Mia has always taken pride in her submission to the Council. Compliant to a fault, she diligently follows the rules without considering whether they are fair or just. But when her best friend Kate kills the Council leader and banishes herself from the Village, Mia suddenly becomes a target for harassment. And for the first time in her life, she finds herself in opposition to the Council.
In her despair, she is drawn to the one person she has fervently resisted: her mate. Soon, her feelings for him shift into something real and powerful—powerful enough to make him human. Powerful enough to make loving him dangerous.
The Village stands on the brink of chaos, and an ever-growing mood of dissension threatens. In the midst of it all, Mia’s heart begins to change. But when a group of young rebels drags her into its fold, her courage is quickly pitted against her fear. Will she join the fight and allow bravery to transform her spirit? Or will she drown in her own cowardice once again?
The Scent of Lilac is the first novella in The Arrow’s Flight Series. Find the complete series at www.whisperingpages.com
A beautiful story of finding yourself and standing up for what you believe in…or what you are not sure you believe in yet. 🙂 The companion novella picks up right where Breeder leaves off. In Breeder, Kate has been chosen as the new leader but ends up leaving with the boys from Eden. Mia decides not to leave with Kate but the longer Kate has been gone, Mia realizes that she is truly alone. She starts to think about some of the things that Kate said as she left and Mia starts to pay attention to her surroundings more. Her village is falling apart and she finds solace with here mate in the pit. She starts to question more of her life and what is truly right and wrong. She changes in this story as she stands up for what she believes in and brings new meaning to her life and the village. She becomes stronger because of the hand she has been dealt. There is an array of bad that happens but those are the things that can make people stronger. The ending of this story takes place after the end of Master. It is a very intimate, heart wrenching, and lovely story that will stay with you long after you finish it.
Casey Hays is a long time resident of Clovis, New Mexico, The Land of Enchantment, where she continues to reside with her husband of 25 years and her two children. A former high school English teacher, she took up writing in 2008, due to her love of the young adult genre.
Her debut novel,The Cadence, a YA supernatural romance, made its appearance in November 2012. Breeder, her first Dystopian Science Fiction novel with underlying Christian elements, and the first in the Arrow’s Flight Series, released January 15, 2014. She has since released the entire Arrow’s Flight series and has begun work on a set of Arrow’s Flight novellas. Look for The Scent of Lilac September 2016.
Her favorite authors include Sarah Dessen, Suzanne Collins, Lauren Oliver, historical fiction author Anya Seton and Christian author Francine Rivers.
She’s the daughter of Kerrville’s biggest drug addicts and she knows what it’s like to be belittled and neglected. She keeps to herself as much as possible and has nobody to count on but her sister, Carley. She’s loved and failed, and with nothing left to lose the two sisters leave the only home they’ve ever known to start fresh someplace new.
They’ve established a good life in Minneapolis for the past eight years. Sawyer finds her passion through her art and tattooing, and her sister finds the love of her life. Her happiness disintegrates when Carley dies in a fire and she’s left utterly alone in the world.
It’s been a long time since she’s been home, but she decides to say goodbye to Minnesota and returns to the Hill Country of Texas. The town is familiar, and she’s determined to bring beauty back to those horrible memories that plague her. She’s not the same woman she once was, and Mad Ink, her very own tattoo shop is how she plans to make those dreams come true. What she doesn’t expect, however, is to run into the dark haired, green eyed, sexy cowboy she left behind.
Jagger Hale is instantly drawn to the brunette beauty sitting at the bar the moment he walks into Hardbodies. She looks eerily similar to the woman he once loved, and the moment he finds out she is indeed the one who got away he has his own agenda in mind—getting Sawyer back. But first he needs to come up with a plan to woo her. Now that he has her in his sights again he doesn’t plan on ever letting her go. All he needs is that second chance…
“Nice ink you’ve got there.” He gestured towards the half sleeve she had on her right arm and she couldn’t help but smile.
“Thanks, I love my art on the body and off of it.” She closed her eyes and took a deep breath before she opened them again. It had been a long day. “Do you have any?”
“Tattoos?” He lifted his eyebrow and smirked. “One, but I’d have to take off some clothing for anyone to see it.”
Damn it! He’s flirting. “Jagger.” Sawyer said as if she was exasperated with him already, but secretly she was really wondering where on that delicious body of his it was located. Not that she’d ever admit that out loud or anything.
“That’s my name. Speaking of, I never did get yours,” he said just as they’d reached her car.
“Uh huh, now if I gave you that the mystery would be over.” Her keys jangled as she grabbed them from her pocket, but Jagger leaned against the driver side door before she could open it. “And, right now I’m still unsure if you’d like what I had to say. Best to play it safe I think.” She took a step forward hoping he’d take the hint and move out of her way but the stubborn stud wasn’t budging.
“I don’t know any man who doesn’t like a challenge sweetheart and I will figure you out. So consider me intrigued.” He smiled and stood straighter. “Now, how much have you had to drink?”
“What?” she asked totally taken off guard by the question. “I am not drunk.” Hell, it had taken her over an hour to finish her first beer, and she hadn’t even finished her second one.
“Let me be the judge of that.” He held his hand out and wiggled his fingers. “I have a feeling we’ve met before I just can’t seem to place it yet, and if that’s the case you know I’m a decent guy. So I think maybe you should pass me your keys and I’ll make it my duty to get you home safely.”
“Absolutely not!” she said and gripped them tighter.
“You need references darlin’? If so, feel free to march back inside and get as many as you need. I know almost everyone inside including the owner,” he said and waited.
Sawyer was in complete shock. In fact, so much so, her mouth was literally hanging open. Of all the nerve…wow. She fidgeted and then narrowed her eyes at him. “There’s no need. I appreciate your concern but I’m perfectly capable of taking myself home.”
He chuckled in response and then crossed his arms. The smooth tan skin and bulging muscles of his forearms distracted her and she muttered another curse under her breath when she looked back up to his face and he winked. Busted!
“Humor me.” He repeated, “Are you always this pigheaded or is all of it reserved just for me tonight?” He held out his hand again. “Come on just consider this some good old southern hospitality. You get home safely and I feel better about it.”
“Fine, it’s not like I’ve been given any other choice.” She handed him her keys and stomped her feet as she made her way to the passenger side. “Stubborn? Huh!” She huffed. “Takes one to know one.”
“It’s all just part of the package.” He teased. Once they were inside and all buckled up he turned towards her. “Now were to.”
Sawyer gulped as she looked into those hypnotizing green eyes of his and knew that she was royally screwed. Because the moment she gave him the address to her folks place he’d know exactly who she was and that might not be a good thing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer Labelle resides in Canada with her husband and three beautiful children. After her third child she became a stay at home mom. In her busy household Jennifer likes to spend her down time engrossed in the stories that she creates. She is an active reader of romance (especially historical), mystery and anything paranormal. With an education in Addictions work she’s decided to take a less stressful approach in life and hopes that you enjoy, as she shares some of her imagination with all of you.
When ultimate impulse collides with maximum control…
It’s all about taking charge. Luke Danvers has his future planned to the nth degree—until he steps on an IED in Afghanistan. Bitter, angry, and emotionally adrift, he returns to the States, ready to spend the rest of his life pissed off at the world.
Kiley Endicott has never been a poster child for moderation. Married and widowed young, she’s raising twins on her own. Since impulse has always ruled her life, it’s not easy being a sedate parent under the critically watchful eye of her family.
A Friday night lapse in sanity, leads Kiley to a hook up with Luke Danvers. Even in the cab of a truck, he’s an awesome lover. She wants more. But she’s got to be circumspect, nobody can know.
Luke hasn’t had fun in—forever. But he can’t stop grinning after he meets Kiley Endicott. It’s more than her being a totally uninhibited lover, but God knows he can’t get enough of that either. She makes him laugh.
She says nobody can know. Okay, he’s trained in stealth. He sets up a call system, a taboo frequency, guaranteeing her twenty four hour access in every way. But he’s not just waiting for their secret meets. He’s planning a siege.
“Maybe we can help each other,” she said looking up at him. He didn’t know what she had in mind but listened to find out.
“I’m a single mom. I don’t have a steady man because I don’t want one hanging around my two kids who are right now with my mom. She doesn’t babysit often and aside from Marcie, I don’t leave them with anyone else. I have a full-time life that includes a job and no time for a relationship. ”
“And?” He squeezed her shoulders, urging her to make an offer he wasn’t going to refuse regardless of what it was.
“And—I have certain biological needs I’d like to satisfy with something other than plastic.” She closed her eyes, her blush denying the intimacies they’d just enjoyed at the same time her hand stroked his thigh, promising more.
“Well as to those biological needs—seems like we can find a way to get them satisfied. When you’ve got the time, I’ll find the place.” He pulled up next to her car and put the truck in park, idling in front of her sister’s house, waiting for Kiley’s answer.
When she remained mute, he decided coaxing was in order. “You do the calling,” he said, switching on his truck’s overhead light to search in the glove compartment for paper.
“I’d just as soon the whole town not know we’re carrying on,” Kiley murmured, her blush turning her pink cheeks to ruby.
“Carrying on?” After the uninhibited fucking they’d just engaged in, her old-fashioned description made him smile.
His quick rummaging turned up no paper, so before shutting off the overhead light, he held her hand and wrote his number on her palm. “If you change your mind and don’t call, it’s okay. I’ll not bother you. If you do call, I’ve marked your number a TF.”
“That’s military speak for taboo frequency—a contact too important to miss. You call when you’re able to get free and I’ll make sure we get together.”
He let her get half out the door before he added his last addendum to their deal. “As to the plastic, you might want to bring it along for a ride or two. No sense in letting it feel neglected.” He liked a little variety in the sheets and he figured he’d let her know up front, he wasn’t all vanilla. He had a feeling neither was she.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hi, I’m Gem Sivad. When I moved to the southern part of an enchanted kingdom and found my Prince Charming, he inspired me to write romance.
Although I have hermit tendencies, occasionally I venture out of the writer’s den to meet readers at book signing events. I hope we someday meet, but in case we miss each other, you can find Gem Sivad at the cyber locations below:
Texas born, Nash Walker hasn’t met a challenge yet that his southern charm, and cowboy diligence couldn’t tackle. From graduating top of his class to creating a world-class team of historical restoration specialists, or the recent purchase of a neglected grand dame plantation deep in Louisiana Bayou country.
But when the tenacious and beautiful, Scottish-born parapsychologist, Dr Somer Ingler crosses his path in the throes of investigating his new home for paranormal activity, she brings a whole host of challenges from her strange ghostly friends to the powerful whirlwind she creates inside of him.
Determined to resolve the plantations mysterious past, they find themselves mirroring the passion of past lovers, caught in a raging storm of desire and deceit, leaving them in the end…thunderstruck!
He blew out a breath and offered a congenial smile, along with the truth. “I have to confess, Doc, I don’t believe in ghosts and all that mumbo-jumbo.” He crooked his fingers for emphasis. “I mean, yes, I know there are stories. But in my experience, the majority are just stories that you tell around a campfire on Halloween.” He hated to sound like a condescending ass, but he felt she should know where he stood.
“If you’re finished?” She handed him a mini-video camcorder. “Turn on the night-vision button and you should be able to see everything quite clearly in the dark.”
“But I just said…”
She tucked a small transistor-looking device in her pocket and held a miniature walkie-talkie in her hand. She jabbed a small flashlight in her mouth as she zipped up her hoodie.
Nash thought his heart might stop altogether at the sight of her perfect pink lips enclosed over the end of the flashlight.
He blinked as she jerked the flashlight out of her mouth and pointed it at him. “Mr. Walker, please understand. Your inability—your refusal, even—to believe in the existence of the paranormal has no bearing whatsoever on whether it exists or not. They don’t need your permission.” She shook the light at him. “In my world, in my experiences, paranormal activity certainly does exist.” She strode to the door and opened it. “Now, shall we go? All I ask is that you follow me and keep the camera running. Do you think you can manage that?”
Nash chuckled. Glasses and bossy. Could this get any better? He sure as hell hoped it would. He trotted down the steps after her, quietly humming the tune of the movie that brought ghost hunting back to life, so to speak. He was about to sing the chorus when she stopped suddenly and spun to face him. He lifted the camera, avoiding disaster as his body slammed into hers.
She pressed up on her toes, pushing her face into his. “One more wise-crack, Mr. Walker, and I may have to use my magic to put a spell on your dick.”
“Sorry.” He smiled. Little did she know she already had.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amanda McIntyre’s passion is telling character-driven stories with a penchant for placing ordinary people placed in extraordinary situations.
A bestselling author, her work is published internationally in print, E-book, and audio. She writes sizzling contemporary and erotic historical romance and believes no matter what, love will find a way.
“It was everything
Could do to breathe when his gaze fell to my lips. Her perilous stare left me without words. It was the very way a lover left you speechless with a passing glance. But Declan didn’t just take a glimpse. He hardly blinked as he stepped closer, like he
All space between us eliminated. Simultaneously, I gravitated towards him and wanted to run away. Everything I thought I knew about love and hate was destroyed in a heartbeat. The two were opposing feelings, but now I wasn’t so sure. And it was all because of
Sometimes the bad boys have the greatest romance stories. In the Once Wicked Series, the infamous villains we love to hate are no different. But in this series, they finally get the chance to tell their stories…
Updated and re-edited. Originally published in the Fairy Tale Confessions anthology.
Absolutely Priceless! Everything has a price. Some want money, power, or….freedom. In this retelling of Rumpelstiltskin and the Pied Piper we see how they finally meet and how their attraction all started. Declan Stilts wants his freedom and makes a deal with Piper’s mother for the soul of her first born child. The thing he doesn’t anticipate is to be absolutely captivated by Piper. In this novella we see how their push pull attraction starts. Does everything still have a price? This is an incredible story that pulls you in right from the beginning and will make you want to continue this in Soulless. You will not be able to put it down. Go get your copy now!
Award Winning Author, Sarah J. Pepper, specializes in fantasy and paranormal romance. She unveils the beauty of love in her new adult/young adult novels. Her works envelope dark, paranormal romance – think “happy ever after” but with a twisted, dark chocolate center. Real-life romance isn’t only filled with hugs, kisses, bunnies, and rainbows. True-love can be more thoroughly described in times of darkness and tribulation. It’s in those harsh moments where you see what a person is truly capable of – both the good and bad. Sometimes prince-charming isn’t always on time, and the glass slipper is a little snug. However, it doesn’t mean Charming is not Mr. Right, and who says every shoe is the perfect fit? www.sarahjpepper.com
He’s never wanted anything more than her. Carrie Ann Ryan’s ADORING INK is available now! Don’t miss getting your hand on Holly’s story.
About ADORING INK
The Montgomery Ink series continues with the most unlikely of romances between the one that got away and the man who can show her the world.
Holly Rose fell in love with a Montgomery, but left him when he couldn’t love her back. She might have been the one to break the ties and ensure her ex’s happy ending, but now Holly’s afraid she’s missed out on more than a chance at forever. Though she’s always been the dependable good girl, she’s ready to take a leap of faith and embark on the journey of a lifetime.
Brody Deacon loves ink, women, fast cars, and living life like there’s no tomorrow. The thing is, he doesn’t know if he has a tomorrow at all. When he sees Holly, he’s not only intrigued, he also hears the warnings of danger in his head. She’s too sweet, too innocent, and way too special for him. But when Holly asks him to help her grab the bull by the horns, he can’t help but go all in.
As they explore Holly’s bucket list and their own desires, Brody will have to make sure he doesn’t fall too hard and too fast. Sometimes, people think happily ever afters don’t happen for everyone, and Brody will have to face his demons and tell Holly the truth of what it means to truly live life to the fullest…even when they’re both running out of time.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader’s Copy of this book
Yay!!! We are back with the Montgomery family and friends again. This is one of my favorite series and I love it when Ryan does a novella about the side characters in their world.
I am so glad that Holly got her HEA, after she let Jake go giving him, Maya, and Boarder their HEA I was so hoping she’d get hers.
We’ve met Brody before, he’s friends with the Montgomery clan and he asked out Hailey prompting Sloane to get off his butt and ask her out, getting their HEA.
Holly, is a very good girl. She sticks to her routine of work, home, and time with her friends and that is it. If she varies from her routine to try something new, she researches and plan every little thing out until she knows everything about it and it is no longer something new for her to do.
Brody is friends with everyone and I mean everyone. However, none of his friends know the real him and that is the way he prefers it. No one close so that they are safe from him.
Holly decides that she needs to do something to shake up her stale life. A life that she loves, but stale none the less. Brody overhears this conversation that she’s having with her friends and offers to be the one that helps.
What starts as a whorl wind adventure turns into two people finding themselves, letting go of their pasts, and finding love.
The things that these two went through as children is horrible and finding their way through that is hard, but it is so worth it in the end.
Holly and Brody belong together and you can see that when you see them together. Holly finally gets her inked hottie and Brody finally get someone to keep.
I can not wait from more of this series or more from Carrie Ann Ryan.
(ADORING INK is available initially as a 90-day exclusive Kindle release per 1001, after which it will be available across all vendors. Don’t have a Kindle and want this in your hot little hands NOW? Don’t worry! You can get a free Kindle app for practically any gadget, phones, computers, tablets. https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/fd/kcp)
Read a Sneak Peek of ADORING INK:
Holly Rose needed to come.
And hopefully she would. The man above her moved with such heat that she knew she was blushing, but she didn’t care. She just needed him to work his magic so she could finally crest that peak and end up a boneless pile of limbs.
She clutched at his tattooed shoulders before sliding her hands down his chest, raking her nails over his thick muscles and the ink that covered his skin. He thrust deeply inside her, and she arched her back, taking more of him in.
Her breath came in pants, and her body shook, sweat-slick from hours of lovemaking with no pause.
Then she looked up and froze.
Once again, her Dream Man was just a blur. A thickly muscled male with ink but no face, no features showing her who he was. No eyes giving her a glimpse of the man deep inside.
She reached out to cup his face, hoping she was wrong.
But she wasn’t.
The alarm pulled her out of sleep in that instant, leaving her right on the edge once again, and confused as hell about the recurring dream that never made sense.
Holly let out a sigh and rolled over to press the button on her phone. Unfortunately, she didn’t have time to hit snooze and go back to sleep, so she forced herself to sit up. Hitting snooze was one of her favorite pastimes since she had the most comfortable bed ever, but she had to be an adult and forego that. She was the kind of person that, once she sat up, she was awake and slightly functional, but it was the sitting up part that was the hardest. She loved sleeping in but couldn’t do it most days because of her job. Heck, she couldn’t even slumber on weekends most times thanks to the piles of grading she had. She might only teach first grade, but her kids had books and binders full of state-mandated homework and classwork to complete.
Holly’s head hurt just thinking about it.
About Carrie Ann Ryan
Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.
Mystery surrounds Lucky Stables. Many, like Emily Lane’s parents, fell in love there. After tragedy struck, Emily ran far away, believing the Stables were cursed. In Emily’s absence, Shane Patterson stepped in to help Emily’s aging father. When Emily returns home, will Shane help her believe in love and luck again?
Ashley Hampton works as a Licensed Psychologist in private practice during the day. When she leaves work, she puts on her writer and photographer hats and enjoys living in the worlds created in her mind. She lives near her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama with her cat, Gemma. Ashley wanted to find a creative way to meld her love for music and psychology with writing, and the Southern Rock Lyrics series was born. With other series planned, Ashley wants to write in the romance, erotica, and psychological thriller genres.
STANDALONE NOVELLA – Part of the Club series which contain interconnected standalone novellas.
Ret North knows exactly who he is—a Dominant male with an insatiable sexual appetite. He’s always been a top, searching for his bottom…until a notorious switch catches his eye.
Alese Kane has grown tired of her usual partners. She’s been watching Ret for months, wanting to run her tongue along his hard muscles. But his need for total control stops her.
Ret worries that a relationship with Alese would be impossible, but his giant ego and even larger cock tell him otherwise. Unable to deny his attraction to her any longer, Ret convinces Alese to submit to him.
When Ret dominates Alese, will she submit or will she top from the bottom?
Holy freakin’ hell… this petite novella is a little damn firecracker! It’s packs quite a punch for such a short story. I read this in one sitting (maybe 2 hours) and it had me laughing, cringing, and fanning myself and girly bits. Pick it up today and don’t wait to read it. Read it NOW!
Ret is 6’4″ for godsakes. Need I say more? He’s a Dom with a dilemma. He’s not pleased with his current situation and the prospects seem bleak. As luck would have it, Alese seems to be in a similar situation. Hmmmm… what could happen?
Alese is not sure where she fits into this BDSM lifestyle. Should she train to be a Domme or should she explore her options in being a Submissive? After a bad situation gets worse, I think she’s ready to throw in the towel. That is until Ret steps in!
These two have great chemistry and Chelle brings that out on these pages. The storyline is brief, but to the point. The dialogue flows and feels natural. The pacing is quick and direct. I loved this novella and I love Ret. I don’t care what Cat Mason says, that boy is MINE!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chelle Bliss, USA Today Bestselling author, currently lives near the Gulf of Mexico, but hates sand. She’s a full-time writer, time-waster extraordinaire, social media addict, and coffee fiend.
Returning to his hometown to sell his hated father’s ranch, the last thing Andrew Grant expects to find on his first day in town is a reason to stay. But there she is, Melissa Divine. The girl he loved all those years ago.
But Melissa has changed since those innocent days. She’s just escaped from a hellish marriage and wants nothing to do with any man. Especially not this big, burly alpha biker who reminds her of her ex.
Can this former SEAL change her mind before his time runs out?
It was the grin that did her in. Warm, gentle, understanding.
It was that grin that washed away her reluctance.
He was the man she chose. He was the man her heart and soul told her she wanted.
Could she be wrong?
There was that risk in every decision in every day of living.
There was no shame in the fear.
Running from it was the weakness.
She did not run.
She took a step toward him. And another. She went up on her tiptoes, cupped his nape in her trembling hand, and she kissed him.
His lips were mobile beneath hers and warm, but he made no other move. She had to take his hand and set it on her hip before he touched her. But once she had issued that subtle invitation, he didn’t require more.
He turned her around and braced her against the kitchen counter and deepened the kiss, sending glory and delight through her body. She reveled in the sensation of his mouth trailing hotly over her cheek and down to the crook of her neck, where he nibbled at the sensitive skin there.
Ribbons of pleasure skittered over her nerves and she pressed against him, trying desperately to get closer. His scent surrounded her, filling her nostrils, dizzying her mind. Filling her with an irresistible urge to taste him as well.
Madly, voraciously, they ate at each other, licking, lapping, nipping all exposed skin and then, in a frenetic rush, exposing more. In her frenzy, she popped the buttons off his shirt. They skittered all over the floor, but neither of them noticed or cared. They also ignored the dogs’ amusement with the new toys.
As buttons and toenails clattered on the linoleum, Andrew murmured something unintelligible and walked her backwards into the room off the kitchen.
Thank God the room was off the kitchen.
She didn’t think she had the wherewithal to make it up the stairs.
Her body was afire, liquid and languid—as though an angry volcano bubbled at her core.
Andrew seemed equally shaken. His hands shook as he removed her blouse. His eyes were wide, red-rimmed, as he stared at her breasts, cupped in nothing but lace.
“God,” he sighed. “God.” Then he whipped around and kicked the door closed with his boot.
She laughed. “Why did you do that?”
“The dogs sleep with me sometimes. At the moment I’d prefer they not join us.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Her Royal Hotness, Sabrina York, is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of hot, humorous stories for smart and sexy readers. Her titles range from sweet & steamy to scorching romance.
CEO Vanessa Lockhart has had her fill of controlling men. So when she decides to take a few days off in the Lone Star State to kick up her booted heels with a little shopping and a night on the town, she doesn’t count on meeting Carson, getting ruthlessly kissed, or ending up in bed with the cute cowboy. A two-day Texas fling? Why not? A girl only lives once. After all, she’ll have something for her memoirs—until she goes back to work in Nevada to meet her new CFO…and in walks her Texas cowboy. Vanessa’s divorcing one man and doesn’t need another—too bad Carson has other ideas.
Carson Cutes didn’t plan to pick up Vanessa at the bar or spend two fun days and two hotter nights with the beauty. But it isn’t an issue since she blows out of town without a goodbye. When his godfather asks for help with his new hotel venture—he never expected to end up in Las Vegas or for the CEO to be the one woman he can’t get out of his mind. What’s a cowboy to do? He doesn’t believe in love at first sight—but now has doubts. How can he convince a girl under neon lights that she holds his Texan heart?
Carson woke to a slight heaviness around his waist and the faint scent of expensive perfume blending with sweat. Sun peered in through the window and his brain kicked into thought process.
The weight around him was a tanned slender arm.
He glanced down to the toss of dark ringlets against the pillow case and the woman he’d shared hours of hot, incredible sex with wearing his button down shirt. She lifted her head and met his gaze. Her lashes were naturally long and her eyes so dark, he swore he could get lost in them. His stomach fluttered from the sweet smile dusted across her full lips.
“Good morning,” he whispered.
“I thought you’d be gone.” Surprise registered on her pretty face.
“I probably should’ve, considering I should be back at work.” He tightened his hold at her waist. “I have to admit I’m pretty comfortable right where I am.”
She giggled softly. “You realize that’s not very one night stand of you.”
In all his years, Carson had never stayed the night with a woman he had no intentions seeing again. Then again, unlike his cousin Dillon who was notorious for one night stands and two week relationships, one night stands weren’t something Carson normally participated in—he was too busy working. His grin broadened and he lifted his brows.
“True. So since we’ve established that, would you consider me taking you to breakfast?”
She went to open her mouth to answer when a loud ringing filled the room and echoed around them. “Hold that thought,” she whispered.
Vanessa slipped from underneath the covers and climbed out of bed. She glanced at her wearing his denim shirt then around the room before walking over to the three drawer dresser which sat along one wall. Her fingers reached for the silver phone on the smooth oak top and glanced at the number.
“Oh, God,” she whispered then rolled her eyes and swiped a finger across the screen of her phone. “Good morning, Antoine.”
Out of everything he’d learned about her last night, ironically he’d never asked if she was married or involved with anyone. Considering his past, and his dreadful mistake with Sheila it should have been one of the first things he asked. However, her lack of ring and…
“I was just getting out of bed.” She told the man on the other end of the phone. “Why are you calling so early?” There was a momentary pause and again she rolled her eyes. “I should have known Hailey and Arianna were behind this.” A heavy sigh escaped her and she glanced over to where Carson had sat up in bed. “What do you mean you booked me the works?” An unhappy expression worked across her features. “Antoine I have better things to do then to park my ass at the spa for the day, I should be—”
Her expression shifted from unhappy to defeat. So many questions ran through Carson’s mind—the big one being if she was involved with someone. He wanted to believe she wasn’t but doubt filled his mind. One of the reasons he rarely dated—he didn’t trust his judgment where women were concerned.
“What the hell happened to David?” Panic coated each and every syllable, her long lashes blinked before her eyes widened.
He never even bothered to find out if she had kids. What did it matter? This was a one night stand, well an extended one at least.
Vanessa groaned and covered her face with her hand. “Well its David’s own fault. He knows Shakespeare hangs out on the bookcase and tosses books. He didn’t get a concussion did he?” Again, she sighed heavy. “Usually, Mischief takes care of the plants, I’m surprised Shakespeare got his plump rump up that high.” She shook her head. “Listen, give my love to everyone, and tell our fearless leader I’m relaxing and enjoying my vacation time, hell, tell him whatever you want so he doesn’t end up calling my cell phone and giving me one of his hour long lectures.”
Carson couldn’t help but wonder if he’d overstayed, yet a small part of him, knew that he hadn’t. He tossed back the covers and decided now was as good of time as any to get dressed.
“Yes, I will be there for eleven and I love you too.” She ended the call and her shoulders sagged as Carson did up the front of his jeans.
He wasn’t sure what to say, so started with the obvious. “Is everything okay?”
She nodded rather unconvincingly that it was. “That was my overly flamboyant personal assistant on the phone, letting me know about my all day spa session. Apparently, my boss, who is a good man with a good heart, though eccentric at best, insisted I be pampered.”
Not her husband.
“And he informed me that David, one of my colleagues and friends who is staying with my kids while I’m away got knocked out by Shakespeare knocking a plant pot off the bookcase and hitting him in the head with it.”
Kids, as in plural.
He ended up with more questions running through his mind. “How many kids do you have?”
Her head tilted to the side and a quizzical expression crossed her face. “Oh, technically none.” She pulled her bottom lip between her teeth. “Persnickety I got from a rescue charity that was having adoptions outside the food store one day when I went in to do groceries. She had been in foster care for six months and didn’t get adopted because she doesn’t show well, due to being shy. Mischief, I got shortly after I moved into my condo because I was busy with work and didn’t want persnickety to be lonely while I put in long hours at my job. Shakespeare, he loves napping on my bookcase and shortly after I moved into my condo, my neighbors moved out and left him behind. I figured I already had two fur babies what was one more.”
Fur babies? Not actually children. Interesting.
“So here I am, not even thirty-five, live by myself and I’m already becoming a crazy cat lady.”
His mouth dropped open as he absorbed the new information. The more he got to know her, the more he found himself curious about her and liked her—a lot. “Before your phone rang I asked if you wanted to go to breakfast. Would you still be interested?”
She giggled and nodded. “I’d really enjoy that, especially since you know I’m a cat lady in the making and it hasn’t scared you off.”
He grinned broadly. “I’m used to cats, and my younger sister Gloria has a pet pig named Bacon Bits, who actually thinks he’s a dog—so I’m used to strange.”
“Me too—if you only knew my friends.”
“I’m guessing the Hailey and Arianna you mentioned to your assistant?”
“Yeah,” she paused and studied him a minute. “It’s nice you paid attention.” There was something in her tone he couldn’t quite pinpoint, but he knew her words to be sincere.”
He thought a moment and glanced out the window to the Texas sky then turned back and met her gaze. “So an all day spa appointment, I’m guessing you will be staying another night?”
“Yes,” she replied with a smile.
“I have a couple things I need to do, but would like to see if you will keep me company later on tonight for dinner.”
Vanessa threw her head back and laughed. “We haven’t had breakfast yet, are you sure you want to invite me to dinner?”
“I do, in fact, I’ll take whatever time I can spend with you.” He shrugged. “What can I say, I’m a man who knows what he wants, and right now you’re what I want.”
Her surprise wasn’t hard to miss and she pursed her full lips. “Well, since you put it like that, what did you have in mind for breakfast?”
Be a gentleman. A voice warned in his head. And don’t say you.
“Funny you should ask.” ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, I still call Sin City home. I’ve always been a sucker for romance novels and movies, especially romantic comedies. Writing is more than just words to me it’s captivating slices of characters’ lives and sharing them with the reader. I’m a firm believer that heroes and heroines had a life before page one of any story and their past as well as life experiences, made them who they are.
Coming from the southwest I have a major soft spot for cowboys, but also love suspense, a bit of intrigue and kick-ass heroines. Of course, there is always the time to slip in a good paranormal. I try to keep my writing diverse and always on the naughty side.