Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Imperfect Love World Kindle Launch

Not Her – Julia Bright
Jason Delany Baxter-Scott…the fifth. What a terrible name to have to live up to. There is no question in his mind that he’ll never live up to his parents’ expectations. Baxter, as he is known to his friends, is trying, but when his fiancée dumps him, he has less than an hour to find someone to stand in to meet his demanding mother and father. He knew Heather in college, and she recently sent a note, saying she’d moved to New York. It was a dick move, but he invited her for drinks, only to introduce her to his parents as his fiancée.
Heather is still the same free-spirited woman who challenged him to be his own man in California. She’s nothing like the women his parents’ think he should marry, and that makes her forbidden fruit. He admires her for standing up for herself and never backing down. She’s got spunk and a whole lot more that turns him on and leaves him wanting.

Heather Burke doesn’t put up with BS. She’s worked hard to develop a clothing line that sells in her own high-end boutiques. Her style may be quirky, but she’s business savvy and worldly. When Baxter contacts her, she’s in for a drink or two, but when she arrives, and his parents think she’s the fiancée, the night is turned on its end. Baxter told her story after story about how horrible his parents were so she can’t abandon him, but going along in this ruse may just be the end of her.
Back in California, she lost her heart to Baxter, and this fake fiancée stuff may just take her mind too. When he’s not bowing to his parents’ pressure, Baxter is a decent guy, someone she could see herself with for the rest of her life. She just has to convince Baxter he doesn’t need their approval to be a good man.
When the stakes get high, they both are challenged. Can Heather walk away from Baxter, or will she stay and teach him to fight for himself?      

ARRANGED by FiFi Flowers 
Ireland Dumont loved her life—single with not a care in the world, running her own online concierge company. On the edge of ultimate success, her parents stepped in and arranged a proper groom for her to marry. Giving over to their request, she heads to Vegas to celebrate her last days of freedom.

Meeting a handsome stranger was not on her agenda.
Accepting his marriage proposal was the perfect addendum to her agenda.

Jensen Callum needed a wife for his new business venture with a company that prided themselves on being a family-owned operation. His old playboy status was about to be nipped in the bud by his parents when he returned home from his business trip to an arranged marriage of their doing.

What will happen when Ireland and Jensen’s families find out that they arranged their own marriage venture that wasn’t in the grand scheme of things?      

HOSTILE FAKEOVER by Cary Hart
Up-and-coming artist Bianca Black has her eyes set on one thing, and one thing only: Transforming her late grandmother's building into the gallery of her dreams. All is going according to plan until legal issues arise and a sexy-as-hell club owner gets in her way. Losing the building could leave her homeless, bringing a whole new meaning to starving artist.

Entrepreneur Ford Phillips, always gets what he wants and this time won't be any different. He has spent years trying to buy the old, run-down building nestled between the high rises of Manhattan. Just when he thinks it's within his reach, he finds himself in for way more than he bargained for.

Bianca and Ford must call a truce in an attempt to "fake it ’til you make it." Can these two keep things amicable or will this Fakeover turn Hostile?        


Liar By Stephanie St. Klaire
Fake it until you make it. That was the mantra Cori Dash chanted as she chased a big city dream. The more you tell people you’re on top of the world, the more they believe it – just like they believed the embellished image she sold them with her knock off designer facade. It wasn’t lying if the truth stood somewhere in the middle – and she didn’t get caught.

Dominic Blackthorne owned half of that big city…and a reputation. Rather than dispel rumors or show the world the real Nick, he let his own fake image run free. Until Cori Dash – the only person who told him exactly how it was, even if it stung.

When Cori is faced with her ex-fiance, now engaged to her ex-best friend, it’s game on. In her boldest move yet, she concocts her biggest lie to date by introducing the first handsome stranger that walks by as her new fiancé. Happy to play the part, Nick is already planning the fake wedding of her dreams.

You know what they say about lying – the truth always comes out – and it hurts. Especially when Cori finds out she isn’t the biggest Liar in this game, and she’s been out played.      

Operation Girl Next Door by Casey Hagen 
Trevor Myers knows how to make it big in the business world: a charming smile, connections, and balls-to-the-wall fearlessness. The master of all three, a partnership with his firm is all but in the bag. That is, until his boss dangles it over him, and three coworkers, like a prize on a game show. Trevor will do whatever it takes to lock in what is rightfully his, even if it means calling in a doozy of a favor from his best friend.

 Piper Bradley is on the precipice of making a career-altering decision to expand her dancewear line. Agonizing over the decision, Piper decides to take a trip to clear her head, only to have her brother hamper her plans when he calls her to return a favor for his best friend…Trevor Myers. Owing Trevor for escorting her to her senior prom years earlier, she reluctantly agrees to play his girlfriend for the weekend.

Trevor expects a grownup version of the shy girl toting a sketchpad, not this drop-dead, gorgeous woman who leaves him tongue tied.

Piper decides it’s time to exorcise her long-simmering feelings, once and for all.

Trevor fights the battle waged between his playboy lifestyle and the elemental pull of the girl next door.      

Pillow Talk – Brittany Holland
They say you can't buy love.

But he did... he just doesn't know it yet.

Falling for him was never part of the arrangement.

Neither was sharing his bed.

But I did both.          









Signed, Sealed, Delivered by Mira Gibson
American heartthrob and notorious bad boy, Zach Canning has gone and made the error of all Hollywood errors. No, it wasn’t sticking his foot in his mouth during an interview again, banging an almost underage fan, or even disappearing on another cocaine-and-booze addled bender. It was far, far worse, and now his TV show renewal contract hinges upon his ability to convince his fan base, the Christian Network, and America at large that he’s just as wholesome as his #Blessed character.

Jesus Christ, how?

Enter Abby Gallagher. As Irish-Catholic as they come, complete with flaming auburn hair and a cross dangling from her necklace, her image is perfect. She’s guarding one hell of a secret, however—she’s a virgin and saving herself for marriage.

When Zach’s publicist approaches her with the most unbelievable proposition—to dispel rumors surrounding the famous actor one sexy date at a time—Abby is more than intrigued. She’s been a fan of his show and has watched religiously… admittedly, a guilty pleasure.

What other guilty pleasures could he give her???

But the secret contract she’s presented with not only states she must pose as his girlfriend in the public eye while the paparazzi follow their every move. She must also elope with Zach in two weeks! Non-negotiable, legally binding, with a corresponding gag-order in place and no guarantee of true love…

Can she go through with it? Will she choose a thrill ride instead of love? What if she could have both with the same man?          

READ THE BOOK WHERE THE WORLD BEGINS!

Marry the girl I’ve had a crush on my whole life? Check.

Inherit a hundred-billion-dollar company? Check.

Produce an heir… Wait, what?

I have ninety days to knock up my brand-new fake wife. There’s only one problem—she hates my guts.

And in the fine print of the contract? The requirement that we produce an heir.

She can’t stand to be in the same room with me. Says she’ll never be in my bed.

But I’ve never backed down from a challenge and I’m not about to start now.

Mark my words—I’ll have her begging for me, and it won’t take ninety days.

 Amazon | Amazon UK | iBooks | Nook | Kobo     


About Kendall Ryan
A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 2 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine. She lives in Texas with her husband and two sons.

Visit her at: www.kendallryanbooks.com for the latest book news, and fun extras

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Can't Wait Wednesday #32 - Bobby Sky: Boy Band or Die by Joe Shine

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.  Okay, this week is a book I just happened to stumble across on Edelweiss and the title grabbed me.  I started reading the synopsis, and at first wasn't sure, but the last part totally sold me.  This is one that seems like such a unique story that I can't wait!  If only I was on the Soho Teen ARC list and could get a copy of it, but for now I'll just wait until it gets closer to the time of release and maybe download it from Edelweiss.  Here is the blurb from Goodreads:


At fourteen, Robert “Hutch” Hutchinson is out of luck. His charm and singing voice—and penchant for bursting into song at all the wrong times—can’t keep him out of trouble anymore. When he’s arrested (again): he’s given a choice: die in juvie or become a Shadow: the fearless, unstoppable, and top-secret guardian of a Future Important Person, or FIP. 

With nothing to lose, Hutch accepts. After two grueling years at the Future Affairs Training and Education (FATE) Center, Hutch can barely remember the boy he once was. His entire existence has been erased. Ready for anything, he expects to be plunged into a battle zone. 

Instead he learns that his FIP is someone named Ryo Enomoto. Yes, the Ryo Enomoto: front-man of world-famous boy band International. Worse, Hutch has to put his old talents to use. He must join the band and change his name to Bobby Sky. Is this for real? Has he really turned himself into a lethal killing machine . . . only to become a teen pop sensation?  


Does that not sound like a really fun and unique story?  What book are you eagerly awaiting this week?

And while you're here, make sure you stop by and enter at my stop on the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Author Interview with Giveaway: The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz


Book info:
Title:  The Midnight Dance
Author:  Nikki Katz
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: October 17th, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Synopsis:
When the music stops, the dance begins.
Seventeen-year-old Penny is a lead dancer at the Grande Teatro, a finishing school where she and eleven other young women are training to become the finest ballerinas in Italy. Tucked deep into the woods, the school is overseen by the mysterious and handsome young Master who keeps the girls ensconced in the estate – and in the only life Penny has never known.
But when flashes of memories, memories of a life very different from the one she thinks she’s been leading, start to appear, Penny begins to question the Grand Teatro and the motivations of the Master. With a kind and attractive kitchen boy, Cricket, at her side, Penny vows to escape the confines of her school and the strict rules that dictate every step she takes. But at every turn, the Master finds a way to stop her, and Penny must find a way to escape the school and uncover the secrets of her past before it’s too late.

Author Interview: 
1.  What does your writing process look like? Do you know the whole story when you start?  Or do you just start writing and go with it (seat of the pants writing)?  If you plan it out, how do you do that?  Outline, notecards, post-it-notes, etc.?
 
I always have a sense of the storyline and arc before I start. I know the central conflict and create a vision board for the characters and setting. Then I dive right in! I’ve tried to create detailed outlines in Excel, but I always seem to shelve the project before I even get started. It seems to suck the creativity out of the concept and I want to just hand over the outline to readers and say I’m done!


2.  How do you come up with your ideas for your stories?

 
THE MIDNIGHT DANCE is actually the sixth novel I’ve written. My ideas have stemmed from a variety of subjects but I always have a fantasy/science fiction bent. I think I’ve only ever written one scene that takes place in a contemporary high school. I was halfway through writing a different novel when I got the idea for THE MIDNIGHT DANCE. I was watching TV one evening and a commercial came on. I really wish I could remember which commercial but I don’t! Somehow the idea of Pinocchio and living puppets sunk into my psyche and I knew I had to write the book. The main topic I wanted to explore was one of a girl trying to find herself after she realizes her thoughts aren’t her own. I drafted the project in less than two months and here we are today!


3.  How long have you been writing?

 
Since I was four. Seriously. I wrote horrible poetry! And then a play when I was in fourth grade. More seriously I started writing young adult novels in about 2011.


4.  What tips do you have for aspiring writers?

 
Don’t stop. It sounds cliche, but don’t stop. Keep writing and learn to edit. I gave up on a few of my earlier novels because I hate the editing process, but it’s a very important skill to have! This industry takes a serious backbone. You have to be okay with rejection from agents, editors, and ultimately your readers! Be proud of your work before you even start to submit it elsewhere. And to that end, get a couple of very good critique partners whose feedback you trust.


5.  How important are names in your books?  Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds, or the meaning?  Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

 
Names are critical to me. All of my main characters always have specific names, typically tied to a meaning. I usually hop on the Internet and look up baby names as needed. 


6.  What are your favorite:
Books/authors/genres:
I read a ton of young adult. My favorite authors are Laini Taylor, Leigh Bardugo, Marissa Meyer … the list could go on and on! 


Movies/TV Shows:
I’m actually not a huge fan of watching things. It may sound weird but I haven’t probably only watched two hours of television in the past two weeks. I will admit to being a big fan of contestant shows like Survivor and AGT, and if I do get into a series it tends to be violent ones like Banshee, Sons of Anarchy, and Breaking Bad.


Music:
I’m kind of a Top 40 girl honestly! But I also love alternative 80s and 90s music. It depends on my mood. And when I’m writing I only listen to instrumental soundtracks. I can’t have any speaking!


Food/Writing snack

I always have a cup of coffee on hand and will snack on anything in my cupboard. Pretzels, chips and hummus, and sour candy. 
Author Bio:
Nikki Katz is an author and editor living in sunny San Diego with her three children. With a BS in aerospace engineering, Nikki first put her writing skills to use publishing four nonfiction books. She moved on to writing young adult fiction, her favorite genre to read as well. The Midnight Dance is her debut novel.




GIVEAWAY!

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Release Blitz with Giveaway: Start with Me (Start Again Series #3) by J. Saman

Title: Start With Me
Series: Start Again Series Book Three
Author: J. Saman
Genre: Contemporary Romance Standalone
Release Date: October 16, 2017

Claire
No relationships. No falling in love. 
Those are my rules. Simple. Easy. Uncomplicated. 
Then Kyle Grant walks into my life and tries to mess all that up with his GQ looks and irresistible charm. 
He’s everything I want.
But can never have.

Kyle
The moment I laid eyes on Claire Sullivan, I knew she was different. 
Then reality hit me. She’s my brother’s assistant. She lives in Seattle and I live in New York.
As if that wasn’t enough, she reminds me with annoying frequency that she doesn’t do relationships. 
But I don’t care. I want her. 
Now I just have to convince her to be mine.
"J. Saman has made a MUST READ for anyone who loves to watch Fate and the Inevitable carve out a great big heart with a smirky face inside. START WITH ME is a light romance lover's dream as Claire and Kyle meet and dance around the elephant in the room dressed in hearts and flowers. Leave it to J. Saman to have me grinning like a Chesire cat, talking out loud and rolling my eyes all for love!" ★★★★★ TomeTender
"Her words and characters really come alive to me with depth and personality. Some of my favorite authors lately have taken conflicts, hidden secrets and impossible situations and worked them chapter by chapter in such a satisfying way for me! J. Saman has done this for me in this book and is a favorite indy author. Her talent has blown me away." ★★★★★ Luv My Books
"A page turner so full of heart and gripping emotions you'll feel like their personal cheerleader by the time the story ends. An added bonus is Saman's trademark humor and snappy, snarky dialogue. The characters sound like me and my friends, they react the way real people react to situations and that makes it easy to slip seamlessly into the narrative." ★★★★★ Author Erin Lee Daniels
"J. Saman has such a wonderful way with words, engaging my whole heart on each and every page. What a fantastic experience getting to be in Kyle and Claire's world! "Start With Me" is such an amazing story with pretty amazing sexy hotness too! This is a must-put on your TBR!!" ★★★★★Romazing Reader's Reviews
Kyle
        “Here,” I say to Claire as I hand her the diet coke she requested.
        “Thanks,” she says, taking it from my hand and setting it on the small white table next to her. Claire is lounging back on my balcony, reading a book while I study for the goddamn bar exam. Again.
        To be honest, I don’t even know how she got here. We seem to be falling into a pattern of showing up. We meet at the coffee shop in the morning without even discussing it or scheduling it. We just do it and then without asking, we follow the other one home or wherever they’re going, and hang out or go to work together.
        Never in my life have I ever been like that with anyone.
        It doesn’t even feel like we’re imposing on the other. It’s just sort of the way things have developed. I ride with her to work or she rides with me, even though we both have cars. On weekends, we do things like go to street fairs and paint the walls of my apartment and go out to eat, and I listen to Claire play and make music a lot. She tries to quiz me on the bar exam, but doesn’t really do the best job with that one.
        It’s like we’re in a relationship without being in a relationship.
        It’s actually what I picture marriage being like when you’re old and have been together for fifty plus years. We don’t have sex. We don’t kiss on the lips.
We do, however touch each other in completely platonic safe places. And that’s another thing—we’re always touching each other. When we’re out, my arm is usually over her shoulder. If we’re watching TV on one of our respective sofas, she’s snuggled into my side.
All of this is something I’ve never experienced with a friend before. Not that I’ve had that many female friends over the years. Yet, I’m unbelievably happy.
        It’s an odd sensation.
        But right now, with Claire here and the warm fragrant wind on our faces and the sounds of the city below us, it’s the one word that seems to be repeating through my head at an annoyingly peppy rate.
        Claire wanted to paint my apartment, so she led me to a hardware store. She wanted to hit up an outdoor street fair, so we did. She wanted to eat weird Tibetan food, so I tried it. I’m starting to get the impression that if she asked me to go sky diving right now, I’d acquiesce with little resistance. Can someone become pussy whipped when they’re not actually getting any pussy?
        This girl . . . wow, I didn’t even see it coming.
I slide myself down next to her. We’re lounging on the double chaise on my balcony, even though there are other chairs and single chaises that we could very easily sit on. But we’re not. We silently sat on this one together.
Claire takes a sip of her soda, setting it back down on the table and bringing her knees up so that her Kindle is resting against the exposed skin of her thighs above her shorts. Her very short shorts. She has one arm propped behind her head, her hot-pink framed sun glasses perched perfectly on her nose.
“Why are you staring at me?” she asks without taking her eyes away from her e-reader.
“Just wondering what you’re reading,” I say as I take a sip of my regular Coke. I really only keep Diet Coke here for her. And wine. And large Swedish Fish, which she chews on constantly. And organic cheddar crisps that are really an expensive version of Cheez-It crackers.
“Nothing you’d like,” she says, which of course piques my interest, making me lean over to try and catch a few words on the screen.
“Why won’t you tell me?” I ask, trying to snatch the e-reader off her lap, but she pulls it away, angling it so I can’t see it.
“Why do you care?” she counters, nudging me with her elbow, trying to push me away.
I laugh, nudging her back. “I’m just curious. Don’t you want to know what I’m reading?”
“I’m gonna be real honest with you,” she says, pulling down the bridge of her glasses so she can look at me. “No. I don’t.”
“It’s smut, isn’t it? You’re reading porn.” I try to grab her Kindle again, but she holds it out so I’d have to practically climb on top of her to get it.
“Fuck off,” she laughs, pushing me away with her free hand. “Mind your own damn business. Last I checked, you have a big important exam to study for.”
“Why won’t you tell me?” I say, ignoring her jab. “What are you hiding?” I get up on my knees, angling my body over hers and grab the arm that’s holding the e-reader.
“Hey,” she yells, but she’s laughing now, trying to push me off and struggling to maintain her control of the Kindle. “It’s nothing. It’s just a stupid book.”
“Bullshit,” I argue, pulling her arm to me and snatching the book because Claire seems to realize that it’s a losing battle.
She lets out a huff, rolling her eyes and crossing her arms over her chest. She’s not embarrassed, but I don’t think she wanted me to read this either. My eyes scan the text for a moment, widening as they go.
“It is porn,” I laugh, dropping back down into my seat. Claire reaches out, trying to swipe her device from my hands but I push her back by the forehead. “No way, cupcake. I’m into this now.”
“You’re a dork.”
“And you’re a secret porn reader.”
“That was a really pathetic come back. It’s not porn. Well, I guess it sort of is. I mean, it’s erotica. But it has a story to it and not like what you’d see in a real porn. It’s not like the cable guy is coming over and the girl opens the door in lingerie before she fucks him.”
“Oh,” I say glancing in her direction. “You’ve seen that one too.”
Another eye roll.
“‘His fingers traced small circles up her thighs until he reached her sex,’” I read and then look back over at Claire. “Her sex? Really? Why don’t they call it her pussy?”
“I know, right?” she laughs. “I never got that and you read it all the time in these sorts of books. They have all sorts of vagina euphemisms. Sometimes you’ll see it referred to her as cunt or snatch and yes, pussy is used, but in this book, it’s called her sex, even though the sex scenes are super graphic.”
“Wow,” I say with a big smile that I can’t contain. “I can’t tell if that’s hot or not.”
She nods, leaning back and looking up at the blue sky. “Wouldn’t it be awesome if they used words like penis fly trap, or cave of wonders, or pink taco?”
“Pink taco?” I snort. “That’s fucking nasty. But then again, I really love to eat both, so maybe it just makes sense,” I muse, sitting back to read more of this crap. “What do they call a penis? I’m assuming the words cock or dick aren’t used?”
She shakes her head. “No. At one point she used member, and another time it was his arousal.”
“So, explain to me why you’re reading this one if you don’t like the cheese factor of it.”
She shrugs, reaching over and taking her Kindle from me. “It’s trash and trash can sometimes be fun to read.”
“Do you always read trash?”
“I read all sorts of books, but to be honest, this is the first book I’ve read in a while. I’ve been writing a lot more music lately than I’ve been reading.”
I smile at that, pulling her into my side almost absentmindedly. It’s become a reflex. Something I do without thinking too much, but enjoy far more than I should. “Will you play something for me that you wrote?”
“Next time I’m in front of my keyboard.”
I kiss the side of her head, before picking up my own e-reader so I can get back to my studying. “Why don’t you have a real piano?”
Claire turns her head to me, her expression seems to be challenging my basic sanity.
“What?”
“You do realize I have like zero room in my apartment, right? And my music room is already overcrowded with my other instruments. I’d love a piano.” She shrugs. “Maybe if I ever move, I’ll get a real one. For now, I’m stuck with the keyboard. But it’s fine. It does the job.”
“Huh,” is all I can think to say, staring down sightlessly at my book.
“What are we doing tonight?” she asks, staring back at her own book.
“To be honest, I’m really not up for going out. I think I’ll probably just order something in and either study or watch a movie or something.”
She nods. “I’m up for that if you’re up for some company.”
I laugh, nudging her side again. “When am I ever not up for your company?” It’s a rhetorical question and clearly, I said it in an off the cuff way, but it still makes me cringe, because that question is suggestive despite its simplicity.
“Good. But if we’re getting pizza, can we get it from that really snobby gourmet place that has those specialty pies? And I don’t really want to watch anything too serious. Maybe an action flick or a comedy.”
“Jesus, you’re pretty fucking demanding considering you’re the invited guest. I thought the benefit of friendship was that the woman didn’t get to dictate everything. Otherwise, what’s the point?” I ask, looking down on her. “It’s not like I’m getting sex out of the deal.” I can’t help but raise an eyebrow.
“No,” she says, looking up at me with a small grin on her ruby-tinted lips, her blue eyes covered by her shades. “I guess that’s true. How’s this then? I’ll let you pick the actual movie.”
“Wow,” I deadpan. “That’s the most generous thing anyone has ever offered me. I would have personally gone for the sex, but choosing the movie might just be better.”
“See.” She nods her head. “They don’t make people more giving than I am. You really are lucky to have me as your friend.”
“True.” I lean back in the chaise, enjoying the way I sink into the cushion. I take a sip of my soda and Claire goes back to her reading.
“How often do you masturbate?” she asks and that sip of soda that I was in the process of swallowing immediately comes out my mouth and nose in a gush of fizzy spray. “Wow.” She smirks, trying to hide her laugher. “I’ve never actually seen anyone spray soda out of their nose like that. I didn’t realize it was possible.”
“Thanks,” I mutter, wiping my face and trying not to grimace from the persistent burn inside my nostrils.
“That as unpleasant as it looked?”
“Yup. So, try not to say something like that the next time I take a drink.” I raise my hand, stopping my thought. “On second thought, any time I drink or eat something, try not to speak. I’m afraid one day I’ll actually choke and you don’t look like the type to know CPR.”
“Au contraire, mon frère, I am excellent at mouth to mouth.”
“That was a softball.”
“It was, but you set it up nicely. So, answer my question.”
“How often do I masturbate?” I look over at her, my eyebrows at my hairline.
“Yeah, I’m curious,” she taps on the edge of her e-reader, “because in this book, the guys are always taking cold showers to knock their hard-ons down. I don’t get it. If you’re alone and in the bathroom, why not just whack one off? Saves time and prevents frostbite.”
“Yeah, I have no real answer for that.”
“Oh, come on, I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours.”
“Claire, knowing you, I assume you get off at least once a day.”
She winks at me. “Wouldn’t you like to know?” I would, but that’s really not the point.
And in fact, now all I can see is an imagine of Claire making herself come. “Stop visualizing or I’ll do it back.”
I grin at her. “That a threat or a promise?”
“I don’t typically make threats I’m not willing to back up. It misleads people.”
“What exactly are we talking about now?”
Claire shrugs, leaning back a little against the cushion, parting her thighs absentmindedly. Holy fuck that’s hot. “Honestly, I don’t know. I sort of got lost in the mental image thing. But really, I want to know why men take cold showers instead of jerking off in books.”
“I don’t know, Claire. I’ve never actually taken a cold shower to get rid of an erection. Usually I just jerk off in the shower if I’m that hard up.”
Claire smiles big. “Thank you. That’s all I wanted to know.”
Now I can’t concentrate. How am I supposed to go back to reading business law after that conversation? It’s impossible. I need to change the subject because all I can think about is Claire naked, spread out with her hand between her legs. Or even better, my hand between her legs. And now I’m getting hard, which is just ironic in a bad porn movie sort of way.
So, I say the first thing that comes to mind other than the obvious. “I heard Kate say that it’s your birthday next week.”
Claire sighs, straightening her legs and letting her book lay flat against them. “Are you fishing here, Kyle? Did Mama Duck put you up to this?”
“She might have,” I admit.
Claire lets out another sigh. “I’m not all that into my birthday and Miss Kate has a real hard time accepting that.”
“Why aren’t you into your birthday?”
Claire is silent for a moment, just staring out at my view. “I’m just not,” she finally says. “So, when you report back, tell her that you tried and I wasn’t receptive. I don’t want a party. I’m not being one of those girls who says one thing, but really wants the opposite. I’m not.”
“Kate loves you. She wants to make you happy and to her, that’s making a big deal.”
“I know and I love her back for it. I really do. If I was a good little egg, I’d just smile through it. And with some things I do. But not this. No parties. No cake. No singing or presents.”
“Can I get you something?” I ask, already having an idea of what I want it to be.
The corner of her mouth twitches up. “You really are the perfect guy,” her head tilts in my direction, “aren’t you, Kyle Grant? You must have women dropping their panties for you constantly.” She smiles bigger. “I don’t need anything.” Claire reaches out, her fingers gliding across my cheek until her hand cups it. “You already give me so much more than you realize.”
She turns away from me, picking up her smut and bringing her knees back up. She’s dismissing me. Changing the subject without having to say another word.
I don’t know if I’ll ever really understand the contradiction that is Claire Sullivan.
But she’s crazy if she thinks I’m not getting her a present.
The thing I want to get her might just be a bit over the top. Might go way beyond something a friend would give. But it’s something that’s been on my mind since I first went to her apartment, and after our conversation today, I really can’t stop the wheels from spinning. That, and I cannot think of someone I want to spend my bonus money on more than her.
Claire might not want the attention that comes with a birthday party. I won’t even pretend to understand the reason behind it. She says I’ve given her more than I realize. She has to know it’s the same for me. That she has become the most important thing in my life.
I just want to make her happy because it’s exactly what she deserves.
Hopefully, that’s what my present will do.


 
Author J. Saman lives in New England with her husband and three daughters. When she's not writing romance and looking after her busy family, she works as a nurse practitioner. J. is a lover of picking at old wounds and second chance romances. She likes strong female leads and sexy alpha men with a sweet side.

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