Thursday, June 30, 2016

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: BAD BOYS AFTER DARK: MICK by Melissa Foster

Bad Boys After Dark: Mick
Bad Boys After Dark #1
By: Melissa Foster
Releasing June 22, 2016
World Literary Press


Indulge your inner vixen…
Meet the Bad Boys… Four sinfully sexy, fiercely loyal, uber alpha brothers about to fall head over heels for their leading ladies. If dirty talk, cursing, or raw, passionate sex turns you off, the After Dark books are not for you, because everything’s naughtier after dark.


Amanda Jenner is done being a boring-man magnet and has finally taken control of her love life. As any smart paralegal would, she’s researched the hell out of how to seduce a man. She’s waxed, primped, and ready to put her newfound skills into action—and a masquerade bar crawl is the perfect venue for her solo coming-out party.

Entertainment attorney Mick Bad lives by two hard and fast rules. He never mixes business with pleasure, and he doesn’t do relationships, which makes the anonymity of a masquerade bar crawl the perfect place for a onetime hookup.

Amanda thinks she’s hit the jackpot when she bags a tall, dark, and sinfully delicious masked man—until she discovers the man she’s made out with is her off-limits boss. Mick’s already crossed a line he can never uncross, and one taste of sweet and sexy Amanda has only whet his appetite. When Mick offers to give Amanda a lesson in seduction—no strings, no regrets, and for goodness’ sake, come Monday, no quitting—the tables turn, and Mick’s totally unprepared for the lessons this sweet temptress provides.

Buy Links

LURED BY THE pulse of sex and anonymity, Amanda Jenner moved through the dusky bar, brushing against silk, satin, cotton, and flesh, each graze feeding the adrenaline coursing through her veins. Blue lights misted over sweaty strangers lost in the seductive bump and grind of foreplay and hoping for a night of erotic pleasure. If Amanda tried hard enough, she could smell tomorrow’s scent du jour—regret. Tonight she had no room for the confidence-crushing worry of what tomorrow would bring. She scanned the crowd, as she had in the previous three bars, immediately dismissing anyone who wasn’t in costume. Her world was full of boring men who excelled at wining, dining, and boring her to sleep. Ten years of romance novels and movies had led her astray, sending her on a search for the elusive needle in a haystack. She’d led herself astray, always the careful thinker, careful dresser. Or as her younger sister, Ally, would say, Careful kisser, careful lover. Ally, however, had taken charge of her sex life—and she’d found the perfect man.
Now it’s my turn.

Just when you think you know what to expect from Melissa Foster, she comes out with her After Dark books...and clearly demonstrates why she's a bestselling author.  

There's something about the whole boss-employee trope that makes it a favorite, usually for me it's the taboo aspect.  Here in Mick's Bad Boys story, I honestly didn't get that vibe though-for me it was more like a "I've wanted him/her for so long, let me jump at the chance for at least one night" type vibe.  But then let's throw in some unexpected emotion to stir up the pot, okay?  Naughty?  Oh yes.  

It was very easy for me to identify with Amanda.  I could easily see myself in her place from a personality and bumbling-when-I'm-out-of-my-element standpoint.  Mick is pure sexy alpha male, complete with his own troubles from his past.  The two of them together are positively explosive while at the same time sweet and tugging at your heart.  Their intimate scenes will have readers wondering who the heck turned up the thermostat, and their heart-to-heart talks will bring out the emotions.

With Foster's reliably superior writing spilling out a story that is simply engrossing, I found myself not wanting to put this book down.  It's a fun, sexy story that also delivers character growth as well as smiles (including those naughty smiles...) and also packs a punch on the romantic side (cue the "awww" soundtrack now please).

Mick's Bad Boys story gets 4.5 stars from me, and I sure can't wait to hear his brothers' stories-I know I'm going to love those as well!  Recommended for contemporary romance fans 18+ who like their stories a little language and explicit sexual content will be found inside these pages.

Author Info

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance, and women's fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa's emotional journeys are lovingly erotic, perfect beach reads, and always family oriented. 

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Two Winners will receive a print copy of 1001 DARK NIGHTS: DARING HER LOVE)

Book Blitz-Excerpt & Giveaway: RELEARNING THE ROPES by DC Juris

Relearning the Ropes
Author: DC Juris
Publisher:  Torquere Press
Cover Artist: Kristin Norris
Release Date:  7/6/16
Heat Level: 5
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 10,485 words
Genre: M/M Romance, BDSM, Kink

Add to Goodreads


When his good friend Julius dies unexpectedly, Marcus finds himself saddled with a new submissive–Charlie. But Charlie comes with a history, and a whole host of issues and problems that Marcus has never really dealt with. Marcus knows he loves Charlie, and Charlie loves him, but he'll have to set aside his old theories about BDSM and relearn the ropes, so to speak, if he wants to be the Dom Charlie needs him to be. Previously published by Breathless Press.


Marcus rolled over to stare at the clock. 3:25 AM. A month ago, at precisely that moment, his phone had rung. He'd answered it, expecting it to be the only person who ever called him that late, his friend Julius, but instead it was Julius' lawyer. The man apologized for waking Marcus, but Julius was dead  -- condolences, of course -- and Julius left the care of his sub, Charlie, to Marcus, and could Marcus please go over to Julius' house and fetch Charlie?

At 3:45 AM that morning Marcus went and picked Charlie up, and, for the past month, Charlie slept in the spare bedroom across the hall. Marcus hadn't slept since. Not that he didn't like or want Charlie. He did, on both counts. Loved Charlie, was quite in love with Charlie. But if Marcus had wanted a live-in sub -- which he hadn't, his life was far too busy and complicated, and he was entirely too set in his ways -- he wouldn't have chosen one like Charlie. Charlie was a complex little creature: delicate and high-maintenance. He took everything Marcus knew about how to treat a sub and turned it upside down.

He thought back, remembering how, a little over two years ago, Julius had phoned him in the middle of the night, music blaring in the background so loudly that Marcus could barely hear himself speaking, let alone Julius. Julius had gone down to his favorite club, spotted Charlie, and Marcus had ended up loaning him five hundred thousand dollars to buy the battered and bruised sub out of the sex slave ring he'd been held captive in. Charlie had come such a long way since then, learning to live as a sub instead of a slave, and finding a niche in the working world.  Marcus didn't want to do anything to set him back.

Marcus groaned and flipped over onto his other side, putting the mocking glare of the clock's bright red numbers behind him. Aside from Charlie, Marcus had never dominated a man he'd loved. He had no clue how to reconcile the two. Charlie needed clear boundaries, a clear definition of their relationship, but how was he supposed to define their relationship to Charlie if he couldn't define it to himself? He tried to treat Charlie like any other sub, but the fact of the matter was Charlie wasn't just any other sub. Sold into sexual slavery at fifteen, Charlie had been dragged all across the country before he'd landed in Julius' hands.

Marcus was all business when he served as a Dom at Anton's BDSM playhouse, clinical, almost; for most of the men he played with, that was enough -- the domination, the control. But Charlie, Charlie needed more. The only question, was could he give it? He sighed and squeezed his eyes shut, trying to force himself back to sleep.


Torquere Press

Meet the Author

Romance author, sci-fi fan club Captain, cosplayer, reigning Queen of Monkeyland, and random menace. Yep, we're talking about DC Juris. She’s a cupcake-making, football-watching, rubber-duck-collecting, drag-show loving, full-of-fabulous-with-a-capital-F kinda gal. She's also an ordained minister and an amateur photographer. She lives in Upstate New York with her husband, three dogs, and three cats. When she's not writing, you can find her in her favorite chair watching Star Trek and Supernatural repeats on Netflix, or surfing the web for porn. Er…research. Surfing the web for research. She may speak softly but she lives and loves loudly. Just ask the neighbors. ::wink::


Rafflecopter Prize: One winner will be selected to win an eBook copy of Relearning the Ropes.

Blog Button 2

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Book Review: RESURRECTION by Shelly Davidson


His war has just begun.

James (Jamie) Massey has been raised in a strict military household and grew up with the sole purpose of becoming a soldier. He never imagined the heartache his choices in love and war would weigh on his soul, and when he loses everything, he can’t imagine ever being happy again. 

Chris Baker grew up in a small town, raised on the rodeo circuit. When he met Ben, he thought he’d live blissfully every after, but things have a way of not going along as planned. Chris, devastated by his loss, was barely hanging on. 

When Jamie and Chris end up in the same small town diner, it can only be credited to divine intervention. But are both men too damaged? They say God works in mysterious ways. Well, he certainly had his hands full when he chose these two for saving. 

Is it too late?

Triggers: Deals with PTSD, death, and realistic wartime violence.

Carra's Review

Resurrection is both heartbreaking and hopeful, dealing with multiple dramatic and traumatic issues-but also keeping readers optimistic that love will help both main characters heal from their pain.

In the first part of the book, we're introduced to Jamie.  To be honest, I was a little put off by him at first, and I wasn't a fan of his drug use-though to be fair, he didn't start out like that.  I felt bad for Jamie with the way his father pushed him as he was growing up, and I also felt bad for Derrick (his partner/lover) having to deal with the constant separation once he and Jamie are together exclusively.  Then the unthinkable happens, and we see Jamie become disconnected-though it's clear to see that even before he experiences a terrible loss, he's already become somewhat withdrawn and his behavior a bit edgy due to everything he's been experiencing during his deployments.

Next, we get background on Chris who has his own emotionally draining past, and although he does have many years with the love of his life, he also goes through his own heartbreaking loss.  I actually found his and Ben's story to be more painful, especially the final lines of the section of the story.  One thing I really liked was how accepting his friends and family are about Chris' sexuality-it always does my heart good to see this for any character in a gay romance.

Finally, the last part of the book focuses on Chris and Jamie-how they meet, and how their relationship develops over time.  They have so much in common, and with Jamie's extreme PTSD and Chris' need to protect, their bond deepens as they both navigate Jamie's continuing recovery.  

In the first two parts of the story when we're getting Chris and Jamie's individual backgrounds, I did feel it was a little drawn out and overly detailed-more than it needed to be to get the point across.  That said, I was still drawn in to the story and my interest remained focused.  There's chemistry between them, and not just in the bedroom.  The intensity ramps up many times, exacerbated by Jamie's condition making for a dramatic read.  By the end, things do start easing for the couple, though there is still the sense that everything is not quite finished--but then again, with everything they've both been through (Jamie in particular), it's doubtful a fully resolved happily-ever-after could ever be guaranteed.

Resurrection was a 4-star read for me, and I'd recommend this to M/M romance fans 18+ due to adult language, M/M sexual content, and serious topics that can be triggers--so be sure to read the trigger warnings in the synopsis before you start reading.  

My review is based on an ARC review copy provided by the author and is based solely on story content.

About the Author

Who is Shelly Davidson? Shelly is someone who has been writing literally her entire life (and that’s a LONG time) and has always written M/M. Her first story was back in high school and she hasn’t stopped since. Of course, Shelly never dreamed of getting published, so needless to say, she’s in heaven! Shelly loves her characters. Her writing focus is real people, flaws and all, who are hurting or damaged, but deserve a little joy in their lives. Shelly was born and raised in Arizona, but currently lives in California because that is where the money is! She is currently single, but has a grown daughter and an adorable grandson both of whom she loves dearly. While she usually stays pretty much to herself, she does have a Bachelor’s in Social Services and a diverse background that ranges from theater to health care and currently works in accounting, she swears it’s not as boring as it sounds. While this is her first publication, it is by far not the last! She plans on being around for quite some time! You’ve been warned!

New Release: WICKED RIDE (The Wicked Horse #4) by Sawyer Bennett

Wicked Ride 
The Wicked Horse Series Book #4
Sawyer Bennett
Release Date: June 28, 2016

I think this woman may be the death of me. A dire prediction, but probably true.
Probably true because she’s not mine to have and I’ll probably take her, even at the risk to my own safety. So many men slobbering to get a taste of her and only one, sweet, virginal girl to go around.
That’s right.
She’s a virgin.
Looking like a porcelain china doll that would break if not handled carefully. But I also know she’s stronger than she looks.
She’s a contradiction.
She’s most likely my downfall.
Like I said, she’ll probably be the death of me, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take.

**Warning: this book has sex in it. Lots of sex. Dirty sex. The Wicked Horse Series is a bit different than what Sawyer Bennett normally writes. While you’ll still enjoy fabulous characters, a suspenseful story, some witty banter and an epic romance, there’s just… a lot of sex. You’ve been warned.

Purchase Wicked Ride:

About the Author

Since the release of her debut contemporary romance novel, Off Sides, in January 2013, Sawyer Bennett has released more than 30 books and has been featured on both the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists on multiple occasions.

A reformed trial lawyer from North Carolina, Sawyer uses real life experience to create relatable, sexy stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From new adult to erotic contemporary romance, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone.

Sawyer likes her Bloody Mary’s strong, her martinis dirty, and her heroes a combination of the two. When not bringing fictional romance to life, Sawyer is a chauffeur, stylist, chef, maid, and personal assistant to a very active toddler, as well as full-time servant to two adorably naughty dogs. She believes in the good of others, and that a bad day can be cured with a great work-out, cake, or a combination of the two. 

Sign up for Sawyer’s newsletter:

Release Day-Excerpt & Giveaway: HARD TO SERVE by Laura Kaye

Hard To Serve - RDL banner

We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Release Day Launch for Laura Kaye's HARD TO SERVE! Brought to you by 1001 Dark Nights, HARD TO SERVE is a standalone novella in her Hard Ink Series that also introduces her upcoming Blasphemy Series. Check out the note and excerpt from Laura below and grab your copy of this steamy novella today!

Domineering lover kisses his sexy submissive in loft interior

So many readers asked for more stories in my bestselling Hard Ink series, and I’m so excited to be able to give you just that in my new, super sexy HARD TO SERVE! HARD TO SERVE is an edgy stand-alone love story about a Baltimore police detective whose red-hot BDSM relationship with a new submissive seems like the perfect distraction from a trumped-up investigation against him until he learns that the woman is his boss’s daughter. Talk about sparks flying! I had so much fun writing this book, and I can’t wait for everyone to read it! And if you enjoy it, you might like to check out the whole Hard Ink series, now complete! Happy reading!


Mia found herself alone with a kinda pissed-off looking Master Kyler. He wore angry well. As in, the harshness of the set of his jaw and the tight press of his lips and the narrow cut of his eyes—they were all hot, especially coming from a Dom. But she didn’t understand it.

“Um. Hello, Sir,” she finally said when he didn’t say anything.

“Mia,” he said, his gaze raking over her. “You look absolutely stunning tonight.” His voice was like gravel, rough and strained.

“Thank you. Are you okay, Sir?” she asked.

He shook his head. “I don’t…I don’t know.”

“Do you want to sit and talk?” Mia asked, concern for him flooding her.

Suddenly, Kyler pinned her to the cool wall. He braced his hands on either side of her head, and he was erect against her belly. She wanted to drop into a crouch and take him into her mouth. “Do you want vulgar honesty or watered-down politeness?” he asked.

The promise of those words made her core clench with need. “Vulgar honesty.”

He nailed her with a blue-eyed stare. “I don’t want to sit and talk. I want to f*ck. Hard. I want to be aggressive. Maybe I even want to be a little mean.”

Mia’s heart was suddenly a runaway train in her chest. Because, sign her up! She let out a shaky breath. “That sounds…like someone’s going to have a good night,” she managed.

Kyler dropped his head to her shoulder on a groan. He knocked his forehead against the bone there once, twice.

“Did I say the wrong thing?” she asked. Because he was totally confusing her.

“That’s the thing, Mia. I don’t know.” He lifted his gaze to hers again.

“How can I help?” she asked.

For a moment, he closed his eyes and inhaled deeply, and when he opened them, it was like he’d centered himself and made some kind of resolution. “Are you game for what I just described?” He fingered the chunky silver-and-gold choker she wore around her neck.

Heat swept over her, her body already answering, already preparing. “Yes, Sir. I am.”

He gave a tight nod and backed up a step. “Let me show you the room I have in mind.” Taking her hand, he led her down the long hallway that shot off the side of the nave. She wasn’t sure if this was still part of the church building or something else, but she didn’t have long to wonder before Kyler stopped at a door and keyed in a code.

Lights came on as the door opened, and Kyler guided her inside with his hand at the small of her back.

Just the room’s theme turned Mia on. Concrete floor. Cinder-block walls with peeling paint. Light thrown from bare light bulbs surrounded by little cages. An iron cot bed with only a white fitted sheet. Rusted metal cabinet at the side that undoubtedly held a variety of toys and supplies. It looked like a basement or a warehouse—a place where a woman in a beautiful cocktail dress had no business being. A role started taking shape in her mind.

“Do you see where my head is tonight, Mia?” Master Kyler asked, his body almost rigid with tension.

God, she was going to enjoy helping him work out whatever had him so wound up. “Yes, Sir.”



To protect and serve is all Detective Kyler Vance ever wanted to do, so when Internal Affairs investigates him as part of the new police commissioner’s bid to oust corruption, everything is on the line. Which makes meeting a smart, gorgeous submissive at an exclusive play club the perfect distraction…

The director of the city’s hottest art gallery, Mia Breslin’s career is golden. Now if only she could find a man to dominate her nights and set her body—and her heart—on fire. When a scorching scene with a hard-bodied, brooding Dom at Blasphemy promises just that, Mia is lured to serve Kyler again and again.

As their relationship burns hotter, Kyler runs into Mia at work and learns that he’s been dominating the daughter of the hard-ass boss who has it in for him. Now Kyler must choose between life-long duty and forbidden desire before Mia finds another who’s not so hard to serve.

Buy on Amazon

Download the Free Kindle App

Join the Hard to Serve FB Party on June 28!

Hard To Serve - RDL Teaser 2

Announcing a New Erotic Romance Series from Laura Kaye…

BLASPHEMY - the club first introduced in Hard to Serve

From the ruins of an abandoned church comes Baltimore’s hottest and most exclusive BDSM club. Twelve Masters. Infinite fantasies. Welcome to Blasphemy…

Bound to Submit is coming September 13, 2016


Amazon | Barnes and Noble (Coming Soon) | iBooks  | Kobo 

About Laura Kaye

Laura Kaye - author picLaura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty-five books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink and Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter SignUp| HARD TO SERVE on Goodreads

Hard To Serve - Available Now


InkSlinger blogger banner

Release Blitz-Excerpt & Giveaway: A SUMMER TO REMEMBER by Marilyn Pappano

A Summer to Remember
Tallgrass #6
By: Marilyn Pappano
Releasing June 28, 2016



It's been a long time since widow Fia Thomas felt the spark of physical attraction. But from the moment she meets Elliot Ross one stormy night, she yearns for a fresh start, for him to make her feel whole and well again. With his broad shoulders and a warm smile crinkling his dark eyes, he could finally offer her the solace she's been seeking. And she's willing to give him anything in return . . . except a promise that could break his heart.

Now that Elliot is out of the Army, he's looking for a place to call home. Tallgrass was just a stop to stretch his legs, yet one look at Fia halts him in his tracks. In her sweet, sassy company, he finds the soul mate he never thought he'd have. But Fia is holding something back-something that keeps her from making any plans. Elliot's new mission: gain Fia's trust...and convince her that summer's end can mean a new beginning.

Buy Links

 “Go on. Sing more.”
He did, and she listened with her eyes half closed. The tones were sweet, the emotion fierce, the quality hands-down better than the singer on the radio. Everything she learned about Elliot was adding up to an extraordinary man.
While she remained plain, average Fia. With “issues.”
“Beautiful,” she responded when the song ended. At about the same time, he turned into her driveway.
He came around and held hands with her to the stoop and up the steps, where he propped open the storm door with his boot while she unlocked the door. She set her purse on the floor inside the door, then faced him. “I’m not going to invite you inside because you’ve got to get up early.”
“Darn.” He moved a step closer, fitted his hands to her waist, and leaned toward her. She met him in the kiss, her mouth parting, her hands sliding around to the back of his neck, combing through his silky hair. Dear Lord, she’d forgotten how good a kiss could be. She nibbled at his lip, pausing only when his tongue thrust between her teeth, invading, exploring, rousing a long-unsatisfied need deep inside. Moving intuitively, her hands glided over soft cotton that covered the lean muscles along his spine. When they reached the rougher texture of jeans and leather belt, the tips tingled, like the briefest touch of a live wire, singeing and searing and sparking pleasure through her body.
When she stroked a few inches lower to slide her palm over his erection, his breath caught, and so did hers. It had been so very long . . .would be so very easy . . . back up one step, don’t let go, take him to the bedroom or, better, the couch, strip off their clothes . . .So easy. So perfect. So wrong.
Even the thought of that last word was wrong. It jangled in the midst of nerves humming with need. It pulled her out of the haze of what she could do, of the incredible satisfaction she could have, and brought back all the ugly uncertainty of her life. Elliot might be Prince Charming, but she was no princess, and her life was no simple, sweet fairy tale with a happily ever after.
Tears seeped into her eyes—disappointment, weariness—and she opened her eyes to blink them away. Apparently sensing the change in her, Elliot ended the kiss with another tiny, sweeter kiss, then clasped her hands in his. For a long time, he studied her face with an intensity that rippled along her skin, then he took a step back, putting breathing room between them.
When he spoke, he sounded as if he’d done a long hump with a heavy ruck on a hot day. “You never did tell me.”
“Is Fia short for something?”
“You never did ask.” She didn’t sound much better. “Sofia.”
He laid his palm gently against her cheek, repeated her name, then backed away even farther. “Thank you, Sofia.”
“For what?”
“Being in that parking lot Friday night. For liking me and my dog. For kissing like—” Breaking off, he grinned and shook his head. “Damn.”
“It takes two.”
His grin strengthened, then slowly faded. “Good night.”
Leaning against the door jamb, she watched him go to his truck, get in, and drive away with a final wave. Sighing deeply, she stepped inside the house, closed and locked the door, and stumbled, hitting the floor with a solid thud.

Author Info

Known for her intensely emotional stories, Marilyn Pappano is the USA Today bestselling author of nearly eighty books. She has made regular appearances on bestseller lists and has received recognition for her work in the form of numerous awards. Though her husband's Navy career took them across the United States, he and Ms. Pappano now live in Oklahoma high on a hill that overlooks her hometown. They have one son and daughter-in-law, an adorable grandson, and a pack of mischievous dogs.

Rafflecopter Giveaway (10 (ten) Print copies of CHANCE OF A LIFETIME by Marilyn Pappano)

Monday, June 27, 2016

New Release-Excerpt & Giveaway: UNCOVERING CAMILA by Vivian Winslow

Uncovering Camila
Author: Vivian Winslow
Genre: Contemporary Romance


Camila Cohen is a highly ambitious and driven third-year NYU law student who works as a part-time bartender to help pay her way through school. She prefers no-strings attached relationships, afraid that anything serious could get in the way of her goals. But when chef Eliseo Perez ditches her for a job in Miami, she realizes even a casual arrangement can leave you feeling burned. Just as Camila’s close to accepting a position at the high-powered law firm of Sullivan & Moore (more appropriately known by its initials, S & M), her uncle Arthur, the head of the Cohen Real Estate dynasty, makes a proposal that compels Camila to question the career path she’d always assumed would be right for her. As she attempts to balance her busy final year of law school with her bartending job, what should have been a random Tinder date for a hot hook-up leads to something unexpected. Meeting the incredibly brilliant and handsome Marshall James forces Camila to face her greatest fears and realize that creating a life for herself means making decisions that could potentially hurt the ones she loves.

Buy Links


“Soooo, the host,” he says. “Obviously single, no kids . . . .”
Camila shrugs. “Someone new to the school. I’m not in any of his classes, so I don’t know much about him.” 
“You’re being weird. You’re always about extraneous details, and now you can’t say the man’s name or look at me.”
“What? I’m making you a cocktail.” Camila forces herself to look at Jared. 
He regards her suspiciously. “You’re a terrible liar, my friend. I’ll figure out what you’re hiding.”
It takes all of one second when he sees Marshall walk into the apartment. 
“Oh my God, it’s Mr. Gucci,” he whispers into Camila’s ear. 
“Shut up. This isn’t the time.” 
“Oh, it totally is,” he replies and heads into the adjacent kitchen to introduce himself to Marshall.
“Good evening. I’m Jared. I work with Camila over at L,” he says, hinting he recognizes Marshall from the bar that night.
“It’s great of you to come.” Marshall casually extends a hand. 
“Remind me of your drink of choice, and I’ll be sure to keep your glass full tonight.”
“Yeah, that’d be great. You know how to mix a Metropolitan?” 
The bartender suppresses a smile. “Funny. Camila really enjoys those too. I’ll be right back.”
“You f*cked him didn’t you?” Jared wags a finger at his friend. 
“How can you tell? You spoke to him all of two minutes.”
“While you hid in here like a scaredy cat. What happened? Buyer’s remorse? Hard to imagine though.” He turns in the direction of the kitchen and shakes his head. “No way. With that mouth, the way he stands, and his posture. He’s definitely good in the sack.”
Camila makes a face. “I didn’t realize he was my Professor.”
“I thought you said you weren’t in any of his classes.”
“I dropped it on the first day when I saw him. But what’s worse. He’s my faculty advisor for Law Review.”
“That’s classic,” Jared laughs out loud. So loud it gets Marshall’s attention. He spots Camila standing by the bar. “Oh, hey C.,” he begins to say then clears his throat. “Camila, I didn’t realize you were here.”
“I came early to help Jared set up,” she says, finishing her drink in one gulp. 

“This is worse than my cousin’s bar mitzvah down in Palm Springs,” Jared groans to Camila when she approaches him for another drink.
“It may kill you to hear this, but this is one of the better networking parties I’ve been to,” she replies. 
“That guy in the corner talking to your boyfriend looks like my Uncle Mordy.”
Camila slaps his arm. “Shut up already. And that man happens to be the foremost expert in Trusts and Estates in the country. I think Oprah is his client.”
“Seriously, honey. You do not belong with this crowd. You are so downtown cool, and they’re uptown uptight.”
“For your information, I just spoke with a woman who runs a legal aid office in the Bronx. She said her work was ‘rewarding’. How many people ever say that about their jobs?”
“Most teachers, except middle school ones, and saints.” Jared leans on his elbow. “So fine, not all lawyers are like my Uncle Mordy. But most of them are.” He checks his watch. “Cover for me a minute. I’m going to the bathroom.”
“I thought I was paying Jared to work, not you.” Marshall says. 
“He’s taking his Union fifteen,” Camila answers wryly.
“I guess I can’t interfere with that. I would hate to get a letter from a union lawyer.” He holds up his glass. “Would you mind? I think I prefer your Metropolitans to his anyway.”
“I told you it’s because I don’t sweeten it. Besides, I could use something to do.”
“You’re not giving up so quickly, I hope. There are plenty of attorneys I can introduce you to.”
“So this was a plan to get me to consider a different line of work.”
“Not a plan as much as a hope. But I know better than to interfere in your life. You know what you want.” 
Camila looks up when she hears that last word. “Up until recently I would’ve agreed with you. But I realized that I’ve been confusing need with want. I need a job. I don’t know if I want the one I thought I did.”
Marshall furrows his brow. “That’s a tough one. You want to talk about it?” He looks around at the party. More people have arrived. Students are always game for free alcohol, as he knew they would be. However, if he could, he’d snap his fingers and make them all disappear so he could be alone with Camila. 
“Maybe later,” she says vaguely, pouring his drink into a clean glass. 
Marshall drops five dollars into a tip jar. “Later then.”

“I’m glad you came tonight,” Camila says as she stacks the shakers and places them into a small box. “It was nice to have a friend around.”
“Students are terrible tippers, but you know I’d do anything for you,” Jared replies. He hooks a cord around the box of alcohol and stands. “At least I got to check out your secret boyfriend.”
Camila slaps his thigh. “Shh. He is not.”
“Oh please. You and Felicity should start a club. You guys can make a SLAM book and write Felicity + Todd and Camila + Marshall on the cover. This is so junior high with your sad, longing faces.” He presses his cheeks down. “A crush on your professor, and a crush on your boss, I swear I am living in the middle of a young adult drama.”
“Oh come on. You said they’re probably sleeping together. That’s not happening here.”
Jared puts a hand on his hip. “You’re lying to me, and you’re lying to yourself. I can see what’s going on. My vision is 20/10.”
“Enough. You’re being weird.”
“Pot, kettle, honey. I’ve known you for seven years, and I’ve never seen you act this strange.”
“But he’s my professor,” she whispers as the catering staff bustle around her, clearing out the dishes. Most of the party has emptied out with the exception of a few lawyers who seem to be friends of Marshall’s.

“No he isn’t. He teaches at the law school where you happen to be a student. I’m not an idiot. That’s gray area at best, but still within acceptable boundaries. And I should know a thing or two about boundaries because I’m always breaking them.” Jared hands her the container with the shakers. “Walk down with me and wait while I get a cab.”

Author Bio

Elizabeth Ann Hayes writes Romance under the pen name Vivian Winslow. Elizabeth was born in San Diego, California but has spent most of her adult life as the consummate wanderer. Her nomadic life took her abroad to Paris, Madrid, London, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, and São Paulo. After eleven moves across four continents over a span of seventeen years, her journey brought her back to New York City in 2011 where, despite the chaotic pace, she’s managed to make it home for herself and her family.

Since 2014, Elizabeth has published nine novellas in her Gilded Flower Trilogies as well as two installments of Wildflowers, a New Adult series of standalone novels. These contemporary romance books are female-driven with strong, beautiful and intelligent women as well as diverse characters, reflecting her own multi-cultural heritage.