Friday, February 03, 2017

Review: Wasted Lust: A 321 Spinoff

Wasted Lust: A 321 Spinoff Wasted Lust: A 321 Spinoff by J.A. Huss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been dying to revisit Sasha and Jax. After listening to this, I'm not sure why. I fucking cried. I cried the first time and I think I cried even more this time. I knew how it would end. I knew what would happen, yet I still fucking cried.

I know Huss says this is a standalone, but you will get so much more out of this book if you read everything else. Sasha first shows up in Ford Aston's book. Then she's a key player in Come, Come Back, and Coming for You. We see her again in Meet Me in the Dark, where we get Merc and Sydney's story. She's even mentioned--unnamed, but mentioned--in 321. So, yes, this is Sasha's standalone book, but you'll appreciate it more when you know her entire story.

My recommendation? Go back and start with Rook and Ronin. Get to know those characters, Ford, and Spencer. If you do this, then those names will actually mean something when you hear them in WL. But if you're a rebel, you can start here. You will get everything you need for this story in this book. Julie does not disappoint in that regard. And if she says this can be a standalone, who am I to argue?

Does anyone really want to hear about this story or just how it makes me feel? Because I'm not summarizing this one. I'm just telling you that it makes me feel everything. Hate, love, sadness, happiness, trepidation, unease, and the list continues. This book touches on all of my feelings and that is why I had to come back. I had to go back to see how Sasha Cherlin got her happy ending. Because when you meet that seen-too-much twelve year old girl, you just have to know how her story ends. Yohave to see what this kid goes through for her HEA.

And then there's Jax. And Nick. And the sheer mention of The Team. That original Team that sent me on a reading binge like I had never before seen or experienced.

This is the conclusion to all of those Company books. In true Huss fashion, she takes you on quite a journey.

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Thursday, February 02, 2017

Review: Football Sundae

Football Sundae Football Sundae by Daryl Banner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 Saturday Sweet Stars

Well, wasn't this just a breath of fresh air? I mean, I couldn't get enough of Tanner and Billy in this small town romance. I'm not even sure what to say beyond I absolutely loved Football Sundae!!!!!

Tanner is the small town football player who goes off to college to pursue his football dreams. He still makes it back to Spruce during the summer.

Billy is the small town "token" gay guy who never left home. Working at his parents' diner, he dreams of owning his own dessert shop one day.

Tanner is what wet dreams are made of.

Billy has really grown since high school.

This is a recipe for awesomeness and Daryl delivers. Seriously. This is low angst, hot sex, and dirty, lust filled nights.

"And I want to kiss you."
"What?"


With kissing scenes that left me looking for a fan, these boys light up the pages. First kiss, last kiss, and all the kisses in between are sweet, tender, rough, chaotic, and so full of...everything.

He's kissed people before. I know he has, but this feels too desperate and hungry to just be an experiment. He wants this, and he wants this badly.

I wanted to crawl into these pages and live in Spruce right alongside Billy, Tanner, Kirk, Mindy, Joel, and Ma and Pa Tucker.

Billy Tucker makes me feel at home in my own home.

With one of the best declaration of feelings I have read, Tanner and Billy are one of my favorite couples. Their journey was one of growth and it was beautiful to watch.

It isn't a fantasy. It isn't some made-up scene I've stored in my spank bank. This is real. He is real. And I fuckin' kissed him.


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Release Blitz: Lost in Scotland


Title: Lost in Scotland
Author: Hilaria Alexander
Release Date: Feb 1, 2017
Add to TBR - http://bit.ly/2iYp1K5


Synopsis:

Just when you think you're lost, you might end up falling in love. 

Sam Farouk is having a bad year. Things went down the drain ever since she found her boyfriend cheating on her at the Golden Globes. An unfortunate turn of events forces her to trade sunny Los Angeles with the rainy, chilly highlands of Scotland. She has the chance to work as one of the makeup artists on a new TV series based on a fantasy saga everyone is bananas about, but she can’t help feeling lost and a little bit homesick. Until she starts falling for Hugh MacLeod, the actor set to impersonate the titular role of Abarath, dragon slayer and part-time Casanova.

Hugh MacLeod is ready for his big break. After more than a decade taking every possible acting job just to stay afloat, he can finally show his range in a series to be proud of. Hugh’s commitment to his career comes before anything else, and that’s part of the reason why he hasn’t had a serious relationship in a while. But the more he’s around Sam, the more he knows he’s in deep, deep trouble. How is he supposed not to fall for the sexy, mysterious brunette who works all over him every single day? Every touch, every look is torture.

Getting lost in each other might be wrong, but it could end up being just what they need.


Buy Links:

Barnes & Noble - http://bit.ly/2kML480


Excerpt:

August

“It's so beautiful, Mom.” I pointed the camera of my phone to the scenery in front of me. 

“I can see that. It's just as stunning as you see on TV. So green.”

“It's almost too much to take in all at once.” 

Scotland was intimidating in a mysterious kind of way. California was what I had known all my life, and I’d barely even spent any time around the United States. Save a few times in London with my father and my siblings to visit my grandparents, I hadn’t been anywhere else in the world. Scotland was as foreign and new as it could get, but now, it was going to be my home for the next eight months. I switched the camera back to me.

“Have you met any of your coworkers?”

“Not yet, just one of Mira’s friends, Lainey. She picked me up at the airport and took me to my place. I have a roommate, but I haven't met her yet. Some of the crew was out bonding last night. I missed it.”

“Oh, well. You’ll have time to get to know them. You’re lucky you got this gig at the last minute.”

“Yeah, I know.”

“Samhain, everything will be fine. You’re a talented makeup artist. You know you got this job because of your extensive resume and not just because of a phone call.”

If you say so, I wanted to tell her, but I just nodded. I hoped my mother couldn't tell how scared I was. I knew I was overreacting—I was twenty-nine-years-old, for crying out loud. I was acting like a kid leaving for college, but this actually was my first time away from home, away from my family, my friends…my sister, my brother. I was going to miss them so much.

“Maybe I’ll come visit you,” my mother said. “I heard the male lead on this production is quite the hunk,” she joked. I saw her wink through the screen, and just like that, she brought the smile back to my face and washed away my fears. I laughed and rolled my eyes. 

“Mom!”

“What? I might be old, but I’m not dead. I can appreciate a handsome man when I see one.” She shrugged. “Who knows, maybe you’ll meet someone cute.”

“I don’t think so. My goal is to lay low for a while. Love only leads to drama.” I knew that all too well. 

“Oh, honey…I’m not talking about love—”

Oh, Jesus. 

“Mom, come on.”

“No, Sam, let me say what I have to say. Sweetheart, you’re still young. Have your fun while you can. You know that’s why I never liked the fact that you and Eric got so hot and heavy when you were just twenty-two. You spent your best years with a man who didn’t deserve you.”

I nodded and pressed my lips into a tight smile. She was right, of course—as was everyone else with their I-told-you-so’s. I was the fool who had loved him blindly for too long, getting nothing in return. I had gotten my revenge on the cheating bastard, but it had kind of backfired in a way I hadn’t expected. Now, for the next eight months, I would have to call Scotland my home. 

I heard footsteps coming from behind me, and I turned around.

The hill I had attempted to climb was deserted. I was alone. In that moment, it dawned on me that maybe this hadn't been the smartest decision. I shouldn't have ventured out by myself; I was in a foreign country, and I didn’t know anyone.

But the scenery had been so inviting. 

I barely detected my mother saying, “What is it, honey?” I was too focused on the noise. A moment later, a tall guy in a baseball cap and athletic gear reached the small, flat spot where I had been chatting with my mom. He was wearing a windbreaker and shorts.

Shorts! I was huddled in a knee-length puffer jacket, and just the sight of him in shorts made me shiver. He lifted his head and the sight of his ice-blue eyes made me shiver again. He looked at me for just a second, nodding his head in my direction.

“Hello,” he said in a deep, uber-manly voice, one of those that could make you swoon even saying the most boring and generic stuff. He had me at hello. 

“Hi,” I replied, frozen.

His eyes shifted to the phone in my hand. My mother kept calling my name from her office in Los Angeles. The stranger stared at me for another second, and then he gave an imperceptible shake of his head. The corner of his lips curled into a smile.

Ugh. Fucking embarrassing. I had been caught FaceTiming with my mom. This would be a really good time to lose reception, but noooo. My mother kept calling out to me, but I was sort of frozen on the spot, staring at the handsome stranger.

Yes, handsome. I stared at him all of five seconds, but that was enough to see his face—and what a face it was. He had the most perfect features: straight nose, strong jaw, high cheekbones. His eyes were sharp blue and gorgeous, and with just one look, they were melting my insides. 

“Samhain! Are you okay, honey? What's wrong?”

“Mom, hang on a sec,” I said, completely distracted by the vision in front of me.

He quickly walked past me and kept climbing up the steep slope, making it look so effortless.

“What is it, honey?” my mother asked again.

“Nothing, Mom. Just some mountain climber,” I said in a lower tone, raising my eyebrows, hoping the stranger wouldn’t hear me. He kept moving just as steadily as he had a moment before. He had to be a pro—he moved way too quickly to be a regular person. I was a fan of hikes, but my expertise was limited to canyons in the valley. This California girl was no match for real mountains like the peaks of Scotland. I had been out of breath in minutes. It must have been the altitude or perhaps the fact that my body was not made for strenuous exercise, no matter how hard I tried. I might not have had a lot of time to look at the stranger, but since I got to stare at his back for a little bit, I knew the rest of his body was as good-looking as his face. He had broad shoulders and muscular, lean legs—no wonder he made it look so damn easy, effortless even. His thin shorts revealed the curve of his ass and that alone was…spectacular.

I sighed. It had been too long, what felt like forever since I’d lusted after a guy. I guess I wasn't broken after all. Good to know. If I had more stamina and no shame, I would have followed him up the mountain. I would have committed to following that ass anywhere.

“Mom, I have to go. I need to get back to the townhouses. Maybe I can catch my roommate before my orientation.”

“All right, honey. Text me, okay?”



Author Info:

Hello! I'm the author of Prude, This Love and FU Cancer.  I was born and raised in Italy but now I live in Oklahoma City with my husband and kids. I love traveling and I'm a self-proclaimed concert addict. If you have questions about me or my books, ask me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Release Blitz: Anything You Can Do


Title: Anything You Can Do
Author: R.S. Grey
Release Date: Feb 2, 2017
Add to TBR - http://bit.ly/2jxlPZQ


Synopsis:

Lucas Thatcher has always been my enemy.

It’s been a decade since I’ve seen him, but our years on opposite coasts were less of a lasting peace and more of a temporary cease-fire. Now that we’re both back in our small town, I know Lucas expects the same old war, but I’ve changed since high school—and from the looks of it, so has he.

The arrogant boy who was my teenage rival is now a chiseled doctor armed with intimidating good looks. He is Lucas Thatcher 2.0, the new and improved version I’ll be competing with in the workplace instead of the schoolyard.

I’m not worried; I’m a doctor now too, board-certified and sexy in a white coat. It almost feels like winning will be too easy—until Lucas unveils a tactic neither of us has ever used before: sexual warfare.

The day he pushes me up against the wall and presses his lips to mine, I can’t help but wonder if he’s filling me with passion or poison. Every fleeting touch is perfect torture. With every stolen kiss, my walls crumble a little more. After all this time, Lucas knows exactly how to strip me of my defenses, but I’m in no hurry to surrender.

Knowing thy enemy has never felt so good.


Buy Links:



Author Info:

I am a lover of books, chocolate, reality TV, black labs, and cold weather. Seriously, if I had it my way I would be curled up on the couch with all of those things… everyday.

I live in Texas where I spend my free time writing and reading. My favorite authors are Mindy Kaling & Jonathan Safran Foer. I’m a comedy geek and love all things “funny”. Women like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling are definitely the biggest inspirations for my writing, though I think my work tends to skew a bit smuttier than theirs.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Release Blitz: Hot Mess



Title: Hot Mess
Series: Love Is Messy Duet #1
Author: Emily Goodwin
Release Date: Feb 1, 2017
Add to TBR - http://bit.ly/2kayf7M


Synopsis:

My life is a hot mess.

Single, working, and raising two daughters, it’s a miracle I get us up, dressed, and fed every morning. Forget about dating—nobody’s got time for that. Even if love hadn’t left me jaded, I’m not settling for anything less than perfect this time around.

Lucky for me, the perfect man just happens to work in my office. But there’s just one small problem: he’s my boss, and is totally off limits. But hey, if it’s meant to be, it’ll find a way, right?

Then a night out with friends turns into a night in with the walking-talking bad boy cliche of a bartender. It’s just one night. No harm, no foul, right?

Except when the hot bartender turns out to be my boss’s trouble-making brother, who wants more than just one night with me. The more I resist the spark between us, the more I find myself wanting him too. Which puts me in the middle of what could be the biggest sibling rivalry of the century.

Life is messy.

And love?

Well, love is even messier.


Buy Links:



Author Info:

Emily Goodwin is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of over a dozen of romantic titles. Emily writes the kind of books she likes to read, and is a sucker for a swoon-worthy bad boy and happily ever afters. 

She lives in the midwest with her husband and two daughters. When she's not writing, you can find her riding her horses, hiking, reading, or drinking wine with friends. 

Emily is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency.

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Goodreads - http://bit.ly/1TXAQ0f


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Review: The Fire Between High & Lo

The Fire Between High & Lo The Fire Between High & Lo by Brittainy C. Cherry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 You’re My High Stars

Brittainy C. Cherry has done it again. She has managed to totally rip out my heart and then put it all back together. I don’t know how she does it, but I think it’s magic. Honestly. I laughed, I cried, and then I cried some more. The hurt and pain these characters endure is more than anyone should have to endure.

You never knew how good you had it until you saw how bad someone else did.

This is so true of life. You really don’t know how things are until you see them up close.

As it turned out, home wasn’t a certain place; home was a feeling from the ones for whom you cared most, a feeling of peace that calmed the wildfires of your soul.

Where is your home? How do you find your safe place--your home--when you are lost? How do you reconcile the emotions within with the emotions of others? Is there such a thing as peace? If home is where the heart is, what happens when that heart has been broken? Shattered?

Once, twice, three times, four…
High.
Low.
Heaven.
Hell.
Him.
Me.
Us.

Because sometimes watching two people come together can be beautiful.

“You’re my High. And you broke my fucking heart.” Pretty sure I cried when he said this. Then again, I cried for most of the book.

“If I come inside, I won’t be gentle,” he swore. “If I come inside, we don’t talk about anything. We don’t mention the past, we don’t discuss the present, and we don’t talk about the tomorrows. If I come inside, I fuck you. I fuck you hard. I fuck you wild. I fuck you to shut off my brain, and you fuck me to quiet yours. And then I leave.”

I love it when they talk dirty to me. The dirtier the better. This may not be the dirtiest I’ve heard, but Lo is dark and broody and he’s in pain. This is exactly what I need in my alpha.

“Put your clothes back on.”
“What? Why?”
“So I can take them off again.”



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Review: Billy Jeffers

Billy Jeffers Billy Jeffers by M.J. Fields
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have been waiting for Billy and Madison to hook up since I read Memphis Black. So, you can only imagine my excitement when I realized this book was a thing. And then to listen to Kai and Wen bring Billy and Madison to life? Fuck. It was perfect.

"Spoiler Alert."

I have to admit, I laughed out loud during this whole scene. Because naturally Memphis was going to find out, it was just a matter of time. But when he does? HAHAHAHAHA. It's an awesome scene.

Is this the end of my STD books? I feel like I need more. There aren't anymore bandmates, so I guess I'll have to be content.

Excellent series.

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Review: Ladies Man

Ladies Man Ladies Man by Katy Evans
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Tahoe Roth is rich and beautiful and popular with the ladies. He is everything you are warned to stay away from, yet you just can't help but be drawn to him.

This is not the story I was expecting when I started this book, but I am totally happy with what was given me. I expected more debauchery, but what I got was a sweet friends-to-lovers romance that I won't forget anytime soon.

Thank you for this lovely introduction to a Katy Evans book. I can't wait to go back and read Saint's book.

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Review: The Opportunist

The Opportunist The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 He taught me who I was Stars

Okay, this book has to be a sick joke, right? Like, what in the hell did I just read. I liked it. I hated it. I have no idea how I should feel. These two people are crazy. I can't be the only one to see that. Actually, other than a select few, every single character seems to be crazy.

"I think that after the first time you give your heart away, you never get it back. The rest of your life is just you pretending that you still have a heart."

First loves can be intense. A whirlwind of emotion and turmoil and firsts. A whole lot of firsts.

But Caleb and Olivia have a different kind of love. Yes, it's all consuming and powerful and raw, but it is also obsessive and impulsive and destructive.

It's also beautiful in a fucked up kind of way.

"You will remember me every day for the rest of your life because I was the one and you threw me away."

These two have an unusual relationship, which is putting in nicely. I love their backstory--the way the met in college and how he pursued her. I have a serious thing for college Caleb. I may even have a thing for amnesia Caleb.

I'm not doing this for my career--despite what Caleb thinks. I'm doing this for the time he pulled over and refused to keep driving until I sang along with "Achy Breaky Heart," and for the time he kissed me on his bedroom floor, while holding my hands above my head. I am doin gthis because he still calls me Duchess.

More manipulations, more lies. It's seriously the perfect culmination of crazy. All in one book.

"Who owns you?"

Caleb Drake, you own me.

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Excerpt Reveal: Lost in Between

lostinbetween_excerptbanner

Lost in Between by KL Kreig is coming February 20th!
Keep reading for an excerpt!
bk1-lost-in-between-e-book-cover
Blurb:
We all have one.
A price.
That magic number that will get us to agree to do anything, be anything.
Don’t sit on your gold-plated high horse and say you don’t because you do. Everyone does. Each of us has something we covet enough that we’d sell ourselves to have it.
What’s my tipping point, you ask? Apparently a cool quarter mil will do the trick.
What does one do for 250 large, you wonder? Anything the infamous, gorgeous playboy of Seattle wants. For the next four months I’ll be Shaw Mercer’s arm candy, his beck and call girl, his faux girlfriend. I’ll be his to command, mold, push and pull in any direction he sees fit.
I’ll fight falling into bed with him. I’ll fight falling in love with him even harder. I’ll fail at both. And when my past and present collide in the most unexpected of ways, I’ll learn that while one man’s love for me has never died, the only man’s love I really want will never be mine.
ADD TO GOODREADS: http://bit.ly/2h3ekbT
lostinbetween_teaser7
Excerpt:
As long as Noah and I have known one another and as close as we are, he’s far from an open book. He holds some of life’s secrets so close to the vest, he’ll likely take them to his grave. So how he knows Ms. Randi Deveraux of La Dolce Vita is still a mystery he won’t divulge.
When he told me his plan and showed me the picture of the woman who’d play my love interest for the next several months, I was immediately drawn to the her, but it took me a few seconds to realize why.
It was her.
My spicy little Goldilocks.
The one I haven’t heard from.
The one I haven’t been able to get out of my fucking head for the past eight days.
The one my cock involuntarily gets hard for in the dark of night.
The glossy-colored print I stared at for long minutes was a complete contradiction to the fiery woman I’d met.
On paper her exterior was flawless. Not one sculpted eyebrow out of place. Striking blue eyes rimmed with the right amount of shadow, liner, and mascara that made them alluring but not slutty. Pouty lips painted a deep shade of maroon, lined impeccably so the stain didn’t seep, then glossed enough in the middle to draw your attention to their fullness. Hair curled into loose ribbons that fell over her shoulders and down her slim back.
But while the outside was practiced perfection, the inside screamed dead. Not damaged, not broken or bruised, but lifeless. This beautiful creature went through the motions. She moved through life without living. I don’t know how I saw it, or why, but I know it wasn’t a product of my overactive imagination. This woman’s pain was rooted deep but she put on an award-winning fa├žade that told the outside world otherwise.
I saw the same thing when I stared into her fierce eyes under the cover of my sunglasses days ago, but I also saw something else. Smoking embers buried under piles of ash. God help me, but for some reason I want to be the man who stokes those smoldering cinders until they spark into a burning inferno, bringing her roaring back to life.
Standing before her now, I’ve no doubt I’m the igniter, the single match needed to wake her from the living dead.
“Summer, is it?” I close the door behind me and move to the couch, gesturing for her to sit.
She doesn’t. She just blinks rapidly like she’s seeing a ghost. That makes me smile for some reason.
I know the name she’s using is fake. I hate it. Not the name, per se, but the fact that I don’t know her real one. I told Ms. Deveraux my circumstances and my concern around using a fake name. The press will eventually find out and it’s best if we’re up front in the beginning rather than if they dig, thinking we’re hiding something. That would be disastrous. She agreed but told me the decision was up to Summer. If she agreed to my terms, I could plead my case. If not, then her anonymity was still protected.
“You don’t look like a Summer,” I say casually as I take a seat and cross my legs.
Although in a way she does. She’s hot and sultry and I’ve no doubt she’s nice and moist in the place I’m dying to drive my cock. Jesus, she is absolutely mouthwatering. And she has the sexiest fucking voice I have ever heard. It’s no wonder I can’t stop thinking about her.
She crosses her arms and cocks a hip in irritation. “Is that so? What do I look like then?”
Mine.
Why that disturbing word pops into my head, I haven’t a clue. She is yours temporarily, though. If she agrees.
“How is your neck by the way?”
That seems to catch her off guard because her cocky bravado falters. “Uh…fine. It’s fine.” She unconsciously reaches up to palm it. My fingers itch, wishing they were on her skin instead. I still remember the electricity that ran down my arm when I touched her before. It set my cock on fire and it hasn’t stopped burning since. “You’re lucky, you know. I could be wearing a neck brace right now and be lawyered up.”
“And you’d still be just as beautiful.” I ignore the lawyer comment. I know it’s just a dig. When she blushes and looks away, my grin gets wider and I allow myself a few seconds to absorb her, head to toe. I find myself zeroing in on that tiny diamond stud in her nose, now catching the light. I first noticed it when she pounded on the window of my Rover calling me names. I generally find them childish, yet on her, I find myself incredibly turned on by it.
“Why don’t you take a seat?” On my lap would be preferable.
Defiant eyes snap back to mine. “Hit and run anyone else lately?”
“Hit and run?” I chuckle. “I didn’t hit and run you. I took accountability.”
“Yeah. After I dumped car parts into your lap, it was pretty hard to deny it any longer.”
Hell. This woman is full of restrained passion. She just needs someone to help her unleash it in a very controlled manner.
“Why haven’t you called about your car? Change your mind on whose fault it was?” I’m goading her, but Hot. Damn. The sparks firing from her are overly addictive.
“Oh, it was your fault, all right,” she snaps. “And I’ve been…busy.”
“Yes, I can imagine you have a very full schedule.” I sound more sarcastic than I intend, but the thought of her with other men makes me feel exactly the way I felt when I thought of Noah with her.
Her lips thin. She’s madder than a hornet. I’m harder than a two by four.
“Why are you here, Drive By?”
Drive By? I laugh at her feisty spirit. God, I want to kiss her. Feel her tongue sparring eagerly with mine. See if she tastes of rage and raw energy.
“I was under the impression you were agreeable to meeting with me.”
When Noah set this up, I insisted on three things.
One: it take place in Ms. Deveraux’s private home with her alone. There’s no way in hell I will be caught on film coming and going from her “business.”
Two: I meet with Ms. Deveraux in advance and work through the contractual details to my satisfaction. Let’s just say I now feel comfortable we have a mutual interest in keeping this arrangement buried deep.
And three: I be allowed to personally meet with “Summer” before she signs the contract. Surprisingly, that was the toughest piece to negotiate. Seems Ms. Deveraux is very protective of her, or maybe she’s that way with all of her employees.
Everything I have done to secure her has deviated from Ms. Deveraux’s normal course of business, but this situation is far from normal. It’s reckless at worst. Precarious at best.
“How did you find me?”
Sheer, dumb luck.
“I’m very resourceful.”
Her forehead creases. “This is a mistake.”
She turns to leave and I panic. True blistering panic sears through me at the thought she’s about to walk through that door and I may never see her again. I don’t know her real name. I don’t know how to contact her and if this meeting goes south, I know I won’t get anything further about her from Randi Deveraux. If she walks out on me now, I highly doubt she’ll give me the time of day when she finally does call Dane about her car.
I don’t know why I care that I spend the next few months with her and only her so damn much. I just do.
“Wait,” I plead.
She stops but doesn’t turn. I have no idea what possesses me, but I close the distance between us until I’m a whisper away. Our body heat plays off each other, growing hotter by the second.
“You haven’t even listened to my proposal,” I say against her ear.
Her breath kicks up. Good. She’s not unaffected by me, and that will play into my hand nicely.
“You can get someone else,” she replies softly, without conviction.
Drawing her long hair off her shoulder, I let my finger feather across her bare flesh. It’s soft and silky. She shivers. I suppress a moan. Fuck, I want her so much. It makes no sense.
“I don’t want anyone else,” I tell her truthfully, keeping my voice low.
“Why?” she breathes.
I don’t know why. I have no idea what it is about her that draws me in. I wish I did. I need to stop it. I should end this right now—look at a dozen other pictures and pick a woman whose very presence doesn’t twist me into knots and make me have thoughts I’ve never had before. Thoughts that make me uncomfortable. It’s unnerving.
But, fuck me. I can’t. There is just something different about this woman and I won’t rest until I find out what it is.
“Have a seat. Just hear me out. Please,” I tack on sincerely.
She stands motionless and I wonder what her next move will be. My hands curl into fists as I restrain myself from throwing her over my shoulder and hauling her to my house. I think she could benefit greatly from a hard hand and a red ass. I have a feeling she might even enjoy it.
When she floats effortlessly to one of the velvet-covered chairs, I release a veiled breath. Picking up the contract from the edge of Ms. Deveraux’s desk, I make myself comfortable across from her and place the paperwork on the table separating us. Her eyes drop to it but she makes no move to pick it up.
“So what’s your proposal, Mr. Knowles?”
“Mr. Knowles?”
“That’s your name, right? Dane Knowles. Wildemer & Company?”
Amused, I rest my elbows on my knees and grin at her. “No. Dane is my assistant. I told you to call him and he’d take care of the damage to your death box.”
“Death box?” She sounds offended.
“Do you know what the safety rating is on that little tin can you drive?” When she opens her mouth to respond, I talk over her. “Five point seven out of ten. You’re basically driving around in your own steel coffin.”
I expect a hot retort or for her to leave in a huff. What I don’t expect is a genuine, breathtaking smile that lights up her face like summer and makes my cock knock uncomfortably on my zipper in a futile attempt to reach her. My God, she’s trying to kill me already.
“Are you a walking Kelly Blue Book of safety ratings, Mr.…?”
“I have a vast array of useless Trivial Pursuit knowledge up here,” I retort with a smirk, finger pointing to my temple. I’ll never admit that I looked it up after our little accident. She could be seriously hurt in that ridiculous miniature box on wheels that somehow passes for a fucking car. Hell, had I hit her any harder, she would be in the hospital. “And I’m Shaw. Shaw Mercer.”
“Shaw Mercer,” she repeats slowly like she’s tasting my name for the first time. Savoring every consonant and every vowel. Fuck. I sit back and cross one leg over the other to hide my rock-hard erection.
“Any relation to Preston Mercer?”
I nod, impressed that she tied me back to my father instead of referring to me as one of Seattle’s most eligible bachelors. She’s intelligent and up on politics. I like that. Immensely. If you ask three-fourths of the residents of Seattle, they wouldn’t be able to tell you how many branches of government there are, something that’s taught in middle school, let alone who the mayor of Seattle is.
“So why is the mayor’s son…here?”
Her eyes are locked on mine, waiting on an answer.
When she swallows I follow the delicate line of her neck down to the swell of her breasts that peek out from the light pink strapless flowing dress she’s wearing like a fucking Greek goddess. One flick of my finger and I could find out the color of her areolas and the size of her nipples before I draw one into my mouth for a sample. My mouth waters at the thought.
The conversation that Ms. Deveraux and I had earlier about expectations sits hard in the pit of my stomach. On one hand, I was relieved to get confirmation she doesn’t sell herself, only her “time,” but now that I’m sitting here in front of her, I won’t rest until she lets me explore every square inch of not only her perfect body, but her complex mind. I want to know her like no one else has.
When our gazes connect again I’m sure mine is full of unmistakable heat. Hers definitely is.
She clears her throat and straightens her back. “I think you have the wrong idea about what it is I do.”
“I don’t,” I state plainly.
“I don’t sleep with my clients, Mr. Mercer.”
Oh, but you will. We both know our ingredients are explosive.
“Women would pay to have sex with me, not the other way around.”
She huffs a laugh as a wry look crosses her face. “Then what is it you need if not a good fuck?”
I chuckle and when I lean forward she straightens her spine. I love that even the simplest of movements I make in her direction affect her, just like she does to me. “Is that what I’ll be missing with you? A good fuck?” I won’t be missing a damn thing. She will be mine in every conceivable way. I know it and so does she.
“Not just good. Life altering,” she banters smoothly.
Now it’s my turn to smile slowly. What I wouldn’t give to throw her up against the wall and show her just what a life-altering fuck really is. For what seems like forever we stare at each other in some sort of weird silent challenge where we’re waiting to see what move the other will make.
Shaking myself out of her spell, I pick up the papers and hand them to her.
“What’s this?”
“Your employment contract.”
“All the paperwork is handled through Randi.”
“I want a little extra insurance.”
She quickly flips through the five-page document before lifting her eyes. “Nondisclosure agreement? This is sounding very fifty shades-ish. And just so you know, if I find any mention of hard limits or safe words, that’s a deal breaker.”
I can’t help but laugh loudly.
“I’m not kidding,” she says, her voice stern.
“Trust me, Goldilocks, if I could have gotten that past your warrior she-devil, I would have.”
Her eyes narrow, but I see a little twitch at the corner of her mouth so I forge ahead, making a mental note to invest in handcuffs and a flogger. Or six.
“The duration is for approximately the next four months. Ten hours a week, maybe more, maybe less, depending on my schedule. You may be required to travel and you will be available at all times when I need you, day or night. You will attend social events, fundraisers, business dinners, and family functions. You will be photographed and it’s only fair to warn you, you will likely be hounded by the press but I’ll try to shield you as much as possible.”
She regards me quietly. I wish I could tell what’s spinning around in that pretty little head of hers. A corner of my mouth tips when she says, “Reelection is just around the corner.”
Not a question and I don’t answer, but score another point for her.
For not the first time I wonder if this little plan of Noah’s will backfire, taking us all down in a curl of hot flames. She figured out what I was doing within two minutes. Lianna would be a far safer, more believable choice. But there’s also an undeniable, powerfully charged connection between us that will be hard for people to refute.
“And what is my role, specifically?”
Deciding I don’t care if this entire thing blows up in my face because that means I won’t get what I want—which is her—I stand and step around the table, holding out my hand.
When she tentatively sets hers in mine, I help her up and wrap one arm around her waist.
Pulling her close, I relish in the hitch of her breath. Cupping her cheek, I savor the baby-fine skin under the pad of my thumb. I take a deep breath, drinking in her delicately floral scent. She’s intoxicating and my head is already spinning.
“What are you doing?” she whispers, her small hands going to my chest.
Dipping my head, I trail my nose along her jaw, stopping so my lips brush her ear. “Making sure we have chemistry.”
She mutters a curse under her breath I know I’m not meant to hear before stuttering, “Wh…why?”
Fuck, if she only knew the dirty things running through my head right now.
“Because, my wide-eyed little pretty, you’re going to play my new love interest. My girlfriend. My serious girlfriend.” I emphasize the word so she understands what she’s getting herself into. I won’t pay her to be in my bed but that doesn’t mean she won’t end up there anyway.
“I…I haven’t agreed to anything yet.” Her breathlessness is testing me and she’s only about half an inch away from finding out exactly how much.
Walking into this meeting, I had already agreed to what I thought was a generous offer with her boss, madam, keeper, whatever she’s called. But after the last fifteen minutes, I’ve decided I will pay whatever it takes to have her. To own her. I think I would give away my own soul.
Framing her face with both hands now, I lean in until my mouth is a hairsbreadth from hers. Her eyes fall to my lips. I feel her wariness, but I also feel her hunger. She parts her lips and I watch with a deep ache in my groin as her tongue darts out to moisten them in anticipation of my kiss.
I restrain from slamming my mouth to hers, taking what I want. What she wants me to take, regardless of how she’s trying to refute me.
“But you will. Everyone has a price, Summer. What’s yours?”
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About the Author:
As a USA Today Bestselling author, I write stories that are deeply emotional with flawed characters, because humans ARE flawed and if we read about perfect characters living in their perfect world, first of all, snoozer, but secondly, we never experience the gratification of redemption.

Outside of writing, I’m just a regular ol’ Midwest girl who likes Game of Thrones and am obsessed with Modern Family and The Goldbergs. I run, I eat, I run, I eat. It’s a vicous cycle. I love carbs, but there’s love-hate relationship with my ass and thighs. Mostly hate. I like a good cocktail (oh hell…who am I kidding? I love any cocktail). I’m a huge creature of habit, but I’ll tell you I’m flexible. I read every single day and if I don’t get a chance…watch the hell out. My iPad and me: BFFs. I’m direct and I make no apologies for it. I swear too much. I love alternative music and in my next life I want to be a bad-ass female rocker. I hate, hate, hate spiders, telemarketers, liver, acne, winter and loose hairs that fall down my shirt (don’t ask, it’s a thing).
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