Thursday, April 30, 2015

Fervent - Release Day Blitz




Title: Fervent
Author: Gemma James
Series: Condemned #3
 Release Date: April 30, 2015


Synopsis

I never imagined things could get worse, but they do. The men who took us show no mercy. They won’t stop until they’ve destroyed Rafe for something he has no memory of, and I’m their weapon of choice.
 
Tortured and defiled, they make me wish I was back in that cabin where death was favorable to drawing another breath, but our captors can’t break what’s already broken.
 
What scares me is the madness I see festering inside Rafe. I’ve taken his freedom, his career, his reputation, yet despite all I’ve done, he’s determined to fight for me, kill for me, give everything he is for me.
 
He’ll even die for me.

 
NOTE TO READERS

FERVENT is a new adult dark romance with disturbing themes and explicit content, including sexual scenes and violence that may offend some. Intended for mature audiences. Part three of the CONDEMNED series. This is not a stand-alone read! Please begin with TORRENT and RAMPANT, otherwise, FERVENT might not make much sense.









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Author Bio

Gemma James is the multi-genre author of several novels and novellas, from new adult suspense to dark erotic romance. She loves to explore the darker side of human nature in her fiction. She’s morbidly curious about anything dark and edgy, from deviant sex to serial killers. Readers have described her stories as being “not for the faint of heart.”

She lives in Oregon with her husband and their four children—three rambunctious UFC/wrestling-loving boys and one girl who steals everyone’s attention.



Author Links

Adrenaline - Book Blitz


Book & Author Details:

Adrenaline by Sunniva Dee 

Publication date: April 30th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance


Synopsis:

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Life’s the shit!
Chicks squeal over how wild and yummy I am, play their silly games trying to tie me down. But I’m free as a bird, doing what makes life life: kicking extreme-sport-ass!


I base jump, snowboard, bungee jump. I do anything for the rush.

Then, Ingela blows into town for college—a cool Swedish blast of trouble. Foulmouthed and runway-gorgeous, the girl seeps in like poison and melts the freaking brain.

To Ingela I am what chicks were to me: pastime, leisure, entertainment, pleasure. She’s killing me, and I’m digging it. There’s a new rush in town!Yeah, I hunt down my highs, and now the chase is on. I’ll catch her soon enough, just, what’s the deal with her ex?

BO



With Ingela, sex is a dance. A slow tango where skin flows over skin. It is slick readiness, a quiet welcome. It’s smooth, warm, right, and all wrong.

On and off. On and off. Again, she’s wrecked with grief. It’s a reminder of how I destroy her, how crushed relationships shouldn’t be revived.

We’ve done this for years, now, but clearly we’re in for more.




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Author Bio


Originally from Norway, I moved to the United States twelve years ago. I hold a Master’s degree in languages and taught Spanish at college level before settling in at the Savannah College of Art and Design as an adviser.


I write New Adult fiction, sometimes with a paranormal twist—like in “Shattering Halos,” published by The Wild Rose Press in February 24th 2014 and in “Stargazer,” released November 2014. The first book I’ve self-published was the New Adult Contemporary novel “Pandora Wild Child,” which made me a proud indie author in October 28th 2014.

I specialize in impulsive heroines, bad-boys, and good-boys running amok. Then, there’s the intense love, physical and emotional attraction beyond reason—sensory overload for the reader as well as for the characters. Like in real life, I hope you’re unable to predict what comes next in my stories.

Yes, so I write what I love to read, and depending on the reader, you’ll find my books to be a fast-paced emotional rollercoaster—or disturbing because the struggles of love aren’t your thing. Here’s to hoping you have the same reading vice as me! 




Extract

CAMERON

The chase is over. Right here, right now, this is it. Even if it only lasts thirty seconds, the rush of what I’m about to do floods me and makes me feel. It’s so intense, every muscle in my body goes rigid with anticipation.

The air is sharp and early-morning raw. I stare out from my post on an overhang off Firam Peak. Let my eyes judge the steep drop into the ravine on the backside of the mountain. Jagged granite walls form unpredictable patterns that crash to the bottom the way I will soon, and a light dusting of snow contrasts starkly with the somber stone.

I shake my arms. Not to relieve the tension but to make sure I’m nimble and ready. I didn’t invite my friends, Dan and Marek, along today. I’d be better off with someone else around, of course, but nothing compares to the thrill I experience as I step forward alone. I’m on the edge now, in every sense of the word.

I draw in a breath of icy oxygen. Crack my fingers inside my gloves and adjust the strap on my helmet. I’m ready.

It’s so easy to plunge off the cliff. All I do is heave up on my toes and extend my arms. A light bend at the knees and I’m off, flying.

Ah, yes. I fly.

So good.

The wind howls around me. I’m fast—I’ve jumped a dozen times into this ravine so the speed doesn’t surprise me. When we started base jumping, Dan and I would heave ourselves as far out as we could to stay clear of the rock walls during the free-fall. With the velocity you take on, the smallest miscalculation will throw you against the ragged stone, toss you around, and beat you about like a rag doll. It’d be hard to survive.

It gets boring, though, to be careful every time. Which is why, at this point, to get that rush—the woozy bliss inundating my brain for hours afterward—I simply tip off the edge.

The wingsuit I wear is advanced technology. I stretch my arms out to the side, the fabric spanning open at my sides. A familiar sting of disappointment sings through me as I realize I’ll never fly without the squirrel suit. I can’t even begin to imagine the drug it would be to base jump with no security equipment. Straight to death, of course. I chuckle to myself at the thought.

I’m reaching the white ravine floor too quickly. Fuck, I’m lightning fast. The parachute on my back is a click away, but I postpone it, postpone it—
I’m on top of the world!

I’m so fucking alive while I plunge to what could be my last moment on Earth. I curl my body into a somersault and shout my rush out in an echo against the surrounding rock.

“Wooh-hooh!”


Lost Prelude - Blog Tour

Lost Prelude - tour banner


Title: Lost Prelude (Alexander & Maya, #1)
Author: Ella Maise
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 14, 2015

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Blurb

My name is Maya, and I'm not the same girl I was a month ago. There is an emptiness I carry around in my chest now. A broken heart caused by grief. There are also dark nights where I have trouble breathing as I feel the heavy weight of loss rushing through my veins, painful moments where I can remember my entire being scream in agony as I held onto my father's cold, lifeless hand. Then there is always a hero to every story, isn't there? A hero who I despised from the moment he opened his mouth. His name is Alexander. He is my inevitable I never expected to find. The one my broken heart leads me to. His existence, his touch, everything he did to make my pain bearable will leave a mark on me forever. Yet, I know that when I'm gone, he'll only remember me as a fading memory.    

Excerpt

My hands trembling on his hard chest, I opened my mouth, and the words just tumbled out before I could stop myself. “Maybe at another time this could’ve turned into something.” “I believe it’s already something, Maya.” “Yeah…” He was right. It was already something. But it wasn’t something that would be enough. Not for me. Not when he had someone else in his heart. Not when I couldn’t be the one he needed, wanted. Craved even. “Maybe it could have been something more, then.” “Yes. Maybe,” he murmured and brushed a gentle kiss on both of my closed eyelids. The act was so tender that it hurt my heart, and I was forced to close my eyes again. Tighter this time. Tomorrow, I’ll get over you, Alexander Ross. As soon as I’m on that plane, I’ll get over you,” I said breathlessly. His hands froze on my thighs, and I opened my eyes. He couldn’t even meet my gaze. “What else would you like to do tonight?” he asked instead. I forced a smile on my lips. We had reached the end of my dream. “I think I’m done for the night. I have to get up early tomorrow.” I got up from his lap—ignoring the hands that were trying to hold me down. The frown I came to love so much appeared on his face again. I was going to miss everything about this man. 
   

 Lost Prelude LIVE



About the Author

Ella Maise

I'm an avid reader. Therefore, a big dreamer. I love nothing more than to escape real life to find those very few magical moments in a book. I love how it has the power of stealing your worries away, putting a smile on your face, and of course sometimes making you crush on fictional characters. I can't even begin to describe how exciting it is to give life to new characters and fall for them. It's definitely a different kind of addiction. I'm still searching for my own happy ending. Until that happens, I'll live vicariously through my own characters.

Hard - Release Day Blitz




Title: Hard
Series: Sexy Bastard #1
Author: Eve Jagger
 Release Date: April 30, 2015


Synopsis


Strong. Arrogant. Hard.

Ryder Cole is the King of Atlanta’s nightlife — and the one man who can erase my past.

I’m running from secrets that could destroy me and there’s no room in my life for someone like him: too damn cocky, and sexy as hell. I should keep my distance, but smart goes out the window the minute he looks my way. And when he puts his hands on me…

A girl could forget her own name. But what happens when the past catches up with me, and all the things I’m hiding from tear our lives apart again? I can’t keep running forever, and Ryder always wins.


Eve cut her teeth writing in high school and college, but it wasn’t until recently that she got the itch to write a full length novel. She loves complex, emotionally-charged characters and wild, sexy leading men. Hard: A Sexy Bastard Book releases at the end of April 2015 and she can’t wait for you to meet her characters that occupy her mind 24/7! Eve loves to talk and meet people on social media, so be sure and touch base with her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/evejaggerbooks or Twitter https://twitter.com/evejwrites.







Links to Buy






Author Bio


Eve Jagger is a native of Georgia and is a true southern girl at heart. A stay at home mom to two kids, she's married to a sexy man who doesn’t mind being used as research for those naughty scenes.


Author Links

Giveaway

Unsurprisingly Complicated - Blog Tour

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Claudia Burgoa Unsurprisingly Complicated 4/30/2015


UC COVER

Blurb:

AJ
The lies between my parents and I came to light and now I’m working on a new life for myself. Along the way, I have my trusty superhero, Mason, to lean on when I have a hard time standing or when my crazy ex-boyfriend continues to feel he has a claim on me. Porter has trouble understanding that there hasn’t been an ‘us’ for more than three years plus all the issues he had brought upon himself. My father was right, drugs do kill. My other concern is the growing feelings I am having regarding Mason. There’s something between us I want to explore but I keep getting mixed signals. Here, I thought that after telling my parents about my lies and having their full support, things wouldn’t be as complicated as they are. 

Mason 

My parents divorced before I even made my entrance into this world. My father has been obsessed with that love for years while my mother searches for love in all the wrong places. I don’t want a place to call home or a girl I can claim as mine. Except… Ainsley Janine –better known as ‘Nine’—has some special power that makes me question my preferences. The more I try to stay away from her, the more she pulls me closer. Exploring the possibilities of having something steady in my life isn’t a problem; it’s the long term that worries me. In addition to that, the scumbag she dated years ago keeps popping up everywhere we go. If I could use my license to kill, maybe I can stop worrying about one thing and concentrate on what to do with the green eyed girl who keeps me awake most nights.

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Excerpt: 

 “Are you sure this is okay with you? “Yes, Mason Bradley.” This is the tenth time he has asked me the question. “Did you use sex to distract me?” I clamp my lips together and refuse to answer the question. I wasn’t going to, but he gave me the perfect idea when I was desperate to make a point that his mother had to stay with me. Of course, now I’m chewing my lip because Mrs. Reality knocks me down with full force. My boyfriend’s mother is staying with me. Not just any woman—his mother. She’s going to judge me, hate me, and, what else do mothers do? “Does she know about me?” “No.” He takes his eyes off the road for a second. My hands slam against my face. “Of course she knows about you. She’s known about you since you were little, Nine.” “I don’t mean that way.” I toss my head against the seat and roll my eyes. “Girlfriend. I mean, I am your girl right?” “Oh, that detail. You are?” I groan like a wounded bear. “It’s a joke. Damn, you get feisty when you’re nervous. Take it easy. Yes, she knows and she’s aware that you and I are dating. You hold the girlfriend title, the girl who tamed me, my other half, the one who holds the key to my cell and that’s why I stick around.” I suck on my lip as I gift him with my deep, hard glare of ‘die’. “You’re not funny.” “Oh, I am.” He laughs as I burn with panic, fear, and unamused anger. My entire body is shaking at the prospect of having the woman in my house for however long she’s staying here. “How long is she staying?” I’m trying to figure out my schedule for the next few days. “She didn’t say.” A response that won’t help me with the jitters eating the insides of my stomach or with planning. Ugh, I put myself into this situation. Great. “Stop,” he orders. “I’m the only one allowed to nibble those lips. They’re mine.” He takes my hand and kisses the inside of my wrist. Then his finger caresses my skin soothing the knotted nerves. “She’s going to like you.” Not love me? My world is in danger of crumbling as I learn that winning over his mom may be a bigger challenge that I originally thought. “Oh, God!” I finally let the excruciating panic out. “What is she going to think about me?” The question comes out of my subconscious. “That we’re going too fast. I mean, you’re practically living in my house, which I love. Each day a new pair of jeans, a t-shirt, and some other item finds a spot in my closet. Scott, your sports car, lives next to Eleanor. Tucker stays at my parents’.” “Huh, you just noticed?” He kisses my hand again. “To clarify, I’m not living with you. There are a few items I have around to make things simpler when I stay overnight. That brings me to another issue. Stop naming my stuff. It’s a car, not Scott; a truck, not Tucker.” He pats the dashboard. “Ready?” he taps my nose with his free hand. “Stamp on that pretty smile of yours. That, ‘I’m about to die’ look isn’t flattering. Here they are.” Mason parks the car in front of a couple. Mr. and Mrs. Daugherty wait for us outside the terminal with their luggage. Mason’s stepfather is only a few inches taller than his wife, bald but with handsome features. “Wait here,” Mason orders. Mason’s mom is an inch or two taller than me, maybe five-seven. Porcelain skin with dark almond-shaped eyes and fine, soft features. Dark hair and a smooth complexion, just like I remember her from childhood. Due to airport restrictions, within seconds Mason shoves their luggage in the trunk and helps his mom into the car as his stepfather did not offer. “Mother, meet Ainsley Colthurst-Decker, better known as Nine or the girl I casually date.” He used the dorky jokester voice. I narrowed my eyes at him. “My lovely girlfriend. I’m not sure if you remember her. Nine, Mom.”

  claudia burgoa

About Claudia Burgoa: 

 Born on the mystical day of October 30th in the not so mystical lands of Mexico City, Claudia grew up with a childhood that resembled a caffeine-injected soap opera. Seventeen years ago she ventured to the lands of her techie husband—a.k.a. the U.S.—with their offspring to start a new adventure.   She now lives in Colorado working as a CFO for a small IT company, managing her household filled with three confused dogs, said nerd husband, two daughters wrought with fandoms and a son who thinks he’s the boss of the house. To survive she works continually to find purpose for the voices flitting through her head, plus she consumes high quantities of chocolate to keep the last threads of sanity intact.

Find Claudia Online:


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Ruined - Release Day Blitz




Title: Ruined
Series: She Who Dares #4
Author: LP Lovell
 Release Date: April 30, 2015


Synopsis


Ruined is book four in the She Who Dares series, but can be read as a standalone.

Hugo

I like to fuck. A lot. Anywhere, anyway, as long as I’m shooting my load in or on some pretty young thing I’m good. In fact, scrap that, they don’t even have to be pretty. What can I say? I’m an equal opportunities kind of guy.

I pride myself on being able to turn even the most self-respecting woman into a dirty slut. I make no apologies for my life or my behaviour. I don’t care about anyone really, certainly not women.

Except her. I care about her, which is why I pushed her away.


Molly

I suppose I’m what you would call the good girl, the sensible one. I’m that girl, the romanticist. I believe in ‘the one’, in that all-encompassing love that leaves you unable to breathe without it.

The thing is though, love is an uncontrollable animal. The heart often declares war on the mind, and even the most rational being can become completely consumed by love.

Sometimes rational is boring. It’s the taste of the wild side that makes you remember you’re alive. The heart wants what the heart wants, even if you end up completely ruined in the process.








Links to Buy

AMAZON US / UK






Also Available


AMAZON US / UK






Author Bio

Lauren Lovell is an indie author from England. She suffers from a total lack of brain to mouth filter and is the friend you have to explain before you introduce her to anyone, and apologise for afterwards.

She's a self-confessed shameless pervert, who may be suffering from slight peen envy.

LP Lovell's She Who Dares series are all international best sellers.


Author Links

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WEBSITE






Giveaway

Lonesome Beds & Bumpy Roads - Release Week Blog Tour





Synopsis

Lexie Boggs has dealt with enough drama for one teenage girl, and just when she thinks it's about over, the father who abandoned her a decade ago shows up looking for redemption. At least… that’s what he says. Ryan Parker thinks his future is set. He’s got a sweet job set up, graduation on the horizon, and a lifetime of dreams he’s planned with his girlfriend, Lexie—including a king-sized bed for their soon-to-be apartment. Only a slight snag tugs at the fantasy when Lexie starts putting aside all she’s worked hard on for her deadbeat dad and his “sickness.” Suddenly school is the only time spent together, and as Ryan expresses his suspicions about why Daddy Boggs is really back, Lexie pulls away, hoping Ryan is wrong but fearing he’s right. And as graduation approaches, Ryan and Lexie struggle to keep the futures they thought they had firmly intact from crumbling all over their now lonely king-sized bed.



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About the Authors

Cassie Mae (AKA Becca Ann) is a nerd to the core from Utah, who likes to write about other nerds who find love. Her angel children and perfect husband fan her and feed her grapes while she clacks away on the keyboard. Then she wakes up from that dream world and manages to get a few words on the computer while the house explodes around her. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with the youth in her community as a volleyball and basketball coach, or searching the house desperately for chocolate.
Theresa Paolo lives in the same town she grew up in on Long Island, NY with her long time boyfriend and their fish. Her debut novel (NEVER) AGAIN, a NA romance, released in Fall 2013 with Berkley (Penguin). (ONCE) AGAIN will release this summer. She is also the coauthor of the Amazon bestseller KING SIZED BEDS AND HAPPY TRAILS and BEACH SIDE BEDS AND SANDY PATHS, a YA contemporary series, under her pen name Tessa Marie. She has a hard time accepting the fact she’s nearing thirty, and uses her characters to relive the best and worst years of her life. She put her love of writing on hold while she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Dowling College. When she’s not writing, she’s behind a camera, reading, or can be found on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.

Heightsbound Series - Spotlight Tour

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  Buy Links 

  Fear of Heights ( Book 2) 
  Amazon US : http://amzn.to/1bftfZW 
  Amazon UK : http://amzn.to/1OsdQBw 
  Goodreads : http://bit.ly/1yZWv1f   

  Heights of Desire ( Book 1) 
  Amazon US : http://amzn.to/1H0JnLU 
  Amazon UK : http://amzn.to/1zvJAPx 
  Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1bnMf0e 
  Goodreads : http://bit.ly/1zvPPTu    


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Author Links 

  Web Site: http://bit.ly/1H0KRWq     


  About the Author 

 I’m a reader, a writer, and a lover of all things romantic. I’m also a coffee, hot sauce, ink, telenovela and Bikram Yoga enthusiast. I live in New York City with my husband and two children, and I spend a lot of time on the playground.

   
  Synopsis 

 What are you willing to sacrifice for love? Your family? Your freedom? What about your life? She’s a wealthy, forty-three-year-old Upper East Sider with a PhD – He’s a twenty-three-year-old Dominican drug dealer from Washington Heights. Kate Champion always did exactly what was expected of her. She was the perfect wife, the perfect mother – until the day she met Jaylee Inoa. Their journey travels a path riddled with danger, deceit, scandal and loss – where nothing is at it seems. Yet Kate and Jaylee’s passion for one another remains nearly unstoppable. Will this daring pair of lovers from two different worlds triumph over circumstance? Can they deny the past in their quest to be together? Or is fear the ultimate navigator - a force more powerful than love? Warning: Fear of Heights is not a standalone novel and must be read as book two in the Heightsbound series, after Heights of Desire. This book contains descriptions of: gang activity, graphic sex, violence, dubious consent, unprotected sex, infidelity, infidelity and more infidelity, questionable parenting and some dialogue in Spanish without translation.   

  Excerpt 

 But I’m strangely immune to everything in this moment except for this man, the recognition in his face—and his base and unconcealed need for me. My own desire is sweet and delicious, seeping into my bloodstream, blocking out everything else, offering me precious relief. I know I didn’t come for sex—but now I can’t remember what I came for. All I feel is honeyed desire that promises to drown me and suffocate the hurt, and oh, how I long to be drowned! If each breath hurts, I no longer want to breathe. But if you make love to me, maybe then I can just be. His hand slides down from my waist to the curve of my hip, signaling his intentions. He pulls me into the building, away from the street, but just a few feet from where the corner boys were gathered. He speaks to me, his voice echoing throughout the foyer and its grubby glass. He’s asking questions. I don’t bother to answer. Please. We don’t have to speak. I register nothing but his greedy hands all over me, his mouth converging with mine. In his kiss I search deeply for some delicate connection to Jaylee. A thin thread of memory, because once, this man bore witness to our love. “I saw you were missing on the neighborhood fliers. Now it’s your sister on the news.” This almost pulls me out. But I won’t let it; I’m too far-gone to let go of my one single chance at oblivion. “I don’t want you to talk to me, please. I just want you to take me. Make it hurt if you can—maybe it will help me—stop me from hurting.” I don’t care if he thinks I’m crazy. I look into his eyes pleadingly. His are afire but they grow distant at this. The distance signals to me that this man is in control. That’s what I want; it’s precisely what I need. He pulls me into a small, dingy elevator and I place my hands on his shoulders and bury my face in his neck. I definitely don’t want to look at him. His hands are rough; he’s grabbing my ass, and begins biting and sucking on my neck. I want him to stop, but deep inside I’ve already given him permission. Knowing how quickly I surrendered, the victory cannot taste very sweet. He smells so unfamiliar to me, like a complete stranger, and it spikes my adrenaline higher. His hand slips inside my pants; he brushes his fingertips along my sex, and I quake involuntarily against him. I’m ashamed of how wet I already am. I gasp for air as soon as we leave the elevator. He pulls me down a long corridor to the very last apartment, and digs deep into his jeans pocket until he comes up with keys. He opens the door into a wide living room that smells strongly of fresh paint. There is an elderly man perched on a plastic-covered sofa, wearing only boxers and an undershirt, staring vacantly at a television. “Papá,” says the young man from the park-house, “Te va’ a morir de frío.” He quietly covers him with a faded fleece blanket from the back of the couch, tucking it around his legs to make sure it won’t slip off. This display of compassion is too much for me; I don’t want to be this person who’s so full of need. The old man slowly moves his gaze from the muted television screen to me and mouths the word, “Buenas,” his lower lip trembling with age. I shouldn’t have come here. A sob escapes me and I fall to my knees. Ideal swoops in and grabs me gruffly, lifting me like a package over his shoulder. He’s likely determined not to lose this fragile fuck that is quickly deteriorating over unforeseen events. “Let me go!” I shout. He kicks open a door and tosses me onto a low bed, and my body bounces and jerks in weak protest. “I don’t want you. I want to die,” I wail, swallowed by misery. “Shut the fuck up. I remember you. I know what you need,” he answers, stripping down. I pull my knees to my chest and look away out the window toward the fire escape. The sky is dark. The pigeons are asleep. I’m not sure I can go through with this. I don’t really know sex without love. I’ve fought to get back so many times now. It makes no sense to be seeking out places from which I can never return. Dark, dark places. Slow, slow burn. “Hey,” he calls gently. And I reluctantly turn my head to look at him. He’s naked and magnificent, his hard cock gripped ruthlessly in his hand. I do want his hands on me. I especially want his mouth. But I don’t know how to ask for it, and I am so incredibly ashamed. I roll onto my stomach and groan. He reaches down and grabs me roughly underneath the armpits, pulling me until I’m kneeling on the bed, his stunning erection hot against my cheek. I press my body into his in desperation and he guides my mouth to exactly where he wants it to go. I can lose myself in this. I can easily forget. His hands are rough, and they tug wildly in my hair. He pulls and yanks my head as he takes my mouth fast and hard. I shouldn’t like it, but I do. Something about the harshness and urgency speaks to the depths of me—it communicates with my own raw, emotional state. I suck and lave and take him as deeply as I can, trying to syphon some drop of my own pleasure from his pleasure. This is reckless abandon. I suddenly and profoundly understand what that means. He drags me up along his body and smashes his mouth into mine. It’s hot and foreign to me, kissing a stranger. I kiss him back with a longing that borders on pathology. I seek in the depths of this kiss some remote and ephemeral connection to Jaylee. A thin silver thread. Anything it could possibly mean to have this man bear witness to our love—to have shared it, in some way. If what he retains is no more than a momentary snapshot I’ll take it. I’ll take absolutely anything I can get. He pulls my hair back and bites into the tender flesh of my neck, right below my ear. His hands find the clasp of my jeans and he undoes them and pushes them down to my knees. His hands capture my ass possessively and his breath comes heavy on my neck. “Get on your stomach and stick your ass in the air,” he says. I do as I’m told. He doesn’t even bother with my breasts. That’s fine with me. I’m not here for romance; I am here in hopelessness. I’m here in a furious desperation, to rid myself of this need. “You look fucking hot like that. I can’t blame Inoa for getting hooked when I see you like that.” I flip around, almost falling because my knees are tethered together with my jeans. I sit up quickly and slam the base of my palm straight into his chin. “Fuck!” he bellows, reeling back and gripping his chin defensively. His gaze on me intensifies. He likes the fight. His erection swells more, his desire heightened by my reaction. Then he’s on me like lightning, and I’m flailing, my arms hitting at the air as much as they’re hitting him. He crushes me down onto the mattress and pins both of my arms at my sides, my face millimeters from his. “¡Shit, Diablo, Mami! ¿Tú quiere’ o no?” “Don’t talk about him. Don’t even say his name!” I’m crying and choking and sobbing, all the while still bucking against his body and trying to wrestle free from his weight. “Dime que tú no quiere’ y te suelto!” he says. But I can’t tell him no, because the truth is that I do want him. I need him. And despite trying to throw him off, my hips are grinding against his, and I’m soaked with my own contemptible desire. Drowning in my own ghastly need. I relax my body for an instant and he lays his mouth on mine. I respond all too eagerly to his kiss. I take his tongue and thrust mine just as deeply into his hungry mouth. I hate him and I want him and I hate myself for wanting him. I will destroy his body with mine. I angrily tear away my own clothing, frantically wanting him inside me. I long to feel something—anything. I want him to fuck away the pain. Perhaps I can find some sad solace in the pure physical functioning of my own stupid body. I guide him inside me senselessly with one hand, but push him away with the other. His chest feels solid and comforting under the palm of my hand. What a contradiction—that it’s his heart that comforts me. He’s big and deep, and he wastes no time in crushing my hips into an anxious rhythm. I keep my hand positioned firmly on his strong chest, as if the gesture could equate to some symbolic distance between us. An inch of space that represents a great emotional divide. I squeeze my eyes shut and allow this need to become my sole, minute point of focus in my universe, so saturated with loss. I’ll just allow myself to feel his body connected with my body and nothing else. “You got a thing for Dominican guys?” he asks breathlessly, breaking my concentration and my momentary escape. “Don’t talk!” I scream, banging my fists into his face, his neck, his shoulders, any spot I can reach. I try to wriggle my hips away from his, but his weight is crushing. Grounding. He answers by yanking my arms above my head and kissing me fervently. I wish I didn’t want his kiss but it magically stops my thoughts from racing—the endless barrage of rumination, the regret, the pain, the philosophical bleed. I kiss him back with passion, because I know intuitively that some aspect of sex is purifying, renewing. And this is all that I seek in the contact of his flesh. His hipbones slam into mine; he is fit and hard, offering not much in the way of padding. His mouth too smashes against mine in a violent union. His stubble tears into the tender skin on my face. All my soft flesh is ravaged by this man, my mouth, my breasts, and most of all, my sex. “Did you want me that day?” he asks. And again he removes me from my meditation, demanding consciousness and communication—neither of which have I any use for. I yearn only to be devoured, to be fucked into submission and silence, and possibly all the way to redemption. “You wanted me in your mouth. You wanted to fuck us both, didn’t you?” I answer him by rearing back and pulling away. I shove him down by the shoulders so that he lies on his back, and then I take him in my mouth, tasting my own desire that has completely saturated him. There’s the evidence. Proof of my weakness, my imperfection, my undeniable greed. I suck him with abandon in an attempt to satisfy his wish for it to have been him coming in my mouth that day. In this contact I search for an answer to my own demise. If it’s so bad, then why do we all want it? And what, if anything, do we receive from restraint? “Come in my mouth,” I whisper around his swollen cock. He surprises me by pushing me away and quickly flipping me over. I oblige because I’ll do anything. Whatever he wants, he can take from me. I surrender completely, my body, my spirit, all of what’s left of me. “I want to come in your pussy,” he says, grabbing my hips and slamming mercilessly into me from behind. And I’ll let him come inside me. Why? Because I’m empty. I’m actively inviting ruin. I am taking this to the very extreme. After he’s done he tosses a towel to me before searching for another to use on himself. Then he goes above and beyond by bringing me a baby wipe from the bathroom. This is five-star service compared to my first encounter with Jaylee. I look down between my legs and see the milky white semen leaking out of me onto his bed. I stare at it in silence. I’ve been in this mind-state before. “¿Tú te siente’ mejor?” Like he’s a doctor providing services. He wants to know if his brand of painkiller worked. “Sí,” I nod and look up at him, wondering about the reach of what I’ve just done. It’s not the cheating on Robert—that scenario has already played out. It’s not the cheating on Jaylee—this was sex, not love. I’m a cheater, an adulteress, whatever, it’s all been said before. What scares me now is the limitlessness of my desire to do anything to be connected to Jaylee. That I just attempted to fuck the Jaylee out of a perfect stranger. That I will forever be chasing that high. I no longer recognize a breaking point, no morals, no bounds. “Ven, te acompaño a casa,” he says, placing a humid hand on my shoulder. Despite our sudden intimacy, it’s still the hand of a stranger. “No!” I bat it off and rise to my feet. I don’t need to be walked home as some pathetic compensation for sexual favors. He did me the favor. I wasn’t coerced into doing what I’ve done. I pull my clothes on over my naked body, leaving my now-tainted bra on his bed and my underwear on the floor. “It looks better if we leave together, Kate. Believe me, you don’t want to walk by those guys alone.” “What’s your real name?” I ask him, ignoring his attempt to defend my virtue. “Everybody call me Ideal.” Why do our paths keep intersecting? He must have known that it was me from the beginning when we were talking on the phone. I had no idea who he was. I wonder if I would have handled myself differently had I known. “Did—did you like that?” I ask him tentatively. He appears to be examining dry skin on his elbow, but what I think he’s actually aiming at is flexing his bicep for me. “What?” he asks absentmindedly. “My name—or fucking you just now?” I widen my eyes at him in response. “Yeah, I liked it.” He shrugs. “Want to do it again?’ “What? Like right this second?” He’s startled at the idea that I might demand an immediate erection—another round so soon after the knockout. “No, not right now, but whenever you want to.” “I thought you were all hung up on Inoa and shit. But yeah, whatever, I’ll call you.” Booty-call me. “I don’t expect a relationship, Ideal. This is purely business. But I do need help finding my sister. Someone on the inside, who the cops don’t know. Someone who knows the neighborhood and what’s really going on.” And, if I’m being honest, I need help just surviving, and you’re an easy way for me to get out of my head. The way he crosses his arms and looks down at me makes me think he knows something. Then he sighs and lifts his two perfectly arched eyebrows at me. He reaches out his hands to me almost affectionately, and I take them. He pulls me up to standing, and keeping my left hand grasped in his right, he shakes it firmly. “You fucking crazy, you know that? For real. But yeah, you got yourself a deal.”    


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