On the weekends, she’s Sugar, a woman free of the pretty prison constructed by her domineering father, who combs the dangerous streets in search of something she never quite finds. During the week, she’s Simone, the good girl and the illegitimate daughter of the most powerful and hated man in Los Angeles.
Catch—aptly named for his “career” choice—is a man shrouded in mystery with one dangerous purpose. After a whirlwind encounter, Catch draws Simone into his dark and tangled web.
A dangerous game ensues, lives are lost, truths are exposed, and one man may shatter the foundation of a powerful organization on the brink of extinction.
The game of truth or dare won't end until Catch and Simone strip each other of their façades and uncover the reality of who they were, and who they are fated to become.
COURTNEY LANE has been creating her own little world since she was very young. When she was eight years old, she began to bring her worlds to life with a pen and paper.
While many of her works touch several different genres, she has an archetype when it comes to the female protagonists in her stories — they have to have certain brand of strength, be deeply flawed, and harbor layered personalities. In her books you will find themes that reflect the darker side of life with a tremendous amount of depth and complexity. She also has an affinity for characters that aren't necessarily the girl or boy next door, or the people you'd encounter in everyday life. In other words, she prefers to explore characters who aren't easy to fall in love with.
Currently, Courtney can be found either working on her next book, playing the latest role-playing game on her X-Box (preferably a game by Bioware), or spending time with her family.
Restaurant consultant Levi Hardt is a shrewd businessman with an unparalleled talent for turning failing eateries into five-star dining experiences. He has a strict set of requirements for himself, his clients and his employees. He is ruthless, cold and completely unyielding. But underneath the slick suits and icy gaze is a bad boy who likes to play, and he’s found a new toy that makes him want to smash all his rules.
Carlyn Phillips is a brilliant interior designer. She's received local and national accolades for her work revamping tired restaurant decor into modern, inviting masterpieces; but she can’t seem to do anything right with her new boss. With a steely resolve, she sets out on her mission — to please the man who holds her future success in his hands. She'll use every dirty trick in her arsenal to thaw the glacial shell and gain his approval.
As walls come crumbling down and Levi and Carlyn learn each other's secrets, the fates deal them a cruel hand. Will they be able to forgive and forget? Or will their gamble leave them both in ruins?
Robin Lee is a mild mannered (read: boring) number cruncher by day, a snarky bitch who loves to put pen to paper by night, and a not so sweet Southern Belle from South Carolina who currently resides near Miami, Florida. She's been an avid reader since she first learned how at the age of three, but she only started her writing journey in 2015 when the voices in her head just wouldn't shut up. Poetry is what started it all, but she's now branching out into short stories and novels. Her first book, a collection of poetry entitled Bittersweet Illusion, was released in March 2016.
You know how everyone says when one door closes another one opens? At the time, you find this statement obnoxious as all get out because a) you don’t really know what the future holds, it certainly hasn’t been a cakewalk so far, and b) the thought of change is unbearable. You feel like your life is falling apart and everyone around is feeding you clichés like they’re made out of kale or quinoa or whatever the trend health food is right now. You don’t want kale clichés, you want double-chocolate fudge realisms, and you want them now. You just want things the way they were, but then something happens, a moment, an instant that sets you out on a path toward happiness you never knew could exist, and suddenly you think, huh, I don’t think I want double-chocolate fudge anymore. I think I’m in the mood for this heaping serving of strawberry cheesecake sitting in front of me…with a side of kale. And a pair of split pants, but we won’t get into that right now.
Graham Glenn may have tossed her in, but Oliver Finn made her feel again.
Wingman rule number two: never reveal how much you want them.
Lex hates Gabi. Gabi hates Lex. But, hey, at least the hate is mutual, right? All Lex has to do is survive the next few weeks training Gabi in all the ways of Wingmen Inc. and then he can be done with her. But now that they have to work together, the sexual tension and fighting is off the charts. He isn’t sure if he wants to strangle her or throw her against the nearest sturdy table and have his way with her.
But Gabi has a secret, something she’s keeping from not just her best friend but her nemesis too. Lines are blurred as Lex becomes less the villain she’s always painted him to be…and starts turning into something more. Gabi has always hated the way she’s been just a little bit attracted to him—no computer-science major should have that nice of a body or look that good in glasses—but “Lex Luthor” is an evil womanizer. He’s dangerous. Gabi should stay far, far away.
Then again, she’s always wanted a little danger.
I hated him. HATED him. Hate, hate, hate. I chanted the words to myself that very next morning as I stomped toward his ridiculously expensive house, next to the ridiculously nice lake, with his ridiculously loud red Mercedes parked out front. Jackass. I’d be doing society a favor if I set it on fire. Seriously. The thing was probably filled with so much bodily fluid and disease that if he got in a car accident he’d infect the entire freeway and start a citywide epidemic. I shuddered. I compartmentalized Lex into two boxes. The first box was Childhood Lex, the friend who used to hang out with Ian and me before he moved across town, never to be seen again. He used to ride with me to school, and when I was sick he gave me my own box of Kleenex—never mind that he stole it from his teacher’s desk. The point is, Childhood Lex was a keeper. Box number two? Asshole Lex, also known as the version I was walking toward. The Lex I met when I was eighteen, who momentarily stunned me speechless with his godlike beauty, had been a figment of my overactive, sad, hormone-riddled imagination. On the outside? The perfect man. With a brooding and sultry smile. Biceps the size of my head. Who gave me the distinct feeling that if I ran my hands over his buzzed hair I’d orgasm before he even touched me. Whatever. I was over it. So over it. A lot of people had stupid crushes when they were eighteen, right? Now all I saw when I looked into his stormy blue eyes was syph or the clap, and that was being generous. The dude was a walking STD and seriously tried every nerve I had. He was an ass. Plain and simple, no sugar coating. He was the type of guy who’d tell a chick that she looked fat in a dress or who refused to share the communal breadbasket. See! He couldn’t even adhere to typical manners during mealtime! Just thinking about him had me tied up in knots. Last year, when I went shopping and stupidly invited Ian along—which of course meant Lex had to come—I was told in no uncertain terms that if I would just stop drinking chocolate milk in the morning I’d be able to fit into a smaller size. He’d smiled. His dimples had deepened. He’d even crossed his arms as if to say, Look, I did you a favor, pat me on the back. Instead I had kicked him in the balls and tried to give him a black eye, clocking Ian in the face. My point? Lex. Was. The. Devil. I made a point of only hanging out with Lex when absolutely necessary, and even then I almost always had Ian as a buffer. But now that he was playing love nest with my ex-roomie, Blake? Well, I was on my own. Lex opened the door after my third aggressive knock. Black sweatpants hung low on his hips, a vintage Mariners shirt fell open around his neck, and he was wearing black-framed glasses that made his eyes more appealing than should be legal. “Sunshine,” he said, his smirk deepening as he crossed his burly arms over his chest. “Dickhead.” I smiled sweetly. “New glasses? They look thicker than last time.” “Better to see you with.” He leaned forward, his eyes narrowing into tiny slits. “There they are.” He reached for one of my boobs. I slapped his hand away so hard my palm stung. “Probably not the best way to treat your new male clients.” He shook his hand and turned towards the living room leaving the door wide open. Manners were completely lost on him. Gritting my teeth, I slammed the door behind me and took off my shoes because I knew if I didn’t he’d give me hell. He was a freak like that. For as much ass as he got, it was shocking how much Lysol he used around the house. His clothes were never wrinkled; everything was pristine. Even his breath. Damn him. He drank coffee like a Starbucks employee but never had coffee breath. It was almost painful, staring him in the face, knowing that everything on the outside appeared perfect—but didn’t match the inside at all, not even close! Beauty like Lex’s was dangerous and wickedly tempting, like something out of a paranormal romance novel. Sometimes, at night, when I dreamed of Lex getting hit by a car, I imagined him as a vampire roaming the streets in his favorite black sweats, shirtless, shimmering under the streetlights, just waiting for whores to line up so he could take a few bites. A pencil flew by my head. “Yo.” Lex’s eyebrows shot up. “We have a lot of work to do if we’re going to get you ready for the next two clients. Daydream about chicks on your own time.” “I’m not a lesbian.” He bit on his bottom lip, sinking back in his chair as his eyes slowly roamed from my mismatched socks all the way up to my head. “Okay, whatever you say, Gabs.” I will not commit homicide. I will not commit homicide. “You know,” I said as I tossed my purse onto the table, “it’s offensive that you assume all lesbians dress like crap.” So what? I was wearing a ratty white T-shirt and ripped jeans, and I was pretty sure I still had mascara on from the night before. It was my Lex repellant. He hated sloppiness. “Offensive.” He nodded. “Also true . . .” He used the spare pencil from behind his ear to slide my purse over to the farthest side of the table. “It wouldn’t kill you to wear something other than jeans and T-shirts, Gabs.” He sighed. “Say it with me: dresssss—” I grabbed the pencil from his hand, broke it into two pieces, and handed them back to him. “I wear dresses, just not for you. Dresses are your kryptonite, especially short black ones. I refuse to be a part of your ‘shower time.’” He snorted. “You wish.” “Yes. Every night when I go to sleep I pray for Lex to dream of me while he jerks off because yet another girl refused to follow his instructions in bed : ‘Damn it, use the manual!’” I said, using my best imitation of Lex’s voice. I’d only heard him shout instructions to a girl once, and it had scarred me for life. What the hell are you doing? Do I look like I’m satisfied? There’s a diagram! Ugh. Lex rolled his eyes. “Very funny, and the manual is there for a reason. Do you even know how many chicks get confused when I call out sexual positions? It’s like, get there faster, you know?” My feelings were torn between fascination and disgust. “So,” I changed the subject. “Let’s train, because I have about ten years worth of Organic Chem homework.” Lex sighed and held out his hand. “No.” I crossed my arms. “I don’t need help.” Okay, I needed help, desperately needed help, and Lex wasn’t just passably smart but a certified genius, at least when he applied himself. I refused to ask him to go over my homework just because Organic Chem was, to me, like reading a foreign language. He cleared his throat. I didn’t move. Finally, he stood, slowly walked over to the end of the table, and fished the chem book from my oversized purse. “What chapter?” “Lex—” “If I’m teaching you Organic Chem, at least say Professor Lex.” “Listen very closely, Lex.” I went over and jerked my book out of his hands. “I didn’t need your help last year when I almost failed biology, and I sure as hell don’t need your help now. Let’s just get this training done so I can go home and suffer in silence, alright?” “Fine.” He dropped my book against the table and then, without warning, grabbed me by my shoulders and pushed me against the counter that bordered the kitchen. My butt hit the cupboard . “Up until now we’ve been helping people find their perfect match. Basically acting like a wingman so that the idiots of this world see the girl who’s been standing in front of them all along .” Why was he standing so close? Did we have to be touching? I told my body not to respond to his proximity, but Lex was magnetic, even if every part of him was evil. My brain was having trouble functioning while his large palms were pressed into the tops of my shoulders. “Okay.” I swallowed. “And now that you’re allowing guys to become clients of Wingmen Inc., I basically do the same thing. Give them confidence, help them capture the one girl who’s always seen them as the friend—or worse, who they’ve been invisible to.” “What’s that like, I wonder?” Lex still didn’t release me. “Being invisible . . . Maybe next time a dude ignores you, take notes.” And another insult. “Lex.” I huffed out a breath. “Just get on with it.” “Right.” His eyes momentarily locked on mine before he rubbed the bridge of his nose where his glasses were perched. It was not sexy. It wasn’t. Really. That. Sexy. “So whenever we take on a new client, we give them a list of questions, meet them in a public place, and then use the power of human emotions like jealousy and curiosity to get the other person interested. That’s where you come in. If another girl sees our client as desirable, he becomes desirable.” “That easy?” “Sort of.” Lex leaned forward. “But you can’t suck.” “Suck?” “At anything.” His lips hovered near my mouth. He was starting to freak me out. I wanted to run away, but I was pinned. “Lex, if you kiss me I will bite your tongue off. I swear.” “If I was actually kissing you”—Lex released one of my shoulders and placed a finger against my mouth—“you’d know it. This, my frumpy friend, is training.” His lips descended. They pressed against mine, then pulled back. “Yeah.” He shook his head. “Gabs, you’re going to need to open your mouth a bit more. Guys are stupid. They always assume that more tongue means better kissing, when the opposite is true, but you still need to have your lips parted, not locked down like Fort Knox.” “What’s happening?” I tried to push away from him. Lex rolled his eyes. “Gabs, believe me, this is all business. You can even keep your hand on my junk the whole time.” “What!” I roared. “So you know without a doubt that nothing about you turns me on.” He grinned menacingly. “Seriously, I don’t mind.” “I do!” “Hey!” He chuckled. “I was just trying to help.” “Grabbing your penis is not the answer, Lex!” “Weird, because it so often is.” “I hate today.” “Is it the rain?” He frowned. “It’s not—” “It is.” “Stop that!” I shoved him. “Hurry up and grade my kissing skills so I can go home and study.” “Kissing, hand holding, hugging, cuddling, laughing, winking—just a few things you need to master.” He was firing off so many horrible, body-numbing words. “Just hurry up,” I grumbled in a defeated voice as I tried to block out the fact that he was a good-looking ass who offended me with every single breath he took. “Ah . . .” Lex held up his hand. “One never hurries a kiss.” “What about a passionate kiss?” “A passionate kiss isn’t hurried, it’s frenzied. Damn, don’t you know anything?” Heat swamped my cheeks. “How many guys have you kissed, Gabs?” “Plenty!” Five. I’d kissed five. “You blush down your neck when you lie.” Lex cupped my chin and then brought his lips down against mine again. “Part.” Sighing against his mouth, I relaxed my lips while his slid across. He pulled back, wearing a frown of irritation. “A bit more, Gabs. Guys want access.” I kept my eyes open. So did he. I didn’t want him assuming I was into it, which was probably his exact line of thinking. Only keeping my eyes open was an entirely raw experience, watching him watch me while I felt him. I shivered. “Cold?” That stupid smirk was back. “Frigid.” I glared, putting myself down before he had a chance to. “You read my mind.” He nodded seriously. “Now stop being a bitch, and let me teach you how to kiss.” “I know how to kiss!” I don’t know what came over me—maybe it was the need to prove myself, or possibly it was just stress over the entire situation. Needing to stay in school and hating that he was the answer, I wrapped my arms around his neck and jumped, my hips colliding with his as I mauled his mouth with as much passion as I could conjure up, this time closing my eyes and putting everything I had into it. With a growl, Lex pushed me back against the countertop. As my butt collided with the edge, his tongue plunged into my mouth and his hands dug into my hair, pulling it free from its ponytail while he changed positions his lips demanding a punishing kiss from a different angle as his he gave my hair a harder tug back. I grasped at his T-shirt, pulling him closer and nearly falling backward into the sink. And then, just when I was in danger of losing myself to the kiss that would probably be the best kiss of my life, I bit down on his bottom lip. That move didn’t work out the way I’d planned, not at all. In my head it was smart. I’d piss him off, get him to pull back and leave me alone. It did nothing of the sort. Nothing of the sort at all. With a hiss he pulled back, fire blazing in his eyes. For a split second that seemed to go on for an eternity, he hovered and I waited, both of us on the edge of something. He wet his lips, I mimicked the movement, and then, like a snake, he struck. His mouth fused to mine in a punishing kiss, one that bruised my mouth while imprinting its essence on my soul.
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.
She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!
Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!
You can connect with her on Facebook www.facebook.com/rachelvandyken or join her fan group Rachel's New Rockin Readers. Her website is www.rachelvandykenauthor.com . FACEBOOK / TWITTER / GOODREADS / AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE / NEWSLETTER
Being released on August 15th, this amazing fantasy takes place in our world and a parallel universe where fantasies are true…but perhaps not all you would expect.
MIDNIGHT SOUL is the highly anticipated finale to Kristen Ashley’s bestselling Fantasyland Series.
As a special treat the first books in the series are on sale for a limited time only, including the first book in the series, WILDEST DREAMS, for just $.99!
Pre-order this amazing novel today, and be sure to check out the exclusive excerpt below!
Against his will, Noctorno Hawthorne, an undercover vice cop, finds himself embroiled in magic, mayhem and parallel universes. Too late, he meets an amazing woman only to find she’s destined for his identical twin in another world.
And things aren’t going real great there.
Noc is recruited to help save that world.
What he doesn’t know is his destined love resides there.
FrankaDrakkar wears a mask. A mask she never takes off to protect herself in a world of malice, intrigue and danger.
When Franka meets Noc and he discovers her secrets, convinced she carries a midnight soul, having shielded herself from forming bonds with anyone, she struggles with accepting his tenderness and care.
When Noc meets Franka, over wine and whiskey, her mask slips and Noc knows it’s her—only her—and he has to find a way to get her to come home with him.
His brows drew together a moment before his expression showed clearly that comprehension had dawned.
Sadly, comprehension might have dawned but he didn’t leave.
He crouched by the bed and offered in a soft voice, “You need me to carry you to the other room so you can have a bit of privacy?”
He thought I needed a chamber pot.
What was happening to my face?
The heat I felt in my cheeks could be nothing other than me blushing.
I didn’t blush. I’d never blushed. Not even when I’d set about seducing my first lover at age sixteen.
I needed to be quit of this man as soon as possible.
“No…I…do…not,” I bit out.
“Sure?” he asked kindly.
“I need you to leave, Noctorno,” I used his full name in an effort to irritate, something that worked if the flare in his eyes was any indication, “so Josette can prepare me. We’re away to Kristian’s this morning.”
Another drawing of his brows before he asked, “What?”
“After my toilette, Josette and I are to my sleigh so we can begin our journey to my brother’s home.”
His eyes got bigger as his mouth inquired peculiarly, “Are you high?”
“No,” I answered his ridiculous question unnecessarily, “Indeed, I’m low. As you can see since I’m lying abed.”
For a second he just stared at me.
Then he threw his head back and burst into loud, deep, beautiful laughter.
I wanted to throw something at him.
Unfortunately, in my current position, this was not an option open to me.
“I fail to see what’s amusing,” I noted.
He controlled his mirth only to mutter, “I’ll explain it later.” He went on more distinctly, “Frannie, you’re not goin’ to your brother’s today. Or tomorrow. Or until you’re fit. Then, maybe Valentine will spirit you there, or whatever the fuck that’s called. But for the foreseeable future, your ass is in that bed and you’re resting so you can heal.”
Who did he think he was, telling me what I would or would not do?
“As you’ve determined,” I began, “this is not the first time I’ve been in this condition so I do believe that I know best what I’m capable of and…”
I stopped speaking because he came slightly out of his crouch so he could put his face into my face and he was no longer looking mirthful.
He was looking angry.
“That was when you had no one lookin’ out for you but that’s not the case anymore. So this is how it’s gonna be,” he announced.
He then, to my shock, irritation and outrage, announced how it was going to be.
Like he had the right to tell me how it was going to be!
And Don’t Miss the First Books in the Fantasyland Series-On Sale Now!
About Kristen Ashley:
Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.
Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).
Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.
And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.
Twenty-two years ago, I was cut from a cold, sodden womb, and cradled in the filth and poverty of Chicago’s concrete arms. Statistically, I wasn’t supposed to survive these streets past the age of eighteen.
Fate had a different plan.
I was bred for one purpose and one purpose only: to unleash death and destruction on my world.
My thoughts are power.
My words are weapons.
Evil created me then grace tried to save me. But first… they tried to kill me.
They call themselves the Se7en. They are sin and salvation, and everything we’ve feared from the beginning of time. And their leader is the deadliest of them all.
He doesn’t lose.
He doesn’t compromise.
And most importantly, he doesn’t distract himself with mortal weakness.
Not until me.
Kill one to save a million.
That’s what he told me when he took me as his prisoner.
Kill one to save a million.
That’s what he’s been trying to tell himself ever since he took me into his arms.
S.L. Jennings is a proud military wife to her high school sweetheart, a mom of 3 rowdy boys, and a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. When she’s not obsessing over book boyfriends, you can find her hanging out with a few epic fictional loves at independent bookstores or sipping Bloody Marys at her favorite brunch haunts in Spokane, Washington. She’s a self-proclaimed food snob, makeup junkie and lover of all things shiny, sparkly and kitschy.
As King Camden’s health declines, the need for an heir becomes crucial, impossible to ignore. With no other viable choice, Alexandra must stand stoically by when Hadley comes to the court of Silverhelm as Branford’s concubine. The queen’s edict of duty echoes through Alexandra’s mind as she accepts the loathsome conditions for the sake of the kingdom. The only person more devastated by the circumstances is Branford himself.
As Branford spurns Alexandra’s affections and King Edgar continues to press his post-war advantage, all seems lost to the young couple. Treachery still lies deep within the castle of Silverhelm, and the revelation of the traitor will come from the least likely of sources.
“I am a coward,” he whispered.
“Branford…no.” I took a step toward him.
“I am,” he said. “I’m a coward and an idiot. Alexandra, please…hear me out.”
I closed my eyes for a moment and nodded.
“I have hurt you,” he stated. “It was not my intent, yet it happened anyway.
“You barely spoke to me,” I replied as I turned my head and closed my eyes tightly.
“You would not have wanted me here,” he said quietly. “I have been…”
He stopped and sighed heavily, approached me, and dropped back to his knees. I looked down to see him once again and reached out to touch his rough cheek.
“I wanted you here,” I said. He shook his head.
“I am…” Branford paused, and when my fingers brushed his face, I could feel his jaw clenched tightly. “I am afraid. Afraid for you. I brought you into my world to insult King Edgar, and insult him I have, but he does not intend to take the insult out on me and my army. He plans to take it out on you. I have put you in terrible danger out of arrogance and lust for revenge.”
He grasped his thighs as he looked up into my eyes.
“I never should have brought you here,” he whispered vehemently. “You are in peril, and it is my fault! I am to blame! How can you look at me, knowing I did this to you? Now that you know what he will do if I do not have an heir soon or if I refuse Whitney next month—he will not just…just kill you.”
He stopped speaking abruptly, and I could sense the pounding of his heart in his chest and see the panic in his eyes.
“I did not want you to hear him speak such things,” he said.
“He has said worse,” I said, presuming.
“He has.” I saw and felt his anger blaze in his eyes. “I will not allow you to be touched, my wife. I would…I would sacrifice my kingdom before I would allow that to happen.”
“Branford, you cannot—”
“I can!” His eyes blazed. “I would sacrifice all of them before I would let him touch you!”
Shay Savage lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her family and a variety of household pets. She is an accomplished public speaker, and holds the rank of Distinguished Toastmaster from Toastmasters International. When not writing, she enjoys science fiction movies, masquerading as a zombie, is a HUGE Star Wars fan, and member of the 501st Legion of Stormtroopers. When the geek fun runs out, she also loves soccer in any and all forms - especially the Columbus Crew, Arsenal and Bayern Munich. Savage holds a degree in psychology, and she brings a lot of that knowledge into the characters within her stories.
One is a rude jerk. The other, the life of the party.
It was hate at first sight.
Pro beach volleyball players
Finn Callahan and Dexter Savage have been rivals since college. While Finn
always comes out on top on the court, Dexter’s carefree and fun-loving
personality earns him scores of adoring men and women. And as much as Finn
fights to deny it, there’s another reason for the tension he feels when Dex is
around. Hate wasn’t the only thing he felt when he first laid eyes on his
When they’re forced to team up,
the two men must bury their differences—on and off the court—if either of them
is going to succeed professionally.
I scramble for the ball while Coach yells
out encouragements—or possibly reprimands. I can never be sure which. Either
way I’m on top of my game today. I hustle to the net, get under the ball, and
bump it with my wrists, arcing it high for Dex.
Dex waits for it to come down and lifts it
using his fingertips. As the ball goes in the air, I take a running jump, curve
my body so it doesn’t touch any part of the net, and smack the ball over our
opponent’s head. It hits the sand.
“Yes,” Dex shouts and holds up a hand for
me to high-five. Grinning, I reach out and slap my hand into his. Dex holds on
to it for a brief moment. The contact is quick—less than a second—but the heat
that sears through my palm leaves a lasting impression. It’s time to switch
sides and it’s my turn to serve. Dex puts his hands behind his back and gives
me the signal to hit it left with no spin. I toss the ball up and hit it over
Beautiful. Our opponent drops to his knees
and makes the save, but he can’t get to his position quickly enough to reach
the ball his partner perfectly sets for him. Dex cheers and pumps his fist in
the air. I grin at his enthusiasm. Watching Dexter Savage have the time of his
life is mesmerizing. It infuses me with an energy I’ve never felt before. I no
longer see Dex as just another charming guy. He has me spellbound and hanging
on his every word.
“Nice whiff, dickhead,” I call out when he
misses a dig and comes up with a mouthful of sand.
I can’t have him thinking I like him or
Dex laughs and spits out the sand. “Shut
By the end of the day, we should be
exhausted, but we’re riding high on winning the New Orleans Open, and on the
thirty-minute ride back to the hotel on the river, we both get our second wind.
Dex is literally bouncing around. He’s so full of energy, he’s making me dizzy.
“Come on, Finn. Let’s go out to celebrate.
This is New Orleans, The Big Easy. There’s sin on every corner and a ton of
awesome clubs here.”
I roll my eyes. “I doubt your idea of an awesome
club is the same as mine, Savage.”
“What?” Dex squints at me. Then his eyes
widen almost comically. “Oooooohhh. You don’t think I can handle a gay club?” A
slow, snarky grin spreads across his handsome face, and my breath hitches.
I shake off my dirty thoughts to get back
to the subject at hand. “No. I don’t. God. I can’t even think about you going
into a gay club without laughing.”
Or getting hard and groaning.
“Hmph.” Dex levels his intense hazel eyes
at me and quirks one eyebrow in challenge.
“Yes, Finn,” he sings gleefully.
Dex chuckles and nods his head. “Oh yes.
Pull out your sparkly top, baby, because we’re hitting the gay clubs tonight.”
“Fuck you, Savage. I don’t own a sparkly
Dex gives me a disgusted look. “What kind
of gay man are you?”
“Not a very good one, I guess.”
One who crushes on his straight teammate,
that’s what kind of gay man I am. A stupid one.
After five minutes of back and forth, I
finally get Dex to let go of the idea of cruising gay clubs tonight, but only
on the promise that I’ll take him to one when we get back to LA. I’m hoping
he’ll forget by then, because seeing his gorgeous ass shaking on a dance floor
while hot, sweaty guys grind on him? I’d implode before the night was over.
We change and grab a cab, and Dex directs
the driver to head toward Bourbon Street. “Really, Dex? Bourbon Street? Can’t
we go somewhere a little less—”
“Less fun? No, Callahan, we can’t. You’re
having fun if it kills me. Tonight I’m officially removing the stick from your
ass….” Dex twists his head and shoots me a scorching look that has my dick
throbbing painfully in my shorts. “Even if I have to pin you down to yank it
I swallow, and my mouth suddenly
disconnects from my brain as every drop of blood in my body turns to lava and
collects in my groin.
“Whatever, Savage,” I mumble, turn to the
window, and shift my hips so Dex can’t see my now fully hard cock.
Dex laughs and shoves my shoulder. Does he
not know what he’s doing to me? I sneak a glance at my teammate. He’s looking
out his own window, eyes glittering, smile as wide as a kid on Christmas
No. He has no clue. He’s truly excited to
go out and have fun. In fact he’s practically bursting out of his skin, he’s so
wound up. But then, Dexter Savage always was the life of the party. He’s
comfortable in his own skin. It’s what makes him so attractive. Well, besides
the tousled, just out of bed hair, the perfectly straight nose and full mouth,
and the body to die for. But his outgoing personality was what had me crushing
on him in college—and the reason I hated his guts. I watched him every day at
practice as he charmed everyone around us, and knew he would never be available
“Here it is.” Dex throws some money at the
cab driver and leaps out of the car. I take a look at my surroundings and thump
my head on the glass. We’re on a street thick with pedestrians clutching
hurricane glasses and sipping through long straws as they mingle in the crowd.
Neon signs line the business fronts on both sides of the cab, each promising a
different kind of debauchery inside.
Dex leans down and sticks his head in the
backseat. “What are you waiting for, Callahan? Let’s get this party started.”
Ugh. Tonight is going
to be pure torture.
About the Author
Carman is the pen name for the M/M romances written by bestselling Contemporary
romance writer, Heather C. Leigh.
She lives outside Atlanta with her husband, 2
kids, and French bulldog.
She is leaving explicit directions in her will
for her friends to discreetly scatter her ashes around Fenway Park. Then they
are to sit back, watch a game with a beer and a Fenway frank and have a wicked