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Wicked Wednesday Reads: Atonement

Welcome to another edition of Wicked Wednesday Reads, angels! Today  I’m here with Lydia Michaels and Allyson Young’s smouldering new ménage romance Atonement (Degrees of Separation 3), now available from purveyors of fine erotic romance. Take it away, ladies!


Beaten but not defeated, Austin faces his demons, encouraged by the return of his wife, December, and his best friend Cord’s constant presence. While accepting December’s feelings for Cord, Austin discovers some unprecedented emotions of his own… Pandora’s Box doesn’t close as easily as it opens.

Cord has kept a lifelong secret. But as his non-traditional love for Austin is exposed, he’s unprepared to trust his friends’ affection. Released from a self-imposed, emotional prison, he’s rewarded with both the man and woman of his dreams—yet he still harbors reservations.

December attempts to find a balance in her departure from conventional life and discovers new degrees of happiness intimacy in the non-traditional. With two men to love, her every need is met. But is she woman enough to satisfy their demanding hearts?

Story Excerpt

Cord shoved up from the bed and faced him. “Is it out of your system?”

“Is what out of my system?”

“Whatever you felt last night—and this morning.”

His mind halted at the fork in the road. Go right and everything went away, no therapy needed, no repeat performance. Turn left and… This time his mouth cooperated and the truth emerged. “No, it’s not out of my system.”

Cord drew back, surprise and something else written on his face. “Really?”

He dropped his gaze, unable to match Cord’s steady stare.

Although he commanded his household and ran several crews on the job, he couldn’t seem to out-master Cord when it came to this. This new dynamic between them he’d yet to name.

It wasn’t a simple step down from the top either. Every time he deferred to Cord it scraped and bruised, though maybe not as much as he might have thought. Sort of like a new pair of boots, uncomfortable at first, but with the promise of more support later.

Though he was still processing, he could at least confess he wasn’t giving up. “Really.”

His heart jogged into a gallop as Cord stepped closer, the soft press of his rough fingers on Austin’s chin made him flinch.

“Easy…”

Austin breathed through his nose as Cord leaned closer. How was he so natural about this? He held his breath as warm lips traced the stubble of his jaw. And damn his dick for firming up the second he breathed Cord in.

The heat of his friend’s body warmed him, his mind cataloguing every nuance. The wiry feel of another man’s chest hair. The sheer breadth and height of him. His earthy scent, so unlike Ember’s. His pure masculinity was suddenly alluring, when a day ago it was merely admirable.

Fuck.

His neck stiffened as Cord’s hand fit around his nape.

“It’s okay,” Cord whispered, leaning closer.

At the first brush of his lips, Austin panicked and made to jerk away but Cord’s steady gaze and strong grip calmed his instinct to flee. The heated press of his firm kiss slipped past his guard and Austin’s eyes drifted shut.

A dark, throbbing need took hold as he wrestled to deny how right it felt to taste another man. Not just any man. Cord.

Where to Buy

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

About the Authors

Lydia Michaels

Lydia Michaels is the award winning author of 30 romance novels. Her novels from the darkly compelling Surrender Trilogy were iBooks Bestsellers and her work has been featured in USA Today. In 2015 she was the winner of The Best of Bucks Award and she has been nominated as Best Author in the Happenings Magazine two years running [2015 & 2016]. She is a four time nominee for the prestigious RONE Award. Her books are intellectual, emotional, haunting, always centered around love.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

Allyson Young

Allyson lives in cottage country, Manitoba, Canada with her husband of many years and numerous pets. She has written for many years and after reading an erotic romance, quite by mistake, decided to try her hand at penning one. A best selling Amazon author, she has now published three series and several stand alones in contemporary, sci fi, fantasy and suspense genres, as well as several novels under a different pen name. Allyson will write until whatever is inside is satisfied, until the heroes man up and the heroines get what they deserves. Love isn’t always sweet, and Allyson favours the darker side of romance.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Marvelous Monday Reads: Lost Together

Welcome to another edition of Marvelous Monday Reads, angels! Today  I’m here with Lydia Michaels and Allyson Young’s smouldering new ménage romance Lost Together (Degrees of Separation 2), now available from purveyors of fine erotic romance. Take it away, ladies!


December has vanished. Rejected by her troubled husband, Austin, and pushed, at his insistence, into the arms of his best friend, Cord, she’s uncertain what the future holds. She loves her husband, regardless of his addiction, but she also loves his best friend. At odds with everything she believed to be her traditional reality, she flees the only home she’s ever known.

Heartbroken, Cord does the right thing and confronts his reluctant betrayal of Austin after losing the woman they both love. He takes charge, dragging Austin back from the edge of oblivion, only to find himself plunged deeper into a life of heartache.

On a path to redemption, Austin must not only confront personal truths, but consider the sacrifices necessary to save his marriage and his friendship with Cord.

An unexpected reunion and exposed secrets will either derail or establish their future as one.

Story Excerpt

The second she was gone the asshole in the room spoke up. “You’re wasting your time fighting it.”

His fork clattered to his plate. “What the fuck is wrong with you? Stop shoving me at your wife!”

Austin stared past Cord, his face filling with concern.

Shit. Ember stood in the doorway, eyes wide, frozen in place, clutching a white frosted cake heaped with strawberries.

Goddamn Austin and his stupid ideas. “Ember—”

“I…I forgot the knife.” She quickly placed the dishes on the table, her steps faltering, and fled to the kitchen.

“Great,” Cord snapped, bunching up his napkin and tossing it on the table. “Enjoy your fucking cake. I’m out of here.”

Austin opened his big mouth, but Cord was done talking to him. Reasoning with Austin was like trying to discuss physics with a chimp. “Shut it, Austin.”

He detoured to the kitchen, unable to take his rage out on her. “Ember, I didn’t mean—”

“It’s okay.” Her fingers twisted into a dishcloth and then she dashed away a tear.

Fuck. Tears. Not tears! His concern shifted into panic. “It’s not okay. I don’t know what Austin told you—”

“I know what he’s up to. I told him not to do this.”

She fucking knew her husband was messing with him? It didn’t make any sense. “Why is he doing this?”

Now she shrugged. “He’s Austin. Once he gets something in his head…”

Cord rubbed his palm over his face and squeezed. “What does he expect to gain from this? He’s just making an uncomfortable situation worse.”

“He’s trying to fix it. He doesn’t understand, because he wasn’t there. He thinks if we put everything out in the open the guilt will go away. He thinks it’s best to deal with it.”

“Deal with it how?” He wasn’t a fucking puppet Austin could place in whatever position he wanted.

“I don’t know. I barely understand what I’m feeling right now. I can’t pretend to understand what he’s going through. Or you, for that matter.”

All thoughts of her husband vanished as he focused on the ‘f’ word, for his sins. “What are you feeling?”

Her face tightened and her hand pressed into her chest, her eyes betraying her show of bravado. “Here. It hurts. I don’t know how to make it stop, Cord.”

“Hurts how?” He took a slow step closer, keeping his voice low.

Eyes pleading, she looked up at him, her mouth tight with worry. “When I’m near you, my heart beats so fast I’m afraid it’ll explode. But I know I can’t… I can’t express what’s inside of me. Then this unbearable ache takes hold. It just…hurts.”

Where to Buy

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

About the Authors

Lydia Michaels

Lydia Michaels is the award winning author of 30 romance novels. Her novels from the darkly compelling Surrender Trilogy were iBooks Bestsellers and her work has been featured in USA Today. In 2015 she was the winner of The Best of Bucks Award and she has been nominated as Best Author in the Happenings Magazine two years running [2015 & 2016]. She is a four time nominee for the prestigious RONE Award. Her books are intellectual, emotional, haunting, always centered around love.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

Allyson Young

Allyson lives in cottage country, Manitoba, Canada with her husband of many years and numerous pets. She has written for many years and after reading an erotic romance, quite by mistake, decided to try her hand at penning one. A best selling Amazon author, she has now published three series and several stand alones in contemporary, sci fi, fantasy and suspense genres, as well as several novels under a different pen name. Allyson will write until whatever is inside is satisfied, until the heroes man up and the heroines get what they deserves. Love isn’t always sweet, and Allyson favours the darker side of romance.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Marvelous Monday Reads: The Playboy Bachelor

Welcome to another edition of Marvelous Monday Reads, pumpkins! Today I’m featuring Lynn Burke and her hot new ménage novel The Playboy Bachelor. And now, here’s Lynn!

theplayboybachelor-evernightpublishing-2017-ereader


theplayboybachelor-evernightpublishing-2017-finalimageDubbed Boston’s bachelor of the year, Blake Harper knows how to make the North Shore’s women sigh and say yes…except for the studious Wren Shipman. The more she resists, the more he’s compelled to pursue the little birdie, conquer her, and flee to save himself from a fall he’s never wanted.

Wren would love nothing more than to dig her fingernails into Blake’s back and squeeze the life from him with her thighs. But she’s not interested in being another notch in the billionaire bachelor’s string of shapely sweethearts—not when she’s so close to earning the precious college degree that will help her rise above the trailer-trash stench she was born into.

With his best friend’s help, the playboy’s persistence wears on the young co-ed, until he has the little bird soaring from every fantasy he fulfills. What goes up must come down, and when Wren finds herself falling hard and fast towards a bitter reality, she’ll do anything to save her heart from shattering. Even if it means walking away from the only man who had the passion to make her fly.

Story Excerpt

“Dance with me,” he said, pushing to his feet and holding out his hand.

I’d rather get right to the fucking, I thought, but I took his hand anyway, cursing myself with every erotic sway of our tightly pressed bodies. His hard cock pressed against my belly, his large hand palmed my ass.

I dug my fingernails into the back of his neck, closed my eyes, and leaned my forehead against his rock-like chest. He smelled ten times better than chocolate; woodsy, sexy man … I wanted a bite. “You drive me insane.” I heard myself whisper.

Blake’s other hand palmed my ass, and he lifted me higher.

My legs wrapped around his waist and squeezed as our mouths crashed together. His groans filled my ears as his fingers dug into my backside. I’d bruise for sure, I thought, pulling his hair to angle his head so I could bite his lower lip.

“Fuck,” he gasped as I bit harder. He ground his cock against my soaked core, and I repeated his curse over the fact clothing separated our bodies. His mouth released from my hold, Blake kissed along my jaw, down my neck, and back up to my ear as I squirmed in his hold. He bit my earlobe, and I winced, my panties useless to contain my arousal.

“I want to fuck you, Wren. Right here. Right now.”

I shimmied out of his arms, and he tugged my tank top off. In my rush to get his shirt open, I heard a few buttons ping off the furniture as they flew. Holy shit, his bare chest. I licked across one pec and bit the hard nub on the other.

“Goddamn it, woman.” He all but ripped off my skirt, the material floating to the floor.

Panting—heaving for breath—we stepped apart, hungry gazes drinking in the other. His eyes set my skin aflame, and I swallowed, nails digging into my palms, as I studied every curve and indent of his sinful upper body. The luscious V of muscle disappearing beneath his jeans flooded my mouth with drool and my pussy with cream.

“Lose the jeans,” I said, my voice raspy and low.

“Lose the bra and panties,” he replied, reaching for his zipper.

A quick rustle of clothing and we both stood naked, his jutting cock drawing my gaze. “Condom,” I whispered, every inch of my body thrumming.

Blake fished one from the back pocket of his jeans, ripped it open, and rolled it on. Two steps forward, and he tangled a hand in my hair, his other hand gripping my thigh to hoist me up.

I wrapped my legs around his waist and wiggled around, trying to line up his cock with my dripping core. He attacked my mouth, striding across the room.

My back slammed into a wall, ripping a gasp from me, but Blake swallowed the noise and thrust into me, balls deep and perfect.

Where to Buy

Evernight Publishing | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookstrand

About Lynn Burke

Lynn Burke is a full time mother, voracious gardener, and scribbler of spicy romance stories. A country bumpkin turned Bay Stater, she enjoys her chowdah and Dunkin Donuts when not trying to escape the reality of city life.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads

 

Wicked Wednesday Reads: Forfeit

Oh, look — it’s Wednesday, which means you need a little something extra to help you over Hump Day. Never fear, for today I’m here with Lydia Michaels and Allyson Young’s smouldering new ménage romance Forfeit (Degrees of Separation 1), now available from purveyors of fine erotic romance. Take it away, ladies!

forfeit-teaser


lost-1December and Austin have a traditional, storybook marriage complete with defined roles. Married young, they’ve shared nearly a decade of passion and love. December’s submissive nature is perfectly suited for her husband’s authoritative, yet adoring response and he seamlessly holds the indisputable role as head of the household.

But Austin harbors secrets, and the pressure of losing his job makes those festering skeletons impossible to ignore. Turning to alcohol instead of his wife, Austin finally drives December away and into the arms of their closest friend, Cord, despite her intense loyalty.

Cord has loved December since the day they met. His moral compass is challenged and lines are blurred when Austin steps aside and insists Cord take his place.

Forfeiting all, Austin must face a harsh truth. Take control of his life, or forever lose the woman he loves.

Story Excerpt

It was like he no longer saw her, just looked right through her, when she used to be all he could see in the whole world. No matter what she did, he stayed away—alone—wandering through the house at night and sleeping all day. She had pride too, and he’d been chipping away at it, scarring her with deep tattoos of doubt.

Something happened to a woman when her husband no longer touched her. First there were the superficial frustrations of unrequited desire, but then it became something worse. The insecurity, fear, and uncertainty ate away at her insides.

Her self-esteem fractured, perhaps beyond repair. Tiny little shards of self-worth were all she had left. Even if he came to her now, begging and full of apologies, she feared someone might get cut.

This rut seemed to get deeper and darker every day. She was losing sight of the light and worried she’d never see herself out. She needed to feel alive, feel something. She needed to reclaim control and pull herself back to her feet, which was why this job with Cord was imperative.

Where to Buy

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Authors

Lydia Michaels

Lydia Michaels is the award winning author of 30 romance novels. Her novels from the darkly compelling Surrender Trilogy were iBooks Bestsellers and her work has been featured in USA Today. In 2015 she was the winner of The Best of Bucks Award and she has been nominated as Best Author in the Happenings Magazine two years running [2015 & 2016]. She is a four time nominee for the prestigious RONE Award. Her books are intellectual, emotional, haunting, always centered around love.

Allyson Young

Allyson lives in cottage country, Manitoba, Canada with her husband of many years and numerous pets. She has written for many years and after reading an erotic romance, quite by mistake, decided to try her hand at penning one. A best selling Amazon author, she has now published three series and several stand alones in contemporary, sci fi, fantasy and suspense genres, as well as several novels under a different pen name. Allyson will write until whatever is inside is satisfied, until the heroes man up and the heroines get what they deserves. Love isn’t always sweet, and Allyson favours the darker side of romance.

Lydia’s Website | Allyson’s Website | Lydia’s Newsletter

Fabulous Friday Reads: Fierce Temper

Let’s kick off this lovely weekend with the second entry in N.J. Young’s Ozark Magic series, Fierce Temper. Take it away, N.J.!

Thank you so much for having me on your blog today! I am very happy to share my new release, Fierce Temper! If you like super hot book boyfriends, sizzling M/F/M ménage sex, serious suspense, and a laugh-your-ass off heroine, then I really hope you will check out Fierce Temper!

To celebrate my release, I am giving away a $10 Amazon gift card! Enter my Rafflecopter drawing below!

Fierce-Temper-evernightpublishing-2016-VistaPrint-Mugs_Panoramic-Wraparound-series


Fierce-Temper-evernightpublishing-2016-smallpreviewTessa Lawson has a secret… actually, she has a few. Not only did she used to be known as adult film star Temper Jazz, but she is also on the run after witnessing a murder and stealing $250K from a drug lord. She moved to Magic to hide, but will she be able to hide her heart?

Milo Livingston has his own demons. His guilt over a horrible accident that injured a friend has left him thinking he doesn’t deserve happiness. He surely doesn’t think that Tessa could ever love him.

When Milo’s friend, DEA Agent Archer Collins comes to town searching for Tessa, the trio’s world is thrown into upheaval. Archer is intent on bringing down the drug cartel responsible for his sister’s death. He never expected to fall in love with the key witness he’s been searching for.

After an attempt is made on Tessa’s life, Milo and Archer join forces to protect the woman they care about. Will both men be able to overcome their own demons and trust Tessa with their hearts? And will their love be enough to protect her from the dangerous people who want her dead?

Story Excerpt

Tessa swallowed, the heat from Archer’s touch sizzling through her. Milo’s hand slid to the back of her hair as if he wanted his own turn running his fingers through it. He caressed her hair gently, and she nearly moaned in pleasure.

This was a bad idea. A voice in her head kept saying it. But an even louder voice seemed to be kicking that little voice’s ass. Maybe the timing wasn’t ideal, but she was tired of holding back and putting up walls. She’d tried for so long not to let anyone get close enough to hurt her. Maybe it was time to just let everything go, just let herself go, even if it was only for one night.

“I uh, I mean, I’ve seen just about every emotion on your faces tonight. Anger, concern … desire? At least I think this is what desire looks like.”

“In case you’re unsure, let me clear things up for you.” Milo pulled her up so she stood in front of him. Even though she thought of herself as big, she felt dwarfed next to Milo.

When he leaned into her, her first instinct was to pull away, but Archer had backed up against her, cutting off any escape route. She began to wonder if the two of them had done this together before. They were gentle, but both of them held her firmly enough, making it clear she wasn’t going anywhere.

The heat from their bodies made Tessa’s heart pound and her entire lower half throb. It had been a long time since she’d felt this way. Archer’s hands rested lightly on her waist as he leaned in to nuzzle her hair. Milo’s big hand cupped her cheeks, his thumb rubbing sexy little circles. She swallowed hard, and suddenly found it difficult to breathe. Ever so slowly, he reached up to slide her glasses off. He folded them and handed them to Archer who placed them on the bedside table.

“What are you doing?” she managed to croak.

His hands immediately returned to cup her face, tilting her head up until her eyes met his. Those blue eyes had taken on a smoky tint, and she felt a shudder go through her body as she saw herself reflected in them.

“This. We’re doing this.” He bent his head slowly, giving her time to stop him, time to say no. But she didn’t want to stop him.

Enter my Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

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Where to Buy

Evernight
Amazon
Bookstrand
All Romance eBooks

About N.J. Young

I’m a Midwestern girl and a lover of coffee, live music, and horror movies, not necessarily in that order.

I’ve been writing all my life, and I honestly can’t remember a time when I wanted to do anything but write. After many years spent suffering the trials of corporate America and writing about everything from financial risk management to software user manuals to website copy about radiators (sadly, I’m not kidding), I decided take the plunge and start writing books.

I love a good love story with super hot alpha males, strong heroines, a little humor, and a lot of suspense. Sprinkle in some sexual fantasies and a few BDSM aspects, and Boom! These are only a few of the themes you’ll find in my books.

When I’m not writing, I’m probably at Starbucks, or fighting evil with the help of my husband, two children, and our houseful of animals.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Nicola’s Sunday Shoutout: Elena Kincaid

Today’s Sunday Shoutout goes to Elena Kincaid and her hot new free read Alpha Blood Treat (Pack Warriors #2), now available online from Evernight Publishing and other purveyors of fine erotic romance. Take it away, Elena!

AlphaBloodTreat-series-evernight

ALPHA BLOOD (Pack Warriors #1)

Gemma, a she-wolf, alone and in unbearable pain, cries vengeance against the evil man who caused her suffering. Jordan, alpha of the White-Moon pack, the largest in the country, has a war to prepare for. Kane, his brother and beta, struggles to be worthy of the role thrust upon him.

When young girls start to disappear and rumors of a dangerous serum surface, the two men are brought face to face with their destiny. A fiery passion blooms between Gemma and her men, one that heals her body and soul, but a dangerous war still lies ahead. Will they be successful at stopping an evil tyrant before another girl goes missing or will Gemma pay the ultimate price?

Evernight
Amazon
Bookstrand
All Romance eBooks


 AlphaBloodTreat-smallpreviewIt had been years since the pack wars. Some are still dealing with the fallout, but all have scars that have never fully healed. Despite all of this, Gemma, Jordan, and Kane have managed to build a happy life for themselves and their twin boys.

Their holidays may be bittersweet, but their love and passion for each other are even fierier than ever. Will pack skirmishes, wayward security business clients, and rowdy little boys get in the way of a night full of promise, or will Jordan and Kane manage to fulfill Gemma’s every desire?

Story Excerpt

“I finally got the boys to—” Kane stopped dead in his tracks in the doorway to his bedroom, his words completely failing him due to the sight that greeted him.

Gemma was sprawled out in the center of their king-sized bed, wearing nothing but the wolf ears headband she wore earlier as part of her Halloween costume, her lips quirking into a sly little smile at the sight of him. A goddess, she was bare before him in a lazily relaxed pose. Her left leg was straight, her right, bent at the knee and spread open, revealing her glistening, pink pussy. Both arms were loosely stretched above her head in a pose that conveyed, come and get me and do to me what you will. Kane would happily oblige as soon as he was able to get his frozen self to move.

He couldn’t help but marvel at her beauty for a moment more. She had him tied up in knots all evening with her sexy, little wolf outfit, the hilarity of her costume choice notwithstanding. The beige, faux-fur trimmed dress hugged her every curve, flaring out at mid thigh, and revealing just enough cleavage to be sexy, yet classy. That didn’t stop other males from ogling Gemma, something that one angry, possessive look from either Jordan or Kane had them regretting. Completing her ensemble was a tail, faux-fur boots that went almost up to her knee, and the headband she was currently wearing. Damn, he and Jordan were two of the luckiest sons of bitches.

Sons of bitches who adamantly refused … for as long as they could … to wear any sort of costume. Kane had learned pretty quickly that he could not refuse Gemma anything that would make her and their three-year-old boys happy, especially if not giving in would make them unhappy. So he and Jordan begrudgingly donned last minute, makeshift costumes, which Kane had to also begrudgingly admit, looked pretty bad ass!

He had applied some of Gemma’s makeup to make himself look like Eric Draven from The Crow—the black eye-liner and dark shadow only, since Gemma did not own any white face paint. The black leather pants, skin-tight, black, long-sleeved shirt, and black boots were already part of his wardrobe. He went sans the long, black coat because Jordan needed it for his costume. In addition to Kane’s coat, Jordan wore black slacks, a ribbed, black undershirt and black boots with buckles on them. When he put on his dark aviators, his Neo from The Matrix look was complete.

Gemma squealed with glee when they had surprised her with their costumes. Both characters were from two of her favorite movies. “You both look way hotter, though,” she had said. And from the scent of her arousal, Kane had no doubt she meant it.

“I think you boys deserve a treat later,” Gemma said with a devilish wink. She then sauntered off into the family room adding just a little extra sway to her hips.

Where To Buy

Evernight Publishing
Bookstrand
All Romance eBooks

About Elena Kincaid

Elena Kincaid is an award winning author.  She writes Erotic Paranormal and Contemporary MFM and MF Romances.  She developed a passion for reading and writing at an early age and loves to write what she loves to read and that is usually romance with a paranormal twist. Her desk is constantly cluttered with journals, sticky notes, and torn out pieces of paper full of ideas.

She was born in Ukraine and raised in New York, where she currently lives with her daughter.  She graduated college with a BFA in creative writing and In addition to writing, she also started a graphic design business a few years after graduating.  When not working, Elena loves to spend time with her family, travel the globe, curl up with a good book, and catch up on her soaps.

Blog | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Fabulous Friday Reads: Double Down

TGIF! Let’s kick off the weekend with N.J. Young’s new novel Double Down (Ozark Magic), now available from Evernight Publishing and other purveyors of fine erotic romance. Take it away, N.J.!

Thank you for having me on your blog today! I appreciate the opportunity to introduce myself to your readers and talk about my new release, Double Down! Double Down is the first title in my Ozark Magic series. In the first book, you will meet many of the interesting characters that live in the lake resort town of Magic, Missouri. Magic is full of love, adventure, super hot guys, and the occasional murder…


doubledown

Izzy Craig might live in a town called Magic, but her life is anything but. After nursing her beloved grandfather, he has passed away, leaving her to manage a busy lake resort and an unrequited crush on the town’s sheriff, Graham Nolan. Things start to look up when Graham’s estranged brother Chris comes to town. If she can’t have one handsome Nolan man, maybe his twin will do. 

Graham’s feelings for Izzy have always been complicated . . . and intense. When he realizes that his brother has encroached on his territory, he’s not sure if he can deal. They’ve tried sharing a woman before, and that ended in heartache for everyone. But when Izzy’s sketchy uncle enters the picture, Graham’s cop senses go on high alert. He may very well have to trust his brother, Izzy, and himself, if he wants to keep the woman he loves safe.

Story Excerpt

Her soft lips pressed against his mouth, causing Graham’s eyes to widen in surprise. He’d sensed her unease, so her sudden aggressiveness took him aback for a moment. She wanted them? Was that what she was saying with this kiss?

Stepping forward, Izzy pressed her body against his and he groaned at the feel of her firm breasts pressed against his chest. When her tongue hesitantly probed through his parted lips, he would have lost control if it weren’t for Chris standing behind her dramatically clearing his throat.

Grasping her shoulders, it took every ounce of strength in Graham to push Izzy away and plant her back on her feet. Her lips were slightly swollen, and her blue eyes had darkened. Before he could catch his breath to speak, a stunned look crossed her pretty face.

“I – I’m sorry. You said this wasn’t the right time. Obviously you don’t want to – I – I shouldn’t have. . .” She trailed off, trying to step away, but both of them reached for her at the same time. Dammit, he hadn’t meant to upset her.

Looking to his brother for help, Graham was relieved when Chris leaned into Izzy without hesitation, easing her worry.

“You have to tell us, baby,” Chris murmured against her ear. “Trust me, we want nothing more than to kiss your pretty lips until your head swims, but you have to tell us what you want first.”

“I don’t want to guess wrong,” Graham agreed, reaching for her hand and entwining his fingers with hers. “It would be easy for us to just take you, toss you on the bed, make you come over and over.” He stepped closer to her as her eyes started to glaze at that statement. “And maybe that’s what you want. Us taking you without you having to actually make the decision.” He brushed her swollen lips with the pad of his finger. “But it doesn’t work that way, sweetheart. You have to tell us what you want.”

“But – but – I thought you liked to dominate.” Damn, that low, breathy voice did things to him.

He had to bite back a groan. The thought of dominating Izzy, tying her up, spanking that pretty round ass caused him to harden to the point of pain. “Baby, I need to know that you want us – together – as much as we want you. We need your consent, Iz. And once you do consent, you should know that we won’t go easy on you.”

Her jaw dropped open a bit as her eyes dilated, and Graham grinned as she tried to figure out what he meant. Behind her, Chris gave him a sly smile.

“I – I —” she stammered, and then bit her lip and took a shaky breath.

“Deep breath, sweetheart,” Chris crooned, his lips finding her ear again. Graham shot him a warning look. If he didn’t quit kissing her, she wasn’t going to be able to form a thought, much less words.

“I – I want you.” Her breathy voice was barely audible, and he stepped close enough to press himself against her, sandwiching her in between himself and Chris.

Taking another long shaky breath, she tried again. “I want both of you – to – to make love to me.” The way her milky skin flushed led Graham to believe that she’d never actually said that to a man before, never asked for what she wanted.

Her words empowered him. She wanted them. She was theirs. He leaned forward to take her lips, cupping her face in his large hands so he could tilt her head how he wanted. His tongue traced the line of her lips until they parted, allowing him access. He swallowed her light whimper as his tongue delved deeper. And she kissed him back. Oh how she kissed him back. When her hands clutched at his arms, he eased back, gently nipping her bottom lip.

“Chris,” Graham spoke to his brother without looking away from Izzy. “Undress her. I want her naked.”

Her breath caught in her throat, and she jerked her head back to look at Chris who smiled wickedly. “With pleasure.”

As Graham backed up to allow his brother room, Chris walked around to stand in front of Izzy. He jokingly rolled his eyes at Graham. “He can be a little bossy,” he said to her with a wink.

Graham watched as his brother ran his hands lightly down her arms, before lifting her arms over her head. He quickly stripped off her black blouse before tugging off the khaki pants she wore.

When Chris stepped back, he darted a glance at his twin, and Graham could see that his eyes were as molten as he felt inside.

Izzy stood before both of them in only her black bra and panties, looking from one man to the other as their steel gazes swept up and down her body, ravenously consuming every inch of her. When a shiver went through her, Graham reached out to envelop her in his arms. “Are we making you nervous, sweetheart?”

She shook her head, a little smile playing at her mouth.

Chris reached out, needing to touch her, and Graham passed her off to his brother. “Are you sure? I know we can be a little overwhelming.”

“I’m sure,” she said, smiling at their concern. “Very sure. I need you. Both of you. I want you both so much, so badly. I just . . .” She stumbled. “I um —”

“What, baby? What’s wrong?” Graham asked. When her gaze slid away, he lifted her chin up. “Look at me, Iz. What’s wrong? You need to be honest with us or I will smack that pretty ass right now.”

The brief flaring of her eyes told Graham she would enjoy a spanking, his hand pounding her ass. Now, there was some fun they could have later.

Where to Buy

Evernight
AllRomance eBooks
Bookstrand
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon Canada
Amazon Australia

About N.J. Young

N.J. Young has been a writer since she was old enough to hold a pencil. After realizing the trials of corporate America weren’t for her, she decided to leave that world behind and pursue her true dream of writing.

Instead of spending her days writing sexy texts to her husband and engaging in “that’s what she said” jokes, she took that energy and poured it into her books. Sprinkle in a couple of hot guys, a little suspense, and a few sexual fantasies, and her first book was born. She now spends her days drinking coffee at her computer, while diving into the adventures of the imaginary friends who live in her novels.

N.J. Young was born and raised in the Midwest, and currently resides in the Kansas City area with her husband, two children, and a menagerie of animals. When she’s not writing, she enjoys horror movies, live music, cooking, and telling her kids why they can’t read mommy’s books.

Website/Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Nicola’s Sunday Shoutout: LeTeisha Newton

Today’s Sunday Shoutout goes to the amazingly prolific LeTeisha Newton and her brand spanking (and I use that word deliberately) new Naughty Fairy Tales entry, Sin’s Pleasure (Happily Never Happened #1), now available from Evernight Publishing and other purveyors of fine erotic romance. Take it away, LeTeisha!

What if Happily Ever Afters were from a place called Elsia? What if they kept that world going and intact? And what if the Fairy Godmother, young and naive, got it wrong?

Welcome to Happily Never Happened, where fairy tales are real, sexier than sin, and sweeter than deliverance. Where Fantasy Ave is a place to see your pleasures satisfied, and the stakes raised – for a price. And then meet the ladies of Fantasy Ave, hidden gems in our world, who come from the world of Elsia, escaping the hell of their Happily Ever Afters, and offered the chance, with one last wish, to find love again.

SinsPleasure-evernightpublishing-JayAheer2015-banner1


SinsPleasureFairy Godmothers were the spawn of the devil, and Sin was perfectly happy leaving her broken marriage behind. Marriage to Prince Charming wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. She wanted love on her terms, with a man who didn’t think cheating was foreplay. 

Now she’s having trouble keeping away from Tobias, her hunk of a bodyguard that protected her when she saw clients as Mistress Sin on Fantasy Avenue. Or staying away from Zuriah, a shifter bent on making them both his mates. 

Now she’s stuck trying on that damn glass slipper again, finding passion like she couldn’t believe existed. If she can just keep the Fairy Godmother from trying to muck things up again, and get over her old break-up, she might just find love ever after. 

Story Excerpt

If Sin hadn’t learned anything else in the world, it was that Fairy Godmothers sucked, happily ever afters never happened, and she wasn’t in the mood to deal with another worthless Prince Charming who didn’t know how to keep his dick in his pants.

Yeah, she thought. Love was a bitch.

It wasn’t that she didn’t believe it could happen. Hell, she’d been the stupid little girl once, abused by her filthy step-sisters and step-mother because her father had been bespelled by the sorceress witch. Sin remembered her mother, and the relationship her mother had with Sin’s father. That had been a couple really in love, and it was the only shining example that Sin ever had in her life. Because, surely, marrying the damn Prince of Elsia had been the worst decision her now cold heart had ever made simply because a Fairy Assmother had put her damn hand in it.

It hadn’t taken long after the blissful nuptials to find Prince Charming riding good old Rapunzel in her damn tower because they would have some privacy. Or to find him jumping Aurora’s bones because, why not, Zel’s own knight liked playing around with Maleficent anyway. Even Sin thought Mal was more fun and should have put a longer sleep spell on Aurora and then everyone would have been happy. Aurora hadn’t been the nicest of princesses anyway, before she’d been put to sleep. Sin wouldn’t trust a woman who liked sleeping with men that didn’t belong to her, and Mal had put Aurora out of her own misery putting her to sleep until she’d found true love. A little tame, by most standards, but it worked. At least Mal might have a chance to get her knight back … That was if she wanted him. The only thing a Fairy Godmother did for Sin was send her as far away from Elsia as possible, in another time and place, where she could be her own woman, and forget the need of having in man in her life.

Things were so much better now because of that—well, as long as she ignored the one man that tugged at her heartstrings and made her want to climb him.

“Sin, Ace in on stage four, and the women are going crazy,” Walter, her head of floor security said to her over the communications unit in her ear. He was a welcome distraction from the head of her overall security detail.

Or did she just think about him again? Ugh.

“Tell him there’s a Bachelorette party coming in to booth fifteen when he’s done. They have requested him personally this evening. Tell Franco that he might have to entertain Rose’s boys tonight, and have Sloane with him if they have a larger party,” Sin sent back, mentally tallying how much the private parties alone had filled her register already. Franco, Barbie, and Sloane were her LGBT clientele favorites, and they brought in quite a penny from drunk frat boys and corporate events. Barbie, especially, because she could give the best of both worlds. Ace was Sin’s lead stripper, and women just went gaga over his piecing blue eyes and blond curls. Something about him looking like the dude playing Achilles. Sin could appreciate the draw. He just wasn’t her type. Not rugged enough. She liked her sex rough, nasty, and just a bit dangerous. Pretty boy slick didn’t appeal. Too much like the asshole she’d left behind.

Tobias isn’t a pretty boy and can give you just what you want. Her treacherous thoughts were going to be the death of her tonight. She didn’t need to think about Tobias. She needed to work and make sure her place was going like it should be. Plus, when she was working she was the one doling out punishment to women and men alike, and Tobias didn’t take punishment. He gave it. No one touched her, not anymore, and he’d want to. A few humps in the dark had taught her that felt as empty as her farce of a marriage. She liked making money and spending it. She loved fixing others, so they never had to go through what she went through. An impossible feat, but it kept her warm at night. She didn’t need him there.

“Need more vodka at bar three,” Trix, her head bartender, called to her. Rule one in a strip club, have female bartenders. Women didn’t really care about standing at the bar all night ogling hot guys just within reach if there weren’t any there, and didn’t worry too much how much they were drinking.

“Then get your ass over to the back and get it,” Sin ordered. “Have Rachel take over for you until you are done. Stock all the bars tonight. We’ve got three parties and Rose is coming by with her brood. It’s going to get wild.”

Rose. Now that was a girl that knew how to party. One of the other misfits that resided on Fantasy Ave, Rose was Sin’s right hand. She ran Spirits Emporium, which exclusively stocked the alcoholic beverages of every company on Fantasy Avenue—from Ari’s Glide and Slide to Blanche’s Poison Apple. Home to the women their worthless Fairy Godmother had screwed in their happily never afters, they’d bonded together and created a world of pleasure, entertainment, and, well, sometimes more pointed desires.

“Speak of the devil,” Sin said, spinning on her six inch, thigh-high, black leather boots when she saw Rose enter Sin’s Pleasure, the premier all male review club on the East coast. Sin tossed her light pink hair over her shoulder, smiling and waiting as Rose came closer. Sin had gone for gothic caramel seductress tonight with a PVC corset around her waist with a pastel pink bra to top it off. She had black elbow fingerless gloves with pretty pink bows up the sleeve. She rocked smoky eyes with a tar black lipstick. Most of her clients came from her advertising, but, every once in a while, one of Rose’s guys wanted to play. Rose wore an all red leather suit, her trademark color, that looked more like she could be someone’s fantasy for the night. Her red curls were wild around her heart-shaped face.

“Good to see you made it,” Sin said to Rose with a smile.

“You know I would. Not all pleasure tonight though,” Rose added.

“Oh? What’s up?” Sin asked, eyes scanning the crowd for any problems.

“Your office?” Rose returned, already turning around and heading to the back of the club. Rose nodded to some of her guys, six of the big boys at that, as she passed the bar they waited at for drinks. They enjoyed the show, and Rose liked bringing them in for a private party every once in a while. Their dancers were always paid handsomely, and Sin had a feeling it was in more ways than one. Sin would have to ask to watch one time.

Sin hurried to lead Rose into her area, unlocking her back door and then heading upstairs. The noise from the club dampened as they went higher, the noise cancelation Sin had installed had been for her as much for peace of mind as for her clients when they went to her dungeon. The private quarters housed Sin’s loft apartment, her office, and her dungeon, much farther back. Tobias, her guard, waved at her as she passed him to go into her office. That was his post, and it helped when she had clients. A former medic in the Marines, Tobias could handle himself, and anyone else for that matter, and was cool under pressure. Sin relied on him when she did her job, to make sure everyone stayed safe.

And if she could open her heart, he’d keep her safe too. She could see it in his vivid green eyes. But she couldn’t. They’d never stepped on that boundary, not once, but it sizzled between them whenever she looked at him. She could feel her body getting hot, even now as he tossed a mischievous smile her way. God the man was sex on a stick with his buzz cut brown hair and brawny shape. He was as big as a linebacker but quick enough to blitz attack. She craved his touch more than she could admit. It didn’t help that he was covered in tattoos and rode a mean Harley. Rough and dirty sex was all she saw when she looked at him. Just what she needed. She just didn’t need the attachment that came with it. But she didn’t trust anyone to have her back like him, so he stayed. She didn’t think she could make him go if she wanted to. She hurried to her office, not wanting his eyes on her any longer.

Once in her office, Rose sat on the couch against the wall as Sin sat at her desk before she spoke. “What can I do for you Rose?”

“I’ve got a client for you.”

“You know this isn’t how it goes. I have to talk to them, find out their needs, what they like, what they don’t. I have to know what they hope to get from our sessions, and gauge if it’s what I’ll provide,” Sin answered, already shaking her head.

“It’s one of my pack, Sin,” Rose said, closing her eyes with a sigh. Sin froze. It wasn’t often that Rose talked about her pack, or even called them that. Sin had gotten used to calling Rose’s pack her boys. It wasn’t actually correct, but it helped keep down confusion. When Rose had been in Elsia, she’d been known as Little Red. Her Fairy Godmother had thought, mistakenly, that Rose wanted her Big Bad Wolf gone, and put the lumberjack in the wolf’s way to get chopped to little doggy bag pieces. Rose? She’d been crushed. The wolf had been everything that Rose had ever wanted, and had changed her into a werewolf to live with him. He’d been hiding in the grandmother’s house to come visit Rose, not to kill her and her grandmother. Rose had taken over his pack and forced the Fairy to send them all where Sin had been sent, to the human world. Rose would do anything for her pack, anything. Even ask for Sin’s help.

“I’m listening,” Sin said then.

“Zuriah won’t yield,” Rose said after a minute.

“To you?”

“To anyone. He doesn’t want to be the alpha, and I don’t want him to either. We aren’t mates. But he won’t yield to my authority, or to any of the males. They can’t mount him without coming away bloody. He can’t mount them because they are dominant and can’t take being a bottom. He won’t take a mate, no one grabs his attention. He’s causing chaos in the pack order.”

Sin knew that Rose’s pack acted more like wolves in the wild. Males could mount males like they did a woman. It was about dominance and love at once. There was no sense of heterosexual versus homosexual. They simply were. Love was love, and it didn’t matter a stitch who they found it with. So Sin was sure that wasn’t the issue. He needed to be taught how to accept dominance, or he needed to learn that he was dominant and, perhaps, start his own pack if he wouldn’t take Rose.

“I’ll need to talk to him, Rose. Need to know where his head is. If I can do it, I will.”

“Your rate still 250 an hour?” Rose asked.

“Not for you.”

“I pay my way, Sin. Next shipment of top shelf is on me. How about that?” Sin knew a shipment of top shelf liquor to her establishment was big bucks, but she knew that Rose wouldn’t take no for an answer.

“Fine, Rose. Get him to me, and I’ll take it from there.”

“Won’t have to wait that long. He’s here. Got time to talk now?”

“Doesn’t look like I have a choice,” Sin muttered as Rose closed her eyes again. The pack could speak with telepathy and Sin always felt her hair stand on end when Rose used it near her. After a moment Rose opened her eyes again.

“He’s heading back here. He can follow my scent.”

Where To Buy

Evernight Publishing
Amazon
Bookstrand
All Romance eBooks

About LeTeisha Newton

Writing professionally since 2008, LeTeisha has spanned from Fantasy to Interracial Romance on her road to getting the jumping characters out of her head. Most days she’s pretty color blind, unless it’s a great shade of red (then she can’t ignore it). Other times she’s plotting her next twenty books and then remembering that the computer can’t read her thoughts and doesn’t type at lightning speed. Either way, she just can’t seem to get enough of quill to paper…or eh…keyboard strokes, apparently.

Where to find LeTeisha Newton

Website
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Goodreads

Mid Week Tease: Alpha Blood #MidWeekTease #MWTease

MWTease15Okay, I’m two days into my 80K or Bust challenge project and I will be perfectly honest that the scene I just finished is probably one of the most cheerless wedding night scenes in literary history. Necessary to the story, but not something I want to unleash on you today. So instead I’m featuring the lovely and talented Elena Kincaid and her smouldering new paranormal erotic book Alpha Blood (Pack Warriors #1).

Enjoy, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!

bloodalphaGemma, a she-wolf, alone and in unbearable pain, cries vengeance against the evil man who caused her suffering. Jordan, alpha of the White-Moon pack, the largest in the country, has a war to prepare for. Kane, his brother and beta, struggles to be worthy of the role thrust upon him.

When young girls start to disappear and rumors of a dangerous serum surface, the two men are brought face to face with their destiny. A fiery passion blooms between Gemma and her men, one that heals her body and soul, but a dangerous war still lies ahead. Will they be successful at stopping an evil tyrant before another girl goes missing or will Gemma pay the ultimate price? With her life!

Story Excerpt

Gemma still ached all over, but the pain was now dull and tolerable. She knew her reprieve would be short. More pain waited for her throughout the night. Something was different, however. Warmth surrounded her on both sides as she rested on what felt like a soft bed. A pillow cushioned her head.

She opened her eyes and bolted upright when a warm, calloused hand brushed her cheek.

“Easy, you’re safe,” said a deeply rich and sexy voice. “Lie back down.”

She looked around the spacious bedroom and even through the muted light could see the room was tastefully decorated with dark wood furniture matching the dark wood bedposts. A creamy white chaise sat in the corner with a cozy-looking rich brown throw blanket dangling off the side of it. She imagined herself lounging on it with a good book and a glass of wine sitting atop the small side table next to the chaise. Gemma did in fact feel safe, safer than she had felt in a very long time. She complied with the gentle command to lie down, pulling up the chartreuse-colored sheet that had pooled around her belly when she had sat up and she sensed a blush creep onto her cheeks while doing so. The memory of what had happened earlier in the forest with the two gorgeous men beside her came flooding back to her as well. They had given her a ray of hope when she had none left.

At first she was on her guard, wary of anyone who dared approach her lest they were part of Pollux-Moon or in allegiance with them. Then she became angry that two complete strangers thought it their right to order her around, to touch her without her consent. She’d been in too much pain to realize that they only wanted to help her. So in agony and unfocused as she was, at first she hadn’t even realized that they were her mates.

Mates. I have mates. She closed her eyes briefly and savored the delicious scents that surrounded her. Her pain had been reflected in their eyes earlier when she had locked gazes with them after she realized who they were to her. One of them had hair the color of midnight and eyes of gold. His hard gaze had softened when she stopped struggling and let him examine her. She found him looking at her when she opened her eyes again.

“What’s your name?” he asked. He had a slightly deeper baritone than the one who commanded her to lie down.

“I’m Gemma. But my friends call me Gem.”

“You have a beautiful name, Gemma, Gem.” His smile was breathtaking. He looked so open and friendly, a complete contrast to how he had looked earlier when he was being bossy and commanding. “I’m Jordan. Alpha of the White-Moon pack. This is my brother and beta, Kane.”

She looked over at Kane—hair nearly as dark as his brother’s, but eyes a mossy green—and managed a small smile. Both men were large and muscular and exuded a power hard to miss. They had identical tattoos on their left pectoral—a wolf’s paw print with a wolf face inside it. The eyes of each wolf, however, matched its owner’s. A full white moon stood out behind the paw and the White-Moon pack insignia, in elegant script, rested underneath. They both sported various other tattoos, but that particular one was breathtaking.

“You had us worried there, little wolf,” Kane said. “How are you feeling?”

“Like I just clawed my way out of hell for a temporary breather.” She hadn’t meant to say that out loud.

Kane looked suddenly angry. “Who did this to you?”

bloodalpha-evernightpiblishing-jayaheer2015-banner1

Where to Buy

Evernight
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Amazon AU
Bookstrand

About Elena Kincaid

Elena Kincaid was born in Ukraine and raised in New York where she currently lives with her daughter. She graduated college with a BFA in creative writing and started a graphic design business a few years later. She developed a passion for reading and writing at an early age and loves to write what she loves to read and that is romance with a paranormal twist. Her desk is constantly cluttered with journals, sticky notes, and torn out pieces of paper full of ideas.

When not working, Elena loves to spend time with her family, travel the globe, curl up with a good book, and catch up on her soaps.

Where to find Elena Kincaid

http://elenakincaid.blogspot.com/
http://www.elenakincaid.com/
https://twitter.com/elenakincaid1
https://www.facebook.com/elenakincaidthree
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7060236.Elena_Kincaid
http://www.amazon.com/Elena-Kincaid/e/B011IOY3KE/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1440187214&sr=8-1
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIxZQdZPqoNPTPMi03LrbKQ
http://www.evernightpublishing.com/elena-kincaid/
http://www.bookstrand.com/elena-kincaid
https://www.pinterest.com/ekincaid0582/
http://elenakincaidauthor.tumblr.com/
http://erotic.theromancereviews.com/mypageprofile.php?location=elenakincaid
http://www.cocktailsandbooks.com/top-shelf-author/elena-kincaid/
http://www.manicreaders.com/ElenaKincaid/


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Mid Week Tease: Cross Current #MidWeekTease #MWTease

MWTease15It’s Wednesday? Well, we all know what that means! Yes, it’s time to tease you with a snippet from one of my WIPs. So, how would you like to see the (unedited) opening of Cross Current (Olympic Cove Book Four)? Of course you would!

Enjoy, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!

“If you’ll sign here, please.”

Matt Taber wrote his signature on the indicated line.

“And here.”

Another line, another signature.

“And one last time.”

The same slightly scrawled name, black ballpoint ink standing out on the paper. Matt noticed the lawyer’s office printed out their documents on the nice heavy paper made for laser printers, not the thin general purpose stuff.

Nothing but the best for the death of a marriage.

“That should do it,” his lawyer said. He exchanged a nod with the other lawyer, their steps done in this particular dance.

Across the table, Matt’s now-ex-wife Nancy sat with her hands neatly folded, a politely blank expression on her face. After ten years of living with her, he still couldn’t read it.

Then again, he didn’t have to try anymore. Giving her a brusque nod, he stood and followed his lawyer out of the conference room.

“That went pretty well, I’d say,” the lawyer said. “Although I still think we should have held out for community property. You know you’re dropping back down into a pretty sad tax bracket, right?”

“I know.” Matt shrugged. “That’s fine. I don’t want anything from her.”

That wasn’t quite true. But the only thing he’d ever wanted from Nancy was the one thing she didn’t want to give. And he couldn’t even really blame her for that.

He nodded through the rest of the lawyer’s litany, agreeing to stop by the office for the final payment. And then he was alone in the granite-clad hallway, surrounded by expensive air and time that was counted in billable hours.

“Matt.”

He started, turning. Nancy stood at the door of the conference room, flawlessly dressed as usual. Today she wore a cream tailored jacket and skirt over a champagne silk blouse that would go straight from a divorce lawyer to her office at a major bank without anyone batting an eye.

The hurt washed over him again, followed almost immediately by relief. I loved you, I really did. In a way, I still do.

She pursed her mouth as if hearing his thoughts. “I’m not going to give you some ridiculous platitude about how this is the best thing for both of us,” she said, kind and blunt at the same time. “I wasn’t happy, and I wanted out, simple as that. But I also know you’re hurting right now, and I’m truly sorry about that. You’re a nice guy. You’ll be able to find someone who’ll be a better fit for you.”

Matt let a slow breath roll out. “I thought you weren’t going to give me some ridiculous platitude.”

One black eyebrow rose in an elegant curve. “You have a point. I’ll be back from Hong Kong in a month. Will that be enough time for you?”

“Yeah, plenty.” The house on Chinook Lane had been hers before their married. He admired the building, but had never felt at home there. It was like living in something out of an Architectural Digest article. “I can swing by and check the mail every couple of days if you like.”

“No, I already put a hold on it at the post office. But thank you.”

He stared at the woman who, with a handful of signatures, had gone from his wife to a stranger. “Have a good flight,” he finally said.

“Thanks.” She leaned over and brushed cool lips across his cheek, then turned and walked away.

#

“And that was that.”

“Damn.” Chris Wilson shook his head. “That’s cold, man.”

After walking out of the lawyer’s office into the bright Florida sunshine, Matt’s first instinct had been to go back to the extended stay hotel room he’d been renting since Nancy announced she wanted a divorce and lick his wounds. A text from Chris, his coworker and chemistry teacher at McAuliffe Senior High School, summoning him to their favorite sports bar for a post-divorce beer had changed his plans.

He rolled the bottom of his bottle on the tabletop, painting a ring of condensation on the sealed wood. “That’s Nancy,” he pointed out. “It’s not like she was going to fall into my arms crying and begging me to take her back.”

“Yeah, but come on,” Chris said, gesturing with his own bottle. “You didn’t ask for a damn thing from her, and you could have. The least she could have done was give you some breakup booty.”

Matt grimaced. “The last thing I want from her is pity sex.”

Chris blew out a breath.  “Yeah, suppose I can’t blame you there. Banging an ice queen must be like freeze-drying your dick.”

“She wasn’t that bad.”

Chris gave him a look that clearly said are you shitting me?

Matt’s lips twitched. “Okay, maybe she was that bad. We had some fun, though.”

“If you say so. Me, I like my women a little more human.” The chemistry teacher tapped the table with one long finger. “So, what about the rest of your stuff? I can help you move it out this weekend.”

“Nah, that’s okay. I’m putting most of it in storage anyway. I’ll figure out what I want to do with it after school starts.”

“I’d think ‘look for an apartment’ would be kinda high on the list,” Chris pointed out. “You can’t stay in that hotel room forever.”

“I’m not. I’m moving out tomorrow.”

“Whoa. You already got a place?”

“Sort of.” For the first time that day, Matt felt like smiling. “We were supposed to go to France in a couple of weeks for our anniversary. Obviously that’s not happening now. She said she didn’t care what I did with the reservations, so I cashed everything in. It was more than enough to let me rent a cottage on the beach for the rest of the summer. Until school starts I’m just going to sit on my ass, drink beer, and get a tan.”

Chris saluted him with the beer bottle. “Now that sounds like a plan to me. And you know, if you get overrun with those hot little beach bunnies I’m more than happy to come on over and help out.”

“Yeah, I bet.” Matt drained the last of his beer. “Look, it’s been a long day and I still have some packing to do. Mind if I take off?”

“No problem, I got the tab. We still on for the game this weekend?”

“Wouldn’t miss it. Talk to you later.”

He was halfway to the door when he heard Chris yell, “Hey, where is this cottage anyway?”

Matt grinned. Less than a minute. He’s getting smarter. “About twenty miles south of here,” he shouted back over the bar din. “Some place called Olympic Cove.”

“Never heard of it.”

“Me, neither. Should be nice and quiet.”


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