Tuesday, October 31, 2017

TOTALLY HIS by Erin Nicholas
Part of the Opposites Attract series
will be published on October 31, 2017 from Forever.

Goodreads | Mass Market Paperback: $7.99 | eBook: $3.99 | ISBN: 9781455539727

“Moving and inspiring.” --  Publishers Weekly


Sophia Birch loves nothing more than the spotlight--as long as she's playing a part. A theater geek from an early age, Sophia now runs a little hole-in-the-wall playhouse that feeds her passion... even if it sometimes makes it hard to feed herself! And then one night it all nearly goes up in smoke. Desperate to save the only copy of an irreplaceable script, Sophia rushes back into the burning building.

Police officer Finn Kelly knows crazy when he sees it. And a woman running back into a burning building definitely qualifies as crazy. She also happens to be incredibly sexy. But when he finally finds her ruffling through drawers and refusing to leave, his only option is to carry her out over his shoulder....and then decide whether to arrest her. 


Finn would have noticed her even if she hadn’t been wearing hot-pink lingerie. And nothing else.
He really would have. She was totally his type—brunette and curvy and, apparently, a little crazy. As evidenced by the fact that she was trying to sneak into a burning building. He did seem to be attracted to crazy. No matter how hard he tried not to be.
He watched the woman stop at the east corner of the Birch Community Playhouse, the one farthest from where the firefighters were working. Then he frowned as she slipped into the shadows along the side of the theater and out of sight.
Dammit. He started after her.
As one of the cops on scene, he had to keep the area clear for the firefighters and keep the crowd of onlookers safe. If one of them happened to have a great body and be dressed in nothing but a pink bra-and-panty set, well, he’d just call that a perk. And as he jogged across the street, Finn couldn’t help but wonder if she was in costume or if the alarm had caught her in the midst of a wardrobe change. If that was her outfit for the show, he might need to buy a ticket.
He turned the corner to the back of the building and looked around. He didn’t see her. She’d gone inside. Dammit. He climbed up the four steps that led to the back door of the theater.
Finn touched the door and found it cool. It seemed that the flames were still contained to the wall on the other end of the theater, but it was a mistake to assume anything when fire was involved.
He stepped inside and pulled the flashlight from his belt, then shone it back and forth. He turned a full circle, not sure where to go next. Just then Finn heard a door slam somewhere behind him. He swung toward the sound just in time to see the woman step out from a room.
Her eyes went wide when she saw him.
“Boston PD! Stop!” Finn shouted.
She had covered up. Kind of. She now wore a robe, short, sheer, and unbelted. Which really did nothing to cover his view of her panties and bra. Or all that skin.
And maybe that was why she suddenly took off at a run.
Finn stared after her for a moment, a little stunned. She was actually running from him?
The woman made it to the other end of the lobby and through one of the doors leading into the main theater before Finn got to her. He grabbed the door as it was swinging shut, nearly smashing his fingers. The lights were off in the inner theater but, as he plunged into the darkness, he got a big whiff of whatever body spray or perfume she wore. He took a deep breath. It was nice. Lemony. Sweet and…
Jesus. Finn scowled and turned his flashlight back on. He was thinking about how she smelled? How about the smell of smoke that was going to be chasing them both pretty soon?
“Hey!” he called into the theater. You have to come out, ma’am. It’s not safe for you to stay in the building.”
“Just give me a damned minute!” she shouted.
“I’m sorry, ma’am, I can’t do that,” Finn said.
“I have to find something. Then I’m coming right out.”
 “Ma’am, I will have to remove you myself if you don’t come out immediately.”
“Oh, for fuck’s sake!” he heard her exclaim. 
“Ma’am, this is your last warning. Stop what you’re doing and come with me.”
Enough of this. Finn stalked over to her, put a hand around her upper arm, and turned to remove her from the building.
She dug her heels in, though, pulling against his hold. “Hey, you can’t—”
“Oh, yes I can,” he told her calmly, careful to keep his eyes off her body. The heat from her skin had immediately soaked through the thin robe, and Finn felt it traveling from his palm up his arm. “I’ve given you several opportunities to cooperate.”
“You’re arresting me?” she asked.
“Are you doing something that you need to be arrested for?” he asked, moving her toward the door, even with her resisting.
“No! I need to get something. It’s very important. It belongs to a friend of mine. It’s irreplaceable.”
“Ma’am,” he said calmly, “don’t make me carry you out of here.”
She pulled against his grip and leaned all her weight into fighting the forward motion across the room.
Well, shit. He’d kind of figured it would come to this, but he wasn’t sure he was ready to touch her more. Still, it didn’t look as if he had a lot of choice. Reminding himself that he was a professional, he bent and hooked an arm behind her knees, looped the other around her back, and lifted her.

She gasped, and for a moment she didn’t fight. And he thought maybe the hard part was over. But as he headed out the door, trying to ignore how warm and soft and fucking lemony she was, she started to wiggle.

Erin Nicholas is the New York Times bestselling author of sexy contemporary romances. Her stories have been described as toe-curling, enchanting, steamy and fun. She loves to write about reluctant heroes, imperfect heroines and happily ever afters. She lives in the Midwest with her husband who only wants to read the sex scenes in her books, her kids who will never read the sex scenes in her books, and family and friends who say they're shocked by the sex scenes in her books (yeah, right!).

Giveaway | Win 1 of 10 copies of TOTALLY HIS.

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A Champion Valley Novel
will be published on October 31, 2017 by Forever.

Goodreads | Mass Market: $7.99  | eBook: $6.99 | ISBN: 9781455536009

Stella Davenport wasn't made for small-town life. Sure, teaching ballet in Blanco Valley, Colorado, is great, but she longs for the chance to perform in a big city. Stella swore she'd never let anything get in the way of her dream-until sexy, broad-shouldered Brandon West walks back into her life. Stella is determined to resist him, even if arguing with Brandon is sexier than any foreplay.

For Brandon, it's always been just him and his son, Matt. Knowing that love only leads to heartbreak, he isn't looking to expand his family any time soon. Stella, with her long, gorgeous legs and infectious laugh, is a breath of fresh air he didn't even know he'd been missing. But when she's offered her dream job in Chicago, will he be willing to put his heart on the line? 

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Was it just her, or had their almost-kiss a few months ago not been this hot? This intense? She didn’t remember her panties almost going up in flames or her desire threatening to choke her.

“A kiss doesn’t equal a relationship,” Brandon told her.

Stella nuzzled her nose against his. “But we’re not kissing.”

“Keep telling yourself that, Stella.” Before she could respond, before she could even exhale the breath she’d been holding, his mouth was there. Fitting over hers, exerting a gentle pressure that had her fingers digging into the flesh on the back of his shoulder.

When her eyes dropped closed, her other senses took over and magnified the virile man who was so much bigger and harder than she was. His arm enclosed her waist, tugging her closer, inch by slow inch until she was flush against him. Chest to chest. Feet to feet. Leg inserting between hers so that his muscled thigh was nestled perfectly in between her softer flesh.

Best. Kiss. Ever.

Brandon West could use his mouth as a lethal weapon to bring women to their knees. Because if he hadn’t been holding her to him with such firmness, she would have sank the second his mouth touched hers. And then she didn’t have time to think about all the other things she wanted him to do to her, because his tongue smoothed over her lips in gentle, yet not-so-subtle invitation to open the hell up.

He didn’t have to ask her twice. Without thinking about where they were, or the cars and people hovering around outside, even her looming anxiety, Stella obliged and parted her lips. With a hesitation that was sweet, yet longing, his tongue slowly pursued hers, touching just the tip before retreating again.

Since it wasn’t enough, since the minimal contact had opened an emptiness she’d been living with for a long time, Stella did her own pursuing. Her tongue chased his, testing the warmth of his mouth. When he groaned against her and tightened his hand on the back of her head, the heat was kicked up a notch. The passion she’d once possessed but that had gone dormant from lack of use awakened with an explosive burst of fireworks. She returned his groan with one of her own when he tilted her head to change the angle of the kiss, allowing him to dive deeper.

And she let him, because Brandon West was an overpowering man who held her passion and trust in the palms of his hands. The question was, what would he do with it?

Their tongues continued to dance and weave around each other until someone opened the front door of her studio, and the outside sounds of cars and people intruded on their moment of intimacy.

“Oh!” the startled voice announced, ripping her and Brandon away from each other like two teenagers who’d been caught necking by the principal.

Her mother stood by the door, her eyes wide to match the smile on her face, as though to say, Score one for the team, honey.

Only Gloria Davenport.

She held her hands up and backed toward the door.

“Don’t mind me,” she told them. Then offered Stella two thumbs up. For Pete’s sake. “But good job, honey. Way to take my advice.”

And then she was gone, blowing back out the door as quickly as she had interrupted them, taking Stella’s dignity with her.

One of Brandon’s dark brows lifted, showing nothing of the passion he’d exhibited just a second ago. 

“Advice?” he repeated.

“Ah . . . ,” she began, not sure how to explain Gloria Davenport to someone who didn’t know her. 

“Just ignore her. She obviously hasn’t taken her medication today.”

The slight curl of his mouth widened. “You look like her.”

Please God, don’t say that. “Okay.”

His brown eyes narrowed, scrutinizing way too much. “Is this another thing you don’t want to talk about?”

Right on. She lifted a shoulder and pretended her heart wasn’t still pounding from their kiss. “I have no issues with my mom.” At least none that she was willing to share.

Brandon nodded. “You know, one of these days all those walls you’ve thrown up are going to come crashing down.”

As Stella watched Brandon saunter out of her studio as though he hadn’t just knocked her socks off with his mouth, all she could think of was how right he was.

Erin Kern lives in north Texas with her husband, two kids and their dog. She loves BBQ, Texas sunsets, antiquing and high school football games. The Champion Valley series was inspired by Erin's love of Texas football, small towns and happy endings. When she's not at the computer working on her next tale, she can be found spending time with her kids or curled up with a good book.

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Touch of Red by Laura Griffin

Title: Touch of Red 
Series: Tracers #12 
Author: Laura Griffin
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: October 31, 2017

When crime scene investigator Brooke Porter arrives at the home of a murdered woman, the only thing more shocking than the carnage is the evidence that someone escaped the scene. But where is this witness now? A thorough search of the area yields more questions than answers, and before Brooke even packs up her evidence kit, she’s made it her goal to find the witness and get them out of harm’s way.

Homicide detective Sean Byrne has seen his share of bloody crime scenes, but this one is particularly disturbing, especially because Brooke Porter is smack in the middle of it. Sean has had his eye on the sexy CSI for months, and he’s determined to help her with her current case—even if it means putting his attraction on hold so he and Brooke can track down a murderer. But as the investigation—and their relationship—heats up, Sean realizes that keeping his work and his personal life separate is more complicated than he ever imagined; especially when the killer sets his sights on Brooke.

It's so crazy good going back into the Tracers' world! 

Laura Griffin has a talent for romantic suspense and police procedure description that keeps my interest from start to end. Sometimes when a book is too descriptive about the investigation associated with a case, my eyes glaze over but it's never the case with her stories. 

The main couple is composed of Brooke Porter and Sean Byrne. We have met them in other books and now it's their time to shine.

Brooke is a CSI with the Delphi Centre who's called to the murder of a young woman. Brooke gets there before the police arrive. She knows something doesn't add up with the crime scene. Something big is missing. Brooke is very good at her job but not so much with her personal life. Her relationships have never worked and her latest one with a cop is still affecting her since she doesn't seem to be able to shake him. That's why she's taking a break from men except Sean makes her want to break her own rules. 

Sean is the homicide detective assigned the case Brooke is on. Sean has been watching Brooke for a while and he's very interested in getting to know her but he knows he has to be patient. He can tell something is going on with her but when she keeps on making the case personal and he believes she's attracting the killer's attention, he won't be able to keep his distance any longer.

I like this couple. The romance was smooth and it was easier to believe since they have known each other for a while. They each have respect for the other's jobs. There was only one instance when I thought Brooke was taking the wrong path. I was screaming in my head: you have no weapon, no training, no self-defense moves, quit jumping the gun!

Laura also gives us a look into a future couple and I'm already liking them together. Callie needs someone strong for her and I think "weapon guy" is just what the doctor ordered.

I love the Tracers series and I can absolutely recommend it. Pick up Touch of Red, it won't disappoint you. 

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Pocket Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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 $50 Amazon card
Giveaway dates: Oct. 29-Nov. 12

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Ready for Wild by Liora Blake

Title: Ready for Wild
Series: Grand Valley
Author: Liora Blake
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: October 31, 2017

Featuring Liora Blake’s signature “funny, endearing, and more than a little hot” (Library Journal) style, the third novel in the Grand Valley series features a rough-talking game warden going toe-to-toe with a TV star who unexpectedly turns his life upside down.

Braden Montgomery is certain about three things: one, luck is for suckers; two, time spent outdoors is what keeps him sane; and, three, when it comes to sharing his bed, there’s only one female he’s willing to put up with—his Chesapeake Bay retriever, Charley. Braden’s constructed his life on these beliefs, and he’s quite content with the status quo.

But when a moment of bad luck lands Braden toe-to-toe with a blonde bombshell with her own television show, his stubbornly structured reality begins to unravel.

As for Amber Regan, her brand has been built on camo, cut-offs, and cleavage. With her own hunting show on the foremost sports channel and enough social media followers to garner her plenty of endorsement deals, Amber’s come a long way from the tomboy in a small Texas town she once was. Unfortunately, ratings are down and her contract for next season is in limbo, so she’s in desperate need of a reboot to save her show—and filming a rough and tough archery elk hunt in Colorado might be the way to do just that. Too bad the local game warden grunts more than he speaks, seems determined to despise her—and makes her heart race in all the most inconvenient ways.

"My live wire"
"You were so worth waiting for. "

Ready for Wild delivers the perfect ending to the Grand Valley series! 

Liora Blake has the perfect formula for romance and she has a perpetual fan in me. She knows how to mix two very different characters and make them irreplaceable to each other. 

Amber Regan travels to Colorado to scout different areas for her hunting show. She has always loved the outdoors and her uncle taught her to hunt when she was just a kid. Her show was very popular and made her quite famous. It helps that her exterior is nothing short of a bombshell. Unfortunately, the last season of her show didn't get high ratings and in a desperate move, she believes if she comes back to her roots, she can make the big wigs renew her contract. She's determined to prove them and herself that she can do one hunt all by herself. 

This is when my body decides to perk up and take real, carnal notice of a man? And for this guy? Mr. Jolly Green Giant with a bad attitude?"

Braden Montgomery is one of the Grand Valley game wardens. He projects a "sourpuss attitude" and he appears to be grumpy most of the time. We met his character in the last two books and I was dying to see a smile on the face of this big guy. By chance or maybe by fate, Braden picks the short straw (literally) and it's the one chosen to meet Amber and her team. Of course, he is not blind and his body knows Amber is a knockout but he has nothing bad disdain for people who don't understand what being a hunter and respecting the prey is. He has all these preconceived ideas about Amber and he's not scared to share them aloud. 

The dark hair and the scruff, the serious sage eyes, and a sourpuss attitude many a woman would love to claim she single-handedly charmed into submission. All of that and he’s built like the caricature of a lusty lumberjack.

It was absolutely amazing reading the characters banter. I was smiling or laughing the whole way through Ready for Wild. So many great interactions and I love when Garrett was giving Braden a hard time and the scene with the selfie.

I loved discovering the real Braden and Amber. Amber was someone who took her job seriously. She knew how to respect nature despite being a hunter. She was a good sister and she cared for her co-workers. Braden's real personality was not surly. He was a book nerd who loved the outdoors and healthy eating. The scenes with his dog Charley had my heart melting. He also realized his preconceived ideas regarding Amber were wrong and he was man enough to admit it.

I have no idea why this is the last book in the series. Liora introduced two couples who could continue this series or a spinoff: Trey and Dayton and Colin and Teagan. I hope she gets to write their love stories. 

Cliffhanger: No

5/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Pocket Star via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

A near psychotic laugh bubbles up before I can stop it. Braden immediately begins to launch a series of irritated questions at us.

“Why are you laughing? And why in the hell are ‘trending’ and my name being uttered in the same sentence? Someone tell me what the fuck is going on. Now.”

I finish my giggle-fest with a satisfied sigh and slump into my seat, turning lazily to point my phone his way. “The picture I posted earlier. Part of your handsome frowning face is in the shot, and chicks are getting lady boners over you.”

His face screws up. “That’s a sign of some sort. I’m going home. I have shit to do later, and Charley will pout if I hold up dinner—and I hate it when she pouts.”

My grin starts to fade. Not that he owed me a relationship status disclosure, but who is this pouting “she” he’s talking about? What sort of woman does Braden go home to? She pouts? I can’t picture him putting up with much drama of any kind, let alone female drama. What does she look like? Is she pretty?

Oh, hell, who am I kidding? Look at him. The dark hair and the scruff, the serious sage eyes, and a sourpuss attitude many a woman would love to claim she single-handedly charmed into submission. All of that and he’s built like the caricature of a lusty lumberjack. So yeah, she’s probably gorgeous.

My phone beeps with a text, interrupting my internal ramble. Bless my little brother’s heart, because he probably just saved me from making a fool of myself had any of the ramblings become external.

Where is your extra laundry detergent? I know you have some. You’re my laundry whisperer. Better yet, come home, laundry whisperer. WHITES! COLORS! MY DELICATES! THIS IS TOO HARD!!!
Sigh. The kid is twenty-five going on twelve. His adulting skills are especially weak when it comes to laundry, and since I find laundry to be the most relaxing chore in the world, I’m content to be his enabler when it comes to his aversion to washing machines.Plus, he’s my kid brother. We lost our parents in a fire when I was ten and he was seven, and despite Uncle Cal taking us in and loving us the best he could, the two of us still became a little codependent unit. I mothered him and he protectedme—and we do the same today. If I were home, he would have shown up with his laundry basket like a college kid, dumped it next to the washing machine, and then concocted a bullshit story about a sudden work emergency. But given that he’s part owner of a burgeoning custom furniture company and runs the design portion of the business, most of his job involves him hunched over a sketch pad. Not exactly a job fraught with crises.

Another text lights the screen.

You’ll need to buy more peanut butter when you get back. And eggs.

And milk. Toothpaste. TP. I’ll make a list. You’re welcome.

I snort. He also struggles mightily with grocery shopping, so I’ve been known to stock up on extras of the things he likes. I tap out a quick reply.

Stop *shopping* in my pantry and take your lazy ass to the grocery store. IT’S THAT HUGE BUILDING NEXT TO THE STRIP-MALL DIVE BAR YOU FREQUENT.

Teagan peers toward my phone. “Trey?”

“Yeah,” I answer, clicking the lock on my phone. “I can’t leave him alone. His laundry won’t do itself, and I’m not there to make it magically disappear, then reappear clean and folded.” Braden clears his throat and my eyes shoot to his. We’re both holding our phones awkwardly, somehow quizzing each other without so much as a word.

“Well, I’m sure your brother,” Teagan offers, “will figure it out. Either that or I’m sure he can just brush off the sawdust and make do.”

Visible relief works across Braden’s features. Suddenly, he thrusts his phone in my face. My eyes drop to his home screen, where there’s a picture of a dark toffee-colored Chesapeake Bay retriever zonked out in a layout blind, her head resting on what I’m assuming is one of Braden’s manly thighs.

“Charley,” he declares.

A smile spreads across my face. Braden returns my smile with his own.

OK, calling it a smile might be pushing it. But he isn’t glaring or frowning, and the left side of his mouth is curved up ever so slightly, enough to send a zing of satisfaction through my body. We stay that way until Colin’s stage whisper absolutely kills the moment.

“Jesus. Is that what we look like?”

An oof follows, likely the back of Teagan’s hand whacking against Colin’s abs. Teagan then chimes in with an invitation.

“Come to dinner with us, Braden. We need you to tell us where to go anyway—you’re the local.”

His eyes drift over to Teagan before opening the truck door to get out.

“I can’t. I wasn’t bullshitting about having a thing to be at tonight. Your choices for dinner are limited in Hotchkiss, but there’s a barbeque place called True Grit. It’s pretty good. Give that a try.”

The door shuts, and he disappears into the low light of a late afternoon creeping toward sunset. We wait until his truck starts before turning to give one another the same skeptical expression.

“Did he just recommend a barbeque joint to us?” Colin asks.

“He did,” Teagan replies.

We all go silent for a few beats. Dumbfounded by what Braden has just so innocently proposed. Shocked by the nerve of it. Entirely confused.

“Was he joking? He knows where we’re from, right?” Colin continues, prompting only a shrug from Teagan and a questioning headshake from me.

Because if there’s one thing we Texans readily unite behind, it’s our barbeque—the belief that no matter how you smoke it, baste it, or slather it, no one else does it the way we do. We do it right. Everyone else does it wrong.

And to claim otherwise is blasphemy.

The entire room falls away, along with every anxiety, every question, every confusing thought I had. All that’s left behind is the two of us, intensely present and entirely vulnerable to whatever comes next between us. And I want Braden to decide what that might be, because I’m tired of taking the lead. I’ve made the first move more than once, and tonight, I don’t want to ply him or convince him, or have it feel like he’s simply succumbing to a craving he couldn’t control. It’s time for Braden to prove to me this isn’t one-sided by taking the reins, just so long as I know I’ll get them back at some point.
I caught a glimpse of the Braden I want earlier tonight, when the too-slick, too-skinny cowboy at the foundation dinner invaded a little too much of my space. Braden’s protective yet patient gaze was on me, and I wanted to wrap myself in that sensation, sink into the experience of being watched over without being hovered over. Braden didn’t storm over like a bull bent on drawing blood, or alpha his way in and deck the cowboy’s lights out, even when I was ready for him to do exactly that. He acted like a man, not a hotheaded kid, and I wanted that man—the one in possession of all that control and composure—to want me.
Braden moves to stand behind me. He draws my hair away from the side of my neck, placing a kiss to the sensitive skin behind my ear, then traces his fingertips to that same spot, and my entire body comes alive. Another sweep of my hair to the side, exposing the zipper on my dress, the one he could so easily yank down. Instead his hands land on my shoulders, fingers splayed wide so he can gently knead the muscles there. My eyes drift closed.
“I haven’t done this in a while,” he says.
Eyes still closed, my brow knits. This impromptu neck massage is diverting, but not so much that I don’t find what he just said a little surprising. Sure, Braden isn’t exactly a poster child or sociability, but he is hot. His looks alone could open a few bedroom doors, and anyone who bothers to peek under his surly Superman cape would find a man who never neglects to answer a text and sometimes checks his best friend’s forehead for sign of a fever. Add in that big, masculine body of his and the guy could easily get some if he wanted to, so there must be a reason why he’s been on hiatus.
Braden’s thumbs begin to work over deep knots near my shoulder blades that I didn’t know were there.
“Why has it been a while?”
He continues to knead until he feels my shoulders wilt in relief.
“I got burnt by an ex a few years back. I hadn’t met anyone worth the trouble since then. Until now.”
My curiosity doubles down on those last two words. “Why me?”
I’m not sure what it is I want him to say, so long as they aren’t trite words about how I look. From another man, that sort of desire might be enough, but with Braden I need something else.What, I’m not exactly sure. I just know I need more than the superficial.
Braden’s hands drop to my hips and he grips them firmly, pressing his groin to my backside.
“Because you make me feel like a goddam live wire. You’re in the room and I feel you. I don’t have to see you, even. Because you’re fucking everywhere. It puts my teeth on edge and sets my skin on fire. And I can’t get enough.”
He’d heard my thoughts. He had to—that’s the only explanation for his being able to say exactly what I needed to hear, yet couldn’t name for myself. I calm the urge to all but shout, Take me, sailor!—like some swoony matinee star from back in the day. Slowly, I turn in his grip and meet his heavy-lidded gaze, intent on kissing him or dropping to my knees, whatever feels right.
But Braden slinks one arm tight around my waist, trapping me in his grip so he can run his fingers across my mouth, his eyes fixed there so intensely my face heats under the lovely scrutiny. My lips
part a fraction, ready to speak or kiss or moan, I’m not sure which. 
Braden continues to stare at my mouth.  “Because it’s been a while for me, I need you to let me set the pace this time. Can you
do that?”
My chest begins to rise and fall raggedly. “Can we take turns after that?”
Braden’s face immediately cracks into a broad grin. One that’s wry and exasperated, but above all, charmed . . . charmed by me.
A slow shake of his head. “You couldn’t just say yes, could you?”
“You know you would have been disappointed if I had. I just want to be sure I get my turn. I want to drive you crazy, but in a good way.”
His grin fades, his eyes darken, and I find myself tossed over his shoulder before I can even act like I might object.
“Fucking live wire,” he mutters, striding down the hallway and ducking when we make it to the doorway, flipping on a light switch at the same time. Braden sets me back on my feet near a single nightstand next to an enormous bed.
The room itself isn’t huge, so the bed takes up most of it. The frame is gray-stained pine trimmed with black wrought iron, and if I didn’t know better, I’d think it was one of Trey’s designs because it’s industrial-looking and impossible to ignore. The nightstand holds a tower of books and an alarm clock, and there’s a grocery-store bag tossed there, partially open to reveal its contents.
Condoms. Good man, Braden.
I waste no time after that, reaching for him with a tug while trying to work his belt open and yank his shirt off all at the same time. Braden’s hands swoop in and latch on to mine, letting out a low rumble as he spins me to face the other direction, still somehow able to keep my wrists in his loose but commanding grip.
His lips meet the crown of my head, whispering, “My pace. We agreed.”