Something So Perfect by Natasha Madison

 

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Coming July 31st

 

 

Matthew

Drafted first round pick when I was seventeen, playing first line at eighteen, branded NHL’s bad boy at nineteen. At twenty-three I was cut from the team and living back home with my parents. A knock on the door brought an opportunity I couldn’t turn down. All I had to do was prove I learned from my mistakes, so no way would I fall for a chick with a pouty mouth even if I wanted to spend all day devouring it.

Karrie

When my father gave me a job, I had no idea it would be to babysit some washed up NHL player. He wanted me to be his chaperone, his overpaid babysitter. I thought it was a joke. Then I met him, Matthew Grant. I wasn’t prepared for this particular bad boy. He’s not only hot but he’s arrogant and kinda sweet in a ‘you make me crazy’ kind of way.
Basically now that he’s finished screwing up his life, he’s decided to turn mine upside down.


She’s the first thing I’ve ever wanted more than hockey.

He’s the guy I know I should stay away from.

But what if this thing that started out so wrong turns into something so perfect?

 

 

   Matthew Cooper Stone is my stepfather, the Cooper Stone who’s the best person to ever skate. He holds every single record that’s out there because he’s just that fucking good.
   “What the fuck are you doing?”
   I didn’t even have a chance to say hello before Cooper’s voice filled the room. I groaned and turned over to see that he was on speakerphone. My finger must have touched it by accident. “Matthew, seriously, I’m one second from flying out there and yanking you off the fucking ice.”
    I was twenty-one and already being benched and scratched.
   I was no chump. I was drafted first over all. The day still played in my mind. “The Los Angeles Royals choose Matthew Grant.” The minute my name was said, I sat there in shock while my little sister was yelling and my mother, Parker, had tears running down her cheeks while her face lit up with happiness and pride. Cooper was the first to grab me and stand me up.
   “Go get that fucking jersey.” His voice was loud in my ear. My mother was next. “I’m so proud of you, Matthew, so, so proud.”
   I kissed her cheek and walked down the stairs toward the stage from where the general manager, the owner, and the coach all looked at me. When I walked on stage, I tried to hold my tears in.
   Taking the owner’s hand in mine, I shook it and thanked him. Putting that jersey on was surreal. Posing for pictures was a blur. I got so drunk that night I don’t remember much, except Cooper having to carry me inside while I pledged my love to my mother, my sister, and the trees around us.
   Usually, once you get drafted, you start off on their farm team, but not me. I was on the starting line. I was up to my ears in silicone. There would be a different girl every night, everyone wanting to get a piece of me. The star of the team. Then my game started to slip. The late nights took a toll on me and my body. Three years later, I was sent down to the farm team. You’d think I would wake up, but no, not me. I just partied harder. I was on the front page of almost every single tabloid magazine that you could think of.
   Every single summer I went back home, spending the time training hard with Cooper riding my ass, promising him that I was out of the party phase, but the minute my feet landed back in L.A., it was back to the booze and the puck bunnies. Another three years later, I was put on wavers. When no one picked me up, I packed up and went back home. For two years, I played hockey at home in charity games, till the GM from the New York Stingers came knocking at my door. Robert Western.
   Cooper, Mom, and I sat down with him. My hands shook with nerves, my legs bouncing with happiness that someone actually wanted me.
  “We want to offer him a one-year contract, with certain rules.” He eyed me and then Cooper. I knew Cooper had called in a favor.
   “What is it?” I asked, holding my breath.
   “Chaperone.”
    I was about to get up and say fuck that when Cooper put his hand on mine and blurted out, “He’ll do it.”
   I looked at him while he glared at me. My mother put a hand on top of her husband’s. United. Always.
   Robert slapped his hands together. “Matthew, you, my friend, are going to bring another cup to New York.” He got up to shake my hand and then Cooper’s, slapping him on the arm. “Who knows, you may also knock this asshole off a throne or two.”
   Cooper laughed out loud, but I knew he would be the one egging me on, the one daring me to push him off. He would also be the first one coming to congratulate me if I ever did it.
   He had come into my life when I’d needed a male figure the most. I just hadn’t known it. He showed me that you can fall in love with your whole heart and everything will fall into place. He showed me that you fight for what you want. But most of all, he showed me that love is a gift and once it’s given, you cherish it.
   So now here I am on the plane getting ready to land in New York. I have to meet the owner of the team and the PR people tomorrow at noon. I scroll through my social media sites while I wait for the doors to open. My sister is tagging me in old photos of us from Mom and Cooper’s wedding. Feels like it was just yesterday. When you see the way Cooper looks at my mother, you know he loves her with all his heart. He would walk to the ends of the earth for her.
   I press the heart emoji on the picture and then hear the ping of the seat belt sign telling us we can stand up. I grab my leather jacket and slide it on, put on my aviators, and grab my leather duffel bag. Walking out of the plane, I nod at the two flight attendants, who both slipped me their numbers. Numbers I left in the side of the seat.
   Fresh start. It’s time to make my parents proud of me. Time to show the world that Matthew Grant is here for good this time.
   On my way to my hotel in Times Square, I look out the window of the yellow cab zigzagging its way through traffic. Nothing in the world beats the cab drivers in New York City. You sit back and hold your breath while you pray to not end up being slammed forward. We reach the W hotel. I swipe my card through the card holder in the back, thanking him. I don’t even have time to close the door before he races off from the curb.
   I enter and check in without having anything to say. The woman at reception starts going through her routine talk. I cut in. “What floor is the gym on?”
   She smiles at me, telling me the information while giving me her private number in case I have any other questions.
   I nod at her and then walk up to my room. It’s the size of a closet. Welcome to New York. I take my phone out to send a text to Cooper.     
   Landed. Going to work out.
   Be good.
   I’m always good.
   Okay, then behave.
   I laugh and throw the phone on the bed, and then get my workout clothes out of the bag. I grab my headphones and make my way to the gym.
   I have texts from Allison, my sister, and Tom, who is married to my aunt Meghan and is an ex-NHLer, wishing me luck. But the one that makes me laugh out loud is from my Aunt Meghan, telling me that my dick won’t fall off if I don’t use it. I’m about to answer her when the elevator beeps, signaling I have arrived at the gym floor.
   I walk to the gym and scan my card so I can get in. Usually, these hotel gyms are almost empty, but not this time. A girl is jogging on the treadmill, but I don’t make eye contact with her.
   Grabbing a towel from the basket in the corner, I walk over to the other treadmill, look down at the buttons, and turn it on.
   I start off slow while Drake fills my ears, but that doesn’t last long before I crank it up and push myself hard. I’m in the best shape of my life, thanks to my mom, Cooper, and Tim. They didn’t let me sit down and drown my sorrows in bonbons and booze. They had my ass skating at the crack of dawn. In the gym pushing and pulling. Meaning I’m the biggest I’ve ever been. My shoulders are wider, my waist leaner, my arms bigger.
   I’m sweating up a storm, so I look over to see if the girl is still running on the treadmill, which is my first mistake. Not only is she next to me running as fast as me, but she’s in a sports bra holding up a perfect set of tits, her stomach bare, her abs defined but looking soft, and her little booty shorts not keeping anything back. She isn’t tall. Her blond hair swings in the air while she’s looking at the iPad she has in front of her. Is she watching the Kardashians? Jesus. She must sense me watching her because she looks over, which is when I feel the earth move under my feet. Her eyes are crystal blue, so blue it’s like I’m looking into the ocean. I almost trip over my own two feet, but I recover and smile at her. I turn my head forward and continue running till my legs feel like they’re going to snap in two.
   Getting off the treadmill, I whip my soaking shirt off and throw it over my shoulder before I grab a water bottle and drain it all. I notice she’s slowing her speed. She shuts off the treadmill, dabbing her face with the towel that she has near her. She takes the water bottle, drinking in a good amount.
   I start to walk out of the room when she gets off the treadmill. I stop right before we collide with each other, then put out my hand, giving her the right of way.
   “Thanks,” she says, her voice soft, sweet, pure.
   Following her out, I watch her ass swing in front of me. I don’t even notice she stops and I crash into her, grabbing her shoulders and making sure she doesn’t fall on her face because I was staring at her ass. “I’m sorry, I was…” I’m sure I don’t have to say anything to her because my cock is nestled in her back.
   She shrugs my hands off her shoulders while she presses the elevator button. We stand here not saying anything while we wait. What can you say? Sorry my dick poked your back? Sorry I was watching your sweet ass instead of watching where I was going? Silence is golden right now.
   When the elevator arrives, I wait for her to walk in before entering and see that we are on the same floor. Great. The ride lasts no longer than a second before the door opens and she sprints out, away from the crazy pervert who poked his dick into her back. I head to my door and see she’s in the room right next to mine. I want to say something, anything, but by the time I look up, she’s already in the safety of her own room.  

 

 

When her nose isn’t buried in a book, or her fingers flying across a keyboard writing, she’s in the kitchen creating gourmet meals. You can find her, in four inch heels no less, in the car chauffeuring kids, or possibly with her husband scheduling his business trips. It’s a good thing her characters do what she says, because even her Labrador doesn’t listen to her…

 

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Brandon by Julia Sykes

 

 

 

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For months, I’ve been drawn to BDSM club Dark Grove Plantation again and again, unable to resist the allure of one particular raven-haired beauty. The only problem? Ella is a Dominatrix, and she’s made it clear with her barbed tongue that she has zero interest in submitting to me. But my instincts tell me that lies are dripping from those perfect, red-painted lips. I crave to bind her beneath me, to torment her body with dark pleasure until she screams out my name and calls me Master. There’s a sweet submissive hidden somewhere under Ella’s haughty exterior, and I intend to earn her surrender. The infamous Dominatrix of Dark Grove Plantation will be mine.

 

 

“Hello there, sugar.”
I tensed at the sound of his familiar, impossibly deep voice. I’d come to dread its sexy Southern twang. Conversations with Brandon never went well.
I took a breath and slowly turned to face him where he’d come to loom behind me. Although I arched an imperious brow at him, my efforts were somewhat ruined by the fact that I had to stare up at him. I might be six feet tall with the added height of my stiletto heels, but he still had several inches on me. And when he was standing this close, it was impossible to meet his eye without tilting my head back. It made me feel small, exposed. Vulnerable.
I shifted back slightly, only to bump against the bar behind me. An irritatingly sexy smirk tugged at his lips. I forced my gaze to remain trained on his rich brown stare rather than allowing my eyes to drop to the mocking curve of his mouth. Remarkably thick, dark lashes framed those eyes. The effect might have seemed feminine on another man, but Brandon’s strong, square jaw was overtly masculine. And the way he was watching me was all alpha male. His eyes narrowed slightly, the molten chocolate irises darkening as his pupils dilated: a predator fixing his sights on his prey.
I lifted my chin and met his challenge, my eyes clashing with his.
“I’ve told you not to call me sugar,” I said coldly. We’d had this argument before. It seemed to be one of Brandon’s favorite conversations. The man loved goading me.
His smirk widened to a dazzling smile, as though my irritation pleased him immensely.
“What should I call you, then?” he asked, his voice lilting with amusement.
“Mistress would suit you nicely,” I quipped.
“I’d prefer to call you mine,” he countered in a rumbling tone that caressed my skin. I suppressed a shiver.
I shrugged it off. “Keep dreaming.”
He cocked his head at me, and the crimson club lights glinted a bronze halo off the copper strands in his dark hair, making him resemble a dark angel for a few befuddling seconds.
“I do dream about you, Ella. Do you want to know what I dream?” The wicked gleam in his eye made my mouth water, and I took too long to refuse him. He leaned in closer, so the heat of his bare skin pulsed against mine. He wore only his faded jeans. They were slung low on his hips, leaving his powerful body on display.
Unable to help myself, I glanced down at his sculpted chest, my eyes greedily roving the contours of his perfection. My gaze followed the sexy V at his hips, down the trail of dark hair that disappeared into his jeans. A small, involuntary gasp left my lips when I saw his cock straining against the denim fabric.
His head dipped toward mine, until I could feel the heat of his breath fanning my neck. He didn’t touch me, but I could feel him against every inch of my skin.
“I dream about you, bound beneath me,” he whispered, low and rough. “Screaming out my name while I taste and torment your sweet little pussy.”
“Keep dreaming,” I managed again, but my breathy tone ruined the retort. “I don’t want to be tied to anyone’s bed. I’m the Domme. I have to deal with men trying to Top me every day in the courtroom. I’m not about to let you do it in the playroom. I don’t enjoy losing. Ever.”
Brandon drew back slightly so I found myself captured in his curious gaze. “You think submitting means losing?” he asked.
“I… No. Of course not.” I fumbled. I didn’t think of my submissive partners as losers. I respected them and cherished the trust they placed in me when they chose to give me control.
“But you think you’d be losing if you submitted to me,” he surmised. It wasn’t a question.
I shook off my confusion. “I don’t need to worry about losing, because I’m not playing with you.”
“Playing? Is that what BDSM is for you? A game?”
I shrugged. “It’s a common term for sharing a kinky scene, and you know it. You’ve been coming to Dark Grove for three months now. Don’t act naïve.”
“I’ve been in the lifestyle for much longer than a few months,” he allowed. “So no, I’m not naïve. I think you might be, though.”
“What?” I gasped, affronted. “I’ve been a Dominatrix for years.”
“I’m not saying you’re not a skilled Top,” he said calmly. “I’m saying you’re willfully deceiving yourself if you truly think there’s nothing between us.”
“There isn’t,” I said, as flatly as I could manage. “I’m not interested in you, Brandon.”
He reached out and touched my cheek with proprietary familiarity that shocked me to my core. His fingertips explored the line of my jaw, his thumb traced over my parted lips.
“Then why do your eyes darken when I’m close?” he asked, pinning me in place with his intense brown stare. His fingers trailed lower, caressing the vulnerable artery at my throat. “Why does your pulse race?” He inhaled deeply, breathing me in. “I can practically smell how wet you are. I bet your panties are soaked right now, and I haven’t even kissed you yet.”
“I didn’t say you could kiss me,” I whispered.
“I didn’t ask for your permission, Mistress.”
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Julia Sykes is the USA Today bestselling author of the Impossible Series. She has always kept dark stories tucked away in her mind, so she was thrilled when she discovered that other people actually want to read them. Her books blend romance, suspense, and BDSM.
After spending four years living in England, Julia returned to her Southern homeland. She has recently settled down in South Carolina and spends her time petting her cat-children, reading, and binge watching TV with her husband when not writing. You can usually find Julia in Starbucks with a venti iced latte clutched in her hand.
Julia loves connecting with readers! Please feel free to contact her on facebook, through twitter, or email her directly at juliasykes193@gmail.com. You can find out more about Julia’s current and future projects at julia-sykes.com.
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Pursued by the Imperial Prince by Mina Carter

 

 

 

 

 

On the run… Hunted… by the man she once gave her heart to.

Outlawed noblewoman Jaida’s been everything from a high speed courier on Arcalis Prime to a waitress in the cloud café’s on Selenis. Different careers, different names, different identities. When a cover got easy–so easy she started to believe it herself–she knew she’d been in the same place too long and it was time to move on. Before she got comfortable and started to make mistakes. Mistakes would allow Imperial Prince Seth to find her, and if that happened, people would die…

But after five years, Seth has found her, and she can no longer outrun her destiny: she’ll be the prince’s courtesan, but he’ll never own her heart…

He wanted the one woman he couldn’t have…

Five years ago he thought he’d found his princess, the woman he wanted to be his bride and rule alongside him. But instead of accepting his betrothal bracelet, she refused him and ran. Unable to let the insult lie, he’s chased her ever since. Now he finally has her, captured while working on the docks and he can finally get his revenge on the woman who spurned him. The woman he can’t get out of his head. He’ll make her his courtesan and get her out of his system for good…

But all is not as it seems, and the truth he thought he knew turns out to be a lie. When Jaida’s life is threatened by a hidden enemy, can Seth see through the lies in time to save her… or will he lose everything to deceit?

**Please note – This title has previously been released with another publisher and has not been revised or altered significantly.**
 
Move that fucking piece of shit… Yeah, I’m talking to you buddy. Sheesh, some people really need to learn to drive.”
Jaida slumped back into the harness of her power loader and concentrated on transferring the load she was carrying from the open cargo hold in front of her to the anti-grav pallets beside it. She grumbled under her breath as she worked. Today was not a good day. The idiot-factor was so high she was virtually swimming in them.
She shook her head, her dark hair dancing about her shoulders, and issued another curse directed at idiots who wanted to load high and drive fast. Yeah, she was just as interested in her weekly bonus as anyone else, but there was no way she was risking a safety fine. Especially not when her rent was due.
She moved smoothly, arms and legs activating the sensor plates in the bi-pedal loader as she transferred her load container by container. A tired sigh escaped her lips as the last one slid into place with a heavy clunk-click. The red light on the side of the full pallet flicked to green and it moved away on automatic, a fresh one sliding into place in front of her.
“Hey chica, almost quittin’ time… You working overtime?”
Jaida turned at the voice, the feet of the loader clunking against the deck plating until she could see the voice’s owner. Felis, the only other woman on the team, smiled back at her through her front screen.
Jaida rolled her shoulders to ease the ache creeping across them. “Yeah, I am. Could do with the extra cash, and you know what’ll happen if the Galess shipment doesn’t get offloaded in good time. Hicks’ll pitch a hissy fit, and tomorrow will be down the shitter before we start.”
She smothered a sigh at her language, automatically coarse to match her cover identity. She’d been everything from a high-speed courier on Arcalis Prime to a waitress in the cloud cafés on Selenis. Different careers, different names, different identities. When a cover got this complete and easy, so easy she started to believe in it herself, she knew she’d been in the same place too long.
It was time to move on, before she got comfortable and started to make mistakes. Mistakes would allow Seth to find her, and then people would die. They always did. Trouble was she liked Felis and the guys. For the first time in years she felt at home. If a wanted woman could relax enough to feel at home anywhere.
“Jai! Boss wants to see you in the office.”
Another voice interrupted their conversation. Both loaders turned at the heavy clump-whirr-clump of an approaching crane-lifter. Jaida hid her shudder as the driver leered at them. All the women on the docks knew about Hanrahan—they’d all been subjected to his sexist and suggestive comments.
“Hey Jai, you want a hand getting out of that tin can? Perhaps a little bit of a rubdown?”
“No thanks Han, I might catch something.” She turned away in a whir of mechanics, rolling her eyes as she passed Felis. “Best see what the boss man wants. Catch you tomorrow if I’m not out before you leave.”
“Okay, good luck sweets. Mood he’s been in, you may need it.”

 

 


Mina was born and raised in the East Farthing of Middle Earth (otherwise known as the Midlands, England) and spend her childhood learning all the sorts of things generally required of a professional adventurer. Able to ride, box, shoot, make and read maps, make chainmail and use a broadsword (with varying degrees of efficiency) she was disgusted to find that adventuring is not considered a suitable occupation these days.

So, instead of slaying dragons and hunting vampires and the like, Mina spends her days writing about hot shifters, government conspiracies and vampire lords with more than their fair share of RAWR. Turns out wanna-be adventurers have quite the turn of imagination after all…

(But she keeps that sword sharp, just in case the writing career is just a dream and she really *is* an adventurer.)

The boring part: A full time author and cover artist, Mina can usually be found hunched over a keyboard or graphics tablet, frantically trying to get the images and words in her head out and onto the screen before they drive her mad. She’s addicted to coffee and would like to be addicted to chocolate, but unfortunately chocolate dislikes her.
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Ever wondered about the personalities behind your favorite books? Victoria Danann’s new podcast with Riley J. Ford has an incredible lineup of authors booked through the spring. No question is out of bounds. Check it out!

THIS WEEK’S BEST SELLING AUTHOR…

SHANNON MAYER!

A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, I was born into a family of Star Wars nuts. I have a lot of siblings (somewhere I lost count but I think there was more than could be numbered on one hand) and being one of the young padawans I was subjected to Star Wars marathons, on a regular basis. If you’ve read any of my books you’ll see there is often a reference to said movies as a small homage to my upbringing. May the force be with you and all that jazz.

I started writing when I realized I didn’t want to grow up not believing in magic, or not believing in creatures everyone else said didn’t exist. That being said, I have never seen a fairy, unicorn or dragon. I had a neighbour who swore they fed the leprechauns in their garden, but I never caught the little buggers no matter how long I lay in wait. (And consequently had to help the neighbours plant new flowers to replace those I killed waiting for the leprechauns to show their faces.)

Along the way, I found my husband who is the rock that keeps me from floating away into my dreams, and we have a little boy who is the centre of our world. Living on a farm keeps us busy (as if the writing wasn’t enough) and I have more than my share of stories about wrestling with cows, helping birth calves and ending up in the creek during the process, falling in the mud (we’ll call it mud but we all know that on a farm, mud is rarely mud) and chasing escaped livestock in the hopes the four legged convicts don’t make it to the highway.

I’ve taken up archery, and the goal is to move into horseback archery in time (you know, when I can hit the target on a consistent basis) and when no one is looking, I love to bake (this doesn’t happen often as it’s hard to keep the sweet treats in stock with two boys in the house.)

As to what’s coming next for me? More stories (since those never stop inside my head, I might as well share them with all of you!) and more adventures. Pretty much, when the fancy strikes, I’ll jump on it. Leap before you look I’m sure that motto was created for me.

Or was that . . . think big and dream bigger, ready, set, pull the trigger . . . yeah. That one is a good one too. But only if you have a gun. And are hunting elephants. Which is not cool because of so many reasons. Let’s stick with the first one with an addendum.

Leap before you look and let your dreams carry you on their wings. And that, my friends, is me in a nutshell.

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Right for Love by Aria Cole

 

Amazon

 

 



 


Love is only a swipe away…
Pre-med student Carly Samuelson doesn’t have time for things like swoony Valentine’s dates, so when her best friend downloads a dating app to get Carly lucky, her expectations are low. But when her friend swipes right on tall, dark, and dashing Thorn Cartwright, Carly walks into something she never expected—Thorn’s got a proposition: one night, one dress, him and her. But can one swipe right really lead to love?

 

 

ONE

 

Carly
   “Girl.” My best friend leveled me with serious eyes, one hand holding a lock of blond hair that was wrapped around a searing hot curling wand above her head. “You need to get some action before those bits turn to dust.”
   I burst out in a laugh. “My vagina will just incinerate and float away, huh?”
   “What do they say…” She tipped her head to the side. “If you don’t use it, you lose it?”
   I shook my head, watching as she unrolled the curl and let it bounce into a perfect ringlet as she got ready for her Valentine’s Day date tonight. Lord knows with whom this time. Saying Selma was a free agent was putting it lightly.  
   “I’m too busy for the kind of trouble you get up to at all hours of the night,” I finally answered. “You know, someday all of that natural beauty—” She wagged a finger at my face “—is going to crack. That young virginal thing you got going on won’t last forever. Why you wasting all your youth with your head in a textbook? You have to live, Carly!”  
   I crossed my arms, thinking it was moments like these that made me both love and despise Selma for her natural, dark-eyed beauty and that effortless attitude she lived her life with.
   “I’m not like you.” I finally shook my head. “I don’t do well with strangers or in groups or in public places on holidays…really, anywhere with people. I just don’t do well with people.”
   “Bullshit.” Selma dropped another curl, twisting it softly then setting the wand on the counter. “Anyone can date now, no more awkward first dates or getting-to-know-you conversations. I downloaded this dating app. You just swipe right if the guy is a hottie, left if he looks like a douchenozzle. Welcome to dating in the modern world.”
   “A dating app? You downloaded a dating app?”
   “You know I like to spice things up in my life.”
   I huffed, a little incredulous. I thought online dating was for nerds… Well, I guess I was technically a nerd, considering all I did was go to class, study, sleep, repeat. While Selma was partying the night away at clubs, kissing strange, sexy men, I was up late in a college sweatshirt and pajama pants, poring over anatomy books. With just one more year to go in my biology degree, the end was in sight. All the hard work of the last few years would finally pay off with a diploma and a set of skills that could allow me to get a job at any doctor’s office around the country as a physician’s assistant. The coursework had been brutal—I’d known it would be—but I was too far in to throw it away now, even if my grades were at the top of my class.  
   “I’m not using a dating app. I can’t even think about dating right now.”
   “It’s not dating, exactly…” Selma pushed me in front of the mirror and picked up the wand, twisting a lock of my hair in her fingers and wrapping it around the barrel of the wand. “It’s more like…hookups.”
   “Hookups.” I scrunched my nose, catching her eyes in the mirror.  
   “Yeah, you know, burn off some steam. Sex releases anti-stress chemicals to your brain, you know, and people who have an orgasm within thirty minutes of having a test perform up to five points higher. Five points! You need to fuck off some steam, Carly.”
   “Oh my God.” I covered my face with one hand as she continued to curl random sections of my hair.  
   “I mean it. When’s the last time you got any play at all?” She twirled a soft lock at my face, adding a wave until it lay nicely with the rest.  
   “Uh…” I paused, pushing back through old dusty cobwebs to the last time I’d even let a man kiss me. “Freshman year, maybe?”
   “Oh my God. You’re practically a born-again virgin. We need to get you that app.” Selma set the wand down on the counter. “Finished.”
   I glanced up, shocked she’d curled my entire head of hair and was now separating the ringlets until they were only softly defined and falling over one shoulder.  
   “Your hair looks too good to waste.” Selma swiped my phone and held it up. “Smile, and give me that look in your eye.”
   “What look?”
   “That one that says you’re really horny but still a good girl.”
   I narrowed my eyes.  
   “No, that looks like you might swipe their wallet when they’re finished. Softer. Less murder-y, more seductive.”
    “Selma!” I squealed, swiping the camera just as the flash went off.
    “Wait, let me see. That was a good one!” Selma pulled the phone from my hand, swiping to the last picture taken. “Look.” She thrust the picture into my face. “You look fucking hot. Let’s find you a man tonight.”
   “No, Selma.” My asshole friend spun, my phone in hand, and shuffled out the bathroom door, her fingers tapping a hundred words a second as she went. “Selma!”  
   She stopped dead in her tracks, turned to me in the middle of my studio apartment kitchen, and handed me the phone. “There.”
   Her smile was big. I wanted to bitch-slap it off her face.  
   “What did you do?”
   “Created your account, uploaded that pic. Now you’re ready to swipe your way to a lay, baby.”
   “Jesus, Selma. Why are we friends?”
   “Probably because I challenge your very boring and predictable nature.” She twirled a fresh curl at my temple. “And you love me.”
   I only grunted in reply, my eyes focused on the screen, the first handsome candidate to show up on my phone. “I have no idea what I’m doing.”
   “Swipe left. He looks like a businessman wannabe.”
   “Wannabe? What are you, an expert at typing men on this thing?”
   “Swipe enough.” She shrugged, peering over my shoulder to glance at the next potential date.  
   “Ew!” We both swiped left, clearing the older gentleman with the overgrown mustache off our screen.  
   “He’s not bad.” Selma paused on the third, tilting her head. “If you squint.”
   I groaned, swiping left. Then left. Then another left.  
   “I’ve learned one thing from this app tonight,” I said.
    “What’s that?” Selma was swiping left for me, the frown growing deeper with every swipe.  
   “That we’re surrounded by a million really creepy guys. It’s no wonder I haven’t found a date in ages.”
   Selma nodded, taking in my words. “Maybe it’s time I move. When I visited my cousin in Denver, you should have seen the hot guys. Like, h-o-double-t hot.”
   “Well, I’m deleting it. All that’s on here is mountain men and college guys looking to score more action. Not interested.”  
   “Wait, what about him?” She paused, thumb hovering over the handsome face lit with a one-sided cocky smile. His eyes were a clear shade of ocean blue, hair dark and a little mussed, with a dark smattering of sexy five-o’clock shadow across his angled jaw.  
   “Nuh-uh. He’s married.”  
   “What? No way! What makes you say that?” Selma squinted, as if trying to read the signals through the screen.  
   “Because no man that beautiful is still on the market at his age.”
   “His age? He’s like thirty-five, tops,” she scoffed.  
   “Exactly. Married, divorced with kids, something.”
   “Well, okay, then. What do you care? This is just a hookup anyway, remember? Not like you have to worry about him proposing on the first date or anything.”
   “Selma…” I groaned, ready to swipe left on his gorgeous, smug ass.  
   “Nope.” Selma slid her thumb across my screen, swiping right. “Got him.”
   She grinned up at me triumphantly.  
   “Oh my God, what are you doing!” I wiped left, left, up, across. “Where are the settings? Can I undo that right swipe?”
   She laughed, walking back down the hall to the bathroom. “Nope. No undoing!”  
   I followed quickly on her heels, stopping right next to her in front of her post at the bathroom mirror. Just then, the little app chimed in my hand. An alert popped up that said a match was made.  
   Oh, shit.  
   “Oh, you are such an asshole, Selma Martinez.”
   “You got a match! That means he likes you, too.” She nodded, taking every second of this painfully embarrassing moment in stride.  
   “That wasn’t even a good picture of me! I hate you.”
   “Or you could say thank you.” She winked. “Now send that boy a message.”
   “What? No way. I’m not interested. Maybe you should go out with him.”
   “Nah, I’ll take one for the team. Your vag needs some love, and I think Mr. Sex right there is going to give it to you.”
   “I’m not going.”
   “You’re an idiot if you don’t.”
   I nearly replied that she was an idiot for even downloading the app when another chime popped up.
    New message alert.  
   “Oh Jesus.”
   “Ooh, he’s really into you.” Selma snatched the phone from my hands and opened the message.  
   “Wait! Don’t answer it!”
   “Too late, it already shows him that I’ve seen it—or you’ve seen it.” She waggled her eyebrows at me. “It says, Would love to meet tonight. I’ll just reply…” She started tapping at warp speed.  
   “No! No!” I yanked my phone from her. “Don’t reply.”  
   “Well, you have to. Otherwise, that would just be rude.”
   “Rude. Like I care if I’m rude to a stranger, Selma!” I couldn’t contain the shrieky frustration lacing my voice.
    “Well, I just wasn’t raised that way, stranger or not.”
    I shook my head, finding myself again stupefied by all things Selma. “You’re unbelievable.”
   She caught my eye in the mirror, refusing to say a word. I narrowed my eyes, taking in the stubborn set of her jaw, the way her eyes flared with simmering irritation.  
   “Fine. I’ll answer him. I’ll tell him he was a mistake swipe or something.”
   “What? You can’t say that.”
   “Why not?” There were too many rules for online dating, exactly the reason it was better I’d avoided it.  
    “Way to kick a guy when he’s down. No, I would not like to see you tonight. Actually, I think you’re a dog and wouldn’t touch you with a ten-foot pole. Have a nice night!”  
   “Well, I wouldn’t be that harsh.”
   Selma shook her head, finishing one last curl in her hair before placing the wand on the counter and unplugging it. She spun, pushing fingers through her hair until the curls bounced and bobbed with enviable volume. “Tell him the truth—you’re a busy college student with a very large stick up your ass.”
   “And with a nosy friend who doesn’t know how to keep her hands off other people’s property,” I chimed in.  
   “Sounds about right. Listen, chica…” Selma paused, catching her reflection in the mirror and adjusting her boobs in the cups of her bra to get more oomph. Her word. Not mine. “I’ve got to meet Pratt outside in twenty minutes. I hope you give yourself a break tonight. You deserve it. Give that vag a little workout, and you’ll feel better in the morning.” She spritzed some of my perfume in a cloud around her. “I’ll call you later when I get home…or in the morning.” She paused. “It probably won’t be until the morning.” She winked, then placed a kiss on my cheek. “Let loose tonight, Carly. God knows you need it.”
   She turned, blowing me one last kiss before sauntering out of my apartment in her chunky, laced boots and skirt.  
   I glanced back down at my phone, then to the puppy pajamas that fell to the tops of my bare feet.  
   I sighed.  
   I did need some fun.  
   I was ready for a life outside of textbooks and professors and exams and essays.  
   I hovered over the keyboard, not knowing what in the hell to say before I typed quickly.  
   Sure. Where and when?
   Before I could think twice, I hit send.
   Maybe Selma was right. If I didn’t use it, I would lose it. Perhaps not so much my vag but my sexuality, my sense of self, my free spirit.  
   I grinned, shutting down the app and tossing it on the bed, not caring if the handsome guy with the cocky smile ever replied or not. I was having fun making the butterflies in my stomach jump all on my own.

 

Aria Cole is a thirty-something housewife who once felt bad for reading dirty books late at night, until she decided to write her own. Possessive alpha men and the sassy heroines who love them are common, along with a healthy dose of irresistible insta-love and happily ever afters so sweet your teeth may ache.

For a safe, off-the-charts HOT, and always HEA story that doesn’t take a lifetime to read, get lost in an Aria Cole book!
Follow Aria on Amazon for new release updates, or stalk her on Facebook and Twitter to see which daring book boyfriend she’s writing next!

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Combust by Drew Elyse

 

New AP Cover Reveal.jpg

 

Once a Disciple, forever a Disciple.

Man whore.
Ex-con.
All-around asshole.

Daz is called a lot of seedy things.

But his brothers know there’s more to him

even if it is buried deep beneath the surface.



A Disciple will fight like a savage and never give up.



As a stripper, Avery is no stranger to judgment.

That doesn’t stop her from assuming Daz is nothing more than a hot body, though.

But when tragedy lets her see behind the cocky-jackass exterior,

there’s no denying the truth.


For this biker to go down, there has to be more than sparks—he needs full combustion.
Coming August 24th

 

 

 

Drew Elyse spends her days trying to convince the world that she is, in fact, a Disney Princess, and her nights writing tear-jerking and smutty romance novels. Her debut novel, Dissonance, released in August of 2014.

When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found over-analyzing every line of a book, binge watching a series on Netflix, doing strange vocal warm ups before singing a variety of music styles, or screaming at the TV during a Chicago Blackhawks game.

A graduate of Loyola University Chicago with a BA in English, she still lives in Chicago, IL where she was born and raised with her boyfriend and her prima donna pet rabbit, Lola.

 

Author Links

 

 

For Foster by J. Nathan

 

 

Title: For Forester
Author: J. Nathan
Genre: New Adult Sports Romance

Release Date: July 19, 2017

Blurb
Trace I’m Alabama’s star wide receiver. I’ve got mad skills on and
off the field, and it’s no secret I’m heading into the draft after the upcoming
season. But I’m home for the summer to make some cash before my senior year.
Being back under my parents’ roof isn’t the ideal situation, but the moment I
see Marin, the star of my adolescent fantasies, I know it’s about to get
interesting. She may not have noticed me back then, but I’ve got a feeling it’s
just a matter of time before she lets me turn those fantasies into reality.

Marin

 

The last time I saw Trace Forester he was just a kid tearing
up the neighborhood on his skateboard. That was when I was foolish enough to
think I had the perfect husband and the perfect life. But now my life is in
shambles and Trace is back, all grown up, hot as hell, and exuding major
confidence. It would be so easy to fall for his good looks and undeniable
charm. So easy to let him into my life. Too bad I learned the hard way that
nothing worth having ever comes easy.
Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Excerpt
“You sleep with him yet?” Gayle asked.
“Oh my god. What is wrong with you?”
“Me? Have you seen the guy?”
Outside, Trace tossed the football gently so CJ had a slight
chance of actually catching it. He didn’t. It bounced off the grass in front of
him, but he ran after it, laughing as he did. “Yes, I’ve seen the teenager in
my backyard.”
“He’s not a teenager.”
“Yes, he is. I looked it up. He’s nineteen.”
There was a pause on her end, like she just realized I was a
sicko who’d actually looked him up. “Who cares? You’re single and he’s hot.
Have you seen him in his uniform? The guy could be a freakin’ underwear model.”
I laughed as I turned from the window and moved into the
living room. “No. At least not in person.” I’d seen pictures on the internet.
“Girl. When are you ever gonna have a hot piece of ass under
your roof again?” Gayle asked.
I scoffed. “You’re acting like he sees me as anything other
than a soon-to-be-divorced woman with a kid who needs a guy around.”
“Marin, you’re beautiful and fun. You deserve to get some
action.”
“You do realize you’re encouraging me to jump his bones,
right?”
“I never said jump his bones. Just wear something tight.
Bend over and let him see your hot ass. You’d barely have to do anything.”
“You’re insane.” I laughed. “And I could go to jail.”
“Why could you go to jail?” Trace asked from behind me.
I spun around, my eyes bugging out of my head and my heart
drumming in my chest. Trace stood in the doorway smirking at me, like he’d
heard my conversation.
Had he?
Also Available

 

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
B&N / KOBO / iBOOKS

Author Bio

J. Nathan
is the author of five new adult and sport romances with cocky heroes and sassy
heroines. When she’s not writing, she’s a total romance junkie! Add an alpha
male who’s unlikable in the beginning…even better. She loves watermelon
margaritas, guys in backward hats, country music-especially Luke Bryan, and
hanging with her family and friends in RI where she lives with her husband and
son.
Author Links