I was hanging with the girls, celebrating my divorce when I saw him, my crush, sitting in the corner of the bar all alone. Being single and looking for a wild night, I asked him if he wanted to join me. To my delight, he said yes.
Drinks were consumed, fun was had and then . . . one drunken conversation with a cranky gondolier in Las Vegas led to an Uber lift through a drive-thru wedding chapel with the incredibly hot, British bad boy, Pike Greyson.
On paper, it seemed like I hit the jackpot. And if I wasn’t fresh from a toxic marriage, I would have absolutely noticed the finer things about him.
But I wanted nothing to do with being married, so when I arrived back home from my eventful weekend in Vegas, the last thing I expected to see was a new doting husband already moved in.
I asked for an annulment, he pulled a Ross Geller and said no.
That’s right, he said NO! Instead, he asked for three months to prove we could be good together.
Insanity clearly knocked him in the head and the only way I could convince him to give up on our sham of a marriage was to show him just how wrong we were for each other. Only problem with that was, he saw right through my every prank, every trick, and every yearning emotion I attempted to mask.
Oh. What a fun read this was. Meghan’s stories never fail to captivate me with a perfect concoction of wit, steam, banter, great characters and a fantastic storyline to suck you in. Pike and Cora’s story is all of that and more. Heart warmingly hilarious , and just enough of a mix of sweet and dirty, this different take on the “ waking up in Vegas married” trope will keep you both entertained and entranced.
After a divorce that leaves her with some emotional scars, Cora and her BFF’s head to Vegas to celebrate her “divorce-cation.” She wants to put that whole “ to get over someone, get under someone else” thing to use with some no strings attached fun. Too much fireball and a fun night out ends up with her married to a sexy Brit, who just so happens to be a new teacher at her brother’s school, she’s been crushing on. Waking up the next morning, Cora finds herself in quite the pickle. How will she get herself out of this situation before it becomes public knowledge?
Pike Greyson has got himself in a doozie of a mess. He’s accidentally married the hot sister of his coworker who hates him. But getting out of this is not going to be so easy. Due to certain circumstances he now has to stay married to Cora and she’s definitely not excited about that option. He manages to talk her into giving him three months to convince her. She’s throwing out quite the antics to push him away, but Pike isn’t easily discouraged. He can spar with the best of them. He’s ready to fight back with kindness and using any “assets” he has in his arsenal. If revenge is a dish best served cold” he will happily lap up every icy morsel just to break down her walls.
This book had lots of lol, funny moments, tons of steam, hilarious antics back and forth, and fabulous secondary characters. It gave you all the feels and a perfectly wrapped up HEA. You will love all the characters and obsess over the fantastically flawed friendships between Pike, Cora and Keiko.
This book was captivating from the beginning to the end and gave us just enough angsty moments to have us wondering if this couple can get it together or not? I fell in love with the sweet yet incredibly sassy Cora and Pike was book boyfriend perfection. This is a dual POV novel and is the third standalone book with this group of interconnected characters.
As much as it was heartfelt and steamy and it was also sweet and funny, I will definitely pick this story up again to visit this couple because I still want more from this great group of characters and the fun, laughter and feelings they bring.
About the Author:
USA Today Bestselling Author, wife, adoptive mother, and peanut butter lover. Author of romantic comedies and contemporary romance, Meghan Quinn brings readers the perfect combination of heart, humor, and heat in every book.
Calvin will do anything for me… except leave me alone.
We were strangers, as far as I knew.
He saw me once, but didn’t introduce himself like he could have.
Calvin Cutler. Nice to meet you.
But there’s nothing nice about Calvin Cutler.
He’s ruthless and single-minded, and he zeroed in on me—a hapless target for his dark and twisted appetites.
In the depths of Hell, I first looked into his sinful brown eyes, felt the greedy touch of his demanding hands for the first time.
Not the last time, though.
He wanted more. So much more.
He wanted me, whether I wanted him or not.
Warning:Descent is a standalone dark romance with an unrepentant bad guy hero. This book is for readers who enjoy stories where the villain gets the girl. It is intended for adults only and contains subject matter some might find triggering.
About the Author:
Sam Mariano loves to write edgy, twisty romantic reads with complicated characters you’re left thinking about long after you turn the last page. Her favorite thing about indie publishing is the ability to play by your own rules! If she isn’t reading one of the thousands of books on her to-read list, writing her next book, or playing with her adorable preschooler… actually, that’s about all she has time for these days.
Both tantalizingly toxic and deliciously depraved, Descent is like nothing else I have ever read before! Unquestionably unique, this f’ed up opposite of a fairytale will leave you awestruck and words will fail you. This story will make you question your sanity at times. Because you will fall in love with Calvin Cutler, the biggest anti-hero Sam has ever written! You will be floored at your ability to loathe and love simultaneously. But I assure you, you will fall for him. You might even hate yourself a little for it too. This story was maddening and that gave it such an addicting quality that I couldn’t stop reading once I started. I mean let’s just face it, Sam writes the alpha-asshole like no one else. I mean heavens to Betsy y’all! There are so many ways in which I found myself completely mesmerized yet turned on by the psychological torment Calvin put Hallie through.
I don’t want to give any specific details about the book away as the entire plot line is one trigger warning after another and any specifics would all be spoilers and #spoilerssuck. There are warnings in the blurb though and if you want more specific details you can PM me for more in-depth details. Happy Reading Friends!!
Blurb:I met Colt Malene when I was fourteen years old. And it seems I’ve never recovered.He became the headstrong star quarterback in a town that idolized high school football titles. Meanwhile, I was the coach’s dutiful perfectionist daughter, never daring to step out of line. We should have stayed far away from each other but we didn’t. And the volatile fallout was unbearable. More than a decade has passed and now my father is dying. He wants to make amends. He wants to be forgiven for the role he played in Colt’s ruinous downfall and my painful heartbreak. To give a dying man some peace, Colt and I agree to a plan. While Colt is here in town, we pretend to date. We pretend to like each other. We pretend that the past is buried and forgotten. But with one reckless, passionate act we carve a new future. Leading to a fate we never suspected. In the middle of a storm we never saw coming. And an ending no one could have predicted…
Holy Cow! This book was AMAZING! I loved Till It Hurts, but this story is on a whole other level. Colt and Susanna’s journey is unforgettable, unputdownable, emotionally gripping and just all around a perfect second chance/fake relationship/opposites attract tale.
Cole Malene is a dream of a book boyfriend. He’s got some issues from childhood that make him anti-commitment. He’s not looking for anything that will keep him in one place too long, but he also has a huge heart of gold. He’s come a long way in repairing his relationship with his sister and his best friend and is a loyal and dependable guy, who while pup sitting his sister and BIL’s doggo while they are on their honeymoon, decided to reach out and visit with his old high school football coach. This coach happens to be the one who he had a major falling out with ten years before, and who also happens to be the father of the one and only girl he’s ever loved. She’s back home now caring for her dad who is losing his battle with cancer and this finds these former lovers thrown together and spending to make her dad happy in his limited time.
Susanna Toledo is beautiful and smart and a dedicated daughter. She is humble and truly doesn’t understand how amazing she really is. When she moves back home to care for her dying father she never imagined she would find herself spending time with her high school forbidden love, Colt Malene. What stays out as a way to make her dad happy by spending time together quickly becomes so much more.
I just love the complexity of these characters and their history. This story hits on all the feels and has so many real life aspects in it which makes it not only easy to follow but interesting and relatable. This book glows flawlessly from start to finish and has a phenomenal cast of characters. Be prepared to laugh, cry, swoon, swear and sigh in giddy happiness. Pick up Till Next Time today!
“A forbidden romance full of angst and delicious desire. You’re not going to want to leave Pembroke Prep.” – Amazon Top #10 bestselling author Ivy Smoak
The rich boy with a powerful family…
The new girl with her head down…
A scorching hot bully romance!
“From arrogant boys and the school that made them kings, to pleated skirts and scandalous kisses, Wicked Idol is a refreshing take on my favorite genre. I couldn’t put this book down. Becker Gray is one to watch!” – Mary Catherine Gebhard, author of Heartless Hero
PEMBROKE PREP contains 3 full-length novels. Walk the halls of the most exclusive prep school alongside the band of friends called the Hellfire Club.
🙌🏻OMG!! 🙌🏻 So good y’all! This is a collection of the first three books in the Hellfire Club series and they are NOT to be missed.
This was my first read by this author but I can guarantee they will not be my last. Reading the rest of the book in this series is a MUST! Each of these three books were instant obsessions for me. Wicked Idol, Callus Prince and Brutal Blueblood are clearly going down as amazing reads for me.
Wicked Idol. Iris and Keaton’s story was just a forbidden dream. The richest and most popular jock and the headmaster’s off limits daughter. The girl who just wants to be a wallflower and get through her last year of high school gets under the skin of the arrogant guy trying to live up to his family’s expectations. What a recipe for angst and amazingness.
Next was Callus Prince. Honestly, my favorite of the three. I loved the complex relationship between Lennox and Sloane. The “I hate you, I love you thing” was my jam. Totally. The secrets and lies they were getting caught up in made for lots of angsty mystery and it was fabulous. I loved how so boy and sassy Sloan was. Lennox is my favorite kind of bad boy. It doesn’t matter how mean he can be, you can’t help but to want him. Redeeming the unredeemable jerk makes everything right in the world.
Lastly, we have Brutal Blueblood. This was Tanith and Owens’s story. Tanith is the scholarship kid with goals ahead of her. She can’t afford to let anything or anyone distract her from those goals either. Owen was the ice cold guy on campus that everyone wanted, but no one could have. Until Tanith. She caught his attention in a way that no one else ever had before. So the chase begins. But will she be receptive?
Definitely check out this fantastic series. Overall I would give this 4.75 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨The entire thing was great but Callus Prince just set it over the top.
About the Author:
Becker Gray is the brainchild of two best friends who love rich boys in peacoats. The Hellfire Club is their first series together.
You can contact Becker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Silence She Screams, an intense dark romance with off-the-charts chemistry and captivating emotion from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Amo Jones, is out now, and we have an excerpt just for you!
Love will never die if it exists on the lips of death. I often thought about this while I was locked inside my Doll House in Patience. Groomed every second of every day, they made sure to cover all of the darkness lurking in my soul with the false guise of perfection. The soul is fickle. Naked to the public eye and only visible to the owner, a soul bleeds every time it’s put through pain. But when that’s hidden, it spreads. The trick is to protect it from reaching your brain. It was too late for me. Until I met them. One was an Elite King. One was a Brother of Kiznitch. Both were liars. I’m Lilith Patience, The Sorcerer of Death and daughter of one of the most feared organizations known to man. After being thrust into the notorious world of Midnight Mayhem, I found myself coiled around a past that I want to forget and a future that could destroy me. I love two men, and they love me as much as they love each other, but when the demons of my past tighten their grip around my throat, will I finally let them strip away the layers of perfection to get to my rotten, withered soul? Maybe. Or maybe they’ll die trying.
Oh My Gosh!! This book is so freaking awesome! I was caught up in everything about it. From each of the characters, deeply flawed and written with such depth and stark sharp edges but vulnerability at the same time. Gah!! *chefs kiss* All the madness I love from the Midnight Mayhem books with the throuple thing this book had going on. I legit couldn’t get enough. The mysterious histories between them all. The suspense of what was going on. It made it impossible to put this book down. I know I’m not giving any real details but trust me that is for the best. You HAVE to go into this book blind. When it was over I WASN’T READY!! In fact, I’m still not ready. I need more. I need this series to go on forever. But for now I would settle for never ending Lilith, Kyrin, and Eli scenes.
He has all that pretty going for him on top of lips that looked pretty fucking good wrapped around my dick. Consider my attention piqued. I was bored with my usual
He has all that pretty going for him on top of lips that looked pretty fucking good wrapped around my dick. Consider my attention piqued. I was bored with my usual fucking months ago.
I wrap my hand around his chin, directing his eyes up to mine. He doesn’t flinch, completely unfazed. He’s either seen some shit or he’s crazy as fuck. Both work for me. My fingers find their way to the back of his tatted-up neck and over the collar of his shirt.
I squeeze. “You think you’re up for it?”
I watch as something passes over his eyes. I expected him to be confused because that was my intention, but instead I got intrigue? Fear? No. What I got was undiluted mischief.
“I know I am.”
He leans forward, that smirk still on his face. It’s not until his lips touch mine that I realize we’re still standing in the fucking lobby and I need to be on my bike for the triple ring of death. His tongue slips out and swipes my bottom lip. That was pretty much the stupidest shit he’s ever done because now I fucking want him. You can suck my dick and mean jack shit to me. I can not want you but still enjoy seeing my cock choke you to the brink of death.
“What are you thinking?”
Eli’s eyes flick over my shoulder, and I don’t have to see her to know that she’s there. Since my eyes first landed on Lilith, she has let out a kind of frequency that my body is annoyingly attune to.
BOOK BLURBUSA TODAY bestselling author, Trilina Pucci brings you the finale of Sutton and Calder’s heart wrenching love story.
We’ll never run away.
There won’t be stars or a blue sky filled with heaven staring down on us.
All we have is death and destruction.
A life sentence, forced to survive within the absence of our love.
Until five years later.
“Death isn’t waiting for Calder—it’s listening for his instruction.”Sinning like Hell is the continuation of book one, Just like Heaven.
Book One must be read to understand Book Two.PURCHASE LINKSAmazon Universal link:https://geni.us/slhduetAmazon US:https://bit.ly/SLH-USAmazon UK:https://bit.ly/SLH-UKAmazon AU:https://bit.ly/SLH-AUAmazon CA:https://bit.ly/SLH-CA
This was the perfect conclusion to the duet! Like break me absolutely in half and put me back together again. Keeping me completely on edge the entire way through Calder and Sutton’s continuing storyline. Blood, sweat and tears were shed by all. This story, as gritty and devastating as it was gripping and perfect. Everything that happened, had to happen the way it did for it to go the way it did. Trilina artfully plotted and planned down to the finest of details. My senses were in overdrive. I felt like I was there. Felt the fear, heartbreak, love, loss, excitement, all alongside the characters. That’s the mark of a truly great book. You get so enraptured by the story you forget you are not actually in that moment. Guys I’m telling you. Grab this duet! It is magical. It is the kind of kismet love story you will never forget and never fully recover from. All the stars in the galaxy for Calder and Sutton! ⭐️✨⭐️✨⭐️✨⭐️✨⭐️✨⭐️✨
Trilina is a former professional dancer (you may have even seen her on the MTV Music Awards) and a USA Today Bestselling author who loves cupcakes and bourbon.When she isn’t writing steamy love stories, she can be found devouring Netflix with her husband, Anthony, and their three kiddos. Pucci’s journey into writing started impulsively. She wanted to check off a box on her bucket list, but what began as wish-fulfillment has become incredibly fulfilling. Now she can’t see her life without her characters, her readers, and this community.She’s known for being a trope defier, writing outside of the box and creating fictional worlds her readers never want to leave.AUTHOR LINKSNewsletter | Website | Amazon Author | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub | FB Readers Group | Pinterest |TikTok
I learned early in life that love is an illusion—it’s a tool people use to get what they want. I never trusted anyone until I met the three guys that would become my best friends, my true family.
Aside from them, I’ve kept my guard up…until her.
The last week of our senior year in high school, I fell hard and fast for a girl I had no business wanting. We spent one incredible night together…and then, nothing. I awoke alone the next morning with no trace of her in my bed.
To say I’ve been fucking up my life ever since is an understatement. I come from chaos, so that’s what I’ll become. There was only one time I thought I had a shot at something better and…well, look how that turned out.
So, I’ll drink and fuck my way through college, and worry about the consequences later.
But unexpectedly, the woman I fell for turns back up in my life, and it turns out that our night together had consequences of its own.
Unknown is a full-length novel with a hot-mess hero, a feisty heroine, a secret baby and a HEA. It is the second inter-connected STANDALONE in the Bainbridge University Series and it follows Uncovered. For the best reader experience, they should be read in order.
Unknown is the second book in the Bainbridge University series, but it’s a standalone. It was actually my first read in the series. Knox and Willa’s story is emotional and exciting. It’s fate and frustrating at times. It’s everything I love in a one-night stand, secret baby, second chance at a romance book!
Knox didn’t have the best upbringing but in the last week of senior year he found an unexpected bright spot. Willa was able to bring down some of the walls Knox had up. But after one magical night she left him like she’d never been there at all. He graduated and went on to college to meet his three best friends and a life of no commitments. He never really did get Willa out of his head though.
Willa is doing everything she can to get by, when out of the blue she runs into Knox it flips her on her axis. They had shared one beautiful week at the end of highschool that left her work with the most amazing memories and a souvenir to remember it by. Knox is somewhat upset at the turn of events at first. Understandably so. But the more they are around each other again they realize they still burn so bright for each other.
This book will draw you in and consume your thoughts. It has an addictive quality to it with it’s awesome storyline and phenomenal characters. Secret baby fans grab this today!! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
Meet Andi Burns
Andi Burns writes contemporary romance infused with humor, sass, and steam. She loves a happily-ever-after as much as her characters do, and she always reads the last page of a book first, just to make sure it all turns out okay. Andi lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two daughters. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, folding laundry, or daydreaming about her next hero and heroine.
Winslow Covington believes in life, liberty and the letter of the law. As Quincy, Montana’s new chief of police, she’s determined to prove herself to the community and show them she didn’t earn her position because her grandfather is the mayor.
According to her pops, all she has to do is earn favor with the Edens. But winning over the town’s founding family might have been easier if not for her one-night stand with their oldest son. In her defense, it was her first night in town and she didn’t realize that the rugged and charming man who wooed her into bed was Quincy royalty.
Sleeping with Griffin Eden was a huge mistake, one she’s trying to forget. He’s insufferable, arrogant and keeps reminding everyone that she’s an outsider. Winslow does her best to avoid Griffin, but when a woman is found dead on Eden property, the two of them have no choice but to cross paths.
As clues to the murderer lead to one of Quincy’s own, Griffin realizes Winslow is more than he gave her credit for. Beautiful and intelligent, she proves hard to resist. For him. And the killer.
Download today on Amazon, Apple Books, Audible, Kobo, Barnes & Noble!
Addictive!! Indigo Ridge begins a brand new series, The Edens, and what a perfect start! Equal parts swoony and suspenseful, Indigo Ridge has everything you could possibly want. It’s a magical blend of enemies to lovers’ goodness, paired with romantic suspense gold. Full of melt your kindle hella hot moments as well as twists and turns you definitely didn’t see coming. You will fall in love with the picturesque Quincy, Montana as Deveny brings it to life in vivid detail. The characters are one of a kind and loveable, well thought out and relatable. The kinds of characters you just want to be brought into their crew like one of the family.
This story has sass and spice to it, but you will have several scenes without much of the spicy details before you get to the hot and heavy. I honestly didn’t mind this because it was just as hot in what wasn’t said. Which is strange for me, but awesome nonetheless.
This murder mystery is a real who done it suspense that will have you hanging on the edge of your seat from the beginning to the end. Fans of romantic suspense start reading this amazing book today!
Devney is a USA Today bestselling author who lives in Washington with her husband and two sons. Born and raised in Montana, she loves writing books set in her treasured home state. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her family. Writing one book, let alone many, was not something she ever expected to do. But now that she’s discovered her true passion for writing romance, she has no plans to ever stop.
BOOK BLURBHe’s a criminal—an abomination. We’re wrong in every way. If only I could’ve convinced my heart.His lips whispered promises of all the stars in the sky. I dreamt of a love that would last forever.We were gorgeously young and desperate for one another. But we’re star-crossed.Fate had decided our course.Leaving us to cling to each other as we crumbled to ash. His need became possession. My innocence turned jaded.Our families declared war.All that remained was hate. But Calder was raised by wolves. The rules didn’t apply.I was his until he said otherwise–for better or for worse. Our love story’s bathed in crimson and drenched in bullets. Because sometimes, Romeo comes with tattoos, guns, and a taste for blood.
OMG friends.I am NOT Okay!! 😭 I am literally crying for book two. I need it like I need air right now. This book will go down as one of my favorite books EVER!!
Calder and Sutton’s story part 1 is unlike anything I have ever read before. It’s emotional and exciting and heartbreaking and frustrating and inevitable. Everything about them is perfectly made for the other, even though in their worlds they should never fit together. From the first look they never had a chance of denying each other though.
I don’t want to give anything about the book away so I will just say you need to read it. All the secondary characters are amazing as well. Trilina has put her heart and soul into this book and it’s so obvious because this book is so amazing. It’s earth shattering, it will take over every emotion you have and will leave you breathless. You will not be the same after reading this book. You will be an emotional basketcase. So heed my warning. It is worth it though so read it anyway. Grab this amazing story hold on for dear life and fall in love with star crossed lovers Sutton and Calder! 😭⭐️🖤⭐️🖤⭐️🖤⭐️🖤⭐️🖤⭐️🖤😭
Trilina is a former professional dancer (you may have even seen her on the MTV Music Awards) and a USA Today Bestselling author who loves cupcakes and bourbon.When she isn’t writing steamy love stories, she can be found devouring Netflix with her husband, Anthony, and their three kiddos. Pucci’s journey into writing started impulsively. She wanted to check off a box on her bucket list, but what began as wish-fulfillment has become incredibly fulfilling. Now she can’t see her life without her characters, her readers, and this community.She’s known for being a trope defier, writing outside of the box and creating fictional worlds her readers never want to leave.AUTHOR LINKSNewsletter | Website | Amazon Author | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub | FB Readers Group | Pinterest | Book+Main | TikTok
Marymount girls are good girls. We’re chaste, we’re untouched, and even if we weren’t, no one would know, because we keep our mouths shut.
Not that I have anything to share anyway. I never let guys go too far. I’m behaved.
Beautiful, smart, talented, popular, my skirt’s always pressed, and I never have a hair out of place. I own the hallways, walking tall on Monday and dropping to my knees like the good Catholic girl I am on Sunday.
That’s me. Always in control.
Or so they think. The truth is that it’s easy for me to resist them, because what I truly want, they can never be. Something soft and smooth. Someone dangerous and wild.
Unfortunately, what I want I have to hide. In the locker room after hours. The bathroom stall between classes. The showers after practice.
My head swimming. My hand up her skirt.
For me, life is a web of secrets. No one can find out mine.
I cross the tracks every day for one reason—to graduate from this school and get into the Ivy League. I’m not ashamed of where I come from, my family, or how everyone at Marymount thinks my skirts are too short and my lipstick is too red.
Clay Collins and her friends have always turned up their noses at me. The witch with her beautiful skin, clean shoes, and rich parents who torments me daily and thinks I won’t fight back.
At least not until I get her alone and find out she’s hiding so much more than just what’s underneath those pretty clothes.
The princess thinks I’ll scratch her itch. She thinks she’s still pure as long as it’s not a guy touching her.
I told her to stay on her side of town. I told her not to cross the tracks.
But one night, she did. And when I’m done with her, she’ll never be pure again.
*Tryst Six Venom is a standalone, new adult romance between the wealthy princess with a temper for what’s hers and the hard girl from the wrong crowd. One battles convention. The other, her pride. But nothing will stop it.
♦ ♦ ♦
Y’all this is an amazing F/F story. Now I’m not one that ever pictured myself grabbing a f/f book but let me tell you the fact that Penelope Douglas wrote it had me intrigued. So I was all in for giving it a go. I’m so glad I did. This book was everything I hoped it would be and so so much more. Penelope Douglas killed it with this book!!
This was Clay and Liv’s story. The gorgeous rich girl and the hot theater girl from the swamp. This was the ultimate opposites attract story and a total enemies to lovers masterpiece! It was so emotionally riveting and angsty and perfectly frustrating. I loved everything about this book. All the Jaeger brothers and their protectiveness over Liv. I couldn’t put it down!! I was entranced from the moment I started.
It was smoking hot but more. This book was just a phenomenal love story. It was a perfect story about coming into your own and being happy to finally be who you are meant to be and finding your once person who helps you to do that. GAH!! It’s just so fantastic y’all!
This is definitely a must read , people. FIVE STARS!!
♦ ♦ ♦
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I stalk down the nearly empty row, drop my bag, and look at her. She turns her head, sees me and rises, grabbing her backpack, but I slide into the seat, grab her wrist, and yank her ass back down.
“Sit,” I growl through my teeth, feeling heat rise up my neck as she crashes back into the wooden pew, her jaw flexing.
There’s no point in denying myself any of this. I’m a bitch, but only to her, and only because it feels so good. Fuck it.
“Do something for me?” I ask her, keeping my voice low as students fill the rows around us, and the altar servers light the candles. “Move your ass a little faster down the field than my grandmother this Saturday, or is that too much trouble?”
Liv doesn’t look at me, just stares ahead as she lets out a quiet little laugh. “I haul ass down that field.” Relaxing back into her seat, she hangs her elbows over the back of the pew, and her shirt creeps up a little. I spot the switchblade she keeps hooked over the waist of her skirt, but hidden on the inside, that only I seem to know about. So far anyway. She goes on, “I’ll never understand how a princess who can’t pass a ball for shit and brags to anyone who will listen about being a Swiftie,” and she does air quotes, “‘even before she went pop’ is our team captain. Oh, wait. Yes, I do understand. Daddy is useful. When he’s there.”
My father didn’t get me that position. She can think what she likes.
But I grin and turn toward the front of the church, my arm brushing hers.
“Swiftie?” I say. “Aw, you stalk my Twitter.”
That was like four years ago when I said that.
But she just mumbles, “I couldn’t care less about your Twitter and your twenty-eight followers.”
“At least I don’t lose a dozen every day,” I retort.
Yeah, maybe I stalk her Twitter, too. And I don’t have twenty-eight followers. I don’t have as many as her, but it’s more than twenty-eight.
“The world just doesn’t like tattooed feminazis with hairy armpits,” I tell her, my gaze catching the dimple on her cheek as she smirks, “who pass judgments like all the other constipated Captain Americas on social media who act like they really know anything when they’re just angry their life sucks donkey nuts.”
The dimple grows deeper, her matte red lips pursing to keep her amusement at bay. My heart thumps, and for a moment, I can’t look away. Sometimes I get lost, looking at her. The shape of her nose that I’m kind of jealous of. How soft the lobe of her ear looks. The way she chews the corner of her mouth sometimes.
“Is everything okay?” someone says, snapping me out of it.
I turn my head, seeing Megan Martelle standing over us, holding a stack of collection baskets. Her blue eyes flit between Liv and me, knowing very well that this isn’t a friendly conversation, but lucky for her, this isn’t any of her damn business.
“Fine, thanks,” I reply, my tone a big enough hint she’d have to be blind to miss.
But she looks to Liv instead. “Liv?”
Excuse me? It’s not the name. It’s how she says it. Like they know each other.
Liv must give her some gesture or something, because Martelle gives me one last look and then slowly leaves, continuing down the aisle toward the back of the church without another word.
What the hell is she thinking? Does she want to become my next hobby or something?
I reach down and pull my backpack closer before turning my eyes back to Liv to see if she’s watching her leave.
But she’s staring at me instead, amusement in her eyes.
“What the hell are you smiling at?” I demand.
She never loses her cool, and it pisses me off.
But she just replies, “You have a tattoo.”
Her gaze drifts to my hand, and I squeeze my fingers together, covering it. All over again, I feel the needle carve into the inside of my middle finger on my left hand.
Fair enough. I’d mocked tattooed feminazis, an umbrella term I tossed her under, when, in fact, she doesn’t actually have any tattoos. Not even the one of her family’s little Sanoa Bay gang—the snake and hourglass that she wears on a bracelet around her wrist. Her brothers all seem to have it inked on them somewhere.
Her eyes hold mine, maybe waiting for a response or daring me for one, but the light coming in from the stained-glass windows catches the coppery glint of the strands in her dark hair, a lock hanging over her eye as the rest spills around her shoulders. A dozen or so little braids decorate her hair, none of the ends secured with rubber bands. She looks like a warrior girl in one of those futuristic dystopian movies.
And all of a sudden, nothing is hot anymore. It’s just incredibly warm.
I squeeze my fingers tighter, the lines inked on the inside of my finger making the four quarters of an inch on a ruler, very few ever notice the lines, and those who do probably just assume I’ve leaked pen on myself.
Within that inch we are free. One inch.
“Clay?” she says, her tone different.
I don’t realize I’m staring off until I bring my eyes back into focus and see the black of her Polo shirt. I lift my gaze, seeing a worried expression on hers.
Her eyes shift to my hand on the pew in front of us, and I notice that it’s shaking.
“You okay?” she asks.
I inhale hard, angry at myself. Why would I not be okay?
She grabs my backpack. “You need one of your little blue pills?”
But I snatch the pack out of her hands and glare at her. “If you let her touch you,” I bite out, changing the subject. “She will live to regret it. I don’t even have to leave this seat to ruin her life.”
Liv looks back at me, and I want to get closer—get in her face, because I want a reaction.
“She won’t be able to take it,” I growl in a low voice. “I will keep going until she can’t take it.”
I can ruin anyone’s life from my phone. It would be fun. And easy.
“You’re not embarrassing our team,” I finally tell her.
Megan was flirting yesterday. There’s no way in hell that’s happening.
She holds my gaze and then draws in a breath, another fucking air of delight written all over her stupid, fucking face. “I don’t like women who chase me anyway,” she says. “When I want them, they know.”
A tingle spreads up my spine, and when I expect to feel anger at her boldness, something else comes over me instead.
When I want them, they know. How do they know? What does she do?
But she rises from her seat without elaborating. “Excuse me,” she says, and takes her bag, trying to leave.
But I stomp down the kneeler, grab her wrist, and yank her to her knees. She sucks in a breath as she catches herself on the pew in front of her, and I pick up my backpack and rise.
“Sit your ass down,” I grit out.
I don’t stay to see her reaction. I spin around, ignoring the spying eyes from those around us, and leave the chapel just as Mass begins.
Penelope Douglas is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her books have been translated into fifteen languages and include The Fall Away Series, The Devil’s Night Series, and the stand-alones, Misconduct, Punk 57, Birthday Girl, and Credence. Please look for Tryst Six Venom and Motel, as well as the Hellbent series, coming next!
She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and their daughter.