Sunday, December 31, 2017

Ring in the New Year & Fill your Brand New #Kindles up with Some #FREE & #99cent #Steamy #Romances!


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Grab them while they're hot and get ready to keep warm this cold New Year's!

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Featuring Whitley Cox, Jeanne St. James and Erica Lynn

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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Are you following me on Book + Main Bites?

No? What? Are you CRAZY?!

You TOTALLY should be!

Then you can check out my sexy little BITES, like the one below... *fans self*

And what's great is you can read the bites without being "sold to" by the authors.

Do we hope you like our info and want to buy the book? Obvi... But the cool thing is you won't have a million hashtags to read through about the book. You look at the pic, read the bite, and if you WANT book info the book will be linked to the bite. I repeat, only if you WANT the info.

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Jessa looked around for something to cover herself with, but the knocking only grew more insistent. She hobbled on weak legs over to the door, opening it only a tiny bit so she could poke her head out while still keeping her naked body hidden.
Dylan stood there, sexy as hell in a black tank top and loose grey shorts, with both hands above his head as he leaned on the doorframe. “You’ve got to stop.”
“I can hear you…and…you can’t do this to me.”
“I’m not doing anything to you.”
“Excuse me?” Dylan’s eyes bored into hers, raw and electric. He took a step closer and lowered his voice so much she could barely hear him. “Jessa, I know what you’re doing. I can hear you. Through the wall.”
Jessa realized his face was dark red, his breathing heavy and ragged, and he sported a major hard on that pressed against his shorts, begging to be let free. “I’m sorry, I didn’t think you were back yet. I figured you’d be down there with the blonde. Anyway, I have to try these new products, so—”
“I’m not interested in her and you know it.”
“The way she was throwing herself at you, I assumed…”
“I only want one woman right now, and it’s not her. And you don’t have to be sorry. You aren’t doing anything wrong. Just, please, keep it down. It was hard enough looking at you all night in that dress, imagining those black heels digging into my ass, and now I have to hear you get yourself off? It’s too much. There isn’t a man alive who could take this kind of abuse.”
She took a deep breath and debated what to say next. A smart girl would shut the door and go back to her business. Turn on the TV so he couldn’t hear anything, get off, and then go to sleep. Yes, a smart girl would already be back on the bed with her hands between her legs, guiding the toy over her sweet spot. By herself. But Jessa was sick and fucking tired of being smart. Her head hurt, her sex ached, and she knew exactly who she wanted to make her come. To make her scream. To fuck her so good she wouldn’t be able to stand. Dylan. “So…help me.”
“You heard me.”
“Are you sure?” He swallowed hard, his eyes heavy with lust and need. He wanted her. She could see it all over his face. “Because, babe, if I come in there, if we start this up again, I don’t know if I’ll be able to stop this time.”
She stepped back and opened the door, hoping like hell nobody would decide to take that moment to walk down the hallway to fetch some ice. “Don’t I look sure?”
Dylan growled, yes, he fucking growled, and stormed inside her room. He slammed the door behind him, ripping his black tank top up and over his head, then throwing it to the ground.
Jessa couldn’t help but lick her lips the second she laid eyes on those abs of his. She wanted to jump on top of him and lick every inch of those sinful muscles. “Come fuck me.”
“Not yet. First thing’s first.” He walked toward her, fire in his eyes, and picked her up into his arms.
She wrapped her legs around his waist just as her bare back hit the cool wall behind her.
He crushed his mouth to hers, and he wasn’t gentle about it. His lips demanded entry, and she willingly obliged. His tongue practically fucked her mouth as he swept it along every inch. Exploring her. Devouring her. Making her his. He finally pulled away, breathless, his body shaking slightly as he set her on her feet. “I’ve waited way too fucking long to kiss you. At the Christmas party I was too rushed, it was so unexpected, but not this time. This time you’re fucking mine.” He palmed her ass and squeezed, kneading the flesh between his fingers. “Now go lie down.”

#DylanAndJessa #FriendsToLovers #ComingSoon

Friday, December 29, 2017

#NewRelease #WhitleyCox True, Deep and Forever #Eroticromance #lovestory #Chapter1

True, Deep and Forever: Part 1
Book 5 of The Dark and Damaged Hearts

One marriage ... a second chance at love

Eight years ago their love was instantaneous, all-consuming and intense. Garret Banks had to have Amy Shaw the moment he met her, and no one thought the flame would ever go out.

Now, they have everything they’ve ever wanted: great careers, a beautiful baby, and a rock-solid marriage. Or do they? Garret’s high-stress architectural job is taking its toll. Amy's predicaments would be hilarious if they didn't make her want to cry. And to make matters worse, her ex is back in the picture, demanding answers about the wild passion she left behind — answers she isn’t willing to give. 

Garret and Amy grab quick, dirty sex while they can, but in between mommy wars, annoying in-laws, sleep deprivation and fears of betrayal, their marriage is put to the test time and time again. Once they were sure love conquers all, but how far can one marriage bend before it snaps?

Chapter 1

Dream or reality? Sometimes when you’re that deep in sleep, you can’t always tell. Though my delightful reverie involving Ryan Reynolds and myself sharing a bar of chocolate in the backseat of a taxi whilst driving though the mountains sure as heck seemed real. Until the shrill sound of a wailing baby infiltrated the wonderful moment and caused Ryan to disappear, taking my chocolate with him.
The clock said four forty-five in the morning. Jesus, child, would it kill you to sleep in now and then? God, I missed the newborn days when they slept for like twenty hours a day. I sat up and looked at the mound of man sleeping next to me. His bald head with its five o’clock shadow peeked out from beneath the duvet; a light rumbling snore vibrated in his throat. His mouth was half-cocked open, with the bum-chin trembling ever so slightly on each inhale.
Must be nice to be such a sound sleeper. The whole damn Vienna Boys Choir could be playing with cymbals in here, and Garret would sleep through the entire thing.
“Don’t worry,” I said, louder than necessary. “I’ll get up. It’s not like I have to be at work this morning.”
“Hmmmm,” he moaned, rolling over and offering me a view of his nice muscular back, causing a pang of guilt to soar through me at my initial thought. He’d worked really late last night so that he could take Friday off, crawling into bed ever so quietly after the rest of the house had gone to sleep. All so that we could go over to Victoria this weekend for my brother’s wedding. I shouldn’t really begrudge him a few hours of sleep.
And yet I did.
“Mumma, mumma, mumma, mumma … ” And then, “Wahhhhhhhhh.”
“I’m coming,” I whispered, throwing back the covers, then snatching the robe that was lying haphazardly across the foot of the bed. “I’m coming, baby.” I opened the door to Henry’s room, and red-rimmed, green eyes stared up at me as he stood in his crib gripping the bars like a convict. His mop of curly brown hair stuck up in every direction.
“Mumma, mumma,” he said, trying to climb the bars but failing. His blue and yellow rhinoceros sleep sack impeded his efforts.
“All right, all right, angel-pie. Are you hungry?” I cooed, scooping him up and carrying him to the glider in the corner of the room. I popped out a boob with my free hand while he perched on my left hip.
“Mummmmma!” he cried, pulling at my tank top, frantically trying to get at the goods.
“Hold your horses, you little junkie. I’m going as fast I can. You’re not going to starve.”
As I cradled him in my lap, his mouth deftly found my nipple, and he began frantically sucking, while his hands came up and he held on to my breast as if it were a bottle, eyes fluttering shut with a contented sigh.
The first thing people usually said when they saw Henry was what beautiful eyes he had and how striking the contrast was with his darker skin and afro-esque hair. A “real chick-magnet” or “heartbreaker,” and I was sure they’d be right. My son was absolutely gorgeous. What with his father’s darker-colored skin and leafy green eyes, he was a looker, all right.
But all I saw was my sweet baby, cherubic and pudgy and perfect in every way, and I wanted him to stay that way for as long as he possibly could. I allowed my eyes to close as he continued to nurse, the whole experience calming and enjoyable.
 “You want me to take over?” came a groggy voice from the door. Garret stood tall in the doorway, clad only in his plaid Fruit of the Loom boxers, knuckling the sleep out of his eyes just like his son did when he was tired. He was a handsome specimen of a man, my husband, with cyclist’s legs, toned arms and bright green eyes that seemed to shine in the glow from Henry’s ocean-themed night light, to match his ocean-themed room. His stomach was not as taut and chiseled as it’d once been—he’d put on what he liked to refer to as “sympathy weight” while I was pregnant, indulging in my ice cream sandwich cravings right along with me. But even with a bit of a dad belly, he was still damn fine.
“You lactate now, do you?” I asked, a small smile curving up at the corner of my mouth. Henry’s eyelashes trembled against his pink cheek at the sound of his father’s voice, but they didn’t open. He was off in a milky dream.
Garret rolled his eyes. “You know what I mean. I can put him back down when you’re done if you’d like to go grab some more sleep. Or I can take him downstairs if he’s up.”
“I think he’ll probably go back down for another hour or so,” I said. “But thank you. You go back to bed. You look like hell.”
“Thanks.” He yawned, stretching up and grabbing hold of the doorjamb before turning around and heading back to bed.
A few minutes later Henry popped himself off and snuggled into my chest, his little mouth making the perfect O shape while a tiny stream of milk ran down from the corner of his lips. After laying him down in his crib and making sure he wasn’t going to just pop right back up, I headed back to my own room, determined to catch even thirty more minutes of shuteye before I was forced to start the day.
Pulling the covers up to my chin, I closed my eyes. I was just drifting off when a warm arm snaked around my torso and pulled me across the bed until my body lay shrouded by a dominating frame. I wrapped my arm over his and melted into him, welcoming the warmth and comfort of his big body. And once again sleep was just about to claim me, beckoning me into its delicious embrace, when I felt the all too familiar poke of arousal on my butt and a curious hand wandered over my body and beneath my pajamas.
I moaned. “Really?”
“It’s been ages. Come on.” He growled, leaning over and biting my earlobe, a gesture that generally revved my engines but was doing nothing for me at the moment.
“Fine,” I mumbled. “Just try not to wake me in the process.”
“That’s no fun,” he purred, shimmying out of his boxers and diving beneath the covers, flipping me onto my back. “Come on, Ames, out of those jammies, I want to see if I can beat my record.”
I rolled my eyes. “Fine.”
I had to admit it, my husband was an incredibly skilled lover, and his tongue work was unsurpassed. Before Henry joined the team, Garret was able to get me screaming his name and bucking wildly into his face in under a minute, all with the flick and roll of his tongue and some well-placed fingers.
But ever since Henry, things had been different. Sex wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t as enjoyable, at least not for me. The birth hadn’t been easy, and now … things were not so easy.
 So, even though I was all healed up now, and the doc had given the go-ahead many months ago that it was okay to get jiggy with my hubby, I certainly wasn’t enjoying things the way I used to. No one told me that after you have a baby, you have to re-learn how to have sex. That you’re essentially a teenager in high school again, figuring out how to orgasm and fumbling around with your lover quietly in the dark, choosing ten minutes of “pleasure” over ten minutes of sleep.
 Only this time you’re trying not to wake the baby instead of your parents or the neighbors in the unit next door. You and your man pant and kiss and bump uglies under the covers, because God forbid he actually sees your body, all jiggly and lumpy in its depressive postpartum state. Meanwhile, milk squirts him in the eye as he kneads your engorged breasts.
Oh yeah, so hot!
And don’t even get me started on lubrication! Normally Garret would just have to look at me the right way and I’d be a slick mess in my pants. Now I was as dry as a fucking desert. Just call me Sahara or Gobi or … those were the only deserts I could think of right now, but you know what I mean.
What used to be fun foreplay was now like heading into the salt mines. If he wanted to get me off, it was hard work and hours of repetition.
But I let him try, and try he did. His diligent tongue worked my clit until it was achy and needy. Tiny circles and long lavish licks up my cleft left me a squirming, panting mess. I was seconds from reaching my destination when a screech over the baby monitor jolted me to attention and out of my loopy, lusty dreamland.
“Waahhhhhh, mum, mum, mum, mum … ” I could practically hear the tears streaming down his little cheeks. I was pretty sure he was teething again. I tossed back the covers and motioned to get out of the bed, only instead Garret pulled my legs down and covered my body, impaling me in one solid thrust.
“What the fuck, Garret?” I yelled, swatting him on the back. “Get off of me. I need to go.”
“He’s fine, come on. You were so close. We can get you there again,” he said with a masculine growl, bending his head low and nipping my ear.
“I’m not going to get off,” I said matter-of-factly, lying there like a limp noodle as my husband pounded into me, the muscles on his arms bunching from having to carry all his weight. “And you need to put a condom on. I don’t want to get pregnant.”
“Come on,” he said again with a grunt, picking up the pace and continuing to hammer into me. He wedged his hand between us and began rubbing circles around my clit. I wasn’t going to lie, it felt good, and for a moment I was tempted to shut my ears off, wrap my legs around his waist and meet him thrust for thrust. But I couldn’t. The screaming was too loud, and the way my body reacted to my crying child killed any other feelings inside me. Even desire for my husband.
“We can’t,” I said with remorse. “Condom or pull out.”
“It’s not going to happen. I’ll be quick.”
“Henry happened on the first try. We’re fertile. Either pull out and finish yourself off or put a condom on and get the job done.” I knew my husband needed the release, and even though I wasn’t going to find mine, I was willing to let him find his. “Just make it snappy,” I sighed, the shrieking on the baby monitor picking up vigor.
He let out his own big sigh. “Never mind, just go deal with our child.” And with that, he pulled out and headed to the bathroom, muttering, “Kids are fucking cock-blockers.”
I loved my kitchen. I loved my entire house. Seeing as we’d built it from the ground up, I’d been awarded the privilege of picking out everything from cupboards to floorboards. The morning sun burst in through the window behind the sink and caught the green jewel-toned backsplash, making it glow. I loved jewel tones and had decorated our home (tastefully of course) with the rich hues of green, amber and burgundy with the odd splash of brown and plum. I wiped crumbs off the gold-veined white granite counter before turning to face my husband. He was still in his flannel robe nibbling on an English muffin with raspberry jam and mindlessly reading the newspaper. His carbon-copy was perched in his highchair with said jam smeared across his cheek and a mushed and mangled English muffin with bite marks squished tightly in his little fist. The other fist pounded on the tray like a slave ship drum.
“Could you get him to stop that, please?” I asked, perhaps a bit too snippy as I packed all of our lunches.
Garret grabbed his son’s fist and gave him a stern look while gently saying “no.” Henry seemed oblivious to the discipline but found interest in his sippy cup and started gnawing on the nipple of it.
“We should see if your parents will take Henry one night for a sleepover so that we can have some grown-up time. What do you think?” Garret asked later, switching gears, seeming to have ignored my bitchy snap.
I had planned to take a full year’s maternity leave and was thoroughly enjoying my time with my son, but the gallery I worked for had lost two employees in the span of a week, and another one had taken medical leave. I’d been asked to return to work three days a week with a serious increase in my pay, enough so that it was worth giving up the employment insurance I was getting paid each month. So I returned to work part-time when Henry was eight months old. Yet, despite the fact that I’d been back at work for nearly two months, it was still a huge change for our little family, especially for me as I attempted to balance work, a social life, motherhood, and being a wife.
Everyone demanded something of me. Always.
Some days it felt as though I couldn’t catch a break and was failing in at least one facet of life, whether it be friend, mother, wife or employee. Other days it seemed as if I was failing at all of them and disappointing the world. It helped in the transition back to work, though, that Garret’s parents had offered to take Henry. So while I was at work, I had the peace of mind knowing my child was being well taken care of by people who loved him nearly as much as we did.
Three days a week, I packed snacks and a couple of bottles of pumped breast milk for Henry and dropped him off with his grandparents on my way to work. Then his father picked him up on his way home around five-thirty. Our system had been working like a well-oiled machine for several weeks, but lately Garret had been texting me midday, asking me to pick Henry up because of an unexpected work “thing,” and he was arriving home after his son had gone to bed. Last night had been one of those nights.
 “So what do you think?” Garret asked again. I’d drifted off into my thoughts and hadn’t bothered to answer him. Shit. He really was the most patient human being on the planet.
“About what?” I wrapped up his sandwich and put it in his lunch bag, along with a bag of chopped veggies and an apple. The same things made their way into my lunch bag as well.
“Getting your parents to watch the little man for a night.”
“Uh, yeah … maybe. It’s going to be pretty hectic, what with the wedding and all. Might not be doable.” My brother was getting married on Saturday, so there would be absolutely NO opportunity for us to get out for drinks with him and Emma. And my mother was spazzing out, much as she had over our wedding, and would be in no frame of mind to babysit. But I’d already denied my husband an orgasm this morning and snapped at him at least once, so instead I just nodded and hummed another “maybe.”
Garret came up behind me and wrapped his arms around my waist while bending his knees, our height difference making it a tad awkward. We began to sway.
“I miss the crazy sex we used to have. I miss having sex, period. God, when was the last time we did it?”
I honestly couldn’t remember.
“I miss the naughty pictures you used to text me in the middle of the day. Send me a picture of your boobs this afternoon, would ya?”
I smirked. “We’ll see. I’m really busy this afternoon. We have a new artist coming in. He wants to do a show, so I’ve got a lot to do.”
He spun me around so that we were facing each other. “Okay. Remember, you show me yours and I’ll show you mine.” His eyebrows playfully bobbed up and down like two dark caterpillars on his forehead before he swooped in and pecked me hard on the lips. “All right, you’ve got the little man? I’m going to go shower.”
I nodded before turning my back to him and then rolling my eyes as I finished packing our lunch. I had no problem seeing his, but like hell was I going to take a selfie of mine and have that floating around the internet. No freaking way.

LAST DAY to Enter here to win a copy of Sex, Heat and Hunger: Part 1

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Looking for some quick and sexy reads with a little bit of suspense mixed in?

My #LoveAndJusticeSeries is for you!

3 #Novellas packed full of the sexy men you love trying to sweep their women off their feet.

They've got humor. They've got suspense. They've got sex. 
Lots and lots of hot sex...

Get them NOW while they're only $0.99 on iBooks!

Her Husband's Brother:
Lexie Hayes knows her marriage is over. After working endlessly to fix things, she’s decided to move on and find happiness elsewhere. The last thing she needs is to run into her sexy-as-hell brother-in-law at a nightclub on her birthday. He’s cocky, arrogant, and so damn kissable she can barely hold on to her sanity.

Jonathon Hayes has always wanted his sister-in-law. She’s gorgeous, feisty, and unbeknownst to her, married to the largest drug supplier in the Houston and San Antonio areas. When fate puts them side by side, lust and tensions run high. He wants her and he knows she wants him.

Can he keep his feelings on a shelf long enough to keep her safe while he dethrones his drug lord brother, or will temptation overwhelm good sense and put them both on a path to destruction?

Cuff Me:
When Lynette Montgomery's older sister dies from breast cancer, she quickly steps in to take care of her two young nephews. The boys are sweet, caring, and Lynette has no idea what she's doing. Terrified of failing her sister, she does everything she can to present herself as the parental figure she feels the boys need, even swearing off the sexy-as-can-be cop she just so happened to have a one-night stand with outside of her best friend's house.

Robert Barletta is a decorated and respected cop with the San Antonio PD. After having just played a key role in bringing down Houston and San Antonio's largest drug operation, he should be on top of the world. Unfortunately for him, he can't get that one night with a smoking hot blonde temptress out of his head.

When he's forced to take some time off, and the two come face to face, will they be able to keep their attraction on the back burner? Or has this game of cat and mouse just started?

In the Shadows:
Rosie Hobbs is in trouble. Big trouble. The kind of trouble that has her scared to leave her apartment. When she first met Aaron he was a fun guy who liked to have a good time. Just the kind of man she prefers. But when he wants more, and she tells him she's not interested, he loses it. Continuous phone calls, showing up where she's at, vandalizing her property... She finds herself turning to an unexpected protector, her best friend's ridiculously sexy brother.

Conner Montgomery is a lawyer and he deals with this type of BS every day. However, something about Rosie has him crossing the professional line. Is it her gorgeous smile? Her charm? Or the fact that he can't even look at her without imagining her body wrapped around his? Whatever the case, when Aaron shows up at a get-together and scares Rosie half to death, Conner's determined to make sure he can't get anywhere near her again.

When the stakes get higher, and the threats more real, will Conner be able to keep Rosie protected, or will their soaring passion cloud their judgment?

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Ain’t a friendship, sweetheart. This here’s love, and it’s fucking forever.Only 2 more days until it releases... pre-order True, Deep and Forever: Part 1 NOW before the price goes up!

True, Deep and Forever: Part 1
Book 5 of The Dark and Damaged Hearts

ONLY 2 more days!

Pre-order NOW 

One marriage ... a second chance at love

Eight years ago their love was instantaneous, all-consuming and intense. Garret Banks had to have Amy Shaw the moment he met her, and no one thought the flame would ever go out.

Now, they have everything they’ve ever wanted: great careers, a beautiful baby, and a rock-solid marriage. Or do they? Garret’s high-stress architectural job is taking its toll. Amy's predicaments would be hilarious if they didn't make her want to cry. And to make matters worse, her ex is back in the picture, demanding answers about the wild passion she left behind — answers she isn’t willing to give. 

Garret and Amy grab quick, dirty sex while they can, but in between mommy wars, annoying in-laws, sleep deprivation and fears of betrayal, their marriage is put to the test time and time again. Once they were sure love conquers all, but how far can one marriage bend before it snaps?

So now what?” I asked as we lay back in bed all tangled up in each other. His head was on my belly, and I was running my hands lightly up his spine.
“I dunno,” he replied nonchalantly, his own hand drawing provocative circles on my bare thigh. He kissed the small heart tattoo on my hip. “I’m not hungry. We just had a huge breakfast.”
“Yeah, me either,” I sighed, closing my eyes and leaning back against the headboard. “This is nice. We could just do this all day.”
I felt him smile against my stomach. His hand traveled up my thigh, wended its way across my pelvis and down between my legs. My belly stirred as I instinctively parted my thighs for his wandering hand.
“I might need some time to build up the troops again. I’m not twenty-one anymore,” he said, shifting down the bed so that he was now, once again, face first in my bush. “But I could eat you out all damn day.”
“Oh, Mr. Banks,” I sighed, sinking down into the covers and closing my eyes, “I think this is the beginning of a very beautiful friendship.

“Ain’t a friendship, sweetheart,” he replied after a delicious lick to my clit. “This here’s love, and it’s fucking forever.”

ONLY 2 more days until release!

Enter here to win a copy of Sex, Heat and Hunger: Part 1

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Have Yourself a Sexy Winter Holiday - Day 4 Post 2

The authors of Romance Writers Behaving Badly hope you've enjoyed are four day run of sexy winter holiday excerpts. There's plenty more hot, spicy romance within the covers of our books. We've lined them up in the left and right columns of the blog. Check them out. Spend a little of Great Aunt Gertrude's Christmas or Hanukkah money.

We're ending this special series of posts with the song that inspired it.

Here's Sam Smith singing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Have Yourself a Sexy Winter Holiday - Day 4 Excerpt 1 - Christa Maurice

When I was a little girl I wanted a velvet dress for Christmas. It would be perfect. This excerpt from Christa Maurice is like that dream dress, lush and smooth, a pure, sensual holiday treat.

Try a Little Tenderness
By Christa Maurice

Buy Now

Sometimes you have to try a little harder for what you want.

Taylor Elgin was a child star, but keeping her career as an adult is frustrating. Now executives want to cut her part unless she garners more audience appeal. Her producer has a perfect plan. Match her character up with a fan favorite played by hot guy and terrible actor Ryan Asher. It would be easier to just quit…

Ryan had a crush on Taylor when he was a kid and is thrilled to be partnered with her now. But does a guy carrying the scars of an abusive childhood deserve America’s Little Girl? And then to learn she never wanted to work with him in the first place? There’s no reason to even try…

An excerpt to make you wish a man was on his knees for you.

Nothing happened for a long time. Then the door opened a sliver and she peered out. No tears on her cheeks. That was something. “I’m not sure that’s wise,” she said.

“What’s not wise? Letting me in? I’ve been in your place before.”

“I know.” She swallowed and opened the door a few more inches.

“We have to work together. A lot. Can you please let me explain?”

She walked away from the door, leaving it open, which he took as an invitation to come in. She stopped in front of her Christmas tree and took down a yellow angel ornament.

He swallowed. This was going to hurt. “I know you said he was the reason you left before the wrap party, but I’ve been lied to before. I guess I expect it now. I thought you lied about your boyfriend because you didn’t want to talk to me. I figured you were just using me to keep your part and I’m okay with it if that’s all there is.”

“You should never be okay with being used.”

“Yeah.” Ryan stared at the corner of the coffee table. She made it sound so easy. Don’t be okay with being used. Like that was an option.  “Shit, Taylor. I thought we had more going on here. I guess I was imagining things.”

She hung the ornament back on the tree, blinking fast. “What do you mean?”

He knew that tone from her. That pained thread. She had never used it as Amelia Weston, but as Kimmie Arthur, when she was hurt and afraid. She looked so alone standing next to her color-coordinated Christmas tree with all of Los Angeles through the window behind her. If she pushed him away, rejected him, and he still had to work with her…. That would be agony. But if he didn’t try now he might never get another chance. “I thought maybe we had a chance of being more.”

“More than co-stars?” she asked. Her pretty lips bowed and her eyes drooped.

He crossed to the stand beside her. His hands ached to cradle her cheeks. He’d been dreaming about that kiss for two weeks. “More than friends.”

“Even though I was using you?”

“Were you?” Ryan’s breath locked in his throat. He didn’t want to know, but the question was already out there and he couldn’t take it back.

“No. I really—enjoy—being with you.” Her lips twisted.

“What about Garrett?” Ryan didn’t want to know, but he knew her well enough after the last two weeks to know she would want to know. She actually cared what he thought.

“What about him?”

“Did you enjoy being with him?” That was such a wimpy question and not what he wanted to know at all.

“With Garrett I didn’t have to be Kimmie, but with you I really felt comfortable being me and when I thought you thought I was just playing another part—“Her voice squeaked to a stop.

“I’m sorry.” He’d sworn to himself that he would never kneel for anyone ever again, but desperate times…. He lowered himself to the floor. “Can you forgive me?”

“What are you doing?”

“Trying to get you to forgive me for thinking you made up your ex-boyfriend when you are absolutely hot enough to have a stable of studs at your beck and call.” He gathered her hands in his and pressed her fingers to his lips.

She giggled. “I’m not really the stable type.”

“But you could have one if you wanted one.” He nibbled on her knuckles. She had lovely little hands. From this vantage point, he was very close to her lovely little belly too. He could smell the clean, ocean scent of her and it was destroying his good sense.

“Ryan.” Her voice warmed. “Will you stand up? This is embarrassing.”

“There’s no one for you to be embarrassed in front of. It’s just you and me.” He leaned forward to brush his cheek against her shirt.

“Ryan.” Her fingers slipped away from his hands and tangled into his hair sending a cascade of shivers down his back.

He lifted her shirt and pressed his lips to her warm skin. Her belly flinched. She gasped.

He stood keeping close enough to feel her body against his. He slipped his hands under her shirt. Her skin was velvet soft and he wanted to taste every inch of her. “I want you.”

“I want you, too.” She wrapped her arms around his neck.

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