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The First Night by Sidda Lee Tate
The Night Series, Book 1
Can the last place she needs to be become the first night of her forever?
She planned to meet her coworkers for drinks and be home in a few hours. Getting drunk and staying out all night was not an option. Not for Kayla Dobbs. Going to a bar was already pushing her limits. Between her full-time job and night classes, there was no time to spare for a social life, and certainly no time for a relationship. But when she meets Gannon, the sexy bartender whose hypnotic eyes seem to follow her every move, she wishes things could be different.
Although Kayla doesn't recognize him, Gannon knows exactly who she is—she was the one girl in high school he'd always wanted but had been afraid to pursue. He's changed a lot since high school though, and maybe now he has a chance at making that dream come true.
As she breaks free from her self-induced lifestyle of studying and work, Kayla realizes that no matter how concrete her life plan is, sometimes it only takes one night, one person, to alter it forever.
Content Warning: contains descriptive sex and strong language
The closer she got to the bar, the more the courage escaped her. Never in her life had she approached a man she was attracted to. "Just go to the bar and order a drink," she said quietly to herself. "He won't bite."
Kayla grinned, took a deep breath, and settled on a bar stool. She didn't have to wait. The bartender met her as she sat. His gaze held hers for a second longer than she was comfortable with, and her breath hitched in her throat. She moved her stare to the shelves of bottles behind him. Without her asking, he placed a shot of tequila in front of her. She slowly traced the rim with her index finger, trying to think of something clever to say when he sat another shot on the worn mahogany bar top. "Thanks, but I can't handle two more. I'd like to be able to walk out of here."
He held the extra glass up to her eye level, leaning toward her, his eyes burning into hers. "This one is for me. I'd like you to be able to walk out of here too. Let's have a toast."
People around the bar repeatedly shouted out their orders, but the bartender didn't seem to hear them, or if he did, he didn't acknowledge them. Two other guys serving drinks took up the slack.
Kayla picked up the small glass of liquid meant for her and slowly batted her lashes. "A toast to what, exactly?"
She couldn't help but notice the black scribe tattoo on the inside of his upper arm and wondered what it said, but didn't allow her eyes to dwell as they followed his arm to his shoulder and to his neck. She imagined her tongue trailing across his skin and quickly flushed.
He smiled, and his eyes sparkled as he clinked his glass to hers. "To four-inch, platinum heels and jeans that make an ass like yours trigger heart attacks for all that may lay their eyes upon it."
Kayla laughed out loud. He had to be joking, how cheesy. "Well, I wouldn't say it has such an extreme effect on everyone. Does a line like that work on every female?" She licked her hand where he'd showed her earlier and grabbed the salt shaker.
He leaned in closer, inches from her, his gaze intense. "I couldn't be more serious. I've always—"
"Gannon!" one of the other bartenders interrupted. "We've got a fight!"
His eyes narrowed, and irritation spread across his face. He glanced at the anxious announcer behind him and back to Kayla. "Give me a few minutes?"
She watched him jump across the bar and disappear into the crowd. Shivers went across her skin as she noticed the muscles in his arms flex when he lifted himself over the counter. Forgetting about the salt, she tossed the shot back and helped herself to the one he'd left on the bar. As an afterthought, she bit into the lime. His name is Gannon.
Business and Pleasure by Emily Wood
Rags and Riches Series, Book 1
Can mixing business and pleasure ever result in a happy ending?
When sexy, rich Lawrence Russo asks Mia to come and work for him in Italy for two weeks, she jumps at the chance. After all, it beats pole dancing, and the salary he offers her is practically obscene.
A relationship quickly begins to develop between the two, but Mia can't help but wonder if Lawrence's feelings for her are genuine or if he feels he's just paying for a service.
Even if their relationship is strong enough to survive her insecurities, what will happen when somebody from her past shows up and threatens to reveal her deepest, darkest secret?
Content Warning: explicit sex
"I…don't know," Mia admitted. Perhaps she was just being paranoid.
"Mia." She heard a familiar drawl coming from the shadows. Her heart raced in anticipation as she turned to see the speaker. He walked out of the shadows and toward them like a jaguar stalking his prey, but Mia didn't feel intimidated, only excited by his presence.
"You shouldn't go sneaking around in the darkness. You could give a girl a fright." Mia laughed.
"I could leave, if that would please you," he purred. She loved the way he emphasized please. He gave no indication that he was going to leave. Mia was glad.
"Er, maybe I'll just go wait around the corner," Lucy said awkwardly. Mia nodded to acknowledge her, feeling a little guilty, because she had actually forgotten Lucy was still there.
"So, what are you doing here?" Mia tried to seem nonchalant, despite the fact that her body was having some kind of chemical reaction to his presence.
As if from nowhere, the handsome man produced the bottle of champagne he had purchased earlier that night. "I do believe we have plans to share this." He took a step closer to her.
"Oh. I would, it's just we aren't supposed to socialize with the clients outside of the club," Mia said teasingly, although it was technically true.
"Tell me, Mia, do you always do what you're supposed to do?" It seemed as though he had expected her reaction.
"No, I guess not."
"I've been watching you, Mia."
"I've noticed." She took a step in his direction and looked challengingly into his dark eyes. "So, do you like what you see?"
They were close enough to touch, and Mia's every nerve was tingling, hoping to feel his fingers on her skin. He swayed forward and, for a moment, she thought he was going to kiss her, but he leaned toward her ear instead. "I have a business proposition for you," he breathed, sending a shiver through her body before he pulled away from her.
It took Mia a moment to compose herself, and his eyes sparkled with amusement, no doubt he was enjoying her confusion. "Business…a business proposition?" Mia attempted to sound as casual as she possibly could.
"I'm returning to my home in Tuscany tomorrow," he announced.
Mia felt her heart sink, but was determined not to let it show. "Oh, it must be beautiful in Italy this time of year. But what does that have to do with me?"
"I was hoping you would accompany me."
Undone by His Desire by Dilys J. Carnie
The Lost Sisters Trilogy, Book 1
A lone woman…a mysterious stranger…and a secret.
When Daisy Wallace meets Micah, a man of mystery, she is bowled over by an instant attraction. A passionate encounter follows, but he's holding back and Daisy doesn't understand why.
Micah King has been retained by a client to locate the triplet daughters that she gave up for adoption, and he's pretty sure Daisy is the youngest of the girls. He wants to tell Daisy the truth, but before he can he needs to verify that she is indeed the woman he's looking for. He never meant to get involved with her, but she's just so tempting.
When Daisy finds out the truth will she be able to forgive Micah's lie by omission? After all, he's deceived her from the first moment she laid eyes on him, and she's had her fill of deceitful men. And can she forgive the woman who gave her up thirty years ago?
Content Warning: contains adult language and explicit sex
"I like it here…with you…in the kitchen." His words were enunciated slowly as she gripped the edge of the sink, pressing her back into the hardness…it was no good, she couldn't go back any further.
"Uh-huh." Daisy cleared her throat, trying to eradicate the huskiness present every time she'd spoken to him that morning.
Micah's eyes narrowed. "What's wrong, Daisy?"
"Nothing." She licked her lips.
"Yes, there is. Are you regretting last night?"
She swallowed, but her throat was bone dry. "Last night." She sucked in a breath as he stood in front of her and his hands landed on either side of her with a thud, coming to rest on the countertop.
"Have you got a boyfriend?"
She shook her head. "No."
"Keep it that way."
"Don't go looking for one…we have unfinished business."
She lifted her hands and pushed at his hard chest, which of course was a complete waste of time. "Now look here, you can't tell me what to do."
"Yes, I can." He kissed her hard, short, and succinct, and the power behind it made her knees tremble.
"No, you can't. If I want to go out and find a man, I will." She spoke defiantly with her chin held high, but it was lost in the fact that her chin only came up to his chest, and she had to strain further to look him in the eye. Her fingers tingled at the heat emanating from him. The smooth cotton of his shirt was soft to the touch, and his heartbeat was strong as the beat echoed against her fingertips.
"I don't think so."
"Excuse me." She pulled her head back and looked at him.
"Don't start thinking that you can bed someone else."
Her cheeks heated as she tried to push him away. "What the hell? You can't tell me who I can go to bed with…you hardly know me, and you most certainly don't have the right."
"After last night…you do want me, and if I hadn't stopped we would have been in that bed together. I would've made you forget whatever it is that has made you lose your confidence. You're one of the sexiest, most beautiful women I've ever met, and when I do what I have to…I'm going to show you exactly how much I really want you."
"That's just arrogant."
His smile was slow and sexy, and she was pretty sure that had he not been holding her up she would've glided to the floor in a stream of unbridled lust. His hardness was pressed against her stomach.
"Arrogant?" He shook his head. "No, that's not justifying the way I feel, but I'm confident you feel the same way."
"You think so, huh?" When she'd offered him a bed last night he'd refused.
He kissed her again, a little slower this time. Their kisses were hotter than a sauna on a cold day. She could hear the baby in the background, but it was as if she was a distant voice.
He parted from her just enough to speak and she watched his lips move. They were sexy, and she had to push herself to listen to what he was saying.
"I have to fly out today. I have a meeting tomorrow I need to be at, but when Amy goes down for her nap, we need to talk. I need to tell you why I'm here."
She frowned as his words penetrated her sex-befuddled mind. "What do you mean why you're here? I thought it was something to do with a golf course?"
"Actually…that was a lie."
"I knew there was something not quite right about that. If a golf course was going to be built I would've known. Jeez, you can't sneeze on this island without everybody knowing before you've even finished." She narrowed her eyes. Something was definitely going on. She pushed him away, catching him off balance.
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Musings from Michigan