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Cover & Excerpt Reveal: Bayside Desires by Melissa Foster

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Today we have a blitz for Bayside Desires by Melissa Foster! Check out this fantastic new contemporary romance and preorder your copy now!!

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Title: Bayside Desires

Author: Melissa Foster

Genre: Contemporary romance

Release Date: May 9th

About Bayside Desires:

Fall in love at Bayside, where sandy beaches, good friends, and true love come together in the sweet small towns of Cape Cod.

BAYSIDE SUMMERS is a series of standalone steamy romance novels featuring alpha male heroes and sexy, empowered women. They’re fun, flirty, flawed, deeply emotional, always passionate, and easy to relate to.

“With her wonderful characters and resonating emotions, Melissa Foster is a must-read author!” -NYT Bestseller Julie Kenner

“Melissa Foster is synonymous with sexy, swoony, heartfelt romance!” -NYT Bestseller Lauren Blakely

In Bayside Desires…

As the co-owner of Bayside Resorts, Rick Savage has a fabulous job working with his best friends and brother, and a thriving business in Washington, DC, which he’ll be returning to at the end of the summer. Spending time with his family is great, but being back on Cape Cod has unearthed painful memories. When sweet, smart, and overly cautious Desiree Cleary moves in next door, Rick is drawn to the sexy preschool teacher, and she just might prove to be the perfect distraction.

Running an art gallery was not in preschool teacher Desiree Cleary’s plans, but after being tricked into coming to her impetuous, unreliable mother’s aid, she’s stuck spending the summer with the badass half sister she barely knows and a misbehaving dog. If that’s not frustrating enough, she can’t escape the sparks igniting with her strikingly handsome and pushy neighbor, Rick, who makes all her warning bells go off.

Passion ignites as Desiree and Rick spend long summer nights sharing heartfelt confessions and steamy kisses. For the first time in years Rick is enjoying life again instead of hiding behind mounds of work miles away from his family. Desiree has touched him in a way that makes him want to slow down. Only slowing down means dealing with his demons, and he isn’t sure who he’ll be when he comes out the other side.

All Bayside books can be read as standalone novels or as part of the series:

Coming Soon…

Bayside Heat

Bayside Escape

Bayside Passions

Bayside Summers is part of the Love in Bloom romance collection by New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Melissa Foster. While each book may be read as a standalone, you might enjoy reading the entire Love in Bloom series. Characters from each sub-series appear in future books. Visit Melissa’s website for family trees, series checklists, and more.

PREORDER TODAY:

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Exclusive Excerpt:

Desiree clearly stood at the end of a jetty at Indian Neck Beach, watching three brawny guys race around Cape Cod Bay on Jet Skis while she FaceTimed with her best friend, Emery Andrews. She had known Emery since first grade, and she was the only person who would understand why, after driving for more than twelve hours, Desiree was standing on that jetty, pretending to be on vacation, instead of facing the woman who had summoned her to Wellfleet.

“I should have come with you,” Emery insisted. “You’re at the beach, and I’m stuck here teaching yoga and Pilates to people who go home and eat entire pizzas afterward. Not that I’m only thinking of me. I’m just saying. I could be your backbone when you see your mother. You know, make sure you don’t wimp out on telling her how cruel it was to go months without any contact and then send you that email.”

Emery had a right to be upset. She’d been there for Desiree for more than twenty years, picking up the pieces of Desiree’s broken heart after short, awkward, visits with her mother. Lizza Vancroft had been breezing in and out of her life since Desiree was five years old. Desiree was used to hearing from her mother only once or twice a year, but her most recent email had taken the cake. She’d read the cryptic message dozens of times, as concerned as she was annoyed. I need you to come to Wellfleet and run my art gallery for the summer. It might prolong my life. She hadn’t even known Lizza was ill, much less owned a gallery and had been living in the States.

“I’ll be fine,” she said, though she wasn’t sure she believed it. After Desiree’s parents had divorced, Lizza had taken off to teach overseas with Desiree’s half sister, Violet, leaving Desiree to live with her father. Some small part of her was still waiting for her mother to make amends for leaving her behind. “I just need a few minutes to get my head on straight before facing her.”

One of the Jet Skis headed directly for another, swerving at the last second to avoid a collision. “Holy cow. Someone is going to get killed. Look at these guys.” She held up her phone to show Emery the crazy Jet Skiers. “Who does that? It’s so dangerous.”

“Hot Jet Skiing guys who thrive on danger. My kind of guys, and your perfect distraction.” Emery waggled her brows.

“I don’t need a distraction. Lizza is almost a stranger to me. It’s like I’m waiting to get bad news from someone I met a few times but don’t really know.”

“I know. Your mother is as flighty as a fairy, and I’m sure right now you wish you were wired like her and Violet instead of being responsible and organized to the nth degree, like your father,” Emery said. Spot-on, as always. “Then you could be the one who was living overseas working with one nonprofit or another without Internet or a care in the world, like Violet, instead of procrastinating the unleashing of a nest of demons you’ve spent years tamping down.”

“You’re so dramatic.” Desiree smiled, thankful for Emery’s teasing.

She had no idea whether Violet would be there when she arrived. Though she and Violet had grown up on opposite sides of the world, they had spent a few weeks together at the Cape each summer with their grandmother. At least they had until they were teens and one or the other had found better things to do, most years whittling those weeks down to just a few days. They’d kept in touch only sporadically during college, and before their grandmother’s funeral last winter, it had been more than three years since Desiree had seen Violet or their mother. But that didn’t mean Desiree hadn’t always wished for a relationship with her sister, despite how different they were.

“That’s why you love me.” Emery flashed a cheesy smile. “Seriously, though. You need to just go see Lizza and get it over with. And you should probably be glad I’m not there. Because as far as I’m concerned, her email was infuriating, unfair, and heartrending.” Emery’s eyes narrowed. “I’d like to give her a piece of my mind.”

“So would I,” Desiree admitted. “But I won’t.” A breeze swept off the bay, lifting the ends of her dress. She pushed it back down, catching a glimpse of one of the Jet Skiers slowing to watch her. As if she wasn’t nervous enough today?

“I know. You’ve got the biggest heart on the planet. We need a plan. You do best with plans.” Emery tucked her brown hair behind her ear and leaned closer to the screen, like she was sharing a secret. “Tonight, after you get your heart torn to shreds, since I’m not there to help heal your mama-wounds, please get yourself a nice bottle of wine and a big man. I promise that will help ease whatever pain she throws your way.”

“Don’t you mean a big bottle of wine and a nice man?” Desiree asked, as the Jet Skier who was watching her broke away from the others and sped past.

“Definitely not. You don’t need a nice man. I know you think you want romance and all the mushy stuff like flowers, candy, and midnight walks.” Emery flashed her don’t-even-try-to-tell-me-otherwise scowl. “But trust me. You need a man who takes control, whose kisses turn you inside out and make you forget about your crazy mother.”

She wrapped her arms around her middle, listening to the roar of the lone Jet Ski cutting tracks in front of her and wondering about kisses that turned a woman inside out. She had yet to experience anything like that, but Emery talked about them like she’d had enough to share. Maybe it was time to expand her horizons.

“Hello?” Emery said. “Think you can look at me and stop watching the hot Jet Skiers for two minutes?”

Desiree laughed. “Like you’d ever look at me instead of a guy? Besides, I’m only watching one, because he’s watching me. The other two are long gone.” She held up her phone again, showing her the hot guy with dark hair keeping time with her as she paced the jetty.

“God, you’re so lucky. Go take hot Jet Ski guy for a ride and show up late to see Lizza.” Emery waggled her brows. “For all you know, she’s not even at your grandmother’s house waiting for you.”

That was true. Lizza and Violet still hadn’t replied to her messages. But that didn’t change the fact that Desiree wasn’t a jump-in-the sack with a stranger kind of girl. “That’s just what I need. A reckless adrenaline junkie before seeing Lizza. No thanks.”

Emery turned away from the phone. “I have to go. My date is here.”

“You have a date? With who?”

“One of the reckless, adrenaline-junky Jericho brothers. I’ll let you try to figure out which one.” She blew Desiree a kiss. “Listen, babe. Take my advice. Bang the Jet Ski guy; then you’ll be nice and relaxed when you see Lizza. Call if you need me. Love you!”

Desiree ended the call, and the guy trailing her on the Jet Ski zoomed past. He made a sharp turn and headed back, eyes locked on her, making her heart race. Maybe letting loose for a night was just what she needed. One night of uninhibited anything would be a first. The Jet Ski turned again, taking another, faster pass, the hot guy’s eyes still trained on her. Butterflies took flight in her stomach. He was obviously interested. Maybe…

He turned again and headed straight toward the jetty.

Straight for her.

Oh God. How long had she been staring at him? What was I thinking?

She tried to act casual, looking at the boats, the sky, anywhere but at the man on the machine as she made her way along the rocks toward the beach. He fishtailed, spraying water in her direction. She shrieked and turned away as water rained down on her.

No, a reckless man was definitely not what she needed.

About Melissa Foster:

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Melissa has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Her interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping others see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.

Melissa is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes comments and emails from her readers. Visit Melissa on social media or her personal website. Visit Melissa on Facebook or her personal website.

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Excerpt Reveal: Mister Moneybags by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward

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IMG_5273I met Bianca in an elevator.

She was on her way to interview me when we got stuck.

The beautiful, raven-haired reporter assumed I was a delivery guy because of the way I was dressed.

She had no clue I was really Dex Truitt, the wealthy, successful businessman she’d dubbed “Mister Moneybags”—her afternoon appointment.

Bianca told me how much she hated Dex’s type—snobby, over educated, silver- spooned men who didn’t appreciate the simple things in life.

So, after the elevator finally started moving again, I cancelled the interview and let her believe I was someone I wasn’t—a bike messenger named Jay. I loved the way she looked at the fake me and didn’t want it to end.

I began dating her as “Jay”—all the while letting her interview the real me over email.

I didn’t expect that our chemistry online would be just as hot.

I didn’t expect the mess I’d gotten myself into.

I didn’t expect that Jay and Dex would fall in love with her.

And she was falling for two men.

Only, both men were me.

And when she found out, we were both going to lose her.

Nothing could have prepared me for that day. And I certainly wasn’t prepared for what came after.

All good things must come to an end, right?

Except our ending was one I didn’t see coming.

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MEET BIANCA

I sighed audibly. Are we even moving? It was seriously the slowest elevator I’d ever taken. Frustrated, and maybe a bit anxious to get the interview over with, I took another shot at the elevator panel. Again, pressing the button repeatedly, I groaned, “Come on. I’m already freakin’ late.”

I breathed a sigh of relief when the car seemed to finally pick up speed. But then, it jolted to an abrupt stop, and the elevator went pitch black.

“Well now you’ve gone and broken the damn thing,” a deep voice said from behind me. Startled, I jumped and bobbled my cell phone in the dark, which resulted in it falling. From the sound of it smashing against the floor, I knew it had broken.

“Shit! Look what you made me do.” I bent over and patted the floor, but I couldn’t find it. “Can you at least give me some light so I can find my phone?”

“It would be my pleasure.”

“Thank you,” I huffed.

“If I had a cell phone on me.”
“Are you kidding? You don’t have a cell phone on you? Who walks around without their cell phone?”

“Maybe you should try it. If you weren’t so obsessed with yours, we wouldn’t be in this predicament.”

I stood, and my hands went to my hips. “How so?”

“Well, you were so busy typing away on your phone, you didn’t even notice another passenger was in the car with you.”

“And?”

“Had you seen me, you wouldn’t have jumped hearing my voice and broken your phone. Then we would have had light, and you would be able to see that elevator panel well enough to push that button another twenty or thirty times. I’m sure that would’ve helped.”

I felt the man moving around behind me.

“What are you doing?”

When he answered, his voice came from a different place. It was to my left and beneath me. “I’m on the floor looking for your cell phone.”

It really was pitch dark. I couldn’t see a thing, but I felt the air move, and I knew he must have stood back up.

“Put your hand out.”
“You’re going to put my phone in it, right?”

“No, I’ve taken down my pants and I’m going to stick my dick in it. Christ, you’re really a bitch, aren’t you?”

Thinking he couldn’t see me, I smiled at his sarcasm and put out my hand. “Just give me my phone.”

MEET DEX

Wow. My little ball player was quite the fox.

I’d only seen her from the back before the lights went out. Now, I was staring into her beautiful, big brown eyes, feeling like this elevator mishap wasn’t such a bad thing after all.

She cleared her throat. “The lights came back, but we’re still stuck.”

I clicked on some of the buttons. “Seems that way. But this is a step in the right direction. I bet this thing will be moving in no time.”
And by this thing moving, I do not mean my dick, although I could have sworn I felt it twitch when she just licked her beautiful full lips.

Do that again.

Fuck.

She is beautiful.

My eyes travelled down the length of her body then back up again, loving how the small buttons on her conservative blouse formed a path up to her delicate neck. I wouldn’t have minded sucking on that skin.

Maybe I could entice her to play hooky with me.

“Where are you headed once we get out of here?” I asked.

“The thirty-fourth floor,” she said.

What?

What is she doing going up to my floor?

I know she doesn’t work for me. I would have remembered that face, those eyes.
“What kind of business you have going on up there?”

“I actually have the pleasure of interviewing Mister Moneybags himself.”

My stomach sank.

Ohhhh.

This didn’t bode well for me.

I swallowed then cocked my head to the side and played dumb. “Who?”

“The elusive Dexter Truitt. He’s the CEO of Montague Enterprises. They occupy the entire top floor.”

Trying to seem like I was not seriously about to lose my shit, I asked, “Why do you call him Mister Moneybags?”

“I just picture him to be this crabby, money-hungry asshole, I guess. Sounds like a fitting name. Of course, I don’t actually know him.”

“Why do you think that way about him, then?”

“I have my reasons.”

MMB excerpt teaser

Author photoVi Keeland is a #1 New York Times Bestselling author. With more than a million books sold, her titles have appeared in over fifty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twelve languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

 

Website | Facebook Fan Group | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

 

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She’s a fifteen-time New York Times bestseller of twelve novels.

Having grown up in Boston with five older brothers, she spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 12-year-old girl with autism and a 10-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.

Connect with Penelope Ward

Facebook Fan Group | Facebook | Website |Twitter | Instagram

Other books from Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward:

Cocky Bastard
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1LfN3fc
iTunes: http://apple.co/1PffE2J
B&N: http://bit.ly/1EjxNpY
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1UxCSUO

Stuck-Up Suit
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1S3LnpZ
iBooks: http://apple.co/1Qbwy57
B&N: http://bit.ly/29vrQhV
Kobo: http:// bit.ly/1RJdUif

Playboy Pilot
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2d5I5rS
iBooks: http://apple.co/1Wb06Cf
Nook: bit.ly/2caXPEK
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2cJDXO1

Other books from Vi Keeland:
Standalone novels

Egomaniac
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/b1gi74
iBooks: http://apple.co/2fIsmvC
B&N: http://smarturl.it/t4ohsv
Kobo: http://smarturl.it/azmhq9

Bossman
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2a8D5B6
iBooks: http://apple.co/25x2jyX
B&N: http://bit.ly/29sL4H2
Kobo: http://bit.ly/29lW19I

The Baller
Amazon: amzn.to/1PBF2hG
iBooks: http://bit.ly/iBooksBaller
B&N: http:// bit.ly/BarnesBaller
Kobo: http:// bit.ly/KoboBaller

Left Behind (A Young Adult Novel)

First Thing I See

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/first-thing-i-see-ms-vi-keeland/1114703332

Life on Stage series (2 standalone books)
Beat
http://www.amazon.com/Beat-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00ZOMUV12/ http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beat-vi-keeland/1121715501 https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/beat/id983959123 https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/beat-5

Throb

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/throb/id948747986
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/throb-vi-keeland/1121112695
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/throb-4

MMA Fighter series (3 standalone books)
Worth the Fight

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-the-fight/id805540252
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-the-fight-vi-keeland/1117014180
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-the-fight

Worth the Chance

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-the-chance/id813714461
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-the-chance-vi-keeland/1118634058
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-the-chance

Worth Forgiving

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-forgiving/id906130022?ls=1&mt=11
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-forgiving-vi-keeland/1120173153
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-forgiving

The Cole Series (2 book serial)
Belong to You

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/belong-to-you/id639401754
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/belong-to-you-vi-keeland/1114962845
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/belong-to-you

Made for You

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/made-for-you/id84550637
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/made-for-you-vi-keeland/1115883225
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/belong-to-you
Other books from Penelope Ward:

Mack Daddy:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2kWzE1S
iTunes: http://apple.co/2iNrIPj
B&N: http://hyperurl.co/aiypfj
Kobo: http://hyperurl.co/r3hv19

RoomHate
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1TksrpE
iTunes: http://apple.co/1PgsvE7
B&N: http://bit.ly/1PLGnSL
kobo: http://bit.ly/1POvSnW

Stepbrother Dearest
Amazon http://amzn.to/1mFNMeg
ITunes: http://bit.ly/YER0mT
B&N: http://bit.ly/1taMFjG
kobo: http://bit.ly/1fJaaBs

Neighbor Dearest
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aS8BPa
iTunes: http://apple.co/29mC6L8
B&N: http://bit.ly/2akQ2aq
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2axt1SY

Sins of Sevin
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1F9tbc3
iTunes: http://apple.co/1K8mzGg
B&N: http://bit.ly/1hTKAKE
kobo: http://bit.ly/1OaGY3D

Jake Undone (Jake #1)
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1dJrHBC
iTunes: http://apple.co/1fJayQ8
B&N: http://bit.ly/1obAwJ6
kobo: http://bit.ly/1SPKl0M

My Skylar
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1obOG2F
iTunes: http://bit.ly/SLNOTR
B&N: http://bit.ly/SLO1qi
kobo: http://bit.ly/1kNrtAB

Jake Understood (Jake #2)
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1GFdves
iTunes: http://apple.co/1DQQwgC
B&N: http://bit.ly/1FwJC0z
kobo: http://bit.ly/1LQ7Fvk

Gemini
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1vgk1SE
iTunes: http://apple.co/1QTaONj
B&N: http://bit.ly/1KfmLHD
kobo: http://bit.ly/1BGJ2wu

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Excerpt Reveal: Truly, Madly, Whiskey by Melissa Foster

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Melissa Foster has a sexy new standalone, Truly, Madly, Whiskey coming out April 10th. Check out the excerpt she’s sharing with us and preorder your copy today!

Truly Madly Whiskey cover

Title: Truly, Madly, Whiskey

Autor: Melissa Foster

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Day: April 10th

About Truly, Madly, Whiskey:

A new, emotionally riveting, sexy standalone romance by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster. Watch mysteriously sexy Bear Whiskey claw his way to his happily ever after with sassy, rebellious Crystal Moon. In TRULY, MADLY, WHISKEY… Eight months is a long damn time to have the hots for a woman who keeps a guy at arm’s length. But Crystal Moon is no ordinary woman. She’s a sinfully sexy, sass-mouthed badass, and the subject of Bear Whiskey’s midnight fantasies. She’s also one of his closest friends. Just when Crystal thinks she has her life under control, scorching-hot, possessive, aggressive, and fiercely loyal Bear pushes all her sexual buttons, relentless in his pursuit to make her his. The more Bear pushes, the hotter their passion burns, unearthing memories for Crystal that are best kept buried. But there’s no stopping the collision of her past and present, catapulting the two lovers down an emotional and sexually charged road that has them questioning all they thought they knew about themselves.

Preorder Now!

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Exclusive Excerpt:

CRYSTAL FLEW THROUGH Truman and Gemma’s front door like wildfire, eating up everything in her path. Her raven mane was soaking wet, framing her beautiful, scowling face as she stormed into the living room. Her black hoodie hung open over a Rolling Stones T-shirt, and her piercing baby blues threw daggers. Her skintight black jeans had tears along her thighs and beneath her knees, revealing flashes of her tanned skin. Skin he’d like to touch and taste and have wrapped around him.

She stopped a few feet from Bear and set her hand on her hip. “Give me a paintbrush, or a roller, or a goddamn gun for all I care. Just give me something and get out of my way.”

They’d finished painting ten minutes ago. Bear chuckled at her vehemence. She was sexy as sin no matter what mood she was in, but this tigress before him made him want to comfort her and fuck her at once.

“Hard night, sugar?”

She narrowed her eyes. “Not hard enough. And I’m not your sugar. I need to work out my frustrations.” She thrust out a hand, obviously waiting for a paintbrush.

He grabbed that delicate little hand and hauled her against him. His entire body flamed. Several months of playing cat and mouse was way too long. Her eyes darkened and her breathing shallowed. Bear was done messing around. This brazen beauty not only wanted him, but she needed him. She just didn’t know it yet.

“What do you think you’re doing?” She spoke in a low voice and probably meant it to sound threatening, but she sounded sultry and hard to resist.

He cupped her chin, brushing his thumb over her lower lip, and the air rushed from her lungs. His hand slid over her hip. She had the sleek, sexy curves of a ’61 Harley-Davidson Duo-Glide, and he couldn’t wait to rev her up and make her purr. “Giving you what you need. A wild Whiskey night is the perfect remedy for your frustrations.”

“Uncle Be-ah!” Three-year-old Kennedy ran into the room wearing a Dora the Explorer nightgown and clutching the Winnie-the-Pooh stuffed toy Bear’s younger sister, Dixie, had given her. She squeezed between them. Truman had rescued his younger siblings, Kennedy and Lincoln, from a crack house after their mother overdosed. He and Gemma were raising them as their own.

Crystal smirked at Bear and arched a brow.

He reluctantly released her. Cockblocked by a three-year-old.

“Hi, pretty girl.” Crystal gave Bear a snarky look as she crouched and hugged Kennedy. “This cuteness is all I need after a frustrating evening.”

“Why are you fwustrated, Auntie Cwystal?” Kennedy still had a hard time pronouncing r’s, and the way she spoke turned Bear’s insides to mush.

“I’m not anymore, thanks to you.”

“I came to kiss you and Beah good night.” She gave Crystal a tight hug and kiss, then reached her spindly arms up to Bear and went up on her toes.

He lifted her up, and she wound her arms around his neck.

“Thank you for letting me help you paint.” Kennedy yawned and rested her head on his shoulder. “The house will be pwetty for Mommy and Tooman’s—I mean Daddy’s—wedding.” Although Kennedy and Lincoln were Truman’s siblings, when Lincoln had begun talking, he’d called Truman Dada, and Kennedy had said she wanted to call him that, too. Sometimes she forgot and called him Tooman.

Bear ran his hand down her back. It was hard to believe it had been less than a year since Truman had found them. Kennedy had gone from a rail-thin, frightened little girl to a healthy, happy member of not just Truman’s family, but Bear’s, too.

“You’re the best painter around, sweetheart. Thank you for helping me.” He lifted his eyes, catching Crystal watching him with a warm—interested?—look in her eyes. He liked that a whole lot.

Crystal’s eyes skittered away. “Hey, Ken? Where’s Mommy?”

“She’s giving Lincoln a baf.”

Crystal smiled. “Want me to take you up to bed?”

“Yes,” Bear and Kennedy said at once.

Crystal rolled her eyes at Bear and reached for Kennedy.

Bear put an arm around Crystal’s waist, ignoring her glare. “I’m escorting two of my favorite girls upstairs. Deal with it.” He guided her toward the stairs, where they ran into Truman on his way down.

Truman stood eye to eye with Bear, his dark eyes moving between the two of them. His lips curved up and he shook his head. He must have read the annoyed expression on Crystal’s face, because he reached for Kennedy. “I think I’ll intervene. Thanks, guys.”

After he went upstairs, Crystal said, “You can let go of me now.”

“No thanks.” He kept ahold of her as she stalked back to the living room. “Want to tell me what happened tonight?”

“No. I want to paint.” She squirmed out of his grip and he tugged her back.

“If you think I’ll let this go, you’re wrong. Talk to me. What’s got you so irritated?”

“Jesus, Bear,” she snapped. “I’m not yours. You don’t have to protect me.”

He ignored her comment because she knew damn well how things worked with the Whiskeys. More importantly, she knew him well enough to know he’d never sit idly by and let her get hurt. If someone had pissed her off, he’d straighten them out.

“You’re not mine yet,” he conceded.

“God, you’re so arrogant and handsy and…Ugh!” She pushed away. “I just had a rough visit with my mom, that’s all.”

“What happened?” Her not wanting to go into specifics didn’t surprise him. She’d always been cagey about her parents.

She grabbed the ladder and dragged it toward the far wall. He took it from her, and she glared at him again. She was the most stubborn woman he’d ever known. She was also sharp, confident, and possibly the most sensitive person he knew, though she’d never admit to it. Those were just a few of the things he found utterly entrancing about her.

Her arms were crossed, and he was pretty sure if it were possible she’d have steam coming out of her ears. “Can we just paint?”

“Sorry, sugar, but we’re done for the night.”

“Seriously?” She looked around the room, and her stomach growled. Her lips curved up at the edges as she spread a hand over her belly.

Perfect. He whipped out his phone, texting Tru and telling him he was taking Crystal out for a bite to eat. “Grab your bag. We’re going out to eat.” He draped his arm over her shoulder and headed for the front door.

“I’m not hungry.”

He gave her his best deadpan stare.

Challenge rose in her beautiful eyes. “You don’t tell me what to do.”

“All right. Your stomach’s growling. Obviously you’re hungry. Let’s go grab something to eat.”

She folded her arms over her chest. “That’s telling.”

“Christ, woman.” She had no idea how much he adored this side of her. They’d never been on an official date, but they’d gone to grab a bite to eat spur-of-the-moment like this plenty of times. “Are you hungry?”

“I could eat.”

“Great,” he said. “Let’s go.”

“Oh my God. Really? Didn’t anyone ever teach you how to ask a woman if she’d like to go out to eat?”

“Are you telling me to ask you out on a date?” He slid his arm around her waist again and waggled his brows.

“No.” She laughed.

He loved her laugh. It was brazen and loud, like her. “Damn. Thought I got lucky. Crystal Moon, would you like to grab a burger with me?”

She picked up her bag from the floor. “Fine. But I need to tell Gemma. You’re so bossy.”

“You totally dig bossy, and I already texted Tru and told him.”

“Presumptive and bossy.”

 

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About Melissa Foster:

Melissa Foster

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance (M/F, M/M, F/F), romantic suspense, thrillers, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the World Literary Café. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success.

Melissa has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Her interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping others see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.

Melissa is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes comments and emails from her readers. Visit Melissa on Facebook or her personal website.

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Excerpt Reveal: Dirty Filthy Rich Men by Laurelin Paige

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Dirty Filthy Rich Men, an all-new contemporary romance from NYT Bestseller Laurelin Paige is coming March 27th!

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Dirty Filthy Rich Men by Laurelin Paige
Publication Date: March 27th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance

From NYT Bestselling author Laurelin Paige, discover a whole new world filled with sex, love, power, romance and dirty, filthy rich men.

When I met Donovan Kincaid, I knew he was rich. I didn’t know he was filthy. Truth be told, I was only trying to get his best friend to notice me.

I knew poor scholarship girls like me didn’t stand a chance against guys like Weston King and Donovan Kincaid, but I was in love with his world, their world, of parties and sex and power. I knew what I wanted—I knew who I wanted—until one night, their world tried to bite me back and Donovan saved me. He saved me, and then Weston finally noticed me, and I finally learned what it was to be in their world.

And then what it was like to lose it.

Ten years later, I’ve found my way back. Back to their world. Back to him.

This time, I’m ready. I’ve been down this road before, and I know all the dirty, filthy ways Donovan will try and wreck me.

But it’s hard to resist. Especially when I know how much I’ll like it.

Excerpt:

After she was gone, I walked over to the windows and drank in the scene. The Town Center was high enough that it had an unblocked view of downtown Manhattan, Brooklyn, and beyond.

Giddiness surged through me, starting like a pinprick at my center and moving out through my veins in all directions until even my fingers and toes felt warm.

I was really here.

I made it.

It wasn’t the way I thought it would be, but in the end, it still came out of my time at Harvard. I’d always known that connections made the difference in a career, and here I was. Finally. At the top of the world, looking out.

I couldn’t stop grinning.

“It’s incredible, isn’t it?” a male voice came from behind me.

Still smiling, I glanced up and caught his reflection in the window.

And everything disappeared.

The world that had buzzed below, the beautiful scene, the excitement that had unfurled through my body—all of it evaporated and all that existed in its place was a pale, hollow shell of myself and the man in the perfectly tailored suit behind me.

I turned to look at him directly. Our gazes smashed together, and my legs nearly fell out from under me.

“Donovan,” I rasped. It was a miracle that I managed to find enough voice to say that much.

And there was so much more that had to be said. So much more that I hadn’t prepared for. Which was ridiculous since I’d talked to him so many times in my head over the years, practiced so many conversations, but never did he show up out of the blue looking so dastardly handsome in a dark gray three-piece suit, his face rugged with scruff, his eyes hazel and earnest despite the playful smirk on his lips.

I opened my mouth to say something, but nothing came out. I wasn’t even sure how to breathe anymore.

He broke our gaze to nod out the window at the skyline, walking toward me as he said, “I’m sure you found the Empire.”

Though his focus was now on the scenery, I didn’t take my eyes off him as he approached. He didn’t stop until he was right beside me. So close our shoulders would touch if I coughed. Tension ran off him like foam spilling over from a mug of beer. Good tension. Bad tension. I wasn’t sure if there was a difference when it came to Donovan.

Which was why I was screwed if he was here.

Why the hell was he here?

“I thought you were in Tokyo.” I couldn’t stop staring at him. He’d gotten more refined with age, and rougher at the same time. His hair was short and his curls gone, giving him a polished look he lacked before. The lines by his eyes were more defined and his expression seemed harder than I’d remembered. It made him sexier.

As if he was a man who needed to be sexier than the one I knew.

“I came back two months ago,” he said offhandedly. “That’s it right there.” He leaned his face in close to mine as he pointed to the famous structure. “Do you see it?”

Fuck if I cared about the Empire. I was in Donovan Kincaid’s orbit. What else was there in the world?

DFRM DEVIL 2

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USA Today and New York Times Bestselling Author Laurelin Paige is a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead, or dreaming of Michael Fassbender. She’s also a proud member of Mensa International though she doesn’t do anything with the organization except use it as material for her bio. She is represented by Rebecca Friedman.

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Excerpt Reveal: His to Seduce by Stacey Lynn

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His to Seduce by Stacey Lynn
Publication Date: March 21st, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Loveswept

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Synopsis:

An honorable man who’s lost his way . . . A career woman who hides behind her button-up suits . . . Unexpected romance is the specialty at the Fireside Grill as Stacey Lynn’s captivating series comes full circle.

Becoming an ER doctor had been David McGregor’s mission ever since he could remember. But after tragedy strikes at his hospital in Chicago, David runs away from the guilt—all the way back to Latham Hills, Michigan, where he takes a job tending bar at his childhood friend’s restaurant. That’s how he meets Camden Reed, and the way Camden refuses to give him the time of day should be a turnoff. Instead, he’s drawn to her tough, tightly wound exterior, and soon David realizes that he has a new mission: to see her tightly wound beneath him.

Camden’s fighting tooth and nail to resist the desire she feels for David. Growing up dirt-poor, raised by a single mother, she worked twice as hard to get where she is today, and she doesn’t have any patience for the kind of guy who’d give up a decent paycheck to sling drinks. But when the sexual tension finally combusts between the sheets, Camden discovers that people aren’t always what they seem. As David pushes her past her limits, Camden begins to loosen up—and to trust that, when she falls, there will be someone waiting to catch her.

Excerpt:

“Please,” I whispered, and leaned into his palm now cupping my cheek. His hands were strong. Long, tanned fingers that had made me think of naughty things like this for months.

In the darkness, I saw a flash of his white teeth. “I like it when you beg. When you need me.”

Tonight’s need was selfish. A moment to forget the loneliness. A moment to take what I’d been too chicken to go after for months even though it was right in front of me.

He’d been right before my eyes, flirting relentlessly and trying to break me down. Tonight, I was tired of fighting the pull I’d felt for him despite how wrong I knew he was for me. This was one night. A moment of wildness I didn’t usually indulge in, but who didn’t enjoy getting laid at a friend’s wedding? It was almost a requirement.

His hands dropped to my knees, spreading them wide so he could step in between them.

His fingers teased my thighs, running up and down my bare flesh until I shivered from the softness of his touch.

My eyes were half-lidded when I forced myself to look at him. I saw only his lust for me, and my heart rioted against my rib cage.

Damn . . . he wanted me. It was as thrilling as it was terrifying.

One of his hands left my leg and cupped the back of my neck. He pulled me to him until our foreheads touched.

“I want this,” he said, his voice thick and gruff. “Tell me you want this.”

“I want it.”

“Tell me you want me.”

I couldn’t. A long time ago I swore to myself I’d never be vulnerable again. I certainly wasn’t about to make that admission when all I currently wanted was a night of pretending and forgetting.

“Camden, I want you to know that when I sink into you, when I push your panties to the side and run my fingers through your wetness, this isn’t a one-time thing for us. This is the beginning.”

I shivered again. From his words, his promise—something I so desperately craved but was too terrified to take hold of.

I shifted my hips, pulling him to me until his erection brushed against my center.

“Tonight.” I gasped as he rubbed against me in the perfect spot. “It’s all I can promise.”

He chuckled, moving his mouth against my cheek, down to my jaw and my throat. “We’ll see about that.”

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Check out the other books in the series:

His to Cherish, Book 3:

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About the Author

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Stacey Lynn currently lives in Minnesota with her husband and four children. When she’s not conquering mountains of laundry and fighting a war against dust bunnies and cracker crumbs, you can find her playing with her children, curled up on the couch with a good book, or on the boat with her family enjoying Minnesota’s beautiful, yet too short, summer.

She lives off her daily pot of coffee, can only write with a bowlful of Skittles nearby, and has been in love with romance novels since before she could drive herself to the library.

If you would like to know more about Stacey Lynn, follow her here:

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Prologue Reveal: Catching Carly by Emma Hart

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Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00027]My name is Carly Porter… And I’m really good at bad decisions.

How do I know this, exactly? Well, not including the time I accidentally bleached my eyebrows or sprained my ankle changing a lightbulb…

I had sex with my best friend’s brother.

Zeke Elliott has been a thorn in my side for eleven years. A very sexy, very tempting, very freaking annoying one. With big…hands.

And now my clitoris has a crush on the guy.

Seriously. I can’t look at him without my vagina performing accidental kegels. Which would be fine, but he’s Cain’s brother. I hate him. He’s off limits, right?

Right.

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“This never happened.”

Zeke raises an eyebrow. “Nothing has happened.”

I put my hands on my hips and glare at him. “Don’t be a dick. You know what I mean. This is only going to happen because I’m a little drunk.”

“I thought you said it never happened.”

“You’re being a dick.”

His grin is wide and a little cocky. “So right now it’s happening because you’re a little drunk, but tomorrow it won’t have happened.”

I nod. “That’s right. You and I will forget it ever happened.”

His blue-green eyes sweep the length of my body before he meets my gaze, his lips dropping into a self-sure smirk. “Trust me, Carly, you won’t be forgetting this when I’m through with you.”

“Through with me? What am I? A naughty child awaiting punishment?”

“Look, if you want me to spank you, I’m good with that.” He raises his hands in front of his body. “In fact, I’m more than good with that.”

I blink at him. It really doesn’t help that he has his hands up like that. He has big, rough hands that would feel pretty good across my ass…

Good lord, Carly. Focus.

Wait. Does that count as focusing? I think it might.

Hmm…

“We’ll see,” I finally say, clearing my head of that momentary fog. “The point is, whether your ego insists I’ll remember this tomorrow—”

“You will.”

“—Or not,” I continue, ignoring him. “As far as everyone else is concerned, it never has and never will happen. Are we clear?”

“Crystal. Now, are you going to shut the hell up?”

“No. As a rule, I don’t shut up. Ever.”

Zeke steps forward, shutting the distance between us in less than three seconds. He lifts his hand to my chin and cups it, dipping his handsome face down close to mine. “That’s fine. I think I’ll prefer it when you’re screaming for more and calling me God.”

I raise both of my eyebrows. “I’m not going to call you God.”

“I guarantee you’ll feel differently when you’re having the best orgasm of your life.”

“That’s ambitious.” I’ve had some pretty good orgasms. Mostly battery-operated ones, because they can’t cum, so they don’t have to stop.

Zeke circles his strong arm around my waist and yanks me right against him. The force with which my body hits his makes me gasp, something that only makes his smirk a little stronger. “That’s exactly what’s going to happen.”

“Again,” I say, swallowing. “Ambitious.”

“Carly?”

“What?”

He lowers his face so the tip of his nose brushes mine and locks onto me with his gaze. “The next time you talk, you’ll be screaming my name.”

I open my mouth to rebuke that ridiculous—yet hot—statement, but he’s quicker. He drops his mouth to mine and takes my bottom lip between his. His teeth graze over the soft skin, and an uncontrollable shiver rockets down my spine.

Dear god, he’s barely touched me and I want to whimper like a puppy wanting a belly rub.

Except, of course, I want him to rub a whole lot more than my belly.

And do a whole lot more than rubbing
while he’s at it too.This is dumb. I know this. It’s dumber than dumb. It’s the most stupid idea in the history of stupid ideas.

Hell on a Harley Davidson, I’ve lost my goddamn mind.

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By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to two beautiful little monsters. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of whatever she fancies—usually wine—and writes books.

Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.

She likes to be busy—unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.

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Excerpt Reveal: What I Need by J. Daniels

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WINFrom New York Times bestselling author, J. Daniels, comes a sexy new STANDALONE novel.

Riley Tennyson has made a huge mistake.

At least, that’s what she keeps telling herself.

Showing up to her brother’s wedding pissed off and newly single, Riley seeks comfort in solitude and an open bar, until the gorgeous and irresistibly charming CJ Tully makes her a better offer―a wild night with the master of smooth-talking where nothing is off limits.

Riley does what any single woman would do, and a connection is made. One neither one of them can ignore. But when she comes home to the boyfriend she no longer thought she had, Riley buries her secret and begs CJ to do the same.
Forget about each other. It was a mistake. That’s all it was… right?

Desires are hidden. Distance is kept. Until one night CJ makes the ultimate sacrifice, and Riley can no longer avoid the man she can’t stop thinking about.

Not with him sleeping down the hall…

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“You Tully?”
I jerk my chin at the guy standing at the security booth after he speaks, then throw a look of appreciation at the bouncer who led me over here before he steps away.

“Name’s Mark. I’m running things tonight. It’s good to have you,” the guy says.

We shake hands.

“Yeah. Don’t mention it,” I reply.

He looks around the venue and gestures. “Packed joint tonight. Shouldn’t get too crazy with this band and the crowd it’s bringing out, but we never wanna risk it. It’s good having backup.”

“How many of us you got?” I ask him over the music when the band starts playing, leaning closer to hear his response.

“You and another guy who’s already here. He’s hanging out up by the stage. Plus a bunch of our guys.” He hooks his thumb at the floor to ceiling windows along the front of the building, adding, “I got some uniforms on the street keeping that shit under control in case people get tossed out.”

I nod, liking what I’m hearing.

The Red Door isn’t the biggest venue I’ve worked security on, but it’s big enough. Managing this shit alone can present a challenge. And by the looks of it, it’s a sold out show.

More eyes we got on the crowd, the better.

“You run into any problems yet?” I ask.
The guy shakes his head. “Nah. Just normal shit. People trying to sneak in their own booze,” he replies, glancing at the door where everyone is filing in. “Confiscated it. No issues. Everything else seems to be running smooth.”

“Good,” I say when I meet his eyes. “I’ll keep near the back since the other guy’s covering the front. I’ll come to you if I run into any problems.”

“Sounds good, man.”

We exchange another hand shake, then I step away and move through the crowd.

I stop near the center of the room and stay to the back like I said so I can have full view of the floor that’s packed with bodies, some keeping position and others moving away from me, pushing to get closer to the stage.

Bringing my arms across my chest, I stand tall and do a sweep of the place. I’ve been here before so I know the layout.

There’s a bar to the right of where I’m standing, stretching the length of the wall. Restrooms are behind me. Other than the hallway leading to the rooms behind the stage where bands hang out, there’s isn’t much that isn’t visible. Plus, it’s one level, standing room only, so I don’t gotta worry about another floor I need to cover.

Should be an easy gig.

I do shit like this on the side for the extra cash. Venues hosting concerts are always looking for cops who are willing to come out and beef up security. We stay in civilian clothes so we blend in, and unless I’m having to act on something, I typically get out without anyone knowing I’m a cop.
Easy money. Ain’t nothing wrong with that.

I look back to the dance floor.

The lights are dimmed. Red and blue strobe lights positioned on the ceiling illuminate the crowd, along with the bright, white lights shining from the stage. Visibility is good.

Another plus. I worked a few of these where it wasn’t and that only presented problems.

But here, I can see faces. Can see other shit going on too if someone’s dumb enough to try something too.

I anticipate it. Events like this always bring out some of the stupidest motherfuckers. Which is exactly why they like having us work these things.

Security can only do so much.

I’m three songs into the set when the beat picks up. The bass vibrates along the floor. I feel it pulsing in my feet.

The faster rhythm stirs the crowd and shifts them around. More bodies gather and move closer to the stage, jumping up with their fists in the air and belting out lyrics, drawing people away from the bar. Others stay toward the back where there’s room to dance.

That’s where I’m looking, and that’s where I see her.

Blonde.
I blink. My eyes refocus. Then I stare at waves the color of sand flowing down the back of a tiny thing swaying to the music.

Shirt tied off at the waist. Lower back showing. Hips shaking in some tight as shit black jeans. Ass looking fucking incredible.

Damn.

She reaches above her, bends her elbows and rakes her fingers through her hair, lifting it off her neck as her body keeps moving in ways I feel straight in my cock, then after letting her arms drop, she looks toward the bar with eyes searching, giving me full view of her profile.

My chest grows motherfucking tight.

I blink again, thinking I’m seeing things.

Riley Tennyson wets her lips.

Fuck.

I’m not seeing things.

Jesus Christ. This is just what I need.

Working this shit, needing to stay focused and eyes alert to all bodies in this room and now I know for damn sure that’s not gonna be happening, meaning this gig just went from easy to really fucking complicated.
There’s only one body I’m interested in keeping eyes on and it’s the one making my dick hard.

Motherfucker.

Riley Tennyson is gonna fucking kill me.

I pull in a deep breath, watching that sweet face get ripped out of view when Riley looks toward the stage again.

She keeps dancing. Keeps shaking that perfect ass and swaying those perfect hips, fingers curling in and lifting those long waves again, also perfect.

Every part of her. Every fucking inch.

Perfection.

And I’m not even considering what she’s got going on in the front. Shouldn’t even be considering it—we’re friends, she’s taken, and I’m not a fucking asshole—but that didn’t stop me all day when I couldn’t keep those spectacular tits off my mind, even going a step further into crazy when I shared that with her through a text.

I need to quit now. Stop this shit.

I can avoid it. I got options.

Switch with the guy hanging up by the stage, hoping Riley keeps her location. Or fuck it. Just pull out of this gig all together. Make up some excuse. I don’t need the cash.

I don’t need to be staring.
I sure as fuck don’t need to be getting hard right now.

I got options. Just need to pick one.

Simple.

Yeah…

Real fucking simple.

I breathe in deep again, letting it out slowly. And I do this staring at her.

Only at her.

And the more staring I do the more I start to notice, like how she seems to be out there dancing alone, not with another person or a group of friends she came with. People around her are keeping to themselves or appearing to be together, throwing their arms around each other or sharing looks. Acting friendly. Just not with her.

Riley isn’t meeting anyone’s eyes. She’s not trying to talk to anyone. She’s in her own little world.

She’s here alone.

He made her come to this shit alone.

Anger fills me. My jaw flexes while the muscles in my arms and shoulders start locking up.
My choice of options just grew by one.

Instead of charging through the crowd which, no lie, is exactly what I want to be doing right now, I reach into the back pocket of my jeans and pull out my phone. I shoot out a quick text.

Me: Tell me he’s here.

Lifting my eyes, I watch as Riley pauses mid ass-shake, slaps her back pocket, tugs out her phone and brings it in front of her. Her head tilts down, then a second later it’s lifting and she’s searching all around where she’s standing, peering around people and standing taller. She finds me when she finally twists around, head first and then body following.

Her lips part. Her blue eyes go round, flames burning me up like they always do.

Riley starts moving my way and my eyes lower, first to her mouth, watching the slow smile twist across it and take shape.

She looks happy to see me. I shouldn’t put stock into that but I do. It’s what I want.

Then my eyes keep dropping and I get full view of her tits. Her full, heavy, perfect fucking tits. Sitting high behind her tight white shirt and bouncing with her steps.

Jesus Christ.

My new friend has tits like that. And by the looks of it, she didn’t bother putting on a bra either.

What the fuck did I do in a previous life to deserve this kind of torture?
“Hey. I didn’t know you were coming to this,” Riley says all sweet sounding when she reaches me, stopping close and offering me a smile. Sweat gathers on her brow and in the hollow dip in her throat. She shoves her phone away and questions, “Why are you standing all the way back here? Don’t you wanna get closer so you can see the band?”

“Working,” I tell her, lifting my eyes before I punch a hole through my jeans. I tuck my phone into my back pocket, adding, “Trust me. I can see plenty from where I’m standing.”

Ain’t that the fucking truth.

Riley blinks, then looks to my chest. “You’re not wearing your uniform,” she observes.

I squint at her mouth.

I got what she said, but I can barely hear her over the music. I don’t like that.

I want to hear her.

“Come on.” Grabbing her elbow, I pull Riley with me to the back corner of the room, stopping beside the hallway that leads to the restrooms and crowding the wall.

It’s as far from the speakers as I can get her unless I take her outside, and I’m not sure I want to do that.

Only `cause I know I’ll want to leave with her. Meaning I absolutely want to do that.
Shoulder pressing to the wall, I release her elbow after tugging Riley close. I pull my arms across my chest. “Not typically something I wanna advertise when I’m staying undercover,” I say in response to her observation.

“Oh.” She looks up at me, smiling and lifting her shoulders with a jerk. “Cool,” she says.

I can see Riley better where we’re standing now. The hallway light is shining on her, making her skin glow.

I look her over.

She wearing more makeup than I’ve ever seen her in. Black lines her eyes and her lashes are darker. Thicker too.

I like that.

Her cheeks are flushed from the dancing she was doing. That combined with the whatever she’s got on her face is hiding her freckles from me.

I don’t like that. But I don’t tell Riley. I keep looking.

Red lips, full and shiny. Cock sucking lips. I know that from experience.

Shit. Don’t go there. I focus on her eyes again.

Blue and black, fading out to grey. Like a storm coming…

“You totally still look like a cop,” Riley shares, jarring my focus. The corner of her mouth twitches. “You’re not fooling anyone, CJ Tully.”
My brows raise. “Yeah?”

She nods, laughing. “You look scary and pissed off. Smile a little.”

I don’t smile. Not even when she amps hers up and gives it to me, pairing it with another soft giggle.

I get straight to the point with her because getting off point with Riley is gonna lead to this shit getting even more complicated, and fuck, I’ve looked enough tonight to run the risk of major fucking complications.

Plus, she’s laughing. Smiling. Looking like she’s thinking the same things I’m thinking.

Get to the fucking point, Tully.

“You gonna answer my question?” I ask.

Her brow furrows. “What question?”

“I asked you if he was here,” I remind her.

“Oh.” Nodding, Riley looks behind her in the direction of the bar, then meets my eyes again. “Yeah, he went to get a drink. He doesn’t really want to be here. I kinda dragged him out.”

“Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why’d you need to drag him out?”
Riley tilts her head. “Because… he doesn’t really want to be here?” she repeats slowly, looking puzzled. “I just told you. He doesn’t like The Killers.”

“So?”

“So?”

“Yeah, babe. So.”

She straightens her head, but her eyes narrow as if she’s thinking hard. “You’ve lost me,” she shares.

“Forget it,” I mumble, looking away, knowing I got no business getting up in her shit the way I’m doing. I need to back off.

“No. What? Tell me.” Riley reaches out and places her hand on my forearm.

I look down and watch her black painted fingers wrap around and curl under. I feel them squeeze.

Our eyes lock.

“Tell me,” she pleads, looking close to begging for this.

My blood starts running hot. Scorching. Hot.

Fuck it.

I’m getting up in her shit.
“I’m here because I’m working for extra cash, not because I’m digging the music,” I share, staring into her eyes and seeing hers staring back, like what I’m revealing is something she needs to hear, not just something she’s curious about. “Don’t hate it. I listen to stuff like this on occasion but it ain’t something I’d pay money to see. That being said, my woman wants to come to a show like this, crowd this size, booze flowing, other shit possibly going on, she ain’t coming alone. No discussion needed. I could hate this music to the point it makes my fucking ears bleed and I’m still going with her.”

“Why?” Riley asks. “To protect her?”

“That.” I jerk my chin. “And `cause she’s mine and a real man can deal with shitty music for a few hours if it means putting in time with his woman.”

Riley drags her teeth along her bottom lip. Her chest starts working harder, moving stricter with her breaths.

I should stop now. The way she’s looking at me…

I should stop.

I don’t.

“Saw you dancing and thought you were here alone,” I add, smirking. “Already hate that motherfucker for what he gets to touch every night. I thought I was gonna have to kill him.”

Riley stares up at me. She doesn’t blink. Doesn’t breathe.

“Babe,” I probe.
“You shouldn’t say that,” she says, face serious.

Her hand squeezes tighter. She’s anxious now, maybe. Or pissed. I don’t know.

I decide to ease her mind if it’s nerves getting to her.

“I wouldn’t really kill him.” My smirk grows into a smile. “Mess him up though.”

“No. Not that.” She shakes her head. “The other thing. What he gets to touch. You shouldn’t say that.”

“It’s true.”

“Even so. We’re friends. You shouldn’t say it.”

I bend to get closer. “You might wanna take your hand off me if we’re friends, darlin’.”

I-don't-give-a-damn_torn

logo-rectangle-1-2400-x-1025J.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.

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