#ReleaseBlitz “The Sweetest Love” by D. Rose




Malik Thompson had it all. He was at the height of his basketball career, had every endorsement he sought after, and women vying for his love. Even with all the good in his life, the one thing he was missing and wanted more than anything was the woman he’d loved since childhood – his best friend, Selimah.

Selimah Wilkerson was a force to be reckoned with in the modeling industry. When she wasn’t storming the runway modeling the finest in couture designs, she was working with non-profits to help underprivileged girls. She, too, was at the height of her career and had no plans on slowing or settling down. That was until she surrendered to her ever-growing feelings for her best friend, Malik.

Since the tender age of five, they’d been the best of friends. Back then, the loved they shared was sweet and innocent, as they were unaware of how complex and complicated love could be. Now older, and well versed in relationships, they decide now was the time to give their love a chance. Their road to love would be anything but easy as they navigate through skeletons, rumors, and unrelenting exes.

Can Selimah and Malik put their pride aside and fight for love? Or will they continue to allow fear to keep them apart…

The Sweetest Love is book two in the For Keeps series and can be read as a standalone.







Malik was insistent on picking me up from the airport. I was sure that he was tired from his final game in Denver the night before, but that didn’t seem to matter to him. He was at the airport bright and early waiting for me. I found him signing autographs outside his car with a half-hearted smile on his face. He was hurt that they didn’t make the playoffs. He hadn’t said it yet, but I knew. His mahogany colored eyes lit up when I reached his car. After wrapping up a conversation with a fan, he pulled me into an earnest, yet tender embrace. His sandalwood scent enveloped me, and my cheeks flooded with heat.

His hugs always made me feel giddy, warm, and most importantly, protected. The sounds of horns and people’s luggage dragging across the concrete sidewalk drifted to the background.

“I missed you, Lola.” His lips were pressed against the shell of my ear. When I looked into his eyes, my heart skipped a beat. They were low, inviting.

“I missed you too, Mal.”

After a moment of staring deeply into my eyes, he ran a hand over his face and sighed. “Let’s get out of here.” There was a hint of hesitation before he released the arm he had around my waist.

My hand was perched outside the window as I took in the fresh spring air. Malik had been driving for almost two hours and we were drifting from the suburbs to winding roads. We stopped at a cute diner for breakfast before hitting the road. The first hour was spent talking about my time in Europe. I’d told him every detail during our calls, but he wanted to hear it again. He engaged me and asked questions, but I could tell he was trying to avoid talking about how their season ended. He was competitive by nature and losing hurt no matter how long he’d been playing. Every loss stung like the first. For about twenty minutes, I slept. My body was already experiencing the effects of the time difference; my early morning flight only made it worse.

I glanced over at Malik. The playlist he listened to before his games played as he bobbed his head. His attention was on the road, but he never missed a word of Nipsey Hussle’s “Hussle & Motivate.” I joined in rapping the few lyrics I knew, making him laugh. He looked over at me and smiled.

“Wanna talk about it?” I asked turning down the music some. He shook his head then gripped the steering wheel tighter.

“Okay,” I whispered. “Where are we going?”

“It’s a surprise.”

“How long will we be on this adventure?” I pressed.

“A week,” he stated simply.

I gasped, “What if I have something to do within that time? I have to meet with my mentees.”

His silky baritone filled the car when he laughed. “Gwen took care of that. Your mentees are cool with not meeting with you this week.”

I was speechless.

“You coordinated this surprise with Gwen?”

“Yup, and Nini. Everything is copacetic, Lo. Just relax, I got this.”

With my arms folded, I released a long dramatic sigh. He laughed and continued, “When have I ever not come through with a good surprise?”

My brow rose, ready to challenge him. “December 30th, 2008. You surprised me and took me to see Lil’ Wayne.”

He belted out another laugh and it made my fake scowl turned into a smile. “You used to love Weezy.”

“No,you loved Weezy and knew your mother wouldn’t let you go alone so you dragged me into it.”

That was just one of the many times he used me as an accomplice in his shenanigans.

“Aight, but you still had a good time though, so that doesn’t count.”

“Or all the times you had me waiting in line for some damn Jordans.”

“Always been a rider,” he mused with a sly smirk. “Have I told you how much I missed you?”

“Yeah, yeah,” I waved him off.

“We’re almost there, Lo. Just sit tight,” he smiled and focused back on the road.



D. Rose is a blogger and author based out of the DMV. She writes contemporary romances with African American heroes and heroines that are guaranteed to fill your heart. Since childhood, she has always had a passion for reading and writing.

In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and, spending time with family.




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#BookSale “Family Pride: Love and Challenges” by Deborah A. Bailey

99c through September 24th!

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Business owner Mac Mackennon is a perfect catch: attractive, ambitious and successful. He’s a member of an old, established pride of lion shapeshifters, but determined to live life as a loner. Except that when Zora Mason walks into Mac’s coffee bar one day and applies for the position of assistant manager, he knows without a doubt he’s met the woman of his dreams.

Can she accept life with a shifter-boyfriend?

Zora knows a lot more about Mac (and the other shifters in town) than she’s been letting on. Falling in love with a sexy shifter is more than she bargained for when it comes to dealing with sibling drama, learning the business, and managing an alpha male who’s used to doing things his way. When a challenge to Mac’s Pride threatens to destroy Mac’s family, Zora has to decide whether to be claimed as his mate in a ritual in front of the pride.

Who knew that love with a lion shifter would be so challenging?

Book one of the lion shapeshifter paranormal BWWM romance series.


What readers are saying…

“The author did an excellent job creating the world of the shifters and showing how they functioned as a secret part of society.”

“This paranormal romance is packed with drama.”

“This is a action packed sexy romance with some mystery mixed in to give the reader a well rounded story.”

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About the Author

Deborah A Bailey’s Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance novels include suspense, a bit of mystery and a lot of romantic heat. Her published works include the Hathor Legacy science fiction romance series and the lion shapeshifter paranormal romance series, Family Pride.

Her short stories have won awards from the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference and have been published in US1 Magazine and the Sun and are included in, Electric Dreams: Seven Futuristic Tales. She’s the author of three non-fiction books, and articles for various online publications.

Visit her site BrightStreetBooks.com for more information and to subscribe to the newsletter so you’ll be the first to find out about giveaways, book launches and cover reveals.

#ReleaseBlitz “Pied (Once Upon A Villain Book 7)” by Brooklyn Knight

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Pied cover
She cannot see me, but she can hear me; and that is all I’ll need to make her fall in love… with me.

Everything I’ve ever needed, is right here in my Paradise, including the whining brats I led away from their parents eons ago with my magical flute; but when that sorceress, Celeste Dubois, shows up and suggests that things need to change – that I need to change, I know she has lost her mind. That is, until she presents me with a brown beauty named Melodie, who awakens something deep inside me with her own music. I thought I had everything, but suddenly, I’m considering that maybe I don’t. I’m full of magic and music, but will those be enough to win Melodie’s heart? Especially when she learns that I’m the villain she despises from the folktales of old?

 I can’t see him, but his music is like magic, and it restores my belief in true love.

Patrick appeared out of nowhere – not that I can actually see him, but the aura and the vibe he carries is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Sometimes, I think I can actually see his radiance, and when he plays that flute of his, the sound is like healing magic. But my son, Rafael, has reservations. He says he recognizes Patrick from somewhere, though he’s not totally sure. Rafael is my eyes. I want to follow his lead, the way I always do, but Patrick is like magic, and his music is beckoning me closer…

This story contains extremely passionate and descriptive sex scenes. Not suitable for readers under the age of 18 years, or those who may be offended by somewhat graphic descriptions of sexual encounters. This story also contains scenes which include expletives. Brooklyn’s characters exhibit real emotions and desires, and though she is their creator, she is also very sensitive to their needs and wants, and works in partnership with them to create their unique HEAs.

***Each book in the Once Upon A Villain series is a standalone. This series does not have to be read in order. Be sure to read the other books in the series here.***

Publication Date September 13, 2019
Series Once Upon A Villain Book 7
Genre Multicultural & Interracial Romance, Paranormal Romance, Romance
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Brooklyn Knight was born and raised in the beautiful islands of Bermuda, where she currently resides. She is the mother of three and the wife of one.

By day, Brooklyn uses her Clinical Mental Health Therapy Master’s degree and works as a high school Adjustment Counselor. By night, after family time, and after every one is fast asleep, she burns the midnight oil completing assignments for her doctoral program and designing characters to go along with the narratives in her head.

Since self-publishing her debut-novel in July 2018, she has sold almost 10,000 books, accrued more than 1.6 million page-reads in Kindle Unlimited, been invited to international author conferences and expos, and has been featured on local and online radio programs and podcasts. She is the founder of 16 Weeks to Published: The Ultimate Writer’s Workshop, where she assists aspiring authors in achieving success with their own stories.

Website | Goodreads | Bookbub | Amazon Author Central | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


Hosted by Vaneka Miles PR.

#AuthorSpotlight “Road to Nowhere” by Cy Wyss

Cy Wyss is a writer based in Indianapolis, Indiana. She has a Ph.D. in computer science and Cy Wyssher day job involves wrangling and analyzing genetic data. Cy is the author of three full-length novels as well as a collection of short stories and the owner and chief editor of Nighttime Dog Press, LLC. Before studying computer science, Cy obtained her undergraduate degree in mathematics and English literature as well as masters-level degrees in philosophy and artificial intelligence. She studied overseas for three years in the UK, although she never managed to develop a British accent. Cy currently resides in Indianapolis with her spouse, daughter, and two obstreperous but lovable felines. In addition to writing, Cy enjoys reading, cooking, and walking 5k races to benefit charity.

Welcome to Nesie’s Place, Cy! Thank you for spending a little time with us. Thanks for having me!

Where are you chatting from? I’m in sunny Indianapolis, Indiana—or, actually, a small suburb to the northeast named Zionsville. The town of Mayhap in my Eyeshine books is suspiciously like Zionsville…

Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?  I’m self-published, looking to join the hybrid ranks in 2020 as I have manuscripts to submit to agents and/or publishers. I think hybrid is the way to go, to get the most exposure. Fingers crossed!

You’re a writer and you also work a “day job?”  Yes, my day job is as a data scientist for the IU School of Medicine. I wrangle, analyze, and visualize genetic data and spend most of my time writing SQL, a database query and scripting language.

How long did it take you to write your first book?  My first book, Dimorphic, was painful and took three years to write and revise because I couldn’t stop rewriting and revising. Now, I’m into only a couple of rewrites and minimal revision. I’m not naturally a reviser, preferring to completely rewrite once I have a better idea of where I’m going.

Pantser or Plotter? I’m definitely a pantser, but you might call me a post-first-draft plotter. I write the first draft (sometimes even two drafts) to get a better idea of the characters and their situations, then I tease out a good plot from the characters’ world and on the third rewrite, I have that as an outline of where I’m going. So…pantser, pantser, plotter is usually my cycle of rewrites. Then, I do a polishing revision and edit and publish the darn thing.

Random_cuteWhat inspires your writing? Do you have a Muse? I often start with a male character I find distinctly compelling (even if the book is to be from a female point of view). The thought of these attractive, fit, and intense men that I put into my books is endlessly inspiring. I think it’s fair to say, every one of my books has at least one.

What’s your favorite genre to write or do you only write in one genre? I like mysteries best, although I’ve been getting into romantic suspense lately, which is a close cousin. A good mystery can have everything: action, intricacy, and even romance.

What’s your favorite genre to read? What are you reading now? Mystery/suspense/thriller is definitely my favorite group of genres to read. At the moment, I’m reading the new Donna Leon book for Amazon’s Vine program. I love being a Vine participant because it gives me new products or pre-release books to review. Thanks, Amazon!

Where do you get the most writing done? Through “porch season” (May to November) I’ll be found on our back porch writing amid a changing forest. I love watching the foliage grow from buds, turn rich green, then multicolored in hues of orange, red, and gold.

Do you have pets who “help” or inspire you? My cat, Yellow, likes to inspire me by sitting on Yellowmy keyboard or sticking his butt in my face in an attempt to get petted. Sometimes I write with him in my arms, which is very satisfying.

Totally addicted to social media or could you live without it? I could definitely live without social media, as I’m a bit of a hermit if left to my own devices. I do, however, like catching up with friends and seeing all the interesting things they post when I do get onto the sites. I hang out on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

What’s the inspiration behind your latest release? Who’s your favorite character? I think I wanted to explore the relationship between PJ and her “brother” Robert (who’s not actually her biological brother) because that relationship was kind of a surprise to me when it naturally developed out of the story. I love surprise pairings that work well. I think my favorite character is either PJ or Robert—I love them both.

What’s your next project or release? Eyeshine 3 is due to be published November 1st, so please keep an eye out for it, especially if you liked Eyeshine 2!

Do you have any advice for new authors? I’ll always give the same advice Anne McCaffery gave me: just write. I write over a million words a year (not all of it publishable) and since I’ve been doing that, my writing has noticeably improved in style, mechanics, and content. There’s no substitute for practice.

Excellent advice, Cy! Thanks for being here today!

Thank you again for hosting me!

Continue scrolling to check out Cy’s latest release, Road to Nowhere: Murder Most Meow, a paranormal cozy mystery and book 2 in the Eyeshine Series! Stalk her on social media and don’t forget to enter her giveaway. Two lucky blog tour followers will win Amazon Gift cards!


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on Tour September 1-30, 2019




PJ Taylor, the feline shapeshifter, is back! Someone is kidnapping people’s pet cats and holding them for ransom. When PJ’s beloved niece is catnapped, the trail leads PJ to Nowhere, a tiny hamlet north of her hometown of Mayhap. What intrigues will PJ find among the inhabitants of this minuscule community? You can bet it involves at least one person up to no good and flushing this person out could be…murder!

Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Published by: Nighttime Dog Press, LLC

Publication Date: September 1, 2019

Number of Pages: 222


Series: Eyeshine, 2

Purchase Links: Amazon, Goodreads


Read an excerpt:

Robert Taylor entered the brownstone via the back door, closing it quietly behind himself. He was in a landing of pale green and gray with tan carpet and stairs leading upward and a sandwich board on the wall with office numbers. The woman he was looking for was in 303, two stories above him. He ascended the two flights, his heart leaden with reluctance. He considered himself a unicorn – someone special and rare. Not only was he smart and successful (head of his own one-man FBI office in Mayhap, Indiana), the women in his family had the unusual proclivity to turn into cats when the sun set. This made them particularly effective operatives, although in fearing for their safety he often restricted their usefulness. His sister, PJ, had been his most important informant up until her recent death. He couldn’t believe she was gone. It didn’t seem real. Didn’t cats have nine lives? He somehow expected PJ to rise from her grave and come back to him. Instead, here he was, about to attempt to convince a psychotherapist of his sanity in the face of his recent tragedies. All he wanted was to get back to work. They wouldn’t let him back without the sign-off from this woman, Ms. Julia Herzenberg. Her name conjured images of some ancient Freudian presence, maybe someone who looked like Dear Abby or Ruth Bader-Ginsberg, with copious wrinkles and a severe bun. He shivered at the idea of exposing his inner life to this person. On the third floor, the stairwell opened into a larger space of muted pastels that smelled of rose and mint. Three doors greeted him, and he pushed through the one whose frosted glass proclaimed it 303. Inside, soft new age music played, and the floral scent was stronger. The culprit was an incense burner on a small table near the door. Thin smoke wafted from a glazed, bulbous pot in gray ombre. The walls of the suite were a soothing blue and the furniture worn leather in earthy browns. Striped pillows and throw blankets abounded, and health magazines lined the coffee table. Robert perched on the edge of a fat armchair and crossed his legs, interlacing his fingers around his knee. He waited, with the demeanor of a man about to face something dire and unwanted. His first impression of Julia Herzenberg when she opened the inner door was that she looked nothing like an old psychiatrist or supreme court judge. Her hair flowed around her head in generous curls, spilling from her shoulders in waves of auburn silk. Her eyes were a crystalline green the likes of which he had only seen previously on actresses or fashion models. She was tall and thin, with slender, manicured fingers and long legs beneath a plaid wool skirt. She reminded him of a willow – inscrutable and eternal, with Nature’s grace and strength. “Robert Taylor?” she asked. It took him a moment to shut his flapping mouth and recover his aplomb. “Yes,” he finally said, extending his hand. She shook it firmly, her hand warm and dry. She led him into a brown hallway, and to an office at one end. The room contained the same homey furniture as the waiting area, in neutral shades of soft leather with woven and plush accompaniments. “Have a seat,” she said. He stared at the wide couch before him. “Do I need to lie down?” he asked. “Only if you want to,” she said. She sat in an armchair across from the couch with her knees pressed together and her hands folded in her lap. She studied him, an entirely unassuming expression on her porcelain face. Awkwardly, he perched on the edge of the couch and rested his weight on his elbows on his thighs. He let his hands dangle. She remained still and silent as he took in his surroundings. The paintings on the walls were interesting but not distracting and consisted of abstractions that reminded him of natural surroundings. The lights were incandescent, and the shades partially drawn, rendering the space as comforting as a forest nook where sunlight filtered through the branches above. Dr. Herzenberg even had a small fountain on one side table and the faint sound of running water complemented the illusion. Robert could feel his tension recede, despite his natural wariness and dark mood. Still, she said nothing. Robert felt her watching him and found he couldn’t meet her gaze directly. Rather, his eyes roved over their environment, never settling for more than a few seconds. Behind and beside her was a narrow bookcase with glass panels and something about it bothered him. He kept returning to it, until he realized why. On the very top of the bookcase was an old-fashioned globe and a statue that looked like a very realistic black cat. It could have been PJ. He stared at the cat, and almost jumped out of his seat when the statue blinked. “God, that’s a cat!” he said. Dr. Herzenberg smiled. “That’s Bella.” “Wow,” Robert said. “I thought she was a statue.” “She likes to sit up there,” Dr. Herzenberg said. “Many of my patients don’t ever notice her.” “I’m amazed. You bring your cat with you to the office?” Dr. Herzenberg shrugged. “She doesn’t like to be alone.” “You could get her a companion.” “She doesn’t like other cats.” Robert chuckled. “Typical difficult feline.” “Tell me,” Dr. Herzenberg said. “Are you a cat person?” He remembered his sister, and the fact he’d never see her again. His eyes burned, though he willed himself not to tear up. “You could say that,” he said. PJ had turned into a cat every night since shortly after she had hit puberty. He still remembered the first time she’d shapeshifted. He was a rookie cop at the time and looking after her since their parents had died, as her much older brother and legal guardian. They’d been playing video games on the couch when she howled and writhed in pain. He had thought she was dying and called 911. Imagine his chagrin when they arrived and found no sign of the girl that he’d insisted needed an ambulance. Instead, a black tabby cat watched him explain that he’d had a nightmare and called emergency services by mistake. His colleagues ribbed him for weeks afterward. Robert was so traumatized, he confined PJ to her room after sundown from that time forward, and he somehow managed to convince himself her transition hadn’t happened. It was only recently, with his own daughter, Nancy, entering puberty, that he’d finally opened up to PJ about her wonderous ability. He had been terrified that Nancy would become a shapeshifter as well. Be the status of that as it may, at least one outcome had been that he had become significantly closer to PJ, a relationship long overdue. His memories of PJ ran through his mind, and guilt stabbed his heart. If only he hadn’t been so pigheaded, he could have showed his love for her sooner. He could have had years of closeness instead of mere months. They could even, perhaps, have– No. He wouldn’t let himself think about that. Regret was a demon that ate you alive. It was what it was. He couldn’t change the past any more than he could draw castles in the sky. “What are you thinking about?” Dr. Herzenberg asked. Robert blinked several times, his reverie broken. “Nothing,” he said. She stared at him. His gaze dropped to the coffee table between them. “I was thinking of my sister,” he said. “Tell me about her.” Robert took a deep breath and let it out slowly. He crossed his arms over his chest and studied the carpet under their feet, a confetti-patterned collage of woodland hues. He found himself telling Dr. Herzenberg the truth – something he hadn’t done in decades. “She’s not actually my sister,” he said. “Oh?” She raised a delicate eyebrow. “Well, she wasn’t, I mean,” he said. “My father was her mother’s cousin.” Dr. Herzenberg appeared lost in thought for a moment. “So, your ‘sister’ was actually your second cousin?” “Yes,” Robert said. “Why do you call her your sister?” “Our parents married,” Robert said. “Legally, PJ was my sister.” “I see,” she said. Another wave of regret washed over Robert. He clasped his hands together and hung his head so she wouldn’t see the sheen of tears in his eyes. “I did read your employment record,” Dr. Herzenberg said. “You’ve had quite the last couple of weeks.” Robert snorted. “Yeah. You could say that.” “You failed the bureau’s lie detector test, separated from your wife, shot and killed a man, and your sister – your second-cousin, I mean – died. I’d say all of that qualifies you for a little paid leave.” Then there was the business with his daughter, which he couldn’t talk about, as well as the thing concerning his infidelity, which he likewise couldn’t bring himself to talk about. His shoulders drooped. “I don’t want paid leave,” he said. “I want to get back to work. All I do is sit around and mope. If I can work, I’ll feel better.” He looked up, into her concerned face. “What can I do to convince you I’m fit for returning to work – that, in fact, it’ll help me recover?” She tilted her head and scrutinized him. He fidgeted under the weight of those amazing green eyes. “You can’t run from your grief, Robert. Turning your attention elsewhere will only cause it to fester and grow into something uncontrolled.” He sighed. “I was afraid you’d say that.” On top of the bookcase, the cat stood and stretched elegantly, her back a deeply curved S. She sat on her haunches and used her paw to clean her snout. Robert watched, fascinated. “Tell me more about your sister,” Dr. Herzenberg said. Another wave of regret reminded Robert of his failures, and, with it, a twinge of fear piqued his soul. He’d already said too much. “You were close, I take it,” the psychiatrist said. “Yeah,” Robert said. Dr. Herzenberg waited. Robert looked around the room again, his gaze settling on the quarter-height of window, through which a gray fall sky was visible. “What bothers you most about her death?” she asked. Robert’s eyes lost their focus as his attention turned inward. Guilt weighed heavy in his heart as he remembered the past two weeks and his role in the whole mess. “I never…” He couldn’t bring himself to say it. Dr. Herzenberg perked up. “You never what?” He stared at the cat, who stared back unblinkingly. The odd sense of unreality overtook him again and he found himself speaking the truth once more. “I never told her how much I loved her,” he said. “I’m sure she knew,” Dr. Herzenberg said. Robert shook his head. “No. She didn’t.” “What makes you think that?” “I pushed her away. She wanted more from me. I should have given it to her.” Dr. Herzenberg’s brow furrowed and her eyes darkened. “What are we talking about, Robert? You’ve told me she wasn’t your blood sister. How did you see her? As your little sister? Or, as something more than that?” Robert ground his teeth. How did they get onto this topic? He was here to get back to work, not to get himself fired for inappropriate feelings toward PJ. “I shouldn’t have said it that way,” he said. “Of course, I meant it platonically.” She studied him. “You know that everything you tell me is confidential.” He frowned. “I know you have to report what I say to my superiors,” he said. “No,” she said. “I have to report my overall opinions. Your disclosures are entirely between us alone.” Robert stared up at Bella, whose golden gaze had never seemed to leave him. He was pretty sure the cat saw right through him, and he wondered how much of that ability Dr. Herzenberg had. He said nothing. *** Excerpt from Road To Nowhere by Cy Wyss. Copyright 2019 by Cy Wyss. Reproduced with permission from Cy Wyss. All rights reserved.


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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Cy Wyss. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on September 1, 2019 and runs through October 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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#BlogTour “On the Rocks (Kingston Brothers #1)” by Isabel Lucero


You learn a lot about people pouring their drinks and London is what I would consider a regular.

Like clockwork, she’s been coming into my bar twice a week for the last year.

Besides her name, I’ve learned that she’s witty, beautiful, and unfortunately… taken.

She’s in a relationship with a guy that I’m pretty sure doesn’t deserve her.

Respecting that is the only thing stopping me from figuring out the things I really want to know.

Things like, what her body feels like against mine, or how she tastes on my tongue.

But one evening, everything changes. London comes in and tells me that they broke up.

One drink leads to two, and she finally confesses that this attraction isn’t one sided.

Our slow burn is about to get blazing hot.

I wasn’t just looking for a one-night stand, not with a girl like her.

But next thing you know, the ex is back. He’s in my bar, sitting next to her.

We try to act like there isn’t a connection between us.

Like our bodies weren’t made for each other and we didn’t set each other aflame with a single kiss.

Every time I look at her, I see the flash in her eyes that tell me she’s remembering it too.

Re-living every delicious second of our time spent together on top of this very bar.

The problem is now that I know what she tastes like, I want more.

On the rocks. It’s how London prefers her drinks, and the current state of her relationship.

And I’m about to shake things up, because I’ll be damned if I let her get away.

“Hey, guys,” Royce says, coming up from behind me.

“Hey,” my friends greet in unison, the awkwardness tangible. Hunter probably doesn’t notice because he’s the only one who isn’t aware of mine and Royce’s tryst.

Royce keeps his eyes on me for a few seconds longer than normal. “Nice to see you again. I missed you on Wednesday.”

“Oh. Yeah.” I nervously tuck a strand of hair behind my ear. “I was busy.”

“I heard,” he states, never taking his eyes off me.

“So, Merrick is back in town,” Midge says, taking the heat off me. God bless her.

Royce slowly turns his head in her direction. “Briefly. It’s been nice having him back, though.”

“I wonder if I can catch a ride back on the groupie bus,” she jokes. “Sky is fucking H-O-T-T.”

“Two Ts, Midge?” Jon questions.

“Yes. Two capital Ts. But Carlos?” she fans herself. “Whew!”

Royce playfully rolls his eyes. “Go talk to them, then. You may never get this opportunity again.”

She scoffs. “I am not about to give my goodies up to a guy who’s about to leave town and be hounded by crazy fangirls for the rest of his life. What if I’m so good, he doesn’t even want to go on tour? I could potentially break up the band.”

I start cracking up. “You’re so stupid.”

“Well, it could be a one-night stand. You can just sleep with him, get some of the best sex you’ve ever had, and then find someone else.” He faces me again, piercing me with his eyes. “Right, London?”

The table goes quiet, but my response is quick. “Well, you’re probably more well-versed in that category.”

He gives me a tight smile. “Yeah, maybe you’re right, but I make sure the girls know that’s all it’s gonna be. I don’t give them any false hope or anything.” He laughs. “That would be mean.”

Though he’s smiling and laughing to make it seem like a joke, I know it’s not. He’s hurt by what I did, and I’m upset that I caused that pain, because I really like Royce.

“Excuse me,” I say, scooting to the edge of the bench. “I’m gonna use the restroom and then we can go, okay?” I tell Hunter.

I hear Midge try to change the subject by asking Royce about Sky, but I tune them out as I rush toward the bathroom. Though it was an excuse to get away from the table, I do actually have to pee, so after I take care of business and wash my hands, I slip back into the darkened hallway.

Royce leans against the opposite wall, waiting for me.

“What do you want?” I ask.

He smirks. “If only you would’ve asked that question on Saturday night.”

I let out a sigh. “You could’ve volunteered any information you wanted me to have.”

“I didn’t know as soon as you walked out of the bar my time was up.”

“If your goal out there, with your little barb, was to make me feel bad, congratulations. I feel bad. I’ve been feeling bad, but I understand I hurt you, so I’ll take the licks you’re handing out, but eventually we’re gonna have to get over this.”

He pushes himself off the wall and steps up to me. My feet move backwards, but soon I’m pushed up against the bathroom door with nowhere to go. The air around us is charged with electricity, and the heat between us rises, seeping into my skin and spreading throughout my body. His face is a hairsbreadth from mine, and I feel his breath against my temple as he speaks.

“The only licks I want to hand out are the ones against your wet pussy. I still remember the way you taste, and it’s something I wake up craving in the morning.” He slides his leg in between mine and moves in even closer. “My goal isn’t to make you feel bad, London. I only want you to feel me. You understand?”

I hold my breath just to keep from panting. It takes everything in me not to grind myself against his thigh. He’s angled his head down, his lips lightly grazing the edge of my ear as he continues to torture me with his words.

“You begged for my cock once before, remember? Tell me you remember.”

“I remember,” I whisper, my pulse jumping.

“Your sweet little pussy dripped for me, and you know what?”

“What?” I say on a breath, blood racing to my pussy and making it throb.

“It’ll happen again.”

He steps back and pins me with a look that sends chills up my spine before he turns and walks away. He fucked me with his words and left, leaving me to melt into a puddle on the floor.

Isabel Lucero is a bestselling author, finding joy in giving readers books for every mood.

Born in a small town in New Mexico, Isabel was lucky enough to escape and travel the world thanks to her husband’s career in the Air Force. Her and her husband have three kids and two dogs together, and currently reside in Delaware. When Isabel isn’t on mommy duty or writing her next book, she can be found reading, or in the nearest Target buying things she doesn’t need.

Isabel loves connecting with her readers and fans of books in general. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.