{EXCERPT REVEAL} What I Need (Alabama Summer #5) by J. Daniels

What I Need (Alabama Summer #5) by J. DanielsTitle: What I Need (Alabama Summer Series #5)
Series: Alabama Summer Series
Author: J. Daniels
Release Date: March 5, 2017
Purchase Links: Amazon US / Amazon UK / iBooks / Kobo
#WhatINeed #AlabamaSummerSeries #JDaniels #ExcerptReveal

{SYNOPSIS}
Riley Tennyson has made a huge mistake.

At least, that’s what she keeps telling herself.

Showing up to her brother’s wedding pissed off and newly single, Riley seeks comfort in solitude and an open bar, until the gorgeous and irresistibly charming CJ Tully makes her a better offer―a wild night with the master of smooth-talking where nothing is off limits.

Riley does what any single woman would do, and a connection is made. One neither one of them can ignore. But when she comes home to the boyfriend she no longer thought she had, Riley buries her secret and begs CJ to do the same.

Forget about each other. It was a mistake. That’s all it was… right?

Desires are hidden. Distance is kept. Until one night CJ makes the ultimate sacrifice, and Riley can no longer avoid the man she can’t stop thinking about.

Not with him sleeping down the hall…

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{EXCERPT REVEAL}

“You Tully?”

I jerk my chin at the guy standing at the security booth after he speaks, then throw a look of appreciation at the bouncer who led me over here before he steps away.

“Name’s Mark. I’m running things tonight. It’s good to have you,” the guy says.

We shake hands.

“Yeah. Don’t mention it,” I reply.

He looks around the venue and gestures. “Packed joint tonight. Shouldn’t get too crazy with this band and the crowd it’s bringing out, but we never wanna risk it. It’s good having backup.”

“How many of us you got?” I ask him over the music when the band starts playing, leaning closer to hear his response.

“You and another guy who’s already here. He’s hanging out up by the stage. Plus a bunch of our guys.” He hooks his thumb at the floor to ceiling windows along the front of the building, adding, “I got some uniforms on the street keeping that shit under control in case people get tossed out.”

I nod, liking what I’m hearing.

The Red Door isn’t the biggest venue I’ve worked security on, but it’s big enough. Managing this shit alone can present a challenge. And by the looks of it, it’s a sold out show.

More eyes we got on the crowd, the better.

“You run into any problems yet?” I ask.

The guy shakes his head. “Nah. Just normal shit. People trying to sneak in their own booze,” he replies, glancing at the door where everyone is filing in. “Confiscated it. No issues. Everything else seems to be running smooth.”

“Good,” I say when I meet his eyes. “I’ll keep near the back since the other guy’s covering the front. I’ll come to you if I run into any problems.”

“Sounds good, man.”

We exchange another hand shake, then I step away and move through the crowd.

I stop near the center of the room and stay to the back like I said so I can have full view of the floor that’s packed with bodies, some keeping position and others moving away from me, pushing to get closer to the stage.

Bringing my arms across my chest, I stand tall and do a sweep of the place. I’ve been here before so I know the layout.

There’s a bar to the right of where I’m standing, stretching the length of the wall. Restrooms are behind me. Other than the hallway leading to the rooms behind the stage where bands hang out, there’s isn’t much that isn’t visible. Plus, it’s one level, standing room only, so I don’t gotta worry about another floor I need to cover.

Should be an easy gig.

I do shit like this on the side for the extra cash. Venues hosting concerts are always looking for cops who are willing to come out and beef up security. We stay in civilian clothes so we blend in, and unless I’m having to act on something, I typically get out without anyone knowing I’m a cop.

Easy money. Ain’t nothing wrong with that.

I look back to the dance floor.

The lights are dimmed. Red and blue strobe lights positioned on the ceiling illuminate the crowd, along with the bright, white lights shining from the stage. Visibility is good.

Another plus. I worked a few of these where it wasn’t and that only presented problems.

But here, I can see faces. Can see other shit going on too if someone’s dumb enough to try something too.

I anticipate it. Events like this always bring out some of the stupidest motherfuckers. Which is exactly why they like having us work these things.

Security can only do so much.

I’m three songs into the set when the beat picks up. The bass vibrates along the floor. I feel it pulsing in my feet.

The faster rhythm stirs the crowd and shifts them around. More bodies gather and move closer to the stage, jumping up with their fists in the air and belting out lyrics, drawing people away from the bar. Others stay toward the back where there’s room to dance.

That’s where I’m looking, and that’s where I see her.

Blonde.

I blink. My eyes refocus. Then I stare at waves the color of sand flowing down the back of a tiny thing swaying to the music.

Shirt tied off at the waist. Lower back showing. Hips shaking in some tight as shit black jeans. Ass looking fucking incredible.

Damn.

She reaches above her, bends her elbows and rakes her fingers through her hair, lifting it off her neck as her body keeps moving in ways I feel straight in my cock, then after letting her arms drop, she looks toward the bar with eyes searching, giving me full view of her profile.

My chest grows motherfucking tight.

I blink again, thinking I’m seeing things.

Riley Tennyson wets her lips.

Fuck.

I’m not seeing things.

Jesus Christ. This is just what I need.

Working this shit, needing to stay focused and eyes alert to all bodies in this room and now I know for damn sure that’s not gonna be happening, meaning this gig just went from easy to really fucking complicated.

There’s only one body I’m interested in keeping eyes on and it’s the one making my dick hard.

Motherfucker.

Riley Tennyson is gonna fucking kill me.

I pull in a deep breath, watching that sweet face get ripped out of view when Riley looks toward the stage again.

She keeps dancing. Keeps shaking that perfect ass and swaying those perfect hips, fingers curling in and lifting those long waves again, also perfect.

Every part of her. Every fucking inch.

Perfection.

And I’m not even considering what she’s got going on in the front. Shouldn’t even be considering it—we’re friends, she’s taken, and I’m not a fucking asshole—but that didn’t stop me all day when I couldn’t keep those spectacular tits off my mind, even going a step further into crazy when I shared that with her through a text.

I need to quit now. Stop this shit.

I can avoid it. I got options.

Switch with the guy hanging up by the stage, hoping Riley keeps her location. Or fuck it. Just pull out of this gig all together. Make up some excuse. I don’t need the cash.

I don’t need to be staring.

I sure as fuck don’t need to be getting hard right now.

I got options. Just need to pick one.

Simple.

Yeah…

Real fucking simple.

I breathe in deep again, letting it out slowly. And I do this staring at her.

Only at her.

And the more staring I do the more I start to notice, like how she seems to be out there dancing alone, not with another person or a group of friends she came with. People around her are keeping to themselves or appearing to be together, throwing their arms around each other or sharing looks. Acting friendly. Just not with her.

Riley isn’t meeting anyone’s eyes. She’s not trying to talk to anyone. She’s in her own little world.

She’s here alone.

He made her come to this shit alone.

Anger fills me. My jaw flexes while the muscles in my arms and shoulders start locking up.

My choice of options just grew by one.

Instead of charging through the crowd which, no lie, is exactly what I want to be doing right now, I reach into the back pocket of my jeans and pull out my phone. I shoot out a quick text.

Me: Tell me he’s here.

Lifting my eyes, I watch as Riley pauses mid ass-shake, slaps her back pocket, tugs out her phone and brings it in front of her. Her head tilts down, then a second later it’s lifting and she’s searching all around where she’s standing, peering around people and standing taller. She finds me when she finally twists around, head first and then body following.

Her lips part. Her blue eyes go round, flames burning me up like they always do.

Riley starts moving my way and my eyes lower, first to her mouth, watching the slow smile twist across it and take shape.

She looks happy to see me. I shouldn’t put stock into that but I do. It’s what I want.

Then my eyes keep dropping and I get full view of her tits. Her full, heavy, perfect fucking tits. Sitting high behind her tight white shirt and bouncing with her steps.

Jesus Christ.

My new friend has tits like that. And by the looks of it, she didn’t bother putting on a bra either.

What the fuck did I do in a previous life to deserve this kind of torture?

“Hey. I didn’t know you were coming to this,” Riley says all sweet sounding when she reaches me, stopping close and offering me a smile. Sweat gathers on her brow and in the hollow dip in her throat. She shoves her phone away and questions, “Why are you standing all the way back here? Don’t you wanna get closer so you can see the band?”

“Working,” I tell her, lifting my eyes before I punch a hole through my jeans. I tuck my phone into my back pocket, adding, “Trust me. I can see plenty from where I’m standing.”

Ain’t that the fucking truth.

Riley blinks, then looks to my chest. “You’re not wearing your uniform,” she observes.

I squint at her mouth.

I got what she said, but I can barely hear her over the music. I don’t like that.

I want to hear her.

“Come on.” Grabbing her elbow, I pull Riley with me to the back corner of the room, stopping beside the hallway that leads to the restrooms and crowding the wall.

It’s as far from the speakers as I can get her unless I take her outside, and I’m not sure I want to do that.

Only `cause I know I’ll want to leave with her. Meaning I absolutely want to do that.

Shoulder pressing to the wall, I release her elbow after tugging Riley close. I pull my arms across my chest. “Not typically something I wanna advertise when I’m staying undercover,” I say in response to her observation.

“Oh.” She looks up at me, smiling and lifting her shoulders with a jerk. “Cool,” she says.

I can see Riley better where we’re standing now. The hallway light is shining on her, making her skin glow.

I look her over.

She wearing more makeup than I’ve ever seen her in. Black lines her eyes and her lashes are darker. Thicker too.

I like that.

Her cheeks are flushed from the dancing she was doing. That combined with the whatever she’s got on her face is hiding her freckles from me.

I don’t like that. But I don’t tell Riley. I keep looking.

Red lips, full and shiny. Cock sucking lips. I know that from experience.

Shit. Don’t go there. I focus on her eyes again.

Blue and black, fading out to grey. Like a storm coming…

“You totally still look like a cop,” Riley shares, jarring my focus. The corner of her mouth twitches. “You’re not fooling anyone, CJ Tully.”

My brows raise. “Yeah?”

She nods, laughing. “You look scary and pissed off. Smile a little.”

I don’t smile. Not even when she amps hers up and gives it to me, pairing it with another soft giggle.

I get straight to the point with her because getting off point with Riley is gonna lead to this shit getting even more complicated, and fuck, I’ve looked enough tonight to run the risk of major fucking complications.

Plus, she’s laughing. Smiling. Looking like she’s thinking the same things I’m thinking.

Get to the fucking point, Tully.

“You gonna answer my question?” I ask.

Her brow furrows. “What question?”

“I asked you if he was here,” I remind her.

“Oh.” Nodding, Riley looks behind her in the direction of the bar, then meets my eyes again. “Yeah, he went to get a drink. He doesn’t really want to be here. I kinda dragged him out.”

“Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why’d you need to drag him out?”

Riley tilts her head. “Because… he doesn’t really want to be here?” she repeats slowly, looking puzzled. “I just told you. He doesn’t like The Killers.”

“So?”

So?”

“Yeah, babe. So.”

She straightens her head, but her eyes narrow as if she’s thinking hard. “You’ve lost me,” she shares.

“Forget it,” I mumble, looking away, knowing I got no business getting up in her shit the way I’m doing. I need to back off.

“No. What? Tell me.” Riley reaches out and places her hand on my forearm.

I look down and watch her black painted fingers wrap around and curl under. I feel them squeeze.

Our eyes lock.

“Tell me,” she pleads, looking close to begging for this.

My blood starts running hot. Scorching. Hot.

Fuck it.

I’m getting up in her shit.

“I’m here because I’m working for extra cash, not because I’m digging the music,” I share, staring into her eyes and seeing hers staring back, like what I’m revealing is something she needs to hear, not just something she’s curious about. “Don’t hate it. I listen to stuff like this on occasion but it ain’t something I’d pay money to see. That being said, my woman wants to come to a show like this, crowd this size, booze flowing, other shit possibly going on, she ain’t coming alone. No discussion needed. I could hate this music to the point it makes my fucking ears bleed and I’m still going with her.”

“Why?” Riley asks. “To protect her?”

“That.” I jerk my chin. “And `cause she’s mine and a real man can deal with shitty music for a few hours if it means putting in time with his woman.”

Riley drags her teeth along her bottom lip. Her chest starts working harder, moving stricter with her breaths.

I should stop now. The way she’s looking at me…

I should stop.

I don’t.

“Saw you dancing and thought you were here alone,” I add, smirking. “Already hate that motherfucker for what he gets to touch every night. I thought I was gonna have to kill him.”

Riley stares up at me. She doesn’t blink. Doesn’t breathe.

“Babe,” I probe.

“You shouldn’t say that,” she says, face serious.

Her hand squeezes tighter. She’s anxious now, maybe. Or pissed. I don’t know.

I decide to ease her mind if it’s nerves getting to her.

“I wouldn’t really kill him.” My smirk grows into a smile. “Mess him up though.”

“No. Not that.” She shakes her head. “The other thing. What he gets to touch. You shouldn’t say that.”

“It’s true.”

“Even so. We’re friends. You shouldn’t say it.”

I bend to get closer. “You might wanna take your hand off me if we’re friends, darlin’.”

{EXCERPT REVEAL} The Wright Brother by K.A. Linde

The Wright Brother by K.A. LindeTitle: The Wright Brother
Author: K.A. Linde
Release Date: February 28, 2017
Purchase Links: iBooks
#TheWrightBrother #KALinde #ExcerptReveal

{SYNOPSIS}
I’d dated his brother.

He didn’t remember and I wish I could forget.

I may have sworn off the Wright family a long time ago. But when I returned home, Jensen Wright crashed into my life with the confidence of a billionaire CEO and the sex appeal of a god. Even I couldn’t resist our charged chemistry, or the way he fit into my life like a missing puzzle piece.

Too bad he’d forgotten the one thing that could destroy us.

Because Jensen Wright doesn’t share. Not with anyone. And if his brother finds out, this could all go down in flames.

When it all was said and done, was he the Wright brother?

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{EXCERPT REVEAL}

Her smile was magnetic, and I just wanted to kiss her. I mean…I’d wanted to kiss her all night. But sitting there, in front of the last lit house, with Christmas music playing in the background and her smile radiating joy, there was nowhere else I’d rather be. That thought hit me so suddenly and I didn’t even know why.

I put my truck into park, leaned over to her side of the car, and pushed my hand up into her dark hair. She froze, silhouetted by the light display behind her. Her eyes locked with mine, green meeting brown, and her eyes widened with surprise. She breathed out softly, and I could feel her pulse ratchet up at my touch.

This was the girl who had pulled me across the room at Sutton’s wedding, like a magnet finding its pair. This was the tension that I’d felt when we first spoke. Here was the world of desire and lust that had clouded both of our minds ever since our first kiss.

My face was only inches from hers. I wanted to take what was mine. I wanted to claim her mouth and then her body right here in the cab of my truck, like we were young, wild, and carefree.

But, instead, I couldn’t seem to stop staring at her.

She laughed lightly to try to defuse the tension. But it wasn’t possible, and it was a feeble effort.

“Are you going to kiss me?” she whispered boldly.

I didn’t need any further prodding. I crushed my lips against hers. It was like striking a match. Our lips moved against each other, desperate with the need to get closer, to have more. She opened her mouth for me, and I brushed my tongue against hers. The groan that emanated from deep in the back of her throat made my dick twitch. Our tongues volleyed for position. She was just as aching for attention as I was.

I heard the click of her belt buckle, and soon, she was pushing her body closer, moving over the divide of my truck. My hands fell to her ass, and I effortlessly hoisted her up and into my seat. She squeaked in shock but didn’t break contact. Instead, she straddled me and let her hands wander across my chest.

My hands never left her ass because, damn, did that woman have an ass. She was grinding up against me, and I moved into a full-blown hard-on at her ministrations. She must have realized what she was doing to me because, when she swiveled her hips in place, she moaned against the feel of my dick.

In that moment, I didn’t give a shit that we were acting like teenagers, parked outside of a stranger’s house, bucking against each other for just an ounce of satisfaction. I was ready to strip her bare and fuck her until she forgot every word to every Christmas song and only remembered my name.

That was, until she rocked back just a little too hard, and a loud honk erupted from the hood of the truck.

{EXCERPT REVEAL} Grip by Kennedy Ryan

Grip by Kennedy RyanTitle: Grip
Author: Kennedy Ryan
Release Date: March 2, 2017
#Grip #KennedyRyan #ExcerptReveal

{SYNOPSIS}
Resisting an irresistible force wears you down and turns you out.

I know.

I’ve been doing it for years.

I may not have a musical gift of my own, but I’ve got a nose for talent and an eye for the extraordinary.

And Marlon James – Grip to his fans – is nothing short of extraordinary.

Years ago, we strung together a few magical nights, but I keep those memories in a locked drawer and I’ve thrown away the key.

All that’s left is friendship and work.

He’s on the verge of unimaginable fame, all his dreams poised to come true.

I manage his career, but I can’t seem to manage my heart.

It’s wild, reckless, disobedient.

And it remembers all the things I want to forget.

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{EXCERPT REVEAL}

I wanted to keep this pain locked away, private. Until now. Until Grip. His eyes rest on my face. I feel his compassion, and it weighs so much I want out from under it. I turn my head to escape the honesty between us for a few seconds. Just for a reprieve. As soon as I look over the side, I realize my mistake.

“Oh, God. We’re so high.”

Breath charges up my throat, panic pushing out the last few minutes of peace. My heart jackhammers. Blood rushes to my head, and the world spins. I grip my head to make it stop.

“Hey, hey.” Grip scoots closer, eliminating the distance between us. “Put your head down as far as you can.”

The safety bar keeps me from putting my head between my knees, but I don’t think it would help anyway. Nothing helps. It’s irrational. I know I’m safe, but fear mocks me and makes me its bitch. I hate it, but I can’t stop it.

“My mom used to tell me to recite things,” Grip says from above me. “Like to distract myself when I was scared. To give me something else to focus on.”

It only makes me more anxious that I have nothing I can recite. Fear jumbles all my thoughts together, so discombobulated that I can’t even assemble the digits of my phone number.

“I can’t think of anything.”

“Okay. Hold up.” He rubs my back in soothing strokes that don’t soothe. “I’ll do it. Just listen to my voice. Focus on what I’m saying.”

I can’t focus. I can’t stop the encroaching darkness, blurring my edges and knotting my interior. It’s never been this bad, and it would happen right in front of Grip.

“I’ll recite “Poetry” by Pablo Neruda. My favorite actually.” Grip’s voice is warm but disembodied as I press my eyes closed. “It feels like he was writing my life story. Like he knew there would be this kid who needed something bigger than himself, and he wrote this to guide that kid to a different path. This has always felt like more than a poem. It’s personal. It feels like my prophecy.”

The emotion, the honesty in his voice compels me to hazard a glance at him. In the faint light of the moon and the bright lights of the carnival, I see his face. Beautiful and bronzed, a sculpture of bold bones and full lips. His eyes are intent, never looking away from mine as he begins.

His deep voice caresses Neruda’s sentiments of how poetry called him from the street and away from violence. Of how writing saved him from a certain fate and opened up a world he’d never imagined. And Grip’s right. The poem could have been written for him . . . could have foretold the story of a boy called, not from the streets of a Chilean city, but from the streets of Compton.

Passion weaves between his words and conviction laces every line. He means these words. He loves these words. Amazingly, as he’s reciting a poem I’ve never heard before, someone else’s words illuminate Grip to me. I see him clearly. A man deeply committed to his craft and who views his gift as a miracle of circumstance. As cocky as he is, I see him humbled by the means to escape a path so many others never leave. And if the poem tells his story, his eyes are a confession, never straying from mine, holding mine in the moonlight, his voice liquid poured over something sweet. As he approaches the end, my fears are forgotten, but I’m still stuck on a Ferris wheel under a darkened sky, and nothing has ever been more fitting than the final words, in which the poet says he wheeled with the stars and his heart broke loose on the wind.

There are too few perfect moments in this life. Far too few of us get them, but I am privileged to have this one with this man. When he empties his chest of his heart and empties his body of his soul for me under a starry sky on a Ferris wheel. And I know. In this moment, I know that I’m lost to him. It has been a matter of days. It has been a string of moments. It has not been long enough to tell him, but in my heart, I know I am lost.

“Did that help?” he asks.

He searches through the dim light for my fear or my panic, but they aren’t there anymore. He leans closer, so close his breath whispers over my face. I don’t know when he realizes that fear has gone and that something else has come, but I see the change in his eyes.

I think he might be lost in me, too.

The inches between our lips disappear. At the first brush of his mouth on mine, I know this kiss will never end. It will live on in my memory for the rest of my life. His lips beg entry, a tentative touch that blazes through my defenses and hastens the rhythm of my heart. I clutch his arm, skin and muscle, satin over steel. A thousand textures collide. The hot silk of his mouth. The sharp, straight edge of his teeth. The firm curve of his lips. The taste of him. God, the taste of him makes me moan. He cups my face, fingers spearing into my hair. I press so close the heat of his body burns through the thin fabric of our shirts.

“Bris.” He says it against my lips before trailing kisses down my chin. His mouth opens over my neck, hot and wet, and I arch into him, the pleasure like a train in my veins. Rushing. Vaulting. Exploding.

“Oh, God.” I’m a panting mess. My hands venture under his shirt, desperate, nails scraping at his back. “Keep kissing me.”

He’s back at my lips, devouring, our tongues dueling, dancing. This kiss has a cadence, his head moving to the left and then right, on beat, a syncopation, a simultaneity of lips and tongues. His mouth slants over mine, hot and zealous, and I link my fingers behind his head, clinging, afraid this will end. Afraid to lose the enormity of this moment. At the top of the world, so close we could almost touch the sky and with only the stars watching, I found out what a kiss should be.

{EXCERPT REVEAL} Switch (Landry Family #3) by Adriana Locke

Title: Switch (Landry Family #3)
Author: Adriana Locke
Release Date: February 20, 2017
#Switch #LandryFamilySeries

{SYNOPSIS}
Mallory Sims is late for her first day of work.

After spilling her tea, she discovers she has no gas in her car. Add that her arm keeps sticking to her dress from syrup left on the console of her car, flustered feels like an understatement.

Then she sees her new boss.

Graham Landry is the epitome of NSFW in his custom-fit suit, black-rimmed glasses, and a look so stern her libido doesn’t stand a chance. Being flustered is just the start of her problems.

Her punctuality is only the start of his. With a pink slip in hand, he’s been waiting on his new secretary to show up only to let her go. Then she rushes in with her doe eyes and rambling excuses, smelling like bacon and lavender. The termination paper falls to the side as she falls in his arms.

This is a disaster in the making. Not because of his pinpoint exactness or her free spirit, but because when they’re together, the sparks that fly threaten to burn the whole place down.

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{EXCERPT REVEAL}

We both know we aren’t just talking about a moved stapler or a mishmash of files. As that really sets in, the air around us gets heavier. Hotter. Hazardous.

“Those things always lead to dangerous situations,” he says, his eyes trained on me.

I shift in my seat, the throb between my legs growing stronger by the second. “People do it every day and survive.”

“They may survive, but don’t things get messy?”

“Only if they do it right.”

His chair flies backwards and he’s to his feet and next to me before I know what’s happening. He doesn’t ask that I stand, but he doesn’t have to. It’s implied and my body reacts accordingly to his silent command.

We stand face-to-face, our breathing ragged. Our chests heave with the anticipation, the possibility, of what might come next.

“You are, quite possibly, the most dangerous of them all,” he says, his voice rough.

“Why is that?” I breathe.

“There’s no plan for you.”

“But you’ve already penciled me in, haven’t you, Graham?” I ask, finding the courage to play this little game with him. Being strictly professional is incredibly hard, and this is way too easy.

I can flirt with the best of them in a bar or on a college campus. But here, with him, it’s a game all its own. A level I had no idea I’d ever be a contender in. Maybe I’m not, but I’m going to play the hell out of it while I’m here … even though if I keep it up, I might not be here for long.

“What do you want, Mallory?”

“I want to do all the things you ask of me and do them better than you ever expected they could be done.”

A rumble emits from his throat as his eyes darken. My knees go weak and I grab the table with my left hand to ensure I don’t fall.

He licks his lips and flips his gaze to my mouth. I think I whimper as I lift my chin, waiting to see what he does next. My entire body is on fire for this man, my heart thumping so hard I’m sure he can hear it.

He moves so my back is pressed against the table, our food long forgotten. His hands are on either side of me, caging me in. Our eyes locked together, he leans in, a slow smirk spreading across his gorgeous face.

“Excuse me, Mr. Landry. Ford is here to see you,” Raza chirps through the line.

We exhale simultaneously, a giggle escaping with mine. There’s nothing funny about this, but the energy has to come out in some way.

“Mr. Landry?” she asks again.

“I’ll be right out. Thank you, Raza.”

“Oh, you’re so welcome, sir.” The line clicks off and Graham marches across the room and punches a button. The light on top indicates he’s not to be disturbed.

I busy myself with cleaning up our lunch, and before he’s at my side again, I have everything bundled up.

“Thanks for lunch,” I say like nothing just happened.

“Mallory …” He runs his hand through his hair, leaving one lock sticking up. Knowing what that will look like if we walk out together, I reach up, hesitating for a split second, before smoothing it out.

His hair is silky against my fingers. He jumps when I touch him at first, but doesn’t back away. “What are you doing?”

“Nothing went on in here. I refuse for it to look like something did. That’s the way rumors get spread, Mr. Landry.”

“Mallory, I …”

I get a final look at his face, reach up and straighten his tie as his eyes go wide, then turn towards the door. “I’ll send Ford in.”

“Mallory!”

“Yeah?” I turn to see him over my shoulder. He’s standing by the table, his hands in his pockets looking frazzled. When he doesn’t respond, I place my hand on the knob. “I’ll have that file back to you before I leave today. Thanks again for lunch.”

I walk out before I can change my mind.

{EXCERPT REVEAL} Mack Daddy by Penelope Ward

Mack Daddy by Penelope WardTitle: Mack Daddy
Author: Penelope Ward
Genre: #ContemporaryRomance
Release Date: February 13, 2017
#MackDaddy #PenelopeWard
Purchase Links: Amazon AlertiBooks / B&N / Kobo 

{SYNOPSIS}
They called him Mack Daddy. No, seriously, his name was Mack. Short for Mackenzie.

Thus, the nickname. Perfect, right?

So was he: perfect. The perfect physical male specimen.

At the private school where I taught, Mack Morrison was the only man around in a sea of women.

Everyone wanted a piece of the hot single father of the sweet little boy. I was riddled with jealousy, because they didn’t know that—to me—he was much more.

They didn’t know about our past.

He’d chosen my school for his son on purpose, because Mack and I, we had unfinished business.

As my friend Lorelai so eloquently put it: “Unfinished business between two people who are clearly attracted to each other is like an eternal case of blue balls.” And I was suffering in pain from my case.

I was still intensely attracted to Mack. I tried to resist him, immersing myself further into a relationship with another man just to protect my heart.

Not to mention, getting involved with a parent was strictly against school rules. But seeing Mack day in and day out was breaking me down.

And soon I might be breaking all the rules.

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{EXCERPT REVEAL}

It was the evening of our monthly PTO meeting. On the agenda was to designate the volunteers for several fundraisers that would take place in the spring.

Setting up the refreshments and a coffee urn in the hallway outside of the classroom, I couldn’t wait to get this over with so that I could go home, get into my pajamas, and relax. It was always exhausting to have evening commitments when the workday ran so late to begin with.

A deep voice from behind startled me. “A keg would be much more fun, wouldn’t it?”

I turned around to find Mack standing there, holding a box of chocolate chip cookies from the supermarket.

“What are you doing here?”

He placed the cookies on the table. “This is the parent and teachers meeting, isn’t it?”

“Yes, but…” I hesitated, not even knowing what to say.

He finished my sentence. “But I’m not supposed to be included in that group?” Mack snapped his finger. “Oh, I’m sorry. I thought PTO stood for ‘pissing teacher off.’ My bad.”

“Well, if that were the case, you might be in the right place.”

“This is the right place for me tonight.”

“This meeting is for serious participants.”

“I’m serious about the teacher. Does that count?”

“No.”

“Actually, in all seriousness, I’d also like to help. It’s the least I can do after crashing your school year. I really would like to be as involved as I can in Jonah’s education. That’s the truth, okay? Getting to spend time with you is an added benefit.”

What could I say? He had just as much right to be here as anyone else.

“Just be aware that this isn’t the right place to be joking around or distracting the other attendees, for that matter.”

“I don’t plan on distracting anyone but you.”

“Yeah, well you have quite the fan base here. We have a very strict agenda to adhere to.”

He moved in closer and just stared me down for a bit. The contact caused my skin to prickle and my nipples to harden. “Don’t worry,” he said as he looked down, seeming to notice that my nipples were piercing through the fabric of my shirt. “Your points are well noted, Miss O’Hara.” He wriggled his brows. “I’ll see you inside.”

I hated that he knew he was having an effect on me. If my body had this kind of response now, what would have happened if he’d actually done more? Spontaneous impregnation? Some things just never change, and my reaction to this man was an example of that.

A long table sat in the middle of the spare classroom where we held the meeting. There wasn’t a single man in the room besides Mack. He was like the centerpiece.

I took my seat at the end of the table. “So, shall we get started?” Looking down at my list, I said, “First on the agenda is the book fair. We need to elect someone to be in charge of it and coordinate the volunteers.”

Mack raised his hand.

“Yes?” I asked.

“That sounds like it’s right down my alley. I’d like to volunteer to run the book fair.”

“What makes you want that task? It’s a lot of responsibility.”

He thought about it for a moment then said, “I write children’s books. I think I’d be a perfect fit.”

“That’s a good point,” one of the women said. “He might be the perfect fit.”

I’m sure you’re thinking he’d be the perfect fit, alright…in your vagina.

“Okay…but I hope you know that there is a tremendous amount of work that goes into organizing that particular event. It takes place over the course of an entire weekend. You have to place orders with the bookseller, do inventory, delegate tasks, and arrange for an onsite food vendor because many people just come for the food. Ultimately, the food is the bait.”

“I can bait people. I’m a master baiter.” He paused. “I mean…I can handle it. I’ll get a shitload of people to sign up.”

An attending nun gave him a dirty look for his use of foul language.

He cleared his throat, seeming to regret his choice of terminology. “I’ll get people to attend. Don’t worry.”

“I’ll put your name down as a possibility. We’ll take a vote at the end.”

“Thank you.”

Looking around the room, I asked, “Is there anyone else here who is interested in taking the reigns on the book fair?”

Not a single person budged.

One woman said, “No, but I’ll be happy to help Mack with whatever he needs.”

I’m sure you will.

Mack nodded then offered a smug smile. “Thank you.” He then took a bite of his cookie and winked at me.