Make a difference while you read! All proceeds from the sale of Sweet Seduction will be donated to the Diabetes Research Institute via Brenda Novak’s Online Auction for Diabetes Research.
This stunning limited edition collection features thirteen BRAND NEW contemporary romances by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling authors…
SWEET SEDUCTION (13 All NEW Erotic Romances by Bestselling Authors to Benefit Diabetes)
Lexi Blake, Mari Carr, JS Cooper, Nicole Edwards, Karen Erickson, Megan Hart, J Kenner, Julia Kent, Elisabeth Grace, Lauren Hawkeye, Nina Lane, Roni Loren, and Avery Aster, with Lisa Renee Jones.
Featuring a foreword and a bonus book by New York Times Bestselling Author Lisa Renee Jones.
From New York Times bestselling Author Lexi Blake comes LUSCIOUS, a novella set in her Masters and Mercenaries world. When Macon Miles meets sweet waitress Alison Jones, he knows she’s trouble, but he can’t imagine how her secrets will rock his world.
Sparks fly in Texas when a soldier comes home to the girl he left behind in New York Times bestselling author Mari Carr’s WAITING FOR YOU.
Sex. Lies. Romance. Love. My life has it all. I do what I want, when I want and no one can stop me. This isn’t a story of how I found my prince. Or my how my prince found me. This is my life. My diary. This is the true diary of ‘that girl’. CONFESSIONS OF A SEXAHOLIC by New York Times bestselling author JS Cooper.
New York Times bestselling author Nicole Edwards revisits Tag and McKenna, a power couple who have gone from infatuation to adoration in ADORED (Club Destiny #7.5).
New York Times bestselling author Karen Erickson presents a brand new, very sexy contemporary romance about finding love in the most unexpected places…
Spend some time with Nikki and Damien Stark in this sexy and sensual bonus story in J. Kenner’s STARK EVER AFTER series of novellas.
When Random Acts of Crazy’s bass player, Joe Ross, gets injured in an unfortunate sex act that gains nationwide coverage, it’s tatted-up Tyler (aka “Frown”) to the rescue for their first big concert. THE RANDOM TOUR: LOS ANGELES by New York Times bestselling author Julia Kent.
With INDECISION, Elisabeth Grace brings you another hot story with heart that follows a small town’s wild child and the police officer who tries to tame her–he has no idea what he’s in for.
From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Hawkeye comes THE BILLIONAIRE YOU KNOW, the newest tale in her bestselling Billionaire series.
In STICKY by New York Times bestselling author Nina Lane, a plate of sugar cookies sparks an edgy, red-hot affair between married PTO president Madeline Collins and the hot, new school principal, who teaches her a very dirty lesson.
From New York Times bestselling author Roni Loren comes WANDERLUST, the story of a magazine writer who needs to land the big story and the bad boy rockstar who’s determined to protect his band’s secrets. His plan? Get her off her game by getting her into his bed.
When love is determined, it will always find a way. From New York Times bestselling author Megan Hart comes PERFECTLY RECKLESS, a new novel about love, lust, loss and rediscovery between two people who should never have fallen in love…or out of it.
For fans of such films as Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Wild Things comes a ménage romance posing the question, can two men share the same woman forever? UNCONVENTIONAL (The Manhattanites) by Avery Aster.
Don’t forget to check out SWEET TALK and SWEET DREAMS, two more limited edition collections from Brenda Novak’s Online Auction for Diabetes Research… read and help the fight against diabetes!
SEDUCE ME by J. Kennner
I’m tapping the end of my pencil against the overfull sheet–because despite owning my own web and mobile app development company, I print my schedule every morning–when Damien approaches.
I know that he is there even though he has yet to say a word. Perhaps I heard his bare feet on the wooden floor. Perhaps the air shifted as he passed. Or perhaps he is simply Damien Stark, and I could no more fail to notice his presence than I could miss a tidal wave.
But more likely, I think it is because he has so thoroughly claimed me that there is never a time when I am not blissfully and totally aware of him.
I am in the library on the mezzanine of the exceptional Malibu house that was still under construction when I first started dating Damien. Now it is our home, and each place within these walls is precious to me. I’m at the desk near the section where Damien has shelved his sci-fi/fantasy collection, with tattered paperbacks tucked in with pristine, signed first editions. A few feet away, the newest addition to our household is curled up into a tiny ball of orange fluff in one of the comfy leather chairs.
This is Damien’s favorite place to work, and that’s part of why I come here almost every morning–I like to feel close to him.
Right now, I feel very close indeed.
“You’re amazing, you know.” I speak without turning around, then smile when I hear his soft chuckle behind me.
“Because I can sneak up on you?” This time I do hear his footsteps as he moves even closer.
“I knew you were there. By definition, that isn’t sneaking. Or, at least, it’s not successful sneaking.”
“You make a good point, Mrs. Stark.” His hands press gently on my shoulders, and I close my eyes, just soaking up the feel of him. It’s more potent than coffee, and if I could bottle this feeling, I’d be richer than my husband.
I haven’t yet turned to look at him, but I don’t need to. I’ve long ago memorized every delicious inch of him. His raven-black hair, so familiar to my fingers. His perfectly sculpted face, softened by the slightest shadow of beard stubble. His lean, well-muscled athlete’s body that looks equally exceptional in jeans or a tux. And, of course, his dual-colored eyes that can look right to my core and see all my secrets.
It is not yet seven on a Friday morning and though I’m still in my typical morning uniform of a T-shirt and baggy shorts, I know that he is already dressed. I inhale, confirming that assumption. I smell the soap from his shower. The hint of musk from the cologne I bought him in Paris on our honeymoon just a few months ago.
“So tell me, why am I amazing?”
“To answer that, I’d need Power Point, a projector, and at least two days.” I tilt my head back so that I can grin at him, and my heart skitters when I see his face, even more perfect then the picture I keep tucked away in my mind. “But in this particular instance, I was referring to your time management skills.” Damien accomplishes more in a day than most people do in a year. Frankly, I think it’s highly likely that superpowers are involved.
“By human standards. For you, it’s probably a cakewalk. For me, I’m going to have to do some juggling.”
I push the chair away from the desk and stand, then lean back so that I’m half-sitting on it, my rear pressed against the edge. Damien’s attention is entirely on my face, and there is such a look of hunger in his eyes that I have to smile. “Careful, or you’ll be late for work.”
“I find that’s one of the perks of running my own company. There’s no one to slap my hand when I break the rules.”
I hear the thread of playfulness in his voice and match it. “Do you break the rules often, Mr. Stark?”
He lifts his hand, then brushes my hair away from my neck so that his fingertips can stroke my tender skin, then trace down along my collarbone. “As often as possible,” he says.
INDECISION By: Elisabeth Grace
I dropped my hands to my side. “Are you arresting me?” I asked, dumbfounded.
“Relax. I’m going to pat you down to make sure you don’t have anything I need to be concerned about and then I’m going to conduct the sobriety test.”
Un-fucking-believable. This was unreal. Never in my life. I held my tongue as I stomped over to the trunk, faced it, and placed my palms on the hot metal.
“Is there anything on you I should know about? Any drugs, needles, paraphernalia?” he asked in a way that indicated he’d administered one of these on more than a few occasions.
“Of course not,” I clipped.
He came to stand behind me. I couldn’t see him, but his presence this close to me was like a magnet drawing me to him, and I found myself wanting to back up into his hard body.
He crouched down and why, oh why couldn’t I get the image of him putting his face between my legs out of my head? Like I’d let this asshole touch me. When his hands circled my ankle, I sucked in a breath and fought the urge to bring my feet together to ease the ache in my center.
He slid his hands up my leg and I swore I heard a small groan escape his lips. My skin was tingling with awareness as his warm hands passed over me. Stopping short of the V of my thighs, he repeated the action on my other leg, moving just as slowly from the bottom to the top.
His hands then landed on my bare skin at my waist, and the sensation spread until it concentrated in my core. As his hands slid up to just below my breasts, I heard his breathing grow ragged behind me, and I had to fight the urge to press back into him.
Damn, what was wrong with me?
“Find what you’re looking for, officer?” I asked with way more huskiness and way less ire than I’d intended.
LUSCIOUS By: Lexi Blake
Macon watched the new girl. He couldn’t help himself. She was luscious. Like a chocolate soufflé. She would require very careful handling in order to bring her to fruition. One wrong move and a woman like that would fold, wilting or falling away, or simply telling him to fuck off.
He really didn’t want her to tell him to fuck off.
Ally. Allyson Jones. She had dark hair and a curvy figure that filled out her black slacks and white dress shirt in a way no one else on the waitstaff managed. She bent over, collecting the menus. That was the singular juiciest backside he’d ever seen. It was fucking spectacular, and he could feel his cock hardening.
It was not helpful to his current work situation, but he still couldn’t force his eyes to move. It was like they were laser focused on that lush ass.
He moved the pastry blender over and over, forcing the ingredients to mix into something new. Butter, flour, sugar, shortening, salt, and ice water. His perfect piecrust. Simple and yet so complex since he’d learned it required something beyond merely following the recipe. There was a harmony required most people never figured out, a certain Zen that came with giving over to the dish, allowing it to be what it would.
“Don’t let that sit too long.” Timothy Gage looked down his patrician nose at the bowl. “We have reservations for a hundred tonight. If that crust isn’t perfect, I’ll see you go back to washing dishes.”
Macon took a deep breath and forced himself not to correct his obnoxiously pretentious boss. He’d never washed dishes. When he’d been hired at Top, he’d been brought in as a garde-manger, prepping salads and helping with small plates. That had lasted two weeks. Then one day the chef’s brother had walked in. Ian Taggart was a massive slab of muscle with a taste for lemons. Timothy didn’t do requests. He was an artiste, or at least that’s what he called himself. He was mostly an asshole who took himself way too seriously. Sean Taggart, the man who owned Top, had tried to talk his brother into being reasonable. Macon had quickly made a lemon pudding.
He’d moved from salads to assistant pastry chef that day, and he was also Big Tag’s hookup. The big guy’s wife had been pregnant at the time and mad about coconut. He’d made coconut cookies, cream pies, and cakes for the lovely Charlotte.
It was good to be needed. It was good to make something that made someone else happy.
“That is one hot piece of ass.” Timothy leaned against the wall, his eyes on Ally.
There were times he really didn’t like the man. All the time, really. He was full of himself, but he was also trained by some super-fancy school in Paris. Sean had introduced him as a big deal and explained that Macon could learn a lot from him. So far he’d really learned that Timothy liked to duck work and take all the credit, and he drank on the job.
Ally looked up and her dark eyes caught on his. He hoped he wasn’t staring like a crazy stalker guy, but it was hard to look away. She smiled and joked and he could still feel the aura of loss that surrounded her. He wanted to know what made her seem so sad at times, like there was a wall between her and the world. He wanted to tell her she didn’t need that wall. It was a stupid idea. He couldn’t take care of himself much less anyone else, so he’d kept his distance.
Still, since the moment she’d walked through the doors, he hadn’t been able to stop thinking about her.
Ally dropped off the new menus. They changed nightly because Sean Taggart liked to use fresh ingredients. Top was farm to table. He negotiated with local farms for whatever he could, and as far as Ally could tell he was one hell of a chef. She’d been raised on whatever her mom had a coupon for, but she’d discovered she really liked sea bass and polenta, and god she could eat risotto all day.
And Macon’s pastries. Oh, Timothy the Ass took credit, but she watched Macon work. Macon made the fluffiest crust, the richest chocolate mousse.
He was also the damn dreamiest man she’d ever seen, and she wasn’t a woman who used the word dreamiest lightly.
In the few weeks she’d worked at Top, she would swear she’d gained ten pounds. After service was over, staff got to eat. She’d had some of the best food of her life here. She’d also had some really good times. She’d thought she only ever fit in with her mom and Ronnie, but this place was starting to feel like home.
“Hey, you. I heard we’re going to Deep Ellum after work tonight.” Deena took the menus and placed them in the basket by the hostess station. She was an infinitely competent woman in her early thirties, with a ready smile and a warm personality. She kept the front of house running like clockwork. “Tell me you’re coming with us. We need to dance.”
Oddly, the idea of going clubbing held no appeal. She was young and single and had no ties to anyone, and yet all she wanted to do was have a place to go to with a TV and a warm bed and a Macon Miles to cuddle up against.
Damn it. She couldn’t think that way. Macon was the target. Macon was the only one who could tell her what really happened to her brother. The report didn’t make sense. She knew the Army could cover up deaths, and she was sure that was what happened with Ronnie.
Had Macon killed her brother? Somehow she didn’t think so. She certainly didn’t want to believe it. She’d walked into Top with the full intention of confronting him. She’d meant to sit down with Macon and force him to talk to her. Then she’d actually seen him. When she’d knocked on the back door, he’d opened it. He’d wiped his hands on his apron and given her the sweetest smile she’d ever seen, and when he’d asked what she needed her brain and her mouth hadn’t worked at all in sync. She’d stumbled and told him she was looking for a job, and she’d started waiting tables that night.
How would he feel if he knew she had an ulterior motive? She promised herself every single night that she was going to tell him the truth, and every night she put it off. Now she was in too deep. She was caught in a trap of her own making.
WAITING FOR YOU (Sparks in Texas) by Mari Carr
Sydney stood next to Gran, who was flanked by Julian on the right. The three of them were standing at the international arrivals gate, grinning like fools as they held the banner Sydney had made. Chas’ flight had landed and her heart was racing a million miles an hour. She’d seen him just a few months earlier over the holidays. They’d exchanged small gifts and consumed a bottle of eggnog together. Chas had even told her a little bit about two friends he’d lost in combat, the story breaking her heart.
Chas had ended up sleeping on her couch that night, while she’d tossed and turned in her bedroom, fighting the urge to go out and comfort him. However, there had been something in his eyes—some dark, unfamiliar sadness—that had stopped her, that had told her to keep her distance.
Several more people walked through the gate. Sydney watched as relatives reunited with hugs, laughter and sometimes tears. She loved coming to the airport, loved the energy and the atmosphere, the hustle and bustle. It was a hotbed of emotions unlike any other place.
Gran captured her attention with a nudge of the elbow. “There he is.”
Chas strolled through the doors in jeans and a t-shirt. It would seem so weird to see him dressed in civilian clothing rather than his fatigues from now on, and she wondered if he’d give up the crew cut he’d kept for so many years and return to the longer style of his youth. He looked around the area, searching for them. Sydney smiled and waved when his eyes met hers.
Chas walked faster then, laughing when he read their banner. Sydney took it from Julian and Gran, stepping back so that Chas could greet his family.
She was shocked when he bypassed both of them and walked right up to her. He tugged the banner out of her hands and dropped it to the floor a split second before he grabbed her in his embrace and kissed her.
His mouth was demanding, forcing her lips apart so he could stroke her tongue with his. Sydney fought off a wave of dizziness and disbelief. Even a bit of embarrassment when she recalled his grandmother was standing less than five feet away from them. She put her hands on his shoulders, intent on pushing him away, but Chas only gripped her tighter, one of his hands rising to cup the back of her neck, his fingers lightly stroking the sensitive skin there.
She was a goner. Sydney stopped giving a shit who was there and what they were seeing. Chas was home. And he was kissing her.
Twelve years melted away into a haze of nothingness. He was home. Finally.
PERFECTLY RECKLESS By Megan Hart
Maura pushed up on her elbow to look down at him. There might come a time when she was no longer overcome with love at the sight of his face, or when her love might become something soft and faded and worn. But to stop loving him? Impossible.
“How would I live,” she murmured, “without my Ian?”
Tenderly, she stroked the hair from his forehead and kissed his mouth. He woke with a start, looking guilty. Maura sat, thinking she should start looking for her clothes. She was getting a chill.
Ian sat, too, saying nothing as she pulled on her panties and bra, then her t-shirt. She watched him carefully as she turned her jeans right-side out, but didn’t put them on. She knelt beside him.
“It’s getting late,” he said. “We should go to bed.”
She’d never been in his bedroom, though she’d seen it often enough in their video chats. The easy compatibility they’d shared while making dinner and the synchronicity of their lovemaking stalled here. Ian pulled a pair of boxers and a t-shirt from a drawer to give her.
“You can use the bathroom first,” he offered. “Umm…I have an extra toothbrush for you.”
In bed, she curled on her side, facing out. Ian lay on his back beside her. The soft, slow rasp of his breathing soothed her, but she couldn’t sleep. All this time, and they’d only slept together once. She didn’t know if he liked to be cuddled or preferred his space; she didn’t know if he would mind if she tossed and turned for a few minutes while she tried to get comfortable with a pillow she wasn’t used to.
“Are you sleeping?” His whisper eased over her in the darkness, so quiet it made her smile because he was clearly trying not to wake her, if she was.
The bed shook as he moved closer to her, pulling her against him. His breath warmed her neck. His hand fit naturally just below her breasts.
“It will be okay, Ian,” Maura said sleepily, relaxing against him. “Everything will be okay.”
But it wasn’t. She fell asleep with his arms around her and woke when he moved away from her. When he swung his legs over the edge of the bed, she sat up too.
“Don’t do this,” she said. The only light came from the moon shining through the window. It made him a shadow, indistinguishable from all the others except that he moved and the others stayed still. “Go to sleep.”
“I can’t sleep.”
She scooted closer to him. He didn’t cringe from her touch when she curved her body around his and put her chin on his shoulder. She put her arms loosely around him, linking her fingers at his chest. She gave him her warmth and the beat of her heart. According to George Orwell in 1984, if you loved someone, that’s what you gave him even when you had nothing else. Love.
Maura gave Ian her love, and somehow, it wasn’t enough.
“It’s just that…I’d rather it end now than later.”
Maura sighed, weary, but giving him the room to say what he needed to say. “Why?”
“So I can be ready for it.”
“Are you ready for it?” She asked a little too harshly. “Is that what you want, Ian? For me to go, now. For this all to just…end?”
“Before it leaves scars,” Ian said in a low voice.
Maura snorted softly against him and kissed the back of his neck. “Too late, sweetheart. Way too late for that.”
He half-turned. He could’ve kissed her mouth, had he twisted just a little more, but she didn’t press forward. “I’ve never felt this way about anyone. That’s all. I just don’t think I can do it.”
You’re doing it, she wanted to say. You’ve already done it.
Instead, she withdrew from him. Quietly, without fanfare, she gathered her clothes and stripped out of his. She dressed and pulled her hair up again. Ian sat on the bed, watching her, though how much he could see in the dark she didn’t know. When she’d finished, Maura went to him. She took his face in her hands and tipped it up so he had to look at her. There was enough light for that, at least.
“I love you,” she told him. “But you’re right. Eventually, that leaf has to let go.”
“I’m sorry, Maura.”
“Me too.” She thought about kissing him, this her last chance, and couldn’t bring herself to do more than brush her lips on his. Straightening, she let go of him. “I’ll let myself out.”
“I’ll walk you –“
“No,” she told him, too sharply. Too fierce. “I don’t want you to.”
She couldn’t let him. She would break down and he would see it, and she’d be ashamed. Or worse, she would cling to him, weeping and begging. She would lose herself utterly in this grief already threatening to claw its way up her throat and out her mouth in wails and cries.
No. She would walk herself to the door and let herself out, and she would get in her car and drive herself home. There she might break down, in the safety of her own shower where she could scream and pound her fists. But not here.
In his kitchen though, as she gathered her keys, Maura paused to write a note. Simple. One sentence. She didn’t sign her name.
She left it on the table, and she left him.
RED HOT NIGHTS By: Karen Erickson
“Hmm, what are you wearing?”
Reagan smiled, slipping a bracelet onto her wrist before she lifted her gaze to the bathroom mirror. She watched as Declan approached and stopped just behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist, his hands resting lightly on her stomach as his gaze met hers in the reflection. “You like my dress?”
“I love it.” He stepped away from her, his hands resting on her hips, his mouth falling into a frown as he looked at her back. “But it’s practically indecent.”
“Isn’t it great? Sexy and demure in the front, totally naughty in the back.” She added a few more bracelets to her wrist and turned, sad when Declan’s hands fell from her hips. She saw the scowl on his handsome face, his eyebrows drawn together as he studied her, and she just knew… “You don’t like it.”
He tilted his head, still contemplating her—and the dress. It was white, with a soft floral print and a just-above-the-knee-length skirt that floated around her legs when she moved. The top tied around her neck in a halter style that covered her entire chest, not a hint of cleavage in sight.
But like she said to her boyfriend, Declan Carter—the hottest young actor today, making a terrific comeback with the newest, and most serious, film he’d ever made—it was the back that made the dress turn sexy. It dipped low, past her waist, exposing her shoulders and back completely. She loved it.
From the expression on his face alone, it looked like Declan hated it.
“I do like it,” he finally said. “Turn around again.”
She did as he asked, moving slowly, wanting him to get a good look it. Tonight was important to him—and her. His movie was premiering and she wanted to look pretty. Sophisticated. Not like the emergency room nurse she normally was, in her turquoise-green scrubs, hair scraped back into a no-nonsense ponytail, not a lick of makeup on her face beyond the occasional lip balm she slicked on when she thought of it.
Tonight, she went all out, just for Declan. Got her hair trimmed and blown out at an exclusive salon in Beverly Hills that Declan’s assistant James—who also happened to be her friend and the one who got them together in the first place—recommended to her. Was wearing a designer gown, again picked out by both her and James, who had better taste than she did. Talk about a surreal shopping trip. The gowns were all brought to her at Declan’s house and she didn’t have to make a purchase. The designers actually wanted her to wear them for the exposure—being seen on Declan Carter’s arm had its perks, most definitely.
She’d been pampered for the rest of the afternoon, again at Declan’s house. The cosmetics were applied by a professional makeup artist. Jewelry picked out to complement the dress and the highest stilettos Reagan could muster. She thought she looked pretty damn good.
Though she knew she had to up her game—and in a big way—if she was going to accompany her boyfriend to his freaking movie premiere. Famous people would be in attendance tonight, including the actors Declan made the movie with. Other stars and celebrities would be there too, all of them glitzed up beyond belief, because that was their job.
Reagan could never admit she was afraid she couldn’t hold her own among the young and gorgeous and famous. She was a regular person, not a movie star. Those types lived and breathed looking good for the camera. They worked out three hours a day, had personal chefs make them meals with hardly any calories, and they always wore the trendiest clothes and carried the most expensive bags.
She, on the other hand, had a small Coach purse her mom gave her for graduating nursing school. Mom claimed she picked it up at the factory outlet, and Reagan loved it, but it was no Christian Dior bag worth five thousand dollars.
Because yep, Declan’s stylist owned a five-thousand-dollar Dior bag which Reagan thought was both ridiculous and totally impractical. Though secretly, she coveted that bag. It was beautiful. And almost six months worth of rental payments, so she should let that dream die.
“You’re so exposed,” Declan finally said, worry clouding his eyes. “If it was just you and I going out, that would be one thing, but…”
“Do I look that bad?” she interrupted, feeling awful. Maybe she should change. But she had no other options. Nothing as gorgeous as the dress she wore, and certainly nothing designer. Maybe she could call Sandi. The stylist had helped her so much, and she knew Sandi would work her hardest to come up with another option. She probably had an entire rack at her studio, or even better, stashed in the trunk of her car for emergencies just like this.
“You don’t look bad.” Declan pulled her to him, his hands going to her lower back, his warm fingers seeming to brand her bare skin. She shivered at his touch. “You look amazing. My problem is, I don’t want every asshole at that premiere ogling my hot girlfriend.”
She burst out laughing, relief flooding her. He was so brutally honest sometimes. It was one of her favorite qualities about him. “Are you saying you’re jealous?” she teased.
SWEET DREAMS (13 All NEW Thrillers by Bestselling Authors to Benefit Diabetes)
Allison Brennan, Cynthia Eden, JT Ellison, Heather Graham, Liliana Hart, Alex Kava, CJ Lyons, Carla Neggers, Brenda Novak, Theresa Ragan, Erica Spindler, Jo Robertson, and Tiffany Snow, with Lee Child.
SWEET TALK (10 All NEW Contemporary Romances by Bestselling Authors to Benefit Diabetes)
Melody Anne, Violet Duke, Melissa Foster, Gina L. Maxwell, Linda Lael Miller, Brenda Novak, Sherryl Woods, Steena Holmes, Rosalind James, Molly O’Keefe, and Nancy Naigle, with Robyn Carr.