Title: Vampire in Geek's Clothing
Series: Psy-Vamp (Book 6)
Author: Cassandra Lawson
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: June 27
She is a hunter being hunted by her own kind.
Never tell anyone who you are. Never tell anyone what you are. Those have been the rules Phoenix has lived by for the last five years, and breaking them could get her killed. That has meant living alone and avoiding getting attached to anyone. Isaiah makes her long for a normal life, but when she discovers he has secrets of his own, Phoenix is left wondering if a future with Isaiah is even possible.
He is a vampire who will do anything to protect her.
Isaiah has never been tempted to have more than one night with any woman, but that all changes when he meets a beautiful barista who makes him wonder if he’s inherited the Draksel family stalker gene. Even when he learns that everything she’s told him is a lie, he finds himself unable to walk away from Phoenix. Isaiah has no clue how he’s going to convince her to trust him, but now that he’s found a woman who finds his nerdy ways sexy, he has no intention of letting her go.
Available in Kindle Unlimited
Cassandra Lawson lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and her two youngest children. When she is not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, listening to music, or curling up with a good book.
Title: Whiskey & Honey
Series: Country Road #1
Author: Andrea Johnston
Release Date: July 21, 2016
Guys have rules. Rule #1: You don't date your sister’s best friend.
Bentley Sullivan hasn't found the one. He's always been the good guy - the gentleman. With one quick, and possibly irrational, decision everything changes. After a case of mistaken identity and a drunken kiss, Ben is convinced that the one is finally right in front of him. Only, she's untouchable.
Girls have rules. Rule #1: You don't date your best friend’s brother.
Piper Lawrence has not been successful in love. Almost as quickly as she swears off men, he comes into her life. Her childhood crush and the man who has set the standards for every man she’s ever dated, he is also the one man she can’t have.
A single kiss changes it all.
Andrea Johnston spent her childhood with her nose in a book and a pen to paper. An avid people watcher, her mind is full of stories that yearn to be told. A fan of angsty romance with a happy ending, super sexy erotica and a good mystery, Andrea can always be found with her Kindle nearby fully charged.
Andrea lives in Idaho with her family and two dogs. When she isn’t spending time with her partner in crime aka her husband, she can be found binge watching all things Bravo and enjoying a cocktail. Nothing makes her happier than the laughter of her children, a good book, her feet in the water, and cocktail in hand all at the same time.
Title: Into the Nothing
Series: Broken Outlaw #1
Author: BT Urruela
Release Date: June 21, 2016
Xander Evans has been on the road for many years. Never settling. Always moving from one place to another, unable to let go of his past. He lived a tragic childhood, spending most of those years in foster care. He's never felt like he's had a home. That is until he stops in the small town of Truman Valley, Missouri, where he meets a woman who will change everything he's ever known.
Paige Watson has it all. A loving family, beautiful home, and a great career. The only thing she's missing....is love. After escaping an abusive relationship, she opens her heart up to a stranger. He is unlike any man she's ever met. He came into her life and turned it completely upside down. Everything is perfect. That is, until one fateful night.
A night that would tear the Watson family apart, never to be put back together again.
A night that would send Xander away to prison for life.
"How about twenty questions?" I ask.
"I hate twenty questions."
"How about five questions, then?"
He cracks a smile and lifts an eyebrow. "How about three?"
"So, have I mentioned how much I fucking hate Tuesdays?" Brandi's voice cuts right between us. Xander looks relieved.
Me? Not so much. "Damn it, Brandi!"
"Oh nothing. Can you grab me Fireball though? Pretty please. Two of them." I look at Xander. "You're taking one."
"Three. I am too, bitch! Fuck Tuesdays!" Brandi calls out from across the bar as she begins filling the shot glasses from the Fireball chiller.
"Question one. You said you’ve been traveling for a while now, right? Do you ever get tired of it? Ever feel like settling?”
"Damn. Starting out with the heavy hitters, huh?" He eyes the shot glasses as if hoping it will somehow make them fill faster.
"Need me to go easier on you? Maybe a finger or two first before I go in with the whole fist?"
He looks at me in disbelief. "Did you really just say that?"
"Just answer the question, two fingers or three?"
4 Star Review by Ashley
My jaw is still on the floor. BT Urruela blew me away with his solo debut. The opening had my eyes popping wide and my jaw on the floor. I liked Xander from his first thought even though I had absolutely no clue what was going on. I will say that there is a lot jam packed into the relatively short time period that this book takes place in. But it all worked really well to lay the groundwork for a unique read.
I haven't read a character like Xander before. His life has been far from easy and though he's managed to make some really great friends over the years, he's a drifter. He is undeniably strong and has just a touch of punk in him. BUT he backs up his words with his actions. If there is one thing that gets him going it is disrespect, especially towards women. Which is precisely how he ended up with the Watson's. There was something so genuine and fun about the Watson family. From the way they bantered with each other to the way they supported each other in their work and how they welcomed Xander into their lives, they were the type of people you couldn't help but like. And as Xander and Paige spend time together and open up to one another more and more you can see the seeds of something deep and meaningful being planted. But as their relationship blossomed, Xander found himself the focus of the towns thugs. He made more than one enemy in his short stint and with each new fight I thought to myself...oohhhh this is who really did it!
There was a good intensity that seemed to stall before it picked back up towards the end. Speaking of which, I found the ending a touch rushed. There were so many details about the smaller, sweet, simple moments given that I felt some of the bigger points were missed. There was so much room to take the ending even further and tie it all together. That being said, the ending was wow. I didn't expect that last little twist at all- and no one was the same for it. While Into the Nothing doesn't really end in a cliffhanger, I am curious to see what is in store for this crew on the adventure they had just set out on.
BT Urruela was an infantryman in the US Army from August 2004 until February 2011. At the end of a year long tour to Baghdad, Iraq, his vehicle was hit by two roadside bombs, which took his right leg below the knee and the life of his commander. He was awarded a Purple Heart for his wounds, an Army Commendation Medal, and Combat Infantryman's Badge. He medically retired from the Army in 2011 and moved to Tampa, FL where he currently works as a Director and Brand Ambassador for VETSports, a veteran community sports nonprofit he co-founded in 2012. He also conducts motivational speeches, works as a cover and fitness model and he's a personal performance trainer. He co-wrote the military romance novel A Lover's Lament and will be releasing his debut solo novel, Into the Nothing, on June 21st, 2016.
Author: Maayan Nahmani
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 26, 2016
In an instant, my world turned upside down
Because of one incident, my life will never be the same
Every day I struggled to breathe
Every day I went through the motions
I felt too much
I was numb
I was drowning
I was lost inside the black
So they made me go there
I was already there, watching from the dark
And then I met him
And then I saw her
He scared me to death
She took my breath away
He was darkness
She was my light
They whispered he can't be touched
She was the only one I could touch
I couldn't be with him, they needed me
I fucking needed her
So I told him I would be his friend
I told her I would be her friend. For now.
But I couldn't resist him for long
She finally realized that she'll always be mine
We were a hot mess
We were the perfect kind of mess
Then reality dawned on me
Then my demons broke loose
I was underwater, trying to break through to the surface
I reached out my hand, trying to pull her to shore
Could he really help me?
Would she accept me, scars and all?
This was us
This was our story
"This book is based on true events and contains sensitive subjects that may be a trigger to some readers, such as violence, abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder. It also contains a parent with cancer. It is recommended for ages 18 and up." Safe. No cheating/OW.
I pulled my car next to Dorian’s and turned off the engine. I couldn’t believe I’d actually come here. I was scared shitless to let someone in, especially now when all my attention needed to focus on one thing: my dad. Shaking my thoughts loose, I grabbed my purse, exited the car, and made my way over to where Dorian was waiting for me.
Stormy clouds drifted across the sky, hiding the moon and darkening the neighborhood. Dorian stood at the base of a street lamp where it illuminated his features, softening the rugged angles of his face. He was attractive in a rough-around-the-edges kind of way, but now – as I let myself really look at him – I thought he was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.
He left me breathless.
“We should go up,” he said. “It’s getting cold.”
He took my hand and led me in the direction of his home. God, his home. The place where he lived. I was going to see where he slept, ate, and took showers.
Shut up… Don’t think about showers.
We took the stairs two floors up until we reached a wood door. After unlocking it, he waited for me to go in before him. As I passed the threshold, he said in an awful British accent, “Welcome to my humble abode.”
I looked back at him and grinned. I found myself loving playful Dorian. “Why thank you.”
When he turned on the lights, I sucked in a breath. I was here, and there was no turning back. I gave myself a moment to focus on the apartment. Floor to ceiling windows consumed the entire back wall. The living area was an open concept, providing a perfect view of the whole space. Dorian’s apartment was nothing I had expected. A Victorian chandelier with a modern twist hung from the ceiling over a rustic dining room table. And even though the space was open, it had a cozy feel. The warm tones of dark blues and light creams contrasted together beautifully to make the room feel inviting.
“So, what do you think?” he asked hesitantly.
I eyed him as he looked everywhere but at me.
“I really like it.” Then I added, “I like it so much I’m afraid I might never leave.”
His eyes landed on mine in a flash and a smile spread across his full lips. “I’d love that,” he whispered.
He took a step forward and I took a step back. I knew that if he caught me, it would be the end of our friendship. I would cave. I would fall into his strong arms and never let go. I wasn’t ready for him.
He approached me, his pace steady and his steps sure. His eyes were fixed on mine, making it hard for me to breathe.
When I felt my back hit the wall behind me, I knew there was nowhere for me to go. I drew in a sharp breath.
Waves of heat washed over me when he placed his hands on the wall beside my head. My tumultuous heart threatened to break out of my chest.
“Did you mean that?” he asked, his deep voice in my ear, rattling my thoughts.
My eyes fluttered closed. “M-mean what?”
“The song. Did you really mean that?”
His finger touched my chin and lifted my head. “Open your eyes.”
I shook my head. I wouldn’t be able to control what he would see reflected in them. And I had a feeling my eyes would tell him everything my mouth was afraid to say out loud.
That I was afraid.
That the world kept beating me down and there was nothing I could do to stop it.
That I didn’t know how to help my family.
That I wanted him. Wanted to be with him.
“Open your eyes, sweetheart.”
I gritted my teeth, refusing to give in.
Heart beats and erratic breaths were the only sounds in the room. Then I heard him mumble, “Fuck it,” and without warning, Dorian’s lips crashed against mine. My eyes flew open and then they fluttered closed again when my hands found their place on his chest. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to push him away or pull him closer. He kissed me deeply and with purpose, like he had been starving for it. Then his touch became gentle. The pad of his finger ran along my cheek, and then I felt the brush of his lips against mine as the kiss softened, caressing them lightly. When he bit my bottom lip, I gasped. He soothed the stinging pain with his tongue, slowly grazing it until it found its way back into my open mouth. His hand traveled to my thigh, lifting it up and wrapped it around his waist. He pulled me closer, until I was glued to his hard body. With my other leg, I had to stand on my tiptoes, because he was so damn tall. I could feel his hardness on my stomach.
He was hard for me.
My mind awoke from its daze, and I began to realize what was happening. Even though I loved the feel of his lips on mine, I was mad. How could he do that? How could he kiss me without my permission, after he said he would only be my friend? After he promised me we would take it slow.
Suddenly, I was furious.
I shoved him but he was a brick wall. He didn’t feel my pathetic attempts to push him away, so I pushed him harder and punched him across the chest. He brought my thigh down, grabbed my hands and pinned them to the wall above my head. He was like a man possessed. It felt like nothing in this world would make him stop kissing me.
Not even me.
An internal battle took place inside my head. I wanted to kick his ass, to punch him in the face for taking what he wanted without asking. For making me give in, for surrendering myself to the emotions that overwhelmed me. But even more than that, I wanted to cling to him as my heart stepped up its pace while his tongue circled around mine.
I needed more.
I lunged forward, but my captive hands prevented me from getting closer. I kissed him back with eagerness, my tongue connecting with his. His hands let go of mine and he cupped my face. We kissed as if we’d done this a million times before.
His fingers moved along my jaw, then up until they were buried in the roots of my hair. He tightened his grip and pulled me even closer, swallowing me whole.
My hands were busy doing their own touching. I began at the base of his stomach, feeling his abs flexing under my touch. My fingers rose until they reached his strong and broad chest, up to his collarbone, until they touched the scar on his chin. I traced its path, feeling the raw and carved place where smooth skin use to be. I tore my mouth away and kissed the jagged lines. He needed to know that it was a part of him and he was beautiful to me, scars and all.
His body stilled, but I carried on with my inspection. When I was satisfied I hadn’t missed a spot, I looked up and found him watching me, his eyes wet with unshed tears. They shined with sadness, acceptance, warmth, and affection.
I watched him intently as I braced myself to expose my soul to him. It was time. I would not run away anymore.
I opened my mouth and said, “I meant every word.”
I am twenty-six years old and I live in a small town in Israel.
My family and I were going through some difficult times not too long ago and one day I was confiding in my best-friend about everything. I didn’t know how to deal with it all. Then she suggested I should write a book about it. I looked at her as if she had grown another head and dismissed the idea on the spot. But the seed had been planted, and day after day, little by little, without realizing it – I started writing.
That’s how Underwater was born.
I found writing to be cathartic, healing. Something that helped my mind unwind and put things in perspective. I discovered a magical world where I traveled between imagination and reality. Writing became my home and I never wanted to leave.
I love to read, write, listen to music, edit videos, and play the guitar. I am always looking for the next creative thing. I also like a good movie and a glass of wine.
6/25/2016 0 Comments
It’s release week for Bad Boys After Dark: Mick by Melissa Foster, the first in a new sexy series! I am so excited to share this new contemporary romance with you!! Grab your copy today, and check out the exclusive excerpt Melissa is sharing it! About Bad Boys After Dark: Mick: [caption id="attachment_17423" align="aligncenter" width="553"] Fashion portrait of beautiful young lovers[/caption] Indulge your inner vixen... You asked for naughtier lovers, with the same fierce loyalty as The Bradens - Meet the Bad Boys... Four sinfully sexy, uber alpha brothers, about to fall head over heels for their leading ladies. . Everything's naughtier after dark... Amanda Jenner is done being a boring-man magnet and has finally taken control of her love life. As any smart paralegal would, she's researched the hell out of how to seduce a man. She's waxed, primped, and ready to put her newfound skills into action--and a masquerade bar crawl is the perfect venue for her solo coming-out party. Entertainment attorney Mick Bad lives by two hard and fast rules. He never mixes business with pleasure, and he doesn't do relationships, which makes the anonymity of a masquerade bar crawl the perfect place for a onetime hookup. . Amanda thinks she's hit the jackpot when she bags a tall, dark, and sinfully delicious masked man--until she discovers the man she's made out with is her off-limits boss. Mick's already crossed a line he can never uncross, and one taste of sweet and sexy Amanda has only whet his appetite. When Mick offers to give Amanda a lesson in seduction--no strings, no regrets, and for goodness' sake, come Monday, no quitting--the tables turn, and Mick's totally unprepared for the lessons this sweet temptress provides. *** BAD BOYS AFTER DARK Mick Dylan (coming soon) Carson (coming soon) Brett (coming soon) More After Dark books: WILD BOYS AFTER DARK (Available Now!) Logan Heath Jackson Cooper The AFTER DARK series are part of the LOVE IN BLOOM big family romance collection. Each book may be read as a stand-alone novel, or as part of the series. Buy Links: Kindle | Kobo | iBooks | Paperback | Nook | GPlay | Smashwords Exclusive Excerpt: LURED BY THE pulse of sex and anonymity, Amanda Jenner moved through the dusky bar, brushing against silk, satin, cotton, and flesh, each graze feeding the adrenaline coursing through her veins. Blue lights misted over sweaty strangers lost in the seductive bump and grind of foreplay and hoping for a night of erotic pleasure. If Amanda tried hard enough, she could smell tomorrow’s scent du jour--regret. Tonight she had no room for the confidence-crushing worry of what tomorrow would bring. She scanned the crowd, as she had in the previous three bars, immediately dismissing anyone who wasn’t in costume. Her world was full of boring men who excelled at wining, dining, and boring her to sleep. Ten years of romance novels and movies had led her astray, looking for the elusive needle in a haystack. She’d led herself astray, always the careful thinker, careful dresser. Or as her younger sister, Ally, would say, Careful kisser, careful lover. Ally, however, had taken charge of her sex life—and she’d found the perfect man. Now it’s my turn. About Melissa Foster: Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance, contemporary women’s fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the World Literary Café and Fostering Success. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine. Melissa hosts an Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family. Visit Melissa on social media. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event. CONNECT WITH MELISSA NEWSLETTER | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | WEBSITE | STREET TEAM Enter Melissa’s Giveaway: a Rafflecopter giveaway
Title: Picked Fresh
Series: Naked Organics #2
Author: Posy Roberts
Genre: M/M Romance
Publisher: Labyrinth Bound Press
Hudson Oliva loves stability. He was a throwaway teen before finding Kaleidoscope Gardens, but has since thrived at the commune. When Jude Garrity moves in, life gets even better, but Hudson still craves more. He knows he has to be satisfied with their exclusive status being temporary and that Jude will eventually navigate his full sexual awakening with their other housemates.
Hudson has a journey of his own to make. It might only require going home to settle his grandmother’s estate, but he plans to use his time away to figure out how to temper his feelings for Jude and bury his jealousy once and for all. But when Jude joins him on his trip, Hudson falls even deeper in love, especially after Jude stands by his side when he finally confronts his mother for rejecting him.
However, it’s not all hearts and flowers while they travel. They’re over two thousand miles from home when Hudson learns a ruthless corporate farm threatens the commune they both love. In order to save their way of life, Hudson must ask his mother for help. And if he wants a chance at a stable future with Jude, he has to tell him the truth about his feelings, no matter if it ruins the harmony he’s tried so hard to preserve.
Interested in reading how Hudson ended up living at Kaleidoscope Gardens? Read Naked Origins—Hudson for free. This is not a romance, but for those who want to dig a little deeper, this story covers much of Hudson’s history that is hinted at in Picked Fresh. Visit https://posyroberts.com/2016/02/02/free-read-naked-origins/ to read the summary and download it.
Title: Farm Fresh
Series: Naked Organics #1
Author: Posy Roberts
Genre: M/M Romance
Posy Roberts writes about the realistic struggles of men looking for love. Whether her characters are family men, drag queens, or lonely men searching for connections, they all find a home in her stories.
Posy is a Jill of all trades and master of the drill and paintbrush. She’s married to a partner who makes sure she doesn’t forget to eat or sleep during her writing frenzies. Her daughter, a budding author and cinematographer, helps her come up with character names. For fun, Posy enjoys crafting, hiking, and singing spontaneously about the mundane, just to make regular life more interesting.
Book: The Gamble
Author: Xavier Neal
Genre: Contemporary Romance
3 friends. 2 players. 1 bet.
When Luca Larson makes an expensive wager, guaranteeing the bedding of his only real female friend, he's expecting the situation to go as smoothly as sleeping with any other woman would. It doesn't take long before he realizes his usual plays won't work. She knows them too well. She knows HIM too well. If Luca wants to win, he'll have to do things he's never done before. Friendships will be challenged. Hearts will be broken. Lives will be inevitably changed. But one question will remain. Was it all worth the gamble?
Xavier Neal lives in Texas where she spends her time getting lost in writing, reading, or fandoms she recently discovered. Whether she is enjoying books or movies, she continues finding inspiration at every turn to bring more exciting stories to life.
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We just couldn't wait for June 28th - we wanted to share a sneak peek of Ryan Michele's CONQUERING now! You can read the first chapter below - make sure to preorder before the June 28th release for a special preorder price!
About CONQUERINGWes ‘Stiff’ Collins lived life on the wild side. He worked from the moment he knew what the word meant, always making the best of every situation. There was nothing about his past he would change. Without a real family except his brother Xander, Stiff joined the Vipers Creed Motorcycle Club, and they taught him what it was to have people he could depend on. When his past crashed into his present, he vowed to protect the club that had always been his steady, even if it meant turning his back on the woman who had given him life. Chelsea Miller’s life was simple: work, take care of her family, and save for the future. Everything was about having a goal and a plan. However, when her sister ended up battered and bruised on a diner floor, everything she thought was in her past suddenly threatened her future. In a moment, she had a new goal, everything else be damned. She would protect her family … at all costs. Stiff and Chelsea’s worlds collide in an explosion of determination, strength, and lust. Will they give in to temptation, or will conquering each other be too steep a price? Two people not afraid to put in the work will either overcome everything in their paths or finally crumble under life’s troubles they can’t escape, all in the name of family. **Due to content, mature audiences only.**
Add CONQUERING to Goodreads here!
Preorder CONQUERING now for just $2.99, a preorder special price:
CHALLENGED is on sale for a limited time - grab it now!
Read the first chapter of CONQUERING:“Chelsea, order up,” Charlie called from the back, slapping a plate of grub up on the window ledge of the diner. I shook off my drowsiness, plastering on a smile and grabbing the food, never feeling the heat from the plate due to the calluses on my hands. They were rock hard, shielding my skin against any amount of heat. At twenty-nine, I’d worked at Charlie’s Diner for thirteen years. Thirteen years of serving people with mediocre tips that had given me feet that, by the end of the night, ached so badly nothing, including soaking them in warm water, helped soothe anymore. Twelve hours a day, five to seven days a week would do that to any woman. As my grams used to say, “Can’t get anywhere in this world if you don’t work hard.” So, work hard I did, always. I wasn’t complaining. I loved Charlie, the owner. He had taken me under his wing when I was a pitiful sixteen-year-old, and to this day was the only man in my life who had yet to let me down. I had clean clothes on my back, food in my belly, and a place to crash. I had my sister, my grams, and my mother. What more could a woman ask for? Me, I wasn’t asking for anything. I was happy where my life was going. I had a plan. It wasn’t some grand extravagant one, but I had it and clung to it because everyone needed to have goals in their lives. Those could be small or large, but people needed something to reach for, work for, and take a hold of. Of course, this all came from my grams, too, but being a really smart woman, I took everything she’d said to heart. I lived on the cheap and saved as much of my meager earnings as possible. I had a decent savings, but that did not stop me from working at every available opportunity. A dollar was a dollar, and no one knew how far a buck could take you. My ultimate goal was to own my own home. The American dream, some might say. For me, it was about having my own, doing my own, and it being my way. Hard work and sacrifice would eventually get me there. Paying rent every month on a beat to hell trailer when I could be making payments on something that would be mine didn’t sit right with me. Unfortunately, my credit was shot to hell by a no-good ass of a father. I shivered with anger at the thought of him and tried shaking it out, but it was impossible when it came to that man. When I was a teen, he decided to use me for a couple of credit cards. Okay, it was seven of them. No joke. He really did, to the tune of one hundred seventy-nine thousand dollars and forty-seven cents. He swiped and signed for debts he never intended to repay, all of it striking against my credit. I, of course, did not find this out until I was nineteen and was denied a credit card I had signed up for, which I’d thought was unusual yet passed it off as being young. Grams being Grams, however, immediately set me on a path to checking into it. When information came back leading to my father, I was crushed. We hadn’t been exceptionally close, but he was my dad, the man who was supposed to have my back. He should have protected me, not have done this to me. At least, that was what I had thought a father should do. I’d expected better of him, but I should have known. Prosecuting my father for the theft still weighed heavily on me to this day. I only had two choices, though: one, not say anything and pay back all the money stolen, or two, I could turn my father in, which had been the only way I could get it expunged from my record and have the debt extinguished. I hated doing it, but really, the choice was made the moment he’d taken out the cards in my name. I couldn’t live with that huge weight on my shoulders. I had to bear it for a while when the courts had to do their thing: having creditors call me, looking for their money. And that was enough. It took me some time, but the courts deemed him guilty, and my credit fell back in line. Thanks to a wise banker, I’d gotten a secured credit card with the little savings I had. Then, like clockwork, I made sure to pay it off. Never missing a bill, I now had a very decent score to the point that if I saved enough for a down payment, a bank might take a chance on me. And I was almost there. I could almost taste my victory. It was another step in the right direction. “Eye on the prize, always,” Grams would say, and my eye was firmly set on loan equals home. Unfortunately, that had been the end of my relationship with my father. I’d received a few not so nice calls from jail and a very nasty letter that I’d burned, never wanting to read it again. The little girl inside me, though, still yearned for a father, even if mine happened to be a douche. After everything I’d been through, I took the lesson my father taught me the hard way and kept my name, social security number, and other personal information close to heart. I protected it with everything I had, kept an eye on it, and did routine checks to make sure no credit cards or loans were taken out under my name. Luckily, that hadn’t happened beyond the initial time, but I always had that fear it would. Life was looking up, allowing me to tackle it and reach my goal. As I walked across the black and white tiled floor of the diner, old man Darren looked up, a wide smile on his wrinkled face. The man had been coming in for years, and we had developed a friendly relationship. “There’s my girl,” he cried out, pushing his coffee cup off to the side as I slid his food onto the table, the porcelain hitting the Formica table with a scratching sound. It was a sound I’d come to find comforting over time, though others said it hurt their ears. “It’s nice and hot,” I told him, brushing my hands on my apron, feeling like something was on them, which was a job hazard. “Anything else I can get ya?” He beamed up at me. “That smile of yours sure makes an old man’s day,” he remarked. Even though he’d told me that hundreds of times over the years, I felt the same heat creep into my cheeks. “You make mine by coming in here,” I responded, trying to shake off the blush. “You good?” “Some more coffee when you have a chance, sweetie?” “Of course.” I spun on my heel, grabbed the coffee pot, and then topped him off. The other tables in my section seemed good, so I began my prep for the next shift. I checked and filled the condiments, along with taking two more orders, delivering them, getting more drinks, and cashing out my tables. Everything at Charlie’s was second nature to me, reminding me a lot of home. It did not slip past me that I thought of my job as home, but when you spent so much time in one place, it happened. I counted myself lucky to have this constant in my life. Charlie’s was the hot spot in Dyersburg, Tennessee except for Tuesday through Thursday—those were blah. Hence, why tonight was blah, but a girl could use that every now and then. A rest from the go, go, go, even if it was almost a waste of time because the tips were scarce. Charlie was into cars and bikes, so the entire place was decorated as such. His old plates off his cars and even handlebars from an old bike hung on the walls. I didn’t think some of the stuff actually came from him. Rather, he bought it to go with the theme. Regardless, the walls were covered in a rustic automobile motif, and I loved it. With the night ticking away at a little past ten, Mitzi and I were the only ones working the floor. I’d worked with Mitzi for a couple of years. Our relationship was purely work-related since a lot of what I’d learned about Mitzi had turned out to be fake. I didn’t do fake; hated it. Therefore, working relationship only. The bell above the door chimed, and instinctively I looked up from wiping down ketchup bottles. My stomach clenched. Plastering on my wide smile, I greeted them. “Welcome, boys. Go ahead and have a seat anywhere you’d like.” The air in the diner changed—it always did when they came in, which was regularly. The space felt smaller, closed in by their presence alone. They commanded the room just from stepping over the threshold. The farther they stepped in, their boots hitting the tile, the denser the air became. For most people, waiting on a table full of four large men who were members of an exclusive motorcycle club would come off as a bit intimidating, but they tipped well. As a result, once they sat, I was thankful they were in my section. When the Vipers Creed MC rode in, my pockets usually went from decent to way off the charts. I’d gladly let my knees tremble for the next hour to have that extra padding in my pocket. Not to mention, they weren’t hard on the eyes, either. I steeled my spine, grabbed my order pad and pen, then strode over to the table. Since I tended to keep my section steady with the regulars, it was no surprise to find Mitzi giving me the stink eye as I made my way to their table. She hid it quickly, flying under the radar with her perfect smile. She was good at that. Four men sat at a six-person, speckled, white rectangular table. Each man took a post on the farthest corner. One was a man named Bosco who’d been coming here since I had started and knew nothing about how to wait tables. I even spilled a Coke on him once. I would have thought he’d blow up at me, but he laughed it off, and he’d been kind to me ever since. He had dark hair with some white scattered through it. His beard and mustache were so burly they covered up his mouth almost completely. Across from him was a man I knew as Ben back in school, but now he went by the name Boner. I mean, really? What kind of name was that? Being a senior, he’d had no idea who my freshman self was, but that was expected considering I didn’t socialize much. He had light brown hair that normally was tousled on top like he’d run his fingers through it a million times, but today, he had a dark stocking cap on, covering his locks. He was handsome yet rough looking. Next to him, one seat over, was a man they called Dawg. Yes, not Dog, but Dawg. My assumption was he played the field a lot. He had been several years older than me in school; therefore, he was unknown to me. He had dark brown hair that curved around his ears. A striking man who turned many a woman’s head. Across from him was Wes, now known in our town as Stiff. With him being three years older than me, we hadn’t associated in school, either. That wasn’t to say my eyes weren’t wide open to him, because they had been … and still were. Then, he’d had the lightest blond hair imaginable, almost white. Currently, he had nothing. Completely, utterly bald, but it wasn’t the freaky bald you saw sometimes on men. No, this worked for him in a major way. Sexy, check. Hot, check. His beard was lightly colored and trimmed. Even as kids, Stiff’s eyes were magnetic, and some things never changed. They weren’t blue nor green. No, they were both, creating a swirling ocean inside them, sucking you into their depths. Truth be told, the men were each their own brand of sexy, but not men a person should fuck around with. Stories had been told over the years about the Vipers Creed—hell, Charlie had some doozies. I didn’t need any of that in my life. I liked simple, and judging from the stories, they were anything but. I would be happy to take their tip money, though. A smile went a long way, so I put it in place as I reached their table. “Hey, boys. What can I get ya?” I asked, standing behind the empty chair between Bosco and Dawg. All conversation halted and their eyes turned to me. My insides shrank a bit from the combination of their penetrative stares, but no way would I show that on the outside. Nope, I was Chelsea Anne Miller, and no matter what was on the inside, it would never show. “Little Chelsea, how are ya doin’?” Bosco asked. He would consider me little. I was five-feet-six, but anyone next to Bosco would be considered small. Nevertheless, I gave him a genuine smile. I mean, come on! If a man like him forgave you for dumping a pop down his shirt, it was a must. “I’m good. Hanging in there.” “Good. Can I get a burger with the works, onion rings, and a Coke?” I wrote all of this down in my usual short script, nodding then turning my attention back to the table. “Who’s next?” I asked, switching my focus between the guys, not allowing myself to linger on Stiff. “I’ll have the tenderloin with onions, fries, and a Dr. Pepper,” Dawg answered, and I scribbled then looked up expectantly. “How long have you worked here?” Boner asked, shocking me a bit. We hadn’t ever really conversed casually, but like everything else that life threw at me, I rolled with it. “Thirteen years,” I replied then waited for him to tell me what he wanted. He didn’t. “And you still fill out that uniform so damn well.” Boner whistled low. I felt it coming, and then bam! Cue blushing cheeks. I had never been one to accept compliments easily. I felt a flutter, but it landed more on the shy side, not the hot and wet. Charlie didn’t make us wear a uniform, really. We wore black pants, comfortable shoes, and a white button-down shirt—long for the winter, short in the summer. To me, what I had on was unflattering as all get out, but to each their own. “Thanks,” I responded. “What do you wanna eat?” Boner chuckled. “I get it, not interested. It was worth a shot.” I kept quiet. Really, though? Not interested? While my interest in Boner was slim, that didn’t mean I was dead. I could see how attractive each of them were in their own right. Still, the thought of him even wondering if I was interested was strange. “I want one of those hamburger horseshoes with a Coke.” “Got it.” My eyes lifted to Stiff, and the air left my lungs in a whoosh. Damn, those eyes were like laser beams cutting into me, swirling like a tornado, sucking me down. My heart picked up, thumping like a jackhammer, and it took everything in my power to stop my hands from trembling. While I might not be interested in Boner, Stiff, well, he just did something to me; had for as long as I could remember. “What can I get ya?” I asked, hoping to God my voice wouldn’t give my rising temperature away. “You on the menu?” he asked calmly. I felt the blush slink back but ignored it. Stiff had always been a flirt—a huge flirt to anything in a skirt, that is. Even me. I knew he was just playing around, but over the years, there had been times I’d hoped he wasn’t. It was stupid and immature, not to mention utterly ridiculous. As my dad used to say, “You’ll never be anything. No man will ever want you.” Some things, no matter how hard you tried, you never got over them. This was one. Those words were like brands on my soul, never leaving. Instead of feeling the embarrassment or heat of the hot man flirting with me, I gave it back to him. As my grams said, “You have two choices: run away like an afraid, little rabbit or buck up, steel your spine, and hold your head up high.” Me, I held my head high. She also said, “Fake it till ya make it.” I lived by that motto every day. This situation was no different. My father might have branded me, but that was on the inside. No one could see it if I didn’t show them, which would never happen, so I faked it. Jutting out my hip and putting my hand there, I said, “Nah, Sugar, but thanks for askin’.” I gave him a playful wink that took every bit of my strength. “What can I get ya?” I asked, wishing I had some gum in my mouth, as it seemed to taste like cotton. He scanned my body, the heat from his gaze causing my panties to dampen, something that hadn’t happened in a very long time, mind you. And I continued to stare with an expectant look, even raising my brow in impatience. Instead of answering me, he took his time, and it became difficult to breathe. He caught it and smirked at me. I looked down, focusing on my order paper. Breathe in, breathe out, I reminded myself. A hot guy checking you out is not a reason for you to pass out on the floor, Chelsea. “Burger, tomato, waffle fries, and a Coke.” He paused, causing me to look up from my order pad. “Add you on there.” My skin practically burned from arousal, but I once again powered on. “Sugar, you couldn’t handle me.” His lip tipped up, and I swore time stopped for a brief moment, allowing me to plug that one movement into my memory bank. Holy shit, it was sexy. I hadn’t had much sexy in my life, but that was by choice, because men sucked. First, there was my no-good father. Then came the asshole who drugged me in high school and took my virginity. Yes, I knew who it was, but it couldn’t be proven. Therefore, nothing had been done. Then there was Steven, who turned out to be way into porn. Barry was next, and at the name, I should have put him in the “no” pile. I learned that one the hard way, too. So, you see, men sucked. I was better off keeping to myself and aiming for my goals. Stiff scratched his beard while he studied me appraisingly. “Baby, conquering you would be a fucking pleasure.” I couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe. Did he really just say that? Holy shit, he did. Somehow, I snapped myself together and ignored his comment. How I did this, I had no idea. “Anything else?” “Nah,” Bosco replied, and I scooted away from the table right as I heard Bosco say, “Stop that shit, Stiff.” “What? She’s pretty.” My step faltered, but I regained it just in the nick of time. He said I was pretty. I gripped the countertop, needing something to hold on to in order to ground myself. This was surreal. Definitely surreal. Sure, he’d flirted—hell, he flirted with every woman he could when in here—but to have that intense look then to call me pretty, that was just bizarre. Totally unlike the other times. Regaining my composure, I put their order in and filled their drinks. Then I walked back to their table and began handing the drinks out. “Coke,” I called out, getting a grunt from Bosco. I continued calling out drinks and passing them around. “How’s that sister of yours?” Boner asked. This time, I smiled huge, and it wasn’t the one I plastered on my face every day. No, this one was genuine because I loved my sister more than anything in this world. Anyone honestly asking about her made me happy. “She’s good. Almost done with college. I’m damn proud of her.” My heart swelled with emotion. I’d never been so proud of anything in my life. Jennifer had always been so damn smart. Mom and I were lucky she had received scholarships, but even if she hadn’t, I would have taken on another job to get her through. Jenn wanted college so badly. It was one of her goals, and she deserved every chance in life. She worked her ass off up there, having a job besides school. I still sent her running money, which she continually returned, becoming our game. She was only a thirty-minute drive from here, but it seemed like a lifetime away. I missed her. It had been almost a month since I’d seen her last. Though we talked every day, it wasn’t the same. Bosco whistled. “College girl. Always knew she’d do good.” I nodded. “Yep, and she’s getting all A’s.” I knew I was beaming, because my cheeks began to have that twinge in them that bordered on pain from when you smile for too long. But you kept doing it, anyway, since you really felt it. I looked over at Stiff and saw his eyes dead focused on me. My smile wobbled a tad, but I held strong. Stiff had always had that something—call it charisma, charm, badassness, or anything along those lines. Then again, it might just be my hormones considering getting laid was up there with getting a hole in my head. I had no time for either. “I’ll be back with your food in a bit,” I told them, striding away. While filling the mustard containers, my eyes would drift over to their table whenever I heard the barks of laughter between the men. Stiff snagged me once, but I smiled then quickly looked away. I mean, I couldn’t have him thinking I was staring at him, right? The rest of the night went without incident, and as expected, I got a hefty tip from the boys.
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About Ryan MicheleRyan Michele found her passion in making fictional characters come to life. She loves being in an imaginative world where anything is possible and has a knack for special twists readers don’t see coming. She writes MC, Contemporary, Erotic, Paranormal, New Adult, Inspirational, and many more romances. And whether it’s bikers, wolf shifters, mafia, or beyond, Ryan spends her time making sure her heroes are strong and her heroines match them at every turn. When she isn’t writing, Ryan is a mom and wife living in rural Illinois and reading by her pond in the warm sun.
A hot one night stand between friends might spark true love in The
Billionaire’s Favorite Mistake by Jessica Clare!
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/260YeQ5
A hot one night stand between friends might spark true love in the latest Billionaires and Bridesmaids novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Billionaire Takes a Bride.
Greer has always been there for Asher, but she wishes she could break through her shyness and show how much she truly loves him. But after a steamy, mindless fling at Hunter and Gretchen’s engagement party, Greer finds herself tossed aside and forced to admit that you can’t love someone who doesn’t acknowledge you exist.
It’s a shame he got her pregnant.
After his fiancée betrayed him and tanked his business in one fell swoop, Asher has spent his time trying to rebuild his wealth and forget the past. But he doesn’t understand why Greer blew him off after their night together—until he catches a glimpse of her belly.
Now Asher is willing to do whatever it takes to convince Greer she belongs with him. And he’s very skilled at the art of persuasion.
When the group started to disperse into partying again, he got out of his chair and moved toward Greer’s table, stalking her. He saw her heading off with one of the waitstaff and jogged to catch up. “Greer!”
She turned and her face paled at the sight of him. Her mouth firmed into an angry line of distaste, and then she picked up her skirts and continued to walk away.
Yeah, he was definitely on the shit list.
That didn’t deter him, though. Asher headed after her, following her into the house and catching up despite her efforts to hurry. “Hey, wait up. I think we need to talk.”
“I have nothing to say to you, Asher.” She didn’t turn to look at him.
He reached out and clasped her arm, noting how warm her skin was, and how soft. And damn it all if he didn’t start to get another inappropriate boner. His body really needed to learn to calm the fuck down. “Just give me five minutes of your time, all right? Then I’ll leave you alone.”
She exchanged a look with the waitress, and then nodded at her. “I’ll be inside in a minute. Go ahead.” When the woman left, Greer sighed and turned back to him, smoothing a stray lock of hair back behind her ear. “What is it, Asher? I’m very busy tonight with the party.”
“I can imagine. This is a terrific party. I should have known you were behind it.” He knew she’d done weddings for some top-notch clients in New York and always took her job extremely seriously. Of course she’d put on a spectacular party for her father. “Listen. I feel like the last time we saw each other, we . . . well, we fucked up.”
Her eyebrows went up.
Shit. That was apparently the wrong thing to say. “I mean, it was a fuckup, but not that fucking you was a mistake.” God, where was his suaveness when he needed it? Why was he all diarrhea of the mouth when it came to Greer? He could sweet talk anyone, but the moment he came close to her, he babbled like a schoolboy. “Not that I think we should have fucked, of course. We’re friends, and friends don’t sleep with each other. Not if they want to stay friends. And you’ve been avoiding me. We haven’t had our Mondays in the last few months.”
“No, we haven’t.”
“It doesn’t have to be Mondays, you know. It can be any other day. Or it doesn’t have to be lunch. It can be anytime you need it to be if your schedule is all screwed.” He frowned to himself. “I should probably stop saying the word screwed, shouldn’t I?”
Her arms crossed over her chest, pressing her dress tighter against her body. “Is this conversation going somewhere, Asher? Like I said, I’m very busy tonight.”
Greer’s tits looked magnificent in that dress, he realized. They’d been small, perfect handfuls the night they’d slept together and now they seemed . . . doubly abundant. “Did you get a boob job?”
Her eyes narrowed imperceptibly. “I need to go.”
Fuck, why did he say that? “Sorry. It’s none of my business. Listen.” He reached out and grabbed her elbow when she turned to leave, stopping her. “The reason why I wanted to talk to you tonight is because I was behaving like an ass that night. I was drunk and I wasn’t myself. I was just lost in misery and in booze, and if I’d been thinking straight, I would have never dragged you off to the gardens and slept with you.” And damn if that didn’t sound all wrong, too. “Not because you’re not attractive, Greer. You are.”
“You’re not winning me over, Asher.” Her voice sounded hard. “Did you truly come to this party just to tell me that you find me repulsive and you wouldn’t have slept with me if you were sober?”
“What? No, that’s not what I meant at all. You’re hot. I mean, hell, you look smoking hot in that dress tonight.” She was all lush curves, which was surprising given that his memories of her were of her daintiness. But her body had changed in the last couple of months. And something about that was bothering him. “I just . . . don’t think we should have done that. As friends.”
“On that, I agree completely. May I go now?”
Why wasn’t she thawing toward him? He remembered Greer as all soft, shy smiles for him. They’d been friends, good friends. The cool, remote stranger in front of him . . . well, it reminded him of Stijn and the politely disinterested-because-you-are-dirt-to-me expression he wore at all times. “I just . . . you’re a good friend and I don’t want to lose you.”
“We can’t change what happened, Asher.” She hadn’t thawed an inch. One of the waitstaff moved nearby with an enormous cake, and she delicately sidestepped on the path to allow them more room. As she did, the long hem of her skirt got caught in a nearby bush and pulled taut against her body, outlining a slightly rounded stomach.
Asher’s eyes widened as realization struck him. “Greer . . . are you pregnant?”
She bit her lip and averted her gaze.
Oh fuck. She was pregnant. “Is it . . . Is it mine?”
She looked back up again. Her eyes narrowed. She crooked her finger at him, indicating he should lean down. He did--
—And she delivered a ringing slap to his face.
About the Author
This is a pen name for Jill Myles.
Jill Myles has been an incurable romantic since childhood. She reads all the 'naughty parts' of books first, looks for a dirty joke in just about everything, and thinks to this day that the Little House on the Prairie books should have been steamier.
After devouring hundreds of paperback romances, mythology books, and archaeological tomes, she decided to write a few books of her own - stories with a wild adventure, sharp banter, and lots of super-sexy situations. She prefers her heroes alpha and half-dressed, her heroines witty, and she loves nothing more than watching them overcome adversity to fall into bed together.
Ten years ago, Lane Lewis said goodbye to the only home he’s ever known. Now that Midnight Fate’s tour has ended, he’s more determined than ever to find a balance between music and life. But sometimes reality’s a joke, fate’s a lie, and history’s meant to repeat itself. Ten years ago he shed the pain, but now it’s seeking revenge. Noelle Nash is a hopeless romantic with a dirty mouth. After almost giving up on love, she’s been lured away from her safety net to try one more time with Lane. She’s willing to do whatever it takes to hold onto the man she loves, but her fierce protectiveness even takes her by surprise. Can she learn to accept the truth? Or will she let her fears consume her, leaving her with no choice but to walk away? Six months ago their future began. Today, it’s about to get rocked.
Mystery pair TC LuLaRoe Leggings & $25 Amazon Gift Card
(2 prizes total - 1 winner for each prize)
About the AuthorGia Riley is a New Adult and Contemporary Romance author from the small but mighty state of Delaware. She's a lover of all things romance - a firm believer that everyone deserves a happily ever after. She loves strawberry smoothies almost as much as she loves reality TV. When she's not writing, you can find her roaming the aisles of Kirkland's, up to her elbows in Play-doh, or trying to hunt down spoilers for Big Brother. Her newest addiction is a Starbucks iced mocha - they keep her up late, doing terrible things to her characters.
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