Release Blitz: Ruthless King by Meghan March

Get ready for the darker and dirtier side of New Orleans with a brand new alpha romance from USA Today bestselling author Meghan March.

New Orleans belongs to me.

You don’t know my name, but I control everything you see—and all the things you don’t.

My reach knows no bounds, and my demands are always met.

I didn’t need to loan money to a failing family distillery, but it amuses me to have them in my debt.

To have her in my debt.

She doesn’t know she caught my attention.

She should’ve been more careful.

I’m going to own her. Consume her. Maybe even keep her.

It’s time to collect what I’m owed.

Keira Kilgore, you’re now the property of Lachlan Mount.

*Ruthless King is book one of the Mount Trilogy*

 

ADD TO GOODREADS

 

BUY NOW

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon Paperback | iBooks | BN | Kobo

 

 

 

meghanmarchpic

Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She’s also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she’s ever had. She loves hearing from her readers at meghanmarchbooks@gmail.com.

FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE | TWITTER | PINTEREST

Advertisements

 

 

 REVIEW

3.5 Stars. Noah and Kaleigh worked for me. Noah was a former playboy who finally gets struck by finding “the one”. He experiences some growth and development in the process of finding his way with Kaleigh. Kaleigh is a bit more resistant to anything serious with our hero so there’s definitely some internal conflict there.

There is some push and pull. There are some funny moments. The first and second story timelines cross over. The plot was ok. Nothing that couldn’t happen in real life, even if the instantly reformed playboy is a stretch. Sexy times are good. Writing good. All in all a cute read.

Complimentary copy received and voluntarily reviewed.

 

IMG_3640.PNG
play·boy
ˈplāˌboi/
noun
a wealthy man who spends his time enjoying himself, especially one who behaves irresponsibly or is sexually promiscuous.
Synonyms: socialite, pleasure seeker.

Noah
I have it all, money, looks, and any woman I want.
Till I meet her and my universe is knocked on its ass and she wants nothing to do with me.

Kaleigh
My motto: never date the same man twice. I have less chance of breaking my heart that way.
Till my eyes land on the only man I’ll break my rule for.

She thinks she can run. That I’ll let her get away.

He thinks he can handle a woman like me.
He has no idea.

A man who has it all needs one thing and one thing only. A temptress.

Watch me Tempt the Playboy.

 

 

Watch the trailer HERE

 

Noah



I wave goodbye to the blonde standing at her door wearing her pink kimono and nothing else as I am pulling away from the curb. I turn on the music, but it’s not on long before I see a call coming in from Austin.



“Go for Ho,” I say to him.



“Where are you at eight a.m. on a Sunday?” he asks me.



“That you even ask this makes me question how well you know me.”



“Fuck off. You can go a Saturday without having sex and your dick won’t fall off. You know this, right?”

Is he serious with this question?



“I don’t even know who you are right now. I think the problem is that you haven’t used your dick since Lauren fucked your balls up.”



“My balls became the fucking size of watermelons. That shit was not funny.”



I burst out laughing. “Dude, they were not pretty. I thought they’d explode and you’d have just your testicles left on the floor.”



“You better have deleted those fucking pictures that I saw you take.”



“Delete them? Fuck, it’s my screen saver at work and on my phone. I might get a T-shirt made with that image.”



“You’re an asshole.”

I smirk at his insult.



“I’ve been called much, much worse,” I inform him. I mean, just last week I was called a cocksucker, which is totally not true, because I will not be sucking any cock at any time. Ever.



“Anyway, brunch, pick me up at noon,” he demands.



“You live next door now. Can’t you walk over?” He moved in within two weeks of seeing the house. It was so fast and came almost furnished, so he was in within a day.



“Fine, I’ll walk over at noon. Be ready.”



“Later, princess.” I disconnect the call as soon as I arrive home, pulling my car into the garage. At noon he knocks on the door, opening it, and coming in before I have a chance to make it downstairs.



“Let’s go. We’ll take my car,” he yells from downstairs.

I run my hand through my still damp hair before walking downstairs.



“You’re so antsy today.” I look at him as he bounces on the heels of his feet. I follow him out, getting inside and leaning my head back, closing my eyes.



When we show up in front of a house, that is when Austin fills me in.



“Where the fuck are we? I thought you said we were going to brunch.” I look over at all the white picket fence houses.



“Yeah, pit stop first. I have to pick up my dry cleaning at Lauren’s,” he tells me, getting out of the car.



Once we make our way around her house, I ask him, “Why are we at her house?”



“She’s having a brunch.” He shrugs. “I may have sent her some penis decorations,” he says to me before walking to the fence at the side of the house.



The first thing I see are all the balloons. Fuck, my hand goes to my mouth. “Holy shit, she is going to cut your dick off with dental floss,” I say before he knocks on the gate and walks into the backyard.



Austin stops in his tracks, mid-step. I almost run into him when I see that it isn’t just a small brunch, but there are about fifteen or so people scattered around the yard.



“Holy shit,” I whisper, looking at Lauren. “Dude, I think she’s going to cry.”

Austin’s eyes snap straight to Lauren.



But I’m not looking at Lauren anymore. In my eyesight is the blonde standing next to her. She’s a knockout. Actually, that isn’t even a good enough word for her. She is breathtaking. Her blond hair moves a bit with the wind. Her blue eyes are almost like the Caribbean ocean that you want to plunge into. I can’t stop looking at her. I don’t even hear what Lauren and Austin are talking about. Instead, I watch the woman, who finally looks over at me. I’m about to say something to her when I hear something about a chocolate willy.



“No, you cannot have a willy chocolate. We are going to eat in a minute.” She turns and storms inside.



“This is not good for anyone. You must be Asshat.” She points to him. “You’ve poked the bear now.”

I don’t say anything else since he turns and follows Lauren inside.

The blonde turns to me. “So, how you doing?” she says in her best Joey Tribbiani voice.



That she is trying to use the best line to ever be said I smirk thinking I might have found my soul mate. Okay, maybe my sex mate, for the night. “It’s looking up now. I’m really hoping it’s going to look up more tonight.” I wink at her and smile.



When she starts to drag her eyes up and down my body while she licks her lips like I’m her next meal, my cock suddenly starts to stir, wanting out.

I hear Rachel yelling, “Daddy, look, a willy.”



“Fuck, this just got interesting. The ex is here,” she says, looking at the gate where a man just walked in and is kissing Rachel’s head. “I better go save Austin and warn Lauren.” She walks away.

I watch her ass sway from side to side. I look down at my hands. Yup, definitely a good fit. I run after her as she closes the back door.



She’s about to knock on the door when we hear Lauren’s voice go high.

“Didn’t you get your revenge already? You penis-bombed my parents’ anniversary party!”



I move behind the blonde and notice that her head goes up to my lips. My hands go directly to her hips. Her head turns to the side. “I want to hear what they are saying.”

She just smiles at me and I’m feeling my hard cock against her back.



“Should I bend over so you can put your ear to the door?”

Fuck me, I think I just jazzed in my pants.



I pull her even closer to me. “You bend over and there will be one more penis added to this party.” I’m about to lean forward and kiss her when I hear Austin finally yell back.



“You made my balls swell to the size of fucking grapefruits. I thought they were going to explode.”

I laugh at that.



“They were fucking huge. I have the pictures to show. Lauren was a pain in his balls, that’s for sure.”

She leans into the front of my chest.



“I did no such thing.” She tries to deny weakly. “But this, this… You pushed it too far.”



“How about we call a truce?” Austin tries to plead. “I don’t think I can take any more. I almost died, and my testicles almost exploded.”



“Fine,” she complies.



“Truce.” I hear whispered.



“You think they’re fucking in there?” We both lean into the door to hear.



“My sister wouldn’t fuck with a party in her house.”



“That’s a shame. Is this a family trait?” I try goading her to see what line she will pass.



“I have no problem having sex with people around.” She winks at me. “I mean, if he was really, really worth it.”

This woman will be the death of me, or I might faint from all my blood going straight to my cock. Which is as hard as a marble statue.



She lifts her hand to knock on the door. “Hey, I don’t mean to interrupt, but, um, Jake is here.”



The door unlocks, swinging open with Lauren standing there with a pink tint to her cheeks and Austin has his hand rubbing his neck.

“What do you mean, Jake is here? Why is Jake here?” she asks with her voice rising with each question.



“Hi”—the woman pushes Lauren aside—“I’m Kaleigh, her favorite sister,” she introduces herself.



“She’s my only sister, and she will be homeless in a second if she doesn’t get out of my way.” Lauren’s voice is angry.



I chuckle behind her. Lauren turns and points at me. “You, if I find out you helped him, it’s going to be on,” she hisses and leans in closer to me when she continues, “like Donkey Kong.” And then she walks away.



“What the fuck does she mean, like Donkey Kong?” I turn to Kaleigh, looking for an answer.



“Oh, I was on that list only once”—she leans in closer to me—“and I begged and cried to get off of it.” She looks at Austin then back at me. “It was like living in that movie The Shining, but worse.”

I feel my face pale at that little tidbit of information.



I point at Austin. “If I get it like Donkey Kong, I’m going to put the pictures of your swollen, abnormally large testicles on a billboard in Times Square,” I threaten him, while Kaleigh just watches us.



“Who the fuck is Jake?” Austin finally asks.



“Her ex. This should be fun,” Kaleigh claims, walking away from us.



“You took a picture of my nuts?” he asks when Lauren storms out.



I shake my head at him. “No, I took a burst of shots of your nuts.” Then I walk out, following Kaleigh. My dick leads the way to her. He hasn’t even met her yet he’s already on radar for her.



“What are you doing here?” I hear Lauren ask a guy who must be Jake.



While I take in the scene, I turn my head, catching one of the waiters passing around some canapés. I also grab champagne from another tray.



“What the fuck are you doing?” I hear Austin hiss at my side while he watches Lauren and her ex.



“I’m eating and drinking,” I say, showing him my full hands. “I mean, this is a party. You did bring me to a party.” I finish off the food. “You should try those mushroom things. They are really good,” I say, finishing off the champagne and signaling the waiter for more. I grab another glass. “Did the ex leave?” I ask Austin as I drain my second glass.



“Yeah, he came to get the kids and forgot it was the party. Guy looks like a douche,” Austin says.

Kaleigh informs Lauren that we are sitting at their table.



“They aren’t staying,” Lauren says before she turns around, heading inside.



“Oh, come now, Lauren. That would be rude,” Dede chides. “You can sit at our table.” She turns to Frank. “Let’s go sit down, honey.”



Once everyone is seated, I look around our table. It’s Kaleigh, Frank, Dede, Lauren, Austin, and Josh, who I found out is a doctor and bears a striking resemblance to Newman from Seinfeld.



He sits next to Lauren, standing up when she gets to the table and pushing her chair in. She looks over at him and smiles. I watch all this take place and then see the tic in Austin’s neck start to throb.



He grabs his glass of wine and downs it in one gulp. “Slow down there, slugger. We don’t want you flying off on one of those penis balloons,” I whisper in his ear while he glares at me.





“So,” Josh starts, looking at Lauren. “I hear congratulations are in order. You’re back in the work force now.” He continues in that annoyingly nasal voice of his, “How does this weekend sound?” He blushes and looks down at his hands. What a putz.



“Oh, um, she can’t do it this weekend,” Kaleigh answers for Lauren. “She’s having her bikini area waxed and styled,” she explains, nodding her head.



“What?” He looks confused.



“Well”—Kaleigh leans in and whispers—“it’s like the Amazon down there.”



I spit water from my mouth, almost fucking choking while their mother puts her hand to her mouth and Lauren throws her fork down on the plate, the clatter hushing the whispers at our table.

“Kaleigh,” she grates out, her jaw ticking.



“What?” she asks. “Was it a secret?” She shrugs. “So sorry.” She brings her glass of wine to her mouth in an attempt to hide her smirk.

My eyes shoot to each of them like I’m watching a tennis match.



“Dear,” Lauren’s mother questions, “are you okay? Is this procedure normal?” She gives her daughter a look filled with concern.



“Mom—” Lauren starts before she is cut off by her father.



“Lauren, it’s been a while since Jake left. Maybe if you”—he gestures with his hand in a circle and his finger sliding in and out—“you won’t be so stressed.”



She slams her hands on the table, the glasses clinking and rocking with the force of it. “I’m not having any hair removal procedures done, because it is not necessary. Can we please just—” This time, she is cut off by her mother.



“So, you’ve had sex since Jake?” Dede asks her, a smile on her face. “This is so good to hear.” She claps her hands together then leans over and puts her hand on Lauren’s. “I thought you had that glow about you.”



“I’m going to the bathroom,” Lauren excuses herself as she gets up and points to Kaleigh. “You”—she growls—“come with me.”



“Oh,” Kaleigh replies, completely unperturbed, “I’m good. I don’t need to go. I’ll just wait here. Keep the guests entertained.”



“Not a word. Or else Donkey Kong,” she promises before she storms off.



“So,” Dede starts, turning to Austin. “How long have you two been dating?” She looks at him and then at the door Lauren just walked through.



Kaleigh laughs. “Oh, they aren’t dating, Mom. He’s her boss,” she helpfully points out. “He sent all these penis balloons.”



Frank looks over at Austin. “You sent all these balloons and ruined all her hard work?” he asks.



“Um, sir, if I could just explain.” Before Austin can say anything else, Frank puts up his hand to stop him.



“I like you,” he declares right before someone clinks their glass and the speeches start.



I put my hand around Kaleigh’s chair while my thumb rubs her exposed shoulder. I lean in to whisper in her ear, “So since we are talking about bikini waxes and everything, will I need a machete?”



She puts her shoulder into my arm, fitting there perfectly. “No machete needed. You see, I have a very well-manicured lawn.” She raises her eyebrows at me.



“We should have a picnic. I heard eating well-manicured lawns can fill up a person.”

Her cheeks pinked.



“I’ve never eaten manicured lawn before, but I have eaten some pretty good sausages.” She bites my ear, making me almost groan, but then Austin kicks my chair to get my attention.



My eyebrows shoot up when Austin says urgently, “Gotta go,” then glances over at Lauren, who is coming straight for us like a bull and Austin is the one waving the red cape. “Now would be good.”



He throws his napkin on the plate in front of him. “This has been fun,” he murmurs, trying to escape.



“Running off so early, guys?” she sing-songs as she comes up behind us. The way she says it, even my balls are inverted.



“We intruded,” Austin says. “Thank you for having us. Dede, Frank, I wish you many more years of happiness.” We rush out on a wave, out the side gate.



“Run,” Austin says the minute the gate closes behind us, and he doesn’t have to tell me twice.

“What the fuck just happened? I didn’t even get Kaleigh’s number,” I whine, getting in the car, not even buckling in before he races away.



“I may have had male strippers show up,” he says, looking into his side-view mirror.



I turn my head, seeing about twelve men all getting into a big bus of sorts. “Yup, you’ve done pissed off the fucking Donkey Kong. She’s going to rain down on you. I suggest you run, move, and don’t look back.” I buckle myself in. “Oh, and don’t tell me where you’re going because I’ll fucking tell her.” I grab my cock in my hands. “She’s not getting next to my pride and joy.”



“She’ll be fine.”



I laugh at him. “You think?” I shake my head. “You have no idea.”







Kaleigh



I don’t know what is going on, but one second I’m talking about eating sausages on my manicured lawn and the next Lauren is storming across the lawn and Austin and Noah are running away.



I get up. “What did I miss?” I look back and forth from the gate where it just slammed and to my sister.



“The entire cast of Thunder From Down Under just arrived.” She looks around to see if the guests are okay.



I get up, raising my skirt a little bit to show off more leg. “Where? Are they inside? Shit, do I look okay?” I fluff my hair.



“Kaleigh,” she whisper-hisses, “they aren’t here anymore. I sent them away.”



I groan and slam one hand on the table. “Why? Why would you do that?” I get up and run to the side gate to see if they’re still in the driveway. “Buzz kill,” I call her as I pick up Rachel. “Can you protect me from Mommy?” I whisper in her ear before blowing kisses in her neck while Lauren sits down and starts her meal of wine.



The rest of the afternoon goes by without any further penis-related incidents. All cupcakes have been consumed, minus the penis cake toppers that Lauren removed before serving them.



Once everyone has left, Lauren plops down into her chair and throws her feet up on the one Austin sat in. “That was fun, right?” I ask, grabbing a strawberry.



“You told people I had a strange excessive hair issue on my hoo-ha that required a complicated bikini wax and styling.” She glares at me.



“I was trying to get Josh to imagine that you’re a woman with a hairy bush so he doesn’t ask you out again!” I drink from the wine glass I’m holding in my hand. “You’re welcome.” I smirk.



“What the hell are we going to do with all those penis balloons?”

She looks around. “Asshole,” she grumbles under her breath.



“What’s the story with Noah?” I try to ask casually, thinking back to the conversation we had. I would have let him plow my lawn.



“No idea. He’s Austin’s best friend from what I gathered,” she tells me while looking at Rachel, who is running in circles with, unfortunately, a penis balloon in her hand. “Ten minutes to bath time!” she calls out, hoping she acknowledges her, but she just continues her one-girl—with a penis balloon—parade.



“Mom,” we hear Gabe call from behind us. “Can I go to Jesse’s house to kick the ball around?”



She checks her watch before answering. “Only for thirty minutes, okay?”



“So, what are you going to do to Austin for all of this?” I ask, pointing to the balloons.



“Nothing.” She smirks. “We called a truce.”



I sit up and put my glass down. “I know that smirk. I’ve been on the receiving end of that smirk!”



“I mean, we called truce today, right? We didn’t call truce on Wednesday when he made me run back out for a fucking crisp kosher pickle, because the one that came with his sandwich was limp, right?” she asks me with a perplexed smile on her face. It’s almost like you’re looking into evil.



“What did you do now? From the pictures, his balls were almost the size of Gabe’s soccer ball.” I think back on Noah’s phone that he took out when he got a text from someone. His lock screen was of swollen balls.



She slaps the table. “You saw pictures?” Her mouth is hanging open.



I nod. “I did. Not the actual frank, though, just the beans. But they were ginormous.” I motion with my hands, forming them into huge round objects in the air. “Now, what did you do?”



“Nothing that will make any part of him swell. I will never, ever do something like that again.” She shakes her head. “I may have shredded one of his parking tickets that had to be paid by yesterday so he could avoid his car getting booted,” she confesses quietly, looking into the glass she picked up from the table.



“Holy shit. I hope you kept the photocopies, because you can’t not pay that. He is going to know it was you,” I warn her.



“I know, I know. I kept them, so just relax.” She puts her hands on her hips and states defensively, “I’m going to pay them.”



“When?” I ask her again, earning an eye roll from her.



“Next week,” she replies. “Rach, bath time.” She walks to the back door. “Don’t you dare sit there and judge me, missy.” She points at me. “By the way, the potatoes had butter in them. That’s for the bikini wax,” she says before she turns her back to me and walks inside with the sound of her curses filling my ears.



“Are you fucking insane? I’m vegan. That’s fucking wrong.” I shake my head, picking up a penis straw and throwing it at her, where it nose dives on the table.



I sit down, finishing the rest of my wine while the cleanup crew comes and starts taking down everything.



“Excuse me, ma’am,” one of the men calls me. “Where do you want all the balloons?” he asks me.

I smile at him.



“In my sister’s car.” I point to the gate door. “The minibus in the front, just pile them in there.” He smiles at me and nods, the balloons following him as he walks to the car, shoving most of them in there.



“Take that, Donkey Kong Bitch.” I smile into the wine glass, finishing off the last drop.



I walk inside, closing the door, then walk upstairs right as Lauren comes out of the bathroom. “Are the guys still cleaning up?”



“Yeah, they are almost done.” I smile at her, walking to my room and closing the door. I turn on one soft light in the room, undressing, tossing my dress into the basket. My phone buzzes and I pick it up as I lie on the bed and see I missed out on quite a bit.



There are messages from the studio about a change in the times. Then there is another one from an unknown number.



Hey, I hope I have the right person. Do you have a manicured lawn?



I throw my head back, laughing at the message.



It depends on who is asking. How did you get my number?



I jump onto Facebook while I wait to see if he’ll answer right away.



It’s called stalking 101. I went on Lauren’s Facebook, went to her friends list, found you. Clicked your page, and on your about section I saw your studio name. Clicked the studio and then boom, I got my prize.



I shake my head.



Wow, you put a lot of thought into this process. Well, I should make it worthwhile. I take a picture of my bare legs.



Holy shit, are we exchanging pictures already? This is fantastic news.

The picture is of him lying down, wearing a pair of basketball shorts, on the bed. The elastic rides very low, showing you he’s a landscaper also. His chest perfect, his abs defined. He’s not a muscle man, but it’s the side abs that get me. Cut and lean. That is the best way I can describe him.



Thanks for that. It made it into my spank bank.



I got a lot more where that came from, but I don’t give it away on the first night. Have dinner with me?



When?



Tomorrow.



I shrug my shoulders, thinking what the worse that can happen is.

Sure, where?



My place, your place, the fucking park. I don’t care as long as you’re sitting in front of me.



I giggle.

That’s a good one. How about I meet you at your place say 6 p.m.



Perfect. What’s your favorite thing to eat?



I smirk at myself while I answer him.



Cock. Lots and lots of cock. See you tomorrow, Noah. Send me your address.



974 Sherville Rd. Oh and that answer made this happen.



The picture that comes through is his shorts, hiding a very erect cock.



See you tomorrow, beautiful.



I turn on my side, watching the stars twinkle outside. Closing off my light, the lights from outside stream in. I yawn and slowly close my eyes and drift off to sleep, dreaming of blue oceans and eyes that make me get lost.



My night dreams are of the beach, chasing the waves, running, doing cartwheels in the sand. Sitting in the middle of the sand, taking in the beauty of the sun going down. My alarm wakes me with charm bells. Slowly at first, soft, going higher and higher till it’s like a siren.



“Aunt Kay.” I hear Rachel outside my door. “Mom said to get your bony hind downstairs and get the willy balloons out of the car.”



I turn over, laughing while I throw the covers off, grabbing my robe and going to the door. I open the door and Rachel is still standing there. “You’re in big trouble, missy.”

She leans in, whispering as I pick her up, bringing her close to me, “She used her mom inside voice.”



I lean back, my eyes going wide. “Oh, dear.”



“Yes,” she says, nodding, “she talks like this.” She imitates Lauren talking with her teeth clenched.



“Oh, well, I better go get dressed and bring my behind downstairs.” I kiss her neck. “Go brush your teeth while I get dressed.” I put her down, watching her run into her bathroom.



I walk to my drawer, taking out my pink yoga capris with the matching bra. I head downstairs while Lauren gives the ten-minute warning.



I smile as I step into the kitchen. “Good morning, sunshine.” I stop at the coffee machine.



“Did you put the penis balloons in my car?” She turns to ask me, stuffing papers into Rachel’s backpack.



I bring the cup of coffee to my lips. “No.” I shake my head, hiding my smile while I take a sip. “I didn’t put them in your car.” I’m not lying either. I myself didn’t put them in her car.



“My whole car is filled with penis balloons.”



I put the cup down as Lauren yells bus up the stairs. Rachel comes hopping into the room, grabbing her backpack, with Gabe right behind her. He grabs his bag from Lauren, kisses her cheek, then comes over to me and does the same.



“Have a kick-ass day,” I tell him.



“I’m going to kick ass today,” Rachel says, walking out the door.



“Watch your mouth,” Lauren says and follows them outside to the bus.

I pick up my cup and watch them walk to the bus stop. The bus arrives right on time. I wave goodbye to them as Lauren returns.



“You okay to work today?” I ask her, knowing that somehow things between Austin and her aren’t quite what they seem to be.



“I’m more than okay. I’ll be fine now that we have all”—she waves her hand in the air—“that animosity out of the way.”



I laugh at her. “Is that what you’re calling it?” I hold the cup with both hands, taking another gulp.



She glares at me, opening her car door, one helium penis balloon floating up into the sky. We both watch the balloon float off. She opens the back door and the rest slowly float out. “Let them go, Lauren,” I say loudly as Mrs. Flounder comes outside, her hair still in curlers, with a scarf around her head. “It’s raining penises, Mrs. Flounder. They are raining down on us.”



I raise my hand to the sky. She claps her hands together. “I would like to be rained down on.” She winks at Lauren. “For a whole five minutes. That would be my dream.”



I raise my cup to her. “Here’s hoping.”



“I don’t have time for this,” Lauren says, closing the back door, then climbing into the front seat. “Don’t forget the kids.”



“Aye aye, captain,” I say, saluting her. “I have a date tonight.” I wiggle my eyebrows. “A date I hope to become the pretzel.”

She laughs as she pulls out of the driveway.



By the time I make it to the studio doing my routine and making it back home where I get the kids ready and settled, I have just enough time to throw on a dark blue summer dress. I pick up my purse from the bed, tossing the bra and panties that I am happily going without.

 

 

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

 

Author Links

 

 

 

Cover Reveal: Cherish Hard by Nalini Singh

CherishHard_m

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh kicks off her new Hard Play contemporary romance series with a sizzling story that’ll leave you smiling…
Meet Sailor & Isa on November 14th!

Pre-order your copy today!
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2yaHnQG
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2i1LhHC
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2yXwnFB
iBooks: http://apple.co/2xw0U0O
Nook: http://bit.ly/2yf01bI
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2i2wvR1

☆☆☆☆☆☆

FULL BLURB

CHERISH HARD
A Hard Play Novel by Nalini Singh

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh kicks off her new Hard Play contemporary romance series with a sizzling story that’ll leave you smiling…
Sailor Bishop has only one goal for his future – to create a successful landscaping business. No distractions allowed. Then he comes face-to-face and lips-to-lips with a woman who blushes like an innocent… and kisses like pure sin.
Ísa Rain craves a man who will cherish her, aches to create a loving family of her own. Trading steamy kisses with a hot gardener in a parking lot? Not the way to true love. Then a deal with the devil (aka her CEO-mother) makes Ísa a corporate VP for the summer. Her main task? Working closely with a certain hot gardener.
And Sailor Bishop has wickedness on his mind.
As Ísa starts to fall for a man who makes her want to throttle and pounce on him at the same time, she knows she has to choose – play it safe and steady, or risk all her dreams and hope Sailor doesn’t destroy her heart.

☆☆☆☆☆☆

EXCERPT

Fuming, Ísa made sure to set the alarm system and lock up. Everyone else was already well into their summer vacation—the sole reason Ísa was here was because she hadn’t been able to work on her lesson plans at home.
Her upstairs neighbor was having repairs done to her bathroom that required banging and hammering.
Not all of it involved nails and wood.
Hopefully the repairs would be finished by now. There was only so much ecstatic orgasmic screaming that a single woman in online-dating purgatory could stand without being driven to violence.
She spotted the tan-colored gardening truck the instant she came down the front steps of the school’s imposing redbrick main building and turned left to head toward her car. The hot gardener had parked it right next to her zippy blue compact. The front of the truck had four doors with tinted windows while the large bed was piled with shovels and other manly tools as well as a huge sack of clippings.
His light brown T-shirt was hanging over the top of the tailgate.
Which meant he was still walking around topless somewhere around here.
“Get in your car, Ísa,” she muttered to herself, well aware what would happen if she came face-to-face with that delicious hunk of manhood. Because while she might’ve conquered her shyness, she knew her limits.
Confronted by a bare-chested man who made her ovaries explode, she’d turn bright pink, lose her ability to form speech, and end of story. “Oh—”
She would’ve bounced off that sculpted chest if he hadn’t grabbed her by the hips.
“Hey, sorry,” he said with a startled smile that lit up the dazzling blue of his eyes. “I didn’t see you.”
“No, um, my fault.” It looked as if he’d crouched down to check one of his tires or something else but had risen to his feet right when she swung around to get into her car. And God, his skin was so hot and smooth and he was so tall and his shoulders were so broad and her mouth was drying up. The stuttering would begin at any moment.
The same stuttering Suzanne had mocked relentlessly when they were fourteen. Until Ísa had gone silent around everyone except the few friends she trusted. And now that horrible, ugly-hearted girl was getting married, having a baby, getting a happily-ever-after. Added to which, Ísa’s mother was jerking her on a string like she was a marionette, and her last “date” had asked her to call him Woofy and reward him with doggy biscuits.
The blue of the gardener’s eyes flickered with a hot flame.
And she thought… I know him. But before she could follow that faint thread, all the fury and hurt and frustration and sheer aggravation in Ísa ignited into an incandescent inferno.
She went mad.
Grabbing the hot gardener’s beautiful face in her hands, she said, “I want to kiss you.”
A wicked grin. “Go on ahead.”
And Ísa pressed her lips to his.
Copyright © 2017 by Nalini Singh

Meet the Author

nalini Singh

Nalini Singh is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling, Guild Hunter, and Rock Kiss series. She lives and works in beautiful New Zealand, and is passionate about writing.
If you’d like to explore her other books, you can find lots of excerpts and free short stories on her website. Slave to Sensation is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, while Angels’ Blood is the first book in the Guild Hunter series. The Rock Kiss books are all stand alone and can be read in any order.

STALK HER: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitterf | Goodreads

Release Blitz: Riding Rough by Aria Cole

 

 

 





Colt Sutherland has been to hell and back, from the day he was deployed to the desert to the one that nearly ended his life in an attack. Only one thing kept this soldier breathing, an angelic vision of a young woman with shiny blond hair and a smile that soothes the ache in his soul. The only girl to ever own his heart—the one that got away.

Back in his hometown, Colt finds the unexpected in Raven Wetherspoon. Her lush waves and seductive curves call to him, leaving him chomping at the bit to get to know her better, and get her underneath him. But can her touch really heal his battered warrior’s heart, or will the past that haunts him steal his life once and for all?

Warning: Skin tight Wranglers, cowgirl boots, and bareback rides under the stars would leave even the wildest of bad boys believing in love at first sight. Letting go of the reins won’t be easy when this filly needs breaking. Saddle up and hold on tight, Colt and Raven are riding hard for love!

 

 

 

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

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

Sign up to get a NEW RELEASE ALERT from me!
http://eepurl.com/ccGnRX

 

 

 

Release Blitz: Tempt the Playboy by Natasha Madison

 

 

IMG_3640.PNG
play·boy
ˈplāˌboi/
noun
a wealthy man who spends his time enjoying himself, especially one who behaves irresponsibly or is sexually promiscuous.
Synonyms: socialite, pleasure seeker.

Noah
I have it all, money, looks, and any woman I want.
Till I meet her and my universe is knocked on its ass and she wants nothing to do with me.

Kaleigh
My motto: never date the same man twice. I have less chance of breaking my heart that way.
Till my eyes land on the only man I’ll break my rule for.

She thinks she can run. That I’ll let her get away.

He thinks he can handle a woman like me.
He has no idea.

A man who has it all needs one thing and one thing only. A temptress.

Watch me Tempt the Playboy.

 

 

Watch the trailer HERE

 

 

 

 

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

 

Author Links

 

 

 

Chapter Reveal: A Saving Grace by Annie Stone

 

 

 

A grave injury leaves Hunter in a dangerous state. A place where he can no longer see the light. In anything. But Mackenzie can’t—and won’t—accept that.

So she sends him a reason to live. With that comes unforeseen difficulties.

Once again, Mackenzie sees firsthand how strong Hunter’s love and determination can really be. But is that enough? Will their lives ever be the same again?

 

 


ONE
Hunter

On our way back to Camp Leatherneck, I sit in the back seat, looking out the window at the monotonous wasteland around us. Our mission at the COP is over, and I’ve completed my second deployment to Afghanistan. It’s back to Virginia for me.
I’m looking forward to going back to the States. Maybe I’ll manage to meet up Carey this time. The more time that passes since the thing with Mac, the easier it gets to live with it. I haven’t forgotten her, of course—and I never will—but it no longer hurts as much as it did in the beginning.
Suddenly, the front left of the car is yanked up off the ground. I hear screams and swearing as I try to steady myself in my seat. But our armored vehicle flips and lands on its side. All I can hear are shots, moans, and screams in Pashto, Dari, and English.
I can’t move. My leg is stuck. I try to say something, but nothing comes out. As I attempt to free my leg, the vehicle is hit and thrown up in the air again, throwing me through the window. I land on the ground a few feet away, disoriented and confused.
I want to get up and look for my buddies, make sure everybody’s okay, but I realize I can hardly hear anything. Then my field of vision shrinks, blackness creeping in around the edges. Before I can even lift an arm, I pass out.

 

TWO
Mackenzie

I’m antsy throughout the entire flight, unable to focus on anything. Reading, watching a movie, distracting myself in any other way—forget about it.
I knew it all along. I was up all night, sure something had happened to Hunter, and the next morning, Carey and I heard Hunter had been injured in an attack and flown to Ramstein. By the time we were notified, he was in surgery. And that was all they could tell us.
I immediately got on a plane to go see him, even if it was tough for me to leave Hazel with Carey. I had to. I don’t know if Hunter is going to survive. I need to see him again, tell him how much I love him. I can’t let him go without that knowledge. Even if he can’t speak to me. He only needs to hear me. He needs to know I care.
I knead my hands until it feels like my skin’s going to fall off. I’m sitting beside the aisle, so I keep getting up to pace the length of the plane. How long can one flight last?
Twelve hours. Twelve long, agonizing hours later, we land in Frankfurt, and I board a shuttle bus Carey booked to take me to Ramstein Air Base. Carey also made sure I’ll get a visitor’s pass when I arrive.
The entire hour I’m on the van, I chew my nails, my thoughts going in circles. How is Hunter doing? Is he still alive? Am I too late?
Please, don’t let me be too late! I can’t imagine life without Hunter. Please, no! I don’t want to be without him.
When we get to the gates, I have to write my name on a form and show them my ID before they give me a pass and let the shuttle through. I go straight to the hospital and tell them at reception I’m here to see Hunter, but they ask me to have a seat in the waiting room. So I wait.
And keep waiting.
I call Carey to tell him I got here and ask about Hazel. Carey instructs me to hold the phone to Hunter’s ear as soon as possible he can hear him.
I swallow. “What if…” No. I can’t get the words out.
“No, Mac, no!” Carey snaps. “If it was that bad, somebody would have told me! I haven’t heard anything. We need to hope for the best.”
“You’re right. I’ll call you back later, okay?”
“Okay, wait a second. Hazel wants to talk to you.”
“Hazel?”
“Mommy! When you tummin bat?”
“Soon, angel. I’ll be back soon. You be good for Carey till then, okay?”
“Otay!” she squeals. “Ice tream!”
I smile. “Lots of ice cream, and then I’ll be back. I love you, honey.”
“Love you too!”
I didn’t cry on the plane, because I thought I simply had no tears left, but now they start rolling again.
“Mackenzie Hall?” somebody calls across the waiting room.
I turn and see a doctor in a doorway leading back into the hospital. With trembling legs, I get up. “Yes?”
“I’ll take you to your fiancé now. Sergeant Tilman’s brother told us you were authorized to see him. Obviously, Sergeant Tilman will need to confirm that when he wakes up from his coma.”
“Coma?” I repeat, shocked.
“Don’t worry. We thought it was best to induce a coma after surgery. We’re already reducing the meds, so he should wake up within the next few hours.”
“Can you tell me what’s wrong with him?”
“He suffered several non-lethal wounds, one to his shoulder, one to his arm, and a graze to his thigh. He has internal injuries, but we were able to stop the bleeding. The worst of it is that when he was ejected from the vehicle during the ambush, his leg suffered the greatest damage. We had to amputate below the knee.”
“Amputate?” I repeat dumbly. “He…He only has one leg now?”
The doctor nods gravely. “Yes. Amputating was the best option. He can wear a prosthetic, and if he’s lucky, he’ll be able to walk just like he used to.”
For a moment, I feel like I can’t breathe. But then relief wins out. “But…he’s going to make it?”
“There may be some other complications, but if everything heals like we think, then yes, he’ll make a full recovery. With some rehab and therapy, he’ll be able to lead a good life with his prosthetic.”
“Thank you,” I say, the words coming from the very depths of my heart. Everything is going to be okay, as long as Hunter lives. “Can I stay here with him?”
“Of course.” The doctor nods over his shoulder. “We’ll set up a cot for you in his room.”
“That won’t be necessary. I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep.”
The doctor gives me a strict look. “Ma’am, you look like you haven’t slept in a long time. You breaking down with exhaustion is not going to help Sergeant Tilman. He needs you to be strong right now. Do you understand?”
I nod. “I’m a trauma therapist. I understand.”
“Okay. I’ll take you to him.”
I follow the doctor through the double doors of the waiting room and down a hallway, only stopping in front of the last door the doctor walks through. I have to work up all the strength I have left in me.
Hunter needs me to be strong, I repeat to myself.
When I finally step through the doorway and see him, I’m shocked. He looks so different than he did three years ago. Like I expected, he looks more masculine. He’s grown a beard, and his brown hair is still cropped short, but he has a ghastly tube in his mouth, and several others protruding from his body.
But the worst thing of all is seeing the place where his calf used to be. Because now there is…nothing.
I’m glad he’s not awake, because it gives me a chance to get used to the sight of him. This way, when he wakes up, I really can be strong for him. It’s good I’m getting this moment. I shed a few tears before reminding myself it could have been worse. People live with prosthetics every day, and an amputation below the knee is the best-case scenario. Everything will be okay. What matters is that he’s alive, that he’s going to recover. And that he’s finally going to listen to me. The stubborn ass.
Sliding a chair next to his bed, I sit down and take his hand without the port in it. Gently stroke his knuckles, I watch his beautiful face. He seems bigger—at least wider. He didn’t have shoulders like that three years ago, did he? Even though he’d already grown in width back then, he seems even bigger now. But my memory is surely a little blurred. I met him when he was seventeen and only saw him once at the age of twenty-one. What a history we have.
“I don’t know if you can hear me, Hunter,” I say, swallowing. “Some say people in comas can hear what’s going on around them. I’ll tell you all of this again once you’re better, but just in case you can hear me, I want to tell you right now that I love you. I’m sorry I didn’t take your hand without hesitating, even for a second. I can only blame a moment of derangement. I did not choose Carter, do you hear me? I chose you. I love you. So much! And you have given me the greatest present a man can give a woman. Her name is Hazel Claire. H for her daddy, C for her uncle. Carey is crazy about your daughter, Hunter. And I hope you will be, too. I’ve missed you so much. Carey has missed you so much. Hazel needs her dad. Please, Hunter, wake up and get well again. For me, for her. We need you.”
I tell him little stories about Hazel, like when she tried to eat the needles of the Christmas tree we bought last week. And how she learned to write the letter H and took her paintbrush to write Hs all over the hallway. That she’s a good eater but doesn’t like Brussels sprouts, even if you mash them together with potatoes. That she can say “Dad,” even if she never gets to use it. But she knows her daddy from pictures and videos.
At some point, I put my head down next to Hunter’s hand on the bed. I’m exhausted. I haven’t slept in three days, which gives me an idea of how he must have felt in boot camp—minus all the other types of torture he had to endure, of course.
A nurse wakes me up to measure Hunter’s vital signs, and I look around sleepily. It looks like morning. “Why don’t you lie down on the cot?” she suggests gently.
“I want to be with him,” I murmur.
She nods. “But you need to take care of yourself, too. And your little girl.”
“How do you…?”
She smiles. “You told him stories about your daughter for hours last night. Hazel.”
I nod. “She’s so precious.”
“And he doesn’t know about her?”
I bite my lip. How do I explain that he doesn’t know we have a child when I’m supposed to be his fiancé? “He hasn’t met her, no. He hasn’t been home.”
“It’s okay, love.” She pats my hand. “I don’t need details.” She winks at me before leaving the room.
I don’t want to leave Hunter, but I need coffee. So I scurry away to the cafeteria and get myself a cup before returning to his bedside. The doctor said he would be awake within the next few hours.
How many hours? I think miserably. Maybe he meant days…
“Hunter?” I rush forward. Fluttering—I saw his eyelids fluttering!
I squeeze his hand, and all of a sudden, he’s squeezing back.
“Hunter!” I put a hand on his cheek. His lashes twitch in unison with his eyelids. Oh my God! He’s waking up! “Hunter, it’s me!” I sob. “I’m here. Please wake up.”
He moves his head a little, and then suddenly his eyes fly open. There’s panic in them. He fights against the tube in his mouth.
“Hunter, calm down, it’s all right!” I put both hands on his face, forcing him to look at me. “Shhh. It’s okay. They’ll remove the tube in a second. It’s okay. You’re safe.”
He gives me a confused look but calms down a little. Releasing him for just a second, I press the button to call the nurse, and she comes in a moment later. She calls the doctor, who checks Hunter’s pupils and vital signs before removing the tube from his throat. Hunter gasps, coughs, and retches, but when he starts breathing again, tears run down my cheeks.
“Mac?” he asks hoarsely.
“I’m here, babe,” I say, taking his hand again.
He squeezes my fingers.
“Sergeant Tilman,” the doctor interrupts gently, “I’m Dr. Ferguson. I operated on you. You sustained injuries to your shoulder, arm, thigh, and leg. And there was internal bleeding from damage to your spleen. Do you remember the mission on which you were injured?”
Hunter squints. “Yeah. We were on the way back to Camp Leatherneck… Wait, what happened to Jax?”
“Jax?”
“Corporal Jackson Halliwell,” Hunter clarifies with difficulty.
Dr. Ferguson shakes his head sympathetically. “I’m sorry. I’ve never heard the name. He wasn’t brought here.”
Hunter swallows heavily.
“Do you remember what happened?” the doctor asks.
“We were ambushed.” It’s still difficult for him to speak, so the nurse hands him a glass of water with a straw. He carefully drinks a few small sips before continuing. “The vehicle was thrown up into the air, and I was ejected through the window.”
The doctor nods. “Ripping off your leg.”
Hunter’s eyes widen, his nostrils trembling. “My leg?” he repeats, like he doesn’t quite understand. He tries to sit up, squeezing my fingers so hard I hear a popping sound.
“I’m sorry, Sergeant,” the doctor says. “We had to amputate your left leg below the knee.”
The nurse presses a button that raises the head of Hunter’s bed. The panic in his eyes breaks my heart. And when he sees the blanket lying flat on the mattress where his leg should be, he sobs. I squeeze his fingers, not knowing how to help him process this. It must be surreal. The last time he was awake, he still had two legs. Now he only has one.
“Oh God,” he mumbles, again and again and again.
“Hunter, babe,” I murmur, putting an arm around his shoulders.
“Fuck, Mac!” He leans his head against my chest and cries. I reach around him with both arms, pulling him firmly to my chest.
“I’m so sorry.”
His tears soak my shirt. Somehow, it’s different to not just see his pain but feel it, too. I kiss his head, whispering calming words, even though I know they’re completely inadequate. His world is breaking down.
“Everything’s going to be okay,” I murmur into his ear.
He pulls away, and there is madness in his eyes. “Nothing is going to be okay! I lost my leg!”
“I know, babe—”
“Don’t call me that! You chose him, you fucking whore!”
I know he doesn’t mean to hurt me. He’s just unable to deal with this situation. “Hunter—”
“I don’t want to see you.” He averts his eyes to the ceiling. “And I don’t want you to see me like this.”
“But I—”
“Get out, Mac! Be happy and forget about me,” he says bitterly.
I reach for his hand, but he pulls it away. “Don’t, Hunter, please… Listen to me!”
“Get out! Now!” He’s almost screaming by this point.
Though I don’t want to leave, the doctor and nurse escort me out of the room. Hunter’s not listening! He’s not interested in what I have to say. Not now.
“Ms. Hall, please go now,” Dr. Ferguson says. “You can talk to him later, when he’s had time to calm down. Right now, it’s best if you leave.”
“No, please,” I beg. “He needs me—”
“He does, but as long as he doesn’t understand that, he’ll just keep sending you away,” the nurse interrupts gently. “We’ll let you know when something changes. You can sit in the waiting room.”
“Okay,” I say defeated. “But please…d-don’t forget.” I walk down the hallway, my arms wrapped around myself. I haven’t felt this lonely in a very long time.
I don’t actually want to talk to anyone, but Carey must be worried, so I dial his number as I sit in an uncomfortable chair.
“Mac?” Carey answers. “How is he? Have you seen him? Can I talk to him?”
I sob the moment I hear his voice.
“No, Mac, no, no!” he desperately calls into the phone, his voice breaking.
“He’s alive, Carey, he’s alive,” I hurry to say, launching to my feet. His thoughts are taking him down the wrong track, and I can’t let him go there. “He’s awake.”
“Fuck! Mac!” Carey swears, relief evident in his voice. “What happened?”
“His convoy drove into an ambush. They were shot at, the vehicle was thrown up into the air, and he was ejected. His leg was ripped off.”
“Ripped off? What do you mean ripped…? Oh, no…”
“They amputated it.”
“Fuck! No! I… Oh my God!”
After a long moment in which neither of us know what to say, Carey asks, “How is he taking it?”
“Not great,” I admit. “And I didn’t make things any better. God, Carey, he hates me.” I lean against the wall, trying to control my tears.
“What did he say?”
“At first, he let me hug him, but then he sent me away and said he never wants to see me again because I chose Carter.”
“That was just the shock,” Carey says lamely.
I nod, even though he can’t see me. “Yes, I know, but I think he meant it, too.”
“Oh, Mac. Give him some time. He needs to sort himself out. After that, you’ll get your chance. I’m sure of it.”
I shake my head. “You didn’t see him. So cold and distant. I’ve never seen him like that before.”
“Give him time. Don’t rush things,” Carey insists, nearly begging. “You can’t leave him alone right now.”
“I’m not. I’ll stay here with him. Even if he doesn’t want me to.”
“Thank you, Mac.”
“How is Hazel?”
“She’s sleeping. She misses you.”
I smile a little. “My baby girl.”
“Mac, he loves you. I know he does. You just need to get through his hard shell. Don’t give up. He needs you.”
“I know.”
After we hang up, I wait there in the waiting room for hours. Every time I ask after Hunter, they tell me he still doesn’t want to see me. I curl up on one of the benches there, wrapping my sweater around myself for warmth. At some point, a nurse brings me a blanket. I fall asleep, but I’m restless the entire night.
I’m a contemporary romance writer, who likes her men tattooed, her women independent and her coffee strong.

My stories are all about love, but some are of the romantic kind, some of the sad kind and others of the very steamy kind. So if you can stand drama, foul language and sex, you came to the right place.

Love, Annie

 

Author Links

 

 

Blog Tour: A Saving Grace by Annie Stone

 

REVIEW

I’ve followed the series and enjoyed the journey. However, I’d like to start by saying that it didn’t end with as much character development as I’d expected. Hunter, specifically, had a lot of room for growth. I understand that he was injured and lashing out but he doesn’t ever really recover in any truly impactful way. His maturity level was that of a teenager. This was most evident during scenes where there was intimacy. Mac won my heart. She was selfless, patient, loving, guileless, and genuine. She made some big mistakes earlier in the series but she redeemed herself many times over.

The plot had potential that was somewhat stunted by the lack of fulfilling characterization. The pacing was good. The writing was generally strong with some opportunities for improvement.

This book should not be read as a standalone because the context is critical for understanding.

Complimentary copy received and voluntarily reviewed.

A grave injury leaves Hunter in a dangerous state. A place where he can no longer see the light. In anything. But Mackenzie can’t—and won’t—accept that.

So she sends him a reason to live. With that comes unforeseen difficulties.

Once again, Mackenzie sees firsthand how strong Hunter’s love and determination can really be. But is that enough? Will their lives ever be the same again?

 

When I’m finished packing, I join the other two in the living room. They’re sitting on the couch, arms crossed in front of their chests.
“I don’t want!” Hazel cries.
“But you can’t stay dirty like that,” Carey reasons with her.
“Yes, I can.”
“People need to take baths, Hazeline.”
“Not Hazel.”
“Aren’t you a person, too, Hazel?”
She shakes her head. I lean against the doorframe, amused.
“What are you then?”
“Tid.”
I smile. She’s pretty quick.
“Isn’t a kid a person, too?” Carey insists. Hazel shakes her head. “No? What is it, then?”
“Lion.”
Carey smiles. “A lion?”
“Grrr,” she says, sounding more like Simba’s first attempt at a roar than any real lion.
“Well, little lions have to take baths, too,” Carey tells her.
“How?” She looks genuinely confused.
“Their mommies lick them.”
“Eww!”
“So, what’s it going to be, little lion? Are you going to take a bath, or do you want Mac to lick you?”
She gives him a critical look. “With bubbies.”
“Bubbles it is.”
“Pink bubbies.”
He smiles and stretches his hand toward her. She slips hers in it and shakes it as hard as she can like they’ve just struck a business deal.
Carey looks up and sees me standing there. “Your baby does not want to be licked.”
“That’s totally okay. I don’t really want to lick such a dirty baby.” I pull a face and make scary hissing sounds, sending her running all over the living room. I run after her, yelling that I’m going to eat her. She squeals and sprints into Carey’s arms.
I come after her, and she squeaks as I kiss her shoulder making licking sounds. Carey laughs and saves her from me.
“Come on, let’s get to the bathroom, Hazeline, quick!”
She nods emphatically, and together they sprint out of the living room. I run after them, still making scary sounds they seem to find hilarious. Carey slams the door shut in my face, and I scratch at it, hearing them laugh inside.
“Your mom is crazy,” Carey laughs.
“Yeah,” the little traitor agrees, clapping her hands.

 

I’m a contemporary romance writer, who likes her men tattooed, her women independent and her coffee strong.

My stories are all about love, but some are of the romantic kind, some of the sad kind and others of the very steamy kind. So if you can stand drama, foul language and sex, you came to the right place.

Love, Annie

 

Author Links