The first time it happened, it seemed like an impossible miracle. Bills were piling up, adding up to more money than I could ever make. Mom's hospital bills. My baby brother's tuition. My tuition. Rent. Electricity. All of it on my shoulders. And I had just lost my job. There was no hope, no money in my account, no work to be found. And then, just when I thought all hope was lost, I found an envelope in the mail. No return address. My name on the front, my address. Inside was a check, made out to me, in the amount of ten thousand dollars. Enough to pay the bills and leave me some left over to live on until I found a job. Enough to let me focus on classes. There was no name on the check, just "VRI Inc.," and a post office box address for somewhere in the city. No hint of identity or reason for the check or anything. No mention of repayment, interest, nothing…except a single word, on the notes line: "You." Just those three letters.
If you receive a mysterious check, for enough money to erase all your worries, would you cash it?
The next month, I received another check, again from VRI Incorporated. It too contained a single word: "belong."
A third check, the next month. This time, two words. Four letters. "To me."
The checks kept coming. The notes stopped. Ten thousand dollars, every month. A girl gets used to that, real quick. It let me pay the bills without going into debt. Let me keep my baby brother in school and Mom's hospice care paid for. How do you turn down what seems like free money, when you're desperate? You don't. I didn't.
And then, after a year, there was a knock on my door. A sleek black limousine sat on the curb in front of my house. A driver stood in front of me, and he spoke six words: "It's time to pay your debt."
Would you have gotten in?
It turns out $120,000 doesn't come free.
“How long have you been working for Jonathan?”
“Since he first started his company.”
“Did he treat all his girlfriends like this? Make them drop whatever they were doing just because he wanted to see them?”
“No.” He shook his head.
“But you chauffeured them around too, right? Those few serious girlfriends that he had?”
“I’m just trying to make conversation to get my mind off the fact that he just demanded that I come home. That’s all.”
“Of course.” He pulled the car onto the highway ramp and turned the music up a notch.
“Are you going to answer my question, Greg?”
He sighed. “Mr. Statham has never asked me to chauffeur any of his other girlfriends.”
‘How long have you known him?’ I ask. I may as well get my fill while I can. He might shut up and not start talking again.
‘Is he always so challenging?’
‘Only with you, girl. He’s actually quite laidback.’
"I watched as she rushed out of my office, as she nearly collided with my second highest security chief—Clive."
As I walk into the foyer, I see Clive, one of the concierges, playing with the new computer equipment.
“I asked you a question, Claire.” He gripped my breasts and squeezed them, slamming into me with each moan I let escape from my mouth.
“I...I like...” I stuttered. “I like when you...”
“Yes?” He moved one of his hands down to my clit and started rubbing it in a rhythm he knew all too well.
“Fuck me with your mouth...” He was speeding up his thrusts now, making it harder and harder for me to talk straight. “Finish. The .Sentence.”
“Wait...I...I like when...when you—”
“Elevator car number 510 at Waldo and Emerson Associates, This is responding unit 861.” A voice came over the speakers. “Speaking to you right now is fire chief Brennan Marshall. We’ve noticed the current cart has stalled for over six minutes. Are there any persons inside?”
“You know I don’t care if they see us like this...” Jonathan reached down for my hands, pulling them up over my head and pressing them against the wall. “And I won’t stop when they open the doors if you haven’t answered me.”
“Are there any persons inside?” The fire chief repeated. “Hmmm. Might be an empty cart gentlemen,” he said in a lowered voice.
“There are persons inside.” Jonathan answered calmly, but his thrusts inside of me were the exact opposite. I was doing my best to hold my breath and bite down on my lip to prevent myself from screaming again.
“Okay, hold tight. We’ll send a team over now.”
There was another series of beeps to end the conversation, and then everything around me went hazy—blurred. I was suddenly screaming at the top of my lungs as he pushed me to the verge of an orgasm, as he demanded that I answer him one last time.
“I love when you...” I let my head fall back against his shoulder, let my body completely go. “When you fuck me with your mouth...” I shut my eyes as my knees gave in beneath me, as he slowly slid out of me and let me fall down to the floor.
‘Fucking hell, say it, Ava!’ he roars. A bead of sweat trails down his temple and his frown line jumps into position.
‘Ava!’ he shouts, and it echoes around the bedroom before he smashes our mouths together viciously. I buck and writher under his forceful body and greedy mouth as my pending release simmers low in my groin. ‘You like that?’ he gasps against my mouth as he persists with his relentless pounds.
‘You want this every day?’
‘Yes!’ I cry. I really do!
He yanks my hair tighter and grinds his hips harder. ‘Say it then.’ he growls. I feel the wound up coils snapping inside me as I fly into a bottom pit of pure pleasure beneath him. All reason is lost as he takes ownership of my body, soul and mind.
‘Yes! Yes! Yes! Fucking hell. Yes!’ I scream.
“I need thirty dollars.”
“Actually, I need fifty dollars. Ashley does too, but thirty each will do.”
“Did the airport stop giving out paychecks all of a sudden? Where is your money?”
“What’s going on?” Ashley walked into the store and stood next to her, not even glancing my way. “Did she give you the money yet?”
“No.” Caroline sighed. “She still thinks we save money from our jobs...”
“How do the two of you expect to go to college this fall without knowing how to save money?” I was tired of going over this with them. “Do you think it grows on trees? Do you think it falls out of the sky whenever you need it?”
“So she’s not going to give us the money?” “I think that’s what she’s saying.” “Did you tell her it was for summer-senior-night and everyone who’s anyone is going to be there?” “No, I just asked for the money. I didn’t think I needed to explain why.”
I sighed and prepared to re-start my lecture, but Jonathan walked in with a large bouquet of bright pink roses. “Good afternoon, ladies.” He looked at me and then he looked back and forth between Ashley and Caroline.
“Good afternoon,” they said in unison.
“Can we have fifty dollars—each?” Ashley smiled at him.
“Of course.” He pulled out his wallet and handed them both a hundred dollar bill. Just like that.
“Why don’t we just do that every time?” “I don’t know...Maybe we like the challenge?” They both laughed and rushed outside.
An alpha-male like no other: Damian Rule is an ultra-staid businessman who likes his life just so. He wears his hair cut short; he demands his business affairs be organized, and he insists that his women be impeccably groomed and conservative in both speech and appearance. When he meets Angie Ross for the first time, he sees a hot, beautiful, gothic mess. With her fishnet stockings and spiked leather cuffs, she's wildly inappropriate for his long term needs. But for the short term? She'll do just fine.
He’s thirty-eight. I’m twenty-three.
He speaks Spanish. I speak English.
He lives in Spain. I live in Canada.
He dresses in thousand-dollar suits. I’m covered in tattoos.
He’s married and has a five-year old daughter. I’m single and can’t commit to anyone or anything.
Because when they say you can’t choose who you fall in love with, boy ain’t that the f*#king truth.
To a restless dreamer like Vera Miles, it sounded like the experience of a lifetime. Instead of spending her summer interning for her astronomy major, she would fly to Spain where she’d spend a few weeks teaching conversational English to businessmen and women, all while enjoying free room and board at an isolated resort. But while Vera expected to get a tan, meet new people and stuff herself with wine and paella, she never expected to fall in love.
Mateo is unlike anyone Vera has ever known, let alone anyone she’s usually attracted to. While Vera is a pierced and tatted free spirit with a love for music and freedom, Mateo Casales is a successful businessman from Madrid, all sharp suits and cocky Latino charm. Yet, as the weeks go on, the two grow increasingly close and their relationship changes from purely platonic to something…more.
Something that makes Vera feel alive for the first time.
Something that can never, ever be. Or so she thinks.
“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”
My mouth filled with saliva when I heard these words, my eyes—shaded by both sunglasses and a big black hat—moving from the shining casket covered in a massive spray of deep red roses to the preacher standing at its side.
I wanted to rise up from my chair, snatch the words from the air and shove them down his throat.
This was an unusual reaction for me. I wasn’t like that.
But he was talking about Gran.
Gran, my Gran, the Gran whose body was in that casket.
She wasn’t exactly young, this was true. I knew it was coming, seeing as she was ninety-three.
That didn’t mean I wanted her to be gone. I never wanted her to be gone.
Outside of Henry, she was the only person I had. The only person in this whole world.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Gran wasn’t dust.
My Gran was everything.
They stopped when my sunglasses hit his.
And when they did, my breath also stopped.
This was because in all my life, and I’d had a long one, and in all my wandering, and I’d wandered far, I’d never seen a man like him.
His black hair had a hint of silvery-gray in it. It was thick and clipped well but in a way that was not a nod to style, instead it was apparent he didn’t want to spend time on it so his style was wash and go.
Even so, it looked good on him.
I stood from my chair in the waiting room and took Terry Baginski’s outstretched hand, noting her hair was pulled severely back from her face and secured in the back in a girlish ponytail.
I noted this thinking that there were many women in the world with strong or delicate enough features to be able to wear that hairstyle at any age.
She just wasn’t one of them.
This thought wasn’t kind. However, it was true and I caught myself wishing I could explain this to her as well as share that she may wish to use a less heavy hand with makeup and perhaps buy a suit that didn’t scream power! but instead implied femininity, which, if done right, was much more powerful.
It was far less formal attire than his suit of the day before but, oddly, it suited him far better.
“I’ll send someone in to get you some coffee. But as Mr. Spear is late, and I’m quite busy, if you don’t’ mind, I’ll take this opportunity to speak to a few colleagues about some important issues that need to be discussed.”
I did mind.
“..He said he’s been held up but he’s five minutes from the offices,”
“I’ve no idea how you can be behind seeing as you were delayed in meeting me in reception. Not to mention, since that time you’ve not let Mr. Spear’s late arrival deter you from continuing with your work even though a long time client’s granddaughter was waiting and she wasn’t even offered a magazine to occupy her time.”
My eyes caught his and I noted three things instantly.
One was the fact that he had unusual gray eyes. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was unusual about them except for the fact that they were alarmingly attractive.
He also smelled good. I’d inhaled the scent of a variety of men’s colognes but not one was that alluring. It was, as was everything about him, aggressively masculine, assaulting my senses, making it hard for me to breathe.
And last, his body was far bigger and more imposing than it was from a distance.
“My apologies,” I went on to murmur, putting pressure on my hand as an indication he should let it go.
“Dinner,” he encouraged softly. “Just dinner. You think I’m a dick, that’s it. Sayin’ that, I’m not gonna be a dick to Lydie’s girl because that woman meant a lot to me, to my kids, and that’s just not gonna happen. You feel that from me anyway, we’re done. But give it dinner.”
I could give it dinner.
In actuality, I could tell him I could give it dinner because it was clear he wasn’t going to give up until I did so.
Then I would not go to dinner. The town was not big but Lavender House wasn’t exactly on Main Street. In the brief time I was there, I could avoid him.
Then I’d be gone.
Therefore, I decided to do just that.
“Fine. Dinner,” I lied.
“Jesus Christ, Josie, you stood me up.”
“I can obviously see that you’d see it that way but since I didn’t actually wish to go to dinner with you in the first place, I don’t see it the same way.”
“Fuckin’ hell,” he murmured.
“And really,” I foolishly went on, “your language is quite—”
“Do not fuckin’ tell me what my language is,” he cut me off to bite out. “And do not stand across Lydie’s fuckin’ kitchen and give me your bullshit,” he ordered and I blinked.
Then my back snapped straight. “Pardon me?”
“You’re standin’ in Lydie’s kitchen knowin’ what she wanted for you, and what that was is me.”
He jerked his thumb to himself on his last word but he wasn’t done speaking.
“You jacked me around last night, made my daughter change her plans and she was lookin’ forward to that shit. Made me sit in a restaurant by my-fuckin’-self for forty-five fuckin’ minutes waitin’ on your ass, when not a lot of people have forty-five minutes of their lives to piss away and I’m one of them. You’re a no show and you give me this bullshit?”
All of which I’d eaten that night, remembering Gran and maybe not enjoying it as much as when she’d partaken of the same with me, but still enjoying it.
Tick, tick, tock.
That’s all I have now.
A small room, a photograph, and time.
This was supposed to be the best year of my life.
That’s what everyone said—they lied.
I thought I could bend the world to my will, make them see it my way.
Convince them that our passion was not a crime, make time stand still.
I was wrong.
The clock keeps ticking, the world did not bend, and now...
Now he is gone.
She was just a student
but her mistake was
she wanted the teacher.
He was just a teacher she wanted
but his mistake was
he wanted her back.
When reclusive novelist Senna Richards wakes up on her thirty-third birthday, everything has changed. Caged behind an electrical fence, locked in a house in the middle of the snow, Senna is left to decode the clues to find out why she was taken. If she wants her freedom, she has to take a close look at her past. But, her past has a heartbeat…and her kidnapper is nowhere to be found. With her survival hanging by a thread, Senna soon realizes this is a game. A dangerous one. Only the truth can set her free.
A disgraced athlete.
A tortured soul.
A man betrayed.
This is NOT your typical fighter story.
In this arena where fame and glory are at stake.
One man seeks to find the humanity he once possessed.
He fights not for honor but for redemption.
He lives by these rules. Break. Bleed. Fight. Live. For love.
I find a book on Goodreads.
I read the blurb and I like it.
I go get my own copy.
I read it.
And I don't fucking like it.
Story. Of. My. Life
When old friends become new lovers...anything can happen.
Sexy, gifted, and loyal, PI Jacob Decker is a tall, cool drink of perfection who had Emmanuelle Holmes at "hello." His relationship with Emme's best friend kept them apart for years, but things have changed. Now that a case has brought him to Gnaw Bone, Colorado, the road is wide open for Emme and Deck to explore something hotter and deeper than Emme dreamed possible. So why is she sabotaging the best thing that's ever happened to her?
It isn't easy to catch Deck off guard, but Emme does just that when she walks back into his life after nine long years. The curvy brunette had her charms back in the day, but now she's a bona fide knockout . . . and she wants to rekindle their friendship. Deck, however, wants more. Emme's always been the one; she excites Deck's body and mind like no other woman can. But a dark chapter from Emme's past overshadows their future together. Now only Deck can help her turn the page-if she'll let him . . .
We're thirteen girls, captive, slave to our master.
A master we've never seen.
Obedience will become all we know in our shallow existence. It is the only emotion we're permitted to feel.
When we're bad, we're punished. When we're good, we're rewarded.
Our scars run deep. Yet we survive, because we have to...
because HE teaches us to.
All of us are special, we feel it with everything we are.
He has us for a reason, but it's a reason we don't know.
We've never seen his face, but we know that something deeply broken lies beneath the darkness. With every touch, with every punishment, we know it.
Then something changed.
He showed me who he truly is.
Now I want him.
I'll go against everything I know to be with him.
Loving him is a sin, but a sinner I am. I won't stop until I see every part of him. Even the parts he keeps locked deep down inside.
I am Number Thirteen, and this is my story.
♥️ Three fateful encounters....
♥️ Two heart-breaking tragedies....
♥️ One last chance to get it right.
From New York Times best selling author Cassia Leo, comes an epic love story about rewriting destiny.
Over the course of five years, Mikki and Crush cross paths on three separate occasions. Their first encounter changes Mikki's life forever, but their second meeting leaves them both buried beneath the emotional wreckage of a violent attack. Mikki is left with more questions and grief than she can handle, while Crush is forced to forget the girl who saved his life.
Now nineteen years old, Mikki Gladstone has decided she's tired of the mind-numbing meds. She books a flight to Los Angeles to end her life far away from her loving, though often distant, family.
Twenty-one-year-old Crush has always channeled his blackest thoughts into his music, but he's never had great aspirations. He decides to fly to Los Angeles to record a demo of the only song he's never performed in public; a song he wrote for a girl he doesn't even know: Black Box. He has no expectations of fame and he's never felt like his life had any purpose... until he meets Mikki in Terminal B.
When Mikki and Crush cross paths for the third time in Terminal B, neither has any idea who the other person is; until they slowly piece together their history and realize that fate has more in store for them than just another love story.
If someone is ugly, then he's ugly.
You can call him pretty. You can call him beautiful. You can call him gorgeous. You can call him handsome. But you CAN'T change the truth, he's still ugly.
I'm in a trouble. A superhero comes. He saves me. He falls in love with me and I fall in love with him. We kiss. We live happily ever after. The End.
My boyfriend. My friend. My protector. He’s the reason I wake up every morning with a smile on my face, and the reason I fall asleep limp, worn out, and aching for his warm arms around me. When we make love, he says my name like it means something. Like I mean something.
His name is Greyson King, but his alias is Zero.
There’s zero trace of him, he has zero past, and now I know that with him, I will have zero future.
He may leave no trace of him anywhere, but his imprint is in me, in my very soul—and I hate that a mere look at him commands the beat of my heart. The temperature of my body.
I’ve looked for love my entire life. I’ve waited for the butterflies, the rainbows…
Instead I’m in a free fall of emotions and there’s no one to catch me but the one man I should be running away from. The one man I thought was my prince charming.
Except this prince charming went rogue.
Greyson will stop at nothing to make me be with him. He'll let no one stand in our way, will allow no one to threaten me, and maybe this is what scares me most of all...
What will my rogue do to keep me?