Thursday, 30 June 2016

New Release Spotlight: Under Your Skin by Shannyn Schroeder

Under Your Skin
For Your Love #1
By: Shannyn Schroeder
Releasing June 28, 2016
Zebra Shout

Under Your Skin

For Your Love Series

Blood Is Thicker Than Ink. . .

Norah O'Malley has been alone for a long time. It's been ten years since her father and four brothers shipped her off to be raised by her aunt. Seven months since she's seen the guy who got her pregnant--who still doesn't know. And it's two weeks since she came home to Chicago and discovered none of her family wants to talk--or listen.

She never expected to walk into a tattoo shop seven months pregnant and get her socks knocked off by instant attraction. She can't even see her socks. But Kai Ellis is big and gruff and sexy as hell, and if he has a past, well, so does she. Even more, Kai knows how to listen so that Norah feels just a little less alone . . .

All the chemistry in the world can't help Norah make her decisions. And no sizzle of desire will make Kai believe in happy endings. But a little time with someone who understands might just change everything . ..

Link to Follow Tour: HERE
Before you leave, can you start a load of laundry for me? I don’t think Kai would feel comfortable touching my unmentionables. There’s a small basket in my bedroom.”
Norah narrowed her eyes. Although she hadn’t gotten a grand tour of the house, she hadn’t remembered seeing a washer and dryer either. “Where are the machines?”
In the basement.”
Okay. I’ll start that and then go to the store.” Leaving her purse on the chair, she gathered the dirty laundry and found the door leading to the basement. She picked her way down the wooden steps carefully. A bare bulb dangled at the bottom lighting her way. A clink caught her attention. This was like a scene out of a bad horror movie.
She pushed on. At the bottom of the stairs, she saw the source of the noise: Kai lying on a bench lifting weights. He was shirtless. His bronze skin glistened with the effort of his workout. He continued to lift the bar and his arms bulged and flexed. A tidal wave of testosterone crashed through the room and into her.
She swallowed hard and moved another step before he caught her staring. Then she saw he had earbuds in, so he couldn’t hear her. She moved as silently as she could to the washer. A loud clunk made her jump and she dropped the basket. Turning, she saw Kai sitting up.
He yanked the earbuds from his ears. “What are you doing?”
Her heart thundered. “Your mom asked me to do a load of laundry.” She pointed at the basket at her feet as if he didn’t know what dirty clothes looked like.
He stood and walked toward her. A patch of dark hair rode across his pecs. She stared at his body as he moved. Tattoos decorated his skin. Across his ribs, on his upper arm, his shoulder. Without looking, she knew she’d find more on his back.
Standing in front of her, he was close enough that she could trace a bead of sweat that trailed down into the waistband on his shorts. His breathing was slightly faster than normal. At least he had the excuse of lifting weights. All she’d done was walk down the stairs and ogle him. He bent and she shivered as his body lowered.
He grabbed the basket and held it to the side. She tilted her face up. He stared into her eyes, but then his gaze traveled over her whole face, landing on her mouth. The look was so intense that she could almost feel the phantom pressure on her lips.
He jerked back. “You shouldn’t be carrying this. You’re pregnant. It’s not part of your job.”
God damn she hated hormones. She’d almost had herself convinced he was going to kiss her. All he really wanted to do was yell at her. Typical.
She inhaled deeply. Then she snatched the basket from his hands before speaking. “You hired me to take care of your mom. She asked me to do a load of wash. This basket weighs less than the groceries I carried in yesterday. I’m fine.”
Turning her back to him, she walked to the washer and started dumping clothes in. She couldn’t wait to have this baby so she could have her body back. She’d never had a problem controlling her hormones around guys. If she was attracted to a guy, it was usually mutual. There were signals, for crap’s sake. This whole pregnancy thing threw everything out of whack.
Even now, as she messed with the dials on the washing machine, she felt like he was staring at her. When she turned, he was.
I’m not trying to be an asshole. I don’t want you to hurt yourself or the baby doing stuff around here.”
I’m fine. I don’t overdo it, which should be evidenced by the fact that I fell asleep on your couch last night.”
Okay. You know what you’re capable of. Don’t do too much on account of us.”
His words did all sorts of new things in her. To have a man trust that she was smart enough to take care of herself meant something. He didn’t view her as a weak, inferior being as she often felt her brothers did. She smiled. “I’m going to the store. You want me to get you anything?”
Nah. I’m good.” He returned her smile and the tension between them dissipated.
I’ll be a while since I have to go get books for your mom too. Do you know what kind of books she reads?” She didn’t know why she said it, but her mouth got away from her.
He shook his head.
She reads romance. And not the longing looks from across a ballroom and maybe some hand-holding kind either.” Norah leaned a little closer and lowered her voice. “She made me read a sex scene to her last night.”
The look on Kai’s face was priceless. Even under the golden hue of his cheeks, a blush rose. “Christ, I’m sorry.”
Norah bent over on a peal of laughter. “If you could see your face . . .” Those were the only words she could handle because laughter stole her breath. She laughed until tears streaked down her cheeks. Her stomach grew tight and a little uncomfortable, so she straightened. Rubbing both hands on her belly, she took slow, deep breaths. “Sorry. I just had this image of her asking you to read to her before bed.”

In truth, the deep, rumbly sound of his voice would be enough of a turn-on regardless of the words he read. Suddenly, she wanted the audiobook of that.

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Shannyn Schroeder is the author of the O’Leary series, contemporary romances centered around a large Irish-American family in Chicago and the Hot & Nerdy series about 3 nerdy friends finding love. Her new series (For Your Love) will release this summer with the first title Under Your Skin. When she’s not wrangling her three kids or writing, she watches a ton of TV and loves to bake cookies. Find out more at:

Rafflecopter Giveaway ( (1) $10 Amazon or B&N gift card, (1) print copy of Under Your Skin, (2) digital copies of Hot & Nerdy 2 (anthology of 3 novellas – His Work of Art, His New Jam & His Dream Role))

Release Day: Till There Was You by Wade & Lilliana Anderson



Wade & Lilliana Anderson

Haunted by his past, Lincoln Ryan abandoned his life in Australia, retreating halfway around the world to the town of Newsham, a place as remote and cold as his heart had become. It suited him perfectly—for a while.

When a fateful event forces him to help out local bar owner, Lily Colbert, Linc finds his life of solitude is suddenly flooded with the light and hope of one very stubborn woman. Slowly his walls begin to crumble as he lets the enigmatic Lily in. But when Linc and Lily dance perilously close to the ‘L’ word, his secrets re-emerge, rocking him to the core as he tries once again to outrun his past.

However, the thing about the past is that it always seems to follow you around, and for Linc, hiding may not be an option anymore. Not when he has Lily. Not when he might finally have a future….

Till There Was You is the debut novel by Wade Anderson, co-written with his wife, Lilliana Anderson (author of Drawn and 47 Things).

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“I’m so sorry,” she murmured against his neck as her arms squeezed him tight. Swept away with his outpouring of emotion, she felt his loss as deeply as she’d felt her own many years ago. It was horrible for her to lose her parents, and the idea of losing a spouse put an ache in her chest that caused her eyes to burn with sorrow.

His chest shook. “I’m so sorry,” she whispered again, this time pressing her lips against the pulse point on his neck. She wanted to take his sorrow away. She wanted to ease it somehow. Her lips kissed his neck again, moving to his adam’s apple, where she felt him gulp and still.
Pulling her away from him, his dark eyes looked down on her, swirling with storm clouds of emotion as his brow knitted tightly together.

“I’m sorry,” she said again, although this time, she was apologizing for being so bold. She was simply doing what felt right in the moment, but now she thought she’d made a terrible mistake.
Lifting his hands from her arms, he cupped either side of her face, his eyes seeming to take in every detail before he wiped away the tears that streaked down her cheeks.
Her breath shuddered at his touch, catching in her chest as he lowered his mouth to hers. He hesitated for split second then took her mouth in his in a kiss that was anything but gentle. It was ferocious—full of need, hunger, and desperate emotion.

Wrapping her arms around his neck, Lily rose on her toes and met his voracity with a need of her own. She’d be lying to herself if she said she hadn’t been imagining this moment since the first time she saw him, and the reality of it did not disappoint. Every time his tongue slid demandingly against hers, a bolt of lust traveled to her core.

Moaning as she melted against him, Lily lost herself to the need of his mouth and heat of his touch as his hands moved down her body and gripped her ass, pulling her against him. Feeling his hardness pressing to her stomach, she reached between them and began undoing the buttons of his shirt.
The husky decided it was the perfect moment to start howling.
Gripping her arm at the wrist, Linc tore his mouth from hers, his wide eyes still filled with confusion, but also mixed with pure lust. “You should go,” he rasped out, releasing her hand and stepping back as he pulled his shirt closed. Lily caught a glimpse of what looked like scaring as he hurried to fasten his buttons with shaking hands.

“Linc,” she started, wanting to tell him it was okay. They could wait to do anything more until he was ready, but he didn’t give her the chance.

“Just go,” he demanded, his eyes flashing as he raised his voice.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

New Release and Review: Inseverable by Cecy Robson

A Carolina Beach Novel (Book One)
By: Cecy Robson
Releasing June 21, 2016

How can you imagine forever with someone who's leaving everything behind?

Callahan, a former army sniper, wants to make an escape from his past and everything he experienced at war, but most of all, just not feel. Feeling leads to pain and he's suffered enough. When he inherits a house on South Carolina's Kiawah Island, he packs his bags, lured by the peace and seclusion he thinks it will bring. But, Callahan never counted on meeting anyone like Trinity . . .

Trinity has always been the cute, and funny one, who most guys overlook in pursuit of her "hot" friends. She became used to being everyone's pal, until the day the young man she was attracted to, was drawn to her in return. He became her first great love, and first crushing heartbreak when she found him in bed with one of her closest friends.

To move forward, and to carry out her commitment to helping those in need, Trinity enlists in the Peace Corps, but not before returning to Kiawah for one last memorable summer. She just never imagined it would be so unforgettable.

Callahan doesn't want to get close to anyone-let alone Trinity. He finds her perkiness insufferable and her attempts to entice a smile distracting. After all, he's in Kiawah to leave all feelings behind. But when it comes to Trinity, who feels everything, it's hard not to feel something.

Neither expected to fall in love. And no one could have predicted how inseverable they'd become.

Link to Follow Tour: HERE

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Brought up to put the considerations and needs of other people before her own, Trinity Summers plans to join the Peace Corps now that her studies are over. She's always been the girl in the friend-zone except for one time where she gave her heart readily, only to find her cheating ex in bed with one of her closest friends. However, before moving on with her life she wants one last carefree summer on Kiawah Island with her cherished friends. She's happy with her life choices until she meets someone who makes her question whether her chosen path is the right one.

Jaded former army sniper Callahan Sawyer jumped at the opportunity to take over his Uncle's place on Kiawah Island. It's secluded and quiet and just as he imagined it would be when he arrived in March. Now that the lifeguards have moved in for the summer season he's regretting his decision to move to the island until a young woman pushes herself into his person space and gives him a glimpse of a happy ending he never thought possible.

He's a grumpy, broken soul but has a heart of gold and I really empathised and felt Callahan's 'pain' during his first meet-ups with Trin because she has a joie de vivre that's exhausting to some people. Her persistence holds no bounds yet, as the pair slowly get to know each other, she tempers down her overbearing temperament. The pair appear to be at the opposite ends of the personality spectrum, however as Trin becomes more attuned to Callahan it's clear they compliment each other perfectly. Their slow-burn romance is palpable with a few bumps providing some angst in an otherwise light-hearted novel.

This is the first book I've read by Cecy Robson and I'm impressed by her writing style which kept me engaged within the plot the whole duration of the book. Expect some laugh out loud moments so cringe-worthy they'll make your toes curl within this fun novel. I look forward to reading more from this author.

***arc generously received via NetGalley***


Three days.
That’s all I have left until this shit ends.
Three days shouldn’t feel like forever, not compared to the eight years I’ve bled to the Army. Thing is, good men have been killed in less time. In as quick as a blink, a squeeze of a trigger, or a small breath right before a grenade blows is all the time it takes to shove someone right out of life and well into death.
That’s what makes three days as long as it is. Three days is plenty of time to die.
My eyes tear when the wind picks up and shoots grime through the small hole of my lookout point. This blown out piece of cinderblock is only big enough to allow me a view of the street below, but not so small I don’t get smacked in the face with more filth. The tarp flaps above me as I spit out another layer of the dirt-sand mix spackling my teeth. Christ Almighty, I need a swig of the water resting near my elbow. But my thirst, like everything else has to wait.
I have a job to do.
I adjust my hips against the cracked cement of my bed, bathroom, and home all rolled into one, thankful that the agonizing ache stretching over the lower half of my body has settled into a now familiar numbness.
Out of all the points I’d scouted, and all the accumulated years spent in this position, I should be used to it. And in a strange way, it should almost be home. Yet nothing ever has been home.
But in three days, maybe something finally will be . . .
I shove my thoughts away and breathe as my fellow Rangers stalk along the street. It’s then I see them, a mother and daughter walking straight toward my team. Less than one city block separates them from the men counting on me to keep them alive.
The hell? How did they get past the other sniper unreported? Rogers is new on watch. But the quick paces these two are taking should have clued him in that something’s up. I train my scope on their faces; their expressions are blank, unreadable. ‘Cept that’s not what keeps my attention.
The little girl can’t be more than five. So why the fuck isn’t her mother holding her hand? I lift my radio and bark a warning, dropping it beside me as I lock my scope dead center on the woman’s head.
The radio crackles and Modreski chimes in, yelling at his team to hold their positions. He asks me what my plan is, knowing if something’s caused the short-hairs on my neck to rise, he and the boys damn well need to listen. But I don’t hear him, with a breath and a squeeze of the trigger, I leave a kid without a mother.
Just beneath the sleeve of her abayah―the dress completely covering her body―I see it, a detonator that would trigger the explosives likely strapped to her chest. A few Rangers I know―Simons and Boreman, rush forward. I start to mutter a curse, pissed at her for making me shoot her in front of her kid. But the curse lodges in my throat when I see the kid isn’t looking at her mother lying next to her dead.
She’s watching my advancing team as she lifts the detonator clasped tight in her hand.
Cecy Robson is a new adult and contemporary author of the Shattered Past series, the O’Brien Family novels and upcoming Carolina Beach novels, as well as the award-winning author of the Weird Girls urban fantasy romance series. A 2016 double nominated RITA®finalist for Once Pure and Once Kissed, Cecy is a recovering Jersey girl living in the South who enjoys carbs way too much, and exercise way too little. Gifted and cursed with an overactive imagination, you can typically find her on her laptop silencing the yappy characters in her head by telling their stories.

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Excerpt Reveal: The Matchmaker's Replacement by Rachel Van Dyken

Wingman Inc. Book 2
By Rachel Van Dyken
Publisher: Skyscape
Publication Date: July 26, 2016

Wingman rule number two: never reveal how much you want them.
Lex hates Gabi. Gabi hates Lex. But, hey, at least the hate is mutual, right? All Lex has to do is survive the next few weeks training Gabi in all the ways of Wingmen Inc. and then he can be done with her. But now that they have to work together, the sexual tension and fighting is off the charts. He isn’t sure if he wants to strangle her or throw her against the nearest sturdy table and have his way with her.
But Gabi has a secret, something she’s keeping from not just her best friend but her nemesis too. Lines are blurred as Lex becomes less the villain she’s always painted him to be…and starts turning into something more. Gabi has always hated the way she’s been just a little bit attracted to him—no computer-science major should have that nice of a body or look that good in glasses—but “Lex Luthor” is an evil womanizer. He’s dangerous. Gabi should stay far, far away.
Then again, she’s always wanted a little danger.

AmazonUS     AmazonUK     AmazonCA     AmazonAU

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.
She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!
Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!
You can connect with her on Facebook or join her fan group Rachel's New Rockin Readers. Her website is .

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I hated him.
HATED him.
Hate, hate, hate. I chanted the words to myself that very next morning as I stomped toward his ridiculously expensive house, next to the ridiculously nice lake, with his ridiculously loud red Mercedes parked out front. Jackass.
I’d be doing society a favor if I set it on fire.
The thing was probably filled with so much bodily fluid and disease that if he got in a car accident he’d infect the entire freeway and start a citywide epidemic.
I shuddered.
I compartmentalized Lex into two boxes.
The first box was Childhood Lex, the friend who used to hang out with Ian and me before he moved across town, never to be seen again. He used to ride with me to school, and when I was sick he gave me my own box of Kleenex—never mind that he stole it from his teacher’s desk. The point is, Childhood Lex was a keeper.
Box number two?
Asshole Lex, also known as the version I was walking toward. The Lex I met when I was eighteen, who momentarily stunned me speechless with his godlike beauty, had been a figment of my overactive, sad, hormone-riddled imagination.
On the outside? The perfect man.
With a brooding and sultry smile.
Biceps the size of my head.
Who gave me the distinct feeling that if I ran my hands over his buzzed hair I’d orgasm before he even touched me.
Whatever. I was over it. So over it.
A lot of people had stupid crushes when they were eighteen, right?
Now all I saw when I looked into his stormy blue eyes was syph or the clap, and that was being generous. The dude was a walking STD and seriously tried every nerve I had. He was an ass. Plain and simple, no sugar coating. He was the type of guy who’d tell a chick that she looked fat in a dress or who refused to share the communal breadbasket. See! He couldn’t even adhere to typical manners during mealtime! Just thinking about him had me tied up in knots.
Last year, when I went shopping and stupidly invited Ian along—which of course meant Lex had to come—I was told in no uncertain terms that if I would just stop drinking chocolate milk in the morning I’d be able to fit into a smaller size.
He’d smiled.
His dimples had deepened.
He’d even crossed his arms as if to say, Look, I did you a favor, pat me on the back.
Instead I had kicked him in the balls and tried to give him a black eye, clocking Ian in the face.
My point? Lex. Was. The. Devil.
I made a point of only hanging out with Lex when absolutely necessary, and even then I almost always had Ian as a buffer. But now that he was playing love nest with my ex-roomie, Blake? Well, I was on my own.
Lex opened the door after my third aggressive knock. Black sweatpants hung low on his hips, a vintage Mariners shirt fell open around his neck, and he was wearing black-framed glasses that made his eyes more appealing than should be legal.
“Sunshine,” he said, his smirk deepening as he crossed his burly arms over his chest.
“Dickhead.” I smiled sweetly. “New glasses? They look thicker than last time.”
“Better to see you with.” He leaned forward, his eyes narrowing into tiny slits. “There they are.” He reached for one of my boobs.
I slapped his hand away so hard my palm stung.
“Probably not the best way to treat your new male clients.” He shook his hand and turned towards the living room leaving the door wide open. Manners were completely lost on him.
Gritting my teeth, I slammed the door behind me and took off my shoes because I knew if I didn’t he’d give me hell.
He was a freak like that.
For as much ass as he got, it was shocking how much Lysol he used around the house. His clothes were never wrinkled; everything was pristine.
Even his breath.
Damn him.
He drank coffee like a Starbucks employee but never had coffee breath.
It was almost painful, staring him in the face, knowing that everything on the outside appeared perfect—but didn’t match the inside at all, not even close!
Beauty like Lex’s was dangerous and wickedly tempting, like something out of a paranormal romance novel. Sometimes, at night, when I dreamed of Lex getting hit by a car, I imagined him as a vampire roaming the streets in his favorite black sweats, shirtless, shimmering under the streetlights, just waiting for whores to line up so he could take a few bites.
A pencil flew by my head.
“Yo.” Lex’s eyebrows shot up. “We have a lot of work to do if we’re going to get you ready for the next two clients. Daydream about chicks on your own time.”
“I’m not a lesbian.”
He bit on his bottom lip, sinking back in his chair as his eyes slowly roamed from my mismatched socks all the way up to my head. “Okay, whatever you say, Gabs.”
I will not commit homicide. I will not commit homicide. “You know,” I said as I tossed my purse onto the table, “it’s offensive that you assume all lesbians dress like crap.” So what? I was wearing a ratty white T-shirt and ripped jeans, and I was pretty sure I still had mascara on from the night before. It was my Lex repellant. He hated sloppiness.
“Offensive.” He nodded. “Also true . . .” He used the spare pencil from behind his ear to slide my purse over to the farthest side of the table. “It wouldn’t kill you to wear something other than jeans and T-shirts, Gabs.” He sighed. “Say it with me: dresssss—”
I grabbed the pencil from his hand, broke it into two pieces, and handed them back to him. “I wear dresses, just not for you. Dresses are your kryptonite, especially short black ones. I refuse to be a part of your ‘shower time.’”
He snorted. “You wish.”
“Yes. Every night when I go to sleep I pray for Lex to dream of me while he jerks off because yet another girl refused to follow his instructions in bed : ‘Damn it, use the manual!’” I said, using my best imitation of Lex’s voice. I’d only heard him shout instructions to a girl once, and it had scarred me for life. What the hell are you doing? Do I look like I’m satisfied? There’s a diagram! Ugh.
Lex rolled his eyes. “Very funny, and the manual is there for a reason. Do you even know how many chicks get confused when I call out sexual positions? It’s like, get there faster, you know?”
My feelings were torn between fascination and disgust. “So,” I changed the subject. “Let’s train, because I have about ten years worth of Organic Chem homework.”
Lex sighed and held out his hand.
“No.” I crossed my arms. “I don’t need help.”
Okay, I needed help, desperately needed help, and Lex wasn’t just passably smart but a certified genius, at least when he applied himself. I refused to ask him to go over my homework just because Organic Chem was, to me, like reading a foreign language.
He cleared his throat.
I didn’t move.
Finally, he stood, slowly walked over to the end of the table, and fished the chem book from my oversized purse. “What chapter?”
“If I’m teaching you Organic Chem, at least say Professor Lex.”
“Listen very closely, Lex.” I went over and jerked my book out of his hands. “I didn’t need your help last year when I almost failed biology, and I sure as hell don’t need your help now. Let’s just get this training done so I can go home and suffer in silence, alright?”
“Fine.” He dropped my book against the table and then, without warning, grabbed me by my shoulders and pushed me against the counter that bordered the kitchen. My butt hit the cupboard . “Up until now we’ve been helping people find their perfect match. Basically acting like a wingman so that the idiots of this world see the girl who’s been standing in front of them all along .”
Why was he standing so close? Did we have to be touching? I told my body not to respond to his proximity, but Lex was magnetic, even if every part of him was evil. My brain was having trouble functioning while his large palms were pressed into the tops of my shoulders.
“Okay.” I swallowed. “And now that you’re allowing guys to become clients of Wingmen Inc., I basically do the same thing. Give them confidence, help them capture the one girl who’s always seen them as the friend—or worse, who they’ve been invisible to.”
“What’s that like, I wonder?” Lex still didn’t release me. “Being invisible . . . Maybe next time a dude ignores you, take notes.”
And another insult.
“Lex.” I huffed out a breath. “Just get on with it.”
“Right.” His eyes momentarily locked on mine before he rubbed the bridge of his nose where his glasses were perched. It was not sexy. It wasn’t. Really. That. Sexy. “So whenever we take on a new client, we give them a list of questions, meet them in a public place, and then use the power of human emotions like jealousy and curiosity to get the other person interested. That’s where you come in. If another girl sees our client as desirable, he becomes desirable.”
“That easy?”
“Sort of.” Lex leaned forward. “But you can’t suck.”
“At anything.” His lips hovered near my mouth. He was starting to freak me out. I wanted to run away, but I was pinned.
“Lex, if you kiss me I will bite your tongue off. I swear.”
“If I was actually kissing you”—Lex released one of my shoulders and placed a finger against my mouth—“you’d know it. This, my frumpy friend, is training.”
His lips descended.
They pressed against mine, then pulled back. “Yeah.” He shook his head. “Gabs, you’re going to need to open your mouth a bit more. Guys are stupid. They always assume that more tongue means better kissing, when the opposite is true, but you still need to have your lips parted, not locked down like Fort Knox.”
“What’s happening?” I tried to push away from him.
Lex rolled his eyes. “Gabs, believe me, this is all business. You can even keep your hand on my junk the whole time.”
“What!” I roared.
“So you know without a doubt that nothing about you turns me on.” He grinned menacingly. “Seriously, I don’t mind.”
“I do!”
“Hey!” He chuckled. “I was just trying to help.”
“Grabbing your penis is not the answer, Lex!”
“Weird, because it so often is.”
“I hate today.”
“Is it the rain?” He frowned.
“It’s not—”
“It is.”
“Stop that!” I shoved him. “Hurry up and grade my kissing skills so I can go home and study.”
“Kissing, hand holding, hugging, cuddling, laughing, winking—just a few things you need to master.” He was firing off so many horrible, body-numbing words.
“Just hurry up,” I grumbled in a defeated voice as I tried to block out the fact that he was a good-looking ass who offended me with every single breath he took.
“Ah . . .” Lex held up his hand. “One never hurries a kiss.”
“What about a passionate kiss?”
“A passionate kiss isn’t hurried, it’s frenzied. Damn, don’t you know anything?”
Heat swamped my cheeks.
“How many guys have you kissed, Gabs?”
“Plenty!” Five. I’d kissed five.
“You blush down your neck when you lie.” Lex cupped my chin and then brought his lips down against mine again. “Part.”
Sighing against his mouth, I relaxed my lips while his slid across.
He pulled back, wearing a frown of irritation. “A bit more, Gabs. Guys want access.”
I kept my eyes open.
So did he.
I didn’t want him assuming I was into it, which was probably his exact line of thinking. Only keeping my eyes open was an entirely raw experience, watching him watch me while I felt him.
I shivered.
“Cold?” That stupid smirk was back.
“Frigid.” I glared, putting myself down before he had a chance to.
“You read my mind.” He nodded seriously. “Now stop being a bitch, and let me teach you how to kiss.”
“I know how to kiss!” I don’t know what came over me—maybe it was the need to prove myself, or possibly it was just stress over the entire situation. Needing to stay in school and hating that he was the answer, I wrapped my arms around his neck and jumped, my hips colliding with his as I mauled his mouth with as much passion as I could conjure up, this time closing my eyes and putting everything I had into it.
With a growl, Lex pushed me back against the countertop. As my butt collided with the edge, his tongue plunged into my mouth and his hands dug into my hair, pulling it free from its ponytail while he changed positions his lips demanding a punishing kiss from a different angle as his he gave my hair a harder tug back.
I grasped at his T-shirt, pulling him closer and nearly falling backward into the sink.
And then, just when I was in danger of losing myself to the kiss that would probably be the best kiss of my life, I bit down on his bottom lip.
That move didn’t work out the way I’d planned, not at all. In my head it was smart. I’d piss him off, get him to pull back and leave me alone.
It did nothing of the sort.
Nothing of the sort at] all.
With a hiss he pulled back, fire blazing in his eyes. For a split second that seemed to go on for an eternity, he hovered and I waited, both of us on the edge of something. He wet his lips, I mimicked the movement, and then, like a snake, he struck. His mouth fused to mine in a punishing kiss, one that bruised my mouth while imprinting its essence on my soul.