in beating around the bush.

I can almost hear the smile in Sterling’s voice when he replies. “What do you want it to mean?”

Straightening my shoulders, I sit up taller in my chair. “Oh no, you don’t, mister. Before I agree to spend time with you, there are a few things I need to know.”

“Go for it.”

“How many women have you slept with?”

“Pardon?” Sterling coughs.

Anna is on her feet, making slashing motions across her throat with her hand.

“Your number. What is it?” My tone is calm, controlled. I’m actually enjoying this.

“Is that information you need as my publicist, or as the woman I’ve asked to hang out?”

“Just answer the question, Sterling. Or can you not count that high?”

He lets out a sigh, so brief I barely heard it. For a second, I’m sure he’s going to dodge the question. “Enough to know what I’m doing. Not enough to make me a total fucking wanker.”

I laugh, despite myself. It’s actually a good response.

“Let me make this clear for you. I like you, Camryn. We’re both adults, and there’s no reason why we can’t hang out and enjoy each other’s company without it turning weird.”

What the hell does that mean? I’m more confused now than before. Maybe this is his last hurrah before becoming a married man.

“I’m not quite sure what to say.”

“We have fun together. Let’s keep it casual and fun; we both deserve that.”

The man has a point.

“But you’re about to be married,” I say.

“Not tomorrow. Not the next day.”

“But soon.”

He exhales. “Yes, and that’s kind of stressing me the fuck out, so I could use a little downtime with someone who gets me.”

I swallow.

“Say yes,” he murmurs.

“Sterling . . .”

“I would never hurt you,” he adds softly.

“Fine, but I’m not having sex with you.”

Anna is now lying on the floor of my office, her face scrunched up in agony, her head in her hands.

“We’ll see,” he says.

A girly bubble of laughter escapes my lips, and I clamp a hand over my mouth. I want to bitch-slap myself for that outburst. But Sterling only seems amused.

 

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A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 1.5 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. She’s a traditionally published author with Simon & Schuster and Harper Collins UK, as well as an independently published author. Since she first began self-publishing in 2012, she’s appeared at #1 on Barnes & Noble and iBooks charts around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine.

Visit her at: www.kendallryanbooks.com for the latest book news, and fun extras

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Check out this excerpt from Hooked by @BrendaRothert! #comingsoon

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Today we are sharing an excerpt from HOOKED by Brenda Rothert. This book is a contemporary sports romance title. It is currently up for pre-order and will be released on December 6th!

 

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Hooked by Brenda Rothert

Releasing: December 6

PRE-ORDER IT NOW!

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Book Blurb:

From the author of the On the Line and Fire on Ice hockey romance series comes a sultry novel featuring a brooding NHL player who’s hell on skates—and the no-nonsense woman who forces him to clean up his act.

Miranda: Even though I’m broke, putting myself through college, and working two jobs, I’m trying to make the best of it. Meanwhile, Jake Birch, hockey’s hottest bad boy, lives in a luxury hotel in downtown Chicago—and still complains about every little thing in his penthouse. But after I tell him off, instead of getting me fired, Jake requests me as his personal housekeeper. Then he starts flirting with me. Only I’m not flirting back . . . at least, I’m trying not to. Did I mention that he’s hockey’s hottest bad boy?

Jake: I’ve met the best woman at the worst possible time. Miranda is the fire to my ice—a sexy, charmingly candid spark who breaks down my walls and reminds me what it’s like to feel again. But I’m being forced to date my team owner’s daughter to keep my job, so I can’t be caught with Miranda. Still, we’re getting closer—until Miranda finds out about my “girlfriend.” And that’s not the only secret I’ve been keeping. But Miranda’s the one I want . . . even if she doesn’t believe me.

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EXCERPT REVEAL

Tony doesn’t have much to say this morning. He dismisses the staff and I stifle a groan when I look down at my assignment sheet and see I’ve got the penthouses again.
Crap. I still feel guilty about the shirt I ruined in one of the penthouses yesterday. I also don’t want to run into another naked woman.
I roll my cart of cleaning supplies onto the service elevator and debate whether I should knock out Jake the stripper f*cker’s room first or put it off ’til last.
Might as well get it out of the way. I knock on the door and announce myself more loudly than usual.
“Housekeeping! Housekeeping coming in. Are there any naked people in here? Hello?”
Nothing. I stood in the middle of the massive suite and look around. There’s a glass on the counter and a gray sweatshirt thrown over the back of a chair.
“Hey.”
The sound of a deep male voice makes me jump and screech. I actually screech, the cry caught in my throat before it escapes sounding more like a loud wail than a scream.
A tall, well-built man is leaning backward out the bathroom door, just his head and shoulders showing.
“What the hell?” I put a palm on my chest and will my heart to resume its normal pace.
“This is my room,” the man answers.
“Yeah, but . . . didn’t you hear me announcing myself?”
He steps out of the bathroom wearing nothing but a white towel around his waist and I see that “well built” doesn’t even begin to describe him. His arms, chest and stomach are ripped. I didn’t even know it was possible to have so much definition on ab muscles.
“You like the view?” he asks, giving me a cocky grin and glancing down at his bare stomach.
“Uh . . .” I clear my throat and look up at his eyes, which are a bright gray-blue. “No, I just . . .”
His smile slips away. “What?”
Apparently it’s been too long since I saw a man in a nothing but a towel. I can’t even think straight right now.
“No,” I repeat, clearing my throat.
“No, you don’t like the view?”
“It’s okay, I guess.” That’s a lie, but I’m pretty sure this guy’s self-esteem will survive.
He hmm’s with amusement. “Want me to drop the towel so you can get a closer look?”
“No. No, definitely . . . no.” I shake my head for emphasis.
“Okay,” he says, arching his brows and giving me a look that makes me sure he thinks I’m crazy. “Yes, I heard you announce yourself, but I need to talk to you so I didn’t want you to leave.”
Oh God. He knows I stole his shirt.
I give him an expectant look, trying to decide if I should own up to it or deny it.
Deny, deny, deny. I can’t afford to lose this job.
“You guys f*cked up the stuff I requested,” he says, walking over to the suite’s kitchen area.
I follow him, not noticing the outline of his very nice ass against the towel. Not noticing it at all.
“I don’t want liters of Evian,” he says, gesturing at the bottles of water on the counter. “I want normal sized bottles. Sixteen ounces or whatever. And this”—he holds up a bottle of amber alcohol—“is not gonna work. I’m not a frat boy. I asked for Evan Williams 23 and I want Evan Williams 23. I drink a shot of 23 after every win. This is really important.” Not missing a beat, he moves on to the next thing. “I also need Irish Spring soap.”
“Irish Spring?”
He gives me an annoyed glare. “I’ve used that soap since high school. I hate that flowery shit you guys have in your bathrooms.”
“And you want us to get these items for you?”
“Right. I’ll pay for everything, plus your time. I’ve got a rigorous schedule and I don’t have time to run around shopping. My housekeeper usually takes care of this stuff.”
Wow. I can see why this guy hooks up with random strippers. What woman would want to put up with him long term?

———————

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

BRheadshot

Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She’s a lover of Diet Coke, chocolate, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.

AUTHOR LINKS:

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Now Available! Read an excerpt from Well Hung by @LaurenBlakely3 #hot #giveaway

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✮✮✮WELL HUNG is now available! ✮✮✮

A hot and hilarious standalone romantic comedy, WELL HUNG is about an easy going, and well hung gentleman who’s been burned by love in the past but finds himself falling fast and hard for the one person he cannot have. It takes everything you love about a Lauren Blakely novel –witty dialogue, smoking hot sex scenes, and heartfelt moments –and puts them into one fantastic book! Told in the guy’s POV, WELL HUNG is the sexy, irreverent tale of what happens when a carpenter who’s good with all his tools accidentally marries his gorgeous and fiery assistant one night in Vegas. The trouble is…what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas in this twist on an office romance.

 

“Well Hung should come with the label ‘Satisfaction Guaranteed’ because there isn’t one single sentence I didn’t absolutely love of this story! This book has laugh-out-loud humor as well as a romance that’s both heartwarmingly sweet and deliciously dirty.”

-Yvette at Nose Stuck in a Book

 

 

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“Deliciously naughty and side-splittingly hilarious!”

Kelly at Beneath the Covers

 

 

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ABOUT WELL HUNG:

✮✮✮ WELL HUNG is here!✮✮✮

From the NYT Bestselling author of MISTER O, comes a hot and hilarious new standalone…

Here’s what you need to know about me — I’m well-off, well-hung and quick with a joke. Women like a guy who makes them laugh–and I don’t mean at the size of his d*ck. No, they want their funny with a side of huge… not to mention loyal. I’ve got all that plus a big bank account, thanks to my booming construction business. Yup. I know how to use all my tools.

Enter Natalie. Hot, sexy, smart, and my new assistant. Which makes her totally off limits…

Hey, I’m a good guy. Really. I do my best to stay far away from the kind of temptation she brings to work. Until one night in Vegas…

Yeah, you’ve heard this one before. Bad news on the business front, drowning our sorrows in a few too many Harvey Wallbangers, and then I’m banging her. In my hotel room. In her hotel room. Behind the Titanic slot machine at the Flamingo (don’t ask). And before I can make her say “Oh God right there YES!” one more time, we’re both saying yes–the big yes–at a roadside chapel in front of a guy in press-on sideburns and a shiny gold leisure suit.

But it turns out what happened in Vegas didn’t stay in Vegas. And now, my dick doesn’t stay in my pants when she’s around. I try to resist. Honest. But the more we try to keep our hands to ourselves, the more we end up naked again, and the more time I want to spend with her fully clothed, too. The question now is…do I take this woman to be my ex-wife?

★•**•.★Hot NEW release! WELL HUNG is here!!!★•**•.★
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“Romantic, hilarious, & ridiculously HOT!”

Musings of the Modern Belle

“You heard it first from us: Lauren Blakely wrote the HOTTEST rollercoaster scene ever!”

-The Rock Stars of Romance

 

Excerpt:

She twirls the pen in her hand. “So who caused the contamination today? Was it Floyd or Kevin the oily electrician you tried to put a chokehold on?”

“Oily Kevin needed the chokehold. Agree or disagree?”

She nods. “Completely agree. There’s so much agreement in me, I can’t imagine how much more I could possibly agree.”

“The chokehold was one hundred percent certifiably necessary,” I add, since Kevin had hit on her when he stopped by a few weeks ago. Here’s the thing—Natalie could dropkick him in the blink of an eye. She could slam him to the ground herself. But that shit he pulled with the leering and lewd comments does not fly with me. I would have done the same if a dude tried to get fresh with my little sister, Josie, at the bakery where she works. So I’d dropped a hand on Kevin’s shoulder, Vulcan style, and promptly escorted him the fuck out of my office. No one, and I mean no one, gets to put the moves on my employees.

“It was Floyd today,” I tell her, then give her the safe-for-work version of the story—the one about Floyd’s client conquests, not his comments about banging assistants. There’s no need to have that hanging out there in the air between us. Can’t plant that forbidden idea in her head.

That risky, dangerous, dirty, filthy, completely fucking alluring idea. My eyes roam the office briefly, and I catalogue all the places that are calling out to be christened. Her desk, her chair, the floor…

Just like that, my head is a wild rumpus of inappropriate ideas. Exactly what it shouldn’t be. It’s like horny aliens have invaded my mind.

But I’m not Floyd. I can do better, so I picture a vise, jam the images into it, and crush them out of my mind. The dirty images and the horny aliens, too.

“And then I escorted him out of Lila’s home and said see ya later,” I tell her, finishing the story, as I drag a hand through my dark brown hair. “Like, in another lifetime later.”

“Hmmm…” she says.

“Hmm, that’s great, or hmm, why did I give one of our suppliers the heave-ho?”

“Hmm, as in your story gives me a good idea. Something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.”

“What’s that?”

Her eyes sparkle. Hers are a lighter shade than my dark blue. “Want me to find a new hinge supplier?”

The idea is beyond perfect. I smack my palm against the edge of her desk enthusiastically. “Yes. And for the record, you’re brilliant and beauty—“ I cut the last word off so it sounds like a low bass note. Note to self: Don’t call her beautiful when you’re berating other men for hitting on her at work.

She’s watching me, waiting for me to finish my sentence, and somehow I twist the words into a new compliment, as I say, “Brilliant, and…bountiful.”

Bountiful? Seriously? What the hell was that? Maybe she won’t notice.

No such luck.

“Bountiful?” she asks, skepticism thick in her tone. As it fucking should be. “I’m bountiful?”

I nod, going with it, owning it. “Your brain. It’s like a cornucopia of ideas. It’s a Thanksgiving bounty. It’s bountiful,” I say, because I’ve got to sell this cover-up.

She squares her shoulders. “If you say so, Hammer.” And this bountiful brain was two steps ahead today. I already found a new supplier. I called around, talked to some of our colleagues, and got some great recommendations. I already have a new hinge guy lined up.”

My smile spreads quickly. “Damn. You are three steps ahead of me.”

“A good assistant should be.”

 

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And don’t miss Lauren Blakely’s other standalone Romantic Comedies!

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author-pic-lauren-blakelyAbout Lauren Blakely:

Since self-publishing her debut romance novel CAUGHT UP IN US three years ago, Lauren Blakely has sold more than 1 million books. She is known for her sexy contemporary romance style that’s full of heat, heart and humor. A devout fan of cake and canines, Lauren has plotted entire novels while walking her four-legged friends. She lives in California with her family. With ten New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than fifty times. Her bestselling series include Sinful Nights, Seductive Nights, No Regrets, Caught Up in Love, and Fighting Fire as well as standalone romantic comedies like BIG ROCK and MISTER O, which were both instant New York Times Bestsellers. In the fall she’ll release WELL HUNG, another romantic comedy. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter, laurenblakely.com/newsletter!

 

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Cover Reveal + Excerpt! Ink Exposed by Carrie Ann Ryan

The stunning cover of INK EXPOSED by Carrie Ann Ryan was revealed yesterday, and today we’re thrilled to bring you a first look what’s between the covers of INK EXPOSED today!

 


InkExposed300 (1)About INK EXPOSED

The Montgomery Ink series continues with the brother that deserves a second chance, and the woman who has always loved him.

Alex Montgomery lost his first love and then proceeded to leave himself in the bottle. Only he and his ex-wife truly know why he fell so hard and so fast down a path he never thought he’d take. Now he’s clean, out of rehab, and learning how to be a Montgomery once again—a task that isn’t quite as easy as some of his family assumes.

Tabby Collins is an honorary Montgomery and the organizational mastermind behind Montgomery Inc., the family’s construction company. She loves her planners, friends, and a certain dark-haired man who’s never given her a second glance.

Alex is slowly re-immersing himself back into the world, but the demons he faced before aren’t out of the picture, and he’ll have to learn to rely on others to make it out whole. When Alex discovers that Tabby’s life is in danger, he not only finds a way to help her but also learns the true woman behind the soft smiles he’s always seen. Their romance won’t be an easy one, but nothing this passionate and heart-pounding ever is.

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INK EXPOSED releases November 29th – preorder now!

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Get your first look at INK EXPOSED:

“Mrs. Montgomery?”

Alex turned at the sound of the soft voice behind him, his heart suddenly beating just a bit faster though he didn’t know why.

Tabitha moved toward them, a hesitant smile on her face as she studied the two of them. She wore her light auburn hair up high in a ponytail though he was pretty sure at one point she’d been a blonde. It might have just been the trick of light. He couldn’t quite remember much of the past couple of years if he were honest with himself. She was a little above average in height and all legs—legs he’d checked out more than once in the past year.

But he’d always pushed those thoughts aside like would do now. He was in recovery damn it and though he was past the year mark that most people suggested addicts wait to start a relationship, he knew that Tabitha wouldn’t be the woman he started up with once he was ready.

She worked with his brothers, Storm and Wes, at Montgomery Inc. She was the administrative assistant for the construction company his parents had started before he was born and he was pretty sure ran the company to the efficient standards it held. Wes might be super organized and diligent, but Alex knew Wes and Storm wouldn’t be able to function without Tabitha.

“Tabby!” His mother moved forward and brought the other woman into her arms.

Tabitha smiled fondly, this time not as hesitant, and hugged his mother back. “Hi, Mrs. Montgomery. I thought I’d come a bit early and see if you needed help cooking today. Mr. Montgomery let me in.”

Alex stuffed his hands in his pockets and watched the way his mother fawned over Tabitha. He couldn’t really blame her either. There wasn’t a bad bone in Tabitha’s body and every time he saw her she was always put together and helping someone. He didn’t know if she had anyone at home waiting for her or family around here, but he knew the Montgomerys had taken her in anyway. They tended to do that to anyone they liked and admired near enough to their web.

“How many times have I asked you to call me Marie, Tabby?” Marie held Tabitha’s hands and shook her head though he could tell his mother was smiling.

“Every time I see you, but I have a bad habit I can’t seem to shake.” Tabitha looked up and over at Alex and smiled though it wasn’t the same smile she’d giving his mother and he couldn’t quite read it. “Hi, Alexander.”

“Hi.” He always found it weird that they were the only ones that called each other by their full names but it had been one of those things that had stuck years ago and he didn’t know how to change it. And frankly, he didn’t want to.

 

About Carrie Ann Ryan

Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.

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Excerpt Reveal! Broken God by Nazarea Andrews

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Today we are having an excerpt reveal for BROKEN GOD by Nazarea Andrews. This book will release September 22nd. Broken God is an adult contemporary fantasy, standalone novel. Check out the exclusive excerpt below.

 

 

Click here to add BROKEN GOD to Goodreads

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BROKEN GOD by Nazarea Andrews

Coming September 22, 2016

BROKEN GOD Blurb:

Power is a strange and broken thing.

He was the sun god, the god of healing and song.

And prophecy.

Apollo has lived alone for centuries, content to spin out the years wandering a new and strange world, lost in the past and endless versions of the future. He has cut all ties with the remains of Olympus and his power, and hidden himself in humanity.

His twin thinks he’s depressed, spending his time in coffee shops, hospital waiting rooms, and concert halls…and nothing matters. Not really.

Until her.

Iris. With her teasing mouth and soulful music and eyes that remind him of the past.

He can’t resist her smile.

A girl as wild as he was, once, with a poet’s tongue and the body of a siren, who for one night makes him forget all the years and everything he gave up.

And he can’t stop fate.

Gods knows he’s tried.

He can’t help taking her.

Even if he knows better.

When Iris wakes up screaming, caught up in visions of the future, Apollo realizes that he didn’t leave his power quite as far behind as he thought.

He’s the god of prophecy and he’s been running from it, for centuries.

Iris is everything he has to avoid.

Now he has a furious Oracle on his hands, his sister trying to fix him, and someone is killing the gods.

It’s not just his tenuous sanity that hangs in the balance this time.

It’s all of Olympus.

Godhood really wasn’t supposed to be this hard.

 

——————-

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Excerpt:
There are a few things that will never change, despite everything else that has.
When I call, my sister will come.
Always.
It is the unshakable truth that my entire world is built on, from my first memories to this day. So when I piece it together, I don’t think.
I slide my phone out, even in the hospital room while Iris murmurs at her brother and Heath eyes me like I might break her.
Stupid boy. I already have.
I text her and slide the phone away. I don’t need to watch to know she’ll answer, any more than I need the answer to know she’ll be at my apartment when we return.
This is Artemis, who has made a life of taking care of me and worrying about me.
I listen to Heath and Lily talk around Iris, listen to her increasingly fragmented babble, and when Heath sends Lily a confused look, I intervene. Catch her hand and let a thin trickle of power seep from me to her. “We had a very long day, and she didn’t sleep well. I think I should probably take her home and let her get some rest. Do you mind?”
Heath does. I can tell, the way he’s bristling but Iris slumps into me and yawns, impressively, backing up every lie I’m spinning.
“I’ll be back tomorrow, ok? You just. You rest. I’ll be back tomorrow.”
She’s still looking over her shoulder when I pull her from the room.
Her eyes are wide and serious when we duck into a stairwell. “What happened to him?” she asks. Staring at me like I might give her answers. Like she has the right to demand answers from me.
Smart girl.
I tuck her hair back, behind her ears and ignore the low growl of warning it earns me. “If I promise to tell you when we reach my apartment. Will you trust me a little bit longer, sweetheart?”
Her eyes narrow. “Last time we got to your apartment, you and I didn’t do much in the way of talking.”
I grin at that. Because. Fair point.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 

NazareaAndrews

Nazarea Andrews (N to almost everyone) is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. Which means she writes everything from zombies and dystopia to contemporary love stories. When not writing, she can most often be found driving her kids to practice and burning dinner while she reads, or binging watching TV shows on Netflix. N loves chocolate, wine, and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, spoiled cat and overgrown dog. She is the author of World Without End series, Neverland Found, Edge of the Falls, and The University of Branton Series. Stop by her twitter (@NazareaAndrews) and tell her what fantastic book she should read next.

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Check out this excerpt from Monica Murphy’s upcoming release – Just Friends!

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Just Friends by Monica Murphy

Release Date: September 13th, 2016
Genre: New Adult Romance

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Synopsis:

It’s the end of summer. Just before I start senior year with my two best friends in the whole world. Dustin and Emily are everything to me. We’ve been inseparable since middle school, and when we’re together, nothing can go wrong.

But things aren’t always what they seem. Em’s turned into a drunken mess who parties too much. Dustin and I have hooked up a few times―and now he’s ready to take our relationship to the next level. Yet I’m not sure I want things to change. I’m scared if I take it any further with Dustin, our friendship will be ruined forever. Then there’s Ryan. The new guy. He’s hot. He flirts way too much. And Em has totally set her sights on him.

So when my best friend betrays me in the worst possible way, guess who’s there to help me pick up the pieces of my broken heart? Ryan. But he’s so confusing. Annoying. Sweet. Sexy. I want to trust him, yet he makes it so hard. What I really want is for everything to go back to the way it was before.

Before I found out that best friends make the worst kind of enemies.

Add to Goodreads

 

Excerpt:

“Liv! Finally you’re here.” She curls her arm around my shoulders and forces me to face Ryan, who’s still sitting on the edge of the bed with his legs spread in that way boys sit, wearing only swim trunks again. Does the guy ever wear actual clothes? “We’ve been waiting for you. Tell Ryan hello.”

“Hello,” I say in a monotone voice, incredibly uncomfortable from interrupting what was surely a private hookup moment. He smiles and rises to his feet, smoothing a hand over his rumpled hair, his biceps bulging with the movement. Hair Em was probably responsible for rumpling. “Hey, Livvy.”

Tingles race over my skin and I force myself to ignore the signs that I might be attracted to this boy who just had his tongue in my best friend’s mouth. I don’t even know him. It’s purely a physical thing, as in every single thing that makes him up physically, I find attractive.

And I shouldn’t. He doesn’t belong to me. He belongs to Em. I should be thinking about Dustin.

Not Ryan.

“I’m so glad you’re finally here.” Em turns toward me, and envelopes me in a warm hug, her mouth on my neck as she starts to speak again. “I’ve missed you.”

I hug her back, my gaze meeting Ryan’s as I say, “I’ve missed you too.”

He sends me a playful, rolling eyes look that I ignore.

Em kisses my neck and pulls away, her blue eyes bright, her cheeks flushed. She’s wearing a white lacy cover up over a black string bikini and her chin-length, gold-streaked bob is tucked behind her ears. She’s effortlessly gorgeous, all rosy from kissing a cute boy for who knows how long. “Now that you’re here the party can start.”

I laugh and shake my head. “Looks like it’s already been going for the last few days.”

Em rolls her eyes and lets go of me, heading for her dresser. “I was just biding my time until you showed up.”

“So I bring the party?” I tease, meeting Ryan’s gaze once more.

“You definitely bring something,” he tells me before pulling me into a tight hug. My chest presses against his, my arms going around his waist for the briefest moment before I release him and back far away.

He makes me nervous.

“Aw, I love that you guys are already hugging!” Em cries as she watches us.

Guilt swamps me but Ryan just smiles. “I’ll leave you girls alone.” He looks at me. “See you at the pool.”

And then he’s gone.

The air seems to cool the moment he’s le the room and

I go to stand next to Em, watching as she digs through the top drawer of her dresser. It’s an elaborate piece of furniture, cream-colored with an endless number of drawers, every one of them stuffed full of clothes. The one she’s digging through now is over flowing with lacy scraps of fabric. There are panties in every style and color, boy shorts and thongs and bikinis, some of it standard, most of it sexy.

Her underwear drawer is like Em in a nutshell.

“So how’s your summer been? Besides the partying and hanging out with the popular crowd? Have you done anything else?” I’m trying to make conversation but she’s hardly paying attention to me.

“It’s been so boring without you here,” she says, her head practically buried in that drawer.

I think she’s saying that to make me feel better. Not that she needs to. I’m a big girl. She’s allowed to have fun when I’m not around.

“What are you looking for?” I ask.
“A black lacy thong I bought last week.” She lifts her head and smiles at me. “I want to wear it tonight.”
“But aren’t we going swimming?”
Em blows out a frustrated breath. “Yeah, but I don’t want to forget. I want to wear it for…” Her voice drifts and she purses her lips.

“Ryan?”

She sighs and slams the drawer shut, turning to look at me. “Well, yeah. But it’s no big deal. We’re just friends.”

I raise a brow. “Is that what you call it? Because I hate to break it to you, but you were kissing him just a few minutes ago, and he had his hand on your boob.”

“So crude.” She nudges my shoulder with hers. “Voyeur.”

“Just stating facts. Facts I saw with my own eyes.” I pause, but she doesn’t say anything. “I don’t get why you can’t say that you like him and he likes you. What’s the big deal?”

“Because he refuses to make this a big deal so I can’t, okay? He told me straight up that we’re going to be just friends and that’s it.”

 

Just friends teaser tuesday

Pre-Order Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2bHAn2k
iBooks: http://apple.co/2aeSduM
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Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2bIEISO
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About the Author:

Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is both self-published and published by Random House/Bantam and Harper Collins/Avon. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance.

She is a wife and a mother of three who lives in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she’s not writing, she’s reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She’s a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.

Connect with Monica:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MonicaMurphyauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MsMonicaMurphy
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2c9ViiI
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2bRP5bR
Website: http://monicamurphyauthor.com
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Excerpt from Rachel Van Dyken’s upcoming new release The Bachelor Auction!

We have your first look at THE BACHELOR AUCTION releasing on October 4 and we can guarantee, you do not want to miss the first book in this brand new series from Rachel Van Dyken!

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TheBachelorAuction11_RGB300 (1)Cinderella never had to deal with this crap.

 

Jane isn’t entirely sure that Cinderella got such a raw deal. Sure, she had a rough start but didn’t she eventually land a prince and a happily-ever-after? Meanwhile, Jane is busy waiting on her demanding, entitled sisters, running her cleaning business, and . . . yep, not a prince in sight. That is, until a party and a broken shoe incident leave Jane wondering if princes—or at least, a certain deliciously hunky billionaire—maybe do exist.

Except Brock Wellington isn’t anyone’s dream guy. A prince would never agree to be auctioned off in marriage to the highest bidder. Or act like an arrogant jerk—even if that is just a façade. Now, as Brock is waiting for the auction chopping block, he figures it’s karmic retribution that he’s tempted by a sexy, sassy woman he can’t have. But while he and Jane may not get a fairy tale ending, maybe they can indulge in a little bit of fantasy . . .

 

 

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU |iBooks | B&N | Kobo | GooglePlay

 

 

Thick wavy auburn hair fell in disarray over his forehead. It was lush, shiny, perfect. Were guys born with hair like that? Or was his somehow chemically engineered? His full lips pressed together in a secret smile as the equally handsome man next to him said something, then erupted in laughter.

The first man stiffened, then shook his head. His broad shoulders seemed to grow tight as a drum. A slight tic in his jaw was the only clue that he was irritated or maybe outright angry.

And then his shoulders slumped as he was handed another drink and then another.

Nervous. He must be nervous. But what could a man like that possibly have to be nervous about?

He easily towered over most of the men in attendance. Suddenly his posture changed, then he smiled.

Jane felt her mouth drop open in shock.

Dazzling.

He was…like a duke or a lord or a prince from a storybook. Clearly, she read too many romance novels, but his entire presence demanded attention; screamed authority, importance, and sex. Lots and lots of sex.

Yes, his virility was a tangible thing, as if she could reach out and grasp it with her fingertips.

“What are you doing?” Esmeralda yelled in her right ear, interrupting her blatant sexual fantasy about a complete stranger. Great. That’s what her life had come to. And sadly? It was the most fun she’d had all night.

Jane turned to Esmeralda, prayed for patience, and answered. “Sorry, I was just thinking.”

“You’re so boring.” Esmeralda rolled her eyes. “No wonder you got dumped.”

Another fun fact? Esmeralda was mean when she was drunk.

The reminder of the breakup burned like acid.

It had been a year ago, not that it mattered. It still hurt that the last guy she’d dated had told her that although she was cute, she wasn’t really doing it for him anymore.

Right. Doing it.

Maybe that was because she hadn’t done anything for him or with him, and he found that lacking. But they’d only dated for a few weeks. Did normal girls do that? Put out after a few weeks? Apparently.

She wasn’t normal.

But if that was normal, maybe she was better off being strange.

“Jane, are you even listening to me?” Esmeralda whined. “Essence needs you to dance next to her for a bit. I’m tired and tipsy. I want to sit. Plus your dress blends in enough that it won’t take attention away from her.”

No way. What? What had she just said?

Jane wrapped her arms around her middle. “I’m sorry, what?”

Without warning, Esmeralda grabbed Jane’s hand and jerked her toward the dance floor, causing Jane to lose her footing and crash directly into Esmeralda’s back. Then, like a domino, she slammed back into Essence.

Jane opened her mouth to shout out an apology, but Esmeralda was already too drunk to listen to reason. With determination in her eyes, she reached for the pearls at Jane’s neck but grabbed the fabric of the dress instead.

Her poorly sewn dress ripped instantly, causing the fabric to slink past her strapless bra. A diagonal slit split up her thigh almost all the way to her hip. In an effort to cover herself, she took a step and tripped, thanks to her clunky shoes.

And then she fell to the floor.

Hard.

Her sisters watched in horror—but neither of them offered a hand. They were probably kicking themselves for forcing her to come. Esmeralda leaned over but missed Jane’s shoulder by a mile, grabbing her hair and giving it a tug, which only made Jane wince harder.

Both sisters were completely tanked.

And she was less than two minutes away from being trampled by the other sweaty bodies around her.

She glanced up.

And into the eyes of the man she’d just been lusting after.

Oh God, the humiliation was complete.

That one glance told her he’d seen it all. She swallowed back the thickness building in her throat. Of course the only time he’d notice her would be when she’d ripped her dress and nearly took out a few guests on her way down to the dance floor.

The crowd gathered around her.

And the sexy man disappeared—probably off in search of a girl with perfect hair, perfect teeth, perfect clothes.

She really should have stayed home.

Tears filled her eyes as a heel pressed into her right hand. With a jerk she tugged her hand free, struggling to get up to stand on her wobbly feet, when suddenly she was pulled to a standing position and then swept up in strong arms.

Jane’s eyes were still so blurry from unshed tears she couldn’t make out the man’s face as he carried her out of the crowd.

He smelled like heaven.

She fought the insane urge to press her face against his chest and just…close her eyes.

Because he felt safe.

Pathetic, when a stranger’s arms provided more safety than her own family. And yet he felt…right.

In a world where things for the past ten years had felt so wrong.

He felt right.

Maybe she’d had too much champagne.

 

 

 

 

rachelborderRachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!

Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!

You can connect with her on Facebook www.facebook.com/rachelvandyken or join her fan group Rachel’s New Rockin Readers. Her website is www.rachelvandykenauthor.com .

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Excerpt Teaser! The Debt by Karina Halle

 

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The Debt AMAZON

Her life changed in an instant.

And he’s the only one who could have prevented it.

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Pact and The Lie comes a new standalone contemporary romance about those McGregor men.

Jessica Charles shouldn’t have even been in London when the unthinkable happened.

She should have been back at home in Edinburgh, perhaps hanging with her boyfriend, having drinks with her sister or doing yoga with her group of friends. She should have been going on in her normal, dependable life as always.

But on that fateful day in August, when a mentally-ill ex-soldier opened fire in public, Jessica’s world changed forever.

Now single and crippled from the gunshot wounds, Jessica finds herself scared and alone, losing faith in herself and humanity with each agonizing moment that passes.

That is until a stranger enters her life. A stranger who makes her live again.

Keir McGregor has always been the strong, silent type. Throw in tall, dark, and handsome and you’ve got pretty much the perfect Scotsman.

Except Keir is anything but perfect. He’s got a past he’s running away from and a guilty conscience he can’t seem to shed. But the more time he spends with Jessica, the more he falls in love with her.

And the more his secret threatens to tear them apart.

He may have been a stranger to her.

But she’s never been a stranger to him.

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“You’re not going anywhere,” he says. “Sit. I’ll get you another drink.”

 

“It’s getting late,” I say feebly but I sit down anyway, my leg giving a protest of pain.

 

“You need something for that?” he says, noticing my wince.

 

“The scotch will do fine,” I tell him quickly, not wanting him to make a fuss. “But really, I should go.”

 

“Why?” he asks from the kitchen. I hear the top pop off the bottle, the slosh of liquid in the glass. “Where do you have to be?”

 

I have to think about that for a moment. He comes over and holds out the glass. “I won’t keep you here if you don’t want to be here. But if you do want to be here, you don’t need to make any excuses.”

 

I take the glass from him, holding it delicately in my fingers. He stands over me, a massive wall, waiting for some kind of response.

 

“I just…” I begin. “I…” I take a sip for bravery. Swallow. “I’m not very good at this.”

 

“Good at what?”

 

“At…this. Being with a man.”

 

When he doesn’t say anything to that, I look up at him. He’s got a peculiar smile on his face, his brows raised. “You call this being with a man?”

 

I clear my throat, feeling my cheeks grow hot. “I mean. I’ve told you before –”

 

“Yes, how you don’t do relationships, how you don’t do sex.”

 

“I never said I don’t do sex,” I remind him quickly.

 

His eyes never stop searching my face. “Then what is it? What are you afraid to say?”

 

I have the sudden urge to flee and I know it must show because he suddenly points at me and says, “Don’t you dare say you have to go again. I want you to go back to what you said, that you’re not good at this. What is this? Us? You and me? There’s nothing mystifying about you and me, Jessica. You know quite well how I feel.”

 

I stare at him in shock. I do? “How?”

 

He looks off with an air of impatience. “I invited you to dinner, you turned me down.”

 

“But then you said just as friends.”

 

“And I meant it. But there are different types of friends. It’s up to you to decide what kind we are.”

 

I put my drink down with a clunk. “Holy pressure.” And now it’s not just my face going hot but my entire body, flushed from head to toe.

 

“You’re on fire, little red,” he says, his gaze skirting over my limbs in such a hungry way I can almost feel them on my skin. “I have to say, I like this look on you. Hot and bothered.”

 

“Back with the innuendos again,” I comment but my voice is weak.

 

“No, no innuendos this time. You came looking for me tonight not because you wanted to confess but because you want something from me. What is it? What do you want from me? What do you think I can give you?”

 

Jesus. This is so utterly unnerving. His words slice right through me, his eyes still peeling under the layers, trying to get at something I’m not even sure of myself.

 

If I lie, he’ll know. I can only be honest with him.

 

“I want…” I take in a deep breath, my eyes breaking away. “I want…company.”

 

“Company?” He sounds surprised.

 

I nod. “That’s the truth. I’m lonely. And I’m afraid. And I’m tired of being both those things. I want to be with someone who makes me forget who I am. You make me feel fearless in a way I didn’t think possible.”

 

There. That’s the truth. Most of it. It hangs in the air, thickening the tension like flour to stock.

 

He sits down next to me, has a mouthful of Scotch. “Wow,” he says, running his hand over the beard on his jaw. “And here I was thinking you wanted my cock.”

 

I burst out laughing. So does he, a big wonderful bellow. The tension in the room eases up a notch.

 

“Sorry,” I tell him when I catch my breath. “I guess they can both mean the same thing.”

 

He sucks in his lip briefly, his eyes taking a lustful turn. “If you want it to.” We stare at each other for a few heavy beats. Then his focus trails back to my gaze and he says, “Why don’t you stay over?”

 

And there I have it. The chance to know what those full lips would feel like on mine, what his skin would taste like. I swallow hard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Debt 2

 

 

 

Halle HeadshotKarina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Racing the Sun, Sins & Needles and over 25 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

Halle is represented by the Waxman Leavell Agency and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.

Hit her up on Instagram at @authorHalle, on Twitter at @MetalBlonde and on Facebook. You can also visit www.authorkarinahalle.com and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.

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