Book Blitz & Excerpt: Wicked Ways + Giveaway

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Wicked Ways
by Angela Addams

Word Count: 54,720
Book Length: SHORT NOVEL
Pages: 211
Genres: ACTION AND ADVENTURE, BONDAGE AND BDSM, CONTEMPORARY, CRIME AND MYSTERY, ENEMIES TO LOVERS, EROTIC ROMANCE, THRILLERS AND SUSPENSE

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Book Description

 

A night with him was only meant to be a release, not an awakening.

Adam Lancaster, right-hand man and security expert for Cowan Enterprises, is called back home to help his family save their ranch from a gang of debt collectors.

While he’s there, he’s reunited with his childhood nemesis, Missy Alderton. Missy, once a tomboy, is all grown up and sexy as hell. She’s also the town’s sheriff, a kick-ass law enforcement officer who is determined to bring down the criminal elements that threaten more than just Adam’s family. Since they both have the same goal, it would seem they’d be able to work together, but Missy knows all about Adam’s years of working for the infamous Sabine Cowan, and she doesn’t approve of his methods of fixing problems.

Missy hasn’t seen Adam in five years, not since the night she seduced him as a little payback for things he’d done when they were younger. She got him all hot and bothered and walked away, vowing never to touch the man again. Now that he’s back in town, she keeps trying to convince herself that she’s not interested in spending too much close and personal time with Adam. That’s what her mouth is saying, but her body, on the other hand, can’t seem to get enough of him. Adam is trouble and he’s threatening everything she’s built in Grimshield, including the walls around her heart.

With so much at stake, Adam must convince Missy that sometimes you have to break a lot of rules to get what your heart desires.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of public sex, emotional abuse and kidnapping.

Excerpt

Five years before

The second Adam locked eyes with the mysterious woman dressed up as a dark angel, he knew he was about to get fucked…in all the right ways.

Sure, he was wearing a lame-ass pirate costume that was at least two sizes too small for his bulky frame, and yeah, he wasn’t supposed to be at the Halloween party to begin with, but this woman was staring at him like she wanted to eat him alive. Adam just knew that she’d come for him. He didn’t know how he knew. It could have been the way her eyes drilled right into him, smoldering and full of lust, and completely locked on his. Or maybe it was her skimpy little costume, all tight-looking black leather, holding on to her curves in a way that made his dick weep—and totally the kind of getup that would drive him wild. Then again, perhaps it was simply the pulse of his aching cock, acting as some kind of lightning rod for a horny female in his sights that had him so sure. This woman was a totally dangerous kind of hot, and she was all his.

The room was completely packed with people, but Adam’s dick was at full attention, straining against the flimsy fabric of his costume, so ready to sink into her. He’d thought the party was going to be lame. Man, was I wrong.

When he started to get up from his seat, she shot him a look that let him know he needed to stay put. She was coming to him.

Oh yeah, baby.

The party was pumping. The music was loud, the bass thumping hard and drinks were flowing. Adam was feeling really fucking good watching this woman come toward him. The crowd moved around her as she approached. Her hips swayed and the wings jutting from her back moved with her, making it seem like she was actually flying toward him. Everything she was wearing was black, from her halo to her sexy-as-hell stilettos—everything except for her pouty lips, which were painted a deep cherry red. Adam licked his lips. He bet she’d taste like cherries too. She had a halter-top vest on that had a zipper down the front. One zip down and her tits would spill right out. Fuck, he wished she’d move faster. He wanted her on his dick, and he had no problem with fucking her right there in the corner of the room. No one would notice, and if they did, they definitely wouldn’t care.

She lifted her hands, running them along her hips and up her sides. Her tits weren’t huge, but she had enough cleavage to make his mouth drool, thinking about licking all that soft, flawless skin. She moved to the side to avoid another girl who was dancing, and it gave Adam a nice view of her rear. Her ass was just visible under that skirt of hers, like one tug up and she’d be exposed. He was praying she wasn’t wearing panties. Fuuuuck, please let her be bare.

She was sex. Pure sex. And even though she was wearing a mask over her eyes, Adam somehow just knew he’d never met her before. She wasn’t from Grimshield. No way. He knew all the girls around town. Even though he’d been gone for ten years, he knew he’d never met this one before he’d left Montana. Besides, this party was a high-school reunion of sorts, and he was sure he hadn’t gone to school with her. He would have remembered a girl like that.

He had to wonder, though, just where she’d come from.

The room was packed. There were so many bodies moving to the music and she was only a few feet away. He was sitting on a sofa chair, like a king, just watching over everyone, waiting for the gorgeous creature to make another move.

And when she got close enough, she stopped, but just for a second—long enough to give him a once-over that confirmed everything he already believed. She was going to ride his dick right there, right now. He was the luckiest guy alive.

She climbed onto his lap. No hesitation… She just hiked her skirt, flashed her lacy pink panties and climbed on up. Adam’s dick was weeping for real. Her pussy was so hot that he could feel it radiating against his pants. She was wet.

She didn’t speak. She just leaned in and kissed him, the fiercest kiss he’d had in a while. Her tongue was in his mouth, stroking him, and all he could think about was how good it felt…and how great her lips would be around his cock. All that cherry-red lipstick surrounding his dick? Yeah, super fucking hot.

She broke the kiss and looked down at him, her dark eyes full of lust and determination. She held up a condom that she’d pulled from fuck-knew-where and had her other hand playing with the zipper on her vest.

This was a sure thing. A quick fuck. His heart was hammering so hard, his dick was pulsing and he was desperate for the heat of her pussy. He grunted something meant to be affirmative, not trusting his voice to come out right.

She unzipped her vest. Her tits were glorious, a handful of flawless porcelain. Her nipples were ripe little berries. Adam was all hands and lips, sucking on her sweet buds, playing with her until she was rubbing herself against him. And when he slipped one hand between her legs, fuck, she was so damn wet, soaking her panties so much that he could have wept with joy.

It was so fucking hot—her little moans and purrs in his ear, the way she bit her bottom lip and how her hips moved when he yanked the panties aside and slipped his fingers into her tight, wet hole. It was a fucking fantasy come alive. This night could not get any more perfect.

Until it did.

She tugged at the flimsy drawstring of his costume and his dick came out like it was spring-loaded. It was hard and slick with pre-cum, and he was dying for her to suck him off. But her lips didn’t come close. Her hands were all over his cock, rubbing him so good that he could have spewed just from that. But she shifted herself back, ripped the condom package with her teeth then slipped it onto his aching cock so fast that he barely had time to think about it. He pulled his fingers out of her and sucked down the taste of her. Their eyes were locked. She was totally in it with him. She tasted like heaven and he wanted more.

Her eyes were drilling him as she lifted her hips and rammed herself hard onto his dick, right down his shaft until he was completely sheathed to the hilt. The sexiest fucking smile curled her lips and she slowly drew her body back, rubbing his cock until she was almost off him before sliding to the hilt again. Yes, she was totally going to fuck his brains out.

This…this was a night for the record books.

There they were, surrounded by other people, and this amazingly gorgeous creature was riding him like her life depended on it. Her sweet little pussy was so damn tight that it was like a leather glove squeezing his dick each time she rolled her hips. And her tits? They were right at his mouth, so he had to suck them in. His hands were on her ass, moving her harder, faster. Then she leaned in closer, so close that her lips were at his ear and she moaned a long, sexy sound. Her pussy was doing a spasmy thing of the most intense ripples and he realized that she was coming so fucking hard. So he let loose too, just let his climax go and filled the fucking condom.

He had his hands on her hips and he pulled her down to kiss those sweet lips again, but she pushed back, her hands on his chest to stop him.

“Nah-uh, big boy,” she purred.

He looked up at her, his mind fuzzy, feeling euphoric, wanting to know who this sexy woman was and where they could go for round two.

“What’s your name, baby?

She just got a smile on her lips and pushed herself up and off him before adjusting her skirt. She did up her vest next, concealing her glorious tits from his view.

He moved forward, doing his best to stop her from leaving him, his dick still hard, wanting more.

“Come on, honey. Tell me who you are.” No way this girl was leaving without giving him her digits.

She laughed, leaned in close and said, “Why don’t you just call me Ugly Duckling, Adam?”

Adam froze. The smile slid from his lips. Clarity came like a slap to the face. There was only one girl he’d ever said something so vile to. “Missy?”

The curl to her lips turned into a sneer, all the answer he needed. Then she spun on those impossibly high heels and walked away.

He watched the crowd swallow her.

He’d just been fucked all right, by the one girl who hated his guts. The last time he’d seen Missy Alderton, she had not looked like a sex goddess. When he’d seen her, she’d been a scrawny teenager and a pain in his ass. Now at almost ten years later, Missy had definitely grown up, and she was sure as shit not an ugly duckling.

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About the Author

Angela Addams

Angela Addams is an author of many naughty things. She believes that the written word is an amazing tool for crafting the most erotic of scenarios and likes telling stories about normal people getting down and dirty and falling in love. Enthralled by the paranormal at an early age, Angela also spends a lot of her time thinking up new story ideas that involve supernatural creatures in everyday situations.

She is an avid tattoo collector, a total book hoarder, and loves anything covered in chocolate…except for bugs.

She lives in Ontario, Canada in an old, creaky house, with her husband, children and four moody cats.

Sign up to Angela’s newsletter and check out her blog and website. You can follow Angela on Instagram and Pinterest, and find her at Amazon, Bookbub and Books & Main.

Giveaway

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Angela Addams’ Wicked Ways Giveaway

ANGELA ADDAMS IS GIVING AWAY THIS FABULOUS PRIZE TO ONE LUCKY WINNER. ENTER HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A LOVELY GIFT PACKAGE AND GET YOUR FREE ANGELA ADDAMS ROMANCE BOOK! Notice: This competition ends on 9th March 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.

Release Blitz & Excerpt: Edging Closer + Giveaway

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Edging Closer

by L.M. Somerton

General Release Date: 19th January 2021

Word Count: 45,233
Book Length: SHORT NOVEL
Pages: 183
Genres: BONDAGE AND BDSM, CONTEMPORARY, EROTIC ROMANCE, GAY, GLBTQI

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Apparently, the path of true love meanders through a minefield.

After several years of adventures, submissive Olly Glenn and his Dom, Joe Dexter, are about to tie the knot. Needless to say, all does not run smoothly on the path to matrimony. Only Olly can turn a visit to a cupcake shop into a police incident.

While Joe and Olly’s friends join forces to make their wedding the most memorable ever, others are not so keen on them getting their happy ever after—or living to experience their honeymoon. So, when Joe walks into a carefully laid trap, it’s hard to see a way out.

Olly is determined that nobody, not even a sociopathic killer with connections to his past, will ruin the big day. He wants Joe standing next to him, in one piece, and he’ll risk anything to make sure that happens, even if they have to be handcuffed together. In fact, that idea has possibilities…

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, stalking, abduction, and attempted murder.

Excerpt

“Olly, that dog is a menace. He needs more training, a bit like you.” Aiden’s tone betrayed his exasperation.

“Parker is just exuberant.” Olly gave his best friend in the world an aggravated glance. “He’s high on life. And I am very well trained, thank you very much. Ask Joe.”

Aiden snorted. “I’d sooner ask Heath to give me a foot rub and feed me grapes.”

“I’d like to be a fly on the wall for that conversation.” Olly laughed, simultaneously scanning the edge of the trees for his dog. “Where has he got to?”

“He’s not living up to his namesake, is he?” Aiden muttered. Parker was named after Lady Penelope’s chauffeur in Thunderbirds.

“He’s loyal and brave and…cleverer than he looks. Parker is the perfect name for him. What do you think I should have called him? Fang or Brutus, I suppose.”

“Fluff Butt, Hairball, Drool Monster… Want me to go on?”

“He does not… Okay, well he does drool a bit, but only when he gets excited.”

“The only time that animal is not excited is when he’s asleep.”

“He can’t help it, it’s in his genes.” To the best of Olly’s knowledge, and the educated guess of his friend Drew at the local animal rescue centre, Parker’s genes were from a spaniel retriever mash-up with a bit of old English sheepdog thrown in. He was pale yellow, long-haired, and had huge floppy ears and enormous paws.

“I think we had better get off the beach and follow him into the woods, don’t you?” Aiden turned away from the shoreline, extending his strides. “I have to get back to work soon. I can’t believe I let you drag me out here.”

“You spend too long in that dungeon you call an office,” Olly said. “You’re turning into a vampire. I know you like to look all pale and emo, but you need your vitamin D.”

“Trust me, I get plenty of D. And you’re a fine one to talk. My diet is far better than yours. You’d exist on sugar and caffeine if Joe let you.”

“Sugar comes from beets. Beets are a type of vegetable. Chocolate comes from cocoa beans. Beans are also vegetables. Coffee comes from…”

“Enough already.” Aiden shook his head. “You’re never going to convince Joe that any of that stuff is good for you, so I don’t know why you bother. Now, stop thinking about sugar and concentrate on finding your daft dog.”

“Nag, nag, nag. You’re worse than Joe.” Olly crossed the treeline into the semi-darkness of the forest, which covered one side of the island housing The Edge, the training centre where he and Aiden both lived and worked. He and Aiden had explored every inch of it, but preferred to walk along the shore. Parker, however, had other ideas. The woods meant rabbits and other small mammals that he could chase. It was easier to dig in the soft leaf mould than it was on the pebble beach, and he loved to shove his nose into burrows, nests and boggy patches. A frantic beating of wings and general disturbance in the trees gave Olly a clue as to where Parker was. He exchanged a glance with Aiden and they set off in the direction of the kerfuffle. There weren’t any proper marked paths through the trees, just animal tracks, and it took some effort to move through the undergrowth.

“We’re heading towards that hollow where the badger sett is, aren’t we?” Olly asked.

“He’s too big to get down those holes.” Aiden growled under his breath.

“It won’t stop him trying.” Olly sped up as best he could, scrambling up the incline that led to the lip of the hollow. “Whoa!” Momentum carried him forwards and he tumbled down the steep slope, finally rolling to a stop in a patch of damp grass and moss. Something wet swiped across his face and he opened his eyes to find Parker giving him an enthusiastic tongue bath. He burst out laughing, batting the dog away as he rolled to his knees. “Where did you get to, Parker? You had me worried there for a minute.”

Parker gave a gruff bark then nosed at Olly’s pocket for treats. “You don’t deserve treats.” Olly slipped him a biscuit bone anyway.

“Are you okay?” Aiden skidded to a halt at his side. “That was a spectacular tumble.”

Olly gave himself a pat down. “I had a soft landing. I’m fine and I found Parker.”

“So I see.” Parker gambolled around Aiden’s legs, almost knocking him over. “What were you doing, you daft mutt?”

“From the amount of dirt around his snout, I think he’s been trying to find badgers to make friends with,” Olly said as he staggered to his feet. He brushed at his clothes in a vain attempt to remove some of the muck. “I’m filthy.”

“No kidding.” Aiden picked a piece of twig out of Olly’s curls. “Are you sure you haven’t damaged anything other than your dignity?”

“My dignity is fully intact, thank you very much.” Olly attached Parker’s lead to his pale blue collar. “But we had better be getting back. I’ve got loads to do.”

“Wedding plans?” Aiden asked.

Olly nibbled his lower lip. “There’s so much organising involved.” He sighed.

“What’s wrong? You have been a bit quiet lately, come to think of it, and I am your best man, so if there’s anything I can do to help, you know you just have to ask.”

“It’s nothing—well, it is but it isn’t. I mean, I really, really want to get married, but…”

“But what? Spill it, Olly.”

“I’m not sure I want such a big event.” There, it was out in the open. Olly couldn’t meet Aiden’s eyes.

“And have you talked to Joe about this?”

“I… Haven’t found the right moment.”

“He so going to spank your behind if you don’t tell him.”

“But he’s been so good about researching all the arrangements. What if a huge wedding is what he wants more than anything in the world?”

“Joe may be all stern and Dommy, but when it comes to you he’s as sappy as they come. Whatever makes you happy is what he’ll want.”

“But I want him to be happy too. This wedding isn’t all about me, it’s about us.”

Parker led the way out of the woods to the path that headed back to The Edge, sniffing at every interesting smell they passed. Olly let him have his way, concentrating on not falling over again.

“And that’s why you should be talking about it, not keeping things to yourself. Joe would be devastated if he thought you were doing something just because you assumed he wanted it and not because it made you happy.”

“Maybe.”

“There’s no maybe about it. Talk to him.”

They circled the main building to a back door where Olly could wash the worst of the mud from Parker’s paws with a hose. “You get on—I know you have to get to work. I’ll see you later, ’kay?”

“Sure. Talk to him today, Olly. I mean it. You won’t be happy or settled until you do.”

Aiden disappeared into the building, leaving Olly alone with Parker. “Well, boy, let’s get you clean. Can’t take you inside in that state, can we?”

Once Parker was as clean as he could get without a full bath, Olly took him inside to the boot room, where he kept a stack of old towels. He gave him a quick rub down, and when he was satisfied that the dog wasn’t going to track dirt through the building, he took a shortcut to the courtyard that granted access to the stable mews cottage he shared with Joe. He fed Parker, who scoffed his food in ten seconds flat before curling up in his bed next to the fireplace and dropping off to sleep.

“So much for having a confidant,” Olly grumbled. “You’re asleep, Aiden’s at work with his secret squirrel stuff, Reuben’s out of bounds in the kitchen. I suppose I could call Kai or Christian, but it’s a bit early. Bite the bullet, Olly. Much as I hate to admit it, Aiden’s right. I should talk to Joe.”

Without bothering to change out of his mucky clothes, Olly wandered through the main building, taking a circuitous route to Joe’s office, which was situated off the main entrance hall. There were a few people around, and he waved to those he knew and greeted those he didn’t, but didn’t stop to chat. If he got distracted, he’d never talk to Joe, and that was what he needed to do.

Despite it being late summer and still warm, there was an open fire burning in the grate of the massive fireplace in the entrance hall, which always seemed to be a bit draughty. The flagstone floors were covered by bright rugs and the furnishings made the space cosy, but the number of people coming in and out of the front door meant that it was difficult to keep it warm. For that reason, Joe often kept his office door closed, but Olly could see that it was open a crack. He didn’t need to knock, but he gave the mellow oak a soft tap anyway before pushing his way inside. It had been less than two hours since he’d been snuggled in bed with Joe, but his breath still hitched when he met his lover’s icy blue eyes as Joe looked up from whatever paperwork he was dealing with.

“What on earth have you been doing?” Joe asked, his tone mild. Olly wasn’t deceived by the gentle enquiry. He nibbled on his lower lip. “No, you don’t have to tell me. You’ve been out walking Parker, haven’t you? I suppose he got into some kind of trouble and took you along with him. Or perhaps it was the other way around.”

“Sir,” Olly whined. “We don’t get into trouble, we have adventures.”

“Adventures that end with you covered in mud and with a grazed elbow.”

Olly inspected the offending arm. He hadn’t noticed the small graze that was oozing a couple of spots of blood. “Oh, I didn’t realise… I wonder how I did that. Probably when I fell down that hill.”

That statement got Joe to his feet and stalking around his desk. “You took a fall?” He pushed his office door closed and turned the key. “Take your clothes off, Oliver. I want to look you over.”

Olly sighed. He should have known that Joe wouldn’t be satisfied with him saying he wasn’t hurt—he had to have the proof of his own eyes.

“But I want to…”

“Oliver.”

“Yes, Sir.” Olly stripped to his underwear then stood, placid, while Joe inspected him.

“Hmm. A couple of bruises, some scratches and that graze. You’ll live.”

Olly fidgeted, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. Being in such close proximity to Joe when Joe was fully dressed and he was clad in skimpy underwear had an inevitable effect. He crossed his hands in front of his groin and attempted to look demure.

“You really think you can hide anything from me, Oliver?”

“No, Sir,” Olly mumbled.

“I think some quiet time is called for.” Joe gestured to the armchair in the corner of his office. “You may sit there while I carry on working. Think about why it’s important not to worry your Dom by throwing yourself around in the woods.”

Olly knew it was useless to protest, and besides, he liked being in the study while Joe worked. He curled into the chair, plumping the cushions to make a nest.

“Are you warm enough?”

“Toasty, thanks.”

Joe returned to his seat and bent over his papers, grumbling about some kind of error on an invoice. Olly let his eyes drift closed. He ignored his aching cock and allowed himself to daydream about Joe bending him over the desk for a spanking. He smiled. It wouldn’t be the first time.

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About the Author

L.M. Somerton

Lucinda lives in a small village in the English countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, cows and sheep. She started writing to fill time between jobs and is now firmly and unashamedly addicted.

She loves the English weather, especially the rain, and adores a thunderstorm. She loves good food, warm company and a crackling fire. She’s fascinated by the psychology of relationships, especially between men, and her stories contain some subtle (and some not so subtle) leanings towards BDSM.

You can follow Lucinda on Facebook, Twitter and her Website.

Giveaway

Enter to win a fabulous Goody Bag and a FREE L.M. Somerton romance book!

L.M. Somerton’s Edging Closer

L.M. SOMERTON IS GIVING AWAY THIS FABULOUS PRIZE TO ONE LUCKY WINNER. ENTER HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN THIS FABULOUS GOODY BAG AND GRAB YOUR FREE L.M.SOMERTON ROMANCE BOOK! Notice: This competition ends on 26th January 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.


Release Blitz & Excerpt: Chasing the Spark + Giveaway

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Chasing the Spark

by Kori Blue

Book 1 in the Between Lovers series

Heat Rating: Burning
Sexometer: 3
Word Count: 32,005
Book Length: SHORT NOVEL
Pages: 130
Genres: BONDAGE AND BDSM, CONTEMPORARY, EROTIC ROMANCE

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Book Description

 

It’s Valentine’s Day, and Nina’s loving Master has a kinky surprise for her. The gift of a violet wand is shocking, but the sparks will soon fly.

Nina can’t wait to spend the Valentine’s Day weekend with Trey, her Master. He’s a perfect, loving boyfriend and the ideal kinky match for a submissive like Nina. He’s also a world away from the bad Doms she’s dated in the past, but when Trey gifts her a violet wand, she’s surprised…and daunted.

The thought of electroplay scares Nina, yet she yearns to give herself completely. Can she learn to trust her Master enough to let him push her limits?

Luckily for Nina, Trey’s ready to show her just what pleasure awaits. Over a Valentine’s Day weekend of romantic, steamy kink, the couple explore their new toy, and Nina comes to realize just how much she can learn from the sparks her Master creates between them.

Excerpt

Valentine’s Day was a Friday, and it wasn’t much different from most others. As usual, Nina left work at 5:28 and walked down to the parking lot of Volkmann Industries with a couple of her colleagues. After a day cooped up in the beige-and-gray tedium of the office, it was a welcome chance to blow off some steam, and their laughter danced against the concrete walls of the building they were only too glad to leave behind for the weekend.

“Are you sure you guys don’t want to come with me?” Jazmine wheedled one more time. “C’mon. It’ll be fun. We’ll go to that Thai-Japanese place on Lakeview, hit the dinner buffet…they have à la carte makimono and a martini bar, remember? Perfect. Comfort food while we get wasted and talk about how this stupid holiday is a meaningless corporate invention designed to suck everybody’s wallet dry through the soulless application of guilt, greed and—”

“And eventually someone will take you home,” Arielle cut in, “because it’s two in the morning and you’re wandering around Riverfront Park, rambling drunkenly about how you’re one more bad date away from deciding to become a reclusive cat lady. You know, when you say it that way, it does sound like a pretty lit start to the V-Day weekend.”

Nina laughed and shook her head as Jazmine clutched their friend’s arm.

“Yes! You understand! Come on, Ari. You said you didn’t even want to go on that stupid blind date thing anyway. I’m depending on you. Nina’s let me down. Nina has plans.”

A cold breeze rippled across the icy asphalt, causing them to pick up their pace as they headed for their cars.

“Shit, it’s cold,” Nina murmured, rooting through her purse for her keys. She flashed Jazmine a smile. “Hey, Nina already apologized, so don’t blame me! I’d come if I could, girl. Promise.”

The black ends of crushed winter leaves and tire-shorn dirty slush fringed the lot, and the sky looked heavy and gray, promising more wintry weather to come. It was a sight almost as depressing as her friend’s dejected grimace.

“I know you would,” Jazmine admitted, shaking off the pout she was pulling for laughs, “and, seriously, you guys know I don’t really wanna make you feel bad for having fun without me, right?”

“We know,” Nina assured her, as Arielle hugged Jaz’s arm. “And we don’t feel bad at all. Not even a little tiny bit!”

Nina giggled and poked out her tongue, and Jazmine wrinkled her nose.

“Nice. Really nice, Nina. Oh, man… You know, it just sucks when plans change at the last minute. That’s all I’m saying.”

Nina slowed her steps a little so she could give her friend an affectionate bump on the shoulder.

“We know that too,” she said, glancing at Arielle, past Jazmine’s puffy, wind-tousled curls. “And it’s not your fault Jamie was an asshole. Look at it this way, at least you dodged the bullet early.”

Jazmine snorted. “Yeah, and I dodged a nice dinner, maybe a gift and some good dick too. Not that I was in it just for that, but—”

“Sure,” Arielle teased. “Sure you weren’t.”

“I wasn’t! The first couple times we hung out, he seemed really cool. I liked him. I mean, it wasn’t serious. It’s not like I was naming our imaginary cats or anything.”

“Cats?” Nina laughed.

“Cats, kids…whatever.” Jaz shrugged. “I’m just saying, it was super early, but he seemed nice. Not the type of person who’d blow somebody off by text, like a complete fucking asshole, three hours before a goddamn date. On Valentine’s Day, no goddamn less. Dude didn’t owe me anything, sure, but come on.”

“Asshole,” Arielle agreed, patting Jaz’s hand.

“I know, right? I guess I should have been like a fuckin’ lawyer and had the ‘but what are we?’ talk early enough that I could have made other plans. Nobody’s going to be free now.”

“Oh, of course they are,” Arielle said breezily. “If it’s that important, get out your phone, pick some random guy on some random app, and—”

“Yaaaay.” Jaz fluttered her fingers in the air, her face mournful. “Desperation! It’s, like, my favorite perfume. Nah, I don’t think so. It’d be too weird. See, this is what I hate about this time of year. So much pressure, and so much bullshit. You know? It brings out the worst in people. Like Black Friday, but for sex.”

Nina’s fingers closed around her keys. Her gray Kia Rio was parked a little closer than Arielle’s old blue Civic, and she felt guilty for how eager she was to climb into her car and head off to her own Valentine’s Day weekend.

Jazmine could joke and insist as much as she wanted that she hadn’t been that invested, and maybe it was even true. All the same, Nina was far too familiar with the sour, bruising crush of rejection to take her friend’s protests at face value, and guilt eased its way into the pit of her stomach.

“You know,” she said doubtfully, the keys jangling in her hand, “I could always call Trey and reschedule. I mean, there’s the whole weekend, and—”

“Don’t you dare!” Jazmine batted at her wrist. “I’m messing with you. Well, mostly. I’m pissed, sure, but I don’t want to drag you down with me. You’ve got your night planned, and the last thing I wanna do is take you away from Mr. Dreamypants. Just, I don’t know, think of me when—well, no. Don’t, actually. Don’t think of me when he’s got your legs up around—”

“Jaz!” Nina warned as they both broke into another peal of giggles.

“Look,” Arielle said, pulling her phone from her pocket, “why don’t I ask Meghan if this blind date girl has a friend?”

“Uh…wait. I’m disillusioned, but I’m not ready to give up dudes entirely,” Jazmine protested, a hint of surprised laughter coloring her words.

“Oh, shh.” Arielle was already texting. “You don’t have to. Anyway, who knows? She probably knows some guys. We’ll find out. Maybe the four of us could go to dinner, just have fun. No expectations, no big deal. Then I don’t have to be a flake and break plans, and you don’t have to be miserable, drinking alone with your cats. Plus, if either of our dates is creepy, we can escape together. Sound fair?”

Jazmine pursed her lips. “I guess… But what about your blind date? She was expecting an actual date. I don’t want to fuck that up for somebody.”

“Eh.” Arielle wrinkled her nose. “If she hasn’t got enough compassion to accommodate my poor, heartbroken friend—”

“Hey!”

“Then she and I don’t have a future. Same goes for if she’s not down for a sashimi special and sake.”

“Well, when you put it like that…”

Nina laughed along with the two of them, almost missing the single life that she’d had a few months ago. “I wish I could come with,” she said, even as the wistfulness tapered away. “I really do.”

“No, screw you!” Jazmine taunted playfully. “Find your own lesbian. Anyway, fuck off, Nina. You’re going to have an amazing weekend with your amazing boyfriend. You bitch.”

Arielle glanced up from her phone. “How is Trey, anyway?”

They were almost at Nina’s car. Tiny flakes of snow began to fall, melting onto the slushy ground. Nina bit her lip.

“He’s good. Been busy, y’ know. The whole pre-tax-day rush starts soon, so he’s got a bunch of new clients who think they’re ahead of the game. I think he could use some time off. We’re going out for a meal tonight, and then—”

“Yeah, yeah. We all know what you’re doing later.”

“Shut up, Jaz,” Arielle said, in gentle admonishment.

Nina just grinned.

Her friends had no idea about the details of her sex life with Trey—or the nature of their relationship at all, come to that—and she much preferred it that way. She had no real desire to explain to them that she was the kind of girl who got wet only when she was on her knees.

Nina doubted they would really have been shocked. Hell, pretty much everyone had dabbled in a little kink at least once. However, she was into more than just a casual spanking and a rough blowjob or two. Nina’s world lit up in the moments she saw approval in the eyes of the man she called Master and, more than anything, she cherished the hard journey it took to get there.

She wasn’t ashamed, but she didn’t want to answer the kind of questions Jazmine would ask if she found out about it. Nor did she really want that part of her life open to prying eyes. It was hers, and his. Special, secret…maybe even sacred, in some kind of way.

It was her own private universe, and she couldn’t wait to get back to it.

“Have fun, though,” Jazmine said, dropping the playacting. “Seriously. Don’t worry about me.”

“I won’t,” Nina promised, leaning in to give them both quick goodbye hugs. “Lemme know how it goes, okay? Both of you. I hope it’s awesome.”

Arielle winked at her, the cold wind whipping at her dark hair. “It will be. We’ll make it awesome. Have a great weekend and say hi to Trey for me. We should all go out again sometime. He’s cool.”

“Yeah, he is,” Nina admitted shyly. “Text me?”

“Promise,” Arielle agreed.

“Promise,” Jazmine said, and ripped off a mock salute. “And give Trey’s ass a squeeze for me or something, ’kay?”

“Yeah, sure.” Nina snickered. “Enjoy yourselves, ladies.”

Arielle waved the hand she wasn’t using to text with, and they both peeled off to her Civic, with Jazmine chattering about the prospect of an all-she-could-eat Japanese dinner, overpriced cocktails and a buttload of sake.

Nina unlocked her Rio then grabbed the scraper from the passenger side footwell so she could brush the thin dusting of snow off the roof and windshield. She couldn’t help smiling to herself as she worked, listening to the receding voices of her friends echo against the asphalt.

It felt good to know Jazmine wasn’t going to spend the evening alone, and it was a relief—albeit perhaps a selfish one—for Nina to know she wasn’t going to be distracted from her plans by the sickly tug of guilt or shame.

She’d been looking forward to this for far too long to have anything go wrong, or impinge on her time with worries and distractions. Maybe that was silly. It was just a day, but then so was any holiday, and there was nothing wrong with wanting to make it special.

Maybe Jaz did have a point, and Valentine’s Day was kind of a hustle. All the commercial bullshit, the overpriced flowers and candy, the two-dimensional depictions of love in pink or red heart shapes… It didn’t even scratch the surface of what something between two people could be. And yet, here Nina was, ready to put her all into the occasion, loving the chance to use it as a fun, candy-coated excuse for something special.

Oh, she definitely had plans.

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About the Author

Kori Blue

Kori Blue writes adult romance with an edge. In her stories, you’ll find sharp, sassy women who know what they want… and strong, sexy men who’ve got just what they need.

Kori’s stories often involve some kinky fun, and explorations of fantasies from the sinfully sweet to the downright dark and dirty. From the intimate stories of couples in Kori’s Between Lovers series to the daring exploits of a call girl-turned-madam in the Midnight Candy books, and the dark, twisted tales of passion and obsession in Juniper Lake, a Kori Blue book is guaranteed to pull you into a world of intrigue and intensity, with characters you’ll love, and heat you’ll never forget!

You can find Kori at her website.

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