I wish I could say our meeting was happenstance.
I wish I could say we took one look and we just knew.
I wish I could say falling for him was the best thing that ever happened to me.
But none of that would be true.
Rhett Carson was as cold as the ice on which he skated. He was as calloused as the hands that shot the goals that won world titles. He was also damaged. And broken. And he didn’t know it, but I knew all about him.
I knew why he was so bitter and angry.
I knew why he was so coldhearted.
But I didn’t know why I allowed myself fall in love with him, and I didn’t know why I couldn’t stop…even when he told me to.
And that’s when everything changed.
“How do you know where I am?” I ask.
“You called me last night, remember?” My former college roommate answers, huffing into the phone.
I rest my elbows against the counter, hunched forward. “No. I don’t remember anything about last night.”
“Not surprising. You never could hold your liquor,” she says, sighing. “Plus you said you were drinking Jäger, and you always do stupid shit when you drink Jäger. You should probably check your phone and make sure you didn’t call any ex-boyfriends.” She coughs. “Ethan.” She coughs again. “Noah.”
Shit. She’s probably right. She knows me well.
“Anyway, I’ll be there innnnn about five minutes,” Bostyn says.
I hang up with her and check my call history with suspended breath, breathing easy when I see there are no Ethans or Noahs in my call history. It never fails. I get drunk–I drunk dial ex-boyfriends. I’m a sentimental, gushing idiot when I’ve had too much to drink, and the alcohol always makes me temporarily forget all the reasons we didn’t work out, even if those reasons were rock solid.
Pulling up Safari on my phone, I check my web history as well because I’ve been known to do a bit of drunk-emailing in my day, though I suppose that comes with the whole writer territory. My agent tells me I’m the only person she knows who drunk–emails people, but I don’t believe her. There are more of us out there, I just know it.
Within seconds, I'm able to confirm the contents of my Google search history seem about right.
What time is in Los Angeles right now?
What time does Starbucks open tomorrow?
Starbucks + Lexington Avenue + NYC
How many calories are in a venti very berry hibiscus refresher?
Starrbuckks vs Dean and Delluucca who is better?
Funny turtle memes
Baby sea turtle gif
Is there actual deer blood in Jägermeister?
Rhett Carson + New York Spartans
Rhett Carson hockey player
Are pet sloths legal?
Rhett Carson girlfriend
How tall is Rhett Carson?
Rhett Carson biography
Rhett Carson photos
Well, fuck. Drunk me must’ve been doing a bit of research last night. I chuff and place my phone back on the charger. I have zero recollection of any of that. I wonder if I found anything good? Or what the hell made me so curious that I had to dig up everything I could about this poor man?
Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon bestselling author Winter Renshaw is a bona fide daydream believer. She lives somewhere in the middle of the USA and can rarely be seen without her trusty Mead notebook and ultra portable laptop. When she’s not writing, she’s living the American dream with her husband, three kids, and the laziest puggle this side of the Mississippi.
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Standalone Series: A Redemption Novel
Author: Sasha Brümmer
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 30, 2017
Amplified emotional highs have been my downfall. I’ve lost parts of myself to the dark corners of my heart because of the damage others have inflicted.
Whiskey might be able to ease the burn of one’s soul, but this time it might not be enough to survive. Instead of letting me wither in the cracks of my desiccated soul, he pushes me to appreciate the scars, instead of avoiding the bruises.
I’ve had more than my share of sanctioned hell, and I am through living in a limbo between who I should be and who I am. I won’t allow myself to become a casualty of my own mind again.
I am no longer carrying the obscurities of my life around with me when he chooses to stand and fight beside me.
With him, I finally see what it means to be living.
**This novel contains mature themes, strong language, violent circumstances, and sexual situations. It is intended for adult readers.
Free in Kindle Unlimited
Free in Kindle Unlimited
A self-published author by night and all around busybody by day, Sasha is an international baby, born in gorgeous South Africa. Her cultured lifestyle is one that many don’t get to experience. When she’s not preoccupied with reading romance novels, she’s hashing out new ways to translate a titillating and libidinous scene onto a page.
I didn’t want this life.
But sometimes you’re forced to make the best of the crappy hand you’ve been dealt. I wanted to teach my daughter that. No matter what happens you face your problems head-on.
Never cower. Never give up.
Then someone took her and I had to put my faith in a system that had failed me, and my hope in a man I didn’t know.
Serve. Honor. Protect, are the only things I’ve ever cared about until her case was dropped on my desk. As we searched for her missing daughter, the last woman I thought I’d fall in love with became my reason for living.
Then the world came crashing down around us.
One secret would change everything, but I had one more hand to be dealt. And if I played my cards right, maybe, just maybe we’d get our piece of heaven.
The bells over the door ring every single time someone walks in. I’ve been on edge ever since I got in this morning. Lucky for me it’s been non-stop people coming in, so my mind hasn’t been able to wander to Lori.
Now that it has been quiet and I’m filling the salt and pepper shakers, my mind wanders. It wanders to my baby girl, who is somewhere out there begging to come home. The sound of her voice plays in my head on repeat. My hands start to shake, so I close my eyes and sit down on a chair before my knees buckle.
I blink away the tears threatening to fall over, my heart starting to beat so fast I hear the echoes in my ears. A plate of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and gravy is shoved in front of me. Phyllis’s eyes greet me when I look up.
“Eat that and then go home. You are done for the day. You’ve been here for fourteen hours.”
I look over at the clock hanging behind the counter that reads 8 p.m., realizing she’s right.
“I’m just going to finish filling the shakers then I’ll take off.” I know she’s about to argue with me when the bell over the door rings again, making us both look up.
His eyes find me right away. My heart that was starting to calm down is now speeding up. I focus on my meal, cutting a piece of meatloaf and dipping it in the gravy before popping it into my mouth. I try to ignore the heat of his stare, try to think of anything but him and that naked woman from last night. His girlfriend. I was so stupid to think that he would actually want me. I’m a used up stripper whose daughter ran away from home. I’m the opposite of what he wants or needs.
The chair in front of me is filled with his big frame. The scent of his aftershave, of cologne lingers around us. Musky, rich, and woodsy. It’s the smell that has seeped its way into my memory along with the way his lips felt on mine. The way that I just fit, like I was made for him. I blink away the memory, looking up at him.
“All the seats in this place are open and you sit in front of me?” I ask him before scooping up more food. I didn’t notice how hungry I was till I started eating.
“You didn’t text me back.” His voice is hard, his muscles tight, his jaw ticking.
I take out my phone. “Oh, I put the do not disturb on under your name. Maybe that’s why.”
My phone is snapped out of my hand in a blink of an eye. “What the fuck?” I see him touching the screen angrily and turning it off.
“You know you’re doing that for nothing since I can turn it on again?” I finish off my whole plate, making my stomach hurt since it’s the first thing I’ve eaten since last night.
“What if I had information on Lori?” Bulls-eye, hit straight through my heart. He must see the color drain from my face as I realize that I fucked up. I’m not going to admit it to him, though.
“I don’t have Jackson’s number blocked, and he would have called me.” I shrug my shoulders, picking up my plate to bring it to the gray bussing bin.
Walking over, I wipe down the table right when Phyllis comes out from the kitchen.
“There you are! I have your order ready. It’s being boxed up. Did you want dessert with that?”
His eyes never leave mine. “No, that’s okay. Thanks, Phyllis.”
I grab my phone from him, putting it in the front pocket of my waitress pouch. “I’m taking off. My feet are killing me. See you tomorrow, Phyllis.”
I don’t wait for her to say anything to me before I walk out the door to my car. Turning it on, I drive home, determined not to give Mick another minute of my thoughts. Just one problem with that plan, though. No one mentioned to my head that I wasn’t thinking about him because his eyes flash in my mind, the hard lines around them. The sorrow that is buried there, the sadness that he thinks no one sees but is there, if you look long enough.
I make my way into my apartment, taking my shoes off my throbbing feet at the door.
Walking into the kitchen, I take out the tips from my pocket and count them out. Three hundred and seventeen dollars. Two hundred of that is going to that damn debt that I’m still paying off. I can’t fucking wait till it’s over. I walk over to Lori’s room like I do every single night, turning on the light to see if maybe something has been misplaced or moved.
I’ve put scotch tape on the drawers to alert me if they’ve been opened, but it’s still intact. I’ve labeled her clothes hanging in the closet by number, and I count them, seeing that none have been taken either.
The bed is exactly how she left it. I crawl into her bed and grab her pillow, breathing in her scent. Tears run down my face, seeping into the pillow. This has become my nightly routine. I sleep here so I’m closer to her. I lie in this bed, talking to her. Telling her about my day, praying that she calls me again. I tell her stories about when she was small, about the day they placed her in my arms. The tears never stop. It’s like an endless river.
The soft knock at the door has me raising my head. Walking slowly to the door, I look through the peephole and see that Mick is in the hallway. His hands are braced against the doorframe, his head hanging down.
I place my forehead on the door, take a deep breath in, and open the door. His eyes land right on mine. The tears continue to roll down my cheeks, right off my chin on their way to the floor. He brings his thumb up to my chin, catching them.
“Marissa,” he whispers, and it’s all I can do before I collapse into his arms, sobbing. Begging. Pleading with him to bring her back to me.
He picks me up and carries me inside. Sitting on the couch with me curled into a ball in his lap, my tears soak his shirt. I’m so exhausted from the fear, stress, and worry. I’m just too tired to move.
“I’m a good mom,” I whisper to him. “I was tough on her only because I wanted better for her. Wanted her out of this life. Wanted her to be something.” My hand lies on his chest, the beat of his heart pounding against my palm.
“I know, baby, I know.”
I don’t say anything more. I just continue to soak up the feeling of his heart beating as it calms me. My eyes droop, and the exhaustion drags me under.
I don’t move from this position all night. I wake the next morning with the same heart beating against my hand.
When her nose isn't buried in a book, or her fingers flying across a keyboard writing, she's in the kitchen creating gourmet meals. You can find her, in four inch heels no less, in the car chauffeuring kids, or possibly with her husband scheduling his business trips. It's a good thing her characters do what she says, because even her Labrador doesn't listen to her...
She’ll be his greatest conquest.
I should have been afraid of him, the brutal man with the violence covering him and blood on his face. But he’d saved me from a fate worse than death. He was a Viking, a man who took what he wanted because he could, because no one dared to cross him, to go against him.
And he claimed me.
I was his now, and I didn’t want to fight that.
From the moment I saw Ingrid I knew I wanted her as mine, as my wife, the future mother of my children. I’ll go to any lengths to keep her by my side, to make her see I’m not letting her go. I may give her the option to leave, to find her own way, but the truth is I would follow her to the ends of the earth to keep her close.
I’m a Viking, a savage, dangerous and violent. I don’t give up when I see something I want. I’ve been searching for Ingrid my whole life; I just didn’t realize it until I looked into her blue eyes.
She will be mine. No matter what.
Warning: Hope you like your men filthy, brutal, and willing to slay for the woman he’s claimed, because in this story you’re getting it all and then some. It’s dirty, totally unbelievable, and probably holds no real historical facts, but it’s fun and hot and hits the right spot. It is what it is, so hang on and enjoy the ride.
The sound of a battle cry wrenched through the air. The men around me took a fighting stance. I searched the village, seeing nothing but flames and smoke. The shadows crept around where the flames didn’t lick.
A cry of pain.
The scent of blood in the air.
The feeling of my enemies life force covering me.
It all hit me suddenly, and I fell forward, bracing my hands in the dirt, my breathing labored. I could hear fighting all around me, and I expected any second that final blow that would end my life.
But it never came. And when the silence stretched on, I lifted my head and looked around. The Vikings who’d destroyed my village were around me, their bodies bloody and broken. My heart thundered, and my throat was dry. I couldn’t breathe. It wasn’t just the thick smoke that surrounded me like a cloak, but my fear of what was out there. Of who had killed my enemy.
And then I heard heavy footsteps coming closer, but the fire raged on, making it impossible to see anything. I tried to stand, but my legs didn’t want to work. I heard my heart thundering in my ears, felt the pulse at the base of my neck.
The man who came into view was not a savior, a hero that had saved the day. He might have killed the men who’d hurt me, but he was still a Viking. His short dark hair, the leather, fur, and blood from his enemies that he wore making it known he’d seen violence…he’d delivered it himself. But although he was the same as the ones who’d terrorized my village, he’d also killed them, stopped them before they could take from me what wasn’t freely offered.
And then I saw several more men step up behind him. It was clear they were with him, part of his clan, as their shields showed the same coloring, the same crest. Their focus was intense, their attention trained right on me. They conversed with each other in a dialect I wasn’t familiar with. When the Viking in front of me started speaking, this time to me, I could only shake my head. I didn’t know if they meant me harm, or if they were worse than the ones they’d killed.
“Please, I don’t understand. I don’t know what’s happening.” I lifted my dirt and blood covered hands, knowing they were shaking. These Vikings probably didn’t understand me either.
“You’re afraid of us.” The one I’d seen first spoke to me, his words clear and his accent thick. He knew my language.
“Yes,” I whispered. There wasn’t any point in lying. He could see how clear my fear was. It was written along my body, in telltale signs.
“You have nothing to fear from us.” He held his hand out to me, and although maybe I still should have been afraid, should have tried to outrun them, to escape, the truth was I did feel safe. I didn’t know if they were telling me the truth, but they’d killed the men who had destroyed my home, who had been about to do unspeakable things to me. They could have harmed me ten times over by now, but they didn’t, they hadn’t.
So I lifted my shaking hand and slipped it into his bigger one, his palm covered in blood, his strength clear.
He helped me to stand, and I had to crane my neck back to stare into his face. He was huge, his body wide, muscular. I could see his eyes, a bright blue that didn’t look soft. I could see the violence and danger reflected in them, staring right into my very being. I was aware of the destruction around us, of the bodies littering our feet. I could even feel the other two men watching us.
I knew I should say something, anything, but I was lost in this hazy feeling of confusion, slight fear and…warmth.
And then he leaned down slightly so we were eye to eye. He lifted his hand, cupped my cheek, and said in a voice so deep, so masculine I couldn’t help but shiver, “You’re mine, female.”
I didn’t know what my fate was, but at this point I had nothing else to lose.
Jenika Snow is a USA Today Bestselling Author that lives in the northwest with her husband and their two daughters. Before she started writing full-time she worked as a nurse.
Are friends with benefits worth the cost?
My cocky friend Will doesn't believe that I'm frigid, but what does he know? His promises might make me shiver but it doesn't mean he can give me a happy. He's so confident he's betting me money on it, and a thousand bucks is a lot of money to a poor college student.
Once should be enough to taunt him with "I told you so," right?
But I didn't know he meant trying everything once...
This super hot 25,000-word standalone new adult romance novella has adult language and themes, and a happy ending (several, actually).
“Let me ask you something,” he said, squinting his eyes at me. I nodded hesitantly, and his hands splayed out further on my face. His thumbs drew together to almost touch under my chin, and his pinky fingers grazed my earlobes, sending a ripple down my spine. It was like he was studying the shape of my jaw, the line of my throat and the curve of my cheekbones.
“Have you ever been aroused?”
My eyes widened. “Uh, I suppose so? I’m not a virgin,” I reminded him. Technically.
He scowled. “You can have sex without being aroused, though it’s sure as fuck a bad idea. And you can most definitely be aroused without having sex.”
I opened my mouth to say something then closed it, to which he raised an eyebrow.
“Do you want me to list the clinical symptoms?”
No, I didn’t. His hands trailed down my neck, the pads of his thumbs coming to rest in the hollow at the base of my throat. Hopefully he couldn’t feel my heart racing.
“Maybe I’m asexual,” I suggested, a lump forming in the back of my throat. “I mean, I’ve never even gone to a bar and thought someone was hot.” I felt like such a freak. “Aren’t girls my age supposed to get drunk and want to get laid?”
He tilted his head one way, then the other, examining me. “It’s possible,” he granted. “But I doubt it. You’re getting turned on right now.”
“Arousal is a physical reaction to stimulus, as well as a mental one.” While he spoke, his thumbs traced my collarbone on either side, back and forth, like he was rubbing a lucky penny in his pocket. “It’s easier to become aroused by someone you feel comfortable with already,” he informed me as I let out a little hum.
Then he must be wrong, I thought. I was feeling distinctly uncomfortable right now, like a cat whose fur was being rubbed the wrong way.
Bending his head towards me, he took me by surprise with a soft kiss to the corner of my mouth.
“What are you doing?” Oh god.
He leaned in again to kiss the other side of my mouth, but I was frozen in place.
“Testing your theory,” he said against my lips.
Nikky Kaye is almost my real name. I’m a former Film professor who likes more than her movies to be black and white. Sadly, the world doesn’t work that way. I have worked with movie stars, Ivy League brainiacs, and the United Nations—all of which means that I’m familiar with ass-kissing, power struggles, greed and faking it. In my spare time I parent 5 year-old twin boys, serve on the board of an independent cinema, and run a medical consulting company.
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It's all I ever loved,
All I ever wanted.
Football is it for me.
The lights, the turf, the feel of the ball in my hands,
There's nothing that means more to me.
But then, I meet Rilla James.
It's a game changer right from the start.
Now, all I want is her,
Everything about her.
It's a love-hate relationship.
I love the excitement, the thrill of the game,
But despise everything it stands for.
The day the game took away someone in my life,
For the better.
And I couldn't be happier.
But then, I meet Tyke she Jamison.
It's a blitz right from the start.
Now, I'm questioning it all.
Maybe I could get used to life under the lights,
3 years earlier
“Hey, dipshit. You ready?” I question Baker.
“Give me five,” he says as he pulls Holly in and attacks her face. I don’t know why she puts up with him.
Glancing over at Janie, she smiles. “Wanna go make use of our time?” she says with a smirk. Hell yeah I do.
“Come on,” I say as I toss my beer can in the fire and take the last one from the case. I pull her away from the bonfire, nod to Baker, and walk toward my truck.
By the time we reach the truck, Janie has her hands all over me and I know exactly where this is leading. Climbing in the cab of my truck, she straddles my lap and leans in. She peels off her top and my hands begin to wander. I can feel her smile with each kiss, and I know I’m a goner with this one. There’s something about her that’s got me tore up.
Just as things start to get where I want them, I hear Baker outside the truck. I holler at him to give us five minutes and she giggles into my shoulder as Baker heads away from the truck.
As Baker opens the truck door, he’s grinning like crazy.
“Don’t even,” Janie says.
“Hey, I’m glad I could get a little action while I waited,” he says with a snicker.
“Ewwww gross!” Janie says, and swats his arm.
“Dude, you’re riding on the back for that shit,” I say as I start the engine and crack open the last beer.
Janie looks in my direction. “No worries. I’m good,” I say and kiss her lips again. She slides close to me, and I think about letting Baker inside the cab. It’s cold as shit outside, but I think it will be funny to watch him shiver the entire way.
Chugging the beer, I toss it out the window before I hit the main road. Janie lays her head on my shoulder as I wrap my arm around her. As she cuddles into me, I get comfortable, and that’s when I hear it … The sound of a horn.
Pulling the truck over to the right side of the road, I overcorrect and Janie flies to the other side of the cab and I hear Baker yell but I can’t stop. I feel the truck dip into a ditch and that’s when it begins to roll over and over and over.
The truck comes to a stop, and that’s when the whistle sounds. I look and see the one single light coming straight at us. Train. I try to grab Janie but she’s trapped inside.
“Go, TD. Go. Save yourself and Baker.”
I can’t leave her. I need Janie in my life. As the train is barreling down the track, I take a quick glance over my shoulder and Baker isn’t in the truck bed. Fuck. I look back into Janie’s eyes. They begin to drift away. No. No. No. Stay with me. “Stay with me Janie. Please don’t leave me,” I plead as her eyelids flitter for the last time.
“Noooooo!” I scream. I kiss her and pull her with everything in my being. The metal gives and I yank her harder. “God, help me please! I’m begging you!” I can’t leave her in the truck. With one final tug, I pull her from the pinned metal just in time. The train crashes into the truck and pushes it to the other side of the tracks. Holding her lifeless body, I look for Baker, and that’s when I spy his lifeless body in the brush. I run to him with Janie in my arms, fall to my knees, and cry myself sober.
As the sirens approach in the background, I feel numb. I just killed my best friend and my girlfriend.
Chapter 1 August 2016
“Tyke, you ready?” Mom asks as she places her hand on my knee, pulling me from my thoughts as I blankly stare out the passenger side window at my future. “Look, it can’t be that bad.”
I abruptly turn my head toward her. “You’re joking, right?” I question, already knowing she’s serious.
“Look, a bad choice might have made this an only option, but you’ve got to make the best of it.” I shake my head and get out of the car, slamming the door with little effort. I can’t believe I’m in this little hellhole of a town. I’m destined for great things because I am Tyke Jamison, the top recruited quarterback in the nation. I was born and bred to play football. All I know is pigskin, plays, conditioning and the thrill of throwing touchdown passes to win the game, but one stupid night changed it all. I went from hometown hero to a criminal in a matter of minutes. There’s no escaping what’s happened and it will haunt me forever.
“I get it, Mom. This is my one shot to start over, but let’s face it, no one wants their star player to have a rap sheet?”
She pauses as she lifts the trunk and stares at me. “Tyke Douglas Jamison, you stop right there. I will not listen to this load of crap any more. You are here for a reason. You are a bright young man that has a second chance at a future, and you will accept what is in front of you. No child of mine will throw away their life. If football is what you want, go and get it, but stop this,” she says as she points her finger in my chest. “You are in control of your actions. Now let’s go.”
I pause for a moment before grabbing an armful of my things. “Yes ma’am,” I say as we make our way toward the dorm. Following a step behind my mom, I smile. She’s one badass lady. She’s had to be to put up with me all of these years.
“Come on, slowpoke,” she says as she glances over her shoulder, and I shake my head and pick up my pace to meet hers. Yes, I’m cocky and have an attitude, but she’s the one person that keeps that checked. Mom is the one that stood by me through it all, not Dad. He’s too busy worrying about how this is going to affect him. How he can live vicariously through me when I’m not playing anymore. I’m the screw up who got a DUI, and killed my best friend and girlfriend. The day I was sentenced, my dad gave me all kinds of hell and pretty much told me to fuck off. That wasn’t part of his perfect plan, and neither was my time in juvenile hall and community service. That’s why he isn’t here today, but she is. No matter what, my mom has stood by my side. So, if she thinks this is my only hope to achieve my dream, I’m willing to give it a shot.
Casey Peeler grew up in North Carolina and still lives there with her husband and daughter.
Growing up Casey wasn't an avid reader or writer, but after reading Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston during her senior year of high school, and multiple Nicholas Sparks' novels, she found a hidden love and appreciation for reading. That love ignited the passion for writing several years later, and her writing style combines real life scenarios with morals and values teenagers need in their daily lives.
When Casey isn't writing, you can find her near a body of water listening to country music with a cold beverage and a great book.
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