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Read an Excerpt

Book 2: Phoenix Rising

“Want to go back to my place before you head back to Charleston?”

I size up the videographer I’ve spent all morning and half the afternoon flirting with. He’s cute in a hipsterish way, with soulful brown eyes behind thick, black-framed glasses, floppy brown hair, what appears to be a well-toned and potentially hot body, and an unmistakable bulge for me in the crotch of his slightly baggy, faded jeans. I waver.

On the one hand, he’s really not my type. He’s younger than I prefer, probably about my age, and in my experience, younger guys don’t know how to please me. Or rather, they try too hard to please me, and in the process, they miss the whole point. Probably because I run my own wedding photography business with my two best friends, I don’t want to be in charge of everything else too. I want a man who knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to take it. And younger guys are way too in touch with their feelings, inevitably wanting to talk about them. Don’t get me wrong—I’m all for a guy telling me how he feels. Like, “Baby, your pussy feels so good,” when he’s buried balls deep inside me, pounding me into oblivion. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t want a sensitive yes-man. I want a guy who’ll manhandle me, who’s not afraid to rip my panties off and growl in my ear all the wicked things he’s going to do to me. Dammit, I want a man who makes me feel like a woman. Unfortunately, if he’s out there, I certainly haven’t found him.

On the other hand, I do have a few hours to kill before my flight home, and if this guy is bold enough to suggest a random hookup with a girl he just met, maybe he’s got some potential. Also, I haven’t gotten laid in months, so what have I got to lose? It certainly beats the bar at the airport.

“It’s up to you.” He turns to finish packing up his booth, which was next to mine at Manhattan’s biggest bridal expo. “But I’d love to be balls deep in you instead of knee deep in work.” He looks back at me with a cute grin and a wink, and it’s a done deal. I love a guy who can talk dirty to me.

“Mmm…a sweet talker.” I roll my eyes, but I’m smiling.

Five minutes later, we’re groping each other in a cab, and by the time we get to his high-rise, I’m eager and ready. His apartment is surprisingly nice, and I wonder briefly if I’ve made a mistake living in Charleston instead of a bigger city like New York or L.A. It might be more lucrative, but then I wouldn’t have my own business, which I love, or my two best girlfriends, McKenzie and Charlotte, whom I love even more.

He takes me by the hand and leads me into his bedroom, closing the door before pushing me up against it and leaning in for a kiss. We kiss hungrily, our lips grinding together with the fervor of barely contained lust. He slips his tongue in my mouth, and I suck it enthusiastically before biting his bottom lip.

“Ow!” He pulls away.

“Oh my God. I’m so sorry. Are you okay?” Is he bleeding? I look at his lip, but it seems to be fine.

“Yeah. You just caught me off guard, I think.” He touches his lip gingerly with his forefinger before looking back at me with a slow smile. “Be gentle with me.”

I laugh as I lean back in, close enough to feel his breath. He’s a funny guy. “Tell me what you want.” My voice is a seductive whisper as I run my hands up his back.

“Um. I thought we were going to have sex.”

“Well, yeah. But tell me how. Tell me what you want to do. Talk dirty to me.”

He hesitates for a second, and then he feathers kisses up my jaw to my ear, grasping the lobe between his teeth and sucking lightly. “I want to fuck you,” he whispers in my ear.

Now that’s more like it! I thread my fingers through his hair. “How are you going to fuck me?”

He pulls back and looks at me with confusion in his brown puppy-dog eyes. “In the vagina, I guess.”

Is he fucking serious?

“Look, maybe this was a mistake,” I say.

“No!” He pulls me toward the bed. “I can make you feel so good, baby.” He kisses me again, his lips soft, and I slowly relax into the kiss. He smiles at me as he pulls away and then grabs the hem of my dress and pulls it over my head, tossing it onto the bed. His eyes are hot as he takes in my cleavage in the lacy, black Victoria’s Secret bra I’m wearing. He runs a finger reverently over the top swell of my breast. “You are a goddess,” he breathes. He fumbles with the back of my bra, finally managing to unclasp it, and it falls to the floor as I lift my eyes to meet his. His gaze is fixated on my chest, but he doesn’t make a move to touch me. The air-conditioned room is cool, and my nipples tighten, aching for his hands on them.

“C-can I touch you?”

I roll my eyes. “Of course. It’s kind of hard to have sex without touching.”

He chuckles. “True.” He grabs my breast and squeezes it rhythmically, as if he’s milking a cow.

“Squeeze my nipple,” I say, my voice guttural.

He grasps it between his forefinger and thumb and exerts the slightest amount of pressure. When I arch into him, he squeezes a little harder and I moan.

“Oh, sorry. I got carried away.”

Before I can assure him it was more than okay, and in fact, he could squeeze a little harder, he quickly strips out of his clothes and then wraps his arms around me, kissing me softly again. I have to admit, he is a pretty good kisser. Without breaking the kiss, he eases me onto the bed, his long, lean body over mine as he pulls my panties off. He slips a finger into me and starts pumping in and out. I could use a little more preamble, but I focus on my favorite fantasy—the one where my hands are pinned above my head as a faceless but commanding guy with killer abs owns me with nothing but his mouth. Just when I’m starting to get into it, he pulls his finger out and rolls over to grab a condom from the night table drawer next to him. He rips open the wrapper and quickly rolls it onto his cock, which is a little on the small side, but adequate enough, provided he knows what to do with it.

I encircle him with my hand, stroking a few times before guiding him into me.

“Oh, baby, you feel amazing.” His face is wreathed in smiles as he thrusts into me several times.

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about him. I barely feel anything! After a few more minutes, I decide it’s time to change tactics. “Fuck me from behind,” I whisper.

“Um…sure.” He pulls out, and the problem is instantly apparent. His cock is only half erect, looking sort of pathetic encased in the condom.

He looks at me apologetically. “Mr. Peen doesn’t like condoms.”

I stare at him blankly. “Who?”

“My dick. My main man. He doesn’t like to be restrained. He likes to be free.”

“Well, that’s not an option,” I say flatly.

“Of course not,” he says quickly. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that.” He pulls the condom off. “But maybe you could…you know…” He gestures at his limp dick.

“Give you a blow job?”

He sighs with relief. “Yeah. That might help.”

The thought of taking his spermicide-flavored dick in my mouth is slightly repulsive, and I hesitate, trying to choose my words carefully. Although why the hell I care is beyond me. This is clearly not going to be the fuck I was hoping for. I sigh. Unfortunately, they never are. But this one will go down in the books as one of the top ten worst.

“Or, maybe I could, you know, go down on you if you’d rather?”

“Sure. Why not?”

He plants himself between my thighs and takes a deep breath, then starts lapping at me like a dog with a licking problem. “I’m going to get so dirty with you,” he mutters.

A martini at the bar at La Guardia would be a hell of a lot dirtier, and definitely more satisfying, than this, but I figure I’ll give him one last chance. I close my eyes and focus on my fantasy. In my mind, my faceless guy is opening my thighs like he owns them, his fingers parting me as his tongue teases me ever so gently before…

I’m vaguely aware of the door opening, and then an audible gasp.

He jumps up guiltily.
“Mom! What are you doing home?”

“Mom?!” Horrified, I stare at the well-dressed, chic-looking woman with perfectly coiffed blond hair standing in the doorway, the shock on her face mirroring mine. Then she clears her throat and visibly relaxes her features into a cool mask of studied nonchalance. “I was going to see if you wanted dinner, but it appears you’ve already eaten.”

The door closes again with a soft click, and time seems to stop as he and I stare at each other for a long minute. Fuck. My. Life.