His hand moves to the side of my cheek and his fingers stroke my jaw for a moment before drawing my face towards his. My breath catches when his lips play against mine. Then I feel the force of his mouth and the finesse of his lips as he parts mine and his tongue enters my mouth.
It feels like my first kiss, as he presses his hand against the back of my head, and runs his tongue along mine. Maybe this is my first kiss in some way because I feel something on the other end of his kiss that I haven’t known before: desire. His mouth is hot and hard and pliable at once and I feel that liquid sensation as my body molds into him, my nipples erect and chafing against my shirt. No one has kissed me like this before.
I guess he does want this after all.
He lies on top of me and I spread my legs to make room for him, to take on his weight and it feels so natural. His weight presses me onto the bed and I feel his firm muscles contracting against me, his erect cock pressing into my belly. I feel drunk on him again and can’t believe this is finally happening. I imagined kissing him, imagined our bodies together. There’s so much heat from our bodies that I want my clothes off. I break my mouth away from his, gasping. I’m all ready to untangle my robe and go back to the whole nude thing I was going to do before, but he stills.
“If we’re going to do this right, we need to do everything, one lesson at a time.”
“Like a dance class,” I say. “One skill at a time.” I like that idea. I’m good at learning choreography. I have excellent muscle memory. He runs a finger on my lips and I part them for him.
“You’re a good student,” he says. His voice is deeper than usual but also tinged with more than just that desire. It’s like—I don’t know, seduction or something. “I want to take my time with you.”
I feel safe and comfortable and horny all at once. That’s a much more reasonable combination of emotions, like the ones I read about. In my romance novels. Oh, shit. I realize-those books are about love, and this particular bit of feels always comes before someone falls in it.
Have I made a horrible mistake?
Livin’ deliciously in beautiful Kansas City Missouri, where everyone else loves the Royals as much as she do. Kayti McGee likes wine and murder shows and mountains and art.
She’s represented by Rebecca Friedman at Friedman Literary because she’s a lucky, lucky girl. Call her if you want Kayti to do Iron Chef, otherwise just stalk her on her social media.
Isla made one teeny little mistake. Now she and her PI company, Dirty Exes, are being targeted by one seriously angry and furiously sexy ex-quarterback. Jessie freakin’ Beckett. But there’s no way some NFL superhunk is going to take her business away. If only he didn’t make her so hot—and bothered.
Jessie wants payback for a ruined reputation. His plan? Top secret. His hard-to-hide arousal for Isla? Not so much. Especially when they let down their guards and sneak a kiss. Like any juicy scandal, it goes so viral, so fast, that only a good lie can combat the bad press. Mortal enemies in a fling? No way. Um…this is love!
Actually…could it be?
Isla’s not faking it. Jessie can’t. As the game of let’s pretend gets real, Jessie forgets all about revenge. That’s the problem. His plan is already out of his control. Now it could undo everything they’ve been trying to build. Coming clean may be the only thing that can save it.
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.
She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!
Everything he knows about women is about to get turned upside down…
Available exclusively in audio for the first six weeks – and narrated by Joe Arden and Andi Arndt – comes a brilliantly funny, scorchingly sexy new romantic comedy from #1 New York Times best-selling author Lauren Blakely! UNZIPPED is now available! Grab your copy of this swoony and sexy Audible Original today!
Wanted: Dating coach to help hot nerd win back the woman of his dreams…
Picture this – I’m ready to win back the love of my life, and I’m going big this time.
We’re talking boom box, sing her name in the rain, let the whole damn neighborhood know I’m good and ready this time around. After all, if you’re going to grand gesture the ever-loving hell out of a second chance, you need to pull out all the stops.
There’s only one little problem.
My college girlfriend isn’t the one who shows up when I play my “I’ll do anything to win you back” tune.
The woman who flings open the second-floor window tells me my ex doesn’t live here anymore. But she’ll help me win her back. Anything for romance, anything for a guy so willing to go big for love. And that’s what I want at first. Until I get to know my new “romance coach” and discover she’s funny, clever, and keeps me on my toes. And boy, do I ever need that. Now I don’t want to win anyone else’s heart. I want the woman who’s been helping me all along.
Trouble is – she thinks I’m in love with someone else, and when we take off on a road trip, everything I think I know about women is about to be unzipped and turned inside out.
UNZIPPED will be available in all formats on December 14, 2018!
A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs.
With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than 100 times, and she’s sold more than 2.5 million books. In August she’ll release UNBREAK MY HEART, an emotional second chance romance.
To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter!
A hot summer night is perfect for feeling your way in the dark…
For urban-legend hunter and television host Gabe Powers, it’s business—investigate the most notorious haunted places in Savannah. Then he meets his new sound engineer, a dewy Georgia peach who may just turn this gig into (im)pure pleasure. All it takes is one night for them to conjure floor-rattling, wall-banging moans…but they’re not from the ghosts.
Blame the rippling abs, the cocky swagger, the granite jawline, the whole muscle-bulging package, but Gabe is bringing out good-girl Lily Jameson’s dirty side. Damn her code-of-conduct contract—this isn’t just a molten-hot fling.
There’s just one kink in the relationship they’ve been avoiding: soon they’ll be going their separate ways. Lily’s home is in Savannah, and Gabe is a globe-trotter at heart. For them to be together, they’ll both have to upend their so-very-different worlds and face their fears in the process. And suddenly things don’t feel so Georgia peachy keen at all.
Bestselling author Nicola Rendell loves writing naughty romantic comedies. After receiving a handful of degrees from a handful of places, she now works as a professor in New England.
Nicola’s work has been featured in USA Today’s Happy Ever After and the Huffington Post. She loves to cook, sew, and play the piano. Her hobbies might make her sound like an old lady, but she’s totally okay with that. She is represented by Emily Sylvan Kim at the Prospect Agency.
J.A. Huss & Johnathan McClain
(Tall, Dark, and Handsome #2 (Sexpert #2)) Publication Date: October 30th 2018 Genres: Adult, Comedy Romance
I’m a just an erotic woman who likes control.
And edgy sex.
And hard men.
At the same time.
So starting an outreach class at the TDH community center to teach other women how to put the dom in dominatrix was inevitable. Even if I was only doing it to use my boss, Pierce, as my submissive example and pay him back for humiliating me in front of the whole world last summer.
I regret what I did to Myrtle. She’s the best assistant I’ve ever had and I’ll play along—for now—because I want to make things right. But… come on. Me? A submissive? Ha. Myrtle Rothschild might have the upper hand at the moment… but I’m bringing my A-game. I’m gonna take back control.
She can wear her hot, thigh-high latex boots. She can crack that whip all she wants. Hell, I’ll even let her leave marks.
But I’m about to school Ms. Rothschild in the art of who’s the boss.
I look up from my computer and see Pierce, standing in the doorway of my office.
“Can I come in?” he asks.
“You’re the boss,” I huff.
He smiles. Tightly. Like he’s unsure how to proceed.
It’s just all so different.
“Uh… so how’s things?’
“Things?” I ask, raising one perfect eyebrow. “Do you have a specific example of said things?”
“Well, no,” he says, coming inside to take a seat in front of my desk. “Nothing specific. Just… wondering if you have time for a special project.”
We both look at my desk. Which doesn’t have a single file on it. Not even one sheet of paper. My Post-Its pad is still crisp and every pencil in my little pencil can is sharp. I think it’s pretty obvious that I do nothing in here all day.
But I’m still angry at him. So if he thinks I’m gonna be the first to admit I don’t actually have a job to do and I’m just wasting corporate money, he’s mistaken.
“I’m pretty busy,” I say.
“Yeah,” he says, sighing. “I know. And I don’t want to take advantage or anything, but I could use your help.”
I have my reading glasses on, so I do that head-tilt thing where you look down your nose at someone. “With what?”
He looks around. Plucks a pencil out of the pencil jar. Taps it to his head as he thinks.
He doesn’t have a project for me. He just wanted to come in here and feel me out.
We both know this.
But then he gets an idea. I swear I can see the little light bulb go off in his head. “The Halloween party.”
“What about it?”
“We… need… well…”
“You don’t have a project for me. And I don’t even have a job here.”
“Of course you do! You’re the VP—”
“Of social media, I know. The little plaque outside my office says so. But we both know there’s no social media department. Not to mention, I’m not even on social media and have no idea how it even works.”
“You don’t have socials? How did I not know that?”
“Well, you did think I was the Sexpert. So I’m just going to assume you don’t actually know anything about me.”
“How can you still be pissed at me? It’s been months! I gave you a promotion, and an office, and—”
“Again,” I say, putting up a hand to cut him off, “I do realize all that. And once again, it’s all meaningless. You don’t even know what a social media department does.”
“It’s not meaningless.” He tugs on his suit coat. “And I’m well-versed in socials. I was Snapchatting just last night.”
“Uh…” He looks over his shoulder, like he needs a second to think, then says, “Valerie. She’s my chat friend now.”
“You know I can tell when you lie, right? Your left eye does this little wink thing every time.”
He huffs, then leans forward in his chair. “How long will you continue to do this?”
I laugh. Stop. Then laugh again. It’s a little bit of a guffaw with a healthy dose of maniacal thrown in for good measure. “This is not me trying to punish you, Pierce. This is me biding my time.”
He lifts up one eyebrow. “Biding your time until… what?”
“Until I have the perfect diabolical plan to pay you back.”
He sits back in his chair, breathes deep. “So that’s what you need? Payback?”
“I was publicly humiliated. A woman doesn’t just get over it, Pierce.”
He winces when I snarl his name. “You hate me.”
“People look at me funny now, you do realize that?”
“Look at you funny how?”
“Like I’m hiding some secret sexual fetish side.”
“What do you want?”
“I mean, you do come off as… kind of a…”
“You know. Like you’re into the whole Red Room spanking thing, right?”
“Anastasia Steele? You’re comparing me to Anastasia Steele? Please.”
“Well, you wear those tight pencil skirts… and those sexy secretary glasses. Plus, I know you read that smut in here. You don’t even use an eReader. Everyone can see the covers. I used to have little Christian Grey fantasies when you used to look at me. Before… ya know, you decided to hate me.”
I laugh. And it’s not even maniacal. It’s real.
“Why is that funny?”
“My dearest Pierce,” I say, still chuckling, “you are no Christian Grey. If anyone is Mr. Grey in this relationship, it’s me.”
Two accomplished writers come together to create unforgettable sexy romance. JA Huss is the New York Times bestselling author of 321 and has been on the USA Today bestsellers list twenty-one times. Johnathan McClain is a veteran actor and writer whose work, either performed or written, is probably airing on at least one of the channels on your television right now. You can contact them on their website http://www.hussmcclain.com or find them at their social links below.
The Queen of Paranormal Romance, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Gena Showalter, stuns with SHADOW AND ICE, the first title in her scorching new paranormal romance Gods of War Series. Grab your copy of SHADOW AND ICE today!
Gena Showalter, the New York Times bestselling author who brought you the Lords of the Underworld, introduces a scorching new paranormal romance series… Gods of War.
Knox of Iviland has spent his life competing in the All Wars, where vicious warriors with supernatural powers fight to the death to claim new realms. One winner takes everything—and all losers die. Enslaved as a child for his ability to control shadows, the most ruthless champion in history will stop at nothing to kill his king. But first he must win the battle for Earth. When a fearsome weapon imprisons every combatant in ice, centuries pass without progress…until she walks in.
Vale London craves a fun arctic getaway with her foster sister before settling down to open a bakery. Street-tough but vulnerable, she is unprepared to find ancient gods escaping a frozen cave—merciless beings who target her when she inadvertently enters their war.
Though Vale is now his enemy, Knox is consumed with lust and a fierce need to protect her. But only one combatant can prove victorious, and he will have to choose: live for freedom, or die for love.
“I love this world…this is Gena Showalter at her best!” ~ J.R. Ward, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“The Gods of War series is my new obsession.” ~ Christine Feehan, #1 New York Times bestselling author
She’d put her life on hold for years, working various jobs while going to school full-time. Just when she’d completed a business degree from the University of Oklahoma—Go Sooners!—with zero student debt, she was going to kick the bucket? No! Completely unacceptable.
And die knowing she’d caused her sister’s suffering? Never.
“I’m sorry,” she said, guilt getting the better of her. Despite a top of the line face mask, her nose and lungs burned when she inhaled. When she exhaled, her goggles fogged.
“Don’t you dare take the blame. It’s mine, and I never share. You know that.” Nola’s breath no longer misted the air. A bad sign. Very bad. “I was feeling so good, I kept bugging you to add more stops to our itinerary.”
Her sister suffered from fibromyalgia. On any given day, Nola’s overactive nerves could cause extreme fatigue, total body aches, and swell each of her joints. A cocktail of medication helped alleviate the symptoms, but couldn’t cure the disease.
“Sorry, sis, but the hike was my idea.” Apparently, relaxing wasn’t her thing. Any time she’d had a quiet moment, she’d considered the avalanche of responsibility headed her way, and panicked. Which made zero sense. She’d dreamed of opening the donut shop for years. And yes, okay, her dreams revolved around Nola’s happiness rather than her own, but come on! Making Nola happy should make Vale happy. Still, in an effort to hide her panic, she’d made sure she had no quiet moments. “The blame is mine, and that’s final.”
“Fine. I’ll go halvsies with you.” Nola pretended to fluff her hair. “If we die, we die, but at least we look cute.”
“Dude. We do look cute.” They both wore a sleek coat, a downy jacket, thermals, fleece tights, a pair of goggles, a face mask, a hat and gloves. On their feet were multiple pairs of wool socks and hiking boots with ice cleats. “We could charm the flannel off a snow-biker gang.”
“Or a yeti with a Southern girl fetish. I bet we could win his heart no problem.”
“If he doesn’t want to eat our hearts first…battered and deep-fried, with melted butter on the side.” Her mouth watered. “I wonder what sautéed yeti tastes like.”
“If you start licking your chompers when you look at me… I won’t feel so guilty for debating whether your liver would pair better with a nice red or a six-pack of cheap beer.”
“You’ve seen my hangovers. Avoid my liver and go for the rump roast.” She gave her butt a little slap.
Nola chuckled, only to lapse into silence when a bitter wind nearly knocked them both off their feet. “D-distract me f-from the cold, and I’ll l-l-love you forever.” Her lips were tinted blue, her teeth chattering with more and more force.
“You already love me forever.” Just as Vale loved Nola, the greatest person in the world, living or dead, real or fake. Would move heaven and earth for her. “But I’m awesome, probably the awesomest, so I’ll take on this herculean task. Tell me your favorite part of the trip.”
“Only e-everything.” Nola shifted atop her bag, unable to stifle a whimper of pain. Then she continued as
if nothing had happened. “Well, except f-for the abandonment, starvation and h-hypothermia, of course.”
“Such trifling matters.” Helplessness pelted her insides with bullets. Rub some dirt on it and keep going. “We did everything on our BA lists.” BA—before adulting. Extending her index finger, she said, “We marveled over the northern lights.”
The chattering slowed, and Nola said, “We went on an overnight dog sled expedition that made me want to adopt a rescue pet as soon as I get home.”
“We ice sculpted. FYI, my blob was better than your blob.”
“It’s true. Oh! We also hot tubbed while drinking champagne.”
“Lastly, we hiked through the Arctic Circle.”
“Only one item remains unchecked.”
“Fall for a handsome local,” they said in unison.
Nola grinned and added, “I thought I had a connection with our guide…until he left us to die and all. But even then, he was better than my most recent online dates. Would someone please explain why modern guys send strangers unsolicited pictures of their genitals?”
“Because of course we women are catapulted into a foaming-at-the-mouth sexual frenzy the instant we catch sight of some rando’s man-junk. Duh.”
“They are so proud of their peens, aren’t they? Meanwhile I’m over here like, congrats on your average-size erection, dude, it’s maybe not quite as hideous as everyone else’s.”
“But,” Nola added.
“Oh, no. No buts.” Her sis was a hopeless romantic. A hopeless optimistic as well. Nola believed everyone deserved a second, third and fourth chance—which was why she wrote such an excellent How To column. How to intrigue your crush blah, blah. Vale, however, was a realist.
Enslaved as a child for his ability to control shadows, the most ruthless champion in history will stop at nothing to kill his king, but he must win the battle for Earth in order to achive his goal. However, Knox finds himself imprisoned in ice, just waiting for the day he can be freed and continue his battle; instead he encounters a beautiful girl who stirs something inside him that no one has before.
Vale London craves a fun arctic getaway with her foster sister before settling down to open a bakery. Street-tough but vulnerable, she is unprepared to find ancient gods escaping a frozen cave—merciless beings who target her when she inadvertently enters their war.
All in all, Shadow and Ice is exciting, intriguing, intense, action-packed, nail biting, sexy, all-consuming and aggresive. An amazing way to start this series which is taking place in the human realm. Can’t wait for the next installment!
About the Author
Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, two young adult series–Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles–and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series. In addition to being a National Reader’s Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine, she’s appeared on Nightline and been mentioned in Orange is the New Black–if you ask her about it, she’ll talk for hours…hours! Her books have been translated in multiple languages.
She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees.
You can learn more about Gena, her menagerie of rescue dogs, and all her upcoming books by connecting on her social media.
Andino Marcello made his choices—the right ones for duty and famiglia. But even the right choices have consequences. He’s never been more aware of that fact than he is now. The thing is, Andino isn’t the same man he once was. The mafia wants what it wants. He’ll push until they all break. Even her.
They say love shouldn’t hurt …
Haven Murphy needs to move on—from her pain and the man who caused it. But the faster she tries to run, the more things stay the same. She never thought it would end like this for them. The thing is, Haven isn’t the same woman she once was. The heart wants what it wants. She’ll fight until it all lets go. Even him.
How far will he go for love? All the way to the very bitter end. That’s his vow.
“They have to answer for what they do,” Gio said. “We can’t allow the Calabrese family to go unchecked when they act against us.”
“And we will,” Andino replied quietly.
“By making peace?”
“For now,” Andino replied. “For now, yes.”
His father gave him a look, and then Michel. “What are you—”
“It’s not important right now.”
And it wasn’t.
His plans would have to wait. Because he did have plans, and while he understood his uncle’s position regarding the Calabrese, and that protecting their family from more violence was what would be in their best interests … he also agreed with his father more.
Andino would never bow to the fucking Calabrese.
Not after what they did to John.
Now this, too?
Once his cousin had gotten Andino all stitched up, and he walked his father and Michel to the door, all he wanted to do was relax for the evening. Michel pulled a small baggie from his inner pocket, and handed it over. Inside were pills. Michel only shrugged when Andino gave him an inquisitive look.
“No driving when you take one. Vicodin. For pain. Don’t be a fucking hero.”
Andino laughed. “Can I take it with whiskey?”
Michel glanced over at Gio as if to say, What the fuck do I do with him, huh?
“I can’t say yes to that,” Michel settled on saying.
“But you didn’t say no, either.”
“Because what is the point?”
His cousin’s and father’s laughter followed them out of the house. Andino was quick to lock the door behind them, and go back to the kitchen. Snaps was still in his spot in front of his food bowls, and his dark eyes watched Andino as he moved around the space to get a shot of whiskey ready before he pulled one of those pills out.
He wasn’t one for meds. He could handle pain. But his agitation level was already so high that he figured, what the hell? Something to take the edge off for the night would be perfect.
He’d just popped the pill, and swallowed a shot of burning whiskey when a knock echoed through his quiet house. Snaps still hadn’t moved from his spot; the dog always alerted with a loud bark to the fact someone was approaching his house, and right then he kept staring at Andino.
Except … his tail was wagging.
Andino should have known then.
The dog only chose to not alert when it was her.
He didn’t waste time as he practically ran from the kitchen back to the front of the house. He didn’t even move the shades to look out the window before pulling the door open.
And there she stood.
Skinny jeans molded to shapely, long legs.
Hair thrown up in a messy bun.
A black trench coat.
Blue eyes on him.
Like the storm or the sea.
Fire and ice, he thought.
“Haven,” Andino murmured.
Behind her waiting at the end of the walkway, he could see the enforcer that had been posted at his house. Still fucking standing there. A precaution, his father said. No doubt, given the man was looking right at them, the fact she was there would somehow get back to his family.
Andino didn’t care.
She was there. She shouldn’t be, but she was.
More than anything, he wanted that. He also knew he should let this woman go. Turn her away, and get her the hell away from him as fast as fucking possible. He’d finally gotten her away from the mess that was him and his life, and she should stay gone. It would be better for her in the end.
He shouldn’t invite her in.
He shouldn’t keep hurting her.
“Do you want to come in?” he asked.
Famous last words …
About the Author
Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to four young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.
I had just settled in for a long night of staring at the TV, fighting off Jason’s yuppie friends’ blatant sexual advances, and pretending like I knew jack shit about football when something by the door caught my eye.
No, not something.
Time slowed down.
An invisible wind machine roared to life.
And Jason’s newest arrival waltzed in with the grace of a Grecian god.
Or perhaps a fallen angel, considering his wardrobe.
Jason’s mystery guest was tall and lean and dressed in black from head to toe.
He shrugged off his black wool coat and draped it over an armless chair in the entryway. He shoved the rolled-up sleeves of his black button-up shirt a little higher above his elbows, exposing two well-defined forearms. His shirt was tucked into a pair of black slacks that looked soft, not starched, and hung casually low on his hips. And as he turned and glided toward the living room, he reached up and loosened the knot on a stylish, skinny black tie. Above that tie, I was pleased to discover a jaw line that rivaled Captain America’s, cheekbones for days, and short, light-brown hair that flipped up in the front effortlessly, just like the end of his button nose.
He looked like a bad boy with a good job and a great body, and I was definitely in the market for one of those.
I canceled my pity party, slurped the drool back into my face, and formulated a plan. I was either going to fall onto the floor at his feet and fake a seizure or pretend to be choking so that maybe he’d give me the Heimlich maneuver. Either way, I was positive that it would end with him thinking he’d saved my life and us forming an instant, unbreakable bond.
I was about to make a dive for it when I heard Allen, one of the regulars at Jason’s apartment, shout, “Ken!”
I looked around.
Ken wasn’t at the party. I would know. Ken was my Gatorade-drinking, athletic-wear-wearing, smartass-comment-making, kind-of-cute-if-you’re-into-clean-cut-jocks-which-I-most-definitely-was-not, sometimes-study-buddy. He wasn’t —
My mouth fell open as Allen bounded into the living room, his bowl cut and big glasses bouncing on his head as he charged toward Jason’s newest arrival with his arms outstretched. “Bring in it, bro!”
With a last-minute duck and lean, Mark McGrath-in-a-tie completely evaded Allen’s attempt to tackle-hug him, smirking as his stocky four-eyed friend nearly crashed into the coffee table.
Oh my fucking God. It’s Ken.
I suddenly had no idea how to act, what to do. Ken was my pal. I should have at least been able to least say, What’s up? but I just sat there, hiding in plain sight, waiting for more signs of Ken-ness.
He’d already avoided human contact like a ninja.
He walked into the kitchen and pulled a Gatorade out of Jason’s fridge.
Then, that GQ-looking motherfucker with the black shirt and the black tie and the sexpot hair and the aqua-blue eyes turned and looked out over the living room…at me. I think I leaned forward and sighed with dreamy hearts in my eyes before I remembered that I was supposed to smile or…something.
There was nowhere on the couch for him to sit, so my first instinct was to get up. I was going to go over there and talk to him. I could do that, right? We were friends.
I’d only taken three steps across the living room floor before I totally freaked out. Taking a sudden, unexpected right turn, I bolted out the back door onto the balcony. In January. With no jacket.
Like a fucking moron.
The vibe outside was totally different. White party lights hung from the ceiling and the local alternative rock radio station was playing on Jason’s outdoor speakers. Whereas inside it had been loud and bright and warm and chaotic, outside it was dark and cold and still and melodic. A brooding song by Linkin Park was just ending, so I curled up on Jason’s cushy outdoor loveseat, lit a cigarette from the pack in my pocket, and enjoyed the moment as much as I could while slowly dying of hypothermia.
The moment didn’t last long. Within the first three seconds of hearing the next song I was already considering throwing myself off the balcony. As if it wasn’t bad enough that I’d committed to sitting outside the freezing cold, staring at the apartment across the parking lot where my entire life had gone to shit, the universe thought it would be absolutely hilarious to make me listen to “Falling Star” by Phantom Limb — the song Hans had written for me when we first started dating.
It had been their first and only radio single. Phantom Limb was dropped from their record label soon after we broke up due to low album sales, but that didn’t stop the local radio stations from playing “Falling Star” every fucking hour on the hour.
With nowhere else to go, I sighed and surrendered to my fate.
As I listened to the lyrics, really listened to them, it was as if I was hearing the song for the first time. It didn’t make me sad. In fact, it made me giggle. And then laugh. And then cover my own mouth to shut myself up so that I could listen some more.
“Falling Star” wasn’t some epic tale of fated destinies and true love like I’d made it out to be in my mind. It was about a girl who was meant for bigger things than her lover. He’d tried to keep her small, but in the end, she exploded into a supernova, leaving him in the dust.
“You like this song?” I jumped, my hands still clasped over my mouth, and turned to see Mark McKen closing the door behind him. He was wearing his coat and carrying mine.
A smile split my face wide open. I didn’t know who I was happier to see, Ken or my coat.
Handing over my shiny maroon flight jacket, Ken said, “It’s kinda whiny, don’t you think?”
I burst out laughing as I pulled my coat on like a blanket. “It’s whiny as shit!” I cackled.
I scooted over to make room for Ken on the loveseat, but he retreated to the opposite side of the balcony, just like always.
Never too close.
“So, what’s your favorite band?” I asked, taking a drag from my cigarette as if I wasn’t in danger of losing my fingers to frostbite.
“Sublime,” Ken answered without missing a beat.
Snort. “Sublime? Shut the fuck up.”
“What’s wrong with Sublime?”
He was serious?
“Nothing!” I backpedaled. “They’re awesome.”
“Then what is it?” Ken arched a brow and leaned against the balcony railing, enjoying watching me squirm.
I enjoyed watching him watching me squirm.
“Um, literally all they sing about is drinkin’ forties and smokin’ weed.”
“And child prostitution,” Ken deadpanned.
“Oh right,” I giggled. “How could I forget about ‘Wrong Way?’”
“I don’t know. It’s basically the greatest song ever.”
“Hey,” I said, distracted yet again by his appearance. “I like your outfit. Why’re you so dressed up?”
God, I hope that didn’t sound as creepy as it felt.
“I had to work. I’m usually off on Sundays, but a buncha assholes called out because of the Super Bowl, so I had to go in for a while.”
“Guess that’s the problem with being the boss, huh?”
Ken was the general manager of a movie theater, but he refused to let me come see any movies for free because I’d called him an asshole one time.
“Yeah, especially when all your employees are fucking teenagers.” Ken smirked. “No offense.”
“Whatever,” I scoffed, throwing a pillow at him from Jason’s loveseat. “I haven’t been a teenager in months.” I had terrible aim, but Ken reached out and caught the projectile before it flew over the railing. The movement was so effortless I think he could have done it in his sleep. Ken smiled and pretended like he was going to bean me with it, then tossed the pillow gently onto my lap as I squealed and covered my face.
Lowering my hands, I tried to give him an eat shit and die look, but one corner of my mouth wouldn’t quite cooperate. It kept pulling up instead of down.
Because BB Easton had so much fun writing her bestselling, award-winning memoir, 44 CHAPTERS ABOUT 4 MEN, she decided to give each of her four men his own steamy standalone. SUIT is Ken’s book—the hilarious, heartwarming tale of how BB finally got over her bad boy phase and found happily ever after with…gasp…a guy in a tie.
“Since when are you into guys in ties? You only like guys who look like they rob guys in ties. At gunpoint.” It was true. By 2003, my type had been well-established. There might as well have been a giant sign on my heart that said, “Good Guys Need Not Apply.” Which is exactly why I had to friendzone Ken Easton. The man was a former football star, smelled like fresh laundry instead of stale cigarettes, and had more ties in his closet than tattoos on his knuckles. Pssh. BOR-ING. But the more I got to know my hunky study buddy, the more questions I came away with. Questions like, why doesn’t he date? Why does he avoid human touch? Why does he hate all things fun and wonderful? The psychology student in me became obsessed with getting inside Ken’s head, while the spoiled brat in me became obsessed with getting inside his heart. In 2003, I found the one thing I love more than bad boys… A good challenge. * SUIT is Book 4 in the 44 CHAPTERS ABOUT 4 MEN spin-off series, but it can be read as a complete standalone.
The writing is absolutely flawless! I found myself deeply transported to the author’s world, and felt every single emotion she was reflecting on her beautiful writing.
At times, I found myself fiercely guarding my emotional reactions as her storytelling kept pulling me deeper and deeper into what I consider a great world built. No wonder they call it memoir.
This series has changed my opinion of the Biographical Genre, or at least this one is something UNIQUE, ORIGINAL & REFRESHING that’ll evoke every single emotion out of you, but will have you laughing out loud big deal!! Believe me, you don’t want to mis on this!!
About BB Easton
BB Easton is a best-selling, award-winning author, artist, psychologist, wife, and mother who loves drinking, cursing, and staying up late mining for humor in the darkest of places.
BB began painting as a pierced, punk ass teen, but decided to pursue a career in school psychology due to her compassion for those with mental illness and a desire to work with children with autism. Unable to turn off her creative side, BB decided to take a few years off to raise her two small children (Baby BB and Mini Ken) and indulge in all of her artistic whims, primarily having pink hair and writing embarrassingly candid novels about her delinquent past and deviant sexual history. Her husband is suuuper excited about it.
If this sounds like the kind of person you’d like to connect with you can find here:
This isn’t a typical love story. This a story of what happens when love is so powerful and all-consuming that it has the ability to destroy everyone involved. It’s definitely not pretty and it’s certainly not a fairytale, but it’s their story and it couldn’t be told any other way.
K Webster is the author of dozens romance books in many different genres including contemporary romance, historical romance, paranormal romance, and erotic romance. When not spending time with her husband of twelve years and two adorable children, she’s active on social media connecting with her readers.
Her other passions besides writing include reading and graphic design. K can always be found in front of her computer chasing her next idea and taking action. She looks forward to the day when she will see one of her titles on the big screen.
Nikki Ash resides in South Florida where she is an English teacher and mom by day and a writer by night. When she’s not writing, you can find her with a book in her hand. From the Boxcar Children to Wuthering Heights to the latest Single Parent Romance, she has lived and breathed every type of book.
Reading is like breathing in, writing is like breathing out. – Pam Allyn
While reading and writing are her passions, her two children are her entire world. You can probably find them at a Disney park before you would find them at home on the weekends!