Blog tour! LION EYES by CASEY PEELER

 

 

TYKE
It’s all I ever loved,
All I ever wanted.
Football is it for me.
The lights, the turf, the feel of the ball in my hands,
There’s nothing that means more to me.

But then, I meet Rilla James.
It’s a game changer right from the start.
Now, all I want is her,
Everything about her.

RILLA
It’s a love-hate relationship.
I love the excitement, the thrill of the game,
But despise everything it stands for.
The day the game took away someone in my life,
Everything changed,
For the better.
And I couldn’t be happier.

But then, I meet Tyke she Jamison.
It’s a blitz right from the start.
Now, I’m questioning it all.
Maybe I could get used to life under the lights,
With him.

Playlist

Listen  HERE

 


“Ohmygosh, RJ! This is beyond good,” Laney says as slaw and chili run down the side of her mouth. I start to laugh then take another bite of my double cheeseburger with extra bacon.

“Told ya. Guess you’ve got a perk having a local as a roomie,” I say.

“Dang right I do,” she says as the bell chimes on the door swinging open.

I glance over my shoulder because more than likely it’s someone I know, but when I see him I give a huff and an eye roll. I turn around, trying to avoid him like the plague. Why is he everywhere today? He’s the last person I ever wanted to run into on campus, and on my first day here, I can’t escape him. I can’t believe I agreed to see him again tomorrow. Mental note – leave extra early in the morning.

“Did you see who just walked in?” Laney whispers.

Rolling my eyes yet again, I respond “Yeah, so what?”

“So what? Are you kidding me? Do you have a set of ovaries? He’s like hot tamale h-o-t!”

“He’s not my type,” I state flatly. Laney takes her burger, places it on her plate, crosses her arms and stares at me like I’m completely full of it.

“Yeah right! You can say what you want, but that boy is like fine as crystal and what I wouldn’t do to take a sip out of that glass.”

“Laney! Are you kidding me? Just because he’s got a six pack and can throw a ball doesn’t mean he’s God’s gift, ya know.”

“You’re not serious are you?” She looks at me, trying to figure me out.

“As a heart attack. Do you know where you chose to go to school?” She looks confused. “Look, not only do we have a nice little Division I football program on campus, but this county is like high school football dynasty. They don’t lose around here.”

“Huh? You lost me.”

“Okay, take this in for a second. Him coming to play here has nothing on the other talent I’ve seen growing up. Two of our four schools bring home state titles each and every year. It’s a way of life around here. From August to December everyone eats, breathes, and sleeps this sport. It’s not just a Saturday game here, it’s Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in this town. It just depends on if you’re a pee wee or a Charlotte Lion. He better be thankful that Coach Porter gave him a shot because word on these country streets is that he didn’t have anywhere else to go, and his time was up at that no-name junior college. He either had to take Blue Ridge’s offer or kiss the draft goodbye.”

Laney looks at me and suddenly I realize who’s standing right beside me. Oh well. I call it like I see it.

“So what’s the word on the streets, RJ?” he questions, looking down at me, and I do what I always do. I shoot straight.

“That you did something really stupid, and Coach Porter is the only one willing to give you a shot on the field in three years. You think this is the armpit of football hell, but you’re really surrounded by a piece of football heaven. You’re just too damn arrogant to realize it.” Standing, I look at Laney, “You ready?” She doesn’t say a word, her mouth is wide open and she looks down at her unfinished burger. “Hey Hazel! I’ll bring your baskets back in the mornin’.” She smiles and I walk right past him and out the door. Now let’s see if he shows in the morning. Touchdown, RJ.
 

 

Casey Peeler grew up in North Carolina and still lives there with her husband and daughter.

Growing up Casey wasn’t an avid reader or writer, but after reading Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston during her senior year of high school, and multiple Nicholas Sparks’ novels, she found a hidden love and appreciation for reading.  That love ignited the passion for writing several years later, and her writing style combines real life scenarios with morals and values teenagers need in their daily lives.

When Casey isn’t writing, you can find her near a body of water listening to country music with a cold beverage and a great book.

Connect with Casey

 

Advertisements

Release day! ONCE SHOULD BE ENOUGH by NIKKY KAYE

 

 

 

 

Are friends with benefits worth the cost?

My cocky friend Will doesn’t believe that I’m frigid, but what does he know? His promises might make me shiver but it doesn’t mean he can give me a happy. He’s so confident he’s betting me money on it, and a thousand bucks is a lot of money to a poor college student.

Once should be enough to taunt him with “I told you so,” right?

But I didn’t know he meant trying everything once…

This super hot 25,000-word standalone new adult romance novella has adult language and themes, and a happy ending (several, actually).

 

“Let me ask you something,” he said, squinting his eyes at me. I nodded hesitantly, and his hands splayed out further on my face. His thumbs drew together to almost touch under my chin, and his pinky fingers grazed my earlobes, sending a ripple down my spine. It was like he was studying the shape of my jaw, the line of my throat and the curve of my cheekbones.
“Have you ever been aroused?”
My eyes widened. “Uh, I suppose so? I’m not a virgin,” I reminded him. Technically.
He scowled. “You can have sex without being aroused, though it’s sure as fuck a bad idea. And you can most definitely be aroused without having sex.”
I opened my mouth to say something then closed it, to which he raised an eyebrow.
“Do you want me to list the clinical symptoms?”
No, I didn’t. His hands trailed down my neck, the pads of his thumbs coming to rest in the hollow at the base of my throat. Hopefully he couldn’t feel my heart racing.
“Maybe I’m asexual,” I suggested, a lump forming in the back of my throat. “I mean, I’ve never even gone to a bar and thought someone was hot.” I felt like such a freak. “Aren’t girls my age supposed to get drunk and want to get laid?”
He tilted his head one way, then the other, examining me. “It’s possible,” he granted. “But I doubt it. You’re getting turned on right now.”
“No…”
“Arousal is a physical reaction to stimulus, as well as a mental one.” While he spoke, his thumbs traced my collarbone on either side, back and forth, like he was rubbing a lucky penny in his pocket. “It’s easier to become aroused by someone you feel comfortable with already,” he informed me as I let out a little hum.
Then he must be wrong, I thought. I was feeling distinctly uncomfortable right now, like a cat whose fur was being rubbed the wrong way.
Bending his head towards me, he took me by surprise with a soft kiss to the corner of my mouth.
“What are you doing?” Oh god.
He leaned in again to kiss the other side of my mouth, but I was frozen in place.
“Testing your theory,” he said against my lips.
Nikky Kaye is almost my real name. I’m a former Film professor who likes more than her movies to be black and white. Sadly, the world doesn’t work that way. I have worked with movie stars, Ivy League brainiacs, and the United Nations—all of which means that I’m familiar with ass-kissing, power struggles, greed and faking it. In my spare time I parent 5 year-old twin boys, serve on the board of an independent cinema, and run a medical consulting company.

 

 

Chapter reveal! LION EYES by CASEY PEELER

Coming February 6th

 

 

TYKE
It’s all I ever loved,
All I ever wanted.
Football is it for me.
The lights, the turf, the feel of the ball in my hands,
There’s nothing that means more to me.

But then, I meet Rilla James.
It’s a game changer right from the start.
Now, all I want is her,
Everything about her.

RILLA
It’s a love-hate relationship.
I love the excitement, the thrill of the game,
But despise everything it stands for.
The day the game took away someone in my life,
Everything changed,
For the better.
And I couldn’t be happier.

But then, I meet Tyke Jamison.
It’s a blitz right from the start.
Now, I’m questioning it all.
Maybe I could get used to life under the lights,
With him.

 

Playlist
Listen  HERE
Prologue
3 years earlier
Tyke

“Hey, dipshit. You ready?” I question Baker.
“Give me five,” he says as he pulls Holly in and attacks her face. I don’t know why she puts up with him.
Glancing over at Janie, she smiles. “Wanna go make use of our time?” she says with a smirk. Hell yeah I do.
“Come on,” I say as I toss my beer can in the fire and take the last one from the case. I pull her away from the bonfire, nod to Baker, and walk toward my truck.  
By the time we reach the truck, Janie has her hands all over me and I know exactly where this is leading. Climbing in the cab of my truck, she straddles my lap and leans in. She peels off her top and my hands begin to wander. I can feel her smile with each kiss, and I know I’m a goner with this one. There’s something about her that’s got me tore up.  
Just as things start to get where I want them, I hear Baker outside the truck. I holler at him to give us five minutes and she giggles into my shoulder as Baker heads away from the truck.
****
As Baker opens the truck door, he’s grinning like crazy.
“Don’t even,” Janie says.
“Hey, I’m glad I could get a little action while I waited,” he says with a snicker.
“Ewwww gross!” Janie says, and swats his arm.
“Dude, you’re riding on the back for that shit,” I say as I start the engine and crack open the last beer.
Janie looks in my direction. “No worries. I’m good,” I say and kiss her lips again. She slides close to me, and I think about letting Baker inside the cab. It’s cold as shit outside, but I think it will be funny to watch him shiver the entire way.
Chugging the beer, I toss it out the window before I hit the main road. Janie lays her head on my shoulder as I wrap my arm around her. As she cuddles into me, I get comfortable, and that’s when I hear it … The sound of a horn.
Pulling the truck over to the right side of the road, I overcorrect and Janie flies to the other side of the cab and I hear Baker yell but I can’t stop. I feel the truck dip into a ditch and that’s when it begins to roll over and over and over.
The truck comes to a stop, and that’s when the whistle sounds. I look and see the one single light coming straight at us. Train. I try to grab Janie but she’s trapped inside.
“Go, TD. Go. Save yourself and Baker.”
I can’t leave her. I need Janie in my life. As the train is barreling down the track, I take a quick glance over my shoulder and Baker isn’t in the truck bed. Fuck. I look back into Janie’s eyes. They begin to drift away. No. No. No. Stay with me. “Stay with me Janie. Please don’t leave me,” I plead as her eyelids flitter for the last time.
“Noooooo!” I scream. I kiss her and pull her with everything in my being. The metal gives and I yank her harder. “God, help me please! I’m begging you!” I can’t leave her in the truck. With one final tug, I pull her from the pinned metal just in time. The train crashes into the truck and pushes it to the other side of the tracks. Holding her lifeless body, I look for Baker, and that’s when I spy his lifeless body in the brush. I run to him with Janie in my arms, fall to my knees, and cry myself sober.
As the sirens approach in the background, I feel numb. I just killed my best friend and my girlfriend.

Chapter 1 August 2016
Tyke
“Tyke, you ready?” Mom asks as she places her hand on my knee, pulling me from my thoughts as I blankly stare out the passenger side window at my future. “Look, it can’t be that bad.”
I abruptly turn my head toward her. “You’re joking, right?” I question, already knowing she’s serious.
“Look, a bad choice might have made this an only option, but you’ve got to make the best of it.” I shake my head and get out of the car, slamming the door with little effort. I can’t believe I’m in this little hellhole of a town. I’m destined for great things because I am Tyke Jamison, the top recruited quarterback in the nation. I was born and bred to play football. All I know is pigskin, plays, conditioning and the thrill of throwing touchdown passes to win the game, but one stupid night changed it all. I went from hometown hero to a criminal in a matter of minutes. There’s no escaping what’s happened and it will haunt me forever.
“I get it, Mom. This is my one shot to start over, but let’s face it, no one wants their star player to have a rap sheet?”
She pauses as she lifts the trunk and stares at me. “Tyke Douglas Jamison, you stop right there. I will not listen to this load of crap any more. You are here for a reason. You are a bright young man that has a second chance at a future, and you will accept what is in front of you. No child of mine will throw away their life. If football is what you want, go and get it, but stop this,” she says as she points her finger in my chest. “You are in control of your actions. Now let’s go.”
I pause for a moment before grabbing an armful of my things. “Yes ma’am,” I say as we make our way toward the dorm. Following a step behind my mom, I smile. She’s one badass lady. She’s had to be to put up with me all of these years.
“Come on, slowpoke,” she says as she glances over her shoulder, and I shake my head and pick up my pace to meet hers. Yes, I’m cocky and have an attitude, but she’s the one person that keeps that checked. Mom is the one that stood by me through it all, not Dad. He’s too busy worrying about how this is going to affect him. How he can live vicariously through me when I’m not playing anymore. I’m the screw up who got a DUI, and killed my best friend and girlfriend. The day I was sentenced, my dad gave me all kinds of hell and pretty much told me to fuck off. That wasn’t part of his perfect plan, and neither was my time in juvenile hall and community service. That’s why he isn’t here today, but she is. No matter what, my mom has stood by my side. So, if she thinks this is my only hope to achieve my dream, I’m willing to give it a shot.
Casey Peeler grew up in North Carolina and still lives there with her husband and daughter.

Growing up Casey wasn’t an avid reader or writer, but after reading Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston during her senior year of high school, and multiple Nicholas Sparks’ novels, she found a hidden love and appreciation for reading.  That love ignited the passion for writing several years later, and her writing style combines real life scenarios with morals and values teenagers need in their daily lives.

When Casey isn’t writing, you can find her near a body of water listening to country music with a cold beverage and a great book.

Connect with Casey

 

Blog Tour! ONE CAREFUL OWNER by JANE HARVEY-BERRICK

 

 

 

AP new - buy the book.jpg
 
goodreads-badge.png
AP new - synopsis.jpg

 

Take me, all of me, broken and in pieces, or say to hell with me.”

WARNING!
This book will break your heart!
From the best-selling romance author of THE EDUCATION OF SEBASTIAN comes a sexy, heart-breaking and heart-warming story about one man and his dog. (Standalone)

Alex is lost and alone, with only his dog, Stan for company. He doesn’t expect kindness from anyone anymore, but sometimes hope can be found in the most unlikely places. He has a second chance at happiness, but there’s a dark side to Alex, and a reason that more than one person has called him crazy.
Single mother Dawn is doing just fine. Except that her ex- is a pain in the ass, her sister isn’t speaking to her, and her love life is on the endangered list.
At least her job as a veterinarian is going well. Until a crazy-looking guy arrives at her office accompanied by an aging dog with toothache. Or maybe Alex Winters isn’t so crazy after all, just … different.
Dawn realizes that she’s treated him the same way that all the gossips in town have treated her—people can be very cruel.

Contains scenes of an adult nature.

This is a standalone novel with no cliff-hanger.

 

“I had a really nice time today, Alex. We both did.”

He nodded slowly, seeming to ponder my words.


“Nice. Nice?”


“You don’t like that word?”


His reply wasn’t acerbic, if anything, he sounded thoughtful.

“I haven’t had a whole lot of nice.”

I wondered if I should take his words as an opportunity to dig deeper, but he seemed more closed off now and a little sad, and I didn’t want to spoil such a lovely day.


“Nice is good,” I agreed evenly, and was happy when he forced a small smile. “Thank you—for everything.”


I leaned across to kiss him on the cheek, surprised by my own boldness. His eyes widened and he sucked in a quick breath.


Was the world still spinning or had time frozen as we sat there, creatures in the dark our only witnesses?


Is love a disease? An affliction? Or is it something catching? Can you catch love, can you hold it in your hands, can it be communicated like a plague? Or is it like an infectious laugh that makes your eyes water and your stomach hurt, even though the joke isn’t funny?


I’d begun to believe I was immune to love—the kind that exists between a man and a woman. Instead, I’d been gifted an ocean of love for my daughter. I thought perhaps that had filled me full, leaving no room for other love. Other loves.


My lips tingled from the roughness of his day-old stubble.


And is it love when you want someone’s smile as much as you want their body? When their laughter softens your words to a prayer?


My heart began to race.


Or is it sheer animal lust, a torrent of hormones assaulting your blood, heating you from the inside out?


He reached out to touch me, questions in his shadowed eyes as he cupped my cheek. I sighed and leaned into him, eyelids fluttering.


My mother always says it’s the softness of men that she loves most, because it’s at the center of them. Their outsides are hard with muscle; their bodies large, larger than hers—or mine—heavier, stronger. So when a man’s touch is soft, when his fingers drift across your skin like sunbeams, then you’re seeing into his soul.


I never understood. I never believed her.


Until now.


So gently, so very gently, he pressed his dry lips against mine, and I wrapped my arms around his neck, kissing him back.


He tasted of coffee, and he smelled like sunshine and pine forest.


Gentleness turned to want, and want turned to need, and I thought my mother was wrong. I wanted to feel the strength of his body surrounding me, on top of me. I wanted to feel his hardness against me, inside me. I was wearied by supporting the weight of my family alone. I wanted someone to carry me. For just a little while. A single moment.


The wooden arm of the chair pressed into my ribs as I leaned across, and I tried to ignore it. But Alex lifted me onto his lap, shocking a gasp out of me that ended with a soft laugh, because maybe he’d read my mind, because maybe he wanted the same things I did. And then we were kissing again. Again and again for the longest time, hesitance turning to urgency, and long languid kisses to heated mouths and hot sighs.


My fingers fumbled to find the hem of his shirt as I floundered my way down his chest, sliding my palms across warm skin that left shivers in their wake. I started pushing the material upward, and Alex leaned forward and dragged the shirt off, tossing it to the ground impatiently.


All day, I’d longed to touch, yearned to taste, feared to want. I was tired of caution, weary of wading through life alone. If this was just one night, I’d celebrate it forever, and if it was more … well, that was a bridge still to be crossed, a land waiting for discovery.


My hands swept down his back, reading his skin with my fingers as if sight didn’t exist, while we continued to kiss, tongues tasting, learning and teaching. I gripped his biceps, my fingers digging into the ridge of muscle, shuddering with pleasure as he cupped my breast with one hand, the other anchored behind my back to stop me from falling.


Too late.


I’d already fallen for Alex Winters, man of mystery, animal lover, gentle soul, wounded warrior in the battle of life. Or maybe that’s just life. We’re all survivors, one way or another.

 

 

AP  new -about the author.jpg
Jane is a writer of contemporary romance fiction, known for thoughtful stories, often touching on difficult subjects: disability (DANGEROUS TO KNOW & LOVE, SLAVE TO THE RHYTHM); mental illness (THE EDUCATION OF CAROLINE, SEMPER FI); life after prison (LIFERS); dyslexia (THE TRAVELING MAN, THE TRAVELING WOMAN).
She is also a campaigner for former military personnel to receive the support they need on leaving the services. She wrote the well-received play LATER, AFTER with former veteran Mike Speirs. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk1CyB8c0xA )
Author Links

 

ArdentProse_LogoMain.jpg

Release day! REINING HER IN by DANI WYATT

 

AP new - buy the book.jpg
goodreads-badge.png
THIS NOVELLA WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE HOT FOR TEACHER ANTHOLOGY AS RIDING THROUGH.

I’d come to accept the predictable routine of my life until I saw her ass in those riding pants. Constance Montgomery…damn, with her legs spread on the leather of the saddle has my mouth watering and things inside me shift. Seems my program is about to change. All the years of indifference to any female form all come tumbling down. My hard rule to never get involved with a student is about to be broken. With her.

Reed Sawyer is at the top of his game. An elite equestrian trainer with looks to kill and he’s staring straight at me. Only, he’s not my trainer because my parents make all those decisions. I’m tired of being under my parent’s thumb. Maybe it’s time I pushed the envelope a little. And Reed Sawyer looks like just the right wall to start pushing on.

A naïve, sheltered girl. A brooding, perfectionist with years of pent up need. The sparks fly. The walls come down. Hot lessons are learned.


Author’s Note: A hot instructor, a riding crop and that old phrase about a guy being hung like a…Well you get the idea. Jump on for a ride that will have you reaching for a cool Mint Julip and a fresh pair of panties. It’s scorching hot, sweet and filthy romance with instant everything.
AP new - excerpt.jpg
I’m supposed to be here to help her, but I can’t help what happens next.  She squeezed my fingers. A gentle tug was all it took.
My mouth nearly crushes hers as I take our first kiss.

Her lips taste innocent as they open, my tongue lighting up with the first flavor of her.  Something rumbles out of me like a pained groan, because it hurts.  This kind of intensity hurts in a spectacular way.

Her tongue answers me with its movement, her own sweet, tiny sounds that make my dick shatter the ceiling of the space available in my pants.  He’s curling in half as he grows, and I hope she doesn’t notice.

If I had my way, I’d hear that tiny moan every second of every day for the rest of my life.  It’s more than beautiful; it calls to me.
It’s lips and soft moans and the soft click of teeth meeting teeth before I break away, my hand grasping possessively around the side of her face.  My thumb rasping back and forth in an attempt to feel as much of her soft skin as it can.  My fingertips digging harder than they should into the back of her neck, bringing my forehead to rest on hers.

“I’m sorry.”  My face is flushed, I’m shaking.  “I shouldn’t have done that.”

My head is throbbing, along with my balls.  They are tight against my body and something inside me is born.  Something that wants her in a way that frightens me.  An obsession explodes and I’m not sure I can tame it enough to keep from hurting her.  I want my cum dripping from her; I want to feel her flesh to flesh from the inside.  I need her vulnerable, available, spread for me to enjoy and make filthy with me.  Never before has a woman ignited this kind of lust, these kinds of thoughts, and frankly I’m scared shitless.

“I’m not sorry,” she murmurs as I desperately try to regain control of the animal she’s created in me.
The air in the room seems to disappear.  My lungs ache but inside my head, I think, who needs oxygen?  I have only one need and she is the only way to satiate that need.

The idea that this innocent beauty and I are sharing similar thoughts is enough to make me nearly cum in my pants.  Drops of liquid are already soaking through the fabric below my waist, and I think I would need another ten layers to hide her effect on me.

The sight of her cheeks rising pink, the way her nipples greet my gaze from under the faded hospital gown, make me want to tear the offending fabric into shreds and have her never be clothed around me again.  Who is this dominant beast?  I’m the ever reserved, commanding, cool leader.  Always in control.

Not now.  If I had my way, I’d slam the furniture against the door of this room and take her right here.  A single word thrums in my head.  It won’t stop as much as I try to push it away.

Mine.  Mine.  Mine.
I fight the urge to crawl on top of her and make her filthy in ways I never imagined before her. But with the taste of her lips, thoughts of my cum inside her are fighting with the civilized parts of me to maintain some control.

I imagine slicing my tongue between her dripping cunt lips for the first time.  It’s one of many things I’ve never done before.  My words growling into her body, saying every filthy word I can think of as I breathe her in and swallow her flavor.

I imagine the subtle differences in the texture of her skin on my tongue, the ripples and folds, the hard nub where I want to draw her between my lips and consume the very essence of her.  I want to make love to her with my mouth for hours.
AP  new -about the author.jpg
Dani Wyatt loves her alpha men; make them military, cowboys, MMA — any uber alpha with a wicked possessive streak and an insatiable libido. Receive a free exclusive unpublished title when you join Dani’s private readers group for updates, free chapters and discounts.
She’s a 40 something regular lady who just happens to love badass alpha males who pull your hair and love their women with a lethal passion.
When she’s not writing (which is not often) she is probably laughing about some irony (like A-1 Steak Sauce is vegan), riding her horse, wondering why The Walking Dead can’t have a new episode every night, or looking cross-eyed at some piece of technology sent to ruin her day.
Author Links
ArdentProse_LogoMain.jpg
 

Release day!! HAIL MARY by NICOLA RENDELL

 

 
goodreads-badge.png
AP new - synopsis.jpg
At a boxing gym in Chicago, Mary Monahan accidentally knocks out the most handsome man she’s ever met. After she wakes him up with a few slaps and some smelling salts, the very first thing he does is ask her out for ribs and beer. His name is Jimmy. He looks like a Gillette model. And he’s just too hunky to resist.

Jimmy “The Falcon” Falconi is mystified that Mary has absolutely no idea who he is. Mystified and refreshed. He is, after all, not your everyday NFL quarterback. He shops at Costco, has a soft spot for Pinterest, and is in the midst of an epic losing streak.

Jimmy falls for Mary fast and hard, the way he does everything—balls out and like it’s fourth and long. And he realizes he’s finally met his match. That stamina he’s so proud of? Doesn’t stand a chance against her Kegels.

But what they don’t know is she’s also his new physical therapist, recently hired by the Bears to work on his rotator cuff…and groin injury. If she can’t help him, he’ll be traded faster than they can say “offensive penetration.”

In spite of the thousands of internet memes featuring Jimmy’s face with captions like: “HEY GIRL, WANT TO TOUCH MY BALLS?” Mary finds herself falling for him and his unrelenting desire to make her his.

Until a toddler shows up at Jimmy’s door.

And throws their lives into total chaos.

***

To the reader: Contents includes love, sweetness, naughtiness, honey, champagne, and an HEA. Safe.
Chapter 1
Jimmy


She’s got a hell of a left hook, and her jab is no joke either. It’s hard to tell what she really looks like, with the big blue rubber mouth guard between her teeth and the black padded headgear covering her jaw and cheeks. But I know this: I want to get my hands on that body. Her tight pink tee is low cut and skin tight, and across her breasts are the words: “NOBODY’S PUSSYCAT.”
A cold draft blows in from the window, making goosebumps ripple up her arms. A thin stream of sweat runs down into her cleavage, and then I watch her nipples tighten. Christ. With little bounces, she heads back to her corner and bends over for her water bottle. Stretchy black leggings and no panty line.
Fuuuuuck.
The buzzer dings and we square up. She holds her gloves up to her face, ready to go. They’re bubblegum pink with white cuffs; the girliest weapons I’ve ever seen.
But never mind the gloves. It’s those eyes that have me. Shit, those eyes. This crazy deep green. Packers’ green. Jets’ green. Green like cash. Green that could make a guy go right out of his mind.
Pow goes a jab into my stomach and I double over, tasting my Gatorade from an hour ago. Before I can breathe, before I can even get up my gloves to slow her down, she pelts me hard with a cross to my sternum that knocks the wind straight out of me. I gasp for air and stagger back into the ropes.
“Jesus Christ,” I moan. “Who are you?”
Her eyes light up in this smile. This beautiful fucking smile that I feel way down inside. Then she bounces on her toes and smacks her gloves together out in front of her. Whap, whap. “I’m Mary!” she says around her mouth guard. “And you’re slow!”
Cute. But, yeah…no. Nobody talks to me like that. Nobody. I hurl myself off the ropes, colliding with her in the center of the ring, skin against skin now. I press into her sexy shoulder with my bicep, feeling the sweat between us. She nails me in the gut again; a solid, low-slung straight, and I think, I can’ t hit a girl, can I?
No. Fuck, no.
So I stretch my arm between us, the padding of my glove holding her steady right below her collarbone. She swings for me but I’m a foot taller and she doesn’t stand a chance. “Jerk!”
Obviously.
But on the upside, now I can really get a good look at her the way I want to; close up, but not so close that she’s pummeling me. Her legs are solid and I can even see that little curve of her hipbones barely showing through her leggings. I let my eyes follow the line of sweat to her inner thighs, to that wet, hot place where everything comes together. Fuck. I want my hands on that place. I want to feel the softness and the strength. I want to know the taste of that sweat. The way that softness gives under my tongue.
Ding goes the buzzer. I push her away, padded knuckles to her shoulder. She spins and gets into her corner, so I do the same.
I grab my water bottle and squirt it into my mouth, watching her all the time. She’s fucking beautiful, this one. Fucking gorgeous. The woman of dreams. Of fantasies.
From a pink Nalgene, she takes one big gulp, two, and a little water dribbles down her lips, rolling in drops down her throat. Her eyes stay right on mine. Her chest heaves. Her eyes flash. Her lips tighten. And that’s when it happens. She peels off her T-shirt and tosses it to the floor so that the only word showing is PUSSY.
Ding.
Her body is fucking perfect. I mean perfect. I moan into my mouth guard and I look her up and down. Lean but not thin. Sexy and strong. A fighter’s body. A woman’s body. A body strong enough to take everything I want to give it. And then some.
She turns to set down her water bottle, bending at the waist. And that’s when I see it. The tattoo. It’s a ribbon of black lace that runs in a beautiful, feminine line down her back from right shoulder to left hip, curving down into her pants. Tough as hell, pretty as can be. And with the sexiest tattoo I’ve ever seen in my life.
Stick a motherfucking fork in me. I’m done.
“Nice ink,” I tell her as we square up again.
“Thanks,” she says, leaning in to my shoulder.
“I’ve never seen one like it.” I hook my arm around her again and pull her in. I smell something familiar. I can’t place it. She slips free and moves behind me. For one second, all I can hear is her shoes on the mats.
“I rebelled when I turned 30. It was either this or a tramp stamp.”
“Of what?” I pivot so my face is close against hers.
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” She smiles tight around the mouth guard. Her glove comes through the air, cutting through the noise of the gym. Whooosh.
I get my right hand up just in time to block her with my glove. The impact rolls down my forearm like I’m nothing but Jell-O.
She lets another jab fly but misses me—barely—and I slip around behind her. The hair at the nape of her neck is curly and wet, and a long dark braid runs down her back. That strip of wet fabric at the top of her pants, dark with sweat. “Why are we fighting?” I growl as I get closer. “Why aren’t we out drinking? Making trouble? Fucking around? Let me take you out.”
She spins to face me, her eyes wide open, surprised. “You wanna drink with me?”
“Hell yes, I do. And a lot of other things.”
“You want me? Fight me.” She fires her bubblegum pink cannons at my stomach with a one-two combination that makes me feel like I’m nothing but a 283-pound heavy bag.
I try to get in a left cross, but she’s way faster than I am and comes up from under with a hook straight out of Manila.
That one got me in my brainpan, in my marrow. “Fuck that,” I snarl.
“Atta boy!”
No way. Nobody atta boys me. I’m Jimmy Goddamned Falconi. I’m nobody’s boy. Never.
“Atta girl.” I nudge her in the shoulder with my chest.
Around her guard, she says, “You fight like you’re in molasses. But you’re strong. You some kind of athlete?”
At first, I’m about to laugh. For about one second, I think I might be on Candid Camera or something. I mean, I can’t walk to the bathroom on an airplane without someone asking me to sign a cocktail napkin. I can’t get through Costco without someone asking me to sign their shopping list. Some kind of athlete?
I’m Jimmy “The Falcon” Falconi. Quarterback for the Chicago Goddamned Bears. I’m somebody.
But there’s zero recognition in her eyes. No flicker of the fangirl. No sign she’s playing it cool either. To her, I’m just a guy getting his ass kicked by a girl in pink gloves.
“Hello?” She presses into my chin with a slow uppercut from the right.
I snap out of it. I don’t even know how to answer her. I play quarterback for the Bears. Ever heard of them? Or maybe, Ever heard of football? America’s Game? Fuck. I wouldn’t even know how to start. I’ve never had to explain it. People just know. “Yeah, I like to work out.”
“Then act like it,” she says, all piss and vinegar, and puts her guard back in her mouth. Wham comes that jab into my gut. Pow goes the straight to my pecs. I loop one arm around her and pull her body in close, hooking the back of her neck with the crook of my elbow. I pull her closer, tighter, both arms around her, to get a feel for her…but also to give myself a goddamned break.
She struggles a little, trying to squirm free, but I see the smile on her face, the crinkle of the skin at her eyes.
I pull her head closer to mine. I must be twice her weight; no way is she going to get free now. We are the welterweight and the super heavyweight. Wrong class totally. But then she wedges her forehead in against my chest. I watch her wind up, her biceps flexing, and, boom-boom-boom.
Every time she connects, I lose a little more air and groan, “Fuck-fuck-fuck!”
“Atta boy!”
Fuck. That.
So I keep her pinned and she starts fighting harder, which makes me want to hang on to her more. I press my nose against her head. In her thick brown hair, I can smell her shampoo, her conditioner. Coconut.
While I’m distracted by that smell, thinking of sunscreen and ukulele music and drinks with umbrellas and her on a beach, she slips out from under my arms and pops up in my face.
Well, shit.
“What, you chicken? Gonna hit me back? Or do you want to dance around for an hour or two? Because I can totally do that. I just have to go home to feed the dog.” Whap-whap go her padded fists.
Oh no, no way. No way am I going to let a pretty little thing talk to me like that. I sniff hard and man up.
I give her a jab. A hook. A cross.
And she blocks me every damned time. Blocks me like she’s fought me before, or like she’s known all along what I’ll do when it comes down to it.
Fucking wax-on-wax off, one-two-three.
Pow-pow go her gloves into my side, and fuck. I think I feel those it in my spleen. Enough. Enough. Anger boils up through me like cheap vodka after a long night.
I’m Jimmy Falconi. And I’m gonna make this girl know my name.
I crack my neck side to side and get serious. I suck air through the holes in my mouth guard and get my fists up. I edge her into the corner and those eyes flash at me. She’s sweating hard and her mascara is smudged. Her hair is mussed and her skin is slick. It makes her look dangerous. Angry. I’d like to smudge that mascara a little more. In bed. Immediately.
But first, I’m going to show her who’s boss.
The more she works herself up, the hotter she gets. That’s when something catches my eye. There’s something written on the white cuffs of her gloves. All fuzzy, written in black marker:
On the right glove: HERE COMES…
On the left:…TROUBLE!
Whomp.
She nails me in the jaw with a haymaker, and my molars shake. “Come the fuck on,” I growl back at her, with my glove pressed to the side of my face.
She smacks her gloves together, and lowers her chin. “Are we sparring or chatting? Hit me!” Bounce, bounce, bounce. Butterfly, bee. Whap, whap, whap. “I’m not going to break!”
I work my jaw open and closed a few times thinking, Okay. Fine. Fine. I didn’t think it was going to go like this, but I can roll with a hostile defense, sure. Wouldn’t be the first time. I give her the old elevator stare—up, down, up again—and get stuck on her belly button for a little too long. But then I get a game plan together. I figure I can hit her in the stomach. Not too hard, not hard enough to hurt her, but hard enough to let her know who’s in charge here.
Which would be me. Me, pussycat. Me.
Nudging the edge of her shoulder with my glove, I drive her backwards. Our eyes lock and I get this…this…prickle all through me.
This woman.
This one. Right here.
I want her. So fucking bad.
The fucking gym with its ten phones playing mariachi goes silent. The guys by the cooler egging her on go silent. It’s just her and me and the sweat dripping between us. Soft skin, sparkling eyes. She smells like a summer day and she’s looking at me in a way that no woman has ever looked at me. Ever.
Like she’s gonna own me and she knows it.
Which is bullshit.
She gives me a little lift of her chin and tightens her lips around the guard. She wipes her nose with her glove and then lowers her head. “Come on! You going to fight or are you just going to screw around?”
With my left hand, I jab her softly in the stomach. With the right, a play-hook to the jaw. I raise her chin on my glove so her eyes come up to mine. Then I pull her close, my arm around the back of her neck again. “You wanna screw around?” I say into her ear.
Bam, another hit to the stomach. “I haven’t even gotten started,” she answers.
Fuck it.
She wants to play? Fucking fine. I’ll play. I’ll play hard. I square up. But she gives me this eye. This champion eye. A winner’s eye. Cocky like no eyes I’ve ever seen before. Tom Brady doesn’t have anything on this kind of cocky right here. My luck, this girl’s some UFC champion. Christ.
But I can take her. Yeah, I sure fucking can.
Probably.
I decide on a straight jab; a no-fail straight jab that I plan just hard enough to send her reeling but not hurt her, not actually injure her. I know the punch. It works in bar fights and brawls on the field. An all-American move. As I wind up, everything slows down. I’m 6’6”, 283 pounds, and I throw a football for a living. When I wind up, I wind up. As I do, she ducks, fast as fucking lightning. Greased. Elegant. Lethal. So as my arm is powering through the air, as my momentum gets caught behind 12-ounce training gloves, she pops back up like a goddamned whack-a-mole.
Those eyes flash again and she smiles so hard I can see her dimples.
Dimples. Oh, fuck.
I watch her shoulder tighten, her tricep pucker, and that’s when she lets me have it for real.
The punch comes from left to right, blocking out my view of everything. I don’t see the Mexican flag on the wall. I don’t see the graffiti mural over the windows. Nope. The universe turns bubblegum pink.
It doesn’t hurt, not at first, and as I’m flying backwards, airborne, I have just enough time to think to myself, I wonder if this is what a knockout punch feels like…
Before everything flickers to black.

Blog Tour – THE REASON FOR ME by PRESCOTT LANE

TRFM.png

AP new - synopsis.jpg
Holt
She likes it quick and dirty.
I like orders and rules.
She hates small talk.
I hate to share.
She’s an open book.
I’m a closed dresser drawer.
She rides a Harley.
And that drives me f’ing nuts.
Annalyse and I have both lived in our own personal hells for half a decade.  She’s learned to love the warmth, and I’m still consumed.  But my new neighbor is stoking more than my libido these days.  We agreed on only pleasure.  But she changed the rules.
And now I’m not even sure what they are.
Maybe there’s a reason she found me that night, maybe there’s a reason I can’t stop thinking about her, maybe there’s a reason for the pain.  Maybe not.
We all look for reasons in life.  Reasons for death, love, pain.  Why one thing happens and not another?  It’s human nature.  We’ve been looking for the meaning of life since the beginning of time.  But maybe the reason for all of it — life, love, loss, heartache — is the curvy brunette living next door.

~My 5 STAR review~



Annalyse

“You should have on a life jacket.”  

“When I kayak or when I ride my motorcycle?” I ask.

He tries not to smile, but he does.  “Pissed, huh?”

“Observant, aren’t you?”

“Motorcyclists are twenty-five percent more likely to die and five times more likely to be injured than a passenger in a car,” he says.

“You looked that up just to lecture me, didn’t you?”

“Not the point,” he says.  “No more motorcycle.”

Did he really think he could go all alpha male on me?  Usually, it would be hot as all-get-out to see a man in control, dominant, but right now alpha equals asshole!   Note to self — I should do a blog post on that.  Where have all the good alphas gone?  “Who do you think you are?” I say, walking away.  “You’re not my husband or my father.  Come to think of it, I wouldn’t let my father or husband order me around like this.”

His fingers lightly touch my elbow.  It isn’t a grab.  I barely feel it, and as quickly as he touched me, it’s over.  “I’m a doctor.  I’ve seen what . . .”

“You’re a gynecologist!  You’ve seen what a motorcycle can do to a vagina?”

Oh God, I’m in trouble.  He’s got the dirtiest look in his eye.  “I’d imagine the vibration would feel pretty damn good.”

I can’t help it and bust out laughing.  “You are impossible.”

“And it’s the law to carry a life vest for every person in a kayak,” he says.
I roll my eyes.  “You like rules.”

“I like order.”

“Ordering people around,” I say.

“Only certain people,” he says.

Don’t ask me why, but the thought of him “ordering” me around made my legs clench together, or maybe it was the mention of vibrations.  Either way, the idea of him taking control of my body didn’t sound bad to me at all.  It would be nice to not think so damn much all the time and just feel something good for a change.

 


$50 Amazon Gift Card

 

 

AP  new -about the author.jpg
Prescott Lane is the Amazon best-selling author of Stripped Raw. She’s got five other books under her belt including: First Position, Perfectly Broken, Quiet Angel, and Wrapped in Lace, and her new release, Layers of Her. She is originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, and holds a degree in sociology and a MSW from Tulane University. She married her college sweetheart, and they currently live in New Orleans with their two children and two crazy dogs. Prescott started writing at the age of five, and sold her first story about a talking turtle to her father for a quarter. She later turned to writing romance novels because there aren’t enough happily ever afters in real life.

 

Author links
ArdentProse_LogoMain.jpg