Release Blitz – Fun and Games: The Complete Series by Clare James

 

Title: Fun and Games Series Box Set
Author: Clare James
Genre: Steamy Rom/Com, Erotic Romance
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Blurb
“5 Dirty and
Yummy Stars. I LOVED this book!!! It will have you laughing, smiling, swooning,
and for sure have your panties melting.” – Book B!tches Blog
Are you ready for
some Fun and Games? 
Then prepare
yourself for one hot and hilarious romp through Chicago’s underground world of
pleasure full of strange rules, an unconventional bucket list, super sexy
games, and a deal that lands this daring couple in a whole lot of trouble.
This fun and erotic tale features the combustible relationship between a
kinky entrepreneur and a very curious city girl. 
Discover why
thousands of readers have fallen in love with these magnetic characters and
their deliciously unusual romance. 
The Fun and Games
Box Set Includes:
The Rules
The List
The Game
The Deal
*These novels were
previously published under the series title: Quick and Dirty*
Purchase Links
$2.99 for a limited time
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Author Bio
Clare James is the bestselling author of contemporary
romance and new adult novels with spunky heroines and sexier-than-sin heroes.
Her Entangled Brazen debut, CAUGHT, was a #1 Best-Selling Romance Series, and
the touching family drama, Two-Hour Truce, also hit #1 as a category
bestseller. And Clare’s Impossible Love Series has
more than 500,000 downloads to date and counting!
A fan of smart, funny, and steamy romance, Clare spends most
of her time lost in books. When she’s not reading, you can find her locked away
writing. Clare is also a former dancer and still loves to get her groove on –
mostly to work off her beloved cupcakes and red wine. She lives in Minneapolis
with her two leading men – her husband and young son – and is always on social
media chatting with readers
Sign up for Clare James’s newsletter and be the first to
hear about new books, bonus content and exclusive offers!

 

 

Author Links

 

Review – Most Valuable Playboy by Lauren Blakely

REVIEW:

Well…I have read very little by Lauren Blakely and shame on me because Most Valuable Playboy was FABULOUS!!!  Yep.  With all caps!  I adored this book.  It was like a slow session of foreplay that was both sweet and spicy.  I loved it.  Cooper and Violet were fantastically written characters.  Now, normally I don’t like books where we only get one characters POV but in this case, it worked!  Cooper is our, for this season, celibate leading man and he is in charge of getting his football team to the playoffs.  Violet, his lady-love, happens to be his life-long friend and the sister of his best friend.  That hooked me immediately because it’s one of my favorite tropes.  The best part of this….the brother is in the know (ok….to an extent) so there isn’t so over-blown “I hate your guts”‘ drama that is involved between the two friends.  So Violet swoops in and saves Cooper from a very uncomfortable situation at a bachelor auction and this provides Cooper the opportunity to see Violet as someone other than his best friend’s kid sister (and hairdresser, as she is apparently a pretty kick-ass one).  Violet rocks as a female heroine.  She is fun and sassy and not afraid to call Cooper on his crap.  She is pretty kind too!  And, from the beginning you get the feeling that this whole “friends” situation between them may mean a little more to Violet than she is letting on.  Together these two seem to be more in sync than couples who have been married for years.  Their banter and easy camaraderie made me chuckle more than once.  I love it when our hero and heroine have this kind of history! But, exactly how well they are in sync shocks Cooper.  However, he’s taken a vow of chastity for the season and he’s starting to feel things…..OK, I won’t go from there but their chemistry is unbelievable!  They click on so many levels and as a reader, I was hooked from paragraph one!  They don’t jump immediately into bed nor is this an instant “I gotta have you for the rest of my life” moment from page one.  It’s a slow but steady build over a gradual time span.  It gives the book a feeling of complete realism that I really loved.  There are some pretty hot and erotic moments, do not get me wrong and the climax OH MY GOD!  Yes, it’s safe to say Most Valuable Playboy made me swoon, laugh, sigh, and with out a doubt, soaked my panties!  There are some great secondary characters that I hope get their stories told, an engaging and fresh plot that holds your attention from beginning to end, and just enough tension to keep you guessing “will he, or won’t he”….not gonna tell you the “what” of that equation.  You are going to have to read this yourself to find out.  This book was breathtaking and entertaining!  I can’t wait to read the next book by Ms. Blakely.  She is a fun and witty author who I have sadly been missing out on.  I see myself adding to my already overfull TBR pile!  5 stars!

From #1 NYT Bestselling author Lauren Blakely, comes the swoony and oh-so-romantic title…MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY.

In MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY, the NFL starting quarterback Cooper Armstrong needs his best friend’s sister to pretend to be his girlfriend. Violet is willing, but neither one expects their boyfriend-girlfriend scrimmage to turn into a full-contact sport so quickly. Find out if their fake play will become the real deal or if they can turn back the clock to when they were just friends in this sexy new standalone sports romance!

 

 

Now available on all retailers! Get your copy delivered now!

 

 

✮✮✮ MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY is here! Grab your copy today! ✮✮✮

Hands down, my favorite thing in the world is to score. Touchdowns.

Don’t let the fact that I’m the leading pick in the Most Valuable Playboy charity auction fool you. These days, I’m only a player on the field. I’ve kept my pants zipped all season long — and it has been long — because nothing’s more important than leading my team to victory every week. Except maybe escaping from the team owner’s recently-widowed and handsy-as-hell sister who’s dead set on winning more than a date with me.

Enter Violet and a well-placed Hail Mary.

She’s my best friend’s sister with a smile as sweet as cherry pie and a mind that runs quicker than the 40-yard-dash. After Violet saves the day with the highest bid, I don’t even give her a two-minute warning before I kiss her in front of the whole crowd and then announce that she’s my girlfriend. Which would be fine except my agent tells me we have to keep up the act while he’s negotiating my contract.
Violet takes one for the team and pretends to be mine, but our boyfriend-girlfriend scrimmage quickly turns into a full contact sport, and I want it to go into overtime. The problem is — I’ve been riding the bench for years.

How can a guy like me, who finally has a chance to prove his worth on the field, convince the girl she’s most valuable to his heart?

MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY is a brand new standalone sports romance written in the guy’s POV!

 

 

Amazon Amazon UK Audible Audio on Amazon

iBooks Barnes & Noble Kobo Amazon PB Google Play

 

 

 

 

10% of the proceeds from the release day sales along with a portion of pre-orders across all retailers of MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY will be given to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund and Houston Humane Society to help those in need from the natural disaster.

 

 

 

 


✦The audiobook is narrated by Zachary Webber! Grab your copy today! http://adbl.co/2gbiHT2


 

 

 

 

“Lauren Blakely is a master at writing sexy, engaging stories that draw you in and make you fall in love with her characters. A definite go-to author for me!”
NYT Bestselling Author Melanie Moreland

 

 

“Lauren Blakely never ceases to amaze me with her sense of humor, her talent to write fabulous heroes and heroines and to pull an A game with a male POV. Most Valuable Playboy is a real treasure.
Becca at Little Read Reading Hood

 

 

 

“The slow burn, the teasing, the kisses, OH THE KISSES!!! MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY exceeded all of my expectations. Lauren Blakely has a knack for making a reader fall for her characters.”
Jess at Jo and Isa Love Books Blog

 

Add it to Goodreads here!

 

 

 

 

✮✮✮ Enter to win this amazing MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY GIVEAWAY! ✮✮✮

Lauren’s Most Valuable Playboy Team Spirit Prize Package Giveaway! This bundle is valued at $450 and includes a Coach Handbag ($300 value) and $150 Stub Hub Gift Card to use for tickets to the game, your favorite concert, or theater performance.

http://laurenblakely.com/valuable-playboy-giveaway/

 

 

About Lauren Blakely:

A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than eighty times, and she’s sold more than 2 million books. In September she’ll release MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY, a standalone sports romance. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter

 

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Newsletter ** Goodreads

 

Sneak Peek – Drunk Dial by Penelope Ward

From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new, sexy standalone novel.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Look up Landon Roderick, that boy from childhood whom I’d never been able to forget—even though he so easily forgot about me—and call him.

Then again, anything sounds like a good idea when you’ve had a little too much wine before bed, right? It was supposed to be just a quick, meaningless, prank call. Instead, I went off on him—unloading thirteen years of pent-up emotions.

I didn’t think he’d call me back.

I certainly could never have anticipated the weeks of sexually tense phone conversations that followed as I got to know the man he’d become.

Turned out, Landon had never really forgotten me, either. That special connection we had was still there. I opened up to him, but there were also things about me he didn’t know. And he had his own secrets.

Over the countless hours we talked on the phone, I wondered what would happen if we actually saw each other. One night, I did something impulsive again. Only this time, I went to the airport and booked a ticket to California. We were about to find out if one phone call could bring two lost souls together or if my drunk dial really was all just a big mistake.

A complete STANDALONE.

Add to Goodreads

PRE-ORDER

Audio | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Amazon Paperback

Sign up to be alerted when the kindle version goes live on Amazon

(No Amazon e-book preorder. Will go live on/around release day.)

Copyright © 2017

By Penelope Ward

After that evening, I hadn’t heard back from him for a few days.

Then, one night, a text came in from the same phone number I recognized as Landon’s. It was the first time he’d texted me.

I looked down to find he’d sent a photo.

I gasped.

It was a heavily tatted man set against the backdrop of the ocean at sunset. Oh, my. It was him—a selfie.

Fuck. Me. He was beautiful.

I wouldn’t have even known it was Landon were it not for the blue eyes I recognized instantly. The shaggy, caramel hair I remembered from the past was now a darker shade of brown and shorter, cropped closer to his head. His arms and his chest were inked, his body so perfect that if I squinted, it almost resembled carved stone.

I couldn’t stop looking at him. My eyes wanted nothing more than to explore the ridges and valleys of his stunning body.

Was this a cruel joke?

This was not Landon!

But, it was.

With my thumb and middle finger, I kept zooming in and out, examining the details of the ink across his chest and on his arms. There was really nothing sexier than a guy with perfect arms and a full sleeve tattoo.

Even though his lips seemed fuller than I recalled, they still curved into a familiar grin that oozed confidence. The eyes and that smile were the only traces of the boy I remembered. I wished I could’ve leapt through the screen to smell him, touch him.

“Hi, Landon,” I whispered, for a brief moment talking to the boy inside, not the man in front of me.

This Landon was the polar opposite of the Ivy League yuppie image previously in my head. The only thing the man pictured might have majored in was badassery. He looked like a rockstar, a rule breaker, displaying a sense of arousing danger—someone who must have had women from all walks of life drooling over him for the sheer fact that either they couldn’t have him or shouldn’t have him. It suddenly became clear why, as he’d alluded to, a woman might have been begging him for sex. That made me wonder if he had any secret tattoos in spots I wasn’t allowed to see.

God.

A fire was burning inside of me, and I knew it was my crush exploding into a full-blown obsession.

A self-conscious feeling came over me. If I was scared to show him a picture of myself before, now I was really hesitant.

The message that went along with the photo simply read:

Now show me you.

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of thirteen novels. With over a million books sold, her titles have placed on the New York Times Bestseller list sixteen times. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 12-year-old girl with autism (the inspiration for the character Callie in Gemini) and a 10-year-old boy. Penelope, her husband, and kids reside in Rhode Island.

 

Connect with Penelope Ward

Facebook Fan Group | Facebook | Website |Twitter | Instagram

Other standalones from Penelope Ward:

Mack Daddy:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2kWzE1S
iTunes: http://apple.co/2iNrIPj
B&N: http://hyperurl.co/aiypfj
Kobo: http://hyperurl.co/r3hv19

Neighbor Dearest:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aWvypX
iBooks: http://apple.co/29mC6L8
Nook: http://bit.ly/2akQ2aq
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2axt1SY

Stepbrother Dearest:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1mFNMeg
iBooks: http://bit.ly/YER0mT
Nook: http://bit.ly/1taMFjG
kobo: http://bit.ly/1fJaaBs

RoomHate:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/294lIeT
iBooks: http://apple.co/1PgsvE7
Nook: http://bit.ly/1PLGnSL
kobo: http://bit.ly/1POvSnW

Mister Moneybags: (co-written with Vi Keeland)
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ny7GhN
iBooks: http://smarturl.it/3y1tuq
Nook: http://smarturl.it/kx7h8m
Kobo: http://smarturl.it/qqf5ho

Playboy Pilot: (co-written with Vi Keeland)
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2dbetFA
iBooks: http://apple.co/1Wb06Cf
Nook: http://bit.ly/2c9vRdV
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2ctb6dv

Stuck-Up Suit: (co-written with Vi Keeland)
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1S3LnpZ
iBooks: http://apple.co/1Qbwy57
Nook: http://bit.ly/29vrQhV
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/stuck-up-suit

Cocky Bastard: (co-written with Vi Keeland)
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1MvHLg2
iBooks: http://apple.co/1PffE2J
Nook: http://bit.ly/1EjxNpY
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1UxCSUO

Sins of Sevin:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1F9tbc3
iBooks: http://apple.co/1K8mzGg
Nook: http://bit.ly/1hTKAKE
kobo: http://bit.ly/1OaGY3D

Jake Undone (Jake #1):
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1dJrHBC
Nook: http://bit.ly/1obAwJ6
iBooks: http://apple.co/1fJayQ8
kobo: http://bit.ly/1SPKl0M

Jake Understood (Jake #2):
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1GFdves
Nook: http://bit.ly/1FwJC0z
iBooks: http://apple.co/1DQQwgC
kobo: http://bit.ly/1LQ7Fvk

My Skylar
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1obOG2F
iBooks: http://bit.ly/SLNOTR
Nook: http://bit.ly/SLO1qi
kobo: http://bit.ly/1kNrtAB

Gemini:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1vgk1SE
Nook: http://bit.ly/1KfmLHD
iBooks: http://apple.co/1QTaONj
kobo: http://bit.ly/1BGJ2wu

Release Blitz – Blue Balls by RC Boldt

 

Title: Blue Balls
Author: RC Boldt
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: August 8, 2017
Blurb
What happens when the universe gets in the way of your “follow through”?


BLUE BALLS
Truth: A painful condition caused by a prolonged state of sexual arousal without release. 
Myth: Only affects males.
SARAH
I’m beyond frustrated with the man who’s left me high and very far from dry. Multiple times. But, somehow, even though I’m not interested in a relationship, Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Handsome keeps me coming back for more—one crazy, sexual debacle after the next.
Come hell or high water, the stars will align, and the release will be out of this world.  
JACK I’m captivated with the woman who’s left me sixty-nine shades of blue, and she’s only in this for one thing. The first time, I blew it—and not in the good way—but I’m going to ensure we finally see it through. I need to put an end to this “plague” of sexual
calamities and prove to Sarah that we can have more.

It’s time to grab the universe by the balls and show it who’s boss.  

 

Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

Author Bio

 

RC Boldt is the wife of Mr. Boldt, a retired Navy Chief, mother of Little Miss Boldt, and former teacher of many students. She currently lives on the southeastern coast of North Carolina, enjoys long walks on the beach, running, reading, people watching, and singing karaoke. If you’re in the mood for some killer homemade mojitos, can’t recall the lyrics to a particular 80’s song, or just need to hang around a nonconformist who will do almost anything for a laugh, she’s your girl.
Author Links

Cover Reveal – Drunk Dial by Penelope Ward

PWDrunkDialBookCover5x8_HIGH.jpgWe are excited to bring you the upcoming standalone from New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author Penelope Ward.

 DRUNK DIAL will release on AUGUST 21!

 

 

 

From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new, sexy standalone novel. 

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Look up Landon Roderick, that boy from childhood whom I’d never been able to forget—even though he so easily forgot about me—and call him.

Then again, anything sounds like a good idea when you’ve had a little too much wine before bed, right? It was supposed to be just a quick, meaningless, prank call. Instead, I went off on him—unloading thirteen years of pent-up emotions.

I didn’t think he’d call me back.

I certainly could never have anticipated the weeks of sexually tense phone conversations that followed as I got to know the man he’d become.

Turned out, Landon had never really forgotten me, either. That special connection we had was still there. I opened up to him, but there were also things about me he didn’t know. And he had his own secrets.

Over the countless hours we talked on the phone, I wondered what would happen if we actually saw each other. One night, I did something impulsive again. Only this time, I went to the airport and booked a ticket to California. We were about to find out if one phone call could bring two lost souls together or if my drunk dial really was all just a big mistake.

A complete STANDALONE.

 PWDrunkDialBookCover5x8_BW_264.jpg

iBooks Exclusive Preorder: http://apple.co/2tq7dRz

Amazon Paperback Preorder: http://amzn.to/2tcXxpd 

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2viKCUj

 

Sign up to be alerted when it goes live on Amazon here: http://eepurl.com/MnXoH

(No Amazon e-book preorder. Will go live on/around release day.) 

Cover Information

Cover designer: Letitia Hasser, RBA designs

Cover Model: Vadim Ivanov

Cover Photography: Kevin Roldan

www.angelarowlings.com

About the Author

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She’s a sixteen-time New York Times bestseller. Her novels are published in over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world. Having grown up in Boston with five older brothers, she spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 12-year-old girl with autism and a 11-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.        

Connect with Penelope Ward:

Facebook Private Fan Group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/PenelopesPeeps/ 

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/penelopewardauthor

Website:

http://www.penelopewardauthor.com

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/PenelopeAuthor

Instagram:

@penelopewardauthor

http://instagram.com/PenelopeWardAuthor/

 

 

Blog Tour – No Excuses by Nikky Kaye

 

 

 

Maddie’s rules for attending a work retreat:

1    Pack the right clothes. Especially extra underwear.
2    Don’t try to school your insanely hot boss on acceptable trust exercises.
3    Be prepared for the extracurricular ropes course.
4    Make sure there is a safety net when you fall, because you will fall hard

Gage doesn’t appreciate how hard it is to be his right hand woman—especially when I’m spending so much time with my own right hand, fantasizing about him. My demanding, control freak boss is testing all my limits, and I don’t know how long I can stay professional.
No Excuses is a hot, full-length contemporary romance, featuring blindfolds, rope play, food fights, and sexy architectural features like wainscoting. As in all Nikky Kaye books, cheating is not allowed, but some funny stuff and a HEA are non-negotiable.
When he took my hand, he pressed his open mouth first to my palm, then the pulse point on my wrist. I was sure it was fluttering like a freaking butterfly.
“I want to show you my playroom. It’s important to me.”
Oh god. “Um, okay.” I could do this. I could totally do this.
He led me down the hallway in his little dollhouse. Another time I would have run my hand along the banister at the top of the stairs, its patina velvety with age. Or I would have probably noticed the vintage glass doorknobs at each room. But all I could see was the bright white of his shirt like a truce flag as I trailed behind him.
He stopped us in front of a door at the back of the house, and I hesitated. Actually, we both did. Gage rubbed the back of his neck. The direct, motivated, successful billionaire was nervous—and that made my knees close to knocking together.
“This is probably the most… personal, private part of me,” he explained haltingly, his gaze penetrating me. “Someday I would like very much for you to join me in here.”
Do not hyperventilate, I told myself. You are a mature, sexually active adult with an open mind—and past rope burns to prove it. You just role-played in the office, for god’s sakes. Do not embarrass yourself.
Instinctively, I squeezed my eyes shut as he reached for the knob, and the door creaked open. When I opened my eyes to slits, it was first to look up at the exultant look on Gage’s face. Then I faced the playroom. I hadn’t realized I’d been holding my breath until it whooshed out of me.
“Gage, you are sick and wrong. Just no. No.”
“What?”
“How can you have Pac-Man but not Ms. Pac-Man?” I pointed to the array of arcade games lined up against the far wall. “That was clearly the better game!”
“I beg to differ.” With his arms crossed over his chest like that and his jaw looking like it had been set in concrete, there would be no persuading him.
At least he had Mortal Kombat and… was that a Dance Dance Revolution platform? It was covered in Japanese writing.
“Please tell me you have an Xbox.”
“Baby, I have everything.” He pointed to the giant beanbag and large—but not huge—television in one corner. Gage was almost glowing as brightly as the screens on the old consoles. Their sound had been muted, but the lights blinked in the background like dozens of little disco lights.
I wanted to laugh at myself for my idiotic fear. Whips and chains? Come on. I began giggling as I imagined myself bent over and tied to a bubble hockey table.
Boys and their toys. It gave a whole new meaning to “joystick.” At that ridiculous thought I bent over a little, my hands on my thighs, trying to cork up the laughter.
“What’s so funny?”
“Oh god, you are.”
He stiffened, probably unused to being seen as a source of comedy. Well, it was past time to change that. Finally I managed to control my giggle fit, which was probably half due to relief.
His annoyance came out in a strange sound from deep in his throat. When I flung my arms around his waist, he felt as though made of steel. I wanted to melt him down in a fiery forge and bend him into sinuous shapes. Cradling his carved jaw in my hands, I pulled him down for a tender, apologetic kiss.
“I would love to play with you, Gage. But you should know that I take no prisoners in Mario Kart.”
He sighed against my lips, multi-tasking while devouring me. “That is one… of… the sexiest… things… I’ve ever… heard… come out… of your mouth.”
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.

 

 

Sneak Peek Reveal – Beautiful Mistake by Vi Keeland

The first time I met Caine West was in a bar.

He noticed me looking his way and mistakenly read my scowling as checking him out.

When he attempted to talk to me, I set him straight—telling him what I thought of his lying, cheating, egomaniacal ass.

You see, the gorgeous jerk had wined and dined my best friend–smooth talking her into his bed, all along failing to mention that he was married.

He deserved every bit of my tongue-lashing and more for what he’d done.

Especially when that lazy smile graced his perfect face in response to my rant.

Only it turned out, the man I’d just told off wasn’t the right guy.

Oops. My mistake.

Embarrassed, I slunk out without an apology.

I was never going to see the handsome stranger again anyway, right?

That’s what I thought…until I walked into class the next morning.

Well, hello Professor West, I’m your new teaching assistant.

I’ll be working under you…figuratively speaking.

Although the literal interpretation might not be such a bad thing—working under Professor West.

This was going to be interesting…

ADD TO GOODREADS

 

Available for Pre-order on iBooks, B&N, Google Play, and Kobo now!

iBooks | B&N | Kobo | Google Play | AMAZON PAPERBACK

Receive an alert when the eBook is live on Amazon

 

 

 

An excerpt from Beautiful Mistake…

 

The class was completely empty. I wasn’t even sure he knew I was still in my seat. If he did, he was good at ignoring me as he packed up his laptop.

“Contrary to the rumors you’ve probably heard, I don’t bite.”

I jumped when he spoke. Now that the lecture hall was no longer filled with students, the acoustics of the large space bounced his deep voice all over the walls.

I stood and began my walk of shame down to the front of the classroom. There was no doubt I owed the man an apology, even if he wasn’t a professor—a professor who would be my new boss for at least the next fifteen weeks. I wanted to kick myself in the ass for not apologizing last night before I left the bar. Now it would seem like I was only doing it because of the situation I was in.

Which was true, don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t want it to seem that way.

I took a deep breath. “I’m so sorry about last night.”

His face was unreadable. “I figured you might be, right about now.”

“I obviously thought you were someone else.”

“So I assumed. You thought I was the asshole. The one with the big dick, was it?”

I shut my eyes. For the last ninety minutes, I’d replayed the entire exchange from last night over and over in my head. I thought I’d remembered everything I said, but apparently I hadn’t. When I reopened my eyes, Professor West was still watching me. His stare was pretty damn intense.

I started to babble. “My friend Ava went out with this guy Owen for a month or so. He was full of shit from day one, but she didn’t see it. Actually walked up to her when she was leaving work one night and said, ‘Do you mind if I walk you home? My mother always told me to follow my dreams.’ She fell for it, the entire act, from the first day. Then one Saturday, he was supposedly out of town on business, and she was across town running errands for her mother. She took a shortcut through Madison Square Park on her way back from the grocery store and ran into him. He was with his wife and kids.”

“And you thought I was him, apparently?”

I nodded. “She came in during my shift and started drinking Long Island iced teas. When Owen walked in, she pointed to where he was standing and said he was the one in the blue shirt.”

“And we were both wearing blue shirts, I take it?”

I couldn’t help but smile, thinking of Ava last night. “Actually, no. Ava’s not much of a drinker. Turned out she was more sloshed than I thought. Owen’s shirt was brown—not even black that could be mistaken as navy or something.”

I saw Professor West’s lip twitch.

“Anyway, I’m really sorry. I barely gave you a chance to speak, and then when I realized what had happened, I was so mortified I didn’t even stop to apologize.”

“I accept your apology for last night. Even though you shouldn’t be approaching a man in the hallway to tell him off alone, your intentions were admirable.”

I should have shut up and been grateful he’d accepted my apology. Should have. “Why can’t I approach a man in the hallway?”

He leveled me with a stare. “Because you’re five foot nothing in a loud bar, and no one would have heard you if I’d dragged you into the men’s room and locked the door.”

I folded my arms over my chest. “I can take care of myself.”

“I didn’t say you couldn’t. I said you shouldn’t put yourself in those situations.”

“But you insinuated that I couldn’t by making that statement.”

He zipped his leather bag closed. “Ms. Martin, I just accepted your apology for calling me an asshole last night. Would you like me to retract that acceptance?”

God, I really was an idiot. Being around this man seemed to turn me into a psychopath. “No. I’m sorry. I acted like a jerk, and I’d like to start over, if that’s possible.”

He nodded. “Everything prior to this morning is forgotten.”

“Thank you.”

“But this morning is not. I won’t accept lateness. Don’t let it happen again.”

I swallowed. “It won’t.”

He lifted his worn, brown leather laptop bag over one shoulder. “Meet me here at five tomorrow. We’ll go over the syllabus and the classes you’ll teach, as well as my grading rubric.”

That was smack in the middle of my shift, but I’d figure something out. “Okay.”

“Are you done for the day?”

“I am. I actually have to get to work. I’m covering Ava’s shift because she isn’t feeling too well after last night. We both work at O’Leary’s.”

“You waitress there?”

“Waitress, bartend, occasionally tell off patrons.”

That earned me a full smile from Professor West. God, he should do that more often. No, forget that. He definitely shouldn’t.

“I’ll walk out with you.”

We walked through the halls together and out to the parking lot. When we arrived at my car, I stopped. “This is me. So…five o’clock tomorrow?”

Professor West looked at my beat-up old Subaru. “You’re parked in a spot reserved for the Provost. You got a parking ticket.” He squinted. “Actually, it looks like you have two parking tickets. Was your inspection expired or something?”

Crap. “Umm…no. I keep an extra ticket in the glove compartment and stick it on my windshield when I’m forced to park illegally.”

His brows shot up. “Inventive.”

“Obviously it doesn’t always work.”

“Obviously.”

“They need more parking. When you’re late, it’s impossible to find a spot.”

He studied me. “Lateness is a frequent occurrence for you, I take it?”

“Unfortunately, it is.”

“Then I should clarify something I said earlier.”

“Oh, no, that’s not necessary. I won’t be late for your class.”

He took a step closer and leaned in. “I’m glad to hear that, Ms. Martin. But that’s not what needs clarification.”

I swallowed. God, he smells good.

“Earlier I told you I didn’t bite students.” He smiled, and I felt the wickedness from it shoot down to some interesting places. “I don’t. But I make no promises about not biting feisty TAs.”

 

 

★★★★

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Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times Bestselling author. With more than 1.5 million books sold, her titles have appeared in over eighty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in sixteen languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

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