Advertisements

I FLIPPING LOVE YOU – A Helena Hunting Review, Chapter Reveal & Giveaway

Bancroft has his humor and that BODY, Lex has…all his sexy Lexy-ness, but Pierce….a suave combination of business man meets guy next door HOT! Rian and her twin are trying to finally make a name (their OWN name) for themselves keeping the mess her family left them in the dark. Flipping houses is a delicate endeavor and crunching numbers to get them done is Rian’s specialty; people…that’s all her sister Marley’s area. So when Marley manages to catch the negative eye of one sexy Pierce and he mistakes her for her twin….oh intrigue and hilarity ensue.

Pierce’s relentless pursuit of Rian is filled with some interesting pranks, some peculiar places for steamy scenes, and one crazy brother. Ironically, Pierce and his brother are in the same business and neighborhood as Rian and Marley’s. A mix of office romance with forbidden romance as these two battle for real estate in the Hamptons and each other hearts. A twist of circumstance and readers won’t be sure where loyalties truly lie and if these two can find that elusive HEA after a torrid summer affair.

Hunting puts out fiery after fiery read. Always win a vein of hilarity her books are real romance with an air of lightness one every story. There’s always an ulterior motive, another line of some a-hole character to mess up our hero and heroines carefully laid plans. But Hunting manages to build characters you despise as much as you love. While their stories unfold prepare to fight alongside them as they try to reach their …ahem…climax; these characters will become your beloved friends and you’ll be begging for more!


i flipping love you- New Cover.jpg SHE’S GOT CURB APPEAL. HE’S A FIXER UPPER…

From New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting comes I Flipping Love You, a love story about flipping houses, taking risks, and landing that special someone who’s move-in ready.

Rian Sutter grew up with the finer things in life. Spending summers in the Hamptons was a normal occurrence for her until her parents lost everything years ago. Now Rian and her sister are getting their life, and finances, back on track through real estate. Not only do they buy and sell houses to the rich and famous but they finally have the capital to flip their very own beachfront property. But when she catches the attention of a sexy stranger who snaps up every house from under her, all bets are off…

Pierce Whitfield doesn’t normally demo kitchens, install dry wall, or tear apart a beautiful woman’s dreams. He’s just a down-on-his-luck lawyer who needed a break from the city and agreed to help his brother work on a few homes in the Hamptons. When he first meets Rian, the attraction is undeniable. But when they start competing for the same pieces of prime real estate, the early sparks turn into full-blown fireworks. Can these passionate rivals turn up the heat on their budding romance—without burning down the house?

ORDER YOUR COPY NOW!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound | Powells

“Fun, sexy, and full of heart…Helena Hunting has done it again!”—USA Today bestselling author Melanie Harlow (on Shacking Up)

Chapter ifly.png

CHAPTER 1
ANGRY HOT GUY

RIAN
I flip through my stack of flyers, checking for a sale on the jumbo box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal so I can price match it. I’m a conscientious price matcher. I mark the sale with a big circle before tucking the red Sharpie into the front of my shirt. If I’m going to wheel and deal at the cash register, I want to make it as easy as possible for the cashier and the people in line behind me. Nothing is worse than getting stuck behind an unorganized price matcher.
I shimmy a little to the song playing over the store intercom as I toss boxes of my most favorite, unhealthy cereal in my cart. A prickly feeling climbs the back of my neck, and I shiver, glancing over my shoulder. A mom rushes past me down the aisle, her toddler leaning precariously out of the cart in an attempt to grab a box of Fruit Roll-Ups. I can’t blame him. They are artificially delicious.
But the mom-toddler combo isn’t the reason for the prickly feeling. Halfway down the aisle is a suit. A big suit. Well over six feet of man wrapped in expensive charcoal-gray fabric. He doesn’t have a cart or a basket. And he’s staring at me. Weird. I can’t look at him long enough to decide if he’s familiar or not without making it obvious that I’m staring back.
I have the urge to check my appearance, worried I have his attention because my hair is a mess, or there’s a sweat stain down the center of my back. I’m not particularly appealing at the moment. I’ve just come from a boot camp class at this new gym my twin sister forced me to try out.
Marley bought an online two-for-one coupon for forty bucks, so now I have to attend six of these stupid classes with her. I managed to get out of last week’s class, but she wouldn’t let me escape two weeks in a row. My tank is still dewy, post-exertion, I have terrible under-boob sweat, and my thong is all wonky. If I were alone in this aisle, I’d for sure fix the last issue, but suit guy is here so I must leave the thong where it is for now, wedged uncomfortably between my vagina lips.
The suit quickly shifts his attention to the shelves and picks up the jar directly in front of him, which happens to contain prunes. He inspects it, then maybe realizes what it is, because he rushes to return it, exchanging it for another item. I bite back a smile, pleased that even in my disgusting state I’m being checked out.
As suit man gives the shelf in front of him his full attention, I return the checkout favor. His attire and his posture scream money and a twinge of something like longing combined with jealousy makes my throat momentarily tight. At one time, price matching was a practice I would’ve laughed at—like an entitled jerk—now it’s a necessity.
Suit man must be warm, considering it’s late April and we’re experiencing temperatures far above average for this time of year. Based on the tapered fit of his suit, I’m guessing it’s a high-end brand. He’s complemented it with black patent leather shoes. Very impractical for this weather and location. Does he realize he’s in the Hamptons?
He’s wearing a watch, and from his profile, he can’t be much beyond his early thirties. I have to assume the only reason for the watch is because it’s expensive and he wants to show it off. In my head, I’ve already profiled him as a pretentious, rich prick who probably commutes to NYC a few times a week where he bones his secretary and has a penthouse with the barest of furniture. The rest of the time he works from home.
I return to shopping and continue down the aisle, in the opposite direction of the suit—it’s my way of finding out if he’s actually creeping on me or not. I keep tabs on him in my peripheral vision as I scope out more sales and more delicious, unhealthy food items. My job is to balance out all the fruit and vegetables my sister, Marley, is currently picking out in the produce section.
I grab a jar of the no-name peanut butter since we’re out and the good stuff isn’t on sale, dropping it in the cart. My phone keeps buzzing in my purse. It’s distracting, so I give up ignoring it and check my messages.
It’s my sister.
We’re in the same store. It’s not particularly huge, so I don’t know what could be so pressing that she needs to text four thousand times instead of finding me.
ABORT SHOPPING
LEAVE NOW
Meet me in parking lot
RIAN??????
Jeez. What the heck is going on? Maybe the grocery store is being robbed. Holy Hot Pockets. What if there is a grocery store heist going down? I’m about to abandon my cart in a bid to find Marley and escape the mayhem I’ve created in my head. It’s all very dramatic. As I turn, I come face-to-face with the suit.
I suck in a breath and slap my hand over my chest. The tank is still damp, and my skin’s a little gritty with salt-sweat, so I drop it quickly, because ew.
“Hi.” His expression is hard to read. He seems … smug.
“Hi, hey. Uh…” I wave a hand around in the air, a little flustered, and conflicted, because it’s not often I get approached by a guy this hot—and in a grocery store of all places. Maybe he’ll be here again next week. “I’m sorry, I’d like to stare at your pretty face, I mean…” Crap, why are words so hard? “I have to go.”
I try to step around him, but he mirrors the movement, taking a linebacker stance, as if he’s considering tackling me. Which is an odd way to stage an introduction.
“Recognize me?” he asks, one perfect eyebrow arched.
As I take him in, I wrack my brain for a time or place I might’ve run into him before. I don’t think so, though. His light brown hair is neatly styled, and the cut of his suit highlights all of his assets. Well, the visible PG ones, anyway.
He widens his stance and crosses his arms over his chest. His very broad chest. The sleeves of his suit jacket pull tight, biceps bulging and flexing. He’s a bit intimidating based on his size alone, but we’re in a public grocery store, so I feel relatively safe. And he’s just so gorgeous. Which is a silly reason not to be concerned, some of the most notorious serial killers are attractive men. Also, I need to find my sister, in case the grocery store is really under attack—although maybe this suit could save us.
I adopt his crossed arm pose, but I don’t think I look intimidating. All I succeed in doing is awkwardly squeezing my boobs together inside my damp sports bra and jabbing the right one with the Sharpie. “Should I?”
He looks me over, a slight smirk tipping his mouth. His gaze gets stuck on the Sharpie for a few seconds before they come back up to my eyes.
It’s possible I met him in a bar, but I swear I’d remember his face if I did. The bar scene is also more my sister’s speed than it is mine. Oh God. It’s also possible he’s mistaking me for her. It’s happened before.
While we look nearly identical at first to most people, we’re actually fraternal twins. After a few interactions, most people can tell us apart. I have a distinctive Marilyn Monroe mole on the right side above my lip, and my eyes are amber, where Marley’s are closer to green. My mouth is too big for my face, my lips a little too full and my nose too small. At least that’s my perception. Marley’s also the more outgoing of the two of us and an inch taller. And about ten pounds lighter.
Marley is a little less cautious than I am with men, so there have been a few uncomfortable occasions where her previous hookups have approached me, asking why I haven’t returned their calls. It’s too bad if this is the case, because this guy is inordinately attractive and it would be nice if he wasn’t one of my sister’s castoffs.
His face is a masterpiece of masculine perfection; straight nose, high cheekbones, an angular jawline that could cut glass, full lips. Especially the bottom one. The kind of full that makes me think of kissing, with tongue, of course. He’s all-American handsome with a shot of alpha hotness. It’s a lethal combination for the state of my already damp panties.
“I recognize you.” He has a low, rough voice, like the delicious scrape of fine grit sandpaper.
He breaks me out of my ogle daze. He must think I’m Marley. I’m actually rather disappointed. “I think maybe you’ve mistaken me for someone else.”
“Oh no, sweetheart.” His gaze rakes over me again. I feel very naked all of a sudden. And hot. It’s really hot in here. “You drive a powder-blue Buick.”
“How the heck—”
“I knew it!” he shouts, eyes alight with some kind of weird, victorious satisfaction as he points a long finger with a blue-black nail at me. Maybe he slammed it in a door or something. Or based on the way he’s rudely pointing, maybe someone slammed it for him. “I fucking knew it! You hit my car.”
I definitely would’ve remembered hitting someone’s car, especially if a guy this good looking was driving it. He should probably come with a warning, like: Panties may combust if you get too close, or something. I take a step back since he’s all up in my grill and clearly he’s not looking to flirt like I originally thought. “I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.”
“Don’t play dumb with me! You think you can flip your ponytail”—he reaches out and flicks the end, which is rather startling—“flash a smile and some cleavage, and it’s going to get you out of this. Well, think again, sweetheart. I guarantee my paint is still all over your bumper.” He’s leaning over me, face way too close to mine. So close I can see tiny gold flecks in his deep green eyes. They’re an unusual shade. Dark like pine tree needles.
And he’s chewing gum. Juicy Fruit. I can smell it when he breathes in my face. I would’ve expected a man like him to chew something more along the lines of Polar Ice, or Arctic Ice—strong mint.
I put a hand on his chest and take one deliberate step backward as he opens his mouth to resume his tangent. It’s a solid chest. Extremely hard. His gaze darts down, brows furrowed. I use his distracted state to my advantage. “First of all…” I point my finger in his face, like he did to me. “Don’t ‘sweetheart’ me. That’s condescending. Secondly, I’m sure I would’ve noticed if I’d hit another car. Thirdly, there are literally hundreds of powder-blue Buicks in this stupid city. It’s not an uncommon car. And I’d like to point out, that the cleavage comment was completely unnecessary and unwarranted and actually, pretty damn sexist.”
He blinks a couple of times, possibly taken aback. That expression doesn’t last long. His lip curls in a sneer and that pretty all-American handsomeness morphs into downright malevolent hotness. “Nice try, sweetheart. But there’s no way I’d forget you.” His gaze sweeps over me—it’s not in an unappreciative way either.
I poke his hard chest. “Stop leering at me, you pervert. I don’t know what kind of drugs you’ve been snorting, but I assure you, you’ve got the wrong person.”
“Oh shit!” my sister’s voice comes from behind me.
I turn to find Marley doing an about-face, and then she breaks into a little grapevine step as she moves back toward me. Her eyes are wide, mouth contorted into some kind of grimace as she grabs my wrist.
“What the fuck? There are two of you?” hot-crazy guy asks, eyes bouncing between us.
“We gotta go.” Marley latches onto my hand and drags me down the aisle, away from crazy-hot suit.
“Whoa! Wait a damn second!”
Hot suit makes a grab for me, but Marley yanks me out of the way and shoves my shopping cart at him—hard. He’s not quite quick enough to get out of the way, and the corner of the cart slams right into his crotch. He doubles over with a groan and aggressively pushes the cart aside. It ricochets into a display of canned peaches, which spill into the aisle with a deafening crash.
“What the heck, Mar?”
“Come the fuck on!” She sprints down the aisle, dragging me behind her. I’d protest, but I don’t think I have much choice in the matter, considering the death grip she has on my hand, or the fact that she’s assaulted the sexy-crazy suit with my shopping cart.
Marley fast-walks to the exit, glancing over her shoulder. “Act natural.”
“Will you tell me what’s going on? Who is that guy?”
She flips her hair over her shoulder and smiles as we pass the cashiers and the automatic doors open. Marley fast-walks down the sidewalk toward our car. “I may have tapped that guy’s car last Saturday when I was shopping.”
I stop walking, which brings her to a jarring halt. She yanks on my arm. “Seriously, come on. I’ll explain when we’re in the car.”
“Nope. No way. You explain now.”
Her eyes are bouncing all over the place. “It’s not a big deal. I just grazed his bumper.” Marley spin and tries to push me forward from behind. “Now let’s get out of here before he finds us again. We should probably shop somewhere else for a while.”
I stumble forward a step and then spin away from her. “You hit that guy’s car?”
“It was more of a graze. At least I think it was.” She wrings her hands and makes her oh crap face.
Now crazy-hot suit guy seems a lot less crazy and much more justified in his reaction. Except for the cleavage comment. That was still unnecessary. “It sure didn’t seem like nothing with the way he freaked out in there.”
“He’s probably overreacting. Where are your keys?” She’s still wringing her hands.
I pat my hip with the intention of keeping my purse safe and away from my sister. Except all I end up patting is my actual hip. I look down, running my hands over my stomach, searching for the cheap, faux-leather knockoff. “Oh fudge.”
“What?”
“My purse. It’s in the cart. I have to go back and get it.”
Marley grabs the back of my tank. “You can’t! What if he’s still in there?”
“It has my identification in it, Marley. And my bankcards, and my money, and keys to the car and the apartment. I can’t leave it in there!”
Marley flails and paces around in a circle. “What if he’s waiting for us to come back and get it?”
“You can stay here if you want, but I’m going back for it. I’m not leaving my purse behind because you hit some guy’s car in a parking lot. I can’t believe you just drove away!”
“I thought I tapped it, and then I panicked.” Her fingers are at her mouth now. “I didn’t want to drive up our insurance premiums over some guy and his Tesla.”
“You hit a Tesla?” This keeps getting worse.
“Anyone who has the money to buy a Tesla has the money to fix it, right?” Marley says.
“So you drove off! Jeez, Marley. What were you thinking?” I shake my head. I’d like to say I’m surprised by this, but sadly I’m not. Marley doesn’t always use common sense in day-to-day life.
“I don’t know. I wasn’t thinking. That’s the problem, I guess.”
I’m about to go back into the store, but stop short at the sight of the suit leaning against the side of my car, one ankle crossed over the other, all calm like. Dangling from a single finger is my knockoff, hot-pink Coach purse. “Forget something?”

Copyright © 2018 by Helena Hunting in I Flipping Love You and reprinted with permission from St. Martin’s Paperbacks.


Giveaway IFLY.png

ENTER FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A COPY OF I FLIPPING LOVE YOU!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She’s writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.
Advertisements

SAVAGE PRINCE – A Meghan March Chapter Reveal

Who knew things could get even darker and dirtier in New Orleans? New York Times bestselling author Meghan March introduces the Savage Prince of the city, the man you never want to meet.

I do what I want and who I want. I don’t follow anyone’s rules—even my own.
I knew I shouldn’t touch her, but it didn’t stop me.
Didn’t stop me the second time either. Only made me want a third.
My lifestyle suits the savage I am, and she doesn’t.
But Temperance Ransom is my newest addiction, and I’m nowhere near ready to quit her yet.
I’ll have her my way, even if it means dragging her into the darkness.
Hopefully it doesn’t kill us both.

Savage Prince is book one of the Savage Trilogy, set in the same world as Ruthless King, however you do not need to read the Mount Trilogy to devour this scandalously hot new story.

Chapter SP.png

Chapter 1

Temperance

Why is he wearing a mask?

Instinctively, I take a step back as the heavy door swings open, revealing the rest of the doorman’s tall body and the other half of the ornate red-and-black leather mask obscuring his face.

It’s not Mardi Gras season anymore, and this antebellum mansion is dozens of miles away from Bourbon Street, where spirits are high and revelry is in full swing, no matter the time of year.

Louisiana, you’re beautiful, but you’re also creepy as hell at night sometimes.

The doorman gestures for me to enter, and I hesitate on the threshold for one final beat, clutching my bag to my side before stepping through the archway. He closes the massive wooden door behind me with a decisive thud and throws a long bolt.

I’m locked in. What did I get myself into?

Chills skate over my skin, and my blazer does little to stop the shiver working through me.

This is not a haunted house. Or a dungeon. It’s a potential customer. I tell my overactive imagination to calm down but blood pounds in my ears, competing with the slow, rhythmic, and visceral beat of the bass coming from somewhere inside.

The sprawling plantation house reminds me of something out of a movie, especially with its massive trees dangling their moss over the banks of the bayou. Mansions and their expensive everything make me more nervous than the gators lurking in that murky water.

My senses shift into high gear as I scan the polished wooden planks of the floor, covered by thick rugs that probably cost more than I make in a year. The muted glow of gaslight sconces adds to the otherworldly feel—at complete odds with the throbbing beat of the club music.

For the dozenth time, I wish I did more research before I showed up for this meeting, but I’ve been so busy, I can barely manage to shovel three bites of food into my mouth for lunch.

It’s worth it, I remind myself. I have a respectable job now. There’s no mud on the bottom of my shoes to track inside these days.

Even though I know I’m in the right place, my polished designer knock-off pumps itch to beat a path to the door and out to my car . . . except it’s not there, because the overly efficient valet drove it away before the front door even opened.

I swallow back a lump of unease but straighten my shoulders and turn my attention to the doorman, who seems to be waiting for me to compose myself.

When I meet his hooded stare, he doesn’t speak. I hold out the note that showed up on my desk at Seven Sinners. He takes it from me and glances at the printed text, but still says nothing.

“I’m supposed to meet someone?” I hate that my voice sounds like I’m asking a question rather than making a statement. I shake off the unease and find my assertive tone. “I’m here to meet someone for a business discussion. Can you please direct me to the office?”

The doorman gestures to the opulent staircase before me with the card before offering it back.

My sweaty palms leave smudges on the edges as I snatch it from his grip. I should have known from that fancy cream linen paper that this wouldn’t be like the normal bars and clubs I’ve visited to hawk Seven Sinners Whiskey.

“Thank you.” I give him a nod, and once again get zero verbal response. This place is bizarre. Time to get in and get out.

Attempting to look unaffected, I stride toward the red-and-gold runner climbing up the stairs.

I’m just here to sell whiskey. All the whiskey.

The treads beneath the soles of my shoes vibrate more with each step I take. As I round the curve of the staircase, I find another masked man waiting for me at the top.

I offer him my invitation and stare over his shoulder at the light spilling out from beneath a set of closed double doors.

There. That has to be the club. See, nothing different about this place after all.

Except there is, and I don’t know if it’s my overactive imagination, but I swear I can smell sex in the air. Images of all the things that can possibly be happening behind those doors assail my brain. I force my attention back to the man for direction.

He jerks his head to the side and starts down a wide gold-and-white-striped corridor, away from the doors. He pauses at the corner as though waiting for me to follow him, and I uproot my feet from the floor and stumble forward to catch up with my bag smacking my hip. Instead of leading me farther down the corridor, he steps out of the way to reveal another set of curving stairs and points upward.

Seriously? I thought this was a business meeting, not punishment for missing my date with the gym for the last six months.

My arches cramp in protest as I smooth down my skirt, reset my bag, and climb to the top, but at least this discomfort takes my mind off the peculiar feel of this place.

I’m going to have to sell a ton of whiskey to make this trip worth it.

When I hit the next landing, there’s a third man, this one the size of a linebacker, wearing a matching mask.

Where the hell is everyone else? What kind of club has silent doormen and no tipsy patrons stumbling back and forth to the restroom?

I don’t have time to ask either of those questions before masked man number three reads the words on the card I hold out and leads me down a hallway to what I assume must be the manager’s office. At least, I hope like hell it is.

An ornate door with an antique brass knob awaits at the end, and he pushes it open and gestures for me to enter with a meaty hand.

I pin my most professional smile on my face and take a deep breath, ready to charm whoever awaits me inside into buying more whiskey than they plan.

With a confident stride, I make my way inside.

“Hi! I’m Temperance—” I trail off when I realize the chair behind the desk, dimly lit by a simple banker’s lamp, is empty.

A quick scan of the rest of the dark room reveals no signs of life.

What the hell?

“Okay, then.” I clear my throat, poised to turn around and get the hell out of this place, when a light flickering to life distracts me.

But it’s not a light in the office where I’ve been shown, but a light in the room next door. A room that I can apparently view through what appears to be a two-way mirror.

Am I really seeing this?

And by this, I mean a monstrous iron-and-wood four-poster bed draped with black silk sheets . . . and restraints.

A bedroom. A kinky bedroom.

Holy hell.

I stumble back a step, reaching for the doorknob, but my gaze fixes on the black mask of the woman entering the bedroom and the heavily muscled shirtless man with his palm on the small of her back.

This isn’t just any trendy secret club interested in adding top-notch whiskey to their shelves.

It’s a sex club.

I should be horrified. Running screaming in the opposite direction and out to my car. But instead, I’m rooted to the floor.

I have a front-row seat to one of my dirtiest fantasies. A fantasy I finally got up the nerve to try to fulfill a few months ago, because Lord knows I don’t have time to have a relationship, but my search for a non-sketchy sex club in New Orleans fell flat. Google sure as hell didn’t have this one on the map, and neither did any of the forums or blog posts I read.

A real underground sex club.

A tingle of excitement, like I’ve just discovered a secret key to another world, shoots through me as the man shuts the door to their room and slowly circles the woman before pushing her to her knees with one dominant hand on each shoulder. He has the look of a conqueror inspecting his war prize, complete with tribal ink marking his chest and upper arms, and dark leather pants. It’s hot as hell.

The rational part of my brain says I should look away, not invade their private scene, but I glance quickly at the door I entered through. No one is bursting in to tell me it’s some kind of mistake that I was led here.

The woman, dressed in red lingerie, keeps her gaze downcast, but I’m not nearly as disciplined. I can’t take my eyes off her companion as his ass flexes against the leathers.

When he stops in front of her, he releases her shoulder and buries one hand in her honey-blond hair, gripping her at the base of her neck, forcing her attention to his face.

They are completely and utterly absorbed with each other, and neither of them spares even a glance at the wall that serves as my voyeuristic porthole. Do they know? They must.

His voice somehow comes loud and clear into this room. “You wanted my attention down there, little girl. You’ve got it all now.”

My heart thumps harder as he reaches for the flap of his leathers with his other hand and yanks it open, freeing his heavy cock.

I bite down on my lower lip to stifle the hushed oh my God dying to break free. The sting from my teeth serves as a reminder that this isn’t one of my dreams.

This is real.

My conscience wars with me, telling me to turn away. Go back down the stairs. Run out the front door. Find my car and get the hell out of here.

But that and any other thought of business dies away as he wraps one palm around his thick cock and gives it a rough tug before thumbing the tip. The ruddy reddish-purple shaft seems to pulse against his grip, and my lip trembles as my thighs clench.

Why is it so frigging hot to see a man handle himself like that?

Using his grip on her hair, he guides her lips toward the head.

Sweet Lord. I shouldn’t be turned on by this. But my sweaty palms and the thumping pulse that has taken up residence between my legs expose my lie.

This is the hottest thing I’ve ever seen in person.

“You want this? Is that why you’ve been acting like a little brat?” His words are muted, like the sound is being piped into the office through speakers, or maybe it’s because the blood roaring through my head is drowning out normal sound. Either way, his gruff, deep voice drags over my senses, making goose bumps rise across my skin.

“Yes, sir.” The woman’s chin bounces as she licks her lips.

He drags her face an inch closer to his cock. “Show me how much.”

My nipples pebble against my bra at his rough order. Heat, completely inappropriate fiery heat, streaks through me as one of the woman’s hands dives between her legs.

“You don’t get to touch yourself until I tell you to. I’ll turn that ass of yours red before you finger that wet little cunt.”

I squeeze my thighs together like he’s somehow threatening me. Ordering me. Dominating me.

And I wish he were.

“I want your hands on my legs. I’m going to fuck your face. Remind you who owns these lips.”

A quiet moan echoes through the room, and I’m ninety-nine percent sure it came from her and not me. Okay, ninety percent sure.

I squirm, my chest rising and falling faster as she rests her palms on his muscled thighs and he feeds his cock into her mouth inch by inch.

Oh my God. I can’t watch. I shouldn’t watch. I’m not a dirty little thing who likes to watch. I’m not. Really. I’m not.

But I’m a filthy liar, because none of the words I use to berate myself make me tear my gaze away from the most erotic scene I’ve ever seen play out.

He shifts his grip, using one hand to cup her chin and tilt her head to the angle of his liking as he powers deeper inside, more of his rock-hard shaft disappearing with each thrust.

His growl echoes through the room, and I can feel it in the wet heat between my legs like a heartbeat.

“You feel that? You want more?”

Her plaintive, muffled cry for more unleashes another round of shivers as my breathing shallows. My inner muscles clench as I imagine a cock sliding past my lips and down my throat. My gag reflex flutters at the all-too-real and intense feeling.

That could be me.

Her fingertips curl around his legs and mine do the same, but instead of smooth skin, mine scrape across the fabric of my skirt. Two thin layers. That’s all that separates me from making myself come in approximately 2.5 seconds.

My fingers tense, stretching as though itching to move.

Don’t you even think about it, Temperance. Don’t you dare think about it.

But then he slows his movements, pulling his cock from between her lips. It glistens in the dim light as he wraps a hand around it and strokes. The woman’s need is visible in every tense muscle of her body as she fixates on his lazy movements.

“I’m not coming in that pretty mouth. Not tonight. Tonight, I’m taking that ass you’ve been teasing me with. Bending you over so I can see your cunt and your tight little hole. I get so fucking hard when I think about turning it red before I finally bury myself inside.”

Oh, for fuck’s sake. This isn’t even fair.

I swallow the saliva filling my mouth and back up until I bump into the edge of a desk. My heels wobble, and I reach out a hand to steady myself.

I cross my legs and shift back and forth to try to stave off the urge to do more. I’m here for business. Not for pleasure. But the reminder is a fleeting one, disappearing from my brain as soon as he speaks again.

“Tell me you want me to take your ass. Own it. Make it mine so you never forget who you belong to.”

The woman’s mouth drops open and her tongue darts out to wet the corner. “Yes, sir.”

He reaches down and extends a hand. “Stand.”

She complies by sliding her fingers into his and rising gracefully to her feet. Then his movement turns rougher as he spins her around and bends her over the end of the bed.

My heart thunders as I squeeze my thighs together, and the man yanks the crotch of her thong aside, baring her pussy and ass.

It’s obscene, but I can’t look away.

My fingernails dig into my leg through my skirt as he barks another order.

“Spread your legs.”

The uncompromising tone of his voice ricochets through my body, and part of me wants to comply like the woman as she slides her legs a few inches farther apart, creating an even more indecent visual.

The heat between my legs jumps what feels like a million degrees, and I suddenly wish I’d done laundry this week, because then I’d be wearing underwear. Instead, wetness gathers and threatens to drip down my inner thighs.

A dirty, shameful feeling curls inside me and I squirm, squeezing my legs even tighter together, but it doesn’t change the way my body responds. Especially not when he claps his palm between her legs with a smack. Her hips jerk and a moan spills out from between her lips.

Oh good Lord. He spanked her pussy.

I cover my mouth with one hand to silence my own sharp breath, and my teeth dig into my skin.

He plunges a finger inside, moving it out and then back in. “This is mine. You flash it at anyone else, and I’ll tie you up and drag you to the edge so many times, you’ll be delirious before I ever let you come. That’s a fucking promise.”

He pulls free of her body and lands a hard smack on her ass. She screeches as his handprint blooms red on her skin before he covers it with a firm grip, and the sound coming from her mouth turns into a moan.

“Please.”

“You know I love to hear you beg.” He releases her and lands another blow. “But you’ll remember your manners or get nothing.”

“Please, sir!”

Her wail wraps around me as he caresses the cheek he just stung. The desk bites into my ass, but I know it’s not the same.

I want to know what that feels like.

The truth blows through my mind like a hurricane. Unstoppable. Unashamed. Un-fucking-believable.

Is it possible to spontaneously orgasm? I have to get out of here. But my fingers curl around the sharp edge of the wood as though it’s the only thing keeping me grounded.

“Beg me.”

With my nipples harder than diamonds, I wait for her to beg. Please. I want to see—

She does.

Oh good Lord, I’m going to hell.

He grips his cock with one hand, her ass with the other, and lines up the head with her entrance. “Pussy first. You’re not ready for me yet.”

The pace of my breathing nears hyperventilation.

I need to do something. I have to—

Any capacity for rational thought is ripped from my brain as he buries his cock inside her and her scream fills my ears. He pounds into her over and over, and I hate her. I hate that she’s receiving his perfectly rough thrusts that rip moans of ecstasy from her throat, and all I have is the clenching emptiness between my legs.

I want that. I need that. It’s been way too long since I felt . . . anything like this. Actually, I’ve never felt anything remotely like this.

This dark edge of pleasure is something I’ve only read about. Wished for. Dreamed about.

Her moans and cries intensify, and he praises her. I close my eyes, letting his words wash over me, and pretend he’s whispering them to me.

My fingers edge toward the hem of my skirt and I draw it up inch by inch. I need more. Just a little—

“My naughty secretary should know better than to touch herself during work hours.”

The deep, rasping words come out of the shadows and brush over my skin, leaving goose bumps in their wake.

Shock freezes my movements, my fingertips locked on the material of my skirt, as a chair creaks and the disembodied voice takes the shape of a tall, broad-shouldered man stepping into the dim pool of light. A black leather mask obscures the top half of his face, but his piercing blue eyes burn hotter than a five-alarm fire. They sear my skin everywhere they touch.

“Do you have anything to say for yourself, Ms. Smith?” His sculpted lips are perfect—except for the fact they called me by the wrong name.

“Umm, uhh . . .” I stammer as I attempt to find words that can possibly apply to this insane situation. “I-I’m sorry, I think you have the wrong—”

His eyes narrow, but the heat remains intact. “Nobody argues with me in my office. Strike two, Ms. Smith.”

“But I’m here for—” I make another attempt to explain his mistake, but he cuts me off with a tilt of his head.

“Whatever I want.” He emphasizes each word as he takes another step toward me. “And tonight, what I want is you.”

My teeth dig into my bottom lip as he slides his suit jacket off his shoulder and down one arm before repeating the motion with the other. His movements reveal a crisp white shirt perfectly tailored to broad shoulders, thick biceps, and a narrow waist.

Holy wow. He’s sex in a suit.

“If you’re still in this office in ten seconds, I’ll take that to mean yes, sir, I’m ready.”

I glance at the door and back at him as he begins the countdown.

“Ten . . .”

#SavagePrince_Meghan13

BUY NOW!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | iBooks | B&N | Kobo

 

SavagePrince_Meghan12.png


A New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty novels, Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She’s also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she’s ever had.

Sign up for Meghan’s newsletter and receive exclusive content that she saves for her subscribers: http://meghanmarch.com/subscribe

To get the inside scoop on a daily basis, search Meghan March’s Runaway Readers on Facebook and join the fun.

FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE | TWITTER | PINTEREST

8 SIMPLE RULES FOR DATING A DRAGON – A Kerrelyn Sparks Review & Chapter Reveal

Welcome to the wonderful world of fantasy and romance: The Embraced. As nations war and history is in the cusp of change, Gwennore is becoming restless as an elf in a human realm. She’s looking for some escape; but capture by dragon is not something she could’ve planned for. Arriving in the strange mad world of Norveshka she meets their General, Silas. As more secrets about the kingdom come to light Gwennore has to decide: risk a future of persecution or her own happy ever after.

When you hear comparisons to Game of Thrones and other fantasy series, know that is so accurate! Sparks paints an elegant picture of different non-humans and magic induced humans mixed in a world of dragons, trolls, and elves. While the story has a romantic aspect there’s always a larger picture of danger and espionage. The elusive Chameleon from previous books has returned and is after another crown. As Gwennore and Silas begin to unravel the curse upon his kingdom and family, she begins to discover more secrets from his past. Silas is not all he’s portrayed to be; and Gwennore has some serious decisions to make on what she’s willing to handle for her future.

Sparks’ world building leaves nothing to the imagination. From a lands to creatures and even forms of travel, everything in her Embraced series is fantastical and wonderful for the creative mind. I highly enjoyed the twists and surprise in Gwennore and Silas’ story and I can’t wait for more of the sisters’ tales!


Eight Simple Rules_cover image.jpg

Kerrelyn Sparks is no stranger to the New York Times bestseller list, as her massive fan base couldn’t seem to get enough of her Love at Stake series. Sparks then introduced her extraordinary fantasy romance series, The Embraced, with How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days and So I Married a Sorcerer. Set in a medieval mythical world, the series follows a special group of people with powers born when the two moons of the world form an eclipse. Now comes the captivating third installment, EIGHT SIMPLE RULES FOR DATING A DRAGON (St. Martin’s Paperbacks; March 27, 2018), where readers meet Gwennore, our fierce and powerful new heroine.

Gwennore is an Elf able to track down the cause of an illness and heal it; a valuable asset to her people. But when she is thrust into the realm of the dragons, she discovers a haunted place of power and magic, plagued by an ancient curse. And then she meets the smoldering General Silas Dravenko. She’s been raised never to trust a dragon, but never did making a deal with the devil feel so good…

Silas has no way of saving the royal family he’s served for years. But when a beautiful elf comes bursting into his world, Silas is awakened to desire in a way he’s never felt before. But can he trust a sworn enemy?

Filled with romance, adventure, and a vividly imagined new world, EIGHT SIMPLE RULES FOR DATING A DRAGON is a fantasy in the vein of Game of Thrones with all the fun of The Princess Bride. Audiences will become enthralled with Gwennore in a world where passion, fantasy, and royal intrigue collide. Return to the most exciting, magical and romantic series to come along in years in the stunning world of the Embraced!

ORDER YOUR COPY NOW!

AMAZON

Chapter 8SRFDAD.png

As the three men came to a stop, Gwennore noted that the ladies-in-waiting were curtsying, so she did, too.

Karlan bowed. “My lord general.”

“At ease,” the gorgeous man in the middle said.

Freya rushed to his side. “Silas, you arrived just in time. I’ve discovered an assassin.” She pointed at Gwennore. “You should arrest her!”

Gwennore popped up from her curtsy, ready to defend herself. But before she could say anything, the general had enveloped the queen’s hand in his own and turned her away.

“Your Majesty.” He flashed a smile that caused a few of the ladies to stumble as they rose from their curtsies. “I came as quickly as I could after hearing the news. May I congratulate you on the birth of your daughter?”

“Why, yes.” Freya blushed. “Thank you. I was in labor a dreadfully long time, you know.”

“Yes, so I hear.” He patted her hand. “But thank the Light, you and the babe are doing remarkably well.”

What nonsense was this? The gorgeous general was acting like the others—playing along with the queen’s delusion. Gwennore drew in a deep breath to voice her objection, but the general shot her a warning look with his sharp green eyes.

When she lifted her eyebrows as if to question him, he inclined his head ever so slightly. He’sasking me to trust him. It was as clear as if he had spoken. For a moment she wondered if she was experiencing a mental connec- tion with him like she had with Puff.

Don’tjump to conclusions, she chided herself. She was only hoping for a connection because he was the most handsome man she’d ever met.

Something flared in his eyes, a spark of gold in the em- erald green, and her knees grew weak. Good goddesses, was she about to swoon like these other silly women? She needed to be stronger than this.

“Thank you, Silas,” Freya said, drawing his attention back to her. “Doesn’t the baby look just like her father?” “Yes, indeed.” The general glanced at Eviana, who was still clinging to Gwennore’s legs. “And to mark the occa- sion, I have brought you a gift.” He motioned to Gwennore. “A nanny. As you can see, the princess has already

developed a special fondness for her.”

Freya gasped. “You brought the elf here?”

“Of course.” He gave Gwennore a wry look as if he was daring her to contradict him. “She’s a noblewoman I captured some time ago in battle, but since then, she’s learned our language and proven herself quite useful.”

So General Gorgeous had no problem spinning lies or manipulating a madwoman. Gwennore snorted. But since she was in danger of being imprisoned and even exe- cuted, she was not in any position to reject his solution.

Even so, she wondered if she could actually trust him. As the general of the Norveshki army, wouldn’t he see her as an enemy?

“We dare not trust an elf,” Freya muttered. “She could be a spy. Or an assassin.”

“We can trust her,” the general insisted. “Lady Gwennore cares deeply for the princess. Enough to risk her life for her.”

Gwennore’s heart lurched into a fast pace. He knew her name? And what she’d done? Puff must have told him everything that had happened. That meant General Gor- geous could hear dragon voices, too. It made sense, she figured, since his job would require him to communicate with dragons. But did that mean he had ordered the first dragon to kidnap Eviana? Or perhaps, he had ordered Puff to try to stop the kidnapping. Which side was he on?

“But elves are such violent creatures,” Freya whined. “They are fierce warriors, that is true,” the general

agreed. “That is why Lady Gwennore will make an ex- cellent nanny. No one will protect your daughter as well as she.”

“Well . . .” Freya looked confused. Her hands fluttered around her chest, causing the rubies to sparkle in the after- noon sun. “I suppose we can give her a try.”

“Excellent.” He turned toward Karlan. “You and your men may return to your posts.”

Gwennore exhaled with relief. She wasn’t going to the dungeon. And as the official nanny, she could remain close to Eviana.

“And remember.” The general stepped closer to Karlan and added softly, “Lady Gwennore is my guest. She will be treated with respect.”

“Yes, my lord.” Karlan motioned for his men to follow him back to the main gatehouse.

With Gwennore’s superior hearing, she’d heard the general’s whisper. He had to be on her side. For one thing, he kept referring to her as a lady. The status of noble- woman would shield her from any physical abuse during her stay here in Draven Castle.

So, most probably, she had two allies in Norveshka—Puff and General Gorgeous. She could only hope they would both prove to be trustworthy and honorable.

The general turned to the nearest lady-in-waiting. “Your name, please?”

The woman stumbled back a step. “O-Olenka, my lord general.”

“Lady Olenka, would you please escort Lady Gwennore and the princess to the nursery? And make sure they are well taken care of.”

“Yes, yes, of course, my lord general.” Olenka nodded, then curtsied again.

“I’ll drop by to check on you later.” The general shot a pointed look at Gwennore. “Till then.”

Gwennore inclined her head, understanding he in- tended to have a talk with her. That was fine. She needed to talk to him, too.

“Oh, everything will be perfect, my lord general! You can trust me.” Olenka motioned for Gwennore to follow her. “Come along now.”

Gwennore lifted Eviana in her arms and walked toward Lady Olenka. As she passed the queen, she bowed her head. “Good day, Your Majesty.”

Freya narrowed her eyes. “If anything happens to my daughter, I’ll have your head. I will not lose another child!”

Another child? How many had the queen lost? “I will protect her with my life,” Gwennore told her, then fol- lowed Lady Olenka toward the northwestern tower.

As she neared the general’s two companions, she noted there was a slight difference in their uniforms. One had three brass stars embedded in his leather breastplate, while the other had two. Did that mean they were officers? The general had four stars on his breastplate.

These men were handsome like the general—tall, muscular, long dark hair. No doubt they knew how to make a….


MEET KERRELYN…

bio-pic.jpg

Apparently, she has issues with reality. After writing 16 books about vampires and shifters, Kerrelyn has now completely gone off the deep end and wound up on another planet.

Although Kerrelyn is best known (so far) for the Love at Stake series, which has hit as high as number 5 on the New York Times list and 22 on the USA Today list, she hopes her readers will love The Embraced as much as they did her merry band of vamps and shifters.

Kerrelyn lives with her family in the Greater Houston area of Texas. You can visit with her on Goodreads or her Facebook page, where she does a monthly contest. On Twitter, she posts as @KerrelynSparks.

WEBSITE

Copy provided

BAD FOR YOU – A J. Daniels Excerpt Reveal

“If you’re a fan of Kristen Ashley, then you will love this book.” -Aestas Book Blog on Four Letter Word


He didn’t want to be bad. He just didn’t have a choice…

Shayla Perkins isn’t the kind of girl who makes the same mistake twice, especially when it comes to Sean “Stitch” Molina. So when he gives her the world’s biggest rejection, that’s it–she’s done. Until the sexy, silent, unavailable Sean makes Shay a very personal offer. Of course, it still doesn’t mean he’s interested in her. Or does it?

Sean has done things in life. Bad things. And he’s paid the price. All he wants now is to make up for his past by doing good in the present. And no one deserves more good than Shay. Beautiful on the inside and out, Shay is the kind of woman who should be cared for and protected–especially from a man like Sean. He’s tried to keep his feelings for her in check, but a single, reckless impulse pulls them closer than ever before.

Soon the two are sharing their biggest dreams and satisfying their deepest desires. But what will happen if the only way to truly give each other what they want most…is to let each other go?


“The perfect mix of funny, hot and heartwarming. I enjoyed it immensely!” –Mia Sheridan, New York Times bestselling author, on Four Letter Word


PRE-ORDER NOW

AMAZON US | AMAZON UK | AMAZON AU | B&N | KOBO | KOBO UK | iBOOKS

 

 

Excerpt Template(2).png

Chapter One

Shayla

I wanted to tell her no. I wanted to lie to Gladys or Dorothy, whatever this sweet old lady’s name was seated in my section, and say we were fresh out of ranch dressing, and the little cup of it that came with her large garden salad was the last drop. If I didn’t and obliged her request, it would mean walking back over to the kitchen window I avoided like the plague and speaking to him—Sean “Stitch” Molina. The keeper of the dressings. The cook at Whitecaps Restaurant. He hoarded the ranch back there, and the only way to get more of it was with words.

And we didn’t do words anymore. Not as of eight months ago.

So, instead of doing my job as a waitress, I contemplated the dishonest route, which could very well get me fired.

Was I willing to roll those dice? Maybe. It might be worth a shot. My boss, Nate, could overlook my wrongdoing. He was understanding enough.

We’re fresh out of ranch, I could tell the lady. And all other dressings, for that matter. I am so sorry. Could I maybe get you another refill? Or something else not located in the kitchen?

I thought on this plan—it could work. Maybe she would believe me. Or maybe she would rethink her request and decide she no longer needed more dressing.

Help a fellow woman out here, Millie. Christ.

“I just need a little bit more,” the lady requested with a gentle smile. “Would you be a dear? I won’t trouble you for anything else, I promise.”

“Of course,” I replied, the response compulsively leaving my tongue. I couldn’t fight it. I couldn’t lie. I’d feel terrible.

Besides, this was my job. If someone requested more ranch dressing, I got them more ranch dressing, even if it meant speaking to the man I was completely and pathetically infatuated with, no matter how badly it hurt me to do so.

I gave the lady a smile in return before moving away.

My steps were slow as I weaved between tables and headed toward the kitchen. I tried to keep my head down, to focus on the tile floor disappearing beneath my feet, but I couldn’t.

I had to look.

Who was I kidding? I wanted to look.

As I approached, Tori was leaning close to the window that separated Sean’s domain from everyone else’s. She slid two plates of food off the ledge, commenting, “Looks good. Thanks, Stitch,” before walking off to deliver her orders, winking at me as she passed.

Sean only went by Stitch when he was here, I was assuming. I wouldn’t know for sure since I’d never spent any time with him outside of work. It was a nickname Tori and I had given him when he’d cut himself a bunch of times during his first week on the job, and he didn’t seem to mind being called that.

Back then, he didn’t seem to mind a lot of things, like listening to me talk and talk about anything and everything, putting my problems on him in between waiting tables, my stresses, my fears, needing a person to vent to and him being the only person I wanted to vent to because of the way he listened and looked at me.

No one had ever seemed so interested in what I had to say before.

Like what I was saying meant everything to them. Like it was a privilege just to listen.

And no one had ever looked at me the way Sean did—glances that only ever lasted a few seconds at a time, but those few seconds of eye contact—holy crap. I thought my skin was going to combust it would tingle and heat up so quickly. The man had a stare unlike any stare. Equal parts intense and intimidating. But his eyes, sweet mother of God, his eyes were unreal, this rich, golden copper color. And when they were on you, you didn’t just see that beauty—you felt it.

It was a two-punch combo that turned me into a puddle. No man had ever affected me that way before.

And that effect wasn’t going away. I was still feeling it.

Even now with us not speaking to each other, or rather, with me not speaking and him not listening, I still couldn’t get Sean out of my head. I missed what we used to have, yes, but it was more than that. It was so much more.

A man I barely knew, who seldom spoke, and who had never showed interest in me in that way had somehow taken hold of my heart and twisted it all up. I didn’t understand how it had happened, I just knew it happened.

Pathetic, right?

I reached the counter silently, which was a miracle considering how loud my heart sounded in my ears. Keeping my breathing quiet, I looked through that window and peered into the kitchen.

Sean had his back to me as he flipped burgers and stirred something in a pot. I allowed my eyes to travel the length of him, something I hardly ever let myself do anymore. We shared quick glances now, that was it.

Sean was well over six feet tall—way taller than me. His back was broad. His hair was long, a beautiful caramel color, and almost always pulled back; his arms were covered in tattoos and roped in muscle; and he had a thick, short beard that hid what I just knew was a strong jaw.

Sean was beautiful. And he was intimidating. Not just how he looked, but how he acted too.

He smoked. He drove a motorcycle. He never smiled. He rarely said a word. Everything about Sean said leave me alone, but eight months ago I couldn’t.

And eight months ago, I didn’t think he wanted me to.

I thought that was why he looked at me the way he did and listened so well. I wasn’t even nervous when I finally asked him out after hearing about a local party. I was excited.

I wanted Sean. I wanted to kiss him and touch him and God, hear his voice more. I had gotten so little of it. I wanted to do everything with him. And I thought we would. I thought we’d go to that party together as friends and leave as something more.

But Sean wasn’t interested in the more I’d been after. He wasn’t interested in me at all.

Now, that was perfectly clear.

Sensing me, or maybe he was finished minding the burgers and whatever he was stirring in the pot—I didn’t know for sure, since I was still letting my eyes wander—Sean spun around and stepped forward, snapping my gaze off his body in a panic. Our eyes met.

Mine widened.

His narrowed angrily, like I’d pissed him off and he hated me for it, and further hated me for catching him pissed off about it.

I didn’t understand that look, but no way was I asking about it. I was doing what I came over here to do, and then, hopefully, staying far away from this window the rest of the day.

Maybe I could convince Tori to put in my orders.

“My lady needs more ranch,” I informed Sean, swallowing thickly when my voice came out sounding stressed and distorted. “Could I get a little more for her?”

Sean’s gaze lowered to my mouth like he was waiting for more words, which didn’t make sense to me, until I considered the one word I left off he was most likely waiting for.

“Please?” I added.

His eyes lifted to mine and stayed narrowed. His nostrils flared. His jaw set.

I almost apologized for being polite and for not lying to that woman about our condiment supply. Things were so awkward now, I couldn’t stand it. I missed how easy this used to be.

Memories flooded my mind in an onslaught as I stood there waiting, and my back stiffened. I pictured Sean watching me with care and concern. I remembered the smiles behind his beard I used to catch, and the way his eyes would follow me through the restaurant and brighten when I would wave. We were friends. I wanted to scream at him for ruining that. I wanted to scream at myself for still caring. What was wrong with me? He had completely shut me out. We were nothing now. We were this.

But with a quick hand, Sean snatched a dressing cup off the shelf and ladled some ranch into it before I spoke another word. He sat the cup on the ledge, removing his hand before our fingers touched, and briskly turned back to the grill without giving me another glance.

“Thank you,” I mumbled at his back, turning before I lingered another second.

He shut me out. I needed to do the same to him.

I delivered the cup of ranch to the sweet old lady, picked up a check for a table who didn’t wait for change, and took care of their tab at the register. Then because I didn’t have any other tables needing anything from me at the moment, I moved to a vacant booth far away from that window and busied myself filling ketchup bottles.

The next time anyone needed extra dressing, I’d send Tori.

Three Days Later

I am getting one of everything.

Twisting the dial on the radio, I quieted the music I was listening to when the truck ahead of me pulled forward, allowing room for my Civic to squeeze up next to the speaker.

Mouth already salivating, I rolled my window down.

“Welcome to Taco Bell. Can I take your order?”

My stomach growled as I surveyed my choices.

I eyed the fiesta taco salad. The quesarito. The never-ending list of combos and the specialty options. Everything intrigued my taste buds.

I stuck my head out the window and directed my order at the speaker. “Can I have a number six, please? Chicken supreme with a soft taco? And a Mountain Dew.”

“That’ll be six fifty-seven at the second window, please.”

I couldn’t pull forward yet, so I kept my foot on the brake, and just as I was about to roll up my window to keep the cool March air from filling up my car any more, a song I knew and loved began playing low through the speakers.

I had no idea what the name of the song was or who sang it, but I knew every single word. And this was not a song you didn’t crank up and sing along to with your windows down.

Fingers twisting the dial until music poured out of my car, I started moving my hips in time with the beat and smacking the steering wheel, eyes closing and fingers snapping as the lyrics left my mouth.

“Oh oh oh oh oh oh,

You don’t have to go, oh oh oh oh oh

You don’t have to go, oh oh oh oh oh

You don’t have to gooo.”

The drum kicked up. I shook my head and felt pieces of my short, dark hair lash against my cheeks.

The girl giggled through the speaker.

Smiling and not feeling one bit of shy about the audience I was entertaining, I leaned halfway out the window and sang to her as loud as I could, reaching and pointing like she was front row at my concert.

“Ay ay ay ay ay ay

All those tears I cry, ay ay ay ay

All those tears I cry, oh oh ah ay

Baby, please don’t goooo.”

She laughed harder this time, whooping and cheering me on.

“How’s that?” I asked. “Think I got a career in singing if all my other options fall through?”

“You bet!” the girl yelled. “That was sick!”

Giggling at myself, I sat back in the seat and turned the volume down halfway, noticing through the windshield the space between the truck in front of me and the car in front of it.

My eyes narrowed. I beeped twice. I was starving, and this was not the time to be messing around. What was this person doing?

The truck jerked forward, gears grinding over the music, loud enough I actually cringed. It was an old, beat-up Chevy, covered in dirt and rusted all along the back, with most of the paint chipped off and the muffler barely hanging on by a thread. The well loved and very well used vehicle was probably on its last leg, as was the worn smiley-face sticker half peeled from the bumper, leaving only one eye and half a mouth showing.

That thing had definitely seen better days.

Staring at all that rust, I had a moment of panic when I imagined the truck dying on its owner and blocking my path. Come hell or high water, I’d get my chalupas. Though I really didn’t feel like stepping out of my car and walking inside where the lunch rush sat. I was wearing sweats covered in bleach stains, a baggy sweatshirt, zero makeup, and not a lick of dry shampoo. No way was I presentable for the public yet.

This was why God invented drive-throughs and curbside service—so women like me could sleep in on their days off and rush out the door when a hankering hit without even bothering to glance at themselves in a mirror.

But when the truck made it up to the window to pay without a hitch or stall, most of that panic left me.

And when the driver pulled away after collecting their order and turned out onto highway, all of that panic left me.

I rubbed my hands together. Come to Momma.

“Hello!” I greeted the young girl with a smile and a wave, feeling like we had one of those lifelong friendship connections since I’d just serenaded her.

Grabbing my bag off the floor in front of the passenger seat, I dug around for my wallet.

“No need for that!” she said, turning my head and pausing my search. “That guy just totally paid for you. God…I love it when that happens. It doesn’t happen enough. It’s such a treat!”

I sat up and looked at her more fully. “What? What guy?”

“The guy in the truck.”

“Really?”

Nobody had ever done that for me before, and I used drive-throughs a lot. Well, shit on my head. My first random act of kindness, and I had rushed the poor thing along.

I suddenly felt bad for beeping.

“Yep,” the girl said, smacking her gloss-covered lips. “He asked me how much your order was and gave me enough to cover you both. And he wasn’t bad looking either.”

I leaned closer to the window, my interest in this mystery man spiking off the charts. “Yeah?”

“Oh, yeah. He had that dark, smoldering look about him. Real sexy.”

Nice.

“Did he say anything? Leave his number on a napkin or something?”

“No.” She shrugged. “Just paid for you and left. He acted in a rush.” The girl turned to pack up my order.

Huh.

If he was interested, he would’ve gone beyond just paying for my food. I would think he would’ve at least waited before speeding out of here—at least pulled over and given me opportunity to thank him.

Maybe he was just doing a good deed?

Letting myself think on that, I smiled and took my drink. “I’d like to pay it forward. How much is the person’s order behind me? I’ll take care of them,” I said while blindly digging my wallet out of my bag.

Really?” The girl clapped her hands together and squealed. “This is awesome! And they say there’s no good people left in the world.”

I laughed and made a face like I was agreeing with her, though I really didn’t. I knew a lot of good people. Dogwood Beach was full of them.

And I was blessed to have a lot of those people in my tribe, supporting me, giving me friendship and love, and others, not necessarily in my tribe, but around me enough I got to see their good.

Still, I understood this girl’s excitement. It wasn’t every day a complete stranger did something out of sheer generosity. And selfless to boot. Who didn’t stick around to take credit when credit was due? That was practically unheard of.

It’s funny how a simple gesture can affect you. But kindness was powerful that way. It not only had the ability to alter moods, but it was also infectious. People wanted to spread that good around once they got it put on themselves.

Hell, I was doing it. Maybe the person behind me would do it too, and so on. We could all pay it forward.

Smiling, I thought about that mystery man in the beat-up truck, wondering if he knew just how inspiring he was. How good he was. I hoped someone was telling him.

After safely securing my bag of deliciousness in the front seat, I got the total of the order from the car behind me, paid, got my change, cranked up my stereo again, and sped off, leaving my window cracked so I could serenade Highway 355.

 


J.Daniels is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Sweet Addiction series, the Alabama Summer series, and the Dirty Deeds series.

She would rather bake than cook, she listens to music entirely too loud, and loves writing stories her children will never read. Her husband and children are her greatest loves, with cupcakes coming in at a close second.

J grew up in Baltimore and resides in Maryland with her family.

Sign up to receive her newsletter and get special offers and exclusive release info: http://authorjdaniels.com/newsletter/

Twitter | Instagram | Website | Facebook | Amazon Author Page |Goodreads | Reader’s Group

 

HOOKING UP – A Helena Hunting Chapter Reveal

IMG_2541 Amalie Whitfield is the picture of a blushing bride during her wedding reception–but for all the wrong reasons. Instead of proclaiming his undying love, her husband can be heard, by Amalie and their guests, getting off with someone else. She has every reason to freak out, and in a moment of insanity, she throws herself at the first hot-blooded male she sees. But he’s not interested in becoming her revenge screw.

Mortified and desperate to escape the post-wedding drama, Amalie decides to go on her honeymoon alone, only to find the man who rejected her also heading to the same tiny island for work. But this time he isn’t holding back. She should know better than to sleep with someone she knows, but she can’t seem to resist him.

They might agree that what happens on the island should stay on the island, but neither one can deny that their attraction is more than just physical.

Filled with hilariously scandalous situations and enough sexual chemistry to power an airplane from New York City to the South Pacific, Hooking Up is the next standalone, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from Helena Hunting, the New York Times bestselling author of the Pucked series and Shacking Up.

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY

Amazon ➭ http://amzn.to/2py0mlj
CA ➭ http://amzn.to/2qzKFJb
iBooks ➭ http://apple.co/2pG28PL
B&N ➭ http://bit.ly/2pGbhrO
Kobo ➭ http://bit.ly/2qzOvBM
Google Play ➭ http://bit.ly/2pGhgwV

Add it to your Goodreads TBR ➭ http://bit.ly/2sExYNs


Chapter.png

One

Wedding Unbliss

Amie

This is the happiest day of my life. I allow that thought to roll around in my head, trying to figure out why it doesn’t seem to resonate the way it should. This should be the happiest day of my life. So I’m not exactly certain why the uneasy feeling I associate with cold feet is getting worse rather than dissipating. I’ve already done the hard part; walked down the aisle and said “I do.”

My husband excused himself to go to the bathroom several minutes ago and, based on Armstrong’s itinerary for the day, speeches are supposed to begin promptly at eight-thirty. According to my phone, that’s less than two minutes from now, and he’s not here. The emcee for the evening is awaiting Armstrong’s return before he begins. And then the real party can start. The one where we get to celebrate our commitment to each other as partners for life. As in the rest of my breathing days. Dear God, why does that make my stomach twist?

I sip my white wine. Armstrong pointed out that red is not a good idea with my dress, even though it’s my preference. Besides, I don’t want it to stain my teeth. That would make for bad pictures.

I glance around the hall and see my parents, who are probably celebrating the fact that I didn’t walk down the aisle with a convicted felon. And frankly, so am I. My dating history pre-Armstrong wasn’t fabulous.

The sheer number of people in attendance spikes my anxiety. Speaking in front of all of these people makes me want to drink more, which is a bad idea. Tipsy speeches could lead to saying the wrong thing. I check my phone under the table again. It’s after eight-thirty. The longer Armstrong takes to return, the further behind we’ll get. The music playlist, devised by Armstrong with painstaking efficiency, leaves no room for tardiness. If we don’t start on time I’ll have to take out a song, or possibly two, to compensate for his delay and he’s selected the order in such a way as to make that difficult and that will annoy him. I just want today to be perfect. I want it to be reflective of my decision to marry Armstrong. That I, Amalie Whitfield, can make good choices and am not a disgrace to my family.

“Where the hell is he?” I scan the room and take another small sip of my wine. I should switch to water soon so I don’t end up drunk, especially later, when all of this is over and we can celebrate our lifelong commitment to each other without clothes on. I’m hopeful it will last more than five minutes.

Ruby, my maid of honor and best friend for the past decade, puts a hand on my shoulder. “Would you like Bancroft to find Armstrong?”

Bancroft, or Bane for short, is Ruby’s boyfriend who she’s been living with for several months. Recently I find myself getting a little jealous of how affectionate they still are with each other, even after all this time. Cohabitation hasn’t slowed them down on the sex or their PDA. I have hope that Armstrong and I will be more like Bane and Ruby now that we’ll be sharing the same bed every night.

I’m about to tell Ruby to give him another minute when a low buzz suddenly fills the hall. It sounds like a school PA system. I start to panic—they can’t start the speeches without Armstrong at my side. What’s the point of speeches if the groom isn’t present?

I’m halfway out of my seat, ready to tell the deejay, or whoever is behind the mic, he needs to wait, when a very loud moan echoes through the room. The acoustics are phenomenal in here, it’s why we chose this venue.

I glance at Ruby to make sure I’m not hearing things. Her eyes are wide. The kind of wide associated with shock. The same shock I’m feeling.

Another moan reverberates through the sound system, followed by the words, “Oh, fuuuck.”

A collective gasp ripples through the now-silent crowd. While the words themselves are scandalous among these guests, it’s the voice groaning them that makes me sit up straighter, and simultaneously consider hiding under the table.

“Fuck yeah. Ah, suck it. That’s it. Deep throat it like a good little slut. Fuuuuuccckkkkk.”

My mouth drops and I look to Ruby to ensure I have not completely lost my mind. “Is that—” I don’t finish the sentence. I already know the answer to the question, so it’s pointless to ask. Besides, I’m cut off by yet another loud groan. I clap a hand over my mouth because I’m not sure I’m able to close it, my disbelief is as vast as the ocean.

Ruby’s expression mirrors mine, except hers is incredibly animated since she’s an actress. “Oh my God. Is that Armstrong?” Her words are no more than a whisper, but they sound very much like a scream. Oh no, wait, that’s just Armstrong on the verge of an orgasm. But these sounds are nothing like the ones he makes when he’s in the throes of passion with me.

I clutch Ruby’s hand. The next sound that comes from him is a hybrid between a hyena laugh and a wolf baying at the moon. And every guest at our wedding is hearing the same thing I am. Our wedding. Someone other than me is blowing my husband at my own wedding. My mortification knows no end.

I grab the closest bottle of wine and dump the contents into my glass. Some of it sloshes over the edge and onto the crisp white tablecloth. It doesn’t matter. There’s plenty more where it came from. I chug the glass, then grab Ruby’s.

People lean in and whisper to each other, eyes lift to the speakers. A few people, the ones who are probably just here for the social-ladder-climbing potential, question who it is.

“Is the deejay watching porn?” That comment comes from a table full of mostly drunk singles in their early twenties.

Several eyes shift my way as I carelessly down Ruby’s wine and someone asks where the groom has disappeared to.

The grunts and groans grow terrifyingly louder. This is nothing like what I’m used to in bed with Armstrong. The dirty words aren’t something he ever uses with me, mostly it’s just noises and sometimes a “Right there” or “I’m close,” but that’s about it. He’s never talked to me like he is to the woman currently providing oral pleasure. And I’m very adept at oral. Although with Armstrong it’s very polite, neat oral, with no sounds other than the occasional hum. Slurping is uncivilized and a definite no-no.

I reach past Ruby for the bottle of red since I don’t really give a flying fuck about purple teeth right now. As I sink low in my seat I pour another glass of wine, surveying the people in the ballroom from behind the cover of the centerpiece. The centerpieces are huge and excessive and I don’t like them at all, but at least provides a protective barrier between the guests and my disgust, which I’m certain they must share. He sounds like a wild animal rutting. It is entirely unsexy. I have no idea who he’s getting intimate with, but I’m suddenly very glad it’s not me.

And doesn’t that tell me more about our relationship than it should.

It’s only been about thirty seconds—the most humiliating thirty seconds of my life—before Armstrong comes. How do I know this? Because he says, very clearly, “Keep sucking, baby, I’m coming.”

And “baby,” whoever she is, makes these horrific gurgling noises. It sounds like some form of alien communication. It’s way over the top, and apparently Armstrong is loving it, based on the string of vile profanity that spews from his asshole mouth.

“Holy crap. Is this for real? That was really fast,” Ruby mutters.

I guzzle my glass of wine. Then decide the glass is unnecessary and take a long swig from the bottle before Ruby snatches it away. Wine dribbles down my chin and onto my chest, staining the white satin purple. My dress is ruined. I should be freaking out. But I really don’t care.

“Come on,” Ruby tugs on my hand. “We need to get you out of here while people are still distracted.”

My older brother Pierce and the emcee are standing in the middle of the hall, gesturing wildly to the speakers above us. My other brother, Lawson, is on his way toward the podium in an attempt to do something. I don’t think there’s anything he can do to stop this train wreck from there.

Ruby tugs again, but I’m frozen, still trying to figure out what exactly just happened. Well, I know what’s happened. I just can’t believe it.

The sound of a zipper and the rustle of clothes follows. “Thanks for that, now I’ll be able to last later tonight,” Armstrong says.

“What about me?” A female asks. Her voice is nasally and whiny.

“What about you?”

“Well I helped you, aren’t you going to help me?”

“Didn’t you come with a date?”

“Well, yes, but—” God her voice is familiar. I just can’t figure out where I know it from.

“My cousin, right? He loves my sloppy seconds. Speeches are starting. I gotta get back to my ball and chain.”

Gasps of horror ripple through the room, followed by a few giggles. These people really are assholes.

I think I’m going to throw up. I can’t believe he’s going to come out here and pretend nothing just happened. Like some other woman didn’t just have her lips around his cock. His distinctly average cock. Maybe even slightly below average in length, if I’m being one hundred percent honest.

A door opens and closes.

Lawson turns on the mic behind the podium and taps it, sending screeching feedback through the room, making people cringe. Too bad no one did that a minute ago.

Murmuring grows louder and glances flicker to the head table and then away as Brittany Thorton, a seriously skanky debutante, comes strutting through the doors, using a compact to check her lipstick. She’s made it her mission to attempt to get into the pants of half the eligible men in this room. She’s followed, not five seconds later, by a very smug-looking Armstrong.

“I’m going to kill him.” I grab the closest steak knife, but it appears my hasty, and possibly felonious, plan is unnecessary. My brothers leave their respective posts and stalk toward him. Across the room my mother is gripping my father’s arm, whispering furiously in his ear. Great. Just what I need, additional family drama.

“Oh shit,” Ruby gasps.

I follow her gaze to find Bane converging on Armstrong with my brothers. Bancroft is a tank and he used to play professional rugby. I’ve seen him with his shirt off, he’s built like a superhero and he’ll probably crush Armstrong, or at least break something. Possibly multiple somethings.

For a second I consider that Ruby should probably stop Bane from destroying Armstrong’s pretty, regal face, but then I realize I don’t actually care. In fact, the possibility that he might break Armstrong’s perfectly straight nose fills me with glee. Armstrong’s wellbeing is no longer my concern, it’s more about Bane ending up in prison for murder.

“I hope Armstrong has a good plastic surgeon, he’s going to need it once Bane is done with him.” Ruby echoes my internal hopes and her chair tips as she jumps up. “Come on, let’s get you out of here.” She nods to the right.

I notice my mother and father engaged in a heated discussion with Armstrong’s parents. I really don’t need this right now. Not the drama. Not the humiliation. All I wanted was a nice wedding. Instead I end up with a husband who gets a blow job during our reception—and it’s broadcast to everyone attending.

Ruby urges me into action. “Don’t worry about them. Get your stuff and we’ll get you the hell out of here. I’ll have the limo meet you by the entrance near your bridal suite as soon as I can.”

I nod and stumble unsteadily to my feet, thanks to having consumed the better part of a bottle of wine in the last minute and a half. It’s amazing how ninety seconds can change a person’s entire life.

All hell breaks loose as more men jump in to either pummel or extract Armstrong from the pummeling. I grab my clutch and phone from the table, gather up my stupid, too puffy gown, and head for the bridal suite, where I had prepared for what was supposed to be the most amazing day of my life. And now it’s likely the worst, at least I hope the mortification level I’m experiencing can’t exceed this. I feel like the foulest version of Cinderella ever.

I rush down the empty hall and grab the doorknob as I fumble around in my clutch for the key. I’m surprised when it turns. I thought I’d locked it before we left for the ceremony. Regardless, I need to get away from everyone before I either lose it or commit a felony. Maybe both. Murder in the first. Armstrong will be my victim. And maybe that horrible skank, Brittany.

I thrust the door open and slam it closed behind me, locking it from the inside. Tears threaten to spill over and ruin my makeup. Not that it matters since there’s no way I’m going out there again. I can’t believe my forever lasted less than twelve hours. I can’t believe the man I’m supposed to spend the rest of my life loving couldn’t be faithful to me for even one day. What the hell is wrong with me? With him? I’m as devastated as I am angry and embarrassed. Once I annul this farce of a marriage I’ll become a spinster. I should probably go ahead and adopt six or seven cats tonight.

“I need to get out of this dress,” I say to myself. I reach behind me and pull the bow at the base of my spine. Instead of unfurling, it knots and I only succeed in pulling it tighter. Of course my dress has to be difficult. I growl my annoyance and rush over to my dressing table where my makeup and perfume are scattered from earlier today. Half a mimosa sits unconsumed beside the vase of red roses Armstrong had delivered.

The card read: I can’t wait to spend forever loving you.

What a load of bullshit. I drain the contents of the champagne flute, not caring that the drink is warm and flat. Then I throw the glass, because it feels good and the sound of shattering crystal is satisfying. Next I heave the vase of roses, which explodes impressively against the wall, splattering water and shards of glass across the floor.

I yank out a couple of the drawers and find a pair of scissors. They actually look more like gardening shears and seem rather out of place, but I don’t question it. Instead I reach behind me with my back to the mirror and awkwardly try to cut myself free. It’s not easy with the way I have to crane my neck.

“Goddammit! I need to get out of this stupid dress!” I yell at my reflection. I think I might actually be losing it just a touch now. I stop messing around with the laces in the back and shove the scissors down the front. I nearly nick myself with the blade—they’re a lot sharper than I realized—but that doesn’t slow me down. I start hacking my way through the bodice; layers of satin, lace, and intricate beading sliced apart with every vicious snip.

I just want out of this nightmare.

 


CONNECT WITH HELENA

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She’s writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: