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“Hi,” he says, doing a double-take when he realizes it’s me. He looks fabulous, of course, because why wouldn’t he when I look so scrubby? He’s wearing jeans and a T-shirt and a hoodie, and his face doesn’t look like he’s tired, or like he stayed up late to drink too much and tear up the dance floor.
Or like he spent last night making out with somebody more than a decade older than him.
“It’s crazy seeing you here,” I say. I giggle again at the sheer ridiculousness of this. “Do you come here often?” What am I doing? What am I saying? It’s like I just learned how to talk to people of the opposite sex. How have I ever gotten a date?
Not that I’m trying to date Nick.
“Occasionally. You?” He sticks his hands in his pockets and he’s so relaxed, so sexy, and I just can’t stand all that swagger on such a handsome guy that I am not allowed to touch. It’s unfair for anyone to look so effortlessly edible before nine a.m.
“It’s my favorite shop. Come here all the time.” I take a couple steps backwards, trying to shift toward my car. “I probably should—”
“Don’t you think it’s probably more than a coincidence?” He takes a step towards me, and I take one back, willing myself not to respond to the rumble of his deep voice and the magnetism of his body. “That we’d see each other again so soon. Kind of like fate, almost.”
Oh my god, Oh my god, he’s flirting with me. What do I do? He’s so hot, I can’t even look at him. But then I do, and I have total church-giggles over this, and I have to escape before I make an even bigger fool out of myself. Someone is bound to notice that I am losing my cool, and they’ll draw conclusions that aren’t even true.
It was just kissing!
“It’s really weird, I have to admit.” I dance back some more, then glance behind me to make sure I’m not going to back into the street and get run over and make this even worse. “And really awkward.” I brush some hair back that’s come loose from the messy bun at the base of my neck.
He shrugs, seeming to disagree. And it’s true that I’m the only one who seems to be awkward right now. “I don’t know about that. Doesn’t have to be awkward. Could just be convenient. Since I never got your phone number.”
If I didn’t think he was flirting before, I know he definitely is now. I don’t want to say no to him, but I have to say no to him. He cannot have my number. Can’t have anything more than a memory of a scorching-hot make-out in the back of a club. What we did was not for a sunlit day. It was for a dark corner. And yet, I still can’t seem to actually say the word no. So instead I say, “Why do you need my phone number?”
Oh my god, this is mortifying. It really is like I’m in high school again and I’ve forgotten not only how to talk to boys but how to stand in their presence.
He takes another step toward me, laughing. “Well, for one thing, I thought it might be nice if we had dinner sometime.”
He has the most ridiculous smile, I realize. It lights up his entire face. You can see it in his eyes, and there’s no pretension. It’s all genuine. Pure sunshine. I’m rendered speechless by it for half a second and I have to ask, “What was that?”
“Dinner,” he says, that huge-ass grin in full force, taking another step toward me, and now there’s only three feet between us, and I can feel the body heat from him, can remember what it felt like the last time he walked me backwards into a wall and then his body was pressing into me, and his mouth was on me. When his chest was against me, when his cock was pressing into me and my hips—
I suddenly jump backwards. “I don’t think that would be a good idea.” I look around suddenly to see if anyone’s noticed this exchange yet.
It’s fine, it’s still fine.
We’re just two people who work in the same industry who bumped into each other on a Saturday morning and are chatting like people do on Saturday mornings when they bump into each other. While giggling. Totally fine.
“What are you worried about, Natalia?” He doesn’t chase after me, just stands there looking confident and laid-back. Like a man trying to tempt a scared animal out from hiding. “I mean—I do bite, but most women like it.”
I smile at that, because I can’t help it, but I duck so he doesn’t see.
He’s probably so much more experienced than me.
He’s probably so dirty in the bedroom.
God, I shouldn’t be thinking about that. “I shouldn’t even be talking to you,” I say, shaking my head. I turn toward my car.
“No, you shouldn’t be,” he calls from behind me, and I have to actually close my eyes to collect myself because it’s obvious he’s thinking about doing not-talking things. Things like last night. Things like biting.
Things good girls have no business being so turned on by.
I tell myself he probably says stuff like that to all the girls who walk away from him.
But who am I kidding? Who has ever walked away from Nick Ryder? Besides me, I mean. Twice now. I deserve an Oscar for my willpower. That should be a new category.
“Bye, Nick,” I call as I flee with my coffee.
Then I step into my car, put my keys in the ignition and drive away before I lose my senses and change my mind.
This is one hot sexy loving romance between Natalia Lowens and Nick Ryder,
After a bad break-up Natalia who is at the top of her career, but her personal life feels empty. Natalia and two girlfriends goes to a nightclub to cheer up. Natalia know that no paparazzi are allowed in and because everyone is famous you know there will be no pics showing up on social media to embarrass her.
So after all the stress Natalia goes on to the dance floor and loosing herself in the music. While relaxing into the music she finds herself in tune with a guy, so much that they keep on getting closer and dance like they have practiced for months with each other in secret.
That’s how Nat and Nick meet and they start seeing each other in secret. Natalia know that if it gets out about the affair it would be a scandal because she is 10 years older. Nat wants to settle and have children. Nick being 23 is at a different stage in his life.
Nick is a great guy, but he had to grow up quickly has fallen for Nat and he is in love and is determined to show Nat that she loves him and he wants the same things she does.
A really enjoyable romance I loved Nick but wanted to shake Nat. This is a Hot and Sexy but my god Nick is so loving and patient. Helping Natalia to work through her fears. This was a wonderful and romantic story, and lets just say I would take Nick home and keep him.
I should have known it was only a game.
I should have known he was too good to be true.
He’s nothing but a player…
He’s a player.
He plays the bass with expert fingers. He plays women with intoxicating charm. And he’ll play me with the ease of a virtuoso.
Who better to teach me to play than the master himself?
I’m his model student, front row, pencil sharp. Pick up lines? I’ve got them. Free drinks? By the dozen. Kissing? Let me grab my chapstick.
But the most valuable lesson I’ve learned is that there’s so much I don’t know. Like why his touch sets off a chain reaction straight to my nethers. Or how I’m certain each kiss is the best I’ll ever have, until the moment his lips take mine again.
There’s so much I don’t know.
Like the fact that I’m only a bet.
But we are what we are. He’s a player, through and through.
And I’m the fool who fell in love with him.
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The night flew by, time speeding up and sliding past with nothing to mark the hours but his laughter and my smiles and our bodies bouncing around the parquet like we had nothing in the world to do but dance. I had no idea how late it was until “New York, New York” came on with the house lights.
Sam hooked me under his arm and guided me out into the chilly fall evening. Like an idiot, I’d come without a jacket, and I tried to play it off like I wasn’t cold. A shiver wracked down my spine, betraying me.
He shrugged off his leather jacket. “Here, wear this.”
“B-but then y-you’ll be cold,” I said, shifting away from him in an effort to stop him. “Look, it’s n-not even cold. It’s f-fake cold. It’s only what—like, sixty out? M-my body is j-just being drunk and d-dumb.”
“Val.” The word was a gentle warning. He held out his jacket like a matador. “Put it on.”
“N-no,” I said with a laugh.
He shook it once like he was taunting me. “Toro.”
I giggled, stumbling a little as I brought my hands to the top of my head, pointer fingers to the stars. “Olé!” I cheered as I charged. But instead of running through his jacket, I found myself in his arms.
I didn’t know how it happened. The jacket was there, and then it was gone. But instead of being laid out on the sidewalk like I should have been, Sam’s arms were hooked around my waist, our bodies winding together and twisting from the force of his catch. And then I looked up, and time stretched out in a long, still moment. His eyes on my mouth. Mine on his. His nose millimeters from mine and his mouth so close, if I turned my head just right, our lips would brush. The warmth of him was everywhere.
I wasn’t cold anymore. I was on fire.
So I said the first thing that entered my empty mind.
“Are you going to kiss me, or am I gonna have to lie to my diary?”
The moment broke with our laughter, filled the air around us, stopped my chugging heart. He pressed his lips to my forehead.
I sighed. “I guess that’ll do.”
He hooked his jacket over my shoulders, taking a moment to look over my face, watching his fingers as he tucked a loose curl behind my ear. “Come on. Let’s get you home. You did good tonight, Val.”
“Thanks to your expert advice.”
But he smiled. “Pretty soon, you’ll figure out you didn’t need me at all.”
And I smiled back and pretended like it was possible that statement held an iota of truth.
Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life — a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey.
From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.
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Detective Claire Goodnite is finally marrying her sexy SAIC, Wesley O’Connell in this suspenseful conclusion to the series.
The hall has been booked, the flowers have been ordered, and the invitations have been sent. Everything is finally falling into place for the happy couple, or so it seems.
That is until a hunter the likes of the old DC Sniper has his sights set on New Jersey Law Enforcement and suddenly the thin blue line has a big, old target painted on their backs. It’s open season on police officers and federal agents alike. She might be the best damn detective in the state of New Jersey but even this case has Claire running for her life.
Not to mention the loss of one of her inner circle seems to have shook something loose in her mind. Claire’s memories of that long ago day when she was taken from her home as a child are surfacing one after another. But will she remember before it’s too late?
It’s like they always say, every story has its ending.
Are you ready for this one?
It’s gonna sting.
There is a marching band pounding away in my brain.
I must have had too much to drink at the rehearsal dinner last night. I think. I have to get my ass ready for today—my wedding day—because if I don’t, my bestie, Emma, will have my ass.
I pry my eyes open, only then do I realize that I am not in our hotel room on the coast. I’m not in the luxury king sized bed full of fluffy euro pillows and down comforters near a window looking out at the Atlantic Ocean. I’m not where I should be. It takes my brain a minute, still feeling as fuzzy as it is, to realize that I’m not . . . safe.
The light shines through the wooden slats of the closet doors just the way that it is in my dreams.
I’m here. Right back where I started. Where I thought I would die when I was so small. Just a baby really. Where I once escaped and had naively thought I would never be back. I scoot back on the worn, torn carpet floor of the closet that I was locked in once before, until my back hits the wall. I try to make myself as small as possible hoping against all hope that he won’t see me. But as I hear the footsteps growing louder and louder, I know that there is no hope to be found. No hope at all.
The closet door swings open and I realize how stupid I have been. All this time that I struggled, that I suffered from those terrible nightmares and prayed that they would either end or I would finally remember who had tried to harm me when I was just six years old. All those times I thought I was safe, that I was free, were really nothing but lies because looking down at me with a sinister smile on his face in this little house of horrors from my haunted past is the last person I ever would have thought would be capable of this kind of thing.
I was never free, I was living under the watchful eye of a monster, a wolf in sheep’s clothing just waiting for their chance to pounce. His smile broadens and his eyes glimmer with excitement in the knowledge that he’s won. It’s finally over. This game of cat and mouse that we have been silently engaged in for twenty-four years is ending.
He pulls his leather belt free from his pants and loops it around my neck. I look up into his warm eyes, ones that I had always trusted as he tightens the leather around my neck.
“It’s you. It was always you,” I say as suddenly every memory finally clicks into place. Anna would be so proud.
I gasp as the air is squeezed out of my lungs. I struggle to pull more in even though in my brain I know that it isn’t possible. Maybe this is how it was always supposed to be. Maybe this is how my story was always supposed to end. My name is Detective Claire Goodnite and I’m about to die.
You know what they say, every story has its ending, I just wish I was prepared for this one.
I can already tell that this one’s gonna sting . . .
Jennifer is a thirty something lover of words, all words: the written, the spoken, the sung (even poorly), the sweet, the funny, and even the four letter variety. She is a native of San Diego, California where she grew up reading the Brownings and Rebecca with her mother and Clifford and the Dog who Glowed in the Dark with her dad, much to her mother’s dismay.
Jennifer is a graduate of California State University San Marcos where she studied Criminology and Justice Studies. She is also an Alpha Xi Delta.
10 years ago, she was swept off her feet by her very own sailor. Today, they are happily married and the parents of a 8 year old and 6 year old twins. She can often be found in East Texas on the soccer fields, drawing with her children, or reading. Jennifer is convinced that if she puts her fitbit on one of the dogs, she might finally make her step goals. She loves a great romance, an alpha hero, and lots and lots of laughter.
Midnight Flight by Isobelle Cate
Series: The Cynn Cruors Bloodline
Genre: A Vampire Werewolf Hybrid Paranormal Romance
Date Published: October 16th 2018
Adara Kerslake has kept her identity a secret from the Cynn Cruors for as long as she can remember. When Cynn Cruor warrior, Luke Griffiths, comes hurtling into her life, she flounders. Afraid of dealing with the Cynn Cruors and the man who captured her heart, she leaves, burning bridges in the process. Until a loved one forces her to rebuild those links that brings her back into the world she fought so hard to escape from.
And to the warrior whose passion haunts her every sleeping and waking moment.
Luke goes into a spiral after Adara leaves and it is only by the strength and love of his Cynn Cruor brethren and their women that keeps him from tripping into insanity. To forget her, he prepares to leave for the Ancients’ Faesten in Anglesey on a mission that can lead to his death and the banishment of the Manchester Cynn Cruors if he isn’t careful. When Adara returns, the last thing Luke wants is to get involved again. But he can’t stay away. What’s more, someone in the Ancients’ Faesten in Anglesey knows who she is and is out to get her.
Two missions merge to one. A desire to know the truth becomes entangled with the desire that never waned between Adara and Luke.
Until a spectre from Adara’s past threatens them both…and brings in a new enemy for the Cynn Cruors.
*Although characters from other books in the series have cameo roles, this novel can be read as a standalone.
“Luke… can we talk?”
Luke’s lips flattened. “Not needed.”
The warriors stood around and waited until Luke nodded.
“Make it quick.” Roarke said as a parting shot.
The absence of sound surrounded them when Roarke and the rest left. Not even the occasional acceleration of vehicles on Princess Street below ferrying people out in the middle of the night penetrated the specially made windows. Only the continuous rain made the windows cry and everything below wet.
“Go on.” Luke’s hands rested on his hips. His heart was sonorous like it was waiting for an anvil to fall.
Ancients, Adara’s beauty hurt. Strong willed yet vulnerable, Luke had no fucking clue how to breach her walls. She swiped her tongue against her bottom lip. That unconscious gesture made Luke want to move in, shake some sense into her before claiming her lips.
She looked down to stare at her entwined fingers. “I didn’t mean to leave like that.”
Luke’s chuckle came out in a bitter huff. “That an apology?” When Adara didn’t reply, he exhaled and leaned against the mantle. “Why didn’t you say anything? You accepted the fucking bracelet only to leave it when you left. Was it so hard for you to be honest? You led me on Adara!”
“You gave me no choice and I didn’t lead you on!” Adara paced, waves of agitation hitting Luke. “If things were different I would have stayed.”
“Then what the fuck did you pull?”
“I wanted it too!” she shouted. “I wanted you! I wanted…” she pulled up a deep breath, “you…what you were offering.”
Hope jack hammered a hole in his chest but the length of time Adara waited, Luke didn’t know anymore what to think. “Cut the crap, Kerslake.”
Before he could blink, Adara had her hands on his collar and slammed him against the wall, dislodging some of the dust and raining powder on them. Her eyes flashed slowly turning red orange. Emotions ran through them. Fury. Helplessness.
Something changed between them. The air became charged with remnants of what they had. Adara’s nearness, the scent of her sweetness blanketed Luke so close his blood went south to his cock. Her bloodlust was replaced by the golden flecks of desire rising from the depths of her being. Luke zeroed in on her mouth and they parted as Adara looked at his lips too. Chest to chest, hips to hips, their hearts fluttered, responded, replied to the still undeniable sensual thread connecting them.
Then she released him and stepped away, pivoting on her heel and sinking on the sofa.
“You made me feel things I’d forgotten and discovered more than I ever thought existed. And that’s the problem. You. Made. Me. Feel. And at this point in my life, feeling is dangerous.”
Isobelle Cate is a woman who wears different masks. Mother-writer, wife-professional, scholar-novelist. Currently living in Manchester, she has been drawn to the little known, the secret stories, about the people and the nations: the English, the Irish, the Scots, the Welsh, and those who are now part of these nations whatever their origins. Her vision and passion are fuelled by her interest and background in history and paradoxically, shaped by growing up in a clan steeped in lore, loyalty, and legend.
Isobelle is intrigued by forces that simmer beneath the surface of these cultures, the hidden passions, unsaid desires, and yearnings unfulfilled.
The Scythian Trials
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: October 16th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction
Descendants of the Amazons, the Scythians work alongside prominent governments but answer to no one. Warriors living on the fringe of civilization, they live by one credo: Strength through Equality. Power through Knowledge.
Nya Thalestris is the brightest Scythian of her generation. Strong, capable, ruthless, she is sure to earn a spot in the Trials, a time-honored mating ritual responsible for the evolution of her species.
Abducted by their sworn enemy, the Drahzda, Nya is forever altered and spirals out of control. The Society sends in Jax Nickius. Infamous psychologist and one of the most brutal warriors of their kind, he discovers triggers planted in Nya’s mind. As Nya solidifies her spot in the Trials, Jax develops a plan to help her heal—while pursuing her as a mate. But, Nya’s attraction to Jax is at war with her instinct to never let anyone get too close.
During the Trials, Nya’s repressed memories surface, revealing a new enemy—one from inside the consulate walls—and a traitorous alliance on the horizon that could irrevocably change the course of history.
Since before the Bronze Age, the Society has managed to safeguard humanity from itself … until now.
Nya knelt, her fingertips grazing the embedded paw print in the dark soil. Deep grooves on one side revealed the mountain lion had been favoring its right flank. The impressions were fresh, which meant they were closing ground.
Her prey had led her deep into the heart of the dense forest.
She slowly rose from her crouched position. The bright moon’s light broke through the thick clouds, casting a soft glow on the path ahead. The cat’s lopsided tracks wove between the trees, skirting dangerously close to the mountain’s ledge.
She glanced over her shoulder, watching Jax weave through the trees. He chose to stay a few hundred yards back. She had mixed feelings about the gesture. Tomorrow was her last challenge before graduating from the academy, and Jax was giving her the rare gift of space, which she appreciated. But he also insisted she lead, which made her leery.
In her culture, being treated as an equal was a dangerous thing.
Nya picked up the pace, following the path until it ended at the edge of a bluff. She stopped for a moment to watch the brooding mist that crept along the valley’s floor. From this vantage point, the streetlights looked like fireflies trapped under frosted glass.
The average human, or Allos as her people called them, knew little of her kind. They stayed on the forest’s fringe, consumed with the newest technology, choosing instead to take in the mountain’s beauty through windows and distant porches. Most Allos lacked the physical stamina to reach her compound, and those foolish enough to venture too close never came back.
Her stomach flipped as the hair on the back of her neck prickled. Even though Jax hadn’t made a sound, she knew he was behind her.
“Do you think the cat fell to his death?” His deep voice, always so calm, muttered in her ear.
She shivered. Jax officially was the academy’s weapons expert, but he also carried a Ph.D. in psychology and had been her counselor since her first year. He knew she hated people getting in her space. Until a few weeks ago he’d always respected the boundary. Now, he seemed to go out of his way to cross it.
Her brow lowered. “What do you think?”
“You’re the tracker. You tell me.”
The tension eased as she stepped closer to the ridge, putting some distance between them. She looked at the steep angle leading to the small town below. “I don’t think it’s down there.”
“And why not, Vtachi?”
Nya scowled, hating the nickname only he used. He’d given it to her the first time she snuck out of the compound. It meant ‘little bird’ in her native language, Dacian, and it made her feel small and weak. “Stop calling me that. I have more in common with that mountain lion than I do a helpless vtachi.”
Jax’s perceptive eyes held her gaze. He sighed. “Sadly, that may be true. But it’s become my priority to help you change that. Now, how do you know the cat has not fallen to his death? Answer the question, please.”
The stubborn part of her wanted to stay silent, but knowing Jax, he’d keep her there all night discussing the finer points of tracking. Or worse, he’d delve into the significance of her having more in common with a wounded predator than an animal gifted with flight.
Elizabeth is an author, teacher, and publishing professional who began her career as a national presenter for Resource Profiles, where she developed teacher seminars designed to foster creative brain stimulation. Moving into formal education, she helped at-risk students improve their writing skills as well as created and implemented a creative writing/blogging program that centered on teaching the 21st-century learner. Works stemming from this initiative were published online and seen in over 40 countries.
Elizabeth receives invitations to speak nationwide at schools and book clubs. She co-founded the popular book site, Chirenjenzie, which reaches thousands of people throughout the world. The writer support and reader interest group promotes and interacts with followers on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and various other blog sites. Elizabeth has a Master’s degree from Austin Peay State University, where she studied classical opera. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.
“The Light of Asteria” received Honorable Mention at the New York Book Festival. Her newest work, “The Scythian Trials” will be released in 2017 by Vesuvian Media.
For more information, please visit http://www.elizabethisaacs.com
All she wants is a peaceful life. To live on her brother’s quiet Wisconsin farm and write romance novels. But one night, fate intervenes.
When ex-reporter Cassie Martin overhears a heated argument between two men, her curiosity moves into high gear. And when one of them mentions a mysterious disappearance and “manipulating time,” she has to have answers.
Aaron Reegan is the head of security at a secret facility in the Wisconsin countryside. When he happens to meet local writer Cassie Martin, sparks fly, as they realize they share dark steamy tastes. He never once questions her innocence or her motives.
Until the moment he realizes he’s been betrayed.
A chance meeting… a technology that makes the Manhattan Project look tame… and suddenly Aaron is chasing Cassie back to fourteenth century France. To save her? Aaron had thought he’d met the woman he was going to spend the rest of his life with. But now, his only choice is to kill her.
“Outlander” meets “Fifty Shades of Gray,” Cassie’s Temptation is the first book in Time Bridge series. If you love steamy romance, time travel adventure, a smart-as-a whip heroine, and the sexiest hero to step out of the pages of a book in a long while, don’t miss “Cassie.” Mature readers comfortable with darker themes only please.
The voice of Sam Winslow, the Pierce City Project’s head technician, came into Aaron’s ear, gravelly with stress. “No change here.”
“Has anyone tried to reopen the link?”
“No, Aaron. They can’t. I guess I didn’t say it clearly enough before. They don’t have a key. They went through without an anchor or a key. And there was no technician in the control room to close the bridge in the first place.”
How could they not… Aaron heard the words but couldn’t get his brain to grasp it. This didn’t make any sense. Why would anyone go through the bridge without an anchor or a key? They were the two essential pieces of technology which made the whole thing work. The anchor fixed the time bridge to a specific location in time, and the key enabled the anchor to ‘call’ back to the present and allowed the technicians to reopen the bridge. Without those items, return was impossible.
Sam continued, “I don’t know what to tell you. Somehow someone managed to clone your key card, and they came through the back gate and into the facility with it. I have no idea who or how.”
Aaron interrupted. No use sugarcoating it. “I know her.”
“You know the woman in the picture?” Same could not keep the astonishment out of his voice.
“Yeah. She’s… the woman I’ve been seeing. And… hold on.” Angling his body in the seat, Aaron grabbed his briefcase, and fished his ID badge out. Flipping it over he verified what he already suspected: his key card was gone from the plastic sleeve. “She didn’t clone a key card. She stole mine out of my ID badge. She knew I was leaving from the house yesterday morning to go straight to the airport and she figured I wouldn’t miss it.”
“Yeah. Oh shit.” Aaron kept his voice steady with effort. Had it really been less than forty-eight hours since he’d climbed out of his bed and left her sleepy and sore from his love making? Love making, hell. He’d screwed her brains out for six hours straight, telling her in no uncertain terms that it was his goal to leave her so sore she couldn’t walk. She had rope burns on her wrists and her nipples had been teased to raw. He’d loved it and she’d loved it and… and… apparently while he’d been dozing between sessions, she’d gone into his bureau and into his wallet.
Hmmm… had she done it after she’d given him a blowjob? Or maybe it was before he’d brought her to a screaming climax with his mouth and the little vibrator. Yeah, he’d have to think about just when she’d fit stealing his key card into that schedule.
Aaron took a deep breath. There was a good reason why he’d not gotten seriously involved with anyone for ten years. How in God’s name had he forgotten that over the last month?
Annie makes her home in the Virginia countryside with her physician husband, very smart cat, and two bad dogs. She loves writing across all genres.
I find Miles behind a stage that has probably witnessed high school graduations, speeches, and musicals. His eyes take a leisurely stroll up and down my body. The way he stares, every zone in my body feels erogenous. Especially the boob zone, where he spends more time than usual.
When he slides his gaze up to my face, he looks hypnotized, then he shakes it off and brings me in for a hug. “So glad you’re here, Rox. Now go enjoy the show, and I’ll find you the second we’re done.”
Once it starts, I do enjoy the show. I never saw the Heartbreakers in concert when they were in their heyday. I’ve never been a concert person. Not that I’m opposed to music, but my mother set a precedent when I was in the eighth grade and my friends had a chance to see P!nk perform. I asked her if I could go, but the next day I had to take the prep school entrance exam, so the answer was no.
“It’s a better use of your time to stay in and study,” she’d said.
That’s what I mostly did in high school, listening to music on the radio as I worked through math problems and wrote essays on the Vietnam War. The Heartbreakers kept me company that way. Later, when Miles became a solo artist, I’d find myself humming his tunes when I heard them play in Starbucks, or while riding the escalator at Bed Bath & Beyond.
I became a fan, but I’m not a fangirl like some of the others here tonight. I don’t just mean the women. The Heartbreakers have fanboys and fangirls, singing along, belting out tunes. They’re crowding the stage, and the security guards hired when the Heartbreakers were confirmed for the event are standing on alert, arms crossed. Fortunately, there are no bras or panties thrown at the stage, nor briefs or belts either. I’m glad Miles’s high school class is full of fans but not crazy groupies.
The music reverberates in the gymnasium as the trio of gorgeous brothers sings love songs and fun songs and sexy songs while disco balls twirl from the ceiling and strobe lights flash.
When the set nears the end and they dive into one of Miles’s most popular solo tunes, a love song called “Today,” I swear his eyes find mine in the crowd as he sings about yesterdays and tomorrows. The way he sings turns the tingles into sparks, and I’m feeling it now for sure—that click, click, click of my heart, or maybe it’s my hormones.
Whatever it is, my breath comes faster as I dance.
When the show ends and the band thanks the crowd, that’s my cue to find him backstage. He’s sweaty, and I’ve never found sweat so sexy before. He drapes an arm around me, drops a kiss to my cheek, and says, “Hey, sexy bodyguard.”
My voice is a little breathier than I expect as I reply, “Reporting for duty.”
A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than 100 times, and she’s sold more than 2.5 million books. In October she’ll release ONCE UPON A WILD FLING, a sexy single dad, best friend’s little sister romance. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter