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Happy Endings Book Club Boxed Set Books 1-3
Publication date: January 10th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Book 1: Hidden Hollywood
She’s on top…
When superstar actress Claire Jordan researched her role for the Fierce Trilogy movies, she never expected the bond she feels with the author and her romance book club aka The Happy Endings Book Club. Soon Claire finds herself confessing her secret longing for a regular guy—no more egocentric wealthy players—and the book club is all too ready to help. In disguise as a regular girl, she’s all set for a date with book-club-approved Josh Campbell.
He’s on top…
Billionaire tech CEO Jake Campbell is weary of gold-digging women, especially the glamorous superficial types. So when his identical twin, Josh, calls in a favor, asking Jake to step in as him on a date, Jake figures one of Josh’s cute girl-next-door types might be just what he needs. One night of passion with the sweet girl next door leaves Jake wanting more, except she seems to have vanished.
Sometimes a Happy Ending is just the beginning.
Book 2: Inviting Trouble
Madison Campbell has worshipped her older brother’s best friend, Parker Shaw, for as long as she can remember. So the night before he leaves for the Air Force, she decides he’s leaving town with her virginity. All she has to do is transform her tomboy self into a sexy woman with a bit of borrowed makeup and some creative fashion choices. The results? One drunken kiss that Park doesn’t even remember.
Ten years later, no man has ever gotten close to her heart the way Park did. And now that he’s back, the very unfeminine Madison refuses to blow her second chance. But when her bold attempts to snag his attention (“Oops! Dropped my towel.”) fail miserably, she does something completely insane—she caves to a makeover from the meddling matchmaker in charge of The Happy Endings Book Club. Hey, Park, you want some of this? Madison is about to find out.
Book 3: So Revealing
The last thing Charlotte Vega needs is a cocky HOT stuntman like Ty Campbell in her life. But when he pulls the ultimate stunt—a sexy romantic gesture that ends with a charming invitation to a sunset dinner cruise—she finds him impossible to resist. Cue disaster.
Their rocky first date goes from bad to worse when his yacht (okay, it’s actually borrowed) gets stranded in deep mud. Turns out there’s nothing Ty can do but wait hours and hours for high tide with no power, no way to cook dinner, and a hangry sexy-as-hell woman.
But Ty is determined to salvage the date so he starts a game to pass the time. Only what Ty learns makes him realize he may have just botched a date with the perfect woman. How will he ever win her now?
The Happy Endings Book Club series continues with Book 4, Formal Arrangement, plus more!
Happy Endings Book Club Series
Book 1: Hidden Hollywood
Book 2: Inviting Trouble
Book 3: So Revealing
Book 4: Formal Arrangement
Book 5: Bad Boy Done Wrong
Book 6: Mess With Me
Book 7: Resisting Fate
Hidden Hollywood Excerpt
© 2016 Kylie Gilmore
Claire bit her lower lip. “Dammit. This is why I can’t have real relationships. I can’t trust anyone.”
“You can trust me.”
She sighed. “I don’t even know you.”
“Get to know me.”
“Jake…” She looked away.
“One date, the real deal. Jake and Claire.”
She was tempted. He could tell. She didn’t give him a no right away and now she was searching his face, looking for the truth. He leaned forward, brushing his lips against hers, coaxing. He pulled back and met her eyes, fully prepared to do this all night if he had to. Coaxing, charming, easing his way in. He’d thought coaxing would be too difficult with the way he wanted her, but having her pull away was much harder.
She spoke quietly. “You don’t want that kind of spotlight on you. It’s not pretty.”
It wasn’t a no.
“I want you, and whatever comes with it, I don’t care.” He cradled her face with both hands. “I want Claire.”
She closed her eyes, and he dropped his hands to her shoulders, sliding them down the satiny smooth skin of her arms to her hands. He took her hands from behind her and pulled them forward, just holding them. She didn’t pull away. He sensed she was leaning toward letting him in.
Finally she spoke, the words filling him with elation. “We’d have to keep it quiet.”
Not that he wanted to keep it quiet. He just wanted to be with her so much he was willing to play the game her way. For now. He kissed her softly and spoke against her lips. “Is that a yes?”
“Yes.” She shoved him away. “Now stop kissing me. One date. Jake and Claire.”
“Why do I have to stop kissing you?”
“Because you want to get to know me, remember?”
“I can get to know your body first. Get reacquainted.”
She laughed. “Yeah. I’ve heard that one before.”
He figured she probably did. Everyone wanted the sexiest woman alive. He’d seen the magazine giving her that honor and her bikini body splashed everywhere. He knew that kind of attention didn’t always bring out the best in people, and he realized he had to stand out from the pack.
He stepped back and helped her off the table.
“Such a gentleman,” she teased.
“It’s all an illusion,” he replied, not bothering to hide the edge of unsatisfied lust in his voice.
“Story of my life,” she said breezily. “I’ll text Hailey to let you know when I’m free.”
“At least give me your number now that we’ve established how much you lust for me.” She laughed, and he grinned. “I’d like to stop going through other people.” He pulled his cell from his pocket, punched in the code, and handed it over.
She typed her number in while saying, “I never give this number to anyone. Only a handful of people have it on a need-to-know basis. Can you handle that kind of responsibility?”
“What do you think?” It was an honor and, hell, he’d earned it with all his restraint.
She met his eyes, fire back in hers. “I hope so. I swear I will hunt you down—”
He cut her off with a kiss. Not a gentle one. The kind that said he’d be taking what he wanted and she’d damn well like it. She sagged against him.
When he was good and ready, he broke the kiss and snagged his cell from her limp hand. “Later, Claire Jordan.”
She fought back a smile and then beamed a big one at him, stunningly beautiful in her well-kissed, hot-for-him state. “Later, Jake Campbell.”
He grinned and headed out the door. Now that was more like it.
Kylie Gilmore is the USA Today bestselling author of the Clover Park series, the Clover Park STUDS series, and the brand new Happy Endings Book Club series. She writes humorous romance that makes you laugh, cry, and reach for a cold glass of water.
Kylie lives in New York with her family, two cats, and a nutso dog. When she’s not writing, wrangling kids, or dutifully taking notes at writing conferences, you can find her flexing her muscles all the way to the high cabinet for her secret chocolate stash.
Playboy CEO, Cal McAdams, lives life in the fast lane: hot women, hotter deals, and… a fake fiancee? I signed on to help reform his reckless image and win custody of his god-children, but I wasn’t expecting to come face-to-face (and mouth-to-mouth) with my wild Vegas hook-up from three years ago.
AKA, 6”3 of tanned muscle, sharp suits, and ‘undress me’ eyes.
AAKA, the best thigh-clenching, bed-shaking sex of my life.
AAAKA, the man who couldn’t be more off-limits if he had a uranium belt wrapped around his, um, assets.
I’ve never been one to break the rules, but Cal has me wanting to rip them up – and roll around naked on the scrap paper. But with just three weeks to turn this bachelor into a DILF, can we keep our crazy chemistry from derailing his plans? Or will gold-digging relatives, rambunctious pre-teens, and a little thing called love leave us both crashed out of the race?
Find out in the new sexy, hilarious romantic comedy from Lila Monroe!
I’ve been stranded at the hotel bar in Vegas alone for exactly twenty seconds before a guy sidles in beside me. “Buy you a drink?”
I glance up. He’s at least twenty years my senior, with pleated khakis and an obvious comb-over. I shake my head and smile tightly. “Got one, thanks.”
“Aw, come on now,” he says, plunking himself down in the empty seat beside me. “You in town for the conference?” Then, in spite of the fact that I haven’t asked: “Medical devices.”
His name is Greg, he continues; he sells surgical equipment and has a hundred dollar per diem he hasn’t blown through yet today, if I want to rethink that drink offer. “I’ll spring for nachos too,” he says magnanimously. “I’m a generous guy.”
I’m sweeping the room for the closest exit, contemplating an escape worthy of Danny Ocean himself, when a hand lands on the back of my barstool. “Hey babe,” a deep voice says casually. “Making friends?”
I whip around. This guy would look right at home with Clooney and Pitt. He’s tall and dark-haired, wearing a shirt rolled halfway to his elbows and an expression that clearly says, just go with it. “I got my ass beat at roulette,” he continues with a sheepish grin. “There goes private school for the kids, right?” He sticks his hand out to medical device guy. “Cal. The husband.”
I almost choke on my paloma. Still, something about the sheer ballsiness of this particular play–and, okay, how hot this guy is–has me playing along. “Hey hon,” I say, laying a hand on his pleasantly solid bicep. “Greg here was just telling me all about the free swag at the medical device conference in town.”
Greg’s gaze darts from me to Cal, then back again. “I guess I’ll leave y’all to it, then.”
“Good to meet you,” I lie, smiling my cheeriest smile.
Once he’s gone I turn to Cal. “So, on a scale of like, one to Disney Princess, how badly did I look like I needed rescuing?”
Cal tilts his head to the side, considering. “I mean, your undisguised expression of misery kind of gave it away.”
“Maybe that’s just how my face is!” I protest, laughing in spite of myself. “Resting miserable face.”
“Eh. Maybe.” Cal shrugs, all confidence as he settles himself onto Greg’s recently vacated barstool. “You don’t look so miserable now.”
Right away I feel my cheeks flush. It’s been a long time since I flirted—or, more accurately, since I was competently flirted with. “So how many kids do we have, exactly?”
“Not too many,” he reassures me, nodding at the bartender for another beer. “Like six or seven, max.”
“Six or seven!” I snort. “And here you are just gambling their lunch money away like some kind of degenerate.”
Cal nods gravely. “I’m a real scoundrel,” he agrees.
“Clearly.” I stick my hand out. “Jules Robinson.”
“Nice to meet you, Jules Robinson.” He gives good handshake, firm but not bone-crushing, all long fingers and the faintest scrape of callus on his palm. His eyes are a deep, friendly brown. “So what brings you to Vegas?” he asks.
“I’m with a girlfriend,” I explain. “Or I was, anyway. At the moment she’s out on an… exploratory mission.”
Cal grins. “Sounds exhilarating.”
“Oh, I’m sure it is,” I assure him. “What about you? What are you doing in town?”
“Auditioning for Thunder from Down Under,” he says immediately. Then, off my laugh: ”Callback, actually. I aced the first round, they couldn’t get enough of me.”
“Right, no, obviously.” The ads for the all-male revue were plastered all over the strip when we got here this afternoon: beefy, longhaired guys in bow ties, cummerbunds, and not much else. “So what’s your character?” I ask, rattling the ice in my mostly-empty glass. “Sexy fireman, sexy cop…?”
“Sexy medical device salesman,” he deadpans. “See, you’re laughing, but I have a whole bit I do with the x-ray machine. It’s a real crowd pleaser.”
Casino bars don’t ever really empty out, but this one is taking on a distinct after-hours vibe, low light and quiet conversations; the Bud-guzzling bachelor party bros are long gone. When I finally check my phone to see if Kelly’s texted—she has, she’s safe, and she’s having a truly epic time with her mountain man—I realize it’s after one. “Holy shit,” I blurt. “How’d it get to be so late?”
Cal raises his eyebrows. “Keeping you up?”
“What? No!” I blurt, immediately embarrassed by how eager I sound. “We just had an early flight out this morning, that’s all. I’ve been up for like twenty hours.”
“I’m teasing you, princess.” He smiles at me then, slow and easy. It’s the most intimate smile of my entire life. It’s a smile like sitting in front of a campfire in October and reading the paper in bed on Sunday morning; it’s a smile, frankly, like getting good and fucked by a man who knows you down to your most essential particles. “You wanna get out of here?” he asks.
I knew it was coming but still there’s something bracingly scandalous about the idea, being propositioned by a total stranger. I’m imagining it now, I can’t help it: that broad chest pressed against mine and his capable-looking mouth on my neck, long fingers reaching down between my legs and—
“Tempting,” I tell him truthfully, laying a palm against my flaming face. “But I probably shouldn’t.”
To his credit Cal keeps smiling, a little rueful; he doesn’t try to convince me, either, just touches my arm and catches the bartender’s eye to settle up. “Fair enough,” he tells me, pulling his wallet out of his back pocket. “Well, it was really nice to be married to you for five minutes, Jules Robinson.”
“Yeah,” I agree, feeling my whole body get warm. “It was nice to be married to you for five minutes, too.”
I’m surprised by the sharp pang of longing behind my ribs as I watch him go a moment later, the strange sense that I’ve somehow given up more than just a roll in starchy white hotel sheets. Still, it’s not like I’m about to just get up and follow him out of here. He probably does this every night, sure. But I’ve never had a one night stand in my entire life.
I’ve never had a one-night stand in my entire life.
The thought stops me—after all, I’m a grown-ass woman with a newly minted law degree, aren’t I? I’ve got nobody to answer to but myself. And this is Vegas. What happens here, et cetera. I swallow down the rest of my tequila, set the glass back down on the bar. “Hey Cal!” I call, slinging my purse over my shoulder and hopping down off my barstool as quickly as my tiny dress allows. “Wait up.”
Combining her passions for books, sex, and well-fitted suits, Lila Monroe wrote her first romantic comedy, The Billionaire Bargain, in 2015 and hasn’t stopped since. She loves writing about smart alpha men, and the strong and sassy women who try to tame them.
It should have been easy: take a well-deserved vacation from my high-pressure job as a cardiac surgeon, check into my hotel in paradise, drink my weight in mai tais, and hook up with someone who would not only give me multiple orgasms but make me forget my cheating ex, the very reason I hadn’t had any orgasms—at least not the partner-induced kind—for over a year. Instead, I spent my vacation sleeping, swimming, and half-heartedly flirting with men at the pool, but in the end I hadn’t been able to sleep with any of them.
I’d gotten close.
I told myself that it was all I needed to get rid of the odd restlessness that had been popping up more and more lately, the one that made me worry whether I was somehow losing my edge.
But one minute I’d be kissing a guy, enjoying him touching me, and the next thing I knew I’d remember Samuel’s betrayal, my mind and body would shut down, and I’d have to get away from him as fast as possible.
Now here I am back home, scheduled to return to work in two days, feeling like a pathetic horny loser. A loser who couldn’t even engage in a revenge fuck a year after Samuel cheated on me. Of course, it wasn’t as if I couldn’t try again tomorrow, or next week, or next month, but the thought of going to a bar, club, or hell, even the gym, to try again anytime soon made me want to hurl.
Which is why I was currently staring at the app my friend Bonnie installed on my phone after she picked me up at the airport, and I confessed I hadn’t done the horizontal mambo with anyone while in the Dominican Republic. I’d never done online dating. I met Samuel when we were both in medical school, and by the time we graduated, we were engaged. Too bad almost ten years of marriage hadn’t stopped him from cheating on me.
I was a damn doctor. A damn doctor who was almost forty years old. I’d planned to delete the app, but now…
I stared at the app’s pink heart logo.
So what if I hadn’t been able to pull the trigger while on vacation? I’m a modern, strong, independent woman. I have an amazing career that most people only dream about, and sure I’ve been in a funk, haven’t quite been myself, but what if Bonnie is right? What if all I need is one night—one night of hot, mind-blowing, fuck-my-brains-out sex with a random stranger—to get my groove back?
With a bracing breath, I rearranged the bed pillows, grabbed my glass of pinot grigio, took a big gulp, then clicked open the app.
A few minutes later, my profile and match preferences were up and running. My name of choice? Lana, because it started with an L like Lauren, and let’s be real, sounded ten times sexier. I used a photo Bonnie had taken of me in short shorts and a tank top, wearing a ball cap, only the lower half of my face visible. The photo gave me a flirty, mysterious air. I input what I was looking for: male, age 25-45, distance fifteen miles.
No sense in beating around the bush, and while I’d never considered hooking up with a guy who was younger than me, in this case, the more energetic the better. If I was going to break loose for a night, I might as well get the most out of it that I could.
Photos of eligible candidates began filtering onto my phone screen. Some guys seemed decent enough, while others were beefcakes who’d uploaded bathroom shots of their abs. Pass. Other guys’ profiles screamed bitter—“I want a woman who’s honest and isn’t into drama.”
I swiped right on a few of the decent ones, my initial nervousness quickly changing into exasperation. Then boredom. Then the sad realization that my choices were limited. Where were all the hot men when a girl wanted to hook up?
A message popped into my inbox, startling me so much I almost dropped my phone. Clicking it open, I read: hey. Nothing else. I rolled my eyes, deleted the message, and kept swiping, refilling my wine glass (I’d brought the bottle to bed with me) from time to time.
A few more messages:
Hi there your hot
Ugh, I know it’s just sex, but he has to know the difference between your and you’re.
Wanna get a drink?
You like peanut butter? I’d love to eat peanut butter with you. ☺
Okay, enough of this.
Just as I was about to hit the button to lock out my phone, however, his face popped up.
Like something out of a steamy romance novel meets Greek god myth, his picture alone was enough to send my pulse racing. He was shirtless, but all you could see were the tops of his pecs—wet, dripping pecs—as he rose from crystal blue waters similar to those in the tropical paradise of sun, sand and waves I’d just left. This was no beefcake taking photos of himself in his tiny bathroom in depressing, muted light. This guy was model material. In fact, he seemed too perfect, and I wondered if he’d used a fake pic. His image got even better as I worked my way up, with that gorgeous, muscular chest sprinkled with a hint of hair connected to an exquisite neck.
But when I got to his face, the deal was nearly sealed.
I sighed in appreciation. His chin was classic and square, the perfect shape and size to compliment his chiseled cheekbones. His skin was just dark enough to make you wonder whether it was tan or naturally olive, and he had tousled brown hair that looked silky soft. The real focal point, though, were his piercing ocean-green eyes, probably a trick of light and water. The way he stared right into the camera made me suddenly wish for a career as a photographer, lifeguard, or hell, even a hermit crab, for that matter. I’d scuttle across the sand just to pinch his big toe. Anything that got me in the path of that intense gaze for a night.
I had to laugh out loud. Talk about desperate! One photo of a hot twenty-something and I was salivating like a dog after a bone. I really did need to get laid, otherwise I might attack the next available guy I encountered, even if it was peanut butter man from the previous message.
About me: I’m more interested in fixing hearts than breaking them, which is why I’m in medical school (you can call me doctor). I like surfing, Thai food, and dogs. I basically go to school and sleep, but if you’re looking for something fast and casual, hit me up.
Both vague and quite specific, setting the parameters of what he was looking for without coming off as a total ass. I appreciated his honesty regarding why he was using the app, and the fact he was in medical school and had an interest in “fixing hearts,” (or at least had the creativity and balls to fake that he was) also earned him points in my book.
I swiped right instantly and waited. And waited. I got up to pee, came back, and waited to see if he swiped right too. To my disappointment, he didn’t, and that didn’t change over the next half hour. Gah, I’m pathetic, I thought. I was about to turn in for the night when I got the notification: HeartBreaker531 likes you!
Pathetic or not, my pulse sped up again. I opened the message screen.
Nerves in my throat, I decided to go with flirty, but short. I was just at the ocean. Too bad I didn’t see you there. Would’ve been a game changer.
I waited in anticipation, staring at my screen for nearly a minute before laughing at myself. Like he was going to message back that quickly! I rolled my eyes and tossed my phone away. I needed to go to sleep. Tomorrow was another day, and a clearer head was probably needed before jumping into the one night-stand territory anyway.
Just as I closed my eyes my phone dinged with a notification. I brought the phone closer and unlocked the screen only to find a message waiting for me from HeartBreaker531 himself.
Hey there gorgeous. Wish I’d seen you at the beach too. Game changer?
I hesitated. Told myself it was too late, too flirty, too much. This was a bad idea. I had no idea who he was. He could be some creep living in his mom’s basement, fingers stained with Cheetos dust.
Only somehow I couldn’t stop myself, because what if he was real? What if this gorgeous man was truly interested in me and could serve my purpose? My simple, shallow, selfish purpose, but a purpose nonetheless?
Taking a chance, my fingers moved as I settled back into my overstuffed pillows.
OH GOD, what had I done?!
Hi back? Was that really the best I could come up with?
What was I, sixteen years old again? I was a grown woman for goodness sake. Not some awkward teenager talking to her first real crush.
“Smooth, Lauren, smooth,” I grumbled to myself. I rushed to add another line of reply before mystery man ran for the hills.
Yes, game changer, I typed. Seeing you would’ve changed everything about my trip. I certainly wouldn’t have slept alone.
Holy crap, did I really say that? I was full-on flirting with HeartBreaker531. My fingers tingled with anticipation. How would he respond?
Actually, you wouldn’t have slept at all.
My heart raced. I smiled. It’s not like I’d never flirted before, but it’d been a long time. I’d forgotten how fun it could be. I had to keep going.
I would apologize for keeping you UP this time of night, but the mental image I have of you in that condition is too good. I’m unrepentant.
I was getting better at this. Sexy word play was a good move, and I even managed to work in a multi-syllabic phrase this time.
The phone politely buzzed, alerting me to his reply.
If I’m UP, then what are you? 😉
For a moment, I heard nothing back. Crap, had I scared him away with my blunt directness? Was I overdoing the confident woman thing? But then, his reply arrived:
I like that. What are you wearing, Lana?
For a moment, I wondered who the fuck Lana was. Then, I remembered it was my chat name! And apparently, things had quickly escalated and we were moments away from chat sex.
It was now or never. Did I want a meaningless tryst or not?
Gulping down another swish of wine, I looked down at my heather grey sleep pants and worn-in, navy blue t-shirt that was one of my favorites to sleep in. Not exactly va-va-voom.
I knew suddenly that no matter how handsome and sexy he was, no matter how daring I was currently acting, I would never meet him somewhere. Chat sex was as far as it would go.
It would be perfect actually. Harmless. No strings attached, no foul. It’s all good, Lauren, you nervous little minx.
Putting the phone down on the covers, I quickly slid off my pajama pants and then just as quickly dispersed with my top, leaving me sitting nearly naked, exchanging messages with a strange man over a dating app. I almost laughed at the absurdity of it.
Picking up my phone I tapped out my message and hit send with anticipation.
Why should I tell you? I teased.
His reply was quicker this time.
I promise I’ll make it worth your while.
I raised my eyebrows. Cocky, for sure, which only made him sexier.
I’m wearing black panties…and nothing else.
Nice. What kind of material?
Silk with lace around the edges and on the butt.
Touch yourself, Lana.
I hesitated. He’d used my chat name again, and it suddenly made me second guess what I was doing. Was I really going to do this? HeartBreaker531 could be some weird creeper. Or a stalker, or married, or or or…
“Stop it, Lauren. Grow up and let loose a little,” I told myself.
It wasn’t like I was ever going to meet this guy in person. He was probably using a fake picture, and so what? It was all for fun fantasy anyway. Wasn’t the end of the world. He probably thought my photo was fake, too. Come to think of it, I probably should have picked an image from some super model bikini shoot of someone with less hips and longer legs.
What did I have to lose? I’d had a hell of a year, and soon I’d be back to my professional, hard-working, life-saving self. That settled that then—I was all in.
I held the phone with one hand, while dragging the other slowly down my torso, over my stomach and onto the minimal waistband of my low-rise bikinis. Good thing I had lots of experience typing with one hand while juggling medical charts with another.
Are you touching yourself now? he asked.
Tell me how it feels.
I imagined he had a bit of a rasp to his voice, probably a baritone, yes, most definitely a baritone, and the question would have rolled over his tongue like whiskey, smooth on the ear initially, but with a follow-up shudder once the impact hit you.
Soft, smooth, warm…wet.
Whoa, bolder. I gave myself an internal pat on the back for that one.
Touch yourself like I would touch you.
Dear God. That sent a spike through me. Inhibitions melted away in the relative safety of my perceived anonymity, and I lowered my hand further, applying just the smallest amount of tantalizing pressure. The material was slick, the skin underneath getting slicker by the moment.
Can you feel how hot you are for me already through your panties? he messaged.
My touch felt electric and I slowly, leisurely moved my hand up and down over the slick material, leaving tingling tightness in its wake. This felt way better than masturbating by myself.
I closed my eyes as I continued sliding my hand leisurely, side to side, up and down. Was he turned on by this as much as I was? Was he stroking himself through his jeans? He was definitely wearing jeans and nothing else, I had decided. Open buttoned jeans pulled down to reveal his hard thickness.
Emboldened, I used my free hand to tap out another question. Are you touching yourself?
I imagined him biting his lip. In my mind he definitely bit his lip.
I wasn’t planning on it, but I am now.
My mystery Adonis had a sense of humor. My insides clenched a little tighter.
How does it feel?
Hard, very hard. And hot. It feels good, but not as good as if you were stroking me.
Oh, man. I was way, way in. I imagined him sitting alone in a hotel room, godlike body roped with smooth muscles, stroking his rock hard cock while thinking of me in my black silk panties. The mental image alone was almost enough to make me get off.
Put your hand inside your panties, Lana. Rub yourself for me.
Bossy. I could get on board with that.
Shifting positions for a better angle, I slipped my hand under the waistband, working my fingers slowly over my mound, pausing briefly on the cliff edge near my clit and then working further down. I hovered over my opening.
Another message from him: Do it.
It was like he was in the room, watching me. The thought of this sexy beast of a man watching me touch myself at his command had an audible groan escaping my lips. I dipped a finger just barely inside myself, confirming how wet this little verbal back and forth made me. I was willing to bet everything I owned that his groan was as sexy as I was imagining. Eyes closed, low and guttural.
Tell me how much you wish I was there with you right now.
I do. I wish you were here to feel this, I typed.
I could tease you, in and out all night long, Lana. My thumb rubbing over the head of my cock wouldn’t feel as good as rubbing it against your clit.
He was going to be the death of me, and with only a few dirty words. Pushing my fingers in a little further, I began working myself in earnest, feeling how slick this unlikely encounter was making me. I used my other hand to tease out another message for him.
I can feel your hard cock inside me.
That’s right. Imagine me inside you, filling you up.
Filling me up. YES. It was impossible, insane even, but I was getting close. That tingling, clenching sensation deep in my core was turning into a raging inferno. Was he stroking himself in time to mine? Did he want his fingers inside my pussy, closing his eyes to imagine it?
That’s it gorgeous, work those fingers in and out, faster now, a little harder. Those tiny fingers couldn’t possibly fill you up like I would. You know it’s just a taste.
My fingers flew in and out faster now, slicker than ever before. The heat was coiling tight, I was so ready. I needed a release. Needed to feel him deep inside me, rubbing his hard chest against my soft breasts, thrusting deep up into me with every move of his gorgeous hips.
Oh my God.
Yes, do it, Lana.
I could see his beautiful body now, with those striking eyes, that unruly hair tumbling ever so slightly onto his face. It was too much and not enough, all at once.
My insides clenched as my fingers worked over my most sensitive parts, stroking myself to an explosive, breath-stealing orgasm. My back arched as every muscle in my body tensed up at once, letting the warm, electric sensations roll through me. I collapsed back onto the covers in a state of incoherent bliss, resting my mind and body while I caught my breath. Remnants of my orgasm were still pulsing through my body as I heard the phone ding from my side where I had dropped it in the midst of ecstasy. I picked it up, eyes already half drooping in my newly relaxed state.
I want to see you.
Instantly, my fuzzy, post-orgasmic bliss brain got back into high gear. A little sexting with a random stranger was one thing, but a hook-up after this? Meeting with someone in person, after what he…I… had done? What had I been thinking? No, no way. Just no.
I had a career, a reputation. What if someone found out? What if he was really some creep in his mom’s basement? What if he looked exactly as gorgeous as his avatar and he had an ego to match?
My phone dinged again.
How about tomorrow night?
I paused, fingers hovering yet again. This wasn’t my game. I was older, more sensible, a big girl with big girl responsibilities, not some twenty-something who could play hook-up with random men for a bit of weekend fun. I had worked too damn hard to get where I was, crawled from the bottom up out of that hellhole, secured my place among the best of the best.
With a decisive stroke I went to settings, and the damn thing asked me if I was really, really sure I wanted to delete all of my information, contacts, pictures and conversations, etc. Yeah, I was sure! I deleted it immediately, and the app icon quickly disappeared, along with HeartBreaker531.
I had a moment of regret, but only a moment. Easy come, easy go.
Plugging my phone into the charger, I settled into bed for the second time that night. As my head hit the pillow and the remnant intoxication of both alcohol and sexual release forced my eyelids closed, I summoned up a mental image of Sexy HeartBreaker Adonis’s picture in my head one more time. As I succumbed to sleep my last thoughts were muddled reassurance—he wasn’t really the first man in over a year to make me come…I did it myself with just a little help. He was no one I needed. No one I wanted. We had fun but now it was business as usual.
Goodbye, Lana, woman-who-obviously-needed-some-so-was-willing-to-hook-up-with-a-hottie-even-if-it-was-only-through-a-dating-app.
Hello, Dr. Lauren Decker, woman-who-got-that-out-of-her-system-and-is-now-ready-to-focus-on-her-career-and-never-let-a-man-screw-her-over-again.
Virna DePaul is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, and a former criminal prosecutor who writes thrilling, sexy stories about ordinary people overcoming extraordinary obstacles to find love. She has been traditionally published with Penguin, Harlequin, and Random House, and is also a bestselling Indie author.
Emmett was on his way to work, sophisticated and handsome in his tailored suit and tie.
I was on my way to the sperm bank. Awkward, right?
At thirty-five, my life hadn’t taken the path I thought it would and I was tired of waiting—I wanted a baby. And I was ready to take matters into my own hands to make it happen.
After our ill-fated elevator encounter, Emmett insisted on taking me to dinner—he also insisted on something else—that I ditch my plan involving a turkey baster and let him do the job. He would be my baby daddy. He was a wealthy and powerful CEO with little interest in diapers or playdates. And since he didn’t want kids, I’d be on my own once his bun was in my oven, free to go my own way.
But once his baby was inside me, it was like a switch had been flipped, and I got a whole lot more than I ever bargained for.
This full-length standalone contains a hot, swoonworthy hero, lots of playful banter and some hot baby-making ! Enjoy.
And I’m not afraid to admit he’s both my best friend and my most trusted advisor. Sure, he’s gotten me into some tight spots over the years—pun very much intended—but that’s what makes life fun, right? I wouldn’t trade our relationship for the world. He stands tall and proud . . . and when he spots something he likes? He bobs with pleasure, begging to get closer.
And as for me? Well, I trust his judgment. Completely. He didn’t bob for the stunning and funny Laura in accounting. I knew there was a reason, and as it turns out, she’s a bit of a klepto. Three hundred seventy-two staplers kind of klepto.
But I’m not a total douchebag, I promise. I’m just a young CEO under immense pressure, so in my downtime, blowing off steam is practically a necessity. It’s my duty to keep my dick happy, and a steady diet of beautiful women keeps us both satisfied. I do what I can to make his life as simple and as easy as possible. Plenty of no-strings sex does the trick.
I find that when he’s well taken care of, I feel better and my brain works efficiently. Shit, my whole life just seems easier.
It’s that simple. I love my dick, and loving my dick makes my entire life better.
When my dick perks up in interest, begging for a taste of the woman we’re stranded with in a stuck elevator for two hours, I listen to his dirtiest wishes and ask her out to dinner. But the last thing I expect her to say is that she’s not interested in my dick. She’s just interested in the stuff inside, the stuff that can give her the baby she so desperately wants. No strings attached.
Who am I to say no?
Welcome to the craziest ride my dick’s ever gotten me into.
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
Love on a Battlefield
Publication date: February 20th 2018
Genres: Adult, LGBTQ+, Romance
Not every compass points north.
Andrew Summers is forced to spend his vacations reliving Civil War battles with his father. He hates every minute, until a blue-eyed, red-haired boy behind enemy lines catches his eye.
Shep Wells would much rather travel the world than play at boring war reenactments. He never dreamed a Texan boy would capture his heart.
Real life and years separate them; Andrew is forced onto real battlefields, but for Shep the world is a playground. They’re opposites, but writing letters closes the distance, uncovering their hopes and dreams. When Shep visits Andrew, they get to see if the tug they’ve felt for years is the compass pointing the way home.
My father started taking me to Civil War reenactments long before I understood the politics of the war and its moral implications. I was introduced to the tradition before I knew what any war was truly about.
It wasn’t until I was sixteen that I was allowed to carry a weapon and shoot it myself. The physicality of battle was exciting. Hand-to-hand combat when munitions were spent was better than football any day.
But there were strict rules my dad implemented that I didn’t enjoy. “If we’re going to do this,” Dad always said, “we’ll be as authentic as possible. We’ll do it right, unlike those people who think this is Summer Stock.”
I wasn’t allowed to socialize with the Yankees at all, so I hung out with the Confederate kids or sat around campfires listening to the adults shoot the shit. If school was in session, I’d bury myself in homework and often ended up helping some of the younger kids with their lessons. The guys my own age . . . Well, we had little in common. Some were intense, a few down-right scary with their racism so proudly displayed.
What I’d learned after hanging out with them for years was that they hated everyone who wasn’t like them.
I wasn’t like them, but I wasn’t about to let them know for fear they’d turn their hate on me.
For the last two years, I’d watched a Union kid who only came to a few of these events, not like most of the reenactors, who made this a way of life. When he showed up, he was the center of attention. Maybe because he was novel, but when he was there, he always drew my eye. It was obvious the other kids looked up to him, fawned all over him, really. I never got close enough to talk to him, to find out what made him so fascinating.
But I saw it from afar. He was strong yet graceful, with a mess of hair in a color I’d never seen outside of jewelry or pipe fittings. His smile was easily earned, and he seemed so . . . carefree. So unlike the overly serious and angry kids who surrounded me.
I’d watch the Union kids in their shorts and T-shirts laughing and having fun. I wanted to be a deserter. I wanted to go see what life was like on their side. It sure as hell looked like a lot more fun than what ended up feeling like a weekend prison sentence in a hot, scratchy suit.
I couldn’t stop myself from turning to him, staring at him. I’d watch him leap into the air to catch a wayward Frisbee or wrestle boys to the ground, then help them up, all with a bright smile on his face.
Last summer, he’d worn a wreath of daisies in his hair, walking around as if it was the most normal thing in the world. My ‘friends’ laughed at him and speculated about his sexuality. I joined the adults then, unwilling to spend any more time with the assholes. It brought me closer to the redhead too, so I made myself blend in with my surroundings and looked to my heart’s content.
I didn’t know his name. I never got the chance to find out, but if he was here this time, I was determined to discover it.
As we arrived Friday afternoon, I scanned the area for his hair but didn’t see him. After setting up camp, I followed my father out of our tent and joined the other men as they scoured maps and walked the battlefield to get a lay of the land. I turned down an invitation to hang out with the Rebel kids and instead listened to an expert on this particular battle drone on and on. Sitting there, sweating in my wool uniform under the scorching heat for hours, I had to get out from under the sun.
“I’m going to go fill up my canteen,” I whispered to my father.
I gave him a quick nod, made my way past the tent filled with women and young girls quilting or spinning yarn, and found the metal water pump. I pushed down on the handle, trying to draw up the water, with little luck.
That’s when I saw him. He was in full Union dress, the buttons of his coat making the gold and red highlights in his hair appear metallic. He was unlike anyone else I’d ever seen.
He walked toward me with a wide smile. Sure of himself, but not cocky. More . . . careless. Utterly free.
“Want some help?” he asked. “I heard it’s hard to get this one started.”
I met his blue eyes, brilliant and wild like the sea. I was stunned into silence. He was even hotter up close, and suddenly I was unable to form words. I nodded my assent instead.
He wrapped his fingers around the metal handle and pushed down. It made a grating squeak that echoed, but the lever moved. He helped me push it down several times, hands sliding closer and closer with each pump until our fingers intertwined.
He laughed as water poured from the spout, and he bent down to taste the stream. The smell of iron surrounded us as I filled my canteen.
I watched him wet his hair, making it darker, which made his skin look extra pale. He was gorgeous, and the way the sun hit him right then, he looked like something out of a dream.
Stop being cheesy, I chided. So he’s hot. Don’t turn him into a fricking poem.
I replaced the cork, slung my bottle over my shoulder by the leather thong, smiled at him, and rejoined my father.
As we lined up on the battlefield the next day, I saw that shock of auburn hair straight across from me. Before I could make eye contact, the battle had begun, horses moving, gunfire blasting, and a few men already collapsing to the ground, probably playing out some real-life soldier’s tragic end.
I took out several Union soldiers with my fake munitions before I tripped over a rock. As I regained my footing and stood up, he was right in front of me.
I don’t recall if we gave each other a visual cue or if he said something, but we both decided to take a hit, bodies falling to the ground. We landed face-to-face, limbs sprawled out in opposite directions. My father was near, so I slammed my eyes shut, authenticating my death until I heard his voice move away with the continuing battle building.
When I dared open my eyes again, the Yankee soldier was staring at me, smiling and licking his lips. His jaw was strong, defined, dusted with stubble from who-knew-how-many-days growth, and it drew my attention to his chin and full lips. We lay there studying each other for several minutes, shamelessly staring, before he scooted closer.
Posy Roberts started reading romance when she was young, sneaking peeks at adult books long before she should’ve. Textbooks eventually replaced the novels, and for years she existed without reading for fun. When she finally picked up a romance two decades later, it was like slipping on a soft hoodie . . . that didn’t quite fit like it used to. She wanted something more.
She wanted to read about men falling in love with each other. She wanted to explore beyond the happily ever after and see characters navigate the unpredictability of life. So Posy sat down at her keyboard to write the books she wanted to read.
Her stories have been USA Today’s Happily Ever After Must-Reads and Rainbow Award finalists. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her family and friends and doing anything possible to get out of grocery shopping and cooking.
Her eyes came up, a flash of recognition there. “Yes?”
“Are you going to sign the contract or do you have more questions?”
She picked up the pen sitting on top of the contracts that would bind the two of them together for the next six months. They would reevaluate the relationship at that point in time, but for the next six months, she was his. His bodyguard. His submissive.
Bought and properly paid for. He would take care of her and she would give him what he needed.
She signed with a flourish and sat back, a gleam of curiosity in her eyes.
He was curious, too, and there was zero reason to not satisfy their curiosity. Hard and soft limits had been gone over. They would find their communication style as they went along. But first she should understand that he was in control.
“Come sit on my lap.”
She didn’t hesitate. She stood and turned, shifting so she could maneuver her way onto his lap.
Her weight came down on him and he wrapped an arm around her waist. Damn but she made him feel big. He’d seen her take out a man twice her size, but sitting here in his lap she felt small and vulnerable, and fuck him but that did it for him.
He slid a hand along her knee, letting himself indulge in the silky smooth feel of her skin against his palm. “Did you do as I asked?”
He was well aware his voice had gone husky, deeper than normal.
“Yes, Joshua.” She squirmed the tiniest bit, as though trying to find a comfortable position. It might be difficult for her because she was sitting right on his cock, and it was harder and thicker than he could ever remember it being.
“How can I trust you?” This was all part of the game he loved so much. Here he could let go and play out the darker of his impulses—to control, to take, to possess. See. Want. Have.
“You’ll have to check,” she replied. “Though shouldn’t we go inside?”
He reached out and picked up his cell with his free hand, pushing one number and connecting to the security room. He put them on speaker. She needed to understand what she was up against in order for the game to be fair. “Landon?”
“This is Burke,” the deep voice replied. “Shane’s on patrol. What can I do for you?”
“Burke, I would like to fuck my submissive on the third-floor balcony. Is anyone watching us? Can you see any cameras pointed our way?”
A low, masculine chuckle came across the line. “No, Mr. Hunt. And given the angle relative to the beach, you should enjoy your evening without worry. The only peepers I would worry about would be your next door neighbor, and Jared is out for the night.”
“I wouldn’t care if he wasn’t. Keep up the good work.” He hung up and his hand tightened. “I would prefer when we’re playing that you don’t question me like that. I know where I want to fuck you. I know when I want to fuck you, and I’m in charge. If I want you in the middle of a crowded freeway, your only response is a yes or a no. Not to question me.”
She seemed to relax back against him, as though she was giving up the struggle and choosing to submit. “Yes, Joshua. Yes, I understand, and yes to the sex. Please.”
He liked the breathy little please and loved how she squirmed. Still, he wasn’t absolutely sure she’d obeyed him, and he was a man who required proof. He slid his hand up her thigh. “Spread your legs for me.”
NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.
I’m Noah Weston. For a decade, I’ve quarterbacked America’s most iconic football team and plowed my way through women. Now I’m transitioning from star player to retired jock—with a cloud of allegation hanging over my head. So I’m escaping to the private ocean-front paradise I bought for peace and quiet. What I get instead is stubborn, snarky, wild, lights-my-blood-on-fire Harlow Reed. Since she just left a relationship in a hugely viral way, she should be the last woman I’m seen with.
On second thought, we can help each other…
I need a steady, supportive “girlfriend” for the court of public opinion, not entanglements. Harlow is merely looking for nonstop sweaty sex and screaming orgasms that wring pleasure from her oh-so-luscious body. Three months—that’s how long it should take for us both to scratch this itch and leave our respective scandals behind. But the more I know this woman, the less I can picture my life without her. And when I’m forced to choose, I’ll realize I don’t merely want her in my bed or need her for a ruse. I more than love her enough to do whatever it takes to make her mine for good.
More Than Love You is a sexy and emotional standalone novel in the More Than Words Series.
At the sounds of splashing, I turn to find Harlow emerging from the pool, walking up one step at a time, dripping, swaying with every step, and completely blowing my mind. Her long hair clings to her pretty breasts, flirting with her plump nipples. Her waist dips in, then flares out to a pair of hips I want my hands on. She’s sleek and sexy and stunning.
I can’t find words for an entirely different reason than before. She leaves me speechless.
“Can you hand me a towel from over there?” She points to the patio table.
On autopilot, I back toward the surface, never taking my eyes off her. When I bump into the glass, I grope behind me until terry cloth fills my hand. Then I race toward Harlow. “Need anything else?”
She takes the towel from me, and we’re standing so close I can smell her scent mixed with a tinge of chlorine. “A shower. Then an orgasm or two, preferably that you give me.”
Did I hear her right? “You sure?”
Harlow nods, her gaze tangling with mine. “I want to fuck.”
It takes a split second for her declaration to sink in. I was convinced she wouldn’t want me after she figured out I’m just a man with flaws. Then again, she was never looking to get laid from someone ESPN hailed as a football god. She just wants pleasure.
The way she holds my gaze singes me with heat. It sizzles across my skin, burning the flesh under my surface. I can’t quite breathe.
I have a feeling she’s going to be trouble—and I don’t care.
“Let’s do it.” Taking the towel from her grip, I jerk it until it unfolds, then wrap it around her back, covering the dripping ends of her hair. Then I tug her against me. Her skin feels cool pressed to my overheated chest. I don’t dare kiss her now. The way I want her, I’ll lay her out on the first available surface, and I’d rather save my knees the agony of looking for the leverage to fuck her properly on a chaise lounge.
Digging for restraint, I drag in a rough breath. If I’m already having trouble resisting her, how bad will the craving be once I’ve had a taste?
I shove the thought aside. “I won’t go easy on you.”
“I never thought you would.”
“I won’t be gentle.”
“Good. I may be small, but I’m not fragile.”
“I won’t be quick. Expect me to be at you all night.”
A sly smile curls up the sides of her lips that turns me on even more. “I’ll hold you to that.”
I run out of ways to warn her that I intend to turn her inside out and wring her dry before I let her leave my bed. But fuck it, I’ll let my body do the talking.
Bending, I lift her to my chest. She’s a tiny thing. Given her boobs and hips, I thought she would be heavier to carry, but I’ve curled barbells that weigh more. “Then let’s go.”
Her smile becomes a grin as she wraps her arms around my neck. “Consider me happily along for the ride.”
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2ED8AOX
Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/MoreThanLoveYou
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2DRYaK5
Shayla Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than sixty novels. For nearly twenty years, she’s written contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances via traditional, independent, foreign, and audio publishers. Her books have sold millions of copies and been published in a dozen languages.
Raised an only child, Shayla occupied herself with lots of daydreaming, much to the chagrin of her teachers. In college, she found her love for reading and realized that she could have a career publishing the stories spinning in her imagination. Though she graduated with a degree in Marketing/Advertising and embarked on a stint in corporate America to pay the bills, her heart has always been with her characters. She’s thrilled that she’s been living her dream as a full-time author for the past eight years.
Shayla currently lives in North Texas with her wonderfully supportive husband, her daughter, and two spoiled tabbies. In her “free” time, she enjoys reality TV, reading, and listening to an eclectic blend of music.