“If you stare at that bloody yacht any more, you’ll burn a hole in its side.” I looked from Arthur’s yacht to Arabella. She was lying on her lounger on the sun deck, head tilted back, her SPF-drenched dark skin shimmering under the blistering Marbella sun.
I took a sip of my mojito, letting the mint and lime cool me down. I saw a few of Arthur’s friends on the deck. But he wasn’t there. I hadn’t seen him since the night in the club. Not long after Ollie Lawson and his friends came, Arthur and his boys had disappeared. I had no idea where to. But they hadn’t come back.
My cheeks blazed when I thought back to him looking at me right in the eyes as he fingered the girl on his lap. As her eyes rolled back and she moaned out loud as her orgasm barrelled through her.
A hand waved in front of my face, pulling me back from the other night. From Arthur … his dark hair, blue eyes and black-rimmed glasses that just did something to me. I couldn’t read him. He was as impenetrable as Fort Knox. Even when his gaze had been locked on mine, I couldn’t get a bloody read on him. He gave nothing away. It was as if he was soulless. As if he lacked any basic emotion.
The hand before my face moved faster. When I shook my head, withdrawing myself from thoughts of Arthur and those eyes that were as unbreakable as a bank safe, it was to see Freya. She smiled, but I could see a tinge of worry in her dark eyes.
She studied me, then put her palm on my forehead as if checking my temperature. I moved her hand away. “Frey,” I said, sighing. “I’m fine.”
“Just checking you haven’t got a fever or anything. Or heat exhaustion.” She took a sip of her Chardonnay. Her purple bikini somehow made her Irish features look more pronounced, and made her curves look like something out of a Renaissance painting.
“I’m completely well.”
Arabella sat up and moved her Gucci sunglasses from her espresso eyes. Her curls framed her beautiful face. “You do know that yacht belongs to Alfie Adley, don’t you?” Her lips were pursed with worry. “That guy you keep staring at is Arthur Adley. The Arthur Adley, heir to the Adley firm and their empire of death and destruction.”
“I know who he is. I have done since we met at thirteen, remember?”
“Yeah, we remember,” Freya said. “But do you? Alfie Adley was there to cash in on a debt your father owed. He wasn’t there for a night of drinks and billiards.”
“I know that,” I snapped. Freya and Arabella glanced at each other as though I’d lost my bloody mind. Maybe I had. All I knew was that, over the years, Arthur had become an obsession of mine. And now he was here. In the flesh. Docked next to us. Looking my way with that steely gaze that seemed to make my knees weak and my mind lose all of its senses.
“Daddy made a mistake. He explained it all to me. He made a bad investment.” I shrugged. “He sorted it and hasn’t had dealings with the Adleys again since.”
“Yet, here you are, wanting to fuck Arthur every which way to Sunday.” Arabella raised an eyebrow at me, waiting for my response.
The sound of raucous laughter came from the Adley yacht, and I glanced over. Just then, Arthur walked out onto the deck, a large gin glass in his hand. He seemed more often than not to be drinking gin, I’d noticed. It must have been his drink of choice—straight, with ice, no mixer. He was shirtless, wearing navy-blue shorts, his black-rimmed glasses firmly in place.
Christ, he was perfection. His skin was slightly kissed by the sun, and his dark hair looked like onyx under the midday sun’s rays.
As if feeling my stare, he looked over, his eyes landing straight on mine. His cousin, Charlie, followed his gaze, his eyes narrowing on me as if I were a problem he wanted to solve. My breathing came faster as Arthur didn’t look away from me. Not even when Freddie Williams stood beside him and started talking in his ear.
“Seriously, Cheska,” Freya said, and I reluctantly looked at my best friend. “Go fuck your boyfriend or something. Get any thought of Arthur Adley from your head.”
Arabella laughed. “Can you imagine taking him home to your daddy? He’d have a damn heart attack.”
“Maybe Arthur isn’t as bad as you think,” I said.
“They’re East End gangsters,” Freya said. “They’re murderers! We’ve all heard the rumours.”
BUT I NEED YOU (This Love Hurts Trilogy #2) by Willow Winters
Release Date: October 20th
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Some love stories are a slow burn. Others are quick to ignite, scorching and branding your very soul before you’ve taken that first breath. You’re never given a chance to run from it. That’s how I’d describe what happened to us. Everything around me blurred and all that existed were his lips, his touch… The chase and the heat between us became addictive. Our nights together were a distraction, one we craved to the point of letting the world crumble around us. We should have paid more attention; we should have known that it would come to this. We both knew it couldn’t last, but that didn’t change what we desired most. All we wanted was each other… This is the second book in the This Love Hurts trilogy and This Love Hurts, book one, must be read first.
Excerpt: “How long?” “How long have I been watching you? You have so many questions that you already know the answers to, don’t you?” All I have to do is remember the first week I moved in when the power went out. There wasn’t an ounce of me that suspected anything. That was years ago… Years. The answer sends goosebumps down my shoulders that don’t stop until a shiver takes over. “I have unusual ways, invasive, I know. But I tried to stay away and let you be. This is how I managed. And then… you kissed him. You fucked him. It … it’s taking a lot of effort to not be jealous. He’s been there for you and you’ve seen it.” I can barely breathe listening to him. “You told me not to be scared, but I am.” I admit the truth out loud because it’s too much. It’s far too real. “You’re a good girl for telling me.” Good girl. From anyone else I would snap, there’s a trigger inside of me wound tight and it would spring free. But from him… He adds, “We’re going to have to work on that. Lie down and let me help you.” “What do you want?” my voice trembles. “Again… You already know the answer.” He’s not wrong. I know what he wants, even my body is aware as my nipples harden against the soft cotton of my nightgown. As if he’s read my mind, his nearly silver gaze drops to my chest. “Fear is a funny thing, isn’t it?” He comments but remains where he is, “I bet you’re hot too, aren’t you?” All I can think about is Cody. Marcus may know things, but Cody may not. And whatever I do here, it could come back on a man who has done nothing but protect me. “Marcus … I’m with—” “I know. I saw it all. I saw you kiss him again yesterday. Really kiss him like you love him. You do, don’t you?” There’s not an ounce of anger, only knowing. “Marcus —” “I’m not mad. You don’t have to be afraid. But I deserve a chance. I don’t regret much in life, but I regret not taking you when I had the chance.” “When was that?” I question only to allow more time. To give space to the moment.” “Questions. So many questions, my Delilah.” Sitting straighter, his fingers wrap around the arms of the chair, as if he’s holding himself back. “I answered you, I gave you more information than I should.” “You told me not to be scared, but–” “If you’d like, I can make it easier on you.” I can only nod. “Lie down, Delilah.” With trembling limbs I do as he says, slowly, lifting the covers for a moment, glancing at the sheen of light against the gun still within reach. He lets me take his time, all the while I listen. “Close your eyes,” he whispers and they’re the most seductive words I’ve ever heard. If only sinning with your eyes closed saved your soul from the devil. Every little hair stands on edge when I hear the creak of him rising from the chair. My chest rises and falls chaotically, every fight of flight instinct screaming with adrenaline. “Don’t turn around,” he commands and I’m certain his steps are deliberately loud as he rounds the bed, walking behind me and then slowly, the weight of him is felt, the cool air from a raised comforter kisses my skin. With my eyes closed tight, he climbs in behind me and I have to part my lips to inhale. It’s a staggered breath that’s suffocated in his heat as he gets closer, inch by inch. Until his hard chest is nearly against my back. Every breath I barely graze him. With one more adjustment, his erection presses against my ass. A whimper leaves me and it’s then I feel his shadow weighing down on my. His fingers slip the loose hair down my shoulder and he whispers along the curve of my neck. “He likes to kiss you here… I understand the desire.”
About the Author:
Willow Winters is so happy to be a USA Today, Wall Street Journal and #1 Contemporary Best Selling Author! Willow started writing after having her little girl, Evie, December 2015. All during her pregnancy with Evie she continued to read and she only wanted to read romance. She was reading a book a day — sometimes two. In January 2016 Willow was staying up late with Evie and just thinking of all these stories. They came to her constantly so she finally sat down and just started writing. She always wanted to do it so she figured, why not? Today Willow cannot be happier for making that decision!
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I swooped her up. She squealed in surprise, and then she wrapped her arms around my neck and melted into me.
I carried her into her room. The whole time, I kissed her slow and desperate.
She whimpered and sighed, that honeyed tongue playing and dancing and teasing against mine.
Strokes and licks.
Desire lapped and sizzled and flamed.
Growing in strength.
I only stopped long enough to shut her door and click the lock before I set her in the middle of her room. “Let me look at you.”
“I think you’ve been lookin’ at me all night,” she teased.
A rough chuckle curled up my chest. “Not possible to pay attention to anything else when I’ve got heaven staring back at me.”
Heat crept up her chest and splashed her cheeks.
Girl so fucking sexy and so fucking sweet.
“You wreck me, Violet. Absolutely destroy me.”
“You ruined me the first time you touched me.”
“Hope you’re good with me touchin’ you time and time again.” It came out a warning.
She breezed out the wisp of a sigh. “I’m just fine with you ripping me apart while you’re keeping me together.”
Lust burst in my blood. A dam breaking way and sweeping away all control.
Guts tied up and body aching to get lost in this girl.
“Gonna devour every inch of that delicious body,” I muttered, voice scraping the heated air.
Energy banged against the walls.
“You better.” I heard it for what it was. A demand.
My hands drove into her hair, and I jerked her mouth against mine in a punishing kiss.
She returned it, this girl giving me her all.
My hands found her neck, and I rode them all the way down to tease at her nipples through the clingy fabric. “This dress. This fucking dress, Violet. You are killing me, baby. Can’t handle how bad I want you. Every second. Every day. Not ever gonna let you go.”
“That’s good because I won’t let you leave me.” She pushed her hands to my chest and ran them up under my jacket, shoving it from my shoulders. I twisted out of it and let it drop to the floor, my hands rushing back to grip her by the hips.
I tugged her against my throbbing cock. “Feel that? What you do to me?”
Violet whimpered, and she started jerking through the buttons on my shirt. “I want to feel it. Want to feel it all.”
A.L. Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad.
Her bestselling series include THE REGRET SERIES, CLOSER TO YOU, BLEEDING STARS, FIGHT FOR ME, CONFESSIONS OF THE HEART, and FALLING STARS novels. Watch out for her upcoming stand-alone, FALLING INTO YOU, releasing September 21st.
If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.
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RESTRAINT by Adriana Locke
Release Date: August 3rd (Amazon & KU
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Blaire Gibson knows better than to have one-night stands.
She prides herself on her decision-making skills. It’s the one asset that has never let her down. But even the best thinkers have weaknesses. Hers is a delicious business mogul with a quick tongue. Unfortunately for her, that tongue is good for more than just talking.
Holt Mason doesn’t need to justify anything to anyone.
He wants Blaire. He pursues Blaire. And he gets Blaire because that’s how his life works.
Until it doesn’t.
What begins as a single night in a hotel room spirals into an unusual agreement. As late nights provide the space to trade secrets and walls come tumbling down, more is shared than just pillow talk.
They both should’ve known better. They should’ve shown restraint. Because when guards are dropped, hearts get hurt.
*RESTRAINT is a brand-new standalone romance from USA Today Bestselling author Adriana Locke.
There’s a look in his eye, something behind the brazen façade, that intrigues me. I haven’t given a man more than a dirty look in longer than I can remember. Who has the time? Who has the energy? Who wants to deal with that bullshit?
But as I stand on the porch of this beautiful home in the middle of a perfect southern evening, I remember Sienna’s instruction to enjoy my vacation.
“You don’t know enough about me to be right,” I volley back, continuing the banter because I can’t help myself.
“I disagree.” He shifts his weight, folding his arms across his chest. “I’ll tell you three things about you besides the obvious. If I’m right, you’ll go to dinner with me.”
I think this over. I didn’t tell him anything about me, not even my name. There’s no way he can actually come up with one thing, let alone three, that’s deep enough to warrant a dinner date.
If nothing else, it’ll be a fun little experiment and a chance for me to prove that men don’t know everything.
“Fine,” I say. “But you have to impress me. Hair color, eye color—those types of things don’t count.”
He grins. “Absolutely not. There’s no fun in that.”
“All right. Shoot.”
“Your name is Blaire,” he says, catching me off guard. “You like gummy bears but feel like it’s a childish thing to enjoy, so you try to be discreet about your obsession. You prefer the red ones and hate the green ones. You like shopping but hate spending loads of money on things you think are a waste.”
My jaw almost hits the floor.
“And,” he says, taking a step closer to me, “you don’t date because you don’t have time. You also find men to be barbaric, adolescent creatures which, may I add, I find offensive.”
“How could you possibly know all that?” I demand.
The heat rolling off his body clamors into me, upping the beat of my heart tenfold. I hate my reaction to him and I hate even more than I can’t control it.
“Lincoln said your name. You dropped the candy from your purse in the airport and I just happened to notice you had it hidden in a little pouch. All the red ones were gone and it was chock full of the green. Your lipstick was a type my mother uses, so I know it’s expensive as hell,
but your earbuds earlier weren’t a name brand so I put together you don’t value them as much.”
“I just lose them constantly,” I say, still sorting his observations.
“And now you lost our bet. Ready to go?”
My summer dress billows in the breeze, reminding me, once again, I’m not home.
This wouldn’t be like a dinner with a man I see regularly or could even see regularly if I wanted to. He lives almost a thousand miles from me.
What could one dinner hurt?
“Fine,” I say, stepping around him. “But I’m driving.”
About the Author:
USA Today and Washington Post bestselling author Adriana Locke lives and breathes books. After years of slightly obsessive relationships with the flawed bad boys created by other authors, Adriana has created her own.
She resides in the Midwest with her husband, sons, and two dogs. She spends a large amount of time playing with her kids, drinking coffee, and cooking. You can find her outside if the weather’s nice and there’s always a piece of candy in her pocket.
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Once he takes his pound of flesh from her, will she steal his heart?
I’m Jett, self-made billionaire.
I have everything I could ever want—except revenge.
Eight years ago, my best friend and I planned to start a business together…
Until I fell for his little sister.
After he found out, he stole my idea and made a fortune.
She took his side and stabbed me in the back.
Now he’s in financial straits, while I’m richer than I ever dreamed.
So I made Whitney a bargain: forty million dollars in exchange for a week of her body.
But now that she’s in my bed, what if it’s not animosity I feel?
What if I fall for her again?
SEDUCED BY THE ENEMY
“What’s your offer?” she demands.
“In a hurry? Why don’t we have a drink? I haven’t seen you in a long time.”
She scoffs. “Let’s not pretend I matter to you.”
I raise a brow at Whitney. She does matter…but admitting that would only weaken my position. “Humor me. After all, it’s my forty million dollars.”
“Fine.” She lifts one delicate shoulder like she doesn’t care, but I can read her. On some level, I get to her and she hates that. “Vodka cranberry. Make it a double.”
I acknowledge her with a curt nod, then I motion to the bartender, who takes our order.
“You’re not drinking with me?” She scowls.
“I never drink.” I haven’t since that summer.
Whitney’s gaze probes me for a long moment. “Because you’re a control freak?”
You have no idea.
I smile. “You can call me names and divert the subject all day. That doesn’t change why we’re here.”
“So you’re going to lend Vance forty million dollars to save his company—”
“Which should have been our company.”
“You lost that lawsuit.”
“Because your brother is a lying, thieving snake.” And you helped him, didn’t you?
She arches her dark brow at me. “Is all this charm how you’ve become so successful?”
Life has apparently roughed up my sweet princess and given her a stronger spine. I like it.
Breaking her will definitely be more fun.
“No. I’m successful because I’m ruthless.”
Shayla Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of nearly than eighty novels. For over twenty years, she’s written contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances via traditional, independent, foreign, and audio publishers. Her books have sold millions of copies and been published in a dozen languages.
Raised an only child, Shayla occupied herself with lots of daydreaming, much to the chagrin of her teachers. In college, she found her love for reading and realized that she could have a career publishing the stories spinning in her imagination. Though she graduated with a degree in Marketing/Advertising and embarked on a stint in corporate America to pay the bills, her heart has always been with her characters. She’s thrilled that she’s been living her dream as a full-time author for the past eleven years.
Shayla currently lives in North Texas with her wonderfully supportive husband, her daughter, and two spoiled tabbies. In her “free” time, she enjoys reality TV, reading, and listening to an eclectic blend of music.
“Holy shit,” Novah whispered, leaning into me. “Little boy blue blood is all grown up!”
I rolled my eyes. “You do realize he’s only a year older than you, right?”
“I’ve only seen him in pictures, Faith. Unlike some, I haven’t been graced with the younger duke’s company before this moment. Let me bask in his mighty presence.”
“He’s not a duke yet. That happens when his old man kicks it and passes down the title. And nobody is graced with that dick’s presence. He’s arrogant and so rich it’s made him beyond stupid, and he walks with a permanent pole shoved up his ass. Il duko has no redeeming qualities whatsoever,” I snapped and folded my arms across my chest to exaggerate my point.
The object of our musings hovered in the doorway to the conference room. He was conversing with Sally, our editor, and Henry Sinclair II, his father. Or, as his father was better known, King. Apparently, it was quite the amusing nickname among the British elite. Oh, how they must have chortled at the “cheeky” reference to their most famous royals. But to us, his American working-class worker bees, calling himself King Sinclair just made him sound like an entitled douchebag, too full of his own importance.
“Well I, for one, wouldn’t mind delving into those khakis the duke trainee wears so well and deep fishing for said pole in his pert, tight posterior, if you know what I mean.”
I took hold of Novah’s arm and met her eyes with my most serious expression. “It’s irremovable, Novah. That pole is wedged in deep, like oil-rig deep. You’ll need a fucking crane to hoist it out. A crane, Novah.”
Novah waved her hand in front of her face. “Jeez, Faith. Even that image has my thighs clenching.” She whistled low. “I could never be that close to his peach of a tush. I’d end up biting his firm, toned, polo-playing cheek. I know I would. Or at least give it a swift lick. I’m better off keeping my distance so as to not be arrested.”
“You’re sick.” I smirked as she crossed her legs tightly.
“I never claimed otherwise.”
“Right, minions!” Sally shouted, standing at the front of the room. The staff grew silent. Our editor clapped her hands with impressive speed. She forced a smile. It wasn’t a good look on her. She appeared constipated whenever she attempted “friendly.” Or as though she were battling a mild-to-medium case of hemorrhoids.
“Today’s a big day here at Visage.”
I held my breath, waiting for more, dread seeping into the very marrow of my bones. My skin itched in irritation seeing Henry “Harry” Sinclair III stepping out from behind his father. No, I prayed, hands lowering into a death grip on the arms of my chair. I looked up toward the heavens. God, I know we’re not always on the best of terms. I drink, cuss, and enjoy fornicating far too much for your liking, but please, please, please, do not say he is here for—
“As you may have heard, Mr. King Sinclair is slowly taking a step back from the running of HCS Media Group and focusing solely on his British investments. He is still very much ‘in charge’ on the global stage, but he has decided to start delegating the US enterprises to his son, Henry Sinclair Junior.”
I closed my eyes and felt Novah’s hand grip my thigh at this revelation. “So today I have the great pleasure to welcome Henry as the new CEO of Visage Magazine and the New York Journal and everything that falls under that impressive umbrella.” The people in the conference room broke out into somewhat enthusiastic applause, and I reluctantly opened my eyes. I’d hoped if I kept them closed, this would somehow turn out to be a bad dream. But as soon as I opened them, my gaze railroaded right into Henry’s or, as I liked to call him, the eternally entitled ball-sack.
Fuck my life. What had we mere mortals done in the world to deserve three of these Henry Sinclair jerks on the planet? His father was an asswipe of the highest order, and I’d heard the grandfather, who’d created the empire, had been the worst kind of human being. His grandson had apparently followed suit. Henry didn’t smile at me. His nostrils flared and his lip curled up. I wasn’t sure if he was silently passing gas or exposing the fact that he disliked me as much as I disliked him.
King Sinclair nudged his son from his malevolent reverie. Henry pulled his hands from his pockets, nodded curtly, and instantly became the leader I was sure he had been molded to be since birth. “Good morning, I’m Henry Sinclair, but please call me Harry. Only my teachers ever called me Henry.” He smirked a little at that. I blinked slowly in confusion. I had never seen him smile. This was a barely-there smile and, no matter how brief it was, it indicated Harry wasn’t always the dour bastard he appeared to be.
“I know most of you have never met me, but I’ve been living between New York and England for the past few years and am extremely happy to be taking over here at the New York Journal and therefore, of course, Visage.” Visage was the in-house style magazine, which went out every Sunday along with the Journal’s other Sunday offerings. The in-house magazines of such prestigious newspapers had always been considered the ugly stepsisters in the world of newspaper publishing, but I loved it here. Always had…until, I feared, now.