Sexy Bad (first chapter) Halloween

Have you given the latest book in the Sexy Bad series a try?

Sexy couple

 

SEXY BAD HALLOWEEN

Alex

I stepped into the costume shop looking for something to wear to a Halloween party. What I got was a chance meeting with my childhood best friend, Victoria Ruben. We haven’t spoken since her mom and my dad had an affair and took her and moved across the country, twelve years ago.

Despite a less-than-stellar shared past, I want to get to know my friend again. Maybe as more than friends. But she’s hesitant.

So I suggest a game with only one rule: Let’s go on ten dates… without sex.

 

Victoria

My life is complicated enough without Alex Darling stepping back into it. So I definitely should not have taken him up on his challenge of ten dates without sex. Because, yeah, the more reacquainted we become, the more I want to get to know him better, a lot better. Like maybe forever better.

Which can’t happen. Because I have a secret, and it involves Alex, and when he finds out, he’ll want nothing to do with me ever again.

Chapter One

ALEX

 

“I’m not usually such a procrastinator,” I say as I burst through the door of the costume shoppe—so the sign hanging from the eaves proclaims—and bustle inside, determined to get this annoying task over with.

The single occupant of the store pauses in the process of doing who knows what to a silver and blue dress with a billowing, floor-length skirt, and glances over her shoulder. “Welcome to Victoria’s Vintage Costumes.”

“Are you Victoria?” I move away from the door, glancing at a grouping of mannequins dressed in suits with frilly cuffs and dresses with skirts as wide as they are long. There are other statues dressed in flapper dresses and some in zoot suits and still others in—are those animals? They look frighteningly real. Although ridiculously large. Like, nightmare-inducing large.

“Technically, yes. But I go by Tori, even though I’m not.”

There might be a political joke in her statement, but I’m too focused on my task to try to work it out, so I say nothing.

“Well, anyway, I take it you have to attend a party tonight?” She climbs down from a stepladder and whips a tape measure out of the pocket in her capris as she strides toward me. Her hair is a rainbow—pink and blue and green and purple, twisted into a braid that drapes over her shoulder and topped with one of those fake flower wreath-like decorations sold at county fairs and German festivals. And here, apparently, as I note a tarnished silver rack perched on a nearby glass case is dripping with them.

She’s wearing a simple white tank top, and there’s a tattoo on her shoulder that disappears down her back. I’ve never really cared one way or the other about tattoos, but I want to get closer to inspect this one. Maybe it’s the smooth, satin-looking skin on her neck.

Or maybe it’s the braless boobs staring me in the face.

Shaking my head, I say, “No. I need a Halloween costume.”

She freezes mid-step and stares at me like I’ve said something insanely ridiculous. “Did you say Halloween?”

“Yes.”

“The holiday that falls on October thirty-first each year?”

I frown. “Yes, that’s the one.”

“The one that’s two months away?”

Yes, this is the Halloween I’m speaking of. Not sure why she needs so much clarification. Last time I checked, that particular holiday hasn’t changed in, well, not in my lifetime at least. And considering we look to be about the same age, I’d say not in hers either.

“That’s two months away,” she repeats, still staring at me like I’ve lost my marbles. “I haven’t even begun to set up my Halloween displays. My costumes left over from last year are still in storage, and the new ones I ordered won’t be here for at least two weeks. It’s still summer, for Christ’s sake.”

My gaze bounces around the shop again. “There are a ton of costumes here.”

“Yes, but they aren’t Halloween costumes.”

Something about this exchange feels a lot like dèjá vu. As if someone snapped their fingers and took me back to my childhood. There was this girl who lived next door to me. Her name was Victoria, and we were polar opposites. I said tomahto, she said tomato, and we’d argue until I got sick of it and let her have her way. She’d never let me have the last word…ever.

“Wait—Victoria Ruben?”

She looks up sharply.

“Vicks?” I give the rainbow hair a cursory glance and then dismiss it. Hair could easily be altered. But eyes…those vivid green eyes had always felt as though they were staring into my soul whenever they looked at me. Considering we lived next door to each other for ten years, that happened a lot.

“Ugh. No one has called me Vicks VapoRub in a decade, at least. Not since middle school.” She narrows her eyes and studies me until the light pops on over her head. Not literally, of course, but her face brightens with recognition after a few moments.

“Alex? Holy cripes, Alex Darling? Well, aren’t you a blast from my past. How the hell are you?” She grasps my bicep and gives it a squeeze, then leaves her hand there while staring at my shirtsleeve. “Wow.”

“Wow what?” I glance down at her hand now roaming my arm and shoulder, almost like she’s giving me a massage. It feels kind of good. Must to her, too, if the state of her nipples is any indication.

“You’ve filled out. I mean, you’re still on the skinny side and, not surprisingly, tall as all get out, but damn.”

While Victoria, er, Tori’s childhood nickname had been based around her name, mine were all about my stature. Bean Pole, Daddy Long Legs, Gandalf, Q-Tip. I’ve heard them all—and I’m pretty sure Victoria came up with every single one of them.

“So have you,” I retort, and then snap my mouth shut because where the hell did my filter run off to?

She glances down at her perky nips and chuckles. “Yeah, they tend to do that when I rub buff guys’ arms.”

Unlike me, Vicks never had a filter. I clear my throat and avert my gaze like the polite guy my mother raised me to be. “So, you’ve moved back to Chicago?”

“Yep. Your mom may have run mine off, but she can’t keep me away.”

“She didn’t run her off,” I protest, but it’s weak. Because we both know what happened that summer after eighth grade.

“Well, technically, your mom caught my mom and your dad fooling around in a department store dressing room.”

Yeah, I remember. I was with my mother that day. We were at Macy’s, shopping for shorts because I’d grown another few inches since the summer before. My dad was supposed to be at work, and who the hell knew what Vicks’s mom should have been doing. Certainly not bending over and begging my dad to give it to her from behind while in a public place. Or any place, really.

“And after she went home and stewed on it for a few hours, your mom came over to my house and threatened mine with a cleaver. It was the first time I’d ever seen a cleaver. After your mom calmly walked back out the door, I had to ask mine what it was.”

I grimace. “You guys moved out the next day.”

“Actually, we went to a hotel while my mom regrouped and figured out what the hell to do.”

“Which turned out to be stealing my dad and moving to Washington.”

“I wouldn’t say it was stealing, per se. He went quite willingly.”

Yeah, I remember that part, too. My mom was a wreck. I’d had to push aside my grieving over losing my father—which was okay because it wasn’t really much of a loss anyway—to help her figure out how to get along as a single parent.

“So.” I clear my throat. “How is my dad anyway?” I haven’t talked to him since the day he chose her mom over mine. Her kids over me.

Vicks lifts one shoulder. “No idea. Haven’t seen him in, I don’t know, ten years or so. I think he moved to LA. Haven’t heard from him since.”

“Oh man, that sucks. I’m sorry.” Sure, her mother shouldn’t have hooked up with my dad, a married man at the time, but neither did she deserve for him to treat her the same way he treated me.

She flaps her hand. “Trust me, he wasn’t worth keeping.”

I agree with her, despite the nights I laid awake, listening to my mother cry herself to sleep for months after he left. Or maybe I agree because of that.

After a moment, I ask, “So, how is the rest of your family? Your mom, your brother? Did they move back too?”

“Two brothers now.” She lifts her pointer and middle finger. “And no, Mom and Jace didn’t come back to Chicago. Mom’s still in Washington, and I’m not really sure where Jace is at the moment.”

“Your mom had another kid?” I know I shouldn’t judge—glass houses and all—but that means unless Ms. Ruben, or whatever her last name is now, got back together with either Vicks’s or Jaces’s dad, she now has three kids from three different men.

Vicks toys with her tape measure, tugging the strip out of the small plastic holder and then letting it snap back in, over and over, until my arm lifts of its own accord, ready to grab the thing from her hand.

Finally, she stops and stuffs the contraption into her pocket. “Yeah, well, she’s not very good at using protection when she’s mad, and apparently she’s a big fan of angry sex.”

Not something I ever needed to know about her mother. Or anyone’s mother, really.

“She’s way better at producing children than she is at taking care of them,” she adds. “Hence the reason I’m back here.”

Poor Vicks. I can’t imagine what her life has been like since they left Chicago twelve years ago. I mean, sure, my mom had to go back into the workforce after being a stay-at-home parent for my entire life up to that point, had to fight for every pitiful penny my dad coughed up for child support, but not once did I ever feel like she did not love me, did not want me, did not have every intention of taking care of me to the best of her ability.

And if Vicks is still anything like she was when we hung out in elementary and middle school, I cannot tell her I feel sorry for her. Even at a young age, she had pride by the bucket full.

She shakes her head and chuckles humorlessly as she steps behind the glass-encased counter positioned to the left of the entrance. “I think we could both use a stiff one, huh?”

“A stiff one?” I glance over my shoulder at the glowing ‘open’ sign. “Now?”

She snorts out a laugh as she reaches underneath an ancient cash register, pulling out a bottle of golden liquid with a cork stopper and no label.

“What is that?” I ask, giving her offering a dubious look.

“Honey mead. I make my own. It’s quite good, actually.”

“No thanks. I don’t usually drink before five.” And I’ve never had homemade booze in my life. Even though I’m salivating, despite my words. Not sure if that’s because I want to forget the stuff Vicks just told me or if it’s to help process it.

She pulls two lowball glasses from under the counter and pours a hefty amount into both of them. Either she can read minds or she ignored me when I declined her offer. She pushes one of them across the glass surface toward my hand, and I grab it before it tips over the edge and races to shatter on the floor.

“If I didn’t know your mother, I’d find that statement very strange. I still do, but at least I understand where it comes from.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Your mom is pretty damn neurotic. So it’s not surprising some of her issues rubbed off on you.”

Hey, that’s my mom she’s talking about. And me, for that matter. “Your mom isn’t exactly a saint, either.”

“Never said she was. In fact, her very obvious lack of sainthood is probably what lured your dad away from your mom. I bet your mom was just as high-strung in bed as she was in the rest of her life.”

An unbidden image of my parents having sex pops into my head. Ugh. I lift the glass of mead to my lips and take a shaky sip. It’s spicy and sweet, like honey laced with jalapeño, and it helps push the idea of my mother having sex—any sex, high-strung or not—out of my head.

“This feels like it’s turning into a mother bashing contest,” I say, taking another drink. This one goes down far more smoothly. Which is saying something, because that first swallow wasn’t bad at all.

“Okay, let’s stop,” Vicks says easily enough. She lifts her glass. “How is it?”

“Surprisingly good.”

She gives her drink a dubious look. “Surprisingly?”

“Nothing personal,” I assure her while continuing to sip away. “It’s just I’ve never had honey mead before, and certainly not homemade. But I like it.”

“Oh. Okay.” She touches the rim of her glass to mine. “To rekindled friendships.”

I like that. As much as she teased me and I harassed her when we were kids, Vicks had been the calming influence in my life before my dad and her mom managed to turn our worlds upside down with their stupid affair. I haven’t felt that same sense of relaxation since. I didn’t even realize I missed it until this moment.

“It’s so good to have you back, Vicks.”

She lifts her glass, touches the rim to mine. “It’s surprisingly good to be here, although I returned to Chicago eight years ago.”

“What the hell took you so long to come back into my life?” I ask, my filter giving out again. Or maybe it’s the mead, because my glass is empty.

“Can I have a refill?”

Keep reading! 

While each book in the Sexy Bad Series contains a stand-alone happily ever after, this is the suggested reading order:

 

Sexy Bad Neighbor

Sexy Bad Daddy

Sexy Bad Boss

Sexy Bad Valentine

Sexy Bad Escort

Sexy Bad Halloween

 

Sexy Bad OMG

Final SBR Logo

Once upon a time Garrett Frost, bad boy of professional golf, found out he had a two-year-old daughter.

Okay, okay, it wasn’t that long ago. His escapades are still in the media, and his sponsors are all in a tail spin, but his daughter sure is cute.

That’s where I come in. I’m his nanny. The kid’s nanny. Of course, I’m not his. He’s older, my employer, totally off limits. And I can’t forget that, even if he makes me want to fall for him with every lingering gaze, each secret touch.

He’s trying so hard to reform his professional image and be the father his daughter deserves. If anyone knew he was screwing his nanny it’d be all over the media, ruining his sponsorships, and affecting his relationship with his daughter. Or worse, convincing everyone we could be a family.

But Garrett Frost’s family is the game and his daughter. There’s no room for me. So why does it feel like I’ve finally found my forever?

Sexy Bad Daddy Cover_Amazon.jpg

Chapter One

ERIN

“I gotta pee,” I tell my best friend Danny, who nods without taking his gaze off the flat-screen TV behind the bar, where a hockey game is in the last few minutes of the third period. And it looks like St. Louis is winning by a goal. Danny’s not going to be fun to be around if his precious Chicago Black Hawks don’t pull through.

I make my way through a throng of people, most of whom are as focused on the TVs as Danny—did I mention we’re in the playoffs?—until I reach the restrooms located in a far back corner of the bar. After taking care of business, I head back to my drink and my buddy, but I’m waylaid by an arm snaking around my waist.

“Hey, beautiful. Can you do us a favor?”

This Romeo with his paw on my person is good-looking, I guess. He has short, dark hair and a few days’ growth on his cheeks, and a dimple flashes when he grins at me like he doesn’t care that his hand is resting on my hip more intimately than a perfect stranger has a right. I feel the bulge of muscle under his designer golf shirt and note the watch on his slim wrist is Rolex.

I sure as hell can’t afford the labels he’s wearing, but it’s hard not to notice when you’re surrounded by it every day. And when you’re a nanny to the upper-echelon-with-kids, well, let’s just say that some of my charges will, on their sixteenth birthdays, drive far nicer vehicles than I ever will in my lifetime.

The guy seated across from him in the booth has dark hair, too, and wears glasses; Armani, I think. I’m not usually into eyewear, but they work for him.

“Probably not,” I say as I step out of his grip and he flexes his fingers, snagging my belt loop and pulling me back to him.

“Come on, it’s easy,” he says. His partner shakes his head and takes a swig of beer.

“What?” I ask, watching him through narrowed eyes and twisting out of his grasp again. The bar’s packed, so I could easily fade into the crowd at this point, but I’m the adventurous sort, so I stick around.

“I’m Garrett, and this is my brother, Painter.” He waves at Mr. Eyeglasses, who lifts his hand in greeting.

“Painter, like your parents pre-determined your profession?” I ask.

“That never gets old,” the brother says, looking at Garrett instead of me.

“It’s spelled with a Y,” Garrett explains to me.

I clear my throat. “Um, right. Sorry. Nice to meet you guys.”

“No sweat,” Paynter-with-a-Y says.

“So anyway, Paynt here thinks I’m not nearly as good at picking up the ladies as I am,” Garrett says.

“Actually, what I said was, you shouldn’t be,” his brother corrects him. “He sleeps around too damn much,” he explains for my benefit.

I bite my lip to keep from laughing. I’m guessing they’re drunk, or at least Garrett is.

“So tell me,” Garrett says, glancing up at me with puppy dog eyes that no doubt are at least partially to blame for the whole sleeping-around-too-damn-much issue. That muscle tone under his shirt certainly wouldn’t be a deterrent, either.

“I have a boyfriend,” I blurt. Danny’s not remotely my boyfriend—he’s more like my sibling, or maybe the perfect just friend to tag along when you want to hang out at a sports bar—but I need an out here. I know my own shortcomings when it comes to good-looking, older guys who smell like money. Best to put up that wall before this conversation goes any further.

“Too bad,” Garrett says. “But for the sake of argument, pretend you don’t. If I hit on you, would you go home with me?”

Before I decided to try to grow the hell up and get my life on track, the answer might have been yes, but for all the wrong reasons. Not anymore, though. I’m a new woman. A better woman.

“She’s hesitating.” Garrett stabs his finger at Paynter. “Told you. They can’t resist me.”

“You’re such an ass,” Paynter says.

“Nah, I’m living the dream. Just because you’re tied down to a goat and a hot executive doesn’t mean you gotta beat up on my perfectly satisfying lifestyle.”

A goat and a hot executive? I can’t decide if I want to stay and learn more or run away.

“I’m not sure I like you referring to Chloe as a ‘hot executive,’” his brother says.

Garrett lifts his bottle like he’s saluting me. “For the record, it isn’t what you’re thinking.”

“So it’s not something to do with a threesome between him, a woman in a pencil skirt, and an animal?” I ask.

Garrett roars with laughter while his brother shakes his head and mutters something about rumors and a game of telephone.

“I mean, hey, whatever floats your boat,” I add. “I’m not one to judge.” Like I have any right to.

Once he catches his breath, Garrett turns his focus to me again, and I’m momentarily drowning in gorgeous, glassy, blue eyes. Holy crap, they’re beautiful. I take back my “I guess” about this guy being good-looking. Those eyes are straight off a romance novel cover. Does he wear colored contacts?

“So, back to you, beautiful. What’s your name?”

“Erin,” I say before I remember that I’m a changed woman.

“She has a boyfriend, dumbass,” Paynter says.

“Score!” Garrett and Paynter both shout at the same time, and they—along with pretty much everyone else in the bar—leap out of their seats, high-fiving and clunking their beers together. I’m guessing the Black Hawks tied the game.

“Yes,” Garrett yells, and he sweeps me into a hug, one of those full-body embraces, where every inch of me is touching every inch of him. And it makes me tingle in places that are not supposed to feel that way about guys like him. He’s loaded, he screws around too much, and he’s way too confident. Not. My. Type.

Not anymore.

“Boyfriend, remember?” I manage to choke out, my pitiful attempt to convince him to let me go despite my hands clinging to his beefy biceps.

My phone vibrates in my back pocket, and Garrett finally releases me. I tug it out and glance at the screen. “Oh crap, this is my one night out all week, and now it’s getting cut short.”

“Why’s that?” Garrett asks, blatantly looking at my phone.

“The wife of the family I nanny for wants me to call her. Usually, that means they’ve had as much as they can take of their kids and they want me to rescue them.”

“You’re a nanny?” The intensity of his blue-eyed stare makes my insides squirm and wiggle like Jell-O. No, no, no. I don’t hook up with guys like him.

“Yeah. Real glamorous, I know. But it pays the bills and gives me a place to live.”

“I need a nanny.”

Oh shit. Not only is he hot—and screws around too much—but he’s married with kids. Not in a million years.

I wave the phone, which starts ringing. It’s Mrs. Danish. Guess she couldn’t wait for me to call her. “Already employed. Sorry.”

I turn away to answer the call. Maybe if she hears all the noise in the background, she’ll cut me a break and let me stay a little longer.

“Erin?”

“Hi, Mrs. Danish. Sorry, I’m watching the Black Hawks. They just tied up the game, so it’s a little loud right now. I can call you back when I leave.”

“No, that’s quite all right. This won’t take long. You’re fired.”

“Huh?” I twist around so I’m facing Garrett and his brother, like that’ll somehow help me hear her better. Because surely she didn’t say what I think she said. Garrett’s watching me, his brow furrowed, but I’m too stunned to walk away from his obvious curiosity.

“I said, you’re fired. I’ll leave a check for this week’s pay and a substantial severance on the dresser in your room. I’d like you to be out by morning. Actually, tonight would be better.” Her husband is talking in the background, and she snaps at him to shut up.

“Why?” I finally manage to ask. This has been my best nanny gig to date. Mrs. Danish is normally a sweet woman with curly, dark hair and generous curves, while her husband has graying, thin hair and an even-keel disposition. Other than their overfull social calendars, working for them has been a breeze. And let’s be honest: The only person I hang with on the reg is Danny, so even the fact I tend to watch their kids every evening as well as day doesn’t bother me.

Mr. Danish says something again, and his wife’s voice is this low, stage whisper as she says, “It has come to our attention … that you have a history of, er, dallying with the husbands of your employers.”

Well, shit.

“Who was that?” Garrett asks when I tap the screen of my phone to disconnect the call. I don’t answer right away, and he pushes an icy cold bottle of beer into my hand. “Here. You look like you need this.”

I lift it to my lips and chug, letting the carbonated, hoppy drink numb my senses. When I finally stop to catch my breath, I’ve drained more than half the bottle.

“Wow,” Paynter says.

“So, bad news?” Garrett asks.

I stare at my phone. “I just got fired.” I don’t know why I tell him. I don’t know him, and when I leave this bar, I’ll never see him again. I should make my way back to Danny, so I can cry on his shoulder. He’ll tell me I’m an idiot for continuing to try to stay gainfully employed in a profession that clearly doesn’t want me, and I’ll tell him I’ve vested too much of my life into this nanny gig and if I switch careers now, I’ll have to start at the bottom, and who the hell wants to do that after eight years of doing something they love?

“Why?” Garrett says.

“Er…” I can’t tell him why. There’s too much backstory, and besides, it isn’t true. Well, not entirely. I may be into older guys, but even I have my limits. Mr. Danish is nice, but he reminds me of my grandpa. A paunch and a propensity to blather on about insoles are definitely not turn-ons for me.

“So why’d they fire you?” Garrett asks again. I don’t have to answer. I could just walk away. And start updating my resume.

Again.

Instead, I say, “They, um, don’t need me anymore, I guess.”

“And they chose to call you on Friday night to tell you this? Are you getting two weeks’ notice? Did they find a replacement? This seems awfully abrupt, doesn’t it?”

“Why are you so concerned?” I knew I should have walked away. “Look, I need to get back to—”

“Because I need a nanny. I’ve been interviewing them for—how long?” Garrett looks at his brother, apparently waiting for an answer.

“At least a couple months. You’re damn lucky your brother works from home and thinks your daughter is cute as hell,” Paynter says.

“Right. So anyway, I’m curious. What should I be looking for in a nanny? Every one I’ve interviewed hasn’t felt right, y’know?”

“Actually, I do know. You definitely need to click with the person. And so does your child. You have just one?”

“Yeah, a daughter. She’s three. And Paynt’s right. She’s cute as hell.”

I smile. Of course she is.

“So you need someone who’s good with toddlers. Who will get down on the floor and play with them at their level, as well as teach them. Someone who will take her to the zoo and to see Sue, the most complete fossil of a T. rex ever found. At this age, they should get a healthy balance of fun and education to help prepare them for school in a couple years.”

He’s giving me this look, a combination of respect and maybe admiration, and I hope that’s not attraction, too, because this is definitely not going anywhere.

“Anyway, I need to get back to my, er, boyfriend—” I practically choke on the word because trying to picture Danny as my significant other makes me puke in my mouth a little. “So, um, good luck in your nanny search.”

I take another swig of beer and place the bottle on the table before walking away. Garrett calls out, “Wait,” but I ignore him. Given the reason I just got fired from yet another nanny gig, the last thing I need to do is consider offering up my services to a man with bedroom eyes and guns made for holding up a woman while he fucks her against the wall.

Read the rest June 6:

SEXY BAD DADDY

And when you’re done, join us in the Sexy Bad Lounge, where we talk about all sorts of sexy bad things…including when the next book will be out!

~~~

SEXY BAD SERIES

Sexy Bad Neighbor

Sexy Bad Daddy

Coming Soon … Sexy Bad Boss

 

Sexy Bad Cover Reveal!

 

Title: Sexy Bad Daddy
Authors: Misti Murphy & Tami Lund 
Genre: Romantic Comedy
 
 
 
 
Once upon a time Garrett Frost, bad boy of professional golf, found out he had a two year old daughter. 

Okay, okay, it wasn’t that long ago. His escapades are still in the media, and his sponsors are all in a tail spin, but his daughter sure is cute. 

That’s where I come in. I’m his nanny. The kid’s nanny. Of course, I’m not his. He’s older, my employer, totally off limits. And I can’t forget that, even if he makes me want to fall for him with every lingering gaze, each secret touch. 

He’s trying so hard to reform his professional image and be the father his daughter deserves. If anyone knew he was screwing his nanny it’d be all over the media, ruining his sponsorships, and affecting his relationship with his daughter. Or worse, convincing everyone we could be a family. 

But Garrett Frost’s family is the game and his daughter. There’s no room for me. So why does it feel like I’ve finally found my forever?
 
 

 

 
 

 

Misti Murphy & Tami Lund
They live on opposite sides of the world, but an eighteen-hour time difference doesn’t stop these two obsessed authors. They write, they debate over storylines, they thoroughly enjoy the process of gazing at hot men while trying to come up with cover ideas, they fall in and out of love with their characters, and at the end of the day (which day is anybody’s guess), they create sexy bad books for your reading pleasure.
 
 
 
 
 
PS – If you haven’t yet read Sexy Bad Neighbor, what are you waiting for?
sexy-bad-neighbor-3d

 

I Suck at this Valentine’s Shit

“I suck at this Valentine’s shit.”

William glanced up from reading the newspaper on his iPad. Gavin Rowan, that incorrigible, cursed Rakshasa who happened to be in love with William’s Chala, towered over him, a scowl on his unshaven face, his pale blue eyes glaring at the Fate as if it were his fault the man was lousy at being romantic.

“You suck at a great many things,” William obligingly pointed out. He was stuck with the often surly shifter because Sydney loved him, but that didn’t mean he had to play nice. Besides, playing nice rarely worked for Gavin. He tended to speak one language: asshole.

“Not nearly as good as you do, I bet,” Gavin shot back, a typical derogatory comment about William’s sexual preference.

“I will never understand what Sydney sees in you.” William dropped his iPad onto his lap and brushed a bit of lint off the lacy lapel of his red wrap blouse. A recent find and his current favorite shirt. He’d been thrilled when he discovered they made it in his size. It was often a challenge to buy women’s clothing in sizes large enough to fit a six and a half foot tall, two hundred and sixty pound man built like a linebacker. And don’t even get him started on shoes.

“I think you understand quite well,” Gavin replied with a leer. “Now, help a guy out. What should I get her?”

“You to realize it’s four o’clock in the afternoon on Valentine’s Day, right?”

“Yeah, so hurry up about it. I haven’t even acknowledged the day yet. I’m sure she thinks I have some kind of surprise up my sleeve. So tell me what to do.”

William would like to tell the man to jump off the highest cliff he could find. But that would devastate Sydney, and William hated it when his Chala was upset. He sighed and said, “You seriously can’t think of anything? You have no idea what she wants, what she likes? Her favorite pastime? Her favorite restaurant?”

“I don’t want to take her out to dinner. Everybody does that. It’s boring. I want… something different. Better. Something she’ll remember, and tell all her friends about.”

“How does the asshole in you manage to live with that giant ego? Seems like they’d be fighting for dominance all the damn time.”

“You’re a funny Fate,” Gavin replied with a smirk that said he thought William was anything but.

“Not nearly as funny as the comedians at the Comedy Castle.”

Gavin gave him a blank look and then shook his head. “Whatever, dude. You gonna help me or not?”

“I’m trying,” William grumbled. “She does like to laugh, you know.”

“So you think I should just tell her jokes all night?”

“You really are an idiot, you know that?”

“And you’re a fruitcake. We all have our burdens to bear. So about that Valentine’s Day idea?”

With a long-suffering sigh, William reached into the V on the neck of his blouse and pulled out an envelope. He offered it to Gavin, who looked at it as if it might bite him.

“Did you seriously just pull that out of your cleavage? What the fuck is wrong with you? And what is it, anyway?”

“Tickets, you dolt. To the comedy show. Seven-thirty seating. A lovely wine bar recently opened down the street from the comedy club. I think she’d like it.” He made a show of looking at his watch. “So I’d get a move on, if I were you.”

He watched realization dawn on Gavin’s face. If he weren’t such a repulsive creature, William might even go so far as to say it lightened his face, made him almost attractive.

Gavin snatched the envelope. “Sweet.” He bolted from the room without so much as a thank you, but William had expected no less. A moment later, Sydney stepped out from where she’d been hovering in the kitchen. Unlike her mate, her enthusiasm and appreciation was clear as day, as she pulled William to his feet and squeezed him until he couldn’t breathe.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you, William. You’re a doll. I’m so excited for tonight.” She clapped her hands like a three year old.

“You’re welcome, but tell me, why didn’t you just tell him that’s what you wanted?”

Sydney thinned her pink rosebud lips and crossed her arms over her chest. “Gavin probably would have refused to do it, if I’d suggested it. You know how he likes to think things are his idea. And I knew he’d come to you, because he wouldn’t be able to think of anything. And whatever you suggested is what he’d do, because despite your odd relationship, he highly respects your opinion. This worked perfectly. Now, I have to go track him down so he can tell me about our plans, so I can get ready for my hot date. Thanks again, William. I owe you one.”

She trotted away, happy as a lark, and William was once again reminded of the complexity and convolution—and sheer genius—of the female mind.

~~~~

Happy Valentine’s Day from William, Gavin, and Sydney, from Of Love and Darkness, the first book in the Twisted Fate Series. If you enjoyed this little interaction between the three of them, you’ll love the book. It’s on sale for 99 cents only until 2/15/2016. Grab it here:

OF LOVE AND DARKNESS

OfLoveandDarkness (400)

Happy Reading!

**PRICK TEASE**COVER REVEAL**

 

Title: Prick Tease
Author: Misti Murphy
Genre : Erotic Romance

Claire Hadley shouldn’t even be on my radar.
 
There are a million damn reasons why I shouldn’t touch her.
Her brothers are my best friends. We grew up together, under the same roof.
I’m supposed to think of her like a little sister.
I won’t break my loyalty for a f*ck.
Razer Bennington forgot me when he joined the marines.
One kiss. Seven years. I can’t get the taste of him out of my mouth.
I’m meant to be the good girl. A virgin. A role model.
I’m supposed to live up to their expectations.
Screw that…
I’m going to get what I want.
I should be careful what I wish for.
***
Claire Hadley was about to check the perfect fiancé off her checklist.
Until she found him underneath a hooker.
Running home to her brother, she doesn’t expect to be rescued by Razer Bennington.
Seven years ago he left her behind.
But she hasn’t forgotten their last night together. Or the kiss they shared.
Tired of living up to the expectations of others, she throws caution to the wind.
This time she’ll get what she wants.

 

Even if getting what she wants could destroy him.
 
 

 

 
Misti Murphy is a sadistic b*tch who loves to emotionally torture fictional people. If she did that in real life she’d probably end up in prison or a psych ward so she prefers to create dirty talking alphas and the sexually frustrated women who fall into their beds. And if someone needs to be smacked upside the head before f*cking turns to love then that makes her very happy indeed.
 
She’s a huge believer in flaws making us human, and that not everyone likes bacon. She’s also addicted to chocolate and scared of the effects of the coming shortage. She swears like a f*cking trooper, and thinks that graphic smuttiness should be as real in fiction as it is in real life.
When she’s not writing she’s the perfect housewife and mother. Ha bloody ha! When she’s not writing she’s hiding in a cupboard with her kindle, scoffing chocolate, and stalking facebook.  
Hosted By

 

One Shot Advice & A New Romance Series

New release alert! New release alert! Today, I have the privilege of hosting Misti Murphy on my blog. What makes it such a privilege, you ask? Besides the fact that she’s a super nice person and she writes decidedly delicious smutty romance? Sounds like I really don’t need another reason, doesn’t it? Yeah, well I have one anyway. Today is RELEASE DAY for her Magnetic Desire Series. That’s right, three books are available for public consumption, all at once, as of TODAY!

I’m so happy for Misti! I’ve read her first book, Raven Falling, as well as the short she wrote for the Unwrapping Love Christmas anthology. And I’ve had the privilege of reading the next books coming in the Magnetic Desires Series! (Being an author’s friend has it’s perks.) I can say with authority that you will love this book, and the entire series. I love Misti’s writing style, not to mention her broken yet lovable heroes, and of course, the steamy scenes. Misti knows how to write a scorching hot sex scene.

*Fans self*

Oh yeah, and let’s not forget those super HAWT covers. Check them out below, after you read Misti’s post and the excerpt from Compulsion. As if you’ll need another excuse to pick up this series!

Anyway, let’s get to today’s Jello Shot June blog post, brought to you by Misti Murphy. And if you want to start this series, you can do so HERE.

 

Tequila Shots

I’m not going to give you a recipe today. I don’t think you need one for tequila shots. They’re pretty easy. You lick the salt, you sip the tequila and you suck that damn lemon for all your worth. Lick, sip, suck. Sounds like the perfect shot for a smutty romance writer.

So I’m going to talk about my slight obsession with this shot and why it’s important to my writing.

A few years ago, before I became a serious writer someone taught me that to live life, you couldn’t just go through the motions, but that you actually had to take the time to enjoy it. At the time we were heading out on the town and having tequila shots. These shots became an institution, ‘Tequila Friday’ which were held once a month and turned into quite large gatherings.

I didn’t quite get the point back then. I mean tequila shots, with the salt and the lemon. They’re good even if they do taste like nail polish remover, and Friday nights were fun. But here’s the thing…

The lesson I really learnt was to go out and have fun doing whatever you’re doing, and for me that is writing. I love writing more than I love tequila. Yeah, see ya later tequila. I’m one of those writers who cannot drink and write.

And when I write I remember the tequila, the cocktails, the scotch I no longer have time to drink, but don’t miss because I get more joy from writing smutty romance than I ever got from drinking. And I remember that even though the characters that fill the pages are for the most part not real people, they too deserve to live life and enjoy it. Perhaps that’s why almost every book I write has a scene with tequila, like the excerpt below from my debut contemporary romance, Compulsion, which is now available on Amazon.

***

Ordering tequila and beers, I pulled her between me and the bar and grazed the nape of her neck with my teeth. She shivered from my touch and leaned on the bar, subtly moving away from me. Only, the way she was leaning didn’t take her further away. “Are you sure you want to lean on the bar like that?”

“What?” She glanced at me over her shoulder.

Sliding my fingers over one hip, I took her wrist in my other hand, darting my tongue over the pulse point. “Leaning like that puts that sexy ass of yours dangerously close to my crotch.”

“Oh.”

Still holding her wrist, I sprinkled salt over the moist spot I’d left with my tongue, and clamped her fingers around a slice of lemon. Picking up a shot glass, I tossed back the tequila before sliding my lips over her salted skin and sucking the lemon between her fingers.

“Why?” She trembled while I went through the ritual again, this time salting the length of my thumb as well.

Because I couldn’t let you get away a second time. “Why what?”

“Why are you doing this? You could have any girl.” She darted glances around the room, but my gaze was on her. Not the girls, in barely there clothes, assets on display. That wasn’t what I wanted.

“Let’s have a drink.” I handed her a shot. “We’ll talk later.”

“You don’t have to take me home, Orion. I know you’d do anything for me, but this…”

I tipped my glass, and nibbled along her wrist. “This is what I want.”

***

The Magnetic Desires Series:

Compulsion CoverADDICTIONEBOOKIMMERSIONEBOOK

Compulsion blurb:

Stranded in the friend zone, Orion’s been in love with his best friend Clo since high school, unable to work out how to get her to see him as more.

After catching her husband cheating, Clo turns to her best friend Orion for support, only to find he wants more than she’s willing to give.

While Orion shows her that not all men are pricks, and not all roses have thorns, Clo must find a way to let go of the past and open herself up to a second chance at love.

 

Misti Murphy Author PicA little about the author and where you can connect:

Misti Murphy writes about smart, sexy women and the dirty talking alphas that love them.  She also enjoys emotionally torturing them. Damaged alphas with a twist are her favorite.
When she’s not writing, she’s enjoying her own happily ever after with her teacher hubby, four hellions, and two fur babies. She has a weakness for chocolate, procaffinating, and stalking Facebook. You can connect with Misti using both options below:

Facebook

Newsletter

 

DAY TWO: A Week of Wands, Fangs, & Wings Paranormal Blog Tour

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Welcome to DAY TWO of

A Week of Wands, Fangs and Wings – A Paranormal Book Blog Tour!

 From August 15-22, we will feature books by EIGHT different authors who write paranormal. What do we mean by paranormal? Well, just as the title implies: wands, fangs, wings and everything in between. Pretty much, if it isn’t real, it might be here. If you enjoy reading all things paranormal, we are about to hand you heaven on a gilded plate. Or, at least, on your e-reader.

What do we have in store for you? Excerpts from cool books. A fun Q&A session with the even-cooler authors who wrote them. A rafflecopter contest in which you could win a total of ELEVEN e-books. Wait, let’s note that again, just for clarification.

Eleven. Books. Free.

 Score! The contest closes Thursday at midnight eastern and the winner will be announced Friday evening, so don’t forget to enter. As if you would. In the meantime, let’s learn about Rachel Medhurst and Misti Murphy, and their featured books, The Deadliners and Raven Falling!

 Let’s talk to Misti Murphy first. She has lived in a fantasy world most of her life, so it’s no surprise she’s ended up writing paranormal books. She also loves Facebook. Speaking of, you can find Misti at ‪https://www.mistimurphy.weebly.com on Facebook: ‪https://www.facebook.com/mistileemurphy and on Twitter @mistileemurphy.

We asked Misti a few get-to-know-you questions, and this is what she had to say:

 Misti Murphy Bio pic1.     Do you like heroines who get rescued, or heroines who do the rescuing? Everyone needs someone to rescue them, having said that I believe in strong heroines who can step up and be the rescuer.

 2.     Morning or Evening? I don’t sleep well so evening is always better for me, and besides everything is better in the dark!

 3.     Favorite book genre? Romance, as long as it has some romance to it I’m happy.

 4.     Sweet or Spicy? Definitely Spicy, no wait, definitely sweet. I’ll take both please.

 5.     Ebook or print? Both have their good points. Ebooks are easier to store. With the amount I read I would be on an episode of Hoarders if it weren’t for ebooks. However, as an author it’s always nice to flip through carefully bound pages.

 Hmm… What sort of book do you think Misti writes? Here’s a taste below of Raven Falling:

 Raven Falling Cover

He handed her two more blades. “I want you to try and hit a moving target.”

“How am I going to do that?” There was nothing here to hit beside the damn trees.

“Aim at me.” Ash was in her face, his big gray eyes solemn as he pressed the blades into her hands.

Raven frowned. “You can’t be serious.”

“Of course I am. I’m going to run and you are going to try and hit me.”

“But what if you get hurt?” she asked, scared she would have to see him bloody, or even dead by the time they were finished. She couldn’t hurt him. He was the only person who knew what she was going through, and she needed him.

“Rae, I’m an Angel remember? I promise you won’t hurt me.” His hands had moved to her shoulders, and he gave them a light squeeze as he tried to assure her everything would be fine.

“I don’t want to.” She shook her head. How could he ask her to do this?

“I know but you have to practice.” He let go of her, running across the clearing, in a zigzagging move, which made it more difficult for her to hit him. He didn’t need to. It was already the hardest thing she had ever had to do.

Raven watched him, as she felt the tears prick her eyes. He looked back at her, encouraging, no demanding she do what he needed her to do.  She fought her own body as she slowly raised her arm and aimed at him, following him across the clearing with her eyes.  Balancing the blade in her hand she concentrated on her target. It was only two blades. She could do this. She let the first one go, flinging it hard, hearing the almost silent whistle as it hurtled toward him. Shutting her eyes, she didn’t see if the blade had reached its intended target. Taking a deep breath she prepared to throw the next.

He was still running across the clearing, she hadn’t managed to hit him. She pulled herself up, straightening her spine and gripped the handle of her final blade tightly. She slowly brought her arm up, visualizing her target, several feet away from where he had been. Pulling her hand back to her ear she pushed all the strength she could muster into her shoulder and hurled the blade, watching as it spun through the air.

She collapsed to the ground her eyes never leaving the blade as it reached its destination at the exact same time he did. She was sure the blade had hit its mark, when she saw him fall to the ground. She sprinted toward him as he pulled himself up onto his knees. The blade lay in the grass next to him, its tip bent flat. She felt the tears gather and she struggled to hold them back, her relief palpable. She sank down into the grass beside him and pressed her palms to her eyes to keep the tears from escaping.

**** 

Now let’s talk to Rachel Medhurst. Rachel grew up in Surrey, England. She writes to prove that no matter where you come from, you can be anything you want to be.

Find Rachel at www.rachelmedhurst.com, on facebook at Rachel Medhurst – Writer and on twitter @rachelmedhurst, and check out her interview below:

 1. Fave paranormal author? That would have to be Kim Harrison, I love the Rachel Morgan Series.

2. If you weren’t a writer, what would you be? A dancer. I love to dance along to most music.

3. Do you already have an actor in mind to play the hero when your book becomes a movie? Who? – Yes, Gerrard Butler would be Danny… and I would love to help him on set.

4. Writing inspiration? Enid Blyton – Her books made me want to write to give hope and happiness to people.

5. Fave Vampire series? Blackdagger brotherhood. I love this series a lot!

 Interesting – and amusing – answers! Let’s check out the excerpt of The Deadliners:

 The Deadliners Front

‘Last time we were here, you bargained with me for an extension of six months.’

Nodding, she ignored the burning muscles in her throat. Her feet were firmly planted and her hands were at her side.

‘And the time before that…?’

‘I got the deadline extended for two years.’ She lowered her slender frame onto the grass and leant her back against the cold wall. His shoulders dropped but he stayed standing as he looked down at her.

‘Two years and six months later, here we are again. Are you satisfied that everything’s been done?’

Her head bent back, her bobbed brown hair brushed her shoulders and her eyes landed on the top floor window directly above her. Shaking her head, she let air rush out of her lungs.

‘I’m sorry, Anna, I can’t give you any more time. I’ll give you this though…the rest of today, to spend here, before you come back.’

Her neck snapped forward, her gaze landing on the red cigarette end.

‘Give Mia six months and I’ll give you a whole day.’

The lit end of the cigarette glowed as he sucked the life from the dying tube. She nodded at him and smiled. The corners of his lips lifted as she stood and turned towards the house.

Making her way inside, Anna glanced into the rooms that she passed. The décor was stuck in the eighties. White walls with peach carpets. Glass cabinets and shiny brass handles.

She could hear the television, but she didn’t follow its sound. Her feet carried her up the stairs and into a bedroom. The walls were black with big white circles on them. A bed in the corner had an Aztec patterned throw over it. Bon Jovi posters littered the ceiling, their yellowing edges curling in on themselves. A collection of paperweights sat on a dressing table, trapped in a time that no longer existed. Anna concentrated her energy as she thrust out her arm, swinging it in an arc. The paperweights leapt into the air and thudded onto the wooden floor.

She heard her coming up the stairs, her light footsteps attacking the carpet. Rushing into the room, the grey-haired woman came to a stop. Her eyes landed on the scattered mess on the floor. She ran her hands over her face and knelt on the wood. There was a carrier bag sitting next to the weights. Looking around the room, the woman let tears roll down her cheeks. Picking up the bag, she slowly lowered each weight into it. When she’d finished packing up the room, the lady lay down on the bed and let the breath escape her lungs. The dust danced in the sunlight that shone in through the window. Anna started to cry as she sat next to the sleeping woman. She smiled and sighed in relief as the lines on the woman’s face relaxed for the first time in twenty years.

‘I’m sorry, Mum, but it’s your deadline and I’ve come to collect you.’

Are you as intrigued as we are? Be sure to enter the rafflecopter contest for a chance to win both books plus nine more, or, if you can’t wait, the links to purchase these books are below:

 The Deadliners: Available in the US: http://www.amazon.com/The-Deadliners-Rachel-Medhurst-ebook/dp/B00K5OKIYE/ref=cm_rdp_product

Available in the UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Deadliners-Rachel-Medhurst-ebook/dp/B00K5OKIYE/ref=cm_rdp_product

Raven Falling: Available here: http://www.amazon.com/Raven-Falling-Shadows-Light-Novel-ebook/dp/B00LRHKUGE/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1407326499&sr=1-1&keywords=Raven+Falling

rafflecopter

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f6defd8610/

 

 

 

 

Smexy, Sweet, Western & Paranormal… My Typical Reading List

I’ve read a few books recently, which I’ve dutifully reviewed on both Goodreads and Amazon, because, hey, I’m a writer, and I understand how important those reviews are. Even as a reader, I understand the importance of reviews. They are more often than not the determining factor in whether I purchase a particular book.

Since I am so aware of the importance of reviews, and I love to support my fellow writers, I decided to blog about those reviews, so that you, too, could read them. And maybe buy one or two (or four).

This is what I read:

1. A delicious, dirty, utterly smexy book with an oh-so-sweet ending.

2. A sweet romance with a surprisingly naughty slant towards the end.

3. A paranormal with fascinating concepts and plenty of intriguing backstory that could be weaved into future books.

4. My first western romance. In fact, it’s been a while since I’ve read anything at all historical.

Yeah, no one can put my reading habits into a perfect little shoebox.

The first was Taint, by @MrsSLJ. I knew nothing at all about this author prior to a few months ago. This read is proof that blog tours work. Oh yeah, and hot covers. And catchy blurbs. “My name is Justice Drake and I’m going to teach you how to f*ck your husbands.” What? That outrageously sexy guy smirking at me from the cover is going to teach me how to get it on with my hubs? Ohh…. how? I mean, my God, I had to read it after that.Taint Cover

I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, I only finished it two weeks ago, and I am already giving serious thought to reading it again. I can only think of two other books that had this affect — The final Harry Potter, and the first in @KatieMacAlister‘s dragon series. (Maybe it’s just guys named Drake who do it for me. While there wasn’t a Drake in HP, there was a Draco. Close, right?)

Let me see, what’s the best way to review this one…? It made me laugh out loud, it made my heart ache, and it made me hot. A book that can provoke all those emotions at once? Bring it. You should read this book if you like spicy, if you like seriously alpha males, if you have a soft spot for assholes… who aren’t really assholes. And if you like innocent, imperfect, yet utterly adorable heroines, this is also the book for you. In case you need another six billion opinions on the matter, here’s the Goodreads link.

The next book was Sweet Dreams, by @jsenhaji13. It’s her debut novel, and it’s definitely sweet. But keep reading, because just about the time you think this is one of those closed doors romances, bam, she hits you with the sex scenes. Juicy, graphic sex scenes. Still, it is a very sweet romance, and while you will be annoyed with the hero and heroine for not figuring it out sooner, you will also be so happy for them when they finally do. Because they are just such sweet people, and really should be together.

Sweet Dreams CoverBonus to this book: the author does a wonderful job pulling you into the scenes. We travel with the heroine from a small town in California to the gorgeous countryside in Italy and a few places in between, and I now have such a vivid picture in my head that I am certain I will recognize these places, if I am ever lucky enough to someday visit.

If sweet, gentle romance with a heavy dose of sex (once they finally get around to it!) is your reading taste, try Jennifer Senhaji’s book, Sweet Dreams.

My next read was a paranormal, Raven Falling, by @mistileemurphy. I love a good paranormal read. I love forming pictures in my head of the worlds the author weaves. And many (most?) paranormals  seem to have some sort of twist that I usually don’t see coming. This one had several (although I admit, I guessed one of them!). It keeps you turning the pages all the way to the end, because you just know something big is about to happen… And you will not be disappointed. Just be prepared: It’s a bit of a cliffhanger. BUT, I have it on good authority that the author is diligently working away on the second installment in the series.

Raven Falling Cover

If you like paranormal, and are intrigued by the concepts of heaven and hell (and don’t mind your preconceived notions getting tossed out the window), I suggest reading Misti Murphy’s Raven Falling.

The final book on my completed reading list is a western romance. @HaleyWhitehall recently released Wild and Tender Care, a historical romance about a half-breed doctor and a forced-to-be-reformed madam, who, despite their differences, manage to fall in love. I love books with flawed characters whose flaws just make them stronger as individuals. This book definitely had that aspect.

wildandtendercareIf you enjoy sweet romance, if you enjoy reading about an attractive and adorable hero and a strong heroine, you will enjoy this book. If you like historicals or westerns, even better. Wild and Tender Care can be purchased here.

Well, that was my reading list for the past couple of weeks. I’m looking forward to what I’ll unearth over the next few weeks. Tell me, what are you reading now? Maybe that will be MY next read…

Like this post? You’ll probably love my books, which you can check out by clicking the links at the top of the page. And check back next weekend, when I join a blog tour – A Week of Wands, Fangs & Wings. Each day, I’ll have a new post, featuring paranormal reads from eight different authors. And there’ll be a prize: enter to win a copy of every single book featured on the blog that week. Totally worth checking back next week!

Thank you!

 

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