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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

✯BOOK BLITZ:✯ Royally Mine: 22 All-New Bad Boy Romance Novellas {EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY!}





Royally Mine: 22 All-New Bad Boy Romance Novellas

Release Date: August 22nd 2017 by Sweet Savage Press
Pages: 147
Genres: Adult, Romance

Powerful kings. Dirty-talking princes. Insatiable dukes.

They're ready to rule your heart.

Royally Mine is a sexy collection of bad boy romances featuring HOT royal heroes, brought to you by twenty-two New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling authors. This deliciously naughty bundle of ALL-NEW standalone novellas stars panty-scorching kings, princes, and dukes who are used to being in command. Charge up your e-reader, clear your schedule, and put on your best tiara, because these royal bad boys are ready to conquer your heart while making you blush oh so hard.

Featured authors: Susan Stoker, Annabel Joseph, Katy Regnery, Nikki Sloane, Renee Rose, Molly O'Keefe, Alta Hensley, Nora Flite, Natasha Knight, Sue Lyndon, Jenika Snow, Maggie Ryan, Celeste Jones, Lee Savino, Livia Grant, Alexis Alvarez, Rayanna James, Ava Sinclair, Addison Cain, Jennifer Bene, Becca Jameson, Mikey Lee

Publisher's Note: The stories included in this smoking hot box set are MF and MFM pairings. Some contain kink. All will leave you breathlessly panting for more.


Purchase: Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Kobo


{EXCERPT}

Excerpt from Her Royal Master by Renee Rose

Through my hazy vision, I saw a dark figure approach.

Oh God—not him. Anyone but him.

Darius, the prince’s older and disgraced cousin. The angry, tattooed black sheep of the Halsburg royal family. His brows were down in slashes, mouth firm, and his gaze was locked on me.

I squirmed harder against my bonds. Of all the wild party boys, Darius was the last one I wanted to piss off. He’d been charged with assault and battery on his girlfriend last year in a scandal that rocked the entire royal family and solidified the nickname he’d earned in his twenties—the Devil Duke.

He leaned over me. Lip curled in scorn, he slid a finger under my collar. “You’re not choking, princess.” For some reason, his accent was sexier than the rest of theirs. He unbuckled the collar anyway, and I went limp with relief.

“I’m taking this one.” He unclipped my wrist cuffs.

“What?” the prince called over the noise of boisterous laughter. “Where are you going?”

“I need a little private time with her.”

“Hell no! We want to watch,” one of them called in a stuffy British accent.

“Oh, come on,” another jeered. “We’re already short a girl, and Darius has to take one for himself?”

My heart slammed against my ribs. My head swam, and I was pretty sure I was close to cardiac arrest.

The duke pulled my wrists to lift me toward him, then angled his wide shoulder under me, tossing me upside down over it.

I shrieked, kicking, and his fingers tightened on my thigh as he strode out of the bedroom and into the tiny corridor. I swung my head around, catching a view of the expensive, wood-paneled walls and the duke’s muscled ass, which filled his worn designer European jeans in a way that ought to be illegal. The duke’s black dog, Shadow, trotted behind us, tail wagging, trying to lick my face, like it was a big game.

“Fucking dom wannabes,” I thought I heard Darius mutter before he kicked open a door at the end of the hallway, and I went flying onto a queen-sized bed in a small bedroom.

He shut the door, commanding his dog to stay outside, and folded his arms over his well-built chest. “Okay, little girl. Who the fuck are you, and what are you doing here?”


USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR RENEE ROSE is a naughty wordsmith who writes kinky BDSM novels. Named Eroticon USA's Next Top Erotic Author in 2013, she has also won The Romance Reviews Best Historical Romance, and Spanking Romance Reviews' Best Sci-fi, Paranormal, Historical, Erotic, Ageplay and favorite couple and author. She's hit #1 on Amazon in multiple categories in the U.S. and U.K., is often found on the list of Amazon's Top Author list. She also pens BDSM stories under the name Darling Adams. Sign up to receive FREE Renee Rose ebooks: http://owned.gr8.com

{GIVEAWAY!}



Thanks for stopping by! :)

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

✯BOOK BLITZ:✯ Second Destiny by Gloria Silk {EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY!}





Second Destiny by Gloria Silk

Release Date: September 9th 2014 by Creative Hummingbird Results
Pages: 269
Genres: Adult, Romance

What if you and your first love get your happy-ever-after, but it doesn't work out? 

This story follows a beautiful, frustrated wife and artist who is reunited with the gorgeous hero with Bollywood-good-looks and charisma. When fate brings them face to face again, can they put their past behind, or will their sizzling, intense passion reignite and endanger everything in its path?

THE OLDER GENERATION BROKE THEM APART… 

Lia Abraham gave up everything for her family and culture—art, autonomy and even self-worth. Worst of all was the sacrifice of Bollywood-gorgeous, idealistic Devraj Shah, when Lia caved in to pressure from both their families. She broke her first love’s heart by marrying the “right” Jewish man.

THE YOUNGER GENERATION REUNITES THEM… 

Nineteen years later, minutes after Lia demands a divorce from her cheating husband, her world turns upside down again; Devraj is at her door. His nephew and Lia’s feisty teenage daughter are repeating history. They’re in love, but the now reserved, enigmatic Devraj is dead-set against the couple’s marriage plans. He is convinced Lia’s daughter will ultimately reject his nephew the way Lia had rejected Devraj.

After years of feeling caged in a loveless marriage, Lia embraces her newly found freedom, and her resurgent passion for Devraj is irresistible. Once again, she surrenders to the true love of her life, but their affair re-ignites opposition from both families. Will Lia’s second chance at love again destroy her loved ones and her dreams?

Torn once again between her love for Devraj, her family responsibilities and her need for true independence, will Lia choose duty over the desires of her heart? 


Purchase: Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Kobo

{EXCERPT}

Prologue

North London – Nineteen years earlier


No. Lia could not go through with this.

If she married anyone, it would be Devraj.

“No!” Her shrill scream reverberated around her in the huge synagogue.

As the cantor stopped singing his holy lyrics to the poignant music, and the Rabbi opened his mouth, Lia swiftly pulled away the veil and the crown off her head and threw it to the ground. Her heart thumping hard, she grabbed her skirt with both hands and turned away from the gaping bridegroom, and refused to look at her grandparents.

Whereas a few moments ago she was numb and unable to walk, now she was all motion.

Among the gasps and shocked voices rumbling through the congregation, Lia bolted up the aisle so fast she prayed she would not fall.

Reaching the huge doors she pulled one cold handle towards herself and the slight screeching of the door made her take in another deep breath.

Racing down the stairs she stopped on the dark wet asphalt. The icy rain dancing loudly off the ground instantly soaked her and her cumbersome dress.

Devraj’s car suddenly shifted from its parked space and she choked out, “Oh, no . . . .” She was too breathless to scream.

Breaking into a clumsy sprint, with the freezing silk swooshing around and between her legs she forced herself to run onto the thankfully quiet London street. But Devraj’s car roared away from her with every second.

She shrieked his name and it echoed and disappeared into the booming thunder and the clattering rain. Uncaring about being soaked through, she took in a deep breath for the cool air to enter through her nostrils and feed her overtaxed lungs.

Lia screamed again, “Devraj, I’m here! Stop. Please.”

Her throat tightened with tears. She prayed that he heard her or saw her in his rear view mirror. The screeching sounds of his brakes made her release a chocked laugh.

His car came to a halt and she escaped towards her destiny, blinking away her tears and the rain.

Then Devraj was running to her, holding out his arms ready to catch her and hold her forever.

“Oh my Lia, I’ll never let you go again. Never.”

“I’m so sorry, Devraj. I should have listened to you. I can’t imagine my life with anyone but you.”

“I know, my Lia, I know. I love you so much.” His laughter reverberated through his chest into her heart. They were finally home. Together. And nothing and no one could ever stand in their way.

* * *

9 Minutes later

Lia sat up from within Devraj’s protective arms when she heard the repeated urgent blare of the ambulance flying by them.

A few minutes ago, she was on top of the world, having abandoned her family and bridegroom, determined to elope with Devraj, her gorgeous Hindu prince who seemed to have sprung straight from a Bollywood movie set.

Now, here she sat next to him in his cramped sports car, in a soaked wedding dress. The warmth of his arms could no longer keep her from shaking.

Lia knew she could not go through with this crazy idea after all.

“What are you thinking, Lia?” Devraj scanned her face, frowning.

“Devraj . . . I can’t . . . .” Hardly breathing, the pain in her chest grew triple-fold as the ambulance ominously went silent a few yards behind them.

Without daring to look back, she knew it had stopped outside the synagogue.

Her strong instincts warred against everything else. What had she done?

Her grandfather’s heart must have given way under the shock she had just inflicted.

“Here we go again,” Devraj said through gritted teeth. Sighing, he brushed his fingers through his still damp hair. “Don’t say the words I can see coming. Don’t fall for this, Lia. What if it’s a coincidence? And what if your grandfather is fine and it’s a ploy to get you back there?” The agony bordering on anger shone clear in his beautiful hazel eyes. His tension palpable within the car.

Lia bit her trembling lower lip, staring at her clasped, cold hands on her lap. The damp, limp dress full of ridiculous lace and satin made her feel like a foolish child playing dress-up. “We both know this can’t happen. I know what we both want more than life itself, but I also know what I have to do.”

“No, Lia, be strong for us. I beg you. We love each other and we’ll be fine without any of them, your family, my family, Jewish, Hindu, none of it matters. Only us.” He grabbed her but the seat belt stopped her being pulled into his protective arms.

How many times had he repeated these same words to her over the past few months?

“I’m so sorry, Devraj.” Tears blinded her vision of his face, but she could not bear to see the suffering she was inflicting on him yet again.

With all her remaining resolution she unbuckled her seat belt with numb fingers and reached for the door handle. “Please help me, Devraj, by letting me go. I’m not marrying Howard only for my grandparents’ sake but for—”

“No, I won’t let you go, I can’t.” He nearly shouted, grasping her arm. When she looked at his fingers and then at him, he let her go. “Don’t marry him, at least wait until your family no longer have such a hold on you. Then we can marry. I’ll wait for you forever if I have to. Please, Lia.”

She shook her head, closing her eyes. What was the use? They could go round and round like this forever. Like his father’s warning to her only weeks ago, she now finally admitted that no matter how much they craved it, Lia and Devraj could never be together.

Opening her eyes, she would not look back at her first love. Grabbing the door handle, she pushed it open with too much force. Even though her heart was breaking further, she had to go back.

AUTHOR BIO:


Ever since Gloria Silk was little her passion was creating and sharing her romantic stories with others. She always loved reading contemporary and historical novels that grasped her imagination. Gloria now writes intense, sensuous love stories.

In addition to writing romance and women’s fiction, she enjoys writing intercultural romances and about family bonds. What can be more important in life than love and family?

Born in Russia, Gloria Silk has visited and lived in amazing, exotic places in the world. Loving Europe (especially the English, Italian and French countryside) and the Mediterranean, her other favorite country is Hawaii. She has yet to visit India and Australia, her dream destinations in the name of research, of course!

Being a writer gives her the privilege to explore, travel, and meet wonderful, new and exciting—and sometimes eccentric—people. Her background in English literature, writing, and psychology helps her create unique characters for her stories. Especially the charismatic heroes and feisty heroines who find themselves in sticky situations with each other, their families, and their cultures. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing readers love her warm heroines and the gorgeous enigmatic heroes, like she falls in love with them.

When she is not painting in various media or watching romantic movies, or cooking up a storm for her family and friends, she hangs out with her writing friends and other creatives.

Although she was brought up in England, she now lives – and writes – in the Toronto, Canada, with her own love of her life, soul-mate husband, her gorgeous and fun daughter and her smart, blonde Cockapoo, Princess Bella.

Please email Gloria Silk with any questions or comments at: contact@GloriaSilk.com


{GIVEAWAY!}



Thanks for stopping by! ;)

✴ Freebie Tuesday (Edition #185) ✴



🌠 Happy Tuesday! 🌠 

Thanks for stopping by! As always I will be tweeting random freebies that I can find on any given day so if you're looking for more free books make sure to follow me on twitter @JackieBookWorld. :)

***Note that there will be some books that will be free for limited time only, so make sure to download them as soon as you can. Also if there is any specific genre that you guys want me to find books of, let me know in the comment section below. (:  Enjoy! 


*Older Editions will be linked on the menu section (above) under Freebie Tuesday:)


Dark Mafia Prince 
by Annika Martin
Release Date: June 28th 2016 by Annika Martin
Series: A Dangerous Royals Romance #1
Genres: Romance
Author's Links: Goodreads, Website, Twitter


THE DARK MAFIA PRINCE IS BACK TO RECLAIM ALL THAT HER FAMILY STOLE.

Aleksio

Don’t look at me like that. So trusting.

Like you think I’m not a monster.

Like I won’t wrap your hair in my fist and bend you to my will.

Like I won’t sacrifice you, piece by piece, to save my brother.
I’m the most dangerous enemy you’ll ever have because every time you look at me, you see somebody good. That friend who died.
And when you look at me like that, I die again.

Mira
I spent years making myself invisible.
A good girl, apart from the noise.
Then you came back, beautiful and deadly in your Armani suit.

Don’t look at me like you still know me, you say.

But I remember your smile and those sunny days.
Before they lowered your small casket into the ground.

Before they told us the prince was dead.

(Synopsis taken from Goodreads)


     

Mystic Wolves 
by Elle Boon
Release Date: September 10th 2015 by Elle Boon
Series: Mystic Wolves #1-2
Pages: 200
Genres: Romance, Paranormal
Author's Links: Goodreads, Website, Twitter


Accidentally Wolf…Zayn finds Cora suffering from mating fever. As he fights the urge to claim her, his wolf wants her for his mate. From the moment Cora lays eyes on Zayn she wanted to climb him like a tree. Niall, the alpha and his brother, tells him to keep his dick and fangs to himself, but within hours he finds it impossible. Cora goes from being human to an Accidental Wolf more than happily, she just hopes she can survive when danger strikes. 

His Perfect Wolf…Niall had given up on finding love, he’d watched his brother Zayn fall for his mate, and decided he needed a mother for his son, and a mate for his own. When he finds Alaina, his wolf stood up and took notice. Alaina woke up with no memory, but the one thing they both knew was they wanted each other. As they explore their attraction, danger follows her to Mystic. Niall will have to battle a pack of shifters bent on taking what was his, and kill the man who claims to be his mate’s father. 
(Synopsis taken from Goodreads)


       

Happy Reading! :)

Monday, August 21, 2017

✯BOOK BLITZ:✯ Stay With Me by Hensley Park {EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY!}





Stay With Me by Hensley Park

Release Date: August 21st 2017 by Swoon Romance
Genres: New Adult, Romance

All he wanted was to break through her tough exterior.
All she wanted was to be left alone.
When they finally got together, it was everything.
Explosive. Epic. Delicious.
And then he found his calling. The military.
And she was proud. And jealous. She wanted him home. With her. Not half-way around the world where their relationship was defined by quick calls, video chats, and letters.
She knew it was wrong. She knew it was crazy. She asked him to choose.
And he did.
Falling head-over-heels in love was the easy part. Sweet. Sexy. Good.
Loving a man who is always gone, deployed, and proud to serve his country takes courage and sacrifice.
All she wanted was for him to stay.

STAY WITH ME is a story told in parts. We'll hope you'll stay with us as the story develops, and we encourage you to share STAY WITH ME with your friends.



Purchase: Amazon

{EXCERPT}

My father broke my mother’s heart before I was born, and now, some twenty years later, she is still not over it. Theodore Loren Roberts was a twenty-year old Navy pilot when they met. After only seven months of dating, he asked my grandpa for my mother’s hand in marriage. Grandpa made them wait until Mom was eighteen. On the evening of my mom’s eighteenth birthday, Mom and Dad married. A month later, Dad was deployed and never came back. His helicopter crashed, and details about what and how are why are still sketchy to this day. They never recovered his body. They gave Mom a flag and awarded Dad a medal posthumously. I’m told, my father is a hero.

Though she rarely talked about him, I would sometimes hear her cry herself to sleep at night. When I found her in the morning, she would be fast asleep, holding his photo to her chest. He never even knew she was pregnant. She never had a chance to tell him. They were over before they had even begun.

I’d always wondered why we’d stayed here, where military families and bases abound. Every day there were constant reminders of the entity that took my father from us. My father, a man I had only known through a few photos, and yet, felt mildly connected to, was a constant but distant presence in my life. And yet, despite our pain, Mom still found it in her heart to volunteer to help new, young military wives with their kids, help them get settled, and stay sane.

People had always let us know how sorry they were for us and told us how brave we are. I remember being pitied by school counselors and teachers in grade school for not having a father and also being made fun of middle school. One year, someone started a rumor that my mom and I were abandoned and hat Dad had left us and wasn’t such a hero after all. Kids could certainly be cruel, and adults, even well-meaning ones, even more so.

Military life could be hard and lonely, and Mom didn’t want that for me. And even though Mom didn’t mention Dad much, whenever a guy with a crew cut showed the least little bit of interest in me, she would admonish me with a shake of her head and a stern glance. When we were alone, she would say, “I’m sure you know better than to get involved with a man in the military.”

Mom was right. I knew that. I would never want anyone to go through what she did or for them to struggle like we had, just to get by. My father’s death took nearly everything from us, and as I got older, my own resentment and pain was too much for my mom to take. She said I was selfish and too wrapped up in my own pain to see clearly. Maybe she was right. Or maybe I was just pissed that she had put so much stock into what a man could do for her, that she had subjected us both to an uncertain future with a man who could be killed at any time. Or maybe it was the fact that she had never gotten over him, that she had allowed herself to fall so deeply in love with a man whose death ruined for her life. Ruined both our lives. Or maybe it was because, in my heart, I knew I would never find that kind of love, ever.

Mom never remarried. Never even so much as had a date, as far as I know. Every now and again, she’d mention how Tom Selleck could ring her bell any day, but that’s about it. It’s like she had forgotten what it’s like to be loved. Or like her heart was forever broken and could never be repaired. I think the whole situation was too much for us both. When she was home, I was at school or working. When we were both home, we usually got into arguments over something stupid. Being around my mother was unbearable and sad.

So, I moved away instead of staying home for college like most of the kids around here. After three and a half years of being away, our relationship has improved. Tolerable. I now looked forward to seeing her when she has time to meet me for lunch or cook me the occasional dinner. What can I say? I’m a Southern girl. My happy moments revolve around food and country music.

I was about as far from home as I could get without leaving the state. If I’d stayed closer to home, my relationship with my mother would likely be irreparable by now. As much as I hated to admit it, her voice was always in my head. Warning me. Making sure I didn’t make the same mistakes she had. And now that I was in college and about to graduate, I was free to make my own mistakes without her judgment and criticism.

I’d managed to make it to my senior year without screwing things up too badly by refusing to date anyone — period. I’d gone out on group dates, or hung out with guys, but that was about the extent of it. To describe me as a prude would be misreading the situation. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to have sex. I could manage that on my own. I just wanted to wait. For the right guy, the right time, and the right reason.

And, as my luck would have it, all of that would change, and I would find myself falling for the wrong guy, at the wrong time, and for the wrong reason. I was going to graduate from college in a few months, and the last thing I needed was complications. And if there was one thing I had learned from my roommate and my mother: relationships were always complicated.

AUTHOR BIO:

Hensley Park loves the smell of roses. She's an animal lover and also enjoys listening to music, hanging with friends and going to movies. She is a super nerd who appreciates all things Geek. A perfect day for Hensley would include reading and napping.


{GIVEAWAY!}



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✯BOOK BLITZ:✯ Latte Girl by Katia Rose {EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY!}





Latte Girl by Katia Rose

Release Date: August 17th 2017
Genres: Comedy, New Adult, Romance

Hot coffee is a regular fixture in Hailey Warren’s life. Hot guys? Not so much.

Her grueling shifts at a cafe in the heart of the city’s business sector are rarely punctuated by anything special, so when the gorgeous heir to the security company next door strides into Hailey’s life, it feels like punctuation with a capital P (or D, depending on your preferred terminology).

Jordan Knox is enough to send her heart racing faster than a triple shot of espresso, and when the attraction proves to be mutual, no hidden corners or empty offices are safe from their game of cat and mouse.

But when she’s ready to drop the pretenses, Jordan continues to hold back, and Hailey realizes he’s been hiding secrets that could make whatever’s brewing between them boil over and burn.


Purchase: Amazon


{EXCERPT}

I manage to get my head out from under the desk, and find myself face to face with his crotch.

Interesting development, notes my very unhelpful brain.

I move my eyes from his crotch to his horrified face.

“I’m— I’m not. A stalker, that is. I wasn’t hiding. I mean, I was just— wait. Let me get out of here first.”

Wondering how I managed to get under the desk so quickly in the first place, I try to contort myself enough to escape. I scoot out with my legs still bent up to my earlobes and then try to haul myself to my feet by grabbing the top edge of the desk.

This, of course, overbalances me and I reach out for the only thing I can find to keep me from falling, which just so happens to be the armrests of Jordan’s chair. I catch my balance with my arms braced on either side of him, our faces inches apart.

A soft “Unph” sound escapes my lips.

He blinks.

“Hey,” he finally says.

“Hi,” I reply, my voice breathy.



AUTHOR BIO:


Katia Rose is not much of a Pina Colada person, but she does like getting caught in the rain. She prefers her romance served steamy with a side of smart, and is a sucker for quirky characters. A habit of jetting off to distant countries means she’s rarely in one place for very long, but she calls the frigid northland that is Canada home.


{GIVEAWAY!}



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✯RELEASE DAY LAUNCH!✯ Drunk Dial by Penelope Ward


RELEASE DAY LAUNCH!



Drunk Dial by Penelope Ward

Release Date: August 21st 2017
Genres: Romance, Contemporary

From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new, sexy standalone novel.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Look up Landon Roderick, that boy from childhood whom I’d never been able to forget—even though he so easily forgot about me—and call him. 

Then again, anything sounds like a good idea when you’ve had a little too much wine before bed, right? It was supposed to be just a quick, meaningless, prank call. Instead, I went off on him—unloading thirteen years of pent-up emotions. 

I didn’t think he’d call me back. 

I certainly could never have anticipated the weeks of sexually tense phone conversations that followed as I got to know the man he’d become. 

Turned out, Landon had never really forgotten me, either. That special connection we had was still there. I opened up to him, but there were also things about me he didn’t know. And he had his own secrets. 

Over the countless hours we talked on the phone, I wondered what would happen if we actually saw each other. One night, I did something impulsive again. Only this time, I went to the airport and booked a ticket to California. We were about to find out if one phone call could bring two lost souls together or if my drunk dial really was all just a big mistake.


Purchase: Amazon, iBooks, Nook, Kobo


About the Author


Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She’s a sixteen-time New York Times bestseller. Her novels are published in over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world. Having grown up in Boston with five older brothers, she spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 12-year-old girl with autism and a 11-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.



Thanks for stopping by! :)

Sunday, August 20, 2017

✯BOOK BLITZ:✯ A Final Deal by Nadia Lee {EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY!}





A Final Deal by Nadia Lee

Release Date: August 15th 2017 by Four Isles Press
Pages: 330
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

An emotional standalone title featuring Blake Pryce-Reed.

One thing I never lacked in life is money. I was born to it. I've made it hand over fist. I have more than I know what to do with.

But all that money couldn't give me Faith Mortimer, a damaged heiress with secrets of her own. I found her irresistible two years ago, and would've laid my empire at her feet...until she betrayed me.

Now she barges into my office, offering marriage, ostensibly to help me fulfill the conditions of my father's hateful deal. Although I toss her out, I'm curious. Once I realize how desperate she is, I make a counteroffer that leaves her vulnerable and defenseless.

However, I never counted on my own machinations leaving me exposed in return...and both our hearts are going to break before this is over...




{EXCERPT}

He leans against the wall, his limbs relaxed. His hooded eyes show nothing. “I’ve decided you’ll do.”

It takes me a moment to register what he just said. “What?”

“Your proposal. Surely you haven’t forgotten?”

“Whatever happened to getting on my knees?” Because if that’s the condition of this ridiculous…change of heart, I’m going to disabuse him of the notion.

He waves it away. “You happen to be the lowest cost provider.”

I stop for a second, then laugh. Of all the things I imagined… “So, just like that? You don’t even know what I’m going to want in return.”

“Money, of course.” His gaze sweeps around my place, then lingers on my body. “A hundred thousand in cash seems like a fair price.”

“The portrait you’re going to get is worth millions.”

“So? You aren’t worth millions. Like I said, I can always go to someone else.”

I clench my hand. What wouldn’t I give to bloody his nose. But that would solve nothing. My PI failed to come through with Jordan, and as insulting as it is, a hundred thousand will take care of the immediate problem: ensuring that Mom gets the best care until… My breath catches, and I can’t continue the thought.

“Cash, upfront, you pay the tax,” I counter.

“No on upfront. How do I know you won’t take the money and run?”

“I’m a woman of my word.”

“Your word.” A small muscle in his cheek tics once. “When you disappeared, as I recall, it was without a word.”

If he thinks it’s a clever barb, he’s wrong. “Only when the situation warrants it.”

“Half upfront. Cash. I’ll handle the tax since you obviously can’t handle money.” Blake gives me a cool stare. “And you’ll move in with me immediately.”

“No. I’m perfectly happy where I am.” Away from you.

“You can’t be serious.” He gestures vaguely at my studio apartment. “This is a dump.”

“It’s my dump, and I like it.”

“Lies are best if they’re at least somewhat believable. Besides, regardless of how you feel about this place, appearances need to be maintained. I won’t tolerate a separate living arrangement.”

“Then it’s going to cost you extra.”

“Is that how you’re going to play this?”

“Tolerating your presence day in, day out does require commensurate compensation.”

He laughs. “A lot of women would pay me to spend time with them.”

“Yes, well… I have better taste.”

He considers. “An extra fifty thousand?”

I nod jerkily, surprised at how easy that was.

“Anything else you want extra payment for?”

I ignore his sardonic tone. “I’ll live with you, but I want a separate bedroom. No sex.”

“Is sex extra too?” he mocks openly.

“Five hundred dollars minimum per session,” I respond, unable to be a mature adult.

He sputters. “I’ve never paid for sex.”

“You’re the one who wanted the lowest cost provider. Surely you weren’t expecting full service.”

“I’m not going to live like a monk, Faith. And you have needs.”

“I don’t expect you to,” I say, ignoring his remark on my needs. That’s what vibrators are for, but my toys will not be a topic of our conversation. Ever.

“I expect fidelity,” he says darkly.

“I don’t, but don’t worry—I won’t sleep around and cause you embarrassment. The only thing I ask is you have the courtesy to stay away from me on the days you take care of your…needs.”

He stares at me, but I can’t decide if he’s shocked or angry or both. I forge ahead before I lose my courage. “I also don’t want to meet your family…or friends.”

“You will accompany me to social functions, Faith. That’s non-negotiable.”

“Once a month then, no more. And you can’t make it up if you miss one.”

“Any other stipulations?” he asks dryly.

“You can set any wedding date you want, but I prefer that it be in the next thirty days and my payment immediate upon the ceremony.”

“How are we going to have a ceremony if you don’t want to meet my family or friends?”

“There’s this thing called a courthouse. The marriage is only for a year, so there’s no need for anything extravagant.” I quirk a corner of my mouth up. “I’m the lowest cost provider, remember?”

His expression shifts. If I didn’t know better, I’d say he’s almost sad. “You’ve changed.”

“You haven’t.”

He pushes off the wall. “My lawyer will draft an agreement.”

“Good. You know my address.”

“I’ll be in touch.”

He lets himself out.

Breathing shakily, I plop down on the sofa. I got almost everything I wanted from the deal, including the money I need, but I can’t help but feel I didn’t come out victorious.


AUTHOR BIO:


NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author Nadia Lee writes sexy, emotional contemporary romance. Born with a love for excellent food, travel and adventure, she has lived in four different countries, kissed stingrays, been bitten by a shark, ridden an elephant and petted tigers.

Currently, she shares a condo overlooking a small river and sakura trees in Japan with her husband and son. When she's not writing, she can be found reading books by her favorite authors or planning another trip.

Stay in touch with her via her website http://www.nadialee.net/ or her blog http://www.nadialee.net/blog/


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