Title : LOVE âEM - A Bad Boy Romance
Author : Kelley Harvey
â¢ Amazon Paid In Kindle Store Top 100 Best Selling Author â¢
Genre : Contemporary Romance
Release Date : February 11, 2016
BONUS: For a limited time, the eBook of LOVE âEM. â A Bad Boy Romance will include a BONUS. SO. BAD. - A Bad Boy Next Door novel full length novel. Both are standalones.
LOVE âEMâa Bad Boy Romance Book Blurb
Heâs rude. Heâs crude. Heâs socially unacceptable.
Jackson Tremaine gets under my skin as easily as he gets into my pants.
Heâs the prince of late night television and he single-handedly ruins my life between commercial breaks.
Thatâs fine. Paybackâs a bitch, and sheâs named Ronnie Fitz.
Ronnie thinks she knows men, but she donât know Jackâjackshit, that is.
The biggest problem with Ronnie Fitz? Sheâs addictive.
I had the best night of my life with her, and now she decides we can only be friends?
Screw the friend-zone.
Itâs the fuck-zone or no-zone with Jackson Tremaine.
Where you can purchase LOVE âEM:
LOVE âEM available on Amazon, $.99 or *FREE* for Kindle Unlimited Members.
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My brand new shoes bite into the back of my heels and squish my toes. I fill a paper cup with water and set it aside without ingesting so much as a sip.
Shayna takes my elbow as I pass by for the fifteenth time. âFor Christâs sake, sit down. I wasnât nervous until you started pacing.â
I press my finger to the twitch at the corner of my left eye. âThis is going to be a disaster. I know it.â
âItâll be fine. Relax.â My best friend for the last three years fluffs my corkscrew curls around my shoulders and grasps my upper arms. âA live studio audience will be good. I promise. Youâll be so happy you did this.â
âSomehow I doubt it. Why couldnât you have kept your mouth shut when Sam called?â Blah blah blah, thatâs what she did. Info dump right into my agentâs ear, and that was the cannonball on the catapult that shot me straight to the gates of Hell.
Shayna was the first to be invited on the show, and after she talked to Sam, I got a call too.
Shay whirls me around to face a blank wall. She holds her hand up as if sheâs painting a scene.
âPicture this: Youâll sell a million books, and then you can take me to Cancun. Weâll sip fruity drinks with tiny umbrellas, delivered to us on golden trays by hot cabana boys who donât speak our language. Weâll say the rudest things and smile and still get laid at the end of the day.â
A smile pulls up the corner of my mouth even as I rub the ache between my eyebrows. âIf you say so. Letâs just hope Jackson Tremaine is feeling charitable tonight.â
She sticks her tongue out. âJackson Tremaine can go fuck himself.â
I straighten her platinum blonde, not-quite-human-hair wig and tip her bug-eye sunglasses down enough to stare into her baby blues. âYou think all men should go fuck themselves. You know, most of them want the same things we want. To be loved. To be respected. You just have to give them a chance.â
âEvery year, I offer about a hundred of them a âchanceâ. All but three have failed, and those already belonged to other women.â Shay quirks her auburn eyebrow. Good thing the shades hide the dead giveaway that she isnât really a blonde bombshell.
A sad sigh escapes before I can catch it. âIâm so sorry, sweetie, but maybe you need to consider another career path?â
Even though her eyes are hidden again, itâs as though I hear them rolling.
âThanks for the advice, but I make an excellent living in my current line of work. As much as I love you, Ronnie, you and I have two different philosophies when it comes to men. Iâm good with that.â
A petite woman pops into the room. âLadies, heâs going to bring you out one at a time, starting with you, Ronnie. In five.â
My stomach grabs hold of my esophagus and trembles as the second hand ticks away the moments. My first live appearance on television is tying me into knots.
Appearing on the Up Late with Jackson Tremaine show should be a boon, but itâs probably going to blow up in my face. Like a big fat dirty bomb. Lights out.
My instinct says that heâs a shark and Iâm a guppy. Heâs going to chew me up and spit me out. Thatâs if Iâm lucky, and he doesnât swallow me whole.
No. I wonât let him. Heâs a man, like all the other men Iâve studied since I was twelve and Dad skipped out on my overbearing, never-to-be-pleased mother. If sheâd have shown him some love and compassion, heâd have stayed. Iâm sure of it.
I have to remember that about Jackson. Underneath his Armani suits and Rolex watches, he wants the same things as everyone elseârespect and love. Thatâs all. Show him some respect, and heâll return the favor. And, after tonight, I can move on and watch my book sales skyrocket as I ring in the new year, and my bank account will follow suit.
Shayna stands in front of the full length mirror in the corner and applies a fresh coat of the blood-red lipstick she purchased specifically for tonight. âCan you tell that itâs me?â
I rub my finger along my bottom lip. âWell, I can tell itâs you, but Iâd know you with a bag on your head. That sassy sway of your hips and the way you talk with your hands would give it away. But, I think youâre all right. Most people donât pay that close of attention. Iâm certain your secretâs safe.â
âI only want to ensure my potential clients can be assured that their unsuspecting, cheating bastards wonât know whatâs coming when I make my move.â
I shake my head. âOne of these days, Shayââ
âI know. I know.â She brings her tone up an octave, mimicking me. ââOne of these days, youâre going to meet the man of your dreams. Youâre going to read my book. Youâll fall in love. And wah,wah, fucking wah.â Save it, Rons. I am perfectly happy with my life. Iâll let you do the loving. Iâll stick with fuck and release, thank you.â
Offstage, the silent monitor flickers in the dark. On screen, two insanely gorgeous men smile at a shared joke and holiday lights twinkle in the background. The host tidies his stack of note cards, tapping them on the desk and tucking the one at the front behind the others.
Jacksonâs voice has a velvet covered rasp, even sexier in person than on television. âEleven days to Christmas, and a brand new year waits just around the corner. Many will make and break resolutions. How about those resolutions to find love or dump a dead weight relationship?â
His smile widens as he holds up his hands, trying to calm the masses as they cheer.
When the crowd quiets, he says, âThe ladies who make up this duo are actually very best friends. The livelihood of both women depends on love, in one capacity or another. I call them Love âEm and Leave âEm, if that tells you anything at all about their respective career fields.â
He brushes his fingers through chocolate-colored hair. âLetâs meet Love âEm first. How many of you gals have your eye on a man who seems to stay just out of reach, or one who doesnât want to commit?â
Someone in the audience cat-calls about her guy.
âAnd weâre glad youâve got a man whoâs hung like King Kong.â Jackson answers the bawdy lady while he winks at the camera. âAnyway, our next guest thinks she knows men. Love âEmâs got us all figured out and has put her wealth of knowledge into book form.â
My stomach takes a plunge to my feet. Here we go.
He holds up my book and exchanges a knowing look with his first guest as he stands. âThis guide for women is supposed to help you ladies catch and keep your dream lovers. Please welcome the author of Decode the Man in Your Life, Ronnie Fitz.â
The handler ushers me toward the stageâs side entrance. âWatchââ
Applause drowns out whatever heâs saying as I clear the edge of the royal blue curtain. The clipboard-wielding guy gives me a shove toward Jackson Tremaine who waits three feet ahead with his hand held out in greeting.
Jackson has the clearest sage green eyes Iâve ever seen, dark around the edges but almost white at their center. They crinkle at the corners as he smiles at me, sending my heart into an abnormal rhythm. The hand he holds out to me waves me out, drawing me to him like aâ
Something grabs my ankle. Crap. A cable running across the floor is wrapped over my beautiful new shoe. I try to compensate with my other foot, but it makes it worse. I stumble forward, losing my balance as my plastered-on smile falters. Instead of shaking his hand, I fall against Jackson Tremaineâs muscular chest.
Strong arms come around me, pulling me up and tight against him. His scent, something like sandalwood and cinnamon, envelopes me. His laugh vibrates through my breasts, now pressed firmly against his pecs.
The audience goes bat-shit wild with applause.
Oh myâHell. In Hell. Right now. This canât be happening.
Mr. Tremaine hangs on tight until the crowd quiets.
âWell, thatâs a great start to a new relationship. But Iâm afraid Iâm happy in my bachelorhood, Ms. Fitz.â He sets me away from him, adjusting first his tie and then his junk right in front of God and everybody.
Heat floods my face, and I donât know where to look. âOh, Iâmâso sorry. I tripped.â
He tosses a sly look at the closest camera. âNo worries. I donât mind at all. I enjoy a beautiful woman in my arms any timeâbut only for a short time.â
Jackson takes my hand, sending tingles up my arm. âIâll hold on to you until we get you safely into your seat.â
He leads me to the chair between guest number one and the side of the desk.
Jackson stage whispers to the other man. âBe careful of this one, Bax. Love âEmâs quite a handful.â
Casino mogul Baxter Ransom nods as he offers his hand. âNice to meet you, Ms. Fitz.â
I do the best I can to swallow my embarrassment. âLikewise.â
Jackson returns to his seat. âSo, Ronnieâyou donât mind if I call you that? Youâve put together this instruction manual, if you will, for women.â
I brush my wild curls away from my face with trembling fingers. âI suppose you could call it that. Itâs really only common sense things that most of us already know but fail to put into practice in our everyday lives.â
âI read the book last nightâwell, parts of itâand Iâm not convinced.â
The lead weight in my gut grows.
No, itâs okay. Heâs playing Devilâs Advocate. Itâs his job.
âOh? What part do you need help with?â I smile, but inside my heart is shriveling into a raisin.
Heâs making me out to look a fool, and no one is going to buy my book by the time heâs done with me.
He leans back in his chair, propping his feet on his desk. âWell, this whole idea that a woman can get the guy she wants, simply by showing him deference and respectâ¦â
I take a quick breath, heat simmering in my stomach. Dumbass is twisting my words. âI didnât say deference.â
He laces his fingers across his flat belly. âOh, maybe I read that incorrectly. Donât get me wrong. I like the idea of a woman who shows a man respect. I donât buy that it will get him to commit.â
The fire in my gut stirs. âWell, think about it, Mr. Tremaine. What man doesnât want the woman in his life to tell him how amazing he is on a daily basis?â
I wait, but he just sits there, smugness poised on his too handsome face. Itâs as if he didnât hear the question I asked.
âWell?â I prompt.
His eyebrows go up, fake surprise in his expression. âOh, that wasnât rhetorical?â
No wonder heâs still single.
I let out a huff of air. âHow many men get the respect they want and deserve from the women who profess to love them? The principals in my book all come down to one thing: men arenât as complicated as ladies think they are. They want love just like women do. The biggest difference is what they perceive as love.â
He squints as though considering my words. âWell, they do say perception is ninety percent of reality. My ninety percent says this is a load of rhino dung.â
My jaw drops.
Did he really just say thatâabout my book, my magnum opus, in front of billions of people?
I snap my mouth shut and glare at him. âMaybe your perception is whatâs full of shit.â
His eyes widen, and his gaze darts to a man on the sidelines with a clipboard and an apoplectic vein popping out on his forehead.
âOops, probably shouldnât have cursed. All those pesky FCC regulations.â I smile sweetly at my asshole of a host.
Jackson nods to the vein guy, whips his feet off his desk, and holds my book up once more.
âAnd there you have it, folks. Want to know how to get a man? Buy the book and have him in the bag by Valentineâs Day.â
He tosses the book aside and smiles directly at the camera set in the middle isle of the gallery of seats. âOur next guest, BFF to Ms. Fitz here, is pretty much her polar opposite.â
In ways he will never understand.
Jackson grins. âLeave âEmâremember thatâs her nickname. Sorry, I canât reveal her true identity, because she needs the anonymity to run her business. Leave âEm claims she doesnât believe in true love. Well, I suppose not, considering itâs her job to prove it isnât out there.â
Jackson stands and claps. âPlease welcome our next guest. Sheâs the person other women hire to test the men in their lives.â
Shayna glides onto the stageâno tripping for her. Sheâs much too graceful as she waves and blows kisses Marilyn Monroe style. Maybe sheâs taking that wig too seriously.
Shayna takes Jacksonâs offered hand in both of hers as Baxter and I shuffle chairs to make room for Shayna in the seat I vacated, closest to the host.
Jackson seats my friend and takes his own chair. âSo, youâre the temptress who actually tries to get men to cheat before you report back to your clients.â
âI suppose you might describe my work that way.â Shaynaâs lacquered fingernail taps out a rhythm on the arm of her chair.
âYou set up and ambush unsuspecting men?â Mr. Ransom shifts in his seat.
She licks her bright red lips. âI only make an overture they could easily ignore. Itâs only a trap for those men already predisposed to cheat on their significant other.â
Jackson Tremaine leans forward, his elbows on his desk, chin in his hands. âSo, Ms. Leave âEm, do you actually screw these cheating guys?â
Shayna grins. As usual, sheâs unfazed by direct barbs. As a matter of fact, Iâm fairly certain she likes it.
âNo, I never go that far. Iâm not a prostitute. I simply do my best to lure the men to willingly place themselves in a compromising position. I always stop before anything too serious happens.â
Baxter rubs his chin, as though contemplating what Shayna has said. âNever?â
âNever.â Her shades hide her rolling eyes, but Iâm certain thatâs what she did.
Baxter lifts one eyebrow. âHmm.â
Jackson barks a laugh, which he unsuccessfully tries to cover with a cough. âExcuse me. Iâoh hell, I canât lie. I just had a fantastic idea.â
Our host sends a sly look toward the camera to his left before he turns his full attention to me.
âSo, Ms. Love âEmâRonnieâwould you be willing to wager that should a woman use the techniques in your book, her man wonât have the propensity to cheat, because heâd be so enamored of her and happy at home?â
Baxter Ransom coughs, and Shayna whips around to me, her mouth slightly agape.
My throat goes bone dry. âUmâwell, I meanâIââ
Shayna jumps to my rescue. âA cheater will cheat, no matter how wonderful his woman is. Some guys are scum. Cheaters cheat, no matter what.â
I lay my hand on her arm. âWait. No. I believe most people cheat because something in their relationship is lacking.â
Shay elbows me. âShh.â
I toss her a look.
She ignores me. âNo. A cheater is a cheater is a cheaterâno matter what.â
The mischief coming off of Jackson Tremaine is almost palpable, and the audience goes silent.
Itâs as though they know heâs going to do something outrageous, which he probably will. And theyâll all think itâs epic, only Iâll probably be shoved to a lower level of Hell. Even the slight shifting and shuffling that usually goes on in a crowd dies down as he continues to study me and my friend.
He looks around both of us. âBax, youâre a gambler.â
Mr. Ransom draws back. âWell, my business is gambling, butââ
âLetâs make a wager, shall we? Right here on live television.â
My bladder twitches. Nervousness makes me need to pee. I could probably fill up three adult diapers at this very moment. Whatever Jackson has in mind is bound to be bad for me, terrible for my book, and probably horrible for my long-term career goals.
Baxter leans closer to Jackson. âGo on.â
âLetâs see which of these two ladiesâ juju works best.â Jackson wags his eyebrows like heâs a villain in a cartoon.
Shayna pops up out of her seat. âThatâs not how I run my business.â
âAw, câmon, now, be a sport.â Baxter grins, his eyes trailing from her fake hair all the way to the five-inch heels of her platform fuck-me boots.
Jackson looks straight into the main camera. âWhat do you think, America? Shall we wager that Love âEm canât use the techniques in her book to keep Leave âEm from taking her man?â
Shayna falls into her seat with a thud. âShe doesnât even have a man.â
And there it is. I let out a sigh. All of America knows Iâm a love specialist whoâs not in love and has no man. No hint of a man in my lifeânot even an old toothbrush still haunting my medicine cabinet from a man I once had. Iâm sunk.
Jackson cocks his head, as though he can hardly believe what heâs heard.
I open my mouth to rebut her statement, only to be interrupted.
âDo you not have a significant other, Ms. Love âEm?â His green eyes are too beautiful for someone like him. Nasty, evil people shouldnât get to be gorgeous. Not fair. They should be ugly as a warning to children not to become emotionally corrupt.
I close my eyes. I so hoped this wouldnât come up. Of all the things, why this?
I clear my throat. âThat has absolutely no bearing onââ
He holds up one finger. âWait. Hear me out. I take it from your reply that the answer is no?â
Panic sweeps over me in a rush of hot tingles up the back of my neck and across my face. I fight the urge to jump up and run off stage. âNo significant other at this time.â
The twinkle in his eyes makes me want to scratch them out of his skull. Iâve never met a man I liked less.
I toss my purse onto the counter in the kitchen. âWorst. Day. In. History.â
âI donât want to hear it. You couldâve avoided that entire exchange.â Shayna drops into a chair at the table and unzips her thigh-high boot.
My jaw falls almost to my navel. âI could have avoided it? What about you?â
Shay kicks off one boot. âNot me. Youâre the one who shouldâve said no.â
âYou should have, too.â
She tilts her head to the side, glaring. âNo. I couldnât. My work depends on women trusting the fact that if their guy is a cheaterâif heâs going to cheat at allâit would be with me. If I were to say I couldnât possibly entice your guyâwhoever the fuck that ends up beingâinto cheating, then why would anyone ever hire me?â
âWhoâs going to buy a book on how to catch and keep their man from a woman who isnât confident enough to say that she can keep her man enthralled enough that heâll turn down the opportunity to go at it with a blonde dressed like a prostitute?â
âProstiâ¦â Shayna looks down at her outfit and giggles. âYeah, I guess I am kind of dressed to head down to the boulevard and hawk my ample wares.â
She shimmies her tits in her too tight black leather jacket. âDay-umn. I didnât even get the big O from that one. How about you?â
She makes no sense to me sometimes.
Shay extricates herself from her other boot. âI mean, Jackson Tremaine fucked us both, and good.â
âI guess he did.â I drop into the chair adjacent to hers. âItâs not exactly like we can bailânot now that the entire country is waiting to see which one wins.â
She side-eyes me. âWe could tell Jackson to fuck off, and dust off our hands and move on.â
I let out a weary breath. âNo. We canât.â
âBecause millions, if not billions, of people saw us on that show. Youâre fine if you bow out. Youâll continue to do your thing. But me? If I back out, Iâm screwed six ways to Sunday.â
She rubs the teensy crease between her brows. âAw, câmon, Rons. Your bookâs success isnât completely dependent on Jackson Tremaineâs show. You just donât want to rock the boat.â
âRock what boat?â
âThe boat where everyone does whatâs expected and no one does what they shouldnât. The viewers expect you to be part of this bet. Youâll do it, if for no other reason than that youâre afraid to break the rules.â
I huff. âWhat rules? I donât know what you mean.â
âGirl, youâll fall in line behind whatever perceived rule there is in any given situation. I hate to break it to you, but you, my friend, are a goody two-shoes. In your mind, thereâs some invisible rule that states the gauntlet has been thrown. Therefore, you must meet the challenge.â
Goody two-shoes? Gauntlet?
âI break plenty of rules, thank you. Itâs only that I happen to know this particular thing can sink my career faster than the Titanic went down. Iâve worked too hard for that to happen.â
Shay cast a skeptical glance at me. âWhat rules have you broken lately?â
The answer eludes me. I search through my recent memory. Nada.
I scratch my head. âIâI donât know. Who keeps a journal of broken rules? Justâ¦ ugh, stop already. We have to do this bet.â
âOh whatever. Iâll do it, because youâre my friend, and Iâd cut off my right arm for youâthatâs my masturbation hand, just so weâre clear about what Iâd be giving up.â
Only Shay would point that out.
I canât help but smile. âAt least this way only one of us will be screwed.â
âWell, if Iâm the one who loses, please make sure you throw me a pittance when you see me lying outside your gate with my tin cup.â She unpins her wig.
When she shakes her red hair down her back, it cascades like a waterfall. The slight wave in it is probably there from being rolled up under her Marilyn get-up. Itâs moments like this that I hate her.
âIâd almost kill to have your hair,â I lament for the umpteenth time.
She shrugs. âWell, I would kill to have your curls. So youâd best sleep with one eye open, bitch.â
Shayâs African Gray whistles and squawks in the living room.
âBitch. Who you callinâ bitch?â
MEET KELLEY HARVEYKelley and her husband Mike live in North Central Texas. Having two daughters, one teen and one in her early twenties, keeps them on their toes. In other words, theyâre saturated in angst and excitement. Kelley often feels as though she lives on Teenage Drama Island and desperately needs a vacation to Adult Sans Kids Resort. The upside is sheâs always awash in oceans of inspiration.
Kelley enjoys reading YA and NA, although on occasion she gets caught reading other genres. Writing is her full time job. Though itâs hard work, itâs also a dream come true. Her characters knock on the door of her heart and constantly poke their heads out the windows of her imagination. She hopes you connect with them as deeply as she does.
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